Chapter 3: Step 3
It was morning and I was on page three. This one contained more, there were lists, this one was going to be useful. I breathed out a long breath as I read - 'Step 3 - Find out what kills them and how to dispose of the bodies, then practice that skill lots.' I threw the thing to the ground and blinked fast.
I could hear Tank below and I was trying very hard not to freak out. I had woken up a number of times during the night. I was always reaching for him just to reassure myself I wasn’t alone, that he was here, and that I was safe.
I had spent months alone, so why now I was so dependent on him?
“Is that the book?”
I didn’t hear him jump back onto the roof.
“Yeah, do you want to read it?”
His mouth puckered and he looked away quickly, “Nah, I’m right.”
He looked at his hands, “You have it and I trust you. I don’t know what it’s going to say that we aren’t already doing but... Pa seems to think it might be important.”
“Tank, can you read?”
“Of course I can read.”
He grimaced and looked away again.
“I won’t judge you Tank.”
He nodded his head slowly, “I can read some words just not the big ones. I reckon an official document like that one would have a lot of big words in it.”
“You’d be surprised,” I scoffed. “I went through hell to get this and,” I waved my hand at it, “Maybe your father will see something I am missing because right now...”
“Shh Miss Kate,” Tank quickly pulled me into his arms as I muffled a sob.
“I’m sorry Tank, I just hate this. I want everything back like it used to be. Why did they do it? Why didn’t they test it better? Drugs are supposed to be thoroughly tested. I don’t understand.”
Tank swept some hair off my face, “I’m not the right man to be asking big questions like that too, Miss Kate. But one good thing came from TIGHT. I got to find you. I would never have found you if the world was like it was before.”
“But Tank, he touched me. He...” I couldn’t finished.
“I know Miss Kate. And I killed him. I don’t want you thinking about that monster. I’ll make sure they never touch you again.”
“How? How Tank? They are everywhere. Sooner or later they are going to get me.”
“No! I won’t let them. I’ll look after you Miss Kate. I can’t let anything happen to you. I promise that I will protect you.”
“Yes Miss Kate. I promise that I will always be looking after you.”
I smiled through my tears. His eyes were wide and I could feel his sincerity. It was an innocent promise but I wanted to believe it. So I closed my eyes and placed my trust in Tank.
“Tank, you have forgotten to ask me something.”
“I have?” He looked down at me and I could almost see the clogs in his brain working as he tried to work out what.
“Tank,” He dropped his eyes when I spoke his name, “You forgot to ask me to be your girlfriend.”
“Girlfriend? You’d be my girlfriend?”
“Are you asking?”
I raised an eyebrow at him and he smiled as he rephrased his answer, “Hell yes! Baby, will you be my first and one and only girlfriend?”
“You’ve never had a girlfriend before?”
“Remember - Property of the Tigers Cheer Squad,” he pretended to write across his chest.
I leaned over and crossed out the pretend writing he just placed on his chest. Then slowly I pressed my finger into his chest and wrote while I spoke the words, “Property of Kate Collins.”
His eyes shone and he smiled with such warmth that I felt the glow.
“Can I kiss you?” his voice was husky. “I know you don’t want me touching you after that thing did but I really want to kiss you.”
“Why do you think that?”
“He did bad things to you Baby. I wish he hadn’t. I want you but I don’t want you thinking I am like that monster.”
I leaned in and kissed his lips, “I would never think that Tank. I want you too.”
He smiled and kissed me again, “I’m mighty glad to hear that Baby. I’m gonna do my sweet best at romancing you.”
“Romancing me?” I pulled away and looked at him.
“Yeah baby, that’s what you said. Tank listened. You said that you wanted me to sweep you off your feet. Now I ain’t ever done that sort of thing before. But by hell I am gonna do it for you.”
I smiled at his enthusiasm. He was trying very hard not to make his erection noticeable.
“Ohh yes, Baby. I decided that I am gonna do everything I can to make you fall for me. Then when we make sweet love for the first time together it will rock your world and you won’t ever want anyone but me.”
“I’m sure you will,” I kissed him down his neck.
“You are worth the wait Baby. I ain’t ever waited for a girl before but you are special. You are my girlfriend and that makes me mighty proud.”
I trailed my hand down his chest, “But Tank what if I want you now?”
“Ahh hell, this is gonna be harder than I thought,” he groaned as my hand brushed down to the top of his jeans. “I want you like crazy Baby. But I don’t reckon you believe me when I tell you that I love you. So I’m gonna prove it to you. I’m gonna kiss you and hold you and do my darnedest to romance your socks off.”
“I’m not wearing socks.”
“You know what I mean,” his lips curled and his dimples dug themselves into his face, “I’m gonna be your man Baby. Then maybe you might love me enough to marry me.”
“Do you know why I stopped you yesterday,” I whispered in his ear as I unbuttoned his jeans and the zip came down releasing him.
“No Ma’am. I mean yes Ma’am.”
I chuckled softly as his breathing rapidly increased and his whole body was tensed while he waited for me to make the next move.
“I didn’t want to lose my virginity against the side of a car.”
“Virginity? But you...?” he turned to me in confusion.
“My parents caught us before he... well, I am still a virgin.”
“Ohh shit, sorry Miss Kate, I’m an oaf. Pushing you up against the car like...”
“A sex craved ram?” I suggested
He laughed, “I seem to be doing that a lot around you.”
“You know you are my boyfriend now. And that gives you certain rights.” I slipped my hand around him and gently moved him.
He took a deep intake of breath and his hands slipped his jeans off while I stoked him, “You being my girlfriend means I can kiss you don’t it? Anytime I want?”
“Among other things,” I smiled as I closed the gap between our lips. He kissed me but he held his body still.
“What’s wrong Tank? Why aren’t you holding me?”
“You’re a virgin Miss Kate, that’s something precious. I ain’t ever been with a virgin before.”
“But all the other girls?”
“No ma’am, the cheer squad had no virgins. The other guys had their fun collecting V-cards but they said I was too big. The guys said I was only good for the pre-stretched...”
I returned my fingers to his lips before he could finish that sentence.
“You are my boyfriend now Tank. Please hold me.”
“Anything for my girl,” He smiled.
His fingers gently swept the hair from my face and I could see his intense look. I reached up and kissed from his jaw bone down to this collar bones slowly. He groaned and I could feel his hips pushing his erection against me. I slowly pulled up his shirt until it joined the pile of clothes next to the bed.
“Miss Kate, this isn’t how I wanted this. I wanted to romance you. I wanted to make love to you.”
“Then make love to me Tank.”
He groaned as his hands found my breasts, “I want you so much. I just want this to be special.”
“Tank this is special. We are together, it feels special to me.”
He took a deep intake of breath as his lips came down and he sucked my nipples.”
“Miss Kate, I won’t be able to stop,” he said between licks, kisses and soft bites.
“Then don’t stop.”
“I’m big Miss Kate, too big. I don’t want to hurt you.”
“You won’t hurt me.”
“The guys say it always hurts the first time. I don’t like causing you pain Miss Kate.”
“You are my boyfriend Tank. I want you to be my man too.”
“I want that too. Hell I want so bad. But be sure Baby, cause once I start there will be no stopping me Miss Kate. I want you too much.”
“Then take me.”
He didn’t need any more encouragement. His lips found mine and his tongue caressed mine as his hands went down my body. He split my legs open and his fingers explored my wet folds. He rubbed and gently vibrated the right spots to make me moan in his mouth.
Then a finger slid further. I gasped in surprise as his index finger entered me with small pumping motions, each movement pushing it further inside.
“Ohh baby, you’re so tight. I can feel your virginity. Holy Shit Baby, you are all mine.” He groaned as he worked me with his finger.
My back arched with the new sensations and he took the opportunity and dropped his lips to my breast which were now thrust forward towards him. He licked and sucked as his finger pumped me with relentless determination. As I my breath quickened he became more insistent with my nipples, running his teeth over them and sucking them in time with his finger.
“Come for Tank Baby. Come baby, make it good and wet for Tank.”
It felt so good that I completely lost myself in his touch. Just when I thought I couldn’t take any more he kissed his way down until his mouth clamped down on my sensitive bud. He sucked hard. My whole body bucked and arched as a wave of pure pleasure broke on me and burnt its way through me.
As I lay there rigid in my pleasure his fingers left me and his head dropped further down between my legs. His tongue licked my passage delving in the place of his finger as he drank my release. Just having him there doing that, was intoxicating and I couldn’t help moving myself on his face until I released again directly onto his waiting tongue.
“That’s my baby, that’s my girl. I need you now baby. I can’t wait now.”
He kissed his way back up to me. I could taste myself on his lips and tongue. His hips moved into me and I felt his smooth hot head resting in my folds. He pushed himself up on his arms and slowly edged his hips forward. The large blunt object pressed into my significantly smaller hole. This wasn’t going to work.
I was about to voice my concern when he thrust his hips forward in one almighty movement. His battering ram breached my passageway and forced itself into me. I was still catching my breath when he thrust again with the same determination. I cried out as it ripped through my defences.
He was breathing heavily but was waiting with his hips still held above me.
“One more my little darling,” he whispered and with a low growl he dropped his hips and drove his full length into me.
“Ohh that’s it Baby, you got me baby. Ohh you feel so good baby.”
Tears streamed down my face as he waited for my muscles to relax.
“I got to go baby. I got to push darling. I can’t stop.” And with slower movements he began to gently thrust in and out of me. The pain started to diminished and was replaced by something completely different.
“You’re so beautiful baby. You feel so fcuk’n beautiful. Ohh fcuk Baby,” Tank murmured as he thrust slowly into me. “I love you baby, I love you so much.”
My hands dug into him as I pressed my breasts into his chest and wrapped my legs around his waist. It felt so good now and I wanted more of him.
“Tank take me, Tank I want you, faster Tank, faster,” I pleaded with him.
He complied readily and soon his hips were slapping into mine and his murmurs had turned into throaty moans. My core burnt for him and each thrust sent a flicker of pleasure through me. I wanted the rubbing to intensify and ignite me. I urged him on with my hands and lifted my hips to meet his. He must have understood my need because he set of at a pace that had his head vibrating, pulsing inside me. I couldn’t hold it any longer.
“Tank!” I screamed out as I convulsed around his throbbing cock. I lost all desire for anything other than this feeling right here, right now.
I was still burning when he groaned deeply.
“Hell baby, I’m gonna blow. I’ve got to come.” He started pumping at speed and then he thrust forward his hips grinding into mine with an unceasing need. The intensity of his desire took me by surprise. Already sensitive and still awash with pleasure I erupted again as his hips pounded into me.
“Baby! Kate! Ohh Shit!” he cried out as his hips slammed into me and his cock pulsing with his pleasure. He made several small movements as I felt his seed pumping into me.
Breathing deeply he fell to the air mattress next to me and his spent cock slid from me.
“Holy shit,” he whispered. “Holy shit baby.”
I tried to close my legs but my insides felt like they had just been pummelled. I touched myself only to find my whole vagina swollen and bruised. He was right this might have been easier with someone smaller.
“Sorry baby, are you hurt bad.”
“I’ll recover,” I rolled over to hold him. I felt like I was glowing. I felt complete.
“Ohh hell baby. I should have been more gentle. I should have romanced you like I promised...”
“Tank, that was perfect. You were perfect.”
“It was the perfect first time. I will always treasure it.”
“Are you saying you don’t want a second time?”
“Tank, you rocked my world and I’m never going to want anyone else now that I’ve had you.”
He grinned broadly, “I am mighty happy to hear that because I love you even more now that I am your lover. I might never let you go Baby. But I am still going to woo you. I am still going to romance you into marrying me. Will you give me a chance to do that?”
“Of course, why wouldn’t I?”
“You had my dick now Baby, most girls who had me in bed only want me for my dick after that.”
“I’m not most girls Tank. I’m your girlfriend.”
“Ohh Baby. I love you. Just give me a chance to make you love me enough to marry me. I can’t lose you now. I know that this place, the one with the lights, there will be men there. They are gonna want to take you away from Tank. I just want the chance to prove that I am good enough to be your man.”
“The place with the lights! I’d almost forgotten!”
“We don’t have to go there,” he said too quickly, “We should head straight back to the farm. You’re hurt. We can come back another day.”
“Don’t worry Tank,” I smiled at him. “We need to go while we are here. I’ll be alright.”
“If you are sure,” he said with clear reluctance, “If we are going to find it before nightfall we have to get going. Are you sure I didn’t hurt you too much?”
“I’m fine Tank. Just give me a day or two for the swelling to go down before we try that again.”
“I’m looking forward to it Baby.”
He handed me the jeans and shirt that I had selected yesterday, and helped me off the roof.
We drove in silence. I could see Tank was trying to say something. He would open his mouth and his eyebrows would come together, but he would always snap it shut with a soft shake of his head.
“What’s wrong Tank?”
“I don’t know how to say this right Baby.”
“Then just say it.”
He frowned and turned to me before returning his eyes to the road, “I know what Jed, Nate, and Matt are like. But these men, the ones who will be at the lights, I don’t know them. I don’t know how I am going to keep you Baby.”
“Tank, I’m your girlfriend and you took my virginity. That makes you special to me Tank. I won’t be looking at the other men.”
“Yes Tank, and you are going to woo me, remember?”
“I remember all right,” he smirked. “But maybe you could give me a hint as to what might make you fall for me because there ain’t any flower shops or fancy restaurants left. I could get you some jewellery if I knew what you liked?”
“No Tank, I don’t want jewellery.”
“Ohh, you don’t want me to sing do you? I can’t sing Miss Kate. If I try you’ll be jumping from the truck just to get away from me.”
I laughed, “You don’t need to sing.”
“What then, cause I can’t do poetry or shit like that.”
“Just be yourself Tank, show me who you are. That’s all.”
“Ohh Shit. Miss Kate I ain’t anyone. I’m just Tank.”
“If you want me to love you Tank I have to know who you are.”
“I’m screwed then. Once you get past my looks I ain’t anyone Miss Kate.”
“You are someone Tank. You are my boyfriend. Don’t worry about it Tank. I like you and not just because you are hot.”
“You think I am hot?”
“Tank, you are the most attractive man I’ve ever seen. But you are wrong. There is more to you than your looks. Just relax and be yourself.”
“You are something else Miss Kate. You make me feel like I’m standing on top of the world.”
I just laughed at him.
“I reckon we are here,” Tank pulled the car to a stop as we looked at the structure in front of us.
On the small hill was a church, a hall and a large old house. Surrounding it was a ramshackle wall. It was tall but constructed with a timber and anything that could be dragged into place. Then the top was wrapped in barbed wire, broken bottles and other stuff that I couldn’t identify. The spot lights stood on tall poles behind that. I could see movement in the buildings but the gate wasn’t guarded.
“I got a bad feeling about this Miss Kate. How about we keep on driving?”
“They are obviously survivors Tank. We can’t just ignore them.”
“But we have to get back to the Farm Miss Kate.”
“We aren’t going to stay Tank, we just have to say hello and see what they know.”
Tank didn’t look convinced but nodded. He drove up to the front gate with both hands strangling the steering wheel. Then he honked the horn.
Faces appeared at the windows. Then someone dressed in a long flowing white robe ran towards the gate. She was small but very pretty with long black hair that looked almost ebony against the white she was wearing.
“Show yourselves,” she demanded from behind the chain gate.
“We’re survivors,” I said as I stepped out of the car.
She looked at me briefly but then her gaze fell on Tank. Her eyes lit up and she smiled broadly, “Then welcome!”
With that the gate opened and I looked up to see at least ten other women in the same style of dress standing on the church steps.
I glanced over to Tank but the dark haired woman had him by the hands and was leading him into the gated area.
“Umm, Tank...” I wasn’t sure why but this woman sent warning bells off in my head. “Maybe you were right.”
Tank must not have heard me because he followed her into the gated complex. I had no choice but to follow. The women on the steps were all surrounding Tank while I stood there watching on.
“Flock, Flock,” A tall skinny man appeared behind the women, “Sparrow tells me that we have guests. Give them room!”
The women quickly stepped back and I didn’t hesitate to push forward and take Tank’s hand.
The man looked at us with curious eyes, “Please excuse our manners. We don’t get many visitors. I am Father John and this is my flock, Sparrow, lark, Jay...”
He continued to list off bird names as each woman acknowledged her name. Bird names? His flock? Really? I was still scowling when Tank introduced us.
“Thank you Father,” I interrupted Tank who was just about to explain how he got his nickname, “We aren’t going to stay we just wanted to say hi as we passed by.”
The women all made sounds of disappointment and Father John pursed his lips, “It getting late you must stay at least tonight.”
“No...” I started to say but Tank turned to me.
“We should Miss Kate. It will give you your chance to rest and ask your questions.”
“Please, we have plenty of rooms and we are eager to hear how the rest of the world is fairing. Stay tonight.”
I looked up into Tanks eager eyes and felt something painful twist in my heart. There was no reason to leave but I still couldn’t shake this feeling.
“Alright but we will have to go tomorrow morning.”
“Very well,” Father John smiled but something was off. His eyes were on me and they didn’t match his smile. “You have arrived in time for our end of day prayers.”
The women all giggled with excitement as they pulled at Tank. His hand left mine as they surrounded him and swept him into the church. I was left standing on the steps with Father John.
“Is he Tight?”
“Who Tank? No!”
“Are you sure he isn’t Tight?” his voice was low and harsh.
“Yes Father, Tank is naturally that way.”
The man next to me made a humph sound, “You can’t be sure. The men of this world were weak when it came to TIGHT. The devil did well when he thought up this temptation.”
“Where are all your men Father?”
“Even men of God were lead astray by TIGHT Kate. I don’t understand why my congregation didn’t listen to me but they all succumbed leaving me with my little flock to care for.”
It was clear that he wasn’t going to elaborate on that so I just followed him into the church. I was looking for Tank amongst the pews when I stopped mid step.
“What the hell’s that?”
“What the hell indeed, Kate,” Father John laughed. “One of the devils hoard always features in our end of day prayers. You don’t sympathise with them do you?”
“What? No! They are monsters! But what do you want with a Tight?”
I glanced back at the Tight which was tied to a frame at the front of the church. He was naked and was gagged.
“You shall see Kate,” his smile was cold. “I have a service to take but I want to speak with you afterwards. I’ll happily answer all your questions then.”
Tank was surrounded by woman so I took a seat next to a girl at the back. She glanced at me nervously and looked like she wished she could move away from me. I watched her fiddle with her robes.
“Have you been here long... um...?”
“Swift,” She supplied her name for me but she didn’t look up. “Since the day of reckoning”
“Welcome Flock and our esteemed visitors to our End of Day Service. We come together at the end of the day to celebrate the end of another day of light and pray for our souls as we enter another night of darkness. The world has lost its faith but we will not. The devil has his hoard, but we will prevail. God is not lost in this house.”
“Amen,” the ladies sang out.
“The day of reckoning has gone. We are the chosen ones. The Lord let Lucifer test us and we are the only ones who proved worthy of his light. We resisted because we love the Lord. The Devil sought to corrupt our minds and our bodies and pressured us to take his poison. But we have faith. The Lord blessed us with the bodies we were born with and we praised him for his gift. We were not temped by vanity. We held true to the Lord!”
“The day of reckoning brought the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to our door. The Devil tested us and mankind failed. So the Lord released Conquest, War, Famine and Death upon the world to cleanse it. The Lord turned Sodom and Gomorrah to salt, he release the flood, he cleansed the world saving only those who were worthy of his love. We are worthy. We are the ones he saved from this plague. We are the pure, our children will repopulate his new world and we will ascend to heaven. Lord, aid us in our struggles to remain pure for you.”
“Amen,” Some of the Ladies even raised their hands to the roof.
“The first horseman came for conquest! His weapon was TIGHT. Lucifer was clever. Humans were weak and lazy. He could see our sin. He feed on it and corrupted any good left in this world. His weapon was perfect. It sang out to all those who sinned. Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride - TIGHT spoke to them all and the weak drank it up. But we listened to the Lord and we resisted this temptation.”
“Amen, praise the Lord.”
I looked over and saw Tank nodding as he listened.
“The second horseman gave us war. The Tight were his soldiers. They used their filthy bodies to rape us, sodomise us and kill us. The Devil used the Lords beautiful creation and made it into this,” He pointed at the Tight, “A beast who slays with sex. The Tight are nothing but creatures of sin sent to conquer us with the lust humanity wanted so much. Look at him Flock! Even now he wants nothing more than to fornicate with you. The devil’s poison is in his penis. It feeds his evil. It pollutes his body. It is what makes his cock hard and his lust unquenchable. They are the devils hoard. He is what waits at the gates of hell. But we will not open our legs to Satan’s Warriors. We will fight them in the name of the Lord. We will preserve ourselves and resist these creatures in his name.”
“Amen, the Lord is our God.”
“We will endure this test. So when the next horseman brings Famine we will be ready for him. And when Death comes to our door we will stand tall and know that Heaven awaits us. We will not be afraid because we are the children of the Lord and we have been tested and we resisted. We are the blessed. We are his disciples.”
“Amen! Praise be the Lord!”
I watched from my seat as the women pulled Tank up as they stood and clapped.
Father John used his hands to quieten them down and waited until they were again seated.
“As his disciples we will listen to his teachings. We will abstain from sinning. We will think not of ourselves but we will give to others. We are the survivors and we are pure. We are all that are left of the Lords flock but we will hold ourselves above the destruction that we see all around us. We will not let hate or vengeance into our hearts. We will love and be loved. We will embrace the beauty of the act of making love and give the Lord his children. And we will pray. Pray that the Lord can see that we still hold true to his word.”
“Amen,” the ladies strung the word out as they sang it.
Father John turned to the Tight then he turned back and looked me in the eyes for a moment while the room settled down. He picked up a small sickle-like-knife that had been resting in the ornate fire that was at the centre of the altar. The blade was small, probably around 3 or 4 inches long, curved into a half moon shape and glowing red.
“As soldiers of the Lord we must show the Devil we will not give in to his evil ways. As soldiers of the Lord we must cleanse the Tight and free them from their torment. We do this to show we are merciful. They have sinned but we will not judge them. We do not kill them, we help them and we forgive them. We will cure them by taking the devil’s poison out of them.” He turned again to the Tight who was struggling, “This creature is no longer a man. He is a minion of Satan. He is the personification of Satan. We must lynch the poison from him. Only once Lucifer’s fowl brew is taken from him will he stand any chance of redemption. Only once the source of his corruption and the weapon he welds is removed will he stand any chance of finding God again. We must cleanse him. We must purge his body of this evil. We must cut Satan’s genitalia from him. I will cleanse you sinner, cutting away the demon that drives you mad and give you peace.”
“Yes, the Lord is our saviour”
“Yes, Praise be!”
Amongst the chorus of yes’, I heard a deep voice.
I wanted to get out of there. I wanted to push my way to Tank and pull him out of there. I certainly didn’t want to see what was about to happen. But as I struggled in my chair it was too late. Father John lifted the knife.
“In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit I free you from this evil that possesses you!”
The knife came down and the Tight screamed through his gag.
I dropped my face into my hands as I felt the nausea rising. The smell of burning hair and flesh hit me and I heard Tank groan a deep, “Holy Shit!”
“You are cleansed,” Father John said as something heavy hit the floor.
I couldn’t look. I heard the women all rejoice but Tank didn’t joining in this time. Father John finished the service but I couldn’t listen to his words. I knew from what he said earlier that this wasn’t the first Tight who had been cleansed during their End of Day Prayers. The Tight were monsters but to slice off their dicks? That was barbaric. They were still people. We should be looking for a way to cure them not torture them. This was wrong.
“Are you alright?” Father John asked as he sat down next to me.
The congregation were leaving. I looked up but couldn’t see Tank.
“It might be shocking but it does work.”
“Work? You killed him by cutting off his dick, how does that work?” I glanced to the front to find the Tight still strung up and now hanging from his arms. Between his legs was a patch of blackened skin.
“He’s not dead, some do die though.” Father John exhaled loudly, “If he lives he will still be tight but he won’t be ruled by his urge to fornicate. They are at peace. You might think this wrong Kate but it helps them.”
“Helps them? No! I don’t believe that!”
“Yes Kate. Without the devils poison in them they don’t have the drive to rape. They don’t regain their senses but at least they don’t have the same sexual pain. They are more placid.”
“No! That’s doesn’t justify it!”
“Do you think they have any humanity left in them Kate?”
“I don’t know. I want to believe it.”
“But you have seen what they do. You have witnessed their defilement. You might have even had one of those creatures touch you. They have no remorse. They have no qualities of humanity.”
“If there could be a cure,” I said hopefully.
“Do you think they could live with the memories of what they have done? No Kate, it is better that they are cleansed of the evil in them and live out the rest of the lives harmlessly. Then the Lord will judge them at St Peter’s Gates.”
“But he...” I pointed at the Tight at the front of the church.
“Don’t think of it as a ‘he’. The creature isn’t human. We neutered dogs and cats so that they were more placid. How is this different?”
“It just is.”
Father John smiled in a patronising manner.
“There has to be a better way.”
“I’m not a surgeon Kate. When we started doing this we had morphine and other anaesthetics but they didn’t last without refrigeration. Now we do what we can.”
“It isn’t right.”
He frowned. “The man you travel with, Tank, who is he to you?”
“Tank? He’s my boyfriend.”
“Are you hiding his nature?”
“Woman have been known to keep the Tight as lovers, to enjoy their ever ready passion. Are you protecting your Tight lover?”
“No! No, he’s not!”
“Kate, maybe you don’t know. He might be lying to you. Some tight can come out during the daylight. Some men didn’t take enough to it to have the full effects of it. You would be surprised what men did.”
“No, you are wrong.” I shook my head, “Tank isn’t Tight.”
“All right Kate. I will trust you but I don’t like you travelling with him. He could turn on you. If he has it in his muscle tissue it could change him at any time.”
“Tank is fine! He’s just well developed.”
“If you say so,” Father John nodded, “If you change your mind you can stay with us. I will welcome you into the flock Kate. You would be safe here and you would learn to be happy.”
“No, no thanks Father John. We will be leaving in the morning.”
He sighed and nodded as I stood and decided that it was time I went to find Tank.
It wasn’t hard to find him. He was surrounded by the flock. He was laughing and looked relaxed and happy. As I watched the dark haired girl, Jay reached up and touched his face. He turned to her with and adoring smile. That sharp knife inside me twisted again.
“Tank,” I had to yell out to get his attention.
“Miss Kate,” he smiled at me.
I couldn’t be sure but it looked like Jay’s eyes narrowed just a little as she brushed up against him, “Come on Tank, let me show you around.”
“Tank I need to speak to you,” I glared at the bitch.
Tank looked between us in confusion. He was clearly conflicted.
“Miss Jay, you are mighty nice to be offering to show me around, and I’m looking forward to it, but I got a few chores to do first.”
Chores? I was a chore now?
Jay pouted and made puppy eyes at Tank, “Be quick Tank. I’ll be waiting!”
The traitor dimples smiled at her. Damn, they belonged to me.
I crossed my arms as my heart ached.
Tank smiled at me like nothing was wrong, “I’m gonna bring the truck into the yard Miss Kate. Don’t want it left outside.”
“We have to leave Tank.”
“Maybe we should stay with them a bit Miss Kate,” Tank shrugged, “Miss Jay said that they need a strong man around. There’s plenty that needs fixing.”
“You have to be kidding me? Didn’t you see what they did?”
“Yeah, I did. But the flock explained it. They were helping. He’s going to feel better now.”
“After what that one nearly did to you Miss Kate, I don’t have that much of a problem with it.”
“Look Miss Kate, I’ve killed lots of them. Some of them that I killed I knew before. They aren’t those guys anymore. If this makes them stop raping then it’s got to be better than killing them.”
“You are wrong Tank.”
“Look Miss Kate, you wanted to come here. I just want to help them. How about we stick around for a week while I fix up some stuff then we’ll go.”
“No Tank, we are leaving in the morning.”
“I can’t do that Miss Kate. I promised Miss Jay I would help.”
“You what? So it’s her? You want her now?”
“I didn’t get to help the girls at home, Miss Kate. I can’t walk away from these ones when they need my help. It wouldn’t be right.”
“Ohh Tank, she wants you. Can’t you see that?”
He looked confused.
“She wants you, not the help you are offering.”
“Are you jealous Miss Kate?”
“No!” I said a little too quickly.
“You’re jealous! No body’s ever been jealous about Tank before,” he smirked.
“Look Tank, just be careful alright? I don’t trust them.”
“Yes Ma’am,” he turned to go get the truck leaving me to watch him walk away.
I was at a loss. I was losing Tank and he had no idea what was happening. She was sticking her claws into him. How was I going to keep him when she was so pretty?
She was waiting for him as he drove the truck in and parked it next to the hall. She skipped over to him and linked her arm with his. They both laughed. My heart twisted painfully again, my throat burnt and my eyes stung.
At dinner he sat in the hall telling stories about his football career and the farm to an enthralled group of ladies. Jay was glued to his side. I sat alone and picked at my food.
“Your friend certainly has my flock entertained,” Father John was probably meaning the comment to be light but I heard a grating note in it.
“You don’t like Tank do you?”
“It’s not that, I just don’t Trust him. A man doesn’t get that big naturally. The Lord didn’t make us that way. Did you know that athletes injected TIGHT directly into the muscles they wanted strengthening so that they got the results they desired. It was far more effective than steroids and less of the drug got into the blood stream. So they didn’t change like the others. I even heard that some men injected it straight into the erections so that they maximised the effects of the drug. They used it to enlarge their penises and make themselves hard enough to satisfy many women at once. It became the new Viagra with more lasting effects. How can you be sure that he didn’t Kate? Can you honestly tell me that he is a natural man?”
“Yes! Tank’s not like that. He would never do that!”
He laughed a short laugh, “Isn’t he? So he didn’t sleep around? He didn’t have women clambering to impale themselves on him? You don’t think he wanted to improve his performance in bed to keep his stud-like status? He’s a good looking man Kate. Men like him are under a lot of pressure to be great lovers.”
I looked at my plate and didn’t answer him. I couldn’t. I didn’t know what Tank would or wouldn’t do. But I was fairly sure he wouldn’t lie to me.
Father John smiled then changed the subject. He asked me about the world that I had seen. He questioned me in detail about all the things I had seen and the places I had been. I was so occupied explaining to him that I didn’t notice the hall emptying. I was tired when I noticed that we were alone and it was late.
“Thank you Kate, but you must be tired. Where will you sleep?”
I quickly looked at him wondering how to answer that.
“Kate, we are not a convent!” he laughed, “We aren’t celibate. You can sleep with him if that is what you want.”
I blushed and smiled as Father John beckoned me to follow him out of the hall and to the large house.
“The bedroom is across from the bathroom, are you sure you trust him Kate?”
“Yes Father, I am.”
The hall was dark as I found my way down. I was tired and looking forward to snuggling up to Tank. Maybe I would be able to convince him to leave in the morning.
I was lost in thought when I opened the door.
“Ohh yeah, come on baby!”
My fingers were already on the light switch and the room was bathed in bright light before the words I heard were absorbed.
There on the bed was Tank, he was on his back with his hands dug into the hips of Jay who was straddling his waist as she rode him. They were both naked. Tanks face was lined with his lust and his enjoyment as she bounced on him. With the light on them and from the door I watched Tank’s dick impale her as she lifted her hips and slammed them back down on it. Then Jay’s head came back and she ground against him while screaming out with pleasure as an orgasm took her. Her black hair flowing down her back as she mewed her satisfaction.
I gasped in horror.
“Baby?” Tank opened his eyes and looked between us. His eyes went wide as he looked at my expression of betrayal.
Wordlessly I turned away and fumbled as I struggled to leave.
“No Baby! No Kate! It isn’t like that.”
I couldn’t listen to him. He was sliding out from under Jay his dick still wet with her juices and still hard for her.
“Tank honey, come back we were having fun!” she groaned.
“Miss Kate! Don’t go!
I was blind in the darkness of the hall and my body was numb as I tried to escape with tears flooding down my face.
“No! Come back!” Tank called as he followed me.
“Watch out Kate!” Father John yelled as he pulled me under his arm. We were in the living room and Tank was pleading as he walked towards me still naked, still erect and still glistening with her pleasure.
Father John pulled out a small device and pointed it at Tank.
“Baby, I want you!”
“I’ll protect you,” Father John growled as he fired the thing in his hand. It made a strange noise and Tank fell to the ground convulsing.
“Stop it!” I yelled as the tears blinded me.
“It’s a tasser gun Kate. He was going Tight. He would have raped you.”
“No, that wasn’t it!”
“Yes it was look at him. He’s as Tight as they come.”
“No,” I sobbed as my heart broke.
“It’s alright Kate. The poison hasn’t spread far. We should be able to save him.”
Jay came out of the bedroom and saw Father John standing with me as Tank lay on the floor mostly unconscious. I could see the panic on her face.
“He made me do it Father. He pushed me onto the bed and thrust himself into me.”
Father John nodded, “I know Jay. He was Tight. It wasn’t your fault. Do you want one of ...”
“She’s lying!” I screamed. “She was riding him! He isn’t Tight!”
“Why are you defending him Kate? You trusted him and he betrayed you. He’s obviously got some Tight in him. He had to have sex with anyone he could. He was ruled by sex. Look at him Kate. He was a creature of sex. Of course he was Tight, even if the poison was only in his dick.”
“No, you are wrong. Tank isn’t Tight.”
“You are in denial Kate, that’s natural. You can sleep in my room tonight. I have to tie him up before he hurts anyone else. You might still love him but you have to understand what is best for him. We have to do it tomorrow if you want him to live. We can’t let the poison spread any further.”
“We have to cleanse him. We have to remove the poisonous gland before it takes him over completely. We will have the ceremony tomorrow. He is young and strong. He will recover.”
“You have to be joking? You are going to cut his dick off?”
“Emasculation is the only way we can save him Kate. I will protect you Kate. You can stay here.”
I looked around his room.
“Sleep now my little Quail. I will look after you.”
I stood there in shock as he shut the door behind him. I was in his room and he was going to mutilate Tank. Tank who said he loved me but cheated on me. Tank who promised to look after me but was now gone. I sank to the floor and sobbed as my heart broke.
I heard them dragging off Tank as I cried but I was in too much pain to do anything. Father John wouldn’t believe me anyway. He was insane. He had some sort of strange cult thing going on here and I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. I wasn’t going to be his little Quail if I had anything to do with it. I had to get out of here. The truck was inside the complex. Maybe I could make an excuse and escape tomorrow - yes, I could see it - ‘don’t mind me, I’m just off to get a knife sharpener’ - yeah, that would work, not!
I didn’t have time to wallow. I wiped the tears away and tried the window. It opened. I could hear voices outside the door so I knew that this was my only route of escape. I jumped out into the night. The dim glow of the floodlights that were pointed on the fence gave enough light to guide my way. I could see the Truck parked in the yard. All that I needed to do was run to it and drive off. It still had all our stuff in it. I could plough through the gate and be free. Yeah, free to get raped as soon as I was outside the range of the lights.
And then there was Tank. I couldn’t leave him. No matter how much he hurt me I couldn’t let them do that to him.
I edged around the building to the back of the church. The sound of chain being moved alerted me to the direction I needed to be heading in.
“That should keep you,” Father John mumbled as if he was talking to himself, “Well tomorrow is shaping up to be an interesting day.”
I could see him through the window. He was standing next to Tank.
“Your little quail is going to be the perfect addition to my flock. She’s a fine bird. Don’t worry, I am the rooster and all my flock obey the cock. She won’t be any different. Soon she will learn her place.”
I pushed myself against the dark wall and closed my eyes. So not only was he insane, he was sick as well.
I heard him open the door and he turned the light turned off as he shut the door. I didn’t have much time. He would soon discover that I wasn’t in his room. He didn’t lock the door as headed towards the house whistling some tune.
I snuck in as silently as I could. The window was facing outwards so there was enough light. The room held an odd collection of church items and next to the old organ was the frame I had seen at the end of day prayers. Tank was chained to it. He was still naked and his head lulled forward and with his weight hung from the arm manacles. If he was unconscious I wouldn’t be able to carry him to the Truck. If he couldn’t run then we would be caught.
I placed a hand on his chest hoping that he was still breathing and he jumped. His head came up and his eyes widened. He mumbled something through the gag.
“Tank, we have to get out of here. I don’t know how much you heard but Father John thinks you are Tight and is going to...” I glanced down at his soft manhood, “Well I am sure you remember. We have to go. If you want Jay you will have to come back for her later.”
Tank’s eyes screwed up in pain and he shook his head side to side very slowly.
“Look I don’t care but we have to go now. I need to get these chains off you and I will need your help. Balance as best you can on your legs so I can get your hands undone.”
The chains had a simple clasp that pulled free once the strain was off them. Once his hands were out he did his feet as I ran for the door.
“Baby, Kate, I didn’t...”
“Tank we don’t have time for this!”
“Quail! My little Quail!” I heard Father John bellow from the window of his bedroom.
Tank was still pulling the cuffs from his feet but he could run faster than me so I just left him and ran for the Truck. I took the driver’s side. The passenger’s side was closer for Tank. Also, I didn’t know if he would be able to drive after being electrocuted with a Taser Gun.
“Is my little Quail trying to fly the coop?” The voice was closer. “My gun isn’t loaded with bird shot you little bitch. Now come here or I’ll shoot your Tight lover.”
I froze as I tried to work out what to do.
“Go!” Tank yelled. He was running. “Get in and drive Baby! I’ll make it!”
He was running like a true linebacker.
I threw myself into the truck and gunned the engine. I threw myself across the width of vehicle while the engine idled and opened passenger door. The gun fired but Tank was half inside the vehicle. So I threw it into reversed and ducked as the next shot hit the back window showering us with tiny cubes of windscreen glass. I was in drive and the wheels skidded as the vehicle lurched forward. We hit the front gate without slowing. It was tossed over the roof of the truck and bounced as it cleared the vehicle.
Tank had the door closed before we reached the edge of the lit area which was just as well, the Tight were waiting for us. I could see them all standing on the edge of the brightness, just standing there as they guarded the dark.
I winced as I ploughed into them. One hit the grill and was thrown upwards and smashed into the windscreen before he rolled over the edge and smeared himself down the passengers side of the vehicle. At least two went under the wheels. The truck bounced violently but stayed upright as we burst through.
“Lights are the black switch,” Tank voice was forced.
I flipped the switch and the road was glowing with light. The Tight’s eyes were like cats eyes - all reflective as the light immobilised them for a brief second as their pain scrambled brains tried to add the extra agony to the list.
I concentrated on the road and drove avoiding what I could. We were free of that lunatic. I might not be the same happy person who walked through those gates less than 12 hours ago but I didn’t have time to feel sorry for myself.
I was on the freeway and out of town before I relaxed my grip just a little. The freeway was practically deserted so I just drove. I bearly noticed that Tank had found some clothes to cover his unfaithful body with.
“Don’t call me that,” I spat through my teeth. “In fact don’t call me anything.”
“I messed up. I didn’t mean to...”
“I don’t want to hear it. Save your breath because I’m not interested.”
I heard him wince but I keep my attention on the road. My whole body wanted to crumble into small unmarked pieces. I didn’t want this pain. This hurt worse than anything I had ever felt before. I concentrated on my driving because I knew that if I thought about it I would be a blubbering mess. I couldn’t do that. I was a strong woman. I was a survivor. I wasn’t going to fall into pieces over him.
I drove in silence until the sun came up. I was still driving flat out when he reached over and placed his hands on the steering wheel. In surprise my grip loosened and he veered off the motorway and into a services. He pushed a long leg through and brought us to a slow stop next to the fuel pumps.
I was still frozen in my driving position.
We were stopped.
I wasn’t driving.
He ran a hand down my arm, “Please look at me?”
Without a word I threw open the door and almost fell out of the vehicle. I practically ran behind the building and fell to the asphalt. I threw up. On my hands and knees I heaved and sobbed at the same time. My throat ached as it tried to do both simultaneously. My heart was a solid heavy mass in my chest. It didn’t beat anymore it just bled. I couldn’t feel my eyes as every drop of moisture in my body squeezed itself out my tear ducts. And the rest of me was just shot with abject misery.
I was done.
I wanted to crawl up in a ball and forget about everything and everyone.
My shoulders and hips gave way and I fell from my kneeling position. I closed my eyes expecting my face to welcome the asphalt but instead I was hoisted into the air. I felt the warmth. I recognised the smell. I wound myself up tightly and cried. I didn’t want to look at him.
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” his voice was croaky.
I didn’t care. I couldn’t care. I didn’t want to care.
He walked me back to the car and placed me in the passenger’s seat.
I felt the chill as he stepped away. I numbly pushed myself from the car again. I didn’t have the energy to run so I stumbled away in a random direction.
The arms wrapped themselves around my waist and lifted me into his chest.
“I promised to look after you Ba...Miss Kate. I stuffed up but I won’t break my promise to take you home. I’m taking you home to the Farm Miss Kate. You might never look at me again but I won’t ever hurt you again.”
I felt him put me gently on the seat again. Then he began to clean me with some wet wipes. He was gentle and slow as he washed me. I couldn’t fight him.
“Why did you come back for me Miss Kate? Why didn’t you leave me there? You risked your life to save me after everything I did. Why did you do that?”
I didn’t even acknowledge his question. If I spoke again I would end up a sobbing mess. I had to hold myself together.
“I know it doesn’t look like it but I do love you Miss Kate.”
I clenched my teeth against my sudden fury. I wanted to hit him. I wanted to scratch him. I wanted to cause him pain at least equal to what he was causing me. But I couldn’t. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply.
“Please say something Miss Kate, anything?”
I just dropped my head, pulled my knees up with my feet on the seat and wrapped my arms tightly around the lump of flesh that was once my body.
I could feel his hand hovering over me but he didn’t touch me and for that I was glad. I might have spontaneously combusted if he touched me again. I hurt so much and yet I still wanted him. I was a mess. I couldn’t do this.
I could hear him crying as he pumped the fuel. His quick intakes of breath and his pained yet stifled sobs cut me to the bone. He was still sniffing back the tears when he extended the safety belt over me and started the car.
“Please Miss Kate, please get angry with me. Please yell at me. Please. I deserve your anger just don’t cut me off like this. I need you.”
I closed my eyes and pushed myself up against the glass of the window. It was cold and eased the burning in my eyes. But still the tears leaked through.
“I will do anything, anything Miss Kate to take that back. I never meant to do that. I love you!”
A sob escaped my tightly sealed lips. I pulled myself tighter as my shoulders shook and the sobs were wrenched from my body by some invisible force. Why couldn’t he just shut up? Why couldn’t he just leave me? Why couldn’t he just let me die?
“I’m taking you home Miss Kate,” I heard through my sobs.
The truck rumbled to a start and was soon moving along the road. I must have slept. I was screaming with the image of Tank with the red hot crescent knife pressed against his beautiful skin when I thrashed myself awake. The truck was on the side of the road and Tank had me pulled into his chest. As soon as I realised it was a dream and that he was safe I went limp in his arms.
His shoulders were shaking again, “Please forgive me, please.”
I pushed away from him and he didn’t hold me. I just pushed away until I had my face pressed against the glass again. I moved as far away from him as I could in the limited space available of the Truck cab.
His body whined a pained noise but the truck was soon going again and we were back on the road.
We drove in silence.
The silence was like a heavy weight over us. It pushed down on us and affected my breathing as much as it did his.
In the late afternoon he pulled up at an amusement park. He carried me into the park.
“I’ve been here before,” his voice was steady, “When we won the state championships last year Coach brought the team here. The guys thought it was lame but I had never been to anything like it. I loved it. I asked Coach to bring us back here if we won the next year but ... this all happened just before the final game. I want to take you on my favourite ride. Wait here Miss Kate.”
He sat me down. I looked around the deserted amusement park. The rides were neglected and dusty. The Tight had been here. I could see the evidence of them.
I had a sudden hankering for something hideously evil. So I stretched out my stiff limbs and pushed myself off the bench that Tank had left me on. My knees were ceased up as I staggered across in search of what I craved. I found it. It took me a good ten minutes to break into the stall and steal what I desired. Then I sat on the pavement and ate my cotton candy with no guilt. For the first time in my teenaged life I didn’t give a stuff about the calories. I just savoured the taste. It was decadent.
“Oh my god, no! Kate!” He bellowed, “Kate don’t leave me! Kate!”
Surprised I actually sat up and turned to him. His eyes fell on me and all the panic melted away as easily as the cotton candy melted on my tongue.
He scooped me up and laughed a soft sound of relief as he saw what I was eating. He balanced me against his chest as he raided the stall for more. Then he moved me back to the bench. Next to the bench was a small engine. I couldn’t help but watch as he hooked it up to the ride. How did he know how to do that? His hands moved confidently as he connected all the wires in place. Then he pulled the rip cord on the generator, which roared to life. The lights of the ride came on and so did the cheesy music. He smiled a sad smile at me as he bent down and gathered me into his arms. Before I could think about it, I was on the bench seat of the ride and he was putting a small bag at my feet. He then operated the machine.
The car jolted upwards while rocking backwards and forwards. I braced myself as I realised where I was. This was a Ferris Wheel. It climbed upwards with a steady progression until it reached the very top of the circle. Then with a grinding noise it stopped. I heard the generator engine cough to a halt and then there was silence.
I looked out at the view. It was beautiful. The late afternoon sun turned the valley a rich shade of gold and the sky was developing into a spectacular sunset. Why was I up here? How was I supposed to get down? I was just contemplating how apt it would be for me to be stranded up here and die here all alone, when the Ferris wheel shifted. The metal groaned softly as Tank’s mumbled swear word drifted up. The contraption continued to complain as I watched Tank swinging, climbing and hoisting himself upwards towards me. The carriage I was in swung in a way which it wasn’t designed for as he clambered aboard.
I shuffled over to the edge of the bench seat as he caught his breath next to me.
“It’s an awesome view isn’t it Miss Kate? I can’t think of a more romantic setting. I know I lost my chance at wooing you but this is where I was planning on bringing you. I wanted to ask you to marry me here. I know I ain’t going to get a second chance and that you will never love me now but I can’t stop loving you. I’ll always love you Miss Kate.”
I scrunched up my eyes and my whole body tightened against the pain that he was hitting me with.
I couldn’t forgive him. He had sex with her. He called her... I meant nothing to him. It was all lies.
Tank set up some food that I knew I couldn’t eat. I didn’t turn to him. I kept my eyes on the valley view.
Tank spoke while I sat in silence. He told me about Jed, Nate and Matt. He told me what they liked and what annoyed them. His voice was strained as he sold his competition to me and although I could hear the pain he was in, he didn’t falter, he sang their praises.
My eyelids were heavy as I fought them. I rested my head against the metal strut and closed my eyes as the light faded from the valley. I dreamed that the world was good again. I dreamed of my Mother who, no matter what, always knew the right words of comfort, and my Father who would have stood up to Tank, even though he wasn’t as tall. Dad would have told him to go to hell for hurting his little girl. I dreamed of all the people I had loved and lost and finally I dreamt of Tank.