Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
“This is what you have to do to become a man, Christian.” My dad practically shoved me out of his truck. I turned back to see him light up a cigarette for my cousin Dave in the backseat.
Dave looked at me and grinned crookedly. “Make sure to wrap your tool!” He teased before reaching forward and pulling the door shut, having to slam it twice to make sure it actually stayed closed.
Well, this was actually happening. I swallowed before I walked down the street, hearing my dad’s truck backfire twice before it drove off. I was now alone out here. Granted, I could use my phone and call an Uber, maybe even beat my dad home, but I had to do this. I was eighteen. I had to prove to the rest of my family that I was a real man.
My eyes went from woman to woman, all different flavors of beauty and desperation. One curvy woman with skin pallid and teeth crooked whistled and called out, “Sweetie, you look scared, want someone to keep you company?”
I just smiled and kept on walking, looking for that perfect girl.
And there she was, looking like a piece of the night sky had come down and became a woman. Skin darker than midnight, dark curls bouncing behind her shoulders, and hands staying by her sides, neatly manicured nails lightly brushing against her ripped stockings and short skirt.
I felt my hands tremble as I walked up to her. “Hey, um, how much?”
The girl looked over, she was probably only a year or so older than I was. Or maybe she was younger, I couldn’t tell. She grinned and quietly laughing. “Oh Christ, you’re not used to coming around here, aren’t you?” She leaned closer, grasping my jacket collar to pull me down to her level. Even with those four inch heels she was still so much shorter than I was. “You look like a guppy among all these bloodthirsty sharks,” She whispered.
I gulped before straightening myself back up. “Yeah, I just… look, do you want my money or not?” I didn’t mean to snap, but I just didn’t want to lose my nerve.
The girl snorted. “Not with that attitude. Drop the tough guy act, will you? You have nothing to prove to me,” She said.
Damn it. I quelled the anger burning in my chest before dropping my gaze. “S… sorry. I’m just a little embarrassed. Um, I’m Christian,” I mumbled.
“I’m Diane. Do you have a car or enough extra cash to buy an hour at the joint down the street?” She shot a thumb down that direction.
“I have enough.” I fumbled for my wallet and pulled out three crisp fifty dollar bills. “I want all you can give me.”
Diane’s eyes widened and she sputtered for a moment before snatching all three and stuffing them in her bra, clearly visible underneath her sheer pink shirt. “Done deal. Come on, it’s cold as tits out here and you look like you need to warm up,” She said, looping her arm in with mine before taking me down the street.
I expected her to smell like nicotine smoke or acrid perfume, but as I leaned in I could smell her hair. Green apples. I felt the butterflies in my chest flutter wildly about, beating against my rib cage. She was so gorgeous, I could barely catch my breath. Her chilled fingers interlaced with mine and I gripped on tightly. “I’m not the only one who needs to warm up,” I said.
Diane tossed her head back and laughed. “I’m used to it. Come on, we’re here. Make it quick, I want to get inside,” She said before leaning up to kiss my cheek. I could smell the barest hint of whiskey on her breath, followed by a metallic scent I just couldn’t place.
The guy managing the front desk only cared for the money I threw in there, tossing me the keys to room 104 and telling me to be out in an hour and not to make a mess.
Once in the privacy of the room, Diane slipped out of that skin tight shirt and smirked, tilting her hips to the side before sauntering over to the bed. “Come here, Christian. Let’s have some fun,” she purred.
My first time was just as one would expect. Sloppy, clumsy, and I finished way too fast. But Diane was as beautiful out of her clothes as I expected. There was a scar inbetween her right ribs, I traced my fingers along it for a moment too long judging by her flinch. But it was beautiful, just like the rest of her.
After we were done, she rolled over to her side to catch her breath, have a few more minutes in the muggy room before braving the cold again. Now came the actual hard part. I pretended to act like I was getting dressed, pulling on my jeans while slipping my hand into my pocket. I gripped the handle of my knife, taking a deep breath before pulling it from the sheath.
This is what it means to be a man. Kill the dirty bitches.
I sat back on the bed and turned to her. She had somehow managed to fall asleep, or at least she looked it.
She looked so peaceful. Like an angel.
She’s a dirty whore.
She’s so young. So pretty.
She belongs with the rest of them. Cut up and fed to the pigs.
But maybe she didn’t.
My hands were shaking so badly that the knife tumbled from my fingers, falling to the floor. Diane startled, eyes shooting open as she sat up. “What’s going on, Chris…” she trailed off as she looked down at the floor, the shine of the blade likely drawing her attention. Her eyes widened before she looked up at me, I saw fear.
“… If y… you want your money back, just take it! I, oh fucking christ, why do I always get the-”
“I’m so sorry!”
I sobbed like a bitch as I fell to my knees. Tears and snot dripped down my face as I broke down, shaking as I bawled out my apologies. I was so weak. I couldn’t be a man. Not how my dad wanted me to be.
I felt those slim hands rest on my shoulders. I looked up at her, looking probably quite the sight. This scrawny, pimpled boy who had come into this room with the intent of cutting this bitch open and taking her heart to my family.
Diane was smiling.
“Hey… hey, it’s okay. You didn’t do it. You might’ve wanted to, but you didn’t. You don’t want to hurt me anymore, right?”
I shook my head.
“Did someone try to talk you into doing it?”
I sniffled and wiped my nose off on my arm. “My… my dad. My uncle. My cousin. They’ve all done it before. It’s how you’re a man.”
Diane made a disgusted sound before grabbing a tissue off the nightstand and wiping off my arm before cleaning off my face. “That’s bullshit. Complete bullshit. Murdering a helpless girl just because you can doesn’t make you a man. Making up your own mind not to though, just cuz they told you to? That’s manly as balls.”
“They’re not gonna accept me back home if I do though.” I shook my head. “If I don’t come back with a heart-”
Diane shushed me, pressing a finger to my lips.
“Let me get dressed and make a call to my girls. If they’ve made a habit of killing us, then we’re going to return the fucking favor. Call your dad, tell him something went wrong and that you need all the other family. Trust me, and I’ll make it worth your while.”
I nodded before I scrambled to finish getting dressed.
I stayed hidden in a nearby alleyway when I saw the old truck pull up. It rattled as it came to a stop and my dad jumped out. “All right, how’d you fuck it up this time, Christian?!” He snapped, looking around for me as my uncle and cousin exited the truck, looking just as pissed.
I blinked and my family was surrounded by several different women. Diane was standing in front of my father. She grinned and I saw her canines nearly grow an inch in length before she launched herself at my dad’s throat. I covered my eyes to avoid seeing the bloodbath, but I could hear their screams.
I waited until it all became quiet to peer out.
There was nothing left of my family except for piles of bones and gore. Diane looked up at me, her beautiful smile soaked in blood before she gestured me forward. Unafraid, I approached, the other woman parting to let me close to her.
Diane pulled me down to her level to press a kiss to my lips. I now knew what that smell on her breath was from before.
“You’re going to make a great guard dog, Christian. Be a real man. Help clean up the mess and we’ll take good care of you.”