Thursday, June 27, 2019

Headhunter – Pipsqueak, Post #88           

Courtesy of
Okay, it’s John Shandell’s turn. Except Diego has such little respect for the man he calls him Pipsqueak. How will Diego handle this one?




On Thursday, Diego went to buy some condoms. And there, smaller than life behind the counter at the East Central Drug Store, was John Shandell, the guy he called Pipsqueak—the first name on Diego’s list. He smothered a smile at the look of consternation on the dainty features.
“Hi,” he put a friendly tone in his voice even as a worm of disgust crawled around in his belly. “It’s John, isn’t it? I didn’t know you worked here.”
“Yeah, five years now.”
“That was a hell of a night a few weeks ago wasn’t it? Hope I didn’t make an ass of myself passing out like I did. Don’t do it very often. Funny thing, I didn’t think I was drinking that much.”
Pipsqueak’s countenance cleared a bit. “I got kind of smashed, myself. No harm done.”
“I’ve been on the straight and narrow since then. How about you?”
“Yeah, a man can’t handle a drunk like that more’n once every few months.”
Diego wondered if Pipsqueak included himself in the “man” category. The guy looked like a pallid, aging kid who’d skipped his youth. Repressing a shiver of revulsion, he asked for a three-pack of Trojans. The thin kind. How was he going to snare this one? Despite a Napoleonic bluster, the John Shandells of the world walked around in fear of their fellow creatures because of what they themselves were capable of doing. On the other hand, Pipsqueak was desperately anxious to be considered a man. Probably thought women lusted after him and had naughty dreams about him. Still, the guy wasn’t about to walk up to an empty motel room like Stocky.
As he paid for the condoms, Diego struck a thoughtful pose. “I don’t know many people in this town,” he said slowly. “I wonder if you’d be interested in…. Naw, that’s okay.”
The diminutive man took the bait. “What? Go ahead. What is it, man?”
“Well, my sister and a friend are up for a visit from South America. They’re not too sophisticated, you know…coming out of the jungle and all. I thought I’d try to get Dorena, that’s her friend, a date. Don’t suppose you’d be available tomorrow night, would you? I know it’s a lot to ask. I’d get Chuck to give me a hand, but he’s busy.”
This guy painted his thoughts right on his face for the world to see. Instantly, Pipsqueak went cautious. “Uh, what does she look like? I mean, uh…I don’t know much about people from down there.”
Inspired, Diego pulled a photo from his wallet. A group of Huatani kids sat on a log staring into the camera for one of the missionaries. He handed it over and pointed to one of the girls. “That’s Dorena, a couple of years ago,” he lied.
“Jeez!” Pipsqueak exhaled. “She’s a beauty. Does…does she speak English?”
“Yeah, most of the kids from my village do.” Diego fought to keep spite out of his voice. “The missionaries and medical people were too lazy to learn our language, so we had to learn theirs.”
“Sure. Where we gonna take them?”
“Thought we’d take them out to dinner, and then you and Dorena can go do whatever you want. My sister wants to see an American movie.”
Pipsqueak was almost salivating. “I can take her off on my own? Yeah, sure. I got nothing better to do Friday. Where do I meet you?”
“I’ll pick you up. They’re staying at a motel out on Pan American. Not enough room at my place. We’ll go together, have dinner, and then I’ll bring you two back to pick up your car. Okay?”
It was not only okay, it was music to Pipsqueak’s tiny ears. As they made final arrangements to meet his non-existent sister and her phantom girlfriend, Diego wondered if the jerk could keep his hands off himself tonight in anticipation of screwing the brains out of an uncivilized savage tomorrow? Naw, he’d save what little jism he had for the main event.
At the appointed hour on Friday, Headhunter went by the drug store and found Pipsqueak anxiously pacing the sidewalk. He swung west and picked up I-25 North while his companion peppered him with questions. As they passed motel after motel on the adjoining Pan American frontage road, John’s chatter died away.
“Where in the hell are they staying?” he finally demanded as they left civilization behind. “On the Indian reservation?”
“In South America, actually,” Headhunter said as he sped up the Interstate. “You didn’t really believe me, did you?”
The small man bristled. “Why the hell would I come with you otherwise?”
“To pay me back,” Diego said quietly.
“Wh… what?” Headhunter caught the look of alarm out of the corner of his eye.
“You apparently favor oral sex. At least you did when I lay helpless on the bed. Now it’s my turn.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Turn this car around and take me back right this minute.”
“Somehow I think this’ll be a little harder for you than it was for me.”
“You’re crazy, man!” John yelled. Abruptly, he dropped the phony disclaimers. “You…you’re not supposed to remember any of that. You can’t remember it! They promised.”
“Did you get the drug for them, Pipsqueak?” Headhunter asked. “I figure working in a drug store, you’re the supplier. You know all about things like that, don’t you? How much to give. How much I’ll remember. Am I right?”
The little man almost broke his neck casting around for help as they sped by Sandia Pueblo. “Where…where are you taking me?”
“We’re going up in the mountains where we’ll have some privacy. And then you’re going to make me believe you’re enjoying what you’re going to do for me. Do you understand?”
“Man,” John wheedled, “You’re wrong. I’m not queer.”
“Neither am I, but you took away my strength and did what you wanted to me. And now it’s my turn.”
“It wasn’t me!” Pipsqueak yelped. “It was Ritchie’s idea. And…and it wasn’t like it was the first time. Ritchie said you guys had no morals. Said he’d read where you did it to one another all the time, didn’t matter what sex it was. Said you serviced the missionaries.”
“And you believed him? Of course, you did. Your leader said it, so it had to be true. Besides, you wanted to believe it because you wanted me.”
“Yes, I believed him,” the little man pled. “He knows more about things like that than I do. He reads all the time. Why would he lie?”
“To get you to do what he wanted. To get his sick thrill from dominating three grown men and a helpless, drugged victim.”
“I’m sorry, man,” John turned in the seat, his face twisted in torment. “Really, I am. I’ll never do anything like that again. Please, man. Don’t make me do this.”
Headhunter noted the tacit acquiescence, although he doubted Pipsqueak realized he had already capitulated. “Actions have consequences, you little shit. The only question is how bad is it going to be?”
“What do you mean?”
“Where I come from, what you did would earn you a slow, painful death. Or worse. A non-death.”
“Wh…what’s that? Some kind of freaking zombie?”
“That’s exactly what I mean. Either I’d have your head hanging in my hut or you’d be wandering helplessly in the jungle praying to die. You’d have no human contact because everyone who saw you would run away in terror. Think of living day after day with no contact, not capable of thinking. Wrong word! That’s not living. That’s existing... endlessly.”
“You’re bluffing. You don’t know how to do that. Anyway, there’s no such thing as zombies.”
“Believe what you want, Pipsqueak. But it’s really a very simple thing. Doesn’t take any Caribbean voodoo mumbo-jumbo. That’s for the tourists. It just takes enough of the right drug. Not too little and not too much. But the right dosage is kinda hard to judge. You know, weight, body mass…that kind of thing. The witches kill more victims than they enslave. But either way is okay by me. Both meet my standards of justice.”
“That’s just…a bunch of hokum.” Pipsqueak’s voice held a note of desperation.
“You think so? Then tell me something. How do I know Chuck was first and you were next? You claim there’s no way I could remember. Well, I do remember. My grandmother’s a witchdoctor, Pipsqueak. And I used everything she ever taught me to overcome your drug. I saw you perform your perversions on me. And you’re all going to pay. One way or the other, you’re gonna pay.”
Resistance, denial, disbelief all crumbled abruptly. “Please, man. I’m sorry. Please don’t do this!” Pipsqueak actually bawled.
“And if you get the bright idea of going to the police afterward, I’ll probably go to prison if you all stick together and lie. But I promise you one thing. When I get out, I’ll devote the rest of my life to finding you. And when I do, you’ll never be the same again. That’s a promise. No, that’s a vow.”
An hour later, Headhunter let the palsied little man off at his car behind the pharmacy. “One final thing. You’re not going to warn the others. If you do I’ll know… and you’ll pay.”
“I-I won’t. I promise. Uh, Diego, if you want, we can….”
Diego smirked. “Never again, you miserable bastard.”
He went home, showered thoroughly, and nursed a sore penis the remainder of the night.


So far, so good. But you know me well enough to know I can’t let well enough alone. What will happen with the final two on his list? See you next week.

Amazon permits you to read a short passage of my novels, Cut Hand and Johnny Two-Guns. I also believe the STARbooks-published River Otter, Echoes of the Flute, and Medicine Hair are still up. I sure would like to get the final book in the Cut Hand Series, Wastelakapi… Beloved, published, but it’ll take some help from readers to get Dreamspinner interested.

My contact information is provided below in case anyone wants to drop me a line:
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And now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

Until next time.


New posts at 6:00 a.m. on each Thursday for the life of this serial; thereafter, the first and third Thursdays of the month.

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