So, why post it?
Because it definitely shows the weird lengths to which my stories ideas ran their gamut. It is a decent story, as the horror genre goes.
And it’s just plain weird—
I mean, why and how would something like this happen?
And that final scene?
A roommate named “Rino“?
There’s probably a reason why this one was never published, but I just couldn’t put it away once I read it. I had to clean it up. Work on it a little. It, too, was one of my earliest works. No “metaphysics” here—just straight “horror,” all the way!
And at the end of it is what is today termed “flash” fiction. It’s called “Flies.” It’s not much, but it was attached, so I included it. I experimented in writing as short of a story as possible before it became in vogue to do so; or at least that I was aware of. “Flies” was inspired by my dad. One summer when I was a kid, my dad, a Forest Ranger, had been putting up his “Forest Ranger” sign in front of the house. We were all in the kitchen…and in bursts my dad, rushing toward the sink. He gulped down several chugs of water. You’ll understand after you read it.
So, sit back and hold on…and have that barf bag ready….
These stories have never been published.
© F. P. Dorchak, 1987
“Fuck.” Jerry’s hand went up to his neck, a meniscus of blood forming at the wound. “Shit,” he hissed, putting the electric razor down and reaching into the cabinet for the straight-edge. “I thought electric razors weren’t supposed to draw blood.”
“That depends,” said his roommate. passing by the bathroom where Jerry was shaving.
“Depends on what?” Jerry asked, fumbling with a piece of toilet paper on the cut while trying to remove the straight-edge from with the cabinet.
“That depends on how big your zits are, whether or not you have ingrowns, and how soft your baby-skin is. In your case—”
“Don’t even say it.” Jerry used the razor blade to clean up what the electric razor didn’t get. “Fuck—” Jerry said, throwing the razor blade back into the cabinet, his blood now on both instruments.
“Oh what’s the matter, roomy? Pubie’s get caught?”
“Oh fuck you, too. Damn, I just can’t win this morning. First I cut myself shaving with an electric razor, then again with a blade!” He got out the Stypstik, cursing again when the blood mixed with its astringent.
“Will you get out of there before you kill yourself already!” Rino shouted, his face buried in a bowl of corn flakes. Jerry emerged, half a roll of toilet paper wrapped around his neck. Rino burst out laughing, sending a flurry of milk and cereal across the room, and up his nose.
“Get out! You look like ‘It came from the Mummy’s Toilet’ or something.” Rino wiped breakfast from his face with an arm and swept corn flakes off the table and onto the floor, as he looked at his ailing roommate. “God you look ridiculous.”
Jerry was ten minutes late for classes. He hated walking in late, everyone’s attention focused in on you. If you had your fly open, they’d see it. If you had some snot hanging from your nose they’d see it. If anything stood out, it automatically became glaring even if it was nothing more than a tiny zit. You were in the spot-light and that’s all that mattered.
So in Jerry walked, tail between his legs.
A Band-Aid announced its presence from the side of his neck by imaginary three-D arrows floating around, pointing to it.
Jerry sat at his seat, his face turning pretty colors.
“Pssst, Jerry, who gave you the hickey, man?” a classmate whispered. Jerry ignored him.
“C’mon Jerry, who did it?” the voice snickered to classmates.
Jerry turned around to the guy, hissing a little louder than he would have liked too.
“No one gave me a damned hickey—”
“Is there something a matter back there?” Mr. Armstead paused in his lecture and looked to Jerry’s direction. Everyone went quiet, except for some snickers and smiles.
“No, nothing a matter,” Jerry said.
“Good then I suggest we continue. And please try not to be late anymore Mr. Hollier. Oh, and Mr. Hollier?”
Jerry looked up.
“Please do have that hickey looked at, will you?”
The class lost it.
After lunch in the university cafeteria, Jerry picked up his books, am made for his next class. As he walked through the entrance, a long-haired brunette wearing a tight skirt wiggled past. He followed her with his eyes…as someone entering behind her and ran into him, knocking him into the door jamb. He slammed his hand between his body and the entryway. It stung.
“Thanks pal,” Jerry muttered, sucking at the red as he tried to again find the hot chick.
Jerry plopped down in the chair, switched the TV on. “Wonder what’s good on tonight,” he muttered to himself, going through the newspaper’s television guide. His roommate slammed the door Shakespearianly as he made his entrance.
“And have we done our homework before the telly?” Rino asked, standing before the box. He hit the power, turning the TV off.
“Get away you dork,” Jerry said, getting up. He shoved Rino away and turning the TV back on.
“Ok, but don’t blame me if your mind turns to mush and you don’t make it out of here with a solid education.” Looking to the ceiling Rino cried, “His destiny is out of my hands Lord, I tried my best. All I ask is that ye be gentle on him—”
A magazine flew through the air and hit Rino in the face. Rino caught it as it dropped into his hands.
Jerry ran through the stations, finding nothing of interest. It was about one in the morning and he felt like watching something. Grabbing the TV listing once more, he thought he might find something in there he might have skipped all the other twenty times he scanned it. Human optimism.
Yes…he found something…and it was just beginning: “The City that Dripped Blood.” He’d never heard it, but was in the mood for a grade-‘B’ flick. Stretching, his shaving wound from early in the day reminded him it was still there.
“Shit,” he said, reaching for it, “don’t tell me you haven’t healed yet!” Jerry felt around the wound, looked to his hand.
There was fresh blood on it.
He got up, headed to the bathroom, but stopped when the program started. Hans Geblutblase starred. It was definitely a foreign job. Settling down, he took another sip from his Coke.
Blood trickled down his neck.
At the gym the next day, Jerry was working triceps extensions on a pull-down machine, driving out the last few reps, when the bar slipped from his grip, smacking into his nose. Stinging, he staggered back, several people coming to his aid.
“I’m alright—I’m alright,” Jerry said, waving them off.
“You sure, man?” somebody asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine, really—it’s just a little nose-bleed.” The person on duty at the desk examined him.
“Yeah, he’s ok. How’s your head?”
“Ok, we all love squeezing out those last few, just try to be a little more careful next time,” the Desk Guy said.
“Don’t worry,” Jerry said, the crowd disbursing. Jerry wiped some of the red away, looked at the bar. He felt more than a little embarrassed and slightly enraged. Deep inside he felt an ire raising. Feeling hot, blood still trickling down his face, he grabbed the swinging bar, yanked the pin out from the weight stack and rammed it down a few more extra pounds, increasing the weight. Growling, he forced out another set, pissed at the interruption of his set. The person who had just inspected him turned upon hearing the noise, and shook his head.
Jerry glanced at himself in the mirror.
He looked mean.
The past few days had taken a toll on Jerry’s body, but the odd thing about it was that he didn’t seem to care. He’d collected various and sundry cuts, scrapes, and bruises…and in some cases had not bothered to even cover up some of the bleeders. His roommate was growing somewhat suspicious of his newly aberrant proclivities.
“Um, Jer,” Rino said, approaching Jerry as he was cutting up some cheese for a sandwich.
“Yeah?” Jerry said, intent upon his undertaking with the knife.
“You feeling ok? I mean, lately you’ve been acting a little queer.”
Rino eyed how he handled the serrated blade. From a distance.
“I feel just fine, dude, why?”
“I don’t know. Just trying to keep an eye on my roomy, is all. I’m a little concerned.”
“Well, I am touched Rino—really I am. But Ize just fine!”
Jerry rammed the knife into the cutting board.
“Relax!” Jerry said.
Rino shook his head as he backed out, leaving for class.
Jerry returned to the knife and yanked it from the board. He brought it up to the light and admired the glean. Bringing it back down, he fingered the edge of the blade, taunting it’s serrations and blade tip.
The blade then (seemingly) leapt for the soft pink flesh of his hand.
Jerry separated the two in reflex, still holding onto the blade.
But…it also felt…good….
Surprised at how it felt, he put the blade down and took a step back.
He looked to the knife.
That was his blood on the end of that blade.
His sandwich sat nearby. Crumbs were all over the counter. The hacked block of hard cheddar lying uncovered and inculpable.
Slowly, he reapproached the blade.
As if in slow motion, he reached down…his fingers folding around the brown handle. He twisted the blade as he picked it up. His cut finger twinged, but didn’t bother him the way he thought it should. Incredulous, he brought the two together once again.
They greeted like years-apart old friends.
Gossiped a mile a minute.
‘Hey’d you hear about the new Ekco line?‘ the Blade asked.
‘No, haven’t,‘ Finger replied, ‘Is it any better?‘
‘Sure is!‘ enthusiastically replied Knife.
‘I can hardly wait!‘ panted the finger, all excited and hot, ‘I want you so bad….’
Jerry didn’t know what was becoming of him.
He’d been looking for cuts and scrapes.
Was actually enjoying them.
Like the time he sliced up his finger while making that sandwich. And he didn’t go to the clinic, but just put a Band-Aid on it…only gruffly tear it off periodically throughout the day to see that it was still bleeding. There were times it had actually stopped, and he’d take a pin to it…or scraped off the scab. It felt so good!
Like having sex.
Now there was something he hadn’t had in a while. God, when was the last time? Hmm.
He’d have some new tricks to show the next lucky lady, that’s for sure.
When Jerry went out for his run, he hoped he’d take a decent fall or something. In fact, he knew a certain hill that could really tear off some skin.
And it was hot outside.
The hotter the better—make the blood flow even better!
Damn, what was happening to him? He was actually looking for ways to draw blood.
As he ran, he mulled it over…was this what masochists feel?
Who cares! To each their own!
He was coming up to the hill in question, his heart pounding, the anticipation almost too much to bear. He took off his shirt and threw it aside. Sweat pouring off his body, he slowed a bit. He reached down to the road’s shoulder and scooped up some gravel, then rubbed it on his body. A driver passed by and gave him a curious look.
Jerry picked up his pace, a bulge forming in his shorts. He was coming upon the exact spot he’d been thinking of all day—and he saw there was a broken bottle there!
This is going to be great….
Rino walked toward the apartment building.
It had been a long day, it was late, and he was so damned apprehensive at coming home anymore. He didn’t know what the hell was the matter with Jerry, but the boy was sick, all joking around aside. He’d tried to keep things light, but things were now getting disturbing.
Really? Collecting blood drippings in a glass in the fridge?
All he knew was that he used to be a great guy, and now he was turning into some sort of pervert with a blood fetish.
Shit, what was going to be the big surprise now?
Approaching the building, he noticed a light was on, though dim.
And the door was unlocked.
Rino entered cautiously…something wasn’t right…and there was an odd smell that stung his nostrils. His skin crawled with uncomfortable electricity.
He closed the door behind him.
“Jerry?”, he called out in a hushed manner, actually hoping he didn’t answer….
Only a candle was lit in Jerry’s bedroom. Rino cautiously made his way toward the room. His hairs pricked up.
He didn’t like this. Butterflies formed in the pit of his stomach.
There were dark stains on the floor between both their bedrooms.
And somebody was in Jerry’s bed.
“Jerry?” Rino called out in the same hushed voice.
Still no answer.
He went to the light switch on the wall, flipping it on—and gagged.
Laying in the bed, and totally drenched in crimson lay the body of a woman.
From the clothes lying on the floor, it didn’t look like she was a lady of distinction, but one of the streets. Those were his only clues, because the body was so mutilated he couldn’t make out anything more.
He grabbed the door frame, barely able to stay upright as he continued to gag.
“Rino? Rino, is that you?” came the voice from his bedroom.
“Oh god,” was all Rino could say.
“I’m in your room! Come on over, Rino, I’ve got something I really want to show you!”
The enthusiasm of Jerry’s voice sent further ripples of nausea through him.
“Did you do that? Did you kill that woman?”
Rino stumbled towards his bedroom.
“Yeah! Isn’t it something? I tell you Rino, when you get the scent of it in your veins, you’ll love it! Hurry up, I want to show you! Really, you’ll never get enough of it! C’mon roomy!”
Rino entered his bedroom, no lights on, but he could see his roommate’s shadow low and across the room, in a corner.
“Oh roomy, you’re going to love this!”
Rino could barely hold himself upright. The smell of blood was incredibly strong.
“Go on, Rino, turn on the light…turn it on—I dare ya’!” Jerry was laughing to himself, but there was a distantly gurgling sound to his voice, like something was filling his lungs. “C’mon! Hurry!” Impatience…more gurgling….
Steadying himself, Rino flipped on the light switch. Eyes adjusting to the light, Rino finally lost it and heaved up the tuna salad from earlier across the room.
In the blood spattered corner, gurgling merrily to itself, was a puddle of flayed flesh and bone that was once human. There was little to distinguish its human form anymore. Little meat was left on the body, it covered from head to toe with dark, supernaturally flowing blood and gore that danced about his body, making little swirling movements over his once solid frame, much like the movements of the gases on the surface of the sun, what-was-left-of-Jerry had recollected from a class long ago.
Slapping it’s arms up and down like a child playing in bath water, the thing-that-was-Jerry gurgled and laughed hideously…
“You’re going to love it, you’re simply going to love it...”
© F. P. Dorchak, 1987
“Goddamn flies!” Terry said, coughing and wiping their little black corpses from his legs and arms. He’d just finished a few circuits around the park on his bike, and there were gnats galore. They were everywhere. You were hard-pressed to even yawn without inhaling the little buggers. He knew, because he’d tried.
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