Latest Flash

Tribute

Stealing intimate pictures of woman has been in the news a lot lately.

Just dont try that shit down here. This is how we handle such problems in the Gutter.

Tribute by Grant Jerkins




She sat on the couch in the apartment thinking about all of this and realized that what bothered her most about the photographs was the memory of who she was when they were taken. When she allowed them to be taken. She had been in love with Jeremy. She trusted him. Completely. She trusted Jeremy so much that she gave herself to him, physically and emotionally. She gave all of herself to him. Like a child.

It was her smile—in the one photo—that disturbed her more than any other single detail. Not the exposed labia, or the way her fingers squeezed her erect nipples. Her smile told the viewer that she was comfortable and proud. Comfortable with herself and comfortable with her lover. He was the one who made her feel good about her body. So much so that she would reveal herself to him. And allow the photos to be taken. And pride. There was pride in that smile, because that was what she had been feeling. She had been proud that Jeremy was so aroused by her, that he wanted these photographs to admire, to get him through the times when they couldn’t be together.

And now, now those images of her were online for gross middle-age men to look at and masturbate to. Or worse.

One anonymous gentleman had printed her photo and ejaculated on her face. He put it in an envelope and mailed the repugnant results to her. He called it a “cum tribute.”

Jermy (that’s how she thought of him now—filth-ridden, disgusting, bacteria-laden) had posted her photos along with her email, phone number, and home address. Now, whenever her doorbell rang, she cowered in a back room, afraid of what sort of human mental-health-mishap might be waiting outside her door. Maybe just a horny guy looking to offer her a real-life tribute. Or maybe a darker sort, wanting to cut her up into a dozen pieces and take her home to meet his mother’s corpse.

Why was there so much hatred towards women? What was wrong with men?

She heard a cell phone ringing somewhere. A ringtone she didn’t recognize. It sounded faint but close. Like it was just outside (or possibly somewhere inside) the apartment. She knew what Jermy’s phone sounded like, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t change it.

The photos had been emailed to her employer—the board of education. Her career was over.

The landlord couldn’t evict her. That would be illegal. But she’d received notice he wasn’t going to renew her lease.

So she would be unemployed and homeless. She would have to move back home with her parents.

The pictures had been sent to them, too. Now she would have to see that knowledge in her father’s eyes.

There wasn’t anybody in her life who hadn’t viewed or heard about the photos. Jermy had seen to it.

She was an electronic-age Hester Prynne. She had allowed herself to be used. She was no longer pure. And now society was going about its age-old job of punishing her.

The phone was ringing again. It was definitely coming from inside the apartment. Maybe from the bedroom. She got up to investigate, but there was a knock at the door. An almost timid knock. She started to hide behind the couch, but decided to peek through the side curtain. A giant of a man stood out there. Darkness twisted his features.

It was Rodney. She opened the door.

“I’m sorry, ma’am, but I left my phone here earlier.” His voice was mellow and as deep as the Mariana Trench.

“Oh?”

“Yes’m, back in the bedroom most likely.”

“Oh.”

“May I?”

“Yes, of course.” She opened the door wider to let Rodney in and followed him back to the bedroom. He knew where it was.

The room smelled like springtime in prison: Strawberry Astroglide, blood and semen. Jermy—naked, spread eagle, and tied to the bedposts—was starting to regain a murky consciousness.

“There it is,” Rodney said and pointed under the tripod. He reached down and retrieved his phone, then leaned over Jermy like a doctor checking on a patient.

“How you doin’?”

Jermy looked up at the large man and said, “Wha?” That was all he could manage. Partly because he had been drugged with Rohypnol, and partly because there was something seriously wrong with his mouth.

She had cashed in her 401K to arrange for this.

Rodney smiled kindly at Jermy and patted his cheek.

“You a good fuck, boy. S’prised me. Took to it natural. Damn fine cocksucker too. Least once I got rid them front teeth.”

As if to prove his point, Rodney inserted a thick forefinger through Jermy’s lips, where it met no resistance whatsoever. He gave Jermy’s ear a rough, but playful tug. And then a little love bite on the lobe.

“Let me know soon’s them pictures is ready. I goan send you a tribute.”

Grant Jerkins is the author of the novels A Very Simple Crime, At the End of the Road, and The Ninth Step. His newest novel, Done in One (with co-writer Jan Thomas), will be published by St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books, January 2015