Latest Flash

And Now, Back To Our Program

They say vengeance is a dish best served cold. 

But here in the Gutter, we sometimes like it red-hot. 

And Now, Back To Our Program by Beau Johnson



Until I realized she’d been fucking my husband, the only thing my younger sister ever did to really piss me off was become a vegan.

“Don’t stop on my account.  I mean, it hasn’t let you so far.”  Cheryl freezes, her naked body instantly tense.  Michael’s eyes fly open like blinds snapping to.  He wants to say something, he does, and I can see as much, but for the moment he is gob-smacked.  Good.  I had their attention.

“You think I’m joking, just continue to stay as you are, Cheryl.  I mean what I said: keep going.  God knows it takes him long enough.”  I can tell she doesn’t want to, not in the least, but I was as far from playing as I had ever been.  To make this known I re-grip and inch closer, pushing both barrels harder into the back of her head.  It does as I intend and in seconds she’s back to as she was, taking my husband deep into her throat.  “That’s it.  Show him how much better you are than me.”

“Babe, please …”  

I don’t know what made me angrier, that he called me babe or that he had spoken at all. “I suggest shutting it, oh love of my life.  Just lean back and enjoy the show.”

Resigned, he complies and returns to how I found him, his neck propped up by two pillows against the mirrored headboard, his sister-in-law down home in his junk.  All he could manage really, as his wrists and ankles could do nothing but remain as they were, each bound to a bedpost by a set of handcuffs I’m more than sure I’d purchased myself.  His eyes were open now though, and quite possibly in more ways than one, but the fear I see in them is stuff which causes me to smile.

Not that I was enjoying myself.  Well okay, maybe a little, and only because of what I’d planned.

I didn’t always know, just suspected, and even then only because of the perfume I’d gotten Cheryl for Christmas.  I’d catch little whiffs of it here and there.  What pushes the idea further is this usually started at the beginning of the week, come Tuesday, which happened to be Michael’s day off.  The one blond hair I found under my pillow though---this is what became the be-all-end-all.  The rest is just simmering wet rage.  The shotgun too, and what I was about to create, but that would just be described as aftermath, what I’m sure most of the world will refer to as white noise once everything’s said and done.  I’d get some notoriety, sure, but what it wouldn’t do is get me what I wanted most: my life before it’d been turned to shit.

“That’s it, Cheryl, take him slow, just how he likes.  Heaven forbid he ever return the favor, though.”  She won’t look me in the eye, not by way of the mirror, but she’s trembling by now, my sister of forty years.  For twenty-five of them she’d been vegan, as I’ve said.  This pissed me off, as I’ve also said, but the type of red which accompanied that lifestyle change had been a different pill than this; the tint or shade more acceptable than the one reserved for intruding on another woman’s marriage say.  Funny how both these things involved meat though, isn’t it?  Not ha-ha funny, just ...

“Christine?”  And there is definite remorse in his voice.  I didn’t care, not anymore, but he didn’t quite know that yet.  Not if I knew my husband.  “I can only apologize.  We were wrong.  Let’s stop and we can talk about this…”

“Like adults?  Pretty sure that’s a road you don’t want to venture down, Michael.”  His shoulders slump at that, as they have whenever he has never gotten his way.  Then he begins what I call his “routine”, which happens whenever he is close to climaxing.  It makes me cringe, seeing it from this angle, but I bought and paid for such things long ago.  Means I have no one to blame but myself.  Well, not exactly.  Not with both of them still in front of me.

“But you know what really kills me?  And it’s not only you two doing what you’re doing.  It is, don’t get me wrong.  But you, Cheryl.  You’re the one who pisses me off the most out of all this.  Look at you; how you look.  Any man could be yours.  But no: not fucking good enough.  Not for you.  You choose to do this instead.  You know what it reminds me of?  Reminds me of when you went and told us you were done with meat.  You remember that?  Would have been fine if it only affected you, but it didn’t, not back then.  It meant we had to change for you.  I lived with it.  Mom and dad lived with it.  But we shouldn’t have had to.  It’s because you’re selfish, Cheryl, and because you always have to have things revolve around you.  It’s why the punishment that presented itself … I think it’s the reason I found you two like this and not the other way round.  You figure out what I’m going to make you do yet, Cheryl?”  I can’t say she knows, not with any degree of certainty, but the uncontrollable sobbing and shaking was enough for me to re-position the steel through the curls of her hair one last time.

“You’re going to take it all.  Not just to the base as you can.  And you are going to use your teeth as you never have before.  You are going to eat your meat, Cheryl, and you are going to like it.”  Her head begins to turn from side to side at this.  I come forward again, the movement forcing more of my husband down into the cave of her throat.  It pushes Michael past the point of no return but it does other things as well---things I had come to dream of.  The first is the realization I see dawn in his eyes; that he now knew he was more fucked than he previously thought.  Second is a stretch, as it wasn’t my mouth upon him, but the odds of Michael coming just as a part of him was going had gone and entered the realm of possibilities.  And third, well third I have always known---that self-preservation and selfishness are pretty much one and the same.

Meant she’d remember to chew before she swallowed.


In Canada, with his wife and three boys, Beau Johnson lives, writes and breathes. He has been published before, on the darker side of town. Such places might include Underground Voices, the Molotov Cocktail, and Shotgun Honey. He would like it to be known that it is an honor to be here, down in the Gutter