FP338 – Honey Pot
Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode three hundred and thirty-eight.
This week’s episodes are brought to you by Nutty Bites
Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.
Tonight’s tale is one of true horror ripped from the headlines, and is entirely not intended for children, nor the squeamish. We ask only that you finish the story before you begin writing your angry letters.
Written by J.R.D. Skinner
Art and Narration by Opopanax
and Audio produced by Jessica May
Neither Lev or Vitaly lived in the Vykhino apartment, but they both spent most of their non-working hours positioned on its single broken-legged couch, watching bootlegged Japanese action movies. Both of them hated the Japanese, which left mass slaughter as their favoured genre – the higher the body count, the better.
Their viewing parties had always been at maximum volume, but no one within the crumbling residential block had ever complained – or, at least, not to their face, nor to the authorities. It had taken four rentals to find a place that cared so little about the noise.
Now, however, the credits were muted as Lev explained exactly how he would vanquish the hero of Measure Once Kill Twice.
“He’s what, fucking three feet tall? My biggest worry is trying to hit him and swinging over his head. I’d get him with one of those wine bottle openers and pull his eye -”
He was cut short when the expected knock finally arrived.
Putting down his bottle of Tarkhun and fermented potato, Vitaly stood. The pair exchanged a smile and he slipped into the bedroom, swinging the door mostly shut.
“One moment,” Lev said, as he directed the remote through a news broadcast of the war, a droning Ukrainian soap opera, and, finally, to a channel playing a tinny selection of electronica.
He considered lighting a cigarette and making the faggot wait even longer, but an impatient cluck from Vitaly’s hiding place pulled him to his feet and pushed him towards the entrance.
“Yes?” asked Lev, as he ducked his head into the hallway beyond.
There was a youth of perhaps nineteen beyond. This one looked like he might have worked the rail yards during the day; broad shouldered and sunburnt. Pushing hair too long for Lev’s liking from his eyes, the visitor said, “Hi – I’m the one who saw your ad? Viktor?”
It had been Vitaly’s suggestion, though it was based on an old trick he’d read about in the news when he was young. Post a classified ad claiming to be a lonely but discreet gay man looking for an encounter, then let the victim’s own paranoia prevent them from telling anyone where they were going.
“Come in,” smiled Lev, motioning across the combined kitchen, dining, and living room, and towards the rumpled brown couch.
There was something delicious in the man’s eyes that told the predator his prey was concerned, but it only made it the sweeter when he stepped inside anyhow. Weren’t all men ruled by their pants?
Too polite to make small talk about the the water stained walls or the kitchen counter’s array of empty liquor containers, the stranger gathered himself together on the couch and said, “I was afraid I’d have a hard time finding the place, but the online maps worked for once.”
Lev nodded, then produced a small pistol from behind his back.
“Empty your pockets,” he said.
This was their fifth such experiment, and on each occasion previously they’d honed their technique. For example, he no longer asked for their real name, he simply searched their wallet. Like the rest, this one was foolish enough to have brought his.
Peeling open the fake leather packet, Lev collected the money, then began setting each piece of identification atop a drained bottle of Imperia.
He said, “Viktor, eh? You freaks, always hiding in your closets,” – then, louder, “Come on out V, and meet Cherilyn Sarkisian.”
“Isn’t that a woman’s name?” Vitaly asked as he entered. He had pulled a black balaclava over his face, and in his left hand was a similar mask, which he tossed to Lev.
In his right was a well-worn aluminum baseball bat.
“Seems appropriate to me,” replied Lev from beneath the wool.
“I wonder if that makes some argument for nature versus nurture?”
“Do you really give a shit?”
At the insistence of the gun barrel’s blackness, the former Viktor said nothing, but his eyes had grown large beneath his sweep of sandy blonde hair.
For a few moments the pair simply stood over their prize, absorbing the fear as they exchanged self-satisfied grins.
Finally, while Vitaly played his metal club across his captive’s shoulders as if he intended to knight the youth, Lev announced he was going to retrieve the camera equipment from the other room.
With the pistol gone, Sarkisian found his tongue.
“You – you’ve done this before?” he asked.
“Yes,” Vitaly replied.
“What do you intend to do?”
“Confess and we will allow you to pay us ten thousand rubles a month to keep your secret – to absolve you of your guilt, you understand. You will tell us everything, and we will record it for you as a reminder of what a monster you were before you found us.
“You will pay us our fee, or you will tell your family, your friends, and the law. You do know the law, right, criminal?
“First, though, the fun part: We kick the shit out of you.”
Setting down the tripod, Lev nodded and licked his lips. Reaching into the pocket of his blue jeans he retrieved a small red Swiss Army knife, then extracted the wound metal of its corkscrew attachment.
“Here,” he said, “let me show you what I was talking about earlier.”
He was four feet from the supposed Cherilyn when the second knock came.
“Who the fuck?” asked Vitaly, but Lev had only a shrug as an answer.
“Who the fuck?” he said again, louder.
“Judy,” came the baritone reply.
“Who!?” demanded Lev.
“Judy, Judy, Judy,” answered the booming voice, with a slightly Siberian accent. There was a sound of scraping, then a clatter, and the door popped open.
The man who stood beyond was easily seven feet tall, and yet he wore a well-fitting black suit and tie. The craftsmanship of the suit seemed odd against the halloween mask he wore – and yet the pasty white visage of a mutton-chopped metal guitarist stared back at them, utterly uncaring.
It was Lev who managed to moan, “fuuuuuuck, it’s the Achievers.”
In the invader’s right hand was a trigger activated locking picking tool, and in his left was a police grade multi-shot taser.
Before the supposed-captors could provide any further conversation, both Lev and Vitaly were on the floor twitching. In his electrified confusion Vitaly could not fathom how his prisoner’s face had been replaced with the rubber duplicate of his attacker’s.
With short motions that spoke of experience, the pair of stunned men were lashed to the couch by the newcomer, even as another set of raps came from the entrance.
This new man carried two needles with him.
“You can thank me later,” said the smiling voice behind the mask, as he sank the stainless steel points into the bound men’s arms.
Shaking, Lev asked, “AIDS!? You sick fucks.”
“No, the finest amphetamines Moscow can cook,” answered the former victim – then the man Lev had figured to be a rail worker began to peel off his jeans, revealing a pair of black boxer briefs beneath.
Turning to his rescuer, the exhibitionist said, “it’s been too long.”
“Oh, I’m only here for the justice,” replied the giant who’d started the flood. His thick fingers worked the knot of his tie and began to dance down the buttons of his neatly-pressed shirt.
The entrants were no longer knocking, and the latest had brought a stereo of his own. Unlike the whine that had come from the television, the system flooded the apartment with pulsing bass.
Even as they stripped, the masked men began to grind with the beat, each demonstrating a varying level of dance skill.
Before long, however, they were showing off a different sort of prowess.
With Lev’s left arm secured to Vitaly’s right, there was no way the pair could avoid contact as they soaked in the sights of the night-long orgy. It was five hours of flesh and moans before, in a move that surprised all, Vitaly gave up his self hate and asked to join in.
They refused, gently, but graciously gave him back the use of the arm which was not connected to his former partner.
Lev, as he would for many years forward, only wept.
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