Vicky Valentine’s Erotic Adventures
A Neo-Noir Pulp Erotic Thriller
Episode 13: Tic Tac
Zombies linger everywhere in this deranged club called Le Malaise—The Sickness.
Luckily, the re-animated corpses don’t advance on us. For now, we’re safe.
Don Diab, a truly sick fucker if I’ve ever seen one, stands there like all this necrophiliac whacked-out shit is commonplace, like these weird hermaphroditic flesh-bots are part of his wife’s bridge club.
I feel tiny in a macabre world ruled by something too insane to accept. The Lady Minx’s hallucinatory magic is one thing, but this vile shit takes the fucking birthday cake. This nightmare we’ve entered at Club Sick-Fuck can’t possibly be real—it just can’t be!
Don Diab’s sinister smile reinforces my unsettled feeling as I wonder if we’ll escape this demonic hell hole. I never thought I’d say this, but I wish Wilder would walk in that door guns-a-blazing. Where is he? Why did he want us to meet him at Le Malaise? Did the Lady Minx double-cross us? Who is this Diab character? How in donkey balls does he do this creepy shit? I don’t know answers to any of these questions, but this whole situation scares the piss out of me.
After an agonizing moment meant to reinforce who’s in charge, Don Diab finally speaks in a menacing but literate voice, “Please, do not judge me by my… undead playthings, Miss Valentine. Notwithstanding this barbaric milieu, I am actually a gentleman of taste, a nobleman of various international cultures, a cavalier of disquisition, a purveyor in the cultivation of erotic significance. These are… [he pauses and makes a smug half-assed gesture toward the zombies] somewhat of a leisure pursuit, a mere curiosity really—much like the way you antediluvian people collect postal stamps or outdated currencies. I refer to them as my… chthonic ‘knickknacks.’ They are rather charming when I tell them to be pleasant. However, if I tell them to be disagreeable, they become inhospitably irate and eat flesh. They behave like Ishtar explains in The Epic of Gilgamesh.”
He pauses a moment to create pretentious Shakespearean drama. I roll me eyes.
He recites the passage from memory:
“I will knock down the Gates of the Netherworld,
I will smash the door posts, and leave the doors flat down,
and will let the dead go up to eat the living!
And the dead will outnumber the living!”
I quell the urge to kick this douche-bag in the balls. Instead, I say under my breath, “Yeah, charming like a shit in the punchbowl, or some other disgusting social faux pas…”
He hears the comment, but ignores it. I was expecting more of a reaction—maybe some angry outburst or clever retort. But, nothing. Truthfully, I’m a little disappointed. I want to get this bastard’s goat. The Lady Minx and the Blind Tiger remain silent. They stand to the right of True. The zombies look like statues, but True rocks back and forth on her heels—a nervous tic I usually see as cute, but now I worry she’ll attract unwanted attention. I give her the eye. She stops.
Diab stares blankly at me. Like a teenager glaring at her parents, I return his eye connect.
I think, “Yeah, kick him in the balls so hard his nuts come out his nose…”
We remain locked in a stare-down for several moments. I think of Sergio Leone—A Fistful of Zombie Nuts—this thought eases my mind.
I gain some confidence and with a proper Clint Eastwood voice I say, “There is a simple explanation for this shit. What’s the trick Diab? I’m not buying it.”
I flip him the bird for emphasis.
He ignores my middle finger and says, “Trick? Trick… you say? There is no trick. I’m not into the cheap parlor machinations of illusionism. This is no figment. I assure you. No, I prefer High Magic. I prefer nobility.”
I look at him like he’s child—now, I feel like the adult. He doesn’t appreciate my look. Ignoring his disapproval, I say, “You mean the magic of getting high? If so, the Lady Minx has some mean noble black hashish in her—“
I’m about to say ‘limo’ but he cuts me off harshly, “—Miss Valentine, I don’t do drugs. Drugs are for simpletons who can’t deal with reality. Do I look like a man who dabbles in drugs?”
I say, “Yes. Actually, I was thinking you look like a 600 year old heroin addict.”
He says nothing.
“So, what is this zombie shit? Is this reality? If so, I could do with a little hit of Mary Jane,” I say curtly.
“What is this? What magic is this… you say? Does it exist? Yes, it does. O’ Miss Valentine, it most certainly does. Magic is power. Magic is flesh. Flesh is soul. Soul is nature. I have a healthy respect for nature, and a great affection for its dark corners. I own reality, Miss Valentine. I own you.”
“Well, I don’t believe in your wizard mumbo-jumbo or its dark corners—and seriously, I don’t think you own shit,” I say through gritted teeth.
Everyone remains motionless, but the room tenses.
“How do you explain these [he gestures to his undead knickknacks]. Miss Valentine, I am no mere wizard. I am a necromancer of great power. I am a puppeteer of souls—”
“—or, a fucking fruitcake,” I interrupt. I sense the zombies ready to pounce—some of the birds struggle to be free of their putrid mouth-prisons. I feel an affinity for their plight.
He laughs and waves his hand around lackadaisically, but the gesture has an impatient edge. He says, “Sometimes, to ignorant people, the learned seem insane. I am certainly not insane. I am a highly experienced and educated man. I studied metaphysics and comparative religions at the University of Oxford centuries before you were born. I left Oxford after a dispute caused by the execution of two scholars in 1209. I cannot say I am not to blame for this misfortune. After Oxford, I attended Charles University of Prague, and after that, several other schools over many long years traveling this fine celestial body called Earth. Finally, I graduated from Harvard with honors in 1946. I have eleven scholarly degrees. I’ve traveled through over one hundred countries, and I have lived in fifteen. Yes, you could say I am a man of the world, a man of knowledge, a man beyond time—a man of reality!”
“Eleven degrees? Whoop-de-doo! I call bullshit! That would make you over eight hundred years old,” I scoff.
“And I don’t look a day over seven hundred,” he jokes. I don’t buy it.
The Lady Minx leans in close and whispers, “he da litch one… a bokor…”
I’m utterly confused by her statement. Speak English. Goddammit!
“He’s an immortal sorcerer—a lich. It rhymes with witch, “ the Lady Minx says, this time her pronunciation becomes oddly Middle American, as if her hometown is suddenly Chicago. What the fuck? Is her whole voodoo-thing an act?
Nevertheless, in many fantasy stories, like the works of Robert E. Howard or H.P. Lovecraft, a lich is an evil magician who has bound his or her soul to an undead corpse, thereby achieving a type of immortality—as if the zombies weren’t bad enough, we gotta deal with an eight hundred year old psychotic librarian.
Suddenly, my gut tenses—Fuck! I realize the Blind Tiger has my gun. He took it when we entered the Lady Minx’s limousine. Mother Fucker! All have is the tiny knife in my boot. One knife against about fifty zombies, twelve bodyguards, a Haitian Creole voodoo mistress who may or may not be from Chicago, her blind-as-a-bat-but-bigger-than-a-brick-shithouse chauffeur, and this crazy centenarian professor who can raise the dead. Great. Fucking great.
I tense. Instead of an attack, Don Diab claps his hands three times. I wait for the zombies to lunge, but it never happens. Instead, three zombies wheel out a shiny metal cart—bound to the contraption is a handsome nude man with brown shoulder length hair.
We make strong eye contact. I feel something down there—some call it love, but I prefer to call it my ‘getting busy’ feeling. I see no fear in those eyes, only confidence. I see a man—who in other circumstances I would find extremely attractive—close his eyes and start mumbling unintelligible words that sound like Latin. I take a look at his cock—his eyes ARE closed after all. Not too bad. Not too bad at all. Fuck! Only I would think about sex while facing certain death—this isn’t some macabre version of the Dating Game, and he’s not Contestant Number 2.
As I wonder about the fucked up things that go on in my head, Diab says, “Let me introduce Mr. Jonathan Crepax: art historian, occult expert, rare book seller, and obtainer of antiquities.”
Diab motions to the zombie audience and they clap on cue.
OK? So, this IS a sick version of the Dating Game!
Diab says, “Mr. Crepax, praying to some god won’t save you. I want information. For your sake, I prefer it sooner than later. I want the location of the Anthroparian Book of Zosimos. I want it now.”
“I’m not telling you shit Diab,” the handsome man says. He just got a little hotter.
The cart is a torture device meant to keep the victim’s arms and legs bound, sprawled out in a X formation. Underneath the victim’s genitals is a large metal bowl—probably meant to collect blood. This doesn’t look good for Contestant Number 2, and it certainly doesn’t look good for Miss Valentine either. Now, I have to save this dope, because I’m a sucker for a good-looking damoiseau in distress, especially one with such a beautiful cock.
“Now, Mr. Crepax we’re going to play a little game. The game is called, ‘Lose Your Testicles—Lose Your Soul.’ It’s a two-part contest, and this is what will occur.”
Don Diab drops his tuxedo pants to show a shriveled little pecker. I really small dong.
I burst out laughing. I can’t help it.
He ignores me, pulls a tiny vial out of his epicurean tuxedo jacket, drinks it, jerks his prick a bit, and finally the little thing—after some coaxing—gets hard. After this little [and I mean little] ritual, he says, “First, I will sodomize you. I will steal your life force. While I do this, one of my undead assistants will place a bag over your scrotum.”
He gestures to one of the stiffs who is an undead combination between the old comedian Phyllis Diller and the punk rocker Iggy Pop. The zombie presents him with a small cage covered in a purple velvet cloth and a jock strap-looking leather bag with straps. I hear scratching from inside the cage. I put two and two together. My stomach clenches.
Diab pulls the cloth away revealing two small rodents. He says, “These are nutria, Mr. Crepax. Nasty little creatures. I put them in this leather bag, and we strap it to your genitals. They will eat through your body to escape the bag. As they tunnel their way out, you will die in excruciating pain. As you die, I will commandeer your life energy through my magnificent cock [I roll my eyes again]. I will literally pilfer your lifetime. I don’t think you have the moxie to resist me,” Diab finishes his unholy diatribe.
A few zombies place the two nutria into the bag. The aquatic rats visibly strain to fight free of their leather prison. Diab hovers the bag over Contestant Number 2’s balls. Oh shit! There goes a perfectly nice set of marbles.
“I’ve taken many virile souls, Mr. Crepax. You are a mere poltroon, a coward. You won’t last long. Any modicum of strength you have will quickly be exhausted once my pets are through with you—and if they don’t kill you, my cock will. My knickknacks, the ones I fuck each and every night, dote on my lovely dingus almost as much as they adore man-blood. That bowl under your buttocks will be tonight’s feast, as well as these two young ladies. Will you stay ambulant through all of this? Now, tell me. Where is the Zosimos artifact?” Diab asks.
It looks like it’s now or never. I have to make a move.
The Lady Minx grabs my arm holding me back, and whispers, “dah Vickah one… say dis do um… ‘Zozo ou gro tankou yon tik tak’…”
I repeat her words with force, thinking it sounds like some pretty badass magic spell. Then, I ask her under my breath, “What the hell did I say?”
She snickers mischievously with a twinkle in her eye and says with that out-of-place Chicago accent, “It’s Creole for ‘You’re hung like a tic-tac’…”