Casualties of Pretty Things -- Chapter Twelve -- WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Carl’s fantasies were of Cybil. He could never control himself at that age when she started to sexually mature. Her breasts were plump and full, her body fresh and soft. When she hugged him the fragrance of her hair enticed his senses and overthrew his rationale. He held her longer each hug, and every time he swelled with anticipation of intercourse. He remembered now the first time he penetrated her, how she moved beneath him. The logical thinking doctor side of him knew she was resisting, knew this was rape, but the demon was too hungry and needed to be fed. Her fighting with each thrust made it exciting, too powerful for a man to overcome, and this pleased the demon. He resolved that the doctor and the demon would have to find a way to coexist. Penny wasn’t his daughter; a surrogate victim fed to the demon would only keep it at bay for so long. In the meantime the fantasy would suffice. 
Carl climaxed and exploded inside Penny. He grunted, panted, and collapsed, leaving her bare, used and discarded. 

Her ears rang from the trauma. Deloris opened her eyes, still crying, her throat hoarse from screaming. She watched Carl climb off Penny and pull up his pants. His violent passion satisfied, he now turned fatherly, with sensitive movement redressing her. 

He looked back at Deloris, who said, “My promise to God... I will kill you.”

He was not used to having someone in her position make a threat with such conviction. They pleaded for their lives in a variety of ways; lots of tears, maybe a threat about friends, family, and police. Those types of threats were always pretentious. This was sincere. 

He said, “Going to be hard to do. Don’t you think?”

He expected that given this reality she would fold. 

Deloris was resolute. “Even in these chains you can’t stop me.”

Carl laughed. “Now that is a declaration if ever I’ve heard one.” He pulled Penny out of the bed and carried her toward the operating table. She moaned, fearful of the next trauma. “Calm down now."

Deloris asked, “What are you doing? What are you doing to her? Haven’t you done enough?”

“You’re in the skin trade, Deloris. You know what that was about. That was about power.”

Carl lay Penny on the operating table where she struggled to move against him while he carefully removed the clothing he had just redressed her in. 

When she was entirely naked he said, “As in, I have all the power. You are helpless. She is helpless. You are both subject to my discretion.”

Penny was trying to form a sentence. The words evaded her. 

Deloris said, “What’s wrong with her? What did you... why is she like that?”

Carl walked over to the sink and prepared a bucket of warm water. “I made her docile. She wasn’t so cooperative before. It was a process, like anything else. The others before her didn’t work out.” He motioned to the floor where the Cybil-doll lay near Deloris. “Like that one.”

“Others? How many others?”

Carl thought about it, then thought again. Maybe he didn’t know the answer. Or, like many of the clients she had serviced, he was boasting. He said, “Doctor patient privilege.” He carried the bucket to the operating table and applied the sponge to Penny’s naked body.


In the driveway Cybil was relieved to see Crystal. She said, “I don’t know who you are but thank you.”

Crystal needed to establish trust. She spoke with an authority, and said, “Hello, Cybil.” 

“You know me?"

Crystal was stepping toward her, aware of the gun in Cybil’s hand. “I’m a friend of Deloris. We’ve been looking for you. How long have you been here?”

It hadn’t been that long since she saw her father kill Bertha, but she couldn’t be sure if she had sat at the dinner table with him earlier tonight or if that was the night before. Where was the sun? Had she seen the sun come up? “Not long... Just…” It was all too fuzzy, and right now too unimportant. “You have to
help Deloris. He’s going to kill her, I know he is.”

Cybil ran back into the garage and Crystal followed her in. She removed her sidearm, careful not to alarm Cybil. She remained aware of Cybil’s gun and needed to get it away from her. Poor girl looked like she had been holding it so long it was part of her arm, an arm on which Crystal saw blood from the fresh cut of a knife. 

“Where’d you get the gun, sweetie?”

“Are you a cop?” Cybil did not see a badge or ID that would make her think Crystal was. She knew Deloris had a past with the police and maybe a little of that distrust rubbed off on her. But this woman spoke like she knew how to give orders. “I mean, I never saw a cop with a fake arm.” 

“Forget it,” she said. “My name’s Crystal. I’m here to help.” She pointed out the cut. “You alright? Are you hurt?”

Cybil kept on leading the way. “I’m fine. She doesn’t have much time. He’s already killed Bertha.”

At that Crystal knew the situation was worse than what she hoped for. She had to get to Deloris but she had to secure Cybil first. “It’s alright. Why don’t you give me the gun?”

Cybil pulled the gun in closer to herself, refusing. 

Crystal did not push it. There wasn’t time. Instead, she ordered: “Tell me where they are, and then hide and call the police.” 

Cybil’s eyes were puffy. “I can show you,” she said, and turned. Crystal used a light touch and pulled her back. She used positive reinforcement and said, “Cybil, you’re doing a great job. But if I’m going to help Deloris I need your help. You’re going to hide and call the police. Understand?”
She nodded. “Yeah.”

“Let’s go,” Crystal said, and opened the door into the house, brandishing her sidearm in a forward defensive position with Cybil safely behind her.


Deloris struggled against her chains as Carl lay Penny back in her bed and covered her up. She had been cleaned and made to look like a perfect doll again, with a tear rolling down her pristine cheek that Carl wiped away. He whispered to her. “It’s alright, baby girl. You’ll get some sleep and everything will be so much better when the sun comes up.”

Deloris challenged him. “Can you really be this full of shit?”

Carl tucked Penny in and then got up and walked toward Deloris. “It’s a fantasy, Deloris. You can appreciate that. Can’t you? How many fantasies have you sold?”

“You just love hearing yourself talk. Don’t you?”

He smiled. “I am the smartest man in the room.”

Deloris was not going to humor him. “You can tell yourself whatever it takes to deal with your shit, but at the end of the day you’re just a man raping children.”

Carl bent down and got in her face. “I need a surrogate. I can’t rape my own daughter. It hurt her, and I won’t let that—”

Deloris laughed. “Surrogate? You think I don’t know what the fantasy is? How many cheating husbands paid me to call them ‘daddy’? ‘Oh, daddy. Fuck me, daddy!’ And every one of them came faster and harder the more I made them believe I was the little girl they wanted me to be. The only difference between them and you is they had enough sense to fuck me and not their daughters.”

Carl went to his work station. Along the way he stepped over the discarded body of the Cybil-doll as if it was not there. 

“Kind of making my point,” he said. “But, speaking of fantasies, I had this idea that since you were already so good at playing pretend mother to my baby girl, I’d give you the chance to fill that role on a permanent basis.” He took up a handgun and walked back over to Deloris, again stepping over the Cybil-doll. “How old are you, Deloris? Thirty? Thirty-five? All those years on the streets took its toll. They were hard on you.”

“Fuck you.”

“Still,” he went on.  “you’re an attractive woman. Nowhere near as attractive as Cybil’s real mother, but you’ll do.”

Carl only looked at Deloris, waiting for her to pick up on what he was getting at. 

Deloris said, “What? Do to me what you did to her? Make me another one of your dolls?”

Carl glided back over to Penny’s bed. “Not for me. My needs are already met, as I’ve demonstrated.” He sat next to Penny on the edge of the bed. He stroked her hair, and said, “My baby girl needs a mother.”

“That’s your fantasy?” Deloris asked. “You go to work, come home, fuck your little girl while mommy watches – one big happy family?”

“I was thinking about it before.” He lifted the gun and pointed it at Deloris. He stood and walked toward her. “Then you made your promise to God. Quite a promise, I have to say. And I have learned that when a woman makes a promise it’s best not to take any chances.”

Deloris did not blink. “So now you’re gonna kill me?”

He stopped in front of Deloris and leveled the gun to her head. “I am.”

Another voice entered his sanctuary. “No you’re not.”

Carl looked up to see Crystal with a very professional looking weapon trained on him. Unlike the thugs he killed, and despite the prosthetic, she looked like she knew what she was doing. A new pawn was on the board. Game time. 

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