Walking across the airport motel parking lot, Sheri-Lynn spotted two girls. She recognized them as Chrystal and Champagne, regulars at the motel. They both seemed like nice girls, Sheri-Lynn thought, even though Champagne was black.
Sheri-Lynn originally hailed from North Carolina, but she’d come up north six years ago. At the time, she thought it would be nice to have a change of scenery.
“Hi, Sheri-Lynn,” said the two girls.
They leaned up against an old Ford Escort, underneath a streetlamp. They looked sexy in their cut-off jeans and halter tops.
Sheri-Lynn said hi to them.
Chrystal said, “Where you been?”
“Oh, I had an office call,” said Sheri-Lynn. “You know that insurance salesman, the one with the funny hair, calls himself Snarky?”
“Ooh,” said Champagne, crinkling her nose. “He’s gross.”
“Yeah, I suppose,” said Sheri-Lynn.
“We were just going to have a little smoke,” said Chrystal, holding up a joint. “Care to join us?”
“Sure,” said Sheri-Lynn.
Champagne held out the lighter and lit the joint for Chrystal. She took a hit, and passed it to Champagne.
“How’ve things been around here?” said Sheri-Lynn.
“Slow,” said Chrystal, letting out the smoke. “Real slow. Some college boys wanted to pull a train, and then Mr. Allen, works for the Eagles—you know him?”
Sheri-Lynn nodded, taking the joint from Champagne.
“He had me come to his office once, after hours,” said Sheri-Lynn. “It was pretty neat being there, but the place was kind of spooky when it was deserted, and he wanted to do it on the desk. That was uncomfortable. His stapler kept poking me in the butt.”
“You have such a cute accent—‘it was pretty neat being there’,” Chrystal said, trying to imitate Sheri-Lynn.
She and Champagne laughed.
Sheri-Lynn shrugged. “I guess. I know I don’t talk like you city girls.”
“Anyways, that’s all we seen tonight,” said Chrystal. “Hardly worth leaving the house for. Might as well have stayed home and watched the Home Shopping Network.”
“Me, I like game shows,” said Sheri-Lynn.
She took a hit of the reefer, then passed it back to Chrystal.
Breathing out the smoke, Sheri-Lynn said, “Wheel—Of—Fortune!”
Champagne laughed and said, “We were talking earlier about how we got started hooking. How’d you get into it, Sheri-Lynn?”
Sheri-Lynn shrugged again. “Oh, I don’t know. I guess I was just born for it.”
“Why don’t you quit and do something else?” said Chrystal.
“I guess I just don’t know what else to do with myself. I don’t really have no ambitions to do anything in particular, so I might as well do this. Better than nothing, I guess.”
“You could be a waitress, or maybe even a hostess at a restaurant,” said Chrystal.
“Oh, shoot, I don’t think I could do anything like that,” said Sheri-Lynn.
“Maybe you could get Vanna White’s job turning letters.”
The three of them started laughing, and Sheri-Lynn blushed.
Champagne said, “Did your father love you?”
“He sure did,” said Sheri-Lynn. “He was a good Christian and tried to make me into a good Christian, so he beat me something awful, on account of my bad disposition. He beat me, and I pretended like I didn’t care any when I was younger, but I really hated it. He even broke my arm this one time. I understand now why he did it. He loved me, and there was just nothing else he could do with me. I mean, what do you do with a girl with a naturally bad disposition? You got to at least try to set her right. But, unfortunately, it didn’t take. I’ll never be a good Christian. I know that.”
“My father used to rape me,” said Champagne. “Then he’d give me presents afterwards, so I wouldn’t tell anyone.”
“What kind of presents?”
“Oh, different things,” she said. “Cute little jewelry, or bags of candy. But one time he bought me a new bike.”
“Wow,” said Chrystal. “That must’ve been nice.”
“It was,” said Champagne. “It was really nice, but it turned out to be stolen, so the cops came and took it away.”
“Shoot!” said Sheri-Lynn. “Did your daddy get in trouble?”
“Oh, no. He just told the cops that I stole it. That was the first time I got arrested.”
“Too bad about the bike,” said Chrystal.
Champagne nodded.
A car pulled into the parking lot, and its headlights lit up the three girls and the Escort. It was a newish-looking Buick with out of state license plates. It parked two spaces away from the Ford.
“I guess I’m up,” said Chrystal, and she walked over to the driver’s side of the car and bent down to talk to the man.
“Neat car,” said Sheri-Lynn. “I like the color—green.”
“Yeah, and from Jersey,” said Champagne.
They watched Chrystal nod, as the man pointed towards Sheri-Lynn. Chrystal walked back to them.
“He wants you,” she said to Sheri-Lynn. “Partial to blonds, I guess.”
Sheri-Lynn walked to the car and bent down to get a look at the guy. She took him for a businessman on a trip. In his thirties, he wore glasses, had a round face, and looked nervous, like this might’ve been his first time.
“Hi, honey,” said Sheri-Lynn. “What’s your name?”
“John,” he said.
She snickered. “Well, that works out, now, don’t it?”
“No, it really is my name,” he said, trying to smile.
“Well, relax. You don’t need to be scared. What can I do for you tonight?”
“Well,” he said, lowering his voice. “I…”
“C’mon, now, don’t be shy,” she said. “You want the whole works? You want something fancy? You just want a header?”
He started nodding. “Yeah…Yeah, that’s what I want!”
“Okay, no problem at all,” she said. “That’ll cost you twenty—that okay with you?”
Normally, she’d only charge ten, but since he was out of state and probably didn’t know any better, she thought she’d see if he’d go for more.
“Oh, yeah, that’s…that’s terrific,” he said, hunching up to pull out his wallet. He handed her a twenty-dollar bill.
She put it into the little black purse she carried.
“Now scoot on over,” she said, opening the car door.
“No!” he said, pulling the door closed again. “Not here! Not out here! I paid for a room!”
She frowned. “Well, you didn’t have to go and do that. I could’ve taken care of you right here and saved you the money.”
“Well, it’s already paid for,” he said, showing her the key with the green plastic diamond attached to it. The plastic diamond read ‘10’ in white numerals.
“Ten’s right over here,” said Sheri-Lynn, pointing over her shoulder. “So just shut off your car and come with me.”
The man nodded, turned off the engine, and rolled up the windows. He locked the doors and stepped out of the car. He was shorter than Sheri-Lynn had expected, maybe five eight, just a little taller than she was. She tried to take his hand, but he pulled it away, looking around the parking lot and over at the other two girls. She grinned, and they walked to number 10.
He opened the door, and they went inside.
Sheri-Lynn turned on the bedside lamp. She hadn’t ever been in this particular room, but it looked like all the others she’d seen. A white brocaded bedspread covered the queen-sized bed. A TV sat on a stand opposite the bed, and an easy chair butted up against the corner. The bathroom sat off to the left. The room seemed clean enough, but it felt well-worn, with a threadbare carpet, and all the furnishings looked at least twenty years old.
“Why don’t you just sit down here,” said Sheri-Lynn, patting the edge of the bed. “And make yourself comfortable.”
She tossed her purse onto the armchair.
The man, “John,” locked the door, and, still in his overcoat, walked over and sat down on the edge of the bed.
Sheri-Lynn knelt down in front of him, running her hands along his thighs.
“Now, honey, you just relax a little bit,” she said. “You seem awful uptight.”
He nodded at her, and she could tell he was nervous, though he was getting excited. His erection poked up at his trousers.
“Mmmm….honey,” she said, looking down. “I guess you ain’t too nervous!”
“What’s your name?” he managed to say in a thick voice.
“Sheri-Lynn,” she said. “Sheri-Lynn Hudley.”
She rubbed his cock through the material of his trousers.
“Is your name really John?”
He nodded, his eyes closed, head leaning back.
“That’s so cute,” she said. “You know, it’d be nice if we had a little music, but there ain’t no radio. Some of the rooms have them, but this one don’t. We could put on the TV, but that’s not quite the same.”
She continued to rub him through the fabric of his pants.
“Me, I like game shows on the TV,” she said. “Once in a while I’ll watch a cooking show or one of them day-time talk shows. I even—”
He cut her off then, by stopping her hand and unzipping his fly.
She grinned. “Well, I guess you are about ready, aren’t you, honey?”
She reached inside his open fly, grabbed his penis, and pulled it out. Smaller than she’d expected, it bent a little to the right. She pulled a condom out of her jeans pocket, tore open the package, and rolled it down over his cock. She began to stroke him with her hand.
John started saying, “Oh, God,” his eyes closed, head back.
Sheri-Lynn bent down, taking him into her mouth, tasting latex.
A loud bang erupted, and the door to the room burst open. Sheri-Lynn pulled her head up, and they both looked over.
A man in a police uniform came through the door. Chubby, he had black hair, and wore mirrored sunglasses, even though the sun had set a while ago.
“Philly PD,” he said, as he shut the door behind him. “This is a bust!”
“Oh, shit!” said John, zipping himself up.
Sheri-Lynn grabbed his hand, trying to comfort him. She’d been through this many times.
The cop paused a moment, looking at the two of them.
“Up off your knees, sweetheart,” he said.
Sheri-Lynn stood up. She got a look at his name tag. It read: “Dickson.”
He hooked his thumbs through his black gun belt.
“Get your ass in the bathroom, ” he said with a nod. “I’ll tell you when to come out.”
Sheri-Lynn gave him a smile. She grabbed her little black purse from the armchair and walked to the bathroom, stepped inside, and closed the door behind her. She had to pee anyway, so she didn’t mind being shut in there.
Through the door she could hear voices, mostly the officer talking, but she couldn’t really make out what he said. She thought she heard John whimpering, or maybe crying, and she felt bad for him.
She felt a little sticky and gross and thought she might like to take a shower, but she didn’t know how long she’d have to be there in the bathroom, and she didn’t want to piss off the officer, so she decided not to risk it.
After a few minutes, the door to the bathroom opened, and the cop said, “Come on out here.”
Sheri-Lynn walked out into the main room to see that John had left. She turned to face the cop, expecting him to read her her rights and handcuff her. But that’s not what he did.
He grabbed her by the arm and sat her down on the edge of the bed. He still wore the mirrored sunglasses, and now she could see the sweat stains under his arms.
“What’s your name?” he said.
“Sheri-Lynn Hudley.”
“Well, Sheri-Lynn Hudley, you’re in a shitload of trouble.”
“Oh, I figured that,” she said. “I already know my rights, so you don’t need to bother—”
“Shut the fuck up,” he said, and he smacked her open-handed across the face.
It stung, and she lost her breath for a second.
“You got exactly the rights I say you got. Understand?”
She nodded.
“Good. Now, here’s the deal. We’re going to have a regular meeting once a week or so at this motel, and you’re going to fuck me for free. If you don’t, or you tell anyone about this, I’m going to bust you on a possession charge.”
“But I don’t do no drugs—”
He smacked her on the side of the head, harder this time. Again it stung, bad.
“Shut the fuck up! You ain’t listening.”
Her ear was ringing. She nodded again.
“You’re going to fuck me whenever I want, and if you don’t, I got a nice little supply of smack I can say I caught you with. You’ll get sent away until you’re old and dried up. Get it?”
She couldn’t understand why he was going through all this. She would have given him freebies anyway, even if he didn’t threaten her. He was kind of cute in his uniform. All he’d have to do is ask.
“We’re going to start tonight,” he said. “Right here, right now, you’re going to get on your knees and suck my big hairy dick.”
“Okay,” she said, sliding off the bed.
She knelt down in front of him. Thinking about it, she looked up at him.
“So this is going to be a regular thing?” she said.
“You got that right, little girl.”
She unzipped his fly.
He reached down, yanked her hair, and smacked her across the face again.
“Get to it!” he said.
She sniffled back some blood and pulled out his cock. She glanced up at his face again, and then ran her hand under her nose, wiping away the blood, and she felt herself smiling.
Ralphie and Annie parked in the airport motel lot and climbed out of the car, Pete’s car, his Chevy Impala. He’d let Ralphie borrow it. Ralphie wore a leather jacket. Annie had on a jean skirt and a plain white t-shirt.
They walked to the manager’s office and asked for a room. Ralphie specifically requested number 8. No one else had taken it, so the manager gave it to them.
As they walked across the parking lot to the room, Annie said, “I don’t understand what we’re doing here. We could’ve fucked at home, Ralphie.”
“Yeah, I know that,” he said.
“Is it ‘cause fucking in a motel is exciting?”
“No, that ain’t it,” he said.
They reached number 8, and Ralphie unlocked it with the key with the green triangle attached to it. They stepped inside to find a dull but clean-looking room, with a queen-sized bed, a TV on a stand, and an easy chair in the corner.
“Well, why’re we here, then?” said Annie. “I mean, it’s okay if you don’t want to tell me. I don’t mind being here with you. I’m just curious, that’s all.”
“Have a seat,” said Ralphie, pointing to the bed.
Annie sat down and folded her hands on her lap.
Ralphie let out a sigh. “Marcie’s jealous of you,” he said.
“Oh, is that why we’re here?” she said. “So Marcie won’t find out?”
He shook his head. “No, that ain’t the reason. It’s just something I thought of.”
“Yeah, well I knew she was jealous. I didn’t tell you, but she called me the other day and bitched me out.”
Ralphie frowned. “Well, fuck.”
Annie nodded. “I didn’t respond or anything, but I didn’t appreciate her talking to me like that.”
“Yeah, I’ll tell her not to do it again.”
Ralphie looked around the room. “My father used to bring me and Marcie to this motel when we were kids.”
“Your father?” said Annie. “The one everybody says you shot?”
“He’d lock me in the bathroom over there,” he said. “I thought it was some kind of a game, like him and Marcie were hiding something.”
“Was it a game?” said Annie.
“He’d let me out after an hour, and I always thought I’d have to hunt and find some treasure, or some kind of shit like that. But we’d always just climb back into the car and go home.”
“Well, that don’t sound like a game to me.”
Ralphie pulled the automatic pistol from its holster under his jacket.
“But then one time we came here, to this very room, number 8, I’ll never forget. There was a desk and chair in here then, and Howard dragged the chair out onto the porch.”
Ralphie waved the gun towards the front of the room and the door.
“He took me out there and told me he had a job for me to do. He said he wanted me to sit out front and keep watch. He wanted me to keep an eye on things and not let anybody in the room.”
“Did you do it, keep watch like that?”
Ralphie nodded. “Fuck, yeah, I did it. Man, I can’t tell you how good that made me feel. He was trusting me, you understand? He gave me a job to do, gave me responsibility and all that shit. I mean, before that he wouldn’t give me nothing, wouldn’t even pay attention to me. I kept asking him to let me help out around the barbershop, sweep the fucking hair off the floor, some shit like that. But he just ignored me. So him giving me responsibility like that changed me.”
“I think I understand,” said Annie.
Ralphie raised the gun and fired a round into the bathroom door. The report made Annie jump.
Ralphie swung his arm holding the pistol and fired two rounds into the easy chair. Annie put her hands over her ears.
Ralphie swung his arm again and fired two shots into the bed next to Annie, and she screamed.
He tossed the pistol onto the bed, and grabbed Annie and turned her over, so she bent over the side of the bed. He threw up her skirt to expose her bare ass, unzipped and pulled out his cock and mounted her. He pounded her hard, thrusting over and over, and she cried out.
A few more strokes, and he emptied himself inside her and pulled out.
Breathing heavy, he stood up, wiped off his dick, and put it away.
Annie rolled over onto her back, touching herself between the legs. “God, Ralphie,” she said. “It’s never been like that before. I think you made me bleed.”
“Get up,” he said. “Let’s get out of here.”
She stood and rolled down her skirt.
Ralphie holstered his pistol.
“Go on out to the car,” he said. “I’ll be there in a minute.”
Annie crossed the room and went out the door.
Ralphie pulled a small can of lighter fluid and a disposable lighter out of his pocket. He squirted fluid on the bed and lit it on fire. He did the same with the drapes, lit them on fire.
The flames started to spread and climb the walls. Smoke filled the room.
Ralphie walked out the door and closed it behind him.
Sheri-Lynn found Officer Dickson washing his car in front of his house on Bigler Street. He wore a loose-fitting blue cotton track suit, and he drove a Hyundai.
In the warm early evening, children played ball and rode bikes up and down the block. In one of the row homes the TV played loud.
Sheri-Lynn, wearing cutoffs and a tube top, grinned as she stepped up to the cop.
“Almost didn’t recognize you without your uniform,” she said.
Dickson frowned and dropped the soapy sponge in his hand.
“What the hell are you doing here?” he said.
“Just wanted to see your place. Imagine my surprise to find you right here in South Philly. I thought maybe you’d live in Society Hill, or maybe some swanky suburb. But I guess it makes sense, you wanting to be amongst regular folks, since your job is to protect them and stuff.”
He glanced around at his neighbors’ houses. “What do you want?”
She shrugged. “I thought maybe you’d like to fuck me. Or else I could just give you another blow job.”
“You should get the hell out of here,” said Dickson, shooing her with his hand.
One of his next-door neighbors came out onto the porch, an elderly lady in a house dress.
Dickson waved to the old woman, and grabbed Sheri-Lynn by the arm.
“Come on,” he said. “Before anybody sees you.”
He dragged her across the sidewalk, up onto the stoop, and into his house.
The living room smelled musty. Dickson had left a pair of dirty socks on the floor, and several smut magazines lay on a brown vinyl sofa. A Chinese takeout carton with food still in it sat on the arm of an easy chair.
“This is nice,” said Sheri-Lynn. “But you should get yourself a housekeeper to clean up.”
Dickson clicked on a table lamp. He scooped up his pair of mirrored sunglasses sitting next to it, and put them on. He turned to face Sheri-Lynn, wiping sweat from his upper lip.
“Oh, yeah,” she said, grinning. “That’s more like the officer I know.”
He put his hands on his hips. “I don’t know what the fuck you think you’re doing,” he said. “But you shouldn’t have come here. That ain’t part of our deal.”
“I figured I’d save you the trouble of going to that motel,” she said, looking around. “So you like dirty magazines, huh? You probably look at them with all the different girls you got coming through here.”
“None of your fucking business,” he said.
He grabbed the magazine from her hand and tossed it back onto the sofa.
“I ought to bust you for coming here like this,” he said. “Send you up for prostitution and drug possession.”
“I know,” she said with a shrug. “Try not to be too mad at me. You can’t blame a girl like me for being curious about an important person such as yourself.”
“You fucking with me?”
“No, why? Did I say something stupid? I got a bad habit of doing that sometimes.”
He folded his arms. “Well, are you retarded then?”
She shook her head.
“I don’t think so,” she said. “But you know how they say crazy people don’t know they’re crazy? Well, maybe being retarded’s the same thing. If you’re retarded, you don’t know you are. Maybe that’s the way it is with me.”
“Look, just shut up, will you?” said Dickson.
He went to the sofa and stacked the porn magazines, then picked the socks up off the floor and folded them.
“When it gets dark,” he said, “I want you to get the hell out of here.”
“Okay, sure,” she said.
“You’re going to go out the back way and make sure nobody sees you.”
She knelt down in front of him and started to undo the tie on his track suit pants.
“What the hell are you doing?” he said, swatting at her hand.
“Giving you a blow job,” she said.
She got his pants down around his knees, exposing his stained jockey shorts.
He grabbed her by the arm.
“Goddamn it, I’ll tell you when to blow me,” he said.
She pulled down the jockeys to find his dick limp.
“Oh, looks like you ain’t ready, honey.”
He smacked her open-handed across the face.
“I’ll tell you when I’m ready,” he said.
She took his limp cock into her mouth.
He smacked her in the head again, harder, and his dick flopped out of her mouth. Blood trickled from her nose, and she sniffed it back.
Dickson grabbed his penis and started stroking it, but it stayed limp.
“I understand why you got to punish me,” she said. “On account of my naturally bad disposition.”
“Shut up,” he said, and he punched her on the other side of the head.
She tumbled back against the sofa. She felt her ear ringing, and blood appeared on her lips. She dabbed it with the back of her hand.
“Now I don’t feel so good,” she said, examining the blood.
She pulled herself into a sitting position and felt wobbly.
“I think I should go home,” she said.
She started to get up, but he pushed her back down onto the floor.
“You’ll go when I tell you to go,” he said.
“But, honey, I think it’s close to being dark out now.”
“Shut up,” he said.
He kept stroking his dick, and it started to get hard. He knelt down in front of her, pulled down her tube top to expose her small breasts, and started pinching her nipple. He yanked on his dick the whole time.
“That hurts,” she said, pushing his hand away.
“Get your shorts off!” he said.
“I told you I don’t feel good,” she said.
“Get your fucking pants off!”
He started struggling with the button of her shorts with his free hand, while he continued to stroke himself.
She grabbed his arm and tried twisting away from him, but he kneeled on her as she lay on her side. She couldn’t move.
He made grunting noises as he started to come, rubbing his cock against her side. She lay still, as he shot his load onto her jean shorts.
He stroked himself a few more times, and fell back against the sofa, sitting on the floor, panting. He still had his dick in his hand, and the sunglasses sat crookedly on his face.
“Well, that wasn’t very nice,” she said, getting to her feet.
She grabbed his pair of dirty socks, unfolded them, and used one to wipe off the come.
“I’m going to have to wash these now,” she said, examining her shorts.
She pulled up her tube top to cover her breasts.
“You know,” she said. “For an important person, you’re kind of gross, if you’ll excuse my saying so.”
“Fuck…fuck you,” he said, still breathing hard.
“I thought before I’d like to give you freebies, but now I don’t think so.”
“You…you have to do what I say,” said Dickson.
“No, I don’t,” she said. “You can bust me if you want, but I’ll tell all your neighbors what you just did. Then we’ll be even.”
“I’m going home now,” she said, walking towards the front door. “I want to take an Advil and lie down.”
Sitting on the floor, he struggled to get his underwear back up.
“Can I see you again?” he said.
She turned back to look at him.
“Only if you pay me,” she said.
She thought for a moment, glancing at the floor.
“And you have to take a shower first,” she said.

[An earlier version of this story appeared on]

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