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© Copyright 2017, Veronica Sloan, All Rights Reserved
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Disclaimer: This story contains explicit content, including graphic descriptions of sexual intercourse and incest. It is intended for adults only. All characters depicted are 18-years-old and older. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, is purely coincidental.
Cover created by Veronica Sloan. Cover Photo © Can Stock Photo Inc.
* * *
It was supposed to be the perfect summer. No responsibilities, no jobs, no problems. High school was finally over and the two of us were going to do nothing but hang out all day and dance all night. Steph and Dinah were part of the group too but they were still seventeen. They couldn't get into the clubs that we could. And besides, neither of them made it to State.
Beth and I did. No surprise there. We did everything together. We always said that we were "twinses from another misses." It was stupid but we loved it. She was leggy and brunette, I was leggy and blonde. We were always the tallest girls in class, super awkward then super glam. She got her boobs first, which drove me crazy, but the tables turned when mine were bigger. We both had a light spray of freckles over our noses and the same hazel green eyes. We didn't exactly look alike (though we always dressed to match) but everybody thought we were sisters anyway.
We first met in swimming and bonded over our love of the Little Mermaid. Next we took volleyball together, then dance and cheer. Of course we both got into Kentucky State and knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we'd make the junior cheer squad.
Of course we shared the same birthday, too, and bought each other cigarettes and porno mags on the very last day of senior year. I threw mine out, obviously. I'm not gross. That's just what you do when you turn eighteen in a podunk town. It was the symbolism that mattered. Our real lives had begun and nothing would stop us from having the Best. Summer. Ever.
We had it all planned out: Tanning sessions by the lake, staying up late for popcorn & movie nights, swearing to our parents that we'd look for jobs, and getting into whatever wholesome mischief we could. I was even thinking about letting Danny take me out--though not to the Ridge. He'd begged me all year but I always turned him down. I was a good girl, and good girls don't go to the Ridge. I was saving myself. Beth said that she'd gone a couple times but I didn't believe her. She was a good girl too. At least, I thought she was.
* * *
The trouble started on a lazy Friday afternoon. Steph and I were sunbathing by the lake and sharing a lemonade when Jim's pickup came tearing over the hill. I sat up and flipped my sunglasses over my head. "Hey, you jerk!" I yelled into the gathering dust cloud.
Okay, so maybe Brookton is just a blip on the way to Frankfort. It has one major street that runs through the middle of town and the rest of them haven't been paved since the 1960s or something. If you want to go anywhere worth going to around here, you have to take a dirt road. That's what Jim's giant wheels were churning up as he skidded to a halt beside the lake. "Hey, dummy!" I yelled again. "Didn't you hear me?"
Before Jim could reply his sister leaned over his arms. "Sam!" Dinah shrieked.
I leapt back in fright. "Din-aaaaah!" I moaned. "You almost gave me a heart attack!" I coughed as the dust engulfed Steph and I. All of us were suddenly coughing, even Jim. When the air finally cleared I noticed that Dinah's eyes were wide, her face pale. I touched her hand. "What's wrong?" I asked.
"It's Beth!" she said. "She's working at Jodie's!"
The dust in the air turned to mud in my throat. "No," I choked. "She wouldn't do that."
"Get in!" Dinah said. "You have to talk some sense into her."
I leapt into the truck's bed and told Jim to floor it. Jim glanced from me to Dinah with casual annoyance, as if this was all a huge waste of his time. He didn't understand this was the worst thing to ever happen--if it was really happening at all, that is. Dinah wasn't the brightest bulb in the shed. She wasn't as clever as me or Beth. She probably just saw a girl that looked like Beth near that awful place and imagined the worst.
We left Steph coughing on the lakeshore as Jim peeled out. The ash trees blurred past us as he roared back onto the dirt road and made for the very edge of town--the place where good girls didn't go.
Jodie's was a blight on our little town. We were mostly churchgoing folk, mindful of our manners, friendly to a fault. "The real salt of the Earth," my daddy said. The men in town worked the coal mines, the women were happy homemakers or ran the shops. We hunted, we held pie baking contests, and we never missed a town picnic. Hardly anyone locked their front doors. You'd be hard pressed to find better Americans. Except for Jodie Wertham. He never went to church. And while everyone closed up shop on Sunday, his smut shack was open 24 hours.
Technically it was just a dirty video and sex shop but everyone knew about the rest. It was rumored that Jodie was a pimp and a drug dealer and that he even smoked marijuana! My father told me that no God-fearing person ever set foot in Jodie's shop, and daddy was never wrong. If Beth was really working for Jodie, I couldn't imagine the deranged things he'd force her to do!
As we neared the far side of town I slid open the center window of Jim's cab. "Dinah!" I yelled over the wind. "Did you really see Beth?"
"Yes!" she yelled back. "My daddy said she's the new girl behind the glory hole!"
That dirt clod in my throat was now as sharp as glass. That couldn't be true! "Your daddy's a liar!" I shouted back.
"Yeah," she replied. "Most of the time..."
Of all the sick and despicable atrocities Jodie Wertham committed in our little town, the foulest by far was the glory hole. No one knew exactly where it was but the boys claimed there was a secret door in Jodie's bathroom. A man either knocked on it a certain way or used a special key to get through, and inside was a small room with a hole cut in the wall. I refused to believe that any sane man would actually stick his penis through a dirty hole in the wall. But boys were already so dirty...
"You bet your ass there's a glory hole," my brother Harold once told me.
"You've been there?" I asked him.
"Hell no," he said. "What if it was a dude on the other side?"
"That's the only thing that's stopping you?" I gasped. "Harry, that's awful!"
"But I'm not gay," he said.
When I asked Danny about the glory hole he tried to make a joke. "Who cares who's on the other side?" he said. "That's the whole point! Man, woman, fish, flamingo--as long as they're taking care of your pecker, you're gonna have a good time."
He thought that was so funny. "It's a sin," I told him.
He looked back at me in bewilderment, like I was the one who was crazy. "Sam, what do you care what people do with their bodies? If they want to go to the glory hole to get their rocks off, where's the harm in that?"
"It's demeaning!" I said. "And it's wrong! A man and woman aren't to lie together until they've been wed under the eyes of God."
Danny made that stupid face again. "Yeesh. Sam, I think maybe your dad's got you going to church one too many times. It's okay to have premarital sex if you want t--"
"Sinner!" I shrieked at him. "Filthy sinner!"
He coughed into his hand. "Okay, okay... But, uh, you still wanna go to the Ridge this summer? We can, I don't know, do some over the clothes stuff?"
He was a pig, just like Jodie. I can't believe I even considered letting him take me out. I knew the difference between right and wrong and Jodie's was a symbol of everything that was wrong with the world. Our town was perfect before Jodie Wertham came along. Mostly, anyway. I guess the economy wasn't great (Danny said we lived in a "depressed" area, which was stupid because I didn't know anyone who was depressed in Brookton) and Beth said something once about someone named Jim Crow who overstayed his welcome. But for the most part things were perfect. Brookton was a place for decent people, and no decent person ever set foot in Jodie's.
* * *
The dirty brown timber of the shack's roof loomed in the distance (we called it a shack even though it was one of the bigger buildings in town). A neon sign flashed overhead, promising XXX FUN! and GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! When Jim skidded into the cracked parking lot, I hopped out of the bed and ran to the black door. It was carved out of ash and splintered with age and poor upkeep. The whole shack looked like that, and the absence of any windows made the place even less inviting. A warning sign was nailed into the door that read 18 & UP ONLY!
Dinah couldn't come with me. This was something I had to do alone.
I tried not to look at any of the grotesque items inside as I marched to the cashier's desk, but some managed to sneak into my periphery. Dragon dildos and blow-up dolls and some ominous thing called a fleshlight. In the back, men with nervous faces glanced up from their racks of filthy DVDs. Some gasped in shock. Others leered at me with red-rimmed eyes.
Jodie was sitting on a stool behind the cashier, a laptop at his elbow and a tablet in his hand. He adjusted his glasses as he gazed from one to the other, then slid a plastic stylus behind his ear and typed something into his laptop. He was so wrapped up in his work that he didn't even look at me as I stomped up to his desk. "Help you?" he chirped.
"Is Beth Sommers here?" I asked.
"Yep," he said, without hesitation. He nodded at his laptop, twirled his plastic stylus, and used it to draw something onto his tablet.
"Where?" I demanded.
"Uh, she's clerking," he murmured.
I slammed my palm onto the desk. "Where is she, you degenerate!"
Jodie dropped his stylus. "Beg pardon?"
The blood rushed to my cheeks as I screamed, "Tell me where my sister is, Jodie!"
His mouth fell open in shock, which lent him the appearance of a dumb little frog about to be speared by a hillbilly. "Your sister?" he said. "Wait a tick. You're Luke's daughter..." He brought a hand to his pudgy lips. "Ooh, that's super awkward."
"Why?" I demanded. "Who's awkward?"
Jodie twisted in his seat to stare in the direction of the restroom. "She's really your sister?"
I rolled my eyes. "No," I said. "But she's my best friend. We're twinses from another misses."
Jodie stared at me blankly. "Huh?"
I slammed my palms on his desk again. "Tell me where she is!"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Jodie said. He raised his open palms in what I assumed was a peaceful gesture. "Ease up there, cowgirl." Jodie wasn't from Kentucky and you could hear it in his highfaluting, east coast yuppie voice, so when he tried to sound like just folks he sounded like (and Lord forgive my swear) a damn fool. "Yes, your friend is working here but she's, er, busy right now. Can you come back later?"
"Where is she?" I demanded.
Jodie tugged on his pudgy chin. "She's with a customer, sweetie."
"Where?" I yelled, sweeping my eyes around the grungy store. Was she helping these men find the perfect mannequin to have sex with? Telling them which videos were the best to masturbate to? Just the thought of it turned my stomach. "She'd never work here!" I shouted. "You tricked her!"
Jodie tugged at his chin again. "Quite the firecracker, aren't we?" After another nervous glance towards the restroom, he released a heavy sigh. "Honey, maybe you want to talk this over with your friend? When she's not busy?"
"Take me to her now," I said, "or I'll call the cops and have you arrested for kidnapping!"