Guess the Author Challenge;
“Titan” by “Dr. Benway”
Disclamer: This story involves characters that belong to Marvel comics. No characters from the DC Universe are involved. The story itself belongs to me.
This story is not intended for younger or sensitive readers, and will be profoundly disturbing to anyone who is well in
the head. Those who have suffered at the hands of an abusive parental figure may wish to avoid reading it altogether.
This story was inspired by the recent discussion of the MSTing on the list, in particular the claim that vituperative criticism can be beneficial to persons other than the critic.
Many thanks to Luba Kmetyk, Gary Johnson, Alara Rogers, Mitch Kelly, Jaya Mitai and Susan Crites for their editorial comments. Please do not archive without permission.
He left his office at two in the afternoon. It was a black eye, but not a major one. He kept up the facade of calm, as if nothing was wrong. He wanted to save his anger, save it for the Little Bitch.
In the basement garage, at the wheel of his El Dorado, he looked around, making sure that he was alone. He couldn’t keep it in, entirely, so he let some of it out as a low snarl, gripping the wheel as the red slowly filled his vision. When it passed, he put the engine into gear. Exiting into the street, he was satisfied to see that there was relatively little traffic at this time of day. It was as if God was leaving the way open between him and the Little Bitch.
The Little Bitch was the only thing that he had gotten out of the Bitch. It had seemed like a good match. She had been a gymnast and an English major, obviously out for someone young and hungry like himself. Not that he should have been that hungry, but his father had decided to drink himself to death and had lost the company to the Old Jew. He had started in the company fresh out of business school in a charity position, but he had worked his way up to being a heartbeat away from the top job. The Old Jew had five years left in him, maybe. Then, he would have it all.
The Bitch had been a feather in his cap. She had looked good on his arm at the fraternity balls, at the business school dinners, at the parties that all the junior executives attended. She had been a good lay, she had been frugal with his money, she had listened when he told her how things were and had spoken only when spoken to. As far as he knew, she had never been unfaithful to him, but she had still failed him in one very important way. He had wanted an heir, someone who could inherit his name and the business that he would pry from the Old Jew’s clawed, dying hands. It had taken her ten years to get pregnant, and two years later she hadn’t survived the chemotherapy. She had been weak. He suspected that she had died just to spite him. Her failure galled him. He knew that he was potent, he had the abortionists’ bills to prove it. All she had left him was the Little Bitch.
Once, she had been his Little Princess. She had been his girl, taking his side when he challenged the Bitch about something, listening raptly to everything he said. At birth, she had looked like his own mother, and so she had inherited her grandmother’s name. His mother had never seen her namesake. She too had been weak, crawling inside a much smaller bottle that had taken her all at once. If what the school had said was true, the Little Bitch was more like her grandmother than he would have liked.
He had made the room for his Little Princess, all in white. White bed, white walls, white carpet, white sheets, white dresses, even the windows frosted to let in only white light. It took four faggots before he found one who could get all the shades to match. It had been his gift to her, when they had sent her home for her mother’s funeral. She hadn’t appreciated it. Wet the fucking bed the first night, at age eleven. Eleven! He had sent her off to her other room, the windowless attic chamber with no doorhandle on the inside where they had kept his mother when things had gotten bad. She spent a month sleeping in there for every night she wet the bed. Couldn’t control herself, just like her namesake. Little Bitch.
It was the school’s fault. It had taken him so much ass-kissing to get her in there, with the daughters of the sheiks and the senators. They should have come to him, with his name and ancestry, but instead they had pointed out that he worked for a Jew, and asked for an extra 100 grand. He had paid. Nothing was good enough for his Little Princess. She went away small and pale and the very image of his mother, and came back with tits and her mother’s sadness in her eyes. She begged him not to send her back, but he had refused. There was no better school that his money could buy, he told her.
He went over the letter for the hundredth time in his mind. It was only a temporary expulsion. If assurances were made, she might be re-admitted. All that money, and all they had done was to make a Little Bitch out of his Little Princess. They had turned her into someone who ran away from her responsibilities and who shot that same shit into herself that the niggers and the spics used. That was a black eye, if the Old Jew ever found out. Old fart hated drugs. He could read between the lines, especially when they said that she had not made any use of her allowance to buy the shit. That hurt, but he wouldn’t be the only one in pain by the end of the evening. He would make his points in a way that she would not dare to forget. She would be told how the world worked. She would listen.
He brought the car to a stop at ared light. He was only a few blocks from home, a straight run after he made a right turn. A turn that he would have been able to make, were a cyclist not stopped immediately in front of him. He blasted the horn. His company made bicycles, somewhere in Ohio. Why? He recalled that they didn’t make them very well. There had been strikes and investigation from the Commerce Department. Fuck’em. He’d kill it tomorrow. Use the funds to put into the new data processing acquisition. He smiled, until he realized that the cyclist was still there. He blasted the horn again. The cyclist turned and pointed to the red light. The cyclist didn’t understand. He was in his car, he needed to turn right, and there wasn’t anyone else in sight, ahead or behind. The light changed. The cyclist started slowly forward. He floored the accelerator, and 500 cubic inches of V-8 power roared to life. With consummate control, he clipped the bicycle with his fender, sending the cyclist sprawling to the pavement. Fifty yards down the road, he saw the cyclist rising shakily to his feet and giving him the middle finger. He kept going. If the cyclist had his license, there might be trouble, but nothing that he couldn’t buy his way out of.
As he neared his home, he felt a warm glow flow through him. He hadn’t felt that good since meeting the Governor the week before. The Old Jew had taken him to meet the man, who hadn’t been the governor of his state but some stupid washed-up ex-actor who had run California in the previous decade. He had gone into the meeting certain that he would back Ford in the primary, just to spite the Old Jew. He had come out knowing, absolutely certain, that if the man ever became President, every dream that he ever had would come true. He was proud to be every bit as good a father as he knew that the Governor had to be.
He turned into the drive and stopped the car just fast enough to leave black streaks on the driveway. The Little Bitch would hear that, and know that he was almost there. He took the front steps in a single leap, flying on pure rage alone. Through the door with a slam. Upstairs and Downstairs were waiting for him.
“Where is she?” he boomed.
He knew of course, that she would be right where he had asked Upstairs to put her, in her room. Downstairs flinched back from him, and pointed upwards. He flew up the stairs, three at a time. Other men his age wouldn’t have been able to do that. He kept his body in shape. His stomach was still flat. Women found it very arousing, that and his staying power. He smiled at the thought. He strode down the corridor towards the end furthest from his own room. The door to the white room was there, half open. He heard his footsteps echoing. He knew that she heard them too.
He threw the door open with the palm of his hand, slamming it back into the wall with a crash. She started. She was sitting on the white bed. dressed in some cheap department store jean jacket with the sleeves ripped off. Her jeans were also dark blue, and didn’t belong, not here. Her eyes turned towards him, blue and staring, trying hard not to show fear. Her face and hair were so pale, they almost merged into the wall behind, or would have, had the purity of the wall not been marred by a single bloody handprint.
“What the hell is that?” he asked, in a level tone, pointing to it.
“Nothing,” she muttered.
There was blood on the sheets too. Blood didn’t come clean. Things with blood on them had to be thrown away. At least $300 for a new set of sheets, $1000 to repaint the wall, $200 for the people who dyed the bedding to make it all match.
Little Bitch was expensive. She moaned. She was clutching something in her arms. He strode to the bed, and pried it from her grip. It was something small and stuffed, unrecognizable as any animal. One he had missed, when he threw out all of her old toys and replaced them with the ones that were tossed in the corner. There was blood on them too.
“Where the fuck did you get this thing?” he demanded.
She mumbled a response.
“I didn’t hear you.”
“Not a thing.”
“Really? Then what is it?”
“A rabbit. Velveeta.”
A sudden sadness overwhelmed him. It had something to do with scarlet fever, or some other disease that had almost been forgotten. A loss of something-
He didn’t lose. Ever. He threw it aside, and it bounced off a wall. He wished that it had been glass.
He turned back to her. She was curled up tighter than before, with her hands buried inside her jacket. He took one arm, and pulled it out. She winced, but didn’t look up at him. Her hands were balled into fists. He was strong. She was no match for him, that way. He pried apart her fingers. There were deep cuts and scabs across the palm.
“What the fuck is this?”
“Have to what?”
“Have to keep them closed.”
“Show me your other hand.”
She turned away. It was as if she were turning his back to him.
She jumped, then slowly revealed the other hand, equally sliced up. He took the arm and lifted pulled up the sleeve of her
t-shirt. It was the long-sleeved kind, the sort junkies wore to hide the needle marks. He had no idea what a needle mark looked like, but there were some ugly cuts.
“How the fuck did this happen?”
“Don’t give me that. Who cut you?”
“You cut yourself?”
She nodded, yes. What the fuck was this?
“You did this to yourself?”
She nodded again.
“Look at me.”
“Why did you do this?”
He felt his lips curl into a snarl. There was no way
“I had to.”
“Who made you?”
He went very cold. Not this. Not this.
“The voices in my head.”
Like her namesake. His mother, who had taken the coward’s way out, refused to see that there were no CIA agents telling her things through a radio in her fillings.
“You have no voices in your head.”
“There are, there are, Daddy. I don’t want them, but they’re always there. I’m scared.”
“There’s no radio in your head.”
She met his gaze again, frightened and confused.
“It’s not like that. Maybe it is, kinda. Is there a radio in my head?”
He felt the rage rising again. She saw it too, and turned away. “Listen. Look at me.”
It took her some time to work up the courage, but she did look. “There is no radio in your head. There are no voices in your head. They aren’t there. Understand?”
“They are, all the time.”
“Really? What do they say?”
She turned away again.
“LOOK AT ME!”
“They say I’m fat, they say I’m ugly, ‘cause I’m fat.”
She wasn’t fat, not since Christmas, when she had come back all pudgy. He told her what the prospects were for pudgy
girls. She hadn’t said much, but he knew that she had taken it in. Now, she was thin. Very thin, thinner than the Bitch ever had been. Sleek like a greyhound, like his Mother, but with a big set of tits like the Bitch used to have, before they sagged and went lumpy and had to be hacked off.
“So go on a diet,” he said, then laughed mirthlessly.
She started to cry. He hated that. The Bitch cried. His mother didn’t.
“Daddy, it hurts. They never stop saying I’m a bad person.”
“Maybe they know what you’ve been taking. That where the cuts come from? That where you were putting that poison in?”
“No, no. Sniffed it. Doesn’t hook you that way.”
“Look at me.”
She looked, but with wet, weak, pathetic eyes.
“It hooks you no matter how you take it. How could you be so fucking stupid?”
“Makes the voices go away.”
“I tried to ignore them. I really tried. Then I found if I hurt enough, I didn’t have to listen. I had to hurt myself more and more, and they noticed, and I ran away and I did stuff and they gave me the horse and that made it go away, Daddy, it’s the only-”
He hit her across the mouth, not very hard, but she wasn’t very big, so she almost flew off the bed. He strode around to where she lay on the white carpet, bleeding, sobbing. At least another thousand, to replace the white nylon shag. He picked her up by the lapels of her jacket and slammed her into the wall, pinning her there with his full weight. He couldn’t see her face through the bright yellow stars that flickered across the red fog.
“Listen. You whored yourself for nothing. There are no voices in your head.”
“Tomorrow, you go to Silver Hill. You know what Silver Hill is?”
She shook her head, but he knew that she did. Many girls from her school had done time at Silver Hill.
“It’s a place where they get rid of voices. They stick needles in your head until they go away.”
She moaned. He knew how much she hated needles.
“If that doesn’t work, they’ll know. They’ll tell you that you’re going home, and they’ll put you in a chair, and they’ll give you a really special needle, and you won’t be able to move. They’ll take a big knife, and they’ll stick it up through your top eyelid and cut off part of your brain. You’ll have to wear diapers and have a nurse look after you, but you won’t hear voices any more. Understand?”
He could feel her tits pressing into his chest. They were high and firm and new, just like the ones on the girl he had bought in Cozumel. She had been expensive, but worth every cent. No fat at all, as thin as the Little Bitch would be now. The Bitch had never been able to lose enough weight to get a washboard stomach like his, like the one he knew that she had under the t-shirt. She would be tight, too, just like the girl in Cozumel, but she wouldn’t bleed. He was aware of a warm dampness at his groin, but it was not related to his excitement. She had wet herself, and it had soaked through her pants and into his. He let her go, and broke out in a cold sweat. She sank to the floor, limp.
“You’re all I have left,” he whispered.
She moaned softly, and curled up into a ball. He staggered towards the door, and stopped beside it, letting the frame hold him up. His left arm hurt. Perhaps he hadn’t been in as good shape as he had thought. Lifting her shouldn’t have been that much of a strain. The rage rose within him again. There was a little shelf of white china animals beside him. He picked one out at random and whipped it across the room. His aim was perfect. It shattered, not an inch from her head.
“Clean yourself,” he snarled. “Then go to bed. No dinner. You sleep in your other room. You go to Silver Hill tomorrow.”
She stared back, unblinking.
“Once you’re there, you will get better. You won’t run away, because there’s nowhere to run to. If you’re not mature and dedicated enough to get over this, then neither I nor the rest of your world have any time for you. You have to prove that you’re fit to survive and live, or you die. That’s the way of the world. Understand?”
She nodded. Yes.
“I’m only doing this because I love you. Understand?”
He left the room, and walked slowly down the corridor, a warm glow of happiness diffusing through him. She would get better, she would be his Little Princess again.
No. Not his Little Princess.
This story was written by “Dr. Benway”, who wishes to stay anonymous.
All characters & publications mentioned in this document are trademarks of their respective owners, and all copyrights are held by them as applicable.
This information is not endorsed in any way or form by; Marvel Comics Group, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics or any other publishing entity.
The OutsideTheLines Home Page, its parent mailing list, Tripod Corp., nor those who own or assisted those groups, will be held responsible for any problems caused by information contained within this document.