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Hour of Judgement
It was Angie's final night as cocktail waitress at Tarantula Lil's, the city's most notorious nude bar. Tomorrow or the next day, she would pack her things into her car and head back to her home in Laramie, Wyoming. Angie's two years of living in Las Vegas had been an exercise in isolation: she had made no friends and had not met any decent men. In this city. the men seemed slick, manipulative and evil.
Her first year away from home had been dreadful, and twice she had contemplated suicide. After a year of community college in North Las Vegas, having made no friends and sensing that loneliness was pushing her to mild insanity, Angie had agreed with her therapist that that she desperately needed a job, anything that would provide a buffer to the dark and bloody thoughts that plagued her at night. Further, she had told her counselor, an overweight and dim-witted man named Dr. Raymond Morley, that she wanted something that paid reasonably well. Thus, the day after she had attended one of her sessions with Dr. Morley and had prayed that God open a door, she had read in the newspaper of the opening at Tarantula Lil's.
One week before she was hired, one of the owners of Tarantula Lil's had been shot and killed as he had stood outside the nightclub, waiting for a ride, but this news had not deterred Angie. Boldly driving to the nightclub and applying for job, she had been hired on the spot and for a year had managed to pull down between $500 and $1000 per week, most of which she sent back home to her dying mother. Now that she had made enough money and gotten onto her feet, she could leave this neon desert wasteland and return to Laramie with her dignity and self-respect intact.
Recognizing Angie as somehow different, the dancers and bouncers working Tarantula Lil's had left her alone. But this was all right by Angie. At least they communicated and joked with her. Yet, while her mood and disposition had brightened considerably since she had begun working as a skimpily clad cocktail waitress, Angie had come to resent some of the more aggressive and disrespectful male customers, one in particular. This one, Brad, had apparently been a regular before she had begun working at the club.
Angie knew Brad would come in around 9:00 and once again ask her if he could tie her up and fuck her in the ass. "You've got the nicest ass I ever seen," Brad had hissed at her again and again in the club's sticky darkness. After work, alone in her car or on her knees in prayer at home, she had resolved how to handle this odious man.
It was a typical mid-January, shrieking Arctic winds reaching high velocity, and conventioneers pouring into Lil's by the hundreds. A tall, gorgeous brunette with hair flowing down her back, Angie had wound her way between the tables and had just asked the two women at the next table what they wanted to drink when she felt someone place his lips on her semi-exposed right butt cheek and give it a kiss. The time, Angie noticed by glancing at her watch, was 9:37. Blood building to a slow boil, she knew Brad had arrived. You fucking worm, Angie thought.
Brad sickened Angie beyond words. A middle-aged, perfectly built man who rarely bathed and allowed his long dirty blonde hair to grow long like a lion's mane, Brad seemed to Angie to be the epitome of the devil. Perversion and filth, she had learned long ago, were not of the Lord.
She remembered a conversation she'd had with her father.
"If you ever meet Satan," her Pentecostal father had told her two years, five months, and six days ago when she had left Wyoming for Las Vegas, "then you must slay the son-of-a-bitch or he won't leave you be." She remembered that he'd wrapped his big strong arm around her waist.
"How the hell do I slay the devil, daddy?" the twenty-one year old Angie had asked her father, the only man she had ever truly respected.
"Any goddamned way you can, honey," the old man had replied, giving Angie a wink and blowing her a kiss.
As Angie now turned in the bar and looked at Brad, who grinned sheepishly up at her, she knew that time had run out for this man. This fucker's hour of judgment, she thought to herself as she looked down upon Brad, has arrived. Shuddering, she could still feel the imprint of Brad's lips on her ass; yet, smiling, she knelt, looked at Brad, put her hand on his hairy arm, and asked in her sweetest voice, "Is that offer still on, Brad? You know. About doing me in the you-know-what?" When she spoke around strangers, Angie was always careful to avoid foul language, a tendency she told other girls at the night club she had learned from her devout, Bible-believing parents.
"If the offer's still good," Angie added, drawing closer to Brad, "we can do it at my place after work."
Invited out to Angie's place, a little green shack five miles out in the desert, Brad jumped at the chance. "You can drive," Angie said coyly as they left the club hand-in-hand at 2:27 am through grim Arctic wind. To the bouncer, they looked like love-birds.
Eager to the point of incoherence, Brad was speechless as he drove his '84 Ford pick-up hell-bent-for-leather through the windy, moon-lit night and in a cloud of dust pulled into the dirt driveway in front of Angie's house at 2:57.
A very clever young woman, Angie had worked out a simple agreement: both would get undressed, but before she let Brad have his way with her, she got to tie him up on her bed. Brad had stupidly nodded consent, and when the two entered the house and slammed the door on the icy wind, Angie said "Get naked, big boy, and head for the bedroom over there" and began removing her own clothes. When he saw this, Brad quickly stripped, ran into the dimly-lit bedroom off the living room, and flopped down on the double bed. This asshole thinks he's in paradise, Angie thought to herself, slowly walking into her bedroom and looking at Brad.
"Tie me up, babe," he panted. Repelled almost beyond words, she observed that Brad was already quite hard. Then she looked at Brad's body: it was tanned from head to foot, with arms, legs, stomach and chest perfectly developed. Wouldn't be so bad if he didn't smell and wasn't a fucking pervert, Angie thought to herself. Smiling, sensing an angelic presence, Angie used leather straps to tightly bind Brad's hands and feet to wooden bed posts.
"Oooh, baby, that hurts," said Brad, laughing. His arms and legs stretching nearly out of their sockets, he could not remember ever having been tied so tightly.
"Ooooh, yeah, but pain is good, right?" said Angie, now standing over and looking down upon Brad. Excited, Angie noticed with some amusement that her nipples were hard and erect. It had been three years since she'd been naked in front of a man.
"Oh, yeah, baby, pain is good," Brad gasped, lust oozing from him in sweat droplets. "Let's get it on." If possible, Angie mused, Brad's member has grown in the past minute. Briefly, she considered touching Brad but thought better of it.
"Yes," Angie agreed, "let's. But first, I gotta go to the next room." Always a strong-willed person, she was not to be distracted from what she considered to be her present calling.
"OK, baby," Brad said, trying to pull on the straps to induce pain, "but hurry." Brad could barely move. "I wanna do my thing."
"I'll be a sec," Angie laughed, running out of the room. He hasn't a fucking chance, she silently sang to herself as she headed to the closet next to the kitchen.
Brad could hear Angie opening the closet door, banging around some boxes, and taking something off a top shelf. Glancing for a moment to his left, he noticed with alarm an old worn and floppy brown leather Bible on the night stand.
When Angie re-appeared in the doorway, still nude, her body bathed in the soft glow of the room's corner lamp, she held a bright red chain saw in her right hand. The muscles of her right arm rippled in the moonlight streaming through the latticed window.
"This is my fixer-upper," she said, smiling, as Brad's eyes grew big as saucers. Angie had never imagined that a man could shrink so quickly.
"Oh, God," Brad whimpered. "You're not serious?"
"Oh," said Angie, slowly nodding her head, "but I am. I am, after all, quite the obedient servant."
"Oh, God, God, God, no, " Brad squeaked as Angie approached him, suddenly looking very severe.
This was not the Angie that Brad had thought he knew. It was as if day had turned to blackest night.
"Shame, shame, on you, you wicked man!" Angie suddenly exclaimed, her voice low and subterranean. She now stood next to the bed and held the red chain saw over her head with both hands. A small yellow cross had been painted onto the red, the sentence "Praise the Lord" inscribed beneath it. Temporarily, she felt like a preacher proclaiming damnation to the sinners and felt certain that she was on the verge of performing a just and necessary act. Then, slowly, she lowered the instrument.
Trembling uncontrollably, sweating profusely, weeping, Brad opened his mouth but could only say "Bah, bah, bah."
Angie suppressed a laugh. When she had gone over this scene in her head, several nights before, she had never imagined that she could frighten anyone so easily.
"And 'bah, bah, bah' to you, too, my ass-fucking friend," said Angie, instantly regretting her obscenity. A foul mouth, her father had always told her, meant a foul heart. Angie smiled at Brad, winked and blew him a kiss, and then, lowering the saw to the floor just next to the bed and placing her bare left foot on the engine, jerked the starting chord with her right hand. After three tries, the engine roared to life. With both hands, Angie picked up the snarling thing.
The saw purring eagerly, she approached the bed and looked into Brad's desperate blue eyes. "This chain saw, Mr. Satan, belonged to Daddy, who warned me you'd be coming."
Brad smacked his dry lips, struggled to find his voice, and faintly asked, weeping, "What're you gonna do? You're not gonna use that thing on me?" Strain as he might, he could not move his arms or legs.
The smile left Angie's face, replaced by a pouting frown. Angie didn't like men who cried; they weren't men.
"You believe in and love God?" Angie asked in a melodic voice. She had to make sure. Satan, she knew, couldn't profess a love for his arch-enemy God Almighty. She had worked out this part of the ritual in her head just last night.
"Wh-wh-what?" he said weakly. "Love...who...what...?"
"God, Brad. God! God!" yelled Angie, who concluded that Brad's inability to answer correctly and instantly indicated disbelief bordering on demonic depravity, a topic her father used to talk about endlessly. Accustomed to living alone for the past two years, Angie had come to know all about demons and hell. She had seen them in her dreams.
"What are you doing?" Brad whined.
"Brad," Angie said, triumphantly, revving the chain saw, "I'm doing you and this planet a favor. Sawing you up sending you to the Pit of Hell will be like saving the damned world!"
Brad wept, then screamed. "S-s-saw me up?"
Angie had hated stupid questions since grade school, and so now she leaned over the bed, and put her face an inch from Brad's. "What is this thing I'm holding, Brad? Is it a gun? No. Is it a knife? No. Is it a rope? No again. No, no, no. What you do with chain saws is saw things up. So of course, I'm gonna saw you up, you ass-fucking idiot!"
Again, without thinking, Angie regretted her unfortunate choice of words. Guilt temporarily burned her soul. She did not want to spend an eternity in Hell.
For an instant, Brad simply stared at Angie, wondering (Angie imagined) if he were dreaming. Then, the whole evening clicked, and looking at the Bible, considering the girl's strange words, and thinking of the cross on the chain saw, Brad realized that he was approaching his own Armageddon.
As Brad began screaming and thrashing his head from side to side, Angie revved the saw, held it a good foot from her body as her father had taught her, and lowered it to an inch above Brad's shriveled manhood.
Looking down at Brad, she asked, mockingly, "Now, where shall we begin? Any requests? Speak now or forever hold you peace!"
As Brad's screams intensified and mixed with the wind raging outside, Angie considered her options, forcing her mind to think of the aesthetics of the situation, and then slowly lowered the machine to between the legs, just below the scrotum, and finally moved it toward the left knee. She looked at the clock over her bed. It was 3:43
"I think I'll work clockwise," she said. A young woman who had long been fascinated by the advance of time, Angie generally did things in logical patterns. Putting the chain's grinding teeth against Brad's leg, she pulled the trigger and began cutting just below the knee. Blood weakly spurted on her small breasts, but she had to ignore that if she were to complete her task effectively. As she worked, a church hymn filling her mind, Angie could no longer hear Brad's screams.
When she finished, fatigued and drenched in blood, Angie turned off the saw, placed it in the corner of her bedroom nearest the door, and headed to the living room. Again, she found herself very alone and thought of her father. Several hours of darkness remained, and after praying she would sleep under her grandmother's quilt on the couch. Then, if inspired, she would clean up the mess in the bedroom, wash herself up, put her belongings in Brad's pick-up, and head for Wyoming. She couldn't wait to see her father.
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