ABOUT THIS STORY: Written in 1987 while in high school, I just got to thinking about how someone would take revenge after a rape. Although my ideas are slightly warped.


       Sheri paced her tiny living room floor in the apartment while she listened to the phone ring. It was after ten at night and her thoughts were of the harassing phone calls she’d received over the past couple of weeks from a strange man that told her disturbing and sick things. Sounding out of breath and sometimes panting he whispered filth to her while she imagined him doing God knows what on the other end of the line.
       Regretting still not having an answering machine, Sheri summoned the courage to pick up the receiver.
       “Why are you doing this to me?” she launched in a screaming fit of rage.
       “Jesus, Sheri, it’s me, Lisa.” A woman on the other end said.
       “I’m sorry, Lisa.”
       “That guy still bothering you?” Sheri nodded although Lisa couldn’t see her. “What did he say this time?”
       “It’s always different, but he always asks if I want to come out and play.”
       “The guy’s a major problem,” Lisa pointed out. “I don’t know why you don’t call the police.”
       Looking around the apartment, unsure of herself, Sheri sat down. “I don’t see how they can help me.”
       “They can go find this guy.” Lisa abruptly changed the subject. “I wanted to see if you wanted to come out with us tonight. Sounds like you can use it.”
       “I’d like to but I can’t. I’ve got to get caught up on a lot of studies.”
       “College life’s a bitch,” Lisa paused. “Do you want me to come over and stay with you?”
       “Then I’d never get any work done. You go out and have a good time.”
       “Okay,” Lisa replied. “Take care of yourself.”
       After hanging up the phone, Sheri sat in silence. The light next her on the end table and the light in the kitchen, Sheri could see out the window next to her. The world outside was black and unforgiving. New to the area, freshly enrolled in the college, Sheri wasn’t confident enough to go out with Lisa. Lisa was overwhelming and demanding and Sheri was still trying to get used to the coed.
       Shivering at the thought of someone staring back at her from outside, Sheri pulled the blinds over the window and stood.
       The ringing phone made her jump.
       “Hello?” she said as she answered it and immediately regretted it.
       “I was just wondering what the inside of your thighs taste like.” The voice sounded hot and sticky. “Can you just leave me alone,” Sheri pleaded.
       “I only want to be nice to you,” the male rasp.
       “Fuck off!” Sheri screamed into the receiver and slammed it down.
       Switching on the stereo, Sheri went to her desk and skimmed through the textbooks, finding it impossible to concentrate.
       A few hours later, unable to keep her head in the books, too wound up to sleep, Sheri sat in front of the television channel surfing. Sheri found herself dozing and got up from the couch. Rubbing her eyes, Sheri wandered into the bedroom, collected a T-shirt to sleep in then went to the bathroom to shower.
       After a hot shower, the bathroom still filled with steam, Sheri slipped on a clean pair of panties and pulled on a T-shirt to sleep in. Yawning, Sheri rubbed her hair with the damp towel and left the bathroom.
       Switching on the bedroom light, Sheri stood by the doorway staring at the bed. The sheets were in disarray. The phrase from Goldie Locks went through her head, “Someone’s bed sleeping in my bed.”
       Chilled by the idea, Sheri backed away from the bed, out of the bedroom. She turned to go to the phone. The paranoia of a prowler inside her apartment was too much to bare on her already thin nerves. Turning around, Sheri ran into him.
       “Hello Sheri,” the man said, holding her firmly as she regained her composure.
       “Jesus Christ Tim! You scared the shit out of me!” Thinking fast, she asked, “How the hell did you get in here?”
       “Your door was unlocked. I heard you weren’t going out with Lisa tonight so I thought I’d drop over to see how you were.”
       “You’ve been here since I was in the shower?”
       “Yeah.” Innocently, Tim scratched his head. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
       Uncomfortable with the idea of Tim, a young man she barely knew from her physics class in her apartment, Sheri moved away from him. “I think you should leave.”
       “What’s the deal?” He seemed irritated. “I’m sorry I scared you.”
       Anger took over. “You’ve got a hell of a lot of nerve barging into my apartment and scaring the shit out of me.”
       “I only wanted to talk.”
       Sheri started pushing him toward the door. “We can talk tomorrow. I’ve had a rough night and I want you to go. This guy’s been calling me a lot and has me all screwed up.”
       “I know.”
       Sheri took the defense. “What do you mean, you know?” She stopped pushing on him and stepped back.
       Watching Tim, Sheri saw a metamorphosis over Tim’s countenance. It grew darker as his eyes narrowed and his smile widened. “I’m the only that’s been calling you.”
       Sheri took a few steps, backing away from him. Tim approached her, trying to close the distance. Sheri slapped his face when he got within arm’s reach. “You asshole!”
       Tim continued to close the distance, pressing Sheri into a corner. He put his hands on each side of her so she couldn’t slip away. Although his face reddened from her slap, his expression remained unchanged, playful in his sad dimension. He stared at Sheri’s chest, the nipples erect from her fright. Tim swallowed as his face pricked with sweat. Without hesitating any longer, he put his hand to Sheri’s breast.
       Sheri knocked his hand out of the way. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
       “Come on, Sheri, you’re so hot. I just wanted to play with you.” Tim leaned in to kiss her face.
       Instead, his eyes showed surprise as his face screwed up in pain and dropped to his knees, cupping his groin while Sheri jumped away from her.
       “You bitch!” Sheri heard as she ran from Tim after her knee connected with his groin.
       Tim pitched himself after Sheri, catching her ankle, sending her sprawling across the floor, crashing into the end table, toppling the living room lamp. The room pitched in shadows after the bulb burst, Sheri kicked away as Tim crawled after her.
       She saw the figure of Tim rise off the floor, lurching forward, with hatred in his voice. “I’m going to teach you a lesson, you little cunt.” He dropped his full weight on Sheri, squeezing the air from her lungs so she couldn’t scream. She kicked and thrashed under him. Tim pressed her face to the floor, twisting her head to the side so she couldn’t bite at him.
       Holding her down with one hand, Tim ripped off the T-shirt Sheri wore.

When Tim was finished, he went to the bathroom to clean up. Somewhere between the beginning and end, Sheri went still, making it easier for Tim to have his way with her. Zipping his pants, Tim went back to where Sheri lay naked on the floor. He kicked her foot.
       When Sheri didn’t stir, Tim squatted and patted her stomach. “Come on, Sheri, get up.”
       Tim watched her for a moment. When he realized she wasn’t breathing, his stomach turned and blood ran cold.
       Pacing the apartment for an hour later, Tim formulated a plan. As he convinced himself it was the best idea he ever had, a smile formed on his lips. He set to work.

Close to a month later after Sheri’s disappearance, nothing came back to link Tim for foul play. Her friends from college, as rumors around campus, suggested that she quit to return home or move on where her pushy parents couldn’t force her to finish their dreams they were too lazy to continue. Tim never bothered himself with the rumors.

It was ten after ten when Tim’s telephone rang. Watching T.V. and sipping beer, Tim set down the beer annoyed and answered the phone.
       There was nothing on the other end but an open line. Tim hung up the phone.
       After a half hour of this persistent prank calling, Tim unplugged the telephone. It was about then that Tim noticed a rancid smell that crept into the house and Tim pulled himself from the couch to search for its source. Seeming strongest near the front door, Tim wandered out to the porch. The smell wasn’t coming from outside. He assumed that something had crawled under the house and died. It was something that he’d call the landlord about in the morning. It could wait until then.
       A heavy wind suddenly pressed against Tim, practically forcing him back into the house. When he closed the door a sound came from the dark hallway leading into his bedroom. Feeling edgy and angry, Tim went to his bedroom thinking one of his friends was playing a practical joke on him. That could account for the death stench that permeated the house.
       When Tim turned on the bedroom light he saw his bed was trashed. The sheets were shredded and mattress was tossed to the floor, sliced open, the wooden frame broken. His pillow was torn open with its innards spread across the room like fluffy entrails.
       Thinking the joke had turned serious; Tim wanted to be out of the house before something else happened. When he turned to leave back through the dark hallway leading back to the living room, someone emerged from the shadows. Tim stumbled backward, into his room.
       “What’s the matter, Tim,” she questioned in a raspy dead voice. “Don’t you recognize me?” Her once beautiful eyes were hazed yellow, with drooping, dirt caked lids. Her skin was pruned and brownish purple. Decay had eaten at her face and spread over her bloated body. She slid her rotten foot forward, her naked body sloshed, her heavy breasts bobbed. She pushed back her greasy hair with a bony hand, clumps of hair came away from her skull. “Come on Tim, don’t you want me anymore?”
       Tim glanced around the bedroom. The only safe place was the closet which he went for, stumbling over the broken bed. A spring from the box spring mattress gouged his foot. Sheri’s nails clawed at his shirt, hooking the edge. The shirt tore away from Tim as he lunged for the closet, yanking the door behind him. Tim held the knob in his sweaty hands as he panted in the dark trying to reason how she came back from the dead.
       Tim heard a laugh close to his ear. It was dark and unearthly like something from underground. After what seemed an eternity, Tim let go of the doorknob, setting back as he waited. If she tried coming through the door Tim was prepared to kick her out of the way. Dead or not, she’d go down long enough for him to escape.
       He bumped into something solid, his hand brushed against something cold naked and sticky. In the dark of the closet, Tim was glad he couldn’t see her dead face or rotted teeth as he turned to defend himself.
       A bony claw grabbed him by the throat as the other reached between his legs. Tim tried pulling the icy grip from his neck as the other hand squeezed his groin. Somewhere in the dark, those dead eyes stared at him he felt her smiling.
       Hot stagnant breath blew in his face as the words left Sheri’s dead mouth. “I’m back you son of a bitch, and this time I’m ready to play.”


Originally completed

April 23, 1987

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