Jake sat on the porch, one booted foot up on the railing, looking out at the dust devils swirling around in the February desert sun. In less than an hour the sun would be going down and, if he sat here long enough, he would be able to see the Aurora Borealis flickering on the horizon. It had only become visible this far south in the last few years as the sun licked the protective ozone layer off the outer edge of the atmosphere. The ozone layer had been dissipating for over a century. Scientists still blamed it on everything except the true cause, the sun itself.
Jake had been retired since 2080, almost two years now. He thought back on his hundred and twelve years of life. He had seen the Third World plight end as the Semitic races, each full of unreasoning hatred for the other, destroyed themselves in nuclear fire. Now, their precious oil fields and fabulous monuments to their historic faiths were a radioactive wasteland. Humankind had not only destroyed Béla, it had also destroyed the race that had been her human half. (That actually wasn’t true; the tribal people who had occupied that land for the last few thousand years swept through and replaced the original indigent population a few hundred years after Béla had arrived there.)
He had seen a resurgence of the Black Plague and the common flu wipe out almost half the remaining planetary population. It hit worst in the overpopulated areas that were already affected by nuclear radiation from the recent war, like India and China. In the U.S., it wiped out a quarter of the population, mostly in the ghettos of the big cities, causing massive riots and thousands of trillions of dollars in property destruction.
U.S. business, taking advantage of the chaos, slipped into power and began running the government. Now, instead of a president and congress, there existed the Supreme Board of Directors with each board member the president or CEO of at least one major industry. The individual states still maintained their autonomic governorships, but most of the property in the country was now owned by businesses, not individuals. ‘Buying’ and ‘selling’ of individual homes had changed some, and had actually become easier now that there was no profit motive for holding onto or selling a property. It was actually more of a trading system. Often, corporation employees were simply assigned housing and were expected to maintain the property.
Jake closed his eyes, but only for a moment. He could still see the flaming conflagration that had consumed Béla eighty-seven years earlier. He still had to have constant noise around him to drown out the unearthly screams she’d made as she perished, her regenerative ability betraying her in the end.
Unable to escape her flaming vehicle, pinned in her seat by a simple mechanical latch that had welded itself shut in the first few seconds of the explosion, her screams ceased only when her blood reached its boiling point, bursting her charred lungs and ending her tortured existence forever.
Jake opened his eyes again, unwilling to view that image indelibly etched on the backs of his eyelids any longer, and got up to go inside. Despite the fact that he looked like he was in his early twenty’s, his hundred and twelve-year old joints let him know they didn’t like being out in this breezy, forty-degree weather. It was pleasantly warmer (compared to last month), but even basking in the sun on your own porch has its limits when it’s this cold.
Once in the kitchen, he puttered around for awhile, then started a pot of coffee. It was almost five p.m. and would be starting to get dark, soon, but he ate and slept when he felt like it, and, right now, coffee was what he felt like. If he stayed awake long enough, maybe Béla's ghost wouldn’t come to him tonight.
Taking his coffee in his hand, he went upstairs to his bedroom and got undressed. Then, walking into the bathroom, he sat down on the john.
“Shelf,” he said to the wall. A foot-long flat shelf slid out of the wall. He set his coffee cup on it and said, “Console.”
The panel just above the shelf opened, revealing a wall console. While he sat, he did his mail. He had quite a bit to sort through as he hadn’t accessed his mail site, or even turned on his console for almost two weeks. About halfway through, he got bored and accessed a puzzle site to see if anyone had posted any new ‘stumpers’. He could finish his mail, later. He always saved his personal messages ’til last – it seemed more pleasant to end his weekly or bi-weekly junk mail sessions with personal messages instead of the other way around.
‘Stumpers’ was carrying an ad for another new ‘Suicide’ club. Suicide clubs began springing up all over the U.S. after the Supreme Court redefined the legal definition of murder so that assisted suicide was no longer illegal.
Jake frowned as he remembered his single visit to one of those clubs. His date had invited him to come and join the club with her. When he picked her up, she was wearing an incredible costume that consisted of one long purple ribbon, two inches wide, that wrapped around her body several times, leaving lots of skin in between. Her arms and legs were laced with leather straps. Her skin, where it was visible, was painted in wide swathes of silver and turquoise – even her face. Her lips and eyes matched the purple of the ribbon she wore.
“I don’t think I’m dressed for this,” Jake had told her, trying to back out after seeing her outlandish, but very erotic outfit. His semi-formal dark gray jacket and slacks didn’t seem appropriate to take this dazzling dame anywhere without one of them embarrassing the other.
“Oh, nonsense, Darling,” Rachel replied, smiling. “You’re just my escort. I’m the showpiece!”
At the door, everyone signed that they were either a member or a member’s guest. Members were put into a lottery – guests could volunteer to enter the lottery, but weren’t required to.
What had interested him the most was that most of the couples were dressed similar to them. The ladies wore flamboyant, attention-demanding costumes that often displayed more flesh than they should for the shape they were in. The men were dressed more casually, or semi-formal, like Jake. This club was definitely a showcase for female flesh.
After about a hour of strolling around and meeting all of Rachel’s acquaintances and lady-friends (“Darling, how ARE you! It’s been so LONG!”), and munching anything that came by on a catered tray, the crowd began milling toward the stage. The curtains were lit, indicating that a show was soon to begin.
Ten minutes later, the curtains were drawn back. On one side of the lighted stage was a stand-alone wall about eight feet high. Attached to the wall were four manacles; two near the top and two near the bottom. Off to the other side, a high bench held several weapons; a bow and arrow, a handgun, a rifle and a hand-held energy weapon.
“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Gray Mouse Suicide Club,” an announcer dressed in a black tuxedo said as he walked onto the stage.
The lights darkened in the rest of the room and everyone became quieter. There was an excited tension in the air as they gazed toward the brightly-lit stage.
“This is the fun part,” Rachel whispered into Jake’s ear. “Watch what everyone’s doing…”
Jake looked around the room, noticing that, although everyone was watching the stage, many were also hugging, embracing or petting whoever they were next to.
“For this evening’s entertainment,” the MC continued, speaking very dramatically, “we have the typical ‘Execution Wall’ and a variety of ‘Instruments of Death!’ Each weapon can be used only once, and the couple who are selected as our lottery winners get to select which weapons to use.”
“What?” Jake whispered at Rachel. “One mate is going to kill the other?”
“Of course!” Rachel whispered back. “It’s a suicide club! People come here to die! Others, like me, come here to watch. Pay attention! It’s a real turn-on!”
Jake could see that, sure enough, other couples were getting more involved with each other. Rachel was absently stroking one of her nipples right through the ribbon that (barely) hid it from view. A nearby girl wearing nothing but paint already had her partner’s pants open and was playing with his cock right in the middle of the room.
“The Lottery Number for tonight is,” the MC said, looking out at the crowd for a moment to make sure he had everyone’s attention, “Thirty-six!”
“Oh my God!” someone exclaimed. “That’s you! I mean – that’s us!”
The crowd cleared around the ‘lucky’ couple and made room for them to reach the stage. The woman, dressed in a skintight Lycra, held out her arms for people to caress as she walked slowly forward. As people became bolder, she held her arms over her head to allow them to stroke and caress her body. Several began undressing her as she continued her fatal journey toward the stage.
As Jake watched this performance, Rachel turned toward him and began rubbing her breasts against his shirt, recapturing his attention. As he gazed at her, she pulled a piece of her costume loose from her shoulder and the whole thing unraveled, leaving her completely naked, standing in front of him wearing nothing but blue and silver stripes of body paint that swirled around her, not hiding anything.
“You like?” she asked, smiling at him.
Jake couldn’t answer. He couldn’t get his vocal cords to work.
Rachel began unbuttoning his shirt. “You’re quite a prize, Darling. Not many men in here look as good as you… I hope you have the equipment to match your looks.”
When she reached his waist, Rachel deftly unfastened his belt, then unzipped his trousers. As they fell to the floor, trapping Jake where he was standing, Rachel rubbed her bare belly against his.
“Watch the show, Darling,” she whispered, “while I get you warmed up.”
She sensuously slid her body down the length of his, leaving sparkles of paint on his chest hairs that reflected the bright lights from the stage. Her movement was so erotic that she reminded Jake of the slithering of a snake as it traveled. His attention was drawn back across the room to the doomed woman, now naked, whom several men were sexually mauling.
“Are they going to gang-bang her?” Jake asked, looking down at Rachel as she played with his growing cock.
“Yes,” she replied. “I can tell by the way your cock jumps that it turns you on. Do you want to fuck her, too? It will be her last fuck. I’m certain that you could make her happy, and she’d probably love the idea that someone as handsome as you would remember her.”
“I’m with you,” Jake reminded her. “Wouldn’t you rather have me to yourself?”
“How sweet and old-fashioned you are, Darling,” Rachel replied, then licked his hard cock for an few seconds. “But, I can have you next week. She can’t. She won’t be here. And when you fuck me then, we can both remember her.”
“I, uh… I don’t think…” Jake began. He wasn’t feeling as aroused as he had been.
“That’s all right, Darling,” Rachel said, standing up. “It’s not a requirement. I didn’t really bring you here to give you to someone else.”
Jake thought she sounded disappointed. She was. She was hoping that she’d win the lottery this week. She’d found this hunky, young guy to take her out, and now she was going to have to wait another month.
The selected victim was being sandwiched between two men and moaning loudly as Jake and Rachel watched.
“When they’re finished, and she indicates she’s ready,” Rachel told him, “they’ll carry her on stage and chain her to the wall. Then they will choose which weapon to kill her with.”
“What if he doesn’t kill her?” Jake asked, concerned. After all, that girl was only human. “What happens if he only wounds her?”
“Then he can pick another weapon,” Rachel explained. “I’ve seen this setup before. Each weapon is more deadly that the last. Sometimes the girl doesn’t want to be killed. There are quite a few members that sport their scars as part of their costumes.”
“I haven’t see any,” Jake told her.
“Of course you have!” Rachel laughed. “Look!”
She pointed to her stomach where the swirls of paint began. From the center of an uneven circular ‘birthmark’, bright silver and turquoise stripes swirled off in every direction.
“I was shot right here,” Rachel said, smiling at him. “It hurt really bad, and I didn’t think I could take another one, so I called it ‘quits’.”
“You can do that?” Jake asked, somewhat relieved. If the girl wasn’t killed on the first try, she could still back out and live to see another day.
“Yes, but sometimes I wish I hadn’t,” she replied, more somber, now.
“Rachel, I think we all feel that way sometimes,” Jake comforted her. “But if you have a family or close friends who would be devestated if you died, then you shouldn’t try to kill yourself – unless, of course, you really want to destroy the people who care about you. But if that’s what you want, then you’re just being selfish.”
“Selfish?” Rachel asked, intrigued by this young boy with the hundred-year-old eyes. “Really, how do you figure that?”
“It’s simple,” Jake explained. “If you die, you’re out of the game. Nothing more, either good or bad, will ever happen to you. But the people you never said goodbye to will always be connected, maybe just psychically, to who you were. They’ll never be free of you, or your influence on their lives. So, committing suicide is not only selfish, it’s cruel, as well!
“And besides that,” Jake continued, now that he was on his soap box, “it’s also pretty stupid. Conditions are always changing in a person’s life. What’s killing you now might not be there next year.”
“Yeah! It’ll be something else!” Rachel laughed. “I like you. You think you have everything all worked out, even as young as you are.”
“I guess I do,” Jake admitted. “But, we live and learn.”
“Ugh!” she muttered. “Stop talking now.”
She stretched up and kissed him, then turned in his arms so that her darling rump had his dick trapped against it, and watched the show.
The woman was being carried up onto the stage, now. Her thirty-five or forty year-old body seemed to be in pretty good condition. Jake wondered why she wanted to die. Maybe she’d lost her children or something. That would be as bad as losing a mate. But, her mate would be the one to kill her. How was he feeling about that?
Jake shook his head, realizing that he didn’t understand a lot about human emotion, even as old as he was.
The woman was chained, now. In the bright lights of the stage, the streaks of male cum were easily visible on her stomach and between her legs. The man who had accompanied her began caressing her breasts. The woman moaned, and arched her belly forward.
The man, wearing only a shirt, began to masturbate. After a moment, he shoved his cock up into her well-lubricated pussy, causing the woman to cry out. In only a moment, his buttocks clenched and he was obviously filling her with his cum. He kissed her passionately for another moment, then backed away. A long, sticky strand of cum stretched from her well-used pussy to his half-hard glistening dick, then dropped away.
“Does anyone else desire the use of our lottery winner while she’s chained up?” the MC asked, distracting everyone from the erotic scene. There weren’t any more takers. Most everyone who had a hard-on already had it buried in whoever they were with.
Rachel squirmed her ass against Jake’s boner. Turning her blue-and-silver striped face up at him, Rachel whispered, “Fuck me. I need you inside me.”
She mover her painted butt away, freeing Jake’s hard cock from the confines of her ass-crack. Stretching upward on her toes, she backed back up against him, working her hips so that his cock was sliding along against the length of her pussy. After another couple of thrusts back and forth, the head of his cock easily slipped inside her.
Jake let go of her shoulders and wrapped his arms underneath hers so that he could squeeze her blue and silver striped breasts while holding her against his torso. Rachel moved slowly back and forth on his cock while they watched the pantless man on the stage walk over to the weapons stand.
“Do you suppose he’s her husband?” Jake whispered into Rachel’s ear.
“I don’t know,” Rachel replied. “He could be anybody. They might not even know each other.”
“He must know something if he agreed to kill her,” Jake replied.
“Just watch and enjoy the show,” Rachel told him. “That woman is giving up everything just to entertain you.”
Jake watched silently, remembering a dark-haired knife-bearing beauty who once sliced her tongue just to entertain her audience. She’d given up everything, too, although she hadn’t meant to do that.
The man picked up the bow and looked at the chained woman across the stage. She shook her head, not believing he could hit her with that. He moved on and picked up the pistol. He, along with everyone else, watched her nod slightly.
Taking his time, he took careful aim, then pulled the trigger. A loud report sounded throughout the room. Jake felt Rachel jerk at the sudden sound. Probably most everyone in the room flinched.
The chained-up girl gasped, then began to whimper. There was a dark hole in her chest next to her breastbone – almost directly between her breasts. It wasn’t bleeding much, but the woman was trembling with pain, and probably fear, as well.
The scent of sex began wafting through the air. People in the audience were actually getting off watching that woman being murdered. As disgusted as Jake felt, his cock was enjoying the show. Jake wondered just how closely sex and death were related in the base emotions that ruled most of humanity.
As the man picked up the rifle, Jake felt Rachel’s body tense up. She moaned as she came on his cock, then was still for a moment.
“Does anyone in the audience wish to use our lottery winner right now?” the MC asked the audience.
This time, two men scrambled up onto the stage. The first one there grabbed the woman’s face and made her look at him. Even from where Jake was standing, he could see the sick gleam and the cruel smile on the man’s face as the man rammed his cock into the wounded woman’s pussy. He held her face, making her gaze into his eyes as he pumped in and out of her. In less than a minute, he was coming. He let go of her face and grabbed both her breasts in his hands as he strained to pump one last spurt of cum inside her.
He stepped away, his chest and belly glistening with the woman’s blood and the other man stepped up. Without any prelude or fanfare, the second man shoved his cock in and began rapidly fucking the dying woman. He took longer than the first man had, and, when he came, he raised her head up to look into her face. He stared into her eyes for a moment, the let her head fall against her shoulder.
She was dead.
There were tears in the second man’s eyes when he turned to leave the stage. There were tears in Jake’s eyes too, but that didn’t stop his cock from throbbing inside Rachel’s wet pussy. Rachel whimpered from the fierce pressure of Jake’s hands crushing her breasts as he came inside her.
The MC and the man who had accompanied the dead woman up onto the stage unchained her and lay her body on a massage table, then strapped her down. With one person at each end, they carried her down into the audience for viewing.
When the MC straightened up, he announced, “The volunteer for this month has requested that, after her performance she be made available for anyone to use as they wish.”
“They’re going to dead-fuck her?” Jake asked, really disgusted now, especially since he had gotten off on her death just like all the other sick people here. “Did they do that to you when you decided not to be killed?”
“Yes,” Rachel replied, then shivered. “It was at least an hour before anyone dressed my wound. One man even stuck his dick in it.”
“That must’ve been really awful,” Jake said, comforting her again.
“There are drugs offered for the pain, if you live,” she told him. “I wasn’t feeling much of anything. I was actually enjoying the attention. You can expect to be used by everyone here who came to watch you die, whether you live or not. You can still fuck her, if you want.”
“No,” Jake told her, his voice cold and defensive. “I don’t want.”
“Then we can leave,” Rachel replied. “The show’s over ’til next month, unless you want to watch.”
“Let’s just leave, shall we?” Jake said, feeling half sick to his stomach.
He bent down and pulled his pants back up from around his ankles. There were wet places that made them uncomfortable as the cold, damp fabric pressed against his flesh. He hoped that the wet places were from their own lovemaking…
Rachel stayed with him for several weeks, then left to continue her own life, complaining that Jake was simply too depressing to be around all the time.
His mind drifted back into the bathroom, where he was sitting on the john. His one single visit to a suicide club had occurred when he was still living in Albuquerque, just before he retired. He wondered if Rachel was still alive. Reaching for the console to find out, he suddenly realized his legs were asleep.
‘Damn! They can make a toilet that washes your ass, but they can’t make one that doesn’t cut off your circulation!’
A sonic boom shook the ceiling and walls, announcing that company was arriving.
‘I can look up Rachel later, I guess,’ he thought as he staggered to his feet.