Larry is a Bad Man
Kathy was quiet on the ride to school. Her mom was thrilled that she was going to school early for extra math help. She hated lying to her mom, but she could think of no other way. She couldn’t make the calls from her house.
Slipping into the library would not be as easy today. Two teachers chatted a few doors down from the entrance. There was no way she could slip in without them seeing her. Annoyed, Kathy went into the restroom, pacing the length of the small space and picking at her nails.
Kathy’s ears perked up as footsteps sounded close to the door before moving on down the hall. She peeked her head out. Thankfully the teachers had cleared out of the hallway. She slipped into the library unnoticed and made her way to the back office to use the phone.
She dialed SanDouchey’s number and got a busy signal. That annoying busy signal. It buzzed half a dozen times. Kathy’s nerves threatened to boil over, and she went to dial again.
The library door opened.
Kathy froze. Placing the phone in its cradle, she peeked around the steel file cabinet and saw Mrs. Harvey, the Literature teacher. She held open the library door as she spoke to someone in the hall. Minutes passed as Kathy held her breath.
Finally, Mrs. Harvey let go of the door. Kathy waited two minutes, then picked up the phone. “Get off the phone, you creep”, she whispered, then dialed the number.
He answered on the first ring.
“I know what you are”, she spoke into the voice scrambler. “If you want to be a hero and have the whole town forget your misdeeds, meet me at the flat rock by the falls at 6pm. I have Carl Jr. Fink. You can rescue him. No cops, and do not talk to anyone. If you screw this up, you will be blamed for his kidnapping.”
Shaking, she hung up the phone and hurried out of the library. A few kids loitered in the hall by their lockers, but no one noticed her exit the dark library.
By midmorning, everyone knew Tarek had been beaten up, and rumor had it that Carl did it. Kathy, of course, knew that was not possible. So, who had beaten Tarek?
She was going to find out.
He avoided everyone as he made his way down the hall, only smiling at her before quickly turning away.
At the end of the day, she saw him at his locker. She walked up to him and asked, “Could you meet me at the flat rock at 6:30? I need help with something.” She gave her most needful, pleading look. “No time to explain now.”
Tarek studied her face and replied, “Sure Kathy. I’ll see you there later.”
“Thank you.” She turned away and noticed Michelle watching her from down the hall. Kathy lifted up her hands in the “What” gesture, then walked away.
Larry liked boys. The younger the better. He had been caught showering with a fourteen-year-old boy last year. The high school janitor had wheeled in his mop bucket and saw Larry fondling the boy. The janitor reported the incident to the principal, but Larry had dirt on Principal Cummings. He was having an affair with some bartender that lived downtown. Shut the janitor up, or Wifey would find out about the principal’s current mistress. The janitor was let go with full retirement and a signed statement that he would keep his mouth shut.
Larry had dirt on most of the faculty and a good many prominent townspeople. Rescuing Carl Fink’s son would put him in Fink’s inner circle and then, he’d be virtually untouchable. Larry arrived at the wooded area a few minutes before six. He walked briskly down the path, occasionally snagging his nylon track suit on briars. He was physically fit and athletic. Never good enough for professional football, he settled on coaching.
As he approached the end of the wooded trail, he could see the flat rock and the falls beyond. A young man stood on the edge of the rock, looking into the water and presumably the falls. Larry assumed that it was Carl Jr. and called out to him, but the kid didn’t turn around. He walked closer, stepping onto the flat rock.
“I like dirty old men,” the kid said mockingly.
Larry was too stunned to reply.
The kid slowly turned to face Larry, but it was not a kid, nor was it even human. It looked at him with horrible black eyes that seemed to penetrate Larry’s mind. His head throbbed and pulsated as if it were about to burst. The thing had entered his mind. It knew what Larry was. A pedophile. Feeding off his sickness. His sin.
His head felt as if it were on fire, the pain was excruciating. He saw himself burning in the River of Fire, the stench of death and burning flesh was unrelenting. The creature tore Larry’s head from his neck and hurled it into the stinking, putrid water. It melted the skin off Larry’s face into the oily, flame-lapping river.
Larry still had feeling from his headless body and felt hundreds of impossibly sharp teeth sink into his flesh, snapping bones and shredding muscle and nerves.
“I’m going to savor you.” The demon laughed. “Human filet mignon, the best snack yet.”
Kathy waited for Azzor to finish with the SanDouchey creep. He took his time with this one. She looked at her watch. “Azzor, could you, um,” she stammered.
He looked at her with entrails hanging out of his mouth, then sucked them in. He smacked his lips, then belched. “Spit it out, girl.” he demanded.
“Can you find out who beat up Tarek?”
Azzor began tearing the meat from SanDouchey’s femur without taking his eyes off Kathy. “Of course, I can but first, I need a little something before your boyfriend arrives.” He giggled and ripped another piece of meat off the bone.
“I require a bag of your candy and goodies. Azzor has developed a sweet tooth. Dessert! Dessert!” He clapped his clawed hands and grinned, showing, his sharp teeth stained with blood.
Kathy pulled at the fray of her denim shorts and let out a breath. “I’ll go now, but if you see a kid with a bruised face, please don’t eat him.”
“I will not, my dear, I know you are sweet on this one. Azzor will not eat Kathy’s Lover Boy.”
His giggling echoed down the trail as Kathy hurried through the woods. She made it back at 6:20 and handed Azzor the Dollar General bag. The nostrils on his bulbous nose quivered, and his eyes became flames. Kathy was shocked at his apparent desire for sugar and junk food. She had something in common with a demon.
He opened the bag and peered inside. He inhaled deeply and drooled into the bag. Without looking up, he announced, “Your Lover Boy approaches.” Azzor selected the Andy Capp Hot Fries and used his black claw to rip open the bag. He dumped the contents into his trench-like mouth.
Kathy focused on Tarek making his way to the end of the trail. He stopped at the clearing and looked around, spotting Kathy. He waved and walked toward her.
“Azzor senses goodness in the male human. The beating was not the first. Azzor craves the abuser. It was the mother’s boyfriend.” Azzor turned to the woods and walked into them without another word.
Kathy looked at Tarek, who was in a trance, frozen. She waved her hand in front of his face. Nothing. She called out to Azzor, but the demon was gone. Almost panicking, she clapped her hands in his face. Nudged him. Smacked his cheek. As a last resort, she kissed him. His eyes focused on Kathy, and he smiled. She smiled back. He reached for her hand, and they left the flat rock and walked back together.
Azzor sat perched in a tall tree, watching. He had seen Kathy’s friend Michelle spying on them. He knew Michelle was going to betray Kathy. He could smell the deceit on her. It made his mouth water. She would be a scrumptious snack. He devoured two fun size Snickers. Nothing fun about them, he finished off the whole bag.
Emerging from the woods, Kathy and Tarek said their goodbyes and walked home in separate directions. Kathy was giddy from her first kiss, but reality took the forefront. A ravenous demon still required three more souls before he would return to Hell. She knew who she would deliver but didn’t know how she would deliver them.
Deep in thought, Kathy entered her house. Her parents were in the den watching the evening news. She stopped to exchange pleasantries with them and answer the daily question: “How was school?”
As she turned to leave the room, the anchorman announced that local businessman Carl Fink and his thirteen-year-old son, Carl Jr., were missing. Kathy sat on the arm of her dad’s recliner to listen. Mr. Fink’s housekeeper had called the police after not seeing her boss for two days.
Upon further investigation, a business partner had also contacted the police when Mr. Fink did not show up for a business lunch. He never skipped a business meeting and never missed a meal. The school had marked Carl Jr. truant because of two unexcused absences.
“Maybe that fat bastard finally got what he deserves,” exclaimed Kathy’s dad.
“Robert, that’s not very nice,” scolded her mom.
Kathy hid her grin and went to her room to look up Tarek Martin on Facebook. On his friend list,” she found his mother, Denise Trax, and her boyfriend, Sid Smackley. She would call his mom and tell her to pass the message on to her boyfriend. She could find no trace of the Lummox’s online. They apparently did not have social media accounts. How was she going to find Claude and Beulah Lummox?
“You look terrible, Honey,” Kathy’s mom stated.
“Gee, thanks, mom,” muttered Kathy as she sunk lower in the passenger seat.
Her mom took one hand off the steering wheel and put the back of her hand to Kathy’s forehead.
“No fever. Are you feeling ok?” she questioned.
“I didn’t sleep very well”. Kathy admitted.
They pulled up to the school entrance.
“Have a good day and good luck with your math.”
Kathy leaned over and kissed her mom’s cheek. Kathy didn’t like lying to her mom. Three more souls, and Azzor would return to Hell.
No problem getting in and out of the school library today. Tarek’s mother answered the phone on the fourth ring. She was nervous and upset that someone knew her drug dealing boyfriend had beat up her son. Kathy felt pretty confident that she would convince Sid Smackley to be at the flat rock if he didn’t want to end up in jail.
The school hallways buzzed with talk of Carl Fink Jr.’s absence. No one said it, but most of the student body was relieved because he was such a bully.
During lunch, Michelle gave Kathy rotten looks until Kathy couldn’t stand it. As she moved to confront her, the bell rang.
During dismissal, Tarek walked out with Kathy.
A stained comforter covered the living room window in the two-bedroom apartment Denise Trax shared with her son, Tarek Martin, and her boyfriend, Sid Smackley. Denise sat on the sagging floral sofa and bit her nails to the quick and then lit a cigarette. She had to tell Sid about the phone call, and she knew he would lose it. First, she would get a fix from him. She looked around the filthy apartment. Most of the furniture had been brought home by Tarek. He found the discarded pieces in the evening before trash pickup.
The front door swung open, and Sid strode in. He dropped onto the sofa and put his boots up on the cigarette burned coffee table and gestured to Denise for the remote. Denise scurried to the refrigerator to grab two beers. She passed one to Sid, and he handed her her fix. She tied a bandanna around her arm and administered the poison. Her eyes closed.
She downed the can of beer and told Sid about the phone call. He bolted up and kicked over a dusty potted artificial plant. “I’m going to put a slug into this snitch,” he bellowed, shoving his 9mm into his waist band. “No one is going to blackmail me.”
Denise reached for him, but he pushed her away. “Your stupid kid deserved it.”
Perched in her living room window like Gladys Kravitz in training, Michelle watched Kathy enter the woods. Her head swiveled to the clock.
Same time as last night.
What was she doing? Michelle was going to find out. She hollered to her mom that she was going to take a walk with Kathy. From somewhere in the house, her mom yelled back, “Be back before dark.”
Michelle hurried to catch up with Kathy but stayed back far enough not to be seen.
Kathy met up with that weird guy again. The one who dressed oddly. Winter clothing in late summer. Kids still wore shorts and tee shirts to school, and this weirdo was dressed in flannel, corduroy and a winter hat. Michelle couldn’t hear the conversation over the roar of the falls before Kathy walked away, out of sight.
Michelle was about to leave, but then a shady-looking guy approached the flat rock. He was dressed in filthy black jeans and a ratty tee shirt. Tattoos covered his skinny arms and neck. She took a step closer, and everything went black.
Sid Smackley walked into the clearing and spotted a guy standing on the flat rock. Smackley walked closer, reaching for his gun when something slammed into him and pulled him off the ground in a vice-like grip around his neck. The thing wrenched the gun out of Sid’s hand with such force, it seared his hand. It landed with a splash in the rushing water of the falls.
The white-hot pain in his head was terrible, but what his eyes saw was worse. Something inhuman. It sneered at him while tracing his face with a black claw. The stench of it was nauseating. Sid’s stomach heaved, and the thing slapped him upside the head, then grabbed him around the neck again, preventing Sid from vomiting.
“Sidney, you pathetic little worm. Beating up a kid and his junkie mother. That is so manly of you!” Azzor had Sid by his pencil neck, his Skeletor body swaying over the falls.
“Tisk, Tisk,” Azzor clicked his forked tongue. He shook Sid like an old rag doll. “No meat on these bones! I will call you Chicken Wing. I need some Red Hot to spice up this underfed bird.”
“Kath, be a dear and fetch me some Red Hot.”
Sid Smackley was gone in a second.
“Foul, diseased, human filth! I STILL HUNGER!” Azzor bellowed.
Kathy peered out from her hiding place, a cascade of evergreen enfolding her.
Azzor began to giggle. Kathy was unsure what to do. Azzor stopped laughing and composed himself. “It’s alright, you can go. I’ll see you tomorrow. As for your “Ox” problem, he paused. Kathy looked confused.
“The Lummox’s,” he said exasperatedly. “Just use the old fangled telephone book and look up their address. Then, slip a note in their “Going Postal Box.” He giggled again and waved his clawed hand to dismiss her.
Azzor sat beside Michelle as she woke from the demon’s induced sleep at the edge of the forest. “I still hunger,” he whispered.
Michelle’s eyes bulged; her body frozen in fear. Unable to move or scream, but her mind was alert. She was aware that what crouched over her was not a boy or even human. A demonic fiend sneered at her, proudly displaying its razor-sharp teeth. So many teeth overlapping, row after row of horrible teeth. Rancid smelling drool dripped from its hideous mouth, splattering on her cheek, burning it.
“Fair Weather Friend,” it mocked, its fetid breath engulfing her.
“Should I eat you now or send you to Asmodeus, Prince of Wickedness? You are a wicked one, and he would love a new plaything, but I do so hunger. That chicken wing of a human was not satisfying at all. You, my little piglet, are all fattened up and quite tempting.”
It licked its lips with a black tongue, causing more drool to drip on to her nose, burning it.
“You should have remained loyal to Kathy. Such weakness, Little Piglet, has cost you your life.”
Azzor leaned close, his black hole eyes slowly turning to a glowing red. The last thing Michelle saw before he sunk his teeth into her skull, tearing her head off at the neck, an arch of blood showering over him.
With tooth and claw, he tore into her chubby torso, spitting out her polyester pants and cheap running shoes. “Indigestible crap made in China”, he growled in distain. Azzor waved his clawed hand and set them on fire. He took a Snickers from his pocket, unwrapped it, and tossed the wrapper into the flames before returning to the forest.
What was that scratching sound? Denise buried her aching head into the grimy pillow. Closer now, the scratching increased in intensity. Her mouth was painfully dry, and she itched all over. She needed a fix. She lifted her head off the pillow and went to sit up when something forced her down, crushing her into the mattress. The weight of it smothered her until finally, it eased off her chest. She found herself looking at a monster with red eyes boring into her. The stench of rot permeated her throbbing head. Her heart hammered in her chest with ice cold fear. It spoke.
“Don’t worry, my dear, I do not desire you in any way. I come with a message. Clean yourself up and be a mother to your offspring or I will send you to suffer for eternity in the Nine Hells. I will put my brand on you, so you do not forget.”
The demon bit into Denise, on her left side, his teeth snapping off a quarter inch of her rib. His tongue seared his brand on her skin, closing the wound. The blackened, charred skin whorled into a pattern not of this world.
The demon disappeared.
The pain in Denise’s side was excruciating, yet she was completely sober for the first time in months and had no desire to put heroin into her body. She gingerly brushed a finger over the painful brand on her torso.
Kathy asked her mother for the telephone book and was surprised when her mom handed her a floppy, thick book. Inside, alphabetical listings for people with home telephones filled the pages. Their street addresses were also listed. Setting it on the table, she flipped through the thin pages to “L”, and located Claude Lummox, 361 Riverbend Road.
That was at least ten miles across town. She would have to skip school and take a city bus, leave a letter in their door, and get back to school before dismissal so she could go home on the school bus. She sighed. The last snack. Two at the same time.
The next morning, Kathy packed a lunch and took some money for bus fare. At school, she slipped out the side door, near the gymnasium, and ran across the parking lot to the side street where the bus stop was. She sat on the bench in the lean-to and waited. She fidgeted, re-reading the letter she wrote to the Lummox’s and kicked at the trash on the ground.
Fifteen minutes passed, then the lumbering city bus pulled up, belching its noxious diesel fumes. Kathy got on, put her fare in the sealed payment station and took the second seat behind the driver. An elderly woman sat diagonal from her and a disheveled man, a few seats back, muttered to himself.
The ride across town, to the Lummox home took 45 minutes with all the stops. Finally, Kathy exited the bus and walked in the direction of the river. Not a nice part of town. The houses were old and run down. Garbage strewn on the unkept yards. Two more blocks and she came to 361 Riverbend Road. It was a trailer with a haphazard addition. A fence enclosed the entire yard. No way was she going to the door, she would slip the letter in their mailbox. As she opened the mailbox, it screeched on its rusty hinges, and a dog began barking. Kathy shoved the letter in, closed it, and ran. She stopped running about a block later. Out of breath and thirsty, she spotted a corner store. Inside, she bought a slushy and a Snickers.
“What in the Hell’s Kitchen is this?” Claude Lummox bellowed, clutching a letter in his greasy hand. His voice boomed off the tinny walls of the stifling trailer. Still holding the offending letter, he smacked at the decrepit window unit air conditioner. It coughed and wheezed, sputtering out a stream of warm air.
Beulah, his wife, clad in a stained housecoat shuffled into the kitchen. “What’s wrong? she asked, rubbing her eyes and sitting down at the ancient Formica table, the chair groaning at her considerable bulk.
Claude thrust the letter across the table. He grabbed two Little Debbie Pecan Spin Wheels and sandwiched them together with a thick middle of margarine.
Beulah read the letter, understanding that their financial fraud had come to the attention of someone who demanded their appearance in the woods at 6pm that evening.
“We better meet this person, we can’t lose the foster kids’ money,” Beulah announced almost cheerfully.
“You don’t say, Miss Genius,” Claude barked, spewing wet Spin Wheel crumbs across the table and onto the letter.
“I ought to beat the tar outta this guy,” Claude growled.
“Can we still go to the casino today?” Beulah asked hopefully.
The foster kids were four special needs children that had the misfortune of ending up at the Lummox home. It was not a nurturing home. Not even a house, but a single wide decrepit trailer, an eyesore in a neighborhood that had seen better days. The children ranged in age from ten to fifteen. Two to a room, mandated by the state or the Lummox’s would have put all four in one room. They were provided with cheap, unhealthy food and permitted to shower every other day. The trailer was clean because the children were expected to do all the housework. The money, provided by the state, intended for the children, went to fuel the Lummox’s gambling addiction.
Bickering and whining reverberated through the forest path as the Lummox’s approached the flat rock. They stopped in the clearing, wheezing and perspiring profusely. The hefty couple had arrived. Their abrasive voices annoyed Azzor, and he found their sour stench revolting.
“Lose all your coins at the casino, Crud & Blubber?” he mocked.
Claude mopped his sweat soaked brow and focused his eyes on a young man dressed in corduroy and flannel.
“What did you call me, you little shit?” thundered Claude Lummox.
Azzor slowly turned around, revealing his true monstrous form. Horrified, Claude began to back up, stepping on his wife’s foot. Beulah howled in pain, losing her footing and falling into the fast-moving water. Her considerable bulk buoyed her close to the rocky overhang.
In one quick movement, Azzor snatched her from the rushing water and tossed her roughly onto the rock. “Stay” he commanded, revealing a mouth full of impossibly huge, sharp teeth, that he snapped inches from Beulah’s face.
“W-w-what do you want?” she wailed, snot dripping from her nose into her mouth.
“It’s been such a busy day, I seemed to have missed my lunch, but I hear the dinner bell tolling. He tapped his claws on the rock. “It’s the dinner hour, and I HUNGER,” the demon roared into their terrified faces.
“Shall I eat the female swine first?” Azzor questioned, looking at Claude. Not waiting for an answer, he bit into her massive, blubbery torso, expertly extracting her liver, which he flung onto Claude’s lap.
“Want to share a morsel before your demise”?
Claude looked in horror at his wife who bled profusely from a gaping hole in her midsection. Her eyes were dead.
“Shame on you, you gluttonous hogs. Look at the size of you. Fattened up for my personal slaughter.” Azzor giggled. His eyes turned to deep black, bottomless holes. The fathomless descent to Hell.
“Those poor children, in your care, and you gave them nothing but SLOP,” Azzor’s voice seared into Claude’s brain.
“You will spend eternity starving. Beelzebub, Demon of Gluttony, will throw you rancid scraps when the mood strikes him. You and wifey will be forced to fight like jackals for the meager sustenance. This is your punishment for being gluttonous, vile humans.”
Azzor snatched up Beulah’s liver and shoved it into Claude’s mouth. The demon turned his head 180 degrees and tore off Beulah’s head. Devouring it in seconds, he turned back to Claude, wiping his mouth on the sleeve of his flannel shirt.
“Bon Appetit,” exclaimed Azzor, then devoured Claude Lummox whole.
Vale (“Vah-lay,” Latin for “farewell”)
Azzor licked his lips, savoring the last morsels of the Lummox’s remains, then went to find Kathy. She sat under a massive pine tree, almost hidden from view by the long, dense, overhanging branches. Azzor pushed back a branch and joined her in the secluded tent of evergreen.
She used a stick to write “Tarek” in the dirt and looked up at Azzor. Sitting with a demon from Hell did not seem to faze Kathy, nor witnessing six humans being devoured
“You won’t be seeing your fair-weather friend, Michelle, again. I ate her. Azzor is sorry. Well, not really. She was a delectable tidbit.”
Kathy’s eyes widened, but she didn’t seem distraught.
“You are Azzor’s first and only friend. Michelle was not a true friend. Jealousy consumed her, and she was plotting ways to hurt you. Her human heart was like rotted fruit, so I ate her. Caught her spying on you and Tarek. The bad ones are so tasty. The currency that Carl Senior gifted to us, I want you to divide it evenly between Tarek, the four Lummox foster kids, and yourself.”
Kathy smiled, “You’re sweet,” she stated.
“A kinder and more compassionate demon,” Azzor quipped. “Don’t tell anyone or I will have to eat you,” he joked.
“Well, my dear, my sojourn here is coming to an end. I must return to my duties in the Netherworld. It’s been a pleasure to make your acquaintance, and we will meet again,” he reached into his pocket and handed Kathy a black rock with what looked like a ruby inside it.
“The black stone is magma from the volcano in Tartarus, and the ruby embedded inside it is a blood ruby. If you should require my assistance in human removal, just rub the ruby and place it under your pillow,” Azzor instructed.
“I have something for you,” Kathy replied and reached for her backpack. She pulled out a family-sized bag of mini-Snickers. She handed the bag to the demon, and he smiled his toothy, wicked smile.
“Vale. Till we meet again.” Azzor disappeared.
Kathy was alone under the pine tree. She placed the stone into her pocket and grabbed her backpack. The sun had started to set as she emerged from the woods. Walking through the neighborhood that backed the woods, she glanced at Michelle’s house but felt nothing. Kathy couldn’t recall any great times with Michelle. She thought she should feel something, but all she felt was indifference. Two kids from school pedaled by on their bikes. They said hello to Kathy, and any thought of Michelle was forgotten.
Kathy dropped her backpack in the mudroom and called out to her mom that she was home. Her dad was in the den watching the evening news. She sat on the arm of her dad’s chair for a few minutes, watching the headlines. As she got up to go do her homework, a banner flashed across the screen about the missing people.
Prominent businessman, Carl Fink and his son, high school football coach, Larry SanDouchey, and foster parents, Claude and Beulah Lummox. The authorities were stumped. The people were not acquainted in any way. It was as if five people had just vanished.
Kathy kissed her dad and went to her room. She didn’t even notice her eyes turning completely black, like bottomless holes, before they returned to their normal color.
About the Author
Making up stories to scare her elementary school. classmates is where Sheila began her love of horror and the macabre. Also, Scooby Doo gets some credit.
After homeschooling her three children, she had more time to create chilling tales. Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh has been home for the last 30 years.