Out of all the things that had stopped working, Simon Smith missed the internet most of all. He had been at home in his basement flat masturbating to Japanese porn at the time, but he didn’t notice anything was different until a few hours later when he tried to order a pizza from the local Dominos outlet and his telephone call went unanswered.
Thinking they must be unusually busy for a Monday afternoon, he pressed the button to disconnect his mobile phone and looked up the number for the rival Pizza Hut on the internet. He preferred the pizzas from Dominos, they came with a carton of garlic sauce to dip the crusts into, but if they couldn’t be bothered taking his order then what did they expect him to do? He made a mental note to compose an email of complaint to Dominos Pizza head office about their employees slacking off, and dialled the number he had found for the nearest Pizza Hut.
The phone rang.
Simon glared at the phone in disgust. With a sigh, he put it down on the desk next to his computer keyboard and rose to his feet, stretching his arms out and yawning. If he had to go and collect his own pizza he was certainly going to give those lazy bastards a piece of his mind while he was there.
He scratched his balls through yellow-stained white Y-fronts, sniffed his fingers, and walked into the bedroom for the rest of his clothes, which were in a heap on the floor where he had thrown them the previous night. He struggled into his frayed denim jeans, hopping on one leg when his foot got caught on the hem, and pulled on a Judge Dredd T-shirt. His bulbous stomach stretched out the front tyre of Dredd’s motorcycle, giving it a three-dimensional appearance. After putting on a pair of black boots, he picked up his keys from the sideboard where he had left them and climbed a short flight of stairs to ground level. He unlocked the door at the top, and walked through the short hallway to the shared main door leading out of the building.
Opening the door, he swore to himself when he saw it was raining. Simon Smith hated rain with a passion. Especially heavy downpours like the one he was seeing. He hated the way wet clothes clung to his body, hated the way his dirty jeans always smelled after they had been soaked by the rain. The smell always seemed to linger in his flat for days, long after he had dried them out on his small, one bar electric heater.
He stood in the doorway for a few minutes, waiting to see if the rain would ease off. No way was he going out in that. He watched the man who lived in the house directly opposite, Andrew-something-or-other, stumbling around in his garden with a hedge-trimmer held by his side, trailing an electrical cable into the house. From the way he lurched around, he seemed to be very much the worse for drink.
Daft cunt, doesn’t he know how dangerous it is using electrical equipment in the rain?
Simon thought about calling out to the man, warning him to get out of the rain before he was electrocuted. But like all of his neighbours, the man had shunned Simon ever since his criminal conviction a few years earlier, so Simon didn’t feel he owed the man anything.
Let the bastard fry, he thought, with a shrug.
Simon looked up at a sky filled with dark black clouds, frowned, and closed the door. The rain obviously wasn’t going anywhere for quite some time yet.
Returning to his basement flat, he used his mobile to call Dominos Pizza again, but there was still no answer. A similar call to Pizza Hut was also ignored. He sat down in his luxury executive swivel-chair and switched on his computer monitor. He looked at the digital clock in the corner of the screen. 15:05. He’d give it another half an hour, but if they still didn’t answer there would be trouble.
He idly surfed for some more porn, but it did little to arouse him. He found a particularly interesting site, with videos of an overweight Japanese woman tied to a chair being flogged by a short man in a Nazi uniform, and he added it to his favourites for later exploration when he was a bit more in the mood.
With neither pizza shop answering their phones, he ventured back up the stairs to the front door an hour later. It had stopped raining, so he stepped outside and closed the door behind him. The drunken man was still stumbling around in his front garden, still holding the hedge-trimmer by his side, like some sort of lethal appendage to his arm.
“You all right there, Andrew?” Simon called out.
The man turned towards him, a vacant look on his face. He stumbled a few steps in Simon’s direction, but came to a halt when he reached the closed wooden gate to his garden. His legs pressed up against the gate, and he looked down at it as if not understanding why his movement had been blocked. He looked up at Simon when he called out the man’s name again, and his mouth gaped open silently as he stared across the street at him.
Fucker’s not just pissed up, he’s fucking on something.
With a shrug, Simon made his way up the deserted cul-de-sac towards the main road. As he turned the corner, expecting to see the gang of youths who hung out in the bus shelter all day, drinking cider and generally making a nuisance of themselves, he was struck by how quiet the town was. The steady flow of traffic Simon expected to see using the town as a shortcut to the nearby motorway junction was missing. A solitary van was parked outside the pound shop, no doubt making a delivery of new tat for people to waste their money on. The road was otherwise deserted, except for a few solitary pedestrians walking aimlessly along the opposite side of the road.
Probably the rain keeping everyone in, he thought.
He walked past the row of charity shops, three of them side by side, and debated whether to look in them or not to see if there was anything he could re-sell on Ebay for a profit. He peered through the window of Help the Aged, and the old woman who worked there waved to him. He waved back, and entered the shop. He looked through the boxes of toys, at the shelves of bric-a-brac, and finally at the rows of dusty paperbacks, looking for any titles that would be likely to sell online. He had once struck lucky with a set of Richard Allen Skinhead books that he had made £180 profit on, but that was a once in a lifetime find. With the town having a sixty percent unemployment rate, the charity shops were usually picked clean of anything that would sell within hours of it hitting the shelves.
“Nice day for ducks,” the old woman said with a cheery, toothless grin when Simon glanced in her direction.
Simon grunted his agreement, and left the shop.
Stepping through the door, he collided with a young woman who was walking past, sending her stumbling towards the kerb. The woman’s arms flailed in front of her as she tried to regain her balance, but as she stepped off the kerb she lost her footing and fell forward, landing in a heap in the rain-sodden road.
Simon looked around, expecting someone to come to the woman’s aid, but if the other pedestrians had seen her fall they chose to ignore it and continued on their way as if nothing had happened.
He looked up at the tantalising blue and red Dominos Pizza logo hanging from a shop front a few hundred yards away and deliberated over whether he too should just ignore the woman lying in the gutter.
It’s her own fucking fault, she should have been looking where she was going.
There was some sort of commotion going on outside Dominos. A small group of people were crowded around the shop doorway, and seemed to be agitated about something. One of them, a man dressed in a hooded parka and faded jeans, banged on the door window with his fists, as if demanding to be let in. Another man was trying to push him out of the way, but he held his ground. Others had their faces pressed up against the main shop window, staring inside.
Simon looked down at the woman who had fallen into the road. She was now sat upright, staring blankly ahead as rainwater dripped from her face, and blood dripped from her legs. A strand of hair fell across her face, and matted to it with the oil and grime from the road. Despite her current dishevelled appearance, Simon was struck by how attractive the woman was. She couldn’t be any more than eighteen, he decided.
Simon licked his lips. He wasn’t used to talking to women, at least not in real life. He had a few girlfriends online that he messaged on a regular basis, and had quite an active cyber-sex life with one of them (though he was never really sure if she wasn’t actually a man), but in all of his twenty-seven years he had always found himself tongue-tied around real women.
“Um … are you all right there?” he stammered, eventually.
The woman’s head turned, and she looked up at Simon, but said nothing. She seemed to be dazed, and Simon thought she might have hit her head in the fall but he couldn’t see any bruising on her face, just rain and dirt from the road. Her knees seemed to have taken the brunt of the impact, and skin was flayed from them by the unforgiving tarmac.
Simon licked his lips again as he looked at the woman’s legs. His eyes flicked from the bloody, grit-covered wounds to the short tartan skirt that was hitched up around her waist. He stepped into the road and crouched down to see if he could catch a glimpse of her knickers. As he had hoped, they were red and flimsy-looking, almost see-through with a lacy pattern. He stared at them wide-eyed, until he realised that the woman was still looking at him. Simon looked away, embarrassed at being caught ogling her, and straightened up. His face reddened as he held his hand out to her.
“Do you … um … need any help?”
The woman’s head turned and she stared at his outstretched hand, but she didn’t reach out to take it. Simon held it there a few more seconds and let it drop by his side. His face reddened even more from her rebuke.
“Here, let me help you up,” he said, moving behind her, not ready to give up just yet.
He grasped her by the armpits, his fingers straying forward to fondle the soft mounds of her breasts as he pulled her to her feet. The woman swayed when Simon released her, but remained standing. She turned towards him, her expression blank.
Simon gave her his warmest smile, his eyes darting from her face, down to her legs, and back up to her face, pausing momentarily on her breasts.
“I’ve … um … got some … ah … antiseptic in my flat. It’s just down there,” he added, pointing towards the side-street where he lived. “You know, for … um … your knees? They’ll … um … get infected otherwise.”
His heart fluttered when he thought about the possibilities if she went along with his suggestion. He could sit her on his computer chair and kneel down on the floor while he cleaned up her knees. He would get a good view from that angle, especially if he spread her legs wide while he did it. Maybe he would be able to reposition his webcam first, but then of course he would need to make sure he kept his head out of the way.
The woman stared at him, her mouth hanging open. Her arms rose from her sides, and she reached out towards Simon, her fingertips bending inwards like a cat flexing its claws. Simon walked into her arms, embracing her.
Bitch is gagging for it, he thought, fondling her buttocks through the flimsy woollen material of her skirt.
The woman started nuzzling against his neck, and Simon’s penis bulged out of the front of his jeans, pressing hard against the denim around the zip. He closed his eyes and sighed in pleasure when the woman closed her mouth over his neck, suckling at it. She began to suck, her teeth squeezing around the flesh of his neck. Simon had read about this on the internet. A love bite, it was called, it was supposed to be a good thing, a sure-fire sign that you are guaranteed a shag at the end of it. But he hadn’t expected it to be as painful as this. His eyes flicked open when the pressure increased and the pain became more intense. He tried to jerk his head away to let her know he had had enough pain, and that it was time to get down to the shagging part, but she moved with him, her mouth clamped tight over his neck like a limpet.
With mounting panic he squeezed his hands between their bodies and thrust out his hands on her chest, in an attempt to push the woman from him. But the woman held him tight in her vice-like grip around his waist, her fingers clawing up and down his back. The pain in Simon’s neck became more intense, turning into excruciating agony when the woman’s teeth started to break through his skin.
“Get the fuck off me, you fucking mad bitch!” he yelled, pushing her away from him. The woman stumbled backwards and fell, her head cracking down hard on the pavement. She lay on her back staring upwards, her finger tips twitching, but otherwise motionless.
Simon put his hand to his pulsating neck and looked at the woman, wide-eyed. He inspected his fingers, and stared in shock at the profusion of blood that dripped from them. He put his hand back to the wound to stem the torrent of warm blood he could feel pouring down his neck, and looked around him to see if there were any witnesses.
None of the other pedestrians, or the group huddled around the doorway of Dominos, seemed to be taking any notice, so with a final worried look at the woman lying on the ground, Simon ran back to his flat leaving a trail of blood spots behind him.