It was cold night and a chilly breeze tended to the skin, like a friend carrying tears away into the horizon, hoping to reach separated loved ones. Janet held her arms crossed lying on the windowsills while she stared into the distance, watching the moon, the quiet grass, the sleeping horses and night guards keep watch. Their bungalow was heavily fortified. Food, clothing and the occasional man would come in, but none of the girls went out, not unless to the highest bidder. Janet was also person the public would refer to as ‘Milk’ – a purebred, from the same part of town as Rayna, taken when they were children, groomed for pleasure houses, and nothing more. She was depressed, her life had no meaning, and every day she would patiently wait for her buyer while watching the weather, the still grass, the sleeping horses and the guards.
Today however, there was rustling in the fields ahead, and it was coming straight for them. She noticed two heads peeking, their bodies crouched, hiding in the tall grass, stealthy; one had a built of a scrawny man, and another a tall, athletic woman. They were coming right for the guards. ‘No! They will be caught,’ she freaked. ‘Hey! She shouted to grab the watcher’s attention and waved her hand at him. He caught the bait and turned around to wave right back.
‘Hey, so handsome, you seemed to have lost some weight huh?’ she teased and laughed. The two heads stopped moving and it so appeared as though they were in council before the started to take a right turn and head to the back entrance of the luxurious bungalow. They were out of sight of Janet’s peripheral vision.
‘How bout you sweetheart?’ the guard called out, ‘sweetheart?’
‘Yes!’ Janet’s redirected her attention. ‘Maybe come upstairs, huh?’
‘Now, you know I can’t do that Janet,’
‘Come on, nobody will know,’
He turned around a slight tinge of red flush over his face and carried on to look forward.
Though she gave them a chance with her distraction, Janet was now curious. She unlocked her door, started to walk along the hallway, and headed straight down to the kitchen, hoping to meet the acquaintance of the two strangers coming for them.
As she reached the kitchen, she noticed a still silence, odd and awkward. All the girls were in their rooms, all but Janet, alone, in a loose silk nightgown down to her knees, unarmed, in the dimmed lights of neon tubes and gasoline lamps. The backdoor was open without signs of forceful entry.
‘Sshh!’ a voice creeped from behind, so sudden that she couldn’t react, she was stunned silent, her body stiff as she was caught from behind. ‘A woman?’ she felt her shoulder blades touch the soft bosoms of her captor. Immediately she spoke. ‘It’s you! The one from the barn. The woman who enjoys woman!’
‘Er..ehem…’ The man before them cleared his throat in awkwardness. ‘I think you should let her loose Karin.’
Karin brought her mouth close to her ears. ‘Just try anything and I WILL slit your throat,’
‘and I believe you,’ Janet answered, her hands surrendering, but her face all the more excited.
The tension diffused and Karin came forward. The two introduced themselves. Janet wanted more time to talk to her guests, as she should now consider them.
‘You’re much taller in person,’ she said.
‘And you ever more beautiful,’ Karin replied.
‘Come with me, it’s not safe here,’ she rushed them to follow her to her room on the top most floor.
‘Not safe? No, it’s just a horse. A very bad horse,’ Kim scowled as she kept sliding off the side of her arrogant steed.
The three women rode their way back to the camping grounds. After falling twice on her back and a third time sliding sideways before being heaved across the mud, it was obvious Kim needed a couple more lessons. Kira was happy to help but only as much as Kim’s bloated ego would allow it. Rayna’s words however, were completely ignored.
‘Hold your legs steady, keep your back straight, anticipate the gallops and adjust yourself accordingly. Your muscle memory will kick in after a little bit,’ Kira said.
‘Yeah, that’s what I’m doing, but she keeps trying to heave me off. Why do you hate me so much girl?’ and she fell back onto her bottom once again. She could almost swear that the horse laughed at her. ‘Argh,’ she felt her spine tingle sending shooting pains down to her leg. ‘Great!’
‘Maybe we can head back to the village, and get someone to look at you,’ Rayna suggested.
‘Nope! Why in the fuck of it would we do that?’ Kim instantly rejected the proposal.
‘There, she pointed ahead to where she left her car, covered under a mound of leaves and branches; a very bad camouflage but it still did the trick.
Kim hobbled to the vehicle. She checked the trunk first to see if anything had been stolen.
‘Shit!’ she scraped of all the dirt and leaves and noted some dents. ‘Someone tried to bust it open. Fucking thieves!’
She reached out into her pocket and took out a key to unlock. Much to her relief everything was still there. ‘I could always trust you girl,’ she patted the sides of her car as though it were a pet of hers. Rayna found the interaction oddly unsettling and Kim instantly scowled back with a judgmental stare of her own.
Kira peered at the trunk herself and sighed before the three of them stared at each. There was so much in there looted from Golgotha that it would be nearly impossible to bring everything along on just three horses no matter how strong and sturdy those creatures were.
‘Just the essentials,’ Kira remarked and she pulled out sack of with the nose of an M-16 pointing out. In the sack were some ammunition that came with it. There was another casing with daggers and blades and Kim quickly took it out to fasten it on her waist. As soon as Rayna reached in Kim instantly slapped her wrist.
‘What do you think you’re doing?’
‘I just want to see,’ Rayna pulled back, scared.
‘See, no touch,’
‘It’s an arrow, I like arrows,’ Rayna sheepishly smiled. ‘No?’
‘Come on, let her hold it. After everything she has done,’ Kira replied.
Kim scoffed and reluctantly handed her the crossbow. Rayna marvelled at the technicality of the weapon and raised it up to look at it more closely.
‘Hey, don’t you point that at me,’ Kim moved back.
‘No! Sorry!’ Rayna moved the crossbow away. ‘It wasn’t loaded… I think,’
Kim was getting impatient, and her back was again in spasm. ‘Give that back to me. You have had your fun. Go back to your village and tell them we’re fine. We can handle things from here,’
Rayna stepped back. Kira attached a bag over the straddle of her horse to hide the gun. She made a few more trips back to the car and made careful judgements on what to carry. All this without paying close attention to the childish drama that her companions were creating. She found a radio device, some alkaline batteries and extra flint, an old map with the colours withered, and a flask good enough to store water.
Kim kept an extra handgun and a shotgun for herself. ‘Good, short range and long range.’ She was about to close the lid until she realized that Rayna was still holding the crossbow. She bobbed her head signalling her to put it back in. Rayna breathed heavily, feeling difficult to part with it, thinking of a myriad of excuses.
‘Maybe let her keep it,’ Kira yelled from ahead. ‘She’ll be alone at least until she’s back at the village, and maybe it will be useful the next time they’re attacked,’ she continued, ‘consider it a gift.’
‘Yeah!’ Kim replied. ‘Keep it,’ she smiled watching Rayna get very nervous and unsettled. Kim knew deep down that this was the moment she had been waiting for and was very excited to see how it would play out. ‘Now, you lying cunt, your secret is finally coming out,’ she told to herself in her head while she quickly closed the lid and hurriedly laced the car back with more fallen tree branches, leaves and bushes. Kim then headed straight for her horse, placed the shotgun in a bag and started gearing herself to climb. Kim’s back was to Rayna the whole time when suddenly,
‘Wait!’ Janet was confused, ‘you want me to do what now?’
‘The guards come here to visit every now and then, don’t they? We have seen them in your rooms,’ Karin spoke while admiring how exquisite the sleeping quarters of the young Janet looked. Not only was it a private room, it was almost as good as Lucas’s sleeping quarters, and all her drawers were stocked with pills, supplements and what she assumed to be skin care products. ‘It’s no wonder she had exquisite skin,’ she thought. The Madam really kept her property well, and Janet was living proof.
‘I don’t know what you want from me,’
‘You do quite well for yourself don’t you, for a Milk,’ she remarked.
Janet offended by that word started to withdraw herself. Her stance defensive and palpable to everyone in the room.
‘I believe what my friend is asking is for your help,’ Kade shook his head at Karin. ‘And she doesn’t know quite how to ask it,’
‘How can I help?’ Janet seemed eager.
‘The snipers,’ Karin interjected. ‘Have they ever come?’
‘No! They never leave their posts,’
‘But they do watch?’
‘I don’t know,’ Janet ran through her thoughts just in case. ‘Yes, sometimes, just that one guy. He slacks off a bit, but I don’t think I can distract him long enough for you to escape.’
‘Clever girl,’ Kade was amused that she was actively figuring out their plan.
‘You just need to give us a window. I’ll take care of the sniper. Then, you run,’ she turned to Kade, smiling confident that the plan they had concocted nights before might was finally on the way.
‘Run, run, run, run!’ Rayna had a voice in her head just screaming at her to escape but against her fair judgment, she decided to come clean.
‘Alright! I’m not a villager,’
‘You think?’ Kim interrupted. ‘You’re a Milk whore aren’t you? Escapee from Golgotha,’
‘Kim!’ Kira was shocked at her crass judgement.
‘Of course she is Kira, don’t look so surprised. It’s like the only thing the Milk are even known for,’
‘Stop calling her that,’ Kira shouted at the friend but Kim gleefully ignored. ‘She’s just trying to steal from us, and now that I gave her the crossbow, she thinks she has some sort of power.’
‘I know it’s not loaded, and you didn’t give me anything to load it with. I don’t care, I just want… I mean need…’
‘What?’ Kira asked.
‘She needs money,’ Kim ridiculed and got up on the horse without a care.
‘I need… you guys,’ Rayna exclaimed. ‘I need to find her. I need to find Karin,’
‘Who is Karin?’ Kira was even more curious.
‘Who cares? It’s one story and then it’s the next story, and then that keeps going and then keeps going. She is a liar, that’s all it is,’ Kim turned towards Kira, and pointed, ‘and you fell for it after all the drinks and mushrooms you had,’ she sarcastically jeered.
‘Who is Karin?’ Kira pressed on ignoring the ramblings of her friend.
‘She’s… the love of my life,’
Kira’s eyes opened just a tad, and as much as she knew not to trust the girl, deep down she felt Rayna was telling the truth. Still, a small voice in her told her to be cautious. Kim however didn’t buy a single word, ‘Please, a whore who likes pussy. And we’re supposed to believe that,’
‘How is that unbelievable?’ Kira sternly interjected.
Rayna threw the crossbow down and fell to her knees. ‘Please, I’ll make it worth your while. I need to get to her. I just need a ride out of the woods. I can do it myself but I don’t know where I’m going. If we can stop at the next town or even out of this place, then at least I can find my way from there.’
‘So, you never knew the village chief?’ Kira was surprised to learn something that Kim knew all along, and Kim was dumbfounded by her gullibility. Kim was a little parched and reached carefully into her bag for a drink.
‘I didn’t want to lie. I was just afraid you were bad people, until I realised, you’re not.’ Rayna confessed.
‘There is no such thing as good or bad people, just people you can trust,’ Kira replied.
Rayna smiled at that. It felt a lot like what Karin would say. ‘So, can you help me? I need a way out. I need to find Lucas, I need to save her from him.’
Kim chocked a bit on the water she was actively chugging and spat out the rest of it in shock. ‘Lucas?’ she cried out.
The two companions on horses stared at each other for a second, and then as if they telepathically agreed, they both nodded at each other.
‘Small world ain’t it?’ Kim muttered.
Kira though feeling betrayed decided to give the girl another chance. After all, she fervently believed in second chances. The number of times death had allowed her to live has been insurmountable up to this point. ‘Maybe this was what it was for? To reunite two lost lovers? Maybe,’ she thought.
Kira looked into the girl’s eyes, ‘Fine, we’ll take you there. Straight there.’
‘There!’ That’s the one,’ Janet said peering from the binoculars that Karin had given to her.
‘Good!’ Kade patted her back. I have tempered with all the locks in the house. On your signal, I will take my steed, my Lockwood, and rush for the gates. That’s when you shine the glass at his direction, and the sniper will turn to your direction. Make it the sexiest show you have ever done. We have to make sure his eyes are glued to you all. Skin , flesh, everything,’
The other girls gathered in Janet’s room all nodded in unison, charged with a heightened level of courage and excitement. They couldn’t wait to be out. It was the first time Kade had seen all of them up close and personally.
‘Thank you,’ Janet smiled and caressed his beard. He felt a sensation in his pants. Arousal! Something he had not felt in a long time. He nodded appreciating her, and left.
Karin waited for Kade at the back entrance, after slitting the throats of two of guards that tried to approach or alert others. ‘Come on man, I don’t have all day.’
Once he was back down, they started to creep back toward the direction of the stables and Kade back to garage.
‘She’ll notice I’m gone.’
‘Hey!’ Kade stopped her before they split in two different directions. ‘To tomorrow,’
‘To tomorrow,’ she nodded and parted ways. She stealthily crept behind the horse stalls where their rear ends stuck out and their faeces decorated the mud beneath. ‘Gross!’ she muttered while walking into plain sight, casually blending in. To the onlooker who just caught her, they would have easily assumed she was hanging out at the back the whole time.
‘Where were you?’ asked Madam Kriss.
‘Lydia! She had indigestion. It’s been too long. She was suffering. I took her far off before (making gun blowing at head gesture)…’
‘Good,’ the Madam replied. Karin only assumed she trusted her word. ‘Come on dear, I have something to show you,’ Madam Kriss ushered her into Karin’s tiny room.
Karin was getting a bad feeling. The women moved right in and partially shut the door. Karin couldn’t make out what exactly was going on, where she was inside or what she was planning to show her. So, she crept in slowly, nudging the loose door slightly open to get a better look. Slowly the screws holding the hinges turned making a soft screech. She peered in watching the lady’s back turned away from her. She moved in and closed the door behind her. The silence was too long, and then only did Karin realise that Madam Kriss though facing away from her had her arm contracted, stiff and Karin knew that pose very well.
‘Arghhh!’ the Madam turned swiftly and launched at her with a knife to her throat. Karin’s back was against the wall, the knife inches away from her throat only being resisted by her own hand pushing against the grip of the angry obese woman before her, with her face red and swollen almost about to explode. She positioned herself well, though short she was on top of her angulated in a degree that gave her the advantage of her body weight.
‘Arghhhh! She kept pushing until Karin felt the sting of the blade against her skin.
‘I know what you’re planning,’ the Madam whispered against her teeth tightly clenched. ‘I have seen the two of you plotting and scheming by the garage and in the stables. I know you went to see my girls. I told you not to try any stunts and you will pay for it,’ she further pressed the blade.
Karin had to make a choice. ‘Very well,’ she said stammering. ‘I’m sorry. I really admire your work and I didn’t touch your girls, but this isn’t personal.’ She suddenly started forcing the blade back toward Madam Kriss. In one forceful push, Karin manoeuvred the blade effectively turning it away from her and piercing it straight into the thick neck fat of the scorned woman before her while the blood spuriously gushed out of her gaping wound and bathed Karin with itself. Yet, she kept driving it in until the blade buried deep inside her throat and only the handle tightly gripped by the Madam herself stuck out.
Madam Kriss moved away, hurling her arms, choking and frothing from her mouth. Her face got paler by the second, the blood sprayed all the over the walls, the table, the rotating fan even further making a mess of things. Soon, her sheets, her clothes and every crevice of that tiny cubicle was soaked in blood now reeking of iron.
Karin wiped the blood off her face in one swipe. ‘To tomorrow,’ she whispered to herself enjoying the sight of the flailing body slowly turning into a corpse. ‘I’m coming Rayna. Wait for me, sweetheart.’