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I used to spend a lot of time in alleys. Not any more. Not since that night it happened. I even use the government flophouses now, not all the time, but more often than not. I just don’t feel all that much like being alone anymore...

I won’t bore you with pathetic excuses explaining why I am a bum. I could, but I won’t. It would all be a lie. I’m a street bum because I’m just to damn lazy to work. Ok, so maybe that in itself is pathetic, but it’s not an excuse, it’s an explanation.

I had several different alleys that I frequently slept in. Each had their own ‘feature’ attraction. Such as the one behind the Blue-Gills Seafood Restaurant. They had all you can eat buffets Tuesdays and Thursdays. Dumb asses let the customers pile as much food as they want on their plates, knowing they would never eat it all. They have to throw out what ever is left on the plates.

Of course, they were smart enough to put a lock on their dumpster, otherwise, every bum within ten blocks would be dining outside their back door every night. But once, I happened to be there when they were bringing out the trash. The guy opened the lock and left the key in it while he brought out several bags of goodies. In between his trips in and out, I ran over and snagged the key. He looked around for it, but gave up thinking it had gotten kicked under the dumpster I guess. I just have to make sure I get there after they close, and before the rats beat me to the leftovers.

And then there is the alley behind the Cherry Street triple X. Now that one is only good for entertainment. Free sex shows from the horny patrons who can’t wait to do the dirty before they get home, so they step out the back door for a quickie. Actually. It’s more like watching a comedy show than porn. Usually they are either so drunk, stoned or old, that if you blink, you miss it all anyway. I didn’t go there often...

My favorite alley was behind the Slick Stick Pool and Lounge. Now they didn’t need a lock on their dumpster. They broke all the empty beer and liquor bottles as they threw them away. The locals couldn’t get the bottles out to drain the last few drops with out turning their hands into hamburger like, bloody stumps from the broken glass. But I had a friend, Old Buddy that worked there. He carefully placed a bottle of JD with about two inches of fire water left in it in the front corner of the dumpster.

Once a week I would hunker down in a recessed doorway a little ways from the joint and well hidden in the shadows. Then I’d drink the nasty shit straight down before someone bigger than me sniffed it out and took it away. Soon enough, I would just slip off into a nice little slumber, well insulated from the elements by my burning throat and warm belly.

It was on such a night that it happened. I had been dozing for a bit. I could tell because the fire in my gut had diminished and I was stiff from the cold door stoop I was sitting on. Something had woke me up. There, over by the dumpster was Turnip. We called her that because that’s how her hair looked, all twisted up in a knot and sticking straight up. She was going through the broken glass in the dumpster to see if she could salvage an unbroken bottle.

As I watched, someone came out of the back of the Slick Stick, surprising her. It was my friend. Old Buddy was about seven feet tall and made Turnip look like a midget. Actually, now that I think about it, he didn’t look quite as big as he normally did. He almost looked a little deflated, like he was sick or something.

He grabbed Turnip by the hair before she could run away. He was yelling at her, telling her how dangerous it was in alleys late at night, and couldn’t she read the sign on the dumpster that said, “Danger, broken glass,” and aren’t you a cute little thing Pumpkin!

I kind of snickered a little at that. I had never looked at Turnip that way myself I guess. Then things went bad quick. Real bad. Old Buddy let go of Turnips hair and put his hands on each side of her head. He had her pushed up against the dumpster, and he kissed her. At least that’s what I thought at first. Then she started in with a mumbling scream sort of gurgling noise like nothing I had ever heard.

Old Buddy pulled away from her and his face and Turnips was dripping with blood. Turnip was gagging and trying to scream but nothing came out but a bubbling, choking sound. Old Buddy had eaten her tongue right out of her mouth. Then it got worse.

Old Buddy shoved his finger into her eye and popped it out like he’d done it a hundred times. He pulled it loose from her face and flicked it into the air like you would a piece of popcorn, tipped his head back and caught it in his mouth. I heard him say, “Lovely eyes,” as he munched it down.

Then came the most awful part. The Old Buddy wasn’t through with her yet. He placed his mouth over the empty eye socket and started sucking. Slurping and sucking her brains out. He grew bigger as he did this, I could actually see it happening. He was sucking the life out of poor Turnip. Three or four inches taller at least, that’s how much bigger he got. Finally, he was done and let Turnips empty body fall to the pavement. He looked at the blood every where and chuckled, “Oops, I made a mess!”

Then he straightened out and stretched his body, reaching to the sky. His body glowed. His eyes glowed! Then he seemed to shed his skin, and with it, all the blood and gore fell away, even from his clothing. It all turned to dust and was carried away in the cool breeze drifting down the alley. He picked Turnip up and threw her in the dumpster.

Then he looked right at me and pointing to a sign on the wall said, “No Littering! Says so right there! I never litter.” And then he pointed to another sign that said ‘No loitering’. He swung his arm around pointing to me and said, “Better get the hell out of here, sign says ‘No Loitering’! GO NOW!”

I got gone all right. And I’ve never been back. I don’t know what the Old Buddy was, or where he came from. I had a bad moment a few days ago. Someone I never saw before was walking down the sidewalk, flipping a coin in the air, like you would a piece of popcorn if you were going to catch it in your mouth... and he was a big guy...

I read about poor old Turnip in a discarded paper a few days later. The headline read, “Empty headed homeless woman found in dumpster.” No one realized they were reporting accurately for once.


The following comments are for "Alley Oops!"
by The Hal

I had the feeling, somewhere in the middle of this, that the whole thing was going to end in a really really bad pun, a la Callahan's Crosstime Saloon. It was gruesome, and it was disturbing in a way, but it wasn't really horrific. An interesting little story.

( Posted by: Beckett Grey [Member] On: March 22, 2002 )

Eyes have it.
Trying to work the romance out of your system I see.

I like the little touches in this, such as the broken bottles and how turnip got her nickname. Those are the sort of things that add realism to a story.

So, I enjoyed it.



( Posted by: Richard Dani [Member] On: March 22, 2002 )

i couldn't resist the title...
I couldn't resist the title, knowing full well that i was most likely going to be feeling nauseous by the end of the story - and for the fact that i read it knowing that, i have to give it a 9.

you really can be incredibly gruesome when you want to be - the fact that we're lulled into reading about the character's various assortment of alleys, makes it all the more surprising - and in that more gruesome than it really is.... but gruesome enough to make my stomach turn.

Congratulations on drawing this fly into your disturbing and gruesome little web...

Ju =*_*=

( Posted by: De`esse [Member] On: March 24, 2002 )

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