The sharp knife slid in easily and bottomed out when it reached
the spine. The pink edges of the exposed tissue oozed small amounts
of subcutaneous blood on either side of the blade.
Gripping the knife with both hands, he pulled it slowly down
the body, slicing through the right lobe of the liver, through
the stomach, the omentum and down into the transverse colon and
then into the small intestine.
The stench from the opened body cavity quickly became unbearable
as the intestines were sliced and the foul contents spread into
the body. He jerked his head away from the body; had he anything
in his stomach, he would have lost it then. He released his hold
on the knife, leaving it stuck grotesquely in the body, and surveyed
He knew that he was going to have to put his hand inside and
dig around until he located the condoms, and at this point, he
flinched and gagged.
No fuckin' way! he thought. Then he remembered the
gloves hed seen in the cabinet and opened the drawer and
retrieved a pair.
Pulling the gloves over his already blood-slick fingers and onto
his hands, he took a deep breath and removed the knife, and thinking
he might need it later, slid it between his belt and the back
of his pants, and then without any more thought, stuck his hand
inside and began digging through the vile contents for his salvation.
As he slipped his hand inside, he was surprised to find that
it was still warm. Small wisps of white condensation from the
open wound wafted into the cold air of the storage room as he
ran his hand further and further inside the ruined body.
He felt something round and full and with a laugh of triumph
pulled it from the body. He hadnt found one of the condoms,
but rather a glistening, slimy strand of gut that once he dropped
it in shock and disbelief began to follow itself out of the body
and gather in a stinking pile at his feet.
He was revolted beyond belief, but the Need was too great to
let this disgusting event stand in his way. He side kicked the
gut pile out of the way with his ragged, filthy sneakers, stepped
to the gurney and stuck his hand back inside.
* * *
SS sat in his car at the end of the block, sipping champagne,
and surveyed the newest addition to his ever-expanding drug empire
with satisfaction. This hit had proved to be so easy that it made
all the planning that went into it seem superfluous.
His men had been dispatched to hunt down any of Bishops
boys that still foolishly remained in the area and, if found,
were to be offered a quick and relatively painless death, unless
his conditions for their continued survival were met to the letter.
SS, despite his ruthlessness and lack of formal education, was
an astute businessman and knew that in the drug trade, as in most
other businesses, loyalty was subject to the whim of whoever was
willing to pay the most for it. Most of his crew had been with
him from the start, and these men, he trusted explicitly. The
rest of them had been hired because they carried a good, solid
street reputation and were willing to do whatever was ordered
of them without a seconds thought or hesitation.
He demanded complete and absolute loyalty with no exceptions.
Failure for his men to carry out a mission was regarded as a weakness
in himself to others, and he couldnt afford to ever be thought
of as weak. It would inevitably leave the door open for attack
from both within his organization and from the outside.
With that in mind, he took another sip from his celebratory glass
of champagne and told his most trusted lieutenant his plan.
* * *
The stench rising from the steaming pile of offal at his feet
and the opened body on the gurney was almost more than he could
bare, but Reggie felt that he was close, so close to finding Bishops
stash. It was his chance to relieve the pain that the Need was
inflicting upon his body and mind in ever increasing bands of
After what he had already reduced himself to becoming, with the
desecration of a fellow human being, mattered not a whit to him.
He had no conscience left and perhaps never had one, but Bishop
by now had been rendered to be nothing more than an end to a means.
The drugs were the ends and the drugs were the means
his salvation. There was nothing else in his mind, nothing at
* * *
The Need took over and Reggie attacked the body with a renewed
frenzy. He began to pull and tear at the opening, yanking the
organs, tissues and sundry gobbets of flesh and gore from the
body cavity and tossing them disdainfully to the floor.
Every few moments he would fall to his knees, slipping, sliding
and scrambling through the stinking mess. Touching, squeezing
and examining each and every morsel, with nothing ever escaping
the Need's view.
With the last scoop of gore from the body, he found the treasure
A cry of pure pleasure and ecstasy ripped unbridled from his
throat and echoed off the steel walls of the room.
He held his prize aloft, as he sank to his knees and looked up
at it. All that he had ever been and wanted to be was reduced
to this moment in time. Three bloody rubber condoms full of pure
Mexican Brown heroin were grasped tightly in his fist; and now
now they were his.
* * *
Reggie looked around the room in a daze and shook his head. His
friend, the only true friend hed ever had, lay on the gurney
with his body ripped apart. He walked closer and saw that Bishops
facial expression had not changed one iota from when he had first
entered the room and found him under the sheet.
He couldnt remember doing this carnage. He remembered coming
here to the morgue and why. He remembered finding Bishop in this
room. He remembered
something, but this
this was beyond
It was when he lifted his arm and drew the back of his hand across
his eyes, clearing blood and gore from his view, and looked at
the floor in front of him littered with the remains of his friend,
that he remembered what had occurred, and looked in his other
The Need, without warning, slammed into his brain and knocked
him to his knees. The air was sucked from his lungs and he struggled
to draw a breath of even the fetid fumes in the room without success.
His eyes rolled upwards, leaving the lids quivering. His muscles
began to cramp and contract, jerking him to the floor amongst
the stinking offal, and the back of his head slammed into the
hard, concrete floor.
As quickly as it started, it stopped, leaving him incapacitated
on the floor until he was able to gather enough strength to sit
The drugs were still gripped tightly in his hand. They were his
drugs now, his alone, and as he looked around the room at the
enormity of what he had done, he realized that he had to get away
from there before someone returned and he was caught.
He knew he couldnt take the time to get a fix now. As much
as he wanted to, it wouldnt be possible. He couldnt
go on the nod now, not here. He would have to be strong. The Need
would have to wait. He had to keep it away from his mind until
he was back on his own turf, safe, and he could pick and choose
when and where he decided to shoot up. The mere thought of it
gave him shivers of anticipation.
He retraced his steps down the long, darkened hallway towards
the front door, stopping every few seconds to look and listen,
and when he heard nothing out of the ordinary, would continue.
As he rounded the last corner, the double steel front doors with
the dim light above them were just ahead and he breathed a sigh
of relief and hurried towards them.
He could feel the Need behind his eyeballs, pressing against
his skull, begging, pleading to be let out. Demanding to be put
in charge, because the Need knew things that he had no way of
Pushing the door open a few inches, he put his eye to the small
crack and looked out into the darkened parking lot. It was still
empty as when he had arrived, as far as he could tell. He started
to push the door the rest of the way open and remembered the drugs
clutched in his hand.
He couldnt go outside like this. Never mind that he was
covered from head to foot with bloody slime and chunks of gore
and smelled like a corpse. He had to do something with the condoms
hide them until he got away from here.
He returned to the small storage room he had first hidden in,
and retrieved a blue towel from one of the shelves. He spread
it out on the floor and carefully rolled the condoms inside. It
was too bulky to try and put in his back pocket, so, with no other
options, he stuffed it down the front of his pants, into his tattered
underwear, giving the appearance of a seventeenth-century man
with an enormous codpiece in place.
He pushed the front door open and looked again. Seeing nothing
in the lot, he stepped outside and let the door snick closed behind
him. The dim light above his head blinked twice and went out,
leaving the front of the building dark.
He stood in front of the door, allowing his eyes to adjust to
the darkness for a moment and then stepped towards the shrubbery
at the side of the building.
I done it! he thought smugly, and pushed the
bushes away from his face as he slipped between them and the side
of the building. I really done it an got away wit it
The shrubbery made a right-angled turn at the edge of the building,
away from the direction that he wanted to go. He parted the dense
growth and worked his way through, coming out onto a small clearing
of freshly mown grass.
Two bright lights, thirty feet distant, burst into incandescent
brilliance and blinded him, freezing him to the spot. He put his
arm in front of his eyes to shield them, but it was too late.
His night vision was ruined, and he was at the mercy of whoever
was behind the lights.
* * *
He heard a door open and then softly close. The sound of hard
leather soles slapping against the hardtop, came to a stop just
behind the lights. Two more doors opened and then slammed shut.
Two shadow figures took up positions on either side of him, but
stayed back in the darkness outside of the light.
The Need broke free of the flimsy mental restraints and took
control of his body. The fight or flight instinct kicked in and
adrenaline poured into his system. His heart began to pound wildly
in his frail chest until it felt like a steel drum at a reggae
festival. His breathing came out in great gasps as he hyperventilated
his lungs, preparing for the next move.
He heard the unmistakable sound of metal against metal, as the
charging bolt of an automatic weapon was pulled back and allowed
to slam forward. He saw the shadow figure on his left shift his
stance and dip into a slight crouch.
He was scared. Hed never been this fucking scared in his
life, but the Need was in charge now, and at this juncture, he
was just along for the ride.
* * *
SS watched impassively from the comfortable back seat of his
car as Reggie crept out of the morgue and turned towards the shrubbery.
He knew that the man in question was living on borrowed time.
He had served his purpose and had acted exactly as he had predicted
He knew of the special relationship that existed between Reggie
and the late, great Bishop. He knew that a deal had gone down
from his far-reaching network of street snitches, and that a quarter-million
dollars worth of heroin was up for grabs.
The problem was that he didnt know what Bishop had done
to get rid of the drugs. He did know that it never hit the streets,
because he didnt have the time to distribute it to his boys
before he was hit. He had to have done something else, something
totally different and completely unexpected
but what could
he have done?
Bishop was anything but stupid; he knew that. He must have had
a plan to save his ass and the drugs if he could. Hed had
to know that he was being hunted, because that was common street
knowledge in this business when you sat on a fortune of drugs.
His mistake was in thinking that all his avenues were covered.
Hed been wrong
dead wrong, and it had cost him his
Now it was just a matter of tying up a few loose ends.
Hed had one of his men follow Reggie after Bishops
body was removed from the scene, and wasnt disappointed
to discover that hed headed for the morgue at a frantic
pace... But why?
It all began to fall into place after he thought on it for a
while. Bishop must have been so desperate and afraid that he turned
himself into his own mule and swallowed his stash.
Reggie must have known about this somehow, and as pathetic as
the little man was, decided to help himself to the spoils.
The trap had been set as soon as Reggie had walked inside the
Hed posted men at several positions around the building
with instructions to notify him in the event of any activity.
He didnt want anything to interrupt the natural chain of
events that had to be playing in Reggies mind as he searched
for what he so desperately sought.
SS smiled as he thought of Reggie, inside the morgue, doing all
the work for him. All the nasty, dirty work that might be involved
to recover Bishops drugs
his drugs now. He took a
last drink of champagne and then turned to watch the scene playing
out before him.
* * *
Faced with certain death at any moment and having weighed the
options he had at his disposal, the Need in Reggie acted unexpectedly
and completely out of character.
With a primal scream, he put his head down and charged the bright
lights, but after only a few steps, threw himself to the ground
The two gunmen on either side of him reacted badly, and caught
off guard, brought their weapons to bear on where he had been,
and in a vain attempt to hit the small junkie, opened fire on
each other. Milliseconds later, both men were lying on the pavement
with blood pouring from multiple wounds.
The Need sensed fear and indecision emanating from the man standing
beside the bright lights and used it to his advantage. It saw
the man reach into his coat and attempt to draw a pistol from
his shoulder holster. It saw his dark eyes dart back and forth
from the downed gunmen, to the rolling body on the ground in front
of him and it knew what he was going to do next.
The mans street training kicked in at that moment. It was
kill or be killed as far as he was concerned, and he drew his
weapon. He trained it on the rolling body on the ground in front
of him and pulled the trigger five times in quick succession.
The deep throated, deadly noise of the pistol split the night.
The muzzle flash illuminated the area briefly with each explosion
and painted a stop-action animation.
The Need stopped Reggies wild roll instantly. The bullets
slammed into the ground in front of him harmlessly, kicking up
large chunks of dirt and grass where he would have been.
Before the man could react again, the Need rolled under the bright
lights and found itself under the engine of a large car. It crawled
out from behind the front wheel and stood up behind the large
man, reached behind its back and drew the long, sharp knife from
its hiding place, and slid the razor-sharp blade across the exposed
Gouts of blood and pink, frothy bubbles spurted from the ruined
neck of the man in front of the Need as the man tried vainly to
staunch the flow of life from his body. His hands beat uselessly
at the torn tissue and his lungs heaved in an attempt to suck
life-sustaining air through the severed trachea in his neck.
He dropped to his knees, his eyes rolled upward and as he looked
over his shoulder at his attacker with a surprised look on his
face and a grunt of pain, fell forward and landed on his face.
* * *
SS watched from his car as his carefully laid plans collapsed
and fell into the shit heap. His closest guards, the men he had
entrusted with his life, had been killed or rendered useless by
the worthless little junkie in a matter of minutes.
What the fuck is happening? he wondered, struck
dumb, as he watched his lieutenants face slam into the pavement.
He rubbed his hands across the window glass and tried to clear
the imagined imperfection that must be there for him to have seen
what happened. How is this fucking possible?
He sat back heavily into his seat and shuddered. He had grossly
underestimated his prey this time. Somehow, the little fucker
had grabbed himself by the shoestrings and grown a healthy set
of balls. A big fucking pair of balls, and because of that, he
was beginning to feel uncomfortable.
He wasnt used to this. His authority had never been challenged
like it was now. He had faced down others in the past and had
come out on top. He was SS. Feared by all, and he was invincible.
No one could ever step on him and squash him out of existence.
* * *
The Need was breathing heavily, as the man fell at his feet and
bled out on the street in front of him. It thought nothing of
his death; just the cost of business, as it was.
It sensed movement in the vehicle and backed up past the rear
window and placed its bloody hand on the door handle and tested
the lock. A sharp tug of almost superhuman strength jerked the
car's body on the springs and elicited a sharp scream from inside.
The Need was growing stronger by the moment, feeding off the
torment of its victims and the victims to come. It had been released
through fear and there was no stopping it now.
* * *
SS didnt know whether to shit or go blind. Real fear gripped
his guts with a steel fist and tightened his throat, his breaths
ripping from his chest in great, gasping explosions of air. He
reached into his jacket and removed the Desert Eagle automatic
pistol from the shoulder holster and jacked a round into the chamber.
This shit was going to stop
now! He aimed the weapon at
the darkened window and waited until he felt the car shake violently
once more and then fired through the glass at the shadow outside.
The high-velocity round blew the window into a thousand small
chunks of safety glass that fell both in and outside of the vehicle.
SS felt the glass blow back and pepper his face, but ignored
the pain. He was much more concerned about the junkie and his
present whereabouts than a few small cuts on his face. He leaned
forward as far as his immense belly allowed and peered expectantly
out the shattered window hoping to see him lying on the street
with a bullet in his head.
No such luck. There was nothing there except his dead men and
a stillness that was quickly becoming eerie. He jerked his head
to the right and looked out the other rear window, but saw nothing.
He wanted to leave, to assess this situation from another vantage
point, but that was out of the question now. His driver lay dead
on the lot and he couldnt get behind the wheel because of
his size. He picked up his cell phone and fumbled with the small
buttons, finally managing to speed dial for help.
He was stranded. Alone. Help might be on the way, but by the
time they arrived, it might be too late. Right now, it was just
he and the bastard junkie, wherever he was. He gripped the heavy
pistol tighter in his hand and opened the door of the car.
* * *