by richard ellis


It started as opportunism, capitalizing on another’s mistake.

Not the most decent way to go, but there had been a rough go of it for the past eight months, and I was looking bad. I weighed the day’s options, my back to the wall. The options didn’t look too good. The best one was to keep leaning against the bricks and trying to come up with better options. A passer-by dropped a dollar bill at my feet without any other gesture or eye contact. But it was deliberate. I saw the intent in his action. Sometimes it happens. A dollar?

I took my new found wealth, all I had, to the nearest convenience store. There wasn’t much I could buy. A bag of little chips, more than a dollar. Pre-made white bread sandwiches, ten cents over my allowance. A can, one twelve ounce can of Miller Genuine Draft, however, was only eighty-five cents plus the CA nickel deposit, plus seven cents tax. Still under a buck. I went for the can.

The cashier counted back change to one of two young women. Both the women had long ashen hair and legs that reminded me of how long since I had pressed my cheek to the inside of one. They also made me realize how far from them I truly was, standing there in dirty crazy tatters clutching my single can of beer and dollar. Soon they were done and gone. A soft scent lingered around me in their wake. I took the moment to enjoy it. The cashier, a fat Puerto Rican kid stuffed into his tight blue corporate vest, took my beer, bleeped it with his hand held laser, took my dollar and counted me back my change: “three pennies, a ten, five, and four ones make twenty. Thanks.”

“Yeah,” I said. For too long I stood in front of him, dumbly stunned. He looked curiously at me. My heart began to pound. Shit! He realizes. You idiot! Do something.

“Anything else?” he asked. It wasn’t curiosity with which he looked at me, but annoyance. The fat boy wanted me out of his space. I wanted to oblige.

“A sack. Paper sack,” I said. He grabbed a long paper bag, the type for a bottle of wine, from behind him and handed it to me. “Thanks,” I added and walked out with my beer in the bag, and nineteen dollars and three cents in my pocket. My heart’s rapid hammering eased up as I turned the corner to another street. It completely abated after I cracked open the Miller and let the first cool splash slip down to my empty stomach. Glory be, sometimes, at a moment like that, I could almost believe in God and all sorts of miracles and other crazy shit. From nothing to drink and nineteen dollars.

“Nineteen dollars?” I wondered. What to do? I picked a bar without any front windows or exterior markings.

“What’s the cheapest?”

“ Budweiser,” answered the old man behind the bar. He looked upon me gently as ash from his cigarette fell and tumbled down his Hawaiian print shirt.

“It’s a buck fifty.”

“I’ll have a Bud,” I said pulling two singles from my hip pocket and sliding them across the wood bartop into a little puddle of whisky. The bartender moved youthfully for his age. He snapped the beer up out of the ice and fluidly snapped the cap off on a bottle opener somewhere under the bar. He set it down in front of me. A white froth dome delicately burgeoned forth from the brown glass neck. I sucked it off the top. When he brought the two quarters in change back, I pushed them towards him.

“Thanks,” he said, swiping up the quarters and tapping them twice (tick, tick) on the bartop. They got tossed into a fishbowl he had for tips.
There were three others in the bar. It wasn’t yet noon. There was a businessman with a whisky on ice and cell phone parked in front of him. He’d pick up the phone, put it down, pick up the whisky, sip a tiny sip, pick up the phone then put them both back down. Another man, black, gray thinned out hair and cauliflower rose nose, sat alone near the television that was mounted to the wall behind the bar. The t.v. was turned down all the way. Some drama with Audey Murphy was unfolding aboard a ship in the Pacific.

“ What do you got there? Any Fritos?” asked the old drunk.

“ Nope,” answered the barkeep, “I have one Doritos and a whole mess of Cheetos, but no Fritos.”

“Are there any behind those bags, towards the back?”

The bartender turned the wire rack holding the snacks around to reveal the hidden bags to the barfly. “See? Just a bunch of Cheetos.” With no further exchange they both fixed their eyes on the black and white WWII drama.

At a table near the back entrance sat the only woman. A disaster of a woman. I checked the legs wrapped in nylons, and not much to see. Her skirt hem was frayed dangling above her dirty black boots, revealing barely an inch of calf between hem and haw. A heavy green jacket hid her floral pattern blouse. Lipstick was smeared thickly; dry spit formed a white crusty layer over the heavy red glossing. She smoked. Had a gap between her lower teeth as if designed as a rest for that Marlboro. Her eyes were deep, sunken and glassy and her skin jaundiced. It was like a piss stained snowman’s head with marble eyes jabbed too far in, three stooges’ style. I still had the women from my lucky convenience store in mind, and if I knew one thing, she wasn’t a day over seventy. I’ve never been a very good beggar, and a bad beggar definitely doesn’t want to be a chooser. In other words, she’d have to do. I moved on her, pulling up a chair.

She looked up from her empty glass, smoke listlessly drooling upwards from between her cracked stained teeth. Her tongue darted out like a bundle of sad night crawlers and sloppily moistened her lips. Tar stained fingers pushed the glass towards me, the last ice cube desperately melting away, she worked out a smile, winked and said, “I’ll paint your cock red for a vodka lime.”

If I had hesitated for a second, I would not have accepted such an offer. Without pause I hopped to, taking the glass to the bartender and ordering a vodka with Rose’s lime. I also ordered a shot of Jim and another beer for myself. Before returning I took the shot and washed it down with half the Bud. With the bottle of beer, vodka lime and nine dollars and three cents, I returned to the table. As I was setting the drink down her claw of a hand came out, hooked the glass out of mine and the whole concoction was drained before my eyes. I stood holding my beer in front of me, unsure of what to do.

“ Come on,” she said, standing and clomping out through the back door. Just before stepping out into the alley, I heard the businessman at the other end of the bar.

“That’s no deal! You fuck! You inexcusable jack-off!” I turned. His tiny dead face throbbed like a blinking stop signal. He looked like he wanted to crush the phone in his clenched fist. I went into the alley. The scent of human waste was pungent, almost burning.
She was already on her knees. “Just lean against the wall,” she croaked. Shit, I should have finished my beer at the very least. I put my back to the wall; she placed her hands on my hips and violently pushed me back.

“ You chose me!” she hissed. “You walked to my table of your own free will and left with me. You chose me.”

“Well, I left because you offered, but…” I said.

“Shhh,” she silenced me and started to stand. “I’m not a normal woman.”

Oh, Christ. This is great. It’s bad that I was so desperate for sexual contact as to go into a shit reeking alley with this thing, but worse if I had to endure some form of conversation to achieve that contact.

“ I know you’re no normal woman,” I reaffirmed.

“ What I am is a fairy, and fairies award those who are blind to other’s imperfections.”

“So I get an award?”

“You get three. Three wishes. Anything,” said the fairy whore.

“I thought genies gave wishes?”

“There’s no such thing as genies, Deary. You’re down on your luck. You have been for quite some time,” she said. I was getting irritated. I don’t enjoy being called “deary,” or any other term of affection, by crack whores who perform sexual favors for two dollar and fifty cent vodka drinks. Worse yet, her breath. I had to get her face away from mine. The longer I looked at her the lower the odds on erectile function. I set my hands on her shoulders and started working her back down onto her knees.

“Yeah, yeah. Real astute observance. Okay, first wish, shut up. Second wish, blow me. Third, get the fuck away from me. Now do it in that order!”
She spoke no word. She did it real well. She even got her tongue around to my asshole. I like that. I liked the texture of the brick wall on my ass. This bitch was expert. God, I stared down at her head and in pleasure’s intensity the dandruff in her greasy dark hair became stars on the rim of heaven. I dangled over the abyss of space, arched my back and shot strong until empty, but I still felt full. This was no hollow orgasm. It was the orgasm of true love. The crack fairy rose to her feet, smiled awkwardly at me as she wiped her mouth on the sleeve of her threadbare jacket.

“ Damn, you really know what you’re doing,” I said and she gave my balls a soft squeeze. She smiled into my eyes, and for that moment, I saw her as beautiful, as young, as the woman she may have been before the ravages of time and street. You gotta believe me. Then, she turned, and walked down the alley. I zipped up.

“Hey, if you want to go back in for another drink,” I said, but she didn’t turn, instead she threw off her green jacket, letting it fall to the garbage strewn alley. Then, the blouse came off. Then the wings unfurled. She beat them once, twice, more times. Each consecutive beat was stronger and stirred up more garbage until the alley was a wind tunnel, garbage flying everywhere. The wind she generated was throwing me off balance. Her clothes blew back at me. I was backed up against the wall for balance. Squinting against the flying debris, I watched her boots leave the black top. The boots turned there, in mid-air, until the steel toes pointed at me. I glanced up from her boots and saw she wasn’t the same woman at all. She was the beauty I saw in her smile. And then the smile came again. And then the alley filled with heat and light in an explosive flash. Shopkeepers came out of their stores’ back doors into the alley. They didn’t see me at first. What they saw first was the bloodied body of the crack whore. No wings. Also no coat or blouse. They saw me second, the blouse and coat at my feet.

My fairy tale went pretty much unheeded, and, yes, substantial traces of semen matching my own was found in her stomach contents. The DA had me plea to some sort of undefined manslaughter rather than first degree homicide, and I was handed a prison sentence of three years, four months in Tehachapi Maximum.

Out in the yard, guys from different blocks checked out the fresh meat from other blocks. I was fresh meat. My cellmate, who didn’t like me, said he was planning on pimping my ass out to the highest bidder. He said he was in good with a guard who would make it happen. Rather than call his bluff, I slept with a sharpened pencil under my pillow, and would imagine its path, plunging into the filthy rapist’s eye as I drifted off to sleep, but ultimately, it wasn’t the pencil jamming into an eye, but rather… I’d rather not recount that first time. After awhile the daily sodomizing became routine, and I was property. My man was really starting to like me too. I was a good observer and watched all sorts of shit go down in the yard and mess hall. I’d inform DeSoto, my man, of plots overheard and he’d sometimes get me chocolates, cigarettes, even alcohol, which helped me endure his rapings.

DeSoto was not gay. I know, he fucked my ass quite regularly, but still, on the inside, it didn’t make him a homosexual. On the inside of Tehachapi Maximum, life for the men followed the rules of Machismo. Basically it goes like this: if you’re giving, no matter what the sex you’re giving it to, it makes you more masculine, more heterosexual and testosteronely mighty, but if you receive, you’re a punk bitch, and generally lower on the food chain. For those on the receiving end of the field it didn’t matter if you were receiving by choice or force, you weren’t considered much of a man either way, but to receive by choice from one of the sad little faggots like myself, that would mean social disaster.

One day it happened. DeSoto’s biggest rival was Jerry, an old half ton of man. I always tried to stay politically neutral. It’d be stupid of me to be otherwise. Politics in prison meant fighting. Armed with nothing more than a fly swatter, I wouldn’t attack a Pitbull, mucus and bile dripping madly from its snarling soul, because it thought my lawn would be a good place for a rest stop on its insane trek along the heat scent trail. Even if that Pitbull was a Chihuahua, “Let it,” as the smug counter-culture preacher says, “be.” I have no use for even a swollen ankle in these jails filled with junkies, perverts and whores. So when Jerry approached me and wanted to suck my dick as part of a series of sweet favors to lure me away from DeSoto, I slapped it into his mouth. Arguing can mean death. This was the first time since the alley. The memory of which I was starting to disbelieve. As Jerry worked it, snorting and sniffling, I remembered looking down into the fairy whore’s dark hair and seeing the abyss and how it felt as if I was swinging over it, dangling at the end of my rope over dark infinity, attempting to fly to safety. As my mind filled with infinities, fairies and prison politics, Jerry made me come. A lot. I hosed down the big bastard’s throat and he screamed, real mad deathly terror.

In fear, I jumped back. He clutched psyche ward, headbanger crazy at his throat, gasping, desperate. I didn’t know what to do.

“ Help! Holy mother of God someone fucking help!” I cried out in distress. Two guards were immediately on the scene with a few prisoners in tow. They ate up the story with their eyes: Jerry spitting up white frothing vomit, my pants down, half limp prick dying on the vine in the open air. Whatever was happening to Jerry right then and there, his future as prison macho man was no more. Nobody wanted to touch Jerry. One of the guards put me in cuffs. More guards arrived, more than I had ever seen in one space. Enough for riot control. They discussed what they should do as Jerry writhed and spat up voluminous amounts of the off-white froth. He rolled around in agony, his mad vomit slick over his face, hair and clothes. It began to fully encase him. He was like an angry impotent bee getting the once over from a merciless spider. The guards corralled us back, but not away. None of them could take their eyes off this mess that had been one of the toughest guys in all Tehachapi Max. Jerry’s thrashing ended. Small amounts of noxious gleet still gurgled from his mouth like a too full infant spitting milk.

Everyone stared and did nothing. Awe was felt, and then more awe. Jerry started to rise, dazed. His body no longer seemed to fit him, and his hands fell off. A prisoner fainted at the sight. Then Jerry’s face dropped, then his whole body sagged away like a sandcastle in the surf. What remained was awesome. It was Jerry, standing before us, but smooth, thin, unwasted by the world’s indecency to him. He was young. Like twenty years younger.

Since then they’ve been feeding my semen to animals, first rabbits, but they died, then old monkeys who would get very young afterwards. So far it’s not too bad. I get to jerk off to Hustler or whatever, collect it in a little clear glass tube and that’s it. As long, they say, as I can pull one off at least three times a day then they won’t resort to mechanical extraction. What they’re doing is working out dosage. This is going to be for people eventually, and they’re trying to synthetically recreate it since they can’t patent my jism. They wanted to know everything that might have had something to do with this phenomenon. They wanted me to write it all down, honestly. I already gave the fairy tale in my statement for the police, but the psychiatrist told me that story was a means of displacing guilt from myself to the victim. That’s okay. The psychiatrist needs to believe that. Most people need to believe lies, but I’m through telling them. So here it is, the truth again, all written out as I saw it with my own two eyes, and that’s it baby. Every sperm is sacred. I tell you no lies.