No Rest for the Wicked
by Melissa R. Mendelson
Warning: This story is not suitable for all audiences, and may be triggering to some due to description of an attempted sexual assault
Since I returned, I’ve been haunted by these dreams. I hear a baby cry. I’m swimming through dark water, wandering down a crooked hallway, and I can’t turn around. I’m forced toward a glowing door, and on the other side, the baby cries. I try to open the door, but I can’t. I bang my fists against it, and I scream. And the baby cries louder, and red eyes appear behind me. Its claws slice down my back, and I fall apart. And the baby still cries.
Keeper sat up in the bed. She wiped the sweat off her forehead. She glanced outside the window, and the motel’s neon sign flashed against her face. Her face turned skeletal and then formed into a pile of molded flesh. She touched her skin, waiting for it to take its normal shape, but there was nothing normal about her. She knew what she was, but she would rather her days above than below.
Keeper walked over to a small table. She threw a black t-shirt over her head. She had to get rid of the last shirt because it was saturated in blood, and she liked that shirt. This shirt had a face of an angel, but the guy from that CW television show was no such thing. Cass had done terrible things, but he still got to visit heaven. She would never know such a place, but she liked the actor. So, she bought the shirt and burned her old one, and she threw on a pair of tight, ripped jeans. If these jobs were going to start ruining her clothes, she wanted reimbursement, but when she asked, her response was the angry, red scar on her arm, made by the same claws that had torn her apart in her dream.
“I hate this,” Keeper said to the empty room. “Are you here? Are you listening? I’m driving the damn body across this fucking country, and this country is still going to hell. So, what’s the point?” She waited for an answer, and a pair of red eyes flashed against the darkness. “What else do you want from me?”
Suddenly, there was a knock on the motel door. Keeper’s hands folded into fists. Was it the police? Did they know about the body in the trunk of her car? Did they know about her other crimes? Who the hell was knocking at such a late hour?
“Shit,” Keeper said as she opened the motel door.
“Greetings,” her neighbor responded as he held two beers in his hands. “Thought you could use a cold one.”
“I was sleeping,” Keeper snarled.
“Didn’t sound like you were sleeping. It sounded like you were talking to someone.” He peered past her and into the dark room.
“I was talking to myself, and I’m not thirsty. Thank you.”
“Come on. A young thing such as yourself would like a cold one.”
“I told you before, Kenny. I’m not open for business.”
“All you sweet things are open for business, so let me in. Let’s make use of that bed that you’re not using right now.”
“Kenny, you don’t want any of this. Trust me,” and Keeper tried to close the door.
“Yes, I do,” and Kenny stuck his foot into the doorway, preventing Keeper from closing the door. “Why do you have to be such a bitch?”
Keeper stared at the man before her. His eyes held an ugly stare, but it also had a glint of lust. His muscles bulged under his shirt, and she could smell the liquor and tobacco on his breath. This man was definitely what they called trash, but that would not stop him. He believed himself entitled, even when told no. But she had no patience for a flea such as him. “I am a bitch,” she said. “Now, get lost,” but Kenny kept his foot right where it was. “Are you sure that you want me?” Keeper’s face flashed against the neon light flooding into the room again, and he saw her face change. “I’m no sweet thing,” Keeper snarled.
“I must be high,” Kenny mumbled as he shook his head.
“So, sleep it off,” and Keeper tried to push the door closed.
A sinister laugh filled the room. They were here, watching her, enjoying the show. Maybe, they put Kenny up to it, but she would never know. And Kenny was a damn idiot, and she was trying to spare him. He just wouldn’t take the hint, but the door was finally shut. And a moment later, Kenny kicked it open, still holding the beers in his hands.
“I’m not done with you.” Kenny placed the beers on the floor. “Someone like you wouldn’t come to a motel like this, if you weren’t looking for some action. And I want to hear your honey slick voice scream.”
“You do not want to hear me scream,” Keeper snapped at him. “Last warning.”
“I’m not going anywhere, little girl.” Kenny started to unbuckle his pants.
“You really do not want to touch me.”
“Why’s that,” and Kenny licked his lips.
“Because you won’t like how I taste. Now, I’m trying to do you a favor here,” and Keeper watched Kenny drop his pants. “And it’s not a small favor like your package there.”
“Oh, a dick joke. You’re funny. Hey, it’s not the size that counts. It’s how you use it,” and Kenny kicked his pants off. “And I’m gonna use it on you, and we’re going to break that bed.”
“You’re going to break something.” Keeper stepped back, bumping into the bed. Part of her wanted to give in. That’s what they were hoping for, and she could use some excitement. She was tired of the terror, the dreams, the waiting, and even the driving, but she didn’t want to go back. She wouldn’t go back, and she watched the red eyes flash behind Kenny. He was such a poor fool, and maybe he deserved it. But she didn’t have the heart to be the one to do it. She hated herself for what she did to the sheriff and waitress, so why did it have to be her?
“Last chance, little girl,” and again, Kenny licked his lips.
“Get out of my room,” Keeper screamed at him, and her scream was almost that of a banshee. She even heard the window behind her crack, and she watched Kenny fall to his knees. “Get away from me, you stupid, dumb fucking shit!”
Kenny staggered to his feet. “You got quite the scream there. I would love to make you scream harder.” He watched the neon sign’s light fill the room, and Keeper’s face change. “What the hell are you?”
“Hell is a good word. Now, get out.”
“No, you’re just a little girl, a little girl that needs some manners taught to her.”
“Did your mother drop you on your head?”
“Don’t talk about my mother,” and Kenny grabbed her by the arms.
“You stupid dumb shit,” and Keeper watched him crumble to his knees. “I told you to not touch me.” She could feel his body run ice cold. “You wanted to fuck me?” She pressed her lips against his, and Kenny’s body shook violently.
“You taste like… Like…”
“Like Brimstone,” and Keeper pushed Kenny back against the floor. “I would love to fuck your brains out now because it doesn’t matter, Kenny. You just damned yourself.”
Keeper stepped over Kenny and walked back to the table. She sifted through her things until she found a pack of cigarettes. She sat on the wobbly chair and placed the cigarette between her lips. She leaned forward, locking eyes with Kenny, and she lifted her right index finger into the air. The butt of the cigarette brushed against her finger and lit up, and the white cigarette blackened. Its ash fell to the floor, burning the carpeting, and she took her foot and crushed the fire out.
“Are you a demon?”
“No. You don’t want to meet one of those. Now, put your damn pants on,” and Keeper continued to smoke her cigarette. “Tell me, Kenny,” and she leaned back against the chair. “How many girls?”
Kenny slowly put his pants on. He was still ice cold, and he would never be warm again, no matter how many girls he fucked. And he would soon feel that absence, which would grow inside of him until nothing else was left, and she thought of the sheriff. She flinched, hating herself more. Kenny deserved it. The other guy didn’t, and she tried to warn him. But he just did not listen. Neither did Kenny.
“I asked you a question, Kenny. How many girls?”
“How many girls what?” He kept his back toward her.
“It’s a little too late to be afraid of me. How many girls did you rape?”
“How could you possibly know that?” Kenny turned toward her, and Keeper smiled at the fear in his eyes. “You don’t know me.”
“Oh, Kenny boy. The moment that you touched me, I knew everything about you, and I saw what you did. And I don’t feel guilty about where you’re going.”
“How did you get out?”
“That’s another story for another time,” and Keeper crushed the cigarette out against the table. “You didn’t leave too many of those girls alive, and the ones that you did… I feel sorry for them, but I don’t feel sorry for you. You have no idea what they are going to do to you down there.”
“I’m not going down there. I’m going to heaven. I believe in God, and he will save me.”
Keeper burst out laughing, and it was almost as ugly as a demon’s laugh. “Look at this guy on my shirt. Face of an angel, but he’s no saint. Neither are you, and if he were real, he would drag your sorry ass down to hell himself.”
“Fuck you, you crazy bitch. There’s no such thing as demons.”
“Then, don’t look behind you.”
“Don’t turn around.”
Of course, Kenny did not listen like before. He turned around, but all he saw was darkness. Then, the darkness circled around and around, turning into a funnel cloud, and in the middle were a pair of red eyes. Two long claws extended from the sides and swiped at Kenny, barely missing him, and Kenny screamed, finally leaving the room.
“At least, he’s finally gone.” Keeper stared at the red eyes, and they refused to blink. “Did you enjoy the show?” Keeper heard its sinister laugh. “Add another one to your collection.”
Suddenly, the wall behind her burst into flames. The flames formed letters. Willow City. 5 p.m. The letters went up in smoke. Another mission. Another soul to condemn or return. If only they would let her rest, but they never did. But it was still better up here than down there, and Keeper gathered her things, shoving them into a worn backpack. She needed money and gas. She was running on fumes, and then she spied Kenny’s wallet lying near the door. For a piece of shit, he did carry a lot of cash around, but he would no longer need it. The money was hers, and she still did not feel sorry for him.
Suddenly, a car screeched from outside. It was near her motel room, and she could hear the ugly impact, chased by a woman’s scream. Someone had been run over by her car, and the woman was screaming for help. But it was too late. It was just too late to save that soul, and Keeper knew who it was. Nobody would miss him, and those girls that survived would celebrate his death. And Keeper picked up a beer and popped off the lid. She downed the cool liquid, and a silver cloud escaped from her mouth. Here’s to you, Kenny. If only you had listened, but she was glad that he didn’t. And she left the motel room.
I’ve been trying to remember why I was sentenced down there. Why would I go to such an awful place, but every time I try to remember, I hear a baby cry. That’s my only answer, and that cry haunts me in my sleep. I want answers. I want to open that door and see what waits on the other side, but the demons are keeping that door locked. They don’t want me to know. Are they afraid that once I do know, I will be free? Maybe then, I could go to heaven and be with the real angels? Something tells me that I’m wrong. Something tells me that I will go back down, but I will fight like hell to stay up here, even if it means that I will never know peace. But there is no rest for those wicked.