Chapter 8: The End
Bill sped down the highway with the unconscious, eye-lidless and slightly burned body of Janet in his back seat. He seemed not to notice or to care whether she heard him as he babbled monotonously to her silent form. "How're ya doing? Getting better? I hope so. ... had a big milestone in my life last night. Finally had sex with a man-- a black transvestite picked me up at Chester Street and we spent the night at my house. Glad I did it... don't know if I want to make a habit of it though. The only bad thing is he left these huge, dark hickeys all over my neck! A little embarrassing. I'm still trying to decide who to tell the truth to about the hickeys.... I've told Greg and Michelle but I'm thinking if my office mates ask I'll just say something like `I don't kiss and tell!'
"Get better my dear! You can't die yet!
"It was different. It wasn't exactly what I had expected in most ways, either. I'm not sure exactly what I did expect... I had always wondered if the problem I have ejaculating was a result of actually being queer and simply not being turned on as much by women as I would be if I were with a man, or at least something along those lines. Now I know-- that's not it. I still had a lot of trouble ejaculating, and not only that but it was somewhat difficult to keep my erection at times. I've never had that problem with a woman - very very rarely at least. I guess it's the pheromones or something, but I definitely prefer sex with women. It was also scary in that I'm a little worried about disease. I probably don't have anything to worry about, since I didn't come into contact with any blood or semen, but it's still a slight source of anxiety. I'm sure in a couple of days I'll get over it. I'm glad I finally got a little bit of first-hand knowledge about gay sex though. I'd always wondered what a cock tasted and felt like, what anal sex felt like for each partner...
"I liked receiving anal sex but didn't get much of it. Being the active partner was OK in that respect but it wasn't nearly as good as straight sex, although the condom might have had something to do with that. Also, this guy was really too skinny... I guess to be a successful drag queen you sort of need to be.... but when we were having sex it was painful because of how bony he was. He really knew how to give great head though... I guess lots of practice as well as having a penis himself helped give him a talent which is probably unattainable to 99% of women. I think the best thing about his oral ability for me was he didn't stop after five minutes and complain that his jaw hurt... maybe he's used to bigger dicks than most women are familiar with.
"I'm glad I spent the night with him, though, since I've wanted to for so long... I can finally say I know what it's like. I guess now I'm going to start looking for a person to share the rest of my life with. On a personal note, I now consider myself to be a bisexual.
"Hmmm... not much else to say. Get better soon, dearie! I have too hard of a time trying to keep the conversation going all by myself.... I need your divinely inspired repartee to keep the ideas flowing! Take care of yourself. I mean it."
Bill pulled into the driveway of Janet's family home, accidentally running down the old man who was collecting his mail there. He parked his car in the garage. He carried Janet carefully into the house and put her in her father's bed. Then he went back outdoors and dumped the mangled corpse into his backseat. "There," he said. "That'll work." He took the mail out of the corpse's hands and went into the house to read the paper.
"Hey! Janet!" he called. "We made the Tribune!"
Seven Die in Housefire
An electrical accident is believed to have caused a housefire in the Indian Hill neighborhood of Eagle Hills last night. Neighbors told firefighters that they heard an explosion and saw a huge funnel of smoke swirling, tornado like, above the Benson residence. By morning all that remained of the residence at 37 Pottowattomie Circle were smoldering heaps of ruin and a ghostly scorched refrigerator.
According to Deputy Chief Doyle, one witness reported seeing two persons escape just before the building collapsed.
Fire officials believe the blaze was caused by faulty insulation in musical recording equipment found in the basement.
Confirmed dead are all five members of the Benson family: Father, mother, and three teenaged children. The recording equipment is believed to have been the property of older son Ben, two of whose friends were also lost in the fire. John Francis Christ and Robert Sullivan, both of Eagle Hills, were, with Benson, members of the band Big Poo Generator.
Also missing are Bill Harris, a student, and Dr. Janet Dawson, a staff member of Eagle Hills High School's suicide prevention team.
"I'm so tired. Bill, please, can't I rest?"
"Just a few more pages, Janet. Our story has to be told. The world has to know. Rikki Rockett didn't die. He lives on. It's up to us to make him famous."
"Bill, please. I've been dictating for hours. I'm exhausted. I have such pain. Look at me. I'm going to die, Bill. My eyes won't stop bleeding. My arm is broken. I can feel the bone sticking out here... I think I'm going blind and these burns are getting septic. I'm a trained observer, I can tell. I need to be in the hospital. We'll never make Rikki Rockett famous if I die."
"You'll live as long as you need to. Believe me, I know. Now, just another half an hour and then I'll let you rest."
"All right. Where was I?"
Bill quoted back: "`I've been so stupid. It's Ben and Rob and John who aren't real. And me. I'm not real either. I thought I was real. I act real. I look real.' Janet turned back to her seatmate, not noticing that the woman was gone. `Don't you think I'm real?'
"There was no response.
"`I'm not, though. Oh, well. So what.' That's where you blacked out. Now, what happens next?"
I can see it all clearly now. Bill is trying to annoy me. He keeps poking me with things and saying, "Does this annoy you? How about this?" Bill falls on me, shoves his jeans to his knees, spreads me cruelly. I cry out as he enters me again. It's all so obvious. Everything is proceeding according to plan. The sun is sinking slowly. The end of the longest day of the year. And the end of me, too. How appropriate. Oh, well. Here today, gone tomorrow.
"Janet? Janet! How does it come out? Janet? What happens at the end? I don't know what to do! Janet? Wake up! Janet! Help me, Janet! Janet, he doesn't want me any more. He says he's going to fuck me up the ass. He says I want it. He says I ASKED for it! Janet, help me! I don't want to want it! He says I'm afraid of change! Jesus, Janet, he's trying to fuck me up the ass!" Bill gathered the manuscript of Janet's tale and stuffed it, along with the digital master for Eschaton, into the seat of his boxers.
"Ha! He won't fuck me there! He won't fuck his own story! Haha! I fooled you! Janet! Let's get outta here! Let me help you! You can go to the hospital now! Come on! Let's go. Get up. Well, here, let me help you up."
Bill carried the rapidly stiffening Janet to his car and propped her in the front seat, carefully fastening her safety belt. He drove aimlessly for what seemed like hours, and maybe it was, because he finally found himself at Central DuBose Hospital. He parked his car by the emergency entrance and hurried in to get help for his old friend, who was in fact looking very poorly.
"Lurleen, I've never seen anything like it. Poor Janet, she must have suffered terribly. She was literally broken and rotted away. As for that thing in the backseat - ! I don't even like to think about it. I worked in the Cook County ER for five years when I got out of nursing school, and I saw some pretty amazing things, but never anything like this.
"And Bill. He used to be such a nice boy. I remember Janet talking about him, about how annoying he was. Well, you've seen him. I didn't think one human body could harbor that many venereal diseases and still survive. Have you settled him down yet? He started that twirling as soon as we stripped him. That's when I found the manuscript. Losing that manuscript made him frantic. It took the entire Security staff to hold him down and put a gown on him - he would have run stark naked up the halls if we'd let him.
"He is? Even after all that Thorazine? Boy, he sure has alot of energy for such a sick person. Does he still think Rikki Rockett is trying to sodomize him? I wonder if he'd be eligible for ECT. There isn't much left to calm him, now that they don't do lobotomies any more. That's one of the strangest delusional systems I've ever heard.
"Yes, I've skimmed it. I knew Janet was in over her head with those boys, but I had no idea how far gone she was. I think if it were up to me, I'd burn the whole thing. But Janet obviously wrote it because it was important to her, so I felt like I had a moral obligation to publish it. I can't imagine how many hours of loving labor must have gone into this. It made me sick to see that boy treat it like toilet paper.
"Yes, It was easy finding a publisher. It's a shame we can't locate her family. Dirk could put those kids through college on the money they're offering for the book and this tape. I don't understand it myself. I listened to it. It wasn't bad at all. Kind of funny, actually. I didn't really like that song about the turtle very much. Especially the scream at the end, although my daughter, who has perfect pitch, says it was an immaculate Bb. I don't know. It kind of gave me the creeps. But I'm probably biased. I like country music.
"I'll put the money in trust in case they ever show up. But I have a feeling that something awful has happened to them, too. It seems everyone associated with that band has had a tragedy. Funny, isn't it? That something as pointless and stupid as a high school rock band like Big Poo Generator could be the focus of such awful things."For what is a man profited if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?