Here at Sacred Chickens, we are going to be publishing the stories that won our writing contest over the next couple of days, and today we have our second place winner. Be sure to check them all out and happy reading!
Second Place: "Jolene" by Ethan Willis
(Please be advised that this story contains graphic language and sexual situations)
We thought a weekend at Hilton Head would be good for our marriage. We made the four hour drive for the most part in the cold silence we were accustomed to. He drove while I looked out the window or checked my phone, occasionally telling him to slow the hell down. He would say I was a nag. I would tell him he would get us both killed. Not that a small part of me wouldn’t have minded that.
We arrived on Friday before 11:00 in the morning. We had dipped into what savings we had for two nights at the grand Avalon Sands resort in a king suite with a balcony and oceanfront view. The lobby was rather extravagant, and the front desk manager told us our room was on the sixth floor and the pool, spa, restaurant, and bar hours. I had a sneaking suspicion I would need to take advantage of the latter later.
The hotel was pretty modern, but had some old-fashioned elements like a bellhop and elevator operator. When we got into our room, the bellhop set down our bags, and my husband tipped the young teenager generously. He thought I didn’t notice, but I saw his predatory stare at her backside as she left. Pig I thought, among other things, but my disgust was overpowered by my apathy toward him and my lack of surprise.
The room was a nice accommodation. There was a living area with a couch, loveseat, desk, coffee table, and television, a kitchenette, a bedroom with our king sized bed and another television, a bathroom with a spacious shower, and a balcony off the living area with a table, chairs, and a magnificent view of the beach. Chris flopped onto the couch and found ESPN while I unpacked our clothes. This weekend was off to a great start already.
After our suitcases were unpacked, Chris announced he was hungry and suggested we go down to the restaurant for lunch. I agreed with him, feeling a bit peckish myself. We went down to the hotel’s restaurant and were seated by the host. I got water, and Chris ordered a Bud Light. I never understood his taste for that wheat water. Our waiter came back with our drinks and took our lunch order. I ordered the tomato bisque, and Chris ordered the Angus burger. He always liked to constantly show off how masculine he was, as if a salad or grilled chicken or other “chick food,” as he would call it, would make his penis wither and fall off.
As we waited for our food, I glanced around the restaurant. There were a few older couples, a group of businessmen, a young couple that had the honeymoon cloud around them, and a redheaded woman sitting with her back to us at the bar. The bartender’s eyes met mine, and I looked back at the table. Chris and I made small talk about how nice the hotel was, but soon Chris started to complain about the amount of time our food was taking. I had to remind him we weren’t at McDonald’s. He grumbled something about bad service.
Our food arrived, and I quietly ate the rich and creamy bisque while Chris tore into the burger like he’d never been out in public before. He’d always been so polished while we were dating, but after the first year of marriage he became sloppy and animalistic in his eating. “I’m a man,” he would say. “This is how men eat.” It was disgusting and embarrassing, but I had given up on telling him to behave like a human. It was like talking to a brick wall. Not that he didn’t have the capacity, though.
We finished our meal and passed on dessert. The bill was brought, and Chris skimped on the tip, citing the time it took for our food to come out. I stealthily dropped a five dollar bill on the table when he wasn’t looking. We went back to our room, and a wave of tomato bisque-induced exhaustion hit me. I told him I was going to take a nap. He said that was fine and that he was going to watch TV. I went into the bedroom, closed the door, took off my bra, kicked off my shoes, and flopped onto the bed. The soft duvet, down pillows, and comfy mattress enveloped me in coziness, and I fell asleep almost immediately.
I dreamed I was back down in the hotel restaurant. The soft yellow lighting had been replaced by a pale green glow. The restaurant was deserted except for me and someone at the bar. It was the redheaded woman. She was humming a slow, familiar tune, but I couldn’t quite place it. I walked toward her, but I moved as if I were underwater. Her hair also moved like she was submerged. The hypnotic humming got louder as I approached, and I saw she had a glass of absinthe in her hand with a human eyeball in it like a martini olive. I was standing behind her, and she began to turn around slowly.
I woke up before I saw her face. I checked my phone and saw I had been asleep for an hour and a half. I got up, stretched, and went into the living area. The TV was still on Sports Center, but Chris wasn’t on the couch. He wasn’t in the kitchenette, bathroom, or out on the balcony. I was getting concerned he might have found some trouble to get into when he came through the door in his swim trunks and a t-shirt with a towel slung over his shoulder.
“Hey, babe,” he said. He never called me that unless he wanted something.
“Where were you?” I asked.
He stopped and looked down at his clothes, then looked at me. “I went down to the pool for a swim.”
“Well, did you have fun?” I knew he was probably lusting over any young piece of ass in a bikini down there.
“I did,” he paused. “I had an interesting conversation.”
“Oh, really?” Here we go I thought.
“Yeah, I met this nice woman named Jolene who’s staying on our floor in six-twelve. She said she was here from overseas and looking for a nice American couple to have some… fun.”
“Some fun?” I repeated. Chris nodded. “Chris,” I sighed. “This weekend is supposed to be about the two of us, not having a three-way with strange foreign women. In fact, you wanting to have sex with other women is part of the problem we have.”
“Look, Anna, I know what happened between Ella and I still pisses you off, but-“
“What happened was you propositioning my little sister for sex.”
“Hell, she was always flirting with me. Always smiling at me and being super nice and wearing revealing clothes when she came over.”
“Smiling and being nice are normal human interactions, and she was wearing sweatpants and a hoodie when you asked her for a quickie. We are here on this weekend to repair things between us since you don’t want to go to a marriage counselor with me.”
“And have some shrink cut off my balls so you can keep them in your purse? No way. They’re biased against men anyway. Buncha soy boys and man haters tellin’ husbands not to be real men and rightful heads of the household.”
I rolled my eyes. He had his chest puffed out. He’d been browsing those “meninist” and “red pill” forums again and filling his head with misogyny and toxic masculinity. He thought it somehow made his dick bigger. It didn’t.
“Look, let’s go down to the beach or go to the spa for a couple’s massage,” I said, wanting to defuse the situation.
“Couple’s massage sounds good,” Chris replied. “Maybe the little Asian ladies will give a ‘happy ending.’”
I shot a glare at him for the racist and sexist statement.
“It was a joke,” he said, backpedaling.
The massage would’ve been relaxing if Chris hadn’t caused a scene about having a male masseuse. The female masseuse I had switched with him, then Chris made a scene about me having a male masseuse. The male masseuse was swapped out with another female masseuse. The whole ordeal would’ve been embarrassing enough without Chris quietly moaning during the massage like he was getting head. As we left, the girls who had massaged us looked uncomfortable.
We went down to the beach and walked along the shoreline with our shoes in our hands. The sand felt soft between my toes. Not a lot of people were on the beach, so it was a fairly peaceful walk. We turned around and walked back as the sun started to set. When we got to the shore in front of the hotel, we came across a horseshoe crab on its back. Chris was grossed out by it, but I flipped it over and let it scuttle back into the surf. I looked back at the hotel and saw a flash of bright red hair disappearing from the balcony into a room on the sixth floor.
We wiped off our feet and put our shoes back on before going to the restaurant for dinner. It was more crowded than it was earlier, but we were able to get a table quickly. The redheaded woman was at the same seat at the now full bar. Chris again had Bud Light and I had a glass of Pinot Noir. He had the ribeye steak and I had grilled salmon with asparagus. The food was delicious and Chris ate like a civilized person, for the most part. For dessert, he had chocolate cheesecake while I had crème brûlée. He didn’t complain about the wait time and actually tipped a decent amount, which I took as a good sign.
We got back up to our room, sat together on the couch, and flipped though the channels to find something to watch. We settled on an old silent film called Metropolis on TCM. We actually cuddled a bit until Chris spoke up.
“Hey, babe?” he asked.
“Yeah?” I sat up and looked at him.
“You know, there’s something we haven’t done in a while…” he said with a slight smile. “How about you suck my cock?”
“Alright,” I sighed. I wasn’t exactly feeling it, but I wasn’t not feeling it. I pushed the coffee table back and kneeled in front of him. I undid his pants and pulled down his boxers, allowing his erect penis to spring out. My lips met his skin, and I went to work. He had a slightly sour taste to him that let me know he hadn’t bothered to thoroughly wash down there this morning, but I bore with it.
I was bobbing my head on his dick when I looked up at him. His face had darkened and he had a strange expression. I was about to pull up and ask him what was the matter when he suddenly grabbed two fistfuls of my hair and stood up. He started thrusting his sour cock into my mouth.
“Oh yeah, you like that, you little slut?” he growled as he hit the back of my throat.
I started gagging.
“Yeah, gag on that thick cock.”
I slapped his legs.
“I’m gonna make you my bitch.”
This wasn’t like him.
“You’re gonna take it in your mouth.”
My eyes were watering.
“And your pussy.”
I was choking.
“And your ass.”
He continued his assault on my mouth.
“You’re gonna be my little fuck slave.”
I couldn’t breathe.
“Because I’m the fucking king!”
In my panic, I bit down. Not enough to break skin, but enough to make him yelp and fall back on the couch, releasing me from his grip. I was coughing and trying to catch my breath when he slapped me.
“You bitch!” he growled.
I slapped him back.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” I asked between wheezes.
“What the fuck is wrong with me? What the fuck is wrong with you? You bit my dick!” he exclaimed.
“I couldn’t breathe, you asshole!” I said, regaining my breath and standing.
“Asphyxiation is sexy,” he hissed.
“Unbe-fuckin’-lievable. I cannot deal with you right now,” I started pulling on my shoes. I had never felt so violated.
“Where the fuck are you going?” he’d puffed out his chest again.
“I need a drink,” I said, then pointed at him. “And don’t you dare follow me until you get your shit together and straighten the fuck up!”
“Good, maybe some booze will loosen you up and help you remember your wifely duties!”
“Fuck you!” I said angrily, flipping him off.
With that, I stormed out of our room and went to the elevator. I told the elevator operator to take me to the lobby, and he held out a handkerchief.
“Your mascara’s running, ma’am,” he said. I took the handkerchief and thanked him. I fixed my face in the reflection of the elevator doors and returned the handkerchief before entering the lobby and making a beeline for the bar. I started a tab and ordered a Jack and Coke. It helped get the taste of him out of my mouth.
I ordered another cocktail and noticed I was the only one there other than the bartender. After the first three drinks, we made small talk. I found out his name was Marty. I eventually got hungry and, while the kitchen was closed, snacked on a plate of oysters on the half-shell. After several drinks, it was close to closing time, so I ordered a Sazerac to finish myself off. Marty prepared my drink and offered a special cocktail, free of charge, called Aphrodite’s Choice. Finishing my Sazerac, I figured it was worth a shot, especially for free booze.
I watched as he mixed Merlot, a splash of a pink liqueur (named Kinky, to my amusement), pomegranate juice, and ice into a blender. It almost seemed like a take on a Devil’s Cocktail. As it blended, Marty put some dark chocolate squares on a plate for me. He poured the frozen concoction into the glass, and topped it with a maraschino cherry. He then slid the red drink over to me.
I tried it, and it was very good. It was quite potent. Even though it was frozen, it gave me a warming sensation. Marty encouraged me to pair it with the chocolate. I did, and I felt my taste buds orgasm. I asked him if he came up with the recipe.
“No,” he admitted. “A woman that was here earlier asked me to make it for her. In fact, she noticed you here with your husband and asked me to make it for you if you came down for a drink.”
“Oh, really?” I asked, intrigued and biting into another piece of chocolate.
“Yes,” he said. “She also asked that any tab you have here be added to her room.”
“How generous of her,” I said, tipsy and amused. “What’s her room number? I’d love to thank her.”
“Six-twelve,” Marty replied.
I stopped mid-drink and set my glass down. “Six-twelve?” I echoed.
“Yes, ma’am,” Marty said.
“I see,” I resumed drinking the fruity cocktail. I may have been tipsy, but my memory was still sharp. Jolene I thought.
I finished my drink and thanked Marty for his service, tipping him generously. It was 3:00 in the morning. I expected Chris to be asleep. I made my way up to the sixth floor and down the hallway, using the wall for support when needed. I made it into my room, but Chris was nowhere to be found again.
“Jolene,” I muttered to myself.
I went back out into the hallway and down the corridor, staying as upright as I could. I was really starting to feel that Aphrodite’s Choice. I found myself in front of room 612, and I could hear my husband’s voice and distinctive donkey laugh that I used to find adorable behind the door. I pounded on it, ready to kick some ass, but I was not prepared for what answered the door.
She was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in my life. Her fiery red hair fell in curls just past her shoulders. She was wearing a short, skin-tight green sequin dress. She had curves in all the right places. Her skin was ivory white. She looked young, but her deep emerald green eyes held a wisdom beyond centuries. Her face was perfectly angled. Her cute nose fit her face perfectly. She looked like masterfully sculpted marble, but her skin seemed baby soft. Her smile was like a breath of spring. Her teeth were perfect and sparkling white. Her lipstick and nails matched her hair. Her winged eyeliner was flawless. Her legs and arms were toned to perfection. Her bare shoulders were smooth, and her collarbone was subtle. I didn’t know if I wanted to be her or be with her. She fulfilled a fantasy I never knew I had. She looked like Aphrodite herself.
“Hello, Anna,” she said sweetly with a voice as soft as summer rain and an accent I couldn’t place. My heart skipped a beat at hearing my name from her lips. I tried to speak, but no words could come. I couldn’t tell if she was an angel or a succubus. She took my hand and led me inside her room.
I saw Chris sitting on the couch. He stood up when he saw me, but I had lost all sense of caring about him. It was just me and this gorgeous woman. Jolene gently pushed me back against the wall and turned my face to hers. She smiled her brilliant smile that lit up her face, leaned in, and kissed me deeply. My mind was fogged over by the alcohol and the kiss, completely destroying any fight I might have had. Deep down, I actually wanted to kiss her.
Her soft lips sent electricity up my spine. Her tongue snaking into my mouth and dancing with mine sent stars across the inside of my eyelids. Her taste matched her cocktail and was equally as intoxicating. The smell of her perfume enveloped my senses in vanilla and almond. I’d never been kissed like that before, with someone who gave instead of took. My head was light, and I was full of the warmth of a star. Life felt as beautiful as she. After what felt like both an eternity and not enough time, she broke the kiss when we heard a rustling and panting.
Chris was standing next to the couch, pants around his knees, masturbating to our passion. I looked to Jolene and some emotion I couldn’t place flashed across her eyes, but she regained her composure quickly. She smiled sweetly at my disgusting husband.
“Why don’t we go down to the beach and make my favorite cocktail?” she asked, her words dripping with honey.
Chris nodded enthusiastically and pulled up his pants. Jolene took me by the hand, and the three of us went to the elevator. Chris was fidgety with excitement while I was dazed and Jolene was calm and cool with a smirk. The elevator operator smiled at us and said to have fun, as if people had threesomes on the beach at nearly 3:15 in the morning all the time.
The shore was illuminated by the light of the waxing moon as we walked along the sand. In my foggy mind, I connected that, while “Sex on the Beach” would make the pun, that wasn’t Jolene’s cocktail of choice. We stopped a few feet away from the edge of the lapping waves. Jolene put her arm around my shoulders and turned us to face Chris.
“Strip for us, handsome,” she purred to him. He eagerly complied and soon stood before us wearing only the watch I had given him on our first anniversary and a smile.
“My, my, my,” the redheaded angel giggled. “Somebody’s excited.” She motioned to my husband’s erection. He puffed out his chest in pride. She softly whispered something into my ear, but, in my haze, I didn’t catch it.
“What was that?” I asked dreamily.
“I’ll spare you,” she breathed into my ear again.
My eyes widened and I turned to her, “W-what?”
She only smiled her magnificent smile in reply as her arm shot out from her, extending like rubber, and punched its way inside my husband’s torso below the ribcage. He let out a choked gurgle as blood spurted from his mouth and onto the sand, staining it with a wet crimson.
My legs gave out and I fell onto the beach. Jolene lifted Chris into the air, turned, and walked into the water. When she was waist deep, I used what little strength I had to speak.
“Jolene,” I weakly called out from the sand. “Please…”
She turned to me with a dazzling smile. Her emerald eyes seemed to glow. I felt a warming sensation on top of my terror. She turned back to the sea and called out “Vol-Sgutha!”
A sound like a thousand shrieks pierced the night sky followed by a flapping. It came from behind me in the direction of the hotel. Jolene tossed Chris high into the air, and he was caught by a writhing mass of tendrils with wings that swooped from behind me and carried him over the ocean and into the night.
Tears were streaming down my face as I still laid paralyzed with fear. Jolene approached me from the water, and I tried to scramble away from her. She kneeled beside me and wiped away my tears and brushed my hair out of my face.
“What the fuck?” I choked out in a sob. That was all I could muster. “What the fuck? What the fuck?”
“Shh, everything’s alright, love,” Jolene cooed as she stroked my face. “The great Yguuxl has to feed on blood so he can return. When he does, you will be spared, just as you’ve been spared tonight.” Oddly enough, her soft voice and deep eyes were comforting despite my horror. “I know you have questions, my darling, but all will be explained when we meet again. Don’t worry, my violet blossom.” She kissed my forehead, and everything went dark.
I awoke in my hotel room bed in my pajamas with warm sunlight streaming through the window. I shot out of bed and searched for Chris. He wasn’t in the room, and his clothes and suitcase were gone. On the coffee table, there was a bottle of Merlot in an ice bucket and a voucher for a full spa day that had a lipstick stain in a familiar shade of red from where someone had kissed it.
I threw on some clothes and went to room 612. It was being cleaned, and the cleaner told me the occupant had checked out earlier in the morning. I went down to the lobby and asked the desk manager to see the camera footage from the last night.
“Alas,” he said. “All of our cameras malfunctioned during the night. They didn’t record a thing and are still down.”
“Were there any strange noises last night?” I inquired.
“Madame,” he chuckled. “This is a hotel. There are always strange noises in the night.”
“Well, you saw me check in with my husband,” I said. “Have you seen him this morning? Or a beautiful redheaded woman?”
“Ah, yes,” he said nervously. “Your husband. He, ahem, left with a redheaded woman. I am sorry.”
It was then I noticed how green his eyes were.
“That’s… alright.” I said. “Thank you for your help.”
He wished me the best as I made my way out of the hotel onto the beach. I went to the spot where we had been, but there was no sign of blood. I was about to turn to leave when something glinting in the surf caught my eye. I walked out to it and picked up the small metal object. It was a men’s watch. But not just any men’s watch, a men’s watch that was engraved with “Happy anniversary, Chris. Love, Anna” on the inside. The night before hadn’t been a dream, Chris was gone, and Jolene had promised we’d meet again. I was full of questions, but she promised to explain everything in time.
I smiled to myself and flung the watch into the ocean. The horseshoe crab could have it. I turned and walked back toward the hotel. I wasn’t about to waste a bottle of Merlot or a full spa day voucher.
Ethan Willis is a writer from Hillsboro, Tennessee, who has recently finished a seven-part short horror story series and whose next project is a sci-fi novella. He draws inspiration from music, personal experiences, and authors such as H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. He is honored to have placed in the Sacred Chickens writing contest and thanks all involved.
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