AN ANIMAL IN BED
Darlene was a bit apprehensive about Luke taking her to the monster truck rally in Rolling Oaks. It wasn't that she didn't like Luke or trucks for that matter. It was just that time of the month. The cramps would begin then the rest would follow. She hoped her luck might hold off the impending problem so she could get through the evening and actually enjoy it.
"Mama always told me there'd be days like these," she sighed at her twin in the bathroom mirror. Darlene was a big girl. She was six foot two, one hundred fifty-eight pounds of pure mountain woman. Her blonde beehive hair made her look even taller, giving most men pause when it came to asking her out for a date. She was big in the bust, which men really liked, as well as in her hips and ass. She had long legs that were kept in shape from running after her twin girls Becky and Sherry. The twins' father Ryan had disappeared right after she told him she was pregnant. For the past five years she'd been living in a rented trailer and working all the hours she could at the local Wal-Mart. With all these strikes against her, any dating prospects were quite slim. So when handsome Luke Williams sauntered up to ask her out, she said yes without thinking.
They had met in the laundromat just down the road. He struck up a conversation while she tried to hide the fact she was folding her unmentionables. When asking her for a date she watched as he gave her a wink after she blushed out her answer. Darlene then spun around with reddened cheeks and faced the laundromat's arcade where her two girls were playing an ancient Mrs. Pac Man machine. But now, staring at herself, she wondered if feeling this crappy inside would allow her to even have a good time. Her mother hadn't been happy when she dropped the girls off at her trailer two hours ago.
"Yer goin' out tonight?" she wheezed at her only offspring. "I think ya oughta call that feller and cancel, Darlene."
"Mama I ain't had a date in months," she whined back at her remaining parent. Darlene's daddy had died before she was born.
"Still ya oughta stay home in yer condition," she sniffed with indignity coloring her words.
"Well, I'm goin' and that's that."
"Have it yer way, just be careful then."
She looked back into the mirror and began putting on make up. She used some blue over her eyes, mascara, and a bit of blush to her tanned cheeks. She was careful to use a mellower red on her lips since she didn't want to look like some trailer park whore. She walked out of the bathroom and sat on the couch. Her trailer was decorated in Native American colors, patterns, figurines, and wallpaper. She really loved the stuff. She even had a dream-catcher above hers and the twins' beds. Darlene worked very hard to make ends meet. Even her mother, as grumpy and grouchy as she was, couldn't fault her only daughter for not providing for her kids.
"I haven't done so bad by my girls," she mused to herself. "They got new clothes, shoes, and three squares a day. Anybody who thinks I don't deserve a little time off ought not to speak it to my face."
She was more than ready when the knock on the trailer door finally came. She unbolted it and swung it open to see Luke standing there smiling at her. He was very handsome with his wavy blonde hair, well-trimmed mustache, and crystal blue eyes. He was wearing a white button-down shirt, tight denim blue jeans, and a pair of polished black cowboy boots. His shirt was partially undone and a gold chain encircled his neck amid all the curly blonde chest hairs it wove through. His smile stole her breath away as its boyish crookedness fanned her long neglected desire from a spark to a fire. His lean, lanky body got her engine revving as well and she picked up on his sweaty scent just beneath the power of his Old Spice aftershave. Both fragrances drifted lazily across the threshold. With an inward sigh she realized with his boots on he could stare her right in the eyes. She liked that very much. Being so tall she was self-conscious about her height. She was wearing flats just so she could understate this defect she saw in herself.
"Hi ya, Darlene," he drawled past his grin. "Ya sure look pretty tonight. Smell nice too..."
"Thank ya," she replied with a giggle. "Ya look real handsome yerself."
"Well I say we get to steppin', whattaya think?"
"Sounds right fine to me!"
Darlene snatched up her keys and locked her home. She allowed him to take her by the arm and lead her to his mottled red and primer gray 1979 Trans Am. She slid into the low bucket seat with a bit of difficulty. He slammed the door shut and walked around the sports car. He climbed into it with a practiced ease and fired up the engine. It started up with a deep growling sound that made her a wee bit nervous. It was if some untamed, wild beast was hiding beneath the fiery and faded bird emblem on the hood.
"Let's get 'er done," he whooped as he eased the car onto the street. With a rebel yell he chirped the tires leaving a smoky black mark on the asphalt as they roared down the road.
* * * *
The cramps started just as the waitress set down her plate of barbecue spare ribs. Darlene winced briefly as they came and passed but managed to keep a pained look from crossing her features. The steak house was full of great smells and she had been nursing a wine cooler while listening to Luke tell her all about his job, ex-wife, and kids between sips of beer.
"I only get to see 'em every other weekend," he told her with a sigh. "I got two boys. Little Jerry's five and Luke Junior is eight now."
He liked kids. She thought this was great as well. His potential as a future husband was on the rise, but the conversation stopped as the food arrived. She smiled at him as he took a big bite of his porterhouse. She liked a man with a good appetite.
"So what happened to the daddy of yer kids?" he asked around a mouthful of medium-rare steak.
"He done run off after I told him I was pregnant," she sighed as she daintily pulled the sauce-coated meat off her ribs with a fork. "Ryan wasn't the marryin' kind I reckon."
"Too many folks are like that nowadays. Ya think they're in it for the long haul, but they peter out when the goin' gets tough. Now me, I'm an old-fashioned kinda guy. Sure I got my ex preggers but I had the decency to marry her."
"It didn't work out?" Darlene asked with her attention completely focused on what Luke was going to say.
"Nope," he responded. "She said I was too wild and wasn't able to settle down."
Darlene's heart sank just a little bit.
"I'm a-guessin' I was a bit too young," he told her as he cut off another chunk of porterhouse.
Her heart returned to its former height as she sensed the truth in that statement. She bowed her head down and grinned demurely before another cramp twisted her abdomen firing sharp pangs in all directions.
* * * *
Luke's car roared up to the gate of the truck rally and he handed the attendant a handful of one-dollar bills. He pulled the car into the parking lot and soon they were out walking toward the grandstands. The smells of stale sweat, overpowering cologne, sickening sweet perfume, and motor oil from the crowd they followed had Darlene wishing they had gone to a movie instead. Each aroma seemed to be hell-bent on ruining her night out. Her stomach rolled with nausea and the good meal she had just eaten felt as if it was boiling like hot lead inside her.
"Ya alright?" Luke asked with a concerned look.
"I'll be fine," she answered with a winning, but false smile.
He led her up the stairs of the grandstand and down toward the far-right end. Darlene could see the oval track had seating only on two sides. Another grandstand stood opposite from the one she was seated in. She was glad Luke had chosen to sit away from the parking lot and the pits. Behind them was a great forest that wafted pine-scented air which Darlene found eased her upset stomach. She took out a compact from her purse in looked at her face. The paleness of her flesh had fled after they passed through the foul odors.
"Good seats, huh?" Luke asked her with a huge smile on his face.
"I suppose," she answered hesitantly. "I ain't never been to one of these before."
"Yer gonna love it."
She looked out into the racetrack and saw a line of old beat-up cars parked side to side in the center of the midway. There was a roar from the crowd as the first huge metal monster rolled out of the pits and into position. Darlene could feel in her chest, vibrations of the growling noise rumbling from its twin exhaust pipes as the driver revved the engine. She slid to the edge of her seat as the announcer's voice began screaming from the loudspeakers.
"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to Monster Truck Night here at the Rolling Oaks' Motor Speedway! Tonight you'll be thrilled to some of the biggest, baddest, and meanest monster trucks in all the world! Are you ready for excitement?!"
The collective shouts and screams from the crowd thundered in response.
"Are you ready for thrills and spills?"
They were ready.
"Are you ready to go absolutely wild?"
They were more than ready and growing unbelievably louder.
"Then please give a huge round of Ohio applause for our first contestant ... Truckenstein!"
Darlene stood as the wave of uplifting excitement washed over her. Long forgotten were the stabbing pains in her belly as the fevered pitch of the crowd fired her soul. The electricity of the enthusiastic patrons surrounding her made every part of her body tingle with a strange frenzy. She was on her feet next to her date and shouting the truck's name along with everyone else. With a roar from the crowd matching the shriek of the truck's engine the black truck with the red Frankenstein face emblazoned on the hood tore down the narrow strip towards the line of cars. Darlene's eyes widened with exhilaration as she saw the dirt being flung behind the truck in twin brown showers. Her heart began pumping in a feral pace as the vehicle rose up the small ramp and landed on the first car. She held her breath as the truck tipped to one side then the other as it crushed the lighter vehicle underneath it. The scream of compressed metal echoed in her ears as it shrieked in protest from the weight of its attacker. The truck dipped forward as it struck the gap between the car beneath it and the next. It rolled upward as its rear end bounced forward propelling the metal monstrosity forward. Darlene watched with glee as the big tires churned and stripped paint from the underlying vehicles. The air was soon filled with the aroma of burning rubber as Truckenstein rolled and roared toward the middle of the line of cars. Darlene grabbed Luke's arm without knowing it and clung to him like a life raft. She was jumping up and down screaming encouragement to the driver as the back of Truckenstein began to slide off. The ass end of the truck swung toward Darlene's side of the stadium with its massive wheels spinning wildly, seeking any sort of purchase on the slippery, precarious surface.
"Go! Go on! Come on you can do it!" she yelled at the driver as she tugged on Luke's arm maniacally. He shot her a gaze and she saw the wild look in his eyes as he watched her observe the spectacle. Truckenstein managed to get just enough traction to pull itself back onto the vehicle below it and the driver frantically spun the wheel in an attempt to point it in the right direction. Darlene screamed for joy as the truck jolted and jumped across the last five cars. With another shower of dirt Truckenstein landed on the ground and roared around the track to the earsplitting, screaming delight of the standing-room-only crowd.
"Whatta think?" Luke shouted in her ear. "Do ya like it?"
Darlene was too consumed by the excitement to think clearly and could only nod her head with a huge smile on her face. Suddenly the cramps in her stomach took center stage and she fought to keep from doubling over. The rowdy roar of the crowd pounded her ears and she tried not to fall over.
"Darlene, is you okay?" Luke asked with worry plain on his face. But she couldn't fight it anymore. The twisting pain in her middle would not be denied.
"I'm gonna have to go to the bathroom and do something about this right now," she thought to herself. She staggered down a few steps with Luke close behind her. The crowd was still on its feet as the next truck rumbled onto the track.
"Alright! Our next competitor is the one, the only Metal Mangler!" the announcer bellowed. Darlene was halfway down the steps when Luke finally caught up to her. He grabbed her arm and spun her around to face him.
"Darlene, I say is you sick?" he demanded with a nervous look on his handsome face.
"Ladies' Room," she managed to spit out. The two word answer was enough as her date took her by the arm and led her around to the back of the grandstands. The smell of the forest struck her nostrils as they rushed into the semi-darkness behind the stadium. Looking up it seemed as if she was at the foot of a tall, insurmountable man-made cliff. To her left a tall fence paralleled the back of the concrete stands. There were sparse floodlights hung at regular intervals above the narrow path between the grandstands and the fence. These dim, ancient bulbs cast poor light in a strange, yellowish hue. It was an eerie scene that would have bothered Darlene a lot more if she hadn't been fighting off the cramps gripping her across the middle. She could see the sign in the faint light over the door to the women's restroom. It felt like it was a million miles away. Her legs were wobbly and her back had begun to ache. Her thighs were tight as the discomfort sought other areas of her body to affect. They got to the door just as a dog's howl cut across the woods.
"Was it the ribs?" he asked her politely.
"No ... it's something else," she replied vaguely.
"Oh," he said straightening up quickly. "I understand."
Her back spasms made her hunch over painfully.
"It'll be alright," he told her. She looked up angrily at him. How could he possibly know what she was going through? Why did men say such stupid things at times like these? Her anger flared lava-hot in the very core of her soul. Suddenly the need to rip out his guts to give him a painful reference to exactly how she felt came unbidden into her screaming brain. The crowd roared unexpectedly once more and the raw excitement in their voices empowered her rage even more. Her knees went suddenly weak as the ache grew more intense.
"Go away! How can you know how I feel?" she snarled hatefully at him. "Why do men always think they can relate to this?"
"Look I'm sorry..." he began. She suddenly didn't want anything to do with him anymore. She just had to get away, no matter what the consequences were. Darlene rushed toward the ragged gap in the fence just in front of her. She staggered and stumbled into the arboreal darkness beyond the tree line. As she half-ran toward the woods she could hear Luke's cries for her to stop ringing in her ears. Her flats flew off her feet as she stumbled through the underbrush. The tall grass whipped at her legs and the prickly leaves of crabgrass tore into her pantyhose making her feet sting and bleed. She plunged into the forest as low-lying branches tore at her dress and unraveled her beehive hairdo. Long strands of blonde hair fluttered fairy-like in the moonlight as they trailed after her. She could hear Luke crashing through the woods just behind her. She glanced back and saw a pair of red eyes that seemed to burn the darkness as they scanned the blackness for her. Fear shot through her like a hot spear thrust.
"What the hell else is out here?" she groaned to herself. She spotted Luke near the entrance to the woods. His tall lanky form was backlit by the blazing lights towering over the track of the motor speedway. The harsh glare sent narrow shafts of light past the tall trees of the forest.
"I found you," Luke husked with a harsh sound to his breathing. Darlene watched as his posture slunk down as if he was sniffing at the ground for her scent.
"Stay away..." she whined as she backed up against an old oak tree.
"I can't. Not now, since you smell so good."
"Please I'm beggin' ya!"
"Darlene. Sweet, sexy Darlene I've been waitin' for ya for so long. I sensed yer troubles at the laundromat and couldn't keep my paws to myself. When ya opened the door tonight yer scent made me crazy," he growled as he stalked forward slowly.
"Please no," she cried fearfully.
"It's too late for no. I'm gonna eat ya up!"
The agony in her waist erupted in a horrible flare as Luke bounded forward into a solitary shaft of light. His face rapidly elongated into a canine shape as he tore open his shirt scattering buttons that glittered in the man-made illumination as they rained upon the soft forest floor. His feet tore apart his black cowboy boots as the space between the balls of his feet and his heels grew more distant. Darlene peed down her leg submissively when his pants burst exposing his hairy genitals and a rampant cock. Swishing between his deformed legs was a newly formed bushy tail. His ears grew above his head and pointed horn-like toward the stars.
"Ready?" he asked in a growling, distorted voice as he licked his muzzle.
"Oh God, this can't be happenin'!" she cried as he slunk toward her.
"Oh it is. There's nowhere to run, I've got ya now!"