The Pummel Stone
by Kevin Sheehan
The smooth surface of the
Pummel Stone was ice cold against Kitty’s bare breasts and stomach, and despite the burning slash of the belt on her
back and the fevered friction of Ed’s fingers as they worked in and out of her pussy like a trio of funny car pistons,
it felt somewhat soothing out here in the blazing South Carolina sun. God she hated South Carolina. She’d made it out
once, all the way to Wyoming. Now there was a place where you didn’t feel like dying come summer, where the heat of
the day didn’t hit you like a wet towel fresh from a pot of boiling water. If there was one thing she hated, it was
the damn heat and humidity of the deep and nasty south.
He hit her again with the
belt and she felt her skin split. When she tried to move away he dropped the belt and used his free hand to grip the back
of her neck and push her face harder into the rock.
“Where do you think
you’re goin’?” he hissed in her ear. His tongue was thick with cheap beer and his breath reeked of day old
diapers. “That’s right, bitch. You ain’t leavin the Stone until I’m finished up in here.”
Ed’s favorite song was
blasting from the speakers he’d had installed under their covered patio: “Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla”
by Wagner. Lord in heaven did she hate that song. Ed had gotten hooked on Wagner after seeing Apocalypse Now one too many
times, what with the helicopters and all the bombing and that horrid music blaring in the background. He went out to the music
store one day and shuffled through the Nice Price CD box until he found a copy of selected works by Richard Crazy Ass Wagner.
There wasn’t much call for regular priced classical CDs in these parts. Kitty thought if the dead composer could see
what his music had inspired he’d approve. All men were bastards that way. Goddamn heathens.
“Hidey-ho, in we go!”
he shouted and before she knew it he was full up inside her, well, at least as far as his needle dick could go. Amazing how
much damage that little pecker could do when she wasn’t properly greased. He grunted and rutted like a sick hog and
she hitched slightly when his sweat splashed into the wounds on her back.
Thankfully, it was over almost
as soon as it had started and she felt him pull out and away from her. She slumped down to the base of the stone, resting
her cheek against it, willing her tears away.
“Hey, you want me to
help you inside?” He was a different person now, all that beastly rage seeping out of him with his semen and into her.
He sounded apologetic which meant she must be bleeding a lot. Ed always got that way when the blood was bad.
she said without opening her eyes. She didn’t want to see his face or his limp dick crawling back into its shell or
the belt on the floor or her torn clothes thrown in a pile by the back door. Because Ed killed her baby and she knew for sure
he didn’t have the guts to kill her. The only constant in her life was the Pummel Stone and no matter how far she ran
or who she ran to, it would always be there waiting for her.
It wasn’t supposed to
be like this.
Okay, it had always been like
this, at least as far as she could remember, and probably always would. But damn, Kitty was for-shit-sure that if her ma hadn’t
hanged herself from the tree that used to be in the front of the house, that was before her daddy tore the whole thing up,
roots and all a week after the funeral, things would have been different. Momma was her protector, and Lord knows she needed
protectin’. Her daddy was a ruthless old bastard, penniless, godless and brainless. One of her first memories was seeing
him whup on her momma against The Stone. He was hollering at her something fierce and whacking at her with his boot, but ma
didn’t make a sound. She took it like the man he could never be and that just made him crazier.
Well, after ma died the old
man gave The Stone a rest. It was just the two of them now and little Kitty at age seven had to quit school and take care
of him and the house. One day the vice principal came to the house to insist Daddy put her back in school. He didn’t
even have two sentences out before he was face to face with the wrong end of a shotgun and tearing ass back to his car.
Life sucked worse than a piglet
on a teat, but it was about to get worse. When she turned twelve, a timer went off in his twisted head, like one of those
little plastic poppers they put in chickens to tell you when they’re done roasting, and now it was her turn to lay against
the Pummel Stone and get her deservins, according to Daddy. No infraction was too small for The Stone. That big piece of rock
that jutted up in their yard, slate gray and ugly as sin, so damn big they couldn’t even dynamite the thing out, it
was kind of the family heirloom. The farm had been in their family for three generations and The Stone right along with it.
Turned out, punishing the family for their sins, be they real or imagined, was also a family tradition. Her daddy had told
her once that his granddaddy had named it the Pummel Stone, on account of anyone put face to face with the rock was about
to get a pummelin’. Except if you were a girl you’d get that and more and Daddy carried that torch with flying
Kitty endured her father’s
cruelty until she was eighteen, always staying as quiet as her ma because she knew it drove him crazy and she hoped the bastard
would have a stroke but of course he never did. When she turned eighteen she stole out of the house one night and took a bus
the next seven years traveling all over from one crappy job and run down town to another, leaving in her wake a string of
ex-boyfriends as useless and mean as the old man. When a girlfriend once asked, “How do these men find you?” after
her latest broke her nose, she realized, They ain’t finding me. I’m finding them.
Things changed when she met
Ed Blake. He was fresh from the Army and as good looking as a movie star. They met in Troutville, Virginia when she was waiting
tables at a truck stop diner. He was smart and sweet and romantic and before she knew it they were happily married and living
like a couple of love birds.
Then word came from her Aunt
Mary that Daddy was dying. Kitty would have been happy to let him die alone but Ed said it was important for her to be there,
no matter how bad a man he may have been in the past. That was Ed back then, kinder than a saint and a sight better looking
to boot. So off they went to South Carolina, back to the farm and the round patch in the front yard where the big dogwood
tree used to be.
Daddy was real bad with cancer
and she was torn between wanting to hold in her piss and save it for his grave or washing his withered face with a soothing,
damp cloth, telling him everything would be all right. It took him a month to die and in that time he responded mostly to
Ed. She spied them several times, Ed’s ear close to her daddy’s lips, his words too feeble to carry into the hallway.
Well, the old monster finally
died and Kitty surprised herself by crying at the funeral. The house was left to her and Ed insisted they stay. A whole farm,
even though it hadn’t produced anything in years, was better than a one bedroom apartment in Troutville. So they stayed.
And wouldn’t you know
it, a year to the day later she found herself back on The Pummel Stone. Ed had taken to drinking and one day decided to give
her a spanking against The Stone because she burned their supper. Things progressed, or in this case, regressed, and she wondered
just what the hell her father had been feeding Ed while he lay there dying. But then she realized it probably had nothing
to do with him.
It was the Stone. It possessed
every man who lived by it and damned every woman unlucky enough to be with the bastard.
Kitty endured because she
was now resigned to the fact that this was her lot in life and besides, Ed still had his sweet moments.
Of course, the day he beat
her so bad she lost the baby wasn’t one of them. No, he was a goddamn demon for that one. If she was still a church
going woman, she would have gone every day just so she could pray the devil would take his soul.
He was just like all men.
A fucking heathen.
“Somebody coming up
the drive?” Ed shouted from his lounge chair. The football game was blaring on the TV. Judging by the number of empty
beer cans in the sink it must have been the fourth quarter.
Kitty checked out the front
window. There wasn’t a soul in sight. Hell, the path that led to their mailbox was almost a half a mile away.
“There ain’t nothing
but rocks and dirt in that drive,” she replied, anxious to get back to her word search.
“Don’t get smart.
Thought I heard something.”
She wanted to ask how he could
hear anything over the noise of the TV but thought better of it. If she was lucky the Panthers would win and he’d drink
himself into a coma.
The Panthers eventually lost
and Ed was in a black mood. He ate his dinner in the living room and took to throwing his empties at her when she walked by.
“Put that in the garbage and get me another,” he slurred. An hour later, he mercifully fell asleep in his chair.
Kitty used the time to take
a nice long bath, watch a movie she had wanted to see and paint her nails. Ed was still downstairs sawing wood like a champion
lumberjack at midnight when she clicked by one of the cable channels that played adult movies late at night. The soft core
ones, not those nasty videos with the close ups of assholes and such. In this movie, a rich woman had decided to become a
movie producer and in the process make her bed a casting couch. When the woman, a pretty redhead with a perfect body, took
a man with muscles to die for and another woman to her bed, Kitty couldn’t hold out any longer. Her hand crept under
the sheets and found its way to her sweet spot. She wished they would show the hunk’s boner, because she was damn sure
it was big and beautiful. Her middle finger moved in tight circles as she watched the threesome on the TV. When the redhead
lowered herself onto the man’s face and the other one rode him like a rodeo bull, she felt her juices bathe her finger
and it was all she could do to keep from moaning loud enough to wake the dead.
She was in a zone, grinding
her hips and ready to come. She didn’t hear Ed storm into the room.
“What the hell do you
think you’re doing?” he barked.
Kitty quickly yanked her hand
away and pulled the sheets up to her neck.
“What’s the matter,
I don’t give it good enough to you?” He turned to look at the scene on the screen. “Are you some kind of
whore? You get off on watching a couple of dykes and a fag?”
She was speechless. Frightened,
disoriented and incapable of saying anything in her defense.
He ripped the sheets off the
bed, revealing her panties that we now around her calves.
“You want a little action,
slut, all you needed to do was ask.” His voice was more controlled now and he had that smile on his face that couldn’t
mask the evil intent in his eyes.
Ed grabbed her by the ankles
and pulled her off the bed.
“No Ed!” she screamed
before her head hit the floor. “It’s not what you’re thinking!”
“Oh, I think you’re
wrong there. Now get up!”
Kitty knew there was no fighting
back so she clicked into automatic pilot, the remains of her sanity tunneling deep into her where Ed couldn’t foul it.
He grabbed a bag from the closet and pushed her with his foot on her bare ass out the bedroom door. She tumbled to the floor
when her panties fell around her ankles. He ripped them off and said, “You know where to go.”
As they walked out to the
yard, she could still hear the TV in the living room. A commercial for Chuck’s Used Cars droned on. There was a big
sale on used Jeeps this coming weekend. Come on down and let Chuck save ya a buck.
She stopped inches from The
Stone and felt Ed tug her nightshirt over her head. He reached into the bag and pulled out a pair of handcuffs and some long
leather straps. Once her hands were cuffed, he tied a leather strap to each cuff and proceeded to loop the straps around the
rock so she was now firmly secured to its surface.
She heard his retreating footsteps,
then the TV was turned off. “Magic Fire Music” from Wagner began to play on the stereo. It may have been late
at night, but the only things that would be disturbed by the music were the raccoons and bats.
“At least you won’t
be high and dry tonight, baby,” he said as he stalked across the yard. “No, little Kitty’s done played with
her kitty and got it all creamed up.”
His hand lashed out and slapped
the small of her back. Kitty grunted ever so softly.
“Your daddy was right,
you are nothing but trash.”
His foot connected with the
back of her knees and she sagged against The Stone, the straps and cuffs keeping her from hitting the ground.
“You like getting off
on smut? Huh?”
Kitty braced herself for another
blow but instead heard the shuffle of feet and a large object hit the ground. When she turned back, Ed was curled into a ball
with his hands clutching his stomach.
Someone walked behind her.
“Sick ass cracker.”
He was large and black as
the night with a perfectly round, shaved head. Even though it was a hot summer night he was wearing leather gloves and dressed
in long black pants and a black long sleeved shirt.
“You okay?” he
asked. His voice rumbled like a train in a tunnel.
When she didn’t answer,
he went about loosening the straps. She watched him go to Ed’s bag, retrieve the key and unlock the cuffs. After punching
Ed hard in the face, the black man put the cuffs on him and lashed him to The Stone. Ed moaned, barely conscious and bleeding
from his nose.
“He do this to you a
lot?” He pulled the straps taut.
“Yeah, I bet he did.
Dumb hillbilly out here in the sticks thinks he can get away with anything. That’s where I come in.” He smiled
and his teeth were as bright as the full moon.
“Who are you?”
Kitty managed to croak.
His smile dimmed for a moment.
“I was here to rob your house. Been casing it all day. I was waiting for the lights to go off when your man over
there started all that noise and brought you out here. I thought about just taking some shit while he did his thing but I
never could stand to see a woman mistreated. I was raised better than that, you know what I’m sayin’?”
he said with a tilt of his head. “But I’m not the kindly savior you’re making me out to be. I’m still
gonna rob your house, except only the things that belong to psycho motherfucker humping that rock. You can point them out
to me. Then I suggest you take what you can and say adios and make something of yourself somewhere else. Assholes like him
never change and you’re too pretty to sit around here till he kills you.”
Kitty suddenly realized she
was naked and covered herself with her trembling arms. The man found her nightshirt and handed it to her.
“Now how about we go
inside and you give me the grand tour. It don’t look like he’s going anywhere at the moment.”
Kitty stood not knowing what
to do when Ed rasped, “You stay out of my house, nigger.”
The man raised an eyebrow
and turned to face him. “What did you say?”
“I said keep your nigger
ass out of my house and away from my wife.”
The man laughed. “You’re
not in any position to be telling anyone what to do.” He gave Ed a rabbit punch to his sides, knocking the wind out
of him. “And you best not call me nigger again. You don’t have that privilege, white boy. I ain’t your nigga
and you’re a hundred years too late for me to be your nigger.” He turned to Kitty. “Come on, let’s
get in the house.”
Kitty stared at Ed’s
helpless body, her elation tinged with fear of the man who had saved her from The Stone. He gently touched her arm and she
turned back to the house.
“Nigger loving cunt,”
Ed wheezed. “I’m glad I killed that baby. Better than having it grow up to be another slut nigger lover.”
The man strode over to Ed
and pulled a gun from a holster behind his back. He jammed the gun in Ed’s mouth.
“Now, you either shut
the fuck up or I’ll do it for you.”
Kitty walked as if she was
in a trance, angling herself so she could see Ed’s face. He looked as mean and defiant as ever, even with a gun inches
from his brain. The Stone really had him in its clutches now. Any shred of the sweet Ed was long gone.
“Why did you say you
were glad you killed our baby?” she asked, searching for any sign of decency left in his soul.
The man removed the gun from
“You think I wanted
something that came from you running around here making me miserable? I already got you for that. You’re nothing but
a little whore, and an idiot whore at that. Odds are the kid woulda grown up to be useless and ugly and probably retarded.
It deserved to die.”
The rational part of Kitty
that had stayed hidden all this time came rushing back like a tsunami.
She jerked the gun from the
man’s hands, pressed it against Ed’s right eye and pulled the trigger. His head exploded like an overfilled water
balloon all over The Pummel Stone. Blood and brains, flesh and bone all cascaded over the dark surface of the rock and spilled
onto the grass.
The man jumped back when Kitty
swung the gun towards him.
“Untie him,” she
Ed’s body slumped to
the ground. Kitty saw what remained of his brain spill out in a gray and red heap. She almost laughed when an image of running
the lawn mower over it flickered through her mind. Hopefully some animal would have at it before the grass needed its next
“You be careful with
that trigger. It’s real sensitive.”
“I know. Now, you wanted
me to take you inside to show you what you can rob from us?”
He stared hard at her, the
gun steady in her hand. “Looks like you’re the boss now.”
She nodded her head towards
his duffel bag that he’d left by the bushes before he jumped Ed. “Go ahead. Take whatever you want. It’s
the least I can do to repay your kindness.”
He was startled and it took
him a few moments to get his bearings. Then, without a word, he entered the house.
When he came back twenty minutes
later the gun was in Ed’s lifeless hand and Kitty was naked with her arms behind her back.
“Looks like a suicide,”
he said. The sack was bulging with all of Ed’s electronic gadgets. Wariness swept over his face when he registered her
“That it does. Thank
When she revealed her arms,
the bloody cuffs were now around her wrists and the leather straps trailed into the grass.
“My husband and I were
in the middle of something before you interrupted us.”
She saw the bulge rise in
“Think you can finish
Kitty lay against The Stone,
careful to avoid the edge that was wet with Ed’s blood, and swayed her hips from side to side.
Next thing she knew, the straps
were across the rock and she felt the first hesitant slaps against her ass. His cock was out and rubbing up and down her crack.
Jesus, he felt huge!
Oh yes, The Stone had him.
Maybe, if she
was lucky, he’d be better at this than Ed.
Kevin is the author of two novels, Should Old Acquaintance
Be Rubbed Out, and Father Exorcist, which received Stoker consideration
for best first novel. He has published numerous short horror stories over the years in magazines such as The Harrow, Stories of Fear anthology, Gathering Darkness and Insidious Reflections.