Bethany (1989)

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I wrote this story in the first week I lived in Los Angeles. It was before “Ecstasy” hit the masses. I remember drinking about 4 pots of coffee in my crappy room that I was renting at 27th and Normandy in Compton. 1989… yep kind of freaky.
Anyway- it needs to be noted that there is some adult content in this story. You have been warned.

She came in at 10:04 p.m. Thursday October 21st. It was immediately apparent that she was different from all the rest. Her hair was quite dark (almost black), and nearly down to her waist. She was incredibly beautiful- full lips, dark eyes, curves in all the right places. Unfortunately, she was also quite dead.

Working in a morgue isn’t as bad as you might think. It’s always real quiet which makes reading very pleasant and except for the occasional late night visit by the police or fire department it’s basically an unsupervised position.

When I graduated from college I don’t think I ever expected that I would grow weary of computer programming. But, despite the good pay, after just three and a half years of eighty-hour weeks, over-worked supervisors, and stress induced ulcers I had pretty much had my fill of the whole computer-programming scene. So I just quit. Quit the rat race, the stress- the bullshit from upper management, basically the whole corporate scene. I just pulled the ripcord and bailed out of everything.

I had saved quite a bit of cash by that time. It’s tough to spend money when you work all day, most of the night, and then sleep until it’s time for work again.

So I was in no rush to find employment, I bounced around for months not looking for work and definitely not caring.

Mostly I bummed from bar to bar until I finally had a plan. My ‘plan’ was to hitchhike across the country, maybe hang out in Los Angeles, Texas or Florida- basically wherever I got tired enough to stop. As it turns out I got tired in New Orleans.

New Orleans is a pretty intriguing place, there’s a lot of party action for the individual who seeks it out- mostly tourist stuff but in a way that’s what keeps it interesting. There’s also a lot of crime due to the tourist shit. With so many people coming and going all the time and the drinking laws being so open- it almost encourages crime. On any given night you can hit Bourbon Street and catch a fight in progress or see the police arresting someone for rape or theft or whatever. I suppose I see pretty much simply because of my job. I get to view the leftovers of all the violent shit that goes down.

You burn out fairly quickly on the party stuff when you live there but every now and then something good turns up. I got my fill right away so I wasn’t too uptight about taking a night job. I had the same schedule as everyone else- just twelve hours later. My shift was 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. it’s actually very nice. If I want to go have a beer after work I can- in New Orleans the bars don’t close until the last customer leaves. I honestly can’t recall the last time I was the last customer.

It wasn’t much but I was content – and had been for the last four years.

Lately there had been an upswing in particularly violent crime, seems some psycho had taken it upon himself to rid the community of its working girl populace. Knocking off hookers as it were. It was a well-acknowledged fact that crime had been on the increase ever since the creation of that wonderful substance known on the street as “Sextasy”, the “Pleasure Pill” or the “All night Circle Jerk” (depending on whether or not you had a partner). A pill that practically tripled (so they said) the amount of pleasure felt during sex. Now Sextasy is not easily attainable, only the extremely wealthy can afford it. And even they have to find a dealer with some very good connections.

The drug just hit the market a few years back and obviously hasn’t been released to the general public. The FDA hasn’t decided if it wants a country of sex addicted fiends doing anything and everything possible to get the cash to pay for some really quality fucking.

According to the experts just one drop of the magical elixir is enough for ten to twelve hours of incredible, all encompassing sex. Of course, the come down is brutal- you’re going to need about twenty hours of sleep to recharge the old batteries.

There are a lot of impotent men out there who would gladly trade a day of their lives for even two hours a good sex. I would imagine their wives would be cool with that too.

From the police reports I’d seen- this wacko was fixing drinks with this shit in it for the girls and then taking advantage of their hyper-excited sex drive to fuck them all night. Getting the biggest bang for his buck, it would seem. I guess everyone likes a bargain.

Only problem was that he was loading the drinks with too much, it was killing the girls. They actually fucked themselves to death. He was almost certainly having some himself but he clearly knew what he was doing- he was still alive and they were not.

Working in the morgue you get to know a lot of people. For instance, I personally know three doctors who could get the stuff relatively easily. Okay – so I’ve tried it once or twice… it real good. It’s tough not to think about it all time, but the cost provides a great incentive not to do it too often.

The cops haven’t been too uptight about the murders; in fact they don’t even really consider them murders. They see it as a bunch of whores trying to make a few extra bucks by being able to fuck more. But because they are “stupid hookers” they are overdosing accidentally.

There’s a “natural order” kind of mentality about the whole thing – the cops don’t really care. So what if a few hookers die doing what they do best? Just makes the cop’s job easier in the long run.

The thing is- there’s been nine of them so far. And this last one was different… she was no whore. She was a Goddess. No woman like her would ever have to prostitute her body out to live. No, some fat, old, sugar daddy would always be there taking care of her. I suppose that’s just another form of prostitution… but not quite the same. As it turns out she was happily married (to a man of 54 years), she was twenty-three. Her name- Bethany Calme. No shit. Bethany.

It fit.

According to her husband, she had gone out for the evening with the “girls”. According to her friends, they had hit Pat O’Brien’s and more than a few men had approached her. They also reported that she had politely turned down their advances and had left early (presumably to go home). The bouncer remembered her (who wouldn’t?) and had signed a statement swearing that he had seen her leaving with a man. This little tidbit had caused quite a bit of stress for hubby.

That was last night. Her husband had gotten worried around two a.m. and had placed a couple of calls to her friends and after learning she had supposedly left early, had placed a call to the police. They found her body this evening around 8:30 p.m.

After the usual preliminary investigation she ended up here. Dr. Esten, the coroner on duty, verified the obvious- Sextasy overdose.

So far every single prostitute that had come through here had only caused a slight stir. Bethany, however, had the entire department and police force up in arms. Cops who weren’t even assigned to the investigation were coming in to get information to try and crack the case. And maybe to catch a glimpse of her divine body, rumor of which had spread like wild fire.

She was beautiful.

Looking at her I felt intense sadness overwhelm me. Like seeing a wild animal killed or a really beautiful butterfly smash on your windshield.

I couldn’t understand why someone would do something like that.

To her.

The other girls hadn’t even made me think twice. But Bethany… I felt guilty for her death. I should have done something to prevent it. Anything. Nobody had the right to take the life of someone like her. It was like destroying a painting by Rembrandt or Da Vinci.

After the initial hubbub things quieted down- she was our only customer. The rest of my shift I sat there staring at her flawless body. I kept imagining she was breathing. I could almost see her perfect breasts rising and falling. Up and down. Counting out the rhythm of my own heartbeat. When I finally got off work I went straight home. No stopping off at some bar after work for me tonight.

No sleep either. She haunted me, driving me into a fit of crying and despair.

Finally after many sleepless hours, I went to the bathroom where I kept my supply of Sextasy. I had three or four grams, a good twenty hits that had been given to me by a doctor who sometimes favored necrophilia. (I bet I know who was pulling over-time tonight).

I knew what would happen if I were to take them all at once. I’d seen it happen before. First I would feel real warm. Then I would begin to tingle in my groin. There would be a massive release of hormones into my system and normally it would just cause a ten or fifteen hour hard-on and a sexual appetite that would be seemingly insatiable. But the release of hormones from this size of a dose would totally blow a couple of neurocenters. The “sex-high” common to Sextasy would only last for about thirty minutes and then death would follow as, one by one, different nerves in the brain would actually burn up. First the sense of smell, or hearing… then the erogenous zones. Following that would be sight and then the medulla oblongata, the area that controls breathing.

As I held the dose in my hands and contemplated the effects it would have on my body, I realized that this was what I had wanted all along. I mixed a rum and coke and slowly stirred the entire quantity into the glass. A minute later I sat down in the only chair I had and waited for the tidal wave of pleasure to begin. And I thought about her.