Abacus Jones: Soulless Cowboy in The Worst Little Whore House Any-Damn-Where


I wasn’t too quick on the uptake sometimes, but within two days I knew there was somethin’ really damn wrong with the town. I gathered that because I was still in the town after two days. Most of my welcomes generally wore out by the time I set foot into town. ‘Less of course they hired me to do a job. Then they were polite enough not to kick my ass out until I helped them.

The women also tipped me off. The whores were too pretty for a town that was nothing but a supply town. It was a small gathering of buildings surrounding a well in the middle of the desert. Anywhere worth a damn, like a gold town, was a day’s horse ride in any direction. It didn’t make sense for them to be in this town when they could get rich off lonely miners.

Not one of the whores looked at me in all the time I spent in the bar. As far as I could tell I was invisible to everyone in the place. Practically had to smack the bartender so’s I could get a drink. With that kind of hospitality I shoulda’ just split. Except it was just too tempting to stay. Being ignored gave me a sense of safety that I didn’t have in other towns. I could sleep in a comfortable bed instead of out in the desert. I didn’t have to worry about wakin’ up with a gun in my face.

Never had this much trouble getting’ laid before. My money alone shoulda’ guaranteed me some company for at least one night. Even with my condition. Oft times the whore’s had had worse in their life than me. In this place, though, most of ‘em didn’t even spare me a glance. Kinda hurt my feelings.

I could also feel that something was wrong with this town. It wasn’t an accident I ended up at this place. Ever since I…got my condition I’ve found myself drawn to all sorts of strangeness. I wished that maybe it was just something passing through. A vampire or werewolf doing a bit of traveling. Something easy where I could just go out and shoot those fuckers and not be so antsy.

But I knew it wasn’t. The feeling was strongest in the brothel. It’d be easier to figure things out if everyone weren’t treating me like fresh road apples.

My glass was empty again. I signaled a barmaid, but she passed me by without a glance. On my way to the bar I bumped into one of the whores. She fell to the floor. I looked around to make sure none of the customers were comin’ at me. It was pure accident, neither of us was looking where we were going, but I’d seen bar brawls start over stupider things. No matter how many sins a man committed he always became oddly noble whenever a woman was involved, whore or not.

I held out my hand to help her up. Hesitantly she took it with a grip that was too tight for a woman her size. Her touch sent a flood a sickness down to the pit of my stomach. I woulda’ dropped her if it wasn’t for her iron-tight hold on my hand. The whiskey in my belly turned sour, but I held it in. I would never get to the bottom of things if I got kicked out for puking on one of the girls. And if I didn’t find out what was going on it would bother me for days.

As I helped her up I looked into her eyes. I wasn’t completely surprised to see her eyes were all black, just like mine. If she was surprised by our similarity she didn’t show it. Odds were that she knew exactly what I was. I only had an inkling on what she was. If only she smiled I could get a good look at her teeth. When she did smile, it was closed mouth which was no help to me.

“Sorry, pardner.”

“De nada.”

She walked off, putting an extra wiggle in her walk. She may have filled me with revulsion, but she also very attractive. Maybe she was like me. Her soul traded for unnatural beauty. I doubted that. I’d met one or two fella’s who’d made deals like mine and they hadn’t caused me any stomach pains. She was somethin’ evil. Despite the sickness and the evil I still wanted her. It’d been a while since I’d had a lay down with a woman, paid or otherwise.

“’Nother one?” the bartender grunted.

In the dirty mirror I could see the girl I knocked over talking to the woman who was obviously the Madame. While the whores were too pretty for this town the Madame was almost too pretty for the world. Her clothes probably cost more than I had ever had in my entire life. They were talking about me. Wish I could say it was ego, but I knew it was trouble.

“I gotta’ piss first.”

“Shithouse is ‘round back.”

“Gracias.”

That’s how much I’d been ignored. Two days I’d been here, I knew where the outhouse was. Maybe there was a spell at work to keep me out of people’s minds. The bartender was human, which wasn’t uncommon. Lots of creatures I’d killed over my travels had human helpers. Vampires were the worst. For every one of those I killed I ended up having to kill three or four sniveling servants. Wish I didn’t have to this time. Even though they served evil they were still human. I hadn’t ever gotten used to killin’ humans.

Outside I pissed, choosing the side of the building over the outhouse to avoid the smell. When I turned around the girl I knocked over was standing right behind me. Outside I noticed that she smelled overwhelmingly of cinnamon. She smiled and froze my heart. It was a sweet smile, no fangs, something about it just made me all kinds of fearful.

I tried not to be obvious as my hand crept towards my gun. Well, not my gun. The gun I was using. It was a slightly terrible, kinda rusted six-shooter. My gun had been stolen by some punk kid in a town that ran me out. A wiser man would’ve just invested in a good revolver, one that wasn’t likely to blowing up when the trigger was pulled, but I really, really liked my LeMat. That gun was a thing of glory. Even if this gun did manage to fire my plan was risky. Any shots were going to draw attention.

“You look a little out of breath.” She said.

“Well, you take my breath away.”

“That’s very kind of you.” She ran her finger along my lips. My head was pounding. My hand started to shake. I started to have doubts that I’d be able to draw my gun without dropping it. She traced her finger across my cheek and then across the scar around my neck.

“Looks like someone got in trouble with the law. How’d you get out of this?”

“It’s not a noose scar, it’s a birthmark.”

“I like you. You’re playful.”

“I’ve been told I’m charming, yeah.”

Her other hand moved up my leg until it rested on my crotch. The nausea hit me much worse this time. The whiskey I’d drank came up all over her. She tightened her hand around my neck, lifted me off the ground and slammed me against the wall so hard that the boards broke. I drew my gun out. She slapped it away.

I didn’t exactly need air, but I could still pass out without it. I didn’t want to think about what she’d do to me if I wasn’t awake. This was my last chance. I made a big show of kickin’ her which didn’t seem to hurt her, only ta’ annoy her. I reached on the other side of my gun belt and grabbed my bowie. She had one hand on my neck, and the other on my pistol hand so I was able to stab the bowie knife as far into her shoulder as I could.

I was surprised to see a black goo ooze out instead of blood. It smelled like roses. She screamed so loud that something in my head popped. I could feel hot blood dribbling out of my ears. She dropped me. My hand was still on the knife so when I fell it wrenched even worse in her chest. She gave one more shriek before turning tale and runnin’ off into the darkness.

Immediately I snatched up my gun from the ground. Two more whores were already out the door. I emptied my revolver into the both of them. Got lucky on one and blew her brains out. The other one fell to the ground with a leg wound and from being gut shot. Counted my blessings for hittin’ them at all. Never was a real good aim.

I was reloading when another one of ‘em ran out. She came at me. With no other option I smacked her in the head with the butt of my gun. She went down, that black goo flowin’ steadily out of her skull. Whatever the hell these things were they died surprisingly easy despite how strong they were. I walked over to the one still alive. She was crying as she rolled on the ground clutching her belly.

“What the hell are you?”

“You’ve just made the worst mistake of your life!” She spoke through clenched teeth. Made it kinda’ hard to understand her. And my head was still ringing from the first girl screaming.

“I ain’t the one rollin’ around in a puddle of my own…blood? I ain’t exactly sure what that is.”

“She’ll kill you. But before she does she’ll make you wish you’d never been born.” She spat some of her blood at me.

“Lady, I wish I hadn’t been born every damned day. She can’t do worse.” I stomped down on her neck until I felt it break. With no plan to speak of I loaded my gun and walked into that brothel.

I breathed easier when I saw that the place was cleared out. They must have run off when they heard the gun shots.

From a balcony another whore emptied both barrels of a coach gun at me. She mostly missed. My right leg stung from a bit of buckshot. I returned fire and hit her in the chest. This was my lucky day for shootin’ folks. I looked down at my leg. It weren’t the prettiest sight in the world, but at least my foot was still attached to it.

While makin’ sure I wouldn’t need a wooden leg I left myself wide open for attack. One of the girls ran up and kicked me in the crotch. The world swam and my stomach lurched. She got lucky that I had already thrown up everything on the first girl. As I fell to my knees I swung out and punched her in the cooter. She yowled in pain and fell to the ground too. My gun was between us along with a derringer I supposed was hidden in her garter.

We lunged at the same time She got hold of my gun. I only got hers. She pointed at me and pulled the trigger. The gun exploded. I got stung by bits of metal. When the smoke cleared I saw that most of her hand was missing most a’ her fingers. I pointed her derringer at her. It was a tiny gun, but the bullet hit her in the eye. She slumped forward. That’s when I found out my stomach wasn’t completely empty and I threw up on her head. After a moment of trying to get my head together and my balls to stop aching I picked myself up off the floor.

For reasons not known to me I went up the stairs. A wiser man than me would’ve ran out the front door. I’d already been disarmed twice, choked, shot, almost deaf and I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see my balls again. Still, I’d feel pretty damn bad if I were to skirt and then something bad happened to everyone in the town.

Turned out that not everyone had fled the brothel. Some were huddled in various levels of undress in the rooms. I saw a few of the girls. They didn’t attack which meant there were less monsters than I figured there would be. One couple was ruttin’ so hard they must’ve figured that it’d be their last chance. I walked into their room and took the man’s gun from his belt that was lyin’ on the floor.

The large fancy door at the end of the hall, which I figured to be the Madame’s room, was locked. I went and got the coach gun, loaded it and used it ta’ open the door.

The Madame stood in the center of the room lookin’ pretty defiant. She didn’t have a weapon on her that I could see, but that didn’t mean she didn’t have me at a disadvantage. I moved out of the door so’s my back was against a wall. Didn’t want anyone gettin’ a jump on me.

“I’ve been trying to figure it out.” I said.

“Try to figure what out?”

“What exactly you are.”

She laughed. The sound made me sick, but also gave me a fierce erection. “Here we had been steering clear of you for two days since we figured you to be a demon slayer. There have been rumors of valiant cowboy trying to earn his soul back by killing demons. You fit the description. We thought with a low enough cover you would not have any reason to suspect us. But really you are just a bumpkin who started shooting at anything that was too scary.”

“You’re right on both accounts. I am just a bumpkin, but I also kill monsters.”

“You have no idea what you have stumbled across.”

“Pretty much. I’m thinkin’…vampires? That close? I mean, normally vampires don’t bleed ‘less they’ve been feeding, but maybe that black stuff just means you’re a different breed. Hot or cold?”

She spit on the ground, “You think we are those blood-sucking parasites? I should kill you just for that. My brood and I are succubae.”

That’s when it clicked for me. It must’ve shown on my face.

“Correct. I sensed you the first time you came through my doors. I ordered all my girls to stay away from you. Even the human ones, which they did gladly.”

“I had nothing they wanted. Except money. And I may not have a soul for your gals to devour, but I still have a dick. Or had one. One a your gals didn’t treat it too kindly. I don’t think I like this place much.”

“That is a shame. You see, you are going to be spending the rest of your life in the cellar. You are going to be my new play toy. Any time I have a bad day I am going to come down and take it out on you. I have a lot of bad days here. I know someone of your disposition can take a lot of pain. It will be years before you die. You may not have a soul for me to feed on , but that does not mean you are completely useless.”

“I don’t like the sound a’ that at all.”

I raised my gun and pulled the hammer back. She scoffed.

“You really think that will hurt me?”

“Shore.” I pulled the trigger. I missed. A picture behind her shattered and fell to the floor. She laughed again. Knew I was getting’ too lucky shootin’ everyone else.I re-aimed an’ that time it counted. The bullet made a small hole in her forehead, but the back of her head sprayed gore all over the wall. She tumbled backwards into an end table and crumpled to the ground. A lamp on the table fell to the ground with her and shattered. It was just my luck that the flames caught onto her pretty drapes. I had been looking forward to doing a bit of looting after I killed her. It’d been a while since I’d gotten paid for a job.

By the time I herded the stragglers outside, the brothel was mostly engulfed. There was a large, unhappy mob waiting to meet me. Though, in my experience, I had never met a mob that was happy to see me. The bartender was the leader, he had a noose in his hands.

“What? They were evil. I did you a favor.”

“That was the only source of money for this town,” the bartender said.

“They were eating people’s souls!”

“Only outsiders’ souls!” An old woman shouted.

“That’s real nice. Look, they attacked me first. You guys can re-build. I’m pretty sure it ain’t hard to find more succubae whores to populate it. Let’s just call it a wash.”

The crowd gasped. My heart sank. That never meant any good news for me. I turned around expectin’ the Madame to be rushing out of the building, ready to kill me. Instead I saw that the fire from the brothel had jumped to the surroundin’ buildings.

“Well…that ain’t good.”

 

The End

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