Tuesday, February 17, 2009

“A Town Called Disdain”, Episode 119: reprieve

Larry Winchester, by overwhelming popular demand,* now returns to perhaps the most oddly compelling of his dramatis personae, the motorcycle gang leader Moloch, last seen knocked unconscious in the cab of Enid’s 1954 Dodge flatbed truck, on this fateful night in September, 1969, somewhere in the New Mexico desert near a town called Disdain...

(This episode rated R for unpleasant language and content. Go here for our previous chapter, or here for the first one.)

*”Give the people what they want.” -- L. Winchester

Moloch awoke to the crackling of gunshots, to the pain in the wreckage of his nose and to the all-too-familiar taste of blood in his mouth.

The bitches were gone.

Where? The driver’s door was open. He scuttled across the seat and peered out into the desert.

There they were, the two mad cows, running, carrying pistols (one of them doubtless his own trusty Webley), running in that wretched wrists-raised hip-wagging way bitches ran. And, to make matters even more distressing, speeding toward the bitches from the left distance were the jouncing headlights of a motorcar or lorry. And, fuck it all, farther out in the direction of that atomic town was the dark approaching shape of yet another vehicle with its headlights extinguished.


He leapt from the truck -- and what were his men doing, those scum?

There they were all lined up straddling or standing next to their hogs, facing that butte or mesa or whatever you called those hideous desert hill-things, apparently taking target practice, ignoring, bloody ignoring the escape of the two bitches.

With his hands still annoyingly tied behind his back Moloch ran over to his men, shouting in his best parade-ground voice:

“What the bloody hell are you bloody fucking swine doing!”

They all turned.

One of them, called Canker, a tall thin scabrous youth with a incongruous long wiry beard and two greasy long pigtails hanging out from under his Viking helmet, lowered the Sten gun which he had just been about to unload at Captain Pym’s still-living head. He had dismounted his hog the better to fire.

“Wow, whut happen to your nose, Moloch?”

The nose or what was left of it had started to bleed in force again and Moloch sprayed blood into Canker’s face as he shouted:

“What the bloody hell do you think happened to my nose, you fucking idiot?”

“Jeeze, Moloch, I dunno --”

Then Moloch noticed the mournful head wearing a naval officer’s cap in the middle of the sink hole.

“Who the fuck is that?”

“It’s a sailor,” said Canker. “We shootin’ at him.”

“Sailors is faggots,” said Pigmind.

This was all too much. Isufuckingportable.

“Testicle flied in there,” said Canker. “Him and his hog.”

“Fuck Testicle,” said Moloch.

“Testicle was my brudder,” said Canker.

Moloch fixed Canker coldly with his one good eye.

“My dear Canker, simply because he buggered you on a nearly daily basis -- and was sometimes kind enough to use a bit of Valvoline as lubricant -- this did not make Testicle your brother. Now, while we are chatting those two bitches are making good their escape. Be so good as to cut me loose.”

Trying to restrain his anger but breathing heavily, bubbles of blood foaming and popping in his nose gash, Moloch turned around.

“But that’s your old college scarf, ain’t it, Moloch?”

“Cut it, please, Canker.”

“Okay, Moloch.”

Canker slung the Sten over his shoulder, took out his Bowie knife and sliced through Moloch’s scarf.

Moloch turned and unknotted the ragged remains of his Magdalene College scarf from his wrists and threw them in the dirt. For more than twenty years he had managed to keep the foul rag, one of his few mementoes of his former civilized existence. Well, fuck it.

“Now,” he said, caressing his wrists, “we are going after the bitches. Canker, let me have that Sten.”

Canker obediently unslung the gun and handed it over.

“I’ll take your bike,” said Moloch. “You ride bitch with someone else.”

“I don’t ride bitch wit nobody.”

Canker still held the Bowie knife by his side. How fucking dare he.

“How dare you,” said Moloch.

“Well, I don’t, Moloch. I don’t ride bitch wit --”

Moloch smashed him in the face with the steel butt of the Sten gun and Canker staggered back into the sink hole and immediately sank to his waist.

Canker spat out a tooth and some blood and said:


Moloch gave him a short burst in the chest with the Sten, Canker sank back and disappeared, and that was that.

Bugger, thought Moloch. He had forgotten himself. He had meant to kill Ridpath first. This night was just not turning out right. Not right at all.

He turned and looked out into the desert. The closer of the two cars he had seen had almost reached the two bitches.

He took one deep breath.

“All right, men,” he said. “We still have a chance to salvage a modicum of dignity from tonight’s festivities. The bitches are about to get into a car and drive away. I suggest we go after them. Unless --” he raised the Sten gun ever so slightly, “anyone has any other suggestions or comments?”

“Wayull, ah jes’ got one,” ventured Pigmind.

“Yes my dear Pigmind.”

Moloch gently caressed the Sten gun’s trigger.

“Whut about that head out there?” asked Pigmind. “Cain’t we shoot him fust?”

Moloch glanced at the wan pale face of Pym.

“No,” he said, certainly not out of any feeling of mercy, but simply to reaffirm his primacy. “Fuck the head.”

A faint muttering and groaning of disappointment fluttered from the ranks.


Best to nip this sort of nonsense in the bud. But there were so many of them, and they were so undisciplined, and so well armed. Sometimes one had to throw the curs a bone.

“However,” pronounced Moloch heartily, slinging the Sten over his shoulder, “let me just say that the first man to drag that queen bitch out of that car by her hair has my permission to have his way with her first when we gangbang her and the little bitch!”

“Huzza,” yelled a few of the men.

“I just got one more question,” said Pigmind. “If I may.”

“Yes, Pigmind, of course,” said Moloch, through his teeth.

“Whut if we would prefer to have our way with the little bitch first?”

“Yes, of course, Pigmind, whichever you prefer.”

“Huzza, then!” shouted Pigmind.

“Huzza!” cried the rest.

And bloody well fuck you all, thought Moloch, as he mounted Canker’s hog and kicked and twisted it into belching life.

So, thought Pym. A reprieve. Or at least a stay of execution. He watched the bikes roar away. His calves were very tired, standing as he was on his toes, buried up to his chin in this sand. Soon he supposed he would lose his strength, sink back, suffocate -- asphyxiate? -- and die. Unless something else happened.

As he watched the gang roar off in a great cloud of unquiet somber dust he now felt the return of a feeling he now recognized as the dominant one of his life:

He was bored.

(Continued here. Please refer to the right hand side of this page to find a purportedly complete listing of links to all other extant episodes of Larry Winchester’s A Town Called Disdain™, soon to be a major motion picture from the Rank Organisation, featuring Ralph Fiennes as Moloch.)

The Ronettes. That’s Estelle Bennett to the right:


Unknown said...

Moloch, bad as he can be, becomes more likable in his way all the time. Evil yes, petty no.
My guess is he'll regret tangling with Enid and Hope for a second go 'round. And whatever his definition of 'brudder' might be, it's awfully foreign to the US Wild West I've imagined. For if Testicle wasn't Canker's Big Bad Brudder, who on earth can claim fraternity?

Anonymous said...

I suspect that Moloch just might be Ralph Fiennes's greatest role -- except for his Arnold Schnabel of course.

Anonymous said...

I want to marry Ronnie.

Unknown said...

A fine and manly episode.
Michael Caine might be interested in the Moloch role -- taking his "Get Carter" role one step further.

Dan Leo said...

Manny, "Get Carter" (the original one of course) just happens to be one of my all-time favorite flicks.

One of my favorite lines from that movie:

"You're a big man, but you're in bad shape. With me it's a full time job. Now behave yourself."


"You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow."

Unknown said...

Michael Caine, in any of his roles, is my role model.

Dan Leo said...

Guess what movie I just rented for the weekend?

Here's another exchange from "Get Carter":

Eric: So, what're you doing then? On your holidays?

Jack Carter: No, I'm visiting relatives.

Eric: Oh, that's nice.

Jack Carter: It would be...if they were still living.