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A Short Story

The Attack Of The Massagetae

by

R.E. Prindle

 

While it is quite true that life is never easy there are moments that stand out as so insane as to be beyond belief. Truth and fiction. A writer can write any absurdity, any nonsense, any seeming impossibility he wants but there is always a real life situation that goes beyond it. Madness lurks in the human mind.

Man is a vile beast. This story goes to prove it.

Dewey was walking up to the seeming perfect love nest he and Vanesa had found in the Marin County town of Larkspur. The place had been the perfect dwelling to start their life as newlyweds. They had been overjoyed to find it. Now two weeks after their return from that honeymoon that tranquility had been blasted.

It was with heavy reluctant steps Dewey trudged up the lower slope of Mt. Tamalpais. He had to tell Vanessa that he had been fired from his job. He had been fired unjustly by a sadistic boss who was visiting his own early experience on another but in this world of seemings and appearances the accusation was immaterial and unprovable. The stark fact was that in his first month as a provider he had proved inadequate to the task.

Worse still was the knowledge that his former employer would blacklist him. He had a high hurdle to clear.

He turned the corner to begin the steeper climb to the duplex which lay in the sunshine above the lowering foggy skies on the level. As he climbed the steps to the porch he noted a rucksack beside the door.

Staring at it curiously he opened the door to find a man intimidating Vanessa.   The man glowered at Vanessa with obvious rape on his mind.

‘What’s going on here?’ Dewey said, repeating a phrase he had once heard a sheriff use, stepping between the man and Vanessa.

‘Get out of here, man. Didn’t you see my rucksack by the door?’

‘I think you’ve made an obvious miscalculation, pal, you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.’ Dewey stated in a firm voice but puzzled at the chutzpah of the man.

‘I said get out! Didn’t you see my rucksack by the door? You can come back when I’m finished.

‘Yeah. I saw your rucksack. Leave now.’

‘I’ll leave when I’ve done what I’ve come for! Don’t you know what that rucksack means, ignoramus? Amongst the ancient Massagetae of Scythia all women were the common property of the men. When a warrior was visiting a woman he planted his spear at the entrance of her hut. No one, not even her husband, interrupted the man until he finished and left. My rucksack is the equivalent of that spear!’

‘You’re quoting Herodotus to me to justify raping my wife, you scumbag.

Dewey’s left arm shot up straight, finger pointing to the door. ‘Get out.’ He shouted his voice quavering between rage and wonder at the man’s unparalleled chutzpah.

‘I will not. I…’

‘You will! Call the police honey.’ Dewey asked Vanessa taking care to not give her name away to the creep.

Vanessa still paralyzed from fear merely fluttered her hands but the man realized his game was up.

‘You uncivil bastard!’ He said, moving toward the door. ‘When word of this gets out your name will be mud around here.’

‘If word gets out Jack, You’ll have the police at your door. Only a fool would advertise that he’s a criminal.’

The man began to really move toward the door snatching up his rucksack as he passed through. ‘God, I hate a prick.’ He called back over his shoulder.

He walked on the down the hill where he was met by two confederates, Sammy Glick and Steve Levine.

‘Didn’t go over too well, eh, Jack.’ Smiled Sammy as though the matter had been a big joke.

‘What a prick! He wasn’t as dumb as we thought. He knew our routine came from Herodotus. I tried to brave him down but he wouldn’t go for it.’

‘Yeah, we know. We were watching from the trees across the street. You looked a little shaken when you left though. Did he pull a gun?’ Steve ventured.

‘He wanted to call the police and accuse me of attempted rape. I tried to intimidate him by saying we’d smear his name in the neighborhood when we got the word out but he said if I talked about it the police would be at my door. Now it think about it, it was really close. If he calls the cops they may see it as attempted rape.’

‘Don’t worry. He doesn’t know your name. Well smear him some other way.’ Sammy said. ‘Steve, you go down to the head of the street in case the police do come. When they do, stop them. By that time I’ll have something thought up. Some outrageous chutzpah, don’t worry.’

‘Man, It’s really too bad though. She’s a choice little piece.’

‘Yeah, I know, nice ass, big jugs. Besides it would have been the funniest thing. I imagined this thing where every night when he came home one of us would be in there with her, our ‘staff’ at the door. I could just see the prick sitting on his stoop waiting fur us to finish.’ Sammy chuckled low down in his throat. ‘Wouldn’t that be a gas?’

Sammy saw himself as a big clever man triumphing over his lesser. Such was morality in the California of 1963. It was going to get worse. Back in the house Dewey comforted Vanessa who was quite shaken. To have this insanity crushed on top of Dewey being fired came close to breaking his spirit. As vile as he knew the world to be he was stunned to find it as sick as this. He still had a long life of learning ahead of him

He didn’t call the police because the police had never listened to him before. He saw no reason for them to do so now.

‘I don’t think he’ll be back, Vanessa, but if he does have the police number memorized and call them immediately. Yell out the window to Trudy downstairs. Throw something at him.’

Dewey still had to find a convenient time to tell her he’d been fired.

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