Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica December 2022
Stefania was screaming. Screaming like she’d never screamed before. Thoughts were running wildly through her brain like an out-of-control train grinding and screeching off the rails with huge winged trails of sparks fanning out behind. How could this be happening? It was her birthday! Her getaway dream vacation in Costa Rica. This was supposed to be paradise! She was in a gated, luxury, five-star resort retreat surrounded by acres of rich, verdant palm trees, in the middle of a live, rain-cloud forest teaming with exotic wildlife. She screamed and screamed again as she used her hands to fend off the six-inch gleaming blade the security guard was thrusting toward her with his cold, black, dead eyes. She gasped in disbelief and her eyes widened as the outstretched palm of her hand came into contact with the tip of the knife blade and felt a rush of horror and nausea as she felt the blade rip through her palm and penetrate out the back of her hand. Her unanswered screams were being absorbed and disappearing into the slanting, silvery-black, steaming torrents of rain. And far away deep in her mind, she knew she was going to die. But here? Like this? The blade tingled inside her hand, clean and numbing like a warm butter knife penetrating a quarter of soft-hard butter or wedge of semi-hard Gouda cheese.
Only 20 or 30 minutes before, she had called the Security Guard’s tiny office and asked him if he could walk the 500 feet to the front desk vending machine and purchase a small bottle of water for her. She didn’t want to get wet, for the heavy rain had been falling all day. nd she was tired and had a plane to catch early in the morning. It was just past 12 midnight when the security guard arrived and settled in for his shift when she called him. “No problems senorita” the Guard had replied on the phone. Shortly after her call, he knocked on her door with the bottle of water in hand. After she took it from him and was reaching into her purse for money, he smiled and suddenly pushed his way in. She held her purse to her breasts and began backing up inside the room toward the balcony. “What are you doing?” She yelled. “What’s wrong with you?” “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?” She screamed then, noticing the strange, dead, insane look in his eyes. “Para ti, senorita, para ti” he said, his lips and tongue making a sickening clicking sound as he advanced, slicing and thrusting a small, jade green thing through the air, back and forth and up and down as if blessing her. It was then that she saw and heard the sharp, click of the silver blade emerge from the handle of the knife he held in his hand. “Para ti senorita, para ti.” The rain continued falling, heavy, deep and thick like damp smoke, soaking and caressing all in its warm cascades and deadening all sound. It fell on the giant palm trees, the sleeping birds, with their eyes open under their canopies, the big and small spiders waiting to mate in their secret hiding places, the phosphorescent scorpions, the tiny, cartoon-like frogs with their green and red suction cup legs clinging and singing in the jungle night. And it fell on the vipers, coiled and digesting their prey, hanging, fat, and unmoving invisibly nestling within the drenched branches of trees. The rain fell and the sounds smothered Stefania’s screams. The rain fell on the security guard’s tiny, lit office and it fell on the high, wrought-iron, curved gate, with the sculpted, metallic, fleur-de-lis patterns, surrounding the bronze-gold plaque reading “Welcome to La Buena Vista, a Sanctuary and Safe Space For All to Rest, Relax and Renew.” Next to the English words was the Spanish translation, with a circle of tiny hummingbirds surrounding the letters embedded like jewels set in the thick, black, wrought iron fence.
Her screaming continued to be drowned out by the great, white noise of the falling rain, and eaten up by the jungle's dark. The g,uard stepped back now pulling the knife out of la Gringa’s palm then jabbing again at her arms, thrusting toward her shoulders, then slicing across her breasts. Her wounds bloomed through her turquoise-colored top and sports bra. One quick jab pierced and penetrated her left nipple deep into her breast up to the hilt of the switchblade. Carla grunted and gasped. To the guard, the noises she made sounded like sex. He continued to jab and penetrate her stomach then, the soft tissue of her belly retracting at the pain and her abs contracting as the blade penetrated into her gut. He aimed some jabs again, higher, this time toward her head, and with one high, quick thrust, stabbed her itsin the left eye, the blade penetrating deep into her eyeball, its pulpy fluid popping out and over onto her cheek. This blow seemed to stun her so that her screaming ceased and she lost her balance, falling and hitting her head with a thick “THWACK” against the white balcony railing and crumpling to the floor. Edges of raindrops anymorespattered on her bloody face and torso as she writhed slowly, moaning. “Por favor…why?” More words disappearing in the rain. By her head, the small bottle of water rolled toward the edge of the balcony’s pink cement floor slipping under the railing down into the darkness. Both the security guard’s hands were covered with blood, so that his grip on the jade green handle of the switchblade was slippery.
The switchblade had been christened “El Verde” and was a birthday gift he’d purchased for his six-year-old son, just days before. Upon unwrapping the mysterious gift, the child had been fascinated by the speed and force with which the glimmering, steel blade had flicked out of the smooth, shining, translucent jade handle. He’d pressed the small, secret button again and again releasing the blade and then folding it back into its mysterious, unseen hiding place. The child smiled and laughed as he did this over and over. After a few days, however the Security Guard and his wife decided to hide the knife from the child, for the blade was so sharp the boy had cut himself a number of times, while playing alone with the lethal toy. His wife had stashed it in the bottom drawer of the couple’s bedroom dresser. A few days later before his shift began, the Security Guard retrieved the knife from its hiding place and took it with him as he started his midnight to 10 A.M. shift at La Buena Vista where he worked seven nights a week. During his shift, when alone in his tiny office, he would remove the switchblade from the pocket of his khaki uniform and play with it, much like his son had. When he was sure he was alone, he would release the blade again and again, caressing the warm, smooth, deep jade green handle of the knife. Then he would kiss the blade after flicking it open and lick it with his tongue oh so carefully. Sometimes he would crouch, with bent knees, parrying and thrusting the sharp blade into the faces and bodies of invisible demons—always careful that he was alone, always sure no one was watching. The flick and switch and release of the hard, steel blade made his cock, hard, hot and heavy with gorged blood. His cow of a wife had been too tired for sex after their son was born. When he couldn’t stand it any,more, he had to slap her and force her to open her legs to satisfy him. She knew that first slap was a signal for her to offer up to him what he wanted, whether she was tired or not. She assumed her position by silently lying on her back with her butt raised and waiting. For if she didn’t oblige him more slaps were sure to come and they stung and hurt when he showered her with them all over her belly, breasts and buttocks if she didn’t comply immediately to his will. As he thrust the knife through the air at invisible demons, he recalled how many times he was bullied and beaten on the way home from school when he was a child in the poor barrio in the inner city of the capital where he was born. This happened day after day until an older cousin gave him a miraculous gift, his first knife El Rojo. El Rojo had a sparkling ruby red handle and was a switchblade too. His cousin taught him how to use it well, for he was a gang member. One day, the boy surprised the bullies and used “El Rojo” on them when they followed him home after school taunting and laughing at him. “Hey maricon, bedejo!” They called laughing and making piggy grunting sounds. Then he turned on them. With El Rojo in hand, he attacked. He made them bleed and cry and chased them away so that they never bothered him again.
The Security Guard had been noticing la Gringa, the hot, little American blond from Miami all week long. He’d made small talk with her. She spoke fluid Spanish, was originally from Venezuela and was here for a week, celebrating her birthday. He smelled her perfume as she passed him, late at night. His shift began at Midnight, in his tiny office at the front gate of the resort-retreat. While sitting or standing in his tiny Guardhouse office, late at night when she passed him, he’d noticed her tetas, ample and round. Her lips full and swollen. He imagined kissing those lips and touching her big tetas roughly with his hands; kneading, sucking then biting and chewing on them. He watched her walk with her full ass and thighs unusually big on such a seemingly small, dainty body. Her ass moved seductively, like large melons rolling together as she walked modestly with just the barest hint of playfulness, in her shiny, gold sandals passing his guardhouse on that way to her room late at night on the second floor of the nearest complex, Number 13. He had noticed her on all of the previous five nights since she’d checked in. She seemed both woman and little girl, with an attitude that said “I’m too good for you. You can look at me. But you will never, ever have me.” And this made his soul burn, like salt in a wound. This puta, whom he couldn’t have, would never have, passing by him late every night. This little whore, this Gringa—she chafed at him like wet sand chafes at your feet and rubs in between your toes after you walk in the waves of the ocean with your sandals on. She teased him, like a little mosquito that buzzes around your head in the dark on late summer nights and bites your neck but you can never kill it or see it until it flies, drifting by with its bloated belly full of your blood, in front of a big, brightly lit flat-screen TV; buzzing by as if laughing at you and then disappearing into the dark to bite and suck your blood again. He found himself thinking about her as he lay next to his cow of a wife, late into the night. Tonight la Gringa was all alone. There were no lights on any of the other rooms adjoining hers and the next wing of the complex was a good 10 minutes away, adjoining the front service area with its check-in desk and vending machines. The clerks were long since gone. And now, this rain! The rain was his friend, it drowned out all sound. He was totally alone with her. And tonight he could have fun. Fun with her and El Verde. And she was leaving tomorrow. Checking out. No one would ever know. Perfecto. “No problema Gringa. Perfecto” he said to her over the phone when she asked him to bring her some bottled water. He repeated it to himself again while staring at her lit window through the rain where her silhouette moved restlessly. He removed “El Verde” from the pocket of his uniform again and flicked the blade open with a short, metallic, whispering “CLICK.” So efficient, so cold, hard and sharp. At the sound, his cock came alive, hardening and straining against his underwear and his pants, like some wild thing. He caressed the sweet, sharp blade with his free hand, then retracted the blade back into the jade handle where it became invisible. He did this again and again, staring toward Number 13 where his birthday girl waited for his gift.
c. 2023 by Steven Orr