SERIAL LIVING

(c) 2001

Chapter Eight

By

Jeff Strand



Ricky Gas was the greatest porn star of his generation, and any day now people would realize it. He wasn't getting much work, but that was because most producers were too dumb to realize what a fantastic stage name hehad.

"Why Ricky Gas?" they'd ask.

"Because I PUMP, baby, I pump all night long!"



Some of them mentioned that pumping gasoline usually only took a couple of minutes, but Ricky had no time for their overly literal nonsense. A more common observation was that "Gas" made viewers think of involuntary activities best left out of intimate situations, but again, they just didn't get it. What was he going to call himself, Ricky Wiener? It was Ricky Gas or nothing, and while most of the producers so far had picked the second option, that would certainly change.

Anyway, today was his highest paying gig yet, BABES IN GANGLAND II: THE BACK ALLEY. He wasn't sure why there were no crew members or even any technical equipment on the prison set, but he'd been told to sit here and wait, and if there was one thing Johnny Gas could do better than anyone else in the business, it was sit someplace and wait.

BABES IN GANGLAND II. Wow. He was going to be in the sequel to an absolute classic. The interrogation scene in the original film was what made him want to become an actor. He'd been astonished by just how much the actor playing the evil dentist resembled Laurence Olivier in MARATHON MAN (and a bit disturbed by how much the actress resembled Dustin Hoffman). He hadn't used a drill, of course, he'd used a...actually, Ricky had never been able to figure out what that thing was, but it definitely wasn't a drill. A timeless classic, even with the dog-faced actress.

The door opened, and four people entered. Some guy, a hot chick, the brunette Jenna who'd hired him and was carrying a video camera, and a tall guy with a gun who...was he really wearing a diaper? What was up with the diaper? Nobody said anything about a diaper.

"Dude, what's with the diaper?" he asked.

"Silence!" said the diaper dude. Ricky didn't much like the idea of being snapped at by some guy in a diaper, but he hadn't been paid yet, so he decided to keep his mouth shut.



* * *



"Sit down," said the brunette, directing Al to what looked like a dentist's chair. He wasn't sure why there would be a dentist's chair in a prison set, but the adult motion picture industry was not exactly known for its rigid adherence to logic. He didn't really want to sit in the chair, but he didn't want the brunette to kick him with her big feet again, so he complied. The revolver Feldman now held was also a contributing factor to his decision.



Once Al was seated, the brunette set her camera aside and fastened leather straps around his hands and feet. Al tried to give Lynn a reassuring smile, even if he was starting to think that he might need a diaper of his own before this was all over. Once the straps were tightly fastened, the brunette picked up her camera and stepped out of the way.



Feldman gave the brunette a thumbs-up. "Perfect!" He pointed at the goofy-looking guy who was leaning against the far wall. "You! It's time for your big scene!"



"Cool." The goofy-looking guy walked over to the dentist's chair and shook Lynn's hand. "I'm Ricky Gas. Pleasure to be working with you. You don't look familiar. What other pictures have you done?"



"She's new to the business," said Feldman.



"She doesn't look happy."



"She isn't."



Ricky nodded. "Lots of unhappy actresses in this business. Me, I don't understand it. It's a great job. You get to meet new people, casual dress code, no desk unless you're on top of one..."



"Shut up."



"Gotcha."



Feldman turned and pointed the gun at Lynn. "On your knees in front of the chair. Now."



Lynn glared at him. "And if I refuse?"



"Bang. Spurt, spurt. Thud."



Lynn opened her mouth as if to respond, but then decided against it and got down on her knees. Feldman pointed the gun at Ricky. "Now you get behind her."



Ricky frowned. "Okay, I want to make sure I completely understand the situation first. We're all professionals here, right? I mean, that gun's just a prop, isn't it? I wouldn't want to be involved in anything weird. I mean, weirder than the diaper."



"Just get behind her," said Feldman.

"Because, you know, I'm all man, I don't want there to be any doubts about that, but it's kind of hard to keep the ol' equipment at maximum power when there's a gun waving all over the place, if you know what I mean, so I was just hoping--"

"Be quiet!" Feldman shouted.

"Gotcha."

Feldman gestured to the brunette. "Go ahead and start taping now." He walked over to the dentist's chair. "Now let me set the scene. Al, you're in possession of certain information that I require. Since you've refused to talk, I've had to take drastic measures." He picked up a freaky-looking object with his free hand. "I'll be asking you quite a bit more than 'Is it safe?'"

"What the hell is that thing?" asked Al.

"I don't believe it has an actual name," Feldman replied. "Suffice it to say that you won't like what it does. It's going to hurt. Badly."



"I believe you."



"Meanwhile, our friend Ricky here will be doing things to your sweet Lynn that go so far beyond what decent people would consider natural that it will make your head spin, if it weren't already spinning from the excruciating pain you'll be suffering. Ricky, I assume you've studied the original BABES IN GANGLAND?"

"Yep."



"Excellent. That's what you'll be doing. Now, Al, because I'm not a complete beast, you should realize that this entire scene can be avoided if you'll simply tell me what I want to know about the invisibility suits."



"Not a problem," said Al. "Grab a notebook."



Feldman grinned. "Okay, I lied. We at least need to do one take. But if you cooperate, there'll be no need for a second." He began to lower the freaky object toward Al's mouth. "Open wide."



"So...do I start now?" asked Ricky.

"By all means," Feldman replied.

"Gotcha. By the way, before we get too far into the scene, I did want to thank you for this opportunity. BABES IN GANGLAND has always been one of my favorites, and I really hope I can match the performance of Elephant Joe."



"I'm sure you'll do just fine."



"Thanks." Ricky patted Lynn on the shoulder. "I do have to say, it's gonna be much nicer working with you than the ugly skank in the original movie."



There was a very long silence. Feldman stepped away from the chair and let the bizarre object fall to the floor. "I beg your pardon?" he asked in a barely audible voice.



"Remember her?" asked Ricky. "Talk about your bow-wowers. I have no idea how she got into the business at all, let alone in a classic like BABES IN GANGLAND. I've seen her in a couple films, and believe me, she doesn't get any prettier. I think she died not too long ago. You know that one was a closed casket funeral. Gag."

The brunette lowered the camera and began to carefully back away. Feldman stared at Ricky for a long moment, and then spoke in a trembling voice. "Do you know who you have just insulted?"

Ricky apparently realized that he'd made a major error. "Uh, maybe I was thinking about somebody else," he said.



"YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT MY MOTHER!!!" Feldman screamed, squeezing off three gunshots in rapid succession. Because of his fury, two of the shots went wild, though the third came inches from Ricky's left ear.

"Whoa!" shouted Ricky, fleeing for the exit. Feldman took another shot at him and missed again.



Al tugged at the straps holding him to the chair, not really expecting them to break through brute force but figuring it was worth a shot. Lynn immediately lunged forward and grabbed the creepy thing that Al still couldn't identify as Feldman rushed toward the exit, screaming in rage.

Lynn spun around and threw the thing. It spun through the air, and the back (front? side?) of it struck Feldman in the back of the head, knocking him to the floor. The gun flew out of his grip and slid across the cement.



Both Lynn and the brunette rushed for the weapon. The brunette got there a split-second earlier, but a double-fisted blow to the jaw sent her reeling. She slammed against the wall then dropped to the floor and lay still.



Lynn picked up the gun and pointed it at Feldman, who was rubbing his head and not making any attempt to get back up. She kept the gun pointed at him as she hurried over to the dentist's chair and unfastened the straps.



"Thanks," said Al. "I owe you...uh, several."



"You owe me a hell of a lot more than that. My God, the day after I hallucinate losing my virginity to you, I almost lose it again in some sick porno movie. I'm going to switch to practicing law in a nunnery, I swear."



"You hallucinated what?"



"I thought we'd had a pleasant little romp out on the grass in a park, but it all turned out to just be a hallucination created by some cyborg, which I have to admit seemed like kind of a cheat, and then I...you know, maybe we should forget trying to make sense out of this whole situation and just figure out away to end it as soon as possible."



"Works for me." As Lynn finished unfastening the straps, Al got out of the chair and flexed his arms. "All right, Feldman, it's over."



Feldman shakily got to his feet. "Mommy."



"Now, we have a bit of a problem," said Al. "I can't turn you in to the police, because we can't have word leaking out about the invisibility suits. But shooting somebody in a diaper just seems wrong. So how do you suggest we handle this?"



"Mommy..." Feldman repeated.



"Feldman? Try to stay with me, buddy."



"She wasn't a whore, you know. She was a fine actress." Feldman bent down and picked up the weird thing. "This is an actual prop from BABES IN GANGLAND, her finest performance."



Al turned to Lynn. "I've got this covered if you want to find someplace to wash your hands."



"I sleep with this by my bedside every night," said Feldman.



"Okay, I really, really, really need you to focus on the problem at hand here," said Al. "Can you do that forme?"



"Of course I can." Feldman ran his thumb along the thing, and pressed a button that Al had previously assumed was something much more disturbing than a button. "I've modified this since the taping of BABES IN GANGLAND."



"What did that button do?" asked Lynn, warily.



"Not much. But something."



"How about you shoot him?" Lynn asked Al.



Feldman forced a weak smile. "The button controlled the self-destruct mechanism for this whole bunker. It's going to blow up in about...oh, seventy-two seconds, I think." He smacked himself in the forehead with the thing and dropped unconscious.



Al and Lynn exchanged an uncomfortable glance.



"Well," said Lynn, "I believe it's your turn to do the rescuing."






Chapter 9 by Jennifer Dunne





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