Wet Linda, by Paul Parducci
Description: Popular Hollywood Actor/Filmmaker Paul Parducci’s first pulse-pounding Psychologically intense and Twisted Horror Novel will have you looking twice at all things liquid.
A self-hating Eighteen year-old moves into a sterile California suburb and her life becomes a lung-filling nightmare as she comes under the control of something very evil met at the community pool.
A Novel about a Bad Thing from the Water.
Chapter 8: History
Mandy knelt just outside the stall in the Palmetto pool house ladies room. The light was off and the door was locked. She was cold because as always she wore only her wet swimsuit. Her suit was always wet when she knelt because before she was allowed to come in she had to swim four laps front to back, four laps back to front, four laps left to right, and four laps right to left. Four fours…absolutely blessed. Mandy was not worthy to go inside the stall. She had to prove herself. She was still forming and had not even really been tested. After formation was complete and testing was finished, then and only then, she would be given permission to prove. And when she was proven, she would get the list and begin the good work. She had heard a priest on TV say once “Faith without works is dead.”
The pain of the gritty tile as it dug into her bare knees was purifying and she welcomed it; you needed hard edges and boundaries to form anything.
The first week of school had passed quickly, but now she needed instructions. Would she come today? Sometimes she didn’t. When she didn’t come Mandy just went to the supply closet and refilled her vial of Happy Blue from one of the gallon containers of Pool Shock Algaecide and left. She always genuflected before she left, facing the stall all the way out.
Then the scent came. The wonderful scent of the one who knew… the one who overcame loneliness and lack of power… the scent was pressed—and-close—and full. It always made Mandy dizzy in that wonderful way, like spinning on the sunny front lawn when the ice cream truck was coming…
At first the scent was hard, but she had learned that it was all about perfect life. It had smelled to her only of diseased death at first, stagnant and vile. Now she knew better.
The water lapped at her knee, water from the stall, electric and wonderful. This had never happened before. Tears came to her eyes and her inner thighs flushed with blood. The water kept coming and started to puddle around her knees until she was an island. Mandy pushed her head to the floor and like a butterfly rested her lips on the surface of the water. It was liquid warm like a sun that made waves instead of rays. She opened her mouth and began to lap up the water. At first she was slow and delicate, but as she felt the brilliant warm goodness flowing down her throat she began to slurp. She stopped only when her front teeth scratched on the damp tile and the puddle was gone. She raised her head and tried to adjust herself back into a proper kneel, meaning bringing her lazy ass off her heals and straightening her back. The room began to spin and when she tried to get to her feet to get outside for some air she fell to the floor and began to dream. Not to dream she knew even as it began… but to see.
It was the Palmetto Pool on a cloudy day. Not a day anyone would pick to go swimming. The gate was posted: POOL CLOSED FOR CLEANING. In smaller letters at the bottom of the sign it read: Warning-Chemicals Being Used Can Be Harmful Or Fatal.
A chubby girl with stringy hair and smatterings of angry acne was being led to the gate by a group of three boys. Mandy saw immediately who two of the boys were. There was Mike Rall and “not Mike” who she had learned to be Kevin Spillman, and another boy she had not seen before. He was built like a linebacker even though he was wearing an aqua-colored Garth Swim team sweatshirt over a pair of black swim trunks with a tiny logo of a shark. The other boys were in this team uniform as well. Although the girl barely resembled the newspaper photo she had seen, Mandy knew it was Linda Frack. She saw the sad hope in her eyes—she was like a puppy.
Then something she didn’t expect—Karen Wilkes walking up as well and then two more girls following—she saw them before at the other pool; Lori and Bethy…
As Mandy watched in this non-dream a hard knot formed in her stomach. Three attractive girls and three attractive guys and… Linda.
Linda wasn’t there for any reason she might have construed in her most outrageous teen fantasy. Linda was there to entertain the others.
The difference was stunning between the six and the one. The immediate analogy for Mandy was of a farm animal at a birthday party. It wasn’t a mean thought, just automatic. An animal from a very nice petting zoo where it is mostly well cared for, at a party filled with spiteful cruel children who are currently putting on their best face for the benefit of calming the creature before the planned mischief.
They were giving Linda more attention then she had ever had in her life. This was obvious. She drank it in, vacuumed it like air after a close call at suffocation.
Linda pointed at the sign. Mandy heard her.
“It says no swimming.” Her voice was flat.
Mike Rall spoke up first and directly like he was reading from a script. “Oh, forget that sign. They finished cleaning the pool a week ago. Isn’t that right, Karen?
“Yes.” She was obviously uncomfortable with…what? But she said it…she lied for Mike. There was a plan here.
Linda shakily sat down on one of the aluminum pool chairs; she sat on the edge like she didn’t deserve to be fully set in the chair. Or maybe she was testing it for stability as if she didn’t quite know if it would hold her.
Mandy felt the damp floor beneath her. It was strange, but it all somehow made perfect sense. She was in two worlds at once. Another gift from her Lady… Her Lady of the Pool…
They were all inside now, standing near the edge—too close. The water was a deep blue-green, the chemical smell sharp and fresh. Linda looked at it with great concern. Kevin and the other one were standing just behind Mike. Beth and Lori were clustered by Karen- the air was full—bad air. Strong Mike was all about moving what was to happen ahead: “Let’s swim…”
He pulled his sweatshirt off and looked very quickly at the others who were ready to go along with him. Mandy knew that the worst looks were always the quickest. The boys took theirs off as well and after a second’s pause, Karen stepped out of her white shorts and unbuttoned her shirt revealing a very taut body in a very small bikini. Beth and Lori hesitated a second more and they too disrobed.
Mandy squirmed and felt her cheek slide on the tile in the other world as she watched Linda blush crimson and sit down gingerly on the edge of a pool chair. They all watched…the vultures watched, the willing vultures and the go-along vultures, the doubts-before vultures and the lets-do-this-thing vultures.
They watched as a chubby plain girl with bad skin and stringy hair pulled off her out-of-style jeans and her yellowing white smock to show off an ugly one-piece with a fraying swim skirt. Linda stood at the edge of the pool. She moved her foot forward stepping toward the steps that led into the shallow end. Then she saw Rall look at Karen—this was the signal. Karen spoke up and looked in turn to Lori and Bethy, “Hold on I’ve got to pee.”
Bethy did not miss her line, “Let’s all go, I hate swimming when I have to pee.”
Karen’s hand delicately encircled Linda’s as she pulled her along with the others toward the restroom. Mandy wondered if she would see them here now, if the two worlds would converge. Mandy watched as the door opened there… but not here… and the light went on there… but not here. Karen went into the stall and peed first, and she left the door ajar. Mandy heard the urine as it hit the surface with a bubbling rush. She watched Linda as she heard it too, and her cheeks turned crimson. Mandy saw immediately that Linda had never been near another person while they were urinating. Karen was clearly visible dabbing her vagina with toilet paper and snapping her suit into place. She stepped out and said, “Linda you better go now…”
Linda went into the stall and Mandy saw her slide the bolt, heard her slip her suit off her shoulders and watched as her large stretched out swimsuit slid down her thick legs to the top of her feet. Mandy waited along with Bethy, Lori and Karen—her urine, when it finally came was a dribbling, splashy trickle. Karen leaned in, “Do you have to go number two?”
The answer from inside the stall came more as a question, “…no…”
“Are you sure? Because it’s better to be cleaned out, I mean…empty before you…swim.”
The suit slid back up Linda’s calves and the toilet flushed. Linda stepped out of the stall and went to the sink to wash her sausage-shaped fingers.
As the water ran, the air seemed to leave the room. Eye signals all around—Bethy left, then Lori. Karen called out, “We’ll see you outside.”
Karen walked out of the Ladies room at the Palmetto Pool as Mike Rall, Kevin Spillman and the large boy who looked like a linebacker walked in.
“Hi Linda,” Mike said. “We’re going to make you a very popular girl.”
Mandy watched from the floor as it all played out before her in real time yet also not there. She saw the fear explode on Linda’s face as she saw the three large boys blocking the door.
“Please go,” she said. Her voice was like a mouse or maybe a bug. Kevin looked like he wanted to leave but he would not leave because Mike wanted to stay and he was in charge. Linebacker would do exactly what was to be done without a second thought. Mandy looking up at him from the other floor thought that he could even be thinking of something else, like dinner. It amazed Mandy but she thought, yes he is probably thinking about what he will have for dinner.
Mike answered Linda. “No, we can’t go because we have something important to do. You see Linda, even though you are a fat, disgusting cow, you still have a use for us and you are going to find that you will like what we use you for. And then you will become our permanent special Use Buddy.”
Linda blinked and then blinked again, this time much slower, as if her eyelids were connected to some vast mountain-encased supercomputer that could process where she now was and give her the plan that would save her. But her eyelids were just eyelids and the linebacker grabbed Linda and held her down so that her forearms were pinned to porcelain sides of the sink.
Mike took out a penknife and cut through her swimsuit and as it fell to the floor he called out, “Karen, you guys still out there?”
Karen answered through the door. “Yes.”
“Well, keep watching. We’re going to have a party with Linda.” Then he leaned in very close to Linda’s left ear and whispered very clearly. “This pool is closed. You are alone with us and the girls are watching outside. If you do this well everything’s going to be cool. If you scream then everything’s going to be fucked up and we’ll kill your ass…” Mike kicked her legs further open and pushed himself into her. Linda yelled out in pain. Mike smacked her in the back of the head and grabbed her hair hard. “I said no screaming you stupid bitch! What part of no screaming did you not understand? Put something the fuck in her mouth!” Kevin picked up a beach towel and stuffed a significant corner of it in her mouth.
Mike called out: “Karen! Is it still clear out there?”
Karen called back, “What’s going on in there?”
“Never the fuck mind, is it clear?”
He leaned in again to Linda’s ear, this time he wasn’t whispering. “You are a filthy cow who is barely worthy for us to fuck. But before we fuck you we’re going to make sure you are clean!”
Linda was still except for the machine-like clenching and unclenching of her jaw. She was nearly catatonic with fear. Kevin couldn’t hold it in anymore. “Maybe we should just let her go and go home Mike.”
“Shut the fuck up Kevin you little fucking Mama’s boy. If I knew you were a faggot I wouldn’t have invited you. Now help us take this bitch out to the pool so we can wash her ass out. I’ve never been so grossed out in my whole fucking life! Fuckin’ Bitch! Fuckin’ Karen, I told you to make sure she was all cleaned out!!! Let’s go…”
Linebacker and Kevin grabbed Linda and Mike Rall pulled open the door. As he did, the three girls moved out of the way, jaws hanging, as the gagged focus of attention was dragged naked to the pool.
Halfway to the pool Linda stepped on the dragging edge of the beach towel stuffed in her mouth and a cordon of string that had worked its way around one of her front teeth yanked it out by the root sending a spray of blood onto Linebacker’s arm.
Linda opened her bleeding mouth and started to cry. Tears streamed down her cheeks and into her ruby mouth, but not a sound came out. Her terror and sadness was too great to allow her a breath. The bottomless, humiliating sorrow was flowing from a reservoir of such size that nothing could move against its rushing torrent. Her face began to turn a grey blue. Karen noticed.
“She’s not breathing! Let her go!”
The boys didn’t miss a step. They just kept up the walk to the pool all the while Mike gulping with a deep lust and scanning the surrounding area for any witnesses.
Mike responded like a panther. “You fucking women are all the fucking same, she lost a tooth she’ll fucking live—watch how fast she breathes once we toss her in the pool.”
A step later they were at the edge, and then she was in.
The water rushed past her as she plunged to the bottom. Linda opened her eyes and they immediately began to burn. She closed them but it was too late. Whatever was in the water was now tearing at her eyes.
Mike, Kevin, the Linebacker, Karen, Lori and Bethy all stood looking at the pool’s surface. It was quiet and the water was settling from the large, wavy, splashy movement of Linda’s entry into a gentle back-and-forth sluicing at the water’s edges. It was too dark to see through, so they were all waiting for the same thing, Linda to come up for air. She did not come up.
Beneath, enveloped, Linda stopped her soundless cry. The dark water calmed her. In fact it felt like a salve. She liked it here. She knew what was waiting for her outside and she decided to breathe…
Mandy saw this moment like all the others. She was present like a twin, a Siamese twin connected at the soul.
They all saw the bubbles at the same time. They were very small. More like the remnants of bubbles as they hit the surface in half-domed fits and starts.
“Fuck Me!!!” Mike jumped in the water and ducked below the surface, a second later spitting and blinking. He had the dead weight of Linda encircled by his arms. “Fuckin help me, Dickheads!”
Reluctantly, Kevin and Linebacker slipped into the water and helped Michael Rall whose father had lost a leg pulling another soldier to safety in Afghanistan (the apple fell light years from his family tree)-pull Linda Frack out of the water.
“Fuck this,” said Lori Hester as she left. Beth Morgan, also known as Bethy followed close behind Lori, like always.
Lori and Bethy knew to their core that Linda Frack had drowned and was dead, but with each step toward the gate they resolved to never think of this fact or to speak of what happened to anyone…ever. Beth even had a thought fragment of working as a lifeguard or teaching swimming to handicapped kids.
Karen just stood there. She felt as if she was bolted to the concrete, fastened firmly like the support beams of the new patio cover her parents had put in the month before. She could not move and she would not speak. This would pass, whatever this was; it would go away just like stomach flu. She had to show her strength to Mike. She had to show him that she was not just another hysterical woman. When this all ended well, like everything else had ended well in her life so far, she would be Mike’s girlfriend. He would lick her neck and she would wear his team sweatshirt.
Mike’s lust gulps were gone, replaced by pure animal panic as he looked around at the few breaks in the trees that could possibly allow for an angled view of the pool.
“Let’s get her back to the bathroom, now!”
They fell into an automatic pattern, with Linebacker at the shoulders and Mike and Kevin each on a leg, but they couldn’t get good purchase. Linebacker said what they were all thinking. “She weighs a fuckin ton, there’s no way.”
“You’re right, let’s just fuckin’ drag her.” Mike said. He looked directly at Karen, “Go home.”
“No, I’ll stay.”
“Go the fuck home, I’ll call you later.”
Karen watched her feet all the way home, her nose felt very full and she wished she had a tissue.
They got Linda back into the Ladies Room and Mandy continued to watch. Mandy Helger felt like a camcorder, one that recorded on muscle and sinew and bone. She knew that her watching was important and vital. She needed to know it all, every last speck because worthy people are people who know. When you know you can act.
Mike expertly moved Linda’s head back to check her airway. Next, he used his index and middle finger to check for a pulse on her neck. He must have taken CPR thought Mandy.
“Fuck Me! She’s fuckin’ dead.”
Kevin looked like he was going to wet himself as he sputtered. “Let’s just go.”
“Gutless” Mandy thought.
Mike looked like he was considering this as he stared at Linda’s angled head on the tiled floor and ran his fingers softly down her neck and onto her nipple erect breasts.
“She’s getting cool,” he said almost hopefully.
“Dave, help me roll her.” Linebacker had a name and it was Dave.
They rolled her body over and as they did, Linda’s head flopped with a clunk against the short edge of the stall’s metal shell.
Mike put both his hands on the corpse’s ample buttocks and looked right at Kevin.
“No one is going anywhere. We came to fuck the fat bitch and we are going to do it.”
Kevin wanted to leave the nightmare but he did not. He did not want to be known as a pussy so he stayed to accomplish what he knew he had to do to keep a good rep.
Dave was there so of course he would do it, another thing to do so that another thing had been done.
Michael Rall volunteered to go last. His friends didn’t notice his secret rolling swallow as he wondered how cold it would be inside.
Wet Linda, by Paul Parducci