Biscuit, Down the Drain

~1~

After the show, Angelica found herself very drunk, very high, and having possibly done some cocaine, grabbed by Biscuit and Carter, and whisked away uncomfortably with the three of them stuffed in a two-seater headed out to the local lake to continue the party. That’s how she found herself crammed in the passenger seat of an MR2 with Biscuit on her lap, beat-heavy music blaring, windows down while whizzing along the old highway at dizzying speeds.

Through the open window and a crook in Biscuit’s crunched-up arm, Angelica could see trees wiping by in the darkness. Tall, aphotic timber capped with fir tree silhouettes. Every mile or so a single street light on the highway flashed a yellow tint onto the browns and greens of the forest, then quickly slapping back to the black and navy shadows.

The windows automatically went up and she felt the shuffling of bodies around her until, in her small window of view, Biscuit slowly lowered down a teensy-tiny spoon with cocaine in it. She slowly moved her head toward the snuff-spoon and gently plotted the intricate docking procedure. Can’t exhale, can’t move too quickly. She made contact, contracted her face to bend her nose to one side so as to close up one nostril as best she could, and gave a snuff. Up went the coke immediately helping her body to expel some of the effects of the booze.

Then she remembered. They said they were going out to Lake Hali, which they referred to as Nightmare Lake. The band had said they were, “Going to get fucked up and swim by the drain at Nightmare Lake”, to which Angelica responded with, “Shit! I didn’t bring a suit!”, to which they responded with laughter. This, of course, Angelica did not like the sound of. She wasn’t a hundred percent ashamed of her body, but that didn’t mean she was a hundred percent not ashamed of it either.

But then, there was the story to entice her.

Carter had told her the story of the band’s name, Down the Drain back at the warehouse after the show. They were sitting in a corner on a couch as some post-party fire dancers spit kerosene plums of flame into the air. She had asked, “why does your band have such a stupid name” in a partially flirty, partially insulting, and mostly drunken way. Then he leaned in close and told her.

~ 2 ~

Carter half-whispered in her ear and half yelled over the pumping music. “Back in the ’70s or some shit, this lake was a total hot spot for well-to-do families vacationing in the summer. I mean, it was hoppin’. Boats, BBQs, bands, ya know, the whole shebang. There was this girl named Sara, I guess everyone called her Simple on account she was an A student that said ‘simple’ when asked a math problem when she was a kid. I guess the name stuck, cuz she’s about 17 ‘er something at the time of the story.”

Angelica enjoyed his hot liquor breath in her ear as he told the story. “She was traveling up with her newly divorced mom and her little 6-year-old brother. They are trying to get away due to the divorce and all the problems that came with it, one of which being that the boy had to sleep with all the lights on now and would scream in the dark. Weird shit right?” Carter asked Angelica with a look of excitement on his face as she was trying to look coy with a straw while listening and hoping that she didn’t come across looking like a slut.

It must have been working because he seamlessly continued with a smile on his face. “So they are out there doing what people did, swimming and drinking PBR or whatever. So now the drain, the lake is manmade, you can’t tell too much by the look of it, but it is, there’s even a town and a bunch of trees down there that you can see if you go diving… and every dam has a spillway for emergency overflow… at least I think they all do. Anyway, normally they have tubes or ramps or other stuff, but some lakes have a drain. It’s surreal. It’s an actual fucking drain. Some of the locals call it the Gloryhole, but that shit’s nasty so the locals try to call it the drain, cuz who wants to be from the town with the Gloryhole right?” he asked with a totally serious look on his face while pulling away for a second to sip his drink.

“It’s a huge concrete hole at the water level about 40 feet across and about forty or fifty yards out, a literal drain I shit you not. Ever since the 20s, when the lake was opened, it was like a right of passage to swim out there and tap the rim and swim back, everyone knew it and everyone did it or wanted to.” Angelica’s Richy Rich view of the small town was getting some redneck vibes. I guess that they’re nouveau riche

Carter continued, “The basics of the story are that the mom, being newly divorced, was drinking and flirting with lifeguards or whatever moms like to flirt with and Simple was off in the bushes getting to third base for the first time with some churchy kid named Chilly or something. We know it was third base because Chilly grew up to be some weird fucker that liked to tell the story. The little brother, wanting to be the new man of the house swam out to the drain… and fuckin’ fell in.”

At this point Angelica no longer felt flirty or sexy or confused by the money slash hick town confusion, she was intrigued. Carter went on, “Apparently, the mom and Simple were beside themselves freaking out, in the end, neither could get over his death, especially the fact that he fell in a long dark hole being so scared of the dark.” There was a long pause, then, “In the end, the kid’s body was never found due to the amount of muck and mud at the bottom, the mom killed herself, and Simple disappeared and was never seen again… or so the story goes.

Staring out the window at the city of trees speeding by she asked herself, “How was I going to turn down that story? If nothing else, I can brag to Charles about it.”

~3~

In the parking lot of Nightmare Lake’s marina area, the three of them came piling out of the microscopic MR2 like a clown car. Next to the car were two 80’s-dated, but extremely fancy cars and a group of a few silhouettes walking down to the beach beckoning the trio to follow.

They went running after them, through the darkness, laughing. Angelica was relieved as she felt her feet start landing on sands and welcomed by the small campfire in front of her that illuminated part of the shore.

Including Angelica, there were seven of them. The Down the Drain band members, Carter, Two-Bit, Biscuit, Tiffany Tiffany, and Debbie Debbie, and the seventh was the soundman from the show she had met in the throng named Brad. Some of them were undressed and some were in a state of getting undressed. Tiffany Tiffany and Debbie Debbie were fully clothed and obviously angry.

“Turn it off, fuckhead,” one of the Rock Pop twins said to Chad.

Biscuit leaned over to Angelica while shimmying out of her pants and panties at the same time and said, “It’s a song by their old band when they were a duo. Chad loves it, but they kinda hate Chad.”

Angelica listened. It was a beat and some electronics and some L’Trimm, Cars that Go Boom style rapping over it. Something about wanting to go to school and get a job.

“Fine, fine,” the naked Brad conceded and tapped his phone, and the speaker on the blanket switched to the Down the Drain song, Sweet Light.

Angelica knew it was now or never. She had three options. One, not get undressed and get teased, sit on the sand with loud music, sobering up and bored. Two, stand dumbfounded by fear of the nakedness until they all made fun of her and she gave in, leaving her to undress while they watched and waited. She chose the third option, to get undressed while they did so as to blend into the crowd by the dimness of the campfire.

“Thanks, fucker,” Tiffany Tiffany and Debbie Debbie said in practical unison and started to get undressed. They both had amazing bodies, perfectly fit and athletically shapely. Angelica’s insides startled just a little bit when she noticed one significant difference between the two, one of them had a penis. She’d lived in cities and around diversion long enough to know to avert her gaze as naturally as possible and continue as life was before, but there is always that twinge of guilt for the moment of shock.

“I don’t see why you always have to do that, Brad.” The taller one bitched.

“Cuz I fucking love it, you know that ladies,” he replied and chugged his beer and tossed the can into an open Trader Joe’s bag.

“You’re a dickhead,” one of the two told him, then turned to Biscuit. “Are we doing this or what, Chicken n’ Biscuits?”

“Fine,” Biscuit said and asked Angelica, “Were gonna tap the drain, wanna come?”

“That’s a hard pass,” Angelica protested. “Cocaine, bourgeois death cult industrial metal, and showing my goods to a group of strangers is about as adventurous as I’m getting today, but I’ll happily watch you do it.”

“Now who’s the Chicken n’ Biscuits?” Biscuit asked the Pop Rock girls.

“You. You’re still the chicken. This is Ange’s first time out here, but you’ve been talking about this shit for weeks… if not years.” She responded, then yelled, “Come on!” and ran out into the shallow water, her light brown body shining in the blend of dark water, sky, and mountains. Biscuit took off after her, tripping slightly as she hit the water, then diving forward into a swim to catch up.

“Deb Deb is a nut job, one reason why I love her,” Brad said, watching as the duo disappeared into the murk.

“Shut up, creep,” the other girl said to him. Angelica thought, “Okay, this one is Tiffany Tiffany making the other Debbie Debbie.” Angelica quickly looked down, saw no penis, and made a mental note of which was which.

Carter handed Angelica a beer and asked her if she wanted to wade. She obliged as they both walked out, knee-deep into the tepid water, and talked.

~4~

“Wait up!” Biscuit yelled to Debbie Debbie, then realized that Debbie Debbie had one hand on the edge of the large concrete rim. With a final kick, Biscuit glided up next to her and grabbed the rim as well.

Debbie Debbie looked at her, smiled, and softly said, “Now the new girl is Chicken n’ Biscuits.”

The girls started laughing.

“Ok, let’s head back and get some booze and tunes in our system before I lose my shit,” Debbie said.

“One sec,” Biscuit asked as she swung her leg over the side of the drain.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Debbie yelled.

“I’m gonna dive off it,” she responded and before Debbie could stop her, Biscuit’s knees were knocking as she tried to stand upright on the edge of the drain. Upon reaching a full arms up body extension, Biscuit hooted a howl of triumph, slipped, and fell backward into the drain as her victory call was swallowed up.

“Oh, Shit! Biscuit!” Debbie yelled, scrambling her arms over the rim and looking in. All she heard was her own echo. “Biscuit?” she pleaded softly into the black hole. “Can you hear me?” It was silent as she stared on in shock.

The moment was broken by a slight snap, like a twig, and then a subtle scratch like stones settling in a pile. As Debbie peered into the shades of black in the opening she saw movement. She saw a hand, and a foot, and arms, but not moving how they should be moving. Deep down the drain, a black stringy form emerged from the shadow climbing up the wall with an arachnid dexterity. She saw teeth or eyes glint in the darkness, then screamed and frantically started swimming away from the drain, back toward the shore.

In her panic her competent swimming had become a panicked dog paddle of splashing and frantic head-turning, searching for a direct line to the shore. She looked back and saw a slender dark figure standing on the rim of the drain, with reflective yellow eyes and a pearlescent grin.

Debbie’s fear helped her find her focus. She turned her head back to the shore with a new determination. She found her rhythm and swam faster than she ever had. Even faster than the one year in summer camp when she came in number one at the 50-yard freestyle against Jason Slater, but that was a long time ago. Behind her, she heard the splash of a body into the water. She swam on, then felt a bump on her foot, and then a grab as she was pulled under and her hysteria instantly silenced.

~5~

Angelica and Carter stood in the knee-deep water drinking from cans and talking. The light from the shore’s campfire was dim but light enough for each of them to make out each other’s naked bodies in the titian glow. They liked one another, obviously, and were doing their best to keep eyes locked so as not to contaminate a perfect moment with shame or fear.

In the distance they heard the girls swimming out to the drain, yelling, splashing, and laughing. A distant “Wait Up!” chuckled through the night air.

“The water is causing your makeup to run,” Angelica teased Carter.

“Can’t always be pretty, unless of course, I was you,” he expertly responded.

“Oh, a quick wit,” she sarcastically said with added one-handed air quotes, ”To add to the guitar playing and good looking face. Should I be worried?”. She knew the question was lame but she also knew that they were so far “in it” at this point that no lame question was going to stop “it”.

“No,” he said, taking another pull from his beer can. ”I’m confident with a guitar around my neck, but take that and everything else off and not so much. Success with girls is not my piece de resistance.”

As the laughter of the girls in the distance billowed through the evening and the music from the beach bounced off the opposing shore, Angelica stepped closer to Carter. He slipped his hand around her wet, slippery waist and pulled her lips closer to his. She felt the anticipated extra pressure from his naked groin as the side of her hip was pulled into it. They kissed.

Angelica and Carter pulled their faces away from one another and looked off into the darkness upon hearing a yell from out in the lake’s wide expanse. “What the fuck are you doing?” Echoed through the cove. They both looked back at the shore and saw the blackened figures of the others standing in front of the campfire staring in the same direction.

“What the fuck was that?” Carter asked.

Angelica just shook her head in ignorance.

A commotion of splashing and yelling then pierced the night and then, silence.

The pair of almost lovers made their way to the shore quickly, as they saw the tall, lanky, naked Two-Bit running up towards the cars. Angelica quickly started putting her clothes on as Carter approached the others.

“What the fuck was that?” Carter again asked, this time to the remaining group.

“They’re probably just fucking with us,” Brad responded with feigned confidence.

“Ya know, Brad, just because you’re a douchebag doesn’t mean that other people are?” Tiffany Tiffany responded. “Debbie wouldn’t do that.” Brad dropped his head in misstep and apologized saying that he was just worried. Tiffany put her hand on his shoulder and they met eyes with a shared look of concern. The two of them went to the shore and started yelling Biscuit’s and Debbie’s names.

Two-Bit came running back from the cars with a bag in hand. He opened it and pulled out an extra blanket and three flashlights, keeping one and handing the other two to Angelica and Carter. The three shined their flashlights over the murky water.

They passed the beams back and forth across the unbroken surface while the whole group took turns calling the two’s names.

“Wha,” Two-Bit stuttered, “What is that?” Angelica and Carter matched their flashlights’ focus to his.

In the liquid black top of the lake, they saw the top level of Biscuit’s face from the nose up, silently glaring at them. The eyes reflected the torches as yellow and as she slowly moved forward her mouth was exposed from the murk, a massive rictus, a grin from ear to ear distorting her face. It was Biscuit, but it was not Biscuit any longer, and she was coming closer.

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