Excerpt from “The Dance Floor Wars: Lucinda’s People”
Victor had always loved his name. He was the victor, a winner always. His winning ways resumed during college when he switched from a besotted wimp to an uncompromising misogynist.
However, those youthful winning days had ended when the besotted wimp days began, in third grade, with the arrival of a girl by the name of Cassandra. As she stood in front of the room and was introduced by Mrs. Wheeler, Victor knew both love and hate equally. He loved the girl where she stood and hated the power she had over him. From third grade until high school graduation she tormented him, as she tormented the other boys but who didn’t seem to mind and dismissed her with a laugh. That dismissal only infuriated her and gave rise to ever more hateful ways.
But Victor? Oh, Victor kept coming back for the torture over and over, and hating himself all the more. When Cassandra went to college on the other side of the continent, his winning resumed – and his misogyny became his protection against that lack of power.
He tried aversion therapy and went to several dominatrices in order to have that thinking beat out of him. It didn’t work. So he found himself surrounded by like-minded men, many hiding in the closet as loving, upstanding husbands, all needing someone to head their cause. And so Women Are Chattel came to be. And when he, at last, got opportunity to face Cassandra at the summit meeting between their two competing organizations, he took it. Face his demon once and for all. End this thing, Victor, he cried to the ceiling during his dark nights. But as soon as she walked in that house by the shore, he was right back in third grade again; only this time something was different. Cassandra, while shooting verbal daggers at him, was speaking louder with her eyes which said, “Do me, big boy, if ya got the balls.”
He got the courage to do her – several times, actually. He fondly recalled the five times in two days he banged her brains out. He knew she liked it because she screamed for more as her rigid toes pointed at the ceiling and her fingernails clawed his back, urging him on. She tried to blame it on the alcohol, but they both knew she was horny as hell and needing a man; and as she was his nemesis, and he was hers, their union made sense. So they worked out some issues between the sheets, on top of them, against the wall, and on the floor, then went their merry ways.
It wasn’t until a year later he heard about the baby girl. He called. When asked if it was his, she screamed, “What do you think?” The next thing he heard was a dial tone.
Victor wasn’t born hating women. He loved his mother. His two sisters were, and still are, awesome. They didn’t understand how he could form such a woman-hating organization, nor how he could not get married and make babies. What was he going to say to that anyway?
Well, geez, Mom, you are a grandmother. I have a daughter. Oh, how wonderful son. I want to meet her…and her mother, too, of course. Well, gosh, Mom, see the thing is, her mother is the head of Declare Our War (on Men) Now, and my daughter hates the man who is her father, though she doesn’t know it is me.
So, he kept his secret, and now his secret would be the thing that was going to change his life because he had been watching her grow up. He was fond of her! Furthermore, he found he truly liked women. All but that one, of course. And he missed the things females bring to a man’s life; but he had all these men counting on him, and an organization to run, so now it was out of his hands. But the girl.
She was being targeted by a man sent by her mother. He called the full-time team shadowing her.
They knew exactly where she was and he gave the orders for them to separate the man from the girl without her knowing, beat the shit out him, and tell him from whence the beating was ordered. They were in a hotel near the beach. Classic seduction technique. The team hoped they weren’t too late. Was her cherry popped or not? That was the big question Daddy had for sure. Although the joke within the team was that it would be highly unusual for a girl covered in tattoos to be a virgin, they never let on to Daddy they thought this was a fool’s mission – but hey, the pay was good and isn’t that what mercs do: Support other’s beliefs until the money runs out?
So, they got busy doing what they do best: Planning and executing a plan. How to get Snatch Master out of the room quickly without tipping her off became the big debate. They decided on a two-pronged assault. First, call the room saying his car – an Audi TT, cherry red, of course – had been the victim of a hit and run in the parking garage. Management was requesting his presence to fill out the paperwork; could he be so kind as to come with all possible haste. Two, nab him when he came running.
The plan worked like a charm. Snatch Master didn’t even see it coming. As easily as the van pulled into the parking lot, it pulled out with the same ease. No hurry. Just a couple of working stiffs finishing up a job. They paid the parking tab, eased out on the beach highway, then accelerated smoothly onto the interstate by which time Snatch Master was having the shit beat out of him and a message delivered, heard, and understood loud and clear.
When he heard 10-4? screamed at him, he mumbled back between swollen lips ‘oger ‘at. After being unceremoniously shoved out on his back on the side of the highway in a clump of razor-sharp pampas grass, Snatch Master crawled out, lay on his back feeling his ribs for cracks, and heard his phone ringing. It was his paymaster, the target’s mother, telling him trouble was on its way, and to get out before he was hurt. ‘oo ‘ate he replied and hung up because he couldn’t talk; then he sent a text that said she better triple his fee or else. She replied for him to go fuck himself since he obviously didn’t finish the job.
Damn her! He almost threw his phone across the highway in anger, and would have done if his hurting ribs hadn’t stayed his hand long enough to remember he needed to get back to the hotel, get his car, and get the hell out of there without the girl knowing anything. Which he regretted leaving because damn, how many virgins had he ever had? None, that’s how many. And she looked like she would have been a sweet piece of eager ass, too. Damn! He called a buddy and within two hours was at the buddy’s house with his precious Audi TT – at least that was not damaged, small blessings; he would heal with a good soak in the hot tub, and an ace bandage around the chest; it cost money to fix a car.
Victor got the update call from his team. He put the phone down, took a deep breath, and called the number he didn’t think he ever would – his daughter’s. Answering was the eager, light voice of a young woman in love but confused because her man had been gone too long. At least it still sounded innocent.
“Hello?” Tattoo answered in a rush. “How’s the car? When will you be back? Hello? Hello? Who is this?”
“Hey, baby girl. You don’t know me, but…”
“Oh, my god! Has something happened to…”
Victor calmed her with the shhhhh of a father; the shhhhh he remembered his father giving him when he fell down and scraped his pride. The shhhhh he never he’d get to use. “Shhhhh…everything’s okay. Listen. I don’t know how to tell you this, but…I’m your father. Wait! Don’t hang up.”
Victor heard a scream and then the line went dead. He called back.
Hell. Oh. Leave a message. Whatevah. Beep.
In the next half hour he tried five more times, but she did not answer the phone and he did not leave a message. What she was doing was calling her mother and asking why she gave her phone number to some man claiming to be her father. With that truthful denial solidly disbelieved – with good reason, Tattoo then called the only person she trusted. Eternal answered and listened as she told him everything that had happened since the previous night when she had walked out her front door with a small backpack for a suitcase – for this grand cherry-giving event she was traveling light, got in a cherry red Audi TT conspicuously parked at the curb, driven by a six-foot-two bodyguard type in black leather and hollering Baby, come here.
Eternal listened to Tattoo with half an ear. Same old story. Nothing new here. Move along, folks. Still, he clucked his sympathies with practiced sincerity while making plans on what to do with the team which could miss such an unconcealed escape. Escape, my ass, he thought. Oh, the punishment he had for that team…
He turned his attention back to Tattoo. Said he would send a car for her; would take a couple of days. Said to relax and enjoy the pool. Did she remember a bathing suit? Oh, good. She should go to the bar and get a good stiff drink, go back up to the room, and sleep off her temporary grief.
Walk the beach tomorrow, girl. Men, he told her, were such brutes sometimes. Crying, she vigorously agreed, and hung up.
Eternal breathed a sigh of relief and called Victor with the good news. Victor said his thanks, hung up, then bent over and puked into the kitchen trashcan. He walked to the sink and rinsed his mouth. He took a deep breath, and with the conviction of the newly saved, called his second-in-command and quit W.A.C., and followed that call with another to Time magazine’s editor-in-chief. A Pulitzer-nominated reporter – an expert in socio-political matters including in-depth reporting on both D.O.W.N. and W.A.C. – would be there the next day with a photographer.
Victor hung up the phone knowing he was now on the side of the angels.
He smiled. But there was still Cassandra; that evil woman he had to handle. How could a woman sacrifice her own daughter? This he did not understand.