“Excuse me?” My response barely choked passed the little bit of whiskey that had slipped down my windpipe.
“Disco?” she repeated the question, as if I hadn’t heard it the first time.
My laughter abruptly ceased when her expression told me that she didn’t get the joke. I guess it wasn’t all that funny, but really, “Disco?” Anyway, I didn’t know what she meant. Disco was like fifteen or twenty years ago. Was she asking if I knew of it or if the blaring music in the background was Disco? I didn’t get it. We might as well have been speaking different languages. At any rate, whatever language she was speaking, I wanted to learn it quick. She was gorgeous. Her strawberry blonde hair fell carelessly about her face looking so random that she must have spent hours on it. Her big, caramelly, brown eyes whispered of innocence with just a hint of risk buried deep within. Her full lips begged to be explored.
“You mean the music?” I asked.
“Disco?” this time she pointed at the dance floor.
“Oh,” I smiled, “you want to dance?”
“Disco,” she nodded.
What an odd way to introduce yourself. “Disco?” not “Hi, my name is…” or, “Hey, what’s your name?” not even, “Do you wanna’ dance?” Nope, she asked, “Disco?” Nevertheless, I was way too intrigued not to accept the strange invitation, no matter how weird it was. I followed her out to the dance floor, admiring the gentle sway of her hips as she sauntered.
The dance floor was a throbbing mass of sweaty bodies pumping and writhing against each other. They moved in unison, as if they were one being moving with one energy but individual at the same time. It was a wild, clothed orgy. She led me to the middle of the throng through a haze of mixed colognes and perfumes. Not all of them were pleasing but their absence would have meant worse odors.
We became part of the throng, our bodies pressed against one another. She rolled and gyrated against me. If she had a backbone, it certainly didn’t limit her movement. The rhythm seemed to fill her; she became an extension of the sound, the beat. I felt hypnotized, following her every move and doing my best to match the pulsations of her body. Suddenly, her question, “Disco?” didn’t seem so strange.
We spent the evening on the dance floor, grinding against each other, wrapped in our dance, her disco. Even surrounded by the throng of steaming dancers, it seemed as if we were all alone. Nothing else in the world mattered. There was just us; our bodies, our movements, and our sweat. She kissed my neck a few times. Her lips - even softer than I thought they’d be - sent chills radiating out from every spot they touched. I responded with soft kisses on her bare shoulders. As gently as I could, I explored her flesh. Despite the salty sheen of sweat she wore, she was delicious. I could have died then and I’m not sure I would have minded.
The lights came on and the music stopped, closing time. No! Why did it have to end? I stood there for a moment holding her, unable to release my grip. She didn’t try to move. Perhaps she was feeling the same way I did about our dance, her disco. Even if she wasn’t, even if it didn’t mean as much to her as it did to me, she kept her still slightly swaying body pressed against mine. Right at that moment, it didn’t matter. I would have stood there in that spot holding her forever. However, the bouncers - the steroid squad - didn’t think that was such a good idea. They shuffled us and the rest of the dance floor stragglers out of the bar.
The cool April air was a stark contrast to the thick steam of the dance floor. A stiff wind blew that air around and it was downright brisk. My sweat-drenched clothes didn’t help. I should have brought a jacket. A case of the shivers grabbed a pretty firm hold on me. My companion had the same problem, probably worse than I did with her bare shoulders. I pulled her close as we walked out into the parking lot, doing my best to keep her warm. I wasn’t sure where the night would go from there. She seemed to be leading, so I followed.
She stopped at the back of an old relic. It was a Chevy, black and clean. I’m not real good with cars, but it must have been older than 1960. It looked brand new though, like it had just been driven off the lot.
She turned to me, “You come home with me now?” Her accent was hard to place, maybe Russian or something Slavic.
“If I’m invited,” I said.
We must have driven for an hour. I had no idea where I was. We turned right and then left, then right again, out of the city and onto country roads. Truthfully, I didn’t pay much attention to where we were going. My eyes were focused on her. They devoured every delicate curve of her face. Neither of us spoke. Occasionally, she’d look over at me and smile as her face flushed a bit, my attention obviously embarrassing her. I couldn’t help it though. As she drove, I memorized every inch of her.
“We are here,” she said, finally.
She turned onto a narrow gravel drive that stabbed into the darkness of a forest. Thick brambles of trees crowded close to it on either side. We were far from any city or civilization. The only lights around came from the front of her big Chevy. They pierced the darkness ahead of us. There was nothing but gravel after gravel, meandering between trees upon trees. We must have driven a mile before the lights struck on a house resting in the center of a clearing in the trees.
‘Who lives out here in the sticks?’ I thought. Then it dawned on me that I didn’t know her name. “What’s your name?” I asked.
“Call me Amber,” she replied.
The name didn’t seem to match her accent. I didn’t care. It probably wasn’t her real name. I was too wrapped up in her to worry much about whether or not I knew her real name or if she had fed me a fake one. “I’m Trevor,” I said, even though she didn’t seem much interested in my name.
She parked the car and led me up to the house. It was more like a cabin than what I would call a house. A weathered wooden porch stretched across the front of it, leaning like the earth was slowly swallowing it up. The steps creaked beneath our feet, each with its own voice, some sounding more like a groan. The planks of the porch sang a similar song. The screen door was familiar with the tune as well, but it held the note longer.
Once inside the old cabin, Amber flipped a light switch next to the door. “Disco?” made even more sense. I was standing in the middle of the seventies, brown shag carpet, and lava lamp; there was even one of those bead curtains covering the one door that led out of the big front room. The place was trapped in time. I walked deeper into the room, feeling like I was walking into a time warp. Still, nothing about her, or the place fazed me. I was entranced by this Amber and her weird ways.
Before I could ask about the decor - had I wanted to - she pushed me back on the overstuffed sofa and pressed her lips against mine. Her tongue forced its way into my mouth, meeting mine and then exploring it. Our hands groped all over each other. Her skin was soft, like touching clouds. It wasn’t long before our clothes lay on the floor in a ball. We fell into the same rhythm that we had shared at the bar, her disco. This time I was inside of her. The way she moved her body, snakelike with that seeming lack of backbone, was amazing. Lightening flared and crashed all throughout my body. Time seemed to slow as our forms merged. Our boundaries blurred as if the heat between us had melted our flesh and fused it together. I couldn’t tell where I ended and she began. Everything was so liquid.
I’m not sure how long our dance lasted. Time didn’t make any sense, it seemed to go on forever but at the same time it was over just like that. In any event, by the end we were both howling and moaning like hungry wolves. Our bodies glistening in the yellow shaded light of her retro living room, we climaxed together. The whole world flooded in on me and then exploded. We squeezed each other as if we might be swept away. I think I almost passed out. A deep sigh and we lay limp and exhausted.
After awhile, she lifter her head, smiled, kissed me, and got up. I watched her walk through the bead curtain into another room, a room I hadn’t seen yet. She hadn’t given me the grand tour. Pretty much all I had seen at that point was the ceiling of her living room. As much as I wanted to simply lay there and feel so completely content as I did, I felt a bit vulnerable and alone. This was a foreign place to me. I was out of my comfort zone. Besides, I wanted to wrap myself around Amber again, perhaps fall asleep with the weight of her head on my chest.
My legs didn’t feel much like standing. They argued with me the whole way. A good stretch got us on the same page. I didn’t bother with my clothes. Hopefully I wouldn’t need them. She hadn’t dressed before she walked away. Why should I? Perhaps she wanted me to follow her. Perhaps she wanted another dance.
The ridiculous, shag carpet felt good on my feet. It’s too bad shag fell out of style, it was so wonderfully soft. I pushed through the bead curtain and found myself in a kitchen. Everything was impossibly white; the walls, the floor, the ceiling, and even the appliances. Though everything in the room harkened to older days, it all looked clean, new, and very white. It hurt to look at, like staring at the sun. I squinted as I scanned the room. Across the room and in the middle of the wall were two openings. One led up and one led down. Over to my left there was a doorway, white door and doorknob. I figured that must be the bathroom. Perhaps she wanted to take a shower.
I knocked at the door, no answer. I needed to use it anyway, so I went in. Everything in bathroom looked as outdated as everything else in the house. “You are now entering a dimension of sight and sound,” I chuckled to myself as I stood above the toilet and drained a night full of abuse. My body shivered slightly. I’m not sure why that happens sometimes when I pee, but it does.
As I’m standing there, pondering the oddities of the pee shiver, the door busts open. Luckily I had finished with all but the shaking, because I jumped right into the shower. As I fell, I managed to drag the shower curtain down with me. A giant of a man stormed into the room. He was swinging his right hand around wildly. Whatever he was holding was long and silver and it shot flashes of light all over the walls. As I focused on the silver thing in the big man’s hand, I realized it was a rather large sword.
“What the fuck is going on here?” I shouted. “Amber? Amber, who the hell is this guy?”
Amber didn’t answer. Where the hell was she? I pressed my body as tight against the wall as I could. The sword toting giant kept advancing, swinging that terrible, silver sword. He was wild, completely out of control. His blade swung closer and closer to my face. Then he started shouting.
“Disco! Disco! Disco!” He repeated that refrain over and over again, “Disco! Disco! Disco!” An obvious speech impediment made the word sound strange as it echoed off the tiled walls. I looked closer at his face. There was definitely something different about him. Had he not been swinging a giant, silver sword at me, I may have felt sorry for him.
He was so big. He filled up the small bathroom. How could I get around him? He was tall and he was swinging at my face. I had to do something. I ducked and dove between his legs, just as his sword crashed down on the tub. The porcelain shattered under the weight of his blow. Certain parts of my anatomy flopping about as I slid across the floor on my side reminded me that I was quite naked. Great. ‘And in other news,’ I thought, ‘a naked St. Charles man was found dead in the middle of fucking nowhere. Apparently, he had gotten drunk with a stranger, went to her house, fucked her and was killed by her jealous, sword toting, giant of a boyfriend...or husband! Or who the fuck knows? I don’t know anything about this broad.’
I crawled out of the bathroom, racing to get to my feet. I could feel the giant behind me. My bare feet slipped around on the slick tile of the kitchen. Then there was fire in my back. It started at my left shoulder blade and ripped down my back diagonally to my right glute. My chest flew out as I arched away from the pain. I grabbed a wooden kitchen chair after slamming into it and spun around. Crash! It exploded on his shoulder. The blow sent him stumbling into the fridge. I bolted for the living room.
Three long strides and I was leaping over the sofa. I didn’t even bother trying to find my clothes. Blood was pouring out of my back and that crazy, angry giant was trying to kill me. I grabbed the door, locked. I needed a key to open it. Suddenly, the reality of what was going on sunk in. The disco wasn’t over. This must be part of the dance. How many other dumb city boys had she discoed with? I kicked the door. It didn’t budge. I may as well have been kicking a solid, steel wall.
My fate, in the form of a giant, developmentally challenged, assassin, charged into the room. He was yelling, “Disco! Disco! Disco!” again. He flew over the couch, his sword pulled back over his head. Just then I realized that I was gripping a jagged piece of broken chair. The world slowed as I spun, faced the giant, stepped once left, and thrust the jagged wood into his chest. His flesh made a popping sound when it split and his momentum knocked me to the ground. The wall stopped his progress as he crumbled against it, dropping his sword.
The giant groaned and pushed at his guts as they oozed out on the floor. He didn’t seem so scary lying there trying to push his insides back in. Even still, the blood pouring down my back made it hard to feel sorry for him. His pleading eyes begged me as I stood up and walked over to him. What his eyes begged for, I don’t know. I figured death was as good a guess as any. I picked up his shimmering, silver sword. It was a heavy bit of death. It felt good in my hands. I raised it up above my head.
“Disco,” he whimpered at me.
“Disco motherfucker,” I replied, as I dropped the weight of the heavy silver death bringer down on his throat. His thick neck gave little resistance. His head rolled up against the door.
My stomach churned and grumbled in my gut. I’m not sure if it was the blood loss or the fact that my guts were about to heave, but my head was swimming. My knees buckled slightly and my body lurched. I hadn’t intended to disrespect the giant’s corpse, but I didn’t have time to react. I puked all over him. I barely had time to expel all the contents of my stomach when I remembered Amber.
“What have you done?” She howled.
Absently, I wiped my mouth. Then I said, “This dude was trying to kill me. Who the fuck is this guy anyway?”
I couldn’t tell if she was sad or angry. She said, “He just play with you, no? He good boy. He just play.” She looked down at the headless giant. “Oh my brother,” tears filled her eyes, “what he is done to you?”
She looked at me, dead in my eyes. Her face twisted as a scowl crawled upon it. She began ranting a steady stream of gibberish, probably whatever her native tongue was. As she babbled on, the color left her eyes and her hands gnarled up into twisted fists. The yellow light of the room brightened to a blaze. I backed away, until the wall stopped my progress.
The burning in my back increased as the blood seemed suddenly to pump stronger. Then my guts twisted up, pain like I was being run through. I collapsed. Suddenly my head was exploding. Pain attacked my entire body. Every inch of me felt like it was being stabbed over and over again by dull needles.
Amber approached me as she continued her steady rant. It must have been some kind of a spell or curse she was speaking against me. Blackness began bleeding in to the edges of my vision. Was I dying? The pain, that fire, just grew stronger and stronger throughout me. I think I may have been whimpering. Looming above me, she seemed gigantic. Looking up at her was like lying down at the base of the statue of liberty.
The world swam in and out before my eyes. Amber grew fuzzy. I focused, gathered all my strength, gripped the blade of that giant, silver sword, and ran her through. Her shriek was winged hell, breaking the sound barrier. I twisted the blade. She wailed louder. I fell to the floor, next to the headless giant. The world scattered.
When I woke, the world around me was a dim, blue haze broken only by thin slits of light that poured between the cracks of boarded up windows. Everything about the living room in Amber’s house was the same, except it was empty. There was no couch, no carpet, no headless giant, and no Amber. There was only dust upon dust and that giant, silver sword. Was it a dream? The puddle of drying blood surrounding me suggested that it wasn’t. Still, I was quite alone.
I’m still not sure what happened that night, if it happened at all, or if I merely imagined everything. I still have a scar. I can’t be sure that I didn’t do that to myself in some kind of a drunken stupor. And how did I get there if Amber hadn’t taken me? I don’t know. For all the unanswerable questions that remain from that night, I gleaned a few things that I’ll never forget. I don’t go to bars anymore. I don’t drink. And Disco sucks.