I met Stormy through my friend Ben and his girlfriend Kelly.

Ben and I had been friends since high school. He was the bass player in every band I was ever in that was any good. He grew up a Mormon kid with diabetes, which, in my opinion, is always a good precursor for being a punk rocker.

Things were really kind of fucked up around the time I met Stormy. Ben and Kelly’s daughter had just died. SIDS. It was terrible. The death sent everyone who hung out at the house on Ashland careening into a spiral that seemed bottomless – like we would never go down far enough.

I spent a lot of time over at the house after the death, because I loved Ben like he was my brother. In high school, he and I made a Suicide Pact while riding on his motorcycle, high on PCP.

He mentioned that Suicide Pact under his breath to me all the time, while he and I were cranked out on coke or methamphetamine, playing darts all night long. Cricket. It was The Game at the house on Ashland.

Stormy was sort of like the dealer, but mostly he was just nothing more than a tweaked-out bungler.

Stormy had supposedly been one of the founding members of a really violent skinhead gang in the mid ’80s. He had also just impregnated his girlfriend, who had a huge tattoo of a bat on her suddenly blooming stomach.

The tattoos.

Stormy was covered in the kind of tattoos that make people cringe. Terribly done band logos. Horrible, dated pieces of “art,” the likes of which you might find on the walls of some burned-out husk of a tattoo shop after the apocalypse. Shit that looked like it was done in the penitentiary, which I came to find out was the truth.

Stormy was wiry in the way that Iggy Pop was wiry back in the 80s — all ropey sinews and knobby joints moving together in concert. Just a really fucking weird dude who never shut the fuck up and was always in the middle of some bullshit that never made any sense to anyone but him.

I was pretty sure Stormy only hung out at Ben and Kelly’s house because of the easy access to needles, due to Ben’s diabetes. I’m also pretty sure it was really hard for Kelly to be around his girlfriend, what with her just losing her baby and this girl walking around all the time, high as fuck and flaunting her early pregnancy.

One night, in the middle of Monsoon Season, we got destroyed by a really torrential downpour. Part of the roof from the gallery/house next door had torn away and slammed into Ben’s car, rendering it useless. We were out there in the rain and lightning, trying to remove all sorts of debris from the yard. My car was parked out on the street, so it was lucky enough to go undamaged.

That meant I had to drive Stormy to get the drugs.

We were back in the house for a few minutes, wiping pieces of roofing off of ourselves, laughing about how fucking Biblical this storm was, when I saw Stormy walk over to the phone, and start yammering away into it. He was asking someone on the other end of the phone where to meet up at, and kept on muttering something about me, and about how I was “cool.”

We were in my car, headed over to the West Side, when Stormy pulled out this chromed .380. He removed the hot one in the chamber, pulled out the clip, and was messing around with the action – all while we were driving on the highway. Stormy kept on fiddling with my stereo at the same time, all sorts of jittery and flustered.

Dude was starting to get me spooked, and we hadn’t even reached our destination yet.

“You know – if one of these motherfuckers gets all loud and stupid with me, I’m just gonna shoot my fucking way right to their goddamn stash, you hear me? Fucking assholes – every time they move the house. Never in the same house twice.”

What could I do but agree, really? It’s not like this was part of my daily operation – I always bought my own shit off of the drag queens I knew. They always had better drugs, and they were far less likely to fuck with anyone. I never knew of, nor heard a peep about a single drag queen to beat the shit out of someone in a meth-rage.

After twisting and turning through a cookie-cutter neighborhood for a few minutes, Stormy suddenly called out that we were there.

“You want me to come in with you, or stay out here?”

“You stay out here, and they’re gonna think you’re a fucking narc, Z. Plus – I don’t trust these fucking people, so you’re coming in with me. You got a gun on you?”

“No.”

“Well, I hope you can still fight, then. If shit goes down, you’re gonna have to fight.”

As we were walking up the driveway, I noticed all the tell-tale signs that this was not going to go as Stormy had planned. Broken down truck off to the side of the driveway. At least three motorcycles in disrepair underneath the carport. A chain for a dog, sans dog. Lots of empty 32oz Budweiser cans strewn about the area.

I knew we were really fucked when the dude who opened the front door was flying Hell’s Angels colors.

The biker’s name was “Clete,” or something like that. He reeked of beer, cigarettes, and that fucking awful chemical smell that rolls off of tweakers – comparable only to the olfactory delight of solvent and/or burning plastic. “Clete” immediately shook me down, patting me for weapons or a wire. He was fucking flying high, speedily reciting something to himself under his breath that oddly sounded very similar to the Miranda Rights in cadence and tone.

“Your dude’s clean, Stormy. What the fuck can I do for ya?”

“Two eight-balls. I got the cash.”

“Not gonna happen, punk. Shit’s not here. You gotta pay me, then go get it from my old lady over at the hotel. Holiday Inn, 51st and Bethany.”

Stormy played it off as cool, and kind of shrugged. He took out a stack of money and handed it to “Clete,” who then stuffed it into his back pocket without even counting it.

As we were leaving, “Clete” started laughing.

“I’ll call ahead and let the boss lady know something special is on the way over. You boys behave yourselves, now.”

*****

Stormy kept on playing with that fucking gun while we were driving over to the hotel. Clicking. Clacking. Chambering. Clicking. The sound, coupled with the tension in the car, was making me feel like I was going to piss myself. I tried to stay as calm as I could. I could still see the lightning across the sky, and there was all sorts of debris on the roads from the storm.

As I was pulling into the parking lot at the Holiday Inn, Stormy laid it all out for me –

“Here’s the deal, Z. I know this old bitch. She is fucking ruthless. This bitch is gonna try and play it like we never paid for this shit, and then she’s gonna try and shake you down for more money, since she don’t know you. So whatever money you have on you right now, give it to me – they won’t fuck with me.”

I handed him the $300 I had on me, and he stuffed it into his boot.

We were standing outside the door to Room 1216 for a good long minute before Stormy finally knocked on it. He gave three quick raps and then another two after a rest. I could hear shuffling from inside the room. I could see from the shadow underneath the door that someone was now standing right up against it, looking at us through the peephole.

Unlatched, and then opened.

The room was full of stale-smelling smoke, but I could see an older woman sitting at the table across the room, next to the bed. On the table was a .357, and on the bed was a sawed-off. The younger woman at the door had a 9mm in her hand, and was motioning for us to step into the room.

The older woman across the room didn’t budge, but she spoke first as soon as the door was closed.

“Stormy, you ugly sumbitch – who’s your friend? Friend, drop your fucking pants and pull out your cock so we know you aren’t a fucking cop, okay? We promise we won’t shoot you in the dick.”

Stormy shrugged at me, which let me know I really didn’t have much of a choice.

As I was fiddling and thumbing at my belt to get it open, the younger one with the 9mm slid up behind me, brushing my hands aside to handle the task for me. I saw that Stormy was already over at the table, and the older woman was handing him a package that he was weighing in his hand.

“Let me just help you with this, okay? It won’t take but a minute, I promise.”

She had pulled my belt loose from my jeans, and thrown it onto the floor in front of me with a thud. Her breath smelled like vodka and smoke, and the bass in her voice was tickling my ear. Stormy was sitting down at the table with the older woman now, opening up his package for inspection, while she was putting something into a glass pipe she had in front of her.

“Why don’t you just turn around here and look at me while I do this, cutie?”

As I turned to face her, I noticed that this woman couldn’t have been more than nineteen or twenty years old. Her eyes were so young, even though her skin was wrecked with that terrible meth pallor. Walking dead style. She grabbed the back of my head and pulled my face right to hers, nose to nose while she undid the button on my pants and forced her hand inside to grab at my cock.

I could hear the older woman, laughing and inhaling at the same time.

She was pulling on my cock in that really slow but determined manner a man does when he’s trying to get his shit hard to jerk off – long, but firm and slow pulls. Squeezing at the head at the end of the stroke, like trying to milk it.

“I think you and me, we’re gonna have us a little party, okay? That alright with you, cutie? You got a name?”

“Z.”

“Alright, Z. Come sit on the bed.”

My ass wasn’t even fully on the bed before she was on her knees in front of me, pulling my semi-hard cock into her mouth as she slid the gun under the bed in front of her. Thankfully, we were facing the opposite direction from Stormy and the other woman, who were now deep into small talk and tweaker chat about all sorts of shit – names flying off tongues like Saints being called.

Her mouth felt really dry on my cock, almost like a cat’s tongue. She reared her head back for a second, and took a huge drink from a bottle she had on the floor next to her. Putting me back into her mouth, my cock started to sting from the alcohol in her mouth at the same time. It was an odd but exciting feeling – like little icicles working their way into me.

I went to put my hand on her head, but she clamped down on my shaft with her teeth and shook her head back and forth, letting me know very clearly that it wasn’t an option. When she looked up at me, I noticed that she looked as scared as I felt – and within a few more pumps of her mouth and her hand working together, that was it.

I wonder if my cum tasted like fear to her.

I was pulling up my pants when she handed me my belt. She just kept on looking at me, and in her face I could see she was trying to get me to see something, but I couldn’t grasp anything in that moment – I was flush with fear and endorphins, and wishing we could get the fuck out of there as fast as humanly possible.

“Let’s go, Z. Time to hit the road.”

Stormy was halfway out the door when the girl grabbed me by the shoulder and forced something into my hand. I didn’t look at it, I just put it into my pocket and followed out the door.

Right as I was about to start up my car, Stormy starts busting out laughing.

“Z, man. You alright, dude? That was some fucked up shit, right?”

I was livid. Hysterical. Filled with so much anger and fear that I started to shake as I spoke.

“What the fuck was that all about, Stormy? I thought you said they were gonna try and jack me for money – not make me give them a fucking sex show.”

“They did jack you for money, man. I had to pay her $300 for that blowjob you just got. If you didn’t do it, she was gonna shoot your ass. Did you think that shit was free?”

*****

Later on, back at the house on Ashland, while we were all playing Cricket, I remembered that she shoved something into my hand. It was a piece of paper, with all sorts of crazy scribbling on it. I went into the kitchen to read it in the better lighting.

Please help me – these people kidnapped me. I’m only 17, and I know my parents are looking for me. Please call them and tell them where I am. Please call the police before these people kill me.

I shoved the piece of paper back into my pocket.

A few hours later, when everyone was good and tweaked out, off into their own little worlds, I shoved the piece of paper into Stormy’s girl’s handbag – right next to the handful of needles she’d obviously stolen from Ben.

I never went on another run with Stormy again.