Murder, My Sweet

Pickup on Midnight Street

“About as inconspicuous
as a tarantula on a slice
of angel food…”
—Raymond Chandler,
Farewell, My Lovely

The young afro-android in the purple suit and Panama hat flashed a smile at his new girlfriend and said, “You wait for me, baby. It won’t take long.”

The girl stared at him. A smirk slunk around her red lips—dying at the corners of them. The breeze picked up a sheet of the Titan Gazette out of the gutter and twisted it around the young man’s leg. He kicked at it viciously.

She leaned against him—her voice dragging him down with her. “Maybe you got a gun, handsome? A big one?” She felt him up—down there. It was big and hard—it was a sleek black Luger.

“Me being on the nut, baby,” he said, “like I got some business to take care of with a man over at the Surprise Hotel. I’ll make some dough, get some booze—and then, sweetheart, we can have a good time tonight together. How’s that sound?”

She nodded reluctantly, “Well, okay Smiley.” She didn’t feel like waiting for it—she wanted it now. She snapped her fingers at him and said, “But make it quick. I want you bad. But I don’t like sharing you with anybody either. Know what I mean? Meet me over at the Calliope Apartments. Four-B.”

“You wait for me, baby. I’ll save some for you.”

Smiley gave her a deep-throat kiss with his long slithery tongue—then he slinked down Mean Street along the cracked sidewalks to do his trick.

When he got to the Surprise Hotel—it was past midnight. There wasn’t anybody in the lobby. Except for a bald-headed man lounging behind the desk—ogling through a dog-eared pulp fiction paperback. It had a garish cover—with the usual quickie action inside. Written by some guy named Chandler—one of the Earthside hardboiled pot-boiler types.

The bald-headed man looked up at the young handsome android. The hustler teenage robot gave him a quick hard smile. He was in a hurry—to make some fast money. That’s the way everybody was in Titan Town—fast bucks and quickie sex.

The kid had a sharp jaw that jutted out in front of him—and a long bony forehead. He had the sullen eyes of a two-bit Titan Town gangster—there was a lot of them that came and went through the night. The Surprise Hotel was like a magnet for them—cyborg rough-trade and their customers.

“Hey, man. That guy with the queeny voice still here? The one I did business with last night?”

The bald-headed clerk looked at the cockroaches on the vidscreen—crawling over the oscillating images.

“Didn’t see him leave, Smiley,” he said.

“Ain’t what I asked you, man.”

“Yeah, he’s still here, Smiley.”

“Still drunk?”

“Guess so. Haven’t seen him go yet.”

“Room sixty-nine, ain’t it?”

“You been there, ain’t you. You oughtta know.”

The bald-headed man looked nervous.

Smiley stared through him. He had dead android eyes—emerald eyes green as Neptune. He’d tip the clerk afterwards—like he did last time.

“Careful, Smiley—don’t want no trouble around here. This ain’t no Central Avenue whore house, you know.”

Smiley flashed a grin—nodded knowingly. He slunk delicately up the staircase—there weren’t any elevators in the Surprise Hotel.

It was past midnight—Lindsay Marriott had a terrible hangover. He’d been slumming in the dark alleyways and byways of Titan Town. Far from his penthouse on Cabrillo Street—on Montreuse Vista. He felt cold as a toad’s belly—gimpy as a seagull with a broken trailing leg twisting against the off-sea breeze.

He slipped off his pale lavender silk kimono—looking vainly at himself in the mirror. His shoulders sloped, his lips were rubbery. Lubrugrious purplish pouty lips—if they could only talk. His neat pencil-thin moustache and high cheekbones were trashy-looking and gauche. He had a weakness for young black narcissus guyz—there were lots of handsome available afro-androids there on Midnight Street that catered to queens like him.

Lindsay called a taxi on the vidphone—then changed his mind and decided to take a leisurely shower. The dim, dirty bathroom was just the kind you’d expect in a place like the Surprise Hotel. Lindsay was just getting into rinsing himself off—when he heard a faint noise in the bedroom.

He held his breath—listened, heard the noise again. The floor creaked, there was a click and he heard the drawers of the dresser slide open. Lindsay felt for the door—and pulled it open slowly.

The afro-android hustler from the night before was standing there—in a purple suit and Panama hat. He was going through Lindsay’s billfold. His back was turned to the bathroom. There was a wad of Terran bills inside his fist—more than Lindsay should’ve been carrying with him. Sure enough, it was the young cute hustler he got off the night before—after he picked him up in the Midnight District of Titan Town.

The Smiler smiled to himself—tossing the empty wallet on the dressing cabinet. He stuck the wad of bills and Lindsay’s jewelry in his pocket. His smile turned sick though—when he turned around and saw Lindsay standing there frowning at him.

“Back for another BJ or Rim-job?” Lindsay had the nerve of saying. He was unforgivably single-minded and audacious—thinking he could talk the kid into bed again. Lindsay was well-off—one of the richest fags on Titan. He was used to tight squeezes—and could usually buy or talk his way out of embarrassing situations.

“Sorry, sweetheart,” the Smiler said. “I can use this extra dough. My baby’s got a sweet-tooth for me and a thirst for liquor. Sure has. What else you got, pal?”

Lindsay smiled to himself—but he wasn’t going to give up that easy. Foolishly though, he slipped on the wet floor and fell down on his ass. He grabbed the cheap carpet and gave it a tug.

The Smiler lost his balance—and fell down on top of naked Lindsay. What a combination—a nude fag and a rude hustler!

“That’s more like it, Big Boy,” Lindsay grinned. “You don’t waste any time, do ya? You’re so fucking cute—I only got you off three times last night. C’mon, let me squeeze some more of that nice android cum outta you, kid…”

The Smiler’s face convulsed—he’d fallen on his own knife. He jerked up straight for a second—but the knife went in even deeper. All the way through his muscular ribcage—into his artificial pig-heart transplant guts.

The Smiler yelped—Lindsay clung to him even harder. She held on for dear life—like a praying mantis. She started gnawing his neck—working her way up past his jugular to his trembling Adam’s apple. She sank her teeth into it—wouldn’t let go.

The young jet-black android let out a scream—his Porky Pig heart valve snapped open. A whole week’s work of android seminal crankcase fluid—squirted out of him. It was just awful—awfully nice and succulent.

It was all over—before it even began. Lindsay Marriott might have been somewhat effeminate—but there was nothing fem about Lindsay when she got into her Praying Mantis mode.

After all, that’s what she was programmed to do—and she did it instinctively like a tarantula crawling over a nice wedding cake. Mother Nature was that way—even on faraway Titan and Ganymede.

Lindsay licked up the runny quivering remains of the not-so-innocent bug-eyed hustler—in fact his eyeballs were next. She slowly sucked them both out of their sockets—what a gooey grotesque suck-job Plop!!!

That made the kid wiggle in pain. The way those ogling eyeballs stared up at Lindsay in disbelief—he wasn’t quite ready for that. What’s it like to have your eyeballs—sucked greedily out of your paralyzed skull? Lindsay loved it. It was just awful—awfully nice.

Lindsay wasn’t bashful—she took her time. She felt the Smiler’s pulse. There was still a shuddering, sobbing half-dead half-alive heart-throb or two left inside the gone male prostitute. The cute hustler—was still going spaz.

The Smiler had nice long lanky legs—they were still doing the hanged man’s nervous shuffle. You know, like when your neck snaps at the bottom of the noose. And you lose your precious family jewels—squirting your brains out. It’s the Big Goodbye—and it ain’t pretty…

Titan androids aren’t like humans—it takes awhile for the body-circuits and bio-synapses and mutant penises to quiver all the way out of existence. That’s what advanced Terran genetic engineering was all about—that’s why half-humans had better, stronger, longer lasting orgasms than your merely run-of-the-mill Earthside humans.

Android boyz and satellite girlz were grown in vats full of transplant organs and programmed that way—by nutty screwball fruitcake Neuromancers back Earthside. Outer space had been taken over—by hardcore homoerotic gangsters and kinky straight deformity lovers. The only pattern recognition they recognized—was Saturnian SM and Neptune Nevada Gas.

Lindsay flipped the Smiler over—she started doing what she did best down there on the ratty dirty old carpet. No wonder they called the joint The Surprise Hotel. It was a surprise to get out of there alive—for both humans and androids alike.

Lindsay was feeling perverse and just warming up—she twisted the Smiler’s head around with a snap and a pop. The kid’s spinal cord still had some lascivious libido left to it—that’s what really got Lindsay Marriott off. Her praying mantis insectoid tongue suddenly grew out of her mouth—it was a yard long with evil squiggling purplish feelers at the tips of the delicate forked end.

Lindsay got it down Smiler’s throat—feeling and slithering and sliding her nefarious slippery slime-ball tongue—all the way down there into what was left of the kid. Deep down inside his android guts—and manly mutant mucous-coated organs. She was after that very last exquisite sick quiver—the Long Goodbye. The one that would never cruise and hustle down—the dark Mean Streets of Titan Town again.

You know—like Mapplethorpe’s stud in New York City back Earthside. His manly ungodly huge Godzilla lover—The Man in the Polyester Suit. The one Mapplethorpe put a pillowcase over his head with—so nobody could recognize him. But it was really so nobody else could see it—know the look on the young guy’s face. It was just awful—awfully sublime.

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