Lookin' for a lover who needs another
don't want another night on my own
wanna share my love with a warm blooded lover
wanna bring a wild man back home
Donna Summer's voice sang from the cassette player, mixing with the pattering sounds the rain was making on the roof. Summer rain. Hot night. Becky opened the window and stretched her hands out, feeling the rain on her palms, on the back of her arms. She leaned further out to feel the rain on her shoulders, on the tip of her nose. The rain wasn't too heavy, but a distant thunder rumbled. Becky pushed the window panes open as wide as possible and leaned on the windowsill. Thunder cracked once more, far away. It will only get closer, Becky thought. Storm clouds gather fast, and the heavy rains and winds are on their way as soon as you hear the first echoes of thunder. For now, the air was humid and sticky. Becky turned off the cassette player and went back to the bed to continue flipping through fashion magazines, leaving the window open. Warm air blew inside and she closed her eyes, feeling it on her face. She lay her head down, thinking of the coming storm.
Becky dreamed of a deluge that carried her away, tucked away in a small row boat. Heavy rain drops pelted her face, her exposed arms and legs, but she felt nothing. She felt warm. The row boat rocked and the waters rose and she was burning up.
The banging of the windowpane in the wind startled Becky into consciousness. She sat up, looking towards the window. Just the wind. Christ, she's on edge, must be the heat. Becky lay back down and stretched out like a cat, her legs pushing the magazines to the floor. She badly needed to pee, but the post nap daze kept her glued to the bed. She moved her hands back and forth at her sides, stroking the comforter. It was a light blue colour and textured to feel like fake fur. Something cheap that was probably meant to appear luxurious. God knows what the home owner was thinking in purchasing it. Becky made a note to ask her when she came home the next morning.
The windowpane banged again. Twice in short succession. Becky yawned and placed her arm over her eyes. The rain picked up in intensity and the wind began to sound strange. Like heavy breathing. Like a low groaning. Becky removed her arm from her eyes and turned towards the window, squinting. Thunder cracked, this time accompanied by a flash of lighting that briefly illuminated the otherwise dark room. Becky screamed.
Dripping water onto the salmon coloured carpet, next to the open window stood a giant man. His heavy breathing was audible over the wind. Becky felt like someone was squeezing her heart in a fist. She felt unable to move as the intruder began to walk towards her. Walk was perhaps the wrong word to describe his unnatural lurching, like a broken and mangled corpse that has been reanimated and forced to move. His approach was accompanied by a hollow sounding heaving and groaning that was coming from behind a hockey mask he wore. Becky stared, her arms shot up in front of her face, palms facing outward, silently pleading for the stranger to stay away.
He moved closer still, until his knees touched the edge of the bed. He pitched his giant body forward and grabbed the ridiculous fluffy comforter, pulling it towards him. The sudden movement jolted Becky's senses back to her and she scrambled off the bed backwards to avoid being pulled along with the comforter towards the intruder. As Becky stumbled off the bed, one of her flailing arms knocked the cassette player to the ground, unexpectedly turning it on. Donna Summer's voice filled the room once more.
how's 'bout some hot stuff, baby this evenin'
i need some hot stuff baby tonight
gimme little hot stuff baby this evenin'
Becky ran to the door only to find it locked. Why was it locked ? She scrambled to turn the key in the knob as she remembered wanting some privacy from the kid she was babysitting. Locking herself in the master bedroom seemed like a great idea at the time. God damn it. Her sweaty hand trembled around the key as something knocked her in the back of the knees, forcing her to fall to the ground, knocking her head on the doorknob in the process. She clutched her head, and a grim feeling came over her. Who was this guy ? She turned around so her back was to the door, and slowly stood up, coming face to face with the stranger. Well, face to neck, as the guy was built like a lumberjack; impossibly tall and broad. Becky tried to regulate her breathing to avoid hyperventilating and passing out. Her heart was hammering in her chest. Breathe in for seven seconds. Hold for seven seconds. Exhale for ten seconds. The man – monster, more like – groaned out something unintelligible as he reached for Becky's hair. A cold sweat broke out along her back. From this close, Becky could see how abnormal his skin looked. He was still wet from the rain, which together with his pallid colouring made him look like something pulled from the water three days post-mortem. He smelled like wet soil and something else. Like...
Becky screwed her eyes shut. She saw a fly crawling over an old grave. Over a bundle of withered, dried roses. Over a blooming corpse turgid and teeming with its young, so near the surface that Becky could feel the palpable anticipation of them bursting through the flesh; a hot, writhing swarm. Somewhere far away, the ghost of a feeling like a large hand trailing fingers over her underwear, over her covered mound, moving up to rest over her abdomen. The hand pressed down.
Her eyes flew open as soon as her full bladder was stimulated and she let go, pissing herself immediately. She was too frightened to feel embarrassed as the warm stream ran down her legs. The man remained unmoving, despite the urine running down his hand. As the stream slowed, Becky shuddered, tears leaking out of her eyes. She placed her hands on the stranger's forearms and pushed back, trying to get him to move. Music was still playing, the ridiculousness of the juxtaposition of the song with the situation causing Becky to choke out a sound. Part laugh part sob, aborted in her throat.
sittin' here eating my heart no reason
won't spend another night on my own
i dialed about a hundred numbers baby
i'm bound to find somebody home
The stranger grabbed her by the shoulders and swung her around sharply, flinging her into the dresser with an extraordinary amount of force. Becky felt like the air was expelled from her lungs as she hit the piece of furniture back first. Her eyes were darting around the room when she spotted something unfamiliar resting against the wall near the open window. He must have brought it with him. Just as the man moved to grab her, Becky sprung towards the large machete, grabbing it with shaking hands and raising it in front of her, pointed towards the monster. The threat of injury didn't seem to phase him, as he continued moving towards the woman at an even pace. As she watched him advance, Becky began to think in a detached way about what her friends will think of her if she dies tonight. She didn't feel brave. She didn't feel lucky. She looked over the stranger's clothing; dirt, old blood, god knows what. How would they dress her when they lay her down in the grave ? She thought of the coroner who'd be called in after they find her mutilated corpse – cutting her clothes away on the cold metal slab. Putting the scalpel to her chest for the starting incision while running their hand up and down her thigh. At the end, will she be dressed in the white dress she wore at her cousin's wedding ? She had made fun of Becky for wearing white to upstage her. She remembers telling her cousin that she loved having eyes on her. She liked being noticed.
She liked being watched.
The open window.
She closed her eyes and threw her weight forwards, plunging the dirty machete into the stranger's chest. The blade slipped in easily. This frightened Becky.
i need your hot stuff baby tonight
i want your hot stuff baby this evenin'
The song ended as she opened her eyes and let go of the handle, stumbling backwards. To her horror, the man seemed undeterred. With the machete still sticking out of his chest, he moved towards her and grabbed her by the neck. Becky wheezed and clawed at his hands and arms. He turned and threw her backwards towards the bed. A soft landing. She looked up at the ceiling fan. The man shuffled forward and Becky began kicking out over the side of the bed, trying to kick him away, but he grabbed one of her ankles and twisted so sharply that Becky cried out, feeling as if her bones will snap. She ceased moving, staring up at him through a haze of tears. Through her bleary vision the worn hockey mask he wore looked like one of those Matisse faces – black lines on white paper.
The stranger let go of Becky's leg and moved to climb onto the bed. He moved at a glacial pace, yet Becky remained still. Her throat hurt – her breaths came short and rapid. Her legs shook and it felt like all her muscles were vibrating. When he was looming directly over her, he grabbed the handle of the machete and pulled it out of his chest with a loud and wet squelch. Becky stared at the wound, at the ruined flesh beyond his torn shirt.
Summer rain. Hot night. Becky felt like her heart was burning up inside. She saw herself on a rowboat, drifting away on rising, black waters that were seeping into the boat. Warm breath was fanning her face, warm wind was blowing in through the open window. What would a Summer storm look like as a person ? A sudden and large thing bringing with it a hot flood, drowning all the animals trapped in their pens. She heard fabric tearing. The ghost of a hand descended on one of Becky's bare breasts as she imaged flood waters swelling and receding, revealing bloated corpses, broken glass, uprooted trees. The hand squeezed as Becky thought of reaching into the darkness of a hollowed out carcass and digging into the teeming mass squirming inside.
Another crack of thunder. She stared up at him, suddenly transfixed. Slowly, she raised her right hand and placed it over the ragged wound she had inflicted on the stranger. His masked face was hovering above her, she could hear his deep and shallow breaths. She tried looking for his eyes through the mask but all she could see was darkness. Just then she felt something warm and wet on her hand. Becky tore her eyes away from the mask to look at where her hand rested on his chest wound. A black, syrupy fluid had begun to seep forth, through the gaps in her fingers, sliding down her arm. She stared wide-eyed at the dark liquid, thick as molasses, now coming slightly faster for her palm to contain. She removed her hand and it began dribbling onto her bare chest, like hot, dark honey. Becky's nose and throat tickled unpleasantly as the smell hit her. Not entirely repugnant, but not entirely natural. The liquid was now pooling between her breasts and running down the sides of her chest. It felt hot on her already flushed skin. She placed one of her hands on top of the stranger's large one that rested on her left breast. She took hold of it and slowly moved it up to rest on her neck. For a moment his hand was still and all Becky could hear was his breathing, which at that point sounded like a shallow, wet gurgling. Then, he squeezed.
Becky gasped and her arms flew up to grip his shoulders. He squeezed and released. Becky couldn't hear the thunder but she could feel it in her chest. In her bones. One of her hands slowly moved from his shoulder and back to the wound on his chest. She gently prodded at the torn sides of the injury, trying to feel the skin, the layer of subcutaneous fat, the muscle. Slowly, she slipped two fingers inside the wound. He was warm inside, but unnaturally so, like something that had been kept in hot water. Becky's eyes darted back to the mask and her fingers moved further in. She thought she felt something wriggle in there. Her mind flashed back to the image of maggots swarming underneath pale skin and she groaned out something. Something like a word. Something like a question. More of the dark syrupy fluid oozed out, running down her fingers. She had kept her eyes on the mask, and for a brief moment saw in one of the eye holes something like a flash of light. No, a white eyeball, glistening in the dim light.
Becky quickly retracted her fingers as the stranger groaned loudly and lowered his large body, replacing the hand on Becky's neck with his forearm. All Becky could do was wheeze and watch as he moved his other arm to retrieve the machete that has been lying to the side, near the edge of the bed. He took hold of the handle, bringing the weapon over Becky's face. He raised himself up again, reaching his hand around the woman's head. He gently cradled her head for a moment before his hand slipped downwards, taking hold of her neck from behind – holding her in place. He moved the blade of the machete down her body, smearing the viscous liquid downwards. He rested the blade on her abdomen, breathing loudly. Give and take. Becky jumped at the feeling of the cold steel on her skin, and thought back to how she had pushed the blade into the intruder's chest. She didn't feel any resistance, didn't feel any bones crunching. Didn't feel any muscles tearing. What was inside this thing ?
She remembered a tomato she had in her kitchen that had rolled behind the stacked cereal boxes – forgotten for weeks. When she discovered the tomato, it had rotted on the inside, but the skin was strong, keeping the liquefied remains inside. It looked like a red water balloon, fruit flies stuck to its surface. Becky cradled it in her palm as she took it outside to the compost bin. She lifted the cover and felt the warmth inside, typical of enclosed spaces filled with rotting scraps. As she placed the tomato inside, she wondered why decomposing fruit produced heat. Something to do with the breakdown of enzymes, she vaguely recalled reading. She looked at the little red bag filled with dark fluid; dead but warm.
A pulling sensation that bloomed into a white hot pain ran over Becky's skin as the blade of the machete cut long and deep into her upper thigh. The blood welled up, slowly at first, but soon oozed to the surface, running in rivulets down the side of her leg. It hurt, in a distant way. Becky felt her heart rate pick up. The stranger seemed to watch her impassively. Becky couldn't tell what he was thinking, if he was thinking anything. The tips of her fingers found the wound on her thigh. It stung. She felt the blood. Warm. She thought of a tick attached to an animal, swollen with blood – bursting with it. She thought of an engorged leech. The stranger made a cut on her other thigh, almost symmetrical to the other. Becky gasped, and this time cried out. The cry ended as a long and breathy whine. She screwed her eyes shut as the stranger released his grip on the back of her neck and placed his large hand over her face. From that close, his skin smelled like meat right after it's thrown into boiling water - right after the blood has begun to seep out, boiling too.
He began running his hand down her face and Becky momentarily considered biting him, but decided against it. She slowly opened her eyes as his hand continued its journey down her body, further smearing the dark fluid that had come from his body with Becky's blood, all the way to her soiled underwear, where his hand lingered. His palm rested there and Becky kept thinking of the leeches, swollen with blood, squirming. She imagined what cutting one in half wold look like. Would it squirt, or ooze out ? A cold sweat broke out on the back of Becky's neck as the man's palm began slowly stroking her. A dark heat was pooling in her abdomen. Her eyes were fixed on the mask. She couldn't stop thinking about the leeches.
The intruder was once more groaning unintelligibly. She raised one of her arms, her fingers boldly grazing the surface of his hockey mask. Her other arm was slowly moving towards the machete that she had seen him lay on the bed once more after cutting her. Her fingers found the wooden handle.
Fine lines. There anticipation of pain, or pleasure. Becky's inexperienced hand swung swift and precise. She didn't close her eyes this time. She wanted to watch.
The monster's body suddenly slumped over hers as his masked head thumped to the floor, squelching wetly. Becky gripped the machete in a shaking hand. She looked down at his ruined neck. It looked like minced meat mixed with black syrup. Something was squirming inside. One of the stranger's thighs was positioned in between Becky's legs, and she ground against it absentmindedly as she stared up at the ceiling fan. She flung the machete away, hearing it clatter against the dresser. Perhaps she had ended things prematurely, Becky wondered as she increased her movements, seeking greater friction. It didn't matter, she thought as she wrapped her arms around the now headless body.
She had all night.
Jason Voorhees © Tom Savini, Victor Niller, Sean S. Cunningham, Ron Kurtz. "Hot Stuff" © Donna Summer