Opportune by Design

Kristyna M. Landt, MD 

<b>Part I 
Opportune by Design</b>

Like one of Samuel Rumph's prized heirloom Elberta peaches, Hillary was also a Macon County native, only she reeked of a special kind of mayhem that was uniquely indigenous to her. She gave the best blow jobs in Montezuma for just $25 a pop.

Tonight was no different than any other night over at Junior's Flim Flam Room, except Hillary wasn't quite caught up getting her drink on. Rock solid booze buzzes were a prerequisite for fellatio, especially considering the smelly jackasses who frequented that joint. She shuddered, thinking of Jackie Priester and his farty shitbritches.

Gawd, he stunk to high heaven. She suspected he was well aware of his vile funk because he always paid her double. Sighing heavily, she redirected her attention to the nearly empty bottle in front of her. One more shot of Jack Daniels, and she'd be good to go.

Hillary's sturdy frame easily accommodated a few extra pounds of whiskey legacy weight, and despite all of her vices, she'd never touched a cigarette, so she still looked pretty good for a broad who'd just turned 36.

She really didn't look a day over thirty-two. Regardless of the weather in middle Georgia, her attire never changed: tight skirt, even tighter shirt, no bra, no panties. Oddly enough, that ease of access afforded her a sense of clarity and control. The sweetness of her round face and mess of dirty blonde curls were dolllike, offsetting her overall crudeness. She was at once an eyesore and a sight for sore eyes.

Pete Overholt was the frontman for Lazy Swamp Ambush, Junior's southern blues rock house band. He sat at the bar, nursing his store bought bottle of mineral water, waiting for the rest of the crew to show up for load in and contemplating Hillary, who was already three sheets to the wind and giving fat Jackie an overthepants in a dark corner near the rear exit. Raised to be a proper Montezuman Mennonite, Pete was now an outlaw, an excommunicated ex-husband, still wrestling with the fresh anarchy of his nascent identity.

Hillary provided a welcome distraction. Barely visible in dusky silhouette, Jackie's eyes rolled heavenward as Hillary kneaded his dank junk, her free hand preoccupied with an astonishingly elaborate ritual swiping of lip gloss. The dim red glow coming from the exit sign highlighted her ample d├ęcolletage. Fleshy and indignant, her left boob had a habit of working its way out of the flimsy halter top that was struggling to hold it captive, simultaneously alluring and revolting like milk you know damn well is spoiled but you go ahead and taste of it anyway.

Although he'd partaken of Hillary's reasonably priced services on several occasions, Pete couldn't recall if she had a last name. Had he just never thought to ask? Watching Hillary in action, he quickly concluded that both her wardrobe and anonymity were opportune by design, easily forgotten indelible misfortunes, less an oversight than an intentional convenience.

<b>Part II

Jackie Priester was the bastard son of Miss Violet Priester, a traveling nurse who strongly believed in the unproven health benefits of daily milk and molasses enemas, and Otto Hoffhein, an equally depraved Austrian expat and small-appliance salesman with a proclivity for Little Debbies and the cache of used sanitary napkins he'd clandestinely pilfered from Big Wendy, his corpulent, eternally menstruating bookkeeper.

During one of their cannabis-fueled outdoor games of naked tag, Big Wendy went bucknutty on Otto after he'd given her a good Barbasol foaming and then tried to escape by jumping over a hedgerow. She gave chase, leaping into the air and levitating momentarily like a deranged zeppelin before plummeting at warp speed atop his outstretched leg at precisely the moment he'd finished negotiating the hedge, crushing his right knee so badly that he now walked with a permanent limp, his right leg having been surgically rendered shorter than the left. Nevertheless, Otto remained optimistically opportunistic. Despite his dysfunctional relationship with Big Wendy, he chose to focus on its only positive aspect, namely unlimited access to her discarded Kotex pads. Quite frankly, he found them irresistible. He sequestered them safely amidst expired Star Crunches and Oatmeal Creme Pies in the bottom drawer of an inconspicuous file cabinet. On payday afternoons, Otto would fondle the besmirched pads in barehanded admiration, dutifully replenishing those that had lost their whang with fresh sticky ones he'd retrieved from the feminine hygiene disposal bin located in the employee restroom.

Otto and Violet often left Jackie in the care of their housekeeper, Mrs. Kelly, a frumpy chainsmoker who sported a mouthful of rotten teeth and occasionally stole hams from the deep freezer out in their garage. There was one morning when Jackie awakened to find Mrs. Kelly passed out in his bed. The stale air surrounding her smelt of cabbage and poop breath, but he had a solution for that. He'd always enjoyed the crisp, invigorating scent and pleasant hallucinations provided by the orange Glade Mrs. Kelly kept in the upstairs bathroom. It erased all traces of her from olfaction. On that particular morning, Jackie inhaled so much of it that he emptied the can.

When he encountered her standing at the foot of the stairwell, screeching at him to come down for breakfast, he calmly informed her, "Mrs. Kelly, you have a hole in your head."

Violet was distantly related to the pecan peddling Priesters of Fort Deposit, Alabama. The only thing she cared for less than pecans was small children. She'd met Otto while shopping for a hotplate in his downtown Birmingham appliance shop, just across the street from her nursing school dormitory. They secretly met twice for coffee in a neighboring town. After their third encounter, Violet permitted Otto to fuck her up the ass, partly because he'd reported a severe allergy to latex, but mostly due to the fact that Violet really did despise kids. There was also Nurse Grimley to consider. Because of that old battleaxe, their rendezvous had to be kept on the QT.

Nurse Grimley, a priggish prude who dually functioned as nursing advisor and house mother, ruled the dorms with an iron fist, strictly forbidding her students to masturbate or entertain male visitors under any circumstances. She discouraged dating entirely until the end of the last semester. According to her, any infraction, especially of a sexual nature was grounds for immediate dismissal.

Given Violet's predilection for rectal stimulation, Otto's sensitivity to latex, and Nurse Grimley's zero tolerance policy on gravidity, she determined that cornholing was the most reasonable contraceptive option for satisfying both her carnal impulses and her desire to graduate.

<b>Part III

Being a Priester and all, albeit a distantly related one, Violet's disdain for pecans was viewed by her odious spawn as an egregious aberration. Why, Jackie had nothing but mad love for nuts of all kinds, particularly the pair corralled within his feculent plumsmugglers, suspended beneath the evertumescent pork sword he polished habitually. He really elevated the art of holding the sausage hostage to a whole new level.

Unfortunately, the kosher peanut butter grinder at Thurgood Peebles' natural grocery was as attractive to a thenpubescent Jackie Priester as it was for Birmingham's orthodox Jew crowd, so much so that he went and got himself a job there. Grinding and extrusion were amongst his favorite things and warm peanut butter sure did make for some sweet lube. Now spooging was fingerlickin' good. Given that Jackie's only real parental figure had been Smelly Mrs. Kelly, Thurgood quickly became his hero.

Thurgood wasn't a Jew, but according to Miss Dolly Sasser over at The Primitive Sovereign Free Will Fellowship of Evangelical Righteous Redemption, he'd been living in sin with that Jewess harlot, Sharon Nussbaum, since sometime in the late 70s.

"Fornicators," she'd mutter under her breath while perusing the aisles inside Thurgood's. But Thurgood Peebles' Wicked Den of Transgression was the only store in town that stocked Exquisite Exit, her favorite laxative, so although by shopping there she was knowingly violating 1 Corinthians 5:9 in which the Apostle Paul had made it abundantly clear that she should not be consorting with sexually immoral people, Miss Dolly was able to rationalize that the suffering she'd experience from unmitigated constipation did indeed necessitate her patronage, thereby making her a martyr instead of a sinner. Absolved by her own generous selfsacrifice and occasional bouts of molten diarrhea, she trusted Christ would abide.

Sharon's parents were peanut farmers in Sumter County, Georgia. Upon learning of the growing demand for koshercertified peanuts in the South after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, they'd emigrated from a kibbutz in Israel and bought a farm near Plains. Sharon and Thurgood met while working the concession stand at the Pleasant Valley nudist colony close to Dawsonville. Except for the hairy mole on her right tit and his uncircumcised schlong, they were both perfect 10s. Oh, and Thurgood also happened to be black, which greatly upset Sharon's parents at first, but once he agreed to ritual circumcision, they seemed OK with him banging their daughter. They even helped finance his grocery store and supplied the kosher peanuts when he and Sharon decided to move to Birmingham.

Raw peanuts in the shell don't require special certification, but shelled ones do. Depending on what type of Jew you happened to be, you might or might not be allowed to partake of peanuts or peanut butter at Passover. Thurgood was sure of one thing, though: most orthodox Jews in Birmingham did consume peanuts and peanut butter at some point during the year. So, the peanut butter machine was kind of a big deal because back then, there was no such thing as freshly ground kosher peanut butter and furthermore, kids in those days didn't have allergies to peanuts, gluten, eggs, yeast, dairy, tap water, refined sugar, food dyes, air, and high fructose corn syrup like they do now.

Jackie's main task was to keep that machine lubricated, an easy undertaking for even the most dimwitted of greaseball wankers. The small quantities of peanut butter yielded during the lubrication process ensured a neverending supply of piece grease which emboldened Jackie to baste the ham even while he was on the clock. One afternoon, Thurgood summoned Jackie, who was busy beating off in the bathroom, to execute a new task. "Boy, I need you to fill up this here hopper with some a them special peanuts that's been sanctified by Rabbi Feldman, " he instructed. "They's marked 'U' with a li'l circle 'round it." In his selfcoitus interruptus daze, Jackie mistook a rat turd for the symbol Thurgood had specified, hypnotized by the rhythmic crinkling of the bag as an avalanche of iniquitous peanuts tumbled into the hopper.

<b>Part IV

Shortly after Jackie was released from Thurgood's employ for having irretrievably desecrated both the kosher peanut butter machine and the employee restroom, Otto was busted for tax evasion. Regretfully, he'd always paid Big Wendy under the table, so her name wasn't actually anywhere on his books. Oops. So much for mea culpa, tua culpa . Seeing as how Otto'd be chillaxing in Club Fed for at least the next three years, she went ahead and got herself a new job keeping the books for Dr. Suckchin Dongbang, a Korean urologist.

Dr. Dongbang seemed nice enough for a Buddhist, although Big Wendy suspected he'd barbecue his own dog in a New York minute. Several months after she started working for him, Candace, his switchhitting surgical technician, walked off the job during a particularly arduous penile enhancement, quite literally leaving Dr. Dongbang holding his own dick as well as the ginormous one he'd just fashioned.

Violet nearly lost her shit when she found out Jackie was living on the dole. Almost . Thanks to those daily milk and molasses enemas she was so partial to, her rectum was about as empty as her soul. In Violet's mind, the only thing worse in life than pecans or small children was a homeless slacker. It was with great reluctance that she allowed Jackie to move back home, especially since she'd converted his bedroom into a cashinadvance colon hydrotherapy studio where she gleefully irrigated toxic poop shoots on her days off. Considering Birmingham's recent influx of yuppie granolasexuals, all of whom had irritable bowels, she could hardly keep up with the demand. Jackie's plans for his immediate future involved planting his flatulent ass in front of the TV.

Needless to say, Violet wasn't about to have him jizzing all over her good furniture, molesting her CPR manikins, and scaring her intestinally-challenged customers away, so she started bringing Couch Potato to work with her. She'd quit traveling a while back and was now working as an operating room scrub nurse. Operating rooms are notorious for attracting personality disorders from across all healthcare disciplines, and Violet was certainly no exception. Just as Hillary's special kind of mayhem was uniquely indigenous to her, so was the barely contained chaos within Violet's OR. It was like the wild west pretending to be civilized. Instead of outlaws and gunslingers, there were surgeons throwing tantrums and hurling instruments, arguing with each other over whose case was more urgent while yelling at the anesthesiologist on call for keeping their patients alive, scrub nurses terrorizing medical students who'd violated the sterile field, sleep-deprived surgical interns who looked disinterested, comatose residents holding retractors, hungover techs closing incisions, scalpels that were never quite sharp enough, scissors that couldn't cut paper, circulators incessantly badmouthing the recovery room staff, endless elective add-ons, perpetually faulty equipment, and excruciatingly slow turnovers. The only thing everyone agreed on was that when something went wrong, it was probably anesthesia's fault.

Well, lo and behold, the moment Jackie first lumbered into the OR, his shit came together. Colpo di fulmine, as Tony the Italian OR pharmacist would say. Lightning struck, and it was love at first sight. So many interesting bodily fluids and toys, not to mention the partially concealed nudity and rotating parade of foxy anesthesia nurses.

On Violet's dime, Jackie enrolled in a local community college surgical technician program. Nine months later, he graduated sorta cum laude . Big Wendy always did have a soft spot for Jackie, so when she heard from bubblegutted Miss Dolly that he'd just earned his certificate, she recruited him to help dissect Dr. Dongbang's dicks.

<b>Part V
When In Doubt, Cut It Out</b>

Jackie did such a bang up job assisting Dr. Dongbang, he could practically perform the procedures himself. During his training, he developed a man crush on Dr. William Stewart Halsted, the aristocratic 19th century surgeon who pioneered the principles of modern surgical technique while jacked up on cocaine and morphine. Jackie's mantra quickly became "When in doubt, cut it out."

If only Jackie could amputate his failure to impress Thurgood along with that aggravating crinkling in his left ear. He'd become convinced those satanic peanuts were conspiring to haunt him, orchestrating his demise as they deliberately cascaded across the crinkly cellophane, one by one, straight into the hopper of that wretched kosher peanut butter machine. Dr. Dongbang assured him it was only earwax.

When Dr. Dongbang was offered a prestigious medical directorship for a 49 bed hospital in Macon County, Georgia, he took Jackie with him. As for Big Wendy, she stayed behind in Birmingham where she and Miss Dolly (of all people) founded Eve's Ammo, a successful home party business that outfitted Christ's defenseless female apostles with personal alarms, stun guns, survival knives, and pepper spray.

Much to Jackie's chagrin, Montezuma was devoid of porn shops and strip clubs, but Junior's Flim Flam Room provided access to an even greater pleasure: Hillary's legendary blow jobs. Hot damn, that girl could suck the chrome off a tail pipe. According to Jackie, Hillary's talent for gently handling delicate tissues was right up there with Dr. Halsted's, only she got props for going commando and having a nice rack. But Hillary's heart really wasn't in whoring. The only child of an apocalypse-obsessed womanizing preacher, she'd cut her teeth on fire and brimstone. While Daddy busied himself spreading his seed and The Good News, Mama stayed holed up in the bed with her jug of jungle juice and a permanent migraine.

Hillary was a lonely, well-behaved child who always did well in school. To her despair, she developed much earlier than the other girls, giving her an instant slut reputation she'd done nothing to deserve. More than anything, Hillary loved animals. Her dream of becoming a veterinarian was dashed when Daddy's congregation sued him for conspiracy, extortion, fraud, and money laundering, leaving her family destitute. Daddy was incarcerated, Mama was involuntarily committed, and Hillary ended up quitting high school and giving head at Junior's. From Hillary's perspective, it was a good thing Jackie's mad stacks were even more generous than his loathsome spooge. Were it not for that, she'd have left Montezuma a long time ago.

The crinkling in Jackie's ear was increasingly accompanied by the droning, thought-like voices of Thurgood and Dr. Halsted, which at first were low in volume and critical in nature but quickly escalated into threatening commands. Clearly disturbed, Jackie grew more and more reclusive, at times failing to report to work. It wasn't long before he stopped coming to work altogether. He just sort of disappeared. Fly fishermen occasionally reported catching glimpses of a strange man wandering the banks of the Flint. These sightings always attracted a lot of attention because earlier that spring, a turkey hunter and his son discovered the decapitated corpse of a young local woman lying in a shallow grave down by the river. Several months passed. One evening, as the midsummer sun was starting to set, Jackie stumbled into Junior's. He was wearing nothing but a scrub top and a pair of Crocs, mumbling incoherently something about a unicorn and dribbling a steady rivulet of blood as he retreated in zombie-like fashion to the men's crapper.

Dark Horse Heroes</b>

As usual, Pete was parked by the bar, sipping on his fancy imported mineral water. He was the first to witness Jackie's bizarro entrance. Springing from his stool to investigate, slipping and sliding in Jackie's bloody trail, Pete raced toward the now-occupied can. The door wasn't locked, but something or someone was blocking it.

Pressing his ear against the door, he could hear Jackie muttering and clanging around with water running in the background. The clamor was quickly followed by a bloodcurdling scream and a sickening thud. Then there was silence. After a couple of minutes of yelling and beating on the door so hard that he bloodied his own fist, Pete started using his body as a battering ram, finally managing to budge it open just enough to peek through with one eye.

What Pete saw inside that shitter could never be unseen. There lay Jackie, collapsed in a pool of bright red blood which was already seeping out beneath the door, his head apparently having struck the toilet. Pete shouted at the bartender to call 911, ramming the door frantically until he was able to squeeze inside. The full horror of the remaining scene instantly made him retch. In a macabre display of ascetic self-mutilation, a rapidly exsanguinating Jackie still clutched a scalpel in one hand and his own meticulously excised testicles in the other. Evidently, he'd attempted to exorcise his own demons.

Once the paramedics arrived, Pete made his way through the resultant commotion to see if he could find Hillary. He was sure she'd want to know about Jackie. But Hillary was nowhere to be seen. She'd been sitting at the bar about an hour earlier, drinking heavily and chatting up a quiet shifty-eyed stranger.

Pete remembered seeing a strange van at load in, a big white one with tinted windows, out of state plates, and a conspicuously absent Confederate flag bumper sticker. It stood out like a sore thumb among all the muscle cars and Ford F150s.

Back in the springtime, he'd joined the search party when that poor girl, the one who'd gotten her head lopped off, went missing. Although there'd been reports of a similar white van in that area, her killer was never apprehended. Quickly putting two and two together, Pete bolted toward the parking lot.

Outside, the air was thick and dusk was closing in. In the waning twilight, Pete spotted the van backing out of its space. A sudden flash caught his eye. Lying in the gravel by the van's passenger door was one of Hillary's signature silver stilettos. Pete lunged reflexively, grabbing onto the door's handle with both hands, breaking off the side view mirror in the process.

Without warning, two police cruisers whipped into the parking lot, blocking the van's exit. Two cops jumped out and ran right past the van. They were there to restore order inside Junior's, and since they'd assumed whatever was transpiring over at that van probably involved liquor and a skanky bimbo, they didn't concern themselves with it.

Meanwhile, Pete smashed open the passenger window using the severed mirror. Inside, Hillary was slumped in her seat, looking as if she'd been drugged. In a fit of panicky rage, Pete hoisted himself up into the van through the shattered window, and went straight for the driver's throat. The van surged and halted, then surged again violently over a parking stop.

Pete's immediate instinct was to get Hillary and himself out of the van as quickly as possible. Temporarily stunning the driver with an amateur choke hold, he unlatched the door, kicked it open, and pulled Hillary out to safety. He squared her away, then charged back toward the van. The driver, who appeared mildly dazed but still cocky, gunned the engine and took off.

According to police, in a neighboring town that same night, a man driving a white van was found dead, the apparent victim of the elusive predatory tweaker, known as Waffles, whose calling card was a Dirty Cupcake. The man had seemingly lured Waffles into his van with a bottle of Robitussin and a bucket of Colonel Sanders. Surprisingly astute for a robotripping meth whore, Waffles suspected malfeasance the moment she spied the unsavory assortment of paraphernalia stashed in the back of his van.

Eyeing rolls of duct tape and plastic sheeting, zip ties, and a muddy shovel, she correctly pegged him as the Flint River Butcher. With great consternation, Waffles reached for her purse. Lucky for her, the killer was too distracted masticating his drumstick and boning her in the ass to take notice. "Here ya go, baby. Fuck me with this," she purred, brandishing a neon pink dildo.

In a single stroke, the Flint River Butcher went from pushing fudge to pushing up daisies. The million volt jolt he received was just enough to rupture an occult aneurysm buried deep inside his brain. The shock killed him instantly.

After making sure he was dead, Waffles calmly plucked a small turd from her rectal vault, pressed it firmly into his bellybutton, and decorated it with fried chicken sprinkles from the bottom of the KFC bucket.

She then replaced the cap on the Eve's Ammo Super Deluxe Dildo/Stun Gun combo she'd received as a welcome gift at the women's shelter. Click. Big Wendy and Miss Dolly took their call to Christian service very seriously. This innovative new line of double duty defense devices, dispensed free of charge to all whores of Babylon, was their contribution to women's advocacy.

Despite EMS's attempts at resuscitation, Jackie was pronounced dead on the scene due to his self-inflicted wounds. Right before he died, he'd had a brief lucid interval during which he repeatedly murmured the word "eunuch." Unicorn, eunuch. Hmmmm. Given Jackie's nature, and the nature of his injury, he probably got what he deserved.

Hillary skipped town after her brush with death. Every once in a blue moon, she'll send a postcard to Junior's with a California postmark and no return address. The cards themselves are different each time but her one word message, inscribed in girly script with pink ink, is always the same: "Saved." The last card to arrive included her last name, Rutledge. Pete had no idea what Hillary Rutledge was doing with herself, but he understood her message. Wherever she was, he hoped she was happy and that her new life was as opportune and easy as she'd always been.

Perhaps Jackie's auto-castration was his singular act of contrition, his peanut-induced psychosis a metaphor for a penance gone terribly wrong. When you connect all the dots, Jackie's sacrifice was Hillary's salvation. Hillary and Pete were dark horse heroes, fearless and genuine, their flaws redemptive. Hell, even Big Wendy and Miss Dolly got in on that action, a tad self-righteous maybe, but righteous champions of the unclean nonetheless. Vice may be the spice of life but maybe life's the real vice. It takes a good heart to triumph over moral decay, but an even better one to live like there's no tomorrow. The downtrodden, the exploited, the so-called immoral; they're full of stories like that. And this was one of them.
<td><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-6650" src="http://southernpacificreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_3796-540x675.jpg" alt="short story contest" height="275" /></td>
<td>Kristyna Mazur Landt is a free ­spirited, wild­ at ­heart Polish-­American woman, who also happens to be someone’s mom/physician. A practicing anesthesiologist in Atlanta, GA, she lives in an old elementary school library, and is the proud mother of 24 year old identical twin musician sons and 2 brown German Short­Haired Pointers. She enjoys spontaneity, painting, creative writing, working out, and figuring out what to do with leftovers. Her personal blog, <a href="http://www.channelinghippocrates.com/">Channeling Hippocrates,</a> has been an instrumental means of self expression and revelation, especially within the context of being a woman who sometimes wears too many hats.</td>


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