Load

IMG_0188

This story is pretty gross and I’m very proud of it. It was originally published in Crimespree Magazine in 2005. When I say Riot Load is loosely based on this story I do mean LOOSELY. I think it only shares part of a title and the basic idea of robbing a sperm bank. But it was another important story in my development as a crime writer and I’m happy to have it archived here for eternity. If you’re curious to see how it made the transition to novel, order your copy of Riot Load now. You can read the story Murder Boy was based on here.

LOAD
By Bryon Quertermous

“A sperm bank?”

Randy Rhoades looked at his brother-in-law as they pulled into the parking lot of a run down strip mall on the outskirts of Detroit.

“It’s a fertility clinic,” Darrell Abbott said.

“What’s the difference?”

“Well, there’s…I mean…just shut up and come on.”

Randy tagged behind as they made their way into the Wayne County Fertility Center.

“You’re going to make me jack off in here aren’t you?” Randy asked. “This is sick dude.”

“You don’t have to jack off,” Darrell said, holding the lobby door open. “You just have to pretend so they don’t pay as much attention to me.”

“Nobody better watch me.”

There was only one man in the waiting room and the staff was at a skeletal capacity during the lunch hour. Darrell had planned this appointment with that in mind the last time he’d come with Amy. They’d scheduled an appointment at the peak of the evening rush and afterward Darrell asked the nurse when the slowest time was to come because his wife hated crowds. That was before he knew about “the specimen.”

“How did you guys find this place anyway,” Randy asked while Darrell flipped through the channels on the TV hanging in a corner.

“Somebody Amy works with recommended it.”

“Doesn’t look like a place a millionaire’d come to whack it.”

“They’re discreet…not like you. Now shut up.”

The other guy waiting was a big square of a man who looked like an ex-football player. He was wearing black dress pants and a tight yellow sweater and kept looking at Randy and Darrell.

“That guy’s creeping me out,” Randy said, leaning in to whisper to Darrell.

“He was here the last couple times Amy and I came too. He’s fine.”

Randy avoided making eye contact with the man and a few minutes later the nurse called him up to the desk. She handed Randy an orange medical cup with a lid and a plastic bag with two dirty magazines and a small tube of lubricant inside.

“Can I keep these?” he asked, holding the magazine bag up.

“We don’t reuse them,” she said.

In his little room, Randy tried not to think about his sister or Darrell while he had his penis in his hand. Sure, Darrell told him he didn’t have to whack off, but since Randy was alone in a room with lube and some fine magazines it seemed like a waste not to. One of the magazines had pictures of slutty looking women with enormous fake breasts and glamour photography lighting and the other featured more natural looking women. Randy had the natural one opened in front of him on the counter while he concentrated on Miss April and her crotch less farm overalls.

In the next room, Darrell’s bag of magazines sat on the counter unopened. He was working a set of picks into the lock on a closet in his room that stored the overflow sperm that couldn’t be held in the main freezer. When the door finally popped open, he heard the nurse bang on the door. Darrell made a couple of lustful grunts and moaned a bit, then waited. She didn’t knock again, so he continued into the closet. There were several miniature freezers on the floor, stacked on top of each other. If you didn’t know any better, you’d assume the doctors were keeping a stash of meat and ice cream in the closet.

Darrell knew “the specimen” was in one of the freezers because Amy had told him about it later. This was all her idea. When she heard the nurses gossiping about a filthy rich donor specimen during her appointment, she realized it was a valuable commodity. The subject of kidnapping had actually come up several times as a solution to their current money woes, but the human element had always discouraged them. Amy didn’t like the people who would have to be involved to execute the plan and Darrell hated the idea of having a kid running around the house. Amy was lazy enough as it was. If she’d get off the couch long enough to pick up a shift at McDonald’s he wouldn’t be reduced to schemes to survive.

He knew Amy wanted kids and he’d come along for the fertility treatments to appease her but he hoped they wouldn’t work. The doctor had given him suggestions to help him increase his sperm count but he’d been doing things to himself to make sure the little bastards didn’t stand a chance once they left his rod.

The nurse knocked the second time while he had “the specimen” in his hand. He put it back and relocked the door with his picks then told the nurse to enter. When she came into the room, the nurse glanced at the unopened bag of magazines. Darrell tapped the side of his head.

“I’ve got enough dirty pictures up here to keep me horny for years,” he said.

“Yes, well, there was something I wanted to talk to you about.”

“Shoot. Oh, I guess that probably isn’t the best thing to say in this place. Never know what a guy may shoot right?”

“There were some abnormalities with your sperm Mr. Abbott.”

“I told the wife that there probably would be. I’m not proud of it, but back in my misspent youth I experimented quite frequently with illegal drugs. I told her not to expect anything.”

“These are artificial abnormalities,” she said.

“You telling me my little boys are robots?”

“Somebody is intentionally abusing your sperm Mr. Abbott.”

“Hey, I grab my thingy and shake it around until the little boys come spitting out. That’s abuse, but it ain’t exactly intentional.”

“I’ve noticed you and your wife when you come into the office. You fight frequently.”

“I didn’t know you were also a therapist.”

“This is quite common. The husband doesn’t want to have kids and the wife does so he abuses his body in a way to kill off the sperm so they can’t fertilize the wife’s egg.”

“I don’t like where this is going.”

“You need to talk to your wife Mr. Abbott. I would also suggest some marriage counseling before you continue with the fertility treatments.”

Darrell moved past the doctor and opened the door.

“I don’t need some jizz specialist giving me marriage advice.”

“I’ve told your wife what you’ve been doing. You need to talk to–”

“You told my wife I was killing my sperm?”

“If I didn’t tell her then–”

“If you didn’t tell her, things would be fine. Now she’s going to be angry.”

“This is the way I’ve handled–”

“Expect to hear from my lawyer,” Darrell said pushing past the nurse. He pounded on Randy’s door and yelled for him to finish.

“Just a min..ute…” Randy grunted.

“Now,” Darrell said.

He was in the parking lot by the time Randy caught up to him, still adjusting his pants. There was a bulge in Randy’s coat pocket and Darrell pointed at it.

“What did you steal?”

“That’s mine,” Randy said.

“Your what?”

“My…my boys,” he said. “You wanted me to hurry.”

“You’re sick. Get in the car, we’re going to see Amy.”

“But I’m hungry,” Randy said.

“We’ll get food later. There’s a candy bar in the glove box.”

Randy knew better than to argue any further so he dug through the glove box until he found a Snickers bar next to a small revolver. He didn’t check the expiration date; he tore open the wrapper and swallowed the entire thing in two bites. They pulled up to Darrell’s house a couple minutes later and both got out of the car.

“Stay here,” Darrell said.

“But I want to put my boys in…”

Randy didn’t bother continuing his protest because Darrell was already on the porch. While Darrell stormed through the house yelling for Amy, Randy went to the kitchen and put the cup with his sperm sample in the freezer. He quickly took it out though, remembering that Amy said sperm can survive in the container for up to four hours at room temperature but they had to be frozen gradually. He wasn’t exactly sure he wanted to freeze it but somewhere in the back of his mind Randy liked the idea of being a father. Before he could think about it further, Amy came through the door and went straight for the knife rack next to him. Darrell was right behind her but stopped when she spun around and had a chopping knife pointed at his neck. Randy left his sample on the counter and eased into the living room.

“You’ll never be a mother if you kill me,” Darrell said.

Amy inched closer to him and twisted the knife near Darrell’s throat.

“You’re joking about this?”

“What do you expect–”

“You’ve been killing my babies and you’re joking about this?”

“You’re drunk Amy.”

That’s what that smell is, Randy thought, sitting on the couch looking for the television remote. His sister didn’t hold her liquor well and anytime she was drunk she threw up frequently. From the odor, Randy figured he was sitting pretty close to a recent batch. He found the remote under a ratty quilted pillow and turned the TV to the soap opera network.

Darrell was the one to interrupt him the next time. As an old episode of “The Young and the Restless” started, Randy heard a slap and a grunt then what he thought was the knife hitting the floor. Darrell came through the living room dragging Amy by the hair. He pulled her behind the couch and pushed her to the floor.

“Look at that Amy. That is what you do when you get drunk,” he said.

Randy twisted around on the couch to look behind and saw Darrell pushing Amy’s face into a pile of vomit.

“You’re like a baby yourself and you want to be a mother?”

Randy was torn, he knew he should probably help his sister, but this was one of the old episodes with David Hasselhoff playing Snapper. Those were his favorite episodes. Apparently Amy didn’t need his help because she took her right arm and rammed it up into Darrell’s gut sending him sputtering backward. She stood up and wiped the puke from her face with the sleeves of her robe then swung at Darrell. Her punch clocked him under his left eye and snapped his head back but didn’t do much damage. He returned the favor by punching her just below her belly.

“You think this is all my fault. My sperm’s bad.”

“I never said–”

“Let’s see what happens when your uterus is damaged.”

That was enough for Randy; he got off the couch and put himself between Amy and Darrell.

“Enough. Let’s get some food and we’ll work things–”

“I want you both out of this house,” Amy said.

“This is my house,” Darrell said.

“Nothing is in your name you worthless leech.”

“Maybe we should go Darrell.”

“I’m not getting thrown out of my own house but I am hungry.”

Darrell let Randy move him toward the front door but he turned back toward Amy before they left and pointed at her.

“Don’t leave. We’ll be back.”

Randy drove and they ended up out at a strip club near Metro Airport that had a good lunch buffet. They took seats at a table between the main stage and a smaller stage to their left. A cowgirl with a brown leather g-string and frilly nipple tassels was in the middle of her main stage act while an older woman in a baby doll negligee was warming up the side stage. Randy wanted to get to the buffet where they were refilling the wings but Darrell was still talking about Amy. He’d been talking since they left.

“So leave her,” Randy finally said. “Can we eat now?”

“She’s your sister. You don’t want her marriage to survive?”

“Not like this. Nobody’s happy. Especially me. I want wings.”

Darrell didn’t answer. He focused his attention on the cowgirl, so Randy sat down next to him and ordered a Budweiser from the waitress who was cuter in her short shorts and tank top than either of the strippers. A few minutes later, when Darrel stood up, Randy thought they were finally going to eat, but Darrell went up to the main stage and sat down along the runway. Randy went to the buffet anyway. He had beer in his system now and he couldn’t survive on an empty stomach. Darrell was back at their table when Randy returned from the buffet.

“We hit the load this time. The wings are fresh and they’ve got Swiss steak and fries and mac and cheese and–”

“I’m not the bad guy,” Darrell said. “I shouldn’t be the one to leave.”

“Has the waitress been by? I need another beer. You wanna split a pitcher?”

“I don’t want to leave. But I don’t want her to leave either. How do I get her to realize we’re not meant for kids?”

“Do I look like a counselor?”

“You look like a pig. Give me some of those wings.”

Randy smiled. Things were going to be okay. They split five more pitchers and cleaned out the buffet twice over before the lunch shift wound down and the evening girls started making their way in. The last time their waitress came by she asked them if they wouldn’t mind closing out their tab because she was leaving.

“What time is it?” Darrell asked.

“Almost five.”

Shit, we’ve got to go.”

Darrell threw a $50 bill at the waitress and told her to keep the change and to make sure the cowgirl got something out of it. Then he grabbed Randy and pulled him toward the door.

“The bank’s closed now,” he told him.

“There’s an ATM over in the corner. It’s kind of ex–”

“The sperm bank,” Darrell said.

The waitress gave him a raised look but took the money and disappeared.

“We’re still doing that?” Randy asked.

“Nothing’s changed.”

“You don’t want to go back and work things out with–”

“There’s nothing to work out. We still need money. That’s not going to change.”

“Then I’m your driver.”

The only other business in the strip mall was a dollar store that didn’t have any customers. Darrell wasn’t taking any chances though so he stopped a block away and took off the license plate from the back of the car. Randy pulled the car up to the front of the clinic and kept it running and acted as look out while Darrell went in to get “the specimen.” A few minutes later Darrell came out with an orange cup just like the one Randy left on the counter. It was long past four hours since the sample had been collected so Randy figured he’d have to think further about it if he decided he wanted to pursue kids.

“Say hello to the future Mr. Kyle Smith, Jr.”

“You’re not really going to put that in Amy are you?”

“Drive. And no, I don’t plan on it. We’ve got four hours for Mr. Smith to cough up the cash to get his boys back. After that we flush it.”

“So then why would he pay? He can just make another, uh, deposit.”

“Amy said he’s getting chemo. This is his last batch.”

As Randy pulled out of the parking lot, he thought he saw a black sedan pull out a few lots down at the same time but Darrell distracted him with a cell phone call.

“Won’t they be able to track that phone to you?”

“Bought it with cash at the gas station,” Darrell said. “The reception is crap out here. We’ll have to wait ‘till we get back to the house.”

Amy’s car was still in the driveway when Randy pulled up. He looked at Darrell for a clue but Darrell was trying the cell phone again. Randy looked around while he waited for Darrell to finish the call and thought he saw the black sedan again, but it turned down a different street and Darrell tapped him on the shoulder.

“We’re go,” he said.

“They said they’d pay?”

“The drop is in 30 minutes.”

Darrell patted the orange cup and Randy followed him into the house. Amy was on the couch in the living room. The vomit was still behind the couch and Darrell was the first to notice it.

“You can’t even clean up while we’re gone. It’s a good thing we’re not starting a family,” he said.

“That’s what you think,” she said, not moving from the couch.

“You talking to me?”

“Not if I don’t have to.”

Randy sensed another fight coming so he went into the kitchen. He opened the freezer and was looking for an ice cream sandwich when he noticed the orange cup on the counter. It was tipped over and there was a syringe next to it. Randy gagged a little as his stomach clenched. He slammed the freezer and grabbed the cup and syringe and went into the living room.

“Amy, tell me you didn’t–”

“Not right now Randy,” Darrell said.

“But I think she–”

“Yes I did,” Amy said, standing. She was still dressed in the robe and she was holding a plastic jug of vodka that was more than half empty. “I blew your little plan.”

“What are you talking about?” Darrell asked?

Randy held out the cup and the syringe, Amy grabbed them and threw them at Darrell.

“You don’t want to have a baby with me, I’ll have one with Kyle Smith.”

“Where did that come from?”

“Don’t act like you didn’t see this coming,” she said.

“No, where did you get that sample?”

“You left it here. Don’t try to mess with my head Darrell.”

Darrell pulled Smith’s sample out of his pocket and held it out.

“This is Kyle Smith’s sample,” he said. “Where did you get that?”

“You left it on the counter,” she said.

Randy was crying by now and Darrell was starting to figure out what happened.

“Go get my gun Randy,” he said.

“We can still blackmail Smith. He’ll still pay,” Amy said.

“What are you going to do Darrell?”

“I said get my gun.”

Randy went to the car like he was told while Amy cuddled up to Darrell.

“What are you thinking babe? Don’t do anything drastic.”

“That was Randy’s sperm you conniving witch. You impregnated yourself with your brother’s load.”

Amy’s face went pale and Darrell thought she was going to throw up again. Instead she said, “Cocksucker.”

“I didn’t do this to you, but I’ll take care of it for you.”

“Like hell,” Amy said. “I’ll go to a doctor.”

Before Darrell could respond, he saw someone come back into the house. He thought it was Randy with his gun until he turned and saw the square man from the clinic. He had Randy next to him with a gun pointed at his head.

“Where’s the sample Mr. Abbott?”

“How do you know my name?”

“Mr. Smith hired me to protect the sample. I didn’t like the look of you so I investigated you.”

“How dare you,” Darrell said, walking toward the man.

“Just give him the sample,” Randy said. “We’ll figure something out.”

Darrell pointed to the empty cup and syringe on the floor.

“There is no more sample. We already put it in my wife.”

“What are you doing Darrell,” Amy asked.

“Mr. Smith will have to pay us not to tell anyone when this baby is born,” Darrell said.

The square man looked at the cup and the syringe, then at Amy and her jug of vodka.

“That baby won’t be born,” he said, shooting Amy in the stomach.

She gasped and crumpled to the floor while Randy used the second the gun was away from his head to pull his own gun from his pocket. He shot the square man in the chest and then turned the gun on Darrell.

“You don’t deserve my sister,” he said, shooting Darrell in the head.

Randy grabbed the cell phone from Darrell’s pocket and called 911 then fell down next to his sister. He’d lost jobs because of his dick, he’d lost woman because of his dick and now he’d almost lost his sister because of his dick. He waited until he heard the siren close in on the house before putting Darrell’s gun between his legs and pulling the trigger.