The Basement

Steve is a prisoner in Gerry Carters basement.

The set up was simple. Steve's girl was supposed to play Carter like a fiddle. So what went wrong?


1. The Set Up


The handcuffs had long since stopped causing Steve any pain. When he’d first been tied to the chair down in Gerry Carter’s basement, the handcuffs had cut into his flesh enough to make him wince. But as the hours and days had worn on his arms had grown numb from being behind his back for so long that the pinch of the cuffs had faded away. He had greater concerns anyway. The tape across his mouth for one thing. He was thirsty, hungry and ashamed of the stench of urine that wafted around him. He had been determined not to give Gerry the satisfaction of knowing he’d pissed himself but after several hours of fighting his need, Steve had given up. Besides, he was convinced that Gerry wasn’t even coming back.

Steve surveyed his surroundings. Dark, and with the rich tang of earth, the damp interior of the basement gave Steve the impression of a tomb. His tomb.

Gerry’s life, Gerry’s history was down here. A dress makers dummy stood beneath the space under the stairs beside an old armchair that had seen better days and an assortment of boxes filled to bursting was stacked in the far corner. Children’s toys were crammed into a water swollen cardboard box at Steve’s feet. A moth eaten teddy bear lay atop the pile, staring back at Steve with its one remaining eye. An old mirror leaned against the far wall to his right along with a whole host of other discarded household items.

Steve looked at himself in the mirror. He didn’t need to see his reflection to know he looked like shit. Three days of stubble peppered his face. His hair lay plastered to his forehead in a zig-zag lightning fork of dirty blonde. Yes, he knew he’d looked better but what shocked and scared him was the look in his eyes. The Steve that looked back at him looked beyond afraid. He looked beaten. Steve sighed. How had things gone so crazy? He’d been in control of the situation. He’d been in control from the beginning and now he couldn’t help but curse himself for underestimating Gerry Carter. He was going to die here. He was going to die in Gerry Carters fucking basement. Steve began to blub like a kid with a grazed knee.

Six weeks earlier things couldn’t have been more different. It was fat, pathetic Gerry Carter who was crying. Crying like a big fat baby. He was sat at the bar of Steve’s favourite haunt, nursing a beer and trying to brush away the tears from his plump, wobbly cheeks without anyone noticing. Everyone in the bar had noticed during Gerry’s three hour blub-a-thon that the fat man was in a state. It was obvious. The flab of his gut would jiggle with every clearly audible sob. When he wasn’t toying with his bottle of beer he had his head in hands. His body language was that of a completely defeated man. And while the patrons of the bar sympathised, empathised or thought the weeping fat man was a joke, Steve had a completely unique thought running through his mind. What he thought was that he saw an opportunity to take this chump for a ride.

Steve, sitting at the opposite end of the bar, had overheard Gerry telling the bartender all about how his life had been turned upside down. About how his wife had left him and taken the kids. About how his wife blamed him for everything wrong in the life they had spent together. About how she said he was weak and that that promotion should have been his. About him never making her feel special or making time for the kids and the fact that after six months he’d still heard nothing from her. Steve thought Gerry’s wife sounded like a bitch but he also thought that Gerry sounded like a pussy. Six months and this loser was still crying into his beer? Right there and then, listening to Gerry pour his heart out to a disinterested bartender, Steve knew he could con Gerry Carter and he knew exactly how to do it too.

“C’mon, honey. He’s ripe for the taking.” Steve had walked over to the bar payphone, popped coins into the slot and dialled the number of the perfect person to help him with his plan. His girlfriend Tori.

“You’ve got to be kidding me, Steve. You want me to pick up a guy in a bar?” Steve knew she was only stalling until he told her what was in it for her.

“Not just any guy. A real loser. Baby, you can get whatever you want out of this guy. I’ve got a feeling” Tori snorted her pig’s grunt of a laugh down the phone but he knew he’d got her interest. He knew she’d do it because, just like him, she was a grifter.

“Give me thirty minutes.” She hung up.

True to her word, Tori arrived at the bar thirty minutes later. The moment Steve saw her he knew she was on a mission. Tori had the type of body that could make grown men cry. She was dressed in a figure hugging blue dress, high above the knee with a plunging neck line. She didn’t so much as walk into the bar as to glide into it with a wiggle in her hips that was hypnotic. She flicked her long chestnut coloured hair over her shoulder with a nonchalant sweep of her hand. Her gaze locked with Steve’s instantly. He rolled his eyes in the direction of Fat Gerry Carter then gave her a wink. Tori seemed to step up a gear when she began moving towards Gerry. She moved like a slithering snake across the room, undulating with liquid sexuality. Steve smiled. This is going to be good, he thought.

Tori sat down in the chair next to Gerry’s, leaned in and whispered something in his ear. Gerry fumbled the bottle he’d been playing with and spilt its contents over the bar. Steve chuckled. Tori had a way with words that could bring your pecker to attention with a single sentence. Tori giggled and placed her hand on Gerry’s back. Gerry turned to face her, wiped a tear from his blubbery cheek and smiled. The look in his eye said it all. The guy was hooked.

And that’s how it started. With a whisper. Tori played Gerry like a dream. She had him eating out of her hand after the first week. Expensive meals, chocolates, cuddly toys. How quickly his wife was forgotten. How quickly Steve was forgotten too. Nothing Gerry bought Tori was of any use to him. Nothing he could pawn. Nothing he could use. By the third week Steve was beginning to lose his cool. When was Gerry going to pull out the big guns?

Tori was having none of it. She said that she was going to have to sleep with the guy to get the big kahunas. Steve didn’t buy it. He wanted to see some jewellery. A TV. Anything. Reluctantly, Tori agreed to work on it.

And that was where it started to go wrong for Steve. Because despite himself, he began to get jealous of big, fat Gerry Carter. Tori was spending more and more time with him in an effort to get the things that Steve wanted but Steve found himself wanting only Tori. He decided that he’d made a mistake and set about putting things right.


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