in Narrative

The Alley Expedition

I was people watching in the lobby of the Hotel Panama when the hostess slipped me an introductory note. It read: Would you like to have a drink with me? I think you are handsome.

I put away my notebook. Head down, I started moving for the exit. A lean, dark-skinned girl with wild black hair was blocking my path. She was smiling.

I tried to smile back. My lips twisted unevenly, like a severed leaf curling before the hot sun. She said her name was Leya. She said she was a fan of my writing.

Thing is, only deviants and crazy people are fans of my writing. And Leya did not appear to be crazy. So I ordered us a couple of mojitos and we sat down by the pool.

“You should write about a teacher who comes to help poor kids.” Leya choked, her eyes glistening. “The teacher is betrayed and she ends up working as a prostitute.”

I was sober enough to see she was in pain. But I’d heard too many hard luck stories in Central America, met too many grifters. I’d become numb to other people’s problems.

“I can’t,” I said. “I’m sorry.”

“Why?”

“Because I’m twisted. Because I have my own problems. Because I know you can survive pain and loss just as I have. I tell you all this as a kindness.”

We shared an uncomfortable silence. I paid our tab. I offered to help Leya flag down a taxi; She gave me a startled look.

Rain was falling. As we crossed the street my foot disappeared in a puddle. I started cursing. Leya took my hand.

“Relax,” she said. “Accept your fate.”

“My fate?”

“Everyone gets soaked in Panama.”

Leya splashed me, laughing. Then she snatched my notebook and darted into an alley. She was gone before I could give chase. I started walking, feeling the power return to my legs.

The passage was dark and smelled of rotting fruit. Some kind of startled lizard skittered through a puddle. I heard Leya laugh. She let out a girlish shriek as she hurdled a fallen trash can.

Under the eve of a nearby building, Leya opened my leather bound notebook and made a show of reading it. I just kept walking. I didn’t care. It was all nonsense.

I reached out. She turned away to shield it with her body. I smacked her butt. She didn’t pull away.

If anything, she pushed back into the blow and squealed. So I spanked her again. I laughed theatrically after delivering a particularly hard shot.

Very quickly Leya was gasping for breath. Her wrists were so tiny I was able to pin them both to the wall with one hand. I nuzzled the back of her neck and inhaled her clean musky scent as I continued my assault.

The strikes echoed off the dark walls. I was making them sting. Then I cupped her ass, fingers digging into her hard cheeks, whispering in her ear, telling her all the sick things I’d do to her if she failed to cooperate.

“OK OK,” she said. I let go her wrists. I took a deep breath, and stepped back to allow my erection to deflate. Leya turned into me with a self-satisfied, I knew what I was doing all along, smirk.

Leya put her arms around my neck. Her wet t-shirt stuck to her chest. It was still eighty degrees. But her nipples were hard. She was shivering. I didn’t know if it was from cold, excitement, or fear.

I took her in my arms, for medicinal purposes you understand. I couldn’t let the poor girl die of hypothermia after all. She leaned in and we shared an urgent kiss.

I loved feeling Panama City’s humid air swirling thickly around us. I popped a button and ran my hand down into her tight jeans. She moaned as I eased my fingers in.

Leya started humping my hand. She looked almost panicked, as if she’d been caught in a trap. Her breath was shallow, her eyelids heavy, her eyes unfocused. Leya let out a series of wild screams.

It didn’t matter. Nothing could be seen in the shadows. Nothing could be heard in the pounding rain.

Twenty minutes later I was slipping a ten-spot through a taxi window. Leya looked at me questioningly. “For the ride home,” I said. “You can owe me for the orgasm.”

Leya smirked and handed me a napkin with a number on it. She must have written it before she’d ever asked me out. I heard her say, “Call me,” though the half-open window as the taxi pulled away.

I walked back to my flat unsettled, and I hit hard rain. I just kept walking. I refused the honking taxis. I got well and truly soaked.

In my room, I pulled the pulpy napkin from my wet shorts. The color had run. The number, the only tangible evidence of our nocturnal expedition, had blurred and become unreadable. And I was relieved.

– Cojito @ Panama After Dark

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