A scorpion flicking its stinger inside his anus, his face bloated and red, Kurt grunted on the bowl. His wife Maggie shrieked in the cell, demanding he fork a hundred bucks for the girls. Where the fuck was he going to get a hundred bucks? After paying rent for this dinky hellhole of an apartment and buying hamburger and beans, he had only a few dollars left for smokes and beer. His job paid shit, which he’d give a cool hundred to do at this very moment. Just let it break free of the dam and splat out. Everything blocked, bowels constricted, nothing moved except for that frigging scorpion. He had left the door ajar, giving him a good view of Terry grunting and banging the woman on the bed.

On all fours, she mewled like a cat in heat pawing the duvet. Terry humped from behind, her red hair wrapped around his fist. God, red hair turned him on. At the local bar for a late afternoon beer with Terry, he had taken his time, studying the likelihood of scoring, before he offered to buy her a drink. Just watch me, he had boasted to Terry, you’ll learn how to do it, we’re getting some tonight. She had perched on a stool, legs crossed, plump body turned towards their table, and she sipped a blue drink through a straw. Up the length of her calf, a dragon tattoo curled over the muscle. Her piled-up hair shone an orange-red like a sunset in Kandahar. Her eyes followed the lines of his body, focusing on his biceps and thighs. Most bitches lusted after military muscle, and he obliged.

Not keen on hustling, Terry couldn’t have cared less about the colour, preferring to occupy a dark corner and listen to stories of a soldier’s life. Look at the motherfucker go now. He had practically begged to wear the dog tags flapping on their chain around his neck as he worked up a sweat.

“Are you listening to me, Kurt?”

“Yeah, Christ, I’m listening. I said I don’t have a hundred to spare.”

“Spare? It’s got nothing to do with spare. It’s for your own kids. I can’t pay for everything myself. I bet you got enough for booze and whores, though, don’t you?”

Well, if truth be known, he didn’t. If it weren’t for Terry’s open wallet, he’d be out of cigarettes and dry as his anal canal. Amazing what a toke could do: his friend really getting into it, which pleased him because Terry usually resisted. He often made excuses until Kurt wanted to gag or flog him senseless, but he loved that academic pussy more than he could have imagined possible. He had got Terry where he wanted him. He knew how to keep the teacher half-mesmerized and eager to follow.

Kurt clenched his jaw and groaned. God, if anything was eking out of his shithole, it had to be blood. Watching Terry, he grasped his own prick, which stiffened in his hand. He’d bone that bitch after Terry, if he ever got off the ivory throne.

“Kurt, I’m still here!”

“Listen, Maggie, this isn’t a good time.”

“I know you probably got a slut there. I need money, Kurt. You want me to tell your daughters their dad doesn’t love them?”

Terry changed his position. The bed springs squeaked. The redhead lay on her back, her legs held up against his shoulders as he plunged between them. Kurt caught a flash of the dragon tattoo writhing and blowing fire before it disappeared under Terry’s arms. The fatigues now crumpled around his boots digging into the mattress. Let me wear your army boots, he had begged. We’re the same size. Tipsy and giggling, she had sprawled over the couch, game for anything, her skirt raised to her crotch to reveal a red thong, while the two men debated between who would shag her first or having a threesome. By the time they left the bar, Terry was stoked. Kurt had wanted to fuck right away, but his lower back was acting up. The pressure in his packed bowels had intensified since the morning, so he let Terry go ahead.

“Okay, your reward for buying the rubbers.”

“She likes a man in uniform. Let me wear your fatigues.”

“Ask politely, bitch.”

“Please, Kurt, can I wear your pants and boots.”

“Yeah, sure, you can wear them. I need to take a crap.”

What caused his bowels to knot up, Kurt didn’t know. Could be side effects of Oxycodone, the drug he took to kill the pain; some sort of minor kidney infection, the doctor warned; he should pay attention to any and all symptoms. If the urine test confirmed the worst suspicion, then serious intervention would be required, even hospitalization. But now he needed to shit and get back into active service. He had been too long out of the loop; his 40th birthday last week, he was getting old for a soldier and useless. Since his last tour of duty, he had reported faithfully to the armoury, participated in the drills for reservists, mostly younger than he; had talked with commanding officers there and had kept in shape. Terry liked to watch him bench press and lift weights in the bedroom. The teacher was a muscle worshipper, no doubt about that, adoring what he lacked. Needing to be close to it, to smell man power.

Whatever ailed him was under control, in no way an obstacle to full participation in the field. Kurt promised to curb his temper, to get along with warrant officers and fellow soldiers. They didn’t have to know about the infection, which would clear up any day. He’d send his pay home to Maggie to help support his daughters. He would do whatever was necessary to get shipped out before he grabbed the .338 Lapua Magnum rifle in his closet and started shooting.

He’d miss Terry, though. If he could have arranged matters to his liking, he’d take him along, his well-trained batboy at ease in the barracks when not in use. Yeah, shit. Kurt grabbed his knees and pressed down like a woman giving birth. A rip tore through his colon as if an organ split wide open. He forced himself again. He pushed down, pushed and pushed, seeing Terry pushing deep between the cunt’s legs, probably forgetting everything else in his ordinary life, just as he could forget about Maggie, whose mouth ran on automatic, spewing something about the house he had renovated not so long ago, the roof needing repair. Fuck it: if he could have reached in his ass and dragged out the shit with his hand, he would have done it. His rib cage tightened. His brains were about to blast out his ears.

Then exhaling, he leaned back against the tank, sweat dripping down his temples and the back of his neck. He had a good view of Terry now straddling the woman, his knees on either side of her head on the pillow, his ass squat on her hefty boobs. Kurt fondled his balls and dick to distract his attention from the scorching pain in his ass. Pure luck to be in the same bar as a horny slut on the make. He had only met Terry by chance, hadn’t expected anything to develop between him and a teacher. He had married, taken his chances: all a risk.

Everything in life was a fucking gamble, like a soldier in combat, informed of the tactics and purpose, well-trained to meet the enemy, covered with protective gear, then stepping on an IED. He needed to carry his rifle again; he needed to swallow dust; he needed to share the shitload of tedium and testosterone with his army buddies in the field; he needed to fight and fuck with his bros with boots on the ground. He needed, he needed, he needed: he needed to bust his bowels, he needed to plough pussy, and he needed Terry by his side like his personal property where he belonged. He stroked his boner.

“Fuck you, Kurt!”

Maggie clicked off. Sweet Jesus Murphy, there was some relief in this world, but the cell buzzed again. Kurt saw his buddy Jamal’s number. He shifted on the toilet. Maybe he should invite him to join Terry and the redhead. But he wondered if hulking Jamal would be too much cock for the cunts. He bench-pressed sometimes at Jamal’s gym. Lucky bastard, going to ship out in a month, flown back to Afghanistan. He didn’t have a wife and kids to nail him down. Last week, Jamal had shown Terry the jagged scar on his thigh, slashed by a knife in a marketplace scuffle. Knocked down, disarmed and stunned, he could have had his jugular severed in a second.

Kurt had saved his life, he told Terry, who had squat on the floor in a lotus position between Jamal black motorcycle boots with the silver studs, panting over every word as if craving to learn more. Kurt had butted the assailant with his rifle.

“Ain’t no one better than Kurt. He’d take a bullet for a buddy.”

“Just shut the fuck up about that, man,” he remembered, spitting through a mouthful of beer. Jamal adjusted his crotch, stared down at Terry, sucked on his cigarette, pressed his boots against Terry’s thighs, confining the teacher between his legs. Terry, caressing the leather, seemed half-hypnotized, unable to free himself, even when Kurt nudged and complained that he had run out of fags. You fucking hear me, bitch? Accepting Jamal’s big hand to get up, apologizing and blushing, Terry evaded Kurt’s playful punch in the arm. He scuttled out the door to Jamal’s window-rattling laugh. Yeah, Jamal would fuck Terry, if Kurt allowed it.

His nuts tightened, but he didn’t want to jizz all over his hand. Kurt sat up, braced himself, and concentrated on the moment. Afterwards, he’d take a shower and maybe ask the redhead to join him. She must be soaking in sweat. A hot shower in his arms or bent over under the spray would offer another kind of relief. Terry had changed his position again, holding up her legs, the dragon still writhing. Scrunching his face, Kurt grunted. He pushed down again, aware of a loosening in his bowels and a fierce scraping through the colon like he was shitting scorpion stingers. His dick softened. Terry suddenly stopped pounding.

The cell kept buzzing. Kurt held his breath, feeling his sphincter opening wide. Terry’s voice erupted. His friend’s body shuddering just as his own screamed for release. Oh shit, oh, yeah, oh God, Terry shouted and plunged one last time, shooting his load; and, holy shit, ball sucking Jesus motherfucker, Kurt cried out simultaneously, dropping a ponderous load in the water. Terry released the woman’s legs, which wrapped themselves around his buttocks. He fell into her arms and began kissing as if he actually loved her, which Kurt didn’t care to see through eyes filled with tears.

The stench clogged the washroom. He shut the door, flushed, and answered the cell.

“Where the fuck are you, man?”

“Hey, Jam…what’s up?”

“You free, bro? Let’s do something tonight.”

“Terry’s here…and a chick.”

“Cool. My cock needs servicing. Can I use them?” His laughed boomed through the cell into the cubicle. Kurt thought his voice could be heard in the bedroom, so he clicked the door shut.

“What’s mine is yours, buddy. Do what you want. Got good dope?”

“You know it, bro. I’ll be there in an hour.”

The pain in his lower back clawed across his muscles, snagged up nerves, shot into his kidneys, and Kurt doubled over as he reached for the toilet paper. His semi-erection shriveled. Hands on his knees, he fought for breath, waiting for the attack to subside. Good dope worked better than prescription painkillers. Left by previous tenants, the shower curtains patterned with piss yellow daisies and mottled with mold should have been replaced long ago. He hadn’t even painted the dingy walls, although the landlord had offered to buy three gallons of paint.

There was no point applying personal touches to this dump. He wouldn’t be here much longer, a temporary campsite at best. His orders had to come through soon; they just had to. Civilian life gnawed on his brains. The pain subsided. What did doctors know? Kurt undressed and stepped into the tub ringed with thick grunge on the sides. After a quick shower, ready for action, he’d climb on the bed and mount the lusty cunt, take command, and show Terry how a real soldier fucked. Obeying his orders, Terry would open the door when the buzzer buzzed, greet Jamal, and obey the big man of the barracks, who deserved every attention and respect. The water blasted out stinging cold.