Monday, July 11, 2011

Crotchless Waltz by Richard Godwin


Every year they came there and partied. They wore the latest gear and stared at themselves in mirrors that stretched in a line of narcissism along the walls of the house that stood on the hill staring down into the valley. Sally and her friends, the beautiful young things, pliant and ready, perfumed and effervescent like a cheap drink. They’d arrive in their boyfriends’ cars and stand fixing their make up in the pale twilight that edged too quickly into blackness, entering the house with smudged lipstick they fixed while their boyfriends got ready for the action.

Sally had bought the house and made it as disrespectful as she could to the small community of labouring farmers that lay below her dreaming of her death with resentment etched into the lines of their hands. They tilled the soil and raised the crops that the crowd on the hill showed little interest in, bringing their own food and drinks.

That summer, Sally turned up with Des, her new fellow, who screeched to a halt in a Porsche and stood scratching his dick while she and her friends went inside.

‘Great place, Sally,’ Mandy said.

‘Yeah, I bought it for nothing.’

‘Place like this costs money.’

‘Nah, something to do with the previous owner disappearing and the bank needing the dough, you know how it goes.’

‘What is this, some hick community?’

‘Don’t know, I only been down there once.’

‘Yeah, tell Mandy what they have in the single shop this place boasts,’ Des said.

Sally laughed.

‘There’s this sign over the door that says “this community looks after itself and always has”. The shop looks about a hundred years old.’

‘What does it sell?’ Mandy said.

‘I have no idea, all I could see was rotten meat.’

Mandy stood knee deep in boots and looked at Des’s friend Eddy. They were eyeing her and tittering as they fixed the girls some drinks.

‘What does her makeup say to you?’ Des said.

‘It says she likes getting fucked in the john,’ Eddy said.

Before long the music blasted out of the house as the others turned up.

The woods were black below them and the faint rustling of leaves troubled some of the animals which headed into the branches. The rhythm was not the rhythm of the usual nocturnal wanderers. The sound from the house boomed down into the trees and between the beats of the music a low breathing like a snarl could be heard in the woods.

In the house, someone stuck on Ice T, and as ‘I Must Stand’ blasted the dormant farmhouses into a sudden eruption of lights and fury, Sally blew Des in a back room.

She leaned over him in her tight skirt and took off her bra as she unzipped him and rubbed him to hardness.

In the woods, he stared out at the night with black eyes that saw spectral shapes and the waves of music rippling down to him as if beckoning him in. He smelt their perfume and felt nauseous.

The party was getting rowdier by the time the visitor arrived. He stood outside in rags and listened to the sounds, smelling flesh and sex in the still night air. He registered the strange incomprehensible sounds of laughter and excitement and wondered what strange breed of animals these were.

It was his smell that hit Eddy as he stepped through the door. The lights were low and he had his hand up Mandy’s skirt and, as he parted her lips, the stench of rotten flesh engulfed him.

‘Fuck me,’ he said, snapping his head back.

Then the screaming started. Some of the partygoers ran, but he held them at the door, ripping their flesh to ribbons with claws that curved like talons. The rest tried to run for the stairs, but he moved too fast and tore them to the bone.

In the back room, Sally had her mouth round Des’s cock.

The playlist moved to Lou Reed’s ‘Sally Can’t Dance’ as she stood up and took off her skirt.

‘I got my new crotchless panties on, honey,’ she said.

Des started to pull her towards him as he heard the screaming.

They raced out of there to see Mandy bleeding. Her top was ripped open and she was pumping blood onto the floor.

‘What the fuck is this?’ Des said, staring at the decayed flesh and rags that walked towards him.

As he got close to him Des began to retch, bending and contracting as he tried to swallow bile.

He reached out a hand and touching Sally with his talons said: ‘Did you dance with Picasso’s illegitimate mistress?’

‘What?’ Sally said.

And he led her across the floor in a macabre waltz.

And as Lou Reed intoned ‘Sally is losing her face’, Sally briefly made the last dance steps of her life, hopping and moving in her new panties before he opened her up from crotch to neck and watched her wobble to a legless halt. He pulled Mandy’s heart out and slung it against the wall. Then he turned and cut open Eddy’s neck in a neat arc, and tore Des to pieces by the door.

It was black outside as he stepped into the night and entered the woods. And below him the lights went off as the farmers went to sleep.


  1. That is some serious (poetic) carnage, Richard.

  2. On the surface, it's just what a zombie, a natural -- well, maybe, unnatural -- child seeking its purpose is supposed to do. And yet, there's . . . echoes, hints of past visages tumbling in the mind: Gatsby's revenge as penned by Lovecraft. Maybe Medusa's victims come a'callin. Maybe Hamlet's daddy's ghost down off the walls and kicking ass in a long overdue jealousy fueled settlement. Maybe a literary analyses of Romero's seminal movie's implications of how things are as well as how they came to be. Or, then again, it just might have been that Richard was simply in the mood to eat a face or two.

  3. I like the term "poetic carnage." Very apt. Well done.

  4. Richard's style is a force of freaking nature (or, as AJ might put it, unnature). Godwin unleashed here--fasten your seat belt... not that that will do you any good!

  5. I am grinning and agreeing with AJ's assessment--shades of this, the viscera of that. Mr. Godwin pens a fine tale, and, best of all, nothing like any in the genre I've read before.

  6. This is great stuff. Godwin is moving into new territory as his form takes on more prolific style and shape. I think he's one of the best of the new writers. Thumbs way up.

  7. you are a master of carnage, Richard. no one else manages to accomplish so much gore with such great style.

    i tip my hat to you, sir.

  8. The articulate comments above say it all, Richard. For my part, I'll just add... that was fookin brill', mate!

  9. I just love it when an author as talented as the Godwin mixes the two h's of horror and humor to give us excellent entertainment!

  10. Damn Richard, this was brutal. Sharp work.

  11. A dance of the macabre to remember. The town certainly does know how to take care of itself. I was thinking of the lyrics, "People are strange when you're a stranger,Faces look ugly when you're alone."

  12. Thank you all for your comments. It was my first Zombie story and I must admit great fun.

  13. Am so glad that rotting, stinking thing got to dance with Sally. And that the farmers had a good night's sleep.

  14. Cindy I knew you'd appreciate the finer point of the tale. Thank you.

  15. Brutal, brilliant and bloody good fun. Love it! :)