Gulp Fiction #5: Confessions & Cabin Fever by Johnny Slop

Published on 22 October 2023 at 23:40


For the entire world,


Same to you, A**hole.


- J.S.





“What’ll it be, pal?”


The question, although common in a bar, was a pleasant surprise for a man in my condition. Not the one that I expected would be the first question. I think I was going to enjoy my time here.


“What do you recommend for someone going away for a while?”


The bartender, Sam his name tag read, studied my face a moment. “Going away for how long?” Sam asked, smoothly and evenly. There was no judgment in the question, just the need for information to make an informed suggestion.


“A very, very long time,” I assured him with a grim smile.


“Anything for him?” Sam asked me, tilting his head, indicating the man next to me. The man in the policeman uniform. The one that I was currently holding a gun on.


“Nothing for him, he’s on duty.”


Sam considered the situation and nodded. “I’d recommend something that you may get on your, uhm, upcoming trip. It’s called Cabin Fever.”


I snorted and told him go ahead. Just my luck, we got a wise guy here.


“What’s in it?” I asked him, watching him already expertly garnering supplies from different shelves and compartments behind the bar. He was in total control of his small space. He knew every nook and cranny, every bottle on every shelf. He knew it the sort of way you can only know a place if you’ve spent most of your life in it. A prisoner of a different color. I suppose we’re all prisoners in some way.


“Only a few things, it’s a twist on a childhood classic.”


Sam filled a cocktail shaker with a generous scoop of ice before pouring in exactly two ounces of bourbon. The measurement was perfect without the aid of any tool. He was surely a man in his element. “After the bourbon,” he explained to me, “you add a half ounce of lemon juice.” As he spoke the words, he was already squeezing a freshly cut lemon into a small cup. He next pulled out something I wasn’t expecting. 


“Maple syrup,” he went on with a smile, squeezing some of the smooth sap out while his free hand added a dash of Angostura bitters. “When it gets mixed with the bitters and you shake it for about fifteen seconds,” he paused as he did so, then continued, “you then pour it out into a cup filled with ice. I prefer a mug, since it tastes just like the best hot chocolate you’ve ever had.” Sam finished by dusting the entire thing with a generous amount of cinnamon before sliding the mug to me. “Cheers,” he said. Then Sam’s eyes dropped quickly to my gun and then back up to me.


“Will there be anything more for you?” Sam asked me. I told him no, but feel free to keep the Cabin Fevers coming. He nodded and went back to tending his other customers, whispering soft assurances that everything was going to be okay to any of them that were close enough to see what I held in my hand.


I took another sip of the wonderful, sweet drink and turned to the pig sitting next to me. I smiled at him.


“You either have the best lawyer in the world, or you’re out of your ever-lovin’ mind,” he said to me. I shook my head slightly.


“Out of my mind?” I pondered the question out loud. “No,” I decided, “I know what I’m doing. I don’t think that crazy people do.” I took another sip. I eyed the cop, sizing him up. “Now look, I just want to have a last drink or two, and to tell you a story. A story I know that you would be interested in. After that, I will let you go and you can take me in. I just have a lot to talk about and I want to be comfortable while I do it. Do we have a deal? Or do both of us have to end up very uncomfortable?”


The cop swallowed but nodded his head slowly, indicating that we had a deal. He relaxed just the slightest bit into the stool that he was perched on. I allowed an equal amount of relaxation to come into the grip I held on my gun.


“You can talk, I won’t move until you’re finished.” I nodded my pleasure at his words.


“Good, because it’s a long story. And at the end, I’m going to give you a present.”


The slight relaxation that the cop had allowed himself to feel was immediately withdrawn, and with interest too. He gulped audibly. “A p-p-present?” His words were nervous, bordering on scared.


“Yes, p-p-piggy, a present. I’m a generous guy. A regular ol’ Saint Nick. Now relax, it’s not that kind of present. It’s a good thing. It’s fifty thousand dollars.”


The pigs eyes went wide and then he gulped again, but this one was different. There was no fear in it. Only unbelief, bordering on hope. “Fifty thousand dollars?”


“Well, that’s the reward for the kidnapper of Susan Tate, isn’t it?”


He gulped for a third time. I decided to do the same with my drink and I tilted the mug back and downed the whole thing, signaling to Sam that I was ready for the next one. He was practically started before I lowered my hand.


“You have the girl? Where is she? Is she still alive?” I raised my gun a little higher, signaling that the questions were to stop.


“Hold your horses there, slick. I’m telling you a story first, so settle down.” Another mug was slid to me. This one had a lemon twist smile added to a cinnamon face. A nice little touch.


“You’re going to hear my life story. Everything that led to me getting my name.” I fixed the cop with the darkest, most hate-filled snarl I had in my arsenal. “My name is John Golem.”


Another gulp. Another question, this one only a name, uttered as barely more than a whisper. “John Got’em?”


I nodded. “One in the same. John ‘Got’em’ Golem. ‘If your family is a-missin’, you know that John Got’em!’


Silence. I took a sip from my mug. “S-so, d-did you kill her, then?”


I answered his question with a question. “So you’ve heard of me?” He nodded that he did. “Then you must admit, I do have quite a story to tell. So I’d appreciate it if you didn’t rush me.”


He hushed up and slumped down a bit more. When I was satisfied with his position, I drank the rest of my second mug, already feeling the warm buzz in my blood. The alcohol, the sweet relief.


“First things first and last things last. Susan Tate is the last thing, so save your questions for the end.” I took a big swig as soon as the third mug touched my fingers.


“So the first thing,” I started, settling into my stride, “was that I was born. I think about that day a lot. Especially on nights where I don’t sleep, which is most of them these days.”


Sam, although he was pretending to be busy, was listening intently as I spoke. I was happy to have doubled my captive audience.


“I assume that on that day at the very least, somebody loved me. You see, that’s the theme, what the title of my life story would be. Something along the lines of Nobody Loved Me.


Another sip. Another pang of bourbon and chocolate to overwhelm the pang of pain. Of sorrow. Of regret.


“I like to think that my momma probably loved me, but she didn’t live long enough to let me know. She died later that same day, of complications from my birth. Because of that I know, for a fact, that my dad didn’t love me. From day one, he hated me. He blamed me. And eventually, he tired of me too. Sent me away to go live with my aunt and uncle, two of the worst pieces of trash to ever walk God’s green Earth.”


I took another copious gulp. These drinks were helping. They were delicious, too.


“Yeah, that was my aunt and uncle alright. Eileen and Danny. Together they were about the meanest, ugliest, most rotten pair of souls you could meet. They were so similarly sadistic, that they even began to have the same face. You ever see that? Couples, or families that spend too much time together, that are too much alike, they start to even share the same face.”


Another gulp. It helped blur the memory of that face. Their inhuman visage. The one full of darkness. The one like rotten candytuft.


“They were rotten to the core. I was shown no love, none at all. My life was so void of it that I didn’t even know something like that existed. I had no idea what I was missing. That is, until I was about ten years old.”


Another swallow. Not just the drink, but swallowing down bitter emotions that were threatening to rise up and escape from where I had shoved them down deep. I signaled Sam for another drink.


“What happened when you were ten?” The cop’s question brought me back to my story. “I found a kitten,” I told him, simply.


“I found this dirty, sick, adorable, loving kitten in the trash outside. I tried to bring it home, wanted to give it a place that was warm and safe. I suppose that I forgot for the moment that even I did not have those things.”


A full, clean mug sloshed its way over to me and I greedily accepted it. After a sip or two, I was ready to continue.


“My aunt told me to get rid of it, and that my uncle Danny was going to beat the daylights out of me when he came home for bringing that dirty animal into their home. I cried and pleaded and begged, but to no avail. She hit me until her hands hurt too much to continue, then she sent me to my room to wait for more pain from my uncle when he returned.”


Sip. Swallow. Gulp. Repeat.


“The kitten purred while I cradled it. It was showing me love for trying to help it. For trying to feed it. Just for trying, really. Soon enough, unfortunately, my uncle came home.


My uncle barged into the room. I could already see the fire in his eyes and smell the stale beer on his breath. He asked me what I was crying for. That I hadn’t seen anything yet.


I begged him to leave the kitten alone, to let me have him. To at least not hurt him, to let me bring him back where I had found him. It was no use. That wouldn’t be fun for him, or a life lesson for me.”


Sip. Swallow. Moan. Tighten grip on mug. Repeat.


“The sounds that he forced outta that kitten as he tortured it, I can still hear every single one. Screeching, yowling, animalistic begging, all commingling with uncle Danny’s drunken laughter. It haunts me to this day.”


Swig. Gulp. Remember. Sip. Try to forget. Repeat.


“Have you ever held a kitten? Like a real one, a very young one?” I asked aloud, but not particularly to the cop or to Sam. “They’re so thin, barely more than fur over bone. A fuzzy skeleton. When my uncle left me with it, its neck was broken, snapped like a twig, and its head was facing the wrong direction. It's big, terrified eyes looked at me blankly over a slack, open jaw. That’s when I learned that life was cheap. That it was worthless. That it could be taken away easily and for no reason at all. And I used that knowledge on all of those people that I got.”


Sip. Swallow. Repeat until you feel normal again.


At the mention of the people I had gotten, the cop spoke up. “So you killed her, then? Where is she? Where did you leave the body? That poor family is - ”


“Didn’t I tell you not to interrupt me anymore?” I shot at him angrily. His mouth snapped shut so quickly that it let out an audible clack. “I’m telling my story in order,” I said to him, a little less gruffly. “Kittens first. Girls last.”


I took down the rest of the contents of my mug and I had another in my hand before I could even signal for it. Sam was a professional, first and foremost.


“I sat in the yard holding that dead kitten and crying the rest of the night. Stroking its soft, matted fur. Soon enough though, the softness was gone, replaced by an unforgiving rigidity.”


Sip. Swallow.


“I didn’t wonder why my uncle had done it. He enjoyed it, and I saw that that was reason enough. I had seen it before. When he killed a fish or a chicken for dinner. When he swerved the car to hit a stray dog or chase down any squirrels that made the mistake of crossing his path. He killed because he liked it. Way down deep inside of him, he loved it. He was evil. And I hated him. That’s why, every time I killed someone, anyone, in my mind, I was killing him. I was killing my uncle Danny. I was showing him what it was like. I was showing him what I should have done to him, if only I had the balls.”


Sip. Regret. Sip. Wish. Repeat.


“My uncle died a couple weeks later. Not at my doing though, some sort of liver disease. My aunt made me wait on the side of the bed as he struggled through labored breathing. She told me that he was a great man, a great man who had done so much for me. She told me to pay my respects to the man before he passed on. Before he went off to Heaven.


I sat at that bedside and I wished that I could snap his neck, like he had done to the kitten. I wished that I could gouge his eyeballs out and shove them down his throat. I wished that I could grab a kitchen knife and gut him and carve him like a Thanksgiving Day turkey. Instead, I just waited. Silent. Weak. Until his breathing finally gave out.”


Gulp. Empty the mug. Repeat as needed.


“The next day, I went outside and I smashed a tiny rain frog between two stones until all of its guts and organs and eyes had were busted free from its rubbery body. Like a tube of toothpaste squeezed and twisted around until it was all empty. I smashed until only a sickening green paste remained between the stones. A hard and deadly stone sandwich to be thrown away.”


Sip. Swallow. Sway. Shake.


“After that, I killed at least one thing every single day. Some things small, some things big. Some died slow, some died quick. But one thing they all had in common was this: it made me feel good. I supposed my uncles disease had passed into me as I sat at his deathbed.”


I waved Sam over and asked him for a pen and some paper, which he quickly brought me. I handed it to the pig on the stool next to me.


“That disease made me realize that there was a place for me in the world after all. A duty to fulfill, one that not everybody had the stomach for. I didn’t mind the killing, so I decided to make a living doing it. There was work for someone like that, and some jobs even paid a couple hundred bucks. That was big money to some poor kid who never knew any better. Who never saw any better version of the world than the one he was trapped in. Go ahead now, make yourself useful and write these down. I’ll give you a whole list.”


The cop frantically scribbled notes as I listed off a long string of victims.


There was the Callahan boys, all four of them, who needed to be cleared out for a business deal to take place.


There was some bozo named Carl Redding who was sleeping around on his wife and needed to be, in her opinion, taught a very lasting lesson.


There was that pretty little number from the nightclub, Daisy something or other. A mafia weasel. A cantankerous old piece of trash who wouldn’t just die and leave his fortune to his children already.


As I listed more and more names, the cop suddenly paused. I thought maybe he ran out of room on the paper, or ran out of ink, but that wasn’t the case. He was getting impatient again.


“This is already enough to get you a life sentence, we can complete the list later. Please, can’t you tell me where the girl is?”


I informed him that if he interrupted me one more time, his name would be on the list too. He shut up.


“Now, that Susan Tate job, it was a little different for me. That job wasn’t supposed to be for murder, just a simple kidnapping. It was a big paying job though, since her daddy owns about half the town. That’s the reason you pigs care so much, isn’t it? Because of who her daddy is?”


The cop opened his mouth to speak but my glare caused his mouth to clamp up again before a single syllable escaped.


“Anyways,” I went on, “it was my job to case their house and let my employers know when the girl would be home alone. She’d be easy enough to overpower, to take, to ransom back for a hefty fee. So one day when her daddy was off to squeeze more lifeblood from the town, when it was just her and the housekeeper, I decided to go up and knock at the door.”


Sip. Swallow. Remember. Smile softly.


“The housekeeper opened the door and asked me, with suspicion in her eyes, what it was that I wanted. I told her that I was looking for work. As she turned me away, suddenly Susan came up behind her. Like an angel.


She offered to ask her father when he returned. She told me she was sure that they could find me a job, that she liked to help. The housekeeper protested, told her not to promise anything or to speak to strangers. Susan just smiled and invited me inside to wait. She said that her father would be home soon. She said that the housekeeper was about to make her lunch, and that I should join her. She fixed her housekeeper with a meaningful look, one that conveyed that she could help whoever she wanted to. A look that reminded her who was who in that household. So I stepped inside and waited.”


Another sip. Another drink down. Another mug on its way.


“For over an hour I sat there with her, in a bright dining room, full of sunshine and warm blue tones. The house had such a happiness reverberating through it. It nicely juxtaposed the hatred that I always had boiling inside of myself. I sat and stewed while she spoke and smiled. She didn’t seem scared at all that I was there. A stranger. A deadly one at that. And that annoyed me, angered me, to no end.


She was friendly. Warm. Bubbly. Soft, like a kitten. I never knew anybody like her, not in real life. In books maybe, but not in real life, where characters are hardened and sharp-edged and cruel and worthless.


I couldn’t take it. I wanted to end her. End how she was, change her. Make her like the other girls I had seen. The ones that John Got’em got. I wanted her to have that look in her eyes, right before they popped out of their sockets and burst beneath my boots.”


Sip. Consume. Repeat.


“She prattled on like an excited child for quite some time before she noticed that I wasn’t eating. That I wasn’t talking. I told her it was because I was thinking.


She asked me what I was thinking about. I said her. I was thinking about her. About why she wasn’t scared, all alone here in her home, alone except for the stranger beside her.


She asked me if she should be scared. If I was dangerous. There was a merry, teasing quality to her words. It made my blood boil.


She told me I didn’t seem dangerous. In fact, she felt comfortable around me. Like she had known me my whole life. If she knew my whole life, she surely would not feel comfortable.”


Sip. Simmer. Refill. Repeat.


“I felt different under her gaze. The way she saw me, didn’t fear me, I didn’t know how I was feeling, but I knew I had to get the hell out of there. I made up an excuse and told her I had to go. She told me to come back tomorrow, that she would talk to her father for me when he came home. That I would probably be coming over tomorrow as an employed man. I thanked her and shot out of there like a bat out of hell.


As I drove away, I couldn’t stop thinking about her. Couldn’t figure her out for the life of me. I had never met anyone like her before. And I’d met, and killed, plenty of women. But she was so different. So innocent. So unafraid. 


Even as I stared at her, even as I practically warned her about who I was, she remained unafraid. She just looked at me and smiled. Looked at me with those blue eyes. The warm, sunny tones. They matched the dining room.”


Sip. Remember. Drift. Yearn. Repeat.


“I started to obsess about her eyes. The softness of them, the innocence in them. Kitten-like. Like the kitten, however, I knew how the eyes could change. Could fill with fear. Could fill with tears. Could spark out and go cold, gray. The hatred deep down inside of me, through all of me, it wanted to see that change. It needed to see it. I would make her fear me. I would make her like the others. Tomorrow, I told myself, she would learn. She would learn as I had, that life was all suffering and then you died horribly. It was just the way of the world.”


I paused, lost in thought and emotion for a moment. The cop cleared his throat nervously. He played with the pen in his hand, trying not to show his fear. The fear I always saw in everyone else. Everyone but her. I sighed, then continued.


“I drove back to her home later that night, not wanting to wait until the next day. I needed to see her eyes glaze over. Change color. Die. When I arrived at her homestead, it was dark outside. Her lights were on and the windows were open. I went straight to the front door and rang the bell.


She answered after a few beats. Her beautiful, innocent, alive, blue eyes shone with surprise. “Hi,” she greeted me. “Back already? I haven’t had the chance to talk to my dad yet, he only got home a little bit ago.”


I told her that was okay. That I wasn’t there to see her father. That I was there to see her. Her cheeks flushed. She told me that was nice, that I was sweet. She had no idea.


I told her I came to get her. That I was going to take her away.”


The cop and Sam both unconsciously leaned forward, they knew that my story was starting to reach the crescendo.


“I told her that it was time that she learned to be afraid. At that, I started to see what I wanted to see in her eyes. The fear. The change. The questions that would garner no answers.


I grabbed her by the arm and dragged her through the open door before she could scream. I cupped a hand over her mouth and dragged her to my car, engine still idling.


When I had her inside, she told me that I was hurting her. I laughed. I assured her that I really wasn’t, not yet. That the pain in her arm was absolutely nothing compared to what was going to happen. Nothing compared to what I was going to do to her.


She asked me what I was going to do. I told her the truth. I told her that I was going to kill her.”


Sam and the cop both let out a breath at the same time. Unconscious, uncoordinated, yet simultaneous.


“That’s when her eyes really started to take on that quality that I like. The fear of an animal in a trap.


I pushed the pedal all the way to the floor and we peeled out of her driveway. At the high speed of velocity that I was driving at, she didn’t struggle or scream, didn’t try to get out. She buckled up and trembled.


For my part, I didn’t talk anymore either. I was lost in thought. I was thinking about the ways that I would kill her. I thought about them all the way to my hideout.”


I could see the cop’s ears perk up at the mention of my hideout. I didn’t give him the chance to interrupt me again, but I told him what I knew he wanted to hear.


“My hideout is up in the mountains. A tiny cabin with a shed out back. It’s isolated. Quiet. All around it are trees and lilac bushes. As I walked to her side of the car and dragged her out, I could smell the lilac on the air, mixing with car exhaust and sweat. The moon was shining brightly enough for me to see her face. And those eyes. Those gorgeous, wide blue eyes.


I scooped her up in my arms to carry her. Not to my cabin, but to the back of it. To the shed. The place that I do my work.


I set her down in the dark doorway and I told her to walk forward. She told me it was too dark, so I lit a candle I had mounted on the wall and told her, more gruffly this time, to move it.


She walked a few paces and then turned back to me, the flickering flame of the candle reflected in her blue irises. I told her to sit down. She looked around, as if expecting there to be a chair of some sort.


I asked her what she wanted. A couch? A plump cushion? All the comforts of her safe, warm, loving, bright, beautiful home? No, that wasn’t real life. This was. Darkness, fear, discomfort. Her blue eyes filled with clear tears.”


I sat in silence a moment, remembering that scene. In the shed, in the candlelight. It was almost romantic in a way.


“She sat on the floor and asked me why I was going to kill her. What she did to me to deserve it. Again, I told her the truth. Nothing. She had done nothing to deserve it.


I told her it was just nature. Just the way of this cruel, unrelenting, horrifying world. It was kill or be killed. I told her I wanted to watch her eyes snuff out, like the candle afterward. I wanted to see the light leak from them.


I told her I had a question to ask her before she died. I asked her, ‘do you love me?’”


Heavy drink. Take two more. Down them both. Gather your strength to continue. Repeat as needed.


“She asked, ‘Love you? What do you mean, love you?’ As if the answers to those questions weren't obvious. I told her she knew what the words meant. So answer it, and be truthful now; did she love me?


She told me no.


I told her ‘exactly.’”


Sip. Stare into your drink. Lose the strength to lift the mug to your lips. Press on.


“I told her that’s exactly it. Nobody loves me. Nobody ever did. Nobody, except maybe a little kitten once, and even then only for an exceptionally brief period. I told her it was a horrid, cruel world completely devoid of love. I told her that everybody hated me.”


Gather all your strength. Lift the mug to your weary tongue. Gulp it all down. Signal, but not for another drink. Signal for the check.


Sam nodded and, an exceptionally brief period later, he laid a piece of receipt paper down in front of me. Face-down, for privacy. A class act all the way through.


“But then she says, soft as a whisper, soft as a kitten, ‘I don’t hate you.’ I froze. She repeated herself. She told me she didn’t hate me. She didn’t love me, but that didn’t mean that she hated me. She said she was sorry for me.


I was taken aback, but only for a moment. A book I read once came to fluttering to my mind.


I told her Oscar Wilde wrote that ‘each man kills the thing that he loves.’ So I supposed that was what I was doing. She didn’t hate me? That was all fine and well. But it wasn’t love. And not being hated doesn’t make up for not being loved. It’s a void. It’s an empty space. It needs to be filled, another void can’t do that. I tell her that if nobody wants to love me, that was fine. But I can get something close to that.


I told her that when I kill somebody, I become their entire world. They may love a pet, a child, a husband, a wife, a parent, a god, who the hell cares? When it’s just me and them, they don’t think about those people. They don’t wonder who will feed their cat, walk their dog, sing their child to sleep, give them a bath, call their parents every Wednesday; No! They think about me, and what I am doing to them. Nobody else matters, nobody but me. I’m more important. I’m more powerful. It’s just me, lonely old me. And when I see that shine in their eyes, once powered by all the love in their life, when I see it start to dim, to flicker, to flame out…it gives me a warm feeling inside. The closest thing I’ve ever felt to love. I get it from that closeness, that interconnectedness, even if, like the kitten, it’s only for a brief time.


The eyes. They’re the windows to the soul. As you die, they open up to me. Nobody wants to open up to me, to let me in. Well, I’m coming in. You understand me, Susan? Are you ready to die?”


I nod my head towards the check. The cop was watching me, listening to me, transfixed by my words. It took him a couple of beats to understand what I was conveying. He slowly reached into his pocket and took out his wallet and then his credit card.


“Leave Sam a good tip too, but in cash. He doesn’t need you numb-nuts, tight-assed government types taking a piece of it.”


He pulled out all the bills in his wallet and dropped them on the bar top, not even bothering to count. It was insignificant. Only I mattered. Only me and my story. It was nice to feel important again.


“She looked at me with sad eyes. Not fearful ones, not like the ones that I liked to see. That I wanted. No, her eyes pitied me. They commiserated with me. They forgave me.


I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. I let my words fall silent. It was she who broke that silence first when she told me she was sorry I’d been hurt. That I’d gone through so much, and for so long.”


I trailed off, then quietly asked Sam if I could have one more for the road. It was in my hand before the question was fully out of my mouth. He handed it to me with a friendly wink. ‘Thought you might need it,’ he said in his nonchalant, offhandedly friendly manner. I did.


Drink entire thing in one go. Finish up and pay. Pay for everything.


“Where’s her body, John?” I didn’t have the strength left to tell him not to interrupt me. My vision was blurring just a bit.


“What are you talking about?” I asked him. The look on his face was about as stupid as you’d expect a cops face to be.


“Uhh, well, where did you leave her body? Where is she buried?”


I paused. 


I paused to stall the inevitable for just a moment longer. I paused for dramatic effect. I paused because I was drunk.


“Who said that I killed her?” I asked him.  My words were spoken dismissively but my heart was delighted to see his confusion.


“Didn’t…didn’t you?”


I paused another moment, maintaining direct eye contact with him. Slowly, I shook my head. Left to right. I nodded my head no.


He knitted his brow, turning my words around in his mind. Trying to make sense of them. The hamster was running on the wheel.


I decided to end his confusion.


“That’s why I decided to give myself up. That’s why I saw you and grabbed you. That’s why I’ve been confessing. You see, nobody ever loved me. Nobody but that poor kitten, who died afraid. Susan though, she wasn’t afraid. She couldn’t be. She was different. Better, somehow.


She saw me clearly, just as clearly as all of my other victims did. She saw right through me, right down to my black, dirty, rotten soul, and she forgave me. She understood me, and she forgave me.”


I finally set the empty mug onto the bar. After a final moments hesitation, I gently laid the gun down right next to it. With a warm but sad tight-lipped smile, Sam nodded and slid both items from the bar, stowing them somewhere out of sight.


“I know that still isn’t love, but it is enough for me. I figured that was as close as I was ever going to get. Love adjacent. I’d take it.”


At that opportune moment, my cellphone rang in my pocket. I knew who it was. Only one person would call me. Only one person cared enough about this number to dial it.


The cop finally came back to his senses, and his training, and was pinning my arms behind my back, handcuffing me tightly. I told him to go ahead, to answer it. It would be her. Susan. She’d be telling me that she got home safely.



The Cabin Fever Cocktail


The Cabin Fever cocktail is an adult twist on hot chocolate. It is perfect for watching a Christmas movie, sitting around a fire, or for confessing to multiple murders.





2 ounces of bourbon

1 ounce of maple syrup

Half ounce of lemon juice

Dash of Angostura bitters



How to make:


1: Fill cocktail shaker with ice.

2: Add the two oz of bourbon, the maple syrup, the lemon juice, and the bitters.

3: Shake vigorously for 15 seconds, or until all is mixed well. 

4: Strain the mixture into a chilled rocks glass filled with ice. A mug can also be a fun, fitting substitute for the glass.

5: Garnish with cinnamon, or a lemon twist.

6: Enjoy it. Who knows, it may be your last drink for a very, very long time.


Bottoms up.


Add comment


7 months ago

Another good story. Can’t wait for the next one Johnny writes

7 months ago

Another awesome short story, really enjoying the gulp fiction series so far

7 months ago

I’m gonna have to try that drink!

6 months ago


5 months ago

Good story Johnny

5 months ago

The pig on the cover 😂

5 months ago

I’ll check out the other stories soon. Thanks for sharing

2 months ago


a month ago

Good story