The stray beard-hair fell into Dunch’s beer as he rubbed his cheek with the back of his hand. He grabbed the glass to take another sip, looked down into it, and then saw the hair.
“There’s a fucking spider-leg in my beer, Sara,” Dunch said, putting his glass down quickly but gently. The lanky girl behind the bar gave him a questioning smile.
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“Look. There’s a leg of a spider in my fucking beer,” Dunch said, moving his glass to his right in Sara’s direction. She looked down into it, didn’t see anything, and then picked up the drink herself. She inserted a finger into beer and swirled it around. On the tip of her finger, the beard-hair stuck like a splinter, a third of its length having penetrated Sara’s skin.
“It’s just a hair, Dunch, you moron,” she laughed, pulling it out with the fingers of her other hand.
“Oh, that’s much better. I come in for a beer and get a pubic hair in it.”
“You don’t know it’s a pubic hair. I’ll get you a new glass, how about that?” Sara started getting Dunch a fresh draft of Bud.
Dunch was the only one drinking at Walter’s Tavern that afternoon. He had arrived a little past noon as he did almost every day. Occasionally there would be some guys who came in for a drink after working all night but that wasn’t too often. Mostly it was only Dunch.
People in Fisherville didn’t start drinking until about 4:00 in the afternoon. Everyone needed a break from the working class pressures they dealt with on a daily basis. The boss was always busting balls and the bills were always piling up. Those are things that only beer or whiskey can fix. Alcohol was a holy sacrament. The jukebox and pool tables were holy relics.
Dunch started on his brand new beer after he inspected it for stray hairs. Confident that all was well, he gulped it down almost as if he was afraid that if he took his time, something would wander into his drink.
“You in a hurry?” Sara asked.
Dunch put down the glass, wiped his mouth with his sleeve, and let out a small grunt of a burp.
“Hell no. Got nothing to do today. Just ended a job last night. Won’t have more work till Monday the earliest,” Dunch said.
“That’s a whole week. How’ll you get by till then?”
“Ah, I’ll manage.”
Dunch dug into his pockets, pulled out two crumpled dollars, and threw them on the bar. They landed in a small puddle of beer-foam. “Can I have change? I’m in the mood for pool today.”
Sara nodded, grabbed the wet bills, and got eight quarters out of the register. She laid them on the bar in the same puddle of moisture.
Dunch took the change and scooted out of the bar stool. The legs scraped against the floor with a sound that caused the bottom of his back to shiver. He wondered why they didn’t put tennis balls on the bottom of the bar stools. That way, there would be no torturous sound every time someone got up to take a piss or play a game of pool. Dunch thought about the tennis balls and then about a girl named Peggy who once tried to teach him how to play tennis back in high school. He had ended up throwing the racket down in frustration and coercing her to give him head in the bushes behind the tennis courts.
He turned back to Sara. “Fucking tennis balls, Sara. Fucking tennis balls.” Sara didn’t respond. She was looking through a worn copy of Auto Trader that looked as if it had been wet at one time and had lost its original shape in the process.
Dunch looked at the two pool tables. Both were identical except for a slight scratch on the table near the door. The scratch was about a foot long and started diagonally from one of the center pockets to one of the corners. No one knew how it happened. As far as anyone could tell, it had just appeared one day.
It was a shame, too. He liked that table, too. It wasn’t near the bathroom so he didn’t have to smell piss and shit while he played. Now someone had gone and fucked it up. His fingers traced the scratch back and forth, back and forth. Dunch caressed the soft, green slit like a teenage boy exploring his first pussy. He got down closer, moving his fingers around. His cock had begun to harden.
The table was an aching teenage body; Dunch slowly grinded against it as he fingered the scratch. A smell reached his nostrils.
What was it? he asked himself. Smells like seafood or leather. Sweat. His face got closer to the table. What is that?
Dunch then put his fingers to his nose. He saw Peggy and he saw Kim, that barfly whore he screwed two weeks ago. Susan was there, too, that demon of an ex-wife. So was Christine, that cute but completely moronic waitress who had offered up her ass in exchange for Springsteen tickets. Dunch felt the bottom of Chrstine’s leather boot stomp his face as he grinded against the table. That’s when Sara had shouted his name, interrupting everything.
“Dunch, what the fuck you doing?”
Now Dunch stood up and realized that he had been molesting the pool table. He shook the quarters in his hand. “I don’t know, Sara. I just got distracted.”
“Just keep it in your pants, okay?”
“Yeah, it’s just this fucking table and this scratch. Fucking pisses me off.”
“I know. You mention it just about every time you come in here,” Sara said, putting down her magazine and walking over to the other side of the bar, towards the bathroom. “I gotta take a piss. Can you watch the bar?”
“Yeah, sure,” Dunch replied, still shaking the coins in his hand. They felt sweaty until he realized that it was his palm that was moist. A picture of Sara on the toilet shot through his mind. The sweat on his hands became Sara’s urine streaked across his palm like golden lifelines.
He shook the change again and looked down. The coins were tinted yellow. Dunch put them into the slots of the pool table and pushed them in. There was no sound indicating that the balls were released and ready for play. He cursed under his breath and walked over to the bar to wait for Sara. A toilet flushed. Then there was a voice from behind him. “Hey, jack-off. Come back over here.”
Looking around and seeing no one, Dunch froze. “Who’s there?”
“Follow my fucking voice. Follow it, right now. Listen and follow, listen…”
Dunch obeyed the mysterious orders, tuning his ears to the voice and taking step after step towards the pool table. Indeed, the baritone voice from nowhere was emanating from the scratched felt of the pool table. He put his face closer and felt a warm fishy breath as the voice spoke on.
“Goddamn, it’s about time, Dunchy-Lunchy. Now how about you help a poor, helpless table?” The table vibrated, shaking the fillings in Dunch’s teeth.
“What..the..fuck..is…What…?” He babbled on and on. Drool gathered on his lower lip. His bladder weakened just a bit.
“Yeah, it’s not surprising. When humans are in the presence of Goy-Sotooth, they usually react like this. Oh well. Despite your obvious shock, I ask you to please insert your scrotum into the scratch. Please.” Goy-Sotooth’s voice became louder and impatient.
“Sara…Sara,” Dunch mumbled. The toilet flushed again and a few seconds later, Sara came back into the bar. “Still not playing? The fuck’s wrong with you, Dunch?” she asked, her eyes squinting in worry.
From across the room, Dunch saw urine glisten on Sara’s palms in obscene geometric patterns: cyclopean genitals on top of indescribable shapes spinning into infinity. Above her head floated an iridescent globe which pulsated in suggestively pornographic rhythm.
“Just stick your sack in and everything will be A-okay, Dunchy-Dear.” This time the words came from Sara’s mouth while her eyes revealed captive horror. Without thought of the consequences, Dunch unzipped his pants, grabbed a hold of his sweaty balls and lifted himself up onto the table.
“That’s it, Crunchy-Dunchy, right there….right THERE!” Goy-Sotooth’s voice screeched. The scratch opened up and took a hold of the testicles like a toothless woman gumming a pair of bulbous grapes. Dunch’s eyes rolled back and he shook like an epileptic.
Caught in a terrified daze, Sara watched as the pool table sucked on Dunch’s balls. She felt as if she was waiting for someone, as if they were at the very door of the bar but would not come in until Dunch’s sac was sucked dry through its pores. She couldn’t move any part of her body except for her clitoris. It was growing to the size of a penis.
“Goy-Sotooth, Heel-Beg, Eight-Ball, Yowzer Yowzer Yowzer!” Dunch spoke the incantation which entered his body through his genitals and up his body like a current.
There was a tingling sensation in his face.
Dunch slapped his own cheek and felt his beard move. A convulsion of fear shook him, forcing a squirt of piss to shoot out of his dick while the table worked on his balls. He felt his face and realized that, yes, it was moving. His beard was no longer a combination of short, black ugly hairs but rather a cacophony of wet spider legs.
“Ugggghhhhh!” Dunch almost lost all coherence. The table then spoke, sounding like a child with its mouth full.
“Oy! I’m bwinging you ‘ome!!”
A rainbow of scrotum fluids and chunks of unidentifiable matter exploded out of the scratch, smothering everything in its path. Dunch fell backwards, his crotch a glowing mess of otherworldly gore.
Sara started to move and while she did so, she tore down her pants, her clitoris transformed into a fully erect member. Thousands of spider-legs moved on Dunch’s face so much so that it resembled an ocean of black wheat swaying in the wind. She walked over to him, stroking herself and aching for release.
Dunch was on the floor convulsing but fully aware of his surroundings. Oh Peggy, he thought, why’d I ever let you go? I shoulda learned tennis! He heard ear-shattering footsteps and turned his head. Through his convulsions, he could see Sara walking toward him. “Fucking tennis balls, Sara. Fucking tennis balls,” he said, thinking that she should really slip some tennis balls on her feet so her footsteps wouldn’t be so loud. His eyes caught site of her clit-penis but then the spiders on his face obscured his view. They covered his eyes as if to say “Naughty, naughty!”
Within seconds his mouth was stuffed with what tasted like an oversized sardine. He gagged, drooled, and then gagged again as Sara face-fucked him while dipping her hands into the spiders, twirling their legs in between her fingers. The pool table was silent, the top of it still glistening with sloppy, reflective goo.
While Sara force-fed Dunch, she looked over to the pool table and lost herself in her own slanted reflection. She couldn’t get over the feeling that there was someone lurking at the door, a stranger at the threshold waiting to come in.
After ten minutes, Sara’s muscles were aching and she stopped, collapsing onto Dunch who was covered in drool, clit-sweat, and vomit. “Oh, Dunch-Munch, I’m sorry.” Sara cried into his shoulder, her voice still not fully her own. Dunch didn’t respond in words, only exhausted burps while he stared up at the glowing orb that still circled Sara’s head.
A fluttering fart escaped from the bottom of the pool table and a flood of milky liquid whooshed down toward Dunch and Sara as if it was an ocean wave and they were just lovers on the beach.
There was a sound at the door. Sara looked up, expecting the culmination of all this wet, obscene action.
Billy Packer poked his head through the doorway. Billy Packer, father of three. Billy Packer, construction worker. Billy Packer, naked from the waist down. He rubbed his face with the back of his hand and then plucked out a beard hair, dropping it onto the floor.
“You guys open? I’m fucking thirsty.”