Category Archives: Gary Duncan

Terms And Conditions

Tania stood next to the bed and looked down at him. She smiled: the way he was lying, dead to the world, his arms and legs splayed out like that, he looked like a starfish.
+++++She reached forward and traced a finger over his stomach, round and round, down, all the way down. Watched him twitch and spring back to life — even now, after everything she’d done to him.
+++++She tiptoed out of the bedroom, not wanting to wake him. He’d need his rest. He’d need all the rest he could get, because she wasn’t finished with him yet.


She met Georgie in the bar half an hour before their shift started. First thing Georgie said was, “So?”
+++++Tania shrugged. She watched Georgie light up: watched her close her eyes, her eyelashes fluttering, as she inhaled. Tania could have killed for a smoke, for one puff, but she looked away, and took in the bar, the spilled beer, the filthy tables, the grimy windows, and immediately wished she hadn’t because all it did was remind her that she was stuck here for the next eight hours, doing a shitty job for shitty money, when he was there, in her bed, waiting for her.
+++++Georgie leaned forward, elbows on the table, and whispered.
+++++“How was it?”
+++++She turned her head to the side, and exhaled slowly, towards the No Smoking sign on the wall. Shitty job, shitty bar, but there were some perks.
+++++Tania shook her head.
+++++The guy had come on to Georgie first, like they all did. Tania was fine with that. You had a friend like Georgie, you had to be fine with that, because they all hit on Georgie first, all the time. Like they were wired that way, like it was in their DNA.
+++++“Nothing happened,” Tania said. “He said he’d walk me home, and we’re not even halfway there and he stops, just like that, and throws up, all over the place.” She shrugged again. “He headed back this way, said he was going home.”
+++++Georgie relaxed, and sat back. “Prick,” she said. “I told you he was trouble.”
+++++Tania didn’t disagree. The guy was a prick. A total prick. Hitting on Georgie, then the others, one by one, before turning to Tania late on, when the place had thinned out and they were getting ready to lock up. Tania had brought him a glass of water from the bar, told him it was on the house, when he grabbed her wrist and pulled her in close. He wasn’t much to look at, all angles and sharp edges, and Tania must have had a good fifty pounds on him, but he squeezed so hard she thought he might snap her wrist in two. Would have, if she hadn’t reached down with her free hand and found his cock. I only live around the corner, she whispered in his ear, stroking him. If you want to walk me home.
+++++“You’re probably right,” Tania said. “Big time prick.”
+++++“Trust me,” Georgie said, blowing smoke across the table. “I know trouble when I see it.”


Tania found him exactly where she’d left him, in her bed, as if she’d never been away. But he was awake now, and he’d shat himself. Sooner or later, most of them shat themselves. It used to bother her, but not now. It was just one of those things: an inevitable consequence, an occupational hazard.
+++++She’d cuffed his wrists and ankles, shackled him to the four corners of the bed, starfish-like. He heard her before he saw her, the squeaky floorboards announcing her arrival, and his head shot up off the mattress when she walked over to the bed, his neck muscles straining, his eyes bulging, screaming out for help.
+++++She did what she always did, and ignored him. She’d found that was the best course of action when they were like that, when they were a little over-excited. Ignore them. Sometimes that set them off even more, and she’d stand there and smile, sometimes laugh at them, her arms folded over her chest.
+++++This one had surprised her. For a skinny little runt he’d put up a pretty good fight when she’d cuffed him, thrashing around like he was having a fit, trying to chew her hand off when she stuffed the socks into his mouth and reached for the heavy duty tape she kept in the top drawer of her bedside table.
+++++She’d had to use all her weight against him, grinding her big backside down against his chest, digging her knees into his scrawny biceps. She hit him in the face a couple of times, to calm him down, short, sharp jabs, and kept hitting him till he stopped thrashing — till his body went limp and the muffled screams subsided and all he could do was bleat like a wounded animal.
+++++She almost pitied him, looking down at him now. But not really. Truth was, she’d never pitied any of them. No pity, no empathy, nothing.
+++++She reached for the table again, the bottom drawer this time, and took out the camcorder.
+++++“We need to talk,” she said, pressing the record button and pointing the camcorder at his face, a close-up, before zooming out slowly. “We need to talk about terms and conditions.”

Three Guys

Stan was in bed, sleeping, when he heard the car. He got up, looked out the window. A red car, in his driveway. Three guys climbing out. Two little guys, one big guy.
+++++Stan looked back towards the bed. Saw his monkey wrench on the nightstand. Stan didn’t go anywhere without his monkey wrench, but he didn’t think he’d be needing it now. Not for three guys.
+++++By the time he was downstairs, they were in his back yard. Stan kept a cricket bat behind the door, but he didn’t think he’d be needing that either. Not for three guys.
+++++Stan opened the door and stepped out into the yard. One of the little guys looked him up and down, started to say something and stopped.
+++++Stan scratched his nuts. Probably should have put some trousers on. Some underpants at least.
+++++“Can I help you?” he said, moving into the middle of the yard. The three guys were fanned out, four or five feet apart, like they were trying to surround him.
+++++Can I help you?” the little guy mimicked. He turned to the other little guy. Brothers: the same ratty face, the same straggly hair.
+++++“I’m guessing you’re Davey,” Stan said to the one who’d mimicked him. “I recognise you from the photo.”
+++++Davey took a step forward. Stan stood his ground: feet apart, hands on hips. The big guy was on his right, about eight feet away. The guy was seriously fucking big: six-five, twenty stone. Stan had already decided he was going to hit him first. Standard procedure: hit the biggest one first, and hit him hard.
+++++“What the fuck you on about?” Davey asked.
+++++“Yeah,” his brother chipped in, “what the fuck you on about?”
+++++Stan looked from one brother to the other. “Jesus fucking Christ,” he said, “your folks must have been real lookers.”
+++++Stan loosened his shoulders, getting ready.
+++++“The photo,” he said. “The one on your bedside table. The one of you and Megan.”
+++++Davey turned to his brother again and said, “Told he was a clever cunt.”
+++++“I’m guessing that’s why you’re here?” Stan said. “Me and Megan? Or were you just popping in for a chat? You should have said. I could have made some coffee, got the biscuits out.”
+++++Stan knew Davey and his brother wouldn’t be a problem, not after he’d dropped the big guy. It usually went that way: guy sees his friend twitching on the ground, dribbling like a baby, he doesn’t usually hang around for long.
+++++“You can have her,” Davey said.
+++++Stan smiled. “Have her?”
+++++“She’s all yours.”
+++++“That’s very generous of you.”
+++++Davey worked up some phlegm, from somewhere deep down in his throat, and spat. A big gob of yellow gunk. It landed a couple of inches from Stan’s bare foot.
+++++Stan looked down, at the spit. On his yard.
+++++“We’re still going to kick the shit out of you,” Davey said. He turned to the big guy and said, “Mike, say hello to Stan.”
+++++Mike said, “Hello, Stan.”
+++++Stan said, “He doesn’t say much does he?”
+++++“Doesn’t need to,” Davey said.
+++++“He’s big,” Stan said. “There’s no denying that. Is he any good?”
+++++Davey shrugged.
+++++“You know,” Stan said, “that photo of you and Megan? I asked her if we should turn it around, or put it down or something. Just didn’t seem right, I thought, you watching me like that while I was in your bed, fucking your wife. You know what Megan said? Leave it there, right where it is, let the piece of shit watch while you fuck my brains out.”
+++++Stan moved quickly, ramming the heel of his hand into the big guy’s nose. The big guy went down in slow motion, onto his knees, then all fours, and when he tried to get up Stan kicked him in the head.
+++++Stan turned to Davey, and said, “I think you should go.”


Stan washed his hands in the kitchen and made his way back upstairs.
+++++Megan was still in bed.
+++++“Have they gone?” she asked.
+++++Stan climbed in beside her.
+++++“They’ve gone,” he said. “I don’t think they’ll be back.”