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put me through hell again

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These days, Kate Fuller whispers prayers while the brothers worship her body.


Two boys in black came to her town, wearing the skin of Preachers, like her daddy. They got real close to her father and the people of her church, conning their way into their hearts and wallets.


“Things got busy”, as Richie likes to say. Gunfire and blood, and her daddy was dead. Her mama long gone and brother who knows where, Kate looked at the heathen pair with wonder.


Seth slammed the trunk lid, ready to be South bound, and Kate touched his hand.


“Want some company?”


Kate rides in the back, reading her Bible of redemption and anger, trying to ignore the burning of the brothers eyes on her from the rearview.


“Want a soda, Katie?” Richie grins at her when they make a stop, and she nods.


Seth plugs in the cigarette lighter in the dash, slamming his hand on the steering wheel and Kate jumps, remembering gunshots.


“Don’t you have anyone else?” Seth mutters, almost to himself.


Kate juts her chin out and meets his eye in the reflection. “Don’t you?”


The old Impala’s wheels beat pavement and dirt roads until the world looks the same, and Kate can’t distinguish one small town from another.


“Who’s the girl?” A nice, creaky old lady asks them when they check into a neon pink lit motel.


It’s too late for God to be awake, Kate swaying next to Seth as he puts a hand on her lower back. “Our sister, ma'am.”


They get a room with two beds and cot. Richie snorts, pushing it into the corner and clicking on the television.


The bed welcomes Kate like an old friend, and she hugs its covers and pillows close to her. An old western sings her to sleep, the clip-clop of horses hypnotizing her into dreams. Some point in the darkness Richie lies down next to her.


Life keeps going. The Geckos and Kate Fuller, an unlikely and unholy trio, moving through Texas.


The boys taking what they wish.


The sun keeps her thighs sweating during the day, the air humid but more kind at night. At a gas station, Kate uses a hose on her legs. She gasps like a harlot, looks up and sees Richie watching her from where he’s leaning against the car. The sun glints off the metal of his horned rims.


There’s a soft, desperate feeling between her legs. Something in her chest calls to him, but she turns and lets the rush of water soothe her aches.


Kate crawls in the backseat, hem of her skirt sagging and soaked, Richie grinning at her. “All wet, sis?”


She spreads open the pages of her Bible.


Scripture and road just pass her eyes for what feels like years but is really only weeks.


She and Seth go out to get burgers, Kate sitting in the front for the first time. There’s more world to see from the passenger side.


They dash past the drive-thru, Kate munching on her fries before they even leave the parking lot. The delicious potatoes burn her fingers but her tongue salivates for the flavor.


She licks salt from her thumb and sees Seth watching her.


“Were you sent to drag me to Hell?” There’s a darkness in his eyes that makes her breath catch.


Kate offers him a fry, holding it to his mouth like communion. He accepts, lower lip brushing her finger as he does.


Watches him as his tongue sweeps out, thinks about dirty things the whole way back.


They stop asking for the conning cot.


T-shirt and jeans and they raise a gun on a store clerk, pocketing the petty cash and grabbing clear wrapped snack pie for Kate on the way out.


Black suits and they find another small town, another church. They’re given shelter and food, and during service Kate bites her lip at the holy men who speak in lies on Sundays.


Mondays, Tuesdays, every day.


“This is our sister, Kate.”


“She’s a real angel.”


Kate’s offered bed goes unused, sneaking nightly into their room. Cuddling against the warm wall of Richard, and Seth finding them sometime under the moonlight.


She wakes often with a hardness pressed here or there.


Wakes with an ache.


Kate finds a spot beneath a tree that looks like its branches held the snake and the apple. The words of her Lord blur in front of her and Kate closes her eyes, shielding herself with the holy scripture as she touches wet and soft. She feels the unwelcome tickle of an ant crawling down her arm, rubbing faster and speaking in vain at the Lord as that ache turns to pure, blessed pleasure.


Later Kate scratches at the ant bites on her skin, her cheeks harsh with a rosy blush.


Richie kisses her first. Pulls her close in bed, touching her like she might break. Sips at her mouth like salvation, and Kate feels her insides melting.


“Baby sister, would you hand me that knife?” Richie asks at breakfast the next morning and Kate’s head fuzzes over.


Seth starts to get more and more quiet, Kate worried he’s angry at her.


She finds him behind the church where he presses her against the wall. “Think I’m too good for this sin?” He asks, voice harsh and hot.


Her thighs shake and inside she clenches as she shakes her head.


His lips take her, his hands gripping and grabbing, hoisting her up. Her legs wrapped around a criminal, her tongue tasting that place where his Devil’s lies are born, Kate whimpers and pulls at his hair.


Richard smiles at them both that night, shaking his head. “Our kin, our babygirl.”

Seth rolls his eyes and swallows his whiskey. “Quit making it worse.”


Kate just punishes her lip with her teeth and hums. “My sinners, my brothers.”


There’s just one bed that night where Seth kisses up Kate’s milky thighs, Richie sucking a hickey from her neck as Kate breathes prayers to her pillow.


Now during services she grips at her dress, licking her lips watching the conmen speak of God.


They both watch her, smirking like they know a secret.


Things get busier, and Kate knows the stretch and burn pleasure that she shouldn’t. The hard, beautiful push of sin between her legs.


There’s always a mouth to moan into when she comes.


Always hands on her skin, or hands gripping her own. Fingers that she can’t decipher, can’t distinguish. There’s only one of them, one supreme being that caresses and kills her, over and over again.


Until she’s a sweaty, shaking sack of flesh and bone, held by her loves as they soothe her with sweet kisses and filthy words.


Sometimes Richie will whisper a psalm against her temple, thick fingers coaxing her until she’s finishing the line. Screaming it to Heaven, a dirtied cry to the Lord.


Seth will always wake her with gentle caresses, breath smelling of booze and guilt.


Kate sometimes rides between the brothers, either sleeping with her head on someone’s shoulder as they drive, or using her small, kind hand to shake them apart.


They’re found out in a smaller town than most, and Kate shoots to kill a man threatening to tear her brothers away from her.


Richie kisses her cheek as Seth drives, one hand on the wheel and another on her thigh. “Sweetheart, darling,” he breathes, wiping blood from her face with a fast food napkin.


For miles her eyes are glazed, and for a moment she sees flames, thinks they’re driving straight into Hell.


That night her hands shake as Seth sucks at her fingers, licks at her palm. The brother’s tongues dance over her skin like snakes but Kate welcomes them, forgives them all three their wickedness and swallows the dread.


The next day, she drives.