Same Sins Separate Paths (Prologue)
by Anthony J. Mungin
I GUESS KNOWING THAT THIS VISIT, like the last, was hardly my idea of fun or that we had been conned into coming by Paps would not have made a bit of difference to Hattie Mae Watkins.
She didn’t even seem to care that what she wanted to do with a nine-year old boy was illegal, not to mention an abomination in the eyesight of God. In the end, all that preoccupied Hattie Mae's mind was making certain I did not slip through her hands a second time.
Standing there on a porch barely stable enough to hold her, she dabbed sweat from her brow with a dingy wash cloth. Having trained her sites in our direction, an impish little smile drew across her face.
She hadn’t yet uttered a word, though her jubilation over seeing me for the second time that summer became all too apparent, not to mention, alarming.
Once certain that she had amassed an audience in Sexton and me, Watkins began prancing her big, black, behind up and down the porch of that run down, old house like there was no tomorrow.
I declare the woman must have thought that she was Eartha Kit doing her thing on a Las Vegas stage. As I took in this freak show, my stomach turned a few tumultuous flips, I suspect in strong dissention to what I was witnessing.
Recovering, I worked it all out in my head. Now convinced that this ordeal must be a right of passage that all boys my age had to go through, the picture became very clear to me. Then and there, I resolved that there must be a Hattie Mae Watkins in every boy's past.
With this supposition, came partial proof a few seconds later. Hattie Mae had now resorted to switching her hips. The ends of her nylon robe fell open around her now and again to reveal her half naked body to me.
That she had stooped this low was surely enough to make me comprehend so unerringly the fact that I had just been forewarned. The raw nature of the wicked woman whose fiery path Paps had unwisely placed us in had been exposed.
Midway through her stride, Watkins stopped and stared again with those enormous raccoon eyes into my and Sexton’s direction. Still, no words came forth.
Feigning modesty, she gathered up the ends of the robe, pulling it around her grotesque body. At last, through her thick, dark lips, she brayed, “Sext’n Wilcox!” Boy, get ova here and say hello to yo’ Auntie Hattie Mae! Fo' I cut yo’ li'l pecka' off!” Her gruesome face tried to form a smile but failed, miserably.
Hattie Mae was no more kin to Sexton and me than a baboon to a kitten, but for some odd reason, she had become used to referring to Sexton as her “play” nephew.
“Who dat thar’ wif'th you?” She asked, I guess to re-establish my identity. She knew damned well who I was.
Without answering, Sexton hastened to where Hattie Mae stood on the porch. He bore the look of a youngster on a million-dollar mission.
Before getting down to business, Hattie Mae seem to take a brief note of Sexton's shabby appearance--about seventy pounds of skin and bones bulging from under a dingy, sleeveless tee shirt, loosely fitted over faded blue jeans. I expected that though she might have found him contestable there wasn’t that much disappointment. Sexton was only an agent, not the warm body she truly desired.
To my later chagrin, there was more to Hattie Mae summoning Sexton to that porch than met the eye. Their lips were fast moving and money was passing their hands faster than bookies betting on a high stakes wager.
Judging from their frequent glances in my direction, I figured I somehow factored into what was shaping up to be a major con game.
Seemingly satisfied with his acceptance of the pact, Hattie Mae handed over a bottle from which Sexton took a healthy swig. He seemed more of a pro at guzzling booze than even our paps.
Sexton traded the bottle, withdrawing from Mae’s nubby fingers, what looked like a half smoked joint. Like a well primed pot head, he eagerly stuck the blunt in his lips, took a long toke, and politely passed it back to our "Auntie".
Having gotten his fix and successfully negotiating with the hag, Sexton sauntered back over to where I stood on the patch of dirt and grass. He bore the look of a professional wheeler and dealer who had just made an excellent arrangement with the devil. But a smile wide enough to force wrinkles into the corners of his eyes told me that it was not his own soul that he had just traded.
“She wanna' talk to you,” he said with a look slyer than one of the devil’s imps.
“What about?” I said, skeptically.
“Dunno. Jus' do wha’ she tell you so we can hur’ up and go.” He was clutching the ten and two five-dollar bills like his whole existence depended on them.
“But what if I don’t want to?”
“Punk, I’ll kick yo' ass if you don’t!” A major crease in his forehead and a faint side-glance in Hattie Mae’s direction confirmed his urgency and assured me that I was being set up. The plan’s fruition depended heavily on my compliance.
Since it was a long-accepted wisdom that even persons who were slightly older were due respect and obedience, I complied with the wishes of my older brother. With great reservation, I fulfilled his request.
THE DIMLY LIT HOVEL stank like wild boars had just vomited there. The nasty kitchen, or I should say, a small closet with two porcelain sinks piled about three feet high with burnt pots and pans was adjacent to the front door entrance.
On the filthy counter beside the sink were plates covered in crusted crumbs. They had been there for God knows how long. Need-less-to-say, this was my first bad impression of the mess I had been dumped into.
It was a commonplace, two-bedroom house. Dark green sheets took on dual roles–as curtains for the windows and as a light blanket for a raunchy looking, half-made bed, where I imagine Hattie Mae probably molested and sodomized little black boys.
Hattie Mae immediately struck me as a mean spirited, impatient lover who had little time and no patience for foreplay.
“Get yo' li'l ass on that bed and take off yo’ clothes, fo’ I choke da' shit outta' ya!” she yelled.
“Yes’m”, I said compliantly, bile rising in my throat.
Not wanting a date with death brought about by a vile, sex-crazed maniac who looked to be almost as tall as Paps and four times my weight of eighty-five pounds, I began parting with my clothes.
A bit shocked and I might tag on, scared out of my wits, I crawled atop the soiled, green sheets, whose musty funk reeked like a mixture of hair grease, sweat, and body odor.
The hideous woman crawled in behind me bearing her weight on the better of her two legs. I could tell by its dark, bluish color, the ailing left leg was poorly circulated. It was also, a few inches shorter than the right.
Without any warning, the next thing I felt was Hattie Mae's thick, stumpy paws caressing my privates. Her coarse hands were like sandpaper sliding back and forth across my loins.
With those flabby arms of hers, she parted her robe, hoisted me onto her clammy mid section and began having her way. Her hot, panting breath was like an enraged bull's. Her exhibition of pleasure came in sounds akin to a squealing pig.
Her pubic hairs were like sharp needles against my skin. Underneath me, her vaginal cavity was like the entrance to a bottomless, black pit that could possibly swallow me up, whole and alive.
I stifled the urge to cry replacing it instead with thoughts of a paradise far beyond the hideousness of this terrible fate that had befallen me. When she was done having her way with me, she flung me off with ease. Uprooting herself, Mae marched her flabby, cratered behind to what functioned as a kitchen.
Hearing her rummage through what sounded like a utensil drawer, I could see my life flashing before my very own eyes. My heart pounded like bombs were exploding inside.
Closing my eyes for a spell, I took in little short breaths. I remember thinking they would be my last. Then, suddenly, out of no where, Hattie Mae reappeared waving a long, black handled knife with serrated edges.
“You see this you li'l maufucker? You tell anybody and I’ll cut yo li'l pecka' off...Hear me?”