Deleted opening paragraph. HC
Flo, short for Florence, was my wife. I'm Jim. We'd met in college and had married soon after graduation. We lived a normal life as husband and wife, had kids, a house and a mortgage. Flo was a stay-at- home mom until the kids started school full time and then she resumed her career in real estate. Flo is an attractive woman and I'm sure she gets hit on occasionally while on the job, but as far as I know she'd remained faithful to me and our marriage. She has a ribald sense of humor sometimes and I think that's what eventually got our marriage into trouble.
We had two children, a boy, Eric, and a girl, Patty. At the time this occurred Eric was 21 and had graduated from a vocational school after high school. He had his own apartment nearby and was working as a journeyman electrician. Patty was 19 and a sophomore at the state university about 150 miles away. With the kids away we should have been looking forward to a happy retirement down the road with time to travel and hopefully, grandchildren to dote over.
Our sex life was what I thought was normal. We had a loving relationship honed and developed over our married life. When we were first married we had sex just about every night and during the day on weekends. As time progressed we were down to two or three times a week, which was enough to take away the urge for me and I thought it was the same for Flo. Over the years I'd learned all of Flo's buttons to push to get her to orgasm; and when she came she made a peculiar keening sound to announce her release. It always gave me a thrill to know that I had satisfied her; and the sound of her keening was what I strived for in our love making and not achieving my own pleasure.
Just about every situation has a fly in the ointment and ours came along in the form of a new next door neighbor. Roger and his wife, Alice, moved into the house next door about five years ago and we became friends. The problem with Roger was that he was a practical joker and he loved to pull pranks on everyone he was associated with and much to my chagrin I was one of the favorite recipients for his fetish. Also, what bothered me even more was Flo's enjoyment of his pranks, especially if I was on the receiving end. I tried to tell her I didn't like his jokes or her enjoyment, even participation, but she wouldn't listen or back off.
Over a period of time I'd picked up that Roger was attracted to Flo and I think entertained thoughts about getting into her panties. Whenever we were together he and Flo laughed together at his, sometimes, raunchy jokes; while Alice and I just smiled politely at their antics. When we were out in public I know that Alice was as mortified as I was at some of the things they did. I remember one time at the beach Roger mooned some people in a passing boat and to my horror Flo followed suit. Alice and I were appalled at their indiscretion and chastised them to no avail as they laughed hysterically together.
It was a short while before the end that I began to suspect that things were getting out of hand. We were over at Roger and Alice's house and Alice and I were sitting in the back yard, while Flo followed Roger into the house to help carry out the drinks. Alice and I talked for awhile until we realized that Flo and Roger had been gone for quite a bit of time, so we went inside to look for them. When we got into the kitchen we found it empty; but just as we started the looking for them they came from the family room with their arms around one another, giggling and laughing. Roger had lipstick on his collar and around his mouth while Flo's lipstick appeared smeared and her hair disheveled. Alice and I just stood there in shock with our mouths open
"Oh, hi you guys. Sorry we're slow with the drinks, but I had to show Flo my etchings." Roger told us, apparently unconcerned at their appearance. Alice and I continued to stand there, still dumfounded at their apparent brazen boldness.
"Roger has some wonderful etchings; you know the ones I mean don't you Alice?" Flo commented with a smirk.
By this time I'd gathered my wits about me and finally spoke up.
"What the hell is going on?" I asked Flo. "How come Roger's got lipstick on his face and clothes and you look like you've been doing some necking."
"Oh, that's because I was so happy to see Roger's etchings. I must have gotten carried away. Do you mind?" she asked while trying to maintain a straight face.
I was beginning to catch on as I looked at their faces. Roger had the smirk on his face he develops when he pulls one of his pranks and Flo was looking away so I couldn't see how hard she was trying to keep from laughing. I could feel my irritation mounting.
Alice wasn't tuned in yet to what was going on as she finally spoke up. "What the hell is going on Roger? If you think you're going to carry on with another woman in my house, you've got another think coming."
When Roger and Flo suddenly started to laugh uproariously I think Alice finally got the picture what was going on and she smiled sheepishly. However, I exploded at them.
"One of these days you two are going to go too far and the shit will hit the fan."
"Oh lighten up honey. It's just a joke. If you could have seen the look on your faces you would think it was funny too." Flo told me while continuing to laugh.
"C'mon you guys; let me get you a drink and we'll laugh about it together." Roger said as he headed to the kitchen with Flo behind him, still laughing.
Alice and I just shrugged our shoulders and followed after them while shaking our heads in disgust.
"One of these days Alice, they're going to go too far." I predicted again.
"One of these times one of their jokes will backfire on them and someone's going to get hurt." Alice spoke in agreement.
When we got back to our place that night I think Flo knew I was still pissed, especially about her participation in the prank.
"Honey, I'm sorry," she told me. "I just get carried away sometimes. Nothing happened. I just smeared some of my lipstick on his face and collar and mussed up my hair. We never thought you guys would ever come into the house. We were almost going to skip the whole thing when you and Alice finally showed up. Are you still mad at me? It was just a joke."
"I'm trying not to be Flo, but you've got to stop getting involved in Roger's pranks. I almost had a heart attack when I saw you looking like you were making out with him. You know how I feel about faithfulness."
"I know honey. I feel the same way and would never do anything to hurt you."
"Well, please remember that."
"OK, give me a big kiss and tell me you forgive me."
A couple of weeks later we were invited back to Roger and Alice's for a cook-out on a Saturday evening, but just as we finished eating a call came in that Roger took for Alice. Alice worked at the local hospital as an emergency room nurse.
After he hung up the phone he turned to Alice.
"That was the emergency room. There's been a bad automobile accident and several people injured. They want you to come in right away."
"Oh shit, I'll change and get going."
Ten minutes later Alice was heading to the hospital. After she was gone Roger turned to me and asked if I would help him with a project in his basement while I was there. Flo was quiet during this time and facing away from me. I didn't think anything about it at the time, but later I remembered.
"Sure. What can I do?" I asked as I stood up to follow him to the basement.
"I want you to hold something for me while I attach it to the ceiling. It's not too heavy, but I can't hold it up there and attach it at the same time and Alice is too short to hold it."
"Okay, it sounds easy."
"Trust me, it is and it'll only take a minute."
When we got downstairs, he took me over to a metal support post for the floor above that was installed next to the furnace. He took a small metal box with a power cord dangling from it off his work bench and held it up to the ceiling between the support pipe and the furnace. I noticed that Flo had followed us downstairs and was standing watching us with a smile on her face. Again, I didn't place any significance to her being there or the strange smile.
"Now, I want you to hold this here while I attach it." Roger told me.
"What the hell is it?" I asked as I raised my arms to hold the box. Since Roger was standing between the pipe and the furnace it necessitated that I place my hands around the pipe to hold it against the basement ceiling.
"I'll show you in a minute, but first let me get my tools."
He disappeared behind me to his work bench leaving me holding up the box. Within a second or two he was back and I didn't see what he had in his hand until I heard two quick clicks as something hard and metallic gripped my wrists. Suddenly, I realized that I'd been suckered and I was handcuffed around the pipe. I turned my head in shock to look as Roger went over to Flo and put his arm around her waist as they stood looking at me.
My mind was in a turmoil but I managed to speak, "What the hell is this Roger? Get these damn handcuffs off me."
"Well buddy, you know I can't do that. Flo says she liked my etchings so much that she wants to see them again but we don't want you or Alice around to watch this time."
As he spoke he and Flo turned and proceeded back up the cellar steps. Flo was undulating her hips in an exaggerated manner as she moved.
"Let me loose damn it. You're going too far this time Roger and you're going to regret it if you don't let me loose right now."
"Just be cool for a little while honey, I just want to look at some etchings." Flo said as they disappeared from view laughing and giggling.
As I struggled with the cuffs, trying to see if there was some way I could get free I realized the hopelessness of my situation. The pipe was embedded in the concrete floor at the bottom and bolted in place against a steel I-beam at the top.
Listening I could here them move into the master bedroom right above me and I heard Flo's excited giggles. Shoes dropped to the carpet above me and I heard Flo exclaim, "Oh, that's a nice big one. Bigger than Jim's."
"Hurry and get those panties and bra off Flo. I want you bad."
My rage was mounting by the minute as I continued to struggle mindlessly against the handcuffs.
"C'mon, put that big thing in me. I want to be stretched out for a change."
"Damn Flo, you're one sexy piece. Let me slide it in you."
"Oh god, that feels good. Push it in further and fuck me hard, Roger. That's it, that's it. It feels so good."
I heard the bed beginning to creak above me and I could picture them fucking. I was cursing and swearing at the cuffs and my adulterous spouse over my head. My wrists were scraped raw and bleeding as I continued to jerk and twist against the cuffs. My mind was a maelstrom of emotion as I heard Roger grunting and Flo moaning in rhythm.
End of the original portion of "A Joke"
I gave up on trying to twist out of the handcuffs. But I did notice that the black cast iron pipe I was cuffed to had a joint in the middle. It wasn't a welded fitting but a screwed on type. I couldn't remember where I'd seen anything like that before – nor the black pipe. But it looked familiar.
I didn't care. I started working that damn fitting. If I could get it lose, I'd break free of this hell. Adrenaline was pumping through my system. I hoped I could harness some of it to get out of this fucking mess.
The blood on my hands made trying to grip the pipe difficult. And of course, it was rusted solid. Not going to be easy. But I had nothing but time, while the two idiots were rutting upstairs. I looked around and kicked Roger's tool box closer: nothing in there but a screwdriver, some nuts and bolts and a Vice Grip type pliers. I struggled to get it close enough so that I could get the pliers in my hands.
As their moaning and groaning got heavier, my exertions also got heavier. I sat on the floor and braced my feet against the basement wall. I couldn't get any leverage on the cuffs themselves, so I started working on the pipe itself.
After struggling with it for some time: MOVEMENT! I couldn't tell if the union twisted or if the lower of the black pipes moved, but it had moved. I redoubled my efforts.
I realized that the moaning and groaning was still going on upstairs, and I wasted several moments cursing at the two 'jokers' – if that's all it was.
I quickly ripped my shirt off and wrapped it around my bloody fingers, to gain more traction on the Vice Grips.
It moved again, this time easier. I looked down and saw that the lower pipe had deformed against the lower elbow joint where it went into the furnace. I twisted as if my life depended on it and pushed with my feet.
Suddenly it gave. I fell back and almost knocked myself out on the furnace. It was a big old thing: used to be coal fired, I guess, but had been upgraded somewhere along the way to gas fired.
The pipe gave, and I spent a moment looking at it. Nothing was coming out – nothing I could see. I took a sniff and I knew what the pipe normally carried. A colorless substance, but not odorless. Gas. That's right! That kind of black iron pipe was used for gas lines, sometimes.
I quickly got to my feet and ran up the stairs, dripping blood all the way. I went to the bedroom that had been right over my head.
Not surprisingly, the pair of them were rutting on the guest bedroom mattress like teenagers in heat. That's an insult to the teenagers – the teens would have had more sense than these two did.
Flo was on her hands and knees facing the wall and Roger was behind her. I couldn't see if he was porking her in the pussy or in the ass. It didn't matter. I stood there for a few seconds, blood pooling on the carpeted hallway.
Then I had to get out. Leave. I didn't care about anyone or anything.
I struggled with the shredded shirt around my hands but got into my pants pocket for the keys to my car.
I wasn't particularly quiet as I left, slamming the front door on my way out.
I fumbled with the ignition but the car started soon enough and I slammed it into gear. I backed out of the driveway, flattening their mailbox on the way. I knew that I had lost a lot of blood – it occurred to me that suicides often cut their wrists so they'd bleed out. That was a terrific thought. I could bleed out on the highway, trying to get help. As I raced around the corner, toward the hospital I was struggling to stay conscious. The adrenaline was still pounding through my blood – what there was of it. How much blood could one lose before he bled out? Or was this just hysteria causing me to think I was blacking out?
I heard the explosion behind me. It was very loud and I turned my head toward the sound. That's when I hit the parked car and my car flipped over. After that, it was all dark.
My last thought was that I was lucky to have foiled their joke. Maybe they'd paint a clown's face on the side of my coffin. Ha-fucking-ha.