This is from the beginning of Dave Lundy’s new novel (still in development) called “Zero F*cks Given”, a prequel to the best-selling comedy “Squish the Fish: A Tale of Dating and Debauchery”.
Zabka pressed his foot between the naked trespasser’s shoulder-blades, keeping him down on the floor. Bob and Lighthouse stood nearby, scratching their heads.
“Where the hell is Satan?!” Zabka yelled. “I want to know who this fucktard is!” He pushed his foot down harder. “Where in-the-fuck did you come from?!”
The deviant wriggled — his angry screams muffled by the soiled sock in his mouth.
“Goddamnit! Shut-the-fuck-up when I’m asking you a question!” Zabka kicked the guy in the spleen.
Lighthouse raised his hand. “I gotta question. Does this plastic-sex-doll-thing count as a woman in the house? It does, right? And like, shouldn’t we write this down somewhere official? For record-keeping purposes?”
Bob massaged his chin. “Yeaaah, so it sounds like we need to lay down some contest ground-rules.” He leaned against the door entry. “The first rule — and probably the most important — is that the woman must have a pulse. Sound reasonable?” He waited for them to nod in agreement. “The second rule is that someone else must be here to confirm it. I don’t trust any of you fuckers to…”
Two arms unexpectedly wrapped around Bob’s neck from behind. Panic shot from his eyes and a gargling scream rang from his throat. He buckled forward, twisting 180 degrees, and fell backward, squashing the person choking him into Zabka’s prisoner.
Bob rolled over and discovered his assailant was short and, as far as he could tell, from Thailand. As he tried unsuccessfully to identify the Thai person’s gender, they laid there, wheezing and sucking air — the wind clearly knocked out of them.
Zabka pulled Bob up from the ground and yelled at the newest intruder, “How many more of you maniacs are there?!” He used his foot to keep both of them down.
The Thai spit a loogie at Bob and it splattered on his face. “You fucka! You no belong!”
Bob wiped himself clean, leaned down, and punched the spitter in their gender-neutral mouth, scuffing his knuckles in the process.
Lighthouse was on full-alert, bouncing around in circles like Bluto Blutarsky before they took Neidermeyer’s horse into Dean Wormer’s office. “Who’s next?! Bring it!”
Bob shook his hand in pain as it began to bleed. “What a fuckin’ debacle. Are we sure we’re even in the right house? This is messed up.”
A faint noise was coming from above them — like someone strumming an acoustic guitar. Instinctively, they looked up and followed the sound through the walls while it made its way down the rickety stairs. Slowly, as it got louder, they recognized the riff from “Locomotive Breath” — gin gin gin gin, gin, gin — being repeated over and over again.
Lighthouse put his dukes up and elevated on his tippy-toes.
Bob thought to himself, This imbecile ain’t sneaking-up on us. He grabbed the nearest thing he could use as a weapon — the naked guy’s boombox — and readied to hurl it when needed.
Zabka applied additional pressure to the Thai’s sternum while making the shhh-signal.
In silence, they waited…
Then it came into the room — a guy dressed only in boxers, his eyes as red as the devil’s. He saw the ambush awaiting him and, after a noticeably delayed reaction, ceased playing that riff.
Bob and his friends lowered their guard, and he said, “What the fuck, Satan?! Who are these guys?! And why are they in our house?!”
Satan laughed like a snake, “Sss, sss, sss,” if a snake could laugh and be stoned. “These are our roommates for the summer. That’s Narong, and the naked dude you tied up — very creatively I might add — is Mike.”
Lighthouse asked, “And when exactly were you planning on sharing this information with us?”
“When the time was right… which I guess was now.”
Zabka took his foot off of the captives. “These fuckers are damn lucky I didn’t send them to the hospital.” Narong sprung to his feet. “Is this one a dude or a chick… or a combo? I don’t even know what’s going on here. Can someone please explain?”
Narong got in Zabka’s face. “I man! What you, fucka?!”
Zabka, who was about a foot taller than Narong, pushed him away and shook his finger at him. “Now that I know you’re a man — or at least claim to be — I strongly advise you not to do that again.”
Bob looked at Satan and asked, “So what are you doing with the rent you are collecting? I assume you are collecting rent, right? We’ve all been paying our share this summer even though we’re not up here.”
Satan took off his acoustic guitar and set it down. “Don’t worry fellas. I’ve been putting it into an account that I’ll use to fund our utilities until it runs out. That work?”
His official roommates for the upcoming school year nodded in agreement.
Zabka said, “As long as we’re essentially getting paid outta this, I can deal with it.”
“Yeah, I look at it as beer-money,” Bob added.
Zabka took the sock out of Mike’s mouth and pounded his hand on the bed. “This is my mattress… I best not find any jizz on it.”
Mike lifted his chin off the floor and looked up. “No, no, you won’t. There’s none.” He worked a few sock fibers to the tip of his tongue and blew them out. “Now can you please untie me?”
“I’m sicka lookin’ at ya — so yeah, I can do that. And then you’re gonna take all your shit outta here and move into Jimmy the Italian’s room. You understand me?”
“Loud and clear.”
“Good.” Zabka grabbed Mike’s bound wrists and ankles, and freed him.
Bob pulled Lighthouse outside the room and said to him, “Hey, all that shit was crazy, but I need to talk to you about something. It’s kinda important.” The two of them had become good friends back in high school when they both played on the JV soccer team.
“Okay, yeah,” Lighthouse replied. “Let’s go to the living room.”
They arrived and sat down on a couch that was older than they were. Bob began, “As you already know, the last few years have been pretty shitty for me. After my parent’s divorce and having to leave Union College, and then transferring here… well, I’ve been pretty much on my own. Paying for tuition, rent, my car… basically everything with loans and crappy jobs here and there.”
“I’m sorry, buddy. I didn’t realize that.”
“Thanks. Yeah, I haven’t told anyone.” Bob hung his head. “It’s gonna be alright, I just need… and I hate to ask this…” He looked up. “I just need a little help with rent for the first couple of months. Could you…”
“Done,” Lighthouse replied before he finished asking. “I got you covered.”
“Thank you. I really appreciate it.”
“Don’t think anything of it. Okay, let’s go put our bags away and set up our rooms.”
At the end of the previous school year, they moved all of their things from their old house on West Northrup to this house, and used their bedrooms as storage units, never bothering to arrange them.
Bob asked, “You really want the room up in the attic?”
“Yeah, I kinda like it up there — I can escape from the shenanigans.”
Bob laughed. “Yeah, good luck getting away!”
They both walked up to the second level where there were four bedrooms and a bathroom off of a square, central, hallway-type room. Lighthouse had left his luggage there when they heard the commotion coming from Zabka’s room. He grabbed it and continued up the stairs to the attic.
When he got to the top, there were two doors, both shut. One went to his bedroom, and the other had a padlock on it. The locked room also had a sign taped to it with the following written in green crayon, “Darkroom. Entry prohibited! Photography development.”
Lighthouse noticed a bright light coming out from under the door and lowered himself to the floor. He tilted his head and peered through the crack. Befuddled, he stood back up and yelled, “Satan!”
Scene 4 | Scene 5