Stephen McQuiggan

by Horror Sleaze Trash on April 29, 2013

Stephen McQuiggan is the star of such movies as Bullit, the Magnificent Seven, and…Hold on a minute, that was Steve McQueen – so who the fuck is this Stephen McQuiggan guy?

 

JACK THE GRIPPER.

If only Julie had given out everything would have been okay.

Baxter had plied her with Breezers all night, spent a small fortune on the damn things, but by the time he had lured her behind the Pigeon Club with the promise of a curry her knees had knit together and her face wore a self righteous pout.

‘Please Julie,’ he groaned, straining to break her two jumper defence.

‘I’m not that kind of girl,’ she huffed, her teeth stained neon blue with the last of his wages.

He trudged home, alcohol sloshing around his veins to the rhythm of his failure. In the murky surroundings of his flat her mocking face hovered everywhere until his thoughts retreated to a familiar base cavern where lay his only solace and the resurrection of his libido. In that dark vault lay the easy comfort of lies.

In his mind her scornful face transformed to wanton lust, her disdain replaced by a tingling arousal. Although she slept miles away in her own bed, Baxter reached below his navel caressing for a short time what he could never have. Spent, he fell into a guilt ridden and joyless sleep, feeling hollow inside; such are the perils of masturbation.

As he lay in the shabby stillness of his room his right arm snaked out from under the duvet and over to the bedside table, his hand groping blindly for the pen and pad he kept there. It began writing in a childish script before folding the paper and placing it in a prepaid envelope. After another brief scribble it put the envelope in the back pocket of Baxter’s jeans, lying like a loyal hound by the side of the bed. Then it returned to the sanctuary of the duvet and moved no more until morning.

When Baxter finally awoke, one eye glued shut and an endless loop of last night’s rejection running through his foggy brain, he found the palm of his right hand to be sweating profusely, so much so in fact that a small puddle had formed there, almost as if his hand had shed a tear.

He spent the rest of the morning planning the rest of the day. A trip to the bookies then a twelve hour cure down the local was the decision he arrived at after hours of contemplation. After struggling through a half cooked breakfast he set off with purpose in his stride and ketchup on his lips.

He met Phil Chambers outside the newsagents and cadged a cigarette off him. ‘You catch the match last night?’ asked Phil, whose severe lack of hangover was profoundly irritating.

‘No, I didn’t,’ said Baxter, also failing to see his right hand pluck the envelope from his back pocket and stick it in a post box. ‘I was with that Julie Bryant.’

‘Say no more!’ winked Phil. ‘Jumpleads Julie! I’m surprised you can still walk.’

Baxter forced a smile, then returned home, too depressed to seek solace in a bar where no doubt everyone would regale him with their own personal adventures with the legendary Julie, emphasising his shortcomings even more.

He crashed in front of the television, drinking until he forgot why he started, then passed out drooling like a broken tap. He came to surrounded by policemen and most of his front door. Whilst a pale constable stared at him with eyes that pleaded for death his comrades tore his flat apart.

‘Got you, you dirty bastard,’ said a snaggle-toothed old man; he was unkempt and wore a raincoat so Baxter presumed he was a detective. ’I suppose you thought you’d gotten away with it.’

‘Away with what?’ asked Baxter, thinking it was entirely possible he was still asleep.

‘Shut it,’ growled the detective, clapping a pair of cuffs on him, chafing his girlish skin. ‘Arnold Baxter, you are under arrest for the wanton and premeditated rape of your right hand. Anything you say will be taken down, altered to suit the prosecution, then mislaid in case of an inquiry. To wit, you’re nicked you sick pervert.’

In the interrogation room at the local station D.I. Groves circled Baxter, sucking on a Park Drive until his lungs squelched. He smoked three in a row before he spoke so that his voice would sound gravelly and authoritative and, hopefully, a tad sinister. Groves stopped pacing and leaned over the table on ivory knuckles to leer at his prey who had begun to shake quite violently at this peacock display of police etiquette.

‘You disgust me,’ hissed Groves. ‘Your type makes me wanna puke.’

‘What do you mean my “type”? I haven’t done anything.’

‘You’re looking at a fifteen stretch. Fifteen long, lonely years, and I’m gonna make sure you get every last one. It’s no good you denying it.’

‘How can I deny anything when you won’t even explain what it is you’re accusing me of?’

Groves reached into the pocket of his brown corduroy jacket, then tossed a crumpled piece of paper across the table. ‘That your handwriting?’

Baxter looked at the creased document then laughed. ‘But this is ridiculous, insane! You can’t really -’

‘Answer the fucking question!’ yelled Groves, loud enough to loosen the sturdiest bowel.

‘I – I – I guess so,’ mewled Baxter, who was then promptly rabbit-punched by the constable behind him.

‘Yes or no!’

‘Yes, yes,’ sobbed Baxter.

D.I. Groves smiled even though he was disappointed he would not get a chance to try out his new electronic truncheon. ‘Arnold Winston Baxter, I charge you with the wilful rape of your right hand and molestation of its digits thereof. Have you anything to say?’

Baxter felt lost. ‘I was drunk?’

Groves produced a knowing leer he had learned at training college, then headed for the door whistling, ‘You Need Hands’.

Baxter spent the next three days in a cell the size of a matchbox. He was kept by himself for which he was grateful. A guard had told him the other inmates didn’t care for his sort and would gleefully tear him limb from limb. He tried to write a letter to his parents, but it was hopeless as his right hand was now encased in a boxing glove for its own protection. He was monitored constantly and warned that any attempt to make contact with his right hand would bring an added charge of coercion.

The lawyer appointed to him was female and made no secret of the fact she despised him. ‘Plead guilty,’ she advised. ‘I don’t want to be around your lustful yearnings in the appeal courts.’

The day before his trial he submitted to an interview with two university graduates who were building up a profile on sex offenders provisionally entitled, The Duality Of Criminal Sexuality In A Patriarchal Society. They hoped to publish it and build a commune for bearded women with the proceeds. They simply couldn’t wait to meet Baxter, the man the press had already daubed Jack The Gripper.

Since his arrest he had become something of a celebrity. Groves had happily informed him there would be a large crowd outside the courthouse, ready to hurl bricks and drink his foul blood.

The two graduates turned out to be heavy set motherly types with Ziggy Stardust haircuts and thick woolly cardies. They hid behind a mountain of textbooks, scribbling into cheap notebooks – Unremarkable to look at and Physically small and insignificant were two phrases he could make out before the pads were hastily snapped shut.

The largest one ( Hi, my name is Cassiomel, but you can call me Miss Cas ) fired searching questions at him, pulling her eyebrows back like bowstrings each time. Baxter had to fight hard to resist pounding the life out of her with his boxing glove.

‘Have you difficulty maintaining an erection?’

‘At this moment in time, yes.’

‘Have you any fetishes such as bondage?’

‘No, but I wish I’d a whip right now.’

‘Do you feel the need to dominate in a sexual environment?’

‘I’m not even sure what that means.’

‘Have you ever felt a sexual stirring toward another male?’

‘Definitely not. Have you?’ Much hasty scribbling from Miss Cas at this point.

‘Do you own a large amount of pornographic material?’

‘Well, I have a computer.’

‘Have you ever looked at your mother in a sexual context?’

‘What the hell do you think I am!’

‘That is what we are here to ascertain Mr Baxter.’

She produced a small glossy pamphlet from her cotton holdall and pushed it across the table toward him. ‘If you wouldn’t mind browsing through this for me.’

He gave it a quick flick through. There were no words, just pictures. Pictures of hands. Children’s hands.

‘Do you feel aroused by these images?’

It took two guards to get him off her.

Afterwards a shaken Miss Cas added, Tendency toward extreme violence to Baxter’s lengthy list of abnormalities, summarising her profile of him as, A rare character emblazoned in a struggle against latent homosexuality who fits snugly into all definitions of a serial rapist and potential axe murderer.

The trial lasted three weeks. Each day he was hauled from an armoured van through a baying horde, his right hand held aloft and draped in a dark pillowcase to conceal its identity, and shunted into court amid the screaming deathwishers that included Judge Bailey, the man assigned to oversee his case.

Baxter’s defence lasted thirteen drawn out minutes, thanks mainly to his key character witnesses nervous stutter.

The Prosecution tore into him with all the malicious relish of a coyote in a morgue. Doctors were cross examined on the state of his eyesight and forced to conclude, in their considered opinions, the attacks had been ongoing since his early teens. Pharmaceutical experts testified on various lubricants and creams discovered in Baxter’s bathroom cabinet. His own mother, wilting under the barrage, even revealed that she could never fully remove the stains from his bedclothes as a boy; ‘They were stiff as riot shields most mornings,’ she opined with a tear in her eye.

But the most damning evidence by far was that of Baxter’s right hand. Blocked off by a screen to avoid intimidation, it wrote a shocking account of depravation that included buttock scratching, nose picking, and being forced to wear kinky gloves of the fingerless variety.

The only consolation to Baxter was that his left hand stuck by him throughout, claiming only to have been used in perfunctory toilet matters and even then only in a voluntary capacity. But it’s script was ragged and childlike and its testimony stricken off the record as unreliable.

In his summing up Judge Bailey described Baxter as, ‘A particularly seedy individual, incapable of forming external relationships and ever prone to force himself on his own body parts which were totally at his mercy’.  He asked the jury to find the defendant guilty on all counts and lock away this ‘danger to decency’.

They agreed.

Baxter was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment and a lifelong diet of bromide, with the added recommendation that he be kept away from dairy produce. Judge Bailey also ordered Baxter’s right hand to be removed and given a new identity bracelet; he also awarded it sole custody of Baxter’s genitalia thereby eradicating any risk of recidivism.

Baxter sat forlornly in his cell gazing at the festering stump where his right hand had been. His crotch throbbed dully over its loss. Right now they were living a new life somewhere in a bottle in a hospital; they wouldn’t tell him where, just that they were doing fine in therapy, and that his penis held no hard feelings.

‘I wonder what old Righty is doing now?’ mused Baxter.

Lefty just flexed in that non-committal way of his.

 

 

 

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