The Pocket Rocket Man
"A fourteen speed vibrator?" Stanley looked down at the smooth purple mechanical device sitting promiscuously on the dresser adjacent to a half-used silver tube of KY jelly. Denise's parents had only been gone for a few minutes, and already her vibrator was sitting openly on her dresser, thought Stanley. "This girl MUST be crazy in the sack," he said to himself with a wide, gaping smile draped across his face. He slowly leaned forward and picked up the 14-speed pocket rocket and shifted it in his hands for a bit. After looking around the deserted room to make sure Denise was still in the bathroom and nobody could see him through the window, he brought the purple object to his nose and breathed in the intoxicating scent of Denise. A giddy sense of joy overcame Stanley; he knew that he would soon taste that same sweetness for himself first-hand.
Holding the vibrator in both hands, Stanley stepped around the room, perusing the other secrets of Denise's bedroom. Pictures, pictures, and more pictures. A lava lamp stood on the end of the dresser next to an array of pink, blue and purple candles. At the head of her bed, a giant stuffed gorilla glanced angrily down a row of stuffed teddy bears and horses. The desk sitting next to the window was a mess -- biology homework, an empty test tube apparently used for a chemistry assignment, college-ruled papers and assorted colors of pens, paperclips and markers lay scattered about the wooden frame. Glancing upward to the top of the headboard of the desk, Stanley noticed a small fish tank with a single, solitary goldfish swimming to and fro amidst a skeleton and a deep-sea diver from the 1940's. Nearby sat a Rubik's cube and a magic 8 ball, both treasures from the mid-to-late 80's. Elton John's "Rocket man" emanated softly from a clock radio next to her bed. This entire room is normal for an 18-year old girl, thought Stanley. Well, except for the vibrator, of course.
Switching his attention back to the amazing, 10-inch purple piece of fury in his hands, Stanley turned it over and whispered the various speeds, written across the side in bright blue letters, to himself aloud:
13. The Apocalypse
Stanley paused at the last and final setting because the writing had been scratched off. Look at the wear and tear on that baby. Man, she must really enjoy the 14th setting, thought Stanley jokingly. He smiled another wide, shit-eating grin and walked over to the nearby bathroom where Denise was busily making herself ready for Stanley's lust behind the closed wooden door. He reached down for the door handle to the bathroom but decided against opening the door. As much as he wanted to surprise her and jump on top of her in the bathroom, he didn't want to jeopardize the sure thing he had going for himself. Instead, he put his head next to the door, listening to Denise busily making herself irresistible.
"Are you almost done in there?" inquired Stanley softly, attempting to show a balance between patience and anxiety to his soon-to-be lover.
"Just one more minute," replied Denise through the white wooden door. Stanley imagined her standing in front of the mirror, voluptuous and sexy, with her hair pushed back showing off that magnificent neck of hers. It was always the little things that had drawn Stanley to Denise - her hands, the way she turned her face slightly to the side when she smiled, the way her neck looked when her hair was pushed back, and those eyes -- those unforgivingly deep eyes. Once you gazed into those eyes, there was no escape. They swallowed men whole.
"I'll be waiting," answered Stanley, moving from the door anxiously. He returned to Denise's room and took a seat upon her bed, careful not to agitate the already angry gorilla. He knew better than to be pushy with Denise, but he couldn't wait for the ensuing moments. He was not a virgin but his previous female conquests paled in comparison to Denise. She was absolutely remarkable, and she damn well knew it. He had wanted this for over a year, and finally it looked like his wishes were going to be realized. Noticing that he had been sweating from nervousness, he lifted his arms and checked for arm pit sweat. Sure enough, two little dark grey spots, one under each arm, stared back at him menacingly. Bringing his hands back down to his lap, he noticed he was still holding the intriguing purple device in his right hand.
Knowing full well that Denise would be lost in her own world of hair and makeup for at least another five minutes, Stanley pushed the vibrator knob from the "off" position to "Quiver." The purple mechanism delivered a soft hum while vibrating slightly in his hands. Excitedly, he slid the knob farther to "Shake." The hum intensified as each individual rotating gear turned and clicked at 300 revolutions per minute. Stanley struggled to hold the device still - his arm muscles tightened, yet the machine bobbed and weaved violently in his hands. He giggled as he fought the shaking device. "How much horsepower does this thing pack?" he asked himself, chuckling at the idea of what speed 14 must be like. Finally getting control of the device by setting it on the bed and leaning onto it with his right arm, he quickly switched the knob to the mysterious fourteenth setting.
At first, the vibrator did not seem to change speeds at all. It continued humming at the same, steady magnitude as it had at "Shake." However, just as soon as Stanley had made this disappointing observation, the gear clicked into place and a deafening thunder was unleashed upon the house. Gears turned on gears and magnetic and electric fields engulfed the innards, swallowing the hardwired metal components toiling strenuously inside the device. Sheer energy came into being where it had not previously existed seconds before. With an explosion of torque, the limited slip differential snapped like the neck of a small child being hit with a wooden baseball bat. In a single instant, Stanley realized that he had made a tremendous mistake. And in that same instant, the power of nearly 3,000 horses had been unleashed upon his 18 year old, 160-lb body. Stanley screamed loudly, only to have it covered by the inexhaustible and overpowering booming of the purple phallus. The pocket rocket had become just that -- a fuckin' rocket.
The purple bullet launched forward furiously like a drag racer at the first sight of the green light, taking Stanley's arm -- and the rest of his body -- with it. Luckily, the purple missile had been aimed out the window towards the street, or else Stanley would have immediately come face to face with the merciless structure of the bedroom wall. The tip of the vibrator smashed into the window glass, absorbing the majority of the blow and preventing severe bodily harm to Stanley. He jolted forward out the window, still holding the purple rocket, accelerating at nearly 250 feet per second2 towards the horizon. Scattered shards of glass fell to the lawn beneath the window sill.
Denise, who had been concentrating fully on applying her mascara, heard the brief explosion of a jet engine followed by a tremendous thud. The house shook violently for a second, then silence. A picture swung uneasily on the wall of the bathroom then dropped off the nail, striking the floor. Surprised, she stood motionless in front of the mirror for a second or two. Realizing that something terrible had happened, she scurried to the bathroom door and proceeded into her bedroom. All appeared normal except for the absence of Stanley. Upon further inspection, she noticed the window glass was missing along with her treasured purple love device.
At first Denise stood silent. But after the terrible realization of Stanley's accident became clear in her mind, she let out a harrowing scream that shook the walls of the house for a second time. Perhaps somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, or in the open tundra of mother Russia, the anode and cathode of the single D battery stopped producing enough voltage to maintain speed 14. Perhaps over the wide, arid expanse of the Sahara Desert, or over the vast, cold depths of the Atlantic Ocean, Stanley began a tremendous nosedive into the topography lying dauntingly below. Perhaps Stanley's fingers had slid from the device somewhere around Pennsylvania, causing him to quickly become an inseparable part of the eastern deciduous forest. Or perhaps Stanley became acquainted with the absolute zero of the earth's outer atmosphere. All of this is speculation, of course, because Stanley was never seen or heard from again. He had been claimed by the purple pocket rocket that had claimed so many others of his generation.
The guilt that ensued was terrible. Denise knew that she was to blame for the accident - leaving a vibrator with that kind of potential, right out in the open where anyone could get to it! "How stupid can I be?" she repeated to herself as she dialed 9-1-1. The police arrived a few minutes later, and after a state-wide search for the young man, the authorities decided to call it quits. He could be anywhere, they insisted. "I'm sure he'll turn up sometime, somewhere," the police captain had told her a day after the incident. Days turned to weeks, weeks to months, months to years. Stanley had not turned up anywhere.
Denise could not sleep for weeks. She spent each sleepless night plagued with unending guilt and regret. Each time she closed her eyes she saw Stanley's face and imagined the horror he must've felt for the seconds (or minutes) he experienced before losing his life. She thought about the terrible sorrow Stanley's parents had suffered in the loss of their son. And she thought about what the other kids at school would now think of her. Not only had she ruined Stanley's life as well as his family's, she had ruined her own. Who would want to associate with a killer -- especially one who killed with a vibrator?
One night about a month after the accident, Denise decided to take the initiative to stop feeling guilty and to start reclaiming her life. She had seen the damage that could be done with a device as powerful as a vibrator. She went into the kitchen, retrieved a giant black garbage bag and brought it hastily back to her room. Opening the top drawer of her dresser, she pulled the top layer of socks from the drawer. Then digging in farther, she pulled a blue vibrator from underneath a facade of underwear, followed by a black one, then pink, red, blue, blue, red, green, black, white, white, purple, green, and finally a curved blue vibrator and dumped them all into the garbage bag. She reached in again and pulled several more pocket rockets from the drawer. Realizing she was getting nowhere, she wrestled the drawer from the dresser hinges, raised the drawer above her head, and dumped all of its contents into the bag. Nearly 100 phallic shaped objects as bright and varied as the colors of a rainbow, along with the occasional white sock, filled the bag to its brim. Nearly 100 vibrators, each with dead batteries, damaged machinery, or the highest setting scratched off due to overuse.
"Tonight I begin my life anew," Denise said to herself while heaving the 60-lb garbage bag into a dumpster behind her house. "Goodbye battery power, hello manpower."
There are several entities which I must thank for allowing this story to come to life: first and foremost my libido, which has always been there for me through thick and thin; television, for warping me into a shameless and depraved individual; and of course, my creative writing professor and classmates, who have nurtured my deviant thoughts and helped me to gracefully express them through written word. Cheers.
This story also appears in The Coe Review (34:2004), pp. 195-200.