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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Flesh In A Car

I was eighteen when I met the well-heeled Leighton. I was participating in a community play, it may have been the temperance play Ten Nights in a Bar Room, dancing the can-can with a couple of other girls and speaking one salacious line which I had begged to have but did not understand, "Why don't you come up and see me sometime." I remember insisting that my costume be knee-length, only to realize later that it did not afford me any modesty dancing so high up on the stage. All in all I liked actors very much, they seemed cheerful and very approving of my silly, young self. I was considering a career in theater.

Leighton hung around the theater. He bragged to me that he was a sponsor of the play which seemed...well, what was there to sponsor? He was too old, unattractive, very persistent, and I did not know how to say no to him. I had only ever been on one date before, to a school-sponsored Sweet Sixteen Dance. After Leighton had taken me on one or two dates, going somewhere dull and inexpensive, Leighton's weird "mother" met us at "a gentlemen's club" for drinks. I was too young to drink legally and I did not want to go, I was a sober, innocent virgin. But Leighton insisted, saying that he had a membership, as if that decided everything. I had no idea what the club was but it reminded me of a circus. Everyone was strangely alert and somehow unpleasant. Then I realized that there were mostly-naked girls swinging from ceiling trapeze bars over the tables. (I now understand that it was probably a swingers club.) I determined to leave as soon as possible. After Leighton and his "mother" (who was another guy in drag?) had had their drinks I stood up and demanded that Leighton drive me home. I was not interested in dinner, or anything else in that creepy place. We left the club but then Leighton parked his expensive car on a dark, isolated road and pulling a ring box from the glove box he asked me to marry him. I said nothing, because I sensed that something was very wrong. When I did not take the ring box that he offered, he leaned across me roughly and rifled through the glove box to bring out a silver pistol. He flashed it around in the moonlight while I waited as quiet as a rabbit being circled by a coyote. When I would not acquiesce and I would not quarrel he drove me home. But first he did some vile and shocking things to me, so I never saw him again.

Flesh In A Car

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2021

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