It was a special day for Miri Murphy, a day she had been looking forward to for the past week. She glanced at her watch- in fifteen minutes, she would turn eighteen. It was an important number, one that marked the gateway to adulthood and beyond. She could not afford to miss it or treat it like any other birthday party. Today would be special. Today, she’d celebrate her birthday alone.
At last, Miri turned the corner and was met by the foggy glass door of Slunny’s Bar. The familiar smell of spilled beer and puke hit her the moment she set foot inside but she didn’t mind- she was used to it, being a regular face around here. Miri dodged a drunken man reaching out to hug her and flying wine droplets and set herself on a stool (she had to stand on her toes to climb on) at the counter.
Miri gave Slunny Simms, the bartender, a grin larger than she’d usually given him as he came for her order, polishing a glass like all bartenders do.
“The usual,” Miri said between smiles.
Simms grinned at her. “You sound like a customer in a movie.”
“It’s my B-day!” Miri went on, ignoring Simms’ comment.
Simms tilted his head. “My, my, turning eighteen I see. You’re growing up.”
“Yep, in about-” She glanced at her watch “- ten minutes.”
“Not going for something stronger?” Simms teased as he poured her a glass of wine.
Miri paused to think for a moment. “No…not quite there yet….”
The bartender smirked. “That’s right, you’re eighteen. Afraid too much could get you into- let’s say- trouble?” He set her glass in front of her.
She drank it in small sips, giving Simms a look of surprise. “Really- no, of course not- I’m not…too young….”
Simms leaned in closer to her and winked. “You’re in a bar. It’s normal.”
Miri hesitated and turned in her seat to look around. Most of the tables were full of howling men of all ages- the only women were standing beside their boyfriends, looking drunk and staring at their dates with dreamy eyes. Miri turned back to her wine.
“It’s never going to happen, Slunny,” Miri murmured.
“Of course not.” Simms smiled. “No man could even come near you.” He retreated to his cabinets and started organizing the bottles.
Miri was halfway done with her drink when she felt a warm hand on her shoulder. She nearly jumped and stared up at the man- unkempt hair flying everywhere, greasy beard that hadn’t been washed for days (maybe weeks), breathe that smelled like puke.
Miri didn’t know what to say.
“Go on, Larry! Quit stallin’!”
Miri peered around Larry’s burly body to see a rowdy table of men, all dirty, disorganized, and smelling of sewers. They stared at her with eyes that sent tremors down her spine.
Larry opened his mouth, revealing a row of decaying teeth, and said something that sounded like “Comyunomimi.”
Miri turned away and looked around frantically for Simms for help; to her horror, he was leaning against the counter, watching in amusement. Miri gave him a wide stare- Simms waved his fingers and shrugged You’re on your own.
Larry was coming for a second try. He cleared his throat, stained hand still on Miri’s shoulder and said, in a slightly slurred voice, “You lookin’ like a fine lady today. How old’er ye?”
Miri didn’t reply. Larry’s grip on her shoulder tightened.
“Stubborn lil’ girl. Alone are ye?”
Another question. Miri didn’t answer- her heart was beating too fast.
“Yer comin’ home with me, then.” Larry smiled and Miri’s vision was filled with a not quite full set of rotting teeth.
She tugged her shoulder away but Larry held fast.
“Let go! I’m not going anywhere with you!” She was fully aware of the table behind Larry laughing hysterically. Larry’s shoulders were shaking with drunk giggles too.
“Do it look like ye have a choice?”
Without warning, Miri was dragged off the stool, surrounded by a ragged group of Larry’s friends, and pushed out the back door into the alley. Simms watched the entire show, merrily cleaning a glass. Like all bartenders do. Miri put up a good fight- she was sure she had nailed someone between the legs, she had heard a howl even in his drunken state- but the men were bigger and there were a lot more of them than her.
Miri screamed with all her might but they were too far deep into the alley for her to be heard. Moments later, she was gagged and clawing at any face she could see as they dragged her into the darkest parts of the city. Miri wasn’t sure how many corners they had turned before the drunk gang halted.
They yanked her to the ground- her arms were being held firmly above her head. Miri’s eyes widened in horror as Larry trotted forward, a nasty smile plastered on his dirty face.
Someone whipped off her jacket. Then Miri felt someone lift up her shirt- she kicked in retaliation and two other men immediately pounced on her ankles. Miri writhed desperately but in vain- her shirt soon joined her jacket. Then with a yank that sent a muffled gasp through her gag, her bra was unclipped and throne aside. She stared down in shock at her exposed breasts and felt goosebumps spread along her chest as her skin touched the cold air.
Another man shoved her on her back and Miri saw the blue line of the sky above the gray buildings in the alley. Her spine touched the damp ground and she shivered. Her hands were tied tightly together above her head, the old rope biting at her wrists. She felt her belt slide away from her jeans and several hands yanked at her pants. Miri shrieked and kicked furiously, anything that would slow them down until help arrived. A highly unlikely chance.
When her pants were no longer a problem, the gang, minus the two who were holding down her legs, stood up to admire their work. Miri felt with a sudden twinge that her panties were the only protection she had left. She closed her eyes, lay still, and whimpered in defeat.
They were on her like a pack of wolves. Her panties went flying and the two men holding her legs spread them wide, revealing her vulnerable clitoris. Tears streaked down Miri’s face as she waited for a birthday gift she would never forget.