hardy-boys-by-dougww

This is the first time I have put this rather sordid story online since doing a first draft back in 2008. The intent is a synthesis of the narrative style of Franklin W. Dixon, the nom de plume of the committee responsible for the Hardy Boys books, with the misanthropy of French novelist Michel Houellebecq.

Frank and Joe Hardy, two teenagers living in the United States of America in the mid-part of the twentieth century, approached the seaside town of Bayport, their home since childhood. They were rolling along in their bright yellow convertible and enjoying the view of Barmet Bay. Suddenly Frank spotted several homeless men, most of them in their elder years, down by the wharf.

“That fellow looks like he’s lost all will to live,” he remarked.

Joe turned to look at where Frank was pointing. He saw a figure resembling an old sailor, wearing tattered clothing and sporting a menacing grimace. Suddenly, the sailor set upon a younger homeless person with a knife.

“Frank, look!” Joe cried, impetuously. “We must do something!”

Frank shook his head.

“I’m not so sure about that,” he said. “Given the entrenchment of American laissez-faire capitalism, intervening in this case would accomplish practically nothing. I would recommend we turn a blind eye to the sufferings of the lower social orders, whose status is immutable, and distract ourselves with hedonistic pursuits. Look, there’s a brothel down by the bay.”

Joe nodded his head, conceding that Frank was probably correct.  Their convertible came to halt outside the brothel. Lurching out of the ramshackle door was saw their friend Chet Morton. He was clutching a jelly donut.

“Hey guys,” he cried out. “I had a whale of a time in there, and what’s best about it, they gave me a free donut!”

Frank and Joe laughed at jolly old Chet. As a boy, the Hardys’ affable friend had been repeatedly beaten by his father and made to clean the toilet bowl with his tongue. Chet’s father had instilled in his son intense feelings of shame and inadequacy. Food, compulsive eating, and masturbating were his only consolations now he was an adult.

“How much for half an hour in there?” inquired Joe eagerly, pointing inside the brothel.

“Only five bucks!” exclaimed Chet, excitedly. “It’s a steal.”

The boys bid Chet farewell and then entered the brothel. They only had a total of four dollars and twenty cents left after a weekend of camping in the Fortress Mountains (investigating a lumberjack who had kidnapped his sister) and so the boys were obliged to forcefully negotiate a discount for the services of a whore. At one point, Frank even threatened to have his father shut the brothel down.

“Alright, alright!” said the monkey-faced man at the front desk. “Four bucks it is, but you’ll have to share.”

Frank and Joe ascended to a dimly lit and dusty room where a whore awaited them on a bed. She laughed when she saw them.

“You two look like brothers,” she said.

“We are brothers,” Frank retorted. “I’m Frank and this is Joe. We’re the Hardy Boys.”

Suddenly the whore turned white, as if she’d seen a ghost.

“I don’t know nothing about that little boy that went missing,” she protested. “I was out of town when it happened.”

Frank turned aside and whispered furtively to Joe. “I suspect foul play here. I don’t believe for one second that she doesn’t know anything about this alleged little boy. Let’s just proceed as if we suspect nothing and see if she inadvertently lets slip a clue or two.”

“Clever sleuthing,” Joe agreed.

The two boys proceeded to strip naked and took it in turns thrusting into the whore, who groaned with pleasure. The noise was loud enough to wake up somebody who was stashed away in the nearby closet. This person banged on the door loudly. “Hold on a minute,” said Frank. He investigated the mysterious locked closet door, kicking it open. Inside he found… a little boy!

“I don’t know nothing about him!” shrieked the whore.

“Likely story,” said Joe. “That must be the little boy who disappeared on the night of April seventeenth after his tricycle was found at the bottom of Bullsblood Gulch. What are you doing with him?”

“OK, OK… I’ll confess everything,” said the whore. “The truth is, he’s my illegitimate son. I had to hide him to protect myself from the wrath of my father.”

Frank nodded. “I knew it,” he said to Joe. “Also, notice how centuries of Catholicism have instilled oppressive feelings of guilt in this young woman.” He pointed to the crucifix on the wall. He continued, “She feels unclean to have given birth to a bastard, and yet in only one decade, she will have nothing to worry about, because all vestiges of sexual morality will be eradicated by the Sexual Revolution, as well as the intensification of the commodity culture.”

“You’re right,” said Joe.

“Mommy!” cried out the little boy. He ran to the whore and threw his little arms around her neck.

Frank and Joe laughed.

“Well, Joe, it looks like we’ve solved the Mystery of the Missing Bastard Son.”

“You’re right,” said Joe. “Now where’s that donut Chet promised?”

M.o.M.