The Devil Women from Satan’s Lair
The best place for fishing was the creek, so
that’s where Big Jimmy, Ray Ray, Cooter, Bubba, and
Little Mike were headed that hot, hazy summer afternoon.
Ray Ray had been the one to suggest it.
“Howzabout we catch us sum dinner?” he’d
asked the assembled group as they lazed around in Big
Jimmy’s backyard. “Big Mike said he heard there’s some
catfish there as big as an arm.”
“What, a baby’s arm?” Bubba guffawed as only
Bubbas could. “Them catfish don’t grow to proper size
there. It’s all that pole-lution what stunts ‘em. But it
does make ‘em awful tasty.”
They all nodded agreement on that point.
Sure, purple water could be hard to get used to, but the
fish that came out of it had a special kind of tang that
none of their wives could ever quite replicate. And it
made it more sporting to fish out of the creek, since
you couldn’t actually see whatever it was you were
catching until you caught it and hauled it up. It made
it more of a contest to find the best and most
attractive lures. Seeing as how they had very little
going on in their lives -- other than hunting, tinkering
with old pick-ups that never moved from the driveway,
working at the plant that produced the purple water, and
bragging about how well they could service their wives
-- fishing lures had become quite a focal point for all
They all went home to grab their tackle
boxes and lures, agreeing to meet up again at the field
that bordered both Big Jimmy’s and the creek. But when
Cooter arrived last, instead of the usual complaints and
comparisons between Cooter and women (both of which,
according to the rest of the group, took far too long to
get ready to go anywhere), he found all the guys
clustered around in a circle. He couldn’t quite see what
they were looking at, but figured it had to be good.
“You guys found a’nuther dead body?” He
tried to sidle his way into the circle but was blocked
by Big Jimmy’s girth.
“Nah, this here’s better’n a body,” Bubba
said. “It’s a hole.”
“What kinda hole?” He pushed into the group
and looked down. Instead of letting his jaw drop, he
“Do you reckon it’s like that hole the guy
found down in Meh-hee-co? The one what turned into a
whole volcano?” Cooter asked.
The guys looked at Cooter, forgetting about
the hole for a minute.
“You serious? Some wetback grew himself a
volcano?” Big Jimmy hadn’t ever heard the terms
politically correct or offensive.
“Don’t know that he grew it himself, but he
found it growin’,” Cooter said.
“But Cooter,” Ray Ray said, shifting the
chaw from one cheek to the other, which gave him a nice,
dramatic pause, “if this was growing into a volcano,
wouldn’t it need to grow up ‘stead of down?”
Bubba nodded. “That does make sense.
Volcanoes are tall.”
It was deep thinking for Bubba.
They all went back to staring at the hole.
It looked deep. The edges were ragged,
making it look more like a crack had formed after an
earthquake than a cave-in or sinkhole. This red glow
came from it, sort of like when you accidentally lit a
pile of gasoline-soaked rags on fire after working on a
truck all afternoon and then fired up a cigar to
celebrate the fact that while the truck still didn’t
run, by the sheer law of probability, it had to be
getting closer. Like that gasoline-fed fire, there were
shapes in the flames. But these shapes weren’t just the
rags popping and burning themselves out. These shapes
seemed… deliberate. In fact, the longer Cooter stared at
them, the more he thought they weren’t just shapes –
they were shadows. Shadows that belonged to shapes of
“Hey, guys,” Cooter whispered, suddenly
aware of something momentous. “I think I know what we
The guys looked at him. The last time they
thought they had found something this interesting,
they’d all thought it was one of those unborn babies
that the clinic in town took out until Cooter pointed
out that it was just one of Little Mike’s daughter’s
dolls that had been out in the mud for a few days. Now
there was an expectant pause.
“This here…”. Cooter lowered his voice.
“This here is one of them portals to hell.”
Shocked silence surrounded him for a minute.
Big Jimmy broke it.
“Oh, is that all?”
“Whaddaya mean is that all?” Cooter asked.
“Well,” Big Jimmy said, “It’s just that the
preacher mentioned those at church and all. I just
didn’t know there were any of them local like this.”
“Wait, wait, wait.” Bubba lifted his ball
cap with one hand and scratched his mostly bald head
with the other. “This here’s a hole into hell?”
Cooter and Big Jimmy both nodded, each
trying to claim credit for the discovery like a modern
day Lewis and Clark.
“So ain’t some of them demons female? Those
succ-on-us?” Bubba asked.
“No, they’re called suck-u-bus,” Cooter
“Yeah, but don’t they live down there?”
Bubba acted like a cat with a cockroach, refusing to let
it die while he was still interested in chasing it.
“Well, yeah,” Cooter said.
“And if we caught ‘em, we could do things
with ‘em? And it wouldn’t be cheating or nuthin’ because
they’re demons.” Bubba lived in well-justified fear of
All the men stared down into the crack with
renewed interest. There were a number of “hmmms” and
“mmmms” from them. No one said anything for a few
“But how would we get ‘em out?” Big Jimmy
asked. He was practical. He figured going into hell
wouldn’t be a healthy proposition for them.
Silence reigned again while they tried to
think through the problem. Finally, Bubba leaned down
closer to the crevice.
“Alli-alli-oxen free! Come out, come out
where-ever ya are!” He took a step backwards eagerly.
The shadows below kept moving in the red
light, but nothing came closer.
Big Jimmy shrugged. “It could’of worked.”
There was some chaw spitting.
Once again, Cooter figured it out.
“Guys, let’s go fishin’.”
“But I don’t want fish! I want a succ-u-biss…a
succ-u-bris…a demon woman!” Bubba said.
“That’s what I mean,” Cooter said. “We go
fishin’ for ‘em. All we gotta do is figure out what to
use as bait.”
Crafty expressions stole over each face
slowly as the men realized what this meant. A fishin’
competiton. And this prize would be worth winning!
They prepared for the fishing competition of
their life and met four hours later at the crack, each
carrying gear. Bubba brought two newly purchased nets,
meant for deep sea fishing. Everyone else was far more
secretive, hiding their purchases in plain brown paper
or wrapped in flannel shirts. Each found a spot by the
edge and quietly put together their lures in the
gathering dusk. They dropped them down in the crevice,
careful to shield their new lures while still in public
view. Then they began staring at each other – hoping,
waiting – for someone else to break and either offer up
the secret of what they were fishing with or
accidentally show off what they’d brought.
They were all sadly disappointed.
Of course, it was fishing. So time passed
while absolutely nothing happened. No one spoke. They
tried not to move, but Ray Ray shifted uncomfortably,
afraid it might be time to call the clinic again.
And, of course, since it was fishing,
boredom soon set in, and they started talking amongst
themselves. It began with Bubba.
“Cooter,” he whispered in a voice too loud
to actually be a whisper. “Pssst! Cooter!”
Cooter turned to him with a look of
long-suffering patience, borne from constantly hearing
“Hey, Cooter, look at this!” followed by giving Bubba a
ride to the emergency room.
“What did ya bait your hook wit?”
There was a sharp intake of breath. Some
questions you just didn’t ask in public. It was worse
than asking what a duvet was.
Cooter didn’t respond, and eventually Bubba
blushed and dropped his head, knocking off his baseball
cap, which he gamely retrieved from the ground.
“I was jes askin’ cause I thought, what
if we all used the same thing? Then we might not catch
‘nything, and how will we know what to try tomorrow?”
Cooter stared at him. Then a smile worked
its way across his face.
“That’s a good ideer, Bubba! We should do
this all scientifical, an’ figger out what doesn’t work
so we ain’t wasting our time.” Even Cooter would admit
they had very little else to do with their time other
than waste it, but none of them liked to admit that out
loud. That would be like admitting that their wives were
right and that deodorant should be used daily and not
just for fancy company.
“But who’s gonna go first?” Ray Ray asked.
“Cause I don’t want all you figgerin’ out what I’m usin’.”
“Uh, Ray Ray?” Cooter said. “We don’t need
to figger it out. The idea is that you tell us.”
“Oh.” Ray Ray let it sink in for a minute,
the way you had to wait for the balloon to fill to let
you know the balloon wine was ready for drinking. “I
don’t think I like that idea.”
“Cooter liked it,” Bubba said. He glared at
Ray Ray. Bubba had done amazing things with his glare.
Kept a sheep farmer from pressing charges, for instance.
Ray Ray nodded. “Well, I s’pose that if
Cooter likes it, it’s okay with me.”
“Then you go first,” Bubba said.
Ray Ray bobbed his head a little, trying to
think of a way to avoid spilling his guts at the head of
“Well,” Ray Ray said, then used his
brilliant evasive maneuver of accidentally swallowing a
mouthful of chaw. He coughed and spit and carried on
quite a bit, but none of the other guys were worried.
Ray Ray regularly ate as much chaw as he spit, and he
never seemed worse for the wear. So they just waited
patiently as he harrumped and ha-rawwed his throat.
“Well,” he repeated, “I got me one of them gold coins my
grand-pappy found all them years ago in that abandoned
“But Ray Ray,” Cooter said. “Don’t gold melt
in the heat?”
“What?” Ray Ray reeled in his hook to find
it empty, but gold-plated. “Those basterd devil-wimmin!”
“Leastways now you got a good Christmas
present for Bobbie Sue,” Cooter said, always looking on
the bright side. “How ‘bout you, Bubba? What you got?”
“Worms?” It sounded like a very drunk and
Southern Greek chorus.
“Yes, worms. What don't eat worms?”
There was more muttering and head
scratching, but everyone agreed that Bubba was right.
Almost anything took the bait.
Before anyone else could weigh in with the
benefits of their own tempting choices, one of the lines
began to play out. Not a whole lot at first, but the
sound of it was as familiar as a hound dog’s bark, and
all heads turned to see who was the lucky man.
It was Cooter.
He had a grin on his face like the time that
cable guy fell off the pole in the middle of an install,
and it turned out the whole town got free adult channels
for a month and a half before they would get another
tech out to fix it. (Of course, the best part for Cooter
was that they’d never actually turned his free channels
off. He didn’t tell that to anyone, though, or it might
have been the end of his free “Playboy” days, which he
was terribly afraid would happen sooner or later.)
The men watched, awestruck, as Cooter reeled
it in. He let the line go slack twice, just for show,
but soon enough he had a bit of a fight on his end and
he had to put his weight into it, tugging up something
he guessed was 125 pounds if it was an ounce. Not that
he actually understood what that meant. He just repeated
it since he heard it on the television.
A thin, red and somehow sexy hand appeared
at the edge of the crack, followed by another. Then a
head, covered by a mass of curly black hair. The body
that followed was tinged red, but svelte and
well-formed. And completely naked.
Bubba’s jaw dropped and brown liquid slowly
coursed in a thin stream from one corner of his open
mouth. “She’s – she’s nekkid!” He gasped. Then he saw
the triangle-tipped tail hanging down between her legs.
“And she’s a devil woman!”
The devil woman slowly turned to him and
smiled, then slowly and seductively removed the fish
hook from her mouth. She followed the line it was
attached to, reeling herself in until she’d come to the
end of the line and rested a fishing-pole length away
Her lips were a deep red, and her forked
tongue darted out to lick them. She looked him up and
down, then just stood and stared.
“Cooter,” Bubba whispered, showing once
again that he didn’t really understand what a whisper
was. “What did you bait your hook with?”
Cooter’s eyes didn’t leave the form in front
of him as he answered. “McDonalds.”
“What?” Bubba knew he hadn’t heard that
right, but the she-demon’s smile got bigger.
“Do you know the last time I had a Big Mac?”
Cooter smiled back at her. “Do you want
another one? I know jes the place.”
He held out his arm, ready to escort his
date. The sound of her agreement was almost drowned out
by the thunder of workboot-clad feet rushing through the
high grass and weeds to get back to their trucks. They
had all been struck by a Big Mac Attack.
In their haste, they didn’t notice the
slight red glow to Cooter’s eyes in the gathering dark
or the pointed tail finally working its way through his