This is a fictional short story, in 1600 words. It was prompted by the above photo, on Fraggle’s blog. https://fragglesotherplace.com/
Kenny loved KoolChat. He had heard his daughter talking about it when her friends were round, and went upstairs to check it out on his phone. With Viv working nights in the care home, he had a lot of free time once the kids were in bed. What went on there made his eyes pop. Hard to believe such young girls were so graphic; with the sex references, and even photos of them starkers. He set up a profile using a false name and location, but didn’t try to disguise his age. Very soon, he was part of a big group in the nearest city, only twenty minutes away by car.
It became addictive, he had to admit that. He had run his phone battery down so many times, he had to make sure it was plugged in, once he logged on to KoolChat. The kids called it ‘K.C.’, and he soon picked up the strange language they chatted in, and the references they used to cover up blatant descriptions of body parts, and sex acts. Sometimes, he was still scrolling through the group feed when it started to get light, and he couldn’t stop yawning all day at work.
It was almost two months before he got the first invitation to meet up, and he gulped as he read how explicit it was. Her site name was ‘BeeGirl’, and she couldn’t have been older than thirteen. The photo she sent showed her with her T-shirt lifted up, and the words ‘Want This?’ written in lipstick on her stomach, above her panties. He felt his face flushing, and he couldn’t sit still.
Once Viv had left for work, he called his daughter down from her room. “I have to go out and meet a mate. Can I trust you to look after your brother, and not do anything stupid?” She shrugged, twisting strands of her hair into her mouth. Kenny took that as a yes, and picked up the keys to his car. “I won’t be late”.
She was waiting where she said she would be, and walked straight over to his car as he stopped. A quick look through the window seemed to satisfy her that there was nobody else in the car, and that Kenny was the same as his profile photo. She looked even younger in real life, and he felt his nerve slipping. BeeGirl was incredibly cool and collected. Not bothering with the seat belt, she pointed through the windscreen. “Carry on down here straight, then take the second on the left”. As he drove where she told him, he could smell her body spray, and hear the squeak of her trainers on the rubber mats. The street she had told him to turn into was a dead end, leading to the gate that once accessed an old factory, closed down long ago.
As soon as he stopped the car, she was out and in the back before had switched off the engine. As he got out and walked to the door, she pulled off her trainers without undoing the laces, then lifted her skinny legs and slid down the grey leggings covering them. He climbed in next to her, and she spoke in a matter-of-fact way. “You have to use a condom. Or if you don’t want to, that’s extra”. Kenny’s heart sank. She expected him to pay. “I didn’t bring cash, I didn’t know about that”. She reached over and started to unbuckle his belt. “That’s alright, you can go to a cash-point in town. I will need dropping off there anyway”.
He hadn’t lasted long. Not that he had expected to, in that situation. And she had only asked for thirty, which seemed reasonable. When she got out of the car, she leaned in and kissed his forehead. “See you on K.C., Foureyes”. That was his site name. He couldn’t see a thing without his glasses, and he had got in the mild insult before anyone else did. On the way home, Kenny took a deep pull on his vape. The Cool Blueberry flavour sweetened his mouth, and the rush of nicotine was soothing, after what he had just been doing. Viv wouldn’t let him use it around the kids. She had a thing about smoking, and had made him give up cigarettes after Jake was born.
As he got ready for bed, he thought about BeeGirl, and her painfully thin body. It had been exciting, but ultimately shallow. It hadn’t occurred to him that anyone on K.C. would want money. He felt pretty stupid, and had trouble sleeping that night.
After that, he chose his contacts more carefully. The lonely girls, the chubby ones with a poor self-image, or the unhappy confused ones who claimed that they just wanted a friend to talk to. Sometimes, they didn’t turn up to the arranged meeting, sending rambling direct messages on K.C. later, apologising and asking for another chance. Kenny got very good at working out who was worth the effort, although his daughter Chloe became increasingly pissed off about his visits to ‘mates’ that left her having to watch her little brother. Eventually, she would say something to Viv, he was sure of it. He had to stay home for a while, let things cool down.
The three weeks seemed like a year. He logged on every night, and watched the constant interaction with increasing frustration. When the kids were in bed, he would walk down into the kitchen, and smoke his vape as he checked the phone. Then one night, he got a new direct message. She was called schoolgirl06, and said she liked him because he wore glasses, and used the name Foureyes. She had bad eyes, and was teased about the thick lenses in her own glasses. She had no friends, and her Mum was out at the pub most nights. She sent a photo of herself, a respectable one, in her school uniform. He guessed that the 06 referred to the year she was born. So many of them used such numbers on K.C.
Over the next few nights, he sent her friendly chat messages. Compliments on her looks, and saying he thought the glasses suited her, and didn’t bother him at all. Over the weekend, with Viv home, he had to leave it alone, and they went to the cinema to see the latest Disney blockbuster, so Jake could come too. After that, they had dinner at Pizza Hut, then went over to see Viv’s parents on the Sunday. On Monday evening as the kids were watching some crap on TV, Kenny walked into the kitchen and sent schoolgirl06 a message. He asked her to send him a ‘good photo’. Everyone on K.C. knew what that meant. Something explicit, or at least revealing.
She didn’t reply until he was already in bed. The photo was pretty tame. Her in her school uniform, with the skirt lifted up around her waist. Disappointed, Kenny turned down the duvet, and took a photo between his legs. He sent it to her with the message ‘I meant one like this’, adding six big red hearts. Her reply was almost immediate. ‘Oh wow!Yes! I want that! Can we meet up, foureyes?’ The arrangement was made for the next evening. She picked quite an early time, and he didn’t know the place she suggested, a small park in a street he had never heard of. But he checked it on Google Maps, and it existed.
Chloe was promised that she could have some extra piercings in her ears. She had asked for a tattoo, and Kenny had laughed at that. “You’re only fifteen, they won’t do a tattoo on you at your age, pet”. She settled for the additional ear-piercing, and some earrings that looked like skulls dangling from a cross. He told her she would get them on Saturday, but she had to look after Jake tonight, and not go blabbing to her Mum. He walked out to his car, and checked the phone. No cancellation from the girl, and plenty of time to get to the park.
She had said she would meet him by the old bandstand, but as he approached the shabby structure, with its rusting railings and peeling paint, there was no sign of her. Ignoring an old man walking a dog who nodded at him, Kenny went and stood by the steps of the bandstand, as arranged. He was exactly on time, so maybe she was having trouble getting out. He would give it fifteen minutes, then check his phone.
The sound of running feet attracted his attention. But by then it was too late. A heavy fist crashed into the side of his head, and as he fell to the ground, the weight of someone falling on top of him pushed the wind out of his chest. There were two of them, and the one still standing was kicking him in the side. The man on top of him had a shaved head, and his breath smelled of beer and cigarettes. The face appeared in front of him, ugly and twisted, the expression a mixture of triumph and disgust.
“So you thought you would come here for sex with a young girl did you, you sick bastard? Well you can forget that, the police are on their way”.
The vape in his pocket had been smashed in the fall, and he could feel the fluid leaking out onto his hip. And one of the lenses in his glasses was badly cracked.
That was hardly going to matter now.