Tag Archives: murder

Consumed


Entrée # 1: Hors d’œuvre

There’s blood in my fingers from where you broke them clean

Take another bite of my quivering torso, gut the blade in my spleen

I’ll be alright, my bloodshot eyes roll back at your finer tastes

If you’re planning to murder me, dear, just don’t let me go to waste


Entrée #2: Apéritif

I couldn’t lose it, I wouldn’t lose it, this time, this time I swear

They all look so goddamn tantialising to me, they’re all so unaware

My cracked lips are watering at the thought of flesh rather aged

I’m five seconds away from counting down and going into a rampage


Fine Dining: Plat Principal

The rioting voices in my head screamed “Run, why don’t you?!”

But I’m afraid I’m enjoying my own homicide scene far too much to stop

Turn around, let me see the perpetrator, let me take you through

It’s not fair, with every gland and chemical, they ruptured in another trap


Save Some Room: Assiette à Dessert

What…what the fuck happened? All I see is a decaying cadaver still smiling

And sweet postmortem laughter digging at the back of my head, latching to me

I searched for a drag, lost restraint again, and satisfied myself with my  f e e d

I said that I’ll stop killing for greed, but I never said I’ll stop for what I  n e e d.


 

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Filed under Poetry

murder the moment

i know how

to kill now

but more

importantly,

i know how

to fucking die.

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Filed under Poetry

The Madness of the Mortician

She’s made of hair and bone and little teeth
Things that cannot speak
She comes on like a crippled plaything
Spine is just a string…

The mortician stood in solemn vigil, as motionless as the petite corpse that lay in front of him; a body wrapped in a translucent green body bag that caught the oil burner’s dim lamplight and shimmered iridescently like pulled-off dragonfly wings. The fetid air of coalescing formaldehyde and putrescence tasted bitterly stuffy, damp and stale. On the scratched wooden table, where his instruments were also prepared and patiently waiting, an ancient radio buzzed and crackled with static; the faint echoes of a lost song playing ever so distantly beyond the veil of the curtained morgue and worming its way into the back of his head. He paid it no heed at all, dismissing it as merely white noise as he wiped his hands clean the with a sterile cloth. Outside, nightfall was beginning to amalgamate into a midnight of pure blackness that not even the most resilient of shadows can dare to permeate. He sighed once and checked his watch. Time was running. He had work to do.

I wrapped our love in all this foil
Silver-tight like spider legs
I never wanted it to ever spoil
But flies will lay their eggs…

With cautious steps taken and wary calloused fingers twitching infinitesimally like burnt moth wings, he reached out for the diaphanous body bag and slowly unwrapped the plastic, peeling it painstakingly, yet with an impatient breath held, as if it were a birthday present. But he was fully aware that what would greet his beady eyes would come as no surprise to him at all, given his work and the police records scribbled on the clipboard that spoiled it for him. Still, he braced himself. The pungent smell of decay and sour reek of death began to grow stronger, wafting nauseatingly and hanging around the stale air cloyingly, sticking to surfaces like a demented fragrance. But he was used to it. After all, he had smelled worse things on worse days. Like when he gets those damn bloated carcasses pulled out of canals and lakes after god knows how many days of fermenting underwater, half-eaten by fish and sticky and vile and overall repugnant and a nasty affair. Heaven forbid if more criminals choose to dump their casualties in the river to get rid of them. The taste of the drinking water, that’s what he worried about.

A blowfly softly landed on his hand, jolting him out of his grotesque reverie. He waved it off and continued to unsheathe the cadaver, noisy plastic crinkling intertwining with the radio static, oil burner hissing quietly, the silence growing so thick and viscid that even the perspiration sliding down his forehead could be audibly heard.

Take you hatred out on me
Make your victim my head
You never ever believed in me
I am your tourniquet…

He was prepared for every possibility that could ever occur when he fully exposed the corpse—not that there were many of them, mind you—and yet nothing could ever prepare himself for what was revealed underneath the flimsy layer of plastic. On the cold metal table laid the lifeless body of a small girl, no more than four or five years old, wearing a tattered pastel pink and white dress, soiled knee-high socks, and only one red shoe on her left foot. Her auburn pig-tailed hair was matted and caked with layers of mud and soil, barely distinguishable from her scalp, her pallid, almost porcelain skin looking so fragile that he felt like he would break a piece of it off if he so much as dared to touch it, her gossamer lips a blooming shade of bruised lavender, and her delicate glassy baby blue eyes were wide open and staring at him accusingly.

He blanched, stumbling back for a moment, and reached for his whiskey flask to have a drink. He took a swig, momentarily glanced at the corpse, and then proceeded to drank deeply, almost emptying the flask save for a drop or two to spare. He wiped his mouth with one unclean sleeve and checked the time again. His schedule was turning a little delayed. No more beating around the bush. He must carry on. He must.

Prosthetic synthesis with butterfly
Sealed up with virgin stitch
If it hurts, baby, please tell me
Preserve the innocence…

He steeled himself, took a brisk breath that felt like daggers running down his throat and into his lungs, and with an unsteady gloved hand, he picked up a scalpel from the table and forced himself to continue working. He placed a face mask on ceremoniously with an agitated flourish, and hesitantly faced the deceased child. Let us begin.

To start, he’ll make a Y-incision in her…no, he mustn’t think of her as a human entity now, only a non-living object—its torso, pardon—beginning from the stomach, all the way to its frail chest, and pry its squalid flesh open to reveal and dissect its internal organs. Her skin. Her flesh. Her internal organs. The dead little girl, squandered at such a young age. She was young. So young and hopeful and once innocent, yet now all that youthful innocence has long since been pillaged by the metal weapon of a twisted soulless psyche, devoured and ravaged by ruthless parasites and bacteria, and the scintillas of the remaining scraps of it salvaged and gulped down by possessed, remorseless, feather-molting vultures. He shuddered at the morbid thought and nearly dropped the scalpel. His mind wandered for a moment, then pleaded with him, strung tether attempting to pull him back into a detached rationality. Do not think of her, do not think of her, whatever you do, you must not think of her…

I never wanted it to end like this
But flies will lay their eggs…

But his resolution was futile, and his ulterior willpower was immediately extinguished as the gas lamp flickered and flared defiantly, hissing like agitated serpents, brightening the dank room momentarily, silhouettes dancing fiercely on the little girl’s blank face. He shook his head. It’s but a trick of the light, a mere illusion, a worn-out mind taking negative effect—he must be growing tired. He rubbed his bleary eyes and looked upon the girl’s visage again. Devoid of life, devoid of movement. Nothing. But for a moment, to his disbelief and utter shock, her deathly ice-blue eyes appeared to blink. Both eyes. Blink. Blink.

He started with a roar and crashed backwards, landing on the floor with a dull thud and cutting his hand on the scalpel blade. Letting go of the scalpel, he stared upwards into the motionless corpse in equal parts terror and curious confusion, his heart pounding like the beat of a sovereign marching drum, throbbing head dazed and heavy with blood, breaths shallow and ragged like the edge of her torn dress. He absently held his head with his bleeding hand, smudging his temples with the glistening scarlet liquid. His soul filled with a shuddering dread. No. This cannot be happening. His worst fears, have they been finally realised? Was he regressing into what everyone had warned him fervently against? Was he…was he beginning to grow mad?

Take your hatred out on me
Make your victim my head
You never ever believed in me
I am your tourniquet…

God no. Please, no. Stop. Stop. Stop. The piteous chant in his head was depraved and overpowered by his other detonated senses, the other discordant voices in his head, uproarious and painful to hear, as the radio static gnashed and screeched cruelly, amalgamating into a demonic caterwauling. He dropped to his knees and held both hands against his ears, trying to block out the overwhelming noise but failing to do so, for, he realised, the source was not external. Amid the clangorous dissonance, he could distinctly and vividly hear her sweet, soft-spoken, splintered voice, laughing shrilly and squealing in excitement as he spun her around on the playground turnabout, cheered her on to complete the monkey bars to the very end, and pushed her down the peppermint candy-striped slide, shouting all the way down. But the slide never ended, and the ecstatic shouting turned into a bloodcurdling scream. She was waiting for him to catch her at the end of the slide, but he didn’t show, only empty faith gone to hell, and she fell out of the mouth and collided with the rough concrete ground, skinned her elbows and knees, and cried. Cried alone in the ground as the children around her sneered at her, as she still vainly searched for her absent father that walked away from her, away from her life. The horrid mocking grew angrier, barbarous, louder. The screaming intensified. The muffled crying turned into inexorable wailing, imploring, beseeching, beleaguering as it endlessly asked him why why why why why WHY

What I wanted, what I needed
What I got for me
What I wanted, what I needed
What I got for me…

His daughter. Her crying. His hands. Her throat. His wife. Her mother. The abandoned rundown house at the end of the town street, his abandoned rundown house, infested with restless phantoms and ghosts of the visceral past, raising question marks and concocting urban legends and horror stories under hushed voices and sussurous muttering, passing it on and on and on without ado. The perfect happy family that was immediately shattered on that fateful night much like their photograph that he furiously threw on the wall, and the sharp shards choking reality, the same way the broken glass did as it caught in his spouse’s screeching throat. The fight. The madness that took over. The knife. The screams of NO. The gun. The woman. The girl. The chase. The first shot that reverberated in his skull. The slash that slit skins open and lacerated the beige patterned wallpaper to shreds. A shaky hand doused with vodka. A penultimate warning. The wrong target acquired. The second gunshot that finished the story. The end. The collateral damage. A man dropping his weapons and passing out drunkenly on the stairs. A wounded mother bleeding out and lamenting such a cursed fate with shuddering howls. And the girl. His girl. Dead. Fucking dead. And it’s his fault. Him to blame. His guilt. His conscience. His life, forever locked away in all the insanity like his confined wife in the mental asylum, and buried down along with her darling sweetheart child. God have mercy and damn me, what have I done? WHAT HAVE I DONE?!

Take your hatred out on me
Make your victim my head
You never ever believed in me
I am your tourniquet…

The radio thrummed, piercing through the manic hysteria, His psychosis abruptly ended. The vivid hallucinations and insane delusions faltered back into the crepuscular room he huddled upon. The vehement tempest gradually dragged down into a catatonic still; a quite disturbing calm. The oil burner dislimned into a sombre light, flitting and flickering restlessly against the unpainted cemented walls of that frigid, haunting basement morgue. He held his breath and hitched. Breathed deeply and composed himself. Murmuring deliriously, he removed his madly-trembling hands from his ears and slowly opened his eyes in suffocating fear and trepidation. Dark morgue. Inanimate corpse. Damaged man. Distressing relief.

Lulling himself, he attempted to stand up, steadying himself against the oaken table. But as he clumsily straightened his legs, his besmirched coat sleeve accidentally snagged on the metal tray and he went down again, lightning pain shooting up his spine, the rusted clangorous metal instruments clattering dinningly and crashing down with him, and the vintage radio pulled along with everything else and hitting the ground, its tiny plastic pieces coming apart and effectively killing the only palpable sound in the room.

Take your, take your
Get up out of me
I’m not proud with me…

A subdued silence ensued. He broke down and collapsed into overwhelming contrition and mournful madness once more, this time never recovering, and he crouched there, on the verge of guilt and trauma, sobbing and frantic, face buried in his bloody hands, whispering splintered apologies amid the occasional sickening laughter that escaped his pale split mouth, as all the while his deceased companion watched with her empty glass-blue eyes. His broken watch ceased ticking. The lost song faded away. The cadaver’s lips twitched. The gas lamp hissed once, twice, and instantly snuffed out against the volatile wind, leaving the grieving mortician and the dead girl in total darkness.

I never ever believed in me
I am your tourniquet.

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Filed under Prose

unempathology

waiting sullenly

for nothing

amusing with

pathological lies

thoughts of

arson and murder

a thousand ways

to fucking die

waiting worn-out

contemplating

the demise of both

opposed parties

to who gets killed first

it won’t be a mere

act of cruel vengeance

but an act of mercy.

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Filed under Poetry

When the Rebel Fucks the Anarchy

My alligator blood is starting to show
I know that you know that, I know that you know
Can’t call a bluff with a dead man’s hands
Put a gun to my head and, paint the walls with my brains
Put a gun to my head and, paint the walls!

~*~

I want to set beautiful, dangerous, cataclysmic fires

And fuck the walls up with profanities and paint

I want to stab the living shit out of someone

To control, devastate, and cause trigger-happy taint

I want to do drugs, get hammered, and get busy

With sordid bedroom activities and a paid-for rancid honey

I want to get inked all over my ugly mess of a face

And pierce a thousand rusty needles at every blank place

I want to incite vengeance towards my sorry enemies

Start a fight and start a riot, bad enough to provoke armies

I want this screwed system to get fucked and change

To use lethal weapons freely, of guns and hand grenades

I want to just do whatever the fuck I want to do

Without getting screamed or bitched at, boo-fucking-hoo

I want to be myself, and to crush this cookie cutter mentality

To not give a damn if they think I’m just so bat-shit crazy

I want to be unrestrained, from society’s choking grasp released

To serve my unfair fate and for once, do myself some justice

I want to lose all my control just so I could take it back

For the humanity and the decency and the morality that I lack

I want to be self-destructive and be fueled by nothing but pure hate

And take some goddamn bastards down with me as I detonate

Life fucking hates me anyway, I just want to cause chaos and anarchy

What have I got to lose? I’m just fulfilling everyone’s easy stereotype of me.

~*~

Cut me up and wear my skin
Show me how to live
Tear me down, clean me up
Now spill my fucking guts
Just help me find a way!

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The Lost Anthem of the Damned Empire

Let the God-forsaken bastards sing!
They came like moths to a flame
You left like a house in a hurricane
The wolves are at my door
But I can see the writing on the walls
The wolves are at my door
Waiting for my empire to fall…

~*~

Oh mother, please drop the knife in your hands

I didn’t kill father’s eyes, I hope you’ll understand

It’s the voices in my head stealing hope under my bed

It’s the willingness to carry on only to be left dead

.

Please remind me to be more sorry than I am

For being nothing but a reckless little shit

If you think you can save what can’t be fixed

Why don’t you goddamn stab me with your crucifix?

.

‘Cause I’m just another soul waiting to be fed

Murder my sanity, I’m not right in my head

And when the serpents escape and contrite

It’s time to suffocate and give up the fight…

.

And the diamond in your blood is never enough

(Bite your tongue, you think you’re so clever?)

To pay for your sins and atone for the rough

(Wipe that smile off your face, motherfucker!)

And the admission that presents in middle fingers

(Bite your tongue, you think you’re the best?)

Is a flag of the beaten, fuck all this crying forever

(Fall on your knees and drop dead like the rest!)

.

When did they tragedy leave your bones?

When did the tragedy leave your bones?

When did the tragedy leave your bones?

Did you really think it will fucking leave me alone?!

(Fuck no!)

.

Claw your way from out of the dirt they dragged you in

Savour the taste of the cold poison in their rusty daggers

As you scream against the whispers of sorrowful sinning

It’s nauseatingly pathetic, how you drown yourself under

.

Swallow your desperation and choke on the profanities

There’s no excuse for this miserable shit of humanity

Rancid words and empty promises thrown down the drain

As the agony of every incident sharpens the dull pain

.

You’re fragile and broken, a sniveling useless creature

But don’t let their beliefs suffocate the mentality you have

It’s their fault if they impose, but yours if you sabotage

The only chance you get at mercy, and so help me god!

.

And do you feel the chills running down your back?

(Hear the crowds, do you think this is all over?)

The million insects piercing your spine rotting black

(Hear the crowds, this suffering will last forever!)

And do you still believe that the powerless will restart?

(Hear the crowds, do you think the guillotine won’t drop?)

Why don’t you give the fuck up, and listen to your heart!

(Bow your head down and wait for the beating to stop!)

.

When did the tragedy leave your bones?

When did the tragedy leave your bones?

When did the tragedy leave your bones?

Did you really think it will fucking leave us alone?!

(Goddamn liar!)

.

Let this be the final testament of the bastards

For the cowards and kings, marching up to gloat

Salvation proves fatal, only death shall remain

The sombre march of the anthem is a parasitic bloat

Lovers and liars, intertwined in collapsing church halls

Brick by brick, the horizon collides as everything begins to fall

A thousand cut tongues speak the truth as the holy lie

In the throne of an empire that’s built on vicious violence

Let the world of bones burn and the world of flesh die

Hell is the only truth that makes fucking sense…

.

(And let it be fucking so!)

.

Are you sick of this shit? (If you are, cut yourself!)

Are you tired of failing? (If you are, fucking die!)

Are you worn down by the tragedy? (Then why don’t kill yourself?!)

Put your hands behind your back if you’re sick of this sorry suffering! (Hear!)

.

For heaven’s sake, let’s scream about all this bullshit until our scarred wrists are fucking numb!

.

(When did the tragedy leave your bones?

This is a nightmare, you should have known

Why did you let tragedy break your bones?

When you know it won’t leave you alone…)

.

Break the walls and let this damned kingdom fall!

~*~

It’s the start of the end! Surrender the throne!
The blood on my hands covered the holes!
We’ve been surrounded by vicious cycles!
The end—and we’re truly alone!
The scars on your heart are yours to atone!
We’ve been surrounded, let ’em sing, let ’em sing!

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The Girl On The Train

“I have lost control over everything, even the places in my head.” ~The Girl On The Train; Paula Hawkins

~*~

The start was the year

The broken was the fall

The night was the fear

The murder was the call

Caught into a secret lie

The witness exchanged

In the blink of her eyes

Her perception changed

On darkness and vomit

Stalked a nuclear family

A crime witnessed writ

Eyes unfocus unreliably

Screaming for their life

And blood hits the floor

Twist that dulled knife

Burn down all the doors

As a love goes screwing

The confessions infest

A person goes missing

Dug into a ruined mess

When a heart runs wild

And the pain sets again

The suburbia is defiled

Alcohol always listens

It screams like the train

And burns down tracks

Of their mistaken pain

And a gruesome attack

On shattered memory

The suspense gets lost

Divorces, drunk sorry

And all that it has cost

The blackouts are gory

Stale violence so grim

Can’t tell the full story

Only the ones on skin

But pieces will unlock

And truth can be found

Of a nice liar that knocks

A mistress under ground

The start were the lovers

The broken were the sins

The night was the horror

And the murder was within.

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Fly Me To The Moon

12:35 AM. She took a long drag from her cigarette, Sinatra’s smooth timbre crooning about love in the background, as thunder rumbled heartily outside, accompanied by jagged flashes of sharp lightning that streaked the rainy midnight skies.

Sitting alone on a tall creaky barstool and leaning by the countertop almost choreographically, cigarette held quaintly on one hand and poised with a radiating air of regality, the intriguing charm and the allure of the mysterious woman had an effect that made heads turn, eyes pop, and hearts beat out of their chambers. She had a stunning slim figure, the short black silk dress that she wore flattering her form breathtakingly, fabric glistening with water droplets that shimmered under the low sodium lights. Her usually cascading honey-blonde hair, now pulled back in a tight bun, dripped water onto the dirty black-and-white checkered linoleum floor; the occasional stray strands she blew away from her porcelain-smooth face. Her delicate hands were quaint and slender, her glinting sharp nails painted a perfect cherry-red. Her flawless lissome legs were crossed quite exquisitely, bright five-inch scarlet stilettos almost—but not quite—touching the floor.

With smoky grey eyelids, thin streaks of perfectly applied eyeliner that ended in a slight curl, and pencilled eyebrows arched ever so slightly in a manner of allusion, she observed with drooped caramel-coloured eyes, scanning heedlessly in a state of curious ennui, her sophisticatedly jaded gaze passing all throughout the small room, before returning to pay attention only to her cigarette and ignoring the simmering brewed coffee that sat on the marble countertop, waiting patiently in front of her.

The old dingy 24-hour diner, as the woman noted, was virtually empty, some worn-down plush red chairs and neon decorated vinyl booths that have already lost their colour occupied by a small motley crew of shady figures, nocturnal regulars, and one or two lost souls that got caught in the unpleasant weather and found no other roof to huddle under, simply waiting for the rain to pass. A green and yellow broken fluorescent sign flickered tepidly by the glass door, inviting everyone that might pass by the diner that the said establishment was “_PEN”.

The barkeep, a hairy overweight man in his late 50’s, with thin wispy hair and several balding spots, a gruff military demeanour, and a permanently stained white apron, was sitting hunched in a dimmer corner of the place, scratching his liver spots while absentmindedly flicking through a day-old newspaper. Occasionally, he would also chance to shoot the mysterious woman quick furtive glances, then he would resound a guttural harrumph from the back of his gravelly throat and resume turning the pages, as if she wouldn’t have noticed.

She merely disregarded the barkeep’s lewd pervading eyes, very much accustomed to the uncalled-for attention, and continued occupying herself with her cigarette, taking a prolonged drag, breathing in the fumes deeply, and, upon exhaling, blowing plumes of smoke out of her puckered ruby lips, the grey tendrils curling up and creating intricate abstract patterns before dissipating into thin air. She peered at them with daydream-gloss eyes, as if lost in a train of thoughts.

“Got caught in the rain, dintcha, hun?” A voice suddenly interrupted her convoluted reverie, a silky baritone voice, almost purring and sounding ever so close to her right ear. Alarmingly close.

Startled by the intrusion, she snapped out of her slight trance and swiveled her head towards the distraction, gossamer flaxen tresses fanning softly with loose strands of hair, chin tilting up haughtily in slow motion, welcoming the intruder with her finest chatoyant glare. What greeted her sight was a lanky and weather-beaten man with a comical wolfish grin, possibly in his mid-40’s, donning a grey flannel suit that was even more so drenched than she.

Strange, she thought warily. This man snuck up on me. She hadn’t noticed that he positioned himself next to her. Matter of fact, she didn’t even hear the rusty wind chime by the door tinkle to signify his entrance. She shook her head infinitesimally to clear her mind, and glanced at the man unsurely. He looked back at her with one brow raised and a half smile, as if expecting an answer.

“You did, dintcha? Caught in the rain, I mean?” He repeated.

“And so were you, my dear gentleman.” She pointedly replied, speaking for the first time since she entered that diner, her voice husky and sweet, like soft cream dissolving in hot coffee.

He simply laughed heartily, either failing to catch, or choosing not to notice, her indignant tone. “That obvious, huh?”

Setting his wet trilby hat on the countertop, the man ran a rough hand through his slicked-back salt-and-pepper hair, drops of water mixed with greasy hair product falling from the tips, and shook himself off like a newly-bathed dog. With that, he sat next to the woman, the barstool making a groan of protest under his heavy weight, and began telling a story that frankly, no one asked to hear.

“Yeah, we got some real nasty weather outside. Been livin’ round these parts for what, a year now?, and I haven’t this dammed town pour down like this in ages. And I was just coming home from business. Usually don’t stay out this long, god knows how terrible overtime can get, but that damn Andriacchi, ballsy as ever, took long strides that w’aint even in the contract, making it take far too long to seal the deal. Had to wait the entire thing out, nearly whacked Andre, as we called him in the office, several times, but he thank his God I didn’t, and by luck of all bad lucks, damn rain had caught me before I could even attempt to catch a bus.”

The woman smiled politely at his lengthy narration but said nothing in reply, looking down and pretending to be engrossed in her cherry-red nails.

But despite her blatantly-obvious disinterest to carry on the conversation, the man still persisted. “And how about you, my dear lady? What were you doing before this raging storm came to claim the land?”

The woman sighed inwardly. This man is becoming a bit too nosy for comfort, she thought. But she didn’t wish to come off as rude, so she decided to play along.

“Oh, I was waiting for someone. Nothing much in need of attention.” She replied, waving her hand with the cigar airily, fingers passing through silver smoke, her sultry voice slightly accentuated now. “My, I don’t have to tell the whole thing, do I?” She asked, placing a hand softly on her bosom and feigning slight horror at the discourse.

The man laughed his booming laugh once more, clearly amused with her little playact. “Not if you don’t want to, of course.”

The barkeep, who had been sneakily eavesdropping in their near one-sided conversation for a while now, set down his dogeared newspaper and decided to intervene. He set a meaty hand down forcefully on the countertop, rattling the cups and coasters placed on top of it, and brashly interrupted their chat. “Ey, look ‘ere man. Ye come ‘ere lookin’ fer pur’ty ladies te bother er ye gon’ order sometin’? If ya ain’t, then imma ‘ave ‘te kick ye out. I needa make ‘e livin’ here, an’ not simpl’y serve ‘es people’s glor’fied ‘mbrellas.”

The man raised his hands up in a sign of good faith and apologised in surrender. “Oh, I’m so sorry, my good man. I meant no harm, after all. I suppose I’ll have a cup of Joe, make that black. And nothing else at the moment, thanks very much.”

The disgruntled barkeep grumbled an undecipherable snarky retort in annoyance, mumbling profanities all the while, but grabbed a dusty chipped cup off the shelf and poured man some stale coffee anyways. Taking a brown-tinted towel that was hanging limply from his hulking shoulder, he started wiping the puddles of water off the countertop, very much tempted to knock off the man’s sodding hat onto the floor in the process, but he didn’t.

After pausing shortly to take a careful sip at the scalding black liquid, the man piped up once again, restarting his and the woman’s hanging small talk. “So…who’s this guy you’re waiting for? Someone special?” He smirked cheekily, as if thinking of insalubrious entendres, and teasingly suggested with a playful glint in his cold sapphire eyes, “Ah, your lover, perhaps?”

The woman nearly choked on the cigarette smoke at his brash rhetoric, but she managed to return to her insouciant composure. Exhaling trails of steam, she scornfully shook her head, perhaps a little too defensive in her denial, and blots of water flicked from her hair and dotted the recently-wiped countertop. The barkeep snorted disdainfully at this and roughly wiped off the quivering drams with a flick of the wrist, making his action prominent and loud and accompanied by more cussing under the breath and obnoxious muttering.

The woman ignored the irked barkeep and finally replied, “Oh no, no. Heavens, no. Nothing of that sort, thanks very much. Just an old relative who came to town, and I simply wanted to say hi. He wasn’t all too pleased with the prospect of seeing me though, and after a bit of bickering between us about petty things, we got into some exaggerated quarrel and a disagreement, and he hurried away to god knows where, leaving me to catch pneumonia in the rain.”

She said those last words lightly in jest, yet still with noticeable spite and suggestive bitter undertones between her gritted teeth.

Bindle stiff didn’t even give you a ride home. Pigheaded uncultured prick.” The man only replied, his tone surprisingly dark now, his reddened hands slowly clenching tightly, the initial cheery ebullience in his personality gone and replaced with a furious seething vendetta. “What gives him the nerve to be abandoning such a beautiful lady such as you to get caught in such a harsh rain? If I ever see that guy’s face here, hell, he better run for his life ‘fore I go give him a good taste of this.” And he punctuated his sentence with a strained fist slammed loudly on the counter.

The plangent bang of his terse hand, accompanied by the clangorous rattling of their disturbed coffee cups, rang clear and sharp throughout the small space of the diner, throwing the midnight’s peace off its momentum, making everyone stop with their static chatter and grow suddenly quiet.

“Oi! Watch ‘de mahog’ny!” The barkeep scowled, waving the besmirched towel at the man threateningly. “Unless ye plan ‘te pay fer it, dun’ break it, ye snot-faced bast’erd.″ Some off-put onlookers glared at the man disdainfully and huffed rather condescendingly before going back to their meals and drinks.

The woman snuffed out her cigarette, faint traces of ashes adhering to her exquisite fingertips, and stared at the angry man almost frightfully. “Oh, dear me. I didn’t mean to upset you. I’m quite fine, really.” She said softly, her sultry voice dropping an octave, barely above an audible whisper.

The sound of her hushed tone immediately relaxed the man’s rage and pounding heart, and his sudden burst of anger died down. Removing his agitated fist from the countertop, he shot a sincere apologetic glance at the glaring barkeep, who was wiping some crystal glasses and muttering spitefully about the man (“Bad enuf’ ye’ swagger ‘ere an’ only order coffe’, naw, but ye gotta break sumthin’ too…”), before turning to look at the woman.

″I guess I should explain.″ The man said in an equally quiet voice. He sighed heavily, cleared his throat, and began to relay another tale again. And this time around, she decided to listen.

“I didn’t mean to—I, um, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have lost control. It’s just, my wife, she, uh, she recently…um, how’d you say this politely…right, she just recently passed away. And I was a wild man back then, I’d left her alone until the dawn breaks, but she’d keep waiting for me, waiting while I went on drinkin’ and having the time of my life with my buddies and messing around with chicks and all that. She was persistent, Katherine was. Waiting, waiting outside, peerin’ and lookin’ and starin’ out the windows hopefully to see me return, until one day, well, hah, one day, she were home alone, and some damn burglars burst in. Those thieving sons of bitches took everything. Even her life. And the bastards didn’t even leave her untouched.”

The man swallowed hard at the final word, his steady booming voice finally cracking and choking him up. The dark implications quickly dawned on the woman, the staggering impact of his story rendering her dumbfounded for once. He merely looked down at his coffee in shame, trying to hide his pained tears unsuccessfully, as she stared at him in surprise upon the revelation, her scarlet mouth slightly gaped, her almond-shaped eyes now rounder than an orange.

“And at the very end of it all, I was the one that was left waitin’.” He scoffed hollowly, sneering at his own morbid joke. “Karma, huh.”

“But it wasn’t…it wasn’t your fault.” The shocked woman tried vainly to console him, but he only buried his etched stone face deeper in the shadows and shook his head stubbornly, refusing to look at the woman’s glistening umber eyes.

“No. No matter how hard you try’n to spin it, it’s still all my fault, miss. I left her alone. I let her die. I let her wait forever. I let her be desecrated and killed by some filthy ten-cent thieves.”

The woman fell silent as he recovered from his despair and slowly straightened up, looking outside the windows, into the clashing darkness and water of the distant fallen night, remorseful regret replaced with newfound determination. “And now I swore to myself that I would protect any lady that I could, no matter what it takes. And I ain’t leaving no one waitin’ anymore.”

The woman finally managed to purse her hanging mouth closed, and she bit on her lower lip as she gazed at him with pitying yet understanding eyes. “That’s…tragic. It’s not much, but I’m very touched. Really, I am. I’m very sorry for your loss.” She didn’t know what quite to do, so she reached out a hesitant porcelain hand and patted his back comfortingly.

“I’m afraid to say though, that you can’t protect me anymore. It’s quite a bit too late for that, now. And you can’t be everyone’s avenging angel, you know. But that’s okay. You’re a noble man with a noble cause, that’s for sure.” She sincerely assured, then paused to consider. “If not coming off as a little nosy at times, that is.″

The man burst into a warm chuckle at her little chide, and the woman, glad to have lightened his spirits, smiled brightly in return, her ruby lips splitting open, showing him her perfect row of gleaming white teeth, smoky eyelined lids softly winking in assurance.

With that, the high-strung tension that initially enveloped the atmosphere was instantly broken, the casual background ambiance of the diner quickly returning again, with the pattering rain, amicably chattering costumers, and the hissing sizzle of the greasy grill accompanied by the starting drumbeats of Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me To The Moon.

“Oh, I absolutely adore this song.” The woman gushed sultrily in awe, as she closed her eyes and started humming and swaying her head along to the jazzy tune, her comely countenance wistful as she listened intently, lost in the haze of the blaring trumpet notes.

The man smirked in affirmation. “I agree. Lemme tell you something, this Frank guy, everyone thought he wasn’t gonna be nothing, but now he definitely got his steppin’ stones on stardom out there. And he deserves it too, oh yes. Ol’ blue eyes’ voice is simply absolutely great, and what’s even better is that all the ladies love him.″ He stopped his tirade momentarily, derailed by an amusing thought. ″Y’know, tell you what, I could actually sing too.”

The woman only looked at him with coalescing disbelief and challenging eyes, a hint of a smile playing on her carmine lips. Without a moment’s hesitation, the man stood up and cleared his throat grandiosely to get the small crowd’s attention. Heads turned and watched as modulated his voice in faux preparation, placed his soaked trilby hat back on his head and tipped it angularly for an added jaunt and flair, and he gently took her elegant hands in his, suave as he gazed at her meaningfully and winked. The flustered woman couldn’t help but blush, her usually pale cheeks now a pleasant shade of tickled pink.

And with that buildup, the man opened his mouth and finally began to sing along.

“Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars…let me see what spring is like, on Jupiter and Mars…in other words, hold my hand…in other words, baby, kiss me…”

And indeed the man sang. Horribly off-key. Trying absurdly hard to imitate Sinatra’s sonorous smooth melodies, but utterly failing to do so, and instead ending up wailing like an insufferable beached whale, and once again causing a slight disturbance among the diner, not for the first and the last time in that rainy night.

The quick-tempered barkeep, vexingly exasperated and finally done in with the man’s bamboozling antics, heaved the dirty towel directly at the man’s face and, shaking a threatening meaty fist, hissed indignantly at him to “Pipe ‘de ‘ell down, will ya?!”. Several straying onlookers laughed under their breaths at the comical scene, welcome at the break from monotony, and more amused than annoyed.

The woman could only giggle at the man’s poor attempts to sing, and she laughed even harder at his slapstick attempts at removing the disgusting towel from his face. She pulled her hand away from his grasp to nudge him scoldingly as he stumbled backwards and nearly tripped, still partially blinded by the foul-smelling cloth.

“It was absolutely perfect until you opened your mouth. How could you do such a terrible thing to such a good song?” She chastised playfully, tutting disappointedly and wagging one painted finger at the man.

He joined in with her mirth and let out a small cheer as he finally managed to remove the antagonising towel from his visage, the woman clapping jestingly at his mini success. He tossed it away onto the counter, accepted her offer of a crumpled tissue, and wiped his face thoroughly with it, before returning to his seat and finally settling down. “Hey, I did say I could sing. I didn’t say could sing great.” He quipped.

With nothing else left to say, and lulled by the song’s instrumental interlude, they sat taciturn for several minutes, letting the song continue to play in peace, her eyes closed in contemplation and tapping her long cherry nails on the counter, him whistling along to the tune merrily as he drained his coffee cup to the very last drop and asked for a refill from the disgruntled barkeep. Finally, the woman decided to break the comfortable silence, and grazed the man on the shoulder.

“Here. Keep this for me, would you?” She requested, removing a simple golden ring from her hand and dropping it on his palm. “It was my grandma’s. I inherited it from her, and I was very dear with her, so this quite special to me. But well…call me absolutely mad for giving it away so easily, and to a complete stranger too, but somehow…I just really want you to have it.”

The man gaped blankly at the ring flashing back at him on his palm, unable to digest the news. “But…I can’t…I can’t accept this. What—what’s it for?” He blanched, trying to return the ring to her. She simply waved away his futile endeavour and took his calloused hand with the ring, balling it into a tight fist and patting it in finality.

“Oh no, don’t worry too much about it. I have no more use for this ring, honestly. And it’s highly possible that we never cross paths again, so I give to you as a present, as a memento, from the girl that you saved, to my avenging angel.” She said with a curious wink of her mocha eye. “Just trust me on this one, okay?”

Before the confused man could muster out a reply of thanks, the door of the diner suddenly opened with a prominent tinkling sound, interrupting their conversation.

Both heads turned to look as a stern-looking elderly man wearing a brown suit stepped in, tossing his soaked tweed jacket on the coat rack carelessly and placing his wet umbrella by the side of the doorway. His brown oak walking cane, lined with a streak of affluent gold at the side, made a rough tap-tap-tap sound as he walked briskly, impatiently making his way towards a nearby formica table, as if even the tiniest milliseconds of time was something he did not wish to waste.

But as soon as the old man spotted the woman staring at him very intently, he immediately stopped walking, his black beady eyes widening and threatening to pop out of their sockets, his wrinkled face turning deathly white, his austere personality morphing and revealing his vulnerability, as if he had seen a ghost.

The man noticed his startling expression in contrast the woman’s equally-terrified one, and his breath hitched at his windpipe at the realisation. He cleared his throat quietly, as if wishing to dislodge the growing hard lump in his throat, and leaned in closer to the riveted woman.

“…Is that him? The man who stood you up?” He asked cautiously, his voice low and urgent. The woman could only nod stiffly in reply, skin quivering faintly as her worried eyes were still locked upon the old man’s glare.

The old man’s cane made a startling clattering noise as it fell on the floor, resonating hollowly and juddering every patron’s soul. This sound seemed to give the old man a start, as he mustered up enough courage—or foolishness—to make use of his voice. “You…! But-but how could this possibly be—?!” The old man stuttered out. He pointed an accusing tremulous finger at the woman. “You’re supposed to be dead!”

The barkeep, whose mind was on automatic and had been rather engrossed in carrying on with his torpid tasks, finally took notice of the disturbance and stopped rearranging the newly-washed plates. He glowered in irritation at the old man. “Wossa big idea’r, eh?!” He snapped angrily. “Get de’ ‘ell outta ‘ere an’ bother some’un else, ya nasty geezer!”

Ignoring the frazzled barkeep’s immediate demands, the old man hastily reached for his back pocket, pulled out a .45 calibre gun, and pointed it directly towards the woman, trembling and continuously babbling some undecipherable chants, occasionally mumbling a more coherent death threat like “Dead!!! The dead should stay dead…” in a fit of insanity.

The usually-tough barkeep stepped back in alarming surprise at the procurement of the weapon, accidentally dropping a newly-washed plate, which shattered loudly on the linoleum floor.

The sound jolted the entire diner into action. Commotion and panic immediately arose. A morbidly obese woman wearing fake jewelry pearls clutched her purse and shrieked in fear. A worn-looking businessman snatched his briefcase from the floor and held it defensively. Someone, in their haste to try escaping from the madman, accidentally bumped into the still-playing jukebox, ceasing Sinatra’s croons at “Fill my heart with—”.

As the delirious shivering old man cocked the gun and fumbled with one unsteady hand to clutch the trigger, something in the man’s mind instantly snapped, and he stood up and fearlessly faced the armed old man with his chest puffed out, filled with a mélange of sheer bravado and unadulterated rage.

“Dead?! I’ll show you dead, you disgusting old creep!” He yelled out boldly, advancing aggressively towards the old man. With a strength he didn’t know he possessed, the man harshly pushed the gun’s muzzle away from his face, which, fortunately, was quite easy enough, for the old man was so severely shaken that he had trouble gripping it tightly. The man then pulled for the gun and yanked it out of the old man’s hands, dropped it cautiously on the floor, and kicked it away. He grabbed the insensible old man by his collar forcefully, lifted him a couple inches off the ground with one hand, and with a final burst of power, knocked him down to the ground with one swift powerful punch straight to the jaw using the other.

The old man lay there unconscious, and didn’t stir for quite some time.

The man, rubbing his sore knuckles gingerly, turned away from the knocked-out fellow and saw that the woman was already gone. Hearing the backdoor slam open, he impulsively grabbed at his pocket and threw a couple dimes at the countertop, grabbed for his still heavily-soaked tan trenchcoat—which made the coat rack fall loudly and spill its contents, and ran towards the sound to find her, ignoring the other fleeing customers’ frantic discordant shouts and pushing past the shocked barkeep, who was reaching with a visible shaky hand for the telephone to call the police.

His boiling blood was rushing wildly, his panicked heart was pounding deafeningly in his ears, his coursing adrenaline working its way to his body and legs as he ran against the frigid hurricane winds and the stinging blades of the raindrops, resolutely fighting against the chasm of the hysterical storm. He wanted to shout out to her, to call out her name, but much to his deep chagrin, he realised that he never asked her for it, nor was it given to him.

“Where are you?!” He bellowed in a fit of desperation, rain blurring and impairing his vision and seeing only occasional flashes and glimpses of the woman’s black dress, or her blonde hair, or her red shoes, teasing him, tossing him, taunting him to deliria, as he twisted left and right, darted down the abandoned streets, and crossed through dirty suspicious alleyways relentlessly.

After what seemed like hours of chasing mere spectres and thin air, the man finally came to a literal screeching stop, nearly slamming headfirst upon a tall graffiti-infested wall, and found himself standing in front of a dead end, quite literally. Mottled hairy rats scuttled about the blind alley harriedly, bits of trash and dust blew everywhere as they were caught in precipitous winds and torrents of flooding water alike, and a conglomeration of filthy skittering cockroaches were congregating by a soggy pizza box.

Panting, frustrated, drenched, worn-out, and severely tired, the man can only groan disappointedly in defeat, carelessly leaning his hand against the grimy wall to catch his breath and rest. But in doing so, he accidentally kicked aside a pile of waterlogged newspapers, and something that was just a little harder than paper.

Looking down at his ruined muddy pennyloafers, he saw shreds of torn paper, an empty plastic bag from a local grocery store…and a withering slender hand with a pale circular ring mark on one finger, long nails painted a perfect cherry-red, and fingers clutching a snuffed-out cigarette, sticking gracelessly out of yesterday’s headlines.

He threw his head back and screamed in consternation. The rats squealed. The cockroaches scattered. Thunder boomed angrily overhead. Shrill police sirens abruptly pierced through the soft pattering of the dripping water, as the dying rain slowly came to a tranquil stop, leaving only the echoing howls of both man and shearing wind.

~*~

And indeed, the dead woman who had been found under day-old headlines had become the new headline for the newspapers the very next day. WOMAN FOUND MURDERED IN AN ALLEYWAY, they all announced in bold and bright red uppercase letters, baiting for curious attention from the rushing passersby, tabloids and reliable sources alike propped up on newsstands and magazine stalls on every busy street that morning.

Supplying the specifics, the tawdry detail for detail articles mentioned that the victim’s name was Christine Emica Evans, 30 years old, an out-of-work actress from lower downtown. She was brutally raped before being finally murdered by her own uncle from her father’s side, Thomas Elcott. Elcott, 67 years old, was a ruthless and renowned businessman, infamous around the city and, according to several unaccounted rumours, a suspected honorary member of the Mafia. The dry monotone narration included snippets of quotes from the police, including one that stated the assumed reason for the crime was that Christine’s deceased father supposedly owed Thomas a huge sum of debt and she was not able to pay it under the given deadline, and they failed to talk it out and settle on a peaceful negotiation, instead getting on each others’ nerves and having a fallout.

Forensics estimated that she had been dead for about five hours before she was found. She was instantly killed by a bullet that entered her frontal cranium, passed through her brain, and exited the back of her head, at about 11:30 PM on Sunday. The suspect was found also dead inside Good Joe’s Diner in 6th Avenue, leaning against a wall, with a broken jaw, a .45 gun clutched limply in his left hand, and a bullet in his head. Several reliable witnesses attested that it was suicide, carried out by Thomas in a fit of madness after rousing into consciousness, only several moments after the anonymous man who broke his jaw fled from the scene.

Detectives interviewed all the scant customers and the shaken barkeep thoroughly. The barkeep, who was brought in for further questioning, recalled an unknown grey-suited man coming inside for some coffee, slamming his fist on his “preshu’s mahog’ny an’ marble count’er”, and singing rather horribly. He also gave the whole story of the incident, starting with Thomas entering the premises, pulling out a gun, the anonymous man punching Thomas in the face, Thomas falling unconscious, and the man paying for his drink before running away. He also conjured up some other distorted hazy recollections of “sumthin’ ’bout ‘e cigarette ‘er ‘e black dress, I t’ink, I ain’t sher”, and nothing more.

~*~

6:00 AM. A lone unnoticed figure was lingering around the recently-discovered crime scene, hunched behind a corner, a burning cigarette dangling loosely from the side of his cracked lips, peeking out by the side of the wall occasionally.

He silently watched and smoked from afar as the police worked at the cul-de-sac, taking notes, searching for further evidence, poking and prodding and taking photos of Christine’s cold lifeless body before carrying her away in a gurney unceremoniously. After several minutes of staring blankly, he finally managed to tear his eyes away from the grotesque scene, and, blowing smoke from out his nostrils, gazed down melancholically at the muddy tarnished golden ring that he was clutching in his hand.

Words failed to find themselves in his tongue, and he stood there silently, contemplating, assessing the ring with utmost concentration like a pawnbroker, until he managed to conjure up what he thought was a decent farewell.

“Well, I may not have saved your life…but I sure damn well avenged you. I reckon that’s enough.”

“Don’t you come waitin’ for me now.” He said, and with those final parting words, he dropped the cigarette and stepped on it, stuffed the ring carefully into his trenchcoat pocket, tipped back his trilby hat ever so slightly, and slowly walked onto the taut horizon’s languidly rising sunlight, peeking out from under the gloom, the faint intrusive police lights dissipating into the cool wind, a faint giggling voice—husky and sweet like soft cream dissolving in hot coffee—echoing at the back of his mind, and his quiet voice mournfully whistling out the last coda of Sinatra’s Fly Me To The Moon.

“In other words, please be true—In other words…I love you.”

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Filed under Prose

The Valley of the Damned

I found me in a dream I can’t quite tell

Nothing could be heard, save my exclaimed yells

A clangorous toll of the old church bells

As if, to recognise my bereft knell

I blinked my eyes to clear out the vision

Obscenities, kaleidoscope fusions

Rather than vanish, why, alas! I saw

Such macabre horrors of nightmares raw!

.

I found me in a dream within a dream

I sought to shiver, I fought not to scream

For surely, it will awake reposing beasts

In the unquiet valley where they feast

That mystified zephyr of Hebrides

Prayed out to me in eponymous pleas

From whence cometh the tempest arising

In delirious shades of jagged lightning

.

I found me in a dream of tantrum storms

The quicksand below me mocks in furled scorn

Torrents of rain slashed at my waxen skin

Vulnerable state of feared heart within

It worried me not, my physical form

Yet I feared great for my sanity shorn

Will it keep me company? Or give in?

To the contagion of this valley’s sins?

.

I found me in a dream of umbralon

Whilst I wandered the desert all alone

A presence of unrest, saddled danger

Following me like a distant stranger

And what is that shadow that stalks me here?

A feminine figure, a lithe veneer

Upon closer inspection…on my life!

Sneering back was my emaciated wife!

.

I found me in a dream of seeked vengeance

Facing my departed wife’s defiance

Its rictus opened, I stared in horror

Mouthing such words that left me in terror

Come with me, groaned she, cold corpse beckoning

Shaken, I fled, denying her waiting

She gave way to no chase, only she smiled

I suppose I shall see you in a while…

.

I found me in a dream of confession

Vindicating with forceful convictions

Oh dear God, tell me, for I have wronged thee

Why must I suffer thus? Please answer me!

I implored in pain, yet all in mad vain

For only thunder procured my remains

Collapsing by a riverbank of mud

I wept and I wailed, tears causing a flood

.

I found me in a dream of senselessness

Where my reasons diminished, less and less

The morn in descent, a perennial night

Heed, heed the dying of the glorious light

As I lost the path of my own snapped mind

And cackled in lunacy, unlike mine

Halted at the gate of blood, death and bones

Ah, I thought comfortingly, I am home.

.

Demons hath swooped with tongues in twisted grins

And magniloquence, Welcome, please come in!

I embraced their whips, grateful volition

Marching me to their final perdition

When I found me in my dream, I have fell

Stepping upon a ghastly wishing well

When I asked for peace in paradise’s dell

I missed one step and plunged through this damned hell.

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Filed under Poetry