What's Under Your Skin?

Alternate Title: Sorry that there was yet another hiatus! I suck at life.


Naw, just kiddin'. I'm not sorry. No one reads this thing anyhow, do they?

My household just suffered through a traumatic seven weeks or so at the hands of a nasty little bug. I'll tackle that fuckin' fiasco sometime in the near future, but I'm not quite ready to talk about that shit just yet. Seriously - what an awful, awful thing to deal with. I don't think that I'd wish it on anybody, no matter how terrible they are. Anyway ...

I was thinking the other day about weirdos who do weirdo things; like, say, serial murdering, mass shootings, etc. What are these people like in their day-to-day lives? How well do they hide their weirdo status, and how is it even possible to disguise such grand-scale weirdo-hood?

For example, that evil sack of shit known as John Wayne Gacy - everyone in town knew this guy, and seemed to think he was pretty swell, for the most part. How the hell was this fucking psycho so easily able to integrate himself without ever letting the mask slip? Not once did his neighbors or associates ever see the man's crimes reflected in his eyes. You'd think, at some point, someone would pick up a vibration from this guy - sense that something was not right with the man, not at all. But they didn't.

Think about it: your next-door neighbor might be eating raw human flesh, right now as you read this ... and you might never know. He'll give you a little wave while he's out watering the little patch of front lawn, then go back inside to appease the demon that has inhabited his cat by committing unspeakable acts on kidnapped prostitutes. It could be happening right now, right next door to you. You just don't know.

In fact, you might even be one of these weirdos. I have no way of knowing, do I? Alternately, maybe I have a few loose screws, and while you read this, I'm chuckling to myself. Because you have no idea of what I've been up to in the secret room in my basement.

See? Could be anybody.


Judith



Well, the hour grows late again, eh, old friend? How many bottles of port have I killed with you, over all these years? Aha, yes, that's pretty much spot on, isn't it? The whore-houses of Morocco are no different than the whore-houses of state politics: the wine flows and the knickers hit the floor. Ha! I'll tell you something about that - what? Another weird tale? I suppose, but I'd prefer the mood of the evening to be a tad lighter; and you well know that once I start, I shan't be able to stop and there'll be a sleepless night for us both. So be it, then. Let's see ...

When I was a much younger man, I'd sometimes take a springtime pilgrimage to the lower West coast of Florida, which was a fairly unpopulated and lonesome place, back in those days. I'd rent a cottage and spend my time diving and trying my luck with the brassy local ladies - all blond hair, long legs and sharp tongue, they were! But I digress ... in the spring of '25 I rented a cottage from an older lady named Judith, who lived onsite with her ailing husband. The poor man was apparently bed-ridden, and Judith performed the upkeep of the small cottage-court solely on her own. Upon checking in, the smiling, cherubic woman presented me with a wicker basket of sausage, blood pudding, and various small jars of preserved goods. Manufacturing these meats and preserves was the elderly couple's side-business. They were delicious, seasoned unlike any I have ever had before, and on my way to the beach I stopped at the good people's cottage to tell them so. Judith received me at the door, and she beamed so widely at my praise that I feared her large, white false teeth would tumble out of her mouth.

Late that night, I was awoken by the most ghastly screaming - it was a man's voice, tremulous, frail, and full of raw terror. He was shrieking, "Judith, NO! Don't you BITE me no more! Don't you BLEED me no more! Judith, please! STOP!" Sleep-muddled and afraid, I fell from the cozy little bed and scrambled into the corner. Abruptly, I heard a woman's voice croak out, "Aw, hell, the window!" and the sound of a sturdy window-frame being slammed down echoed out into the night. There was no phone there with which I could call the police; I spent the rest of that awful night sitting in my corner, and in the early morning I left like a thief, creeping away before the break of the sun's full light. I didn't stop to report the incident. What could I say, exactly, without sounding like a drunken madman? The next year, morbid curiosity got the better of me and I came calling, heart in my throat ... the cottage-court lay abandoned, and there was no sign that Judith had ever existed.

What, another tale?  It's to be one of those nights, is it? Here, have another splash of port ...





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