Twelve Feet Under

serial murder

So, you want to hear a story, huh? Let me tell you one you will never believe, then I want you to look me in the eye and tell me I lied to you. The thing about people is that you never know what kind of shit they have been through do you? That hooker you see coming home on the subway every so often, for instance. You just assume she is selling her beaten up hole for drug money, right? And that those black eyes were from her holding out on her pimp, or talking back. What if I told you that she ended up working the streets after she lost her license to practice law, and that tonight she fought off and killed a serial rapist in that random alley where she thought she was going to earn another forty bucks? Would you believe it?

What if I told you that the guy you pass in the hall of your building every day when you are leaving for work was keeping seven children captive in his apartment? That he uses those kids in ways that would horrify even the hooker on the subway? What about the old lady who lives a block down, in the old co-op building? Would you believe that she has poisoned all seven of her dead husbands, and two of her sons? You may or may not believe these things, only you can tell me that. I just bring it up so you will listen to what I have to say with an open mind. Sure, we are sitting here, drinking this whiskey, two men who have never met one another. And while you may not know who I am, you should know that I have no reason to lie. Not to you. New York is full of over twenty million stories, and all of them could be true.

I know what you see when you look at me, pal. A guy who has had a hard run of luck, a guy who may or may not be drinking up the last thirty dollars in his wallet. A guy who works shit day labor jobs just to have a bite to eat or a drink to wash away the aches and pains of a man going on middle age. But none of that matters, see? What you think of when you look at me means jack shit. I was not always the guy you see now, drinking whiskey that I probably couldn’t afford. As far as you know anyway. At one time, I had a good job. I had a wife and two kids. At one point, I had hope. And for the longest time, I believed that what is dead will stay that way. Buddy, let me tell you, I was fucking wrong.

My story is as long as anyone’s. I was born, I grew up, I met a girl, blah, blah, blah. You don’t want to hear about any of that shit, right? The part you will want to hear about begins back in Maryland, in a small town called Salsberg. You ever see any of those old postcards? The ones with a picture of some sleepy little town out in the middle of nowhere on the front? The kind of place where you imagine they only need three cops, the mayor serves for life, and everyone leaves their doors unlocked at night. That was Salsberg.

I moved there, planning to retire early. I had made a good chunk of change in the stock market, here in good old Fun City. The wife says that New York is no place to raise kids. I didn’t argue that point with her. We all know what a shit hole this city can be right? So after doing some research, I found Salsberg. A small quiet town, like I told you before. It seemed perfect. Low crime rate, decent schools, and from all accounts a friendly place. So fast forward a month and we are moving into this old house just off of Rose Drive. All these old manor houses and small mansions were unoccupied and going for a little bit of nothing. We got a great deal on this place, and Sandy and the kids are excited. I am sure you know how moving goes, the pains in the ass that spring up and the pains in your back from loading and unloading the truck. So I’ll skip that.

So we moved in. The kids start school. The wife and I open a small shop downtown, selling little pieces of the big city to the townies. We did alright, the investment seemed to be paying off and we were settling into the groove of small town life. That slow, mellow, and relaxed way that people have in rural areas. No one is ever in a hurry, everyone you pass on the street says hello and smiles, and you finish up most of your days sharing a beer or two with the neighbors on the porch. Well when the weather is nice enough, and over there the weather is damn fine in the spring, summer, and fall.

That is how everything went for a while. We were all as happy as pigs in shit. Then came the 25th of October, 2003. I had gotten home from the shop early, we had closed in expectation of snow. Sandy had dinner going, the kids were chasing each other around and shouting at the top of their lungs while they played. I hung my coat on the rack beside the door, and forgot to lock it. I kissed Sandy for what would turn out to be the last time, unless you count the one I placed on her dead lips during the private viewing at Lunsford’s Funeral Parlor. She was making pot roast, the smell of the beef, potatoes, and other vegetables coming out of the oven was making my stomach growl.

We sat down to eat as a family, like we always did. Sandy was adamant about that. She believed family dinners were the cornerstone of building a strong bond with the kids. She didn’t know that the kids hated pot roast, or that I had been with the town slut Sasha Grey the night before. Everything in our little world was perfect. All the lies were the cornerstone of my bond with the wife and kids. The secrets. Some were of course worse secrets than others. I am not saying I was the perfect husband and father, obviously. But I was mostly happy. And I did love my family.

If you are doubting that now, wait until you hear the rest of my secrets. I wish I could tell you that my affair was the worst of them, but that would be a lie. You see I had this…. let’s call it a hobby. Every so often, I just have to kill someone. I have been doing it for years. It started when I was thirteen or so. My parents had taken me on vacation to some lake or other upstate. Where doesn’t matter. I was trying to come on to this girl, and she slapped me. Before I knew what was going on, I was holding her down, her clothes were torn off, and I was raping her. I know, fucked up right? But hey, when we are kids, we all make mistakes. The realization of what I was doing excited me, and I finished all at once. She was crying and screaming at me, screaming for help. Like anyone would hear us this far out in the boonies.
So I kind of panicked. I pulled out the pocket knife my dad had given me for my birthday a month earlier. I clamped my free hand over her mouth, and slit her fucking throat. The blood gushed and squirted out all over the place. It covered my hands, face, and chest. I was still inside of her, and the sight of the blood got me all hot and bothered again. She was still warm, so I went for round two. When I was done, I cut her open and started stuffing rocks into her, then tied her shirt and pants around the body to hold them inside. Then I dragged her out into the lake, and gave her a push. She sank down into the water, and was swallowed by the cold, muddy muck at the bottom. They never found that one. She was my first, in more ways than one.

I didn’t do it again for years. Like I said, it’s just a hobby. I was grown before I killed the next one. Some wetback who was offering to shine my shoes for a dollar. The third was a few months later, a hot little thing of about fifteen. She was upset because some asshole had mugged her. She ran to me crying for help, because I was so well dressed I guess. They found her in pieces all over the Bronx. Yeah, that was me pal. The Five Boroughs Slasher. I always hated that name. So unoriginal. Like I was the only asshole to ever take a knife to people in this city. But like I said, my family never had a clue. I was good at what I did.

Unlike what you may think of as my brethren however, guys like Dhamer, Gacy, and Bundy, I had a heart. I feel love, sadness, anger, compassion, all those emotions denied to the typical psychopath. And I treasured my wife and kids. They were the living example of the better part of me, understand? What I never felt in my life though was guilt and remorse. I could rape, torture, and dismember a ten year old kid, then go home and kiss my children good night and crawl in bed with Sandy like nothing ever happened. It’s a sick dichotomy, I know, but these are the facts.

I am only telling you all of this, so you will understand what happened. The whole time I had been living in Salsberg, which by this point was about eight months, I had only killed two people. The first one was a woman. I always prefer women. We have tastes like anyone else, you know? It was a real nice evening for me, her husband was gone for the night and she had no kids. We had the house to ourselves, and I could take my time with her. It was great, very intimate and meaningful. I had my eye on her for a month or more. I had seen her on our second day in town. She was a slender blonde, tall, with an amazingly athletic figure. They said after her “disappearance” she had been Miss Salsberg a few years ago.

I will spare you the details, let’s just say that it was not pleasant or quick for her. I carried her out the back in pieces. These pieces I threw into the river east of town. I was looking forward to more of Sandy’s trips with the kids to see her mother up in Yonkers. It gave me the time to do it right. So fast forward again a few weeks. The husband, Perry Combs, is crazy with grief and all that. He knows that his wife is dead, even though I had left no trace in the house, that she would never run off and leave him. So he starts poking around after the cops refuse to treat it as a homicide. Who would want to kill Amy they ask? Everyone in town loved Amy. She taught Sunday School at the Methodist church, she was a volunteer at the adult literacy program at the high school, she was everyone’s favorite nurse at the hospital. No one knew that the new guy in town, the guy with the perfect family and that great new shop, was a serial killer.

What I didn’t know was how goddamned nosy people can be in a small town. There is someone on every street who spends their nights staring out of their windows spying on their neighbors, hoping to be the one to get the scoop on some juicy gossip. Gossip like how the new guy in town had dropped by to pay a visit to Amy while her husband was away. I never did find out which one of them told him, if I had my body count in Salsberg would have been much higher. But anyway, let me cut to the chase.

It’s about six weeks after I had my One night in Amy, and I am about to close up shop. We had just gotten in a new shipment of personal air conditioners. It was the kind of thing no one in New York would actually use, but at City Image, we sell it all like it’s just another thing for folks in the big apple these days. I expected them to sell like hotcakes, and I was right. They flew off of the shelves. I had set up the display, and put up the stock in the back room. I was tired as hell, it had been just one in a series of long days, so I closed up. Sandy was making some old fashioned New York style pizza for dinner. You will never know how much I missed the pizza here when I was living in Maryland.

I was thinking of how good that greasy, magnificent pizza was going to taste and about how Amy had struggled under me when I had started to cut her as I walked out the back door where I kept my Audi parked. I had set the alarm, like normal. I had also locked the door from the outside, just as I always did. But when I turned around, my routine was derailed like a passenger train slamming into a station wagon full of Mormons. I was looking at a man. He was staring daggers at me, tears welling up in his eyes. ‘Where is she, you bastard’ he said. His voice was breaking like he was trying to hold back sobs and screams both. I looked at him with my best puzzled expression.

‘Where is who Perry? What the hell are you on about?’ I asked him. He moved fast. He grabbed my shirt and slammed me against the door. I was not expecting it, the son of a bitch had caught me off guard. With his free hand, he pulled a cheap looking semi-automatic pistol from under his jacket. It looked like a .32 caliber, or thereabouts. I have seen guys selling those here in bar rooms for as little as fifty bucks. I looked down at the slide, and noticed the serial number had been filed off. I thought I was fucked for sure.

‘MY WIFE!’ he screamed at me. Luckily, I had been working later than most of the shops stayed open, and I knew the chances for anyone hearing this little exchange were about one in two hundred. ‘AMY! I know you were there the night she disappeared! What did you do to her? TELL ME WHERE SHE IS!’ he shouted again. I knew if I didn’t say something, I was as dead as his wife. Of course this guy had me dead to rights, so I figured I would have to throw him off.

I looked him in the eye as I said ‘Well, Perry, that’s hard to say. You see, any piece of her could be in any number of rivers or lakes by this point.’ He began to cry, his eyes now spilling their freight of welled tears. His body was trembling, but the gun didn’t. I had lowered my hands now, he didn’t seem to be paying attention to anything but my face. I slowly dipped my hand into my pocket, where I kept my knife clipped. He pulled me from the door and slammed me into it again. My head smacked the door hard, and I felt pain explode across my skull. He had pressed the gun against the side of my nose now. He didn’t notice I had the knife out and was slowly opening the blade.

‘Tell me…… tell me what you did to her you sick fuck! TELL ME!’ he bellowed. I knew this had to end soon, one way or another. If he kept shouting, someone was going to hear. Or if he pulled the fucking trigger. Then the headache I was going to have would be the least of my problems. I let out a sigh.

‘I got her to let me inside Perry. She was trusting, your wife. Then I blitzed her as she turned around. I knocked her down, ripped off her clothes, and raped her. Then I started to cut, and I cut her for over four hours. When she finally died, I chopped her up and dumped her in the river. Would you like me to tell you how many times she begged for mercy? How about how many times she called out for you, Perry? How she begged me not to kill her, because she had finally gotten pregnant? She said she was going to tell you when you got back. Would you like to hear that too?’ I asked him in a sympathetic voice. He began to make an inarticulate sound then, something between a scream, a moan, and a sob. It just rose from his throat as his finger tightened on the trigger………. and the gun only clicked. A misfire.

He looked stupidly at the gun and I made my move. I drove the knife into his leg, severing his femoral artery with my right hand. With my left I grabbed the gun. He made that clicking sound in his throat I have heard before when I cut people. I wrestled the gun away, and swung it in a wide arc that terminated at his temple. He went down to the ground, bleeding and twitching. I dropped the gun in front of his face as I straddled him. I wrenched his head back and stuck the knife to his throat. ‘Perry, old boy, you should have left well enough alone. But, on the plus side, you are probably about to see Amy again.’ I said as I buried the blade in the left side of his neck. I leaned down and looked into his eyes again as I pulled the sharp little blade through the meat, gristle, and veins and out the other side. I heard him gasping through the cut as he bled out, and I watched the light go out of Perry’s insanely angry and sad eyes.

I stood up and looked down at myself. I was a fucking mess, covered in blood. Perry was making quite the mess on the concrete. I dropped the knife and ran my fingers through my hair, clutching it as they reached the back of my head. I had to clean this mess up. ‘You really are an asshole, you know that Perry. I am going to miss pizza night because of you.’ I said to the already cooling corpse. I reached into my coat pocket and pulled out my phone. I called the house, and Sandy answered.

‘Hey handsome, you on your way?’ she asked. I sighed into the phone.

‘I am afraid not baby. I made a hell of a mess here at the shop, and I will probably be here most of the night cleaning it up.’ I lied.

‘Oh honey, can’t it wait? I do believe I have made the best pizza yet. You sure you aren’t going to come have a slice?’ she asked. I was looking down at Perry, and I kicked him hard in the ribs. I fucking loved Sandy’s pizza.

‘Believe me, I would rather be eating your pie than dealing with this, if you know what I mean’ I told her, in my best flirty tone. She laughed into the phone.

‘You are a bad boy, oh husband of mine. Tell you what, I will leave you a few slices in the microwave. Eat that when you get home, then come to bed for the pie…’ she said this last bit in a sultry tone. I smiled.

‘You have a date gorgeous. See you later.’ I said, then hung up. I turned around and unlocked the door. I stepped inside, and went into the little storage locker I kept in the shop. I kept a few emergency supplies in there. Some plastic drop cloths, a saw, a few knives and some duct tape. The usual basic stuff for a guy of my trade. I grabbed some of the plastic, and went back outside. I opened the trunk of the Audi and began to line it. When I had it all taped up, I drug Perry over and loaded him inside. I went back inside to wash the blood off of me and change my clothes. I always kept a spare set or two in my office there. I chose the basic work clothes I had worn when doing the demolition and remodeling of the shop.

I stuffed my bloody clothes into a bag, and grabbed the shovel on my way out. I threw all of this into the trunk and closed the lid. I went back one more time to get some cleaning supplies and the water hose. I sprayed the blood pools until they washed down the sewer grate near the door, then scrubbed everything that had any blood on it with bleach. Took me over a fucking hour. With that done, I locked up again, and headed for the edge of town. The whole time I had been cleaning, I had been thinking of how to dispose of the body. I usually had a plan in place. I never kill without preparation. Then as I was driving it hit me.

There was this old place just outside of town. Some old ass mansion. The place was fucking huge. I had asked around about it, and most of the locals just knew it as the old Brickman place. They said no one ever went there, kind of a town ghost story or some shit like that. The long and short of it is that it is isolated, decrepit, and that as far as I could tell, no one had tried to go in there since the 1970’s. I thought it sounded like a perfect place to dispose of a body. So I drove out there.

The whole place was surrounded by this high wall, but the gate had fallen down who knew how many years ago. No one lived close by. When I tell you that everyone in this town was afraid of this place, you can truly believe me. Every old storefront, every house, even an old school that was around this place was abandoned. As far at the good people of Salsberg were concerned, this part of town had ceased to exist. So I knew no one would see me pull my car onto the property.

I pulled up the drive to the house, past this old ass ruined fountain, and parked near the west side of the place. I left the engine running, so I could have light to work by. Digging a grave takes a while when you do it by yourself. So I spent three hours digging, and digging, and fucking digging. I had unloaded Perry from the trunk before I started, I didn’t want to be too tired to lift him after I had the hole ready. I constantly reminded Perry of what a dick he was, for making me spend my night at this creepy ass old shithole. The whole time, I felt watched. That should have been a sign to just load him back up and throw his ass in the river with Amy, but I have rules. I never dump a body in the same place twice. I also never dispose of a corpse the same way twice in a row. That really throws the pigs off, you know that? I imagine if anyone were ever to put my crimes together it would drive a profiler nuts.

I am not superstitious though, so I kept on digging. Every so often, I would turn around. I almost expected to see a face watching me from the windows. I ignored it, and planted Perry’s sorry ass in the ground. I threw in the plastic, my knife, my dirty clothes, even the brush I had scrubbed the blood up with. Anything that could connect me to his death went into the ground with him. I didn’t like it, leaving all the evidence with the body, but I didn’t have time to make anymore drops. So I filled the hole, and tapped the dirt down with the spade. ‘Good night, you meddling mother fucker. Sleep well and enjoy your stay in hell.’ I said and tipped the patch of turned earth a salute before spitting on it. I went around the house, and found an old tool shed. I ripped the door open, and tossed the shovel in with the old, worn tools and shut it. I used a stone to beat the nails back in and walked around to my car.

I left the old mansion, and never looked back. I drove home, and went in through the garage. I stripped down to my boxers, and threw all the clothes I had been wearing into the washer. Then I went inside and warmed up my pizza. She had been right, even reheated, it was amazing. After I ate, I walked up the stairs to our bedroom, and crossed quietly to the bathroom. I took a long, hot shower., letting the hot water ease the ache that was already starting in my back and arms. After, I slipped quietly into bed with Sandy, and was asleep in five minutes.

After that night, I tried not to think of Perry again. I just hoped that everyone would assume he left town after Amy disappeared. Hell, that might even take any heat off of me. As far as most people would think, he had done something to her then skipped town when the cops stopped looking. The night I buried Perry was October 23rd 2003. Two days before my girls were grabbed. We had put them to bed early for getting into a fight after dinner. Sandy and I had decided to go upstairs and fuck since it was so early. Needless to say, I was out like a light after that.


I woke up at around two AM. At first, I didn’t know if I had been dreaming when I heard the scream or not. I listened again, and heard one of the girls cry out followed by the sound of the front door slamming. I jumped up at once and ran down the stairs. I turned on the light in the hall and saw muddy footprints and blood on the floor in front of the front door. They were leading away from the girl’s rooms. I ran like hell down the hall and threw open the door to Kelly’s room.


Blood was on the floor, but nowhere else. I saw the prints had come in from Stacey’s room. My heart was beating loudly as I followed them and opened the door. Stacey, little nine year old Stacey, had been torn apart. Her organs were strewn across the bed and floor. Blood was running down the walls. Her limbs were broken and laying in separate corners. I screamed and ran back to the front door and threw it open. The street looked empty, and sounded quiet. I looked at the porch step and saw those bloody prints leading away from the house. I spun around and ran to my den. I typed in the code to my gun safe and pulled out my 9mm Beretta. I slipped on my shoes and grabbed my flashlight.


I ran out into the night, following that trail. I kept calling out Kelly’s name, but heard nothing.

I picked up speed, but noticed the bloody prints were thinning. I called out again. I heard nothing for a moment, then a high scream filled the air. I sprinted toward it, calling her name. All at once, the scream was cut off. I ran as fast as I ever have, I meant to catch this bastard and make him pay. My way.

I had been cutting through the overgrown yards of empty houses, moving west. All at once in that high, dieing unmown grass I came across Kelly. She had not been torn up like Stacey, but her throat had been slit to the bone. Her blood was everywhere, the wound was smoking in the frigid night air. I screamed again, then noticed that the footprints were leading back toward my house. They had faded away completely after the first fifteen or so steps as they headed east, but I knew that he was going back. He had gotten me to chase him just to get me away from the house.


By the time I had made it back home, my chest was on fire and I had stitches in both my sides. The front door was standing open, a muddy handprint was on the jamb. I ran for it as fast as I could. As I reached the door, I heard Sandy scream. I turned right when I came through the door, running for the stairs just off of the dining room. As I threw open the doors to the dining room though, I saw them. Sandy was being held from behind by the fucker, and he had a knife to her throat. She looked like she had taken a punch or two already, her eye was swelling and her upper lip was split open. The blood had ran down over her teeth, staining them red. I could see them while she screamed.


‘Let her go!’ I said. I couldn’t see the guy’s face, he was hiding behind Sandy using her as a

human shield. The knife started to draw blood on her throat. ‘Why are you doing this?’ I asked. A deep, evil laugh came from the man. The knife bit deeper.

‘Did she ask you that, before you cut her throat?’ it said in a deep, almost demonic voice. I knew that voice. It sounded like one I had heard recently even. It was when the smell finally hit me that the dots connected. It was Perry’s voice. Yeah, Perry, but different. As I said it was deeper and….. unnatural. Thats the only word that fits. The smell was that of a body that had just started to rot. That early stench of putrefying flesh, of rot just settling in to the internal organs. Perry moved his head from behind Sandy’s. His face was sagging on the bones. His eyes looked like white cataracts, and their gaze was as cold as a hooker’s pussy. His tongue was swollen and black in his mouth. He dug the blade deeper into Sandy’s neck. Blood was starting to run down onto her shoulders. She begged me to stop him.


‘This can’t fucking be! I killed you!’ I said in a faint, unbelieving voice. He smiled. He reached up and grabbed her hair, wrenching her head back. ‘’Don’t you fucking do it Perry! I swear I’ll..’ I was shouting when he cut me off.


‘You’ll what!? Kill me again?’ he asked in a mocking, insane tone then laughed. The sound was disturbing. You can never put into words the sound made when a dead man laughs. ‘You tried that once, how is it working out?’ he had asked. The mockery in the tone was driving me crazy.


‘Fuck you!’ I screamed at him. My hand was shaking now. I wanted to squeeze the trigger badly. Not to try and save Sandy, not at that moment, but to shut him the fuck up.


‘Is this how you did it to Amy? Is this how you killed her?’ he asked. I said nothing. ‘Oh if you could have seen how I raped the girl I left in the bedroom! I hope it was worse than what you did to my wife!’ I screamed as I pulled the trigger. The bullet punched a hole in the middle of his forehead. His head snapped back, but the bastard didn’t fall. He just uttered that mad, skin crawling laughter as he raised his head. He fixed me in that dead stare of his and ripped the knife across Sandy’s throat. Her screams were cut off and replaced wet, choking noises. He still held her up by the hair when her legs gave out, the weight pulled the wound open wider.


I screamed again as I emptied the gun into him. He just stood there, taking every bullet, his

body jerking from the force of the impacting slugs, but otherwise still. He was laughing louder than ever. ‘Now it’s YOUR turn! Let’s have some fun, shall we!?’ he asked in a gleeful, sinister tone. He came running toward me. I dropped the gun and ran down the hall to the study. I just had time to slam the door closed and turn the lock when he slammed into it. I looked around, trying to remember if I had any weapons in here.

Blows began to hammer the surface of the door. It was shaking in it’s frame, and cracks were starting to splinter through the old oak. ‘Come on, let me in! I’ll make it painless, I promise…’ he was saying as he continued to beat the door down. The sounds of his knuckles slamming into the wood were disgusting. ‘Don’t you want to play with your old pal Perry again? You had sssoooo much fun with me and Amy, don’t you owe me one?’ he asked and laughed again.  I was looking around in a blind panic, then my eye caught sight of the old broadsword I had mounted over the mantle. I ran to it and jerked it off of the wall.


As I turned, the door finally gave way with a crashing sound, and splintered chunks of wood were flying across the room. I could see Perry’s rotting face peering in at me and smiling. ‘Ohhh my…. a sword huh? How fucking quaint!’ he said, in that same mocking tone. ‘I’M GOING TO FUCK YOU WITH IT!’ he shouted, now angry. He charged me with the knife, and I pulled back the sword. I took a swing at his ribs, and the blade dug deep. He stopped and looked down at the blade cleaved into his body, then looked up grinning.


‘That kind of tickles, let’s see how mine feels!’ he growled at me. He starts to move forward again, digging in the blade deeper, as he raises his arm. The knife came down and bit into my shoulder. The pain fucking ran down my arm just ahead of the blood. Something in me snapped. I pushed toward him, and knocked him off balance. I pulled the sword out, and just started chopping at him with everything I fucking had. His blood was flying everywhere, splattering the walls with black. He was still laughing, even when I cut off his fucking head.


‘Let’s see how this works out for me, you’re chopped into pieces.’ I told the head. It stopped laughing and fixed me in its stare again.


‘I’ll come back again! Sooner or later, I’ll pull myself together, so to speak, and come rape you to death with a rusty blade!’ Perry told me. I couldn’t stand the voice anymore, so I chopped at the head one last time, and severed its lower jaw. I dropped the sword, and stared at the pile of writhing body parts.


I went to the kitchen, and grabbed some trash bags. I had to disappear Perry’s still not dead ass from the house before I called the cops. I stuffed him into the bags, and dumped them into the trunk of the Audi. I drove back out to the old Brickman place, and put his ass right back into the same hole. I like things to stay where I put them. Well, everything but his fucking head. I threw that into the river. Kind of a funny thing isn’t it, having to bury a man twice?

So, after that I went back and called the cops. They came and I told em what happened, more or less. Perry’s prints were all over the place. I told em I had chased him out at the end, after he cut me and I got the knife away from him. Then I had passed out from blood loss and called them when I woke up. They seemed to buy it. It’s not like the cops there have fucking forensic teams. After that, I buried Sandy and the girls, then decided to run. I’ve been running ever since. I don’t know if he can come back again, but a guy like me can’t take chances, right?

So now you’re probably wondering how you have found yourself with me in your nice little apartment here, tied to a chair in a room wrapped in plastic. Hell, even a man on the run has to stop and smell the roses every so often right? And I am betting that one little double murder in Manhattan isn’t going to make too many waves. Oh yeah, that’s right. I said double, your daughter should be getting home about the time I finish with you. I’m probably going to make her look at you while I have my fun with her. Keep that in mind. Just do me a favor OK, don’t be a pain in my ass like Perry. Don’t make me put you twelve feet under.

By Lee Bishop

My Mother’s Revenge



“He was a terrible husband,” my mother said, “but he makes a wonderful zombie!” There must have been something of our uncertainty showing on our faces because she rushed to add, “Don’t worry children he is very much the same.” She turned her attention back toward the husk that had been my father. “Mindless, save for the pursuit of his own selfish needs.” That day my father became more like a family pet. My older brother was responsible for feeding him; the stench of raw meat was ever present in our house. Mother’s favorite admonishment became, “Behave! Or I’ll feed you to your father!” and we never doubted she would.
It was three years before I realized how crazy she was. I just turned eleven and stayed up late reading my new comic books when I heard a muffled scream. Concerned for my mother, and still devoted to her as only the youngest of five children can be, I carefully left my room and followed the odd noises to the basement. The door was ajar and after a moment of hesitation I tiptoed down the stairs. My attempts at stealth were inadequate, and as it turned out, unnecessary. She heard me coming and looked over her shoulder. Instead of being angry when she saw me she smiled and gestured for me to join her. As I approached I could clearly see inside my father’s cage.
I had seen him many times over the past three years and learned to ignore the sight and scent of decaying flesh but this time he wasn’t in the cage alone.
There was a woman, she screamed at me around the gag in her mouth. Her hands were bound behind her and my father pinned her against the wire mesh. Her white skin leaked its pattern. Her eyes stared at me and I thought I saw a question in them, a plea, before they opened wider as my father bit her shoulder and ripped off a chunk of her skin.
“Mother?” I asked, incapable of forming any specific question.
“He looked so lonely.” She said, barely containing her glee as she watched him take a bite from the woman’s thigh. “He enjoyed her company well enough in life, I thought he would enjoy it more so now.” She smiled and we watched until the woman was silent on the floor and my father began to shamble restlessly once more.

By Crystal Leflar


1: Beautification
As I’m standing here, naked in front of the mirror, the knife in my hand, tears streaking my ugly, lip-less face, and an idiotic erection pointing out boy in bloody mirrorat nothing, the events that led me here flash through my head.
It’s just like the story that therapist at Harbor View told us, about the Chinese farmer who’s horse runs away. Typical, banal Zen-bullshit parable about the transience of forms, but the point of it is that no event can be considered truly good or bad, as it is impossible to tell what the series of consequences it sets in motion will eventually lead to.
I guess that has some truth to it. For instance, how was I to know in a million years that meeting Camille would lead me to severing my own genitals with a kitchen knife?

The whole unfortunate series of events started with the mistake of cutting too deep. Self-mutilation is a passion that requires acute attention to detail. First of all, one cannot allow oneself to get too carried away. One must work only on the parts of the body that can be concealed by everyday clothing, or the many blood-soaked bandages that conceal the improvements might raise questions.
I’m not a fool; I know what people would say.

My name doesn’t matter. I work in a small public administration office downtown, but where it is, and exactly what I do there, is inconsequential to this story.
For all concerns, I could be anyone, anywhere.
I have a colleague there, at the office, a morbidly obese and appallingly servile man-boy who escapes from the tedium of his life into online computer games. He tells me about his ”adventures”, even though they are of no interest to me, but that’s how I know.
I don’t think he’s ever slept with a woman. I guess, maybe in that sense we are brothers in emasculation.

It is important for me to stress that I am not a sick or an evil man. I’m nothing like Sagawa or Meiwes, and I would never dream of hurting anyone. This is a purely personal project, an ongoing duel with this my most intimate enemy, my body.
The duels are fought in front of my bedroom mirror, standing on a few spreads of old newspapers, a razor in my hand. I twist, turn and tweeze, trying to decide what is most aesthetically pleasing, while my body taunts me with its angles, its jellyrolls, and the ugly little hairs like spider legs sticking out of its pale skin.
I snip off bits here and there and eat them.
It’s not like the taste appeals to me, nor that the idea of autosarcophagy turns me on or anything like that, but the little pieces of myself simply strike me as so appalling that I’m compelled to get rid of them, to remove them, utterly and completely, from my sight forever. That’s why I always eat the small lumps of flesh and fat raw, kneeling naked on the blood-soaked newspapers. The idea of preparing them seems not only appalling, but also horribly affected.
I had been working on my left thigh for some time, planning away more and more so that it’s overall shape was gradually changing, like a piece of wood, when I had the bad fortune of striking an, apparently, important artery.
I quickly realized I was losing too much blood, much too fast. I started feeling dizzy, and as consciousness began to fade, I called an ambulance. I collapsed on the floor in a pool of my own thick, dark blood, and as the darkness swallowed me, I could hear the sirens approaching.
That led me to be committed to Harbor View Mental Institution where I met Camille.

2: Ambition
Our eyes meet across the circle we form for process group. The therapist, a man my own age, with a little fat knob of a head, is talking about setting goals and achieving them. Meanwhile, I can feel Camille’s eyes ransacking my face, not in a judging manner, but with a voracious curiosity, her green eyes nibbling away at me, like tiny jungle fish tasting an animal that has lain in the water for a long time.
While the therapist talks about addressing our issues in an orderly fashion, I too explore Camille’s face, mapping her delicate features, her pale, pale skin, and the tiny freckles abounding across it.
“It can be hard to pinpoint specific issues because multiple issues probably exist,” the therapist drones.
I am not sick. I don’t belong here. I have to get out.
I have always been dissatisfied with my shape, feeling that God must indeed be a very poor sculptor. Even as a young boy I was uncomprehending as my peers laughed and jostled in the shower after phys ed, their small pre-pubescent penises flapping like naked slugs. Were they not as ashamed as I was?
On my 30th birthday, a time when my body struck as me particularly pale, soft and sagging, I became so obsessed with a certain curvature formed by excess fat on my left hip, that I was unable to sleep until I had removed it with a kitchen knife.
I say removed, making it sound sterile and efficient, but in reality it was a messy and arduous affair. Luckily I performed the operation in the bathroom, where it was easy to wash away all the blood afterwards.
The taste wasn’t bad as such, but the little piece of myself was hard to chew, slimy and fibrous, and I almost choked when I swallowed it.
That was how I set upon eating myself into shape.

My commitment to Harbor View has put a regrettable stop to my beautification project.
“Maybe you feel like you’re not in charge of your own lives,” the counselor says.
Yeah no shit, I think. I’m locked in here, forced to listen to you.
I need to get out. The constant presence of the staff and the lunatics, the endless talks with therapists and counselors, the medicine that dulls me more and more for every day, it all eats away at my patience, and my fingers ache to pick up the knife again.
When I awake in the mornings I see the whole day spread out before me, but not the day as lived, only as thought, and in its contemplated state, every day is a weary, endless series of repeated movements and actions, all equally unsatisfying. Before I make it to the bathroom it seems my thoughts have already been there and moved on, leaving me to chase after them, trying to catch up with them for the remainder of the day.
I feel a scream building inside me. At night, it escapes my throat in stifled yelps and moans.
If only the lines traced in my mind by my anger, my sadness and my frustration, could converge, could become a focus point and burn a hole in these damned, white walls.

Camille is bipolar and used to be a drug addict, she confides one night during group.
Again, the counselor talks about goals,”Even simple ones, like finishing a book you’re reading,” he says solemnly.
In my head I laugh at him. I have my goal already.

That evening, after process group, I’m sitting by myself on a couch in the common room, biting little chips of hardened skin off my fingertips, when Camille comes up to me.
“They say cannibalism is the ultimate taboo,” she says, and nestles up close to me.
Her breath caresses the inside of my ear as she leans in close and whispers: ”I think it’s sexy.”
I’m not used to intimacy, but it is not an all-together unpleasant sensation. I look up at her.
“I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t a little ashamed of themselves,” she says. Suddenly she wrinkles her nose like a little girl and pulls away.
“I don’t see how you can do it, though. It must be so disgusting… with the blood, and the- ” she looks down and shakes her head. Then she looks up at me, as if suddenly realizing something,
“You’re Ouroboros,” she says.
Who, I ask.
“I’ll show you a picture,” she replies. ”One day. When we get out of here.”
Then she leans forward and kisses me furtively on the cheek.

Three nights later Camille and I manage to have sex in secret, like a couple of teenagers, while everyone else is eating dinner in the common room.
I have always found the idea of sex disgusting, but when Camille pulls down my zipper, she says: “Man was originally a round creature with four arms, four legs, and one head with two faces. It was a punishment of the gods that we were split into male and female.”
Camille is a clever girl.
“The word sex comes from the Latin word ‘secare’, which means to divide. To cut off,” she says as she rubs my hard shaft.
“We long to be reunited, to be made whole, and thereby dissolve.”
Still, I’m so nervous my legs are trembling when she climbs on top of me, and my hardness penetrates her softness. Her skin is cold in the little white room, but inside she is so warm, and I allow myself to be made whole, and for a moment, dissolve.
Afterwards Camille cries. She can’t, or won’t tell me why.

We hatch a plan to escape together. Camille wants to support me in my project, and seems as eager as I am to get out of Harbor View. She hates the ECT treatments they subject her to, and I can’t blame her.
Our biggest obstacle is an old, red brick wall surrounding the institution on all sides. The gate is always locked and requires a little magnetized chip that only the staff is allowed.
One evening Camille rolls off me and tells me the janitor keeps a ladder in the depot. When she tells me he always has the key on him, and that he is a real pig, the proud, defiant feeling I have after the sex, turns sour immediately.
I try to come up with another way, but Camille shakes her head, and seeing how much it bothers me, rushes to plant a kiss on my lips and promise she’ll be thinking of me.
As a mental patient you don’t have any dignity, and we will do what we have to escape.

When the day comes, it is absolute torture for me. Camille has slipped downstairs during the commotion that arises around the time for night meds, when everyone scrambles to get in line for the little red, white and blue highlights of the day.
I am left to wait, choking down my anxiety so as not to make the warden suspect anything. I bite my lips, fumble with my hands. No matter where I put them they seem to be in the way. I absent mindedly wonder if maybe I’d be better off without them, or maybe, at least, with just one of them?
Suddenly Camille appears around the corner and struts urgently through the room towards me. The warden doesn’t notice that she gives my hand a stolen squeeze, and whispers in my ear that she’s got the key. Relief washes over me. Now we just have to hurry.
As we run across the yard, the dew soaking our soft shoes, I realize I’ve fallen in love with this pale-skinned, green-eyed woman.
We cross the wall and leave Harbor View, never to return.

The next couple of days seem even stranger than the time at Harbor View, and in contrast, tumultuous and chaotic.
Camille has friends that squat in abandoned buildings in the slum, and they let us hide among them until one of them, a skinny white boy with unclean skin and red eyes, who insists on constantly speaking in Ebonics, gets us set up in a small low-rise apartment, no questions asked, crumpled dollar bills from a savings account furtively changing hands.
We start a new life.
The apartment is unpalatable. There are children peddling drugs in the yard in broad daylight, and not a night without gunshots, but we have each other, and for the first time in my life I feel something that I guess must be happiness, or at least a new kind of placid contentment.
For a long time it doesn’t even occur to me that this hole is exactly where Camille wants to be. That it’s close to where she lived before she was committed to Harbor View. I’m too blinded by my love for her, and by the unbridled sense of liberation I feel coursing through me at the prospect of resuming my project.
On our first excursion downtown Camille buys a green dress that matches her eyes in a second-hand shop. I buy an electric knife in Home Depot.
Back in the apartment that evening my heart is racing as I undertake my most ambitious project yet. Since the night we escaped from Harbor View, I haven’t been able to shake the growing annoyance with my hands. The symmetry of them bothers me, and no matter how I arrange them, I can’t help but feel like they’re somehow in the way.
I tie a ligature around my left wrist, tight to cut off the blood circulation, and then watch as my hand turns purple and bloated, and all feeling recedes from it. When I lower the buzzing blade of the electrical knife towards it, I have already stopped seeing it as a part of myself – it is something alien and arthropod, a profoundly disgusting creature. The pain is a flower the color of bruises and fireworks that blooms in my head, as the blade saws through flesh and bone, irascibly spattering blood across the kitchen walls.
The shock to my body is too much. When the last tendon is severed and snaps like a rubber band, and the kitchen filled with the smell of flesh and bone scorched from friction, I feel the familiar tugging of the darkness at the corners of my eyes. The floor comes up to meet me, and from a million miles away I feel my skull bounce against the tiles, all numb and slow-motion like.

When I come to, I’m lying on the mattress that we use for a bed. It is dark outside, with the noises a sleepless city makes; sirens, gunshots, someone laughing menacingly somewhere. I feel cold, and can’t stop shaking, even though Camille has covered me with several blankets.
She is kneeling beside me on the floor, almost as if in prayer, but with an expectant expression on her face, obviously eager to show me something that’s resting in her lap.
There is a dull, pounding sensation in the stump of my arm, and a strange, not entirely unpleasant smell in the air. I raise the stump up to my eyes. Camille has wrapped it up neatly in roll bandages fixed with duct tape. It hurts, but the pain is distant, like a sunset.
Without speaking, and without the buoyant smile leaving her lips, Camille holds a plate up to my eyes.
It takes me a few moments to recognize the articulated, spider-like thing the color of marzipan, arranged neatly on a bed of frilled lettuce leaves and tomato wedges.
“I made this for you,” Camille says and smiles.
We eat in silence, but it is a good silence, sitting on the floor of our crummy apartment, with cheap candles and cheaper wine.
I have been too rigid in my principles, I think. There is nothing wrong with cooking the parts.

3: Dissolution
So how did I get from there, the picture of an idyllic relationship, to, here, alone in front of the mirror, a ruin of a man?
Of course it couldn’t last. Remember the tale of the Chinese farmer I mentioned in the beginning? Well, there you go.
I have severed my lips in frustration. I always felt they were too wet and meaty anyway. I snipped them off with a pair of big paper scissors, so where once Camille placed her kisses, is now a funeral in red, a grinning, crimson mess. I can feel my gums starting to sting as they dry out around my exposed tooth necks.

One day I came home from a trip to the drugstore to buy painkillers, and found Camille passed out in our bed, a needle in her arm.
I shook her awake and yelled at her:
“Was that it? Was that why you were so eager to get out of Harbor View? Was that the real reason?”
She cried, said no and shook her head furiously. She said she loved me. I never used you, she said
I asked her why.
“I need it,” Camille cried. ”I need it to escape. It’s the only thing that makes it quiet in here,” She started beating her fists against her temples.
“There’s so much noise in there, all the time.”
That was when it dawned on me. The sex was not enough to make Camille feel whole anymore, to make her dissolve. That was why the needle had become her lover instead of me.
But who would I have been to judge her? It occurred to me that you can never judge anyone in your own optic, and so I forgave her. I forgave her and forgave and forgave her till I didn’t know which way was up anymore.
I never got to see her wear the green dress she’d bought. It languished at the bottom of the closet, among dust bunnies and dried up puddles of rat piss.
Plato 0, heroin 1.
Sadness and frustration took turns ruling my days from then on, as Camille slipped further and further away from me.
I became jealous that she preferred to retreat to that mysterious world behind her eyelids, preferred it to being here, with me, and so when I came home and found her high again a few days later, we fought, and I shouted, and she cried, and I forgave her, and the whole hellish story soon repeated itself, like an endless, indissoluble knot.
And still I forgave her, even when we started running out of money and I knew she’d started sleeping with her dealer. I think I had severed myself from all emotion at that point. There was only a slow, dull fire that still burned inside me, as I watched her become a stranger, and slip away to whatever desensitized bliss the needle promised.
In the end it wasn’t the drugs that killed her. I will probably never know exactly what made her jump; maybe the answer lies buried somewhere in the past, because after all, what are we, but bundles of damages walking around? Perhaps the ups and downs got to be too much for her. Perhaps she couldn’t think of any other way to quiet the noise in her head. Perhaps the world the heroin offered became so sweet that she couldn’t bear having to go back to one more day in the real world.
All I know is that all things inevitably move towards their end.

My body has indeed become my enemy, now more than ever. My brain haunts me with images of Camille, with sounds and smells that set the memories ablaze again and again. It is as if she has poisoned that big, gray lump of fat in my head against me. My penis as well, it fills with blood and rises involuntarily.
Everything betrays me. With Camille gone I find myself more disgusting and in the way than ever before.
My perception has become fragmented. I no longer remember when or what I eat. I can’t tell the days apart. Even the pain has lost its edge, its reality. But enough talk – I’m getting near the end, and it’s time to get to work. There is really only one thing left to do.
I can’t be sure that I’ll survive the next amputation, and I wonder why I never realized, that from the moment I laid down the very first incision, there was only really one way that this could end. Without realizing it, all along I was working towards cessation. I think I’m finally beginning to understand how everyone needs some way of becoming nothing. How it is our deepest, most secret longing. How it was all about that, about dancing right up close to the edge. To be united, to dissolve, to become nothing. And was there ever really any other way? After all, if I didn’t constantly work to improve myself, then where would I be?
I eat because I can’t allow myself not to. Not ‘I eat therefor I am’, but rather ‘I am, therefor I eat’. I think Camille would have liked that one.
The more I look at myself in the mirror, the more seems to be wrong with the image I see reflected back at me.
Soon I will make the next cut, and it will be my most ambitious one yet.
snake ouroboros
By Lars Kramhøft