The Devil’s voice

Grandma said that I shouldn’t say such things.
“You can’t let The Devil take your voice.”
When I did bad things, she said I was letting The Devil take my hands.
Even if I didn’t say or do bad things, I thought them, and Grandma said I was letting The Devil take my head.
Grandma said lots of things, but so did The Devil.
And I gave him my ears, and I listened.
Walking out of Grandma’s burning house, holding her severed head by her hair.
Laughing.
Yes, I gave myself, whole, complete, to The Devil.
And I liked it.

The last football

Lucy pulled the football away from Charlie Brown one too many times, and he snapped.
Went into his Dad’s shed and got out an axe handle.
One whack, and Lucy went down hard.
Charlie dragged her corpse to the ramshackle psychiatrist stand, dug two nickels out of the can, and put them on Lucy’s eyes.
He ranted for hours before the adults found them.
Too young to prosecute him as an adult, so they put him in Juvie.
His sister Sally got the fucked-up dog.
Schroeder played piano at Lucy’s funeral.
And Linus left his blanket on his sister’s grave.

One upon an evil time

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess.
Her father promised her to an evil prince.
The evil prince killed all of his rivals, and every adventurer trying to free the princess.
The princess had no choice, and she married the prince.
Then, that night… while the prince and the princess were alone.
The princess killed the prince.
Because she was evil too.
She burned down the prince’s castle, killing everyone.
And she brought the prince’s head to her father.
“Our plan worked,” she said. “Both kingdoms are ours.”
And they lived happily…
Until someone more evil came around.

Dialing up the pain

I watched Soylent Green last night.
Did you know that Edward G. Robinson was dying during that film?
Bladder cancer. He died nineteen days after shooting completed.
The pain and anguish that Charleton Heston had as Thorn wasn’t just acting.
It was real.
He was suffering because his friend… his mentor… his colleague was also suffering.
The death scene was, literally, Robinson’s death scene.
If you ever need a boost in your performance, look someone you love in the eye.
And remember: one day, possibly soon, they will be dead.
When the pain becomes too great to bear, roll film.

The Melting Girl

Elizabeth liked to construct wax replicas of herself, mount them in the heated pan, and then transfer her consciousness to the slowly melting figures.
Without sight or sound or thought, just the sensation of the warmth and slowly draining away from herself.
Her softening skin, flowing and dripping into the pan, coalescing into a growing puddle.
Her feet and legs and body descending into the mass, collapsing into the bubbling goo.
After ten minutes, her mind would return to her body, she’d open her eyes, and release a deep sigh.
And she’d pour the hot wax into the mold again.

Club 27

Jimi, Janiss, and Jim.
They all died at the age of twenty-seven.
Kurt Cobain, too. And Amy Winehouse.
So much young talent died at the age of twenty-seven.
They call it Club 27, a macabre hallmark of the price of drugs, hard living, and fame.
Music industry executives were worried that their biggest acts would die before their biggest hits.
Or, even worse, die without leaving a massive library of unreleased tracks to exploit after their deaths.
Like they did with Michael Jackson, Prince, and countless others they had killed.
I mean, countless others they had difficulty negotiating contracts with.

Halloween mob

For Halloween, kids would dress up as ghosts and vampires and other creatures.
Then came the cheap plastic masks and aprons with Marvel superheroes.
I didn’t put up with any of that crap.
So, I rallied the kids in the neighborhood to meet in the apple orchard, and we’d hand out pitchforks and lit torches.
Then, we’d go door to door as an angry mob.
“IS THIS CASTLE FRANKENSTEIN?” I’d yell.
When they said no, I’d unfold a map, and yell “IT MUST BE THE NEXT HOUSE!”
And we’d work the neighborhood, until the cops attacked us with riot gear.

Vampire Jack

Wolfman Jack, the famous deejay, was not a werewolf.
He was, in fact, a vampire.
In order to hide his true nature, he wore a scraggly wig and howled so people would think he was a werewolf.
This ruse worked, until a deranged fan tried to shoot him with a silver bullet.
Werewolves normally die from silver bullets, but vampires are immune to them, so Wolfman Jack staged his own death.
The next day, Mummy Jack showed up at the radio station looking for a job.
But walking around in bandages didn’t have the same appeal as a wolfman’s howl.

Master of Horror

They called Vincent Price the Master of Horror.
But his true calling was tapdance.
In between takes, Vincent Price would don a top hat, pick up a cane, and he’d do a little soft shoe to amuse the crew and other actors.
Then, once the cameras and lights were ready, he’d go back to acting.
Vincent tried to convince producers to cast him in musicals, but his agent insisted that he do horror.
“It’s what the audiences want and love… and the studios pay for,” he said.
Vincent sighed, hung up his tap shoes, and put on his black cloak.

Frankenbeatle

Before Dr. Victor Frankenstein became obsessed with bringing dead tissue back to life, he was obsessed with bringing The Beatles back together.
Many experts agreed that getting rid of Yoko Ono would solve the problem, but Victor knew that the real problem was Linda McCartney.
Victor spent many nights trying to calculate the proper solution.
After ten years, he’d finally done it.
He ran to the local newspaper office with his findings, only to discover that John Lennon had been killed.
Victor sighed, went back to the drawing board, and began working on a solution to that even bigger problem.