The slight rasp of a recording from a cassette tape
Sometimes late at night, you can catch old syndicated episodes of Tales from the Crypt. It was such a wonderful show that displayed both morality and horror in the same hand. I still remember being with associates as the show came on. It was strange. Here we were – devious, dirty and disgusting creatures and we were glued to the television to see what new lesson was to be inflicted on the masses. A few of the more horror enthused would often say that the original comic books were much more frightening than the television show. Yet – they sat there in the crime and dirt ridden couches in front of a pilfered projection television. I almost think in those few moments – we had all forgotten we were the monsters that these stories were about. I brought my own chair of course – but we were still the “same” in this regards. I was so taken with the show that I decided to tell my own story…
Is there a horrid looking corpse telling it in his high pitched whiney voice? Alas, I have to say no. However, there was an episode that covers it. It all started one night in October. This was the season of many varied Halloween parties. In the episode – a man of questionable bedroom honesty meet a beautifully wicked woman who is dressed as a cross between a china doll and a dominatrix. They leave the party and engage in a lust filled feast of each other’s bodies. The only catch – they had to keep their Halloween masks on, per her request.
Sound of sipping
Excuse me – need to wet the tongue so to speak. Moving on – yes, it was quiet erotic and then the most terrible thing happened. The young man developed an infatuation with the woman. Now this was the early days before that nonsense of MySpace, Facebook and Google. Stalking someone actually took work, and work this young man did. In the end – he found her, much to her dismay. Well long story short – she was never really wearing a mask. She had a disease that made face appear like a china doll and she kept herself inside for most of the year. Unwilling to let herself be exposed – she proceeded to do with all those other men who developed an infatuation and discovered her secret – she beheaded them.
Is this the part where I tell you that story was true? Well – yes and no. For starters – it was not in the mid 90s when…
The sound of music from a ringtone “Her mind is Tiffany-twisted; She’s got the Mercedes bends. She’s got lots of pretty, pretty boys that she calls friends”
Pardon, speak of the devil – click
Clicking sound and a raised voice of irritation
Since obviously you are listening, you will have to have minded me hanging up on you during your berating and perhaps – maybe perhaps you can bite that beautifully delectable tongue of yours for five minutes and listen.
Coughs and cleans his throat – another sip followed by a refreshing ‘Ahhh’ and a calm tone
Now where was I…notes…ah yes? Right – for myself it just after the turn of the century – the 20th for those keeping track. Much like our young man in the story, I fancied myself a gentleman of easy virtue for women of a certain age. Unlike what polite society will have you believe – women’s taste in the flesh don’t lessen with age. It was quite the opposite in fact. Any other young man in position would have shied away from the prospect of bedding a woman more than 20 years their senior – yet these same ‘gentlemen’ would have fucked a girl who just had their first blood a month after. I’m not sure if it is men or human beings that are more disgusting. Speaking as I am no longer a human being and only wearing the skin of a man – I believe the jury is still out. So there I was buried deep in the warm of embrace of soft wrinkled flesh of women who had not known the husband’s touch in more than a decade. I was their escape into a nostalgic maiden-hood. I treated their bodies no less than a season musician would treat his instrument. I played them hard and long until their bodies ached and their strings were stretched.
In return for this most valuable service – my patrons were more than happy to reward my coffers with monetary gifts and other staples of high society. Now this is not to say that things were always pleasant. Sometimes – the lonelier of these women refused to let it go. They sought someone to care for them until their dying day. Some desired that I would be theirs and theirs alone.
A moment of silence
Tabitha Lloyd was 67 when I stuff the cloth down her throat and held it in until the panic of being unable to breathe caused her heart to fail. Afterwards, I smoothed her face and left her body as angelic looking as possible. She was a grandmother so when her family found her – they readily believed that she had passed in her sleep. When word reached the ladies circles – I took it hard on the face. The tears coupled with a brave smile as I held my glass aloft to toast the dear Lady Lloyd. I smiled for the dear departed. No one suspected anything because old women die.
Another moment of silence
Tabitha was my first. I never intended to make it a habit. By all rights, I am probably considered a serial killer. However, I did not do it for sport or some perverse sexual joy. No – my reasoning was purely survival. In 12 years of providing my service, I had murdered 8 women who wanted more than what was customary and refused to take no as an answer. All of them were found to have ‘died of natural causes’ – age.
Age is inevitable. It is the one thing that will continue to take all of us…well almost all of us. I was thirty and considered past my prime of being the friendly ‘stable boy’. Many of my clients were taken by age or accident or just interest. So in the 12 years I had amassed a steady income based on investments and monies over the years. I was shrewd as well as conservative with my finances. I understood exactly how luxury should be played out and did so better than any Jew banker.
So now we come full circle. One night in October – I went a party. I hadn’t been to any parties in a few years. I was enjoying the taste of younger flesh and the finances gained from old money. The invitation was given to me by one of my young debutantes who I was schooling in bedroom arts. She was intending to go with her fiancé and another couple. She given away one of the invitations to another friends and presented the other to me. It was obvious that she did not want to see another woman on my arm – but I cheerfully played along. If she was going to play those little games, then I would have no problem taking someone she knew into an alcove or closet breaking them like a mare in the afternoon sun. Dressed in a gold and black half mask, I made my way to party. It was hosted by an old money socialite named Tabitha Rochester.
In retrospect, I should have been suspicious. This individual humbly before you knows better now. The individual of weaker flesh had not suspected a thing. Enjoying the proposed anonymity that the mask offered, I forgot myself. I forgot I was a learned and wiser man of thirty. Instead I became the worker bee – tasting every flower for their honey. In many ways I had not felt this alive in a long time. After my fifth course of flesh – I looked up and saw her. She was an immaculate looking beauty. Her skin was like the finest alabaster. The slightest hint of the skin’s natural pink hue gave away to where the skin ended and the dress began. The dress was white stain and fell across her body like a sheet in the wind. In stark contrast, her auburn hair cascaded down her shoulders. It framed her face with almost a heart shape given the widows peak. The bird like mask on her face was almost as fragile and elegant as she held it with an unnatural grace. You were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
Silence and then it is broken by a cough
You see – this is the problem with the story. It has been done before. It has been done to every wicked socialite and elitist. It is a beyond common parlance for those below to teach a lesson to those so high above. It’s so trite and simple but there is lies the true beauty of it all. It’s so stupid and simple but it works so well. Much like the china doll woman – I was swept up by her beauty. One night was all that I spent with her left me like a man chasing the dragon. All I could do was to crave more and more. She indulged me – god she did. The time or place did not matter as soon as the sunset til it was going to rise – she and I would taste each others bodies as if it was the last trace of sustenance that we knew. My youthful nature was afire as we threw our bodies against each other in a debauched fashion. However like all things – we reach a limit. My body may have been young but my pocket book was beginning to thin out as kept throwing money out to inflame our debacles. Our polite dinner parties that turned into wanton orgies. She and I sitting as King and Queen while the masses sweated and writhed for our notice. As weeks past – I came to cold realization that I had nothing. She came over as she always did and begun talking about this weekend’s event.
I sat there in my hollow parlor – a few pieces of furniture I could not sell stood there. I was silent. When I did not answer – she looked down at me with curiosity. I simply looked up and said I had nothing. Everything – the money was all gone. I had sold everything but this house. It was all that I had left. She gave me a sweet smile and took out a small ledger out of her pocket book. She began reading off everything I had sold off and refinanced. Sum was larger than I had imagined. I literally gave away a fortune on the lust of life. Shocked – I said nothing. She looked at me with that smile, “Sometimes it is nothing that we return to dear Julian. We may rise out of the ashes – but we are still slated to become nothing once again.” She turned to walk away.
The very thought of nothingness is what hit harder than anything I have dealt with before. It tore into my chest and I sobbed. I finally let it all go. I was broken. I had nothing of substance to show myself in this world. Now admittedly – this was exceedingly shallow of me by modern standards. Back then – such a thing was my world. She knowing spent my whole entire world – and I let her. With a hidden strength, she lifted me up by my throat and smiled. Something shut off and I suddenly felt that there was no sound and despite my best efforts – this deathly silence told me that no one would hear me. Her face – though beautiful was gaunt and much older. Her eyes were black like pools of ink and large. She wasn’t horrible but it was unsettling. With her untold strength, she squeezed and brought me closer. “Tabitha Lloyd was my great granddaughter. A friend told me they watched you stuffed bedding down her throat as she begged you to be hers and only hers. I thought about this moment for a long time. I thought about ripping your skin off and feeding it to the rats. I thought about slicing up your feet and letting the dogs feast on you from the bottom up. I thought about slowly carving off that wicked cock of yours and leaving you a eunuch. You see – I have forever to think about such things. My great granddaughter had burned out her potential and worse yet – wasted her later years with you. She could have done so much for society if she wasn’t busy “milking you” all for your sordid “affection”. No instead my dear boy – I have opted for something else. All your finances and your property were sold to me through my third party intermediaries. I have everything that made you a man in this world’s eyes save your name. However…that will change as well.”
So with that she bit into my throat – tearing at it like an animal. I tried to scream but the pain was overwhelming. I laid there bleeding as she dropped blood into my mouth. Thick dark blood dripped from her mouth as she had bitten her own tongue. She smiled at me and leaned down and kissed me in the fashion that only lovers knew. I passed out soon after. Ultimately it was the pain that woke me up again. It was worse than any hangover or skin disease I had known. My body burned and felt like rotted meat. I could have sworn I had thrown up parts of my body as new ones were created. It wasn’t until 7th day that my red headed Tabitha brought a burlap sack. She threw it on the floor next to me. I looked up and realized all the shutters and curtains had been closed. I had been collared to the floor. I had lacked the ability to move and even if I wanted to, she had taken measures. So I had laid there in six days worth of my own remains. My stomach rumbled and I slowly reached for the sack. I looked up at her and she gave a slight nod of her head. I pulled it close and opened it.
Large angry rats were in the bag. I looked up at her in question, “You are a monster Julian. You became one when you killed my dear Tabby. You were a disgusting image of a man inside. I thought long and hard about where you would end up. Some of the truly vile of the monsters could have cursed you with a visage to have truly matched your soul. However, I saw more value in my lesson to you. It is one thing to be a monster. However, I wanted to see if a monster could become a man once again. You are dead Julian. You are what many would call a vampire. You will feed off the living. You will sleep during the day and pretend you are one of the living at night. You are a higher form of monster and tonight we begin your first lesson – feeding for your survival.”
There I was – a newly made monster in a new century in a new world and brimming with new ideas. Even in my politics I was considered a bit of a fledgeling. My strict beliefs into a Nationalist ideal were making its own headway in Europe – though for our team. Ours was a good fight made whole and pure. It was almost like that in the 60s during its anti-war sentiments. How did Thompson put it? He said, “There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.”
Pause for a moment and the sound of sipping.
American had its own form of Nationalism – but nothing so brutal as the Nazi or Russian propaganda machines. America still had its social freedoms and leaning – but it wasn’t to same control extent that the Nazis and Soviets were…or perhaps it was? You can never really tell with a skill speaker. What was it that Criswell once said – “If you dress nice and speak well, people will eat anything.”
Almost the sound of a smile in the speakers voice, slight chuckles and clears throat
It is a universal truth for monsters and men. I mean hell – there is the one ideal that can make or break us. Indeed. Sorry I digress, but yes. How many monsters do you see in movies truly scary? It isn’t the gore filled ones. Its the ones that are people. Ugly horrible people! People can be bigger monsters than us – you can trust me on that. So we understand the monster and the man – it gives us the ability to blend in with existence to such an extent that we are truly invisible and yet ensured of our continued survival. Yes I know this is a lot of highbrow thought and philosophy kind of stuff – but it something I really want you to think about. I was a man. I was a living breath man who became a monster of the flesh and coin. I was worse than most that I have met because I was willful in my humanity. I was a nasty horrible creature who should have become a twisted monstrosity. Instead I became a raw predator. I am a monster who has learned to be a better man – which in turn makes me a better monster. My name is Julian Constant and welcome to the newest party – we call it the ‘After Life’.