Gluttonous Lust

Prompt Day #365: Free-write an excessively verbose and sensory laden moment of indulgence in your favorite sin. Go on. You deserve it. (However, you get bonus points if your entry ends in a poetically cruel punishment.)

Here it is, the LAST PROMPT. I did it. I did every single one. 365 of them. Insane how that little idea changed my life. A year ago I had just left a job I loved for something new and different and scary, but I wanted more time to spend with my family and more time to work on my hobby. I have wanted to be a writer since I picked up Stephen King’s Pet Sematary in the sixth grade and said “I want to write like him and I want to write scary stuff” But I took the road well-traveled and became a doctor instead, telling myself I can always write later. But later never came until I realized I had to go out and find it. It was never going to come to me. So I went to it and then the world started spinning in a completely different way and I changed from a girl who wanted to be a writer to a girl who IS a writer and all because I challenged myself. The pieces all came together from there and in a year or two, I plan to have more written: books, short stories, the world is wide open. So, what have I learned in this year? I learned that no matter which of the many roads you take, none of them are one way. You can turn around, go back and try another path. I did, and it really did make all the difference.

Now, as for this prompt. I couldn’t pick just one sin, they are all such fun, so I combined my top two into this story. And you, my friend, you have been with me on this journey and so it seems fitting that we travel through this last story together. I dedicate this last one to you, my darlings. Let me buy you dinner. Let’s indulge.

Gluttonous Lust

                Food and wine. God, I love it. I love the feel of food on my tongue and the way wine makes the flavors pop. It turns me on, makes me feel sexy and gorgeous. Each sip of wine that warms my cheeks and breasts enhances the smooth, flavors of gourmet foods. Small plates come one after another and with each one, a different wine. White to rose to red to sweet dessert wines work inside of me to make me feel like a princess as I bring dainty foods to my lipstick covered lips. Creamy sauces, sinfully butter laden slide down my throat, soothing the burn of the alcohol. I lick my lips a new layer of gloss on them from the food. Edible orchids with purple blush sit on the side of my dish mirroring my own flower warming in its tropical jungle as the pleasures of indulgence overwhelms my senses. Come with me; let’s share a meal together…

High end dishes are often costly in both price and calories, the feeling it gives you of power and recklessness is a foreplay. Cheese, tangy and thick spread on a piece of bread, followed by a cool soup strained such that it is liquid ambrosia with a savory flavor that forces you to take it in small doses sip by sip off your fancy spoon. Drink your wine, let it warm you back up and wait for the next course.

Something else cool, maybe a shrimp carpaccio with a hot oil drizzled over it and dried pepper for bite. Or cubes of expensive raw tuna each with a small dollop of cream and microgreens. The umami massages your mouth seductively and you become aware of each movement of your tongue and the peristalsis of your esophagus as it undulates like a lover’s hips taking it all in.

A hot dish now. Something that allows you to taste what the sacrificial beast ate before it died for your sin. Fresh air and vegetation dance with striations of muscle fibers breaking between your teeth. Roasted root vegetables bring the earth to you, and you taste your origins. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Nothing makes you want to fuck more than the knowledge that this isn’t forever. None of it. So eat, drink, fuck and be merry. Use your body in every way possible. Indulge, intoxicate every sensation.

Next the lobster. You rip the shellfish apart with your bare hands. Release your animal instincts. Feel the juices drip down your fingers, your lips, your throat. You savor the sweetness of the velvet muscle that whispers secrets of the sea. Set it swimming again in an ocean of clarified butter, butter so clear you can see every dream you’ve ever had in its golden hue. Imagine your hands wet with the spoils of indulgence running over your lover, succulent and honeyed. Flavors intermingling until no one knows the origin of the nectars dripping off your bodies.

The chef, who would normally be sending out dessert has seen and noted your orgasmic pleasure in his creations. He wants you to enjoy even more, he knows you are the kind of person who can take anything and everything he dishes out and he wants to give his all to you. Wants to see you take in every bit of it. The waiter brings something more and just when you think you can’t possibly swallow another bite, you’re aroused by the dish set in front of you.

“Sannakji” The waiter announces and reveals the dish. You gasp. A wriggling octopus rolls around its bowl as if on Ecstasy. Each tentacle writhes about feeling, as a means of identification, its current situation. The chef appears, his long, hard tool in hand. He is going to cut off the squirming, seeking, sucking appendages.

“No.” you put out a firm hand and stop his wrist. “I want it all, don’t make it easy on me.” You say.

You grab it out of the bowl, it wraps itself around your finger in a lover’s embrace, suckling on your skin. You gently admonish it and pull it away. Grabbing it instead with chopsticks, you bring the head into your mouth. Your tongue works more of it inside until you’ve almost swallowed it. A lightly seasoned rubbery mass. You could chew but decide it best to swallow quickly before the thing can pull away. Suppressing your gag reflex to allow the globus of flesh ample room. Your throat opens wider to accommodate. The chef is watching, transfixed by the coupling of his creation with your body.

You are not used to having something this deep in your throat begin to move but it does. Slightly at first and then more. The Lovecraftian beast is maneuvering itself in an effort of survival. The tentacles you insisted upon keeping have turned against you. The creature opens itself fully within your throat first choking you and then cutting off your air supply entirely. You bring your hands up instinctively in the universal sign that you cannot breathe. The culmination of lust and gluttony, the moment just before release, has stalled in time and there will be no explosion of pleasure here. There will be no gasping in sweaty finality. Instead, flavors dull, color dims, and instead of the scent of roasted meat, you smell your own piss and shit as the end draws close and your lover, your food, your dangerous addiction ends you.

Dante’s Facebook

Prompt Day #335: Take a moment to reflect and list the top six things that annoy the hell out of you. Done? Assign each “thing” a singular name or a designated keyword. You now have your levels of Hell, Dante. Write about a character’s descent into the abyss.

Sorry if this offends anyone. It probably will but it is what it is. I hate these things. They make me want to log off Facebook forever. No one is always right. A great lesson to be learned. And no family is perfect, no matter how hard you try to make it look that way to the rest of us. So, I took a page from Dante. But I don’t have the energy to rhyme like him so instead I just said it as cryptically and as snarky as I could and let the chips fall where they may. I only have one left to do and it’s a doozy, my friends. Hang on until tomorrow, if you can still stomach me after this one. Also, you’ll note the strange numbering here. I saved this one since Dante has always been a muse to me. I love his visions of Hell, I love the mythology of Hell and Demons and I think you’ll find these themes in much of my work. Death, Hell, Demons, The afterlife. My big favs. So I wanted to end with Dante and the Deadly sins. Today is Dante, tomorrow for #365: 2 of my favorite sins.

Dante’s Facebook

  • Anti-Vaxxers/Medical Paranoia: Apple Slingers
  • Drama Mongers: ScapeQuotes
  • Self-Love via Selfies, Gym Check-ins, and Food Pics: Cult of Narcissus
  • Stubborn Ignorance: SeeNoHearNo
  • Intolerance in the name of religion: Picken Choosers
  • The Perfect Lifers: Pretty Little Liars

 

 

Midway in my life’s journey, I went on line

From the norm of my life, I found myself

The star of my own page, a life less divine.

This page, filled with my past

So full of promise, knowledge and friendship

Yet its very memory gives shape to fear and angst

 

WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND? HOW DO YOU FEEL

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN? WHAT GOD DO YOU CHOOSE?

WHAT ARE YOUR CHILDREN DOING, IS IT ALL REAL?

WHAT DO YOU LOOK LIKE? ARE YOU HAPPY?

WHO ARE YOU VOTING FOR? ARE YOU SATISFIED IN YOUR MARRIAGE?

IS SOMETHING IN LIFE MAKING YOU SAD?

 

GIVE YOUR OPINION, SHOW ME THAT YOU’RE BETTER THAN ME

TELL ME WHAT TO THINK, HOW TO FEEL, WHAT TO BELIEVE

ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE.

With a simple touch of an app

I leapt to the page and immediately saw

The lives of others laid out before me in perfect filters

Smiling, empty lives of The Perfect Little Liars

Who hide away their secrets, their pains, their suffering

Here in Hell’s FaceBook, they find no happiness, no pleasure

Their meaningless lives hidden behind the façade of perfect children

Smiling faces mask tears of regret, unfulfilled lives, and envy

Marriages without satisfaction, husbands and wives who feel alone

I scroll past their falseness and onto the next page

Trembling in the air of Hell’s FaceBook

Fearing that which I might find next in those I thought I knew.

Down I went to the second page alone

So much more drama, self-created for the attention

Of those not damned to the bestial moans.

 

On this page I came to storms of which I had not seen

Dark clouds hid the light from those who hid their true meanings

Behind words of doubt and self-pity

 

Winds and torrents of words rained down upon them

And they swirled around in tornadoes of their own creation

Unable to put their feet down and move on, instead they hold out hands

Begging for some human kindness that never comes

Because human kindness has turned its back on those

Seeking reassurance over and over until their very need is passé.

I moved on to the next page, for I could not help

Those who would not help themselves

The light brightened and became a glare

 

So bright I could not see, for all around me mirrors

Mirrors reflecting so strongly, they showed clean through those whose

Shallowness knew only of themselves

They stared unmoving into the blinding light of their own reflections

No longer able to move, or work out at the gym

No longer able to feign kissing the lens of cameras pointed only at themselves

They were unable to look away from their own ugliness

Reflected in the mirrors blinding us all

In the shine of their own self importance

 

I could no longer see and thus moved on again to yet another page

But here I found no peace, for this page

Was filled with those whose mouths hung open perpetually

Excrement spilling forth in a putrid slush

Because they refused to stop long enough to think and taste

And to know what it is they were polluting the air with

Their ignorance formed a frozen mush of putrescence

That they wallowed in ceaselessly

Never realizing the reek of themselves and their words.

The air sickened me and I had to leave, I scrolled on

On to the next page where those who ran in endless circles

Away from all help offered by modern medicine

Their skin pocked with ulcers and sores from ancient diseases

Long since cured but here help was refused and instead

They grazed like cattle on their greens and herbs

 

And like cattle they were waiting, waiting with their sickness

Their diseases, parasites, and sores

Waited to be loaded up and follow each other mindlessly to slaughter

I could not help them either because they refused me

Refused the more than a decade’s worth of scholarly learning

To chew their cud and tell themselves they were healthy

 

Because their friends with no knowledge of the subject

Said they were, said that I would lie for my own good

While spending years and days and hours away just to help them

I moved on for my own good, I left them behind to die

But I still did not find peace, I found instead discrimination

In a warped translation of words dictated a thousand years before

Here there were bodies carrying the load of dead souls within.

Incapable of love, forgiveness, or understanding

Instead, intolerance, hatred and misery

In the name of a God with whom they never bothered to acquaint themselves

The rot inside them leeched out into their environment

And the stench became too much for me to bare.

I moved on. I found nothing upon nothing

Hatred and oppression

And I became despondent.

In my search for humanity I had encountered a mountain

So steep it was monstrous; each ledge like teeth gnashing at me

Until I could see no end in sight

 

And then a light shown like a beacon

A star on my path home “Log out” it declared.

An answer so simple I had only to heed

The power to save myself from this Hell

Was just a click away, just to be safe

I followed Dorothy and clicked it three times

Home, inside my own mind

Where things make sense, where I can log out of this Hell

And come back again when I am stronger.

The Fixer

Prompt Day #359: The town clock tower has been defaced: someone has replaced the mechanism’s large hands with human arms. Who is behind this unspeakable crime, and why?

Ok, this one, I completely admit, sucks. I did not put much effort into it and I did not make much of a story out of it. Instead, I treated it as a High school essay. I answered the question put forth in a very reporter-like style. I know. Just hang on, I have a few to get through today to catch me up. Tuesday will be my last one and so I need to get back on track as fast as possible.

 

The Fixer

                When the large clock tower in the center of the Stony Point chimed nine, everyone in the town came out of their houses to gawk. The centerpiece and one of the village’s oldest buildings, the clock tower hadn’t worked in over ten years. As far as anyone knew, no one had been hired to fix it, so the chimes were haunting enough on their own. The screams that followed shortly after the ninth tone were not due to the ghost of a clock come back to life as much as they were more about the human arms that had replaced the old hour and minute hands.

It was Sheriff Johansson who found the note attached to the door of the tower and entered it into evidence…just after a copy was printed in the Stony Point Herald as was standard for small town crimes. The police force, having been cut down to the bare bones of just Sheriff Johansson and two deputies. The town was going under that’s for sure. The only thing to look forward to was the gossip found in the Herald. Disembodied extremities which had been attached to a clock tower which had also been repaired was a mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes (the new cute one on TV, not the old curmudgeonly one from the books).

A picture of the note was blown up on the front page the following day.

Stony Point,

Hello dear friends. I have decided that what this town needs is just some TLC. A little fixing up. I’ve volunteered myself to take care of these things for you. You’ll have noticed by now my repair of the clock tower. I won’t charge you for this of course, as you can see someone has already paid me an arm and a leg for my services. You’ll find I’ve repaired many things in town as time goes on. I’ll do my best for this city that has given so much to me.

Yours,

The Fixer

The body or the torso was found the next day floating in the river on the eastern edge of town. Not only were arms missing but the legs and head were as well. It was a man’s torso which was ultimately identified when Chuck Patterson’s mailman noticed he hadn’t been picking up his mail. Patterson was a retired town councilman whose wife had recently died of cancer. Chuck had been a little down, and had confined himself to home. So the townsfolk told themselves they couldn’t be blamed for not noticing his three day absence.

Sheriff Johansson combed the town for the remains of Chuck Patterson. His legs were found supporting an old park bench that had been damaged in a dunk driving accident three years back. The car finally stopped in the park’s duck pond but not after taking out the bench, a swing set and several mallard ducks. The bench at least was now standing, thanks to the strength of two femurs and two lower leg-feet complexes.

His head proved hardest to find, but a passing motorist phoned in a strange sign just five miles outside of Stony Point that appeared to have a human head attached. Sheriff Johansson found it. A hand painted sign reading Stony Point, your destination for dilapidation! Just 5 miles a and Chuck’s head was sitting on a makeshift platform which completed the message.

Further investigations found no more body parts and no more bodies, except for Ira Ward’s body which was found hanging from the same clock tower. Ira had been the town supervisor under Chairman Patterson. He was in charge of repairs and basic upkeep. When the town’s budget was reworked, Ira was one of the many who were let go. It was theorized that Ira blamed Chuck for his dismissal and the subsequent decline of the town’s facilities.

Last Day Drama

Prompt Day #362: Write a lesson plan for the last day of classes in a school for telepaths or psychics….who will be surprised by what’s in store.

 

Last Day Drama

Objective: To establish a team building exercise that allows the students to succeed without the use of their special abilities. The objective is for students to develop communication skills, creative problem solving, and supportive team-work abilities without the use of extra sensory perception or telepathy.

Instruction: Students will be broken up into groups of four. They will be provided with a minimum instruction. Once in front of the class, they will be given a prompt from Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side by Michael Arnzen. They will be expected to begin immediately. And proceed with their improv routine for a full twenty minutes or until each student has had multiple lines.

Scoring: Each student must speak at least three lines, each student will use their lines to move the plot forward. Grades will be awarded in a pass/fail format.

Summary: The spontaneity of the improv activity and the speed at which the students need to listen and respond will render their special talents useless. This will be a true test of their interpersonal and communication skills. What they will not be told until the end of the activity is that successful completion of the activity is essential to graduation from the program.

Can Billy Come Out and Play?

Prompt Day # 364: Craft a scene in a treehouse, playground, campground, or arcade where the “radiant boys” – the glowing ghosts of children who have been murdered by their mothers – sometimes gather to play.

 

Can Billy Come Out and Play?

                “Can Billy come out and play” the boy asked. There were three of them standing there. The bright, midmorning sun shone behind them, giving them a radiant glow. None were smiling. Otherwise, they looked reasonable enough.

“No, he’s being punished. He is not allowed out. Go play now.” She couldn’t deal with this right now. Billy wasn’t in trouble of course, he never caused her any trouble, but he was the reason she was stuck here in this town, in this marriage, in this misery. It was better to treat him as if he had done something wrong. Easier for her when it came time to finish it.

She knocked on his door. “Billy? Some of your friends came by just now asking for you to play. I told them you weren’t feeling well.” Billy was laying on his bed, facing out the window. She followed his gaze. The neighbor’s across the street had a large treehouse and she saw the boys who’d come for Billy climbing up inside it. How had she never noticed such a huge playhouse before? Billy had never mentioned it either.

“I don’t have any friends.” He said flatly.

“Well, anyways, there were three of them and they wanted you to play.” She didn’t know why she told him this, it was as if she was trying to mentally torture him too. She felt guilty.

“It doesn’t matter, you’re right. I’m too sick.” He said and pulled the blankets up.

“I’ll bring you some soup” she said. It was time for another dose anyways.

She was mixing in the special medicine when the doorbell rang.

“Can Billy come out and play?” the three boys stood there again. “We’re going to the playground this time. He should come.”

“I told you before that he is too sick.” She said

“He is still sick? It won’t be much longer then.” The boys stared at her. She wondered if the guilt that flushed inside her with their knowing looks was showing on her cheeks as well. It was like they knew.

“Boys, he can’t come out and I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t come back here anymore.” She said trying out her stern mother look at them.

“We just want to make sure he knows where we are when he’s ready to come out and play.” The boy said. “Tell him, for the rest of the day, it’s the playground, ok?” they walked away.

She carried the soup up to her dying son.

“Those boys stopped by again. They said they would be at the playground for the rest of the day. Are you sure you don’t feel up to it?” Now she was fishing. How close was he?

“They aren’t my friends, I don’t know them; I can’t go to the playground. I’m too weak. Maybe you should take me to the hospital, Mom.” Now he was fishing. He suspected she was making him sick of course, he needed confirmation.

“Oh Geez Billy, I’m not taking you to the hospital because you have the flu!” She tried to sound playful, nonchalant.

“Sure, Mom. Sorry for asking.”

“Here, eat your soup, you’ll feel better.” She said. She thought about kissing his forehead for good measure but it would only make her feel worse about herself. Instead she put the spoon in his hand and walked out.

She fell asleep on the chair. Her husband, Billy’s dad was off on a business trip. She needed to make the most of this time. She was just so tired, besides, he was so weak as it was; it couldn’t be much longer. She’d finish him off tomorrow. Either breakfast or lunch.

The doorbell woke her up. She trudged half asleep to answer it.

“Can Billy come out and play?” The same three boys stood in the same formation. She rolled her eyes at them.

“No, for the last time. He…”

“I’d love to.” Billy interrupted. He was standing on the steps behind her and damned if he didn’t look rosy cheeked and healthy. “I feel much better, Mom, I do.” He assured her. “Can I go with them?”

She looked at her boy. Her beautiful, healthy boy and was overcome with love and guilt and regret. What had she been thinking? She was so damn selfish. Thank God it wasn’t too late. She would undo as much as she could, and if he still seemed sick at all, she would take him to the hospital and turn herself in. She grabbed him and hugged him. She kissed him on the forehead and nodded.

“Of course. You go play with your friends. When you get back, I’ll make you Spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, if you want.”

“My favorite. Thanks, Mom, but I don’t think I’ll be hungry. Bye, Love you!” He kissed her cheek quickly and ran off with his friends.

She smiled and sighed. To think she’d been so close to losing him. She went to the kitchen and dumped the poison down the drain, rinsed the bottle, and threw it away. She decided to go upstairs and clean his room, wash the sheets in case there was poison in them from his sweat. She needed a do-over, a clean slate and so did he.

The door to his room was closed. She thought nothing of it. He must have closed it on his way out. She opened the door and froze. There was Billy’s body lying in the bed, still turned on his side, facing the window.

“Billy? What are you doing back in here?” she asked, already fearing the reality of this situation. He didn’t move. “Billy?” she walked closer. “Billy!” She screamed it this time. Rushing over to him, she shook his cold, stiff body. He was dead. Dead and gone. Whatever there was beyond this, she knew at least he was not alone. He was outside, playing with the other boys. The Radiant Boys.

Count Yeezus

Prompt Day #356: Peruse a bridal magazine or a celebrity gossip rag. Draw fangs on the frilly and famous until a motive or a plot occurs to you

I don’t know, this is weird. The prompt was kinda weird. It’s the best I can do under the influence of whiskey and multiple cold meds.

Count Yeezus

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Make Their Most Astonishing Confession Yet!

In what might be the most shocking and unbelievable confession yet from Americans “love to hate” duo, an interview with Kim and Kanye in this month’s Cosmo will blow your mind. This reporter was allowed exclusive access into the West’s private boudoir in order to discuss what was to be an article on celebrities’ sex lives.

When I arrived at Kim and Kanye’s west coast abode I was greeted by Kim who first granted me a complete tour of their beach house and explained it was in their house where both children were conceived as Kanye requires a constant stream of salt-water air in order to both achieve and maintain an erection. This is going to be very interesting, I thought. I continued to follow her couldn’t help but notice that her back side and breasts had grown to a more than cartoonish size and now teetered into the realm of the freakish fetish sex mags one can only obtain in cities like Bangkok.

She of course was fully aware of the affect her buttocks and bosom were having as she wore only a skin-toned, painted on latex body suit and arched her back as often as her off-center of balance would allow. She led me to the bedroom where she immediately struck a Venus-like pose on the enormous bed that would dwarf a California King.

“Where is Kanye?” I asked. “Oh, he’ll be here soon, He recently had some work done and is resting.” She looked at her watch. It had to be near 7pm, she’d been insistent that I arrive after dinner.

“Well, why don’t you start by telling me what attracts you to each other sexually?” I asked. I had an idea that I would write an article proving that when it comes to between the sheets behavior, celebrities were no different than you and me.

“Well, I have always been attracted to Kanye’s self-confidence. He knows he is a genius and he knows he can do anything and people will follow in his tracks. He isn’t afraid to go for the outlandish or what some might even consider insane. That’s how he got me, you know?” She said, not realizing how she connected her last two sentences.

“Yes, I certainly do.” I said

And he was, just like everybody else, attracted to the whole package that is me. Although if I am being honest, he does like my boobs and my butt, maybe even more than my face!” She laughed as if she was joking.

Enter the psycho. I notice immediately that the work he had done was something in the dental region as his lips puffed out unnaturally as if he had braces or (please God no) a gold grill surgically applied to his teeth.

“Hey” he said elevating his head to me in a half nod. I was lowly and did not deserve a full one. The leaned over and kissed Kim. “Hey Baby. You look delicious.” There was a lisp there, he’d definitely had something done.

“Well now that Kanye’s here,” I said, “Maybe he can tell me more about his love for you breasts and backside.” I smiled. Kim looked at Kanye.

“Can we tell her now, Baby?” She asked.

“Lemme tell her, it was my idea.” He said and turned to me. He grinned wide, showing elongated, pointed canines that he had obviously had implanted.

“So you’re a vampire now?” I asked trying hard to suppress my laughter.

“No, I’m a Kimpire” he said in all seriousness. “I suck out fat and collagen and inject it into the places I want to see bigger. And look, it’s slowly starting to show.” He smiled and leaned his head back. I saw the holes up the center of the teeth, giving them hypodermic properties.

“Wait, you seriously suck fat and collagen out of your wife’s body and then spit it back into her in other places?” I asked, then held up my hand to stop them, I had more to say about this. “That has got to be unsanitary and almost certainly puts her at risk for infection.” I was appalled.

“We clean, Baby. And yes I do that for her, you get me? I do this to make her a better person.” Kanye said.

“And it barely hurts” she added “he does it during sex, so it’s like S&M or something.”

“When she all out of fat, like when she all worked out and thin, I order the collagen and inject it one way only, you hear what I’m sayin’?” He said. I think I must have been sitting there with my mouth hanging open because they both looked back at me impatiently waiting for me to “hear what he was sayin’”

“So you had hypodermic vampire teeth surgically implanted, so you could perform plastic surgery orally on your wife?” I asked, trying to summarize the situation.

“Yeah, yeah, you got it. See, I strive every day to make Kim the best she can possibly be.”

“So this is all for her?”

“It barely hurts, like hardly at all and if I take antibiotics every day, no problem. And look at me!” She stood and twirled. Kanye smiled showing his ridiculous teeth.

There was nothing else I could ask them, I had been rendered speechless and the idea of an article on celebrities’ sex lives being just like ours went right out the window after only twenty minutes with these two. It was time to go and I kindly bid my adieu to those who live in a world we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

The Gein Line

Prompt Day #363: Account for the wreath of entrails.

The Gein Line

                The whole town called him the Grinch. Behind his back of course, but he knew. He was the only one who refused to decorate for Christmas. The letters came each and every year, explaining how the town’s name was, after all, Christmas and the did pride themselves on their Christmas displays and when only one home refuses to participate in the festivities, it becomes an eyesore and so on and so forth. He always crushed them up and trashed them. He had no interest in Christmas or any of its nonsensical traditions.

Decorating one’s house gives a certain impression. “I’m a friendly person, feel free to drop by and say hello” it says in red and green flashing lights. The last thing Henry Wilhelm needed were people dropping by. Henry had what he thought of as an unusual habit. Only one other person that he knew of shared his enthusiasm for his kind of bric-a-brac but Ed Gein died back in 84 so that left Henry and he alone to carry on the art.

He couldn’t have people visiting a home filled with cemetery finds. And so far that’s all it was. Just pieces he’d made from his collections at the graveyard. But still, the rest of the town wouldn’t understand. He couldn’t even open the door to carolers; his coat rack was formed by six femurs stacked end to end with four humerus bones for hooks. He hadn’t crossed the line that ultimately led to Gein’s capture. He hadn’t killed anyone. Henry simply watched the obituaries and waited. It was no different than found or repurposed art. No one else was using the pieces anymore. But it was illegal and so he needed to keep to himself.

The letter this year came from Carla Thompkins, the town’s treasurer and librarian. She of course felt that she spoke for the town and always in its best interests. So it wasn’t a surprise to see her signature at the bottom of the thing. She informed him that if he did not participate in this year’s Christmas decorating a group led by the illustrious Ms. Thompkins herself would be picketing his home all hours of the day and night. A threat. Really? That woman did not know who she was messing with. Her picketing would have a detrimental effect on his ability to go searching for art supplies.

He decided perhaps it was time to invite her over, explain in a calm and rational way why he chose not to participate and if, after he’d done so, she still felt as strongly about it, then, he would give in and agree. He smiled. This time, he did not throw away the letter, instead, he flipped it over and began to reply.

The doorbell rang and Henry let Carla in. She didn’t notice the coat rack, even after he made an exaggerated effort putting her coat on it. They sat at the kitchen table. A bowl made out of the top half of a human skull held peanuts and she ate them without hesitation. Henry decided that no one notices things they don’t want to see and all this time, he’d been being so stubborn to save himself when the more objecting he’d done, the more he’d called attention to himself. And there was just no reason to worry about it because no one seemed to care anyways that he had a house full of human remains posing as décor.

“I don’t own any lights” he said finally when she’d finished her persuasive argument. “But I was thinking of maybe putting up a wreath of some sort.”

“Now that’s the spirit Henry! I’m sure the townsfolk would be happy to donate extra lights to help you make your home just as festive as ours.” She smiled a politician’s grin and he knew that he was going to cross the Gein line.

“I’ve never decorated for Christmas before though” he said “I’ll need your help.”

“Whatever I can do.” She said and he turned out the lights.

 

Henry Thompkins home did not appear to be decorated for Christmas and as promised, although without their leader who had for some reason not shown up for the protest that morning, the group protesting Henry’s lack of participation began their picketing.

He saw them of course, the big picture window sat right in front of his work table where he was painting bones to look like candy canes and tanning skin around spheres that he would then light up to make large ornaments to decorate the yard. He smiled. Silly folks obviously hadn’t seen his wreath. They would though, soon, he hoped. That’s when he heard the scream. Ah, yes, they had seen it.

The wreath hung on his door. It was so fresh, it still dripped; red lines striped the white door like a peppermint candy. Carla’s small bowel twisted around the metal frame forming the bulk of the wreath. The pink tone of live mucosa had become a dusky purple without its constant blood supply. He’d made a large puffy bow out of the colon and stitched it to the bottom of the wreath. It too had turned dark, almost black but he found it to be a lovely winter shade.

He’d found some gallstones in her gallbladder so he added them around the wreath too. In the end it was as festive as he’d ever been and he was quite proud of it. He hung it on the door and immediately got to work preparing the best Christmas decorations this town had ever seen.