Month: November 2017

How To Grow A Serial Killer

Meet Bill Sykes, a nice, caring, six-year old boy, who lives in a Catholic-oriented house on the brink of foreclosure, due to insufficient payments.

Bill has schizophrenia, but has never been diagnosed.

Ronald and Rebecca Sykes are Bill’s parents, each of them having fallen out of love with each other since they slipped those brass rings on their fingers.

Ronald is a construction worker who is paid a measly wage of $10.00 an hour. He works on and off, as winter can be a cruel blow of the hammer to his usual routine.

When Ronald works, he works until six at night, at which point he drives the fifteen miles home from the construction site. He gets home, releases the family dog, an anorexic Rottweiler named Harold, feeds him the scraps of that night’s dinner–usually fried chicken bones from KFC–and steals a beer from the fridge and plops in front of the television and watches reruns of Star Trek until he passes out, drunk.

Bill often cries in the middle of the night, has spasms that contort his body in positions extremely uncomfortable for a six year old, has visions of the Devil stalking around his small bedroom with its circus elephant wallpaper.

When the cries begin at midnight, they do not wake Ronald from his alcohol induced slumber.

Rebecca was raised prominently Catholic in the cornfields of Kansas, and was trapped, her whole childhood, within a fierce matriarchy founded on heavy-handed religious doctrines, such as shouting the verses of the Bible aloud while having her bare back and buttocks whipped.

She married Ronald in 2009. It was the definition of a shotgun wedding; and she became pregnant with Bill in 2010, giving birth to him on December 14th, 2011, after a four week delay.

Rebecca is a nurse at the local hospital. She works the night shift, from 9:00 p.m to 5:00 in the morning; and when Rebecca comes home, she strips off her uniform and climbs into bed and recites her favorite verses of the Bible before heading to sleep.

When the cries begin at midnight, they do not wake Rebecca, due to her insistence on listening to the audiobook recording of the New Testament with her noise-blocking headphones.

Let’s take a closer look here:

Bill has had his case of schizophrenia for about as long as he has been alive. The Devil visions are frequent–they worry him to the point of clawing at his walls and knocking his head against his bedroom window.

This schizophrenia is heightened by the religious pressures of Rebecca, who, most of the time, has the right intentions, but is not in the right mind. An ideal evening to her is having both Ronald and Bill read out of their paperback copies of the Bible before dinnertime, shouting at them, threatening to whip them, if one verse is used out of place.

Of course, this frightens Bill; in fact, it frightens him so much that he has nowhere else to pour his emotions but outside, in the woods beside his house. On particularly tumultuous nights, he goes out to these woods and slits the throats of a few rabbits snug in a log, or, in the bushes. He hangs their carcasses on the limbs of the nearby trees and flaps their mouths to the tune of The Wheels On the Bus Go Round and Round; this occurs for a number of hours, neither Ronald nor Rebecca care or notice.

Inaction.

Ignorance.

Absence.

Consider what you have read so far. Consider Bill and Ronald and Rebecca individually, not as a wholesome family unit. Consider how each person contributes to one terrifying truth:

Something is wrong with Bill.

Take Ronald, the alcoholic who is responsible for the quickly foreclosing house. Does he know about this future? Undoubtedly. Will he do anything to prevent it? Unlikely.

Here we have bad social conditions, involving a house that is cleaned every few months, and which is in danger of slipping from its owner’s hands.

We also have an alcoholic. Ronald averages four to six beers a day; most of those hours are spent being angry at the world and those around him, specifically, Bill and Rebecca.

Let’s look back at those three words.

Inaction.

Ignorance.

Absence.

Ronald fits into all three of them. He refuses to act on the approaching closure of his house; he is blind to the sufferings of his six-year old child, Bill, who tells his teachers that the Devil has told him to do bad things; and he is off at work most of the day, but the time he is at home, he is unconscious.

Rebecca focuses on her Bible; she feels it her duty to ensure her religious rules are enforced from morning to night, the oppressive mental state of her son be damned. She is more of a mother to the strangers she treats at midnight, than she is to the child she should provide for, care for, and listen to.

Inaction.

Ignorance.

Absence.

She, too, fits into all three of them.

Why is this important? Why focus on the strange hobbies of a mentally disturbed child in a dysfunctional family?

The question we should be asking is, Why Not?

The bit I left out–the piece that ties this all together–lies in the future: Bill’s future.

See, by the time Bill turns 20, he is still living with his parents. No, he is not attending college, and, despite having a powerful enthusiasm for all things natural, as well as an above average IQ, he does not secure a job as a National Park Attendant.

His mother tells him it will take time away from his Bible studies.

At 22, then, Bill headlines newspapers around the country–

BILL SYKES CAUGHT, ACCUSED OF COMMITTING 23 MURDERS

His victims are all young women; however, there is nothing, not hair color, personality, or their names, tying them together, save that they are all nurses.

He strangles all of them.

In court, a few days after the release of the newspaper article, amid masses of reporters, even Bill’s own parents, all wondering why such a kind, harmless young man would commit such atrocities, the Judge asks Bill why he did it.

Bill answers, “The Devil told me to do it.”

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

 

 

Innocence Still Matters.

I’ve been upset about my innocence for a long time–you know, that look in your eyes that just screams inexperienced and optimistic; you haven’t hit the harsh realities of life yet, and instead you’re going along as if everything is doodlie-doo, happy times.

Now, I’m not saying I dislike that I’m innocent, only I am, in a way, aren’t I? Perhaps I’m really tired of people underestimating me, seeing me as a kid who doesn’t know what life is, when, truly, life is what you make of it.

Sure, sounds cliche, but it does have relevance. Life is never the same for anyone; there’s always going to be differences, just as there are no people exactly alike. My life so far has been life. These past eighteen years were not spent in a vacuum, and there is no Real World, once you leave school.

C’mon, people, the world is the world. Known that since friggin’ Galileo’s time, and even beyond then…yeah….

I am innocent. I will not deny it. But am I the lesser for it? No. Do I not have as full a grasp on life as others? Sure. When you’re eighteen, you don’t typically know much; however, you still know enough to be–well, you, and, hell, that’s all you have to be.

No one’s making the rules here.

You are you, and there’s not much to change that.

It seems, though, if someone has not gone through the ringer at least a few times, has not accomplished the necessary requirements attributed to being an adult, then they, or their voices, are not worth the time of day.

Take kids, for example, the people we want to keep innocent in this world–but, that’s it, isn’t it? No one wants to listen to kids, to see what insights they have to offer; and, in doing so, they are missing out on valuable perspectives that could well change the world.

Innocence, and age, for that matter, shouldn’t be this restricting factor, or an inquiring face to turn away; no, are you kidding? Both of them have importance–both of them are crucial to understanding what the hell all us humans are trying to accomplish in these lives of ours.

Everyone matters, not only a few, because to limit is to inhibit further knowledge.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

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I Scared Kids On Halloween…

Yes, I know what you’re all thinking. I am such a heartless Scrooge, or, you know, whatever they call the equivalent of Ebenezer Scrooge on Halloween night. Has that ever been a thing?

Wouldn’t you know it, though? It was my first time scaring people on Halloween, rather than choosing to tread the streets in search of king-sized candy bars and gummy Krabby Patties.

I had not originally planned to scare anyone; in fact, the only thing I had really planned was sitting on the porch and looking creepy–if you got a good look at the canvas mask on my head, then you’ll know that it is no beautiful spectacle.

It was an accident that I scared anyone. See, I was sitting on the porch, candy bowl lying on my gloved hands–one kid pointed out the illusion didn’t work if my bare hands were visible–and attempting to master a Robot Pose, one of absolute stillness, no breathing, either.

These three girls, otherwise known as my first victims, came running up the steps, and they were quite the sight. One was a princess, another an astronaut, I think, and the last was dressed as Spider-Man–hey, why not?

They approached the porch warily, still wondering whether or not I was an animatronic; and eventually, they all decided I was a fake, a dummy set out to hold the candy.

Spider-Man said, “If that thing jumps out at me, I am going to die.”

Of course, where I had at first decided not to do anything, hearing Spider-Man tempted me.

Now, you’re all thinking, jeez, what a major asshole; he wants to scare kids?

In my defense, I did not know how badly I was going to scare them.

A little preface:

Before these girls appeared, a trio of middle schoolers had come to trick or treat; and, my God, were these middle schoolers mean: not mean in the general sense, but, you know, mean. They thought me an animatronic at first sight, and one of them stepped on my bare foot to see how I would react.

Yeah. Little jerk.

While grabbing their candy, the middle schoolers asked me how much candy they could have. I gave no answer, as it would have ruined the illusion; and so, one answered with, “oh, infinite amount?” and scooped a handful of candy into his freaking pillow case.

Uh-huh.

I started holding up two fingers to other trick-or-treaters to signify how much candy was allowed. Each time it was a slow movement, since I had to move my hand from underneath the bowl and raise my arm, two fingers pointing–but, I gotta say, the slowness did not inhibit the amount of fear I instilled into those girls.

They were reaching into the candy bowl, heads bowed, when I moved my hand and held up the two fingers. Spider-Man grabbed a Reese’s PB cup, glanced out of the corner of her eye, and screamed–well, to be fair, the three girls all screamed at the same time and ran from the porch, without so much as taking their candy with them.

Their parents on the street laughed at their distress, asking them if they got their candy, while I laughed quietly beneath my mask.

The parents persuaded the girls to go back and get candy–thankfully, my mom came outside and calmed each of them down with three pieces of candy.

Boy, was that experience both exhilarating and tragic.

Tragic, because I probably scarred those little girls.

Exhilarating, because I probably gave those little girls a genuine Halloween experience.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

It’s Halloween Again! Yes!

So, folks, this is going to be a quick post, only because in a number of minutes I will have to stand guard on my front porch and deal out candy to the brave little kiddies who dare step up the sidewalk.

I will be silent.

I will be still.

I will be terrifying.

I will…probably be cold; thankfully, though, I have a sweatshirt on beneath this orange suit.

Whaddya say? Pretty sweet get-up, or what? My mom made the mask–feels creepy.

Those other two are my brother and sister, yes, and how truly adorable they are in their odd costumes, eh? It’s a sort of tradition to take a picture of all of us dressed up; and my God, I cannot express enough how much I love this holiday!

So, that said, I wish all of you a Happy Halloween and hope it will be as scary, or, as pleasant, as you want it to be.

Get out there and Trick Or Treat, people! Time is a-wastin!

Still, remember to have fun, huh? Don’t get too fat off candy either.

I know I might.

Think daily,

A Southpaw