death

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

 

 

 

 

Creepy.

I try to run as often as I can. Sometimes that may be only once or twice a week, perhaps every other week; still, though, I try my darnedest, and I suppose that’s what counts.

I went on a run today. Three miles. Average. Felt pretty good, healthy.

It’s been getting to be damn hard, though, if I’m gonna be honest. The will of wanting to run–well, it has its ups and downs; most of the time, I am forcing myself to do the deed. Makes it sound like an illegal act, or something, when, in all actuality, running helps keep me sane.

I saw a dead rabbit while running. Its fur was matted with water splashed up from passing cars; and it just lay there, eyes empty, tiny mouth agape. Looked like a ruined washcloth with shriveled paws.

This rabbit was on the side of the road, an empty, empty road. Must have been fresh, since the birds hadn’t taken their pickings yet; but I gotta say, I–I didn’t like seeing the emptiness in its eyes.

It wasn’t petrified–how could it be scared for its life when it was likely taken within a few seconds? It was…just…dead. That’s one of the scariest things to see in life, you know, something that’s had its life snipped at the seam–in an instant.

Blammo. And nothing left.

Didn’t help there were crows watching me from roofs, groups of them circling high in the sky. I remember one large crow, its head appearing as if shrouded beneath this black shawl, talons scratching at the fence post on which it roosted. It stared at me as I passed the dead rabbit. Those beady button eyes stared directly at me; and the rest of the crow made no movement at all. The thing sat hunched there, brooding; hell, maybe it was waiting to swoop across and gut its newfound meal.

I don’t know.

But I didn’t like it.

Birds were everywhere when I walked back home, a flock in one tree, three or more crows perched on roof after roof; and, looking around, all I could see were the birds with their noise and their silence.

Felt like Christmastime, all the lights out upon the houses, twinkling, buzzing; and not a footprint to be seen on snowy streets, nor a fracture of firelight from within one of the houses encroached in shadow, only the winged predators dragging their talons across roof tiles.

I would say it was reminiscent of Hitchcock, but what I can gather mentally from that experience is–

Is that it felt creepy.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

It’s Human Nature…

Blogging, put simply, is spewing out thoughts onto an electronic page. You’re constantly puking and puking until the contents of your stomach are thrown across the Inter-web.

And, yeah, that sounds super disgusting; but don’t any of you find it interesting that, as humans, we crave intimacy? Personal this and personal that–and we need more realism!

A man dies in a car crash, and the video is uploaded to Youtube. Here, I’ll figure this one out for you. This video detailing the gruesome death of some innocent man who never wanted his death shown around the world receives one million views in under five hours.

Another man get his legs chewed off by a shark. Four million views.

What the hell is it with us humans that we can’t bear not to look at the grotesque and the downright sick events that happen in this collective culture? Are we…secret sadists hiding in a closet, or…barbarians who forgot to leave the Stone Age?

No. It’s not that simple. Humans do crave the strange and the scary; it gives us a freaky adrenaline, and it makes us consider how close we are to our own unfortunate demises.

God damn, dude. It pisses me off, for some reason; but, if I’m honest, I do the exact same things. Each of us has, inside us, a desire to witness the unusual–it’s as if a roller coaster built of corpses is being unveiled, but the tickets to see it are speedily selling out. What else is there to do than stand behind the fences and gape in awe, or horror?

Human nature…human nature…

Again and again and again and again, I hear those words. It’s human nature to want to see someone die? It’s human nature to watch massive earthquakes devastate entire cities? Why? I ask everyone, why?

I can’t say screw human nature, ’cause I’m human–at least I think so. I complain about all this stuff, and yet I have no verifiable reason to do so. I’m like a broken-winged duck floating aimlessly in the middle of a gaggle of snickering swans.

My Gosh, am I still going? Most of you are likely bored by now–driven out of your friggin’ minds from weariness. I wouldn’t blame you. It can be dry…for some.

Ah, boy, who knows, though, maybe this meant a lot to you, and maybe it was a bunch of blabber that splattered against the wrong wall; either way, it’s how I feel. It’s how I choose to express this troublesome mind of mine, when a topic of the strangest subject approaches from this forever horizon–whatever the hell that means.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

Small Town Losses

I live in a small town.

Since I live in a small town, most big news that goes on reaches these teenage ears of mine; and, as they say, no secrets are truly secret. It can be good to know what happens around here–it keeps things interesting, thankfully; however some times the news is not so good. It is, on occasion, a downer, being that most everyone knows everyone else, and tragedy is oft times the unwelcome stranger.

Tragedy has struck recently, and, normally, I am not a big one for speaking out loud about it–mostly I keep to myself, as many of you can probably gather. This is different. This hit a little close to home. It wasn’t detrimental to me, but it did have–and still does–an effect on me.

Two nights ago, one of my friends was killed in a car accident. The accident was not his fault; in fact, all the blame fell to the opposite driver, who had been driving under the influence. The pictures detailed a nasty crash, both cars were thoroughly battered. The drunk driver sustained minor injuries–my friend, unfortunately, died on the scene.

You know, tragedy is a large word. I suppose versatile would fit. It is the word people use when unexpected sorrow, or, even heartbreak, occurs. I get chills when I hear tragedy, as if it’s some omen, or marker, of misfortune, some kind of posted sign before the news is broken to you.

In this small town, the anxiety brought out by tragedy is amplified, turned up to a decibel so high it spreads itself across each house, each work place, each park, curling into the normal ever so abruptly that many have no time to adjust to these unusual circumstances.

It creates a vacuum: a pressurized chamber sucking out all the happiness and the sense of normality. People here walk around with hearts busy pumping all of their life and love, and they conceal it until an opportunity for aid comes to their side. I am not speaking of aid for themselves because, while everyone, including me, needs a trusted shoulder sometimes, it is the aid we get from supporting others wracked by these tragedies that fills our emptiness and gets us on our way again.

You should all have seen the beauty of cooperation at my school today. What started as a somber morning for all soon evolved into this incredible support system. Students counseled each other, got them chatting and laughing, playing games and having one hell of a time, all in the memory of a great guy who touched hundreds of people, made them feel worth it, because it was his nature.

I think my friend passed from the world too soon, but, I am reminding myself that he, like young Icarus, had a spirit that shined so bright, the world could not handle his brilliance.

I dedicate this post to him, to his family, and the small, yet strong, town in which we all live.

Rest in peace.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

Immortality

As of yet there is no Fountain of Youth, and considering the Holy Grail is more a myth than a genuine relic immortality is a far reach past sanity–or so the world likes to think.  But we are not strictly discussing the immortality of life.

Death can grant the most rewarding immortality: a legacy.

There are legacies in all aspects of life–even those that carry the spark along on a smaller scale. They float around us every day: the bronze commemorative plaque on the park bench; the statue of the town founder in the center of the local shopping outlet; the entertaining franchise of films or books or music which passes its torch along to a worthy successor. All of them are children proud of their parental origins who have passed on to them their traits of brilliance and innovation to satisfy the world further.

No matter how large or small sunlight shines upon a mark. It may be a scorch in the soil or even a footprint on the beach. And should it be a crater in the strand of time the light will shine no brighter nor dimmer, as the lightest flick to a house of cards sets it fluttering down.

Legacies are timeless artifacts of contributions to our special swirling bowling ball: the ball morphs from the paintbrush strokes that splatter upon it; moving like a whirring dynamo the ball has little time to sort out the colors, and so it absorbs them all into a single shade of gorgeous indifference.

Change is welcome on our paint ball–one need only take their brush and dip it in a can and slather a smiley face on the green ocean. Forever the smiley face will swim along the colorful coast towards the next dripping brush and the next and the next.

Legacies are not so awful when compared to immortality.

Think daily,

A Southpaw   

Is There An Afterlife?–A Post-Hole Digging (#1)

I don’t belong here, we gotta move on dear escape from this afterlife…

Afterlife-Avenged Sevenfold

Consider the end of your life…

Of course, that does not sound appealing, and there is no reason why it should; but perhaps a speculation is due once a year.  Now, we are not here to discuss the end per say, but the arguable beginning; that stage of comfort, or discomfort, after death–the afterlife.

Is there one?

A question which has, for most of history, remained unanswered–for good or for bad. There are cultural references springing to your mind right now about this phase; most of them detailing its supposed inhabitants…spirits, more commonly known as ghosts…and then there are their rotten doppelgängers, the demons; but those are best left well alone.

In these outlets, the ghosts expressed are always separate–meaning no one interpretation can ever be the exact same as its prior. Consider Casper the Friendly Ghost, a white blur who speaks and acts out movements; he is not the same as the devouring spirit from Poltergeist, not even if comparing their both being ghosts. One chats, the other haunts. One appears, the other lurks…

I would like to tell you a story about the afterlife, to describe to you the vividness of these spirits and their baffling sense of wrong and right in a world in which they once lived and ate and slept…but, no evidence has presented itself.

Yes, no ghost has appeared to me, shadowy or solid, and it disappoints me for one reason–how can I ever know what is beyond this world without waiting for that eventual succumbing? How can I know if there is an actual afterlife?

I could listen to those who have seen it. I could watch videos of supposed sightings, and, like the mass, claim the kitchen cabinet creaked open by way of an otherworldly hand snapping out from its barrier and reaching so slightly for that brass handle.

But, also like the mass, I will come to forget those.

Somewhere out here, or perhaps out there, anywhere, is tangible evidence.

Somewhere out here, or perhaps out there, anywhere, is a true sighting.

Somewhere out here, or perhaps out there, anywhere, is an actual entity.

I want to believe–in an afterlife, as do so many others; but to do that I must cross this chasm of lousy falsities and satires to reach an honest telling of a story or a sighting near impossible to deny.

Already I believe there are ghosts, those are not too difficult to grasp once you’ve seen enough movies and read enough books…but the place from which they materialize is a tougher trial–one I hope has been completed by a lucky few who have seen a shred of the unnatural and the unbelievable.

Maybe they are real…maybe they have never been more than campfire stories, but I guarantee if they do exist, then they will remain hidden as long as we stand around waiting for a mystical sign in the sky, or our bedroom closet…they likely have far more creative ways of communication; and for an example of one simply watch Poltergeist.

Think daily,

 A Southpaw