Uncategorized, Victim of the Month

Art piece: The Marionette/Victim 36: Stacey Sammons, 39, murdered in February 2009

In February of 2009 the Family Man carried out one of his life long aspirations: to visit the small town of Greywitch. It wasn’t every day that he was able to visit a place so rife with tangible dread. Contained within every sound—from the incomprehensible mutterings of a passing stranger to the arthritic settling of an old house—was an irrefutable sense of anticipated doom. All because they are the unfortunate neighbor of a particularly infamous town, one that is said to have grown from the seed of the devil himself, and blossomed, rancid and twisted, into a garden of shadows and secrets. This town is known only as Devil’s Clay.

Originally, the Family Man sought to bed down in the Low House Woods, a span of forestry separating Greywitch and Devil’s Clay, but he decided against it, as delving into another’s darkness uninvited is dangerous, not to mention impolite. Instead, he stayed at a local motel (a decision he didn’t come to lightly, as he preferred the hard concrete of an alleyway, or the moistened feel of wet sod), hoping that the nightmares infesting Devil’s Clay might reach out to him and find a willing dreamer. They did.

The notorious killer walked through a pair of decrepit Victorian doors, entering a room crowded with inhuman shapes and clouds of skulking fog. Situated in the front of the room, behind a flimsy layer of crimson and silk, was a stage colored with the beaming glares of yellow and red spot lights. When the curtains parted a preternatural hush filled the room, an audible silence that could only be born from the most eager expectations. Then, descending from some vague space above the platform, was a strange and ominous figure. She was a smiling jigsaw of divorced parts, a marionette forced to dance by the kicking fingers of an unseen puppeteer in the gloom above. The crowd cheered in response to her bizarre gestures, spilling their septic laughter and crooked songs across the smoke filled room. Eventually, the patchwork woman’s empty gaze, which resembled black holes churning inside a small universe of hollow bone, laid themselves across the infamous murderer.

“Why, what do we have here? Looks like we have ourselves a visitor,” the puppet appeared to say through grinning, dead lips.

The Family Man replied, “I’m simply an admirer, puppet, a lone dreamer taking a stroll through this endless nightmare. It’s beautiful.”

The dismembered woman laughed and looked around the room, seeking the attention of her patrons. “And he calls me a Puppet! If only he knew!”

“Only one of us is attached to strings,” the Family Man countered, slightly annoyed by the woman’s jeers.

“Free will is an illusion, my gigantic friend. The shadows are slaves to the sun; the seas toil to the song of storms; and I dance to the playful urges of hidden fingers. Tell me, my murderous friend, do you know who pulls your strings?”

The Family Man felt a sudden heat flare-up from his back; his father had awakened. And although the killer’s rage was becoming increasingly palpable, the butchered marionette chose to press on, uttering a singular question.

“Do you want to know?”

The dream suddenly erupted into flames, and before the Family Man could savor anymore of the delightful scenes before him, the roar of his raging father forced him into the waking world.

When the Family Man returned to consciousness, he dwelled on the strange words of the mysterious puppet, and why they had infuriated his father so. But after about thirty minutes of pointless pondering, he decided to move on, chalking the mutilated woman’s words up to the clever deceptions of a well practiced trickster (she was from Devil’s Clay, after all). Regardless, the Family Man left Greywitch the following morning, choosing to a find his next victim elsewhere. He reasoned that poaching from another’s territory was as pathetic as it was rude, and, perhaps even more importantly, that an artist should never impose his vision upon another artist’s canvas.

Although the Family Man had to travel over a hundred miles to reach the next town, Elwinsburgh, he found his next muse quite quickly. And how could he not? For the moment he stepped across the borders of Elwinsburgh he saw a woman who looked exactly like the marionette in his dreams. Intrigued, he quickly identified the woman as Stacey Sammons, a local antiques dealer who owned a small shop on the outskirts of the city.

Sammons spent much of her day selling and procuring antiques from various sites around the country. And while she was not the diabolical marionette of the Family Man’s dream, she did give off a certain air—a sense of unspoken wisdom that drifted around her like smoke. With every move she made, he could see the shadow of that unwholesome puppet playing just beyond Ms. Sammon’s skin, seething like a ghost caught in a cage of flesh and finitude. As such, the killer began his work as soon as possible, stealing into Ms. Sammons residence after a few nights of observation, and giving back to her the dream the world had stolen from her.
Two mornings later, the customers of “Stacey’s Antiques” were welcomed by the cold, red smile of a woman held together by cords and twine, instead of flesh and bone. It was beautiful.

Uncategorized, Victim of the Month

Art Piece: The Scream Blossom Victim 34 : Jeff Pierce, 25, murdered in May of 2008

The canopy casted an ornate latticework of crawling shadows below, and the Family Man could feel their darkness clinging to his feet like a snaking pit of adumbral vines. They seemed hungry, ravenous even, and the infamous murderer quickly searched his person for any form of nourishment that might help. He didn’t know why, but stuffed in his pockets were organs: Red, ripe viscera that, once he discovered them, he somehow knew (as is the case in so many dreams) to plant them into the dirt below his feet. Not one to second guess his intuitions, the notorious killer dug into the ground with his beastly hands and buried the disembodied entrails into the soil. As he did, he watched the shadows coil all around him like angry snakes until, at last, they lunged towards the final resting place of those mysterious innards. Only a few moments passed before he saw the results of his strange gardening–up from the blackened soil, like some kind of beanstalk born from the darkest of seeds, emerged a glorious, foliated, nightmare. Atop it’s stalk, where there would normally be a crown of gaudily colored petals, was the head of a screaming man. And decorating his body, or perhaps more appropriately his “stem,” were branch-like arms from which his organs (presumably those that were, only moments ago, buried) dangled, like a drooping tree filled with rotting fruit. The newly born plant-man filled the night with his strange howls and, as if his screams were derived from some fertile kind of magic, began to summon other shrieking ‘vegetation’ from the earth. Soon the world was an endless garden of wailing mouths, with each one dressed in the crimson pageantry of beautifully dangling hearts, livers and kidneys. It was then that the Family Man was pulled from his nocturnal fantasies, and planted firmly back into the real world.

Jeff Pierce was an aspiring Botany major at Washington State University. He spent much of his days studying exotic flora and working diligently in the university greenhouse. He was known by his peers as somewhat unorthodox, but brilliant, so it was truly a tragedy when the Family Man took up temporary residence in an alley way located just across the street from Jeff’s apartment. It took only a matter of days for the serial killer to execute his attack. And since the attack took place over the weekend, the police did not find Mr. Pierce, or at least a perversion of Mr. Pierce, until the following Monday, when a call was placed reporting a “strange body” in the university greenhouse. Some students claimed to have heard the young man’s screams late the previous Saturday night, but many assumed the strange caterwauling was someone trying to play a prank. Sadly, there was no laughing in the botany department that following week, only whispers of the terrible fate of poor Mr. Pierce, and the horrible way he was made one with the plants he so loved.

Uncategorized, Victim of the Month

Art Piece: Through the Looking Glass

Kathleen Roth was a mere 23 years old when she became Alden’s favorite beautician. Despite living in a rural sector of Minnesota, Kathleen managed to bring big city style to small town people. She was so good that her talents made her not only Alden’s go-to stylist, but earned her enough money to open her own beauty parlor. 24 years later she had a successful business, a loving husband, and two beautiful children. Life was good for Kathleen.

It was a cold, winter day when Kathleen’s generosity started her on a dark and terrible trajectory. Seeing what looked to be a large, homeless man residing just outside the mouth of a darkened alley way, she handed the man twenty dollars and directions to a nearby shelter. The man seemed thankful, but Kathleen noticed a quality about him, a sense that his appreciation was not for the money, but something far deeper, far more complex than a simple monetary offering. Kathleen tried to shake off the feeling, and went about her way.

Upon meeting Mrs. Roth, The Family Man knew he had met a person who could see beyond the world. He could tell the moment she handed him money; he could see that she sensed, ever so briefly, the brewing dreams behind his eyes, and their propensity to spill out and color the world. The Family Man knew he had found his next victim.

Over the course of a few days, the Family Man lived in Mrs. Roth’s shadow, watching. Over and over he watched as she transformed her clients, defying, in her own small way, the influences of the dead world. It was clear that Mrs. Roth was a child of dreams, despite her not knowing it.

Upon closing his eyes one night, the Family Man found himself standing amongst clouds of billowing mist, which he thought, for a moment, might be the exhaled breath of some unseen behemoth. But despite this, he decided to venture forward. After walking for some time, the Family Man saw a long line of people standing in front of an old and rusted-out shack. The place’s contours lacked structure and definition, and seemed to messily adjoin with the surrounding fog, giving it a rather macabre (but beautiful) vermillion hue. As he traveled to the front of the line, he noticed that its occupants all shared the same featureless expressions; it was as if they weren’t people at all, but rather the segments of some undead centipede—animated, but undistinguishable things, all moving in unison, but with no sign of individual life. But it wasn’t until he reached the interior of the rusted-out building that he understood why they were all waiting. There, in the middle of a singular, corroding room, stood Mrs. Roth. With the arrival of each dreary inhabitant from that never ending line, Mrs. Roth would greet them in the most fantastical way: the strange woman would dig her fingers deep into her chest, and as if her skin were but curtains to be opened, she would part her flesh to reveal a darkly glamorous mirror. But it was what the mirror reflected that was truly inspiring—there, beneath folds of torn human flesh, reflected not the image of a man or woman, but of a beautifully monstrous thing. The Family Man watched as lines of languishing ghouls were shown, through the reflecting viscera of Mrs. Roth, their more magnificent, nightmarish selves. It was only when the Family Man attempted to peer at his own inner self through the looking glass that he was abruptly dragged back into the dreary world of worry and waking.

On the morning of February 17th, Mrs. Kathleen Roth’s dismembered body was found in her own beauty parlor. Her body had been mutilated and “re-configured” into the shape of a large, daemonic mirror.