Thursday, April 4, 2013

HANNIBAL??? I DON'T THINK SO.....says Johnny Jump Up .. 4/04/13

I am under a bed. Vampire vigilantes silently sweep through the city looking  for 'evil doers.' The one called Jonathon, or sometimes Tomas, likes this. It is his way. Perfecting the world is hard work, whereas my pass time is only a hobby. I have no agenda. I have no plans. I simply destroy. 

This one has laminate, hardwood patterned flooring. She laid it herself. I know. I've been watching. I've been listening..... Who walks the roofs by night?.... I do. Sometimes I lie down, flat against the gritty tar paper. Sometimes I peer through skylights. The image is foggy, but quite adequate for my purposes.  Peek-a-boo, I see you. And I have seen many people. If you reside in the old quarters of Philadelphia, we may already have a rather one sided relationship.

She reads books, this one. They're stacked by the bed, a crooked pile of other worlds and other places. Paperbacks mostly. She is on a budget. Shhhh, she moved. The bed is old. The springs are worn. They squeal like little pigs. I like little pigs, especially ones with fingers and toes. 

This one doesn't like spring. She craves iciness. Chill nights under the covers. Wrapped in dreams. Secure in a small flat, behind three locks and various 'protective' religious talismans. I opened her refrigerator. Magnetic seals are so quiet. She never knew. I tasted certain things. Well, I licked them anyway. Tomatoes were 'poisonous' in my day and crunchy granola bars were science fiction. I'm told my saliva has a cold, dead corpse-like taste. Perhaps she noticed? Maybe she thought it was mold?

Once I played a game. We tried something, I and a certain strange physician transfixed by the work of Mary Shelley. There was a room...a hidden place, far beneath the public gallows. An inlaid, bronze and granite compass rose, in the midst of City Hall courtyard marks the spot today. But this was long before that. We climbed down a rickety ladder to a chamber once used for treasure. Doctor Franklin organized it. The same one frequenting our city today. He collected gold and porcelain and paintings... anything of value.... anything easily sold or traded for guns..... The Revolution, you know..... After that, The Junto used it. Franklin's group met there to talk of theories best kept under wraps. Then it lay forgotten. But I knew... and I whispered in the dark. 

The physician carried down his tools... flasks... bottles... wires... candles and blades.. I procured the guests... two boys... twins, they were.... lost on the teeming streets of our red brick, cobbled metropolis. I lured them with pies... meat pies, fashioned from rabbits' feet and whores ears. Most things grind up like beef, you know. And almost anything tastes good when it's hot. Some cheap madeira helped too. They called me 'Mister Jiggity.' I was their magical friend.... a tall, impossibly thin man, in a tight, black worsted suit. They never heard my voice. I never spoke, but communicated via gestures and nods. They giggled and tried to touch me. But I backed away, melding with the shadows. 

One night, they were cold, freezing actually... and others of their ilk denied them shelter in the dust bins and abandoned crates littering the commercial alleys of the city.  Nine below zero, they said it was. The thermometer tacked to the stones of the Old Curiosity Museum cracked. Beggars and fools froze hard on the paving, like so many gruesome statues.  Men came by, in daylight, to scrape them up. 

But I lured the boys with drink.... and they took it. Gin, I think it was... plus a small sack filled with 'cracklings' made from fried bits of meat and skin garnered from unclean places.  A bit for one. A bit for the brother. Around a corner and down a lane. Like Hansel and Gretel. ... Very much so, actually. 

Then I caught them in the dark. It's easy sweeping children off their feet. Little necks make such sweet handles. Feel the blood.... Feel it throb.... A taste of death... But just a bit. .... Who confronts ghouls toting Santa sacks in the dark, especially with beggars lying frozen in their path? Even the rats stay in. 

I dropped them on a table in that secret, buried room. The doctor lit a candle fashioned from the rendered fat of exotic and sundry lunatics. Then he got to work, stuffing them into thick, heavy, large glass jars... one to a customer. He stripped them down, binding each into a fetal position and slid them into their respective chill wombs. Next came the 'gravy,' up to the shoulders. Then came the lids, heavy, almost cookie-jar, apothecary style. He sealed each with wax, leaving one or two tiny gaps along the rim for air.  All curled up like human escargot encased in see-through shells. And I watched as he whistled through it all.

The first Siamese Twins were big then. Chang and Eng, I think they were. Every broadsheet and review featured drawings. The doctor read them all. And now he had the meat to cook his own. 

Two cuts along the spine. Strip off the useless flesh. Some cunning needlework, a dab of salve.... a little hand cranked current. Electrical generators were all the rage. Perhaps a heaping cup of leeches? Maybe even more? Good for swelling, you know. And the specimens were twins to begin with. 

We both thought it would work.... Janus reborn... Mister Past and Mister Future... 'sitting' back to back.

Shhhh, she's asleep now... my meal in the squeaky bed. Please leave me as I go about my task. 

I'll show you when I'm done. .... Do you know how sharp a coiled spring can be?

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