Posts Tagged ‘Ed Gein’

December 27th: 1999 Milwaukee Wisconsin

Franklin and his family went to the big city for a religious retreat; where they’d be spending New Year’s Eve singing hymns and waiting for the apocalypse, anxiously awaiting the apocalypse in Franklin’s case. Thinking back on the events of this past year, he remembered those kids in Colorado. They were doing us all a favor, taking us one more step into the fiery abyss, burning the whole world down and taking out as many people as they could. Way in the back recesses of Franklin’s mind, he wasn’t entirely sure if the world really was going to end in a few days, but he sure hoped it did. Just in case it did, he had one thing he wanted to do.

Sixty-Seven Wild Rose Lane, Franklin remembered where his friend from the message boards lived. He sent an email saying he’d be coming by, and as he saw his car parked outside so Franklin figured he’d be home. Knocking on the door a couple times, Franklin pacing back in forth in the cold. Soon Patrick opened the door. “Hey, what’s up?” he said.

Franklin said only one thing. “So, can I see it?”

Patrick laughed as opened the door. “Nice to see you too dude. Come on in.” Entering the house, Patrick asked “How was your Christmas? Did you get lots of cool stuff?”

“Yeah, a few things.” Franklin didn’t want to reveal that his family only exchanged a few gifts this year, as his mother earnestly believed there wouldn’t be much time to enjoy Christmas gifts.

Then he saw Patrick look up towards his staircase as annoyed as a female voice spoke from above. “Who is it?”

Patrick lowered his voice to say, “Just handled my business with this girl. Wait here, I’ll go get rid of her though.” Patrick watched his friend ascend back up the steps. Soon he heard faint whispers from upstairs, including that incessant whining of a teenage girl which he heard all the time in school. “I guess girls in the big city bitch too,” Franklin thought to himself while looking around the living room. Hanging from the walls there were a few framed pictures of Patrick and his mother. It was a shame, his mother seemed nice. Franklin wished he would have had cool parents, but with any luck, after a few days it wouldn’t matter anymore.

Once again Franklin heard a pair of footsteps, this time they were descending. Franklin forgot about that annoying female voice when his eyes rested on her toned legs coming down. Each step revealed more, as he soon saw her blue skirt with gold trim, and the rest of her body followed.

Patrick followed behind, or at least Franklin assumed she did. He still wasn’t looking at her face when Patrick said whatever it was her name was. “What’s up,” he heard her voice say. Franklin simply nodded and smiled; her voice no longer annoyed him.

Patrick then said “Well, Franklin and I are gonna chill. I’ll call you later alright?”

“Awesome.” Her now cute voice replied. Her moist wet lips kissed his cheek before she gave Franklin a coy smile and walked away. Both Patrick and Franklin were now watching her legs as they walked toward the door and her body exited the house.

Franklin almost forgot why he came here as the door closed with a thud. The next sound he heard was the voice of his friend saying, “smell that,” as he put two fingers up to Franklin’s nostrils. Franklin’s head jerked back at the wet musty smell that was completely alien to him.

Patrick laughed at his reaction. “Come on man, don’t tell me your not getting any poon tang back home. You got a girl right?”

“Yeah, sure.” Franklin said.

Nodding his head Patrick said “Alright, it’s cool. Let’s go upstairs.”

The two walked up the steps and into Patrick’s bedroom. It looked the same as the last time Franklin was here. His sports posters still adorned the wall and his trophy case remained intact. This hardly looked like the room of someone who’d won the Halloween H2K contest. He watched Patrick going into his closet, from which he pulled out a cardboard box. “This is it man.” Patrick said, placing the box on his bed.

Franklin was shocked. “You put it in the closet?”

“Can’t get head from the head cheerleader with this laying aound my room.” he laughed while removing the lid. Franklin had no understanding of what he meant, but he approahced this holy grail of horror while Patrick removed the contents.

First, Patrick pulled out a werewolf mask. “Halloween Six, Curse of the Werewolf.” Franklin said in reverence. Next, Patrick pulled out a prop ceremonial dagger, fake blood decorated its plastic blade. “Part Five, the Revenge of Samhain.”

Looking on as though witnessing an ancient archaeolofical dig, he heard Patrick say “And the crown jewel.” He slowly raised the mask of the Shape, the mask of Michael Meyers, and presented it to his friend. The dead black hollow eyes of the mask stared at Franklin, who stared back in reverence.

“Can I,” Franklin nearly stammered, “can I put it on.”

“Sure, knock yourself out.” He tossed the mask to Franklin. It made a flopping sound as it landed in his hands. “I owe you one anyway.” Franklin looked down at the mask, tilting his head slightly to the left. This statement was confusing to him. When Franklin thought about all the people that owed him, Patrick was not on that list. “You helped me win that you know?” Patrick said while taking seat at his desk and booting up his computer. “I got stuck on that last code, but then I remembered what you showed me about Easter Eggs on DVDs. That’s how I found the last one.” Franklin wanted to scream, instead he pulled the mask over his face, its rubbery material covered his mouth. He could hear his own breathing as well as the sound of a lighter as Patrick lit up a cigarette. “Want one?” he asked, holding a pack in his direction.  Franklin said nothing, but the smoke from the just lit cigarette already made Franklin cough, ruining the aura of donning the mask. Stepping out of the room he heard Patrick say, “Bathroom is the last door on the left.”

Walking into the bathroom, he looked in the mirror to admire the sight of himself in the mask. The room was silent save the sound of his breathing. He could distantly hear the clacking of the keyboard. While he felt amazing with the mask on, he still felt like Franklin. Looking at the reflection of his skinny body donned in blue jeans and a red sweater, he didn’t feel like the Shape. He intended to relieve himself here, but he stopped cold in his tracks when he saw it. The used condom floating in the toilet was a reminder of what had just occurred in that bedroom. It wasn’t like he didn’t know; the scent of Patrick’s two fingers clued him in, but there floating before him was a mocking reminder of what he never had, what he never would have. Slowly turning away, he again caught his reflection in the mirror. Those dead black eyes stared back at him; his breathing echoed powerfully through the rubber surrounding his face. Now it had finally come, that secret signal had been sent to his brain, and the body standing before him was no longer Franklin, it was merely a shape.

Patrick laughed as the form of his friend stood in the doorway. “You make a good Michael Meyers.” he said sarcastically. The brain underneath that rubber mask screamed, “It’s not Michael Meyers it’s the Shape!” However, no sound emerged from the body’s mouth as it took a slow step forward. Looking back at the computer screen, it appeared Patrick was in some local chat room. “Hey, my friend Shaun is having a party tonight. Let’s check it out. They’re gonna have some wicked egg nogg.”

The body behind Patrick remained silent as the computer shut off. Patrick then stood up and faced his friend saying, “Come on, you’re not going to the party looking like that. We’ll get you some girls and you’ll forget all about this shit.”

The body before him remained motionless, making no sound except his breathing.

“Oh so you’re Michael Meyers now. Come on let me get it back.” Patrick reached up for the mask but the body before him pushed his hands away.  “What the fuck man!” Patrick pushed shoved the person before him, then got pushed back while reaching for this mask with his own hands. Patrick’s hands gripped the rubber mask; but a second pair of hands hung onto it like a petulant child. “You’re gonna rip the mask you asshole!” Patrick swung a body shot which made the shape before him recoil and release his hands. Patrick then ripped the mask off the child’s face. Franklin took a deep breath as beads of sweat fell from his cheeks to the floor.

Patrick then tossed the mask on his bed before saying, “Get the fuck out of my house!”

With all his strength and rage Franklin punched Patrick in the groin, bringing him to his knees. Still feeling the pain in his gut, Franklin knew the truth, he was no Shape. He could never take this guy in a fight. He knew there was only one chance as he reached for the thick power cord below Patrick’s desk. While Patrick’s hands still covered his groin, Franklin wrapped the cord around the teenager’s exposed neck. Patrick desperately tried to pull off, he was the stronger of the two but Franklin the cord tightly wrapped around the boy’s throat. The victim desperately thrashed around the floor, but Franklin couldn’t let him get away. He couldn’t stand knowing someone else had gotten what was rightfully his. Not only did this boy win the prize, but he had friends, girls,…sex.

His victim now had his stomach on the floor. Franklin thrust his hips forward pulling upward on the cord with all his strength. Patrick made one final thrash of his arms before the life left his body.

Rising back to his feet, Patrick looked at the Meyers mask as well as the other prizes that were now his by right of conquest. Grabbing a backpack from the closet, Franklin loaded the items into the bag, and quickly exited the house.

Running back to the Church where his family was staying, the night air chilled his lungs. If the world really was going to end in a few days, then at least he could spend his last days with the only things he loved.

Epilogue: August 25th: 2003

Driving in his car, Franklin long forgot about how the world was supposed to end a few years back. He still felt like most of this planet wasn’t worth a damn, but that was only when he took time to think about it. A few years back, he was actually planning to follow in the footsteps of those kids in Colorado, but then someone called him about a job. This was before he graduated, but someone recommended him to the local nursing home. Bernice and her husband were in there now, and he always got along with them. Now that he was out of school, he was working at the home full time, and he kind of liked it. He was still living at home, but his dad stopped drinking, and his mom wasn’t on his case as much now that he was bringing in some income.

Also, in an amazing turn of events, things were actually a little exciting around town. Just a few weeks ago some remains turned up just a few miles away from where he lived. Looked like someone was trying to wipe out this boring place long before he’d thought of it. “Too bad he didn’t get them all,” he thought to himself. Driving back to work from his lunch break, the radio had the latest news. The local sheriff called a press conference, and a huge bombshell was dropped. The property on which the bodies were found was once the residence of a solitary figure by the name of Edward Gein. Apparently, around 50 years ago, Ed had murdered a local bartender, but that was not the least of his crimes. According to the sheriff, one night, almost half a century ago, the local authorities had discovered, and covered up, the fact that Ed Gein had robbed almost ten graves in the area, before dying and before his property burned to the ground.

Hearing this amazing news, Franklin felt a tingling sensation in his hands while they gripped the steering wheel. He had to pull over to the side of the road as he began hyperventilating. Hearing this news, he could never have imagined, never in his wildest dreams, that something this awesomely gruesome could occur in his own backyard. He knew right then and there this was about to become his new obsession.

Something else occurred to him. Edward Gein, he’d heard that name before, but where? Who would have possibly known him that would ever bring his name up. Looking down at his name badge for the nursing home, he thought perhaps Bernice would know something about this.

Finally catching his breath, he looked at the tree close to him on the side of the road. The branches looked oddly shaped, bending in a way he didn’t think branches could bend. A buzzard sat perched on a thick branch and glared at him with dead black eyes. There below the leaves, a man stood. Frankling hadn’t noticed him before, but he wore a red hunters cap, had a weird lopsided grin, and a saggy baggy eye.

The End

Come back later for Franklin’s awful exploits in the final entry of the No Gein saga.

Stay tuned for No Gein III: The Final Cut!

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The Final Friday of August, 1993

“You can’t wear that on a date!” Emily complained regarding her granddaughter’s black t-shirt. It’s white skull like image on the front underneath a Misfits logo didn’t seem very lady like.

“We’re just going to the movies grandma.”

“Times of changed!” Walt laughed while standing in the doorway of her bedroom.

“Tell her grandpa!”Clarice looked in the mirror putting the finishing touches on her makeup. Black lipstick was applied while Danzig’s melodic “Sistinas” played on her CD player.

Resigning to her granddaughters outfit, Emily looked her over. Finally giving her approval, her eyes welled up as she said “Out little girl’s first date. I wish your father were here to see this.”

Clarice’s own eyes grew moist as she replied “I wish my mother were here.”

This sweet moment was interrupted by the sound of a horn blaring. “Oh, that’s him!” Clarice said, quickly wiping her tears. “Shit, my mascara.” she looked in the mirror saw her makeup was slightly running.

“Here dear, I’ll touch it up for you.” her grandmother said approaching the mirror.

“No time!” Clarice said in frustration as she used a tissue to simply remove the makeup she’d just applied. The horn beeped again as she rushed out her bedroom door. “Sorry, I gotta go.”

Her grandparents followed her out of her bedroom to the living room, where out the window they could see the mustang in the driveway waiting to pick her up. “OK honey, have a good time and be safe.”

“OK I will, love you guys.” Clarice said as she rushed out the door.

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” Emily said as the figure of Clarice grew smaller as the distance between them grew.

Remembering his first date with Emily, Walter playfully smacked her bum and said “Honey, there’s not a damn thing you wouldn’t do.” His wife giggled in response.

Watching the car drive away Walter said “That’s a nice car.” Then, something just occurred to him. “You know, he didn’t even come in and introduce himself!”

“Times have changed!”

Darryl looked good with his shoulder length red hair and his Metallica shirt which fit tight to his body. “Hey Darryl.” She said excitedly while her eyes looked him over.

“Hey.” he simply said. He was so cool with his cigarette hanging out of his mouth, it’s glowing red tip bounced slightly as he drove. He removed the cigarette and asked “want some?” She immediately took it in her slender fingers and wrapped her black colored lips around the tip. Her lungs quickly filled with smoke and she coughed heavily. Her face turned beat read from the smoke as well as the embarrassment. Even worse was the sound of Darryl laughing, but it wasn’t a mocking cackling kind of laugh. He made more of a chuckle while taking the cigarette back. He then patted her on the back and asked if she was OK. She shook her head yes as she felt the heat from Darryl’s hand through her cotton made shirt. This sensation more than made up for her embarrassment. “Don’t worry about it, it’s cool.” Everything seemed cool about Darryl, from his jeans to his car to the Iron Maiden cassette tape playing in his stereo.

Naturally they sat in the back of the movie theater. Her body was excited to feel the caress of his hands, but she slowed him down occasionally, not wanting to go too far. When the film’s logo came on the screen, she did allow him to kiss her. His mouth was hot and tasted like ashes, but she didn’t care, she loved the feeling of his tongue inside her while his whiskers brushed against her cheeks. As the movie progressed they fooled around a little, she occasionally giggled which drew the ire of film goers in front of her.

Later during the film, as she again felt Darryl’s hand on her leg, something caught her attention. It was an evil looking tome, apparently bound in human skin with a horrific facial design on the front cover. Clarice was sure she’d seen it before but she couldn’t remember where, but when one of the characters from the Cult of Vorhees held the book up Darryl identified it.

“Cool, the Necronomicon.”

Clarice wasn’t dating Darryl for his brains, but she was impressed by his knowledge of this mythical book. “Oh, you read H.P. Lovecraft?” she immediately whispered.

 “Who?”

“Lovecraft, the guy that wrote about the Necronomicon.” Clarice explained, referring the the pulp writer who was a bedrock of American horror.

“You mean he wrote Evil Dead?” Darryl asked, thinking she was referring to the Sam Raimi horror flicks in which the tome also appeared.

“No silly, like Call of Cthulu and stuff like that.” This boy might have been cute, but she was getting annoyed by his ignorance as well as some one shushing them a few rows up. From here on out the two of them were quieter. She happily held his hand on her lap, but now her full attention was on the movie. Darryl also turned his gaze to the naked breasts that occasionally graced the screen before the Jersey Devil, the killer of this decade plus long franchise, disposed of the horny teenagers.

The climax of the film had the full attention of both Darryl and his date as the Devil got stabbed with what both Clarice and Darryl recognized as the mythical Kandarian dagger from Evil Dead 2. Clarice cheered the Devil on as it fought off demonic hands that now reached up from the ground trying to pull it down to hell. Then, the whole theater erupted in applause as that familiar bladed glove burst from the dirt. Actor Kane Hodder made a surprise cameo, leaping up from the earth in the role of Freddy Kruger from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film ended with Kruger pulling the Devil down to the depths of hell.

Riding in Darryl’s car after the movie, Clarice was a chatter box. “Wow, I can’t believe they put the Necronomicon in that movie. Do you think that means the Devil is really a Deadite?” she asked, referring to the zombie like creatures of the Evil Dead franchise. Darryl said nothing as he parked the car.

Clarice looked around, realizing her date parked in a secluded spot, she looked at him with a devilish grin saying “Perfect place to get slaughtered.” He then planted his lips on hers, his tongue pushed its away into her mouth again, and in no time they hopped in the back seat.

She was so hot for him, but he was getting a little rough. His lips wandered her cheeks and his teeth grazed her neck when she said “Could you slow down a bit.” He continued kissing her roughly as he lay on top of her, and it was getting hard to breath. Her hands tried pushing against his shoulders trying to make some space between the two of them but he grabbed her wrists and pinned them to the seat cushion.

Now it was getting even harder for her to breath. “Darryl.” she panted as he continued pressing against her body, her head moving down to her chest. “Darryl stop I can’t breath.”  He did not stop as she wiggled underneath him. Finally, in a panic, she kneed him in the groin. He cried out in pain and his body slightly rolled to her right. Her arms frantically reached for the door handle and, while still on her back, she managed to push the door open. Darryl leaned forward towards her and she kicked him in the chest, sending his body back to the opposite door. Tilting her head back she saw a man standing outside the car. It was Ed. Her brain didn’t have time to register why her childhood imaginary friend was here on her first date. She just knew he was standing there, his hands waved in a gesture suggesting “come on.” Her body wiggled out of the back seat of the car. She turned around as her skin hit the damp wet grass below. Brushing herself off as she rose to her feet, she saw Ed walking away, continuing his hand motions suggesting she follow her.

She took a few steps forward when she stopped at the sound of Darryl’s voice. “Fucking bitch.” he said, “You can walk home.” His laid against the back door rubbing his aching crotch when he said what would end up being his last words. “I should have stayed with Diane instead of a cocktease like you.”

Ed shook his head in sorrow as he witnessed the rage boiling in her face. He faded away into nothingness while Clarice turned around and dove back into the car. Lunging towards Darryl, just for a moment he looked excited, perhaps thinking he was about to get the fuck of his life. Her eyes were crazed as she wrapped her hands around his neck, the pain in his crotch was gone, replaced with the aching excitement of adolescent lust. That was the last moment of pleasure he would feel as her teeth sunk into his flesh. Darryl screamed in pain as blood splattered from his body just as it had in the movie they just watched. The car rocked back in forth for the next few minutes. Had there been any witnesses, they would have presumed that what was occurring within that vehicle was pure ecstasy. Ironically, they would have half presumed correctly, it was incredible ecstasy, for one of them.

Back at the homestead, Walt and Emily sat on the porch in separate rocking chairs. Emily, her nose in a book, said aloud. “Clarice was right.”

“About what.” Walt asked. 

“This is better than that Bloch novel.” Emily answered, turning a page of American Psycho.

Walt was not reading a book like he did many nights with his wife. Instead, he sat on his porch and watched the stars. “I hope Clarice is having fun on her date.”

“I’m sure she’s fine. If anything happens, well, she’s feisty like her father was.”

Walt, like his son, was often a man of many words, but this time he replied with a simple, “Yeah.”

Looking up at the stars, Walt figured Frost was up there somewhere watching down on her, on all the family. He missed his son, but he knew full well with the life they chose, some disaster was bound to happen sooner or later. Still, it had been almost twenty years now and he and his wife both still missed him so terribly much. He looked down to wipe his eyes when he noticed the two beams of light approaching; and approaching fast. “Who is that?” Emily asked. 

The engine roared louder as the car approached, it appeared to swerve slightly on the road, as if it were driven by someone behind the wheel for the first time. Feeling this looked like trouble, Walt head for his front door. “I’m gonna get my gun.”

“Wait.” Emily said as the mustang became more visible. As it pulled up to the house Walt heard his wife exclaim “It’s Clarice.” Now parked in the driveway they could both see their granddaughter at the wheel. She leaned over and opened the passenger door. Emily squealed in excitement as the dead teenager that was once Darryl plopped onto the macadam. Walter grinned from ear to ear as the engine shut off. Clarice emerged from the car and said one thing. “I brought home dinner!”

No Gein: A Second Helping

Chapter Sixteen. Deviant

Hallow-con, New York City, October 2004

“I don’t know, do you!” Franklin hated newbies, and this one was ruining his Orpheus session. The new World of Darkness role playing supplement was right up Franklin’s alley, but the player next to him was wrecking the mood asking stupid questions like “Do you I have a flashlight?” 

Even worse was the game master was some dumb girl. “Cool it pal!” she said to him through her black lipstick laced lips before encouraging the newbie to be even more newbish. “If you want to have a flashlight, I’ll let you have one, but next time write it down on your items list. OK?”

“Have you even run a campaign before?” Franklin asked. Now he had the woman’s attention, along with everyone else at the table. 

“Really? You’re gonna question my cred!” Franklin didn’t understand why she got so upset over a simple question. “You’re playing a sleeper, you’re cryogenically frozen and your body ejected your soul,” then pointing to the young teenager Franklin previously berated, she continued, “He is a Hue, which is like a Spirit except while alive he took the drug pigment which kept his spirit from being fulfilled.” 

“Whatever.” Franklin thought to himself. He figured she probably got a cheat sheet from her man or whatever which was probably the only reason she got this gig as a gamemaster, or storyteller as they called it in World of Darkness. He figured this fake fan probably could see the unimpressed look on his face as she just kept running her bitch mouth.

“If that’s not enough, asshole, I can tell you the thirteen clans in Vampire the Masquerade, or the sixteen tribes that serve Gaia in Werewolf the Apocalypse, or I could just save us all the headache and tell you to get the fuck out of here right now!”

Franklin was flabbergasted. How dare she talk to him like that? He traveled a long way to get here and this is what he gets. “You can’t kick me out!” he protested.

“It’s my game and I have the discretion. If you have a problem with it check the convention guidebook. You’ve been a shitty player and I can tell you’re a shitty human and we don’t need that in our community!”

“Fuck you bitch I’m outta here.” Franklin tossed his dice toward the woman as he stormed away. 

“Kick his ass Vicki!” he heard one of the players taunting. Probably some white knight douchebag that was desperately hoping for a shot to nail her. He didn’t need that shit. Her and her jetblack hair and black eye makeup looking all goth and…He could have nailed her, if he wanted to, nail her right against the wall, but whatever.

Franklin was still steaming as he walked the convention floor. “I wonder what that goth bitch’s head would look like on a stick.” he thought to himself. While walking amongst the rest of the convention goers he thought he spotted a familiar face. He couldn’t quite make him out, but whoever it was they were wearing an old hunting cap. Walking down the aisle, whoever this person was, Franklin lost him in the crowd. Franklin now found himself by a booth selling horror movie posters. As luck would have it, the vendor had the poster for last year’s Freddy vs the Devil movie, as well as the previous movie in the Friday the 13th franchise, Devil X. Franklin didn’t care as much for off the wall entry in the Friday the 13th franchise. While he always liked post-apocalyptic Earth settings, the Devil going into outer space was just a little too much. Still, Franklin owned all the other Friday the 13th posters, so he decided to snap this one up as well as the Freddy vs. the Devil poster.

Scoring a spot in line for the Freddy vs. The Devil booth, Franklin reasoned it was probably better off that he left the role playing session early. Even now there was still a big line ahead of him. He wished he could get a chainsaw and mow through all these fucking people that were in his way, as he couldn’t wait to meet Kane Hodder for the first time. Kane reprised his iconic role as Freddy Krueger in last year’s smash horror crossover film. Finally, once everyone got out of his fucking way, he almost laughed out loud at what he saw. There was Robert fucking Englund of all people, his little body tried to fill the imposing Jersey Devil costume of the Friday the 13th series. For the life of him Franklin couldn’t figure out how Robert got this role. In some parallel universe inside Franklin’s own mind, it would have at least gone to someone like Ken Kirzinger. Pointing his finger at Englund, Franklin mocked “Haha, Freddy kicked your ass!” The actor knew not to say shit as he signed Franklin’s newly bought poster. Franklin even gave a thumbs down during their picture together. 

Finally, Franklin saw the man he travelled across the country to see. “Yeah, there’s the man right there!” Franklin shouted as he shook the hand of Kane Hodder, who was all decked out in his Freddy Kreuger outfit and makeup. Nodding to that little bitch of a Devil, Franklin said “You showed that pussy what’s up huh!” As Kane’s large hands reached towards him, Franklin knew what was coming next. Hodder was known for giving his fans a lovingly squeeze on the throat during photo ops. “Damn, he does squeeze tight,” he thought to himself as the convention staffer took the photo. 

Now he was really getting his money’s worth as the actor gave him a bit of a violent shake as the camera flashed. “Calm the fuck down.” He heard Hodder whisper as the polaroid emerged from the camera. Franklin quickly wiped his eyes as he took the photo and staggered away. Looking back at the graphic hanging above the booth, he was thrilled to see that Freddy vs the Devil was not only getting a sequel, but it would add another horror icon into the mix. “Freddy vs the Devil vs Ash! That is so cool!” he said while Kane gave a polite nod as another convention staffer led Franklin away from the booth. 

“You alright?” the convention staffer asked. Wiping his eyes again, Franklin thought this bitch needed to mind her own business. Ash from the Evil Dead films was going to be in a movie crossover with the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street Series, of course he was going to be alright.

Walking through the convention floor again, he heard someone say. “Sick shirt.” A man dressed up as Marvel Comics’ Blade commented on Franklin’s Jeffrey Dahmer T-shirt. 

“I know it is.” Franklin replied, presuming that was a compliment. Franklin thought this fan’s Blade outfit was pretty cool too. Blade III was coming out this December, and Franklin wondered if comic book movies would ever cross over like the horror characters now were. One of the big bits of news from this convention was that, due to the success of Freddy vs The Devil, a crossover film would be made with the Hellraiser series. Franklin was so stoked for who Pinhead from Hellraiser would be fighting. For the first time in over 20 years, Michael Meyers from the first two Halloween movies would return to film, and would be facing off against Pinhead. If Marvel or DC could ever start making movies where their comic book superheroes cross with each other, that would do some big business.

Regardless, the early aughts were turning out to be a great time to be a horror fan, and one of the reasons was the man he was going to see next. George Kohler directed the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake which was a smash success, and as a result every studio was going through their vaults to see what old scary titles they could dust off and repackage. Prom Night, Maniac Cop, Stepfather, My Bloody Valentine, When a Stranger Calls, The Hills Have Eyes, Last House on the Left, Black Christmas, Pumpkinhead, Silent Night Deadly Night, and countless more were greenlit for a remake.

He went into the ballroom where George Kohler would be speaking. Coming into the large room, he spotted that hunter’s cap again. Whoever wore it was sitting down in the middle section. Franklin walked over thinking he’d join him, but he soon became lost among the flood of fans, who all cheered when George took the stage.

Kohler wasn’t here to talk about Psycho II, his third feature film which as usual had controversy. Franklin remembered when he was a teenager seeing the first Psycho in the theaters. It was so awesome, with a twist that completely blew his mind. Psycho II did the same, where the end reveals Norman Bates was killed by a hitchhiker from the first act, and the identity of the movie’s main killer Franklin never would have guessed. Near the end of filming Psycho II Kohler had to leave the set due to a personal tragedy and a friend of his directed the final remaining scenes.

Today Kolhler wasn’t here to talk about movies, but his new book, Deviant. Franklin was super stoked about it. He boisterously cheered along with everyone else in the audience while George took the stage. George waved politely. “Thank you for coming. I really appreciate it. My father wasn’t a fan of this scene,” 

As soon as Franklin heard this he let out a loud “boo!” The best part was he could tell it registered on George’s face. Still, the director continued. 

“but he was really proud of me.”  All the sheep then cheered at this sentimental shit. Some old red headed hag in the front row was even crying. What the fuck was she crying for? It didn’t matter. George went on to explain the topic of his book, which was how some bizarre events intersected with the lives of several members of his family, including an incident with a murderer who went undiscovered for 50 years along with another unrelated incident with a family of psychopaths that were mixed up with the mob. “I know a lot of you want to go out to Plainfield and see this stuff for yourself, but there’s nothing there to see, and the townspeople don’t like the attention. There’s a lot of good people there, as well as the rest of the great state of Wisconsin. I should know, my family is from there.” George then elaborated how the authorities wanted to keep a lid on things at first, but, given everything that happened, including what happened to George’s father, George decided to, after talking it over with his sister and the authorities, publish this book and put it all out there in the open. 

After his talk he took a few questions from his fans. Some people asked him about Psycho II and why he made the decision to kill off Norman Bates. “I think Robert Bloch would have wanted that.” George then explained that the author, who wrote the novel Psycho just before he died in 1994, may have been a horror fan, but he wasn’t a fan of some of the violence in horror movies. “He sucked.” Franklin thought to himself. George speculated that Bloch might not have wanted, for example, four movies about Norman Bates killing people. Having said that, while he couldn’t reveal plot details, George assured his fans that there still would be a Psycho III. Not only that, but a Bates Motel prequel series was in the works about a young Norman Bates and his mother set in the 1970s.

After the talk Franklin got in line to meet George and buy his book. “I’m from Plainfield.” was the first thing Franklin said when meeting the author.

“Oh really,” George said. “Wow, thanks for coming all the way out here.” 

Franklin immediately went to the question that had been burning in his brain.

“So when can we expect the Ed Gein movie?”

“Never.” George answered immediately, following up with, “I mean if someone else makes it I can’t stop them, but there won’t be an Ed Gein movie from me.” He then handed Franklin the autographed book and turned his attention to the next fan in line.

Once again Franklin was led out of the line, and once again he was enraged. How the fuck would George not make an Ed Gein movie. The best horror movie ever fell right into his lap, and he was going to throw it away. Here was a chance to put Franklin’s little shit town on the cinematic map, it had to happen. Franklin didn’t give a shit about his dead dad; he wanted his fucking movie. One way or another, that movie was going to get made, even if it was over George’s dead body.

It was then that Franklin noticed him again. He was still wearing that old hunters hat. As Franklin watched him on the convention floor everything else around him started to look blurry, almost as though he  was dreaming. Franklin was starting to feel dizzy, like he was detached from his body which was making slow steps towards the image of the man in front of him. Upon closer look he recognized that little glob of flesh that hung from his eye. He knew it from old pictures the local news showed on TV last year. 

“Want me in a movie huh?” The fellow Wisconsinite said. “You do what I tell you, and they’ll even make one of you.”

Hungry for more. Stay tuned for the final chapter of this trilogy of pop culture alternate history. No Gein III: The Final Cut, coming soon!

No Gein II: A Second Helping

Part Fourteen: Three on a Meat hook

“This is it.” Kristina said as she rode with Chuck and Helen in Henry’s pickup truck. The small two story house looked a little worn down but not as though it’d been abandoned. They didn’t see anyone else around, though it looked like there were some fresh tracks in the driveway. 

Approaching the house, they could see its white paint beginning to chip. Walking up the creaky steps Henry looked around and said, “Doesn’t look like anyone lives here.” 

“Why do you say that?” Kristina asked.

Looking at the splintered wood in the door. “The door is busted.” Henry explained. It looked like someone took a sledgehammer to it. Henry then kneeled down, looking closer at the white chipped paint, it looked like something splattered on the porch. It looked like, no it couldn’t be. 

“You two wait here, Chuck you come with me.” Henry said as he drew his pistol. 

“Should I get the shotgun in the truck?” Helen asked.

“Not yet,” Her father said. “Just wait here.”

Someone had been living in the house, as evident by the furniture and cans of beer in the living room. The TV screen was on but with only snow on the screen. “Hello?” Henry called out. “Is anybody home? Looks like your door’s been busted. Are you OK?” There was no answer.

Nothing unusual awaited as they walked into the dining room. At the far end was a door Henry presumed led into the kitchen. It was then he noticed the smell.

Outside, Helen and Kristina looked over the house. “What do you expect to find here?” 

Helen asked. “I don’t know.” Kristina anxiously paced the porch as she answered. “I just want to be able to tell my mom that I saw where my grandmother was.” Walking again to the far end of the porch, she noticed it, a white shape sticking out from the bushes. Whatever it was, she thought she saw it move. 

“Where are you going?” Kristina didn’t answer, she just hopped off the porch. As she got closer to the bushes, she saw a van, then she realized there were two vans, two vans and an old beat-up pickup truck. One of the vans looked as old as the truck. The other van looked brand new, and then she saw the big logo on its side. 

“Shit” she thought to herself. Kristina was hoping to avoid the media on this trip, but there the news van sat. The thing was it was sat unattended. “Were the reporters inside?” she wondered. Then she saw the movement again, it was the news van, slightly rocking back and forth. Jesus, was someone fucking inside?

“Hello?” Henry said, not too loud, but loud enough that he expected an answer. There was none. Henry wasn’t liking this, but he knew he had to move forward. Chuck slowly moved behind him as he opened the door. What hung behind it was simply unreal. Henry’s friends who served in Nam shared some awful stories, but he’d never seen or heard of anything like this. There they were, three on a meat hook, three corpses swung back and forth on steel hooks as Henry and Chuck audibly screamed. Adding to the shock was that Henry recognized the female corpse. It was that reporter he saw on TV and on George’s set. While this woman may have pissed him off, prying into his family history, he never would have wished, nor could he have imagined, such a horrible fate falling upon her. 

Supplementing the madness was that distinct cackling. A crazed old woman threw a hot pan of water at Henry before charging them armed with a meat cleaver. “Run!” Henry shouted to Chuck as he wiped the scalding water from his face and stumbled to the ground. Chuck charged out into the dining room when the steel from a sledgehammer grazed him in the ribs. It wasn’t a hard shot, but it was hard enough to knock him down. As Chuck looked up, holding his possibly broken ribs, he saw an elderly man standing over him. “Can’t swing it like I used to.” the old man thought out loud as he again sent the steel hammer swinging towards his intended victim. 

Clarice leapt from the van striking Kristina in the head with a camera. “Teehee, I just found a new hobby. We’re gonna make a movie!” Dropping the camera, she stood over Kristina while reaching into her pocket. while saying “I’m gonna play the slasher!” Pulling out a small knife she continued, “and guess who you’re gonna be!” Kristina tried to scurry away on her hands and knees as Clarice gave quick jabs with the knife, making small scrapes on her victim’s skin. Kristina managed to grab a small rock and throw it at Clarice’s face before leaping up and running away. 

The stone struck Clarice below the eye. It stunned her for a moment but didn’t do any real damage. Once she wiped her eye,

she saw her intended victim trying to run away, the sight of which excited her. “Ooh, a chase scene!” she gleefully shouted as she ran after her. The Wisconsin sun pounded down on both of them as their feet sped through the prairies. Helen motioned for Kristina to come to the truck. Her speed increased as Clarice began breathing heavily and slowing down. 

“Ah, it’s too hot for this.” Clarice said in frustration. She then pulled out her gun, saying, “We’ll just fix this in the editing.” 

“Gun!” Helen shouted as Kristina dove to the ground just before the bullet shot through the barrel. Hot steel whisked through the air harmlessly striking the ground below. The next sound Kristina heard was the ratcheting of Helen shotgun as she fired back at her assailant. 

“Wow, A Texas shootout!” Clarice giggled as she hid behind a tree. “Too bad we’re not really in Texas!” 

“It’s a regular Thanksgiving feast today!” The grandmother proclaimed as she swung her meat cleaver down towards Henry, who just in the nick of time pulled a wooden chair over himself to block the blow. The blade of the cleaver dug deep into the seat. The elderly woman quickly tried to pull the blade out, but Henry managed to kick her hard against the wall. Her back slammed against the stove, and in one swift motion Henry reached for his gun and shot her between the eyes.

In the next room Grandpa was making short thrusts with his sledgehammer, trying to strike at Chuck. Hearing the gunshot, he immediately used his hammer to tip the dining room table over and ducked behind it. “Honey, honey, are you OK?” he shouted.

“Your old lady’s dead and your next asshole!” Henry taunted.

Hearing this horrible news, Grandpa shouted, “Milton, get your ass down here now!”

Milton was surprised as they actually found what they were looking for in this house. His parents went to check on the noise they heard downstairs as he inspected the bag. He didn’t care about the envelope it held, tossing that aside, he looked over the diamonds and jewelry. His dad said it wasn’t all here but was happy to find what they found. Now, hearing his father call out to him, Milton marched down the steps with a purpose. When they first arrived, Clarice anxiously killed the sole occupant of the house. As fortune would have it, a pair of reporters arrived not long after. Grandma got that pretty reporter in the chest with his sledgehammer, and that little bitch of a cameraman tried to run, but this time Milton got him. He didn’t have his newest toy handy, but he grabbed the man around the waist, drug him kicking and screaming like a bitch back into the house and stuck him right on the meat hook. Releasing his body onto the sharp steel, Milton felt that incredible rush again. Finally, he tied with Jason; one more, and he’d beat the record. He just needed one more kill; and hearing the gunshot and the pain in his father’s voice, he already knew this would be a special kill. This kill would be for revenge. It felt like 1974 all over again as let loose the roar of his fresh new chainsaw.

Coming down the steps all decked out in his suit and tie, his moment of glory was short-lived as his grandfather yanked on his arm. “Duck you idiot.” His father said, pulling him to the ground behind the dining room table as Henry fired off another shot. Milton’s father with his hand mimicked the words “Where’s your gun?”

“I don’t use a gun.” Milton answered. “Where’s your gun?” 

“He’s got a gun you moron!” His father said in great agitation. “We gotta shoot back.” 

Patting the handle of his trusty chainsaw Milton explained “You know this is what I use. The saw is my modus operandi.” 

“I don’t give a fuck what your motor operator is,” his father shouted, “we need to kill this motherfucker now!”

Helen and Kristina could see Clarice running off into the bushes. Handing the keys to Kristina Helen said, “You drive.” before climbing back into the cab. Kristina drove the truck towards the bushes where Clarice ran. Scanning the field for this crazy bitch, Helen didn’t know if Kristina could hear her, but she yelled “Look out!” as the news van came crashing into the truck. Helen leapt out of the back before impact and both vehicles came to a stop.

“This is going to be a great movie!” Clarice laughed as she backed up the van then got out. Running over to the truck, she figured it would fit the slasher motif better for her to carry her knife instead of her gun. She could see the poor girl passed out inside, “Should have worn your seatbelt.” she said out loud as she opened the truck door. 

Kristina was playing possum, having unbuckled her seat belt after impact. Now she could elbow her assailant in the face, knocking her back, Kristina then crawled to the other side of the truck. Clarice grabbed her by the ankle “Na ah ah,” she mocked, as her other hand brandished the knife. The next sound she heard however was the ratcheting of the shotgun. “Oh yeah!” were her last words, as she realized she’d forgotten about Helen. It didn’t matter anymore, as her pretty face was now gone, exploding like a watermelon as her body fell to the floor.

Henry couldn’t get a clear shot as the two maniacs hid behind the upturned dining room table which had been pushed to the doorway of the kitchen. The new saw blade cut through table wood extending into the kitchen frantically darting attempting to draw blood. Henry motioned to his son in law, holding up three fingers, then with his thumb gestured toward the kitchen’s backdoor. On three they rushed toward the back, but Grandpa had the same idea, having already circled the house while Milton kept his chainsaw running. “Shit!” Henry shouted. Chuck pulled him out of the way and grappled with the sledgehammer wielding killer. Chuck’s ribs still ached, and didn’t want to grapple for long, so he kicked him in the knee sending the old man falling besides his deceased wife. 

By then Milton burst into the room and with his trusty chainsaw. Henry faced him with his gun, but with one quick thrust the chainsaw struck him in the chest. “NO!” Chuck shouted as Henry collapsed to the ground. Milton raised his chainsaw in the air. Normally in this situation he might recite a speech by Romulus or Genghis Khan, but the pride in him was so great it overwrote his oratory skills, and he instead let out an animalistic howl. 

The roar of the shotgun followed as Milton collapsed to the ground. The chainsaw bounced about for a moment before shutting off. A cloud of smoke filled the room from the firearm as Helen entered a room filled with death. 

Milton had fallen face down on the hardwood floor, breaking his nose in the process. His face would be even more ugly now, definitely wouldn’t be appearing in any movies. Wouldn’t matter for much longer, as through his whole body he felt this indescribable sensation, as if his body knew its soul was about to be ejected. His family was gone or about to be gone anyway, so wherever they were going, they would be going together. His head faced toward his last victim, who lay facing up, blood shooting up from his body as his family gathered around desperately trying to help, but Milton knew it was too late. A wound like that is something you just don’t survive. He took pleasure in the shocks and agony that hung on their faces like flesh hanging from a meat hook, not to mention the disgust when they saw Milton smile. As he lay face down in a pool of blood, he knew he finally accomplished what he set out to do. “I beat his record.” were the last words that escaped his lips. No one around him knew what they meant, but Milton would die knowing he was king of the body count.

His moment for basking in glory was short lived, as now it was he whose face wore a look of terror. For what he saw next, not even the epic poetry of Dante’s Inferno could accurately describe. What he saw was not in this room where he was but was where he was going. All the horror he inflicted on other people was coming to fall upon him a thousand-fold. For all his madness and violence, Milton always prided himself on his intellect and articulateness. His whole life he quoted the great poets like Whitman and Chaucer, but as his soul fell into the abyss, the final sound his body ever made was a simple, unintelligible, animal-like squeal. 

Grandpa was now the only one left of his clan. Laying on the floor in emotional agony, he kissed and caressed the dead corpse that was his bride. “My family.” he said as he looked over at what was his son, who for nearly twenty years was his only son, but he was now gone too.

“My family!” Helen shouted as she pointed to her bleeding father on the floor. “Your granddaughter or whoever that sick fuck was, her brains are splattered all over the grass outside!”

Kristina shrieked horribly at the buffet of death as she entered the kitchen. The worst sight for her was not the bodies hanging on the meat hooks, or the dead murderer laying in front of her, but Henry bleeding out on the floor. Unrelenting pangs of guilt filled her as she saw an elderly man crawling in the back, and when she saw the sledgehammer, she instantly knew this was the man who gave her mother a lifetime of pain. She marched over the bodies towards the elderly man and said “Mary’s daughter sends her regards.” before kicking him in the face. 

As his head bounced back, she saw the birthmark on his chin, hidden within his stubble. She could see his eyes widen with understanding, comprehension of the incalculably mad events that brought them together. “You’re her granddaughter?” His tone was a cross between an inquisitive statement, and an acknowledgement of what he already knew.

“Who are you?” Kristina asked. 

“I’m, I’m your..” his head then burst open, and the thunderous sound of the shotgun once again roared as Helen could no longer wait to complete her vengeance.

Kristina screamed at the sudden sound of the firearm, but she did not blame Helen for her spontaneous action, she fully understood her need for vengeance. Kristina simply felt guilty, if only she’d just gone home, but it was too late for all that now now. She rushed to Helen’s side. “Oh my god I’m so sorry, Helen I…”

Through her tears Helen answered “It’s OK, it’s not your fault, but I need you to help me now and get an ambulance.” Kristina nodded and rushed into the next room to use the phone.

Chuck and Helen knelt beside Henry. “Oh God dad,” Helen cried, “we gotta get you to a hospital.” She grabbed some paper towels and desperately tried to cover the wound. 

“Love you two.” Henry said, coughing up blood, “so proud of George.”

“No dad,” his daughter pleaded, “just hang in there, we’ll get an ambulance.”

“It’s OK. Everything is impermanent. Franki taught me that.” Then he looked away, up at the ceiling, as if he could see something far beyond. He only said one word. “Sally.” Through the pain he was smiling. His eyes did not reflect the grotesque sights of this room, but a sense of wonder as he said “She’s singing to me.” Helen was even more scared now as it appeared he was babbling.

Her fears seemed to be confirmed as he said his last words. “Careful in the shower.” Helen wailed as her father grew cold. She couldn’t possibly understand at that moment, but here in this room filled with horror, a man died at peace.

No Gein II: A Second Helping

Chapter Thirteen: Bloody Reunions

Pine Grove, Wisconsin. December 8th, 1954.

“Keep your chin up kid.” Mary wasn’t the crying type, but tears welled up in her eyes as she wrote these words before stuffing the paper in a white envelope. Upon sealing it, she placed the envelope in a small bag filled with what was left of the family jewels now hidden it under the floorboards of her bedroom. Placing the wooden boards back in their proper place, she remembered the last time she hid something in a spot like this. Saved her husband from a lot of trouble when cops raided. Looking back on it, maybe she would have been better off if the cops caught her crazy ex. Who knows, maybe Marilyn was better never getting anything from her at all. What she did know was that in that moment she needed to get out of the house. 

Stepping outside into the Wisconsin plains, she marveled at how It was so open out here, it was like you could see off into forever. This definitely was Kodak country. Someone could be watching her from miles away and she would never even know. She didn’t like to think about that as she drove to her establishment that she’d opened with the money she grabbed from Whitman. Figured for all the insanity she’d endured; she should get something for her troubles. 

Plainfield Wisconsin, 2003

Milton wasn’t about to find any literary magazines at the hardware store, but his mother was happy as she browsed the wrestling magazines. Milton couldn’t quite understand his parents’ love of this glorified carnival show, “It’s Shakespeare for the masses!” his mother once explained to him. 

As Milton’s mother flipped through one of the grappling magazines she came across a special report from Japan. There was a large photograph of a wrestler standing in the middle of the ring holding a chainsaw. Clarice walked by and grew excited upon seeing the picture. “Wow.” she exclaimed. “That looks like you Uncle Milton!” 

Milton didn’t care either way for the picture, but Clarice’s grandmother complained “That bastard stole your uncle’s bit! We should sue!” She said jestingly. 

“I don’t understand why you still like that stuff.” Milton complained. 

“Well,” his mother answered, “they say wrestling is in your blood. I don’t know about that, but I once had a wrestler in my belly!” she cackled.

“May I help you?” Milton and his family turned around to see a very elderly woman standing before them.

“Do you work here?” Milton said, not hiding the surprise in his voice. This woman looked even older than his own parents.

“Oh heavens no, I’m long retired.” The woman answered. “But I owned this store a long time ago. I still like to visit sometimes.” The woman introduced herself as Bernice, spying the magazine, she added. “Oh, are you a wrestling fan?”

“All my life!” Milton’s mother said. Then, pinching her son’s cheek as if he were a newborn, she said “When this one was just a little baby we used to watch Gorgeous George on the television set.”

“I remember him, he was such a scoundrel!” Bernice recalled. Her wrinkled cheeks then blushed as she added “I was a fan of Lou Thez. That man was a tall glass of water!” Then she revealed with a giggle. “Used to make my husband so jealous!” The ladies shared a laugh before Berncie said “Well if there’s anything I can help you with just let me know.”

“Actually, we’re in the market for a new chainsaw.” Milton said.

“No problem, right this way.” Bernice immediately led them to the section that held chainsaws. She detailed what they had in stock as if she were still an employee. Milton gazed at the selection, and there, hanging up high on the shelf, was the one for him. It was a ferocious looking farm and ranch saw like the one he had in his heyday. “That’s our newest model.” Berncie said as she watched Milton eye the particular saw like a kid in a candy store. “The 74 Hooper. Runs 20% longer than other saws before refueling, has a built in shock absorber, throttle trigger, and a pre-separation air filtration system. A few of the rancher’s around here picked this one up and I haven’t heard any complaints!”

“Imagine the damage you can do with this Uncle Milton.” Clarice said in awe.

Milton reached his hands up to the saw and firmly gripped its handle. It felt very comfortable in his hands. It had been so long since he’d held a saw blade, he felt like Arthur withdrawing the mythical sword from the stone, proving by that act alone that he was the rightful King. Staring at the blade as if it were an extension of his own body, he only said one thing. “I’ll take it.”

Kristina sat alone in the police station waiting room. She wasn’t sure what to expect. Since the local news broke a lot of reporters and curiosity seekers were descending on this small little town. It hadn’t occurred to her that con artists and attention seekers might come out here to tell a similar story to what she had. She hadn’t come out here for attention, she just wanted the truth.

“Kristina.” The secretary said. “He will see you now.” 

She walked back to the Sheriff’s office where she found the Officer who’d previously introduced himself as Jonathan sitting at his desk and on the telephone. “OK see you soon Henry.” she heard him say before he hung up. Seeing her, he stood up and gave back her driver’s license and the stack of papers back that belonged to Kristina’s mother. “Here you go ma’am.” the officer politely said. “Please understand, there’s been all kinds of weirdos coming out here since the story broke, but your story checks out.”

“Do you have information about my grandmother?” She asked. 

“Ok, here’s what I’m gonna do.” Jonathan said in a low voice. “I’m gonna give you directions to this address.” He handed her another slip of paper saying “It’s my friend Fred’s home. I want you to go there in about a half hour. He’ll be expecting you. Myself and some others will be there shortly. There won’t be any prying eyes there, so once we get settled in, I’ll give you some information.”

Kristina wasn’t expecting Tom Clancy Cloak and Dagger business coming out here but given how many people she saw snooping around she could understand why. The directions brought her to the old house on the outskirts of Plainfield, where she was greeted by an elderly gentleman named Fred, who was Jonathan’s father. He invited her in, where she met another older man, along with a couple who looked around her age.

Fred introduced Kristina to the three saying, “This is Henry Kohler, his daughter Helen, and this is Helen’s husband Chuck.” 

These three looked familiar, but Kristina couldn’t place it. “Have I seen you before?” she asked. 

“No, I don’t believe we’ve met.” Helen said.  

Kristina was certain though. “No, I’m sure I’ve seen you before. Were you on TV?”

“Helen’s brother is George Kohler,” Fred explained, the film director. 

“Oh wow!” Kristina now remembered seeing them on the entertainment news, but then, understanding the implication of what she just heard, she grew a little worried. “Um, are you going to make a movie here?”

“Hey Dad.” Jonathan said as he walked in and greeted Fred. After greeting the rest of the group, he said “To answer your question Kristina, no, they won’t be making a movie. Actually, they’re here for a similar reason you are. You might want to sit down.”

Once everyone took a seat in the living room the Sheriff cautioned. “Now what you hear in this room stays here OK? I’m doing my damndest to keep a lid on this thing so this whole town doesn’t turn into a carnival. Understand me?”

“Sure.” Kristina said. She had no desire for publicity, she just wanted to know what happened to her grandmother.

“That pit where they found those bodies” the officer explained, “about a quarter of a mile away there used to be an old farmhouse. About 50 years back there was a man there by the name of Edward Gein. Ma’am, I’m afraid your grandmother’s body was on his property.”

“OK.” Kristina tried to calmly process this fact. “How do you know this?”

“I had a sister.” Henry began to explain. “Her name was Sally. Long story, but one night she accidentally ran into him. Almost got killed herself.” Pointing to Fred, Henry went on, “Short version of the story is she got a hold of Fred. He went to the house along with a policeman. They weren’t sure what was happening, but they’d found Ed, and.. God.” Henry shook his head as he remembered that horrible night when he learned the truth about his sister.

Fred took it upon himself to finish Henry’s sentence. “It turned out Ed had been grave robbing for years, and he’d kept the bodies in his house.”

“Oh my god!” Kristina exclained. “This man robbed my grandmother’s grave!” 

“No, actually we think he murdered her.” The officer said. “She lived in a town called Pine Grove just down the road. Her old house is still standing actually. Anyway, she had a little tavern which Ed was known to frequent. One day she came up missing, and in her tavern a pool of blood and a bullet cartridge were found on the floor. There were always rumors she was hiding from the mob out here, so at the time people figured her past had caught up with her. But that night, my dad found your grandmother’s, uh, body.” He did not wish to tell her the awful details of how his father found Mary’s face peeled off and stored in a plastic bag. He could see his father shiver, knowing he was reliving that horrible moment. Jonathan went on. “We know Ed owned a gun that would have matched that cartridge, and rumors were he joked about having Mary at his house. Dad figured he killed her. I’m really sorry ma’am.”

As much as it was a shock, at the same time it felt like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. The truth was god-awful, but at least she knew what that awful truth was, and at least she could tell her mother before she passed. “You said she had a house nearby?”  She asked.

“Yes, that’s correct ma’am.” The officer said.

“I’d like to see it.”

“You’re perfectly free to do that on your own time.” Jonathan said. “Anywhere I go now is going to draw attention, but you are free to do that if you like”

“We’ll go with you.” Henry said.

Kristina was grateful for these people willing to accompany her. The officer gave her the address. She would see this home where her grandmother walked, hopefully this would provide some closure, and then she could tell her mother what she’d learned.

Pine Grove Wisconsin 1954.

Cleaning off the bar, Mary couldn’t get the thought out of her mind. Maybe Marilyn was better off without her. No, no she needs to see her. Maybe she should leave right now and go see her, but what if she got caught. Her mind bounced back and forth between the possibilities. Luckily happy hour was about to start. The locals came pouring in and the usual conversations kept her mind off her troubles.

Hours later she announced last call. Soon the usual hangers on staggered away. Her little establishment was doing well for itself, but as the patrons left, Mary’s troubles rushed back into her mind like the tide of an ocean that never reached this land. The bell chimed as the door opened again. “Shit” she thought, “who was coming this late?” Then she heard the footsteps, quiet little footsteps that sounded like they belonged to a small man.

“Hi Mary. You OK? You look upset?” The late patron observed.

“Oh, I just got something in my eye. No trouble.” It was old Eddie Gein. “What are you doing out so late? If you’re hunting rabbits, you won’t find any here.”

“Oh, I know, I was just having trouble sleeping.” Eddie’s hands fluttered and his eyes darted around the room as he spoke. “Is it okay if I have a drink?”

“Well, I’m closing soon, but I’ll give you just one, OK?” Mary then turned her back to him as she poured a short beer. Eddie always seemed like a harmless fellow, if not a little odd. She heard about how he often helps out around town, sometimes played with the local kids. She also heard about his crazy mom. What she never heard was the gunshot. She didn’t hear her own body hit the floor either, as she was already gone.

No Gein II: A Second Helping

Chapter Ten: On Set

“Cut!”

At that command the cameras stopped rolling while Dan, George’s old friend from film school, removed his Norma Bates wig. Looking down at his “victim” Dan teased, “Anyone ever tell you you scream like a girl?” 

Relishing being covered in fake blood, the director of Psycho II popped back up to his feet and replied, “Anyone ever tell you dress like one?”  

Flipping through the pictures on the dresser. Dan teased his friend saying, “Dude, your sister’s hot!” knowing the woman in the prop photo wasn’t really Helen, but a random model they’d cast. 

“I know right?” George agreed. “Even she were my sister, I’d still wanna fuck her!”

“You sick bastard!” Dan laughed at the director’s morbid humor as they walked out of the room.

An assistant provided George a towel as he entered the house’s working bathroom. George thanked the assistant before cleaning off the fake blood. As water splashed his face he asked his longtime friend, “Haven’t had a chance to chat with you lately. How is Vicki?”

“She’s great!” Dan wasn’t sure if he wanted to share the news yet or not, but since George asked he figured he might as well. “Actually, I wasn’t sure if I should bring it up now, but, well we’re expecting.”

George’s face lit up like a child’s. “Wait, you two are gonna have a baby?”

“Yeah.” Dan said with a nervous smile.

“Shit that’s awesome! Congrats man!” Dan received a high five from his friend who continued, “We gotta go out and celebrate!”

“Uh, Mr. Kohler?” George’s assistant returned.

“What’s up?”

“That news reporter is on set.”

“Ah shit!” George exclaimed. “Hey man, I gotta step out a minute, but we’ll talk about this later. Proud of you man, awesome news!”

“Thanks.” Dan said. As George walked away, Dan thought to himself that he was proud of his friend as well. Even back in film school, Dan knew George had the talent to really make it in this business. More importantly to Dan, he was also proud that his friend scaled back that grating ego everyone remembered. Hollywood success seemed to have had the opposite effect on George than it has on most people. Actually, as Dan thought about it, George actually seemed to have a change in attitude pre-fame. 

A few years back he ran into him at a horror convention, where he seemed to be the same self centered nerd, but maybe a year later George called him out of the blue. Dan was surprised to hear from him, but as they talked on the phone, George asked how he and Vicki were doing, and they had a good hour long conversation. When Dan hung up the phone he told his then fiancé Vicki that George seemed really different. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it. “What was it?” She asked.

It took a minute for it to finally register with Dan before he answered. “He actually asked how you and I were doing.” 

“So?” 

“He never does that. Back in school whenever he’d call me it was either to brag or complain about something.”

As time went on George and Dan rekindled their friendship, and, while Dan never pressed the issue, he got the feeling something happened to George. He didn’t know what it was, but George very suddenly appeared to grow humble. In fact, sometimes it seemed like something really rattled him, but George never divulged what it might have been, and Dan never asked.

Outside the Psycho House, George grabbed a special item he saved for moments like this. He didn’t like interruptions while he was working, and he didn’t know how this nosy reporter got on set, but he was tired of her mess. There she stood with her cameraman anxiously awaiting him.

“Mr. Kohler, did you believe the stories of your Aunt Sally to be true?” George furiously pumped the shotgun like device he carried in his arms. Showing no fear, she continued “Do you have any comment on the mass grave found near Plainfield Wisconsin, near what was believed to be the property of a Mr. Geaaahhh!!!!”

Vanita gagged on the blast of water erupting from George’s high powered water gun. “Eat it bitch!” he yelled as the water continued to hit her in the face causing her to fall to one knee. He then aimed the stream of water directly at the camera.

The camera man backed away as he protested “Shit, you got my camera!” 

“You’ll be hearing from my lawyer!” Vanita protested as her and her camera man stormed off as George and others on the crew howled in laughter.

Among the crew laughing was his friend Dan, who came outside knowing shenanigans were about to take place. As he came outside, he passed on a message he’d just heard from George’s assistant.

“Hey, your dad wants to see you?”

“Ok, but I have to prep the next scene.”

“He says it’s urgent.” Dan added. “Something about back home.”

Turning to his friend, George said “Well the next scene is mostly set up, think you could take over for a minute?”

“Sure!” Dan said. And just like that, Dan would be directing his first scene in Hollywood.

Walking towards the private trailer Enterprise Pictures provided for George’s family, he saw his father pacing outside. Eyeing some of the fake blood that still remained on George’s clothing, he asked “What happened to you?” 

“I just died on screen.” 

“What are you trying to be like Hitchcock, appearing in all your movies?” 

“Look at you taking a shot!” George said laughing.

From a distance Henry saw that reporter and her cameraman leaving the set. “Eying her legs as she ran off Henry said “That’s that bitch that was just on TV. I would have liked to have a shot at her.”

“Don’t let Franki hear you say that.” George smirked. Then he realized what his father just said. “Wait, you just saw her on TV?”

“Yeah,” Henry said. “Son, we gotta talk.”

Henry revealed to his son how the now wet reporter dug up information on their family, and how a mass grave had been dug up in Plainfield Wisconsin, near the former property of one Ed Gein, a name neither of them wanted to hear again.

“I can’t show my face there.” George said after thinking about it for a while. “I’ll draw too much attention.”

“Since when did you not want to draw attention?” His sister Helen playfully jabbed him.

“I was thinking,” Henry explained, “maybe Franki and I will go. We could stay at my property out there and scope things out for a day or two.” Since George made it in Hollywood, he bought his dad a house where he was born in Amherst Wisconsin. The last few years he’d gone back and forth from there and his other home in Bethlehem PA while reconnecting with the few distant relatives he had left.

“We’ll go out with you too.” Helen said. 

“Yeah, sounds like a good idea.” her husband Chuck added.

“You’ll like Fred.” Henry said to his son in law, referring to a fellow Wisconsinite in Plainfield he’d formed a friendship with a few years back.

And with that it was decided. The Kohler family, save George, was going back to their homeland, back to a place where a long-buried horror awaited.

No Gein II: A Second Helping

 Chapter Nine: Counterfeit Sympathy

Hollywood California, Enterprise Pictures back lot, September 2003

After a post lunch meditation Franki remained in a lotus position as she sipped her herbal tea. While she had no care for the glitz and glam of Hollywood, California was growing on her, with its various locations for spiritual retreats and yoga sessions.

A now familiar cracking sound of air rushing out of an aluminum can pierced Franki’s ears. Her husband Henry walked back from the fridge with a cold one in his hands. It wasn’t her beverage of choice, but she loved her husband just the way he was.

“So, you don’t want any tea?” Franki asked rhetorically.

She blushed as he answered. “I think the universe wants me to have a beer.” 

Chuck, who also joined their meditation exercise along with his wife Helen, laughed at his father in law’s joke. “I wish I’d thought of that.” he jested as he sipped on his own tea. Franki could tell by his facial expression he didn’t really care for it.

“I don’t think Buddha had beer in mind when he talked about enlightenment.” Helen said jokingly.

Henry then walked over to the small television that sat in the trailer. “Let’s see what’s on TV.” he said as he turned it on.

Franki never cared much for world affairs, so she went to the extra room she used for a little studio. While her husband and the other’s watched the news about Iraq she continued working on one of her paintings.

Normally she could zone out the television, but something caught her ear that brought her back out to the room. Her husband didn’t notice her coming out as he watched the TV intently.

“Now for some breaking news.” The small TV announced. “An employee of the Mendota Mental Health Care Institute in Madison Wisconsin has come forward claiming he treated Sally Kohler, who allegedly encountered a killer in the town of Plainfield Wisconsin in the early 1950’s. Ms. Kohler committed suicide in the institution in 1975. She was the aunt of controversial film director George Kohler, whose latest film, a remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, has been heavily criticized over its alleged influence from the Jeffrey Dhamer murders. This controversy has not hurt its box office, as the film has now grossed….”

Franki recognized the female reporter on the TV from their night at Mann’s theater. She didn’t recognize the man whom she was interviewing, and her gut told her neither did Henry. “I always believed her,” an older man said into the microphone, “even when no one else did.” Franki watched Henry’s face fill with disgust as the man on the television shed crocodile tears. “Sally was a beautiful young girl, so full of life. One night she was driving through Plainfield and ran out of gas. She went to get help, but what she found was a true house of horrors. When I think about the things she saw there.” He wiped the tears off his face while Vanita looked on with expressed concern, “Oh my god, it’s just too horrible, there were bodies everywhere. She encountered a man, well, God he wasn’t really a man, he was more like a monster.” Franki placed her hand on Henry’s shoulder, who seethed at this bastard milking it for all it was worth. “She just barely fought him off and managed to escape the house, but she couldn’t escape that nightmare. No one ever believed her, no one believed her but me.” 

The man sobbed openly as the camera panned to the attractive reporter, her hair still in perfect place, her makeup untouched by this outpouring of emotion. “This is Vanita Williams signing off.”

“That son of a bitch!” Franki was startled as Henry’s beer bottle struck the TV.

“Oh, hon don’t let this get to you.” Franki said. “He’s probably just looking for attention.”

“We should sue him.” His brother-in-law Chuck said. His wife, Henry’s daughter, agreed. 

“Somebody better tell George.” Chuck suggested.

“I’ll tell him.” Henry left the trailer and walked towards the movie set on the Enterprise Pictures lot. “I wonder where Talbot is?” He thought to himself as he didn’t see the security guy at his usual post. No matter. Henry began the long climb up the facade of stone steps toward a solitary house up on a hill. The crew designed it to be a spooky old house, in the style of Second Empire Victorian. That’s where his son was. George always loved scary movies, and despite the horrors his own family faced, he was proud of his son for doing what he loved. Inside that house, Henry knew that George was in heaven. 

No Gein II: A Second Helping 

Chapter Seven: Psycho II

Hollywood, California. September 2003

George was very impressed by Lloyd, the set designer he hired to work on his new movie. Norman Bates’s house looked exactly as it did from the first Psycho, from the creaky wooden steps to the outdated antique furniture. Even the cobwebs and dust were present. A ring from his cellphone brought George back to modernity. Flipping his phone open he gave his usual snarky greeting “House of pain, you kill em, we grill em.” 

“Not in the mood for you goofing off George.” It was Marty, the producer. Psycho II was getting a lot of heat, which was making the brass nervous. The slasher genre was revived due to 98’s Psycho, and George’s recent Texas Chainsaw massacred the box office like no horror film had before, resulting in scores of other obscure cult hits getting greenlit for remakes. With that success came the seemingly once a decade national hand wringing about the dangers of violence in the mass media and its effects on our poor innocent youth, which gave Enterprise Studios a lot of unwanted attention.

“Are you sitting down?” His producer asked frantically.

“I am now Marty.” George sat down on an ancient looking sofa and was genuinely shocked at how comfortable it was. “Damn this seat is sweet. I gotta get one of these for my place!”

“This is no joke George,” Mary insisted. “I got really bad news.” 

“OK shoot.”

Marty then just blurted it out. “Roy is dead.”

“Are you shitting me?” George almost jumped out of his seat hearing this. Roy was the main screenwriter on Psycho II, who had also taken some of the heat for his Texas Chainsaw screenplay. Both he and George had been receiving death threats.

“I’m not joking, they found his body this morning. I’m down at the police station making a statement. They want to talk to you too.”

“Ok I’ll leave the set right now.” George said as he stood up and started walking.

“Wait, Jesus George you’re on the set?”

“Yeah, why?” George said as he stopped dead in his tracks.

“I ordered it closed down.” Marty revealed. “Someone was snooping around there last night.” 

“Who was it?”

“Don’t know, Talbot chased him off, but it’s too much of a coincidence. I ordered the whole area to be closed off. How did you get in there?”

“I didn’t see Talbot at the gate this morning,” George explained, “so I let myself in.” 

“Well get the hell out of there and come down here now!”

“Alright chill-ax I will.” George said before hanging up.

It was then that George heard the noise upstairs. “Hello,” George said, looking up the steps to the second floor of the ‘house. There was no answer. He then called out the for the security chief, “Talbot, is that you?” but there was still no answer.

As George walked up the creaky steps, he heard no other sound. He thought maybe he just heard the wind. Getting to the top of the steps, he noticed the scent, that unmistakable smell that in this environment meant nothing but trouble. The wood still creaked as he went into the bedroom of Norman Bates. It was a simple, spartan like room. He admired the bookshelves on the wall. In the original Robert Bloch novel that was published about ten years back, Norman was a student of the occult, and the prop designer did a great job making the mock editions of old spooky books. Per George’s request, there was even a book that had Necronomicon scrawled on the spine. George knew Bloch would have liked that. He wished his old friend could have seen the prop Necronomicon; which was a nod to Bloch’s mentor H.P. Lovecraft, who frequently referenced the accursed book in his various weird tales about the Elder Gods and other unspeakable horrors. 

One of the horrors filmmakers wrestled with was the occasional parent group threatening boycotts and other shenanigans. Now, in the 21rst century, there was a new threat to filmmakers, not from people who hated them, but from those who loved them. George knew all too well the excesses of fandom. In his younger days he made a few regrettable online comments towards authors and directors. Now that he was on the other end of the business, he in turn received death threats about the next Psycho movie. Initially, he’d long dismissed this chatter, remembering his old days as an angry nerd, but now it was serious, someone was really dead. 

It was then he spotted a manilla folder resting on the bookshelf. He wondered why this was there, he definitely didn’t want this oversight showing up on film. Upon closer look, the envelope had his name written on it in red ink; at least it looked like red ink at first. As he picked it up to take a closer look, it appeared his name had been written in blood. George’s hands trembled as he opened the folder, and what he found inside was even more disturbing. George now knew he officially had a stalker. Here were photos of himself at the beach with his girlfriend. What worried him even more was a picture of his sister Helen along with her husband Chuck.

George angrily threw the folder down and stormed into the next room. This was the bedroom of Norman’s mother, Norma Bates. There was a deep indenture in the bed as if someone had laid there an unnaturally long time. That smell was so strong here. When he saw the metal shine from under the bed he shuddered. He reached down into the blackness under the bed and his hand felt cold steel. He knelt down and pulled out a can of kerosene. As soon as his knee hit the wooden floor, he could smell the fumes on the bed sheets. Someone planned to burn the entire set down.

“Who’s in here?” George now said more angrily. “You’re fucking with my movie, I’m gonna kill you!” Then there was the sound of a door creaking. He turned to see it was the door mother’s large walk-in closet. George shuddered as he could see a slender arm, dead still, laying on the closet floor. He rushed over to the closet, fearing the truth he already knew in his gut. Pushing the door open all the way he found the body of Talbot lying face down in a pool of blood. It looked like someone bashed his head with a blunt object like a tire iron.

George never saw the figure come behind him, he never saw that old dress flowing in the air as it entered the bedroom, or the hand within it that raised the blade in the air through the dress’s frilled sleeves. He yelled out as best as he could as the knife came down on his back. In his mind George could hear the violin music shrieking from the first film as the knife penetrated him again and again, leaving fountains of blood spraying as it went. George collapsed to the ground. As he looked across the room where the dead employee lay, his lips uttered their final words. 

No Gein II: A Second Helping

Chapter Six: Pit Stop

New Jersey, August 31 2003

Grease and red liquid splattered Milton’s jaw as he bit into the meat. His voice let out a near orgasmic “Oh my god,” as his lips smacked together, “this burger is absolutely delicious.” 

“Best in town.” his father said. “Your mother and I always ate here after we visited you. Sometimes your mom was more excited about the food than the visit!” 

“Hey, their milkshakes are to die for,” his mother laughed as she continued, “and they don’t massacre you on the prices either!” 

“Well then what the hell are you eating a salad for?” Milton asked, looking at her plate of greens.

“Gotta watch my health. I ain’t gettin any younger!” As his mother ate her greens Milton noticed two young guys eying them up. At first he thought the pigs were already on his case. One of them was thin, and wore a beanie on his head and a t-shirt that bore the image of a man with a flaming skull riding a motorcycle. The other was fat with a black t-shirt with a white skull logo, its teeth resembling ammunition clips. The more he watched them out of the corner of his eye, the more he thought they were probably just a bunch of stoners. If they were undercover, they were pretty good actors.

“Anyway, Milton,” his father said as Milton continued feasting on his hamburger, “we got something to tell you.”

“Yeah?” Milton replied, taking another savory bite.

“We’re going go on a little road trip, you know, Kerouac style.” His father explained. We’re heading way out west.”

“And what is the purpose of this trip?” Milton asked.

Before his father had a chance to detail their apparent upcoming journey, the young skinny stoner interrupted with a “Hey, what’s up man.”

“What is ‘up’ is I’m trying to masticate my dinner and you’re interrupting me.” Milton answered snarky. “What do you want?”

“Oh, sorry man, I didn’t mean to interrupt while you were masterba-haha, I mean…”

“Well spit it out kid!” Milton’s father barked impatiently. “What do you want?”

“I, uh, me and Bob over there,” his friend Bob silently waved with a smile while they all looked, “We were just wondering um..”

“Get out of here kid we got business to conduct!” Milton’s mother ordered the young man as she finished her salad.

“It’s OK Mom.” Milton said. “The kid just wants to talk. What’s on your mind son?”

“Ok, yeah uh, so like, are the one they call Saw-man?”

“Can’t you see we’re trying to eat?” Milton’s father objected.

“It’s OK dad.” Milton then looked at the kid and smiled. “Yeah, that’s me.” 

“Awesome man!” The youth’s face grew jubilant with excitement. “So how are you? I heard you were in the big house!”

“Actually, I was just released, and so far, I’m having a splendid day. I reunited with my parents, I am eating this scrumptious meal, and now I got to meet a fine young gentleman such as yourself.”

“That’s great man. Bob and I, we’re big fans. Hey, I always wanted to ask you something. Is it true you’re the guy they based Texas Chainsaw Massacre off of?”

“Well, as much as I would love to take credit for that classic piece of American cinema,” Milton’s sarcasm went over the fan’s head like a cloud of smoke, “unfortunately, that movie preceded my incarceration, so that analogy was made post prison sentence.”

“Oh, post prison.” the fan nodded his head pretending to understand. “OK, cool man, hey can we get our picture with you?”

“No pictures today bud,” Milton’s father objected, “We’re eating.”

‘Oh, oh, well can I get your autograph?” 

“Listen buddy, how about we finish our meal. You go over there with your friend and finish your meal.” Milton then pointed to his friend and asked, “He looks like he likes to eat. Am I right?”

“He sure does!” The youth said excitedly. “Bob can pack the burgers down.”

“Excellent, now maybe after the meal you would like to have a smoke.” Eying the kid’s clothes and his hemp necklace, Milton observed “You look like a man that enjoys a good smoke, do you catch my drift?”

“Oh, I sure do man, uh sir.”

“Well. I’ll tell you what then, see that alley across the street?” The young man nodded before Milton continued “Let’s meet over there in, how do you young people say, four minutes and twenty seconds?”

“I hear you loud and clear sir!” the stoner jubilantly saluted him.

“Great, so we will meet, maybe have a smoke, and then we can talk about that autograph.”

“Sounds great man, we will be there!” The young man scurried back to his table. While asking the waitress for their check, Milton heard him boasting. “Oh shit, we’re gonna blaze it up with Saw-Man!” A smack echoed through the diner as the two stoners high fived each other.

The father looked at his newly freed son with a mischievous look and asked, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

Not long after, the family pulled their van into the alley across the street. “I assume you want to do the honors?” Milton’s mother asked her boy.

“Absolutely.” Milton answered as she handed him a small object which he tucked in the inside pocket of his suit jacket. His hands were trembling in anticipation.

Soon enough they saw the two stoners practically running across the street towards the alley. A few cars beeped their horns and an obscenity or two was shouted as the two exuberantly crossed the street without a care in the world.

“They’re lucky they survived crossing the street.” Milton’s father said with a smirk.

The two youths reached their destination and were met with high fives and smiles from the family. “So, you know I was just released right? I don’t have anything on me.” Milton explained as they all stood in the alley.

“Oh, we got the hookup Saw-man.” The skinny one pulled out a blunt that was almost wider than his own body.

“You go first,” Milton said, reaching into his pocket. “Let me light it for you.”

“It’d be an honor sir.” the boy said with a smile.

With one hand Milton pushed the scrawny kid against the brick wall. In the past he would taunt and play with his prey, but he couldn’t stand waiting anymore. With his other hand he reached into his inside pocket to retrieve what his mother gave him. It was a sharp shiny knife, a little small for his tastes, but it did the trick. The boy’s eyes almost bulged out of his head in fear as he heard the last words he’d ever hear. 

“Smoking’s hazardous to your health.” Milton finally plunged the hot hard steel into the young punk’s soft wet throat. The blade was now lubricated in blood as he plunged the steel in an out and let out a satisfying groan. He felt so close to this feeling during his recent prison brawl, but it was well worth the wait. This was his first kill in a long time, and it brought him closer to beating Jason’s record.

Mom had a tire iron tucked under her frilled sleeve that she struck Bob in the jaw with. He fell to the ground in pain, his body let out a sound, but he could not scream for help as his jaw was busted. Milton heard the back door of the van slam shut as Milton’s father walked out with what he was known for, something he long had notoriety for in the underworld. The fat boy let out an indiscriminate wail as the old man approached him with a sledgehammer.

Milton would have liked to have killed them both, but he deferred to his father who held his weapon of choice up as high as he could. His elderly arms shook, no longer being able to hold it over his head like he used to, the steel hammer came clumsily crashing down towards its target.

Bob whimpered in terror as the head of the sledgehammer sat directly in front of his eyes. Milton never saw his father miss. In his glory days he was known for killing snitches and informants with one mighty swing, but those days were long behind him now. Milton desperately wanted to ask permission to finish this obese victim off, but he didn’t dare disrespect the family like that. “Come on dad, you can do it.”

“Yeah, kill that fat fuck!” his mom added.

Dad raised the sledgehammer into the air again, this time not as high, and with less strength but more accuracy. Allowing gravity to bring the hammer down it bashed Bob’s skull open like a watermelon. “Hahaha you got em good dad!” Milton laughed with a childlike excitement as he stashed his victim’s corpse into a nearby dumpster.

Together, Milton’s parents lifted the near-headless victim into the dumpster. His mom squeezed the belly fat on the fresh corpse saying, “Too bad we just ate.” Closing the dumpster lid she continued, “Just as well though. Gotta get back on the road, time to head west!” 

No Gein II: A Second Helping 

Part Five: Concealed Transgressions

October 26th, 1957. Plainfield, Wisconsin

Johnny was scared. He woke him up in the middle of the night to the sound of a woman sobbing. It wasn’t mom though, it wasn’t any voice he recognized, but the sobbing was uncontrollable. Following the sounds of the woman wailing and crying, Johnny walked down the dark hallway towards the stairwell. Creeping down a few steps, he peered into the living room below. From the stairwell he could see a woman sitting next to his mother on the couch. His mom was holding this woman in her arms like they were real close. He didn’t know who this woman was, but she kept babbling something about a house. Johnny couldn’t understand what she was saying, but it sounded like something real awful happened to her. Johnny’s father was standing over them, and he looked like he was real mad. Daddy’s friend the Sheriff was there too. The Sheriff looked up towards the stairwell, where he met Johnny’s eyes. The young boy got real scared and ran back to bed. Shutting the door behind him, Johnny pulled the covers over himself and shut his eyes tight, fearing he’d get a whuppin.

He awoke to the feeling of a hand on his back shaking him frantically. The hand was pushing so hard the whole bed shook. Johnny groggily pulled down his covers to see his dad sitting on the edge of the bed. Sunlight now brightly shined through his bedroom window. Johnny thought it must be the next day now, but Dad’s eyes looked real tired like he was up all night.

“What did you hear?” His father asked sternly.

“I didn’t hear nothin dad.”

“Don’t you lie to me boy or you’re gonna get the belt.”

“I don’t know dad, I…” Johnny desperately sought the words that wouldn’t result in a whuppin. “I didn’t understand it.”

He could tell his dad was thinking as he remained silent at the bed’s edge. Eventually, he pointed at him sternly saying, “You listen to me boy, I saw something God-damn awful last night, and it’s something I hope nobody else ever has to see. If people start knowing about it, then every carnie and hustler in a thousand miles will be coming to our little town making us out to be a freak show. Is that what you want?” His dad didn’t wait for an answer as he grabbed his son hard by the arm and shook him shouting “Is it!” 

“No dad!” Johnny said, almost in tears. His dad released his grip and left the room.

Johnny hadn’t realized it yet, but his mom let him sleep in that day and miss Church. Dad missed Church too. It seemed he’d gone somewhere; but Johnny didn’t dare ask where. Dad was real quiet the rest of the day, which he spent reading his Bible. It looked like he was thinking really hard about something. Johnny didn’t totally understand what he’d just experienced, but he was old enough to know it was pretty serious.

Indianapolis, Indiana August 31, 2003

Kristina didn’t broach the issue of those old papers again. She was just happy to get her mother out of the house. Church was not a place she’d been to in a while, but since moving back in with mom they started going again. Kristina was skeptical if praying did any good, but given how awful the world seemed during the last few years, she figured it wouldn’t hurt. She did like today’s message, as the Minister gave a sermon on Proverbs 28:13 and the importance of revealing the truth, even during trying times. “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

There was no mercy from negative news as the radio reported the latest current events. Driving home after church, the car radio reported another bombing in Iraq. At the Imam Ali Mosque two car bombs exploded killing 95 people including Islamic Scholar Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim. Kristina’s skin crawled as the voice over the radio expounded on how this bombing was part of a continuing wave of violence as the first post-Saddam government was to be established in Iraq next week. Her step-nephew was just starting his senior year of high school. She dreaded the thought of him joining the military and getting shipped off into this meat grinder; where there was always news about violence and bombings, but WMD’s never turned up. She couldn’t talk about her worries with her mother, who was just barely old enough to remember Pearl Harbor. In fact, the sneak attack that drug America into World War II was at the very dawn of her earliest memories. The idea that threats lurked everywhere in the world was so ingrained in her, Kristina knew there was no point in arguing about Bush and his wars.

Thankfully the news went to a different topic, but it was a topic gruesome in of itself. Not only was this latest news morbid, but it was, relatively speaking, closer to home.

Federal Correctional Institution Fort Dix New Jersey August 31, 2003

“Kill a couple punks out there for me!” Milton’s cellmate said while giving him a fist bump. Milton smiled and nodded as the cell door shut behind him for the last time.

Michael didn’t say a word as Milton walked by, he just stood behind his bars and stared. It was as though he wasn’t even looking at Milton, he was looking past him, past the guards, past the prison wall into some nightmarish future only he could see. For all the horror Milton had seen and conducted in his own life, he was glad he’d never have to see that stare again.

“Oh, look at this guy!” Another inmate shouted from behind their bars. “Looking sharp brother, as sharp as a blade, a saw blade!”

Milton was surprised his suit still fit after all these years. In fact, it was a little baggy on him. He was still a large man, but he’d lost his belly in prison. 

Jason didn’t look at him. He sat on his cot as his deformed face looked away. Fred looked though, his charred face peered out from his cell, his eyes filled with hate. Tapping the bars with his fingers he taunted “You’ll never escape me. You’ll see me in your nightmares.”

Milton tauntingly padded his own side as he smiled at Fred as if to say “How’s your gut there Fred?” Milton’s would be assailant still had his side wrapped in gauze. Fred was always so melodramatic, but Milton was never scared of him all these years he was behind bars, and for the rest of his life he was certain he wouldn’t even give him a second thought.

The air smelled sweet and the sun washed over Milton’s face as the metal gates shut behind him. After all these years, Milton was now a free man. Walking out the gate, an old white van sat waiting for him. His mother couldn’t wait to get out. The door didn’t even shut as she rushed towards him and gave him a big motherly hug. Through frilled sleeves Milton felt his mother’s arms wrapped tight around him. He embraced her back as his father joined the two of them saying. “You’ll never have to look at this awful place again.”

“Two men looked out from prison bars.” Milton recited,  “One saw the mud the other saw stars, Dale Carnegie.”

“So you didn’t lose your damn mind in there, that’s good.” His father joked. 

“You lost some weight though.” His mom cackled and poked her son’s belly. “Didn’t they give you enough to eat in there?”

“Every time you visited, I told you how awful the food was.” Milton laughed as the three got into the van.

“I wouldn’t know.” His father observed. “No one ever snitched on me!”

“Well let’s get you something to eat then.” said mother as she turned the ignition. “I know just the place.”

Plainfield Wisconsin, August 31, 2003

Little Johnny never told a soul about what he heard that night that was so many years ago. Looking back at it now as an adult, that evening had a bigger effect on him than he’d realized. That night he fully understood that there were real bad people in the world, and they weren’t just in far-away places like the war or the big city; they could be the person next door. It never occurred to him until just now, but that night probably ingrained the idea in him that he had to protect his home, and probably led to him becoming a cop.

Taking a deep breath, just before he started the press conference, he remembered his father’s warning. Now, almost half a century later, as he looked out over this army of reporters, he now fully understood that this is what his father wanted to avoid.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” he began, “earlier this month two Waushara County workers accidentally discovered a mass grave just outside of our town of Plainfield. The remains of ten people were found. Forensic analysis indicates that the victims were not killed on site. In fact, nine of the ten human remains were actually removed from local cemeteries.” 

“Who removed them?” A reporter asked.

John knew full well who removed them. That night, all those years ago, his father accidentally discovered their neighbor had been robbing graves for years. “I cannot say at this time,” he answered. Wasn’t exactly a lie, he felt he couldn’t say. He was desperately trying to keep a lid on this explosive discovery. Like his father, he didn’t want this town to be turned into a damn circus. “We suspect they may have been removed decades ago.” Johnny desperately hoped the fact that this happened so long ago would somehow lessen the sensationalism.

His mood lightened a little as he saw an attractive reporter in the crowd. He thought she looked familiar actually. He called on her and she identified herself. “Vanita Williams. There’s been a lot of speculation about the controversial Texas Chainsaw movie and its connection with the Dahmer murders. The Kohler family lived not far away here. Is it possible that director George Kohler knew about this mass grave?”

So much for his better mood. “Ma’am I am not here to comment on movies and movie directors, I am here to talk about what’s been discovered.”

“Ten human remains have been found.” Vanita blurted out her follow up question. “But you said nine of them were taken from the local cemetery. What about the tenth?”

The sheriff took a deep breath before answering. “After examining the bodies,” he slowly revealed, “we believe we can close an old missing person’s case from 50 years back.” 

“And what case would that be?” Vanita asked anxiously.

The name he spoke sent a shiver through two members of the radio audience. “Mary Hogan.”

“Mom, did you hear that?” Kristina’s mother looked out the window, pretending she hadn’t, but the shock on her face was apparent. “Mom, did you know about this?” 

“Why would I know anything about that? I’ve never even been to Wisconsin!”

“Well, I was looking through your papers, Mary Hogan was the name you kept looking up.” Kristina’s hands gripped the wheel before she asked. “Was she your mom?”

“I don’t know,” Marilyn answered, shaking her head, “maybe, I don’t know. I looked a little bit but I never got far.”

“Well, when I looked over your stuff it looked like you traced her from Springfield to Joliet Indiana to Chicago, then it was like you just stopped looking.”

“I stopped looking when I had you, honey I had bigger things to worry about!” Marilyn said in frustration as she looked at the road. “Now forget about this and get us home.”

“No, you didn’t stop looking when you had me!” Kristina fired back. Marilyn didn’t mean to lie, she desperately tried to convince her daughter, to convince herself, of some other truth, but her flesh and blood wasn’t having it. “I remember you still looking for her, I even helped you. Remember when I was a kid you took me to the library, and we were looking through old newspapers together?”

Marylin knew her daughter was right, but she shook her head again. “I don’t know.” She did remember, but she wished so much that both of them hadn’t.

“I remember when you and dad took a trip to Illinois. That was when,” a tear now ran down her cheek. “That’s when dad died in the accident.”

Now her own mother was crying. Turning the dial on the car radio she protested “Why do you have to bring this up, and get your poor mother all upset?”

Pulling into their driveway Kristina said “I’m sorry mom, I just have to know. Are you sure you didn’t go to Wisconsin?”

She put her hand on her hip, winced in pain. “I’m sorry honey, I’m so sorry.”

“It’s OK mom. Does your hip hurt again?”

“No, that’s not it.”

“What is it then?” Kristina asked as she turned the ignition off.

Taking a deep breath, she said quietly, “Sounded like she went from one monster to another.”

“What?”

Finally it seemed there was some mercy from the pressure and guilt she had stored up inside. her. “I’m so sorry honey.” With each word she let out felt like more weight being lessened from her shoulders. “I thought I was doing it to protect you.”

“Do what mom?”

“It wasn’t in a car accident.”

A cold sweat ran through Kristina’s body. When she was a young girl her parents were in a car accident that took the life of her father. As she got older, sometimes she would ask about the accident, but mom never wanted to talk about it. Kristina never pressed the issue, it wouldn’t have brought her dad back anyway, but now her mom just told her there was no accident. Kristina could now only think of one question to ask.

“Then what happened to my dad?”