Posts Tagged ‘No Gein’

No Gein II: A Second Helping

Chapter Thirteen: Bloody Reunions

Pine Grove Wisconsin 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 then hid it under the floor boards in her bedroom. Placing the floorboards 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 which she’d opened with the money she grabbed from her crazy ex. 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 was 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 officers office where she found the Officer who’d previously introduced himself as Jonathan sitting at his desk and on the telepone. “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.”

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

“Ok, here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna give you directions to this address.” Jonathan said in a low voice as he handed her another slip of paper. 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, 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 then said “This is Henry and Helen Kohler, 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,” Helen 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.

“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 Ed 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 explained. “So 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 that she was out here hiding from the mob, 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 and knew he was reliving that moment. He 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 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.” The Jonathan said. “Anywhere I go now is going to draw attention, but you are free to do that if you want.”

“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, she 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 rang 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 ok if I have a drink?”

“Well I’m closing soon, but I’ll give you just one OK?” She 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 plays 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 Twelve. Campfire Stories

The victim’s carcass hung from a spit over the fire as the family camped out in a secluded area of forest just off the highway. Milton was grateful his mother packed bread in their cooler. He made himself a nice little sandwich. “Oh my god, this is the best meal I’ve had in years!” he said, taking a bite of the freshly cooked flesh packed between the two wheat slices. Looking at his niece he said through a mouth full of food, “I’m telling you, don’t you ever go to prison. The food there is awful!

“Don’t worry Uncle Milton,” Clarice giggled while using her fingers to eay a piece of  meat off a paper plate, “they’ll never take me alive!”

“They better not. By the time you’d get out I’d be dead.” Clarice’s grandmother cackled.

“You’ll be dead a lot sooner if you don’t stop using so much salt!” Clarice’s grandfather said as he ate his freshly made stew.

“I’ve been making it that way since before I met you and don’t you forget it.” She barked back.

“Wait,” Clarice said, “I thought the family recipe was from Grandpa’s side?”

Pointing to the old metal pot in which chunks of flesh floated from their latest victims, Clarice’s grandmother explained, “The meat stew is from his side.” Then holding up her own sandwich she said “I’ve been eating this since the great depression.” Watching the flames dance around the remains of their victims she recalled “Daddy went and died, and mom and I could barely survive on the farm in Oklahoma. I remember being so hungry I cried. Must have drove my poor mother mad.” Her voice shook from the sting of that pain she still felt decades later. “We had a loaf of bread, but not even a lousy vegetable to put between two slices. One night a straggler came by, tried to take advantage of my mom. She killed the bastard dead.” Grandmother had the full attention of her audience as she finished her tale. “We were starving, and next thing you know,” she held up her sandwich triumphantly. “Bon appetite!” 

“Wow.” Clarice marveled at the story. “So did you introduce the appetite to grandpa””

“No, I already had it.” Grandpa answered his spouse’s question. “In fact, when we first met, I kept it a secret!”

“So how did you find out?” Clarice asked.

“Well actually he caught me!.” Grandmother laughed. “I kept the appetite to myself when we’d first met. One day he was away on business, and I was at home starving. We had plenty of food mind you, but the appetite was overpowering. I went and out and got somebody tasty, but loe and behold he came home early, I thought I might have to kill him!”

“I almost killed you when I saw how much salt you were using!” Grandfather reminisced.

Looking at his niece, Milton laughed, “They’ve been fighting about that all my life.”

“Aww,” Clarice fawned, “So the appetite kept you together. That’s so sweet.” 

“Yeah, my first wife couldn’t take the heat,” Grandfather recalled. “So she got out of the kitchen so to speak haha.”

“Wait” Clarice was shocked. “You had another wife?”

“Yeah, her name was Mary, tough old broad, just like your grandmother, but she didn’t like our family’s peculiar, uh appetite, as we say.” Grandpa explained before eating another mouthful of his stew. 

“What happened to her? Clarice asked.

“Actually, this is why we’re heading out west.” Grandfather revealed. “I had this old set of jewelry, it was my mothers. Bunch of diamonds and shit. That bitch took it all along with some cash and took off. Never saw Mary again.”

“Wait,” Clarice asked, “so did you just find her?” 

“Well someone did!” Grandfather laughed. “You see the news about those bodies that turned up in the plain states?

“No really?” Clarice wasn’t one to keep up with the news.

“Too busy on that internet shit!” Grandmother complained.

“Hey,” Clarice protested, “rotten.com is an awesome site! I’m telling you you love it.”

“Look I don’t give a dam about gotten.com or whatever the fuck your talking about!” Grandfather said, agitated. “Those jewels belonged to my mother, and I always wanted to kill that bitch for running off with them. Well it turned out some Psycho beat me to it like 50 years ago. Apparently she had a home out in Wisconsin.”

“And you think you’re going to find these jewels 50 years later?” Clarice wondered out loud.” She probably pawned them off.”

“Maybe, but I just gotta know. Mary always hid shit in the space under the floor boards some old houses had.” Grandfather laughed as he recalled. “Actually, Mary saved my ass one time during a police raid. If her old house is still standing I bet that at least some of that shit is still in there.

“And if there’s any people in that house?” Clarice asked out loud, knowing full well what the answer was.

Grandmother ate the last bit of her sandwich before answering. “Well we’ll get hungry again I’m sure!”

Then Clarice wondered, “So how did you get the appetite Grandpa?”

“It was the war.” Grandpa remembered. “ We were on a fishing boat off the coast of Iceland. One night a German Uboat took us out. Our boat was partially afloat, and myself and a few other soldiers clung to the wreckage.” Taking a sniff of the night air he could recall that peculiar scent from so long ago. “I remember the scent of the ocean mixed with that distinct smell. It was the smell of cooked meat. A few bodies floated by, I remember one in particular. Part of it was blown off, and the heat from the explosion burnt some of the flesh. We could all smell the meat. I bet we were all thinking it, but I was the first one to say it out loud. Of course, the other survivors thought I was mad.

Grandfather finished off his meal as he came to the conclusion of his story. “As the night passed, one by one the other survivors faded one by one. By the time the sun came up the next morning, I was the only one left, all the others sank into the sea. I could feel something, something in my whole body. I can’t describe it, almost like I could feel my soul about to leave. As the sun was coming up, I saw a vision on the surface of the water. I could see my parents. They were at their old home in the highlands, sitting on the porch waiting for me. I knew what was about to happen, but I didn’t want to go. One of the bodies floated past me, big burly guy, his frame could have filled up a whole doorway. Part of his arm was blown off from the night’s explosion, parts of his flesh looked like they were partially cooked. I looked down at the flesh. I bit in, and I stayed alive.”

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 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 fuck!” 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 long time 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 when 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 back in college. Hollywood success seemed to have had the opposite effect on George. 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 be humble. In fact, sometimes it seemed like something really rattled him. 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 that hit her in the face from George’s high powered water gun. “Eat it bitch!” he yelled as she fell 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.

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 and they all chuckled.

“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. The last few years he’d gone back and forth from there and his other home in Bethlehem PA and reconnected 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 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

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 locals 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 that he didn’t really care for.

“I don’t think Buddah had that 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 insitution 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 it’s alleged influence from the Jeffrey Dhamer murders of the last decade. This controversy has not hurt it’s 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 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 Four: Enter Saw-man

Federal Correctional Institution, Fort Dix, New Jersey August 26th, 2003

Milton loved the library. It made prison seem not so bad. Walking through the aisles of bookshelves, the texts and their pictures transported the inmate to other realities, alternate worlds where things turned out a lot different. Maybe in another life he would be a star, an icon of the silver screen, a leading man even. His face would be handsome, instead of scarred and mangled like a damn monster. Or maybe he’d be something else, like a restaurant owner. Yeah, that’s it, a restaurant. He and his dad would be award winning chili cooks with a restaurant in Texas. 

One book caught Milton’s eye, Islands at the Edge of Time: A Journey Through the Barrier Islands. Flipping through the travel memoir, he thought about how he’d never been to these places, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the coastlines of Mississippi and Alabama. Reading the inside cover, the author Gunnar Hansen was an Icelandic American, just like Milton’s dad. Mr. Hansen was also a poet and writer.

“Didn’t know you inbreds could read!” Milton was brought back to reality by both Fred’s insult and deep throaty laugh. Milton didn’t like Fred. Fred was a bad man, and his face was ugly like his too, but for a different reason. Fred got burned real bad on the outside. Milton knew he could smash Fred anytime he wanted, he was a puny little man, but behind him were Michael and Jason. They were big like he was, and he didn’t like them either. Jason’s face was deformed, even uglier than his own. The thing is, though he would never admit it to anyone, he was jealous of Jason. Jason killed more people than he did. Milton wasn’t good at numbers, but if he did his math right, and he checked it a bunch of times, Jason had three more kills than he did. Milton prided himself on his work, and knowing that freak hillbilly bastard had more bodies stacked than he did was too much to bear.

Michael didn’t have as many kills, but he still didn’t like him. Michael stalked and killed some girls in Bethlehem Pennsylvania, not too far from here if he remembered right. They called it the babysitter murders, that wasn’t nice. Milton wasn’t nice either, but he never did anything like that.

“Heard you’ve been giving my warriors a hard time!” One thing Milton’s dad taught him from the time he was young, was that you gotta protect your home. The bloc had been Milton’s home for a long time now, and just like Dad protected his home in Iceland back in the big war, Milton looked out for the bloc. Recently, Fred and his gang had been bothering some of his neighbors, and that wasn’t very nice.

Fred picked up a book and dropped it on the ground. “Shouldn’t do that to books.” Milton thought to himself. That wasn’t nice. Dad taught him not to treat books like that. 

“I’m trying to conduct business and you’re cutting in!” Milton said nothing as Fred protested. “What’s the matter, you too dumb to speak now!” Fred’s scarred hands then picked up a small magazine. Milton knew that issue. He’d spent a lot of time on it. “Look at this, editor of the prison poetry journal!” Freddy tore the pages in half. “You gotta be fuckin kidding me. The big bad chainsaw killer. Some say you’re the Saw-man from that old horror movie, well I say your nothin but a big joke!” 

Allowing Fred to think he was scared, Milton backed up against the wall and glanced out the pane glass on the library door. The guard wasn’t there. No one else was in the library either, Fred’s influence was growing in the big house. The little man pulled out a shank and said “You think you were a nightmare on the outside? I’m gonna show you what nightmares are made of!”

Milton knew what Fred was going to do before he did. As Freddy’s arm lunged at him Milton managed to catch his wrist, and with his other hand he grabbed Fred by the neck and lifted him up in the air, throwing his little body into Jason’s. Their heads collided and Jason got knocked off his feet. 

During the action Fred dropped the shank intended for Milton, who swiftly knelt down to reach for it as Michael approached. Gripping the homemade blade Milton repeatedly jabbed it into Michael’s stomach. He also thrust his head in an upwards motion smashing the top of his skull into Michael’s jaw knocking him backwards.  

Fred then jumped on Milton’s back shouting “Jesus, if you want a job done right!” Milton could have thrown him off easily, but, still with the shank in hand, he stabbed Fred’s gut. Milton felt a rush as for the first time in years someone else’s blood made contact with his skin. There were three of them here. What an irony it would be if Jason could in fact help Milton break his own record. Just the thought of it was exhilarating, but this brief moment of ecstasy was shortened by Fred shrieking in his ear. The would-be assailant slid off his back, but Milton kept a strong grip of the shank in his hand. 

His tight grip released and the shank fell to the floor once Jason landed a staggering punch. Milton landed on one knee. Knowing better than to go toe to toe with the younger opponent, a kick to the balls was in order. Jason fell to his knees and Milton stepped back over Michael’s body. Still laying on the ground, Michael suddenly sat straight up and turned his head, glaring at Milton with those dead black eyes. Despite a life filled with the mad and macabre, Michael sitting up like that after taking stabs to the stomach legitimately startled Milton. Hearing the sound of rusting paper, he realized what happened. Michael stuffed a phone book under his prison uniform, he might have been the smartest of the three. 

If Milton still had the shank in his hand, he might not have been able to resist his newly sprung urges. Before Michael could rise to his feet Milton palmed his head and smashed it back into the floor a few times. He thrust his arm as hard as he could, and part of him knew Michael’s hair would slip out of Milton’s sweaty hands from the force of his thrusts, allowing Milton to catch his breath and take a step away before he finished Michael for good. As bad as he wanted to kill again, he knew lethal force would have been more trouble than it was worth, not with what he had to look forward to.

“Get him you idiot!” Fred groaned, still laying on the floor. Jason now rose back to his feet and looked like he was about to charge. Milton dashed behind a bookshelf and pushed it over, pinning Jason underneath the wood and heavy texts.

“No, no!!!” Fred’s head shook in frustration as his arms were now wrapped around Milton’s leg. Milton reached his hands out, the shank was just within reach, he could still finish them for good. Maybe if he stabbed himself afterwards he could concoct some story that they all got jumped. Maybe he could figure out some way to break the record without getting caught. 

The wooden case creaked as Jason began stirring beneath the fallen bookshelf. He was a tough bastard. As Freddy still desperately clung to his leg, Milton could smell the blood in the air. As Milton reached out, he finally got it in his hands, and with one swing struck Fred in the head, whose grasp around Milton’s leg was now dead.

Looking down, Milton read the title, ‘American Gothic,’ by Robert Bloch. He liked that author. Weird coincidence this was the hardcover book he grabbed and struck Fred in the head with. Immediately, Milton stormed out of the library. That rush was so intense, being so close to death, his heart pounded through his chest, and he knew if he hadn’t left the room expeditiously he might not have been able to resist the temptation. Flipping through the pages of one of his favorite modern authors diverted his mind from how he could have killed the three of them, how he could have beat Jason’s record. As bad as he wanted it, he knew it would have been too risky. Besides, he knew Michael was too smart to snitch on him, Jason was too stupid, and Fred, he could never admit one guy beat him and his two hitmen, not if he wanted to maintain his reputation. 

Milton knew he was safe. He also knew that, not too long from now, after all these years, he was finally getting released. He would finally have his freedom. He would finally get to see Dad, and the rest of the family.

Family? Can you imagine what sort of family would produce a character like Milton? Find out in two days in No Gein II, Chapter Five-Concealed Transgressions!

No Gein II: A Second Helping

Part Three: A Family Affair

Indianapolis, Indiana. August 25th, 2003 

“I’m so sorry you have to do this.” Marilyn said in embarrassment as her elderly hands gripped the walker.

“It’s OK mom, I promise.” Her daughter Kristina replied as she helped her mother from the bathroom into the living room. 

“At least I can still wipe myself.” Marilyn cackled.

“I would rather do that than lose you.” 

“Oh honey, you shouldn’t worry so much. You know I’m gonna be gone one day or another.” 

“Which is all the more reason I want to be here.” Kristina insisted as she helped her mother get back into the hospital bed that the nursing agency provided. As she lay in her bed, positioned in front of the TV, Marilyn naturally felt grateful for the help, but her daughter needed to live her own life. Her son, Kristina’s step brother, lived far away and had his own family now. She wished Kristina had started a family instead of being stuck here with her. Marilyn knew with her illness she didn’t have much time, but at least she was able to stay in her own home. A nurse paid frequent visits and she didn’t feel so bad most days.

Maryilyn laid back in her comfortable bed, and as she reached for the remote, she noticed a stack of old papers on the nightstand. They included old photographs and documents. Some of the pictures were so old they were from back before photos even had color in them.

“What do you got there?” Marilyn asked.

“When I was cleaning out the attic I found these.” Kristina said, now picking them up and looking through them. “It looked like stuff from,” she stopped for a moment. Marilyn let out a gasp as she recognized the papers. She thought she’d thrown those out long ago, but there they were in her daughter’s hands. Realizing what her daughter found, Marilyn’s own hand went up to her face, covering her mouth, her fingers pressing on the birthmark on her left cheek. Kristina didn’t have to finish the sentence, but she did. “back when you were looking for your parents.” she finished.

Marilyn never dreamed that part of her life would be unearthed again. She thought she’d gotten rid of all that junk, but Kristina must have found it when she moved into the attic. All the more reason she should be living her own life instead of rummaging through old garbage.

“Oh, honey that was so long ago, don’t you be worrying about that.” A pain shot through her hips as she saw these clues from her own personal scavenger hunt that she’d abandoned so many years ago now resting in her daughter’s hands.

“I’m sorry mom. I know it must have been hard for you, never knowing.”

“What’s hard is how your nephew’s going to pay for college! Let’s worry about that.” Then, pointing the remote towards her new TV, she added “Let’s also worry about the fact that I’m missing my shows!” Her elderly finger pushed a button on the remote control and the TV zapped on.

They were just in time for the 12:00 news. The lead story was the fallout from last week’s suicide truck bombing at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad where twenty three people were killed. News footage showed the aftermath of the blast and the people covered in grey dust and rubble.

“God that’s awful.” Kristina said. I don’t know why Bush sent us there in the first place.”

“He sent us there to fight those damn terrorists!” Marilyn retorted. 

“Those damn terrorists are in Afghanistan.” Kristina countered. “I don’t understand what we’re doing in Iraq.”

“Cause of what happened in New York, that’s what we’re doing there!”

Kristina knew Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, but she didn’t want to argue about it. She just wanted to enjoy whatever time she had left with her mom. Still, this whole mess with the war worried her. Her nephew was a teenager now. In a few years he’d be out of high school and was been thinking about joining the military to help pay for college. “God.” she thought to herself. “What if he gets sent to Iraq or Afghanistan?” Her family had enough hardships and didn’t need one more. She hoped Bush’s military excursions would be over fast, but who knows, maybe we’d stay in Afghanistan for 20 years.

Thankfully on the television the subject changed to entertainment news. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” the grey haired anchorman began, “was the number one movie for the second weekend in a row, taking in an astonishing fifty eight million dollars, almost doubling its opening weekend. Both critics and audiences are raving about the remake of the cult classic about a family of deranged killers and their deadly chainsaw. Noted film critic Rex Reed called it the most terrifying film he’d ever seen. But the film is not without its controversy. Some claiming George Kohler, the Wisconsin film director, took inspiration from the crimes of the late Milwaukee serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer. The original 1974 film was about a group of youth’s on their way to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert who run afoul of a family of murderous hillbillies, where as in Kohler’s remake a group of youths investigate the desecration of a local graveyard.” 

The program then cut to a pre-recorded interview from entertainment reporter Vanita Williams, who wore a tight revealing dress and looked like a movie star herself. She was on the red carpet at the film’s premiere with the director himself.  “Were you aware of a mass grave that was recently uncovered in the town of Plainfield Wisconsin, not far from where you were born? If so, is there any connection between that and the content of your latest film.”

“No I haven’t heard about this, but what does that have to do with my movie?” George angrily responded. “Jesus lady, are you trying to say I’m a damn murderer or something?” He didn’t wait for her response as he stormed off with his girlfriend towards the theater entrance. 

The program cut back to the studio, where Vanita herself was in the anchor chair. The camera made a wide shot so her long legs were visible to the viewing audience. Vanita’s ruby red lips made a perfect smile as she said “George Kohler may deny the connection between his newest film and this shocking discovery, but what cannot be denied is that possibly ten human remains have been found outside the small town of Plainfield Wisconsin. Even more gruesome, dried up chunks of human flesh were found wrapped up in a patch of denim. Police are still investigating the mass grave found weeks ago, missing persons cases have been reopened in the thought that some of these crimes may be solved finally. Even more shocking are initial reports suggesting that the bodies here may have been buried for decades.”

“Ahh!” Marilyn cried out as her hand touched her hip again.

“Mom, what’s wrong?” 

Kristina then pointed her remote control at the TV and flipped the channels. “I’m sorry honey I can’t watch this.” 

“It’s OK mom.”

After flipping through a few stations Marilyn and Kristina soon heard a crowd of people making that familiar chant. “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!!!!” Kristina rolled her eyes as a smile grew on Marilyn’s face. The topic of today’s episode of the ever so insightful Jerry Springer Show was “Who Wants to be a Porn Star?”

“Mom, we’re not watching this.” Kristina protested.

“The hell we’re not!” Marilyn said as she set the remote down beside her.

Kristina was repulsed by this show, but it was all the rage in America now. Every day America tuned in to see incest, adultery, fisticuffs’, and scantily clad guests, but she had enough. She looked down at these papers she’d recently found and rummaged through them. She hadn’t talked to her mom about this stuff since she was a kid. She knew that Marilyn’s mother put her in an orphanage at a young age, and didn’t remember much about either of her parents. When Kristina herself was a child, Marilyn was trying to find her own parents, that was before she got in the accident. Looking through the papers, she didn’t remember her mom making this much progress. It seemed she had a bit of a trail to follow, and as Kristina looked closer, she saw a name. Kristina never realized her mom had dug up a specific name before. Who was this person? What happened to them? Could they have been one of Christina’s grandparents?

Who indeed was this mystery person, and what connection do they have to the ghastly discovery in the plain states? Come back in two days for No Gein II Chapter 4, Enter Saw-man!

No Gein II: A Second Helping

Chapter Two: Terror Remade

Mann’s Chinese Theater, Hollywood California, August 15th, 2003

Paparazzi crowded around the approaching limousine which was soon bathed in a sea of flashbulbs. A beautiful blonde woman stepped out of the limo and waved to the cameras. As the lens of one particular camera zoomed in on her, the man behind the lens admired her dress, but wished it exposed more skin the way other starlettes did. The dress did expose her back, which is where her partner placed his hand as he nervously waved to the cameras. The cameraman didn’t recognize this couple, and could tell no one else did either as the sea of camera flashes quickly faded away. As the couple slowly walked the red carpet, it was obvious this was a new experience to them. “Who is that?” The cameraman asked Vanita, the reporter he was accompanying. “She’s gorgeous.”

“I think that’s the director’ s sister.” the woman explained. “The square must be her husband.”

“Yeah, like I care who the dude is Vanita.” 

“Just shut your mouth and keep recording.” Vanita ordered as an older couple stepped out of the same limo. Once again the woman, an older but still attractive redhead, also in a conservative dress, waved happily to the crowd, while her partner, who was dressed to the nines, waved timidly to the cameras.

“That’s the director’s dad and I think his new wife.” Vanita explained.

“Wasn’t asking.” The camera man said.

“Bill, you’re going to be asking for a new job if you don’t lose the attitude.”

Another wave of camera flashes swept the area, this time maintaining their intensity as a young man emerged from the same limousine. He posed to the crowd with a confident smile and a voluptuous woman on his arm. “Now that’s what I’m talking about!” Bill shouted as his lens zoomed on the woman’s exposed cleavage, he then moved the camera up and down her body to catch all the exposed flesh her dress revealed. Billy was quickly yanked out of his own private fantasy as Vanita’s voice shouted “Let’s go!” 

Vanita shoved her way through the sea of reporters all making their way to the young couple. She almost reached him when another reporter pushed ahead of her and got the man’s attention. “We are with George Kohler, the director of tonight’s world premier.” The reporter said. “George this isn’t your first rodeo, but are you confident about how your audience will receive this?”

“Honestly, I am always nervous whenever a project is done.” The young director spoke modestly. “I never assume anyone will like it. The original film is such a classic in the eyes of horror fans, and I hope I have done it justice.”

“Well the early buzz is this film is quite scary. Your name is fast becoming associated with horror films. What is next for you?” 

“Well,” George said looking over the crowd of spectators, “this is all great and I really do appreciate it, but I’m going right back to the set of my next film tomorrow and getting back to work.

Finally managing to squeeze her way through the crowd, Vanita got to George. “Vanita Williams, Inside Entertainment. Word is you’ve added elements of cannibalism and other shocking content to what you refer to as a classic. There is already some controversy surrounding this film, as some say this was inspired by the late Wisconsin serial killer Jeffrey Dhamer.”

Billy loved it when Vanita got under someone’s skin. He smirked as he could see George’s face instantly shifted from being happy go lucky to irritated and stern as he answered “Dhamer was a sick man and I in no way took influence from him. This movie is a period piece, and I hope it lives up to the original and the legacy it left for so many of us.” Vanita had one more question, and she knew this one would be the killer.

For most of Henry’s life he kept a lot of stuff to himself. That changed was Franki came into his life as well as when he reconciled with his son a few years back. Now here they all were at a Hollywood movie premier, something he never dared dream of working all those years at Bethlehem Steel. As he watched George taking questions from reporters Henry thought how things happened so fast and his son had been so busy that he never got to tell George yet how proud he was of him. 

“He looks a little upset?” Franki whispered, squeezing his hand and whispered into his ear as he also noticed George appeared a little agitated as he stormed away from a reporter. 

As George approached his family at the entrance to the theater his father aked “What’s wrong son, that reporter piss you off? They didn’t say jack shit to me!” Henry laughed. 

Holding his girlfriend’s hand tightly, George answered “I’ll tell you later.”

Entering the theater, George felt more nervous than usual. Since cutting weight he felt more capable of dealing with all the stress the film business has to offer, but he put extra pressure on himself tonight. This latest project was a lot to live up to. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead as he pulled out a handkerchief to wipe his face. “You’re sweating again.” His date said sternly as they sat down. Her nagging only heightened the tension as he looked around at the packed theater. 

While the lights dimmed George remembered the breathing exercises Franki taught him. The curtains pulled back, and a beam of light shot through the darkened theater hitting the white screen ahead.  Soon the color switched to green as an MPAA rating was shown for the upcoming trailer. 

“In 1980,” the white letters read on the now black screen, “terror was born.” These words faded, before being replaced with “In 1984, the nightmare began.”

“Yes!” George pumped his fist while his date looked at him confused. “I heard this was coming!”

A series of images involving blades and claws flashed by the screen before words reappeared reading “2003, the legends come together.” 

“Warn your friends,” the voice of a little girl now filled the theater, “warn everyone.” Then the words “face to face” appeared. 

The whole audience cheered as Kane Hodder burst onto the screen as Freddy Krueger, the villain from the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The tall muscular actor spouted out lines “Welcome to my nightmare,” and “Why won’t you die!” as he battled what appeared to be a vicious monster. 

“This Halloween,” the screen read, “evil will battle evil.” before a female character appeared saying “Place your bets.” According to the end of the trialer, on October 17th, after years of the characters being in literal hell and, what was worse in the eyes of fandom, Hollywood development hell, Freddy vs the Devil would finally be released. The crossover between Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th would at last see the light of day. George yelled out a cheer that everyone soon followed. He was almost as enthusiastic for this as he was for his own movie premiere. “Someday I’ll direct one of those.” George proudly stated as his date checked her makeup in her pocket sized mirror.

A few other trailers followed, and part of George wished these previews would go on forever. As the feature presentation was about to begin, he felt the anxiety creep back up on him. His heart raced as the studio logo hit the screen. This was it, the moment of truth. George remembered Franki’s advice about focusing on the moment. George concentrated his whole attention on each second of the now rolling film. As the introduction commenced, he remembered how thrilled he was when he managed to get John Larroquette to reprise his role as the film’s narrator to the opening crawl. The actor, now known for his role in the 80’s sitcom Night Court, explained what the audience was about to see was one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history. It wasn’t really a true story, but that added touch always gave this title an extra sense of dread. George’s adrenaline washed away his anxiety as the audience cheered again for the opening of this highly anticipated remake, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

This is a sequel to No Gein: An Alternate Horror, a story I wrote last year that was an experiment I called Pop Culture Alternate History. The premise was what if real life murder Ed Gein never got caught. To understand this sequel it may be helpful to read the original here.

No Gein II: A Second Helping

Chapter One The Truth Unearthed

Plainfield Wisconsin, Early August, 2003

Bits of earth flew up towards the hot August sun as the dirty steel pierced the ground. The sound of the mini bulldozer engine was partly smothered by the nearby radio on which “These Are the Days” belted out over the small speakers. This song by the Burn Victims was now considered a classic from the recently departed decade of the 1990s. Though the 90s were not as far back as Toby’s own childhood, that song still filled him with a sense of nostalgia. While operating his machinery he remembered this tune playing at the Hancock skating rink during his son’s tenth birthday party. Back then Tommy lived for Mortal Kombat and Michael Jordan, now he was a high school student crazy for cars and girls. That was only a few years ago, but, knowing his son now, and remembering him then, it might as well have been another lifetime. 

A different sound now struck his ear, it was a quick scratchy sound, like metal scraping on metal. He gripped the machine lever tight as he noticed his partner waving his arms in the air while standing near the small pit. 

Stepping out of the bulldozer he saw Nick kneeling down holding something in his hand. It was cylindrical and rusted. “Fucking assholes using this for a landfill!” Nick shouted.

“That looks pretty old.” Toby observed as he got a closer look at the decayed coffee can.

Looking around at the flat Wisconsin plain, Nicholas asked, “Well nobody ever lived out here, did they?”

Turning back, looking at the nothing surrounding them, Toby remembered the stories his grandmother told him about the old days of Plainfield. “Actually, I think there used to be a farmhouse about a quarter of a mile from here.” 

“Really, who lived all the way out here?” 

Toby shook his head as he tried to jog his memory. “Don’t remember.”

Tossing the can to the ground, Nick said “Man, if I lived out here…..” pointing to the tiny town up the road where they both grew up. “Plainfield is small enough as it is, but living out here, that’d drive a person nuts!”

“Yeah,” Toby agreed. His own son was at that age where he was getting restless, wanting more action than any rural town in the Plain States had to offer. His teenage daughter Lindsey was feeling the same way too. “Anyway, I’ll dig the rest of this out,” Toby said as he walked back to the min-dozer. “Probably have to call the garbage company to haul this shit out.” 

The newly exposed pit began to smell as the engine re-started. Steel jaws bit into the earth and more waste was scooped into the machine’s metal mouth. After digging about two feet in, Toby noticed a patch of denim fall out of the metal jaws and back down to the earth. It looked like an ancient pair of overalls, but it appeared they were used to wrap something up. He didn’t register Nick giving a startled look into the pit, but he did notice him fall backwards as he undid the brass button on the overalls, unwrapping their contents, exposing them to the humid air.

“Ah shit!” Toby heard Nick shout as he raced back to his pickup truck to fetch a shovel. Nick then waved his arms into the air, shouting “Stop, stop!” Toby turned the engine off. Stepping out of his machine, he watched Nick digging into the pit with his shovel. He made quick but delicate thrusts into the dirt, as if he were an archaeologist unearthing some prehistoric Babylonian temple. “Shit shit shit!” Nick shouted.

The smell was now becoming overpowering as Toby approached. “What’s wrong?” he asked, but it was a rhetorical question. Given that awful smell, he knew full well what they had just unwittingly discovered.

“We gotta call the police.” Nick coldy said, as they both looked down to see a nearly complete human skeleton, among other human bones buried in the ditch.

Hope you enjoyed this opening appetizer of No Gein II. Come back in a few days and see some old familiar faces at a world premier of a remake of a classic horror film. Does it have any connection to the awful truth that has just been unearthed? 

Find out in No Gein II: Chapter Two, Terror Remade!