I know that in my previous post I said I would post this story over the weekend or earlier this week – I was however overcome by flu that is still tormenting me as we speak, I hope to be over it before I go on a short vacation next week to Berlin. Anyway, I finished the story and edited it, I made a quick graphic with it and – as a bonus – am adding some links with audio (click picture and YouTube video below!) that should really enrich the experience. Or I hope so, it helped me write this anyway!
So, without further ado, here it is – hope you will enjoy the audio and the story and leave a comment if you please. If you really like it, please retweet! I can use every bit of push I can get!
Sincerely – your sickly author,
And then I found this on top of it to make it all even creepier!
Now that you’re all set – here we go…
I write this to whomever has the misfortune of finding it,
My name is Bernardo Montés, I am a sailor and Conquistadore in service of the King of Castile. I am one of many you will never find, I beg of you not to become one like us, I write this in my dying hours.
We came here from the coast, having sailed South West from Hispaniola, to this cursed land. We met the natives, a simple people who do not wear proper clothes and worship no true, Christian God. We convinced them to show us the in-lands by offering them some of our commodities by which they were easily persuaded in great due to our Taino interpreters.
We sought after gold and silver and to conquer promising land in the name of our king but we found nothing of this kind. I do not know if the natives meant to set us up, but I know we stood alone when everything went wrong. The Taino have died by our side.
We set our course with the help of our Indian guides, whom can tell any tree from another and never get lost. We travelled across many rivers, the landscape changed from dry lands and hills to thick jungles that are damp and no sunlight touches the ground. As the temperature and humidity raised our guides grew more concerned. From what we understood from our interpreters they fear the other tribes here yet speak of them with admiration. Of golden cities and human sacrifice, but more than anything they fear the beasts that live here.
Tales of a spotted cat with teeth like daggers, of a giant snake that lives in the waters and a bird of terror. They fear this bird the most, they call it “the Blood Owl”, whose feathers are permanently stained red with the blood of their victims. Whose beak snaps like thunder and wings that not ride the wind but bring it. No man spotted by this beast has lived to tell. Only those in hiding, those who witnessed the carnage, come back with their stories before they lose their mind.
We laughed, how foolish of us to mock, I believe in doing so we have called this creature upon ourselves. No Spaniard fears the intentions of a bird, we would feast on it like chicken, should it have the nerve to show itself.
We ventured deeper into these ungodly lands, whose jungles never seem to end and the rains never stop, and began to realize there were truths to what they had told us. We saw the spotted cat, it growled as it gnawed through the neck of a wailing pig and disappeared into the trees.
Some of our men swore to have seen a snake wading through the river the size of a battle ship. I did not see this monster but could see the fear on the faces of these men, pale and contorted, like I have never seen on Sevillian sailors or soldiers from Navarre before.
With our long expedition came hunger and sickness, we had little luck hunting as the animals always saw us first. Only the indians could find us food, most of it not worthy of any man to eat. They eat from rotten roots, chew on leafs and even insects they will devour. But in despair we too ate them and many of us fell sick. We saved what little meat we caught, often from monkeys, to feed the sickest and hungriest. But for some it was already too late, friends now buried under the thick leafs, where they will never be able to be found again.
We ventured ever deeper and encountered some rivers with fish, caves to shelter, tall trees to hide from rain and even some animals to hunt, we had some hope. Hope to find food to eat that was not crusty and with slime, to drink water that had not stood for days in mud but flowed freshly.
But our guides grew more restless. When they thought we slept at night they spoke feverishly of the cries in the forests of which we thought nothing. The guides believed that the warning cries of the monkeys meant more than the logic of our commander, a Spanish nobleman.
Then one morning, the cowardly savages – all but two who we managed to catch – were gone. They had packed their meager belongings and left us in these woods. We could not believe that the promise of pure gold and the friendship of the Crown of Castille would not be enough for any man to drop his superstition. But these men did not flee superstition.
Our commander decided that going back was not an option, he believed that by now we were closer to our destination, the mystical city of El Dorado, than we were traveling back. Our Taino believed so too.
With only faith in our hearts we continued our journey into the endless fog, clouding our minds and taking our breaths away. But the promise of reward and so little other options makes a man strong.
We traveled on with our native prisoners, two young hunters, trying to lead us to the nearest river. Three days away. For now that was all the hope we had.
After just a day and a half a storm broke loose, a thunder that broke open the skies and showered us in rain so badly, it hurt the skin as the drops crashed down. We could not even start a fire to warm ourselves. Perhaps this was our final warning.
As night fell we dared not ask the young hunters about the reason why their fellow tribesmen had fled. We dared not ask about the cries we heard in the forests. They seemed to cautiously lead us around certain areas. But with the overflow of water, mud slides rushed from the hills down, making it difficult not to be surprised and swept away, this was becoming harder and we had fewer choices of passing. The nights bright as day in thunder. None had sleep.
When several of our men watched the sky, they claimed to see a monstrous bird sour, through the branches of the trees. We wove away their story, no bird flies in thunderstorm, but were in secret too scared to believe.
The gestures of a bird in flight said enough, or maybe one of our Taino interpreters said too much, to our prisoner guides. Again by dawn we were alone, they had somehow freed themselves from their shackles and ran. We were stuck between overflowing rivers, steep hills and mud slides in a green hell that never ended. One of the men went mad and tried to cut his throat. We stopped him but perhaps shouldn’t have, he would die a worse death soon.
Through a densely grown valley we ventured away from the hill tops, our bodies growing weaker with every step. Malnourished, sleepless and without hope.
The steep climb down forced us to travel in a long line, every man on his own with another barely in sight.
After several hours of travel we noticed that two men at the back of the line were missing, we feared that a mud slide had separated them from the group, the men before them believed they had last seen them within the hour. We believed it to be our duty to return for them, we could not leave them die, not within an hour’s reach.
The Taino helped us trace back our footsteps, we searched for an hour and called their names into the damp air, but not a word came back. We feared that they had strayed from the path never to be found again. There was no other choice but to leave with heavy hearts.
As we ventured back, a panic suddenly broke loose. One of the men had witnessed another in front of him being swept away but what he could only describe as a gust of wind. Even with just a few steps between the growth was thick as a wall and it was impossible to see clearly what it had been. As he told his story, a warm rain fell from the tree tops above, thick drops that did not run easily down the skin. I felt it but thought nothing as I listened intensity while we counted the men. Then I smelled it and realized this was not rain. It was blood.
Before I could say a word we heard a deafening screech, one drowning out even the thunder, freezing us all dead in our tracks. A shadow cast across the forest floor. My breath stopped as I could see the shape of a giant bird.
Within a moment, with souring speed, the creature flashed by between us. Without fear or hesitation, it grabbed our commander and sped back into the trees. We could hear it, his screams and wails and the cracking of his bones, but that was not the worst.
With a thud something fell from the trees, rolling down and coming to a halt. We ran for what it was, but inside we knew. It was our commander. His upper half – still alive.
Never have I seen a brave nobleman in such fear and pain. He could not speak, he only stared at us for a few moments as he began to pale. From his torso fell out his insides as if the contents of a ruptured bag. I held his hand as he whimpered and tried to whisper his last prayers. He never finished a sentence.
The men around me frantically began to load their guns and unsheathed their swords, again the screech followed by the deafening fire of guns into the air. Nothing but dead parrots and monkeys fell from the trees around us.
The thunder in the sky rolled by and as if with perfect timing the monstrosity dove in, I could see it coming through the branches that shook as if an elephant was trying to break through. But this was no elephant, this was a nightmare. Our group broke out in frantic screaming, I dropped myself next to the commander’s lifeless body.
It flashed by over my head, I could feel the pressure of its wings, see the blood on its claws and beak. It looked like an owl but bigger than a condor and vulture together, more terrifying and haunting than any other bird I had ever seen. Tall as a man, wide as an ox cart.
I watched in horror as another man fell prey, the creature crashed into him with such speed that he could only let go of a sigh as the razor-sharp claws stabbed into him like daggers. It swept him off his legs and made a steep ascend into the trees again. I held my ears as not to have to hear the poor soul scream in agony but forgot to close my eyes. A severed foot and leg fell before me.
I cried out in fear when someone grabbed my shoulder, it was one of the other men. We all ran as fast as our legs could carry us, no matter the branches and thorns that cut open our face, tripped our legs and kept us from seeing around – nothing was stopping us from fleeing. The Taino ran like the wind but were brave enough to wait for us to follow. If it had not been for them we would have not made it out. But in the end it mattered nothing.
We ran till we could no longer hear the screeching of the bird, the giant Blood Owl that was haunting us. Men broke down in ways no man should but it was nothing short of forgivable – nothing but our Almighty Lord could save us now. And so we prayed for hours. For our commander and the others we had lost. But above all we prayed like cowards, we prayed for ourselves the hardest.
And as night fell we sat in a giant group, pressed together like lost sheep. Trembling not of cold but of pure fear. Our weapons rattled eager to fire and slash at what was inevitably coming for us.
And by God’s grace I fell asleep, I closed my eyes and returned to my beloved Spain and the town I had grown up in. I fell asleep and for a moment forgot where I was, huddled between wet and scared men. In our foolishness we did not realize we were a beacon of scent, attracting anything nearby that was bold enough to make way.
I woke up from the screams, the pushing and the gunfire lighting up the sky and trees around us. I fear that in panic I may have stabbed another man swinging my sword into the air. But in the chaos that broke out it mattered little.
Soon the owl was grabbing fleeing men and soaring back into the trees, all we could do was fire into the tree lines where we had last seen it. But I realized this was of little success, the creature was too cunning to stay at one spot and be killed and too strong to fear our weapons up close. Truly this bird was from hell.
I have tried to be brave, truly, but as another man – or part of him – fell before me I could no longer be. With his dying breath he whispered to run and so I did. God forgive me, I did.
I don’t know how long or how far I ran, but I know the screaming stopped and not just because I was far away. There were none left to cry out. I left them to die.
After much effort a shallow cave near a waterfall came onto my path, not even the bats inside could keep me from hiding. This is where I write my letter from. It is cold and dark and the monster will find me. I have heard the clapping and rushing of its wings and seen its reflection over the water just before me – circling. It’s waiting.
Every time it screeches from its monstrous beak the bats in the cave squeal and tremble in fear, I have seen or heard no other forest animals. They know to be quiet. It wants me – only me.
I realize now that I have done myself no favors in fleeing, my friends had the fortune of dying together. I will die alone. But not a coward.
I have written this to the best of my ability in cold darkness on a piece of canvas. Heed my warning, my fellow Conquistadores, you will not find a city of gold but merely death on your side. Everything the natives told and warned us of is true. There is no escape, I am trapped here in this cursed cave and endless wilderness. No matter what I and my fellow explorers that fell before me have tried, we will have to face death.
I’ve prayed every day to the Holy Mother to bring me back safe or bring me the city of gold, but now I know that none of this will ever be. I sit here and realize that this is my final destination. I have been forsaken.
With that I end my letter. For the last time in my life I will say prayer before I will step from this cave with my last strengths but my sword raised high. I have no illusions of surviving, this is my last stand. May the Lord keep my soul and those of the men who died before me. I hope that whoever reads this will be more fortunate than me.
Marinero de Primera in service of the King of Castile, in search of El Dorado.
“So, this is where the Airbus crashed nearby, right? During a test flight.”
“…Oui.” He said while sipping from a cup of Caffé Latte, “Why?”
“Such a shame, they are great airplanes. I would’ve liked to see the Airbus HQ in Toulouse” He replied as he ran his fingers over the cold surface of the desk.
“Maybe on your way to Seysses prison.” The young detective smirked.
“…Maybe.” He said, in a way it humored him but the grim vision of jail time did not.
“It’s just some buildings near the airport. Gray mostly, some glass. Toulouse has better architecture than these. I like it better here in Perpignan anyway.”
“Are you not proud of Airbus? They will defeat Boeing, remember these words.” He replied, speaking with his hands – the cuffs rattled against the desk.
“They already did years ago…” The detective insisted and looked outside without saying a word too much.
“I would’ve liked to work in aerospace engineering.” The mortician sighed. The detective bobbed his head without saying a word.
The door opened with a creak and another detective stepped in, older and well-fed. Files under his arm, laptop bag over his shoulder and some coffee in the other hand.
“Bonjour.” The older detective said and sat his files down, the younger detective took the laptop from his shoulder. “Merci.” The older man said.
“Pas de problème.” His young colleague insisted and clicked the cord into a wall plug.
The older man scraped his throat while opening his files, looking up from his paperwork several times to study the mortician.
“…So, did you talk about anything interesting?” The older detective mumbled.
“Airbus…” The mortician replied. The detective looked up and smiled at his young co-worker who shrugged.
“Airbus? I don’t think you will be flying anywhere soon mister Lemaire.” The veteran detective grinned while shaking his head, “You have caused quite a hassle for us.”
“My apologies.” The mortician mumbled while sipping from a plastic cup of lukewarm coffee, the policemen were smart enough not to hand out too warm a beverage. Scourging hot coffee or tea was a weapon too.
“Too late for apologies, Gérard.” The veteran said as he scribbled something down, lay his pen down and crossed his hands while looking at him.
“…I never meant for this t-”
“Never meant for this to happen?!” The veteran laughed, “Can you believe him, Nicolas!?”
The young detective quietly shook from laughter while refilling his cup.
“How did you never mean for this to happen? While you were filling the barrels? Or when you were emptying them out in nature? Or in the sewers? Hmmm?” The older detective pushed.
Gérard kept quiet and stared at his cuffs.
The phone rang, it buzzed and hovered over the desk on vibrations.
“Nicolas, do you mind?” He said to his colleague, the younger detective nodded and picked up the phone.
“l’Inspecteur Charpentier… Oui! Salut!” He spoke through the phone before exiting the room.
For a moment it was quiet as Gérard stared at the door and then at the large envelope with his belongings.
“Probably someone from the Département Santé.” The detective said calmly.
“Are they coming here?”
“Of course, they are the Health Department are they not? Did you think they have no questions?”
Gérard shrugged and sighed.
“If I take off your cuffs, will you tell me where it went wrong?” The detective proposed.
“Bien sûr, no use lying anymore now.” Gérard agreed, it was obvious.
The veteran stood up, took out his keys and undid the cuffs. Gérard sighed with relief and rubbed the skin.
“Relieved?” The detective smiled, Gérard nodded. “I have another way to find relief…”
“Let me guess, coming clean, no?”
“Very observant.” He smiled and clicked a microphone on the table into the laptop, “Can you say something for me?”
“…I hope Les Bleus does better in Brazil…” He grumbled, the detective smirked.
“Maybe they will let you watch it in jail, non?”
The door opened and a tall, fairly handsome man stepped in with the younger detective, a fashionable suit, leather briefcase and impeccably trimmed gray and black hair.
“Salut, l’Inspecteur…” He said and reached his hand out to the veteran, “Yves Lautrec, Département Santé.”
“Salut, Maurice Allard.” The older detective introduced himself, “You’ve already met my colleague Nicolas Charpentier.”
“Yes…” The man turned to Gérard with a deadly serious look, “You must be Mr. Lemaire.”
Gérard kept quiet but could feel his face flushing.
“Have a seat.” Detective Allard said, running his hand through his gray hair. “We were just about to discuss where it went wrong for Mr. Lemaire… Were we not?”
“Excellent.” The inspector of the Health Department said and sat himself.
“Would you like something to drink?” Nicolas asked him, the inspector pointed at a coffee and smiled.
“So, Gérard – may we call you Gérard?” The inspector said and smiled at detective Allard, Gérard nodded. “Excellent – start with the beginning… Why and when did you first do this?”
“About two years ago.” Gérard replied, “I… I could not make enough money.”
“Were you broke?” Allard asked.
“Not yet, but I wasn’t planning on becoming so.” Gérard insisted, “It’s too expensive.”
“The proper disposal?” The health inspector replied while sitting back and listening closely.
“Yes… Why do they ask a small fortune for this? Where is the honesty in their pricing? Have we become this bureaucratic in France that we cannot even-…”
“It’s the law Gérard.” Det. Allard spoke calmly, the health inspector nodded gently. “It counts for all of us… You, me – the inspector here.”
“Tell us, how many bodies did you treat per year?” The health inspector inquired.
“Somewhere between… …Six- and eight hundred.” He replied and for a moment covered his face in shame.
“Okay, so let’s say… Seven hundred, for easy counting, and for two years you said?” The inspector replied. Gérard nodded while still covering his face.
“Okay, so that’s fourteen hundred.” Det. Allard counted.
“Times five litres.” The health inspector added. Allard made a calculation on his laptop and grew big eyes. “Seven thousand litres, right?”
“Oui.” Allard said shaking his head.
“Incroyable.” The health inspector sighed in disbelief, “And all of this you disposed of?” A tone of anger in his voice.
“Oui…” Gérard sighed, slightly his throat closed up. This was the first time he felt true guilt for it.
Detective Charpentier stepped back in with coffee for the inspector from a fresh pot. They exchanged some mumbling.
“Seven thousand!?” Charpentier mumbled just a bit too loud.
“…Nicolas!” Allard said slightly agitated and pointed his head in the direction of Gérard, who was deeply in thoughts, depressed ones undoubtedly. His younger colleague apologetically waved and sat down. “Gérard…?” Allard asked.
“Huh?” He looked up as if snapping out of a dream.
“Are you still with us?”
“Yes, of course…”
“What were you thinking of?” The health inspector asked.
“My wife and son.”
“Did they know?”
“I think they had suspicions.”
“Because of the barrels?” Allard added.
“Did they ever ask?”
“No… I told them it was just Formaldehyde.”
“That you kept in your garage? That seems unbelievable.” Charpentier noted.
“If they have enough respect for you they will believe whatever it is you say.”
“Oh? Do you think they still respect you now?”
“Nicolas! Enough!” Allard bit as his young colleague. The health inspector didn’t twitch a muscle. “Excuser, Gérard… Go on.”
“I dumped about three-quarters in the open… Anywhere in nature or waste-water. Only about a quarter did I release into the sewers, but only when it was too cold or impossible to go outside.”
“Oh, ‘only when impossible to go outside’?” The health inspector snickered sarcastically, “Well, I suppose we should thank you for that then?”
“Do you remember these locations?” Allard asked.
“Sure. At least some of them.”
“Can you write them down on a map?” The health inspector insisted. Gérard nodded his head.
“Nicolas, will you bring a map of the area and some paper?” Allard asked.
Detective Charpentier walked out of the room.
Again a phone buzzed, Allard’s.
“Oui? …Salut, monsieur.” He touched the health inspector on the shoulder. “Un moment!” And excused himself.
“Who is that?” Gérard asked.
“I don’t know, the district prosecutor maybe?”
“Do you realize what you have done? …Some of those people had HIV, contagious diseases and other terrible things in their systems. You flushed it all out into nature and the sewers. You could’ve waged biological warfare with that if it ended up in the wrong water source. Thousands could’ve fallen ill.”
“I’m sorry…” He sighed and bit his lips on the inside, “I’ve been disrespectful to their bodies and families too…”
“That’s right.” The health inspector said, “You just mingled the blood and the innards of all these people together in barrels and flushed them out as if it was nothing, what was going on in your mind?
“I don’t know. I just don’t know.” He replied and looked at the ceiling above with watery eyes, “Do you think I’ll be in jail long?”
“I’m a doctor… Not a lawyer. Or a judge. I can’t tell you…”
“Certainly years – I’m sorry, Gérard.” The health inspector concluded.
The door opened and detective Charpentier walked in with a map, some papers and a marker.
“There you go.” He said, “Try to be as accurate as you can… It would really help us solve things.”
“Sure.” Gérard said and took the cap off the marker, starting to figure out locations on the map.
“The district prosecutor would like to talk to you, if you don’t mind?” Charpentier said to the health inspector.
“Oh, yes – of course. Now?”
“Yes, but feel free to finish your coffee and I’ll come and get you in a few minutes.”
“Perfect.” The health inspector smiled as Charpentier left the room. “I’ll ask someone for some water, do you want some?” He asked Gérard.
“No, I’m fine. Thank you… Yves – right?”
“Right.” The health inspector smiled as Gérard was scribbling on a paper intensely. He stood up and opened the door of the interrogation room and gestured at an officer, but as the officer approached he accidentally let go of the door – it clicked shut behind him with Gérard inside by himself. “Merde!” The inspector cursed, the officer laughed and gestured he would get a key.
Gérard sat all alone, quiet, writing away while occasionally glancing at the map spread out before him. He could vividly recollect every place he had dumped them. The remains. The smell they had.
In a weird way he had even enjoyed seeing the contents run down the side of hills or into the water, it almost felt as if he was setting them free. But perhaps it was just his inner egotism he sat free.
He looked at the big envelope on the table, and for one last time looked at the time at his own watch, flipping through his wallet and the pictures in it. A little deeper into the envelope were his belt and shoelaces, they made him take them off. “Standard protocol.” They said.
With a click the door to the interrogation room opened again, a relieved Yves stepped in and apologized to the officer. The two exchanged giggles.
“I’m sorry, Gérard! I’m not used to this normally. How is your map coming along? I see you’ve written a lot – directions?”
“…Yes, directions.” He smiled with the friendliest smile a man facing prison time could give.
“Excellent, thank you for your cooperation. It means a lot to us.” The health inspector replied, “I hope you better your life once you come out of jail. Maybe this was all for the better? Non?”
For a moment Gérard stopped scribbling and looked at the health inspector and reached out his hand.
“Yes, maybe it was…” He smiled and the two shook hands.
With another click the door opened and Charpentier gestured at Yves, who politely nodded at Gérard as he walked off. Charpentier picked up the envelope with Gérard’s possessions and quickly glanced into it,
“We’ll be back in about fifteen minutes, so you can take your time with the map. Is that okay?”
“Sure…” Gérard replied calmly, “I’ll be right here.” He joked, Charpentier snickered.
“I’ll see you then.”
In a room across the office floor detective Allard and Charpentier, the health inspector and the district prosecutor discussed the situation.
“So this is how serious the situation is?” The prosecutor said.
“Yes, the end result could’ve been absolutely devastating… I think we’ve been very lucky, presuming indeed no one got sick.” The health inspector explained.
“Alright… And he’s been cooperative thus far?”
“Yes.” All three men replied and smiled at each other.
“I see… Okay, I’ll be going back to the courthouse and we’ll keep each other up to date…”
“Perfect, a pleasure meeting you.” The health inspector said and shook hands. Allard playfully saluted the prosecutor before he and Charpentier shook hands with him.
The prosecutor picked up his briefcase and accidentally swiped off the envelope with Gérards belongings.
“Excuser!” He said quickly.
“No problem, sir!” Allard smiled and began picking it up, “I’ll take care of it – you have a good day, sir.”
“Thank you, detective. Au revoir!” And quickly ran for the elevators.
“Nicolas…” Allard said as he looked through the belongings.
“…Didn’t he have shoelaces?”
“Of course, what do you mean?”
“…They’re not in there.”
“They’re not on the floor!?” Charpentier asked panicked.
“I can’t find them!” Allard yelled worried, “Go check on him! Now!”
Charpentier rushed out across the floor towards the interrogation room, closely followed by the health inspector. With a single peak inside they could see it: Gérard had tied his shoelaces together with one end tied to a table leg and jumped over the other end of the table – choking himself as the laces pulled tight. His head red and purple, eyes turned back and a wet stain on his pants and the carpet.
“Merde!” Charpentier cursed and opened the door.
“Let me through, I’m a doctor!” The health inspector, yelled and rushed in.
“Mon dieu!” Allard yelled as he saw the scene, the health inspector trying to get the laces untangled from Gérard’s neck.
“Get scissors! Hurry!” He yelled as Charpentier stormed out to get them, “You! Get a first aid kit!” He said to Allard.
After a few moments Charpentier rushed back in and cut through the strings. They laid Gérard out on the floor and the inspector began CPR.
“Un! Deux! Trois! Quatre! Cinq!” He counted as he pressed Gérard’s chest and gave him mouth-to-mouth.
Allard ran in with a first aid kit and opened it. But the health inspector shook his head.
“Do you have a light?” He said, Allard gave him a small pocket light. The inspector checked for a pupil response but as there was none he sighed.
Charpentier grabbed the paper sheet from the table, “Shit… He wrote a suicide note.”
“What does it say?” Allard asked regretfully.
“…A lot of things… That he apologizes to his wife… He wants his son to become an aerospace engineer…”
“…Jesus…” The health inspector sighed and slowly raised to his feet.
“Says right here he wants to donate his body to science.” Charpentier said nearing the end of the letter.
“Oh?” Allard sighed, behind them the whole department began gathering at the commotion.
“He doesn’t want a proper burial himself… Because of what he did… ‘By the barrel.'”
I like morbid stories, that’s no secret but sometimes even I find something disturbing – particularly when real.
Of course many of us have heard of the case of a mortician in the US who stored bodies in his (funeral) home because he had no way to process them as he ought to. In fact if you are a fan of “Dr. G” (Jan Garavaglia) the charming Chief Medical Examiner from Orlando, Florida you probably saw the episode that referred to this case known as: “Morning Glory Funeral Home scandal”. She actually was one of the Medical Examiners on that case, one of the first in her career!
But! Now there’s a new and similar scandal right here in Europe! In the Pyrenees region of France police brought a little visit to a mortician to make a grim discovery… The mortician had stored 700 Liters (184.92 US Gallons) of human blood and “other human waste” in barrels in his garage!
I don’t even want to think of what “other human waste” he had stored, the thought of curdled blood from dead people is enough for me. Apparently he didn’t have the money (and/or the will) to get the blood and other “left overs” removed by a professional service as is strictly regulated by law – obviously.
Instead he stored it and then dumped it out in nature or in the sewer systems, now if the thought of a guy lugging around barrels full of blood from corpses and letting it run free somewhere at some desolated place out in the open air isn’t bad enough already – worse is that the remains were most likely also badly contaminated. So not did he only desecrate the bodies of the deceased he also caused terrible, terrible damage to nature and exposed the ecosystem as well as the sewer systems to a potentially disastrous outbreak or poisoning of sorts! This is how deadly diseases used to spread back when medical sciences weren’t as advanced and hygiene was of lesser importance.
Now, the man who was responsible for the “Morning Glory Funeral Home Scandal” only served two and a half months of jail time – no, I’m not kidding. But I can only hope that French authorities will be more strict with this man, if not just for exposing the environment and society to great health risks. Even I, as a vivid fan and writer of the morbid and scary, am disgusted and amazed by something like this. Sometimes reality really is stranger than fiction!
I originally wrote this story for DeadlyEverAfter(.com) but there were so many stories that Christmas fell one day short… I tried to bargain them into delaying the holidays globally but President Obama, President Hollande, Bundeskanzlerin Merkel nor Prime-Minister Cameron wrote me back… So…
Anywhere, here it is! A bit delayed, a bit lonely and a bit cold. Will you give it some love?
I bet you think that snowmen are happy balls of snow, right? Meant for your viewing pleasures and for kids to play with? How wrong you are.
These cold, man shaped misfits from hell are nothing but evil, encapsulated souls in waiting. Waiting for that one moment, that perfect opportunity, to come after you and your entire family.
You’re probably wondering if I’m psychotic or schizophrenic, I’m not. Frantic? Yes. Crazy? No.
Let me tell you a story and perhaps you will change your mind. Before it’s too late.
The day before Christmas, 1986. We lived in Sammamish, WA – a sleepy suburb of Seattle, in an all too average American middle class house. Hypocrisy and smugness ruled these streets even more than it already does all through out our “Great, great Nation”.
Seattle was for hippies and the unlucky few that worked at Starbucks, hardly an excuse for a job. No, at fine Sammamish and Redmond we worked for Boeing or Microsoft, we were fine upstanding folk in our own little, isolated enclave. Well we sure paid the price.
I had just bought cake mix and raisins for my mother, my father who was an engineer at Microsoft had failed at buying anything properly from the list my mother had made, it had been a long walk for me. In fact the walk had been so long that my shawl had frozen partially onto my face, my red ski jacket was white with snow and my feet were wet from ice that had melted in my boots.
Still nasty, little Billy Niedermeyer managed to recognize me from across the street of his run down family home, he ran at me like a wild dog and pushed me into the snow. He always did that, his overweight served him well in that regard, I had somewhat grown accustom to it. His greasy skin, beady eyes and even redder than usual due to cold he sat on top of me, panting like a dog.
“What are you doing here, Perdeaux!?” He growled, wiping half-frozen snot from his lip.
“I-I’m just bringing home some groceries for my mom, B-Billy…” I stuttered.
“Yeah?! What’s your mom making, stupid!?”
“You like cake!?” He growled angrily, “What do you like about cake!?”
“It’s warm…?” I said uncertain where he was going with this, it riled him up even more.
“This is what I think of your warm cake!” He screeched, slamming a hand full of snow and mucus into my face, grabbing something from his pocket.
As I spat out the snow, the taste of his snot in my mouth, I saw what he was pulling out. A can of deodorant in one hand, a lighter in the other and a sardonic smirk on his face.
With a single flick he turned it into a flame thrower, spraying so close to my face, I could feel the snow melt and my skin warm up. It would’ve been pleasant had I not been at the risk of serious injury.
“I hate you…” Billy hissed like an angry snake.
“…Hey!” A man’s voice yelled from across the street, Billy gasped and ran off. Dropping the can and the lighter.
I lay confused in the snow as I could hear footsteps running towards me, Army boots. It was my neighbor’s son, home for the holidays, still in uniform.
“Are you alright, Mitch?” He said and pulled me up, “Want me to kick that little fucker’s ass? I’ll do it…”
I didn’t care, I was eight and I knew that when I got home not only would my mother make said cake, I would also find this years Christmas-wish – Balloon Fight for my Nintendo – under the Christmas tree.
“No… It’s almost Christmas… Thanks, Steve.” I said as he brushed me clean.
“You’re a good kid, Mitch.” He smirked and picked up the deodorant and the lighter, “Look what porky dropped. Here, merry Christmas, buddy.” He saluted me and strolled off.
I put my war spoils in my pockets, picked up the cake mix and raisins and went on my way. As I walked towards my house I noticed a snowman in one of the front yards. In fact, there were snowmen in every yard, but this one really caught my attention.
There was something about him, something that kept me looking and for some reason it felt as if he was looking back. No matter if I walked past, changed angle or stood still – he was looking. It felt as if he had seen the whole ordeal with Billy and was mocking me.
I got so angry, I ripped off the branches that were his arms and pulled the deodorant and lighter from my pockets and did what Billy had done to me. I sprayed the flame into the snowman’s face and slowly it began to melt, two grapes that formed his eyes began to boil, beginning to sizzle louder and louder. I looked at them with fascination, when suddenly they popped open and screams as if from a hundred men and women echoed through the neighborhood, coming from every snowman around. Warm grape pulp sprayed onto my face.
Needless to say I ran home like a startled cat – cake mix, raisins, a can of deodorant and a lighter in my arms. As I looked back, the snowman was still staring at me, his face half melted. The looks of all other snowmen burning into the back of my head.
Christmas Eve came, we had a wonderful dinner, cake, my parents read Christmas stories to me and my little brother and spend time together in front of the fire-place. Tomorrow I’d get my video game. But I couldn’t let go of the thought of the snowman, for some reason it really got to me. As I went to bed, I looked out the window to where the snowman had stood. He was gone, I sighed with relief, maybe he had melted or some neighborhood kids had broken him down. He deserved it. I went to sleep.
I woke up somewhere during the evening, noise downstairs, probably my parents still having a drink. For some reason I couldn’t get back to sleep, and again looked out the window towards where the scary snowman had been, a dozen trails through the snow led towards each house in the neighborhood. I froze at the sight and nearly wet myself.
Suddenly I heard the shriek of my little brother, I jumped from the bed screaming his name,
“I’m coming, Toby! I’m coming!” As I turned the hallway I stopped dead in my tracks.
Slamming against his bedroom door stood the snowman I had melted, as he turned around I emptied my stomach on the carpet floor. Where I had ripped off his branch arms, he now had two severed human arms. As I took a closer look I realized who’s… The hand had my father’s wedding ring. Two limb arms slamming against my little brother’s bedroom door.
The half melted monstrosity faced me, where had been the grapes were two eyes – I knew those eyes. They had always been loving eyes, as I had stared into them a thousand times before, they were my mother’s. The hellish creature let go off a blood curdling wail, it recognized me.
It threw something at my face, it smacked against me with a dull thud and I screamed in fear and disgust as I realized it was a severed ear, staining blood onto my Christmas-pajamas.
The snowman was sliding towards me as I ran back to my room and slammed the door, I could hear it roar and hit against the wood, I grabbed the deodorant and lighter and gathered all my courage. I swung open the door and did as I had done before: melting that frosty bastard as he cried out in pain, the smell of burning flesh, the flesh of my parents. As he began to liquefy I smashed him to bits with a baseball bat. I ran for my little brother, dressed him up and together made yellow snow out of the left overs of the snowman that attacked us.
We ran, passed the bodies of my mother and father, out of the house onto the street. All throughout the neighborhood I could hear the wails of my neighbors, the roars of the snowmen and trails of blood and gore stained the snow all throughout the streets. We hid up in my tree house in the bitter cold of the dark night, I could see Billy Niedermeyer flee his house to be trapped by the snowmen. They dismembered him alive. One of the creatures hollowed out his severed head and wore it for a hat. Others wore his entrails for a scarf. I watched.
Me and Toby ran for neighboring Issaquah, where my uncle and aunt lived, once dawn arrived and the creatures returned to their original positions. My aunt and uncle took care of us from that point on. Police stopped by and asked questions, I don’t really remember what. I suppose I pushed it away.
I don’t know what exactly happened, why they came for our little town, there were some rumors of Native American burial grounds, I don’t know what the conclusions of the police were. My aunt and uncle never told, we never asked. But I’ll tell you one thing, every time I see a snowman – I kill it. I kill that fucker real good. No snowmen will survive in my neighborhood. And none should in yours either.
Next time you see one, study it from up close, take a real good look into its eyes. And remember this story I told you, if you feel that cold chill down your back, you know it’s true. Try it. I dare you.