tagMind ControlDon't Lose Your Head

Don't Lose Your Head


There was a spreading pool of blood on the street, with the overhead halogen lights making bits of cranial bone shine like cold white stars. But that is not the beginning of my story. It's the end.

My story began years before that moment, in the St. Louis No. 3 Cemetery in New Orleans, late one October night. It was only hours till Halloween, not that the holiday of candy and goblins meant anything to me anymore. I was just another homeless runaway living moment to moment off the scraps in the gutters. Why was I in a graveyard at night?

To acquire things to sell in a pawn shop.

If I have to tell you from where ... you have lead too gentle a life and should stop reading this now. But if you're content to be led where I'm going to take you, then feel free to keep reading.

The police dogs were howling, the red and blue lights and that damn spotlight were flooding the night around me as I ran, sucking in panicked breaths. I kept slipping on the wet grass, stone, and gravel surrounding the old tombs. With a bag that would not be quiet, giving my position away like ringing funeral bells as I ran. I ran till I had to turn in another direction, and then would I run some more. All around me, lights, dogs, the long shadows of uniformed men. I was a rat in a fucking maze of marble and the more I gasped for air, the more I knew I was going to be caught. Red-fuckin'-handed at that!

No. No, I'm not going to be that dumb.

Turning towards the distant corner, I sprinted to a stone crypt that I had been to earlier and found easy to open. One of the older ones, with a hinged, stone door, not bricked in like most of these, I had been disappointed to find it empty. But now it was perfect. The dogs were right on my heels when I got to it, flashlights were closing on me as I pushed the door open enough to drop my bag inside then pulled it back shut. I didn't manage ten steps from that old crypt before the first officer was screaming for me to freeze even as the second tackled me into the cold, wet ground.

With my face embedded into crushed stone and old trash, they sat on me, cuffed, chained at the heels when I wouldn't stop fighting. Then a deep voice, so very cold, low and uncompromising that it chilled me, warned me to a stop or I was going to learn what a taser to the testicles felt like.


The toilet smelled of old piss.

The gray-bearded drunk passed out next to it, smelled even worse.

I'd been playing with dead things for half the night, which means there was some debate as to what in that holding cell stank the worse on the morning of October thirty-first. My money was on the toilet. Least ways till the door opened and my dad followed the officer into the outer room. That Old Spice cologne he must have bathed in beat out everything with eye-watering force.

The look of disappointed disgust on his face was a familiar one. It was a look I returned tenfold. As the guard unlocked the door, I sat there on my steel bench and watched it open. Uncaring that here was my release from the mindless boredom of this stinking cell. Not if it came from this disapproving man dripping in the stench of cheap cologne.

"Grave robbing, Tomas? Grave Robbing!" he spat at me as he stepped inside the metal doorway. My father looked me up and down then at the drunk nearby. "I think I would rather call him my son."

"And I would rather he was my father than you, so we're even. Better a drunk for a dad than a cocaine junkie for a father." I looked to the waiting guard and pointed at my father. "That's why he has on so much cologne on, you know? So the drug dogs won't smell that he has more coke up his nose than a drug cartel mule has up his ass."

The guard looked to my dad and the two men exchanged a shake of heads. "You sure you want to take him?" the officer said. "We can hold him for a few more days. At least till his arraignment hearing on Monday."

That my father didn't consider the offer for longer was a surprise. "Get up, Tom. Your mother has been worried sick."

Standing up, I took two steps and spat in my father's face! "Don't you dare call that whore you married my mother. That fucking cunt is no mother to me!"

I was expecting a slap, asking for it, begging for it. Planning for it really. I figured the officer could not release me into my father's custody if there was evidence of parental abuse, no matter how much the cop might think I deserved it. When my father looked at the officer and the cop simply smiled and looked away, I knew I was in trouble.

Gasping for breath that would not come, I dropped to my knees from the gut punch.

"Glenda loves you, Tom. She has been worried sick for a month over what might be happening to you out there on the streets." My father's voice was calm, his tone even. He knelt down next to where I was still trying to draw in air in empty lungs. "Now if it was up to me I just might leave you here, after that comment. See I love her, no matter what you feel or think about her. I love Glenda as much as I loved your mom before she left."

"She didn't leave," I spat or tried to. "She died! Died because you were too busy fucking Glenda to see to Mom when she said she was in pain. Mom was in pain for a year and all you did was tell her it was just migraines! Some fucking doctor you are. You fucking piece of shit. Then you didn't even wait a year to marry that murdering --"

"Enough, Tom! More than enough." My father stood up and brushed off his knee. "Your mom died of an inoperable brain tumor and Glenda's not losing that x-ray would not have saved her life. Do you not think that your step-mother doesn't carry enough guilt over that? Now get up, come on. Let's go home."

"On your feet, boy. Go home with your dad," said the officer, standing by the open cell door.

"I have no such place." Crawling over next to the drunk, I sat down and leaned myself into his side. "I haven't had one in years. And as far as a dad goes ... I prefer to stay with this guy."

The bearded man, awakened by all the yelling, smiled and patted me on the shoulder, an endearment that felt more heartfelt than any my father had ever given me before. His yellowed eyes looked on me with a pride that made me want to weep. Or that might have been his breath. With eyes watering, I looked up at the man that once fucked my mom and made me.

"Give, Glenda my best. Her and the twins ... tit one and tit two." I moved the old drunk's hand off my upper leg. He chuckled in an evil drunken way. "But I'm staying here."

Of course, since I was under eighteen, I wasn't given that choice. Taken out of the cell in handcuffs, by the officer, and then placed in my father's car with a suitably dire warning about "Next time, young man."

So, of course, I ran away again two days later.

** **

My bag was right where I had left it three weeks back.

The crypt, however, was not as empty as I remember it being. But then I had been in a rush that night and not I hadn't really wanted to turn on my flashlight too much. Using that light from my bag now, I moved over to the corner of the crypt where I saw what, at first, I had thought to be a pile of leaves.

However, a gleam of bright gold told me differently.

Cloth, rotten and so dry it fell apart at the touch. Sticks, brittle as rods of salt, they crumbled as well. But nestled in the middle of this mess was a human skull ... With two gold teeth!

Picking up the old bone, I tried to pull the two golden canines out, but they did not budge. Not from fingers anyway. I needed pliers. Trying to remember if I had those in my bag, I turned quickly and to my surprise heard a rattle from my hand. Giving the skull a shake it rattled again.

"What the hell?"

Turning the old bone over in my hands, I finally had to take the skull out into the dim afternoon light to take a better look. That's when I saw it. There at the back of the left eye socket, there was a neat clean hole. Like ... A bullet hole.

"Holy shit, this guy was shot in the eye! Oh, how fuckin' cool is that." I turned the skull face down and tried to shake the bullet that killed him out, but it wouldn't come back through the killing-hole. Looking around, I suddenly realized I was standing in broad daylight, in a cemetery I had been arrested in only a few weeks back, with a backpack bag full of stolen rings and jewelry taken from the dead.

While holding a human skull.

Yeah ... time to be leaving. Besides, I needed to go find a pair of pliers. Stuffing the skull into my bag, and keeping the raised tombs between me and the roads as much as I could, I made my way out the St. Louis No. 3 Cemetery and off through the darkening city towards the old warehouse in the Upper Ninth Ward that I now called home. Or the closest thing I have to one since my mother was murdered.

Murdered? Yeah, murdered! By that bitch and my father. By the both of them! The further the sun sank and the longer the shadows grew across the road ahead of me, the more that made perfect sense. What the hell kind of doctor can't see the symptoms of cancer in a woman sleeping next to him night after night? Serving him breakfast? Making his dinner? Crying in his arms as the pain grew greater and greater!

"YOU FUCKING BASTARD!" I screamed out into the night.

Clutching my backpack to my chest, I sank onto the nearest bus stop bench and sat crying. Begging the world to end. The pain to stop. Bargaining the darkness with my last breath for time to roll back to those early months when Mom could have been cured.

"You liar. You miserable liar." I muttered think of my father's words. Inoperable? Today? With what modern medicine can do? "Liar. LIAR!"

Sitting there long into the night, on that hard bench, I was ignored by passersby. With buses appearing and driving off leaving me clouded in dark exhaust fumes, I was ignored by the numerous people coming to get drunk in the nearby French Quarter bars. Even the darkness ignored me as it closed around me. Wrapping me in a cold blanket. Soon a wet blanket as a soft rain began to fall, washing my tears into the storm drains with the rest of the trash of New Orleans.

I was alone. Alone in the rain, with nothing but a bellyful of hate to keep me warm, grave-robbed trash to keep me fed ... and a skull for company.

** ** **

Her perfume was a mixture of flowers, spices, and vanilla sugar. Her body was as soft as the fluffiest pillow, but firm in all the right places. She had, of course, tried to scream, but my hand muffled those desperate sounds even as my other hand went under her blouse. Grabbing warm cotton, I pulled it out the way and filled my palm with her silky breast. Oh, how she squirmed!

Fighting the tourist girl to the nearby wall, I held her by her mouth and breast while smiling at her. The twin gold teeth in my mouth drew her eyes to that smile. I loved the agonized look on her face when I painfully twisted that firm, spongy mass under my fingers.

"Hello, pretty." I grinned at her. "Tell me is your pussy sweet?"

Turning her finger-bruised tit loose, I rammed my hand into the waistband of those stupid pajamas-looking-pants she was wearing. She shrieked into my palm as I cupped her pussy through the thong she wore and gave it a hard squeeze. Then I dug my fingertips past the edge of that silky cloth and, while she squirmed in my arms, I shoved two fingers up and into her! Oh, hell was she warm inside.


Pushing the screaming girl toward the man running at me, I took off at a sprint back into the dark alleyways I call home. As I darted past a dumpster, I grabbed up my metal baseball bat and hunkered down on the other side of the green metal box. Fast footsteps? Yes ... Hero was stupid enough to follow me. Having to keep from giggling was the hardest thing I have ever done.

Cracking him in the back of the head with that metal bat by comparison? Hell, that was easy.

Keeping my eyes out for police, I rifled his pockets. Quickly grabbing his wallet, a money clip, and his expensive smartphone. Standing up, job done, I looked down at the man lying at my feet, blood leaking into a gory pool by his head. With a smirk, I brought the baseball bat down in a hard shot square on into his crotch. Even unconscious his body curled up to whimper at that painful impact.

Whistling, with the bloody bat over my shoulder, I left him to his agony and headed towards home. As I walked away I brought my hand to my nose and breathed deeply the sweet-musky smell of that tourist girl's pussy.

~ Now wasn't that fun? ~

Still breathing in her scent I chuckled, and answered Alphonse. "Hell, yeah it was!"

~ Then we'll do a lot more of it? ~

Laughing, I gave the backpack a shake making the bullet rattle in my friend's bony head. "Yeah. Yeah, we sure will."

** ** ** **

~ Hee, hee, hee. ~

"What are you giggling about over there?" I looked over at the old skull, were my two by far whiter teeth gleamed now in his eternal grin. My tongue absently ran across the two slick, gold teeth in my mouth. I kept running the tip across those super sharp canine points. I loved my fangs. They were worth every ounce of pain that pulling mine out to exchange with my friend had cost me.

~ You, of course. ~

"Glad I can amuse you, Alphonse." Dumping this night's haul of stolen loot onto the old curb-find chair, I dropped myself into the identical seat next to it with a groan. "Though what you find funny escapes me."

~Well, everything about you of course. By your age, I was a trained doctor and a hoodoo priest. What are you? ~

"You know I don't like that kind of talk." Pulling off the boots I'd taken from a tourist I may have killed last week, I massaged my tired feet. "How about you just be a good friend, old skull, and hush now?"

I could hear him continue to laugh till at last I became tired of it and left the room he was in. Left him sitting there on his stack of packing crates. Not that doing that helped me much, I had to come back and pick him up and take him with me after a moment. I can't be away from my friend for too long or I begin to worry about the old bone.

"Fine. Say your peace." I finally shook my head in disgust at his chuckling.

~ It's just that how long have we been together, Tomas? Two years now? You asked me to help you figure out how to get back at your mom's killers, yet you never do any of the things I suggest. ~

"What the fuck are you talking about, Alphonse?" I took a long pull off the bottle of Barbancourt Rhum, then poured him his small cup full and set it in front of his bony mouth. "I do everything you tell me to do. Do I not hunt the tourists instead of the dumpsters? Do I not use the girls as bait, just like you told me too?"

~ I told you to bring me one. ~ He cackled again, that dry laughter that grated on the bones behind my ears. ~ Is so simple thing as a stupid tourist girl too much for you to get for me? ~

"Grabbing one of them by her cunt and her tit is one thing, but you're talking kidnapping. No dice, old bone." I swallowed another long pull of the strong Haitian rum. "Besides, you won't tell me why you want me to do that?"

~ Practice. ~

"Practice for what?" I asked as the buzz washed over my mind. I drank down a third heavy shot then a fourth chasing after that alcoholic high.

Through my mind flashed an image then. Glenda. Glenda with her huge fleshy tits, shapely curved hips and that ass that had lured my father from his marital bed into the arms of the whore. I saw then a sight to both chill me and to delight me. My slut of a step-mother, hanging by her wrists, her back, thighs and ass a solid whelp of marks from a whip. Then she swung around in her chains and I saw her front was covered in small round bruises. From each ran twin trails of red. Bite marks? I moved my tongue and licked my fangs. Yes. Hickeys covered her neck, breasts, and inner thighs.

As I looked at this magical sight, Glenda, that wretched cunt of a woman who dared call herself my step-mother, looked up ... saw me and began to shake her head. I saw her mouth moving. She was begging me not to do something.

Then the image faded.

~ That could be our vengeance. But you are too raw. Too innocent to make it happen. You need practice first. Younger, more delicate flesh than that of the Whore upon which to gnaw. Find it for me, Tomas! And I will show you what to do. ~

Blinking, trying to make my whole world stop spinning around me. Panting for breath, I swallowing down the gorge that hovered at the back of my throat, but at the same time, I put my hand on the hard bulge in my pants. The need to cum was painful. And I knew all I had to do was picture Glenda as I had seen her and I would within seconds.

I looked around the old warehouse I called home.

~Yes? You have questions, Tomas? How can we do such here and it not be heard? ~ Again his dry laughter with the sound similar to a snake's belly on sand. ~I know a place. Far from here, deep in the swamps. We can do anything there in those bayous. And when we finished, the gators take care of the cleanup. ~

"How do you know this place?" I asked, even though I had no desire to do a lot of the things he was asking me to, well except what I saw done to Glenda in that vision. That I longed for... the mother-murdering whore getting just what was coming to her!

~ I faced down a man there long ago. Bras Coupe, half-nigra slave dancer. Vodusi priest. Zombis-maker. Fought him I did. Killed him I did, but his body walked away into the swamp. ~ There was a soft sigh then, with breath exhaled up from no throat. ~ But that is past, long dead past. Tomas, will you do what I ask? Will you bring me a girl so I can teach you how to get your vengeance? On your mother's killers? ~

"Yes, Alphonse."

~ Hee, hee, hee. ~

** ** ** ** **

The first was horrible.

Her name was Cathy and she was nothing but a young woman who came to New Orleans for a Zydeco-style vacation. A silly tourist with her cell phone snapping pictures of everything, taking ghost tours, vampire tours, Katrina tours.

She never planned to take a tour of the bayou. Nor did Cathy plan on staying forever. But then, not everything goes as we plan. Hell, not even what Alphonse planned went off smoothly. The old bone never factored in my being a complete coward. Oh, I did most of what he asked. I grabbed her late one afternoon as the sun was setting. She had been headed for Bourbon Street, her head full of jazz music, her mind full of fluff. Same way I've been grabbing women and pulling them into those alleys for months. Only this time it was no quick grope. No.

This time it was an ether soaked rag held to the woman's mouth. That takes longer than they show in the movies; several long, struggling minutes till those frightened eyes will roll up white and the body goes slack in your arms. The movies also don't accurately show you how hard it is to carry the body of a person who is dead, unresponsive weight.

But I did it.

The old abandoned van I used to transport her was something I had tinkered with till it ran, but it was serviceable and so very unremarkable in appearance. There must have been hundreds similar to it all over the city. Paint faded, covered in small dents and scratches. A muffler half-ready to fall off at any time, belching coughed puffs of smoke like an old chain smoker.

People don't stay unconscious for as long as they do in the movies either. Half-way there I had to stop, crawl into the back, and hold her down while I applied the ether rag again. That struggle left me with a black eye for my troubles.

By the time I got her into the flatboat, across the murky nighttime waters, and into that wood and tin shack I now called home, it was going on midnight, and I was probably more scared than she was.

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