From the House of Awesomeness 2014 (Langlois OR).
Top row: Kate E Howrad, rewfoe, sttm37, musing5225
Front row: moonbug, Jonnyisgoode, Jestferlaffs
Raw video to mess with. Tambourine kept their beat
A/N: This was a collaborative story I did with Debit72, Rewfoe, and Johnnyisgoode. I'ved edited it for grammar/cohesion.
You see me on the street. I’m just another woman, on her way. I go to the grocery store, and I pay my taxes. I may own a convertible, but I don’t speed around schools. Just another woman, another well to do woman enjoying a comfortable life, my luxuries hidden under what you call normalcy.
My life wasn’t always like this. Most of my high-society friends don’t know my rags-to-fucking-riches story. I’ve worked very hard to keep it secret, and some of my secrets are six-feet-under-safe. Most nights, I sleep the sleep of the just. But every so often, the old monsters stalk through my dreams. For a few moments after I wake, I’m that six-year-old pickaninny in the backwoods of Kentucky again.
I’ll never forget that evening, the evening that defined my life. Defined who I am today. Six year old Shimmiaeka-- that’s what I used to be called. I ran through the woods, the lanterns flickering through the fog.
Swiftly, I stuck my tiny body under a fallen tree and stayed there, silent, until the sun came up. My pockets were filled with eyes, and fingers, and ears. Blood stained my face and hands. I thought it was funny. He hadn’t expected the evening to go like that.
It was so quick, the hatchet sliced through his skull like butter. Every emotion, every thought I had against this man came out all at once. I realized I needed to get away after I calmed down lying over his corpse. It must have only been 30 seconds but it felt like an eternity, the only sound I heard was the beating of my heart in my ears. Thump, Thump, Thump. I realized after a moment that the sound wasn’t my heartbeat but the stomping of someone coming up the stairs. I climbed out the window and scaled down the wall. I wouldn’t see another white devil for a long time, and I was lucky.
Eventually, I found my way to New Orleans. The city of beignets and French, it was full of histories both seen and unseen. I put on a Caribbean accent and let my Southern past fade. It didn’t matter that there were holes in my story: I had small hands and sharp eyes. Every seamstress needed fine fingers for the expensive dresses, and I became one of the best in town.
The day that Madame Marie came into the shop had an auspicious beginning. The first thing I saw when I stepped outside was a white owl. It looked into my eyes unblinkingly for a moment, then spread its wings and flew off. I had lived in New Orleans long enough to learn the basics of the fortuneteller’s art. The owl was a harbinger of change. Change for the better.
But I didn’t believe in any of that. She came in with her long skinny fingers, long droopy cheeks and a turkey neck, and jewels hanging off of everywhere one could hang jewels. “Daaahhhling” she said in her long lingering tone. “Is mah dress ready yet?”
I gave her a long distant stare. “What’s the article number?” she reached into her coat and shuffled around for the ticket. What a goddamn phony. She can read the future and past, but not her own order number?
Finally she placed it onto the counter. I went to the back to fetch her garment. “Mah goodness! Now this IS quite the garment! What a beauty!” she was shocked, it had exceeded her expectations… so if she could see the future she would have known how it would look and this wouldn’t be a surprise… or if she really could read the future, then she was putting on this show and really is a phony.
She was just turning to leave when she stopped dead in her tracks. She turned slowly and looked me straight in the eyes, she looked different though, the color had left her face slightly and her hands dropped with a jingle. “Primrose” she whispered. I was about to respond when she interrupted. “- Your eyes tell a tale of death, a shadow grows heavy over you and the weight is becoming unbearable”.
Primrose was the name I had given myself as a disguise on my route here. A free black on the way to California. Madame Marie knew only Suzanne, the Caribbean migrant to New Orleans. My hands shook as she continued, “You will be found out, you will be stopped, your evil deeds are on the list of the devil” I stood there paralyzed. Suddenly color returned to Madame Marie’s face and she gave a slight shiver. “Anyways, I’ll see you darling” and she walked right out the door without skipping a beat.
I couldn’t stay inside then. It may have been the middle of August, but the walls were too tight around me. My hands were shaking, but I took out a cigarette. A momentary cigarette filling my lungs, puffs of smoke and worry leaving with the air. Suddenly, a man passed by. “Look” he sneered, “a monkey smoking a cigar, wasting time in the middle of the day.”
I fixed him with such a stare of loathing that he hurried off, looking behind him once or twice as if to confirm that I wasn’t following him. But I stayed in place, finishing my cigarette as I pondered what to do next.
I didn’t want to admit it, but Madame Marie’s uncanny prediction had rattled me to the core.I had never put any stock in the voodoo queens and kings of New Orleans, but there was no way that Madame Marie could possibly have known the truth behind the words she had spoken. She was known as a mediocre fortuneteller at best, a jaded charlatan at worst. I came to a decision. I went inside the shop and feigned illness, then put on my hat and dove into the hot and humid alleys of the city.
Later that evening I counted how many I had. 6…7…8…9… 22. Twenty two pieces in my collection. I was sad that the old ones were just bone or curled up cartilage. The eyes didn’t last at all and I wasn’t sure if I could still count them in my collection. I put the fresh pieces onto my sewing desk. I was so excited to include them. No one should know Primrose before I told them. No one. What a phony…what a hack. A hack. A crunch. A split…
Who came before Madame Marie in my collection? Two toes came from the old woman. She thought I was a good enough seamstress, but not enough to pay. She wanted my hands, so I took her feet—free of charge. From the man who tried to get both a dress and touch my skin, well I took his wandering eyes. The first white devil gave me his arms that tried to hold me too close. Together, piece by piece, I’d create a monster, the source of unstoppable power. There was just one piece missing. I’d been careful, I’d been sure. But, was the old hack right?
I had no time to prevaricate. I had to make the decision whether to act tonight, or not at all. If I was successful, it would mean freedom: freedom from want, freedom from this stinking city, freedom from my past. I looked over my collection, weighing the value of each piece, the cost in flesh and in spirit. It would have to be enough. It would have to be tonight. The last piece was both the hardest and the easiest to obtain: it had to come from my own body.
The piece I chose had laid dormant for as long as I could remember. I had no purpose for it, yet it was still a part of me. A heavy useless weight: It only made sense that this part of me would become my offering, my path to power.
All my previous items had been collected in the same manner: slowly, usually with something rusty, or dull. Sometimes both. I didn’t want to do it that way, but the rest of the monster was created with this same ritual, so it only felt right I do it the same way.
To truly leave behind that double life, I had to give my piece. I pulled out the old knife. My hands trembled, but I wasn’t going to lose now. I was so close. So close to having the power I had always wanted. The power I’d never had. I held out my own organ, the very piece the old man wanted to touch. And as I chanted again and again, I cut it off. Slowly. Surely. But with each agonizing tear, I found a bit more of my power. In the end, hands bloodied, my body hummed.
I arranged all of the pieces carefully, giving the monster a shape and form. The blood from my hands covered each fragment as I laid it into place. My own organ I left for last. As I connected it with the others, I closed my eyes and felt a surge of energy flow between me and my creation.
The energy was mostly mine, of course, but it was bolstered by a spark for each of my twenty-two victims. All of them had thought to take from me, but instead I had taken from them. I said a wordless prayer of thanks for each one of them as the power continued to pulse and grow within me. The monster slowly began to stir.
The abomination stood up in front of me and let out a wail of pain and anger. Its voice sounded like a bucket of mud being thrown into a blender. It shakily moved around the room and suddenly stopped by the kitchen sink. Its legs buckled under it. Its chin collided with the counter and its face shattered. The lower jaw plummeted through the nose and then into the eyes. The horrible shriek continued through the house, the jawless creature shaking and bleeding and pulsating on the floor. Its crispy legs cracked and broken. Its face a pile of mush.
I went to the fire place and grabbed a metal poker. It was clear that I was impatient. It was clear that I would need more pieces. I lifted the metal poker high and stopped the awful sound.
But what did I need? I closed my eyes and tried to remember what my momma told me. He built da monstah piece by piece, bone by bone. He sewed it tight with virgin’s hair. And when it rose, he saw da devil in its eyes. No soul, just a demon of demise. Of course, that was the piece I missed: virgin hair. And I knew just the place to find a dozen with long, strong hair.
I cleaned up and put on trousers and shirt, then headed back into the city. Before I knew it, the moss-covered walls of the Sisters of Perpetual Sorrow convent rose before me. The bells were tolling midnight as I scaled the wall silently. The site where I had removed my organ throbbed. I crept across the grounds to the girls’ dormitory.
My small fingers had more skills than just sewing; I made short work of the padlock on the door. I slipped into the room and listened to the quiet sounds of a dozen virgins breathing in their sleep.
One by one I jammed loads of stuffing into each of their throats, strangling them in their sleep. They writhed, horrified in their last moment of life. The air being stolen from their bodies, their souls remaining in their hair. The hair, it was all so long and luscious. Virgin hair. As much as I would have loved to give thanks to the gifts from these women, there wasn't enough time at all. My priority was collecting the hair. I left the premises with a full burlap sack.
I ran quickly through the night. I heard sirens, men yelling at the horror. One dead is a tragedy, a happenstance of life. But this? This was a new level of horror, the sisters with suddenly short hair, their faces in agony.
But I? I couldn’t stop smiling. I was so close that I could feel the energy vibrating on my back. After a few more streets, I hunched over, letting the burlap sack creating a hunchback silhouette. An old man creaking through the night couldn’t kill anyone, and so I lurched back to my shop of wonders.
Safely inside, my feverish fingers trembling, I pulled the locks of hair from the sack, threaded my silver needle, and began to sew. The monster took shape once again under my hands. Limbs, head, torso. As I neared completion, the collection of parts began to vibrate once again with energy.
I held the final piece, the one torn from my own body, and stitched it into place. The needle slipped and plunged into my thumb; and as the bright fresh blood welled from my finger I used it to smooth over the seams, which sealed up as if they had never been. To finish, I touched my thumb to the monster’s forehead, eyes, and finally, heart. “Live now,” I whispered. “Be my damnation and my salvation.” The monster opened its eyes and looked at me as if from the depths of hell.
It stood and slowly walked over to the mirror. It peered into it for a long while. As I observed, I was amazed as it articulately stroked the crevices in its worn stitched up face. “Am I doomed to live a hideous existence?” the first words from its twisted mouth shocked me. “You are my mother, you are my creator, why must I appear to be so horrible?” The language it spoke was music to my ears. It did not wail and twitch, it spoke with beauty and self-awareness.
“You will appear as I made you. You are beautiful to me and that is what matters.” The monster looked down attempting to process this information, but it was sad and confused. “And if it makes you feel better” I said in my softest voice, “You won’t be here long.”
As the monster’s eyes widened, I began the chant. From the death of the wicked came life for one, bound by virgin, bound by none, the dark gone means more for one. "Spirits long passed, give me your time, and let it be mine, be mine, be mine." The life of the monster rose and rose. The life force of the many, the power of the beyond was a vapor right above me. So I inhaled all the light, all the life, in one long breath.
When it was done, the remains of the monster crumbled into dust. I flexed my fingers. I could feel the life forces pumping through my body. Those whose lives I had stolen now belonged to me. I knew they would help me live long beyond a normal mortal span. I looked in the mirror. My eyes had taken on a preternatural glow – nothing that would draw too much attention and single me out as a witch or freak, but I could tell that I now exuded a magnetic force of personality that I could use to bend the weak-minded to my will.
I had all I could ask for: a greatly extended life, my enemies deceased. Life became a dream then: It wasn’t long before I had every man, woman, and child attending to my every need, every desire, every want. There was no task that was too much to ask. There was no risk people wouldn’t take. I had absolute control over everyone I came in contact with. I lay around with my money castle and waited for the days to pass.
It hasn’t all been easy: Once, I woke up half-naked in a Denny’s parking lot. I can’t tell you how many ways I’ve ‘killed myself’. Poison, cliff jumping, car crashes, fire, drowning, just to name a few. Even Jesus would be struggling for ways to die at this point. The rise of surveillance footage, DNA evidence have forced me to be more careful in seeking vengeance. But I have a new collection of bones and toes waiting to be transformed. My workshop may have changed, but the game? That’s always the same.
Sorry about the whistling guys I didnt even realize - what can I say its a catchy tune
- Schoolbeat on the Playground (REMIX w/ tinderlo...
so yesterday i heard tinderlocks' sensational oringal track School Beat and literally listened to it for the next two hours whilst writing out lyrics. got on garageband for the first time ever this afternoon and here is the result---a very rough draft.
comments and especially criticisms appreciated, i am a novice after all.
i was attempting a sort of loudspeaker effect, like what you'd hear come out over the playground when announcements were made. it sounds better with headphones, i'll admit.
i'm kind of an idiot, but this was fun to do.
feel free to do whatever with it, hope you enjoy!
***listen to it without the lyrics to appreciate the full extent of tinderlocks' talent!
***also please give love to fannafannofannu for this great photo. i truly think it's stellar and should get visited proper and remixed a lot!
What happens on the playground?
Handclaps, backpacks, Double Dutch Rulers.
Square Dance, de-pants the Rotten-Egg Drooler
Sack lunch, sucker punch, and we’re getting cooler.
Hey this is a song of Elementary-Schoolers!
Four Square don’t care bout the Hand-Held Game Player.
Red Rover send over Girl-Who-Found-The-4-Leaf-Clover.
Sack Races, how come last one smell?
Oh, here come the Teacher kids hear that bell
Give your boy a nickname and like glue it sticks
One kid in the corner doing magic tricks
Sell illegal candy, whoops! Scram nix nix!
The Tattler’s coming yelling “Tag, You’re It!”
It was a word new learned.
Find yourself without and you got real burned.
Eating boogers by yourself,
Imaginary friend’s an elf,
Just put them Bullies on the shelf.
They won’t amount to much in life’s wealth.
Flag poles, roll call, hide & seeking, see-saw.
Trading cards, gold stars, sticker books and swings-aaawww.
Hey it’s just another schoolyard day down.
Just a little peek at what happens on the playground.