Operation Ted Bundy
Take the place of Ted Bundy’s first victim and bring back his brain for study.
My research brings me to March 18, 1946. A bedroom in small bright blue house with white shutters and a yellow front door in Roxborough PA where I take the place of the very first victim slipping into the pleasing sleeping body of a raven haired twenty-one-year-old Eleanor Louise Cowell.
That night. Squeezing her eyes shut pretending not to notice as her father Sam Cowell, having found nothing in the stack of semen-stained pornography kept hidden in his greenhouse to bring release, pulled up her covers. Just enough. To reach in and insert first one finger. Moistened with spit. Probing. Then one hand, spreading her labia wide, dipping in to broaden the passage. Expert he was at preparing for fertile planting. Satisfied, he hastily pulls up the other handful of bedclothes tossing them to land burying his daughter’s silent grimace. Beheaded. Intombed. His rough hands, the hands of a professional gardener, nails embedded black with soil, coaxed apart her ankles like tangled stubborn tree roots. His penis heavy. Angry. Aching. Beyond caring about noise or messiness. His wife in the bedroom ten foot away behind a wall cocooned in herself by the latest rounds of electroshock. What good was she to him? He knew anything could be concealed. Hidden away. His moan too loud. As he buried himself deep into the mossy hole he had dug. Impaled there he planted his seed ever deeper again and again.
I continue to live on as Eleanor into early summer with the shame of knowing she cannot vomit away what is growing inside her. She cannot hide. She feels the horror stretching her once slim belly from within. At night, she hits herself down there as hard as she can hoping to kill it and make it go away. Hoping to see something warm and red trickle into the toilet each morning. Weeks go by. She whispers words of hatred as she digs deep into her ballooning belly searching for a little neck beneath the heaviest shape her fingers can find to snap it off and make it die. One night, as her hands travel down to maim and kill, it strikes back. Inside the blow of a fist went straight to her gut making her gasp for breath. After that, she feels its sharp fists and kicking feet striking her endlessly with howls so loud inside she wonders if her parents will hear ten feet away where nightly she knows the sounds of flesh slapping, her mother’s sobs, her father’s moans.
Later that summer, her mother also named Eleanor, was taken away to the place where they shocked the emotions out of her memory for a time. She came back blank. Calm.Content to wander aimlessly going from cupboard to cupboard, drawer to drawer looking for what she’d lost before taking to her bed causing Sam to come again to his daughter’s room. This time bolder. Reaching under her covers with two hands. His fingers extend up under her nightgown and touch the bulge above her pubis. I squeezed my eyes shut. I grimace at what I fear will come next.
“What’s this?” He shouted tossing her sheets to the floor. “You whore. Slut. No daughter of mine.” He slapped her spat in her face. “How could you bring disgrace on this family?” You trollop. Who’s the father?”
Eleanor just looked at him. She was shaking. She felt her lips curl into a grin. “How about Lloyd Marshall? An Air Force Vet I met...” Another slap. Then a back hand to her jaw.
“Are you sure? You cheap worthless tramp. Answer me!” A clenched fist lands hard just clipping her left ear. There was a buzzing sound. Some warm wetness trickled.
“Whoever, Jack Worthington?” She looks at his eyes. Blue turning to black. “You want to hear me say it...........it’s you.” This time the blow of his fist when straight to her gut making her gasp for breath, followed by two more. Could knock out Joe Louis. Doubled over, she smiles. “Good. I hope you killed it.”
He reached over and grabbed her face by her cheeks burning from the blows. “I am your father. You will not shame this family. I’m sending you away where no one will ever know and you’ll have this child and then you will both come home. And your mother and me will raise the little bastard as our own."
Then her father kissed her, his hot swollen tongue licking the roof of her mouth as his hands roamed down stopping to weigh her newly ripe breasts. An expert gardener. Big juicy tomatoes. Eleanor just squeezed her eyes shut pretending not to notice.
November 24, 1946. Burlington, Vermont. Elizabeth Lund Maternity Home for Unwed Mothers. I know I will not have to endure this mission much longer. The pains went on for three days doubling her over. Could knock out Joe Louis. Eleanor hoped it would die. Eleanor hoped she would die. She felt her body being forced open like a rough huge hand spreading her wide, dipping down to broaden the passage. The pressure coaxing her bones apart. Tangled stubborn tree roots. Then her moans too loud. Her vagina too full, stretching bursting. Her feet in cold metal holding her open too wide. She howls. Some warm wetness trickled. She reaches down and feels a heavy shape covered in bloody moss. She whispers words of hatred as she digs deep and pushes just enough. Her fingers searching for a little neck.
Before the doctor can say a word or the nurses pull her hands away, I snap off the head. Slipping out and away from the first female victim.
I look back and see the doctor yelling at Eleanor to keep pushing to expel the mangled dead child. She bears down with all that is in her. A headless body plops explosively to the floor bloody, battered, bruised.
"The head, where its head?" The nurse yells.
"It must be buried somewhere in all this." Another nurse replies. She is crawling on hands and knees looking through the bloody sheets and tools that have fallen to the floor.
The doctor exclaims, “It would have been a boy. Too bad. Did you have a name for it?”
Eleanor is sobbing. Gasping for breath. Howling through tears of relief, “I would...I would have named him Theodore...Teddy...Ted."
The infant head in my hands, and make my way back, completing my mission.
Why do I even bother?
You know sometimes, some times
I don't want to do what I'm supposed to
What I'm expected to do
I don't want to act a certain way
Or chat a certain way
Or tone down my smarts for someone
Or cloak my humanity
because it's what's expected
I want to do what I want
Walk how I want, speak the way I want
Dress the way I want
Go wherever I want
But then I can't exactly
Unknow the things I know
The people I know
Or unchoose the things I chose
Or unbelieve the things I believe
So I guess I'm pretty much stuck
With the life I have now
So I take my two hands
Out of my two pockets
I can't possibly go home with them in there
They'd ask who the hell I think I am.
A Love Letter To A Friend.
Treat me not with the merciless indignity of friendship.
Not when I have wanted you so viscerally. Not when you occupy my every waking thought, and then, not content with that daylight mastery, you omnipotently deign to also haunt my dreams... such carnal dreams...
Of course I should not be complaining. It is a clemency that you enter me at all, even if you might not choose to. I want you inside my mind. In depraved, destructive ways. I want to be defiled by you, owned by you, kept by you. I want to languish in the power of your magnificence, to be nourished and then to die from your presence, as a flower wilts in too much life-giving sunlight.
But it cannot be so and I know it.
This intellectual fantasy, this... sensationalist fetish... does not align with my reality. And I am even now grimacing at myself for writing such ludicrous drivel.
It’s true, to be sure, you have never met a person so able to argue herself out of a compliment.
She seems nice, you might think on a first glance, or at least calm and undramatic, she might be fun to hang around with.
Not a moment later you will stagger back in horror, entirely convinced by my pompously eloquent self-flagellation that in fact I am just as demonically grotesque as the most barbarously gnarly beldam in existence. That I am but a vile putrid wretch! Let me alone to wallow in my egotistical misery!
...I take it all back.
I retract my words from you as a cat retracts it’s claws from a beloved scratching post, getting them caught and meowing pitifully for release from my self-inflicted predicament.
Treat me, please, with the merciful dignity of friendship.
Could it really be possible that a being as flamboyantly monstrous as myself could be gifted such a forgiveness?
Surely it cannot be hoped.
But either way, I promise that I shall henceforth endeavor to be more worthy of such a compassion.
Sweating profusely I tried to wipe my brow to no avail. Today the sun seemed to be a bit closer to earth, and it was scorching our bald heads. The land was barren, and the mirage continued its peculiar dance. The chains on our hands and legs were heavy and hot. Mopping my brow for the umpteenth time, I suddenly realised that it was probably the last time I would be using my hands as a pair. My mind raced back to all the things I’d ever done with my hands both good and bad. I thought where I had been and what I had done, the souls I’d touched and the ones I’d destroyed. A terrifying scream startled me jolting me out of my deep reverie.
I was now alive at the moment. I could feel my breath, I could smell the strange odor of feces, urine and sweat mixed with blood. The stench was choking me. The crowd cheered loudly as the butcher pumped up his axe in the air while doing a celebratory jig. The crowd was baying for blood, a look at their faces and you could see they were relishing everything that was going on. I was left wondering what kind of frenzy they would be in once the beheading started.
Up in the very important box you could see Mulei and Maria his wife and their entourage were enjoying the scene. My heart was now beating loudly like the tum tum drums of South Africa threatening to bust out of my chest. I felt like I could die. I swallowed hard as next guy in line was unchained and escorted by two humongous men to axe man’s arena despite the struggle he put up his hands were held firmly on the blood soaked log.
Meanwhile, the axe man was revving the crowd up with a small performance with his massive blood stained axe. With a wry smile on his face the king gave the signal and in a fraction of a second the axe was on the prisoners’ hand, cracking his bones while splashing blood all over. Simultaneously, the prisoners’ screams of pain were silenced by the rapturous applause of the crowd.
Next in line was an old man, and I was after him. His chains were undone. He walked slowly with a determined step and knelt before the axe man. Suddenly king Mulei stood up and with a wave of his hand the crowd went silent, but my heart thundered on, for a moment I thought the other prisoners could hear it.
“Citizens of Tuaa, your king greets you, today we have to appease our gods” Bokonos’ voice broke the hot afternoon air and reverberated around the amphitheatre.
The crowd roared and clapped with excitement.
“Today thieves’ hands will be chopped off so that they will never steal again” he continued and the crowd burst into another rapturous applause.
Looking around, I could see the last prisoner's on the ground, and it was still twitching.
“This man’s hands will be chopped off for trying to grope the queen, he deserves to die but being a merciful king I will let him live but with a warning.”
Another loud cheer met his last word. A broad smile crept from cheek to cheek on the queen’s face as she clapped to the words of the king. With a wave of his hand, the crowd fell silent again and that eerie feeling that my heartbeat could be heard returned. Suddenly the old man’s voice broke the silence.
“I’d rather die today,” he said resolutely.
I was taken aback, and so was everybody else in attendance. The king Mulei trying to show who is in command retorted “so be it you fool”
The crowd went ballistic again. The old man with a determined face scanned the crowd, the king and then bowed. The axe man was now doing his pre-beheading jig and both he and the crowd were loving it. King Mulei watched with a wry smile plastered on his face. This stupid old man had disrupted his plans but the show had to go on. Mulei let the axe man dance for a while, a tactic he used to fill the crowd with anticipation. Then he finally gave the signal and with one clean swing the axe landed on the old man’s neck which dissociated from his body. It rolled on the floor spilling blood until it rested near the pair of hands that were still twitching.
The crowd was ecstatic. Warm blood that had splashed on me was now trickling down my face and bare chest. The old man’s head lay in a pool of blood with flies swarming all over for a taste of fresh blood. The scene was ghastly I nearly vomited, but I managed to keep myself together. I was next and this sent cold chills down my spine, my feet were like wobbly like jelly. As the old man’s headless body was being dragged away I observed that the queen relished every moment of this.
Suddenly a large bust of wind tore up the amphitheatre and black clouds engulfed the blue sky. It started getting dark. Everybody was both surprised and confused, you could see it on their faces. The place fell silent that you could hear a pin drop. In a jiffy the old man’s head started floating, and his eyes turned pure white. Everybody was shocked, some fainted and others got on their heels and fled, the courageous ones were left behind to witness this peculiar event. The head was now midair spinning around slowly occasionally throwing bits of clotted blood.
“Today we will witness the end of Mulei’s reign” his shrill voice was deafening.
The guards had dropped their spears and scampered away. The old man’s head swirled around for a while, finally settling on me. His white eyes elicited no emotion, I stood there too afraid to move, my feet were heavy, and I had no energy.
“You are our saviour, the head said.
In an instant the twitching hand came alive. It felt its way, took the keys that had been dropped by the guards. The hand unlocked my hands as well as the other prisoners who were still shell shocked but they immediately took to their heels. I tried to follow them but I couldn't Some magnetic force kept me rooted on the spot. Pandemonium broke out as soon as the head and hand fell down and a lightning bolt hit the very important person’s box.
I could see the king Mulei, his wife and their entourage trying to escape. What happened next still baffles me to date. I was struck by lightning on the top of my scalp, but I felt no pain. Instead, I experienced the old man’s pain. I could clearly see what he had been through. His family had been tortured and killed by Mulei’s men. Then I was taken back to the memory of the incident that had caused his suffering and death. He was the king’s cup bearer. As he was serving the queen her wine, he accidentally spilled some on her chest. In the process of trying to wipe some of it off with a cloth, the queen let out a scream, claiming that the old man was groping her.
I wasn’t in control of my body. I picked up a panga and a sword and made my way up toward the very important person’s box. I was moving with extreme pace and athleticism that it shocked me. Mulei wasn’t in the box when I got there, but I caught a glimpse of his entourage. I started to run in their direction, and soon I was upon them as they made their way to the awaiting chariot.
I could spot the king now. A sudden spur of energy filled my right arm and I flung the spear which soared through the air and hit King Mulei on his back protruding from his chest. As he fell down, I could see Marias’ inaudible screams. Suddenly I blacked out.
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color-coded between the ribs
meet me on the equinox
somewhere between then and now,
where your whispers taste like powder sand
and liquid stars.
slipping my fingers into the marron
and cobalt streaked skies
slowly dipping my toes in your love
ever so gently, but with a blazing soul.
footprints on the moon,
imprinted over the kaleidoscope of your heart
my ever raging, peaceful midnight sun
Humans are Damage
We see the damage that humans do to nature every day. We see it in the gray smoke being pumped into the air from the factories, in the iridescent oil slick on top of the blue water, in the stray dog eating fast food scraps off of the concrete, in the sound of a tree trunk splintering and breaking, in the constant pacing of the animal who has been confined to a cage, in construction set to replace green grass with black asphalt, in the prevalence of another announcement that an endangered species is now extinct, in the piles of garbage that collect in land fills.
At the same time, we can see how humans do damage to one another. We manipulate, steal, abuse, neglect, violate, enslave and kill each other. We talk down to one another. We hurt people who then go on to hurt other people. We continue the cycle and pass trauma from generation to generation, never ending.
What humans have failed to realize is that nature is more resilient than humanity. Nature's cycle is one of destruction and rebuilding. A fire will burn down the forrest in order for the forrest to grow new luscious life. Humanity's fate has been sealed by the collectives' actions. Humans will be the cause of the end of everything we know. And nature will rebuild. The green weeds will slip through the cracks of the concrete. Vines will wrap around the deteriorating corporate buildings. Trees will grow through the asphalt that was meant to keep them out. Nature has inhabited this planet long before humans arrived and will be here long after we leave.
I was but bones
In animated skin
My spirit long silenced
By the chest
You locked it in
One hole, two holes,
Three holes, four
I repaired the walls
I repaired the door
“If I’d have wanted to hit you,
I wouldn’t have missed.”
“It’s not abuse,
if I don’t use my fists.”
Let Us Flatter Ourselves, That Perhaps It’s A Little Of Both.
The scourge of wise humanity
Plagues Earth from pole to pole.
It needn’t take a sage to see
What want can swallow whole:
The mind; a starving carnivore,
Philosophy; a foal.
We kill for sport and hearty gore
What first we try extol.
Then hark! We go lamenting all the innocence we stole:
O’ why can’t nature let us be?
What sin her vicious goal?
Why can’t we calm, or leastways flee,
Those beasts we can’t control?
No ’mount of will can set us free!
Man can’t befriend his soul!
But still we fret,
And still we fright,
And still we always hope...
That bitterness will fade to light
For every misanthrope.
There can be no fool for me. Only a heartless wit will do.
By the dubious age of fifteen I’d already decided that “Ever Afters” were infantile pipe-dreams, “Happily” ones especially so.
After all, only a blind idiot could entertain the thought that a living soul might be happy in one paradise forever. And though I was quite clearly a sentimental idiot, I wasn’t blind.
The following quotes capture my applicable feelings of the time. The first sums up the more sober part of my own attitude, the second grasps the essence of the only passion I could have seriously respected in a man:
“If I could love a man who would love me enough to take me for a mere 50 pounds a year, I should be very well pleased. But such a man could hardly be sensible, and you know I could never love a man who was out of his wits.” ~Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen.
“Get thee to a nunnery, go. Farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them.” ~Hamlet, William Shakespeare.
So, when I did meet a man who fluttered my precariously prudent heart, and who my pugnacious mind confirmed worthy of such vivacious esteem, it was a lost cause from the start, obviously.
I, feeble rationality fettered with excessive romance, but only towards the kind of man who could not (by the very nature I love in him) love me back in the same way.
He, requisite freedom placated by my importunate adoration, chained (against his better judgement) into a hapless monogamy.
Both of us have endured our predictable agonies with (barely) adequate dignity over the years.
Nevertheless, I’m still living my ever after. In happiness and despair, in boredom and desperation, in persiflage and diligence, in love and hatred, in sickness and health, and in everything between them: In every mundane pause for affection and in every faulty contrivance which dares to prowl restlessly in the bowels of a marriage.
...It is a multifaceted and whimsically sorrowful delight, to see my fickle and apocryphal fantasies drop into an ocean of lachrymal yearning which breaks, in pathetically apologetic waves, upon his more logical solidarity.
But oh, what the boundlessly foolish youth in me wouldn’t give, for an occasional clash of tides...
Be a Good Girl
I didn't grow up praying at the foot of my bed. I didn't have daily devotionals waiting for me at the table with breakfast. I did grow up Christian, though. I grew up being told that my duties were to please the men above me. I grew up being told that I had to give every part of me to others in order to be happy with myself. Give, give, give.
"You don't need to pay your bills, God will do it for you."
I was told I could pray all of my troubles away. I was told that if my prayers weren't answered, it's because I wasn't praying hard enough or doing enough for this invisible man to be my hero.
Throughout my adolescence, I went to countless youth groups, missions trips, and outings for the church. Growing up, I endured the most judgement, bullying, and hate from people I met "through God" than people I had met on the "outside world". As I grew and became more exposed to others, I began to form my own beliefs. I saw that good people aren't just Christians. In fact, there are bad people in all walks of life, no matter what goodness claims to be there. I felt betrayed, hurt, and lied to by the people that had told me the only "truths" I had known.
My truth now is not Christianity. Now I know that acceptance comes from all kinds of people. Peace is being able to have differing opinions and beliefs without persecution. I didn't learn to love others and myself through bible classes and tithing. I learned supporting others, being encouraging, understanding, and helpful is love. When I was being raised, everything was based off of judgement and doing your duties. Now, my life is full of love. My relationships and decisions are made out of thoughtfulness. I can love my neighbor, no matter their gender, race, preferences, and opinions. Because true love doesn't come with judgement.