Albino Ghost Part 1

June 2, 2014

 

 

 

Albino Ghost

 

Rory Bower was having a bad day. Hyperbole would not do it justice, without at least two pages of descriptive metaphor. Then, perhaps, that might cover it.

 

He had just been to the police station for questioning regarding a strange death, one suspected to be murder or at least some exotic type of poisoning. It was a vagrant that had died, and the circumstances of his death being what they were, the police were curious to know exactly why he had died of what seemed to be hemorrhaging while locked inside Rory Bower’s brewery.

 

Ostensibly, the vagrant, who was mostly known to people as Rourke, had been hired to do a bit of cleaning in the place. The reality of it was that he’d been hired as something of a volunteer to try out the new ales being produced on a daily basis. It would seem that he had passed out in a room Rory had rented for him near the brewery. Rory had set him up with a little space there, just because it seemed like the decent thing to do…also, he wasn’t really fond of the idea of Rourke getting shit-faced and then staggering out on the street and passing out, and being arrested, and then it coming back on him.

 

The coroner’s report had talked about strange wounds on Rourke’s body. The incredulousness of the coroner was apparent in the way the wounds were described. “The wounds,” the report read, “can best be described as bite marks. However, given that the bite marks appear to be human and only a few centimeters in width, it would be absurd to say that they were made by a person. Probably some kind of implement was used that mimicked human bite marks.” And that was where Rory came in. Being the only one with access to the place where Rourke was staying…with the exception of Rourke, that is, and given that the death took place in the middle of the night, well…Police were determined to find that Rourke had been murdered in some kind of bizarre alcohol fueled gay nipple clamp torture gone wrong.

 

The coroner’s report actually made the claim that small clamps shaped like human mouths, complete with tiny human teeth, had to have been used to leave the kind of marks that were found on Rourke’s body. The fact that Rourke’s head had a hole in it that had been blown open from the inside was irrelevant. Rory was obviously some kind of sadist who had lured the hapless Rourke into a homoerotic mind game, making him dependent on Rory for sustenance and survival and – That’s when the detective going on about sex games and bdsm and using phrases that, frankly, appalled Rory, was told to shut the hell up by another detective who was also apparently the partner of the first detective, who apparently was convinced that any death involving a man was somehow the result of a sick game gone wrong.

 

The interview had a calmer tone after that, but Rory was still ill at ease. Of course he hadn’t killed Rourke, and he didn’t have anything to do with his condition. That is to say, the condition of his body having bite marks all over it. “I’d hire a lawyer, Mr Bower,” said the calmer detective. “You understand it looks suspicious, and, well, it’d be best if you cooperate fully with our investigation. You understand.” He’d nodded back at the man, whose name was Detective Williams. Williams had smiled and taken him aside and said, “To be honest, the way this poor bastard was found, the violent nature of it, it’s so abnormal that even the crime scene has me stumped. I don’t think you did it, mind. I think you’re a bit shameless for giving that old drunk all the booze you gave to him, and for that you deserve a good smack in the teeth, but the way his head exploded like there was a bomb in it…” The detective’s voice trailed off. Rory looked at the stack of photos of Rourke’s body that had been tossed on the table by the other detective…Detective Schmidt. He smirked at the name, in spite of himself…it seemed a bit absurd.

 

Then there were the crime scene photos, which on top of everything else, showed several holes that had been made in the wall, about the diameter of a 2 pence. They appeared to be scattered like buckshot, no pattern to them. They presumably were ejected from Rourke’s head when it spontaneously burst open. Debris from his skull was found in the holes. However, barely any traces of brain matter were found. Barely any in his head (what was left of it) and none on the wall or the floor or the ceiling. That was the other puzzling thing about it. It was like someone had started cleaning the crime scene and then given it up after cleaning the brain bits. Very odd, was Detective William’s exact words.

 

By the time Rory got back to the brewery, there was a small but determined frenzy of reporters waiting to ask him questions about his involvement in the death of beloved vagrant and scoundrel Neville Rourke and oh good lord the questions they were asking. He needed a drink.

 

He got into his office, avoiding eye contact with his secretary, Sylvia. “I do not care if anyone has called,” he told her as he marched heavily past her. “In fact, I’m going to need you to tell people I’ve gone out of town for a few days. I’m going to lock myself in my office and drink.” It was a funny thing, Sylvia thought, looking at him, what being questioned about someone’s death can do to a man. She’d been questioned about a strange death, too, once. “He pulled over after I insisted. He was drunk and I wanted out of the car.” She had, in fact, walked all the way home. She had in fact had to fight off is advances due to his condition at the time. She had left him in his car. However, she had the good sense to fore-go telling the detectives about knocking him out cold just prior to pushing him and his car over the cliff. To this day she marveled about how dangerous that spot was, what with having no guardrail and all. She wondered if, maybe, Rourke had made an unwanted advance on Mr Bower, and she thought it likely that he had. “Good riddance,” she thought. “The man was a creep and deserved worse. Should have pushed him over a cliff.” Most people were not surprised to find that Sylvia didn’t have a boyfriend. But she did have a long list of ex-boyfriends, and men that ran away from her when passing on the street, and a collection of restraining orders.

 

Sylvia was a fantastic secretary. The best Rory had ever had, truly. He was also terrified of her, but she was so good at her work that he’d never had cause to even think about having to fire her. Thank God for that, he thought, as he opened the top drawer of his desk and pulled out a flask. “Sylvia, I would appreciate a cup of coffee, if you’d be so kind,” he said through the intercom. A few minutes later she knocked twice on his door. It was their private code and it meant that she had coffee. Three knocks meant that someone he didn’t want to talk to had arrived. Four knocks meant something was on fire.

 

She brought the coffee in and placed it on his desk. “Thank you Sylvia,” he said as he poured whiskey into it. The secretary smiled at him. “Must be nice, being in charge. No one to fire you for drinking on the job.” He smiled at her, and offered his flask to her. She reached out for it and took a swig. Then she sat down and looked at her boss earnestly and said, “There’s talk about that you had something to do with old Rourke dying.”

 

Rory gave her a plaintive look. The man hadn’t slept well the entire week. “I should tell you,” she said, “Some people have been talking about the new batch being cursed.”

 

“That’s bollocks,” he shot back. She shrugged. “It’s not my place to say, but that’s what some people think.” Rory raised an eyebrow at Sylvia and she handed the flask back to him. He took a swig from it, ignoring the coffee.

 

He told her everything that happened to Rourke, though he knew he shouldn’t have. All the details. The holes in the wall, the weird marks on his body, the way his head exploded like something was trying to get out…even the bit about Rourke’s brain being gone. As Sylvia sat listening to him, he tried to read her facial expression, but the only thing he could say she was thinking was that it all sounded marvelous. And, in truth, that was exactly what she was thinking.

 

“That all sounds ghastly,” she said, sounding more fascinated than horrified. Rory stared at her.“You are a strange woman, Sylvia. Has anyone ever told you that?” “My da used to tell me that all the time.” She smiled.

 

He handed her the flask and told her to not let anybody in. She left the office and went back to her reception desk, where she drank the contents of the flask more quickly than she should have.

 

Rory tried to take his mind off the what had happened. He took a few sips of coffee, and then leaned back in his big, overstuffed leather chair. The strangeness of the last few days was gradually ceasing to seem so dreadful. He ran his fingers through his curly blonde hair, trying to make sense of what had happened. Poor Rourke. How the hell does one’s head explode? From the inside at that! Did he have a bomb implanted in it that fried his brains and that’s why there was no grey matter on the walls? No wonder the coroner’s report sounded like it had been written by a person who’d gone slightly mad. Not a single bit of it made any kind of sense.

 

Shouldn’t have given him more than a case to take home, Rory thought guiltily, reflecting on what Williams the detective had said about him deserving a good smack in the mouth. He began to have serious doubts, then and there, about the morality of owning a brewery, fueling the days of alcoholics across the entire countryside. Rory’s revery was interrupted by three solid knocks on the door.

 

Colin Elmwood strode in. Being in his golden years as Sylvia put it, Colin was deserving of a four knock entrance. “Heard about what happened to Rourke? Come to say ‘ I told you so ‘ ?” “You’re a right cunt, Bower. I told ye what was in the ground here, and you refused to listen. And now you’re sitting here, scratching yer head trying to figure out what killed that man? Yer not just a cunt, you’re a moron. You KNOW what killed him.”

 

His jaw agape, Rory stared at Elmwood. Elmwood stood there with his hands balled into fists, red faced and furious and shaking. “You shouldn’t have built this damned brewery on this piece of ground!” the old man yelled.

 

Finally Rory was getting pissed. “Listen, goddammit, I’ve had just about enough of people accusing me of things today. And the last thing I need is someone telling me that I built a brewery on some kind of graveyard.” He stood up, and came around from behind his desk, and began stabbing Colin’s breastbone with it. “Today I have been accused of murder and sexual deviancy, and now you want to sit here and accuse me of disturbing some kind of sacred ground that you think a bunch of fairies were buried in? Get the hell out of my office and out of my brewery!”

 

Four knocks. Loud and desperate sounding, and just a little too fast.

 

A moment later, Rory’s face went white as a ghost. Standing behind Colin, one of the factory workers was holding up a bottle of the new batch…someone had jokingly suggested the name Albino Ghost for it, and the name had stuck. The bottle was humming, just barely audible.

 

“Sir? Mr Bower, there’s bottles and bottles downstairs, just like this one. They’re….they’re all just making some kind of mmmmmm sound. It’s terribly loud down there with all of them doing it.”

 

Colin looked at the boy, who was just about 19, and then back at Rory. “Cunt.” He said matter-of-factly.

 

The young man led his boss and Colin Elmwood to the room where cases were kept before they were shipped out. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM….MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…

 

“Bloody hell, there’s no way…in the name of Christ and all God’s angels….What the hell is happening?” Rory looked around the room in disbelief at the stacks and stacks of cases, sitting waiting on pallots, ready to go onto delivery trucks that would take bottles of Albino Ghost to pubs and clubs and bars and fine restaurants. The logo, of a ghastly face with black eyes and a horrible grin, glared from boxes all around the room. The steady humming emanating from multiple directions was maddening.

 

It’s amazing how quickly some people can adjust to an uncertain future when faced with no other option than to deal with it. Rory managed to shake off his malaise. He turned to the young man, whose name was Wright, and began barking orders.

 

“Wright, find out how many cases have shipped and where they went. I want the word put out that no more shipments are to go out. Any distributors that have ordered Albino Ghost need to be refunded as soon as we ascertain just who put in orders for it. Tell them there’s a bad batch. Don’t give specifics. Nobody needs to know.” Wright nodded and said “There’s … there’s some being stored at the place where Rourke’s room was at. I think that was stuff meant to be given to folks for promotional uses or whatever you call it…I-I think Griffiths was supposed to see that it got delivered…”

 

“Well, that place is supposed to be sealed as a crime scene, isn’t it?” Colin asked. “Supposed to be,” answered Wright, but Griffiths was over there this morning, and I guess somehow he managed to get in that part of the building without disturbing the..you know…where Rourke was killed.”

 

“Cunt,” Colin said to Rory again. “What should we do?” Wright asked. “Get the list of addresses and phone numbers of all the businesses those bottles are being sent to, and see to it they all know not to open any of it.” Wright nodded and then asked the question Rory Bower didn’t want him to ask, and that question was “Is this what killed him? The Albino Ghost?” In a manner of speaking, an albino ghost was exactly what killed Rourke.

 

“Don’t worry about that, right?” Rory said to the young man. Rory dragged Colin outside and lit a cigarette. His hands were shaking. “So, you were right, and I’m a cunt, and I got Rourke killed, but nobody is ever going to believe that bollocks about fairies you keep going on about, Colin.” Colin nodded. “What I don’t understand,” said Rory, “Why haven’t any other batches been bad?” Elmwood shook his head and replied, “Maybe it’s just luck. Maybe something shifted below ground. Maybe it was just bad luck. Maybe…maybe it happened to Rourke because he was a bloody alcoholic.”

 

 

They stood there for a couple of minutes, while Rory had a cigarette, then another one. “A fairy curse.” Rory didn’t want to really believe it. “You know, the way it looked was that something somehow got into Rourke’s skull, and ate it…then when it was done, it popped out. Is that…Do you think that’s what happened?”

 

Colin’s face went white. “Exploded?” “Yeah. It was awful. There were all these little holes in the wall from the force of the bits of skull hitting it.” Colin shuddered and said,“We need to get over there. I need to see what happened” They got into Rory’s car and drove over to the storage building. As they walked in, they were struck by the smell of something awful. They found Griffiths on the floor in the front office. Apparently he’d been sampling the goods. Several bottles were unopened, but not humming. “Why the hell aren’t these humming?” Rory thought. Colin bent down gingerly, and checked for a pulse. “He’s still alive, but his breathing is erratic.” They could smell alcohol on his breath. “By all appearances he’d been drinking all day and passed out. Look, you can see where he hit his head on the floor.” said Rory. “Don’t be daft, Rory,” chided Colin. “It’s like you said…something popped out of Rourke’s head…I think the same thing is happening to this poor bastard.”

 

“What do we do with him?”  

trying

August 23, 2012

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around recent commentary made by certain Republicans running for re-election. The furor raised among members of the Republican Party is fascinating. What I find disturbing is the fact that we’ll forget our outrage in a few days and go back to ignoring the far right conservatives that want to force people’s lives in one particular direction. What I find appalling is that it takes something outrageously ridiculous and ignorant, such as an elected official saying that it takes “legitimate rape” for a woman to not get pregnant. This implies that most of the time when a woman claims she was raped and then got pregnant, she on some level enjoyed being raped…and if she enjoyed it, it wasn’t really rape. That’s the elephant in the room, which is that he is implying that if you got pregnant after being sexually assaulted, you must have enjoyed it, or at the very least it was partly consensual. 

I’m going to cite a wiki article, about rape in the Bosnian War. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_in_the_Bosnian_War

“Perpetrators told the female victims that they would bear children of the perpetrator’s ethnicity. That they would become pregnant and then be held in custody until it was too late to get an abortion.”

I would like to see a movement begin, on youtube or somewhere else, of women who became pregnant after being raped, coming forward to talk about it, to show the truth to those who are so ignorant that they would believe that it can’t happen. We can’t allow ignorance like this to fester and continue to exist.

Pro-Life

August 23, 2012

I often find it curious that people that are “pro-life” are also very often pro-war. It seems to suggest that the only thing they care about is that people are alive, without regard to the actual quality of life that people have. It’s horrifying, really. 

It’s not even that they’re pro-life. I get that. To be honest, I myself am pro-life, that is, anti-abortion. 

There’s a difference though, between myself and social conservatives, as they’re called. The difference is that I do not try to force my idea of a perfect world onto other people. You can’t do that, because there ain’t such a thing. Sure, I’m oversimplifying their thinking for purposes if expediency, but I don’t care. 

The thing I find really fascinating is the people who insist on focusing on things like sex and abortion, because of their religious views, yet they ignore other things that are equally sinful according to their religion…Where’s the outrage over slothfulness and vanity and adultery and murder and greed?

Green Skinned Monkey Love

November 24, 2011

Bring on the greened skinned love wenches!

Love is all you need

November 24, 2011

Times are kind of crappy. That’s stating the obvious, right? Of course it is. The frustrating and annoying part is that nobody is stating the obvious reasons for WHY things are crappy.

Here’s the deal: The cost of gas went up. Shot up and tripled over the 8 years Bush was in office. Personally, I blame Cheney; those backdoor energy sessions he had with people working in the Energy industry…the ones he refused to provide the transcripts for…yeah, those…I swear he was up to something.

But I digress. So, the cost of gas shot up, and then they started laying all those taxes on cigarettes, and so cigarettes shot up. So you had a large number of people who weren’t getting raises suddenly having to pay more for gas, which is a basic necessity for getting to work in the majority of the country, not to mention a necessity for transporting goods, and then cigarettes go up at the same time, so people are paying roughly 5 to six dollars for a pack of cigarettes. Sure, not everybody smokes, but if you want to establish cause for the recession, there you go. All of a sudden two things that a lot of people buy every day went up exponentially.

Here’s the fun part: Nobody’s pay rate went up…Well, not anybody at the Economic Red Line. I’m talking about the line of people making between, say, 1000 to 1500 a month.That’s a lot of people, when you think about it. Not only that, but the cost of living doesn’t stop going up either. While goods and services have gone up more slowly to avoid stickershock for people wanting something as simple as a 20 oz bottle of soda, the fact remains that the last thing to go up is people’s wages. The economy is kind of like an ecosystem. Ecosystems have what you’d call habitable zones. Generally life thrives within these zones, unless something happens to the ecosystem. Now, stay with me here, ok?

What happens in an ecosystem when something catastrophic happens? There’s inevitably less to go around, which is exactly what is happening right now. There’s more money being taken out of the economy by companies, and less being returned to employees in the form of income. I’m not being a socialist or any other -ist. I’m stating a fact. Companies are charging more for goods but not raising the pay of the most base employees, which are the majority of people in the country, and what happens when they make less money? Everybody makes less money.

I don’t have a solution other than the obvious, which is that either the Federal Government needs to put a law into effect establishing some kind of fair pay system that companies have to follow, with a maximum and minimum pay rate, or they need to put a cap on the cost of living somehow. Establish a national rent control, to keep rent from going up arbitrarily everytime you renew a lease (which, you have to admit, is an unfair practice for rental properties to engage in), maybe repeal the national gas tax temporarily…

The point is that we don’t just need jobs, we need to make more money, or pay less for goods and services, because we folks at the red ilne are having to choose between eating and buying gas, or paying bills, and it’s not getting any better unless we get some kind of relief. And let’s be honest, companies aren’t going to do it for us unless the federal government does something to compel them to do so. Sure, this may all sound a little naive, saying that the government needs to get companies to do something about paying people more money…I’m pretty sure those companies I’m thinking of make plenty to spare.

Date Night

May 3, 2011

I’m sorry

January 31, 2011

I’m sorry for eating the last of that pizza in the fridge.

I drank your last beer; sorry about that.

I also am sorry I keyed your car, knocked down your tree and pissed in the bushes beside your house during a drought. Sorry about that smell.

I’m sorry I got caught.

I’m sorry about hitting the emergency stop button in the elevator, thus making you late for work and getting you fired.

I’m sorry about that time that I smeared myself in feces, cut open your favorite down pillow, and pretended I was Frosty the Snowman. In your bed.

I’m sorry that I took the condoms in your nightstand drawer and pricked holes in the tips. Yeah, that baby may not have my eyes, but I was as much a part of his being born as you and her were.

I’m sorry about replacing all the coolwhip with watered down caulking. I didn’t even know it was possible to get it to the consistency of cool whip until I found this great website on line.

I’m sorry about pissing in your wheaties.

I’m sorry that I hit that hornets nest with the Frisbee, knocking it down not ten yards from where you were tanning in the backyard. Really, I didn’t know they were attracted to the smell of suntan lotion.

I’m sorry about that time you were on vacation, and I didn’t flush the toilet the whole week you were gone. I’m also sorry I didn’t lift the seat up that entire time. I forgot to tell you that part back then.

I’m sorry about what I put in that soda you’re drinking right now.

I’m sorry that I took all the paper clips on your desk and bent them into obscene shapes.

I’m sorry about that video of you that i posted on youtube..the one that got me banned for content…And I’m especially sorry that your mom got a link for it in one of those chain emails people send to people on their email list. In hindsight, I could have used more discretion.

I’m sorry about stealing all your shoes and burying them in the backyard.

I’m sorry I buried them in a hole next to a busted sewer line.

I’m sorry about lining your chestadrawers with tin foil, and then starting a fire. I honestly thought it would be a good way to heat the house.

I’m sorry that I’m so obsessive that I have to look at internet porn in the living room when your parents drop by to invite you to church outings. I thought they’d be okay with it since it wasn’t gay porn.

I’m sorry I emailed your parents a bunch of links for gay porn, by the way. From your email.

I am so…totally…sorry…that I dragged you out to the middle of nowhere, got a shovel out of the trunk, and made you dig a big hole. I thought it would be funny.

I’m also sorry that I left to go get cigarettes and then couldn’t find my way back to where you were.

I’m sorry you’re deathly allergic to peanut butter. Did you enjoy your nap? You know, you sleep with your mouth open.

We should probably head to the emergency room now.

I’m talking to you, mr bartender with the volume control. Yeah, you.

I know that you’re jaded and couldn’t give much of a shit about whether or not the crap those drunk chicks are playing on the jukebox is worth the baby Jesus’s shit or not. I know you don’t give a fuck about whether it’s music I’d want to listen to or not.
But, for the love of fuck, turn it down.
Seriously, when you can barely hear yourself talking, you need to turn that shit down.
Now, some people might say “well, fuck you, go somewhere else.” And I would say to those people “Go suck a dick.” I believe in a better world…a world where you can have a pint without having to listen to crap music played at levels that allow for comfortable conversations only if you’re screaming at the person next to you. You know what that’s like? It’s like..it’s like the conversational equivalent of getting that hot shit in your jock like in that scene from Revenge of the Nerds. Yes, it’s exactly like that, conversationally speaking.
So, please. Turn the music down or die in a fiery auto crash.

Fuckass.