31 October, 2016

Halloween in the Hoosegow III: Fresh Blood

Rain claws my window as October's final light, shocking crimson, bleeds away. I am too intent on the task at hand to be distracted by Nature's fit, and barely notice when a crash of thunder tears the air outside. Tonight's operation is urgent and nearing its tantalizing end.

Chunks of once-living tissue are piled in the bowl at my elbow. I work my instrument — quick, deft incisions — through the green flesh on my workspace, transferring each sliver to the vessel containing the others, pieces destined to soon be hungrily devoured. My hands are slicked in their briny fluid. The scent is ripe and thick in the close atmosphere of the cell. Each excision makes me salivate a little more.

I turn, retrieving a second pouch, tearing it open and letting its contents, like small discolored eyeballs, roll onto my worktop, then resume cutting olives.

For years, the monstrous, unholy feast of Halloween night has been a rite I observed alone. Certain circumstances separated me from my longtime cohort, Zach, but the ritual's draw was more powerful than solitude, and I pressed on, constructing my cyclopean heaps of nachos — impossible for any mortal man to altogether consume — for myself. It was not always easy. The pendulous burden of so much refried beans, cheese, shredded chicken, picante sauce, olive slices, and ranch dressing laid to rest on a wide plot of tortilla chips was often nigh on too much for my body and soul to bear. Some nights I pushed away from the piles of it, gasping, fingers smeared with evidence of my atrocious hunger, and felt a sulfurous flare from the Abyss belch out of my throat, demonic and fulminant, then resumed my ravenous feasting.

Tonight, though — tonight will be different. Mine will not be the only constitution tested by this ritual of gross overconsumption.

My youthful initiate is named Brett. He came to me wearing innocence on his face, all wholesomeness, but I saw within him an emptiness, a kinship. Beneath Brett's aura of good health and respectability, a voracious beast-man, kept under psychic lock and key, howled and grasped for hot, melty, fatty cheese food product over corn chips. He'd read foul texts on my impious All Hallows Eve exploits. His curiosity about them was not idle.

In the weeks leading to tonight, Brett became my willing acolyte, and under my tutelage subjected himself to the fell rituals: Hersheys bars with Hellraiser, jelly beans with The Shining, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups with It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Brett is as prepared as any man could be. I have shown him the ways. Tonight he will prove himself.

Lightning shatters the gloom as a knock — a barely-there rapping — comes at the steel door. The look in exposes his fear at what he will see. I tell him he will have to stanch that timidity, standing aside so his widening eyes can apprehend this year's creation splayed across the surface where I've been toiling.

A profane word escapes his lips, further language beyond reach. Before such an abomination as I have made, its unspeakable dimensions, its colors beyond description, all utterances are meaningless. This way, dear reader, lies madness.

Brett hands me what he's brought: an icy Pepsi. I crack it open and the insanity begins.


  1. Happy belated Halloween Byron! I read your blog from Pennsylvania and pray that you will get out of there one day. Hope you have a great day!

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  3. Sounds like you had a swell time! I went to a costume party as Amanda Palmer (between Dresden Dolls and her solo career) held by a few friends. I should send photos soon. Alas I did not get to see the Charlie Brown special. I've been binge watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Hope you had loads of fun and loads more nachos!


Byron does not have Internet access. Pariahblog.com posts are sent from his cell by way of a secure service especially for prisoners' use. We do read him your comments, however, and he enjoys hearing your thoughts very much.