The bastard owed us each 100 smackeroos, and he insists on hiding in a shack in the wilds of Leeds, where the way the trees sag and stare at you like hungry predators basking in the glow of a tableau too schizophrenic to care makes you feel smaller than Mrs. Stumple’s eyes. And not for nothing, but Mrs. Stumple’s peepers were tiny blood-shot marbles in a mound of pulpy sores and wrinkles so deep she lost hair ties in them. The boys and I were real tough cabrones, but this motherfucker was a swindler of the most diabolical order. Martin was of Pussfoot stock, from a long line of shysters and fetus oil salesman, who’d just as soon hack out your gallbladder to try to sell to the highest black-market bidder than shake your hand.
My small intestine was acting up again, so I gargled a little embalming fluid, and asked Rictus and Rigor just what we were doing gallivanting around the hungry forest when we all fucking knew Martin had way stronger curses than any of our decomposing bodies could handle.
Rigor did his typical thing, grabbing a nearby squirrel and squeezing its tiny throat until its brains exploded into his mouth with a meaty squelch. Rictus was no help, as the damn fool mouthed off to an oak, which proceeded to crack him in two like a wishbone, blood and viscera splashing over the tin roof of Pussfoot’s shack. I vowed to take Rictus’ share: the cloying carnivore would have wanted it that way.
“Fuck a duck, Pussfoot, just give us what’s owed!” I yelled into the lunatic air, tucking one of my testicles back into my body cavity.
He responded by tossing askew the front door and hurling the severed heads of six swans (tied into a sort of bloody, feathery bolo), which caught me around the legs and set me on my ass in an admittedly comical way.
I yelled at Rigor to go get Pussfoot, and if there’s one thing Rigor excels at, it’s breaking down doors. I just hoped unlike the last collection we’d made, he wouldn’t insist on tossing a toddler out a window, defenestration mixing with cries of a number of parties involved, broken glass shards and strands of Osh Kosh B’gosh.
“Ain’t got yer money!” I heard Pussfoot scream, and then, strangely, there was a stillness, as of the early morning, as of the minute after death.
I made my way into the crooked shack, and Pussfoot was chomping down on one of Rigor’s putrefied eyes, the optic nerve pulled taut as a crimson cello string. Pussfoot shook his head like an excited dog, and with an audible rip the bloody rope parted, and the son of a bitch slurped up the rest of Rigor’s eye like a piece of spaghetti.
Of course, this was when I noticed the door at the back propped open with the skull of an ox, with all the rotting naked ladies chanting, and dancing in a field of black grass, the sky a purple so dark it might as well have been eye shadow on the closed lids of a sensuous sky of a different world entirely.
They frolicked in a circle, and chanted:
You’ll never stop Pussfoot
Bleed the bodies, soak the roots
(Soak the damn roots!)
Put the meat in the stew, with the bones still in it
(With the bones!)
Leave the pot on the stove, ’cause mama’s comin’ home!
I knew what Martin was capable of, so I gave him a swift jab to the jaw, which cracked, and fell off of his face.
“Give me my damn money, Martin,” I said, and he went to draw a knife from his back pocket, so I kicked him in the gut. He vomited up worms, maggots, and Rigor’s partially digested eye. I kicked again into his stomach, and he spewed up a vanity license plate which read “Cutie”.
Now that Pussfoot was on the ground laid out, his control over my mind weakened. What were once nubile dead women now were rotted coyotes, though still on ravaged hind legs, dancing.
The bark of a command from the floor, and the coyotes turned to screech at me in unison before the door slammed shut.
Martin groaned his way up off of the uneven warped floorboards, hissing in a dead tongue with his equally dead tongue, and I felt my limbs grow heavy.
“A Pussfoot never makes good on his word,” he said with a snaggle-toothed grin, and he hocked a massive brown loogie onto my face.
With that, Pussfoot danced out of the shack, which collapsed the moment Martin stepped onto the desiccated leaves of that cold fall day.
To this day, I’ve never been able to corner Pussfoot to get the money I loaned him for that gooey lady of the evening he was so fond of.
You’re listening to the decayed mind of Massachusetts – WXXT, the station with the bad vibrations for the absolute worst of mental patients. This goes out to Gertrude Drippydrapes. My friends and I loaned Martin Pussfoot 100 bucks each so that he could shoot his fetid juices into her.
Here’s to the oldest lady of the evening in all of these great United States.
This story comes via Sean M. Thompson – a writer, I hear, and co-host of delightful podcast Miskatonic Musings. A man stopped Thompson on the side of the road last night and, with threats of cutting out his tongue, politely asked Mr. Thompson to transcribe the ongoing WXXT broadcast, and Mr. Thompson kindly obliged. The transcript has been posted here. Thank you, Mr. Thompson – and thank YOU, dear reader. Merry October.