Conversation Pieces VII: Helter Skelter
By: Wayne Brown
(Writer’s Note: For those of you who have not read any of the vignettes in my series, “Conversation Pieces”, I urge to go back and start at the beginning and read all of seven of them. They are all stand alone pieces but are all written in the manner of inserting myself into the character portrayed and offering up only the one side of the conversation taking place. In doing so, I create a slightly different set of circumstances for each reader’s imagination.)
“Let me out of here,” I say to no one in particular. It is a phrase I have repeated for hours on end now. I sit in the cold darkness of this padded, locked keep somewhere deep in the bowels of an asylum in which I have been incarcerated for many years now. My arms are bound around my sides and buckled tightly to my back with the straight jacket employed to keep me from doing physical harm to myself. I scream the phrase once more knowing that no one is coming to my aid but hoping someone will be irritated to no end by my unceasing rant.
“How does a man come here?” One might wonder as he watches my pitiful ranting in the darkness of this foam-padded, mental hell. A man comes here because he fails to convince those who judge him that he is of sound mind and reason. A judge and jury find that he is unfit for mental reasons to stand trial for the crimes against humanity for which he was accused. His ability to defend himself washes down the drain with that judgment. He is no longer accused but guilty of his crime although subject to a different form of punishment.
“Can you imagine how it feels to have all about you believe that you are insane?” Every word that emanates from your being comes forth with caution lest you be perceived even crazier than you were first declared. It is not just the judge and the jury. No my friend, once the judgment is issued even the lawyer who was hired to defend you is nodding his head in agreement. The doctors, nurses, aides, every single soul looks at me with those eyes that say, “We know you are crazy and we know you are a killer too.”
My only joy for the years that I have been here is knowing the fear in their hearts when they remind themselves that I have killed; that I have directed and controlled others to kill; that I have taken the lives of begging men, beautiful women, and yes, even that of an unborn child. I look straight into their eyes deep into their souls and I feel their fear. I feel their heart tremble knowing that I am capable of killing, knowing that I have had the experience and am capable of the act. I see them sweat a bit as they come close in their work. I hear them pray for their own welfare.
There are those among you who might describe me as the most feared man alive today. You have witnessed the cruelty of my work splashed upon the pages of newspaper print. You have seen the pictures of the bloody walls with names and phrases scrawled in the red, dripping ink of life. You have seen those who listen to my rants and followed me into the mouth of hell. You have seen those things and it makes you cold inside so much so that you must turn away. It is a coldness that can only be felt in death yet I bring it to you in this life. It’s no wonder I am feared.
Some say that I am living proof of the existence of Satan. For all I know they may be right, but I have no proof of that fact. Yes, men and women have followed me and acted under my direction in the most gruesome, sordid ways. Yes, I have exercised the power of death over innocent people and laughed in the face of authority when accused of the ugly act. Yes, I have tormented the souls of men, women, and children with the fear I bring upon their hearts. Just the mention of my name is enough to start it all again. Though the years past have been many, the mention of my name, the image of my face, strikes ice cold fear in the souls of all who encounter it.
Of course you might wonder what a man of such great powers that I possess is doing allowing the chains of the common people to hold me in their keep. Why do I not throw off the chains and make my escape into the night? One can only wonder. Never doubt that I can. I am quite capable of that act just like all the others that I have carried out in the past. But I also reserve the right and the judgment as to when that act will be exercised though you can rest quite assured that it will. It will come in due time. But only after I have let the hands of common man rend its tortures on me to such a degree that my rage is at such a burning crescendo that the flame of hate will surely never die. And then, and only then, will I perform the act.
Mankind will eventually pay for the deeds it has laid at my feet. One day, you people will realize that you must try a man for his crimes and you must punish the man to the extent of his crimes. I expected no less yet I find myself declared a crazy man and cast into a darkness isolated from my fellow man by the mark of insanity placed upon my head. I am seen as unable to reason; incapable of showing my deep intelligence; unable to have a simple conversation. For, you see, I have been declared insane and incapable by the cowardice of common man.
For you see my friends, I appear but a mortal in this aging body of a man. But deep within it lives the ugliness and rage of the hellhounds of the earth. Once unleashed of these bonds, my anger will burn upon your souls and I will watch each and every one of you burn in the eternal fires of hell while I scrawl your name on the walls of dungeons with the dripping blood of your own body. The fact that I said it makes it so, for I am Charlie Manson, giver of life and death.
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