Welcome to The Dark Side, a place where the brilliance of other independent authors casts a weird, grim and sometimes terrifying shadow. This is a place where your hopes and dreams must be left tethered outside, it’s a place of screaming emptiness that will try to drown the essence of your very soul and where marriage to an accountant might begin to feel like a good idea. This is not for the young and immature, it’s not for the weak or the fearful and it’s not for those who still believe in hope. Enjoy.

Felix Makes a Friend

T.W. Reidy. 2009

Felix Lipscomb doesn’t get out much.

Down in the basement of a solid brick ‘n stone home, tucked away quietly amongst hundreds just like it all the way down 75’th Avenue, across LaFollette Blvd, and up ‘n down endless middle class blocks of Milwaukee, Felix spends his days playing with his Lionel train set.

 

He sits on the floor, watching the little locomotive go ’round ‘n ‘round ‘n round ‘n round on the iron track.

 

Old black ‘n white cartoons show constantly with the volume turned way down. Ever since the large television set was first plugged in over ten years ago it never turns off, the channel never changes and no commercials ever interrupt the animated comedic tragedies playing on the screen.

 

Irving Lipscomb, Felix’s only grandfather, had the house built back when 75’th Avenue was still vacant grass ‘n dirt on 2 out of every 3 lots.

 

The house is built with money great-grandfather Vincent and his bride Estelle acquire in some kind of shady … ‘land-for-labor’ … deal back in pre-war Europe.

 

The truth about where all that money comes from is always fuzzy … where exact details of the story blur with whomever is telling it.

 

But it generally involves Vin & Estelle maneuvering some ancestral lands into government hands, and quite possibly the people living on those lands as well.

 

Perhaps not sold into a traditional slavery exactly, maybe more of a modern version of human bondage, some form of indentured worker status.

Maybe something far worse.

No one could, or would, ever say with certainty.

Most certainly though, it is not the will of the people living on the land, many whose families have lived and worked on those lands since the days of Charlemagne, to be included in the transaction no differently than the trees, stones and mud also living scattered across the land.

 

The money to build that solid 75’th Avenue American dwelling is absolute blood money to some, uncertain at best to others, and yet decidedly well earned in the minds of a few others, like Irving Lipscomb.

 

Irving allows the disturbing stories he overhears as a kid, things new families arriving from the old-world whisper about his parents, to become sensationalized, romantic, glorified tales in his mind.

 

To Irving, it is simply Vin & Estelle’s new-world pluck and other people’s old-world bad-luck, that has brought about the Lipscomb family fortune in America.

 

Too fucking bad.

There are winners.

There are losers.

Then … just like now.

 

This is how the young Irving Lipscomb views the world.

When he looks at his parents, he sees winners.

Or at least he never reconciles with … or confronts … the possibility that his family’s fortune has been built up in some very dark pockets of life.

And so, little Felix Lipscomb, Irving’s only grandchild, sits down in the basement with his Lionel train set, quietly passing through childhood without much discomfort, challenge, or interaction with other children.

 

Felix goes to school when he is of age, but never makes any friends.

He gets through his studies only with the help of a private tutor, arranged for him by his parents and who becomes, in fact, Felix’s only real connection to the outside world at large.

 

At age 18, Felix leaves home with some very unusual thoughts as to how a person might live.

 

His parents arrange for him to have some money each month, and with the help of his former tutor, now an elderly gentleman, Felix finds a place to live in a rather seedy neighborhood of Milwaukee.

 

He even begins to go out, at night.

Felix wants to satisfy new curiosities … strange urges that seem to be growing inside of him like wild fungus.

 

His former tutor assures Felix that whatever he is feeling … is perfectly natural.

He tells Felix that he is sure to meet people who will like him, and with whom he might enjoy himself … if he tries.

So Felix tries.

 

He goes out to various nightspots, bars and clubs in the rundown part of Milwaukee he is living in.

Sure enough, Felix soon meets some other folks with whom he feels he can get along with and have a good time.

He never made any friends in school, so these first social relationships are very important to Felix.

He wants people to like him.

Felix meets a guy named Jeff … the two become fast friends.

Jeff spends a lot of time at Felix’s place.

They generally have a good time together.

Jeff sometimes likes to bring young men back to Felix’s house and have a party with them, more often than not coaxing the boys into some kind of sex with him.

 

Felix does not care for this type of behavior.

He simply is not aroused by other men.

Felix does not want to upset his friendship with Jeff though, so he rarely mentions the kinky goings on between Jeff and his young men, which seem to Felix to be occurring with ever more frequency.

 

One night, Felix comes back home.

Jeff is already there, with a new young friend.

 

Felix tries to be casual about the whole thing … he opens fresh bottles of beer for all of them.

After a period of time though, Felix is unable to keep his displeasure to himself.

He walks into the room where Jeff and his new boyfriend are playing around.

Felix politely asks the boy if he would please come into the kitchen with him.

When Jeff follows a few minutes later, he cannot believe what he sees.

Felix has the boy tied up with some old kitchen twine … and is calmly at work cutting off the boy’s genitals with a paring knife.

He stuffs a dishrag down the boy’s throat, so as to silence any screams.

After he has whittled away the boy’s genitals, Felix begins to cut off parts of his face.

First, with a large carving knife, he slices the boy’s nose clean off.

Amidst gushing blood, Felix reaches into the boy’s mouth, pushes the dishrag deeper down his throat and then pulls out a tongue … stretching it as far as it will go.

Without any bothersome nose in the way, Felix knows the boy is now able to look down with a good view of the outstretched tongue.

Using the serrated bread knife this time, Felix slowly cuts through this outstretched tongue, starting way back deep in the mouth so as to get as long and thick a slice of tongue as possible … like cutting off a nice, big piece of ham to make a sandwich.

Felix gazes with a look of wonder and astute curiosity into the boy’s screaming eyes.

Then, switching back to the small paring knife, he carefully carves the left eye from out its socket … until the testicle sized eyeball finally flops out from the boy’s face … falls to the kitchen floor … and rolls away slowly until it disappears b’neath the refrigerator.

The boy’s right eye is wild lightning … pinballing in uncontrollable spasms around the socket … occasionally shooting out a moment of piercing recognition into Felix.

Staring straight back into the eye of that hurricane, Felix carefully picks up the serrated bread knife again. . . and severs the boy’s left ear from its head.

Felix steps back.

He pauses … and again carefully gazes, now into the boy’s remaining eye.

It rolls about violently, in berserk spasms.

 

“If eyes are truly the window to a person’s soul,” Felix thinks to himself,

“then this boy has one fucked-up soul.”

Felix glances over at Jeff, as if his thoughts are being spoken out loud … arching his eyebrows so as to make it look like he is asking Jeff a serious philosophical question.

Felix goes back to the little paring knife again to shuck the boy’s remaining window from its frame. . . like a juicy oyster from its shell.

Jeff stands by in horror.

He has never seen such a thing.

He has no idea what to do … or even how to think.

But he allows Felix to continue.

That he does.

Felix cuts the boy up into bloody chunks of human meat.

He and Jeff wrap the biggest pieces in plastic … and put them in Felix’s freezer.

Fingers ‘n feet ‘n what is left of the boy’s head are also wrapped up and stored away in the refrigerator/freezer unit.

Felix and Jeff remove some of Felix’s leftover tuna casserole … and a box of frozen popsicles … in order to make enough room.

The two of them stand there in Felix’s bloody kitchen, each sucking on a popsicle.

There isn’t much to talk about.

Suddenly Jeff gets a strong urge to leave and never come back.

He isn’t entirely sure what or how he feels … about his new friend’s left eyeball already forgotten under the refrigerator … about Felix Lipscomb … or himself … but he isn’t sure he really likes it … any of it.

So, Jeff quietly leaves through the front door. Felix and Jeff never see one another again.

Felix continues to live in that same house for a few years.

Jeff must have moved to a different part of town though because Felix never runs into him again at any of their usual nightclubs or bars.

 

When Jeff is arrested many years later, Felix, like everybody else across the country, reads about it in the newspapers and sees it all over the television news.

Felix however, is not shocked like the rest of the country by the story of Jeff’s grisly deeds.

Jeff always seemed somewhat … unstable … to Felix … a bit … unpredictable.

It takes Felix over a year and a half to consume all the meat wrapped up in his refrigerator/freezer unit.

He feels nothing unusual about eating that boy.

It is just something one can do, if they so choose.

Like learning to play the cello.

Or wearing brown shoes.

He eats him in various creative recipes, some of which are absolutely delicious.

Felix even serves Jeff’s friend to guests at a few dinner parties he hosts.

When Jeff is killed in prison with a long wooden broom handle … Felix feels a twinge of satisfaction.

After all, he thinks, Jeff might be somewhat unstable, even unpredictable at times, but Jeff is a pretty decent guy otherwise.

 

Felix doesn’t like to think of truly bad people having to suffer any kind of judgement or punishment at the hands of society.

 

He likes it better if the really bad people in life are never exposed … but every now ‘n again a halfway decent guy like Jeff is brought out into the spotlight for a public slaughter.

Jeff’s killing in the prison kitchen, is like necessary correction to an imbalance in the universe.

 

It somehow makes things feel right to Felix.

It feels good.

Felix is happy.

After Jeff’s arrest, dozens of journalists, writers, weirdos, and opportunists of every type swarm all over Milwaukee.

They are, each one, hoping to interview people from Jeff’s life.

Trying to discover something as yet unknown about Jeff’s younger years … wanting to paint a clear picture of this ordinary looking bespectacled man … whom many now see as an inhuman beast.

Folks around Milwaukee are unnerved.

People want to know how such things even occur.

They want answers.

They need explanations.

It all seems too incredible … to be real.

What could possibly make someone do … what Jeff has been doing for some time now?

No one comes knocking … on Felix Lipscomb’s door.

No investigators. No detectives.

No serious journalists … or sensationalist reporters.

No celebrity T.V. interviewers.

No reality television producers.

Nobody.

If they did, Felix might tell them what he thinks about Jeff, and the gruesome, horrific things Jeff has done in the years since they parted ways.

He might tell ’em a few other things too.

But no one ever knocks … on Felix Lipscomb’s door.

Felix continues to live in that same part of Milwaukee.

He is older now.

He still likes to play with his Lionel train set.

The old black ‘n white cartoons never stop playing on the same television set … with the volume turned way down.

It never changes channels.

It never turns off.

Felix gets out sometimes.

He has a few acquaintances.

But he has never really had another friend …

since that night … when Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer walked away.

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