By Joseph B. St. John
I sat alone waiting for the fright of night to begin, alone like always in the summer’s warm charm. I stared over the concrete barricades of my fortress. Putting my wildness aside for a short moment, I let the breath fill my tired lungs.
Throughout the night, I stood plastered to my personal insurrection. I pulled myself down into the basement of my old tenant house. It was the perfect place, hidden beneath the stench of the city. A small 20X20 room created especially for me. Its bare concrete walls breathed moisture throughout the room. It was my cauldron and refuge.
With the lights out, I could see the wonder of my eyes. The visions danced through my head, projecting a shockwave of memories and illusions. Memories locked from a childhood long since denied, long since forgotten, except for moments of memory. A small child locked in the closet of un-forgiveness never really sees the light of day.
In my hole, I was king, the giver of all good and bad. I never stayed long without seeing the mysteries of my mind, fantasies gone wild, totally unleashed. It scared me and thrilled me, all at the same time.
Trapped in my own environment, I watched as time slipped carelessly away. My drunken, saddened mind was gripped by fear. I stammered in horror as I tried to speak into my unconsciousness. I was a dreadful little troll living under the city streets, feeding mercilessly on the night and its inhabitants.
I loved, lusted, and craved the wildness of the street. I carefully positioned myself in every alley I could find. I waited patiently, as the night grew darker and more forbidden. I felt the excitement build like thunder, knowing I was watching them, but they could not see me.
My heart raced, as I peered deep into the hearts of mankind and saw their sad, pathetic faces. I lived for the moment of ecstasy. The moments were fantasy intermingled with life, where reality and imagination seared together in climax.
I had seen the witches dance at midnight. They thought they could not be seen, but I had seen them by the light emanating from their moon. I had seen them devour the old and young alike.
I’d stayed locked in my room waiting for the moment when the night’s dark air would shelter my existence. I moved carefully into the darkness, hoping that no one would see my wretched face in the crowd. The night’s wonder and the liquid merriment had dulled their senses. They no longer noticed the broken little man. Their minds were occupied by more important things, occupied by thoughts of long, hard nights and soft, warm desires.
I was on my way to bigger endeavors. I felt the lust spring up in the wells of my heart. I slipped unnoticed into the crevices of the city. Sitting quietly under the windows of tenant houses and flats, I heard the sounds of passionate cries. I heard the moans of lovers cut through the silence of the summer night.
Pretty girls, all of them, pretty as I had ever had the pleasure to observe. The alleys held the real story of life, the real tales to be told. And only a sad, little troll of a man could be lucky enough to see it. I spent my days in terrified anticipation of the night, but when it arrived, its passion stimulated me.
Tonight would be a special night. I had looked forward to it for months. A parade would be held at midnight, the City Council’s way of legitimizing the bastardization of its city. A night of melancholy laughter, where the whole town could paint on a happy face and pretend to be something other than themselves.
I arrived early, positioned myself behind a small mailbox and scarcely moved. The sweat on my face gave me a glistening look. The shine made me appear like a small mannequin, or so I fantasized. My large bullish head sat squarely on my shoulders and I was sure my appearance was that of a large elf. My thick, black hair fell over my eyes. I tried to smile, but the deformities of my teeth made me look rabid so I kept my mouth tightly shut. It was my appearance that made the children call me that terrible name, Bulltrogg. It caused me shame, but the name stuck and followed me.
As the crowd gathered slowly, a young lady, twenty-something, looked at me. She tried to fake a kind face, but she walked away. I enjoyed when the crowd grew larger because it was easier for me to hide. I positioned myself next to a large phone pole and knelt on one knee. Another young lady was near me. The gathering had gotten huge and the mounds of people had begun to push against one another. I took the opportunity to rub my hand against her thigh.
She looked around and I quickly stopped. If I had been caught, I’m sure I would have been beaten or mobbed. At first, she looked upset, but as she heard the first blast of the music, she quickly forgot her violation. The jazz played and danced through the atmosphere. Its sound was a strange elixir. It made otherwise sane people forget their inhibitions.
I loved to watch the young missies move to the hard beat. Their hips swayed an addicting message. I felt the excitement race through my mind. Bad girls, each and every one of them, they knew they drove me to passion. It wasn’t my fault I experienced such emotion.
Gray, sweaty men pushed through the crowd. They were there to see the savageness of the moment. They felt as I did; however, they had learned to hide their feelings. But, I could look in their eyes and see the truth, the thoughts they tried to hide so deeply.
I could see their desire to control and dominate. Those with girlfriends and wives in the audience gyrated to the music, forcing their pelvises into their lovers’ backsides. And those of us who were unfortunate and alone just sat and watched the spectacle.
The parade continued to pass and my eyes were fixated on a certain float. It depicted the scene of a voodoo princess. She was dressed in sheer veils and tied to the base of a cauldron. Above her stood two high priestesses, dressed completely in black, with a hood revealing only their delicate dark-eyes.
I was mesmerized by her beauty and helplessness. She tried to pull herself away from her captors, but she was trapped, and her dilemma was exciting to me to dizziness. I could feel the pain and humiliation of her suffering, yet I felt no sorrow. The feelings of suffering and pity for others had long since disappeared from my mind.
And, as I glanced at the wonderful, hurting sight, I noticed something strange about the thinly veiled girl. She was smiling and not only smiling but smiling at me. It left my mind perplexed. I was not sure what this could mean. I stood shocked for several minutes, but then quickly felt drawn to the float. I no longer cared if anyone saw my tragic figure. I bolted through the crowd, trying to catch up with the float.
I pushed my way through the crowd, hoping to get another glimpse of this wild child. I could feel the heat upon my neck from the crazed gathering. The smell of sex and alcohol permeated the steamy streets.
My mind ran with wild enchantment, as I stalked this dark-eyed princess. Finally, I approached the edge of the city and watched as the float made a turn down one of the many dirty side streets. I gathered my thoughts and hid quietly in the shadows. The strange display had stopped and moved away from the others. My heart raced as I watched my helpless lass struggle against her chains. Her two captors stood motionless above her, and unlike the other parade participants, they made no effort to move.
I watched gleefully at the sight. My heart moved frantically, sending blood racing out of control to my emotions. She looked helpless but still possessed a small grin upon her face.
I moved down the roadway and stooped behind a garbage can. I could see her better now. She was slender and wore a thin veil covering her body. Her body was easily distinguished underneath the garments. Her tormentors could not hide their pleasure at the situation.
The other entertainers left quickly from the alley, but my strange trio never made a move, except for my love pulling lightly at her chains. Her face never changed expression. As the road emptied, the two sentinels of the chains unlatched their prey from her post. Her chains still bound her wrists, and they controlled her every move. A black, ominous van moved toward my femme fatale. The doors opened slowly and a large man exited the vehicle. He was clothed in black and his hypnotic eyes fixed on each subject in turn. The eyes of the two high priestesses dropped, and they took a step back from the young girl.
The female, the object of my passion, suddenly appeared fearful, the small grin erased from her face. I moved closer to the light, closer to see this sorrowful siren. I no longer cared if anyone could see me. The three figures dressed in black moved back as I approached my love. She was gentler than I had ever imagined. She looked up at me with sad eyes. Her voice broke as she spoke.
“I noticed you in the crowd,” she said. “You seem like such a kind man.” My mind stopped. Her friendly words astonished me. She had not even seemed appalled by my sickly frame. She continued to speak. “Come closer. Let me see you in the light. You seem so tired and scared. Let me touch your lonely soul.”
She touched my brow lightly and slowly moved towards my face. Without a whisper or hesitation, she kissed me. My head swooned and my chest palpitated. The rush was such that I was overwhelmed and confused. She kissed me longer and harder, until my breath was no longer my own; until my mind was spinning out of control; until my mind went blank and dark.
I woke up soon after, dizzy from my desire. I heard the crowd screaming from every side. I was part of a parade. I tried to stand up but my chains pulled me back to the ground of the strange moving device. I was now chained to the awful, black cauldron. Above me stood three women dressed neatly in black. One, I recognized as my personal master. She was still smiling a sly grin. The crowd cheered wildly at my predicament. They cheered madly at the sad, little man chained forever to his vice.