Byron spent the remainder of the morning and most of the afternoon working on his story. Six hours of work and twelve quality pages to show for it. Even he was impressed with himself. A page an hour was normally his limit. For some reason the words were flowing more easily than usual today. Looking it over there was hardly a need for much editing. Occational corrections in punctuation but not much more. Not a single spelling error, fragmented sentence or grammatical error. He was, as that silly saying went, on a roll.
He was presently looking over a line he just typed out, one that finished this fine days work. The discription of a slain adultress, his stories first victim’s corpse as found at the murder scene. He read it aloud as if attempting to impress an unseen audience.
“And there on her perfectly manicured front lawn, under the pale beams of the full moon the once sultry form of Irene Burns lay. Legs spread wide, her arms outstretched, mimicking a position she often occupied in life.”
He chuckled and nodded approving. “Oh that is marvelous. Just perfect.”
Content with what he read, he slipped the page into a manuscript binder with the rest of the days pages and set it aside.
It was close to five o’clock pm eastern time. Just an hour before the local news came on, bringing with it more bits of local humor. Then later, a special treat. It being halloween month horror movies were out in force. You could not turn on the television after dark without some gruesome slasher film or supernatural thriller making the airways. That suited Byron fine.
Horror movies were a perfect venue for studying the stupidity of people. Most critics considered actors in these films unrealistic.
“What person”, they protested, “would go investigating a noise when they knew danger was present?”
Byron countered these remarks, proclaiming, as he once had in one of his harsher essays that the majority of people were tainted with the belief they were invincible. Horrible things could happen to others but not to themselves. That combined with natural curiousity overcoming common sense made the actions taken by horror movie performer perfectly plausible. All of which further justified in Byron’s mind his negative feelings toward his fellow man. Idoicy ruled supreme.
Tonights features he had noted were Dog Soldiers and one of the more gruesome Friday the 13th films. The former was basically the preditor storyline with a surpringly well performed werewolf twist. The latter featuring a zombie in a hockey mask who enjoyed slicing annoying teenagers into meatsauce with a machete. Obviously, these beasts had dealt with the same people Byron had growing up. A few of them certainly deserved such a fate. Well, perhaps not that extreme. Byron was bitter, but not quite that bitter.
These type of films in Byron’s opinion were healthy for the humanoid psyche. A good way to rid the lowbrow spirit of violent urges through vicarious exposer. Better them cheering on movie killers than becoming ones themselves. Of course other less nimble minds disagreed.
His train of thought was broken by the ringing of his phone. He wondered who would be calling him now. The only people that ever called him were his housekeeper and employers. He had a private unlisted number and a service that carefully screened his calls. Even the remaining members of his mostly sad excuse for a family could not reach him by phone. So it had to be one of the dozen or so people he knew professionally.
He picked up the reciever, cradling it between his shoulder and tilted head. The soft female voice on the other end spoke of his faxed story and for a horrible moment he thought the speaker to be that twit girl that sent his story out for him this morning. Dear heavens, he had a stalker on his hands. Somehow he knew beneath that shapley frame and comely face something unsavory was hiding.
Then the woman at the other end continued and finally he realized it was Madison Daniels who owned the magazine with whom he was currently dealing. He listened to her prattle on trying to muster whatever pleasentness still exsited under his usual grim exterior. One needed to be nice to employers. They wrote those lucrative checks. And those checks enabled Byron to maintain his precious seclusion.
“I’m pleased you like what you’ve read so far, Madison.” He offered in response. “I trust following chapters will be equally well recieved.”
Her fine review of his popularity was hardly a suprise. His method of writing never seemed to go out of style. Everyone from Charles Addams to George Carlin made a name for themselves in social satire. For reasons Byron could not fathom the public enjoyed hearing what an insipid system they had created. Still it was nice to hear he had lost his touch with his readers. Particularly by Madison.
Granted, she was somewhat tainted by her exposer to the masses, but was she not the acquiescent type. He recalled her as a fiercely independent woman. That willingness to think for herself enabled her rise above stardard lemming behavior so predominant in society. Byron could respect that. Or he could until the conversation shifted to Chocolate enemas.
“Yes, I saw a snipet about that on the news this morning.” He was going to stop there but could not help himself. “And I thought my country was overloaded with morons. I mean really, Madison, I can’t even imagine the base collection of dolts that would submit to that. And to actually pay good money for it. After all, my dear isn’t chocolate suppose to come out that end and not enter it? Surely only a lout would try something that. Don’t you agree?”