#8: The Candy Apple Man

| November 9, 2010 | 0 Comments

I’ll be throwing up two entries today, the first of which is courtesy of my girlfriend Stephanie, as discussed over steaming hot (and delicious) soup, amidst a round of air humping. While normally I’d argue that killers without motive are far more terrifying, killers out for sympathetic vengeance are undeniably fun. Please leave a comment or three, and thanks for reading!

December, 1922.

It feels like just yesterday I was standing at the gates of the Central Park Zoo, standing like a baffoon with my hands full of candied apples and my voice echoing over the heads of the patrons. Parents who had brought their spoiled little brats to ogle the giraffes and orangutans, sitting in their own shit, boring themselves to death. Still, a man has to make an honest living. Mama showed me how to make candied apples when I was a boy, after Pa died, to try and ease the loss. I figured I could come to the big city and make a buck.

I never expected to meet Patricia. Meeting her shaped who I am today, whether that’s a good thing or bad I’ll leave for you to decide. She worked as the trainer for Hattie, the smartest elephant in the world. Every day, she’d finish her nightly routines with the beast and then stroll out the gates, happy as a clam. I envied how much joy she took from her work, especially inside a zoo that was run by men. It couldn’t have been easy for her to step all over the machismo of the brutes, taking the credit for the success of Hattie. I guess that’s probably why what happened, happened.

Folks’d come from all over the States to see Hattie perform. Patricia was responsible for all of it. She’d explained the story to me at one time, about her father’s trip to Ceylon and how he’d acquired the beast. She’d demanded to stay with Hattie when she was sold to Bill Snyder in ‘03. Of course Snyder, the rat, took all the credit for Patty’s work, and his employees followed suit. Anyhow, every day she’d walk past my apple cart flashing those big green eyes, and I finally mustered the courage to ask her out one evening. As my luck would have it, she accepted and before you knew it, we were engaged to be wed.

Boys will be boys, of course, and the news of our engagement spread throughout the zoo like wildfire in the West. Being one of ‘em, I can still never understand how a man can elevate himself above a woman but always feel like he’s got to fight for her affection. Long story short, the boys were jealous. First Patty had taken their spotlight, and now I had taken Patty. They even went so far as to put some sort of African dung in my candy brew and made the few customers I had sick as dogs. Flubbing with me was fine, but it’s what they did to Patricia that I can’t stand.

As a prank one evening a couple of months ago, they scared the holy Hell out of some of the elephants, just as Patty had finished her nightly routine with Hattie. Leaving the pen, she was trampled. Flattened like Mama’s flapjacks. Outside the walls, I barely even heard the scream. The sun went down and as old Bill Snyder came out, locking the gates, I knew something wasn’t right. He didn’t acknowledge me at all. I jumped the fence that night, and I can’t rightly recount what it is I found, as the pieces were indistinguishable from the woman I loved.

Not long after, just last month in fact, Hattie passed. The animal doctors said it was an unidentifiable illness, but I know what it was. Hattie had been with Patricia since she first arrived in the States. Living without her wasn’t manageable.

For a while there, I had considered layin’ right down next to the beast and dying myself. My wife, my love, gone, with no due justice. Bein’ a candy apple vendor isn’t exactly a respected profession; the NYPD wouldn’t give me a second glance, especially not up against a local entrepreneur like Bill Snyder. The zoo brought in thousands of tourists every summer. It was naive to think that a citizen would take precedence over the Chamber of Commerce. Realizing the futility of my case, I’m bringing matters into my own hands. I got one thing at my disposal after all, and that’s making the best damn candied apples on the island of Manhattan. But as business must, it’s got to evolve. Revolutionize. I’ve got a new recipe that’s been a hit in this dirty city.

I can’t bring back my wife, but I can make the children of her killers eat their Daddy’s hearts.

Category: Drama, Horror

About the Author ()

Joey is a writer and hoarder of nerd things from New England, currently living existence outside of New York City. He often attends rhythmic ceremonial rituals and gambles away his hard earned money. Currently he’s working on his first novel while creating comics and developing the social writing website Social Pulp, which will be going live by the end of the year. He also serves as the Comics Channel Editor for the major pop culture website CraveOnline. You can find him on Twitter, or e-mail him a lengthy diatribe voicing your utter disgust.

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