Monday, 5 March 2012

Meet Lister Kane

Here comes the bogeyman dressed in black…

    I’m Lister, Lister Kane and I am the bogeyman; I say ‘the’ in the sense that I am the one and the only one bogeyman in the world. I am evident in every culture, in every corner of the world there will be a story, a legend, a myth regarding a man, a man who will take naughty children and punish them, in some cases eating their flesh and gnawing on their bones. I’m not denying this, we all have to begin somewhere but what we begin as we do not necessarily remain and so here I am to tell you my story, the story of Lister Kane.

    I was a child once, I was conceived and I was carried and I was born but the world I was born into was vastly different that the world today, in fact it could have been an entirely different planet but no such look, I was simply born during another time, a time of witches and hunters, of famines and village devouring diseases, the date of my birth: 31st October 1587.  My mother died during child birth and my daddy hated me, he despised me and so on my 6th birthday he abandoned me, I don’t mean that he died, I mean he walked away one day and never looked back. I was left in a crumbling home, in a village being ravaged by a disease of no name and no cure; so there I was alone, no food, no friends and possibly going to die.  I watched the villagers drop one by one, bodies piled up, no one would come to help for fear of the death and those who were no taken by illness starved to death, I was quickly becoming the latter. I had exhausted my supply of food, I had even ventured into the homes of the dead, where others would not and took their food; now desperate for food I wandered into the surrounding woodland, it was the dead of winter, snow was knee high and fell still, in thick, soft flakes, I had not only taken food from the dead but also furs and blankets, they no longer had a need for them but I did. I had wrapped so many blankets around me that I resembled a boy six times my size, I waddled along, struggling in the snow, my feet frozen and my finger tips turning blue, I found berries that tasted bitter and washed the taste away with snow, I chewed on twigs and bark; I had hoped to chance across a dead rabbit or hare or even a bird fallen from the sky but I found none, I walked deeper and deeper, the day grew dark and finally the snow ceased to fall.

     I began to give up, tired, my legs protesting, I sat on a fallen tree, the collected snow melted with my body heat, soaking through the layers of blankets, I shivered, my stomach growled and gurgled; I wanted to sleep and had begun to allow my eye lids to fall shut when I saw it; a crow. A jet black crow as big as a small feline, it pecked and clawed at the ground, jabbing and pulling at something buried beneath the snow. I shed a few of my blankets, no more awake than I had been when I had sat down, I crept, a stolen knife in my small hands, toward the unassuming bird; had I been able to see my path beneath the snow I may have taken the bird however I stumbled on a large boulder buried beneath the white blanket and was sent sprawling through the air, I landed close to the bird which fled into the sky something hanging from its beak. I was angry, I flung the stick into the air after it, my ankle ached where it had caught the stone and my front was soaked through. I was ready to give up, return to my broken home when my curiosity called me back, back to whatever the crow had been so enthralled by. When I looked down into the hole created by the crow, I saw a nose, a blue tinged nose, an empty eye socket, I dug frantically, my fingers ached by the time I had cleared enough snow to see who was beneath, my father.

     I had never expected to see him again, I believed that  he would have found a new home by now, he was happy, safe but he was not, he had fallen in the woodland, lame and starving, when the first snow had fallen he had frozen to death; I will be honest I did not cry a tear for him, I did not mourn for him, I hated him, I was happy that he had died in the woodland like an animal it was more than he deserved, in my opinion. I was now ready to return home, still hungry but now a little happier than I was when I set out I turned and took a step but was again pulled back by something by the crow. I thought about what the crow had been doing, eating, it had been using my father as a source for food, why couldn’t I do the same. It may seem strange to eat human flesh but when you are so starving, so cold anything will suffice; I scrapped back snow until I found his lower body, his stomach and legs, it took me a while to saw through the frozen flesh which had been preserved by the weather, but when I had I held in my hand a thick piece if stomach flesh, pale and white on the outside but deep red on the inner, I sucked it into my mouth, it tasted of iron as it melted on my tongue and once I had consumed it I felt satisfied, a cut more and more from the body washing it down with snow, compared to what I had been eating it tasted like heaven. Once I had had my fill, rather than leave the body to the wildlife, I cut as much meat as I could, packed it in snow and carried it back to my village in one of the blankets. There were so few people left that no one noticed, if they did they didn’t care what I was doing, most were fleeing or dying and so I was left alone. 
     I had enough meat to last me 1 whole month, with 1 meal a day, I still evaded the death that had befallen the rest of my village which had fallen empty, dead bodies were buried beneath snow and home were left to rot but I was thriving, the only thing, I grew tall and stronger, I had never before in my six years felt to good; then the food ran out, I began to feel hunger quickly, hunger like I had never felt before, I felt ravenous there was no food left, no meat, nothing but my body was screaming to be fed, I foraged berries and foliage but nothing dampened my hunger I needed meat, I wanted flesh. In my desperation I turned to the dead buried beneath the snow, their diseased limbs turned my stomach but my mouth still watered at the thought of flesh, of thick red meat. I was just about to slice into a body when I heard a voice calling for any sign of life, I turned to see a man, he pulled a horse behind him, he was tall and thick haired but most notably he was alone. My stomach growled in anticipation, I stood hiding the knife behind my back, leaving the rotten flesh of the dead, I moved toward my next meal.  

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