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La Bonne Vie

By: John Clifton Gardiner October 2005

The lighting flashed in the distance illuminating the graveyard. Nurse Melody walked up a slight hill. She was holding a large butcher's knife covered in blood. She had on a white nurses outfit with a very mini skirt. Her
outfit was completed by a pair of red high heeled shoes. Her hair was black, and poofing, almost a beehive, complete with a nurses hat on top. Maniacal obsession twisted her beautiful face. Blood was splattered on her white apron. She wiped a small amount of blood from her cheek. "That should take care of things quite nicely." She said to no one in particular. Another flash of lightning, briefly lit up a large old mansion, that looked more haunted house, than quiet country home. Thunder rumbled in the distance. "The House Of Mystery! I've been away far too long. Just imagine the look of surprise on my beloved Cain's face as he see's the present I've brought him." She said holding up a piece of scalp with an ear attached. There was
a bit of long brown hair still attached. She laughed manically with a just a hint of dementia thrown in.

The House Of Mystery far away from the waking world. Situated right on the borderline between waking, and dreaming. Inside the House Of Mystery Cain sits by the fireplace sipping a quality traditional French Cognac. Cain's age is a mystery unto itself. The first born son. He is slightly elongated, and anorexic. His hair is brown with a v-shape on his forehead that has wings that look more like horns. Tiny John Lennon glasses perched on his long nose. He is wearing a deep green smoking jacket, and a pair of long black slacks that end in bellbottoms. On his feet are a nice pair of black slippers. As he smiles he reveals sharp pointy teeth.

"Comfy?" He asked, as he held up the brandy snifter, looking at the flames through the glass.

Tied to a chair next to the fire was the senior vice-president, and creative director of DC comics Richard Bruning. Abel walked into the room. He was carrying a tray filled with various hors douvres.

"Here Richard why don't you try one of these pigs in the blankets. They are absolutely fabulous. I made them myself. They are really quite easy to make, you just take a crescent roll, and cut each crescent roll square into 4 pieces, wrap a cocktail weenie, and OWWW!!!" Abel yelped as Cain bashed him in the head with a walking cane, that had a large gold gargoyle for a handle. Abel dropped the tray food flying everywhere. Abel was a sharp contrast to Cain. Short where Cain was tall, Thick, pudgy, chunky while Cain was thin, long, sleek. Short black hair as opposed to Cain's long brown hair. Abel was wearing a pair of olive colored pants too short
in length. his black socks showed way too much. He was wearing a red shirt that had food stains on it, and a dirty lime green jacket that was so dirty it looked like he had been rolling around in the dirt. His shoes were old brown, and worn out. His big toe on his left foot making an appearance.

"Silence. You are diluting my point. I didn't bring Richard all the way out here to trade recipe SECRETS, you CRETIN!" Cain said.

"No, I'm tired of your incessant bullying." Abel said standing up defiantly. "From this day on, I am sticking up for my rights around here." he continued, while Cain turned his back to Abel and poked the red hot coals of the fire with the gold gargoyle end of his walking cane. In seconds it started to glow red hot.

"Just let me pick these up. they are still quite edible, three second rule, you know." Abel said as he picked up the hors douvres.

"You've heard plenty about the mark of Cain." Cain said to Richard, who watched helplessly. "well hear is a variation on the theme." He continued, as he pressed the gargoyle to Abel's forehead. There was the sickening sound of flesh burning, as Abel screamed. Abel flung himself at Cain. The suddenness of the attack caught Cain by surprise. The two rolled around on the floor. For a brief moment Richard wasn't quite sure which would prevail, until Cain's hand reached out, and found his cane. He began to bash Abel in the head, over, and over until the room turned a scarlet haze. Cain stood over the body of his brother Abel.

"Give me a hand disposing of this body, won't you?" Cain asked Richard, while he adjusted his glasses, and smiled showing off his white pointy teeth.

"Really, I would love to be of help, but I'm all tied up at the moment." Richard said with a weak smile. Cain grabbed Abel by the ankles, and dragged his body into the foyer. Leaving a thick trail of blood behind. Cain
picked up his brandy snifter, miraculously unbroken, some of the Couvosier still left in the bottom. Cain flipped his chair back over, and sat down.

"Now Richard, where were we. Oh, yes I would like to tell you a story. It's a real hoot." Cain said. Suddenly the door to the study flew open, and a wild eyed Nurse Melody entered the room, as lightning flashed behind her.

"Why Nurse Melody, what a pleasant surprise. Do come in, pull up a chair. I was about to tell my guest, Little Ricky here a story." Cain said.

"Why thank you Master Cain." She said. "Oh yes here I got this for you." Nurse Melody said handing Cain the ear.

"Well, well this looks mighty familiar. Poor Aclima, I'd say that I would miss her, but she really has been getting on my nerves. Just like good ole Abel. Tell you what, after I've finished my story we'll dig a nice big
double grave, nothing like a burial at midnight!" Cain said.

Melody shivered in delight. Cain got up, and poured Melody some of the cognac."Tonight's tale is the tale of Madboy Orton. You have heard of Madboy haven't you Richard?" Cain asked. Richard didn't answer. He was staring at Nurse Melody's ample bosom. Cain rapped Richard on the knee with his cane.

"Owww!!!!" Richard yelped.

"Now really Richard, I'm not going to tell you a story unless you PAY ATTENTION!" Cain said. Nurse Melody sipped her cognac, wide eyed with anticipation. "Madboy Orton's real name is Boyton Bartholomew Orton. As my story begins we see the outside of lovely Arkham Asylum. Did you know that Amadeus Arkham had the Arkham Asylum built way back in 1920. Cain started laughing uncontrollably. The funny thing is he went mad himself, and died imprisoned there. Don't you love happy endings, ah but I digress. Let's see, where was
I...oh yes, Patricia Williams, and Madboy are standing at the front gates. Madboy although now in his late fifties looks every bit of twenty, except for several gray streaks that run through his black hair. He is tall, and thin. His hair is shoulder length, and scraggly. It sticks out in every direction. His nose is long, and hooks downward. He has very thin lips. There is a darkness under his eyes, as if they were in shadow, even in the brightest light. His legs seem too long for his body. His knees stick out awkwardly. He is wearing the same black suit that he wore for his trial, forty years ago. Only now it has holes in it, moth-eaten. See how he smiles, just like the Cheshire cat.

Patricia Williams hands him the white plastic bag that contains his belongings. A handful of pumpkin seeds, one red marble, and a small grey rabbits foot. Patricia is one of the asylums administrators. She is young, and quite beautiful. Lovely blonde hair wraps downwards around her face. Her eyes look like they are almost too big for her face. She has been lobbying for years for the release of Madboy. Yes he brutally murdered his parents, and sister, yes he chopped them up, and ate them. Yes he killed several unlucky traveling salesman. Yes he murdered his neighbors. Yes he was caught, and sentenced to life in Arkham, and yes he has served forty years of his sentence.

Now you should know, that not once did he do anything wrong while at Arkham. He would just sit, and talk to his one true love, his sister, whose ghost follows him around. Of course no one else can see or hear her. So anyway, after years of board reviews, and hearings, really due to overcrowding (Cain held his hand up to his mouth, and whispered to Nurse Melody) "thanks to the bat, the decision was made to release him." The only condition is that the shapely young Ms. Williams would check on him from time to time, and so would the Gotham police. Thus Madboy was a free man.

"You need to start off on the right foot. do you want some money?" Patricia asked

"No thanks, I don't need money. All I need is to be left alone, to go live at home with my parents, and my sister. I'm going to have fun. No it's none of you're business, we will talk about that later right now I am saying goodby to Patty. No I DO NOT love her more than you. You're just being paranoid, really Malicia." Madboy said.

Patricia ignored this last bit. She had gotten quite used to hearing him talking to his dead sister. "Do you want to take a bus, or can I give you a lift?" Patricia asked.

"No I'm a gonna get walking, what? Why should I ride with her? I want to see the city, see the changes. Oh, alright... Don't throw a tantrum. I'll do what you want. Malicia wants me to get a ride with you. She thinks you should see my home." Madboy said smiling.

"Well it's about an hour drive from here, I'll have to stop, and get some gas. We can take the bridge through Old Gotham, out to your house. It's up in the woods of Robinson Park isn't it? Patricia said while fishing around her small black bag for her car keys.

"Will the gas station have candy corn?" Madboy asked looking at the dark, overcast sky for the first time in many, many years.

"They might, most of them have a section with candy in little bags, you know like two for a dollar or something." Patricia said. she walked over through a gate towards a long dark parking lot that ran down the side of the asylum. A cold breeze began to blow. Patricia's car was an old beat up 1984 Toyota Tercel. Painted a funky yellowish-orange color. On the back was a really old faded Pac-man bumper sticker. Even though their relationship had only consisted of conversation, outside of Arkham talk was awkward. Patricia had grown rather fond of Boyton over the years, and really was quite excited about getting to spend some time with him outside of the asylum walls.

"Yeah, I'm glad to be going home too. No I'm not going to talk to Mom, and Dad, I'm still pissed at them! They can just stay in their room by themselves!" Madboy said.

Patricia smiled nervously. Really Madboy's condition had been getting worse. He wasn't showing any signs of improvement. His outbursts were more, and more frequent. Patricia didn't doubt that he would
go right back to his old ways...

Cain waived his hands theatrically, "Murder was in the air!" , he said to Nurse Melody.

Patricia knew he should never have been released, but she wanted so desperately to be away from the asylum with Boyton, that she had falsified her reports.

The Tercel pulled into the gas station. A family in a large black Suburban had just finished getting gas, and was pulling away. A little girl in the back watched Madboy get out of the Tercel. She saw Madboy's sisters ghost standing there with him. To the little girl she looked very similar to the lady who was driving the Tercel. Just much, younger. Madboy's sister waived at the little girl who waived back. There was no one else at the gas station.

Patricia started to pump her gas, and then noticed a sign that said you had to prepay first. So she went inside. Sitting behind the counter was a big fat bored guy reading the Gotham Gazette. The front page headline proclaimed: "Gotham truly knows fear, as the Scarecrow escapes Arkham!" He looked up from his paper, at Patricia.

"Hey you're dat lady from Arkham, how come's you's guys can't ever hold any of da' maniacs that are captured by da' bat?" He asked.

"I wouldn't know sir. I am not in security, perhaps you should direct your inquiry towards one of them." She answered. "I would like to get twenty dollars worth of regular." She continued.

"Jus' as I thought. You aint got no answer. You's guys suck. A fellow isn't safe these days. ‘Course that's why I keep Betsy right here. Da' perfect equalizer." He said leaning back in his chair to let her see the
double barrel shotgun sitting on his lap. "Let the scarecrow be stoopid e'nuff to show his face ‘round here, and I'll blow it off! The only thing he has ‘ta fear is Betsy herself." He continued.

Madboy walked into the station. Behind Patricia was a shelf with bags of candy. He picked up a bag of
Candy Corn.

"Patricia would you buy this for me. I need to urinate." Madboy said.

"The shitter's ‘round da' corner." The fat man said, motioning with his thumb.

Patricia was pumping gas when she noticed a black car parked towards the back of the station. Two really rough looking teenagers got out. One of them walked over to Patricia.

"Hey babe, we are gonna take care of your boyfriend, and then we are gonna get with you in a menage a bra! Don't even think of trying to leave. Otherwise we will chase you down, and have to hurt you." He said leaning
his face in close to Patricia's. He was so close that she could smell the garlic on his breath.

"Really for your own safety I must ask you to leave right this instant! I will not be held responsible for you, if you bother Boyton!" Patricia said.

The young punk reached up, and touched the underside of her breast. Patricia jerked away from him. The teenager laughed. "Your scrawny boyfriend isn't going to save you, but your real nice, if you play you're cards right we won't have to hurt you." He said. He turned, and ran towards the back of the gas station were his friend was waiting.

Inside the bathroom Madboy was sitting on the sink. He was staring at his reflection in the mirror. He didn't see his real reflection. Instead what he saw was himself when he was fifteen years old, the same age that he was when he killed his family. Behind him his sister looked at his reflection as well.

"Instead of marrying that cow, why not just kill her now, leave her here, and let's just go home?" Malicia said
"Why don't you just shut up. I'll kill her when I WANT TO. Get it! Not when you tell me." Boyton said.

Malicia pouted."You don't have to yell at me, it was just a suggestion." Malicia said.

"I'm sorry, it's just I want to enjoy her before I send her to her room." Boyton said.

The bathroom door burst open. The two thugs stood in the doorway."You had better have a lot of money on you, or you are a dead man!" The taller one, waiving a large knife at Madboy. "Stick him, Frankie!" the other one said.

Madboy moved so quickly that neither had time to blink. Madboy twisted the tall ones arm backwards slicing his friends stomach open. The boy fell to the ground trying to hold his intestines in, as blood gushed onto the dirty bathroom floor.

"Man, what the fuck you've broken my fuckin' arm!" The tall one screamed. Madboy picked up the knife from the pool of blood.

"Quiet." Madboy said throwing the knife at the tall boy. The knife stuck to the hilt in the boys throat. He fell to his knees, a stunned look of amazement on his face.

"So cold, Frankie help me...I'm hurt real bad..." The boy on the floor said as he bled to death.
"Gughhh..." Was all that Frankie had to say. Malicia smiled as a large red light grew beneath them. The ground seemed to fall away as the red light swirled about the room. Both of the boys souls were torn out of their bodies, and pulled down into the red light. Both screamed in agony.

"Help us, please!" Both yelled until they were gone.

"I'll see you in Hell." Madboy said.

"Eat the thigh, it's the best part." Malicia said.

"How many times do I have to tell you, I will do what I want." Boyton said, as he took the knife and cut open the tall boy. He sliced out the liver, and began to eat. "Pickled!" Madboy said.

He had just began to chew on it when Patricia stood in the doorway. She recoiled in horror, her eyes wide with disbelief. The bathroom had become a butchers shop. Blood splattered everywhere.
"Why Patricia, care to join me?" Madboy asked holding up a piece of the boy. Patricia fainted.

Patricia awoke confused. It was completely dark, and she could not move. What had happened. Then suddenly she remembered the horrors at the gas station. She tried desperately to move but her hands, and feet had been tied. She had wanted so badly to spend some time with Boyton, now sadly she was getting her wish.

Cain stood and faced the fire "As they say, be careful what you wish for".

A voice in the dark spoke."Good you're awake." Madboy said. He turned on a lamp, revealing the solution to a forty year old mystery. What HAD happened to the bodies of the Orton family. After Madboy had slaughtered his family he ate most of their bodies, but the skeletal remains were missing. The authorities had assumed that he had dumped them somewhere in a dumpster. Although the Gotham police combed the house they had never discovered the secret room. Tied exactly as Patricia, Madboy's sister, and parents sat next to Patricia. Their half eaten mummified remains horrible, and rotten.

Patricia screamed as Madboy walked towards her, large butcher knife in hand. Behind him a large pot of water was boiling behind him on a small stove.

"I told you I would bring another to join our family, just for you dear Malicia, and so I have." Madboy said to his sisters corpse.

"Boyton please reconsider this. You don't want to kill me. I have tried so very hard to help you." Patricia sobbed.

"I like small bunnies, the smell of blue things, and the taste of human flesh. So I will help you by letting you become a permanent part of my family. First my sister is going to marry us. Boyton put the knife down, and
pulled a small gold ring out of his pocket.

"Yes Malicia, I do... I know she isn't answering you, I don't think she can hear you yet. Malicia asked if you would take me to be your lawful wedded husband, till death keeps us from ever being apart?" Madboy said to
Patricia. Tears streamed down Patricia's face.

"Oh Boyton you know I do. Can you just make my death painless..." Patricia said. Madboy jammed the knife into the side of Patricia's neck. She made a bloody gurgling sound, and died. Madboy put the
ring on her finger.

"We are now man, and wife." Madboy said.

"You may kiss, and consume the bride." Malicia said, standing next to Madboy.

"Yes please do." Patricia said, standing next to Malicia.

Madboy turned, and smiled at her ghost."Yes I think I will." Madboy said, with a big grin on his face.

Officially Patricia became a missing person, and the Gotham authorities search for her to this day. They checked the Orton's old mansion of course, yet still didn't find the secret room.

Cain poked the fire with his cane, as he told the end of his story. His back was to Richard, and he was facing Nurse Melody who was listening with rapt attention.

"Well Richard that's the end of my story. The best part is that Madboy is still free, and roams the woods of Gotham even as I speak." Cain said poking the fire again. Nurse Melody couldn't take her eyes off of Cain.
His majestic air, the authority with which he could tell a story was truly unsurpassed. Nurse Melody clapped her hands gleefully.

" More, more! Tell us another story!" She said.

"Oh I couldn't, well actually I did have another story I would like to tell, what do you think Richard, are you up for one more?" Cain said.

Silence was his only answer. Cain turned, and discovered that Richard had escaped, while Cain had been so intent on telling his story. Nurse Melody gasped.

"How rude, to leave right in the middle of such a wonderful story." She said.

"Really it works out quite well. Always turn a negative into a positive. Besides I can always go catch him again. Why don't we retire upstairs, and I will tell you the story of Little Benny, and his murderous spree. I know our time is limited together, you've been here far too long already, and really should return soon, but I think we still have a little bit of time." Cain said.

"Don't mind if I do!" Nurse Melody said. She got up, and they walked out of the room, and started to walk up the creaky wooden staircase. Arm, in arm.

"What about Abels body?" Nurse Melody asked.

"Not a concern. He isn't going anywhere. Ah... la bonne vie..." Cain said. His hand on Nurse Melody's butt, as they walked upstairs...

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