CARNIVAL OF DARK ARTS 4: A HORRIFIC PROMO - C. T. Herron

Please note, this is a work of fiction, no shitty music promoters were harmed in the making of this tale…

The room was a small attic-like structure, dark and dingy, dusty and cobwebbed. A skylight let in the faintest hint of opalescent moonlight and it bathed the contents of the room in a cold metallic glow; a wardrobe, a dressing table with a large mirror, and boxes of junk piled two or three high. A tall, solid, brachycephalic figure stood in the centre of the room, he was a bag of cement with a bad haircut, and he lit a cigarette which glowed intensely in the gloom, the nepheligenous figure was Bonzo.  

Drip, drip, drip, drip, drip. 

Bonzo was a psychopath, no empathy, no emotions, no fear. Maybe it was his abusive childhood, maybe he was born that way, his brain worked differently to others, every traumatic experience as a child rewired and recoded his brain until it was a malfunctioning circuitboard in the chassis of his skull. Well, almost malfunctioning. He didn’t use drink as a crutch or drugs as an escape route, he didn’t like the loss of control which came with inebriation. He had a different outlet…  

He sat down before the mirror and looked into his face; the weatherworn flesh which sagged and wrinkled, cracks on his skin forming deep crevices, like the bed of some long-since dried up river. His nose hooked and his cheekbones jagged, his vapidly emotionless eyes peered out from beneath beetling  grey eyebrows and thin dry lips encased a mouthful of crooked, yellowing teeth. His niveous hair stuck up wildly at either side of his head, bald in the middle like an inverted mohawk, two scraggly trees dying at either side of an arid, desiccated oasis. 

Drip, drip, drip, drip. 

This was his outlet, this was how he coped with life. He took a can of temporary hair dye and shook it with a harsh rattle, then sprayed the white hair he did have a bright crimson colour. He then applied the rest of his makeup, painted his entire face white with a grease paint, once this was completed he dipped a brush in some red paint and drew exaggerated red lips around his pale thin ones, as well as a touch of red on the tip of his long proboscis.  

Taking the cigarette which was fuming away in the ashtray he sucked down a couple of deep drags and extinguished it before applying black paint round his eyes. Filling a tube sock with talcum powder and tying a knot in it, he dabbed at his face with it to dry the grease and set the makeup. A slightly demonic clown face now stared at him from the mirror, nothing remained of the sad old man from a few minutes ago. 

This was his outlet, this was his release. He sipped a cold coffee and, dragging a wig of long scraggly red hair over his head, he rose and walked to his wardrobe where he donned a tuxedo like that which a fancy waiter might wear. Sliding a coronation into his breastpocket and pulling a cloak round his shoulders, he drained the last of his cup and headed down some creaky stairs. 

Creak, creak, creak, creak. 

Drip, drip, drip, drip. 

Downstairs was another room, slightly larger, but still cramped. Its main features were cluttered bookshelves, a writing desk, and a foldout bed. In the corner was a large wetroom where he took his showers, the wetroom took up half the space in the room. The only personal items he seemed to own were a guitar with no strings and a bedraggled teddy bear propped up next to it. He lived in an old disused shop, one-roomed with an upstairs bit that was really just a wooden ledge with steps leading up to it. 

For twenty years he had been a butcher, now retired, so retired in fact that he had went vegan, he was concerned about his carbon footprint. He turned his attention to a small briefcase and clicked it open, inside lay the tools of his ex-trade. He always had used Victorinox, they were the best, it’s tough enough doing professional butchery without tolerating a bad knife. He slid one out and inspected its keen shimmering blade in the waning light, an eight inch flexible filleting knife, its steel was as pitiless as the midnight sun, as was Bonzo’s expression, as he turned to the source of the persistent dripping noise. 

Drip, drip, drip, drip. 

The steadily dripping blood had formed a small puddle beneath each of his victim’s heads, where they hung upside down in the wetroom, one at each three sides. There’s not much difference between sawing off the hindquarters of a cow, cutting the hip with a bandsaw and thumbing out the ribs, as there is disembodying some greasy, unctuous fucking music promoter. Likewise, trimming and butterflying chicken breasts and removing the tongue, eyes and fingers of some greedhead, fatcat venue owner, both tasks are equally mundane to the butcher clown and achieved easily enough with the aid of a good knife and a little skilled experience. Once you’ve dragged the guts and viscera out of a few hundred rabbits, it’s no big deal to slit open the corpulent belly of some sleazy, corporate, dirtbag band manager and extract his intestines like so much offal. 

The music industry was a cut throat industry, and Bonzo was cutting the throats of the music industry, one by one. Sketchy promoters, backstabbing managers, dodgy venue owners, anyone that fucked the musicians, Bonzo fucked worse, usually with a sharp blade in a very uncomfortable place. The blood of many a record executive had splashed his wetroom, the appendages of many a club promoter had plopped onto its floor, the rotten stench of the fear of many a music industry megalomaniac had seeped into the surrounding tiles and still haunted them. 

The three ensanguined figures suspended before him had long ago ceased wriggling, either through realisation of the futility, or through loss of blood and energy, or through a calm acceptance of their fate. Now they just hung and stared. Meat is meat, they looked no different to Bonzo than the carcasses of lambs and pigs you would find in the walk-in fridge of his old butcher shop in the West End, and they garnered the same indifference from him. They had ceased squirming like fish-on-hooks and now just stared ahead with a terrified frozen expression on their countenance, and wide horrified eyes which stood out like glowing beacons on their bloodstained faces. 

The two at the side were nothing, a couple of sketchy local promoters who had fucked over one too many bands and now paid the price, their tongues lay in a bucket in the corner of the large shower-room, and their skin had been decorticated and lay like discarded apple peels in their respective hairy pink heaps. It’s not a huge leap to go from skinning a bovine to skinning a human, it all came off just the same, and these ugly bastards looked much better cleaned, dressed and trimmed. The one in the middle though, he was a big prize, the biggest prize, and one Bonzo had waited many, many years for the perfect opportunity to seize. It had been difficult, but it had been worth it.  

The clown casually and coldly sliced open the throats of the two at either side of his prize catch, they convulsed and struggled against their bonds, but this only made the blood flow faster, it splattered to the floor with a rhythmic pattering and after a while slowly died back down to a steady trickle. They were both dead in less than a minute and because the trachea had been expertly severed they made no sound but an adenoidal whistling, gurgling, coughing, through their severed windpipes, as they wriggled off the mortal coil. They died once their brains had emptied of blood, which didn’t take long hanging upside down, but the heart continued pumping until there was no blood left to pump, and Bonzo rinsed it all down the plughole with his shower. Two less carbon footprints in the world, really he was doing the planet a favour. 

The whole gruesome scene had got his final captive moving again, he jerked and spasmed and tried to protest through the electric tape which gagged his mouth, but all that could be made out was muffled cries of protest and the occasional stifled curse word. With the other two dealt with and the mess hosed down, Bonzo turned his full attention to his Prize. 

He dropped to one knee so he could be eye-level with the upside down prisoner and peered menacingly with a wicked grin into the familiar face. A face splashed over so many tabloids and glossy magazines, a face recognisable to anybody who had ever turned on a TV set and watched some trashy programme on a Saturday evening. That puffy annoying face, those beady fucking eyes that are too far apart, that big flat nose, the carefully-maintained 5’o clock shadow, that botoxed, cosmetically-enhanced, galling, fucking-piece-of-shit-stupid-face! Not as recognisable now it was all covered in blood but still just as infuriating, Bonzo gave it a kick. 

His victim was in town for some big pop music award show, it hadn’t been hard to stakeout the three major hotels he was likely to be staying in, Bonzo had discovered he was in the Malmaison within the first twenty four hours of his arrival. A close watch of his Twitter and Facebook feed had made him easy to track down and follow too. Bonzo still had contacts in the catering industry from his butcher days, and a friend-of-a-friend of a receptionist at the Mal provided the room number, Bozo had said his niece was a big fan and no suspicion was aroused. 

Posing as a waiter working for an agency he had easily accessed the almost security-less building (one night porter) and with chloroform and a polite knock at the right door posing as room service, he had him. To get the body out he had carried it down the corridor acting like a friend escorting his drunk comrade to his room. He had then rolled the unconscious prick down the rubbish chute near the kitchen, where he could easily be collected by Bonzo from the skip in the back alley where it all came out. With his car parked at the back of the hotel it had been a ten minute trip in his boot for the captive back to Bonzo’s humble living quarters. And now he had the bastard, and nobody knew where he was. 

This media mogul, this creature, this cretin, this piece of shit, this Satan’s cocksucker, was responsible for the death of the music industry. He was accountable for the soulless, talentless garbage clogging up the charts for the last two decades like an industrial greasetrap that hadn’t been emptied in years, and just as foul.  He was the reason we’d been having mediocre music shoved down our throat since the turn of the millennium. His only talent lay in exploiting other people’s talents and using them up and leaving a dried-out husk, like a blood-sucking parasite. Or flogging music that teenage girls would gobble up like unsupervised chocolate cakes in a meeting for clinically obese overeaters. He had offended our ears with some of the worst tripe to ever be drudged up out of humanity’s arsehole and put on a record.  

Bonzo pulled his phone out and put on a song, ‘Tears of a Clown’ by Smokey Robinson, and he proceeded to sharpen his filleting knife on a whetstone, its sibilant rasping punctuating each trumpet note in the jaunty, soulful tune. His detainee started to protest and squirm more, but Bonzo ignored it, approached him and opened the zipper of the man’s trousers. Reaching in and fumbling around in his pants, he pulled out the appendage which had been snuggled-up warmly inside the expensive cotton boxers. The flaccid penis lay in his palm like a dead pink slug, and, holding it by the foreskin and stretching it out Bonzo then removed it with a quick flick of the wrist and a flash of the blade.  

A prodigious amount of blood splurted out and bespattered the clown’s white face, Bonzo was unperturbed, he removed the electric tape covering his hostage’s lips and when he opened it to scream Bonzo popped the disembodied phallus in to the open mouth and replaced the tape so he couldn’t spit it back out. Kneeling back down to eyelevel he said, ‘Now, you have two choices, keep it in your mouth, or swallow it, I’ll be back in a few hours, I’m off to a gig’. 

The music mogul tried to scream but his voice was even more muffled now than it was before, with his mouth full of mucosa, dead muscle and connective tissue. Bonzo took a knife from his briefcase, a cheaper inferior knife, a Global, and he heated it up on a hob of his desktop cooker, checking his emails while he waited until the blade glowed white-hot, from whence, in short bursts, he pressed it against the music mogul’s groin wound with a hissssssss until it was fully cauterised, ‘there, that should keep you from bleeding to death until I return to finish torturing you, same way you’ve tortured my ears over the years’ said the killer clown. 

Bonzo didn’t have to change his clothes, the gig he was going to encouraged fancy dress, he wasn’t even going to wipe the blood off his face from the dismembering, it would fit right in with the macabre theme of the concert. This was the fourth Carnival of Dark Arts, he had attended every one, a place he could fit in, a gig hosted by NHC, a company that believed in fairness and equality in the music industry, that didn’t rip anyone off and supported struggling artists, rather than crushing them to dust as Simon might. They always had great music too, this time it was The Three N’ Eights, Athena’s Army and the brilliant, innovative, inimitable Yoko Pwno! It was going to be a great night, and when he returned he had his date with Simon to look forward to. 

He grinned, and as his dickless guest hung whimpering and writhing, a light rain started to fall outside and Bonzo shouldered a waterproof coat, lit a cigarette, and headed towards the door to make his way to Ivory Blacks, trailing grey smoke behind him and enveloping Simon in darkness as he shut the door and hit the lights, only a soft, distorted sobbing could be heard within… 

 

                                                                                                                           CTH (Bonzo Division)