Good afternoon. It is Thursday once again and I Gigi the parti poodle am here to introduce chapter eight of my story Corn Maze. This week the Maltese and I got a double whammy. First, we were both taken into the groomers. That alone is terrifying.
It is scary. Very, very scary.
As you can see Tucker the dratted Maltese is here to assist me.
Yes, I am. I like assisting on stories.
We both came out looking beautiful as always. I of course was the more beautiful. And then the next day our novelist left for a couple of days.
That means we were left with…Him.
Yes, him. Him is our guardian when our novelist abandons us and goes away somewhere. And then we are left with…Him.
Him doesn’t give us very many treats. And we are not allowed to beg at the table.
It is most dreadful. Most dreadful indeed. I am unable to be finicky about what food is prepared. I am forced to eat my designer dog food. I become ravenous. My stomach grumbles, my heart is lonely, and I sit in front of the door for hours waiting for our novelist to come home.
I sit at the door too…when Gigi lets me.
Yes, well. In front of the door is prime real estate especially when we stay with…Him.
Him is kind, though. He lets us sit on the couch and we sleep on comfy cushions.
That is true, but the moment I see my novelist again I burst into frantic jubilation.
Yes, she always returns. We are glad when she returns. Very, very glad.
And once again our world is in balance with me in charge and running things. That is how it should be. And now here is chapter eight of Corn Maze. Nasoloditisya!
Gigi the parti poodle
Harley stood outside on his porch overlooking his corn maze. What a different design this was from his original helicopter concept. He put his hands on his hips and allowed the wonder of his work to soak in. He surveyed his notepad and the complexity of his design. A bug snuck up under the short sleeve of his t-shirt. He batted it away and scratched his shoulder. Gazing over the twisty-turn of stalks he decided to find out what he was made of. He folded his copy of blueprints, stuck it in his back pocket and proceeded forwards.
He knew he couldn’t practice navigating Farley’s maze, but he could navigate his own. He’d never really walked through corn maze routes much. He’d designed them for his parent’s sake not his own. But now it was crucial for him to understand the craft.
He moseyed down the steps and over to the maze’s entry point. Something about this year’s design felt ominous and uninviting. It was like looking at some menacing piece of art. Maybe something from an old horror movie.
He gazed at the hard dirt path. He was surprised how daunting the first steps inside the stalks were. It did not take him long before he met his first sharp turn. Within the next few yards, he came to a fork in the road. He could go right or bend sinister. He curved right and found the path inversed. He curved left. The ground was still soft, but he knew in time it would become hard and flat. He turned right, made an abrupt left and a quick right. The stalks rustled like paper. He found himself forced to make a sharp left, a quick right, another sharp left. He should have started his timer, he thought. Farley had probably memorized his own mazes for years.
Harley saw the path ahead was about to circle and he bent sinister. A small field mouse bounded in front of him then scurried away. That was concerning. What if visitors ran into mice? Another sharp left. He turned and looked behind him. Nothing but corn stalks and dirt. Another sharp right. Then Harley reached a second fork in the road. This time he had more trouble determining if right or left was better. How was he going to beat Farley going this slow? He had miles to go before he reached the exit.
It occurred to Harley the ground might be a tip off to Farley as to which path to turn on and what to avoid if he could deduct something from footprints. Especially since Farley was a hunter and had become a good tracker. Harley continued through the stalks occasionally resorting to the blueprints in his pocket. He came to the third fork in the road and struggled with deciding whether to turn right or left. He turned left. The choice reminded him of a carnival ride taking hairpin turns through a haunted house. An abrupt right, then left, then right again. He’d made so many turns he was becoming confused. His map provided less and less help. Claustrophobia set in. The warm day had turned warmer.
He grabbed the hem of his t-shirt and wiped his sweaty forehead wishing he’d brought a bandana. He closed his eyes breathed deep and kept trudging. Then he stepped on something. At first, he thought it was a bottle cap. He looked at the circular object shining in the dirt. He reached down and grabbed it. He squinted as he scrutinized the thing not certain of what he was looking at. Maybe walking around in this corn maze was causing his mind to play tricks. He turned it over in his hand and gently removed the filth with his thumb. Then, as if it were a rare gem, he slipped it into the front pocket of his jeans.
Harley found his second wind and proceeded forwards. Right turn, right turn, left turn left turn. He heard something and looked up. There in the sky was a Piper that must have taken off from the small airfield on the other side of the freeway. For a moment Harley watched the green plane putter through the blue sky. Then he continued forwards.
Valerie entered Farley’s study, sat in the chair across from his desk, and faced her fiancé. Farley sat perusing the aerial pictures taken of Harley’s corn maze from the Piper. Bud the pilot was a crazy kind of guy. The type who always wore his shirts unbuttoned exposing more skin than most folks cared to see. He always had a big thick silver chain around his neck and one around his wrist and sported wild curly bleached blonde hair that left folks guessing if it was natural or permed.
“I’m not going to do it,” Valerie said.
“You’re not going to do what?” Farley said without looking up.
“Participate in this stupid game.”
“When are you going to put a stop to this corn maze contest?”
Farley chuckled. “I’m not.”
“I refuse to be the prize.”
“Right before you came traipsing in here, I just finished taking your name off all my credit cards. And about a week ago I took your name off all my bank accounts.”
“I have a bank account of my own.”
“Yeah, I know. I liquidated all the funds you had in that one into my account and took your name off it.”
“You can’t do that.”
“Yeah, well, I just did.”
“That may be but I’m insane with money.”
“Don’t think I can’t leave you, Farley.”
“The only family you can go to is your sister’s. And we all know how well the two of you get along. All you’ve got left is that diamond ring on your finger and that diamond is marked. See they etch information into those little darlings so they can’t get stolen and sold. But you could try. You can always try.”
Valerie’s face went ashen.
“So, you see,” Farley continued. “Once again I thought of everything.”
“Maybe you have and maybe you haven’t.”
“Was there anything else on your mind?”
“Yes. You’re going to lose.”
Farley didn’t chuckle this time. He guffawed. “Well, if that don’t beat the band, girl! Good luck with that! And by the way, I could use a sandwich. All this banking works up an appetite. I’ve been hankering for a Monte Christo all day. With strawberry jam. Don’t forget the side of strawberry jam, Val. Can’t have a Monte Christo without a side of strawberry jam.”
You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!, Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!, Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: CONVERSATIONS WITH A KILLER: THE JOHN WAYNE GACY TAPES (2022)-Netflix
This three-part documentary is not for the faint of heart but is well worth the watch. Directed by Jon Berlinger who is known for his superb films Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (which is engrossing even if you are not a fan of the group) the movie expertly jumps around in time to help capture the super psychopathic mind of one of the worst American serial killers to have ever lived. A super psychopath is someone (if American) who scores over 34 out of 40 on the PCL-R. Ted Bundy, for example, scored 39 out of 40.
Psychopaths have certain traits and the one you will notice the best with Gacy/Pogo the Clown is how he starts out a sentence rationally and then devolves it into menacing evil. One example is Gacy talking about moving the body of a boy from his bed he has brutally murdered so he can go to sleep. Also chilling, is the thorough testimony of a terrorized victim and how he survived a harrowing night in Gacy’s house.
Like other psychopaths, Gacy was exceedingly arrogant, had an above average IQ (118) and HSS (VNTR 2R allele of MAOA also known as the “warrior gene”) which manifested itself in his hazardous driving habits. And of course, Gacy’s cavalier manner of manipulation. All these traits were passed down from his father’s side and his father, from what we find out about him in the film was psychopathic as well.
Psychopaths are pathological liars and Gacy was outstanding in this capacity. When you watch the film keep that in mind. You are not dealing with a normal person. You are dealing with a mind that is missing 21% of gray matter in the prefrontal lobe and about 10% of gray matter in the paralimbic system. The latter involves the amygdala which is where the most intense memories for human beings are stored. Gacy’s amygdala was like an empty vault. Memories meant nothing to him. He lived in the now. That is a large part of what makes the film fascinating.
Some critics have complained about how Gacy spews out whatever he wants to say and doesn’t answer the interviewer’s questions. Well, of course he does whatever he wants because that’s what he does. I don’t know what they thought they were going to hear on the tapes because getting a confession from him is absurd and thinking he’s going to show emotion or regret is ridiculous. What the film does is invites the audience into the mind of a predatory animal. The purpose of this is so they can understand how a real monster thinks which is in no way shape or form normal.
Gacy was born a genetically brain damaged monster. He had no humanity whatsoever. If you are looking for motivation you aren’t going to find it. If you are looking for a reason for his actions, there isn’t one. He doesn’t have feelings other than irritation and rage. He’s primarily indifferent. He doesn’t care what he did to his victims. He just wanted to rape and kill them. Humans have reasons for their motivations. Predatory animals do not. They have instinct. Period. Reason for them does not exist. They are just laser sharp at picking out a mark and killing it.