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Ben was the kind of person that could never, for lack of a better term settle down. That term settle down does not exclusively pertain to any specific geographic domain; it encompasses the totality of life’s experiences from occupations to relationships and everything in between.
If one knew Ben’s historical lifeline, one might best describe him as the preverbal jack of all trades and master of none. A loner and a stranger, without any meaningful or lasting ties to people, places or things. A face that goes with an existence that is, at times, unintentionally ignored and intrinsically distinguished and by its own nature.
Those of a more provincial and pedestrian lifestyle (known as Humdrums to Ben) are usually sharply divided on their opinion of people like Ben. On one end, there are those Humdrums who consider Ben and those like him antisocial, wandering, unfulfilled souls, who have no past nor present and definitely no future.
These “grounded” folks see the Ben’s of the world eventually ending their days alone, in poverty, living in cold, unforgiving surroundings. They ultimately end up dying with the absence of any type of comfort from the warmth of family and friends. People like Ben were destined to be ignored for eternity.
The other end of the Humdrums enviously considers people like Ben full of an adventurous free spirit. Ben has enviously taken the unconventional path these Humdrums now think they themselves should have taken. These people see their life defining predictably safe decisions as missed watershed moments of opportunity.
The Humdrums admire, (usually looking through rose colored spectacles) the Ben’s of the world for following their dreams; as these Humdrums ponder their own personal regrets with post-decision dissonance.
Ben considers the former Humdrums as Rebels with 401K’s. He believes this might explain his on the road observation classification of the 1980-1990 era Yuppie as the current phenomena Pseudo Biker.
You know, the former Pseudo-Hippies and their immersion into a weekend of denim/black leathered, pierced and tattooed imitation rebel lifestyle of the open road. You’ve seen them, those financially comfortable Yuppies in search of a collective individuality at the altar of their expensive Harley Davidson's’. “A Humdrum by any other name…………….”
Ben is quite aware of the overall transient impressions he makes on those whose lives he so fleetingly intersects. His thoughts range from how his mere existence could possibly lead the FBI to profile him as a serial killer. Or conversely, how Ben is as insignificant as the hooker who was murdered to set up the Senator in The Godfather. “She won’t be missed, she has no family, and it would be like she never existed, Tom Hagen assured the Senator.”
These issues have never instilled any doubts in Ben. They were just truisms that were consequences of the choices he makes everyday. Ben never feels any post-decision dissonance. He is content with his life and the path he has chosen for himself. He cherishes the disdain, as well as the envy; the Humdrums have for Ben and those who choose similar lifestyle.
Only in America.
Ben’s set of 1994 unremarkable circumstances have led him to leave the west coast of California. The cross country bus system has been his preferred mode of intra-continental transportation for the past twenty years. He takes what most conventional types believe is the depressingly long, dingy and cheap bus route back east.
After seven days and nights, Ben disembarks the diesel belcher at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan and heads directly to the subway for Brooklyn, carrying everything he owns on his back. His untriumphant return to New York City motivates him ready to do something new.
Hopefully, Joey Boy and his sister Agnes, (the hooker and sometimes exotic dancer) still live in the dilapidated old brownstone apartment they occupied in 1990, located in Red Hook. Ben remembers the last time he was in Brooklyn. Gentrification was creeping towards that neighborhood. He gets to the building and thankfully, it is has remained as it was when he left for the west coast.
Climbing the stairs to the fourth floor, Ben finds Apartment 4 and knocks. Joey Boy cracks the door, looks out, unhooks the useless chain latch and says “Hey Ben, where you been?”
Street people have no sense of time as the Humdrums know it. To street people, the calendar and the clock are fluid and not so important, just like the people whom travel in and out of their lives, unless they serve a purpose.
Joey Boy and Ben go back a ways. They met when they were both collared for pedaling pirated DVD’s and CD’s by the cops in Midtown. They forged a “street acquaintance” while bonded together on the daisy chain as guests of the NYPD’s Midtown South Precinct; awaiting transportation to Manhattan Central Booking (MCB).
Neither of them had any identification, so they were classified as “keepers” by the cops. Upon arrival at MCB, they were fingerprinted and identified before they could be set free with Desk Appearance Tickets. Joey Boy and Ben then shared a meal at a Chinatown basement dim sum café and talked shit.
Ben and Joey Boy sat on the old stained and smelly couch and spoke for a few minutes catching up on things of minor import. “So what are you up for, Ben, ‘cause I got nuttin goin on.” Joey Boy finally said.
Ben thought for a moment and replied “Whatever comes along, I got nothing going on either, but I’m thinkin something new is just around the corner, you got anything to eat?” They both moved to the kitchen and Joey Boy looks into the 1970’s dented almond colored refrigerator to see what was available beside the sour milk and jar of old pickles.
Later that evening, Joey Boy’s sister Agnes let herself in the apartment. She turns on the lights and was surprised to see someone on the couch until she realized it was Ben as he turned to face her wiping the sleep from his eyes. “Hey you, where you been?” she said as she sat down beside him. Ben looked at her stained low cut blouse and skanky hairy legs and just said “around.”
As Ben became more alert, he noticed that Agnes looked like the miles were piling up on her. She was looking worn and tired. Agnes’ skinny body sported a mini beer belly and her hair was in need of a good washing and bit more peroxide. She could probably use a bit less mascara around her eyes. She was bordering on being a total skieve.
“So what are you doing now?” Ben asked. Agnes stroked his left cheek with her right hand; Ben noticed the worn and chipped red nail polish along with the coarse feel of her fingers. She was smiling with her tobacco stained yellowing teeth as she began to relate her new gig.
“This gig cuts down on the possibility me getting locked up by the Brooklyn South Pussy Posse.” Agnes then proudly states “I work in the Catacombs of Kings County Hospital”
“You turn tricks in that place?” Ben amazingly asks, and then immediately quizzes her: “What’s the deal?” as if saying what’s in it for me? Ben’s attention became undivided awaiting her response as the wheels started turning in his larcenous head.
Agnes continued her story about a cold, damp, rainy night of the previous week. Things were absolutely dead on her usual stroll when suddenly approached by a cross eyed dwarf who was looking for a date.
“He asked me if I would give him head for half price… and then he laughed” Agnes said, “You know, half price because he’s a dwarf” she added as she tilted her head. “He didn’t have a car, but asked me to come where he works around the corner at the Hospital.”
“So I figured, what the hell, I was cold and getting wet (from the rain) and things were dead, so I went” Agnes paused, lit a crumpled cigarette and continued in a self assured and informative tone as she nodded her head knowingly. “He showed me in and do you know something, there’s a whole ‘nother world down under that hospital, you’d be so surprised.”
Agnes was exposed to what few people had ever seen; the underworld of the overnight staff of Kings County Hospital’s massive 100 year old Catacombs. She was a guest in a city of the unseen. A microcosm populated by mostly strange or deformed individuals who have always been pitied, ignored or outright shunned by society. They could be classified as “below the street” people.
Only these types of people could be comfortable doing this type of distasteful work, at this awful time of the night, in this type of uninviting environment. They had to be comfortable with it, they had no choice. Doing the shit no one else would do would be their life's destiny.
As Agnes and her mini-john walked in silence down a winding narrow passage lit in the cold glare of neon, the cross eyed dwarf grabbed her ass. He then heroically pulled her out of the way of a speeding golf cart loaded with medical supplies being driven by a tall man with an crew cut enlarged head as it bolted around a corner seemingly intentionally heading right at them.
The cross eyed dwarf then led Agnes down another narrow, long, isolated corridor into a large dimly lit room with a strange odor. When Agnes finally realized they were in the morgue, she was a bit freaked out, but decided to go with the flow. “So I gave him a blow job on a slab in the morgue.” Agnes smilingly said.
“The Lucky Stiff”, Ben laughingly added.
The conversation continued: “Then, after that, Herman, that’s his name, the cross eyed dwarf, Herman, starts introducing me around to the others that work there, all kinds of freaky looking people and they all wanted to party!” She goes on to say, “Boy, did I clean up that night and every time I been there since.”
Agnes seductively smiles to her houseguest as she yawns; she gets up off the couch and heads for her room. “Benny, I’m beat so I’m going to bed now” Agnes says, she begins to close the bedroom door, then stops, turns her head and flashes Ben another inviting smile.
Ben thinks he could probably go for a blow job, but he lacks the drive or energy to give her the obligatory vaginal penetration as well, so he decides to decline. Anyway, why would he want his schlong covered in residual dwarf semen?
After her door closes, Ben laughingly whispers, “did she really give the dwarf half price?” as he turns over on his side and falls asleep.
Agnes awakes the next morning to find Joey Boy and Ben sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee and in deep discussion. “Yea, that’s a great idea” Joey Boy says as he looks up to acknowledge his sister’s arrival in the kitchen. “What’s a great idea?” Agnes asks suspiciously as she completes a yawn, followed by a loud belch.
“What about you bringing me and Ben down to the hospital, we wanna make videos of you doin’ the freaks and then we can sell them on the street” Joey Boy says with a smile and his bright eyes showing the anticipation of a big pay day.
He goes on to explain to Agnes that this will be the gift that keeps on giving, “Everyone loves porn, but porn with freaks!” Ben chimes in “Fan-Fucking-Tastic and we can also sell the videos on the internet.”
“How are we gonna get the freaks to go along with this?” Agnes asks her brother, yawning and looking for the coffee she smelled brewing in the kitchen from her bedroom. “And you, what the fuck do you know about the internet?” she sniped at Ben.
Still a bit pissed that Ben didn’t pork her last night. She went on while beginning the process of flatus to be expelled through her anus. Hoping it’s not a wet fart, she moans.. “You guys....Jeeeezzzeeus Freakin’ Christ”.
Joey Boy gets the first whiff of her fart and says “Didn’t I tell you to stay away from that chink dump on Clarkson, they probably use cats and dogs!”
Agnes finally relents and the three sit at the kitchen table and over coffee devise a clandestine plan to become pornographic video producers. Soon after a few minutes into it, Ben figured Moe, Larry and Curley (The Three Stooges) probably would have a better chance of coming up with a successful plan.
Thinking it over, while sister and brother argued, Ben decided that it was still a go, a work in progress, and it could be done. He knew he was graduating to bigger things and decided to take control. No objections were registered from the other two when Ben assumed the mantle of leadership.
Ben sent out Joey Boy to commit burglaries to get the video equipment. There were plenty of Artists in Residence living and working in the converted loft space down by the water. Ben sought out Maxie, the 85 year old owner of the local Kosher deli and neighborhood yenta who knew who had what and where it was.
Joey Boy always saw the young Midwesterners parade around the neighborhood and video everything because Red Hook was so new and novel to them. “Fuckin’ assholes” he called them.
“So stupid, they order a glass of milk with a corned beef sandwich on white with mayo…. Such Goyem”. Maxie would moan in the disappearing New York Yiddish accent he still retained as he casually and unknowingly shared the vital information Ben and Joey Boy needed.
Ben sent Agnes out that afternoon to work on Herman the crossed eyed Dwarf. Agnes had Herman’s beeper number and she set up a meet for lunch at her favorite eatery, the dimly lit Cat Foo Dung Chinese restaurant on Clarkson. The plan was to make Herman a partner so the video equipment could be strategically and furtively placed in the Kings County Hospital Catacombs.
Ben believed Herman the cross eyed dwarf was in love with Agnes and if not love, lust would persuade him participate. For whatever reason, Herman was in. On Ben’s instructions to Agnes, an affirmative answer to participate from Herman mandated Agnes go under the table at Cat Foo Dung to give Herman a quick blow job as a token of her love and/or appreciation. Even though Blow Jobs were not on the lunch Menu.
As the video camera and editing equipment rolled in and Herman’s cooperation was sealed with Herman’s cum, Ben decided this plan now had a really good chance of working. He then thought about the marketing; even the Humdrums probably would go for Freak Porn. These videos could immediately bring in and continue to bring in money.
Ben was already planning his departure to parts unknown as soon as the tapes were finished and ready for sale. He considered this success to be his own personal retirement plan done his way on his terms. This was the closest he had ever come to cooperating with anyone on anything this involved. But things were getting too close for comfort. He felt that he was violating his core principles. The itch to move on was increasing as time passed. Agnes didn’t help things either by throwing herself at Ben.
Herman seemed to be getting into it (The free blow jobs from Agnes didn’t hurt). He came up with the plan to smuggle Ben, Agnes, Joey Boy and the video equipment into the hospital Catacombs using a laundry delivery truck. His planning was like something out of Mission Impossible. Ben was more than satisfied by his performance in being such a good manager on such short notice, and with practically no funding at all, thanks to Joey Boys’s sticky fingers.
Herman let the three others know the time table for setting up everything and the parade of “freaks” (both male and female) that would engage in the free kinky sex. The freaks also would be part of the live studio audience. The date was next Saturday into Sunday overnight (the quietest time at the Catacombs). It was rumored that tickets to the event were going for up to twenty dollars a pop on the underground.
An old operating theater in the Catacombs unused since the 1940’s for autopsies would be the stage. The lighting still worked, the cameras had areas for adequate placement as things were just falling amazingly into place for the Three and One Half (Herman being the one half).
Ben ordered Agnes to not only bathe, but to shave her legs, brush her teeth, and wear the costumes he had Joey Boy lift from the community theater workshop storefront. She was more than happy to oblige. Agnes never would admit it to Ben or her brother, but she was getting off on the kinky sex with the freaks, and this made her really get into her role as Kings County’s Sex Queen to the Freaks.
Ben met with Herman to go over the “script”. The first to engage Agnes would be a laundry assistant named Tony Triglone aka Tony the Tiger. Tony had what appeared to be canine teeth, he dyed his hair but it always came out bright orange and he never cut his fingernails. He also had an IQ bordering on idiocy.
Agnes would have a starter’s pistol and a chair and try to tame Tony the Tiger. Either she or he would submit and the sex would kick in from there. The whips and chains were readily available as was a large cage from the animal lab for their tryst.
Herman went through his list of freaks for Ben’s approval. After all, Ben was the Executive Producer. The freaks included Morgue Technician Myron Melville who was a pinheaded buck toothed microcdephalic. Bio Waste Technician Lahr Johnson who had two wooden legs but his manhood was extremely long and thick (a third leg). There was also a host of other curiously weird freaks. The two producers decided on the types of sexual acts and appliances to be used that would optimize the scene and be as graphic as possible for the camera angles.
As Saturday afternoon bled into Saturday night, Herman entered a small room located outside the morgue. There he met with Supply Clerk Irving Tinestein, another self appointed leader of the Kings County Catacomb Freaks.
Irving had a pronounced hump on his left side and was nicknamed “I-gor” in honor of Marty Feldman’s role in the Mel Brooks movie Young Frankenstein. “This is big, B-I-G- really big Herman” I-gor said. “Yes, I know, this street scum asshole Ben thinks he’s getting over on us, boy is he in for a surprise!”.
Herman the cross eyed dwarf’s original plan was to first engage a lowlife hooker, gain her confidence, and provide entertainment for his immediate fellow outcasts by snuffing her after sexually violating her in every way imaginable. It was a small plan at first, but as Herman told his cohorts: “Even dwarfs start out small.”
He explained details of his expansive plan, especially the part unbeknownst to Ben, Joey Boy and Agnes. “Street scum that will never be missed” Herman announces to his cohorts, perfect for our purposes.
And now, unknowingly for Ben, Joey Boy and Agnes, the exploiters are now the exploited and the freaks will have their day, or night. It has become a trifecta for the freaks with the added bonus of being recorded on video as well.
It is finally Saturday, 1159 PM. Herman is awaiting the three “normal” people who will secretly enter his world. He then can do agonizing and unspeakable things to them against their will in the Kings County Hospital Catacombs. It will be the last place anyone would ever think to look for them.
Herman, as the Master of Ceremonies, has the honor and pleasure of using medical accessories and common everyday items to inflict pain, humiliation and suffering that will avenge the years of outcast, inhuman treatment and scorn directed at the “freak” community. All the freaks of the Catacombs, anticipating a successful night of revenge, perverse sexual gratification, torture and dominance will all be in attendance.
The Three and One Half were just about finished with all their prep work. “The shift is about to punch in, ticket holders are arriving and will be filling up the seats” Herman said to the others, “Let’s have a drink to our success” he added.
Herman then produced four “forties.” Three of the four had a light sedative injected into them with a syringe at the bottom of the can. The tiny pin prick was sealed with a clear adhesive used in surgery. The Three were drinking their final beer, the Half watched as they slowly zonked out.
The Half knew they would shortly awake in bondage and would soon enter a world of terror, pain and ultimately beg for death. They would be continually revived from the verge of death to experience more, and more, and more..............
As the darkness of Sunday morning turns to dawn, Ben, Joey Boy and Agnes have been thoroughly and systematically violated. The three were tortured and have died slowly at the hands of the Kings County Catacomb freaks.
What was left of their bloodied, broken, mutilated and sexually violated bodies are taken to the Kings County Hospital Catacomb Crematory to become undistinguished piles of ashes.
“They won’t be missed, they have no family, and it’s like they never existed”, Herman the cross eyed dwarf assured the hump backed I-gor as the two freaks fired up the furnace deep in the underworld of the Kings County Hospital Catacombs to receive The Three.