Home > Musings of a Decorative Ham Man > Musings of a Decorative Ham Man: The Horror of Fire Point

Musings of a Decorative Ham Man: The Horror of Fire Point

September 22, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments
By Chris Vitiello

By Chris Vitiello

It overlooked my village on a steep hill of rocks and crags, accessible via a brush-choked driveway and a series of dilapidated staircases. It had been the home of the Maldonado Brothers Seminary and for many years had provided great spiritual warmth for a few select pasty individuals. But it had long since closed, fallen into shocking disrepair, been the site of vigorous and yet jejune coitus and then left forgotten. I purchased the site three years ago.

There had been many mysterious fires– 246 by the realtor Gorcheck’s count. “It became known as Fire Point,” he noted, as he kicked an errant piece of mortar into the woods. I desired to whip him but remained calm. “You’ll note that the building is a shell and that it is about to fall over,” he said, looking away. “But the grounds are nice and you sure can’t beat the view of the valley.”

Gorcheck was right, on both counts. The once-magnificent four story seminary had been utterly destroyed– only a skeleton remained. A small outbuilding and various sheds sat surrounding, their doors open in a frank, almost sexual way. But one could plainly see all of the valley and the village below, my hometown.

I wrote the realtor a check. He was shocked. “There is some paperwork, we can’t just…” I pushed him into some leaves. “Mind yourself, Mr. Gorcheck. Mind yourself.” My hand twitched over the hidden whip but I abstained.

I contracted to have the seminary demolished and several senseless quonset huts constructed. “A fiery balloon crashed into the cliff,” the foreman told me over the phone after two weeks had passed. “But otherwise things are progressing as outlined.” There was something tentative about his lower class voice that made me both desire to whip him and to probe him further. “It sounds as if there is something else,” I queried. There was a long silence. A noise like a basketball being shoved into a closet could be heard in the background. Finally, he responded.

“We…well…many of the men believe that the site is damned. It may be something that you need to see for yourself.”

I resented being called away from my decorative ham business but I made the trip to the great hill.

The driveway had been cleared and repaved and I instructed the driver to proceed to the top. He seemed tentative and for a moment there was no movement. “What is the problem, Throats?” I asked. Throats fingered the steering wheel. “I got a feeling, boss. It came over me suddenly like the odor of freshly-spun cotton candy at a small backyard event overlooking a cracked alley. This place is damned.”

“You are not the first to offer this mongoloid explanation, Mr. Throats.” I urged him on. I was suddenly quite hungry.

At the top, some workmen were listlessly pushing long steel rods beneath rocks or buffing the smooth edges of the quonset huts. I located the foreman, a grim little man with a pinched face and abbreviated womanish feet. He was running a moistened towel over his forehead and neck and staring down at the earth. He did not look up at my approach.

I wound the whip around my shoulder. It was gold-braided and appeared striking against my shapeless purple chemise.

“What is the trouble here?” I was suddenly hit with a stream of bad air.

“No trouble,” the foreman said, continuing to stare at the dirt. “We are all hexed, we are all without hope but the quonset huts are excellent. Better than I expected. Remarkable staying power, these quonset huts.”

A fiery balloon suddenly crashed into a cliff across the valley. Screams could be heard in the distance. Still, the foreman did not look up. And it was then that I noticed the horrible transmogrification.

It became deathly still. Throats, who stood beside me in his decorative ham driving uniform, suddenly expired. The foreman turned his head slightly to stare at the fallen. He grinned and it was then that I could see that his teeth had dramatically sharpened and that his eyes had turned an ungodly pale shade of green. I spun and saw that the workers had all gathered together and that they too were changing. An interminable period of tension ensued. And then I began running off into the woods.

A path led away from the former seminary and deep into the forest. Dilapidated religious statuary could be seen every fifty feet and, in several places, small temples, covered in graffiti. There is no type of person that deserves to be whipped more than the so-called graffiti artist I thought to myself. But now was no time for such profundity. The transmogrified were right behind me.

I took refuge in a train tunnel alcove. The transmogrified passed quickly before me. I could hear their strange, echoing grunts far down track. Then they were gone. I headed back the way I came in.

At the tunnel mouth, I noticed something queer in another alcove. There was a little old man there, seated on a chair reading a modern paperback. He was clad in a tan great coat, a dark regency vest and, for some reason, a white soft bonnet. Upon my approach, he quickly removed the bonnet.

He stood up and put his hands on the long lapels of the great coat thereby affecting a rather stately look.

“Did you see the transmogrified?” I asked.

“Yes, yes I did,” he responded, in a gentle, grandfatherly way; I had only a slight desire to whip him. “Spirits are reacting to your…your construction up there,” he said, waving disconsolately in the direction of Fire Point.

He had raised my ire. “What concern is it of yours, old man? It was my thirst to purchase this Godforsaken hill and I have quenched it with the building of quonset huts. I could build even more, if I wish.”

He laughed. “Oh, I would advise against that.” His round eyeglasses somehow twinkled in the nigh-darkness. “I know you, I remember you from the village,” he suddenly added.

I studied his face further. He remained a stranger.

“No, it was long ago. Your father and I once purchased a barrel together. 55 gallons– it was a beauty. But we argued constantly over it. I wanted to fill the barrel with this, he wanted to fill the barrel with that. There were over twelve fistfights. Finally, one sodden night, your father dumped the barrel into the river. It was a good thing, too, because it had been my intent to kill him, chop him up and send his remains down the river in that very barrel so…” He trailed off.

“What point are you trying to emphasize, you codger?”

“Actually, my very reason for purchasing the barrel was to dispose of remains….and perhaps…if someone needed sauces…or…” He trailed off again.

I left him. I would not conquer Fire Point, that much was clear. It was a horror, a cosmic deviation, a veritable hell on earth.

It is the only time I have failed.

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