New Haven, CT, circa 1968: Part One

GW lay naked in the black coffin, ready. The ribbon tied around his privates chafed, and he squirmed a bit to try to stop the sharp edge of it from cutting into his scrotum. The crudely-nailed plywood sarcophagus wobbled a little on its makeshift sawhorse altar. He brought his left hand up to shield his eyes from the glare of the candles that seemed to number into the hundreds, their wrought iron sconces creating medieval shadows in the largest of the basement vaults of The Eulogian Club meeting rooms, known affectionately for the last 120 or so years as 'The Tomb'.

"The supplicant will lie still!" boomed an oddly familiar voice. The hooded figure presiding over the induction ceremony into the Skull and Bones Society moved toward the coffin now. It seemed to be holding the bloody remnants of a ceremonial goat above its head.

GW thrilled with sensory overload as the million points of candlelight shimmered through the dope cocktail haze, causing everything he heard to scintillate and echo with an odd crispness. He enjoyed the altered reality, despite his immediate discomfort. It would be worth it, he told himself.

Suddenly, a flurry of rhythmic motion began around him, accompanied by chanting and the passing of a large bowl from which everyone present drank. As each hooded figure quaffed the decoction, the result was the same: a portion of GW’s body was abruptly drenched by a tepid spew of vomit.

Last to partake of the bowl was the leader, who disgorged so violently upon GW that the whiplash abruptly threw the peaked hood of its robe backward. Then it wobbled forward retching, and crumpled to one knee. This time GW got it square in the face, and the bile rose dangerously higher in his throat. The leader, after grimacing at the floor and drooling uncontrollably for many long seconds, raised its head unexpectedly.

The visage was of GW’s mother, bloodshot, glaring eyes tearing uncontrollably.

“The supplicant will begin the dissertation!”, she sprayed with a noisy hissing lisp.

One or two of the dozens of robed cultists moved unobtrusively toward GW’s stricken mom, to help her back to her feet.

The concoction GW had willingly swilled earlier, what now seemed to be days before, began its work right on cue, imparting clarity of memory. And obedience. He began to recite in lurid detail as commanded, all of his sexual experiences, in a stoned sing-song drawl.

“Well, the first time was with those pictures you and Dad gave me…”

“Silence!” the commanding voice slurred again, “Those images are of no relevance here.”

She sneaked a guilty peek around the group, as quickly as she could without inducing nausea. One or two were stifling snickers in their sleeves. She'd fix them -- good -- later.

“Start with your first experience outside of our… uh, your home, or your death will follow with swift surety.”

A muscular, oiled, bronze-skinned fellow with an uncanny resemblance to Billy Wells at the start of all those Rank Organization flicks raised a large antique looking broad axe, to remove all doubt.

He heard his dad speak: “Aw, Babs, that’s a little harsh, don’cha think?”

“Shut the fuck up, you simpering lackey!” she snarled through her teeth, blowing her husband quickly back with the stench of fresh bile. “Or you’ll get it too.” She turned back to her cringing progeny, who now inexplicably sported a sizable erection, despite the sharp-edged ribbon.

W. gulped and continued as best as his now-fear-laden brain would allow. “It was in the summer…”


"It was the year I graduated from high school…"


The gathering stood, stiff and hushed, waiting. George shouted.

“IT WAS AT THE FRANK BUCK ZOO, IN GAINESVILLE TEXAS.” You could have cut the silence with a butter knife. “I WOKE UP IN THE SLOTH CAGE, WITH MILO PAVLOV…”