Suggested Audio Nectar 🐝
 Christina Aguilera “Candyman”
 Phillip Glass “It Was Always You Helen”
 Phillip Glass “Candyman”
 Bow Wow Wow “I Want Candy”
I’ve been standing here in front of this mirror for hours now. I know what you’re thinking, that Keeper’s a vain one, where does he get off gazing so lovingly at his reflection? Let me just assure you that the only time I engage in such an act is to run my thumbnail over any blackheads on my nose. If you could see me now, you’d understand. I resemble Einstein after a six-week crystal meth binge and jumping back to kiss myself couldn’t be farther from my thoughts. Instead, I have been pondering hard, trying to pluck up the courage to do something that I’m fairly assured I’ll be regretting soon after. You see, I’m never ordinarily one for urban legends and pride myself on not being susceptible to either Mumbo or its similarly goofy sidekick Jumbo. But something I overheard while out kicking it in the projects has got me all bent out of shape and, worse still, vaguely curious. Perhaps you can help Grueheads as the last thing I wish to do is go rushing in and stir up the hornet nest so to speak. Actually, bee would be more fitting. I know that primarily our honey dripping friends are all about the community spirit and do lots for the upkeep of our planet. But what do they do on their down time? I’ll give you a clue – they hang out with some hench black dude named Candyman.
Five times they say. Not four and your chances of ever making it to six would be decidedly slender if the word on the street is to be believed. Repeating his name this many times is reported to be something of an open invite and, by hook and not crook, he will do his damnedest to put in an appearance. Should you be flossing your teeth at the time then no need as Candyman has a far more thorough method to remove that stubborn fried chicken. He’s only got a hook for a hand hasn’t he? Now, if you asked me what instrument I would like fitted onto my bloody wrist stump then I would imagine an electric whisk would figure above this fisherman’s friend. Think of the fun you could have on its optimum setting, all the cakes you could bake, all the frosted icing you could conjure. A hook’s alright if one of The Muppets is dying on his feet on center stage but not the kind of tool that could have helped Ash fend off those pesky Deadites is it? If you ask me, he was a tad hasty in his decision but apparently he makes do so, as long as he’s happy, then I guess I’m all smiles too. Except not exactly.
Smiling isn’t his forte and it has even been suggested that he is one glum motherfucker. He would prefer to call it the air of intrigue, perhaps the sweet fog of seduction, or even the dance of desire. Granted, he’s not particularly hot on flashing those pearly whites, but he certainly has that hint of melancholy shit down to pat. Chicks love that shit. Should you supply just a vague hint of said melancholia then the diaphragms are in before you can say “Nice digs, mind if I make myself at home?” Candyman has been known to brood and women have been going weak at the knees in response. Quite the smooth criminal it appears, I bet he’s a smash hit on Tinder. It sounds so damn genuine and his eye contact is unbroken as he invites you to say farewell to the flesh. I’m telling you, this came from a reliable source and I’ve got facts to back it up too. More crime statistics to be fair, managed to nab them from my friend Al at the local precinct. They make for pretty substantial evidence that five is, indeed, the magic number. Black magic would perhaps suit better as our nectar-infused medicine man is cut from similar cloth to a certain Baron Samedi. And who put the hoodoo in voodoo anyhoodoots?
This is highly sensitive information I’m about to share so remember to keep it on the down low. There was this graduate student, real busybody it says here, think here name was Helen. Yeah that’s it – Helen Lyle. Real cream of ambrosia, if her photo is anything to go by then I’m heading for the morgue as she may still be at room temperature. Think I have it here somewhere.
No that’s not it, one moment.
Best I can do I’m afraid. That’s her before she slaughtered her philandering husband Trevor. No shit, you should see what he looks like. Carved him from groin to appetite and then just dropped dead on the spot. Rumor has it that she hooked up with Candyman (pun a happy accident) and they hit it off in no time. He promised her the world, she dropped her bloomers like an old dear at a Tom Jones concert and they fucked until the bees came home or some shit. Then the bees came home.
Now I don’t give a half a hoot how much honeycomb they mass produce, that shit gets old in five-minutes, the fact is that a swarm of vexed ones would be the last sight I’d wish to see as I arrived at the all-important pollination. Granted, they look delightful on the cusp of a sunflower, but they’re ugly as sin mooching about your urethra with intent to plunder. Seems that Candyman comes as something of a package deal and these little fellas simply love to watch. Helen was done for the very moment his sweet honey passed her lips and, as a result, I’m hovering in front of the mirror like I possess some kind of death wish while looking to engage in a spot of five-pronged repetition.
I know what you’re thinking – I must need my head read. Already did – the New York Tribune called it “a delightful read” and awarded it four and a half stars. Never understood that whole half a star thing, I don’t go for half a shit, half a wank is pointless, and half of Justin Bieber is still 50% too much for my liking. Anyhoots, I am aware that this may not be my smartest move but that’s the thing about curiosity. It’s stupidly moreish. All I really want is answers, perhaps a little advice on how to pick up loose women, and I’ve never tried a hook job before but apparently it’s a seat of your pants thrill ride. I’ve been on the Rock ‘N’ Rollercoaster many times so, if there’s a ticket to ride going begging, then I’m all over it like a swarm of bees. Besides, he’s got another thing coming if he thinks he can schmooze his way into my jockeys, I like my men a little more female. Plutonic will do me fine, perhaps a gentleman’s handshake, and a quick remark about how the Chicago Bears are doing. While I’m at it, I’ll inquire as to the well-being of Helen as, last I heard, they’re still together, albeit now shacked up at his place. If it looks like he’s going to be aggro, then I’m hoping that reciting his name another five times will send him back whence he came. That’s how it normally works right?
So what do you think? Shall I do it or am I barking up the wrong tree here? I guess it doesn’t matter what you say as the heart desires what it desires and mine desires to sniff his hook and see about some sloppy seconds. I’m not rushing into things as I may be a fool for love but I’m no lemming. March me to the cliff edge and I’m happy to watch Thelma and Louise grab the team a two-strong combo. As for me, I’m already back at the log cabin preparing a cocoa. At the first sign of foul play, I’m gone with the wind and heading for O’Hara’s with my electric whisk and a polished bedpan. I may be a moron but I’m not a fucking moron. As you may have guessed by now, I’m gonna do it. After all this build up, how could I possibly not? Besides, I’ve got you lot on hand to back me up if things turn awry right? Right? Guys? Oh I get it, you’re offering low-key support, good idea. Okay then mirror, it’s you and me.
Before we start, I’d just like to say that it is a real pleasure hanging out with you and shooting the shit. The good thing is that you’ve always got my back, when the shit hits the fan, you’re right there having my back. Even when I can’t see you, I know you’d never let me down in a fix. Thanks guys, I’m so glad I can count on you.
Of course, I wouldn’t be against just a little clue as to your whereabouts. Perhaps a hand gesture or even a cough … Nothing? Boy, you’re good. He’ll never see this coming. I’m sure he wouldn’t try anything bogus but he’ll be making one helluva grave error if he does with my incognito warriors waiting in the wings.
Does anyone know a good dermatologist? I’ve got these wretched calluses on my left hand and skin lotion doesn’t appear to be helping. One of them blistered the other day and it was excruciating. I’ve got these nice fingerless gloves so I’ve been wearing them while I figure this out. They’re delightful, keep your hands warm and still allow you to write and pick your nose. I would ask you know who but I’m pretty sure it’s a sore point with him. Alright! ALRIGHT!!! I was just getting to that, it doesn’t hurt to ask does it?
I mean it’s not worth getting bent up out of shape over. I was only asking. Jesus, you lot are techy.
I’m not nervous. Just thirsty. They say you’re supposed to drink two liters of water daily. I’m way behind on my daily quota. I know there’s a sink to my left but I heard somewhere that the plumbing between latrine and upstairs sink is somehow interconnected. It never tastes quite as fresh does it? Anyhoots, it seems all quiet on the Western front. Looks like our little experiment didn’t work after all. I knew it wouldn’t of course. Urban legends are always a crock of shit, apart from the one about Coca-Cola, did you hear that? They developed Fanta to sell to the Nazis. I’m not even shitting you either, Schindler’s List was all about the product placement but, because it was shot in black-and-white, you have to keep your head on a swivel. Looks like this is just another load of baloney folklore after all. I knew as much, it’s so unscary. Look at me, I’ve got a hook for a hand. Big deal, Peter Pan would still kick your ass and he still gets his bottom powdered every night. Right then, one quick pimple squeeze and I’m off to bed.
“Dude. I was just saying that you’d be here any moment”
“You are not content with the stories, so I was obliged to come”
“Never doubted you for a second”
“That’s not how it sounded. Sounded like you were running your mouth”
“Who? Me? Nah! I was just passing the time until your arrival”
“Of course you were”
“You believe me don’t cha? My old pal”
“I think it is your belief that is in question here don’t you?”
“I’m gonna grab myself a can of Fanta. You want one buddy?”
“Don’t drink the stuff. It makes me gassy”
“I think I may have a Coke left. Tell you what, I’ll be back in three shakes of a lamb’s tail alright?”
“Move another inch and I’ll split you from your groin to your gullet”
“I’ll throw in a Butterfinger”
“You’ll stand there and listen to my monologue or wish you did”
“You know, it’s funny. I was just the other day thinking that it’s been far too long since I listened to a monologue”
“It appears as though you are here for enlightenment. You desire to learn who the Candyman is so I am here to enlighten you. I am the writing on the wall, the whisper in the classroom. Without these things, I am nothing”
“I wouldn’t be so hard on yourself”
“You listen but you don’t hear. May I ask you a question?”
“Sure. Fire away”
“Why do you want to live?”
“Well when I consider the other option, it just seems more sociable”
“If you would learn just a little from me, you would not beg to live”
“Not sure about that but go on”
“It is a blessed condition, believe me. To be whispered about at street corners. To live in other people’s dreams, but not to have to be. Do you understand?”
“I get where you’re coming from but don’t you think death is just a little severe?”
“Not as severe as life and far more beneficial. Your death will be a tale to frighten children, to make lovers cling closer in their rapture”
“It’s the pain part I have an issue with”
“The pain, I can assure you, will be exquisite. As for our deaths, there is nothing to fear. Our names will be written on a thousand walls. Our crimes told and retold by our faithful believers. We shall die together in front of their very eyes and give them something to be haunted by”
“About this we business”
“That is why you summoned me yes?”
“Look, I’m going to level with you here. I was kind of hoping you’d bring Helen”
“She is at home preparing a banquet for kings”
“How is the old girl?”
“Fine. We have an open relationship and she never questions me so no complaints here”
“Open you say?”
“Yes, what is the point you wish to make?”
“Not so much a point as a suggestion”
“I’m beginning to tire of this cryptic approach”
“Well you know that they say sharing is caring right?”
“You want to bone her don’t you?”
“Bone is such a crass word. I was thinking more…lease? Just for six-and-a-half minutes without bees if that sounds workable”
“Yes. Under the correct terms and conditions, I’d say we could arrange something”
“Terms and conditions you say”
“Just minor detail really”
“Does it involve the shedding of blood?”
“What’s blood for, if not for shedding?”
“I’m kind of partial to my ten pints”
“You think you can just waltz into my home, doink my lady, then skulk off into the night?”
“Well I wouldn’t have put it quite like that…but yes, I guess that’s it in a nutshell”
“There needs to be a committment from your side”
“I’ll help wash your dishes after dinner”
“We have a dishwasher for that”
“Okay then I’ll polish your hook for free. Real thorough, I’ll have it gleaming like new, you’ll see”
“Those aren’t acceptable terms”
“So what’s your idea then?”
“Come with me and be immortal”
“I’m just not feeling the whole immortality thing. Perhaps later on down the line but there are things I need to do here first”
“How about if I were to tell you that we can do this the easy way or the hard?”
“I get it. You charge a call out fee right?”
“You could say that yes”
“Oh! Now that presents something of a pickle. I’m a bit short of cash right now”
“Have you been listening to a solitary word I have been saying you wretched imbecile?”
“Do you take Visa Delta?”
“I take ten pints of blood”
“About that ten. Are you open to negotiation. I was thinking more two pints once a week for six weeks. That way you get two pints free”
“Do I look like a Turkish rug salesman to you?”
“Candyman. Candyman. Candyman. Candyman. Candyman”
Fuck it, my plan failed. I’m starting to think this may have been a bad idea.
“What was that about?”
“I just like the way your name rolls from my tongue”
“I’m afraid you are out of time”
“Can I graciously decline?”
“Yes you can”
“Oh thank heavens. You had me worried there for a second”
“But I shall kill you anyway and make the pain far less exquisite”
Now would be a good time for the Grueheads to spring forth from their hiding spots and bail me out. Guys? GUYS? Fiddlesticks I believe is the word I am searching for here. Looks like I’m on my own. Why didn’t I just jerk off to Helen’s photo? Now I’m damned, whether I do or don’t. There has to be some way out of this that doesn’t involve having my vital fluids siphoned into Candyman’s blood bank. I’d better think fast as the savage bees appear to have caught wind of our tête-à-tête and they don’t appear best pleased by my insolence.
“My patience is wearing dreadfully thin”
“One more moment. I promise I won’t keep you much longer”
Looks like I’m done for. Curse my inquisitive nature. Perhaps next time I won’t be so quick to dismiss urban legend. Hold on, that’s it! I think I may have found a solution after all. It’s a crazy notion but perhaps just crazy enough to work. You see, Candyman may think he owns the monopoly on mirror-themed cameos but I’m fairly assured that someone else got in first. Time to shit or get off the pot methinks.
“Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY!!!”
Well desperately seek me and call me Susan, it only bloody worked. Turns out that it wasn’t baloney after all and, while our fresh arrival isn’t so much fresh as festering, the bees seem to have perked up and that’s a positive sign. Let’s just see how this pans out shall we?
“Well who do we have here?”
“Hey yourself. May I say you’re looking mighty fine?”
Jesus, this dude isn’t picky.
“Why thank you sir. Not looking too shabby yourself”
“Care to play a little game of hide the hook?”
“I’d be delighted”
Fucking pay-dirt. Told you urban legends are authentic. I never doubted it for a second.
“Okay you two young lovers, I’m going to leave you to get better acquainted. One more thing, just throwing this out there”
“WHAT? You sickening little parasite of a man”
“Guess you won’t be needing Helen now right? Candyman?.. Candyman?..”