You haven’t heard of William Colton Hughes. Or, if you have, then you’re not telling anybody. Not telling them anything, ever. The best serial killer? He’s not the one on the news, in the textbooks. He’s the one out there still punching his card, and a few other people’s too. This is William Colton Hughes, a nightmare not only come to life, but waiting in his apartment for you to knock on his door. And you will, it’s only a matter of when.
But what would a person— if he even counts as a person — like William Colton Hughes do if his fantasy life, this heaven he lives in, where his victims are delivered to his door every few days, what does he do when he’s suddenly alone, no visitors, nobody to talk to but himself? Has his benefactor, his employer, abandoned him? Is this a message, and, if so, how to read it? Has his benefactor been his prison warden all along? His apartment complex a hospital? Is he going to have to go back to heaving dark plastic bags into dumpsters when nobody’s looking, and finally winding up on the news one bad day?
Or is he going to start harvesting from within the building. A bad idea, he knows, but whatever gets you through the night, right? Nevermind that somebody out there on the street, a Dashboard Mary, is onto him, is taunting him, but wants more than just to parade him through the media. Who is she to him? And who is William keeping next door, secret from his benefactor? And will things ever be the same again?
No. And yes. People will always be harvesting each other in the most beautiful, the most violent ways. Some of them will just be able to sit down afterwards, flip through the channels, wait for their favorite show to come back on.
This is William Colton Hughes. Come and knock on his door.
audio @ audible
sample @ Plots With Guns
links: ManArchy | Booked Podcast | Out of the Gutter (Gabino Iglesias) | Spinetingler Best of 2013 | Arkham Digest | Hellnotes | The Gamblers | Vol. 1 Brooklyn | Bookgasm | Pantheon | Confabulator Cafe | ThatLitSite | Dead End Follies | Postcards from a Dying World | Best 1-star review ever | The Story of Writing It | Bryan W. Dull | Nerdy Narrative (vid) |
A grim, funny, stylish hallucination of a book — murderous insanity seen from the inside out. You’ll be revolted by this guy, but he’ll fascinate you too – Jack Ketchum
The Least of My Scars shows how a serial killer’s paradise and a serial killer’s hell are really the same place. A dark and steady noir which pulls the rug painfully out from under your feet at the end – Brian Evenson
thanks again to Jordan Dyke, for the imagining:
and this is Caleb J Ross:
And, hey, who knew (me, maybe; Bob Pastorella, definitely): Dashboard Mary.
[ though, now that I apply a couple of brain cells, I think I was keying more on Jethro Tull’s “Crosseyed Mary.” I do really dig this Podunk sound, though ]
and, was so strange for me, finally watching The Killing, as Joel Kinnamen’s Holder character is exactly and precisely Kid Hoodie, right down to diction and posture — all of it:
and, this is Jack Tripper’s . . . second? appearance in my books. really, I’d put the number up around four or five. but I only clearly remember him from Demon Theory.
And, in an effort to resist that thing where the author of the novel has to adopt the persona to match the novel (which seems to assume that we can’t, like, make thing up), here’s a little something I’m probably more proud of than I should be: