Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Backstory: The Blind Barber

I read books.  You may read books.  Every character in a book has a backstory.  It's there in the shadows.  I search for that backstory.  I read between the lines so you don't have to.

Today's victim book is The Blind Barber by John Dickson Carr.  First published in 1934, it is part of his Dr. Gideon Fell series.

But enough about Mr. Carr and his dubious Dr. Fell.  I'm here to read between the lines.  To find the backstory.  To find the roots behind Edna's tragic end.

In her childhood, Edna was like any other kid.  Wholesome farm living kept her cheecks rosy and her body lithe.  And so much to do!  Living on the farm, there was plenty of room for running, playing, spying on animals in heat, and jumping around. 

Autumn was an especially joyful time of year around the farm.  The fertile fields were ready to offer up their bounty.  And the bounty was reaped.  And there was rejoicing.

Wagons brimmed with grain, groaning under their loads.  Nearby, an auger stood proud and tall against the sky.  Next to it, the grain bin opened wide, ready to receive the grain, to relieve the wagons of their contents.

Edna was fascinated by the process.  The grain swirled up the tube and spewed into the bin.  An unfamiliar tingling consumed Edna.  Her body begged to ride up and up to the sky.  She wanted to ride up and be part of the powerful release at the top.  Again and again.  She wanted to fly.  Up and up.  Again and Again.  She had no fear of flying. 

Suddenly, she knew for a fact that becoming one with the auger, the grain, and the bin was the only thing that would satisfy the growing need inside her.  Up and up.  Again and again.  If she could not ride the wild auger, she knew the delicious tingling inside her would never be satisfied.  And she wanted it satisfied.  Her body begged for satisfaction.  Up and Up.  Again and Again.

In a wanton act of need, she took her first step toward the grain wagon.  Like jam slithering on top of peanut butter, she melted into the shadows on the side of the wagon.  It was so right.  It would be so good.  She had to have it.

Wrapping her tiny hands around the huge metal bars on the wagon, she hoisted herself up.  Peeked over the edge.  Her excitement grew as she saw soft grain waiting for her.  It called to her.  It longed for her as she longed for it. 

"Join us...join us," the grain whispered.  "We are for you.  No one but you.  We will guide you as you writhe up the tube.  We will join you as we gush into the bin.  We will fly.  Up and up."

Edna hoisted herself to the edge of the grain wagon and, releasing her hold, let herself fall into the grain.  It felt so good.  Instinct took over as her arms opened wide and her legs splayed on top of the grain. 

She felt the grain shifting beneath her as they inched toward the auger.  The tickle of the grain was a new sensation.  A welcome sensation.  Together, they moved slowly.  Oh so very slow.  Glorious waves of pleasure delighted her even as her need increased.  Let it be slow.  Let it speed up.  Her back arched, as she squirmed and sighed.

So close.  So close.

And then she was there.  Her entrance into the auger was at hand.  One toe...

The pain, the pain.  Pain unlike any other she had known.  The tingling, the all-consuming tingling was replaced by the pain.

And then, nothing.

When she awoke, Edna found herself in the hospital.  All around her were doctors and nurses.  The medical staff could not hide their sadness.  Something was horribly wrong.  Her legs.  They were staring at her legs.  Edna looked down.

Her left leg.  It was gone.


Loripdx said...

Holy Toledo! Talk about are the QUEEN, and I salute you! It was like going back in time and reading an old Penthouse magazine story!

Nice. VERY nice.

Bitterly Books said...

Yeah, this was pretty spectacular. Thanks for reminding me to update my feed reader!