Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 27

             The man who went berserk

It was like wonderland out here. Cars and buses were moving their passengers
about in half-speed, while the air itself seemed strangely thick. The milky glare
from headlights moving and lamp posts posing cast an eerie glow on the town.

To me, it felt as though we were evolving too quickly, and my body was slowly
beginning to break down. All my faculties were operating normally in the sense
that I could still differentiate between good and bad, right and wrong, where to
walk, and what not to touch. The outside world was like a lost city that had
suddenly come alive, and right now, it seemed to have a hunger for souls.

Emotions no longer your own become chastised in dismay as you stare in
disillusionment at your confounded perception gone terribly awry. When the
mind's chemistry is disrupted, everything you interpret
throughout your life
will change. It takes a human being a
lifetime to absorb everything he or she
but only a few minutes to turn it all into jumbled-up, meaningless
So dramatic is this change that it alters your very existence. Your
emotions, personality, and mindset are no longer within your control.

It's almost as if you've come to a full circle. Standing inside
it, you realize
it's going in ten different directions, and the only way to get
out of that
circle is to go in ten different directions. . . At the same time.

The only way to do this is to not get hung up on anything.

Just think of being in a big sideshow where the world around you is the main
attraction. It is there you will become familiar with the workings of elastic
confusion where wonder sets in. Only then can we truly appreciate the world
of the disturbed and unusual. Watch as a typical ordinary room magically
transforms itself into the devil's playground. See everything old come alive in
a new way filled with meaning. Here everything can be splendid indeed.

How wonderful is the place where chairs dance and bedroom dressers come
alive in such a way it defies logic. Through unspoken words, they can almost
seem to offer up some sound advice. It's the telepathic
nature of the beast; to
better understand your mind by helping you through your predicament.
ask the ferryman within the shadows of the dividing partition.
It is, after all,
what you paid for, so why not allow him to guide you?

Life is cast with joy in the land where pleasures abound.

                               Here you may feel like a king, but you're the king's jester.
                                                     The man who became the fool.
                                                                *Don't be fooled*

                                                                               Pg 128

As I passed Mackie’s deli, a tenebrous shadow of a swaying branch cast itself ominously
against the building's facade in the still light. How eager it all seemed to await me as if
to be imploring me to move forward. I couldn't help but notice one of the bright orange
containers situated alongside the building. As I slowly walked over, I immediately saw a
hungry hippo eating what appeared to look like a huge domino. I read the words aloud,
“V. Marangi carting corporation.”

John started laughing and yelled ecstatically, “he's eating one of his own containers.”

“That's what he's eating?” I asked excitedly.

“That's what he's eating!

A man who appeared to be noticeably agitated exited the deli and immediately lit a cigarette.
Clutching onto that pack like he had just uncovered a truckload of lost Army rations meant for our
boys in World War II, gave me the impression that he was fifteen minutes away from a stroke.
He looked around quite jittery and fell into a fast pace like he was walking on the edge of a
pinwheel. I thought about what would happen if I were to take a drag of a cigarette right now.
Being in this current state of mind, it is undeniable; it would become a puff of instant cancer.

I could not see inside the deli due to the angle in which we were facing, but when a
little autistic boy ladened with Down syndrome tripped coming out of the doorway
and dropped his muffin, his entire world became fractured, and he bellowed in pain.

                                              World Of Oz - The Muffin Man

A few blocks down from the station was our friend Richie's house. It was a pleasant single-
family detached home with a two-car garage and a welcome mat surrounded by little
birds and flowers. Every year they would change the doormat to something different.

This year, it was the wife's choice, obviously.

None of us wanted to ring the doorbell, for
the lateness of the hour was upon us, so we
lingered on the street, and enjoyed the
calm, sedative feel that the night brought. I sat
myself down on the curb beside a large
mound of dirt and ran my fingers through it,
making a primordial design. Before long,
I began to sift through the dirt for those little
beads of earthen soil that I would
crumble between my fingers. I would begin by rubbing
it into a fine powder and then watch as it fell from
my fingertips like pulverized ash.

For some unknown reason, I'd clean my hands by rubbing that
brown dust on my pants.
Again and again, I would repeat this action for nearly twenty
minutes. When I finally
realized what I had been doing the whole
time, I was mortified. I tried to comprehend
why I had gone out of my way to look
like a disgusting homeless beggar and wondered
if I was, in fact, sabotaging the train.

I soon began to think of myself as a bum. Since I was currently unemployed,
no car, no girlfriend, and very little money, what else could I be? Not to
I looked like a pauper from a third-world country that had lost his
to beg for meager change. Aside from this dilemma, I kept pondering
the notion
that if it rained now, I would be readily transformed into a hideous
mud monster, the one who leaves a trail of castaneous mire in his wake
while scampering for a place to hide in the boscage.

It was right at this point that Pete became inflamed at passing cars. . .

       “Keep beepin' that horn, you mother fuckin' scumbag bastard,
                                 and I'll twist ya into a pretzel.

                 “I'll snap your neck like a twig, you piece-a-shit.

                      “Go faster, maybe you'll hit a fucking pole!

I am sure that if his mind had the ability to explode like an unstable compound,
the peaceful little town of Huguenot would have been completely devoid of earth,
very much like a burning asteroid slamming into us from another galaxy.

There is a special room in the sub-basement of one of the darkest and
most feared institutions in the country. That room is reserved for Peter.

Unable to control the venom which spewed forth from his mouth and into the
air like nerve gas, he lashed out
against mankind in a fiery assault. In a state
of mental instability, Peter was consumed by hysteria. Apoplectic with rage,
my unrestrained friend soon began to throw his fist at
the ground as if he
had a divining rod that would split the earth in two.

It is said that a man can control an army, an army can control a state,
and a president can preside over a country. But no man has the power
nor the ability to control his own tongue from wagging.

John was too busy laughing at Pete's antics to concern himself with anything
else going on in the world around him while I was riding the exhale of a
convulsing howl, nearly into the path of an oncoming Buick Apollo.

When I finally caught my breath, I began to perceive
this awkward fellow in a strange new light.

A man prone to maniacal outbursts and seething rants. A fellow who has
no jurisdiction to lead, even himself.
A person who's gone completely aloof
and is hanging by a single disparaging thread, a
character who is in need
of all his marbles, but sadly I find far too many of them are missing.

The more we laughed, the more Pete went off on his tirade.

“Yeah, look at me from your window; maybe you’ll go blind.

There’s so many people on this fucking island, it’s gonna sink.

“Stick your neck out that window one more time,
you nosey son of a fucking bitch, and I’m gonna
go up there and slam it off. . . Booooooooooom!!!

He screamed out while slamming the imaginary
window down upon the invisible neighbor’s neck.

                                                                               Pg 129

I was gasping for air with my stomach tied in knots. Suddenly, Johns knees gave out,
and he collapsed helplessly to the ground like a wet paper bag will lose groceries.

He then began rolling around on the grass as though he were being tickled by invisible bugs.

Pete’s face was now contorted to that of a snarling dwarf, and his contentiousness was far from
becoming evanescent. I then thought of that fat lady in the laundromat last week with her hair
up in
curlers and miserable attitude. What I wouldn’t give to see her right now, shuffling down
the street and turning toward peter and yelling, “shut the fuck up, you asshole!”

I could almost imagine the expression his face would convey before releasing a slew of words
so deranged and profound, the majority of which have not yet even been discovered.

                  He finally calmed down — for about nineteen seconds.

There was no doubt about it; Peter was becoming more irascible by the minute, and
neither of us could predict when that next outburst would come flying out. Anything
at all now could trigger his psychosis, and so we waited for the inevitable to occur.

                                           (((Then the dam broke)))       

A rickety old truck passes, clattering like it had palsy, and for some reason, the driver deemed
was necessary to slam down on the horn. Well, that was the final straw. Peter’s brain must
have exploded inside his head, for he grabbed hold of the steel stop signpost and began to
swing it back and forth with such a fervor I feared he would pull it
from the ground.

His mind had become so infused with darkness that, at that very moment,
he was as
dangerous as a porcupine with a dry pine needle stuck in its ass. The vitriolic
seemed to grow like well-cultivated flowers in a field of the criminally insane.

He then began to make these loud grunting noises,

and it sounded a lot like, “Ah-ah-ah-uh-uh-uh.”

Barely able to catch his breath, John exclaims, “Remember,
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
? I think we better call
nurse Ratched because it's medication time.”

Pete then gave him
the death stare while attempting to process the comment.
All the while trying to figure out what to say
in return. John then repeated the
phrase, only this time with sinister realism and a
devilish smile that made him
sound like he was almost singing. “It's med-i-cation time. . .”

Pete then contests while sneering, “Fuck you, Fat-man!”

John then begins
slapping his right leg like a redneck who polished off
the moonshine as he broke into a fit of deep and uproarious laughter.

“Charles, I'm tellin' ya, he's got some rare form of predisposed mental illness!”

Pete immediately chimes in, “You really don’t know what you’re talking about, do
you? What are you a fucking attorney now? You got the lingo down? You put words
into place just for laughs? You think you’re so smart. . . Yoouuuu shit-head.”

I exploded like a can of old sardines at the insidious remark,
spewing my laughter at houses near and far.

I was so incapacitated by laughter, I wasn’t sure if I was going to remember
how to inhale again. Yet nothing else seemed to matter, and I really didn't care.
I just had to try and keep myself from falling headlong into the street, while
John held onto the neighbor’s fence as he bellowed aloud into the night.

Very soon after this episode, Peter calmed down somewhat.

We then got Richie’s attention by throwing bits of gravel
at his bedroom window. Richie soon exits through the front
door and sees us hanging out on the side of his house.

“What are you guys doing here?” he asked happily, walking down
the concrete stairs in his blue pajamas. Even Pete covered his face
and tried not to laugh. “Put some damn clothes on, man.”

“I just smoked a joint of Buddha in my
room and can barely talk.
I’m really high,” he said, laughing and drooling like a fiend.

He then begins to point at the adjoining houses across the street.

“Theres the Hass-e-nuffes. . .
Theres-the Jay-cobbs!

This half-singing maniac was now laughing, if not more than we were.
Richie then approaches us, and this is how the scenario plays out.

So, what brings you guys to this neck of the island?

I don't know; you should ask these guys.
They fucked me over real good tonight.

You look like you need to sit down.

Yeah, well, I just had a nervous breakdown a little while ago.

With that comment, I immediately swung around. My entire
rippled, as I ineffectively tried to maintain my composure.
Peter acting like a polite politician who desperately needed the
winning vote, was now waving his arms about in the air.

I really need a couple-a-hits of that weed, Rich.

I wish I could help you, but I just finished smoking it.

And that was the rub. Peter would not be getting any weed this evening, either.
With those fleeting words, I could see Peter's face starting to manifest again.

                                                                               Pg 130

This isn't happening. This just cannot be fucking happening.

“If you guys would have come earlier, we could have smoked it together.”

“We were here for half-a-fucking hour, man!”

“Then why didn’t you call for me sooner?”

“Because we didn’t know how to address the situation.”

Just then, a car turns left and proceeds to drive up the street.
From a distance,
I can see an exhaust pipe blowing endless
clouds of smoke into the air,
enveloping us in its haze.

“Hey, look, Pete,” I exclaimed, “It's the Alice B. Toklas car!”

“Fuck that smoky piece-a-shit box. . .

I hope it bursts into flames on the expressway!

Paul Roland - Oscar automobile

He then collected some small stones and, like a sidearm pitcher,
began skimming them down the street with pure indignation.

In a nonchalant manner, a timely old gentleman came out of his house with
walking stick and proceeded to sit down in a frail wooden rocking chair.

He began to rock back and forth as he watched us from his porch.

“Look at that decrepit old man,” Peter vocalized in anguish.
“His sole purpose in life now is to destroy my mind.”

He then begins to mimic the voice of Leo Gorcey, 
or was it James Cagney?

No, I believe it was Edward G. Robinson.

As Peter began to speak, his upper teeth remained
firmly positioned upon his lower teeth.

“I'm just gonna sit here all night and watch those kids on my street.
They don't look right to me, and they definitely don't belong here. . .
I'm just waiting for my casket to arrive, so I can climb into it and die.

Pete then turns his back on the old timer
and begins shouting in his regular voice.

“Please tell me this senile old man is not gonna sit there all
night and observe us because that, I can-not fuck-ing bear.”

After the laughter subsided, John wiped his eyes and said to Rich, You gotta
do me a favor. John was holding back laughter, and I knew he was about to
open a folder of sarcasm. Richie just looked at him with those dead eyes, like
he was looking at a town through the window of a plane from 40,000 feet.

He appeared as though he wanted to speak, but his
mind would not allow it, so he simply grinned.

I need you to call Bellevue and tell them they're missing a patient.
Tell them to bring a reinforced straight jacket and a double shot of Thorazine.
Get the rubber room ready, be-cause it's med-i-cation timeeeeee!

I clutched my stomach, and we roared like thieves.

Pete stepped forward with a gremlin face and retorted, Keep it up. . .
Keep it up, you oversized retard, and I'll roll you down the block like an oil drum.
You always have something to say. Eat a fucking candy bar and shut up!

Indeed, Peter had given new meaning to all the curse words every child
yearns to utter, and in my mind, he had just won an award for best actor.

You don't see acting like that on stage.

You don't see acting like that ever.

                                       History Of The F' Word

Every bit of air that was in my lungs was suddenly blown out.

I struggled terribly to maintain my balance, but couldn't hold my legs
up, so I fell to the grass and screamed, but
nothing came out. I was on
the last breath following the last breath, yet I could take in no air.

Desperately wanting to gasp, I remained frozen in time for what
seemed like an eternity, not able
to inhale or exhale a single atom.
Pete looked down at me as I was finally able to recover.

His tone appeared defeated as he said, “you guys are too much.

We then said farewell to Richie and were on our way. Since neither
of us knew where to go from here,
we walked around the Huguenot
area in circles, like three dogs, in search of their missing tails.

                                                     Harbinger Complex - I think I'm down     

                                                                               Pg 131

Reviews for chapter 27

Emanuel Martinez - Your nuts

Charles Pendelton - Thank you, your words have made me stronger.

Nicholas Lashley - Laughed my ass off! I'm must trip out tonight!!!



                                                          This review was posted on Jan/10/23



                                          This review was posted on Feb/9/23

                                                          alits29's review

            The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 27 - Reader Report

                               Beta Reader's Report by Alitha Igloria (alits29)




                                       This review was posted on Feb/11/22

                                               iqrabashir871 's review
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 27 - The man who went berserk

                                              Reader's Report by Iqra




                                                           This review was posted on Mar/3/23
                                                                     kanchanninawe's review

                The Embryo Man
and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 27 - The man who went berserk

                                                                 Reader's Report by kanchan





                                       This review was posted on Mar/4/23

                                                   Hajranoor's review





                                   This review was posted on Mar/20/23

                                   nehanegi1905 's review
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 27 - The Man Who Went Berserk

                                     Reader's Report by nehanegi1905


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