Monday, 29 October 2007
I Dream of Jean Knee
Around this time of year, people's thoughts turn to scary things. I had decided to do some research into the scariest thing I could think of. Spiders? No, The Psycho Woman herself - the one known only as Jean Knee...
I'm afraid my driving was a bit erratic - I could hardly concentrate as I drove the once busy highway that had fallen into disuse after the Interstate was built in '59. I moved forward in fits and starts, as my foot trembled uncontrollably on the gas pedal. It must have been those Chicken McNuggets, but I had to get to a toilet fast...
Finally, I saw it. Another shadow on this dark unlit hellish road. The old sign was faded, and I could make out the delapidated huts, as I turned into the car park. I cut the engine and got out of the car. It was a black moonless night and it was raining heavily, despite the fact that I'd set off two hours ago at noon on a sunny summer's day. Bad places are like that.
Several weeks of inquiries had led me to this place. I had scoured Texas, talking to the shadier characters in that massive state (everything's bigger there). Finally, I had come across an old toothless gypsy. She asked me to cross her palm with a silver dollar. I told her I could get her a discount at my dentists, but she said no, she'd rather have the silver. Fair enough. She looked at my palm, and screamed.
I looked, and saw that it was blood red.
"It's okay", I said, "that's off the hot dog I just had on my way here."
Anyway, after a lot of persuading (and my whole stash of silver dollars), she told me. Everyone knew about Norman Bates and his stuffed mum, but there had been a sister. She had left her family as a young girl, because her brother wouldn't stop cutting up her dolls. She had started a new life in Texas, where apparently she was still living. Like her brother she lived in a fantasy world. One where she pretended she was a wife and mother, and children's party organiser.
The gypsy had reluctantly given me directions to the motel where she said that Jean Knee-Bates was actually living. In fact she'd handed me a leaflet entitled "The Other Bates' Motel", sponsored by the local Tourist Board. And then her eyes had darkened and she had told me not to go there. The place was cursed, and I would meet my doom...
So here I was. I looked around. One of the old huts had a light on! I crept towards it, and peered in through the cracked glass of the window.
There, I could just make her out. Sitting in front of a laptop, a polka-dot covered image on the screen, she was typing madly. Every so often she would throw back her head and scream "The Horror!". It was a gruesome sight.
But even more gruesome was my pressing need to find a bathroom. I dashed into the motel room next door - it wasn't locked. Whilst I was there, I thought I might as well take a shower. After all, surely she wouldn't mind?
The water felt great. My quest had taken up so much of my time that I hadn't had a shower for days. I found myself singing. I felt happy and relaxed.
Suddenly, the curtain was pulled back. All I saw was the gleam of a huge knife (did I tell you, everything's bigger in Texas?).
A final thought went through my head, just before the knife did. I know my singing's not great, and not everyone's a fan of "Volare", but even so, I felt that she was overreacting just a bit...
Then I woke up.