Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Ballad of Cruel Freddy Bellows

He was a malicious, twisted, cold-hearted fellow,
That evil, nasty, young Freddy Bellows,
In Riverside's gutters, grog shops, bordellos,
There's not a one alive; man, priest or whore,
Whose fruit hadn't been tainted by his rotting core,
And who wouldna 'spected that cruel Freddy Bellows,
Would earn his dues at the end of a gallows.

He was christened by his preacher father as Louis James Emmerson, but he wasn't to know that, having run away from the long, black-legged, drunken madman as he chased the three year old around the larder, his breaches open at the front with rigid, shameful intent.

By the time he'd stumbled through the freezing fog, into the frightening dark of Riverside, he was sobbing and sliding in the greasy, putrid gutters, his tears rolling down his left cheek - his right eye had swollen completely shut. His arm, which he would never straighten properly again, was on fire, and he longed for the only warmth he'd ever known, his mother's tender, protective embrace.

In his cold fright, he thought he'd found it again when he took the safe, comforting hand of his young mother, and was led down a dank alley, but when they reached a small, peeling door at the far end of a dingy cul de sac, her grip tightened painfully, and transformed into that of another. He squirmed with fright, but before he could struggle free, he was thrust through onto a cold floor, and was immediately set upon by an unseen figure who, in the impenetrable darkness, forced themself upon him, smothering his scream with a rough hand...

He was a malicious, twisted, cold-hearted fellow,
That evil, nasty, young Freddy Bellows,
His trick was to slap-on some of Old Jim Crowe's tallow,
And in the dark of an alley, stick it to Mad Mary Fellows,
He'd lure her there, vacant and trusting,
And bash her around, shouting and cussing,
He was lucky, I guess, that cruel Freddy Bellows,
That a hard life in Riverside had left poor Mary fallow.

The man who was no longer Louis James Emmerson had never loved anyone other than his darling, kind mother, but exactly where she was, he had never known. During the years of his tormenting enslavement, so much of his mind had decayed. He would never learn that his last memory of her, crumpled on the cold larder flagstones on that horrible night, had in fact been her own last memory. Nor would he ever learn that the bailiffs had found the bruised, beaten, swollen body of a sixteen year old girl washed up on Westbank the following morning, never to be identified as a young Mrs Emmerson, the preacher's wife.

When he grew old enough for his brawn to match his aggression, Freddy fled his depraved incarceration and set about searching Riverside for something – for what he did not know, but he longed for it ... ached for it, with his entire being. He tried to find it, first in the arms, and later in the soiled skirts of Riverside's diseased, loveless women. Initially he had been fascinated by the fine frocks they wore; the billowing skirts and lace collars reminded him of warmth, and something long-forgotten ... something magical. But these women had come from similar stock to Freddy, and had little of what he sought once the pennies had changed hands. He soon became bitter, and rage seethed just below, and frequently spilled over the surface.

Freddy Bellows had known only hatred, cruelty and depravity his entire life. His rejection and rage took hold of him, fuelling him both physically and emotionally in a way that the Seaman's Powder he used to buy for a swift one on the docks of Westbank no longer did. He became cruel and dangerous. He took whatever he could, not only money – in truth he had little need of it - what he really wanted was for people to feel the anguish that he did. He had learned that the only time he felt happy was when he looked into the eyes of another, and saw their pain and horror, deep within. In time, Freddy came to realise that the more helpless the victim, the more pain he could inflict, and the more exhilarated he became.

Soon everyone in Riverside knew about Freddy Bellows, the hard-tempered sadist. Few had escaped his harsh treatment, and while some boasted their intent to "do 'im in", most kept a wide berth. His prey became increasingly difficult to find, but there were always the odd favourites; the stragglers who were left behind. Mad Mary was always an easy one to fall back on if things were a bit slow...

He was a malicious, twisted, cold-hearted fellow,
That evil, nasty, young Freddy Bellows,
His appetites grew, and his soul the more shallow,
And in one what he saw, she was new to the scene,
He sensed something forgotten, her frock familiar and clean,
And dog her he did, to the bridge he did follow,
But 'pon reaching this morsel, even for greedy Freddy Bellows,
This meal would prove more 'n Freddy could swallow.

Before long, Mad Mary had received a visit from a desperate Freddy every other night, as did a half-dozen other frightened Marys amongst the alleys and grottos of Riverside, each suffering increasingly horrific treatment as his appetites grew more and more urgent and depraved. In the space of a fortnight, three young women had sustained severe facial injuries at the hands of his unforgiving rage, while another had been so badly beaten that she had frozen to death on the cold stones where he'd left her bleeding.

The Riverside girls soon refused to work at night, and before long there were brawls and stabbings every evening in the filthy taverns along the entire length of the docks. Freddy was amongst them, too, and did more than his fair share of damage, always with a maniacal laugh and a lunatic's strength, but despite their best efforts, few were able to get within a dagger's reach of Freddy Bellows.

Late one night, Freddy woke abruptly from his bed of urine and vomit to find himself in the cold gutter outside the all-night tavern. He'd been dreaming about his beloved Mamma, and as he attempted to sit up, his groggy vision focused on the very woman who only moments before had been embracing him and rubbing his back. He shook his head, assuming that he was still asleep or drunk, but when she remained in his line of sight, gliding across the cobbles on the far side of the street in her regal dress, he staggered to his feet with a shout.

The woman turned towards the slurred bark, her perfect complexion changing instantly from question to fear as she saw the huge, pathetic oaf lumbar towards her. She shrieked and darted down the nearest alley, and Freddy jerked and staggered after her, knocking over boxes and tins as he called, "Mamma! Mamma!"

The frightened damsel was quick on her feet, but Freddy was a desperate pursuer. Before long he had halved the distance between them, but his anger had been sparked by her refusal to stop, and he had begun to curse and rave between his hacking wheezes. Just as he was nearly upon her, she shot sideways down the stairs by the Queen's Bridge, sending Freddy sliding along the slippery cobbles into the railing. He roared with pain and anger and raced after her, down the stairs and onto the shingled river bank. As he followed her around the closest of the great pylons, he suddenly fell to the ground with a great flash of light and an almighty pain in his forehead.

He shook his head with an anguished, piercing howl, sending droplets of blood and gore fanning out around him. As his vision cleared, he was confused to see his dear Mamma standing off to his right with her arm hooked into that of a slender, smirking, top-hatted gentleman. Realisation finally dawned on him that she was too young to have been his mother, and he flushed with embarrassment ... or was it rage? Freddy didn't have time to ponder what was going on, as a gang of familiar ruffians, all scars, sneers and glinting eyes surrounded him and closed-in.

He was a malicious, twisted, cold-hearted fellow,
That evil, nasty, young Freddy Bellows,
And while all wouldda 'spected that cruel Freddy Bellows,
Would earn his dues at the end of a gallows,
T'was not by a rope that Riverside choose'd,
But by cold steel and clubs of those wronged and abused,
As always the bailiffs, dredging the shallows,
Discovered his body, yellow and sallow,
And with the blood round his head, a grizzly red halo,
There was nought who would mourn him, that cruel Freddy Bellows.


Lucy said...

Just came across your blog! I'm fascinated that you work in fashion! Why aren't you in NYC? I'm a comedienne in NYC and fashion is abound here!

And don't worry, I have a nasal-ly voice as well. (I had to get over it because when I practice for comedy, I have to listen to recordings of myself.) Yikes and Double-yikes!

Nice coming across your blog!

DonkeyBlog said...

Well, Hi Ya Lucy, thanks for dropping by. Am not quite working in fashion, and many would argue that I'm not even attired in fashion - I guess we got our wires crossed there - but irritating nasal voice - you're spot-on with that one!

I am quite an avid comedy goer here in Australia, and have a large collection of recorded comedy from over the decades and the globe, I would love to hear your stuff - I guess I'll roll on over and take a peak at yer blog.

Kate S said...

This was really good.