I woke up this morning and walked out on the deck of the fire tower. You can’t believe how happy I was to see three piles of body parts in a row on the ground below. They have found me. I’m sure of it. There will be more, and I can’t wait.
My pile has asked them for help. It wants my hands. And it doesn’t know how to get them. Its hands must be so useless that it can’t even use them to remove mine. It needs the help of every Gore to take my hands.
This makes me so sad because I would gladly give my pile my hands. I can get by without them. What do I really need them for anyway? Stevie Dayton created me. He made me so I can’t die. Even without hands to fight or feed myself, I can’t die. My hands are of no use to me if you think about it.
I have to find a way to tell the Gore. There’s no need to gather and ambush me. They can gather. I want them to come, but I won’t refuse them my hands. I won’t struggle. They must know this. I have to let them know.
I searched Floyd’s diary to see if he ever talked to them and I found this.
Not all the Gore speak. It’s only the ones with the human heads that can talk. And, if the head is an infant or toddler, it speaks like a child, with the mind of a child. None of them really say anything that’s relevant to the situation. It’s as if they are repeating memories in their dead brains. As far as I know, there is only one Gore in the group that can hear anything other than other Gore. It has a man’s head: an older man, distinguished with streaks of gray in its hair, a chiseled jaw, perfect teeth. I call him Mr. President because he appears to be the leader. Mr. President likes me. He smiles at me and assures me that I have beautiful strong hands. They would be such a lovely addition to the Gore if I gave them willingly. Happy hands come from volunteers, he said. He’s been so wonderfully nice. I am happy to volunteer my hands. He’s told the others and now we wait. Gore law says the hands go to the Gore with the greatest need. He will decide which Gore that is. They are gathering so he can decide.
I must find this Mr. President and let him know that my hands are happy hands. And I will plead for my pile to receive them. It wants my hands so badly it must be the one. It has to be the one.
I left the fire tower this morning to visit my pile of body parts. After reading the first half of Floyd’s journal, I realized my pile deserved a name just as much as his. Why should it be forced to spend its days and nights freezing in the woods without a name? That isn’t fair.
And yes, dear diary, I have lost my mind. I cannot stop thinking about that stupid pile of mangled bones and rotting flesh. I needed it. It needed me.
So, my pile of body parts needed a name. The only problem was I couldn’t remember what the right hand looked like. Was it a man’s hand, a woman’s hand or did my stack of assorted limbs and feet and joints have the hands of a child? Did I have a junior in my midst?
My pile was waiting for me just past the tree line. I approached it feeling almost giddy. I couldn’t wait to give it a name. I peered through the spaces between the collection of severed body parts, looking for the hands. Muscle, skin, fur, and innards seemingly clung to each other for warmth. It was so, so cold.
A few minutes of intense looking went by until I finally spotted a hand. And I was in luck, it was the right hand. It was wedged in tight between some bones. I couldn’t see it clearly enough to make out if it was a man, woman or child, so I found a stick nearby and worked it in between the carefully placed gore.
A rush of warm air hit me in the face. I pulled the stick back and nearly fell to the ground. I inserted the stick again and the stream of air returned. The pile was breathing on me.
I pulled the stick back out, steadied my nerves and hurriedly stuck the stick back in the pile and desperately tried to uncover the debris around the hand so I could identify it. I had to name my pile. It deserved a name.
I cleared away enough to see a fingernail. It had a spot of faded pink nail polish. It was a female. I almost jumped for joy. A female! A girlfriend. My own ghoulish pile of meat and bones girlfriend. I knew right away what to name her. Valerie. I had her back. I had my Valerie back.
I felt a smile form on my face and was about to go back to the fire tower when something clicked in my head. The hand – it was familiar. I looked closer, my face even brushing up against a clump of hair stuck to piece of flesh on the pile. It startled me enough that I reared back. When I did, a flash of memory came to me. That hand. I knew that hand. I’d seen it before, holding a knife in my face.
It was Fury’s hand. This wasn’t my pile at all. This was a new pile. I scanned up the mound of various parts and saw the severed head of Pain camouflaged by dirt and dried blood. His eyes opened.
I couldn’t bring myself to read Floyd’s diary today. I’m tired of his obsession with the Gore. And that’s exactly what it is, an obsession. He writes over and over again of being drawn to the piles of body parts. He needed them. They needed him. He described being away from them as a little pinch in his brain. The longer he was away the more severe the pain.
He went back to the aquarium a dozen times in two days at one point. He couldn’t even explain it. He knew it was stupid. He came closer and closer to not being able to leave each time. He really knew he was losing it when he started naming the piles of body parts.
The piles were made up parts from both animals and humans. Each pile had enough parts that, if assembled, would make a complete two-legged creature. They were mismatched parts that had no business being together. One pile would have a horse’s leg, a man’s left foot, a bear’s torso, etc. The next pile would be different creatures, but the same types of body parts: feet, legs, torso, arms, head. The only parts each pile had that were the same were the hands. Every pile had two human hands.
A lot of times it was obvious that the hands didn’t come from the same person. Floyd identified each pile by the right hand. Most of the time he could determine if it was a man’s hand or a woman’s. Based on that, he gave the piles names matching their genders. Children’s hands made it tough. If he found one with a child’s right hand, he’d go by the left hand. If both hands belonged to children, he just called it Junior. Luckily, he’d only come across that once.
That was the pile he was most drawn to. He always found himself standing in front of Junior, waiting for it to speak, to tell him what to do. Junior had a cow’s head, so he wasn’t sure if it was even possible for the pile to speak.
He figured out at some point that Junior did not like the hands it was saddled with. They were small and fairly useless. He didn’t know if Junior had told him this or not. Not using its cow head with its cow tongue to tell him, but by using some kind of mental mind trick. Junior was saddened by its pathetic hands. The other piles didn’t respect Junior. They taunted Junior. They were cruel to Junior.
Floyd felt badly for Junior. He left the aquarium one day and went to the kitchen of a nearby restaurant and searched until he found a very large and very sharp knife. He set the knife on a table in the dining area of the restaurant and promptly forgot why he had been looking for it. An image of Junior’s cow head flashed through his mind and he remembered why.
Floyd wanted to give Junior a new set of hands. His own.
He went outside, ran to the riverbank and tossed the knife into the water.
The body parts are alive or at least they wanted to be alive. That’s what I learned in Floyd Templeton’s diary. Days went by before he could bring himself to go back to the aquarium. He wasn’t sure why he felt the need to go back, but something was driving him, nudging him to walk back into that putrid place and find out more about the pile of body parts.
He inched his way up the stairs to the second level, walking as softly as he could. He had been practicing how to breathe quietly in order to make as little noise as possible, but once he reached the top step and saw the rows and rows of the piles, the fear took over. His quiet breathing turned into short hacking breaths that he was sure could be heard in every corner of the aquarium.
He was struck by a stale odor and realized that he wasn’t just looking at dead body parts. The air itself was dead. He wrote;
It’s hard to describe, but I felt as if the living angered the space I was entering. There was an overwhelming sense of envy. Those piles of body parts were jealous that I brought a beating heart into their habitat. And that’s exactly what it was, a habitat. These things were dead, but I could feel their desire to be alive. They hated me for being what they couldn’t be. It sounds crazy, I know, but anyone walking into their dwelling would feel the same way. There’s no way to deny it.
I don’t know why, but he didn’t leave. He talked about being drawn to the place. It was more than having to know what was happening. He felt the need to be among the piles of body parts. Before he knew it, he had walked more than half the length of the upper corridor. The piles stretched out in front of him and behind him. The “calling” as he named it, to be among the body parts had vanished. Suddenly, he didn’t want to be there. He didn’t want to know why the piles were there. He had made a huge mistake. He said;
I wasn’t there to find out about them. I was brought there so they could find out about me. They were inspecting me. I had been called so they could size me up. Each pile was deciding which of my body parts would suit them.
He turned to leave, but stopped when he saw that the staircase had been blocked by a pile that had not been there before. In a panic, he turned and ran. Each step of the way seemed to produce more and more piles with the distance between them growing smaller and smaller. He couldn’t say for sure, but it almost appeared as if they were moving.
Rounding the corner, he saw an emergency exit and headed for it. Reaching it, he stopped, looked back and saw a disembodied adult human arm attach itself to what looked like the torso of a large dog. A child’s hand jumped off the pile and scooted across the floor to the awkward pairing and attaches itself to the wrist of the adult arm. The small hand reached into the nearby pile and pulled down another arm and continued the gruesome assembly.
Floyd exited before he saw anymore. He ended his entry with this;
They are piles of hungry gore.