Here's some writing from Friday's readers (not necessarily what they'll read on Friday). See you then!
Mr. Kramer kept to himself.
His grass was impeccably trimmed. Every Saturday morning and Wednesday
evening, from late March through early October, he was out there.
Trimming. Hauling. And in slacks! So fancy.
I went inside of his home once, when his grandson was in town. As one
of Bert's only friends in the neighborhood, I was invited over for
dinner: Chicken, rice, broccoli. A large glass of cold milk. There was
not a speck of dust in his home. His couches were covered in plastic.
A relic, I'd guessed, of the long and dearly departed Mrs. Kramer. It
smelled vaguely of ammonium cleaners, and everything had an unnatural
sparkle. At the age of nine, I was awed by Mr. Kramer's obsessive
Everything like clockwork. He left for work at exactly 8 a.m. Each
Tuesday, his garbage was on the curb at 7:53a.m. Exactly. I know,
because I paid attention. Close enough attention that I alone noticed
when his Rubbermaid 9W27 Brute Rollout Container with Lid (and a
50-gallon capacity!) leaked a strange red liquid onto his
pressure-washed driveway one morning.
And so I was the only resident of Rock Shadow Court who was unsuprised
when the news of Mr. Kramer's transgressions rocked the world. Mr.
Kramer, you see, had murdered eight college-aged girls across six
Georgia counties, destroying the lives of countless friends and family
in the process. Insane from sorrow, the father of one of the victims
snuck into Kramer's empty house in the middle of the night and burned
it down. The man was found naked in the once-manicured front yard,
weeping, watching the inferno. No charges were pressed.
When the news media flocked into the neighborhood, our lives too were
thrown into chaos. When I was cornered by a particularly unscrupulous
reporter and asked what I knew about Mr. Kramer, all I could initially
think to say was: "He sort of kept to himself," but then, as an
afterthought, added: "and he was so tidy."
I only saw the kid on and off during college. One summer, while leafing through
Rolling Stone, he came across a Fruit of the Loom advertisement with a tiny pair
of briefs glued to it. I’m not sure why. To prove that it could be done? To offer an
undergarment option for the niche market consisting of parents with babies born
both dangerously premature and potty-trained? Who knows? But, the kid quickly
moved from “Why?” to “What can I do with these?”
I’m sure he considered the beagle first, but there was no tail-hole. So, they went on
me. One of his shitty friends suggested that he add a couple marbles to the front
of the underpants to simulate my junk. Yeah, funny, right? With the exception of a
short trial run, I was spared this indignity.
As silly as I felt (although I can’t deny that they were, indeed, pretty supportive), I
think the briefs are the reason I’m not buried at the bottom of a box. The kid found
the sight of me in tighty-whities so continually amusing that he still keeps me
from The Atlanta Ripper:
Further in to the fall, the Ripper struck again, this time using a different murder weapon. Strangely enough, Ellen Maddox, a cook for an Inman Park family was attacked while on her way home from the family home where she served. While walking home, Maddox was attacked near the Atlanta Stove Works on Irwin Street by someone who hit her on the back of the head with a blunt object. The attack was so brutal that the papers reported that “…she was attacked from behind, her head almost crushed and her face beat out of all resemblance to a human being. Not once did she catch a glimpse of her assailant.” Officers West and Brannen were called to the scene of the attack around 7:00 p.m. that evening. Maddox was sent to Grady Hospital, her condition quite serious. Although she was badly beaten and near death, she was able to tell officers “He ran up behind me and hit me and then…” She was unable to finish her sentence, and no word was given in these reports as to whether she died as a result of her injuries.