One paragraph story... June 15- PM edition

Renfold P. Jones had a remarkable collection of shrunken heads. Most of them he acquired through the open market, but the one that rested at the centre of the mantle above his fireplace was the jewel of the lot. It was Jubal, a homeless man he’d met in San Francisco, and brought with him to the South-east border of Ecuador, where Renfold meant to learn the ancient art from the very tribe that still practiced it. He was of new money, as his father had amassed his fortune during World War I where he took his two bus operation escorting miners to Canada from California. The miners called it The Snuff Line as they all huffed the powdered tobacco to stay awake. Two became twenty buses and then long haul grew to inter-city and the Jones fortune was made. Renfold had had no interest in running a busing business so only days after his father died, he sold the entire operation to a Swede he’d met at a card game he’d sunk too much money in. The obsession for Shrunken heads began as a joke by an old girlfriend who sent it to him because she felt the only thing he could relate to was something dead. A child afflicted with Affluenza he was the first to admit he was lost amidst the world of the common people, and the joke became a need to own all the wicked things of the world; bodies of Aligator people, alien fetuses, all manner of cursed antiquities, but it wasn't enough, he wanted to control it, be apart of it so he travelled to South America with hopes of creating his own trophy. It took weeks for the guide and translator he’d paid to get the trust of the Jivaro Indians. He’d plied them with gold, and National Geographic magazines, and finally the death of Jubal (whom he had actually become fond of through the weeks together). The killing of Jubal didn't effect him, nor slicing the head off, or the hour and half of boiling (no more else the hair fall out), but the carrying the head around for a week while letting hot rocks lol inside the cranium bothered him more than he’d realized. The vacant accusing upside down stare of Jubal, judging him. In the end Jivani’s grew tired of the white presence and attacked them, killing the translator, but Renfold was able to escape with his prize.  His undoing, as it turned out, was not the living with murder, but the realization that he craved to do it again. Perhaps, this time, an entire shrunken body. 

 

James C.