Henri remembered his mother’s admission.
“You do not have my permission
to suck your thumb! If I come
in again, my son, I will
wield knife to lop off your thumb.

Henri really was non-plussed,
for no matter how she cursed
and cussed; throughout her rant
and ballyhoo his mother
never followed through.

Why, he could bet his whole right hand
his mother would not take a stand.
She did not know, she did not see
Henri’s thumb was delicacy.
So his thumb went back to get all wet.

“YOU LITTLE BASTARD” came Mother’s yell
“Did your ears not hear me tell
the consequence of doing that?”
“Let’s see that thumb, you little brat!”
Down came her cleaver, and that was that.

Henri stared incredulous,
his mother’s deed, ridiculous!
She took up the digit to put away,
to return to Henri on the day
that he agreed to cease his sucking.

Henri’s wound took time to heal,
and his nine fingers made him feel
very much the lesser man
who could not count as high as ten.
He cursed the day his mother maimed him.

He grew older, a handsome man
With dark moustache and his hand
encased in leather to hide the void
where once his thumb had perched there sweet,
his moist and tasty, handy treat.

His mother, a woman of her word,
did rue the day she got absurd
by cutting off her baby’s thumb.
She knew someday that day would come
and Henri dear would have his thumb.

The day arrived, but her surprise
was something that disturbed her eyes.
Henri’s thumb was mortified.
No sign of life, she sadly cried.
Her young man’s anger boiled within.

Henri ranted. Henri raved.
Henri cursed the day she saved
the purloined digit in a baggy,
for now the skin was black and saggy.
Henri grasped his mother’s hand

and reaching for the very cleaver,
brought down the chopper soon to leave her
quite left-handed; marked for life
and underhanded. What he did next was hideous
for in his hand, he held her hand.

and hand-in-hand this messed up man,
raised her paw triumphantly,
making sure that she would see
what her Henri had in store;
her bloody stump dripped on the floor.

He closed her fingers to a fist,
with thumb aloft, which was the gist
of all this time that he had waited.
Now this day was celebrated.
His mother knew this day would come,

and watched in horror as her thumb
was inching closer to his mouth.
She prayed to God he’d keep it out.
But Madman Henri had other plans
again ignoring her commands.

Henri sucked his mother’s thumb,
she cringed, disgusted by her son.
Henri soothed his hunger’s itch,
for payback was a mouthy bitch.
His mother knew this day would come.


Fragrances waft, a gentle meander, floral or woodsy in nature. It soothes the nose and masks unsavory things. But stench stumbles in like an inebriate drunkard who had soiled himself and his reputation; a sad mutation of the upstanding bastard he once claimed to be. Sullied was the air when the seal had been broken. No words were spoken with hands clamped across nasal passages and the message purveyed was one they had seen on more occasions then they cared to account. The numbers mount while teams sans smiles and enthusiasm teem in. Within the home left abandoned and presumed vacant when the owner, Mrs. Beedle was lowered to her rest. The best attempts to contact any family proved to be a futile exercise.

A wise man would have considered the case closed, but their noses were reticent to relinquish the odiferous lingering. Gloved hands carefully fingering along the blood stained walls. The silence was interrupted by the calls from the group investigating the back rooms of this devoid domicile. Confident men and women strode toward the sounds, but found themselves reeling in disgust and horror. They were unprepared. Seasoned veterans stood and stared at the heap of former humanity foisted into the plush rocking chair.

There sat the problem. The decayed remains of a woman slumped clumsily into the furniture. The lavender tatter that was draped across her shoulder disintegrated into powdery residue. The scent was a clue. There was a hint of bouquet the closer the Detectives came to the undone body. Hard and callus men were starting To lose composure. The closure sought for this decrepit soul seemed a long time coming.

And then, the humming.

An almost cheerful tune from the direction of the cellar door. What’s more, the accompanying footsteps fell in syncopation on the creaky boards. Guns drawn and a warning shouted. “Come out with your hands showing!” the cliché came. Another unnamed face peeked through to grace the room. A mid-age gentleman, fifty-ish, stepped forward from the doorway. “Aunt Ginny? You have visitors?” he creepily questioned the lifeless chair dweller. The man from the cellar, hands raised; a surrender unsure, came to stand next to the shell of the woman. His Aunt Ginny. Genevieve Beedle.

“How rude, Auntie”, he leered, “You didn’t offer your guests a spot of tea? Allow me.” Soiled hands clutched for the knob on the old stove, amidst protests and commands to desist. Erwin Beedle couldn’t resist being the “congenial” host. At most, he wasn’t going down alone. The range did not ignite as such. It was much more like an explosion.

New teams were dispatched to investigate the scene. The first thing they noticed was the smell. Fragrances waft, a gentle meander floral or woodsy in nature. It soothes the nose and masks unsavory things. But stench of dead and burnt flesh stumbles in like a demented and feeble minded “caregiver”. The surviving officers shiver when the subject is breeched. Erwin finally reached his pinnacle, of course. The cynical brute took half the force with him.