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A Western Tale

By       Message Vi Ransel     Permalink
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A Western Tale

Almost all of Charlie's immediate family was rounded up by home invaders, tortured and killed in their own living room:  mama and papa, the teenage twins,  little Joan and baby Beth.  (His younger brother, Sonny, survived.)   While this vicious gang was at work, they dipped their hands in Charlie's family's blood and splattered obscene and racist phrases all over the walls of the slaughter chamber.  Death to the Mann Family.  Manns to gas chambers.  Manns are fuckin' cockroaches. 

It hadn't come as a complete surprise.  Someone, probably the home invaders, had been harassing the Manns for months with phone hang ups, then luridly whispered threats to get out of the neighborhood. Their mailbox was battered to bits and their dogs were poisoned.  "Niggers" was written in gasoline on their front lawn, so the word showed up later when the grass died. Charlie's family wasn't Black.  The last of these incidents ended with the breaking of all the glass in the breezeway during a night of screaming destruction.  And when the police arrived, after a six-hour wait, they said there were no clues as to who'd done it.

Others in Charlie's family had been subject to the same sort of harassment, most notably his father's parents, three of his uncles and his sister and her husband.  The rest of Charlie's large family, another set of grandparents, seven aunts, eight uncles and their families, had been victims of somewhat less hateful torment. It seemed to Charlie that it was only his family that was being singled out.  And, as always, the police denied being able to find any clues.

Charlie saw all the clues, and was convinced that the police were, if not related to the criminals, at least their very fast friends.  The evidence pointed to the Fellows family, who'd had it in for Charlie's father's father since the Depression, when he bought THEIR grandfather's house and real estate business at the bank's auction - fair and square.  The Fellows had never forgiven them. And Charlie's grandfather had been living in that very same house today. 

When the home invaders had finished with Charlie's family, they went to his grandfather's house.  Yes.  THAT house.  And to those of three of his uncles.  And to his sister's.  All on the same night.  And repeated their atrocities, raping his sister in front of her husband and children, and forcing his grandma to play the piano while his poor, arthritic grandfather danced naked for them as they laughed and prodded his penis with the fireplace tongs.  Charlie knew this because his grandmother had somehow managed to survive that night, as his younger brother Sonny and his Uncle Zee.  Grandma died on the way to the hospital.  It took the ambulance a VERY long time to arrive.

The rest of Charlie's relatives didn't want to keep living in a community that had produced such an atrocity, let alone not investigated it honestly and completely.  And some of them were made an offer they could hardly refuse.  Anonymously, of course.  Move.  Or else.  But then again, of course, there'd be help.  There'd even be trucks to pick them up and move them out.  And in a softer version of the invitation, they were given their first choice of destinations - one of the communities under the control of the Fellows family's revived real estate business in the Emmy region, where some of the Mann's relatives were already living. They'd be able emigrate and set up a safe, secure place they could call their own.  Out of the Fellow's family's sight.  They wouldn't even have to pack.  Until the murder scenes were cleaned up, the Fellows would keep all of their belongings, as well as their houses, until they could be sold. Then the Fellows would send them the money.  "Yeah, right," thought Charlie.

At this time, Charlie also became better acquainted with his Uncle Zee's friends.  And they introduced him to THEIR friend, Mr. Simpson, who while reviled by the Fellows family and their friends and neighbors, had achieved a perverse sort of success in selling illegal weapons to anyone with the money to pay for them.  And just to show what a humanitarian he was, he even sold those weapons on credit, but with interest so high that most of his credit customers wound up with broken legs.  Or worse.  With their throats slashed ear-to-ear, heads dangling, as an example.

As Charlie bought a handgun, he told Mr. Simpson that the Fellows community was shipping him and his whole family wholesale to Emmy, where they'd have a place of their own.  Mr. Simpson grinned and placed an M-16 in Charlie's hands, saying "There's more where that came from."  And it was at that point Uncle Zee changed the family name to Manson.

Mr. Simpson knew the "new" community well because he'd wanted to sell some of his merchandise there, but the Fellows claimed it was their turf, and it was surrounded on all sides by his well-armed rivals.   And to Charlie he said "Kid, I believe what we have here is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

When Charlie, his Uncle Zee and his younger brother Sonny arrived in Emmy, along with the rest of the Mann family survivors, Sonny was shocked to find so many people already there.  But Uncle Zee and his friends, and now Charlie, didn't care.  Nobody listened to Sonny.  He was just a naive kid.  And besides, the people there were Dirty Fuckin' Hippies who were under the foot of the Fellows anyway. 

So this was where the Manson family began to establish their new community. And they used any guilt/humanity the Fellows family might still have at the bottoms of their teeny, tiny hearts to maneuver them into helping them to do it.  And of course there was the friendly Mr. Simpson, with an agenda all his own.

And in many stunning and macho acts of hypocrisy - or so it seemed to Sonny - Charlie, Uncle Zee and the rest of the Manson family proceeded to clean up.  They told the Dirty Fuckin' Hippies they'd have to vacate their land and their homes, no ifs, ands or buts - or else.  That led to more than a little resistance on the part of the Dirty Fuckin' Hippies, but since they only had BB guns and 22s and Mr. Simpson had supplied the Mansons with machine guns, grenades and rockets launchers, it wasn't too much of a problem. 

They started taking over real estate right and left.  More than the Fellows had promised them when they craftily got rid of the Mansons by pretending a humanitarian concern for their safety.  And when the Fellows protested that the Mansons were going too far, the Mansons blew up one of the Fellows' hotels, where they were having a real estate dealers' convention and killed 91 of them, just to make their point.  The Mansons kept up their terrorism against the Fellows family, as well as their efforts to (1) convince the Dirty Fuckin' Hippies to vacate to surrounding communities - who weren't all that hot to have them, even though they were related; to (2)acknowledge that the Mansons had the right to run Emmy and submit; or to (3)be slaughtered.  And the Mansons had the fire power to do it.

The Fellows family eventually had enough and decided "Who gives a sh*t?  It's just a dusty desert full of Dirty Fuckin' Hippies anyway.  Let them have it."  Besides, most of the rest of the surrounding neighborhoods, and even those pretty far away were convinced the Mansons were the victims here and the Fellows didn't like being called prejudiced.  It cost them money.  They left the Mansons to fight it out with the Dirty Fuckin' Hippies, who didn't intend to give up their homes and farms without a fight.  And while a lot of them became refugees, running to their relatives' communities, not to mention being rounded up, put on trucks and transferred there by the Mansons, many more were simply slaughtered.  But what was left of them, dug in their heels.

The Mansons' plan, actually Uncle Zee's and his friends' plan, was to simply erase the Dirty Fuckin' Hippies from the face of the earth, though at first those who accepted the Mansons' terms were allowed to stay put.  But the Mansons saw them as an ever present potential threat, since the Mansons themselves knew how they felt about the Fellows, and being beaten, raped, murdered and transferred.  And there were a LOT more Dirty Fuckin' Hippies than there were Mansons, although the Mansons were MUCH more heavily armed.  Remember Mr. Simpson?  And they had the implicit backing of the Fellows, who could be counted on to more or less give the Mansons whatever they wanted, not just out of belated contrition, but financial interest. (No one wanted to do business with the family who had mass-murdered the Manns.)

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Vi's works appear widely both in print and online. She conducts Poetry Workshops and gives readings in Central New York. Her latest chapbook is "Sine Qua Non Antiques (an Arcanum of History, Geography and Treachery).

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