Everyone called him The Pig Man, but nobody knew why. His misshapen face, distorted with hostility and that unsettling smile curling at the greasy corners of his mouth, disturbed even the jaded, embattled old warhorses. His shaven scarred skull, pock-marked by the memories of bar fights and all those, drunken shattered knuckles. We all kind of assumed it was because he was missing some of the fingers on his right hand and it looked a bit like a trotter, but I suppose it could be anything. In here, there are no definitive answers, just rumours, and half-truths: like the time they found his ex-wife ritualistically executed in the bathroom, wrapped in lace, crucified, with her cunt pulled inside out. No one knew how he lost his fingers, but most of us were convinced that the truth was far more devastating than anything we could fabricate or conjecture during the scraping hours, encased in concrete.
Once, while protectively hunched over his plastic lunch tray, cradling it like it was a newborn, a guy in block B told me it was because of his less than salubrious sexual exploits, usually coercing underage girls to perform lude acts on themselves for his sordid gratification. He would wrap them in black electrical tape, record their screams and play them endlessly to the ones waiting in the room next door, with the squeaky white walls, faces all painted, nervously twisting the ends of their hair, twiddling their little toes in the luxurious, red carpets. There are so many whispered myths circulating the halls of this place, involving his increasingly graphic and depraved acts involving screwdrivers and sensitive, fleshy orifices. There was that one story that he abducted a teenager who cut him up at the lights and gave him the finger. Rumour has it; he cut off his eyelids and tied him to a chair for eight straight nights, with a halogen bulb burning each eyeball. We can only speculate about what other seditious horrors the poor kid was subjected to, but we are told it involved car batteries and perpetual, unending hours of sharpened objects.
Even the screws stay out of his way, and for good reason. It is now a matter of folklore, when one misguided, shiny-shoed screw once made the grave mistake of disrespecting him in the mess hall, and then he was found the next morning, mysteriously impaled with a piece of sharpened wood ripped from the floor, dangling from the ceiling, with his intestines torn out and wrapped around his neck like a grotesque talismanic necklace. No one will ever maintain eye contact with him for any longer than is necessary, even the seasoned ones, who have to similarly maintain their fearful reputation within these walls.
You would smell him before you saw him, the curiously enchanting heady scent of ingrained sweat and cherry liquorice. He smelled intoxicatingly dangerous, lethal. Always chewing on the end of the elaborately inscribed, ornate fountain pen that he insisted on carrying around with him, some suspected to make him look intellectual, but the truth was that it constituted a proficient and convenient weapon. Instead of exercising in the yard, he would sit and read tattered books of poetry, smuggled from the paltry stocks of the library. He would quote from them regularly, and that was when you knew that someone was going to get cut. Recitation always preceded violence.
One morning, in the middle of July, with the sun casting an incandescent halo around his bulbous radiating cranium, he cast a shadow across the dog-eared book that I had clutched in my desperate fist, and softly whispered “There is no greater sorrow than to recall our times of joy in wretchedness”, he didn’t look at me as he said it, but I knew that he intended it as a thinly veiled attempt to convince me that there was a human after all, under all that blackness: sadly, I didn’t believe him. His voice was deceptively high-pitched, an almost breathy lisp; with no intonation or timbre. Cold, and unforgiving, sharpness personified. That was the day before he was found with one of his sycophantic disciples, who had been repeatedly raped and disembowelled with the plastic edge of a strip light.
Recently, he has taken to walking around with both of his thumbs tucked under his chin, ostensibly to avoid the inevitable onslaught of garrottes and makeshift blades from reaching the pungent, moist folds of his neck. Everyone became a target when their date was coming up, but for him, there was always a frantic, wide-eyed prospective successor eagerly lurking with intent and ambition, waiting for the emperor to fall. He was never getting out of here, there was no chance he would ever leave this place, these walls would eventually be his coffin. Frequently, he would be found, perambulating around the halls of his hallowed temple, in the dark hours, standing in doorways, watching the others sleep, with his secret weapons concealed, gently caressing his pulsating, weeping erection. Silently, he was hating their chests rising and falling, counting the breaths entering and leaving their lungs, quietly resenting the inconceivable audacity to continue their wretched existence, counting the days until their eventual liberation.
Then there was that night, years from the twisting agony of the monotonous grey walls, after too many filthy, finger-marked glasses of venomous bourbon in a dingy piss-soaked bar, and one too many squalid, pathetic bathroom fucks, he catches a glimpse, of that self same poisonous smile, in the reflection on the surface of a fractured, stained mirror. The girl was so hopelessly inebriated, that she didn’t even know she was dying yet, even as the blood was seeping out from under her cerise, sluttish vest, she didn’t know that her throat was sliced, and as the cum runs down her legs, the icy, metallic dread begins to slip into her stomach. And, he smiles.
They call him The Pig Man, but no one knows why. But he lives inside the mirror, staring back at you, with his fatal, infinite eyes, pleading with you to release him, to just let him out. He is a prisoner on the other side of your face, on the inside: and he is watching everything you do, and the protective meat mask that you have built, cannot last forever. He is called The Pig Man, and he likes the way that you kill and kill and kill.