So the story goes…

Many many years ago in a town located on the central shore of the most shallow Great Lake lived a woman, a shut-in according to locals. Who was this woman? Depends on who you asked. To some she was a witch, to others she was an eternal presence who made a pact with the devil; she gave him a son and he gave her eternal life. To others she was just a peculiar neighbor who seemed to exist nocturnally and kept to herself but to all she was known as Mary. Mary the Witch, Mary Who Lives in the Scary House, Scary Mary (so clever), the Devil’s Mary, and finally in the end, Bloody Mary. She did spend a lot of time looking out of her front window during the day, watching the townspeople go about their daily business. It was during one of these daytime observances that she noticed someone new, someone who didn’t look like the rest of the inhabitants, someone who she could only describe as beautiful which was quite the opposite how she could be described. She was old, gray hair that was falling out, dead black eyes, a mouth that seldom, if ever, smiled, lips so cracked and, of course, the nose of a witch, bump included. The man though: blue eyes, blond hair, distinct facial features, young, tall, handsome and, according to locals, new to the area. It was rumored the man came from New England, from a well-to-do family in Connecticut. The man had moved to the region in search of the one thing that was missing in his life; he was searching for the one woman he could one day call his wife. The man took work in the post office, mostly clerical, but was always willing to help those with questions regarding their letters and packages. It wasn’t very long that the man discovered the women of the town were really unclear on how the United States Postal Service worked, or maybe they just wanted an excuse to say hello. Needless to say, every distant relative and acquaintance of every woman in the town received a letter. I’m guessing they were mailing those brag letters that you get around the holidays, but instead of talking about who got a promotion or graduated the 4th grade, these letters spoke of this calendar model guy working at the town’s post office.

Quick sidebar:

Those are so bad! Those letters I mean. You get the run down of some forgotten ‘oh yeah, that person’ and you feel obligated to explain your biggest accomplishment(s) of the year. And you know it will happen, you will run into the person at the worst time, like doing last minute holiday shopping or when you really have to use the bathroom while at the bar. Totally sucks. Anyway, biggest accomplishment: me and my brother conquered Super Mario Bros. 2 using no level warps, codes or cheats. Biggest disappointment of the year: conquering Super Mario Bros. 2. We finally conquered the last boss,Bowser, after about 2 days of playing, coming up with strategies while at the laundromat, getting frustrated and venting said frustrations at the classiest dive on the north side, dealing with thumb cramps and pizza delivery guys, punching each other in the shoulder because neither of us wanted to leave the living room to get a soda… a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Anyway, at the end it’s just Mario sleeping. He dreamed the entire thing! Total let down. Alright, back to the story…

Sidebar over:

So, the town is all into the mail, like writing is a brand new concept, and all the women of the town are into this male…including Mary. Like I said, she noticed the man walking amongst the regulars that would pass by her window but to her he was beyond describable. She had to have him. But how? It seemed impossible for her looking as she did yet she had to become the object of his affection. Well, she jumped on the bandwagon. She began writing letter after letter to the young man. She poured her heart into these letters, all these confessions, how she feels at just the thought of him. One by one, she drops the letters in the mail and patiently waits. I mean, she really threw herself out there, put herself ahead of all the other women who he would see regularly and he responded. He loved what she had to say. He wrote back explaining how his heart longs for such a woman, how the two were soul mates. The two exchanged these deeply honest confessions for a few months when finally he asked what she looked like. She had no idea what to do. She had been so honest before but now, how she looked? Yeah, this was something you could not lie about, impossible in those times.These days altering appearance is completely doable. See. This is the chick that had something like 5 surgeries in one day? She is like a Barbie Doll that breathes. Bizarre city, man. Anyway…

Mary completely stops corresponding with the man. Weeks go by and no reply to his last letter. What’s a young gentleman to do? What do you think he did? He moved on. He again turned his attention to the women who would line up each morning to mail their packages and letters, some even mailing blank pieces of paper to themselves. The questions and problems they had were very small, most of them made up while waiting to see him and he knew it but hey, he liked the attention. The guy has his own personal Beatlemania going on right in the post office. So he begins to court some of them. They would flirt at the post office and then they would spend nights down at the pub and then walking the along the lake. They were not alone, however. In the shadows and corners watching each and every move was Mary. She took careful note of the types of women the man liked. Hair color, age, size, if they were shy or outgoing, what the women liked to drink and do, who they were, how she was different, and how he would touch them on the hip or leg, I mean she was studying each and every single movement. Yeah, pretty creepy. Finally, she responds to his letter describing in great detail what she looked like. She had the legs of the one girl, the hair of another, the face of the last girl he dated, the body of the first. By this time the man only thought of his secret admirer once in a while. Almost half a year has past had he assumed she had lost interest or was in the arms of another. Ha! Fat chance! You know what else she was up to? She had stalked and collected all the parts she had described in her letter about her appearance from each of the girls. She took the face of one (literally, her face), the legs of another, the hair of one, and the torso of another. She chopped them up and took the parts back to her house, which is where this gets really weird.

So there she is. Mary is in her living room with a bunch of body parts. What is the next logical step? She sews the parts together and creates this life size voodoo doll. Remember how some of the locals said that Mary was a witch? Turns out they were right. She did dabble in witchcraft and her plan for the corpse was simple: she would preform a ceremony on the night the two were to meet in which Mary’s soul would leave her body and enter the newly constructed and highly scary sewn together woman. Sounds simple enough, right? Right. So, the body represented all the man desired physically but she was what he wanted emotionally; all those honest letters, heartfelt confessions, the longing, the constant thoughts of him and her one day being together. She wrote one last letter. At last, they would meet. Mary asked that he meet her at the pier in the center of town at sunset. The man could not wait. Finally, his dream girl appears. Mary arrived first, setting up the candles and all things necessary for the ceremony. She was so excited. Tonight she gets a new body, a man, and an all around a new life. With the corpse propped up against the wall of the lighthouse at the end of the pier, the candles lit and the pentagram drawn out in animal blood, she patiently sat on the rocks and waited. It was almost time. She stood up and gazed at her creation. She was quite pleased with what she would become when suddenly she heard a loud voice. The man showed up early and screamed in horror, first at the dead body, and then at the site of Mary. He was in shock and tried to make a run for it but he couldn’t take his eyes off of the bloody site. His head was frozen and he could not turn away. That’s when he took one too many steps backwards and fell off the pier. Mary ran to the edge but it was too late. He cracked his head on the way down and all she could see was a cloud of blood in the water. She couldn’t believe what she had done. So riddled with guilt and with emotions in a twist she grabbed the corpse and jumped in the lake, right in the fresh pool of blood, and was never seen again.

On rainy nights it is said that she surfaces and peaks in the windows of the homes by the lake, looking for more victims as it seemed her doll was not to the man’s liking, or at least that is what she thinks. You can also invite her into your home by saying her name 5 times in a mirror but invited or not (which doesn’t happen by the way because I just tried), she still roams the town on her quest to one day be with her true love. As for the man, yeah, he didn’t become a ghost. He’s took a job at that post office in the clouds.

To think what could have been if only the woman was honest. Who knows? The guy probably would have excepted her as is. You weigh the good and the bad in relationships, hope there is more good, and you concentrate on that. If you spend enough time with the good, the bad just fades. I have dated my fair share of crazy chicks but you know what would have made them at least half as crazy: explanation. I can’t say I was scared, I grew up where the woman in the story lived and there is also a sea monster as well, so the crazy girls I have exchanged correspondence with just kind of left me scratching my head, asking my friends questions, laughing (a lot) and hanging out with a puzzled look on my face. But again, I shrug and move on. Speaking of fades, I like to call this story The Legend of Neck Beard. He’s broke, conservative, older than what he claims, out of work, and he will make you cover the tab. It is said the man roams the city which sleeps on the southern shore of Lake Michigan

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If You Say His Name 5 Times In Your Beer, He Will Appear, Drink A Few, and Stick You With the Tab

One day, I decided to skim the personal ads on Craigslist. I found an ad for a “Sweet, built, laid-back gentleman” and decided, “Why not?” We talked for about a month over e-mail, exchanged photos, etc. He was in his early 20’s (he said), and his photo showed a sweet young man with a great smile. He said he was into video games, which is one of my passions, and claimed he did testing for them as well. What sealed the deal for me was when he said he loved Irish food, and suggested we meet at a local pub for a date.

When I arrived, an odd-looking man approached me, smiling. As I stared, I realized: this was my date. He described himself as built… he must have been weight-lifting with cheeseburgers, because he was close to 300 lbs.! He had a thick, repulsive beard, though only on his neck, the rest of his face was clear except for the crops of zits which incidentally was the only thing about his features that could have passed for under 30 years old. I decided to go anyway….