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Red Cooley, Burn In Hell [WRAP]

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posted on Feb, 1 2011 @ 05:19 PM
I had some technical issues getting my internet up, but this story is a serial killer short story with supernatural overtones. I had a hard time glossing the usually explicit nature of this kind of story. Enjoy.

AN: I have to give credit to Deadbolt, a psychobilly band that wrote a song that lent it's title to this short story. They rock and are suitably spooky to jam to in the dead of night. LOL

Red Cooley, Burn in Hell
1/7/2011 - 1/10/2011(beginning to end dates)
San Antonio, TX

“Has the jury come to a decision?” asked Judge Sandra Battlemeyer. She sat, regal and impassive, the fringed flag of authority standing to her left and right, her salt-and-pepper hair stately and regal.

“We have, Your Honor.” said the foreman, a tall man in plaid and jeans. He was neatly pressed, his clothing durable and sturdy, as he was. He looked solid, like the kind of person who made sure the harvest came in on time. His face was blank, as though he didn't want to look worried or unsure of himself. He was, though. His fear shivered the paper ever so slightly in his hands as he stood.

“The defendant will please stand and face the jury.” said Judge Battlemeyer.

The tall man stood. He was in his late forties, early fifties. He stood in an orange jumpsuit, which could barely seem to fit over him. He stood easily over six feet tall, broad in the shoulder. He was thick and sinewy, the musculature of someone who worked hard all his life and thrived on it, like a lion that fed on raw meat and steroids for most of its life.

The foreman, himself a big, hardworking man, felt a twinge of fear as cool, green eyes fixed on him. Tall, with a red shock of hair that went down nearly to his waist, the defendant was scary in that visceral way that made him feel like his stomach was about to rebel against him. Again, fear sank icy talons in his gut as he repressed the need to squirm ever so slightly.

“Will the bailiff please bring me the verdict.” The bailiff, portly, balding, and completely incapable of doing more than huffing and puffing as he crossed the courtroom and fetched the paper that the verdict was written on. He got it, brought it back, then stood, a dew of light sweat along his swarthy, swollen face. His mouth-breathing echoed through the courtroom. Even the judge, who'd appointed this bailiff to his job, looked as the man continued his loud breathing, oblivious.

“Is this verdict accurate?” The judge asked the foreman.

“Yes, Your Honor.”

“Will the defendant please stand and face the jury.” This was to the hulking defendant. He sat there, his hands and feet huge where the manacles and shackles separated them from his body. He shook his head to settle his hair from where it had fallen into his face. His chains prevented his hands from going much higher than his waist. Most times, defendants wore suits, their lawyers striving to make convicts look like bankers. Not with this man, he eschewed the convention early in the trial, declaring in a loud, rumbling tone, “I don't care what they think. This is what I have, so this is what I'll wear.”

With a quiet sound, the big man got to his feet. He was surprising fast, considering his stood taller than six feet and was as wide as a football player in his prime. There was no fat on this man. His eyes were the color of a lush plant trapped under ice. O'Cooley's flaming red hair hung long and untamed to the lower part of his back.

“We the jury find Rhett Michael O'Cooley guilty of capital murder.” said the foreman. He fought to keep his voice steady, although the visceral fear of O'Cooley's eyes on him felt like Death himself was watching through those icy-green eyes.

“Thank you.” Judge Battlemeyer sat in front of the court. Rhett O'Cooley glared lightning bolts at her, but otherwise was calm in his demeanor. The ice in his eyes melted at the sentence, revealing the heat, the anger he held tightly wound inside him.

“You are remanded to death row, Mr. O'Cooley, until such time as your execution is scheduled.” With a strike of a gavel, court was adjourned.

Rhett O'Cooley stood, the baliff already loosening the gun in his holster as two other officers came forward with the chains and shackles that would be his jewelry as they moved him from his current cell to death row in Huntsville, Texas. O'Cooley offered no resistance, although the heat of his fury was evident in the hard glint of his eyes as cameras flashed. Reporters shouted his name, but he looked at the ground, leaving his red hair to hang, obscuring his face.

O'Cooley was angry at first, thinking his work for his beloved was stopped. After a moment, though, he was composed again. It wasn't a big deal. Nothing on this earth can stop the work he started. He would be immortal after his execution, and he would continue his bloody way; people would say his name in fear, like the boogeyman. He closed his eyes, thinking of his love, and the red, red bliss he shared in Her name. O'Cooley leaned back, letting his mind drift back to the beginning, to his first times, when She began talking to him.

Chapter 2

September 1975
Rhett O'Cooley was in the recruit's line at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was still fuming at the way he'd been railroaded into being a recruit for Uncle Sam. He was not thrilled to be here, his hair shoulder length and shining red in the flat prairie light. The sun was in decline, the winter chill was cold, colder than he was used to in his hometown of Dilley, Texas. He'd been a star football player; he loved the crunch and pain of playing, crushing the enemy. With him on the defensive line, he'd punch through the offense, crushing the quarterback nearly every time they had the ball. Rhett was so dominant on the field. He drew flags on occasion for excessive roughness, but mostly everyone cheered when he gave the broken quarterback an extra elbow, or an 'accidental' knee to the ribs after the play was over.

It was all until that dumb broad messed it up for him. Darla had been so willing, in thrall with his strong body, his red hair, and he enjoyed the rowdy time and the roughness in the way he handled her in bed. She indulged his lust, dark and pulsing. Except that he got a little too rough. It was buyer's remorse, he told the Sheriff. She'd always liked it like that. How was it rape when she wanted it? She'd begged for it like the little tramp she was, and he gave it to her. That was it. She was as into it as he was, and he didn't know she was that drunk.

But Darla wasn't the first girl who said that, either. He'd been a little rough with the first girl, but he was just a guy and girls shouldn't tease a man into that state and not let it go farther, right? He shrugged. His parents hadn't let him in the house afterwards. Dad told him that anyone who hurt girls wasn't welcome in his house. Rhett's dad had put up with Rhett's bad reputation, but Rhett had gone too far, his dad said. Rhett didn't care. He was just the brunt of jealous eyes and whispering rumors. He was a star player, ready to go to college and play for real.

Rhett was tired of turning to the rough trade who let him quench his needs. He deserved to have the cheerleaders, not the easy girls everyone despised. Darla had been that 'good girl'. Darla had been willing to let him do what he liked. She was the tramp of the cheerleading squad anyway. He didn't know that she had to go to the emergency room for internal stitches. Rhett couldn't help that, in the middle of passion everything turned red, anyway.

The judge hadn't seen it that way. Judge Parker was a loser anyway. He was just mad because his son was always second-string on the team and Rhett was always the star. So, this is how he fixed it, that rat bum. Rhett was so angry that he missed the drill sergeant telling him to move along.

“Recruit!” came the jarring tone of the DS. Rhett snapped back to reality to see the drill sergeant in his face, turning red with suppressed anger.
“Yes, sir!”
“Are you malingering?”
“No, sir! I was just-”
“Wasting time!” The DS stripped the duffel from Rhett's shoulder, throwing it aside easily. “Gimme twenty now for malingering, recruit!”

Rhett bit his tongue and dropped, jamming out his pushups just like he did in football.

“That was too easy, recruit! Do it again!” Rhett gritted his teeth and did twenty more pushups. At a nod from the drill sergeant, he got back up.

“Next time, don't let me catch you malingering!” The drill sergeant moved off, inspecting the line for others who would suffer the wrath of being lost in their own thoughts. Rhett recovered his duffel bag and stood up, waiting for his turn to be shorn of hair and issued another uniform. Well, it was better than wearing jail clothes.

Rhett adjusted his duffel and simmered, keeping his eye on the drill sergeants who patrolled the line. He knew in his dreams, he could have his revenge in a way that he never could. His interior life was far richer than this, with slick sensations no one could ever give him in real life.

Rhett's memory of his dream lover was always there, never far from his thoughts. Her skin was dark like the Mexican girls he'd frequented in Dilley. She encouraged his scarlet dreams, and all She wanted was for him to slake his hunger the way he dreamed of doing, in swaths of blood. She always promised him freedom in return for so little, just an extension of what he liked already. She also talked to him, in his dreams, about how to get along. She was like a mother, and referred to Herself as the Black Mother, and She told him She lived in the space between spaces. Rhett didn't care. She gave him what he needed, and he got to indulge his crimson fantasies as they became more intricate and complex.

His first night in the barracks was difficult, as all recruits have. He sat staring at the slightly bowed springs of the bunk above his as he tried mightily to drift off to sleep. He didn't even have the luxury of taking himself in hand and releasing tension that way. Instead, he waited until the farts and hiccups of people died off. As the clock spun in slow, stately circles and there was softly breathing silence, Rhett finally drifted off...

She was here, in his bloody dreamscape. Rhett found himself in the middle of his red, bloody world looking at the sky and around. His dreaming was always deep and detailed. She stood in front of him, as tall as him, Her dress a swath of black fabric that went over one shoulder and was belted in place, leaving lots of leg showing. She was exquisite, Her skin a deep cafe con leche color, Her eyes and hair as black as a night with no stars or moon.

“You are hungry, aren't you?” Her voice echoed, like a god's voice would. Rhett found himself speaking the things he'd barely admit to himself, much less to anyone else.
“Yes.” he said. “It feels so good to hurt, to know that I'm hurting them.”
“I know. You are meant for Me, you know.” She purred. She walked around him, Her hand trailing along his shoulders. She was barefoot, but somehow it was right for Her to be that way.
“I know.” He found the words coming out of his mouth before he could stop them. “I love You.”
“And you are My precious treasure.”
“How do I get to do what makes me feels good?”
“Here, in your dreams, while you learn what I need you to know to do My work. Your needs will be met here.” She touched his chest, he felt his heart lurch under Her hand.
“You belong to Me now.” he heard her say as his dream spiraled into oblivion.

Rhett smiled, moving closer. She drifted back.

“When you bring me what I need, you can get closer to Me.” She smiled, a cool smile that spoke of cruel things. “I look forward to having you inside Me.”

Rhett awoke suddenly to the sound of the drill sergeant hollering and waking everyone up. He had not embarrassed himself with his dream, and he was strangely sated, the need that drove him to hit harder on the field, to hurt and glory in it, was calm. He stood and came to attention as the drill sergeant bellowed out in the darkness before morning with the rest of the new trainee soldiers.

The rest of the time in basic training kept Rhett from doing anything but falling asleep in his bunk. Basic training was strenuous, but he was used to the physical activity. He graduated basic training two months after he signed in at Fort Sill. After, he was assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas, to complete Advanced Individual Training. Corporal Rhett O'Cooley became a truck driver, driving materiel from base to base. Often, he struggled with the mandated 55 miles an hour that the military required their drivers to maintain on the highway, but he quickly broke to the military's rhythm. He was top in his performance reports, with no moving violations and passing vehicle inspections with perfect scores. He logged hours and hours that would come in handy afterward. At night, his dark lover kept his need in check, but sharp like a well-honed knife sheathed.

After six months, his exemplary work and behavior earned Corporal O'Cooley a three-day pass, he was ecstatic. The night before his pass was active, he sank into sleep with the speed of a dedicated meditator. She was there, in the red landscape he dreamed constantly

“Tomorrow is your day to test the things you have tasted.” She was so close to him, begging for him to enfold Her into his arms.
“Yes, my love.”
“Are you ready?”
“Always. I am so ready.” He almost was able to feel Her silk skin in his arms before the dream spiraled into oblivion.

As always, when he dreamed of his lover, the night passed in seconds. He awoke to reveille and promptly packed a day pack with two changes of underwear and socks, as well as some special items he'd acquired during his six months. He would not need much more than that, beside his jean jacket against the cool of the desert night in spring.

The day was great, comfortable and balmy. Red found the weather great for walking. Somehow, that heavy scarlet need inside him that he had grown up with was back. It was driving him towards somewhere, and he followed it. He only took some of the money that he was bankrolling in his account. He'd heard of other soldiers who spent their cash and had nothing to show for it. He knew what he wanted. No one even called him Rhett, or O'Cooley. He was Red, for his hair, the sunburn he lived with all summer driving. He didn't mind either. He was Red, for his wet red dreams, too. Although only one other Being knew that.

His first victim walked down the street near the cheap no-tell motel he had rented a room at in Juarez, Mexico. Strictly speaking, he wasn't supposed to even go to Mexico. As a US soldier, crossing the border was off-limits to the soldiers of the United States military. However, the base commander turned a blind eye so long as no one got in trouble; it could create a problem for O'Cooley if he got in trouble. However, the cross-border traffic was so common the clinic kept extra stock of anti-crab shampoo and penicillin for the soldiers who came back with extra, unwanted surprises from the welcoming and very friendly arms of the women there.

There she was, thick in the right spots, with shaggy, curly hair so black and glossy in the light. She was wearing shorts and at thin A-shirt in the warmth of the blossoming spring, her shoes with holes that her toes could be seen through. Red felt it, a thin scarlet line that told him that she was the one, the one who he could sate his burning desires with.

Picking her up was easy. She spoke enough English to state a price and had a room, so he could do what he needed to do without leaving anything to link Rhett to her Her name was Carmelita, and she liked American soldiers. The local boys used and abused – the Americans, while they could be rough, treated her better than the local guys did Besides, she had a group of boys that she could signal to rob someone that looked like an easy mark She wouldn't call them for this one - he moved like he knew how to fight, and his big strong body would be a match for the thin bodies of her boys, even if they used knives.

Carmelita took Red to her room, a small room that smelled of marijuana, sex, and unwashed bodies. He handed her the cash she asked for, in US dollars, too! He admired as she stripped, her brown skin scarred here and there from misadventures, dates gone bad, and life on the streets. She looked at his pale white skin, the freckles, and the hard muscles of his body.

She was feisty at first when Red began, but in the end Red did what he wanted. Carmelita suffered as Red slaked his body's needs with her. After he was done, she sat up, expecting him to get up and go. She froze when she saw the shining knife in Red's hands, glimmering in the dark. She started to fight, but the blade's deep stings stole her ability to fight, and her life, in flashes of bright metal and bright scarlet.

Red sat back, his needs finally met in the idiot whorls of blood splatter from his work. He was covered from head to toe in bloody marks, but he knew it would wash clean. Red remembered his Lover's remarks, how to hide the traces of his work. Quickly, he took the part his Lover required of him, wrapping it up in a piece of waxed canvas. Looking around, he found a sink with a cake of soap in one corner. Red streaks floated down the drain as he used a piece of harsh soap to wash the rapidly browning fluid off him. From head to toe he scrubbed, feeling the bite of lye soap on his pale skin. Finally, he was clean and his clothes were well out of the way where he'd splashed the tramp's blood.

Sneaking out, Red made sure no one saw him exiting the tramp's place. Walking to the west, Red was thankful for his jean jacket as he turned up the collar against the coolness of the evening. He could feel the power of his first kill thrumming inside him. It was like he ate lightning and had it bouncing around inside him. He kept walking, looking for a place that was deserted and unlikely to draw attention. Following his instincts, Red wandered out past the town limits, to the dump where trash lay scattered about and pickers dug for things to resell in markets. The pickers were like buzzards, and would attack wanderers as a big group to take the valuables and leave the body. They left Red alone, though, as he found his spot and built a fire. Soon, it was bright and hot – he pulled out his trophy, unwrapping it to expose the red flesh of the tramp's heart.

He prayed, his mouth moving silently as he offered this, the reason She'd quelled his desire until he could do something with it. She'd given Red control, asking only the hearts after he was done. He cast it into the fire, felt the otherworldly draw of Her presence. The connection was so deep to his Black Lover that he started at first, feeling Her enter him and leaving him pillioned as Her power rode him. He even heard Her voice as the fire consumed his offering, praising him for his work as Her power twined inside him. “You have done well, Red.” he heard as the fire consumed Her prize.

The rest of the pass was a blur of beer, women, and sex until Red straggled back on Sunday afternoon. He showed his pass to the gate guard, and collapsed on his bed, asleep before six pm on a Sunday. His body was sated, the burning scarlet need within him was sated, and Red slept deeply, the red dripping dreams inside his head coming again.

Chapter 3

His US Army time passed quickly. He drove trucks, kept his peace within the unit, and visited fury on prositutes on either side of the border. He alternated. On holiday weekends, he could slake his fury on two, maybe three in Mexico. The police of either huge city were often unable to keep up with the quiet speed of his killing knife. As a military man, he was never checked as he walked back across the border. He never took the tramps to his rooms, instead taking them to their places. After Red had his fun, he took his offerings for his Lover, the Black Mother who promised him so much. His trophies were given gladly to the fire, each one feeding his lover what She needed. When Red lay dreaming, She would touch him, offer tantalizing skills in return for his devotion. The years passed like seasons, drifting into one another until Red barely noticed that his time in the Army was up and he was done with his tour.

She was his Black Mother, he was Her acolyte. Red fantasized that he would be able to finally drown his desires in Her, to finally find his completion. In the Army, he'd learned how to drive trucks, and his love had taught him how to kill, to bring Her the hearts she wanted. She was his only love. In Her name, Red killed without mercy, without remorse. Each heart taken was another step to earning his place next to his beloved. His body count escalated quickly, but divided between two nations, two cities, the authorities never connected the dots, never noticed Red's bloody contribution to the notoriously violence-ridden cities of Juarez and El Paso, Texas.

Red's mother and father died in a crash with a drunk driver in 1977, their Cadillac crumpled like a beer can where the 1967 Chevy C-10 had plowed into them broadside, nearly splitting the unibody frame in half with the impact. Red took funeral leave and buried his folks, taking the Greyhound line to Dilley, Texas. Ignoring the input from his cousins, uncles, and other family, he simply liquidated every asset he could and stashed it in the bank, including the payout for the totalled Cadillac. He only kept a 1974 Ford Ranger F-100 that had been his before he got in trouble. Red touched two faint stains in the upholstery and remembered the girls the stains came from – Mallory and Jessica. If only he knew then what he knew now, Red mused.

The cash would come in handy someday, and he had no need of the small ranch-style house or any ties with his family. His Lover was all. Before he left, though, the brutal murders of two hookers in San Antonio made the news. After he left, a runaway girl from Dilley was found, brutalized and murdered in Van Horn, her body cut up and her heart missing. A small fire was found in the Hueco Tanks Historic Park and Preserve, in violation of the park's no-campfire policy. No one knew who had stayed there, for no one had reserved a camping facility that day. Footprints led to campsite and out, leading the park rangers to think a vagrant had stayed overnight in the shelter of the rocks and hiked out in the early morning.

The Greyhound bus dropped him off in San Antonio, Texas in the summer of 1979. His hair was still brutally short, and he wore his uniform as he traveled. Some scorned him, calling him another tool in an unjust world. Others gave him respect, nodding veterans respecting him for wearing the uniform. It passed Red like water passes a bridge. He simply moved on, like a shark cruising for a tasty meal. Sergeant O'Cooley had earned enough money and had all the time in the world.

Red had begun finding trucking companies in the beginning of 1979. Some liked his ability to drive, and he'd upgraded his license to a CDL in the last months of his tour before exiting the military. His accumulated leave had never been used, so he sold several of his vacation days back to the Army, and took the rest of it as his terminal leave. Red checked in weekly with his ostensible commander by phone, but otherwise had paid free time for several months. He spent time in El Paso, San Antonio, and Corpus Cristi, looking among trucking companies for the right one. Red also took his pick of the streetwalkers. His ritual was perfection now. He had his brutal way, culminating with a sharp strike to the back of the neck, knocking his victim out. From there, he simply took his offering and left. The need to vent rage on his victim was gone. Red simply enjoyed his rough trade, then took her heart with him when he was done. He killed almost weekly, in his travels between San Antonio, Corpus Cristi, and Laredo.

Of the several offers he had, he went with a smaller company. Smith Trucking out of Lytle, Texas was a small outfit, but their equipment was up to date. He negotiated a truck, a generous rate per mile, and excellent bonuses for early delivery.

Red scrawled his name on a contract, purchasing a truck from the company at a discount in return for driving for five years for them. The Peterbilt 379 was a beast, a monster that roared in primal fury. Blazing red, he'd had someone paint the Confederate stars-and-bars motif along the side, huge blue bars and white stars gleamed from the huge scarlet truck's side. It was his, the bulk of his earning from the US Army had gone into the truck. He spent extra time inside, customizing the interior to suit him, with his beloved tools in hidden drawers, restraint anchors hidden in the padding of his sleep compartment. His truck would be his altar, his sacrificial place of power.

Sitting atop his huge red Peterbilt, Red felt like he was a god. Along the way, he'd procured some interesting tools – some tools he'd gathered, like knives and other implements. Others were machined at the machine shop, in the late hours when the shop quartermaster let him work in peace. The quartermaster was an old grizzled drunkard, the veteran of too many wars, too much killing. Red would often cover the old drunk with a blanket when he found him passed out – then worked in peace in the machine shop crafting his custom pieces.

His kit in hand, Red climbed into the new Peterbilt 379 and started it, listening to the diesel engine rumble and the whine of the turbocharger as he stepped on the gas. It was a beast. He eased it back, to connect to his his loaded trailer. He was on the next step of his plan as he idled the truck, storing his kit in its special compartment, smiling at the games in store for this place.

That night, somewhere on the lonely road between Tuscon, AZ, and Phoeniz, AZ, Red O'Cooley took his next victim, a lot lizard making her way across the United States trading sex for rides. She gasped her last breath in the compartment, on a cheap blanket over a sheet of plastic, watching the stars fade through the overhead moonroof as her eyes dilated and fixed. The fire roared just off the road as Red fed her heart to the flames. Each time, he felt his connection with his Great Lover a little more. She was able to whisper to him as he drove, and when he slept. His red dreams came a little closer as he kept killing. He started the big beast and kept up, driving as the stars wheeled overhead.

As he listened, he made friends with others who enjoyed pleasures that were not accepted by others. Others who spoke of their secret desires. They frequented the seldom-used frequencies on the CB, and discussed things that other truckers shied from. Of them all, the same name came up as the acknowledged master of these wet, red activities. Red Cooley. Red Cooley became the boogeyman of the CB nets as truckers heard and traded rumors along the interstates.

The seventies gave way to the eighties. Modern technology was able to supplement, then outstrip the human mind. Federal computers keeping track of murder statistics began taking note of various trends in killing methodologies. The profiler became the FBI's best tool for catching the roving killers. Red began using condoms as he enjoyed his victims before their deaths, to not leave a DNA trace. However, he shared his kills over the airwaves with his radio buddies, of methods of restraint to avoiding the initial spurts of blood when the kill happened.

Red drove nights, mostly. It allowed for a better selection of victims as well as ensuring that police were occupied with the other venal crimes that happened at night. He was quick, selecting his victim and knocking them out before he even left the area, so he could drive for hours and leave plenty of time and space for his games with the victims, and the offering ritual afterwards.

Talking with others, Red's kill technique had become perfect. He could extract a heart faster than a surgeon and was able to keep most of the body intact. Sharing his discoveries, others listened in rapt awe. Since Red drove during the night for the most part, he talked and shared his bloody tricks with other like-minded on the CB set. Tricks like using a knife to shuck a victim out of her clothes and tossing them out the window one at a time as the ride went on left a less likely evidence deposit than simply leaving a pile somewhere were discussed endlessly on these frequencies, along with pressure points to knock a victim out with one strike without damaging them permanently.

By the 1990's, the same truckers that shared such things on the less-used frequencies on the CB band began frequenting the same discussions less and less. Spectacular captures of serial killers had made the news, killers with skills stalking and disposing of evidence caught with a hair, or even just a scrape from a knuckle across teeth that linked a killer to his prey. The legend of Red Cooley wouldn't die, though. Repeated over the airwaves, it was told and retold. Eventually someone repeated the legendary killings of Red Cooley to Federal ears. Data matching showed that the description matching an unsolved murder in Minnesota. Red's name came up in connection with other stories, each one recorded and stored in an FBI computer. Each kill he talked about brought the law closer and closer.

Chapter 4

The night before his arrest, he'd had one last dream of his Great Lover – She took his hand and showed him each kill, the person prostrated before Her and singing worship. She leaned in and Her lips hovered just over his. So close, and She smelled like the kills he'd given her, hoping to prove that he was worthy to be a deity's consort. He leaned it to kiss Her when the door to his motel room burst open and he was quickly and painfully arrested. He'd been implicated in 65 murders, according to the FBI's electronic monitoring.

Between the appeals, the pre-trial maneuvering, the best his court-appointed lawyer could do was to consolidate his charges so they would be heard in one trial. Red didn't care. He sat, unconcerned. Often, he would simply sit cross-legged, staring at the wall in his cell. He was a high-risk prisoner, so he was segregated and kept in isolation. Strong in his middle age, Red kept his body trained. Red would do pushups in his cell for hours, making himself stronger. The airwaves burned up with the discussion of Red's predicament. Fingerprints linked him with multiple murders, and his confiscated kit yielded blade and mark signatures that matched multiple victims. Reconstructed logs from his reported driving paths linked him with murder sites and victim locations. He was caught through so many links that his conviction was as sure as a politician's lie.

In the end, his lawyer was powerless to avoid the capital charges, and Red didn't care. He was taken care of. He'd strode the earth as a killing god, and he would die and take his place with Her, a consort of a Goddess. On death row, he stayed segregated as a death house inmate. He took his hour of exercise and sat in the shade, his eyes closed as he communed with his Great Love.

Red had instructed his lawyer to not fight and to not present information at his appeals process. The execution of Rhett O'Cooley went through the prescribed steps quickly. In fact, prisoner's rights groups filed amicus curiae briefs stating the prisoner was not able to direct his own protection since he didn't fight the execution order. In the end, the execution of Rhett Michael O'Cooley was slated to happen the evening of Friday, October 19th. He declined a priest, stating he was no son of God. He ate a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, drank two liters of Dr. Pepper, and had a large side of mashed potatoes. Finally, he requested time for prayer. His guards stepped back, and Red closed his eyes, still cross-legged on his bed.

He sank into the red dreamworld again, and listened to his Love talk to him, telling him that he would be with Her forever, that he had done well. She was so close to him as the guards came for him. He walked his last walk and didn't fight as they strapped him to the table. There were no last words. She kept whispering to him as the needles went in, the drugs injected into him. He was unconcerned about the witnesses – they would see him become more than flesh. Soon he would be a god, and he would bring the red hell that lived in his mind to the world.

His mind fuzzed and the red dreamworld shattered into darkness as the drugs held him, and he was drifting to his Love, his beautiful Mother of Blackness. He felt the silver cord that connected his soul to his body snap, the last link to his body gone. She cradled him, whispered that he would be with Her forever as She gripped him tightly. Red wiggled, trying to get loose so he could hold his Love.

She grabbed him, and Red could feel Her strength, Her power. Feeling the first tinges of fear, he fought, and She was amused by his little struggles. He railed at Her.
“But I'm supposed to be with You!”
“You will be with Me, in Me forever!”
“But not like this! I'm supposed to be Your lover!”
“My Lover? You were my dog, my pet. Nothing more.”
“But, why?” pleaded Red.

She showed him. Strange angles and colors not seen before reshaped Her body. Her body offended his mind as She shifted into Her true form, alien in shape to this reality. She was a nightmare made real as She changed forms. The sight of Her form sent Red's mind into retreat, even as madness nipped at the very edges of his soul. Red's mind try to run to comforting insanity, but he was unable to as She lifted him to Her mouth. Red screamed out, as all of his various victims screamed for him. He screamed and thrashed, but nothing dislodged him from Her grip. She held him in front of Her toothed, jagged mouth as She smiled. It was hideous to see as She smiled at Red and took him into Herself, screaming as he was eaten into oblivion.

That night, and then on, across the airwaves, as news of his execution spread, his name became a curse, as people voiced their opinions on him. “Red Cooley, burn in hell.”


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