By: Jane Arnest and Paul E. Schoen

Two weeks after Friday the thirteenth, Koinonians celebrated their Hallowe'en party with plastic versions of monsters. Some of them were clever enough to appear real, or as if dead but still creeping among us. After the party, when the costumes were discarded and the people dispersed, there appeared in the doorway a ghoulish figure reminiscent of the recent party but needing no costume.

Behind him a smiling face with a fuzzy bush joined him and directed his clumsy bare-footsteps to the kitchen, where he ravenously were-wolfed down a monstrous blob of warmed-over pork and beans. Meanwhile, the human remnants of the party were perched in their favorite places, staring bleary-eyed at the tube, in hopes of seeing a horror movie, while unbeknownst to them, not twenty feet away, was beginning a most incredible and unforgettable one-man horror show.

Suddenly, the relative quiet of the TV room was shattered by the excited appearance of Jay. He turned to Paul and said, "Who is that guy? He's weird!". As a disgruntled mumble arose in the kitchen as if in response, Paul calmly explained, "Oh, that's just a hitch-hiker who's staying for the evening. Somebody said his name was Bill".

The next day, early in the morning, Jane and Cindy were surprised when they walked into the Gallery to be in the presence of a snoring someone on the sofa. Cindy exclaimed to her companion, "Jane, do you know who that is?" Jane said, "I have no idea". Cindy offered the stranger some coffee, but he mumbled something incoherent, so they continued on their way.

At lunch time the mysterious "Bill" dragged himself to Gramercy and gobbled up some food, frequently using his filthy fingers as a fork. Everyone was wondering who this stranger was, while he at the same time was wondering what this place was, and why all of these people were here. Jane rapped with him awhile after lunch, and she sensed that something was lacking. In the afternoon the usual tranquillity of Gramercy was broken repeatedly by the insane laughter of the mysterious being sprawled on the porch. Toward the end of this rainy, dismal day, Paul came to Gramercy and approached him as he sat sternly in a chair. The only response he would give was a stiff nod of his head accompanied by several intense puffs of his cigarette.

After an uneventful supper he groped his way back to the Annex. He paused behind a tree, and suddenly stumbled out next to Jane K. with a clump of his foot and a mumble from his mouth. Jane jumped back to the protection of her companion Richard, and they hastened on their way. "Bill" made it back to the Annex, and crawled into a quiet cranny in the corner of "George's room" to mumble and burp. His bare chest, deformed barefeet, and glaring eyeballs made him quite unapproachable.

A short while later Paul came in, and headed to the kitchen to unlock his stash of beer (both cans of it). He promptly popped one; this familiar sound reverberated through the Annex into the eager ears of our strange visitor. In an instant there appeared in the doorway his bloodshot eyes, staring intently at the beercan. He introduced himself as Pete, and they shook hands. Pete grimaced with pain as he withdrew his scab-encrusted knuckles, injured in a motorcycle accident. He muttered demandingly, "Hey, kin ah hab wun ub dem beers too, man?" Reluctantly, Paul offered him his only other beer. Then Pete got into a rap that went about like this:

"Yuh gotta car here? I wish I kud git outta here to uh bar or sumpum, yuh know. Mosta bars I bin in there's always sum guy fuckin' wantsa fight. Like, one time I was in this bar with some chick. I tuk her to a show cuz she paid for it all, she was bad, you know, and I wuz sittin there drinkin beers right and left and this guy walks up an' calls her a pig, and I wouldn't of minded it so much, yuh know, 'cept he tuk a swing at me so then I smashed him real gud. Then the next day I seen him on the street all drunk so I apologized to him an' I said she wuz a pig anyway, yah know wadda mean? Yeah! HuhHuhHa. I mean, thass all there is to it. Yeah, mosta chicks I know are pigs, like they don't bother to take showers and have smells coming from them, you know, like I can't even hardly get inta the car with mosta dem".

He ended the conversation with some rap about some "fuckin' punkins" he had smashed in North Dakota, Fargo, his home town, that he almost got busted for. As he spoke, he violently fondled a jack-o-lantern on the kitchen table. Paul invited him into the TV room, but Pete just went into his nook, grumbling about some bar he couldn't quite make.

Later, while the annex tube-watchers were engrossed in some horrible movie, they heard an unusual noise emanating from the carriage room. Jay and Paul went in to investigate, and found Pete erratically dropping a softball on the floor. He acted as if it was going to bounce right up into his clutching paws, but it barely bounced over his deformed foot. It seemed like the only way he could tell when it hit his foot was by the different sound it made. The entire scene clashed obscenely with the background music, Godspell, which he described as "some kinda fuckin' church music". Keith tried to cheer him up by playing catch with him in the courtyard, but he gave up when he started hurling scabby knuckleballs full-speed at him. Finally he bacame worn out or frustrated, so he returned to his bed in the Gallery, continuing to drop the ball on the floor.

Meanwhile, the survivors of the all-night TV orgy went out for snacks; Pete had eaten a humungous pile of popcorn prepared by Keith, so he abstained. When we returned, someone had set the clocks back once or twice, and nobody knew what time it was or what was happening. We were all stoned and scared and sleepy and full of slop, so from then on anything could happen and did.

Later, Cindy and Jane were upstairs rapping and listening to music, when they heard an uneven thumping noise coming toward them in the narrow Annex hallway. Cindy bravely challenged, "Hello, who's there?" There was but one reply, "Where's Jane?" With that Jane jumped into the nearest closet, pretending not to hear him. Pete asked, "Can I come in?", to which Cindy replied, "No, I'm not decent!" Pete remarked, "Oh, far out man, hahuha!", and wandered back down the hall. Cindy and Jane resumed their conversation.

A little while later, Marci came flying down the stairs with a blanket wrapped around her, screaming that Pete was staggering around in the halls, mumbling incomprehensible somethings in the mirror, turning on the showers, and running after her. Then Cindy burst into the TV room, hysterically shrieking, "Where's that guy?" Paul casually replied, "I don't know, he's Ross's guest." Cindy said, "Has anybody thought of asking him to leave?", then turned away and left.

As the night dragged on, a commercial ominously repeated, "The ultimate in evil lurks in the Asylum", while we had our own ultimate in horror lurking in the Gallery. Jane, suspicious and stoned, crept to the doorway to the Gallery to hear Pete's mumbling remarks, and always breaking into uncontrollable fits of laughter. Finally, as she approached the den of the lurking horror, she was greeted by a flying hacksaw. This contributed to our growing paranoia that he might be armed and dangerous, so we confiscated the kitchen knives into our TV room fortress.

Waiting in anticipation of the worst horrors imaginable, we heard a frantic scratching at the bottom of the TV room door. A gray fuzzy object pushed through the widening crack. Half expecting to find the rest of his deformed foot, we very hesitantly opened the door, only to find a frightened cat. Eventually we became used to his moans and mumbles, and about daybreak we fell asleep.

Later that morning, as Ross prepared to drive his guest to a convenient expressway exit, he bade us farewell with his immortal last words, "You all take care of yourselves!"; then he turned and muttered, "Man, this place is really weird and so are these people."

All that was left to remind us of his visit was a scabby band-aid, which he sloughed off in "George's room", and a half-eaten map in the Gallery where he once lurked, and where his spirit is sure to forever haunt us. All we can hope is that our incredible visitor took a heavy step in the right direction.

Composed from true events on the weekend of October 28, 1972

By: Jane Arnest and Paul E. Schoen

have read this since October 22, 1996.