There wasn’t a thing he could ever do right,
Nothing at all, according to his wife.
He couldn’t hold a job to save his life
And what jobs he got would start a fight.
“Les Lejeune, you bonehead, blockhead numb-nuts.
“Born a loser, you addle-pated klutz,
“You’ve ruined my life, you worthless, witless itch mite.”
Les wasn’t adverse to helping Fran at home,
But he loaded the dishwasher all wrong.
In the whites the colors didn’t belong.
He inadvertently broke her comb
In the sink with the brush and the mirror.
Fran even nixed the lunch he delivered
“The buns on these burgers are harder than chrome.”
Les Lejeune had tried to give his wife his best
And it wasn’t solely to appease her.
In his heart he truly longed to please her.
Perhaps tonight she’d grant his request
And invite him once more to nest her bed
But Fran’s scathing distain he got instead.
His hardy amour slackened, a hopeless quest.
Even so, hope is not unique to the meek;
Lust does power a robust incentive.
Baring champagne, showered, shaved and scented
Les presented himself for critique,
Yet, despite his charm, Fran found him wanting.
She ranted and raged, laughed and taunted
His manhood, yelling, “Don’t come near me, you freak.”
From somewhere deep inside, a little boy cried;
A belt of leather slaps a bare behind,
A father’s drunken voice harsh and unkind.
And there’s a never a place to hide,
From school bullies, girls playing him a fool.
He tasted salty blood and champagne cruel
As the glass Fran flung slashed his face side to side.
Anger choked his throat, exploded in his brain
Les had stood so much, no more could he stand;
He blindly swung the magnum in his hand.
Yes, he heard the crunch, the cry of pain
But avenging angels had been invoked
Knee to chest, with a pillow to Fran’s throat
And mouth, pressing down again and again.
Until dead. Dead? What shameful evil had he wrought?
Les tossed the pillow to one side, raised her
Frail body and cried, “I’m sorry, my love,
“Please don’t die.” But it was all for naught--
Even the breath he breathed into his wife
Found lips as languid in death as in life;
For murder now, he most surely would be caught.
Frantic, Les paced back and forth, his mind on fire
There was no lie, no tale he could invent
To make her death appear an accident;
It was an impossible quagmire.
Unless… Wait. Yes. He had nothing to fear
If he could make her body disappear.
No spousal kill, no killer. No lies, no liar.
Les knew best how to suppress the evidence.
The land behind his acre spread
Was predisposed to dispose of the dead,
Conservation land, protected and fenced,
Dedicated to plant preservation,
A protected wildlife reservation.
Burying Fran beneath the fronds made perfect sense.
Oh, fab-fabulous day of marvelous bliss
With freedom new found in a life hard won,
A spirit unbound, victorious dawn,
Rising from the oppressive abyss,
To become the man he wanted to be
Free at last from the chains of tyranny.
Welcome to a world where nothing is amiss.
Les felt no need to shower or shave or scent
And while he wasn’t exactly a prude
He had never cavorted in the nude,
And absent a boor to voice dissent
He let everything lie just where it lay
Piles and piles growing higher every day.
In every way, Les was completely content.
In this journey ‘twix ennui and ecstasy
Came a day which inside was dark and gray,
Although a ray of sunlight did betray
A brilliant outdoors for all to see.
Except Les, who from a stupor arose
With dollop of blue cheese stuck to his nose,
A plate of buffalo wing bones ‘neath his knee.
With eyes red and teary, Les vaguely made out
An empty wine bottle, scores of beer cans,
Corn chips in a bag in chili drowned and
A plate of beans he thought he’d thrown out.
His head was the size of a large pizza pie,
His mouth tasted of rust and twice as dry
And his nose was stuffed with goop resembling grout.
Les stumbled to pee, a burning sensation.
Ransacked every cabinet for aspirin;
Finally settled for a glass of gin.
Tried to revive his respiration
Sucking measured breaths but to no avail.
With the air in the house too rank and stale,
He sought fresh air for rehabilitation.
Since a pair of jeans that fit was elusive
Les combined t-shirt and stretchy chinos,
Stepped over the paper plates and Cheetos,
Forced the screen door that first didn’t give
Because of newspapers piled on the stoop,
And off to the park he did staunchly troop
Squinting in a sun viciously excessive.
Once, Les had been a regular in this park
Running daily to keep himself in shape.
He found he enjoyed the escape
From his house that had become so dark.
Why, he could get used to this again—what?
Why were the people in the park in shock?
They flowed around him as if he were a rock.
Les could see clearly now. Those that didn’t stare
Moved past quickly, giving him a wide berth;
Others turned their heads, pale or stifling mirth,
Boobs, cretins, rubes. Why should he even care?
But then askance, he glimpsed a stunning dream,
A runner so pretty he’d never seen,
A woman of grace and loveliness rare.
The path turned gold as she approached. Les spellbound.
Raised high his hand, his head, his heart, his eyes;
The supplicant seeking her grace surprised
When she turned her head, disgust profound
And wrinkled her nose in obvious pain.
She never wanted to see him again.
Shocked and dejected, he cried and fled to ground.
Alone in his mausoleum once a home
Les cringed at the image in the mirror,
The grizzly beard and hair, clothes akimbo
Like an evil, maniacal gnome
Summer sweat oozing down his ragged gut
Smelling like crap that would “gag a maggot,”
Les had to decide between life and a tomb.
His anger exploded like a man gone mad.
Furiously, Les ripped away the wretched rags,
Fuming, throwing trash in boxes and bags,
Dumping fruit and bread and meat gone bad.
Beer bottles and cans and towels with mold,
Smurf-covered take-outs and pizza grown old.
Half-bit sans and tuna cans reeking dead shad.
From attic above to the basement below
Les continued his relentless assault;
For two days and nights with nary a halt
He swabbed the scourge and made the house glow
As he mopped and washed, as he brushed and cleaned
He made the house shine, he made the house gleam
But even then, there was a long way to go.
For over an hour, Les stood in the shower
Bathing his body in hot scalding steam.
With soap and suds, he scoured his manhood clean.
And though with beard so stubbornly dour,
With scissors and blade and fierce fortitude
What was once hirsute was now wholly nude
And what once was weak was now filled with power.
From the basement Les lugged the treadmill upstairs.
From under the bed came the abs machine
With built-in timer and calorie screen.
The stationary bike with repairs
Was now churning away as good as new.
And a set of weights soon made a debut.
Diet and exercise was the state of affairs.
With days and nights assiduously applied,
Les had no regret for his decision.
He never deviated from his mission,
His lofty goal would not be denied.
Lean and trim, clean and buff, he hit the park
Searching, he found that girl and made his mark
And in time, she did consent to be his bride.
Oh, fab-fabulous life of marvelous bliss
To be living in love with a princess
With every wish bathed in a warm caress.
Yet, here and there something was amiss . . ..
It started small, a bra left on a chair
A shoe askew, a sock chocked, panties there
But with lovers, faults are easy to dismiss.
Except. As time went by, it kept getting worse.
Candy wrappers, bon bons, toothpaste cap gone.
Shorts and shirts left where they didn’t belong.
She never even put away her purse.
Well, Les thought he might give it a mention
In a word that would catch her attention
But then she accused him of nagging, and cursed.
The situation deteriorated.
Never a night without an argument
Never a day without its discontent.
Marital bliss was quite overrated.
Although Les was not completely flummoxed
There was plenty of room were Fran was boxed
It was the solution Les contemplated.
But on the very night Les planned his revenge
His princess came from the mall with a dog.
Dog? In his spotlessly clean house? A dog?
Never, Les cried, completely unhinged,
He grabbed the little puppy from her arms
And tossed it out back as she screamed in alarm.
At such ferocity, she fearfully cringed.
“Puppy, puppy,” she cried hours into the night.
Then, an excited yap came from the black,
There was no doubt, the dog was coming back.
Trailing dirt, the dog was now in sight,
Bringing a trophy it had found outside
Dropping it on the kitchen floor with pride.
It was a skull the puppy drug to the light.
Les was shaken to the core, his secret known.
He confessed at once to his awful crime;
Convicted at trial with long prison time.
The irony was no proof was shown
For the skull the dog found that night so cold
A fossil, thirty-five hundred years old,
It was. A male. Small. Identity unknown.
Fossil Skull Identified;
Confessed Murderer Held
NEWS ITEM—Macclesfield, Eng. A local man confessed to the murder of his wife 23 years earlier after excavations at a peat bog bordering the man’s backyard uncovered a well-preserved skull.
On the strength of his confession, Les Lejuene, a caretaker at the Weston Park Care Home, Moss Lane, was convicted in the death of his wife, the former Francene Chaloner of Wilmslow and Handforth.
After testing, however, the Oxford University Research Laboratory for Archaeology determined that the skull was a part of the fossil remains of a young man who died as the result of a blow to the head some 3,500 years earlier.
Lejuene is serving a life sentence at Frankland (HM Prison), Durham. His wife's body was never found.
Copyright 2010 by Daniel E. Speers
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