I, The Jury – “Temple of Flesh” [Part 60]
Zalman King’s Red Shoe Diaries Movie #16: Temple Of Flesh—What doesn’t kill one of us, makes us all stronger. A young woman finds herself in Mexico with the weight of her mother’s impending death upon her. She becomes fascinated by a mysterious masked Mexican Wrestler. She is drawn by his strength and power. Unaware that he is also drawn to her, she sets out to seduce him. They fall in love. She leaves him, unable to separate the man from the mask. Then, Mrs. O’Hara’s promise to do a strip-tease dance on their one-year anniversary takes her and Mr. O’Hara down a road they never thought their limousine would venture. They meet Adam and Eve, two hippies who share the ride as well as their insightful view of life and happiness. They also share a lot of champagne, and in the end Mrs. O’Hara mistakes a synagogue for a club where she truly becomes the life of the party. Finally, out on a country road, a young cyclist is injured during a training ride and finds himself being nursed back to health by the spirited and very amorous daughter of a vineyard owner. Though reticent to her advances, the cyclist can’t help but adore her charm, and in the end, all healed up and ready to race, he falls in love with her.
“Don’t experience Toy’s mishap by underestimating her. A pathetic wretch: yes. A junkie harlot: an emphatic yes. Both notwithstanding, she is Evil … a primary evil, not a secondary one like you or I … And … She is Death incarnate. What’s so funny? You think what?! Ummm … Go ahead … Have a laugh at my expense, but I kid you not. Once she tires of your degradation and humiliation of her, eventually and inevitably finding you not imaginative or inventive enough, she will turn the tables on you. Mark my words. You’ve been duly warned. You’ll be the mouse that she the cat toys with.”
Paula Broadwell (the “crazed” mistress)—Her impressive resume includes accolades from West Point, the U.S. Army and Reserve, Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. But Paula Broadwell is perhaps best known to the public as the former lover of General David Petraeus.
According to a January 2015 report in The Charlotte Observer, Broadwell had been lying low in the North Carolina city with her husband, Scott, and their two sons since her affair with the venerated general became public in 2012. Broadwell seemed to be successfully avoiding the scandal—which, at its most salacious, painted her as a jealous, cyberstalking ex-mistress—by working with returning veterans, consulting on leadership and global affairs, and advocating for physical fitness programs in her community. That is, until the FBI and prosecutors with the Department of Justice called on Attorney General Eric Holder to bring felony charges against Petraeus for sharing classified information with Broadwell while he was head of the CIA.
Jill Kelley (the dispassionate socialite)—In the summer of 2012 Jill Kelley complained to a friend in the FBI about a series of anonymous, harassing emails and launched the investigation that ultimately led the FBI to Paula Broadwell.
Often referred to as the Florida socialite at the center of the scandal, Kelley, forged friendships within the U.S. military’s upper echelons by throwing lavish parties at her Tampa mansion. But around the time the affair went public, the home where Kelley and husband Scott mingled with Petraeus and his ilk reportedly went into foreclosure.
Kelley’s finances weren’t the only thing to unravel in conjunction with the Petraeus scandal. In investigating Kelley’s cyberstalking claims, the FBI uncovered hundreds of other email exchanges between Kelley and other high-ranking officials, including Marine General James Mattis and Vice Adm. Robert Harward, U.S. Central Command’s commander and deputy commander, respectively.
In 2013, Kelley sued both the Department of Defense and the FBI for leaking the contents of her emails — and her identity — to the press, claiming a violation of privacy. In September 2014, a federal judge ruled that Kelley could pursue her suit against the government.
Rain, nonstop. The musty smell of rotten wood that’s never allowed to dry. A leaky roof, that’s quite porous. Thunder and lightning—loud clashes that momentarily illuminate the stormy night being presented through the dirty panes of a window at the end of the hallway. Stormy weather that is a lie, an illusion wrought for the amusement of her adductor(s)?
Decay abounds. It’s a netherworld version of the Watergate Hotel from which she was abducted. Poised in a pool of its own spent blood, Catherine’s mangled body is sprawled at her feet. The corpse’s dead eyes come to life. Its torn mouth forms a too-wide grin, too wide that is for a mere human to form. Broken limbs reach up toward her. Maimed hands grasping for her. Disembodied gaiety. There’s laughter, but not from the corpse. Shadowy figures ingress and egress the open doors to rooms that line either side of the hallway. Coming up from behind her, menacing things crawl on the ceiling and they mean her only ill will.
A Dragon’s “tear” that place between places where Dragons commit the unthinkable. They dare to hunt Vampires.
Faced with the impossible and the improbable, the seemingly direst situation by a mundane’s way of thinking, the Lost Girl quips.
“The Dragon, Wu Xia, ‘The Whoremonger’, and her brother, Keselim Li ‘The Beguiler’.”
“Arrogant as fuck, showing off because she wants to and when it gets serious, she just attacks you out of nowhere, nothing you can do, heck you won’t even be able to react. Then, she vanishes. Just … Like a ninja.”
Taunts a female voice overlaying the pungent laughter. A mocking voice that is everywhere in general—simultaneously from nowhere in particular—yet from somewhere specifically over there. It’s almost a duplication of the Vampire’s own grating, shrew voice. Fingernails scraping across the chalkboard. Screech!
She falls through the floor into the bottomless pit that is The Abyss. Game over? Not quite. It swallows her whole. Devouring the wench with delight. Then It makes the mistake of reaching into her mind, a mind that the Vampire has left exposed on purpose. Too late, It realizes the extent of the trap It is now in. Her evil devours Its evil—primary easily consuming secondary.
Checkmate?! Not quite. More like check. Because, by the time she returns to the hallway, having fallen down the “pipe” to end up where she was, where she started that is, Catherine’s keselim is gone.
The prudent thing to do is to leave. Yes … In spite of her feint, she could have left anytime. But … That [leaving] is the furthest thing from her mind. Instead … Her mind wipes itself. She becomes The Other—her truest self. Her outfit vacates the premises. Naked, except for her perls and her strap-on. Fingernails extend into daggers. Toenails thicken, lengthen, and hook. Bloodshot eyes. A drooling mouth that is grinning way-too-wide to be human. A long, facile, forked tongue. Gums recede to reveal even more of her serrated teeth—long, crooked, and pointed. Klaw. Knobb. Krazed. Kock, fused seamlessly to her nethers. Face disfigured by the ravages of madness. Drone, Borg, junkie, whore. Deranged. Depraved. Degenerate. Extreme. Indistinguishable for something which is not sentient. Her version of The Master. The hunted has become the hunter. It’s her deranged laughter that now fills this lie that poises as a world.