No one really knew if Shaw was a metalhead at all. Every time he was seen he wore a Poison t shirt and worn leather jacket. Maybe they were the only clothes he owned. You could spot the guy a mile off for these reasons alone. And the hair. Balding on top with a pony tail tied at the back. He was a regular around town. Every day he could be seen frequenting all the shops, his feet pounding the pavement. Some might say he was pathetic. To Walton Turpy he certainly was.

Turpy had lived in the miserable town of Bluff for 17 years. It was a dour place, not much to do. But it wouldn't have been so bad if he didn't bump into this freak every day. No matter where Turpy went, he saw Shaw. If he went to buy a CD, Shaw was there. If he went to the local video arcade, Shaw was there. Turpy always wondered if Shaw was mentally unstable. He talked in a nasal whine and never made much sense, this was on the few occasions he had heard him speak. And then there was Shaw's walk. He walked with his arms bent back, leaving his chest heaving. He had a peculiar shuffle.

But Turpy had his suspicions about Shaw's supposed instability. Much to Turpy's dismay, Shaw took classes at his local college. He was a stain on the campus. Turpy learned Shaw had been there for ten years and still not graduated. What did he do? Take one class a year? If he was unstable, surely college was beyond him.

But one day Turpy witnessed firsthand Shaw's shame at who and what he was. During lunch hour on the main center of the college, a huge throng of people had gathered to watch a free concert by "Man Alone" Rob Thorne and Jughead. As Turpy was entering the library, he saw Shaw leaving at the same time. Now there were two sets of stairs, one which led directly into the crowd and another which caused a longer detour. Turpy noticed Shaw looking at the crowd. He sensed Shaw wanted to go that way. Instead, after a minute of deliberation Shaw opted for the longer way. Turpy then knew Shaw was normal.

He realized Shaw did not want to be stared at by the crowd, thanks to his walk and attire. To Turpy, Shaw was faking it. This made Turpy loathe him even more. He now made it a point to look for him, simply to be sickened by his presence. One day, while leaving the gym, Turpy saw Shaw playing basketball by himself on a deserted court. It was a sad sight seeing this lone figure bouncing the ball but one which gave Turpy more reason to hate. Turpy started catching Shaw's bus just to stare at this thing. Shaw never had a clue. He was lost in a world of his own. Turpy's rage increased on instances where he would bump into Shaw by accident.

On one such moment Turpy was riding his motorbike out to college, when a lumbering figure ran out in the middle of the road. Turpy slammed on the brakes. Coming face to face with the pedestrian he discovered it was Shaw. Humiliated, Turpy ran over his foot. Shaw screamed and Turpy sped off. Luckily his helmet covered his face and Shaw never saw him. As he rode away he looked in his rear view mirror and saw Shaw sprawled on the sidewalk clutching his foot. It felt good. For Turpy, there was a breaking point.

He didn't know when it would be but he knew when it happened there was no going back. It came one Saturday afternoon when Turpy decided to rent some movies. Looking for something, he noticed a familiar figure in the adult section. Sure enough it was Shaw. Turpy spied through the door watching Shaw touching himself while looking at the cases. Turpy knew this was it. He was going to kill Shaw. Turpy waited for Shaw to come out. Shaw appeared moments later with numerous hard core porn flicks stuffed in his filthy sweatpants. As Shaw got on his bicycle Turpy stopped him. ''How's it going mate?'' he offered. Surprised Shaw said nothing, he had a flat tire. ''I've seen you around a bit'' Turpy continued, ''I wanted to know you better, maybe hang out, play some games, look at CDs.'' Shaw was convinced he was serious. ''Okay whenever you want pal'' he answered enthusiastically. ''Okay sounds great'' Turpy smiled. ''Yeah I always see you as well'' Shaw said, ''walking around doing the rounds.''

Turpy then lost all his rational thought. Shaw had pegged him as his kind. No. He had to end it. ''How about a game of cricket?'' Turpy suggested. ''Ahh I don't know'' Shaw responded, ''I'm not good at sports, especially cricket.'' ''Sure you are mate'' said Turpy, ''let's go to the creek near my place and have a go." Shaw gave in. ''Okay! But you have to teach me!''

Turpy collected the bat and ball from his garage and led Shaw to a secluded area of woods by a swampy creek. ''I'm batting'' said Turpy ''now bowl here.'' Shaw, unable to bowl correctly, threw the ball and Turpy hit it as far as he could.Shaw ran after it. 'I can't find it!'' screamed Shaw. Turpy went over to 'help.' As Shaw bent over, Turpy hesitated slightly. But, without mercy, he brought the wooden bat down on Shaw's head. Shaw was stunned but still conscious. "Mate, mate'' he begged, but Turpy struck him until it was over. Shaw was dead. Turpy felt no remorse.

In a crazed state of mind he stripped Shaw nude, sodomized him and dumped his body in the creek. He ripped the Poison shirt in half and threw his leather jacket in the woods. He also threw away the knife he had used to flatten Shaw's tire. As he stepped out of the woods into the darkness he wiped the blood off his bat. Then he went home. When news of the murder spread through Bluff, the whole town was shocked. The guy was harmless. Who could do such a thing? At Shaw's funeral nobody showed. No family, no nothing. The murder was re-enacted on CrimeScene, the national police show, based on evidence gathered from the site itself. Turpy watched at home. Two days later he gave himself up. It wasn't out of guilt or because he was sorry. It was so people didn't think he was another Shaw around town. But he knew he already was.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online May 23, 2001

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