Harlan Senett always kept to himself growing up, and as a child he spent most of his free time reading and enjoying music.  He was an only child who grew up in a very small home in the south.  His parents didn’t have much but were always able to make sure he had what he needed.  One winter, Harlan’s parents fell ill, and with not being able to work they eventually ran into financial troubles, times became hard.  His parents eventually lost their battle with their mysterious illness, and other family members stepped in to help.  Harlan went off to live with his Aunt Frida and her husband Samuel.

During the day Harlan and his Aunt Frida would dance to old songs that she loved…she favored the waltz.  She would dress him up as though he were going to an extravagant party and reminded him daily that “clothes make the man.”  It was the same thing his mother used to say.  Frida taught him about music and art, and gave him an appreciation of what she viewed as life’s important things.  He loved spending time with her, it was like his mother was still alive, and it helped him to not feel so alone.

However, Samuel didn’t want the boy’s life to have anything to do with music, art or dancing.  At night when he would return home from work, he would begin to train Harlan.  Over the years Samuel taught him a great deal about survival, tracking, fighting and how to follow instructions.  He was going to make him into the perfect soldier, but Harlan hated it. They fought all the time about his future and the man that Samuel wanted him to be, until one day he enlisted Harlan into a special program run by the government.  On his birthday they came to get him.

As Harlan struggled and fought against the officers taking him away, Samuel did everything he could to hold back Frida.  As the doors to the car closed, he cold hear her cries behind him.

Clothes Make The Man

“Trust me Frida, they’ll make a real man out of him.” —Samuel

Weeks had gone by and there had been no word from Harlan.  Even Samuel was beginning to grow concerned.  Then one night there was a knock on their door, it was to a tune that Harlan’s Aunt Frida loved.  She raced to the door, excited to see her nephew and was ready to greet him with open arms.  As the door swung open she yelled “Welcome home!” to the face and hands of Harlan as they floated in nothingness in front of her, dripping with blood.

This wasn’t Harlan anymore.  She screamed and cried out for her husband and he scurried to get his shotgun.  But Harlan reached out to his aunt and took her in his arms.  He held her close and hugged her tightly, and began to cry…

…just before he snapped her neck.

A few weeks later the Authorities received an anonymous call from the house. There had been reports of loud noises and nonstop arguing. When they reached the home the walls were covered with murals made from the blood of Samuel.  The phone had bloody fingerprints on it, but Samuel had been dead since the night Harlan came home.  His body lay slumped in a chair in the corner, and paint buckets were placed beneath his hands and wrists.

There was the smell of smoke and as they went further into the house, it was beginning to feel hot.  There was music that could be heard playing, it was Frida’s favorite.  As the officers approached the door the music became louder and the smoke grew thick enough to fill the room, but, just in the distance the Authorities could see the body of Frida.  As it swayed back and forth…

…they could vaguely see the silhouette…

…of a young man dancing with her.


  1. Very Haunting. Sad that he killed the aunt.


    • His Aunt was his only true tie that was left, to what I believe was his old life and his humanity. I doubt if she could have lived with herself knowing that she was partly responsible the monster he became.


Leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: