Judas Yorick

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Innocence Lost

May 1893. It was one of those glorious spring days that make you grateful to be alive. The young man, Judas, orphaned at age 10 and on his own since age 14, made his way through the muddy streets of Chicago. His yearlong apprenticeship behind him, the dream was at last within his grasp.

The heavy canvas bag slung over his broad shoulders carried his few possessions. Among them, a single change of clothes, a well-worn copy of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and a haunting Jester mask. A man doesn’t need much when he has a dream.

The streets were bustling with travelers from near and far, eager to explore the exhibits and amusements that made up The Chicago World’s Fair.

Judas would unveil his solo act publicly for the first time. Jesters were not extinct, as some tried to tell him, and he was living proof of that. He’d entertain them. He’d connect with them. He’d own them, if only temporarily. For the first time, he would be somebody.

Life had not been kind, but he was strong and patient. He had persevered and the world owed him.

He didn’t want much for his talent; just an appreciation for his efforts and a few coins in his jar.

He’d already arranged for a room at “The Castle,” the hotel erected just in time to house Fair visitors. Lacking sufficient funds, he had bartered with the proprietor, who agreed to let him stay in exchange for labor.

Now, at the front door of the hotel, Judas was ready to step into his new life.

“Ah, Judas, you have arrived,” said Dr. Holmes after the front desk clerk announced the new arrival. As the men shook hands, Judas felt a chill on the back of his neck, but shook it off. He followed Holmes to a small, windowless room in the back that would have better served as a closet, but Judas had stayed in worse.

After arranging to meet later, Holmes left Judas to settle in.

Alone in the airless room, Judas sat cross-legged on the floor and closed his eyes. He pictured it as clear as day. He, in all his Jester glory, holding court among enthusiastic crowds. No one would be able to deny his talents.

He ate the large crust of bread pulled from his bag, and then set off to meet Holmes, who needed an extra pair of hands to finish a project in the basement. Descending the narrow stairs, he was again aware of an ominous chill on the back of his neck.

And his world went black.

Transformation

How much time passed, he could not know, but now he was lighter than air. There was a lack of awareness of his body, a distortion of time and space. Where am I?

He was floating, but how could that be?

Then he saw him. Holmes. Digging. Scraping. Mumbling. What is he doing?

Then Judas saw the head. His head. His very own head being dropped into the narrow trench.

Judas looked down, but saw no body below him. He tried to feel his face, but there was only nothingness. He looked again at the head in the trench, the head with no body.

Consciousness faded as darkness returned.

When he regained awareness, he was alone, the trench covered. For the first time, he noticed other bulges in the dirt floor. More heads? Bodies?

His nose detected the unmistakable stench of fear and loathing and decay. Why hadn’t he noticed it before?

Flashes of memory reminded Judas of the chains and the knives and the sound of his own voice begging the monster Holmes for mercy. He relived his murder and understood, finally, his fate.

But the body. Where was his body? How could he rest when his head and body were apart?

Holmes had taken everything. His debut as Jester. His future. His young life over before it truly began. For that, Holmes must pay. But first, body and head must be reunited.

Time is irrelevant on the other side. One hour. One day. One year. It’s all the same and there’s no way to tell.

Judas found he could do little to punish Holmes for his crimes or stop him from killing. Again and again he witnessed Holmes taunting his victims, offering a faint glimmer of hope before snatching it away again.

Judas’s hatred grew with each murder.

He was unable to intervene, but aware that new strengths were emerging. Some day, he knew, he’d be powerful enough to exact his revenge.

As the crisp days of October arrived, the Fair concluded and few remembered the quiet young man named Judas. Fewer still missed his presence.

Judas ceased to exist.

Rise of The Jester

He was The Jester now, in all his glory, even if mere mortals remained oblivious to his presence.

He’d long since dug up his head, but the resting place of his body was yet undiscovered. He wandered the convoluted floor plan that was The Castle of Horrors well after Holmes fled the city. The authorities located the hidden rooms and the torture devices. They dug up the basement and recovered some of the others, but alas, no young Judas.

Newspapers reported the origin of the fire as unknown, but passersby spotted someone…or something…skulking away from the building just before flames licked at the rooftop.

The Jester was free of all earthly bonds.

May 1896. Three years dead.

The specter of Jester Judas Yorick, still carrying his skull and searching for his body, attended the hanging of one H. H. Holmes. As the noose tightened around his murderer’s neck, The Jester let out a high-pitched cackle that pierced the barrier between worlds.

They heard it.

The Jester roams the earth still, swinging his skull, in perpetual mourning for the missing body.

The living can see him, hear him, fear him, as he unleashes his fury on humankind. Most are unaware that he is no longer of this world.

Revenge in the Ring

You’ll know him when he enters the ring. The skull. The Jester mask. The maniacal cackle that sends a chill down your spine.

Wrestling. It’s the only thing that can rid The Jester of his rage, if only briefly.

Unable to enjoy the pleasures of earthly existence, The Jester torments as he was tormented. He hurts as he was hurt. His opponent is of little consequence. It is The Jester who matters. It is he who must command attention. It is his presence that must be acknowledged.

He cares not whether he wins or loses. He cares only that the world sees him for what he is.

The Jester. An anguished soul that cannot rest. From wrestling ring to wrestling ring, he grows ever stronger.

When you feel that chill on the back of your neck, he is there. Heed the warning.

Fear The Jester