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Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment: a "bathroom break" or "on gas"? ;) $WWE
Key Stats for World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.Thanks u/semipalmated_plover for putting $WWE on the Card. I wonder... is it a C-Show or a Monster? ;)
aside: Wrestling lingo available here.
|Sector||Other Entertainment Production|
|Date||07 September 2016|
- Latest news from Google Finance and Yahoo Finance
- Latest results from SEC Edgar
- Website: http://www.wwe.com
DescriptionWorld Wrestling Entertainment is a media and entertainment company. The Company is engaged in the production and distribution of content through various channels, including its WWE Network, television rights agreements, pay-per-view event programming, live events, feature films, licensing of various WWE themed products, and the sale of consumer products featuring its brands.
If you are male and over 5 years old, you don't need a description, do you. Though, you make be insulted that I call it a media company and not a sport. :)
Recent financialsSo sales have been growing nicely, but earnings are rocky to put it kindly and the stock's paying more in dividends every year that it's earning?
How does that work?
CompetitionFrom their annual
While we believe that we have a loyal fan base, the entertainment industry is highly competitive and subject to fluctuations in popularity, which are not easy to predict. For our live, television, WWE Network, pay-per-view and movie audiences, we face competition from professional and college sports, other live, filmed, televised and streamed entertainment, and other leisure activities. We compete with entertainment companies, professional and college sports leagues and other makers of branded apparel and merchandise. We will face increased competition from websites and mobile and other internet connected apps delivering paid and free content, as streamed media offerings continue to expand.So given it's entertainment, it's competing for the same dollars as any other type of entertainment. But as history shows, they've done a pretty good job protecting their brand and keeping the audience loyal.
Talking a look at "peers" from the production and broadcasting industries, their margins are healthy and the returns are double-digit. So no red flag here.
|Companies||Latest Sales||Operating Profit||Return on Equity|
|World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.||$703M||17%||11%|
|Live Nation Entertainment, Inc.||$7,747M||8%||-ve|
|Madison Square Garden Co||$1,115M||4%||-ve|
|Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.||$2,086M||0%||6%|
|Eros International plc||$274M||61%||1%|
|Discovery Communications Inc.||$6,472M||62%||14%|
|AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc||$3,003M||16%||7%|
|Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc.||$3,338M||44%||47%|
Wall Street thinks?The professionals on Wall Street have a $22.39 for World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. and their recommendation to clients is Buy. That implies an upside of 7% to their target.
ValuationBut, even though the franchise and financials are rosy, it's a little worrying to see the stock on 44x earnings. Sure the growth's been good. But how is it doing to grow into that valuation? Where's the growth going to come from? Is international finally going to take off?
|View Peers||Valuation||Forecast PE||Long-term Growth||Dividend Yield||FCF Yield|
DividendsWorld Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. is forecast to pay a dividend of $0.48 per share, compared with a historic dividend of $0.48 per share. That is a 0% growth. The forecast dividend of $0.48 compares to a forecast EPS of $0.48. Phew... so this year earnings are expected to catch up.
CatalystsIn the last 3 months the stock price has moved by 16% that compares with a change in the earnings forecasts of 4%. With sales up 13% in the first half of 2016.
Here's a link to the management team's latest call with Wall Street brokers.
Over the second-half of '16 we anticipate year-over-year adjusted growth in profits from continued revenue growth and more favorable year-over-year comparisons in our fixed cost base. We anticipate such growth will accelerate in the fourth quarter.So the future is bright in management's eyes!
And please send us suggestions on what you'd like us to research next!
If you'd like to join the writing team please get in touch. Our writing template is available here if you'd like to use it to pen your own stockAday type posts :).
If you meet Dr. Mood don't make a deal with him, you'll regret it.
"James, a Mr. James Westley." She paused a moment and scanned the room.
"Hot dog, that's me!" I grunted as I lifted my weight onto my left leg with a great deal of assistance from my arms, then limped forward.
"Right this way, Mr. Westley," the nurse beaconed with a chubby arm and pushed the door wide for me. She checked my vitals, tapping keys on a computer after each, then looked up and flashed a half-hearted smile.
"Room, 4 on the left."I walked down the hall to a brown door with a 4 on it. Inside, was a replica of the human spine placed on a small counter near the sink. I passed a tall bed with paper covering a worn cushion, toward a chair by a window in the back."The doctor will be in shortly," the nurse said, then closed the door behind her.I sat, losing strength as I did, and plopped with a humph into the mute brown wingback. I winced, gripping my upper thigh with both hands, until the pain faded then I loosened my grip and exhaled in relief.
"Fucking arthritis," I grumbled. I turned to look out of the window. From the second story, I could see the parking lot with its teeming bustle of traffic always present in medical hubs. Beyond that, I could see children running back and forth behind a chain-link fence across the street. I didn't have a wife, and in my brief encounters with women, I had always been careful to wrap up so no kids either. I was OK with solidarity because I had always preferred being a lone wolf. But now, on the downhill side of my 50's, my heart suddenly twinged as I gazed at the children.
How nice it would have been to have someone to sit with me or care about the arthritis plaguing my joints. My eyes followed the kids; they were kicking a soccer ball and screaming with excitement. They moved like a cloud of birds following the one who had kicked the ball last.A boy of maybe 10 or 11, kicked the ball hard, sending it up over the fence and into the small parking section adjacent to the field.
"Oh, no," I whispered as they pressed their faces against the wire. The ball bounced until a man in a hooded sweater scooped it up. He then walked over and conversed with the children for a minute. Perhaps he is scolding them the way a parent would, I thought. But then the man turned, a smile etched across his face. He tossed the ball back to the kids and clapped twice. He then bent back down and watched them, interlacing his fingers through the wire.
"He looks very much like a cat, and if he were to own a tail, it would be swishing back and forth right now," I thought. Unease tickled that instinctual part of my brain, bringing up feelings of anger toward the man. Two rapid taps on the door drew my attention away from the scene, and I turned to see the door open.
"Hello, James, I'm doctor Mood." The door clicked shut behind the young man. His eyes were dark behind gold-rimmed tea-shades. His skin was unnaturally pale, nearly white, and a distinct feeling of dread entered the room with him. He reminded me of a shadow in a dark corner that wasn't quite right or noise under your bed.
"Uh, hi, doctor Mood, where is doctor Arnold?"
"I happened to be in the office seeing another patient today, and, well, your unique malaise is my specialty." He tucked a clipboard under one armpit then stood placing his thumb and forefinger on his chin, pinching it.
"You're an arthritis specialist, then?" I sat back and crossed my arms. My neck hair was standing at attention, and little electric pinpricks flashed in brief clusters on my flesh as he studied me.
"Oh goodness, no… I thought doctor Arnold had talked with you. Perhaps I shouldn't be speaking with you." He turned to leave, grasping the handle.
"No, doc, what is it you specialize in?" My eyebrows went up as I looked at the back of the Doctor who had stopped turning the handle, "and please don't say orchiectomies or you can just keep on going, ha ha ha."
"I don't typically remove balls… though I have seen an occasion too, I won't lie." The Doctor turned, his face grave. I gulped.
"I'm hoping to help you with the cancer that is destroying your health."
"Cancer," I repeated. A sudden numbness crept through my body, like ice forming on one of those time-lapse videos. "Doc Arnold told me, I had arthritis… Cancer, you're sure?"
"As the sun comes up in the east, and you aren't long for this world if you don't receive intervention fast. If I may?" he gestured to my leg.
"Yeah, sure, whatever you need to do," I said.
He pulled out an expendable pointer and placed the pointer end to my hip. "It didn't start here, but rather your prostate. It since has moved to your hip, your thigh, your shoulder, and your chest." He pointed to each area as he spoke, then collapsed the pointer and folded his arms.
"Mr. Westley, I don't believe in dumping syrup on shit; as such, I won't waste your time. The diagnosis is terminal, and you have only a few months left with conventional treatment."
He reached in his breast pocket and pulled a cigarillo tin out. He proceeded to remove one, then smell it, curling his upper lip to press it against his nose. Then he clamped it between his teeth and lit it with a Zippo. He stared at the flame for a moment while it danced, then he closed the lighter with a snick.
The emotion was strange. I felt like I was swimming in a pool, then the water vanished, leaving me to slam into the concrete from eight feet high. The smell of smoke drew me from my thoughts.
"Isn't that against the rules, I asked." My brow furrowed as the strange young fellow perched on the side of the bed.
"Precisely!" He tapped the ashes onto the floor and took a long drag causing the cherry end to glow. "We get nowhere always conforming to the rules." He tamped the cigarillo out and blew the remaining smoke into the air.
"You've waited too long kiddo, now your choice is me," he said, producing a business card seemingly from the air. It was gold with black lettering that said Mr. Mood, then had a number listed below, and nothing else. "For when you change your mind." He smiled, handing it to me, then opened the door.
"I didn't tell you no yet," I said. He looked back, "you didn't have too." He slipped like a shadow out of the cracked door then it clicked shut."What the fuck?"
I stood to follow the man, but my leg turned to a bag of stinging wasps, and I sucked air through my teeth sharply. I limped to the door and pulled it open, nearly body checking Dr. Arnold in the process.
"Sorry, It took me a moment with the last patient, were you going to use the restroom?" I peered around him and then back the other direction down the hall. The chubby nurse was tapping at her keyboard, but Dr. Mood was gone."You know, you can't smoke in the room, right? It's against the law." Dr. Arnold patted my shoulder, "Mr. Westley, we should go in and sit. I have something to share with you."
"I've got fucking cancer, I know. Where's Dr. Mood," I barked.Dr. Arnold stood there, stunned for a moment his mouth making a shape like a small hula hoop.
"I-I haven't heard of a Dr. Mood, and I'm sure that I didn't share these results with anyone." He turned his gaze to follow my line of sight down the hall, then looked me in the eyes. "Please, Mr. Westley, we won't speak of the smoking, but we do need to talk about what happens next."
He nodded toward the room. I looked at him, my face hard and angry. Then I began to tremble, and finally, went back into the room. My thoughts drifted as Dr. Arnold spoke. I agreed when appropriate, but mostly I looked out the window as he piddled along explaining the few options I had left.
The cat man had retreated to a black van with mud smeared on the license plate, blotting out the numbers and letters. He remained parked facing the school for several minutes, then started the van and pulled out of the parking lot."Sorry son of a bitch," I muttered."Excuse me?" Dr. Arnold was glaring at me.
"Not you doc, there was a… never mind. I'll go to the appointments and stuff, are we done?"
"I suppose so; you need to get your affairs in order, Mr. Westley. This is serious." His glare softened, to pity.
"How long?" I asked flatly.
"I'm not an oncologist, but my best guess, I'd say six months, maybe eight." He rubbed his fingers along his brow.
"Hmmph, alright then." I got up, the leg screaming at me, I gritted my teeth and stuck my chin out. I wasn't going to let it show through, "fuck you leg; fuck you so much." I shook the doc's hand, then walked to my brand-new f-150, and hopped in. I turned the key halfway, the music came on, and the ac blasted warm air. I slammed the door to stifle the beeping, then started the engine and sat there.
The thoughts of things that I'd never do haunted my mind like ghosts. In particular, no family hit me harder than the others, like an ugly dark spirit dancing and taunting me at the forefront of my mind. I slammed my fist into the steering wheel, and then I did it again. I hit it until the skin on my knuckles peeled, and tears rolled down my cheeks. Then I pulled the shifter to D and drove home.
Over the next two weeks, I went to appointments and spoke with professionals who all gave me the same dismal outcome.
I began aggressive chemo the following week and puked every day. Not only after sessions but before, and once during. After a month, they stopped saying It would only make things worse if I continued and that I should enjoy the time I had left. I tried, the old bucket list gained a few check-marks. But every afternoon, when it came time for more pills, I would take a drive to see the world I was leaving soon. I'd inevitably end up passing the school, so I'd stop in the clinic parking lot, not to watch the kids, but to watch for cat man.
Many times, I saw him, always with the hoodie, always watching the children. I called to report him as a suspicious person one day. The police officer arrived and spoke with the man, who produced several pieces of lawn care equipment from the van and a few slips of paper.
Was I wrong, maybe he was just an innocent lawn care worker? I had never seen him do anything with the lawn while watching the kids play. The officer left, and I yanked the seatbelt angry Cat Man hadn't been taken away and thrown in jail. My shoulder exploded into searing pain sending white stars and little squiggly lines across my vision.
"Jesus." I gripped my shoulder, breathing hard, and then took a pain med dry in desperation. It became a welded lump clinging to my throat part of the way down. I desperately chugged an old coke I found in the back floorboard as the sun dipped behind some clouds. So far, everything Dr.- or was it Mr. Mood had said was accurate.
I pulled the sun visor down and found the card he gave me still stashed there. The same uneasy feeling welled up inside me like a thunderstorm was coming, with its' dark clouds and endless muffled bombs shattering the quiet. I slid it back into the flap on the visor and pushed it up.
"Not yet, you screwy fuck," I croaked. The bitter taste of medicine mingled with warm coke on my tongue. That night I slipped going into the bathroom, there was a pop, and my leg lurched away from me like a dog hitting the end of its leash. I collapsed, screaming, a jagged bone protruding from my night pants. I reached for my phone, but I had left it on the table in the living room. Blood spurted in unison with my heartbeat as I dragged myself out of the bathroom and down the hall. There was a crunching sound in my thigh as I pulled myself up the single stair to the living room.
I gagged, screaming with pain and puked up part of a meatball sandwich. It sprayed in a reddish fan on the carpet by the table. Using my elbow, I dragged myself through the vomit to where my phone rested. I then lie in my retch, my head swimming with blood loss and exhaustion.
The smell of bile and blood blended in a coppery-sour stench, as I pawed at the screen. I tapped the emergency numbers, blood smearing with each touch, then darkness flooded my vision, and I slumped to the carpet, deaths cold grasp on my skin.
I don't remember a light. I remember sounds, screaming, a child calling for its mother, a lumbering thing that shook the very ground when it circled me.
Then a beep pried my eyes to attention. The room I was in was dark. I searched the surroundings and tried to call for help, but something was in the way, and I couldn't form words.I could vaguely see a cityscape through a draped window, and machines were scattered around me, emitting low light.
"Hospital, you're in a hospital, James," I thought. A thick fog of pain medicine blurred my concentration as I searched for something to alert the people I was awake. My chest rose without my consent and then fell.
"Jesus, it must have been bad, they intubated me!" I thought, becoming aware of the tubes fastened to my face."You could say that again." I jolted at the sudden voice in the darkness. Then I saw the cherry flare of a cigarillo in the corner of the dark room. It's very odd having a conversation with someone while you cannot speak, it feels like being watched while you shit, with the opposite party's face only a few inches from your crotch."You consider my offer?" A dull reddish-yellow glow illuminated the rims of his glasses.
"You can't save me, no one can," I thought.
"Oh, but I can." He strode forward, "and I can do it right away." He reached into his lab coat and pulled three smooth stones etched with symbols. "Or you can die now, here… In this shitty little room with a shitty view of…" He turned toward the window, "whatever the fuck that city is."
He turned back to me, brandishing a wolfish grin, "Choice is your's kiddo, be quick though, I've got collections to make."He rolled the stones around in his palm like meditation balls; they clicked and scraped against each other.
"So, I die if I say no?"
"Unequivocally." Smoke seethed through his teeth as he finished the word.
"What do you get from me?"
"A small contribution from you, too, myself."
"Money, you want money?"
"No, not exactly. What I want is currency, though. The only currency that means anything is time. You will be taking a loan out, one which I'll expect returned in full. Otherwise."
He snapped his fingers, and a vision of plain black casket flashed into my mind. It was descending into a deep rectangular hole. The rain was running off the sides of the casket, and the walls of the grave. A single man clad in black, holding a bible, and an umbrella stood at the graveside. The casket shifted as one of the straps holding it level snapped, and it slid into the hole with a thud. The door sprang open, and a shriveled corpse crumpled into the grave. Rain and mud streamed along its emaciated face.
"Dear God, that's me, Jesus, help, help!" My corpse's eyelids bulged, stretching until the skin tore away from the stitches holding them and worms spilled from the sockets. I screamed, thrashing wildly, then my eyes focused and I was back in the room with Dr. Mood at the foot of my bed, my screams for help coming out as breathy "hurk, hurk," sounds.
"Yes, yes, I will." He lunged forward and yanked the tube in my throat. It felt like a golf ball ripping through my insides as it came up. He threw the apparatus behind the bed and then shoved the three stones into my mouth and forced my jaw shut. I had no choice, so I swallowed them.
He pressed his hand to my chest and chanted. There was a low crackling sound as my skin blackened, and the room began to stink of burning hair and flesh. Then he lifted his hand and stood. I reached for the burn, thinking that I'd find my skin bubbling. But instead, I found a tattoo of Dr. Mood's hand, which morphed into an infinity symbol."There, not so bad, was it?"I sat up clammy sweat springing from my pores, but my leg no longer hurt, and I felt better than I had in months.
"You fucking burned me, you crazy shit!"
"I gave you a reminder of our deal."
"I made no deal you-"
"Yes, you did. You asked me for help. Did you think an ambulance brought you here?" I stared with contempt at the young man hovering over me. "Now let's get something clear if that tattoo fades away, so do you. You don't want that to happen, kiddo."
"I'm twice your age, you little-." He brought his fingers up to snap them again."No, wait, what do I have to do?" I lifted my arms in the lagging ceremony of exhaustion.
"Just, do unto others, as will be done to you." He smerked.
"Pick the others you don't particularly care for, though." He lifted his shirt sleeve, reveling dozens of tattoos, all infinity symbols in varying shades and sizes. He pointed to a faded black ∞ near his elbow.
"I'll know when you repay the loan I've extended to you. Goodbye, James, I hope we don't have to meet again." He rose, buttoned his shirt, and left without another word.I sat back into the bed. My hands were trembling as they traveled over my body; all the pain vanished. I looked at the backs of my hands. The skin appeared smoother, no longer the paper skin of an older man with cancer. I felt my face, and even the familiar wrinkles were less pronounced."Dear God, I'm younger!"I reveled in this for a minute then realized that being younger proposed an immediate problem. The hospital was expecting a 57-year-old man, and by my estimate, I was closer to 40. Also, my clothes were gone. Probably soaked in blood and vomit, and no doubt burned.
I couldn't very well make my escape bare-assed. So crafted a desperate plan. I crept to the door (careful not to disconnect the machines I tethered to me) and looked down the hall. Both ways were clear. I had to move now before they came to check on me!
I removed all the wires and tubes then, pinching my gown, I darted down the corridor to the next room. I slipped in and found an older woman in bed with the TV blaring. I stopped dead, my butt squishing together in fear. Would she scream thwarting my escape? I waited for several excruciating seconds before a snore erupted from her.
"Whew," I breathed. Then I went about looking for a set of clothes. She was quite a bit bigger than me, and female, but in my current situation, the clothes would have to work. Out of the room, I strolled in a pair of white silk pants and a thin blouse bosting a gaudy floral pattern. There was a broad-brimmed hat to complete the look, which I pulled low. I saw a nurse go into my room as I excited the ICU.
I made my way to the parking lot, then tossed the hat and began to jog, keeping an eye out for anyone in pursuit. My muscles tensed and loosened, my strides were fluid, and my heart rhythmically pumped. For the first time in 15 years, I began to run. I imagine it must have been a sight. A middle-aged man sprinting down the sidewalks with a sail of plus-sized women's clothing stretched like a parachute behind him. I ran to my house, which was nearly 3 miles from the hospital, and didn't fatigue once.
I spent the next hour cleaning up the mess smeared on the tile, carpet, and walls from the bathroom to the living room. With as much blood as I cleaned that night, I concluded that I was pretty much dead by the time Dr. Mood arrived.
I showered, feeling exhilarated and euphoric, and something else, a desire, no a need. I lay awake in bed, unable to sleep. I feared that if I closed my eyes, it would be over, and I'd wake up broken again. Before I knew it, it was morning. The sun shined through the bedroom window and lit on my skin.
I needed someone, someone, full of life, but I didn't know why. I'd never felt the need for companionship this strongly. Except for maybe in the Doctor's office, but that had passed. I sat up; sleep wasn't even in the wheelhouse now. I got dressed in my clothes, which seemed much to ordinary when I inspected them in my mirror. After a shave, I purchased some new clothes (making sure to have a young lady help with the styles). I'd need all the help I could get to pass for a 40ish man.
I spent the rest of the day catching up on new lingo, and practiced talking to myself in the mirror. I learned that a whip was a nickname for a vehicle and that I wasn't a real person unless I had several social media profiles. I stopped researching and considered whether really I wanted to join this new generation when I found videos of people biting into laundry soap. A young woman jogged by my window as I sat thinking and desire sprang up in me again intense and unignorable, I would rejoin them, I had too. Surely not everyone was a soap eating dipshit.
That night I went to a club, to my relief, it was much the same, maybe the clothing and music were different, but everything else was as I remembered. I talked with all the vibrant young people. There was no reason to be bashful; after all, I had no way of knowing how long my youth would hold out, and my need overwhelmed any social anxiety. Despite my best efforts, the first night ended with me drunk and alone in the backseat of a cab. I stumbled up my driveway to the front door. Once inside, I ping-ponged off the hallway walls until I reached the bathroom. I puked then fell asleep on the tile.
The next morning, I came too with my arms aching. Pinpricks danced in droves through my arms, which draped over the toilet seat. A pounding headache, blurred my vision as I checked myself in the mirror. At least I had maintained my youth. That brought some mild relief. To deal with the hangover, I went to a diner across town for a greasy breakfast. The waitress walked up as I inspected the menu under the glass tabletop. She was dark-skinned, and her smile was big and bright. She asked me what I wanted, and I stated a hangover cure willing myself not to puke again.
"I have just the thing, sweetheart," she exclaimed, grabbing my hand. "It always works when I need a pick me up after a night out with the girls. I'll be right back just you wait and see." Something happened when she released my hand; it was like static, without the snap or the pain. Five minutes later, she returned, her smile was gone, and she pressed the back of her hand to her forehead as she sat my plate down."You must have passed off that headache, I feel all hungover now," she stated glumly.
"I'm sorry," I said, feeling guilty. My hangover had faded miraculously, and it made me wonder if this was what Dr. Mood meant.I paid my bill, throwing an extra 20$ on the ticket for the poor waitress who was vomiting in the bathroom. I would have to be careful not to be sick when I touched anyone. I knew I shouldn't, but couldn't stop the overwhelming desire to connect. I had to go out again. After all, I was feeling great. If I were to get sick, I just wouldn't touch anyone.
That night I went out again. This time I met a 30 something blond with large blue eyes. We bumped into one another, literally as a hammered patron flew out of the bar onto the pavement. The bouncers knocked her drink and her flying. I happened to be in the right spot to catch her. She began calling me Justin Time playfully, and I offered to replace the toppled drink. We laughed and conversed, and then I kissed her cheek. There was a spark, but not the odd one I had at the diner. I brought her to my place, and even though we said we wouldn't, we made love. For the first time since the night in the hospital, I felt at peace. I had connected with someone lovely. It was much too early to tell, but maybe someday, this beautiful lady that smelled like vanilla and mango sleeping next to me would become more than just a casual lover. Perhaps a wife, perhaps even a mother. I smiled in the dark at the thought. I had a second chance, maybe Dr. Mood was a savior, not a demon, and I had it all wrong.
She stirred her body a soft and sleek curve under my sheets. I kissed her shoulder and then fell asleep. I got up to make breakfast the next morning. Eggs with runny yoke and buttery toast finished with hollandaise sauce: jelly and freshly squeezed OJ. I walked in quietly and nudged her, she moved slightly moaning then placed a hand against her eyes."What time is it?" Her voice was horse and dry."You're dehydrated, and it's a quarter past 10," I replied. Then I moved the meal on a bed tray closer to her. She turned over and nearly knocked the table of food over.
"What the-!" I jumped off the bed and stood by the door leading to the hallway. She looked 50 years older. Her skin sagged on her arms like wet clothing from a line. Her face was zig-zagged with deep creases of age, and sun blotches mottled her body.
"James, what's wrong, James." she groaned and staggered as she stood from the bed. Her naked frame, once lovely, was a stick with sagging skin draped over it."N-nothing, Let me help you sit." I walked forward, my heart in my throat.
I helped the elderly woman sit and then offered her breakfast as my mind spun into chaos. She slowly ate, her teeth were gone, so she gummed the eggs and toast into mush before swallowing them. Dumbfounded, I excused myself to the restroom and sat on the toilet lid with my face pressed into my palms. What the hell had happened, I remembered her vibrant beauty, the youthful woman I had brought home last night. She had danced with me, rubbing her shapely figure against my body, and now this?
I splashed water on my face and steeled myself, then returned and sat next to her. "I need to ask you something, do you remember last night?"
She looked up vacantly at me, then opened her mouth, but she never spoke again. A look of terror spread across her face, then she grabbed her chest and fell backward writhing in the bed."Shit, no, don't do this!" I threw the bedding back, searching for my phone. I found it under her clothing and dialed 911. Then took her frail hand, she gasped and thrashed a little more, then went still.
The line trilled as her body began to sink in on itself like a deflated ball. She continued to decay rapidly before my eyes, the smell of death lingering for a moment, then her skin dried and turned black. Soon her skeleton was the only thing left. The bones crumbled into piles of white powder."911, what's your emergency," Jarred me out of the horror show transpiring on my bed."No, no emergency. I'm sorry, I um… I had some trouble, here, a few days back, and just hit redial by accident."
"OK, sir, what is your name, and address please.""James, James Westley", I told the man my address, apologized again, and then he said something that haunts me even now.
"Your debt is only partially paid James, I'll expect more soon.
"Wait what? Dr. Mood, what the hell did you do to me you son of a bitch?" But the line was dead, I hyperventilated until I almost passed out sitting on the floor in my bedroom.
After I regained my composure, I vacuumed the room with tears rolling down my face. I filled several bags in the process, then washed my sheets. I took the bags around town that night and dropped each of them in different trash cans placed on the sides of roads for pickup. I needed to find Dr. Mood, and I needed to hurt him. My worst fear of being alone forever had come to pass, thanks to him. My body was now even younger, but at what cost? I had mummified a young woman and simultaneously became an impromptu murderer. I remembered my tattoo and inspected it. It was a glossy black on my skin, almost like an oiled leather jacket.
Over the next month, I searched for Dr. Mood, sleeping only for a few hours each night. I combed the internet for anyone that had similar experiences to no avail. I also began to age again, I was back to 40 in two months, and then I started having other health issues. I needed more time to figure out what Dr. Mood had done to me, but I couldn't hurt another innocent woman by luring them home with me.
I was desperate, and aging more each day, then an idea came to mind. I had continued driving by the school daily, keeping an eye on Cat Man. I decided on the day I saw him massage a young boys' shoulders through the fence, that I would have as much time as I needed to figure things out. I would end him hopefully before he could hurt a kid. But then what, that's when I figured it out, I could have as much time as I needed. All it would cost is someone who deserved death's life.
I couldn't allow Dr. Mood to do this again. I had to stop him, I didn't know how to yet, but I would figure it out. There were more like me; people who were taken advantage of and pushed into a life they have no control over by Dr. Mood. Maybe they would know, I had amassed enough wealth in my life that I could live off the interest so I sold my house and bought a motor-home and now I travel looking for Dr. Mood or others like me. But I need to keep myself healthy you see?
So here's a final word of caution to you sick fucks out there. If you hurt someone young, or claim you have feelings for them that you just can't hold back. Keep in mind, I can be any age I want, and when you meet me, you won't know until it's much too late.
How do you feel about, Ebola, or maybe shingles for a decade, how about pancreatic cancer? I can give you these, or drain the life from you quickly, depends on the flip of a coin most of the time. I know Cat man is thoroughly enjoying stage 4 prostate cancer, he has two, maybe three months left confined to a bed. When I feel these sicknesses rising in me, I just pass them to the next deserving candidate. I know it's dark, and maybe judgment isn't mine to pass, but better them than me. At least until I find Dr. Mood.