Norman Stafford

Kidney Eater


You’re looking right at him, but there’s hardly anything to see. He’s a spindly, bad-skinned nobody in a short-sleeved shirt and clip-on tie. His haircut was boring in the ’50s, and his teeth are a mouthful of pebbles. His hands keep wandering — he touches his belt, his zipper, his ear, the screw on the light-switch, inside his nose. He looks at you, looks away and then sneaks his eyes back to you.


Norman sat in the back of the class and grew up in the middle of nowhere. He lived in one of those peeling farmhouses with collectible plates on the walls and porcelain roosters on the shelves. His parents were God-fearing, church-going folk who trusted that their boy would get a fine education through school, then work with them on the farm. They figured a library card and a few summers with the Boy Scouts would be enough for Normy to find out what interested him and do that on the side, between harvests. His parents didn’t demand that he think like they did, as long as he didn’t “sit on that floor like a lump in front of the television.”

Norman burned his parents to death in the fire that destroyed their house. The insurance money paid his tuition at the local poly. His diploma got him a job as a factory manager, until the plant closed. Since then he’s had a series of lusterless jobs with short sleeves and neckties: movie theater manager, hotel staff supervisor, county clerk.

Norman passes his nights with library books and TV dinners. He lives alone in a small terraced house in a street not worth robbing and is still a virgin. He had a cat, but wondered what would happen if he stopped feeding it. He passed the years feeling superior to people who don’t notice him.

Norman eventually met Arnau de Villanova, a match made in hell. The Spaniard’s needs matched Norman’s tastes perfectly and soon the alchemist had a procurer for the organs that he needed. When Norman procured Aiden’s kidney, however, it led to an unfortunate demise. After giving up the Spaniard’s location, Norman was killed by Alastair Lewis when a tragic gas leak went tragically wrong in a tragic (and explodey) way.

Norman Stafford

The Secret Garden logarium