The Smoker Tapes (Part 1)
[Pictured: Hunter, before and after his meeting with The Smoker.]
Report 1927-01 of the Special Investigations Bureau
A number of cassette tapes, CD’s, and MP3 files have been discovered which have been colloquially termed The Smoker Tapes. All of them were presumably recorded between 2003 and today, and they catalogue conversations between Person of Interest “The Smoker” (see case file P001927) and a number of his victims around the country. SIB classifies these recordings as class B mental influencers, requiring security clearance level two and a psychological assessment before any agent can listen to them. The transcripts, however, are accessible by anyone with security level five or below. These recordings, it is assumed, are one of The Smoker’s primary recruitment techniques, and new copies are found daily as tapes and CD’s in adult bookstores and bathhouses, as well as online, most commonly circulated in the deep web.
This recording is generally considered to be the first attack of “The Smoker” that was recorded, between him and a reporter known only on the tape as Eric. All attempts to identify and track Eric, both before and after the attack, can be found in report 1927-54. Unlike the others, where “The Smoker” himself is recording the attack, this first was instigated by the reporter, as a means of documenting his interview with “The Smoker”. The other transcribed tapes can be found in reports 1927-02 through 1927-34.
<The recorder is turned on.>
Eric: Ok, it’s on–not sure where to put it…
<The sounds of things being pushed aside and cleared away from a surface. A dull clack, presumably the recorder being set down.>
Eric: This place is a mess. Do you live here?
The Smoker: No. It’s a friend’s place, and I figured we could use it for the interview.
Eric: One of your victims?
The Smoker: They aren’t victims.
Eric: The legend would say otherwise.
The Smoker: Legends are exaggerations. They’re just men I’ve helped out, when they needed it.
Eric: Well, have you helped your friend out yet, then?
The Smoker: No, not yet. He might be interested, but we haven’t discussed it yet.
Eric: Do you always discuss it with them?
The Smoker: Of course. I’m not the monster most people talk about, you know. I mean, look at me. five foot three, two hundred pounds, flabby. What exactly am I going to do to them? How could I force them? They all come to me, not the other way around.
Eric: Well, on the topic of rumor and legend, I’d like to start asking you about some of the mythos surrounding you as a figure. As you know, you’re quite the boogeyman on the streets, though–
The Smoker: Actually, before we begin, do you mind if I smoke?
Eric: Do you think I’m stupid? Of course I mind. You’ll do something to me.
The Smoker: It isn’t my smoke that does anything. Besides, I never do anything to someone without their consent. For someone interested in the truth, you seem very interested in upholding fictions about things you know nothing about.
Eric: Well, you can’t blame me for being cautious–
The Smoker: But if I’m not going to get a fair shake, or an even hand, I might as well just walk out right now.
Eric: There’s no need to get…now hold on, don’t–
<The faint sound of a lighter flicking on.>
The Smoker: There. See? No harm done. Now, you were going to ask me about the myth?
<A moment of silence.>
The Smoker: Are you holding your breath?…Oh for goodness sakes, if you’re that terrified of me, why did you agree to interview me in the first place?
The Smoker: I’m not putting it out. You can either breathe in, or leave. It’s up to you.
<The sound of a deep exhale, and a shallow inhale.>
The Smoker: There, see? You’re fine.
Eric: How do I know–
The Smoker: You’ve already come to meet me, “The Smoker” of legend, in an unknown location, alone. It seems to be that caution is the last thing on your mind.
Eric: Those were your terms. I didn’t have much of a choice.
The Smoker: And you still agreed to meet me. Now, do you have some questions, or not?
<Eric clears his throat, the sound of turning pages, presumably of a notebook. The Smoker coughs.>
Eric: I wanted to start with some of the aspects of the urban legend, to see if any of the stories are true. As you know, I’m sure, the legend of “The Smoker”, or also “The Smoking Man”, has been a staple of the gay subculture in this city for decades. You are, according to the stories, either a demon or a madman who kidnaps men and forces them to become smokers.
<The Smoker chuckles.>
Eric: I assume you take issue with the stories?
The Smoker: Well, I don’t force anyone to do anything. All of the people I help consent to my services. I also don’t kidnap anyone, though sometimes my work requires them to take an extended stay with me at my home. I’ve never had an unsatisfied patron.
Eric: Well, then how do you think these stories started?
The Smoker: Like I said, I only change people who are willing. I have, in the past, misjudged people. I thought they wanted my help, when in fact they weren’t ready to admit that they needed it. How would you react to someone who just walked up to you, offering you the life you’d always wanted but that you were too terrified to ask for? People talked. Stories spread. I’ve gotten much more careful over time, though. I haven’t had anyone turn me down in quite a few years now.
Eric: The stories have been in circulation for quite a while. How long have you been changing men?
The Smoker: My first was back in 1976.
Eric: So, did this power manifest when you were, I’d guess, around twenty?
The Smoker: Oh no, I was fifty-six.
<The sound of scribbling.>
Eric: I’m sorry, but that would mean that you were born in…in 1920? You don’t look to be in your nineties.
The Smoker: I’ve stayed healthy.
Eric: Is that related to your powers? Do you steal youth?
The Smoker: No, nothing so vampiric.
Eric: You must understand that this is hard to believe.
The Smoker: I have my birth certificate if you’d like me to furnish it as proof.
Eric: Well, assuming you are telling the truth, you’ve been changing people for close to forty years now, correct? How many men have you changed in that time?
The Smoker: One hundred and seven.
Eric: So you keep track of them all?
The Smoker: It’s impossible to forget any of them, actually.
Eric: So you must have celebrated your centennial recently, did you do anything special for you one hundredth…customer? I know you object to the word victim, but what do you call them?
The Smoker: Patrons. And my one hundredth wasn’t particularly unique or special. An older gentleman–let’s call him Hunter–was unhappy and looking for help. I provided it.
Eric: And what was his problem?
The Smoker: He had a very, very small dick.
The Smoker: Trust me when I say Hunter wouldn’t have found the humor in it.
Eric: I’m sorry, it just seems a little ludicrous. If that was the only issue, I’m sure half the guys in the city would be looking for your help.
The Smoker: How do you know half the men in the city don’t want my help?
<A moment of silence.>
Eric: So, how did you assist…Hunter, you said?
The Smoker: He was, rather desperate. And when I say small, I don’t mean a simple matter of overcompensation. His dick was a little less than an inch long, something Hunter had resented his whole life. The term ‘involuntary chastity’ comes to mind.
Eric: I can’t imagine many people would be very interested in that.
The Smoker: Well, some men find pleasure in minimal endowment. Hunter was just bitter and angry. He came home with me, rather reluctantly I might add, but he was much happier the next morning, leaving with a twelve inch cock and a grapefruit sized sack, stuffed in the front of his cum stiff jockstrap, unable to stop leaking as he chuffed on a thick ring cigar.
Eric: ….I see.
The Smoker: Did that make you uncomfortable?
Eric: I suppose I wasn’t expecting something quite so graphic.
The Smoker: Well, my trade is a graphic one. You are a reporter. I hadn’t expected the details to bother you so much.
Eric: That’s not really–
The Smoker: Some men, well, all they need is a taste of smoke and a bit of a push. They can take it from there all on their own. Others need more help, like Hunter. I started on his balls, taking big breaths of smoke and breathing it down his cock, inflating his balls with each exhale. I’ve been told that the heat of the smoke in the body can be painful, but from Hunter’s moans, he didn’t seem to mind.
Eric: Really, I don’t need–
The Smoker: I admit to getting a bit carried away. He seemed to enjoy it so much I kept going. Watching the testosterone flood his system, a thick white beard coating his face, hair sprouting up and down his chest. Muscle filled in as well–he was a sexy fuckin’ beast, I tell you.
Eric: This really isn’t relevant.
The Smoker: How would you know what’s relevant and what isn’t? Isn’t this why you agreed to interview me? To hear my story?
Eric: The graphic details–
The Smoker: This is my work. I hardly think leaving out the process itself would do a service to your readers. To continue, Hunter was finally ready for his own smoke. A large ring cigar, of course–a big tool makes a big tool. He smoked that down in near record time, and I nursed his cock all the while. I had to stop sucking once my jaw got stretched to the limit, but I couldn’t resist fucking myself on that huge cock. I mean, how often do you get a chance like that? Fuck, and when he came–filled me up, I could feel it in my guts–you ever felt anything like that, when someone fucked you?
Eric: I’m not–no, I mean, how do you know…
The Smoker: Know what, that you’re gay? No straight man would be interested in this story, legend or not. And no straight man would have an erection in their slacks after I tell that story. Good to know you don’t have Hunter’s problem, by the way.
Eric: I need…I think I’m going to take a break, I’ll be outside.
<The sounds of Eric standing up, a door opens and closes. The Smoker coughs again, the sound of something tapping against an ashtray.>
The Smoker: While he’s gone, I just want to introduce myself, properly. Many people know me as “The Smoker” but I’m more interested in who you might be, listening to this tape, listening to me and Eric have this nice chat. He’s scared you know, but being scared of the unknown is natural.
<Silence. The Smoker coughs.>
The Smoker: Whoever’s listening to this–it’s alright to be scared. But at some point, you have to stop being scared, and act. Act on what you want. Act on what you need, on who you want to be. You don’t want to be who you are forever, do you?
The Smoker: I would be very interested to meet you, you know. I wonder if you’d be interested to meet yourself too? I could show that to you. Eric hasn’t met himself yet, not really. But I’ll be introducing him to himself before too long here. Perhaps you’d like your own introduction? Perhaps I’ll be able to make both of your acquaintances someday. I’d like that–and I’m sure you would too.