Editors Note: Recluse Indiana street rag publisher, amateur magician and EagleScout Storyteller Jack Merde, long absent from the alternative art scene he helped create, has reportedly been found in an obscure corner of western New Jersey.
By Don Berry
According to unconfirmed reports, the Merde Compound, an impenetrable fortress, heavily mortgaged, at an unspecified location in Tranquility, New Jersey, is the principal residence of the obscure writer hermit. Aerial photographs of the expansive grounds show a large pool complex with waterfall, cabana and extensive landscaping. The pool complex is believed to have been used primarily for entertaining during Merde’s second marriage to a trophy wife. Neighbors report only rare sightings of the reclusive Merde over the past several years as he rarely leaves the confines of the compound. There are unverified reports of a late model European sports car speeding away from the estate in the hours shortly after midnight. Few people are known to have actually entered the residence located within the compound. There are verified accounts of a basement theater with a stage and Broadway-style curtains where Merde performs an unusual magic act assuming the alter ego, Doctor Mentallo. The basement is also known to house the “Wall of Celluloid,” a massive collection of movies on Blu-Ray, DVD and VHS. Little else can be confirmed. Rumors that Merde had recently installed a stripper pole in his basement theater were traced back to a local contractor who refused to comment on the record for this reporter.