Saturday, 25 July 2009

Out on a Limb...

OK, another splurge done and dusted, just posting up some prose I've done over the internets.

I am currently waiting on starting a screenplay that is guaranteed to be made. I'm co-writing, but I'm just waiting on getting it started and done, and have a notch on my belt, because that would be awesome.

Anyways, back to not-blogging.

The Light

An experiment in messing with words:

I follow the corridor from the beginning to the end. I'm not sure where I'll end up, down the rabbit hole I go, but I become aware of the shadows flickering either side of me. Above, lights fuzz out and in, like some orchestral score with peaks and lows, flashing morse code, dot dot dash as I walk below. I look at the shadows, walking beside them, my friends till the end, and it's when I'm watching them, dancing across the walls, the corridor long and winding and without an end in sight, that I realize that the shadows don't make *sense*. They should be of me, shouldn't they? But men and women and children and pets walk by me, cars rush by, and then... The lights fail. Complete darkness. I freeze, and in the distance, I hear the roar of traffic, the chattering of women, the droning of men. Children cry and scream and shriek, and then the lights come on and--


Dante Mitchell was the best thing that happened to Laura Sykes. Until he turned out not to be Dante Mitchell, and in fact, have no identity to call his own at all. He was a carrier. Not of AIDS, like a girl of her age and generation would fear, or of any sexual transmitted disease or thing like that. He was a carrier of sperm and poison and alpha male drive. Pure animal attraction wept through his pores every Friday and Saturday night as he danced the dance of a thousand weeping teenage girls. Pheromones, she later thought, as she pondered the events that lead to their fucking in that London back alley, the sound of the night life outside driving him on, thrust after thrust, and her, afraid but excited at the thought of being discovered. But he was in fact a preconception, someone made to seduce, and as soon as the seed he carried inside him was delivered he simply vanished, into the night, leaving Laura with something growing in her womb that she hadn’t planned on. A child, yes, but not just a child. Someone, something more than that.

Dante Mitchell had impregnated Laura Sykes with the Anti-Christ.

But, being the responsible girl that she was, she aborted the foetus before her parents found out about it, and after the months and the years passed, it was no longer in the forefront of her mind. It lurked, like a fly in your bedroom at night, on the fringes of her head, but was not important, something that could be ignored for a while at least (before the sound of wings would awaken you from your half-slumber).

So the Apocalypse was put down by a bottle of vodka, a steady hand, and a coat hanger.

Laura Sykes went on with her life. She was seventeen when this horrible event occurred. She was twenty seven, a whole ten years later, to the day of conception, when it came back to bite her on the arse. Twenty seven, living precariously after university (still), surviving but not thriving, in a world that by all rights should have ended by now. Where was the war? Where was the famine? Where was death and where was all that judgement? Where was the end of the world that the religious nuts had all subscribed to in fanatic school?

The apocalypse had been missed because Laura Sykes took her life in her hands and made a decision. That’s all life was, after all, a series of decisions, one after the over, like dominos, like a house of cards that grew and grew until a wrong card was set and it all came tumbling down. But evil, as was in her womb for that short period of time, gestating and growing, was not so easily put down.

She heard it first. Sitting in bed, in her flat, reading the medical journals she needed to make sure she was a valid member of the hospital she worked at, she heard it. The sound of footsteps. The sound of toes caked in congealing blood. The blood was its own. She turned on the lights, tentatively. The sound was in her head, after all, right? But the sound of blood on board got louder. The creak of the floorboard in the hallway outside her bedroom groaned loud and clear, and she jerked out of bed.

Something was in her flat. Four locks on her door, and something was in her flat. She picked up her phone, crept toward the door and locked that too. Safety, as her mother had once told her before she moved out of the family home, was the most important thing a young woman could hold.

Safety, she thought. Safety didn’t come into it when she was milking Dante Mitchell for all he was worth ten years ago in that seedy back alley.

She locked the door, and dialled the police. The line beeped once in recognition of the number going through, and then a connection was made. “Hello”, she said, “hello?”

All she could her was mumbling. The words being said made no sense to her, tongues licking and whispering into the line on the other end. Had her phone line been crossed? Questions flooded her, no answers came to stem the tide. She heard something press its hand on the other side of the door. Flesh cracked as skin had to break to move.

Mmmhhh…” She wretched back, the voice gross and horrendous, heavy and wet and so close to her heart, though she didn’t know why… “Mmmhhh,” it repeated. “Mmmmmother…

“No!” she couldn’t help the sudden ejaculation that her voice had become. Impossible. Ten years. Ten years ago. A back alley, a mistake, and a solution, quick and simple and leaving her empty inside. A flush of the toilet (she gagged at the memory) and then gone. She’d seen it a dozen or so times now, at the hospital, of mothers who had done the same as her, but been less successful. Infection creeping through their bodies, organs dying and wombs filled with blood… she’d been lucky, hadn’t she?

Mmmother…” The door handle turned. Clack-clack, how the noise terrified Laura. Slow, deliberate turns of the knob, but the door held, the locks wouldn’t give. “Lllet me inn…

Tears streamed out of her eyes as she reached the back wall of her room, and collapsed to the floor. Snot fell from her nose as she tried to control herself, she spat and groaned and whispered and begged, “no, no, no, no,” but the door continued to be pushed against.

The door knob ceased to be turned. She looked through parted fingers at the door and squeezed closed her eyes.


“This is impossible, impossible, I’m dreaming, I’m dreaming…” She was trying to convince herself into unconsciousness. She was trying, desperately, to believe the lies her mouth was telling. And then the lock began to move. The bolt lifted itself up, and the metal whined as it slid open. Her eyes, wide before, would have split open further if it was possible. The bolt jutted open, and the door knob turned once more.

And the door opened.

Laura wished it would have ended there.

Outside, the lights flickered. Like a seizure, the bulbs turned on and off, and as such, what was on the other side of the door took a moment to come into focus. So instead of letting her see it there, standing in the doorway, it stepped forward. Laura vomited in her hands, unable to control herself. She blinked hard, but every time she did, it seemed to get closer, but if she kept her eyes on it, each step was taken precisely. Its skin was dark and dead and dry. Where there should have been eyes were empty sockets, seeping with the poison that had replaced its blood. In its mouth were no visible teeth, only black gums, no tongue but a shrivelled piece of flesh where tongue should be. Hands hung loosely at its sides, but the bloody stumped fingers twitched and contorted with every step taken.

Mmmmother…” She didn’t take her eyes off it. She searched the room for an escape. She doubted she could move past it, something about this thing screamed at her to simply curl up and accept what was coming, but she couldn’t, she knew that. “Yyyou… hhhurttt mmmeee.

“You are dead!” she shouted. “You died and I flushed you away like a used tampon!” The bravado came between the sobs and the cries. Spit flecked her words and phlegm flew through her lips. “Whatever you are, you are not mine!”

Hhhhhold… mmmeeee…

Laura would have vomited again, if there was anything left to come out. Instead her stomach turned, nothing came, but she heard the question as true and clear as if it had not been asked by such a thing. “Is that what you want?” she whispered, “to be held?”

Nnnneevvverrrr… hhheldddd…” its head lolled abruptly from one side to another, the poison dribbled to the floor. She noticed its feet, red raw from whatever place it had dragged itself out from, just as the fingers. “Nnnneverrr wannnted…

She had reached her feet, and she realised that this thing, whatever it was, was half her side. Ten years? Was it really ten years since she’d committed that act in her family toilet when her parents were visiting her grandmother (god rest her eternal soul) in Blackpool? This could be her child, son or daughter, its current condition belied no gender, the aborted foetus that had once gestated within her womb, grown a decade, and come back to be held by her.

Would a mother deny her child that request?


Laura Sykes stepped forward. And opened her arms. “C-come… come to mother.”

* * *

This piece was something I wrote after I posted it on DeviantArt:

"God, I don't know what I was doing. Wrote this in an hour, two hours, and it just came to me, and I'm really proud of it. The final line freaked me out, so did early sentences, but I was playing round with the final denouement being the line:

"The world ended ten minutes later. After Laura Syke's child showed it's mother what a terrible mistake she had made ten years ago."

But I don't know, unnecessary? The conclusion might work perfectly fine as it is, and the addition does lead to a conclusion that was left ambiguous otherwise.

Thoughts? "

Snow Day

I watch snow topped cars waddle down the road with a drunkard’s precision, as they pray that they won’t fall over for the ice sleeked road beneath them. Footprints remind me that this isn’t a day for everyone to wrap up warm and tight, to stay inside with their blankets and pillows, imprints of people’s journey’s, echoes of travels past, all waiting to be erased by the days, or the nights. The air is still, the snow settled, but this is just a moment. Moments before, snow drifted down, and moments after, it paused, but that’s just a fleeting stop in time, and soon, hopefully, it’ll continue again. But I’ll be wrapped up warm and tight, with my blanket and pillow, and I won’t care because it’s a snow day.

The Mad Scientist's Lament

Why? Why did we get so foolish? Why did we throw all conventional wisdom out the window, and instead pursue darker paths of discovery, all in the hopes that we'd find the light again, round ourselves back off and come full circle. Dark means for light purposes... resulting in only more darkness. We thought we knew what we were doing. We wouldn't have continued if we didn't. The fact of the matter was, we could have wiped the world clean of the chemical taint of disease-- of pain-- if our plans had reached fruition. But alas-- we were fools. We thought...

I must digress for a moment, my continual use of the first-person personal pronoun 'we' might appear to be aberrant in this discourse. 'We' were a group of scientists, collaborating on the greatest atrocity that humanity had ever witnessed. 'We' thought we knew better than anybody else. 'We' thought we could wipe the slate clean for humanity, to help attain a higher purpose, an opportunity... we thought we could clean, on a microscopic level, the deviant genetic material that left men, women and children, open to cancers, to crippling disabilities, to all the hurt and pain in the world that made life unlivable-- we would change people on a base level, and we thought we had succeeded... until the Scourge began to spread. We discovered-- too late, as it always is-- that wiping impurities from DNA cannot be controlled... we thought it could be controlled, but my God--

Wait. That was it, of course. 'God'. Our complete lack if conviction in his or hers existence, telling us that we must act where this being wouldn't-- we'd have to take control of our own lives. Our own destinies. 'God'-- mocking us, making us strive to better our lives-- God-- it was his fault! It was his fault we did what we did! He mocked us. They all mocked us.

Where was I? Ah, yes, the Scourge. Our experiments went wrong-- so wrong. We couldn't control the... cleansing. DNA began to degrade, but not collapse upon itself... the Faceless were born. Horrific creatures-- human in shape but not in mind-- their bodies twisting and contorting as their flesh dribbled down, sealed up their mouths, their eyes, but their skin became... we don't know, 'permeable'? They lived! They breathed! The act drove them to insanity, but they survived... and clawed open their mouths. You should have seen the first footage of the early transformations! Pink, fleshy things, with bone sharp finger tips, bloody red-raw holes in their faces where their mouths should have been... and their taste for flesh was insatiable.

We. There is no we now. Only me. I. In my lab. In my bunker. With enough supplies to last me over the decades, but alone enough to not want to live another day. I work to figure out where we went wrong, I listen to the radio for a sign of hope-- of survival-- but I hear none. The Faceless roam the deserted streets in the dead cities, searching for survivors. They tear them limb from limb, fight over their flesh and winner take all. I've seen the footage. All I have to see the outside world are my cameras.

My home is impregnable. They cannot get in. If I were to get out... I would be dead within moments. This isn't about them coming out in the night-- no, they sleep at night, as humans are wont to do-- but in the day? They roam... small packs, just small enough so they don't fight over their food... there are alpha males, there are pilot fish, there are bottom feeders... they scar their flesh with their fingers, they rub blood on themselves... and all I can think to ask is this, at the end of civilisation:

Why? Why did we get so foolish?

Ironic, I Suppose

We waste our days with second hand interaction, with social networking sites and instant messaging services. Our lives become blunt shells of what they could potentially be, and we don't care at all.

This is almost ironic, the fact that I say this, that I post this thing here, because honestly, isn't posting on DeviantArt (tm) the exact same as going on Facebook (tm) to glut ourselves on other people's live or heading onto Myspace (tm) to listen to a friend's crappy garage band?

It's harder, I suppose, to make the effort now. But why should we, when we can connect with the world within seconds, when a friend in America is "a click away", when Skype (tm) allows us to talk across vast distances?

The world has become so impersonal, and it'd take something horrendous, something magnificent, to stop the cycle we're in right now. I don't think that'll ever happen.

Serial Belief

There's that song again-- the same song I hear whenever I run out into the night. The score of a thousand horror movies, creeping up on my heels, synth screams echoing out into the vast, unforgiving sky. I'm not wanted here. Why would I be, anyway? This isn't my realm. This isn't my home. I live for the daylight, for those few strands of light that flit through the curtains in the morning, then the full on rays that shine down when you open them wide to survey the world. I hurry, my heels click-clattering on the hard concrete floor of the pavement underneath. I don't know why I'm running. This isn't Elm Street, I'm not at Camp Crystal Lake-- these people don't exist, do they? And when I say people, I'm aware... fully aware... that Freddy Krueger stopped being a person in that blaze, and that Jason Voorhees is a lumbering golem with the scant memories of being a man-- a boy even-- after those fornicating teens let him drown. I know the cliches-- the warnings we should look out for in the narrative that is our existence.

He hasn't said a word for years.

Of course he hasn't. But that's his ploy. As I run through the night, from point a) to point b), the sweat dripping off my nose in the stagnant pre-summer heat, I think of the things they say. 'They', of course, being the bearers of knowledge in these gems of fiction. Loomis, the guardian of the Strode girl, never wanting Myers to see the light of day again, and all those people disbelieving his warnings--! Why do people act so stupid when they're being told what to do by Donald Pleasance or Malcom McDowell!? I'd always listen. I'd be the last to die-- or the hero. But then again, when we know we're the hero, when we know what we're doing... aren't we always the first to go? We run to the campers, to the promiscuous teens, we run to warn them-- and our fate is far worse for our knowledge.

But I don't live in that world. That world of make believe and murder. Of course there are bad people on this planet. Of course there is evil. But not supernatural evil, surely not. Paedophiles do not come back to haunt us in our dreams. That silly little disabled boy with the deformed head doesn't grow up to become a juggernaut of destruction and impale our naked bodies on pikes and spikes and all things sharp. This isn't that world. This is a world of dreaded normality.

I wonder if that's a bad thing, sometimes.

And sometimes, times like this, I run. I run because I'm late, because my parents will be angry, because it's past dark and I don't have a phone on me. No one knows where I am. And then I realise something else.

I wouldn't be the hero. I wouldn't be the bearer of knowledge-- I'd be the idiot. The fool. I'd be dragged into the shadows, the same shadows that surround me and this quiet suburban street right now, I'd die with my screams muffled. I stop running for a moment, my lungs burning as I try to catch my breath. What could I add to anything? I'm useless. I'm late. I don't do what normal people do. I'm a target, I'm a victim and-- did that shadow just move?


The shadows do not reply, and I near slap myself for believing they would. I cry a bit inside thinking they should. I could have sworn-- as anybody in my position could-- but no. There is nothing there. There is only me. By myself. And the shadows of the night. I wonder then, if I should run again. If I should succumb to those old, obvious fears. I wonder. No. Why should I? It's not like someone's going to get me. It's not like--

The shadows just moved. I heard them. Darkness shifting.

"Who's there? I saw you! I heard you! I know there's someone--"

...I don't get a chance to scream.

Saturday Poetry #1: "Nemesis" by HP Lovecraft

If I see a poem I like, I shall post it. On a Saturday. Therefore, "Saturday Poetry". I've always been fascinated by the mythology of Lovecraft's works, and I think that it would be cool to share some of his stuff with you. I'm not going to show you his prose, that's a bit too easy, but instead, have a poem, and enjoy. I'm going to start splurge posting soon, so bear with me...


by H.P. Lovecraft

Through the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber,
Past the wan-mooned abysses of night,
I have lived o'er my lives without number,
I have sounded all things with my sight;
And I struggle and shriek ere the daybreak, being driven to madness with fright.

I have whirled with the earth at the dawning,
When the sky was a vaporous flame;
I have seen the dark universe yawning
Where the black planets roll without aim,
Where they roll in their horror unheeded, without knowledge or lustre or name.

I had drifted o'er seas without ending,
Under sinister grey-clouded skies,
That the many-forked lightning is rending,
That resound with hysterical cries;
With the moans of invisible daemons, that out of the green waters rise.

I have plunged like a deer through the arches
Of the hoary primoridal grove,
Where the oaks feel the presence that marches,
And stalks on where no spirit dares rove,
And I flee from a thing that surrounds me, and leers through dead branches above.

I have stumbled by cave-ridden mountains
That rise barren and bleak from the plain,
I have drunk of the fog-foetid fountains
That ooze down to the marsh and the main;
And in hot cursed tarns I have seen things, I care not to gaze on again.

I have scanned the vast ivy-clad palace,
I have trod its untenanted hall,
Where the moon rising up from the valleys
Shows the tapestried things on the wall;
Strange figures discordantly woven, that I cannot endure to recall.

I have peered from the casements in wonder
At the mouldering meadows around,
At the many-roofed village laid under
The curse of a grave-girdled ground;
And from rows of white urn-carven marble, I listen intently for sound.

I have haunted the tombs of the ages,
I have flown on the pinions of fear,
Where the smoke-belching Erebus rages;
Where the jokulls loom snow-clad and drear:
And in realms where the sun of the desert consumes what it never can cheer.

I was old when the pharaohs first mounted
The jewel-decked throne by the Nile;
I was old in those epochs uncounted
When I, and I only, was vile;
And Man, yet untainted and happy, dwelt in bliss on the far Arctic isle.

Oh, great was the sin of my spirit,
And great is the reach of its doom;
Not the pity of Heaven can cheer it,
Nor can respite be found in the tomb:
Down the infinite aeons come beating the wings of unmerciful gloom.

Through the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber,
Past the wan-mooned abysses of night,
I have lived o'er my lives without number,
I have sounded all things with my sight;
And I struggle and shriek ere the daybreak, being driven to madness with fright.