Broken body fell down the well- down all the way to hell. Smashed to bits in the pits- smashed to smithereens. Drip… Drip… The darkness; I knew him well. Wide eyed in that great all-consuming gloom I lie here.
It was Preston from town who did it. He’s a much bigger and older boy than me. Him and his friends lifted me and tossed me down here. I’m not angry.
The freakish monstrosity lifted the cigarette to its lips again. The crowd were in stunned silence. The horrid thing went on, its eyes scanning left to right in the gloom and blinking at the smoke, with a repulsive gibbering of its smashed bottom lip.
Preston: yes. What a big lad! Big… big… impossibly broad shoulders like an ox
It fell into a whisper.
A sudden urgency and lucidity gripped the slowly inflating skin-thing. Its rubbery lips pursed and then blurted into a high pitched shriek of information. One member of the audience dropped his glass of soft orangey liquid without even noticing- so captivated he was by the eloquent and erratic freak.
-we-were-playing-by-the-lake-or-rather-they-were-and-I-(poor body poor body)-fell in the water nearby-SPLASH-and they dragged me out and hit me for being so stupid-then-his big red hands-then- madness! Madness! –then –
A soft murmering returned to the ghastly things voice. A woman fainted and had to be carried out quietly:
crunch on the indolent stone
crunch in the pits
smashed like chamber pots and soft fruit
then the nice doctors found me and winched me up
im so terribly grateful to be alive.
Applause, then confused murmuring and grabbing of coats, then unintelligible apathy again.
The mad cackling ravens of the High Intelligentsia sat up in their cave scheming and dribbling on about nonsense. One scratched pretentious idiocy on the wall:
“Be kind to one another.” It’s ridiculous of course. Couldn’t they get a real job? What had they ever done for society? Another meaningless set of words said just to sound smart:
“Women are human beings.”
Science has landed us on the moon. Science gave us running water and the atom bomb but Philosophy? Just a bunch of unintelligible snobbery like this:
“Feeling sure about something doesn’t make it true: especially when motivated by anger.”
What does that even mean? God it makes me furious! God it makes me wanna kill the-
“Europe conquered the world because of Smallpox not smarts. Africans had swords and cities as well.”
YES THAT’S IT KILL THE MINORITIES I KNEW IT I’D ALWAYS KNOWN THAT’S WHAT WE NEEDED TO DO YES THEY’LL BE BEHIND THIS.
“Humans often make bad decisions.”
You’re saying I’m stupid? YOU’RE CALLING ME EVIL? FUCKING DEGENERATE N***** K***—————
As I was saying…
Humanity has done fine without the intellectuals (Auschwitz disappears from my mind) and without the Political Correctness thought police-
“Criticism and thoughtfulness are not Censorship.”
OH SO NOW IT’S JUST THE WHITE GENOCIDE BRIGADES TALKING POINTS? THAT’S PHILOSOPHY HUH? OH HOW CONVIENIENT! MUST MEAN ALL OF ACADEMIA IS WRONG THAT IS THE ONLY OPTION KILL THE N*****S KILL THE-
“Love one another, as I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Pretentious bollocks right? I mean what did any of that even mean?
Glistening green and long, reaching down from the sky like a nightmare, they plucked us from our lives and dragged as back into space to be devoured. It was a beautiful spring day offset by screaming, bloody bodies raining viscera on the population in their final desperate moments, and the general apocalyptic unravelling of civilisation.
A few people survived Hiroshima by being underground and could move elsewhere before the fallout killed them when they returned to the surface. The tentacles left no Fallout when their single day of terror came to an end. So when I came stumbling out of the sewer’s I had fled to looking nervously to an empty sky I found a safe but silent world. The entire city was abandoned. Shop windows smashed so the tentacles could reach inside- rooves ripped off houses. The street was paved with blood and broken glass; the soundtrack was birdsong and running water faucets.
A few too many people had left ovens on and a large uncontained fire spread and then burned itself out through all the old neighbourhoods and schools and hospitals that night. I had left by then and simply watched in awe and horror from a nearby hill.
Consumed by clique, I cursed to the heavens, though not without being provoked by the heavens. It was a beautiful spring day. Humanity was done for. There might be others like me who, like me, might desperately struggle on after the end (I’ve found a well-supplied house that should last me a few weeks which gives me time to scout out for somewhere better) but survival is not a long term option for any of us. Humanity’s fate has been decided for us by those glistening green awe inspiring and terrible things.
Our town is a strange town where the mountains have eyes. The huge soulless white eyes that pierce into our very being watch every night, slipping shut behind vast stone lids as the sunlight trickles over the horizon in the morning. The beaks are vast, able to swallow a man whole, and the wings are like skyscrapers but held flat against the huge stone bodies. In a sort of surreal harmony with the Owls and Owlbears of the surrounding woods the mountains twit-twit-twoo late into the spellbound night. They are an artefact of a long gone age when the gentle thrashing insanity of the wilderness had not yet been calmed to accord with the steady incessant beep of civilisation. But the strange paradox of wildness is that, even as the seeming vice like grip of modernity tightens the strength of chaos and calamity only grows. Now, with cities and cell phones and certainty, it’s more likely than ever a mountain will just sprout eyes and start swooping across the continent at half a mile a week. The Owltains are flying our way, slithering across the magma pools deep in the Earth that move it, but will not obliterate the town until every last member of our species will likely have long gone extinct. All our cities will be turned back into the minerals they were made from, the last scant traces of our existence erased with them, and the wasteland will go on in its endless hooting madness with or without us.
Swept, wailing and bloody, onto the contorted shores of the dark fantasies of my subconscious my rational mind stares uncomprehending into the twisted undergrowth of desire. The more I try to force my unblinking eyes away the greater and greater the impulse grows; the more the image of that vast sunken dome lying undisturbed in the inky depths of the Atlantic. Far down in those drab depths where no light pierces the canopy above the hollow eyes stare blind and implacable into icy black gloom. Mere miles above, disconcerting shot distance now I write it down, men and women lie and dream- smearing vast oceans of their own across the sky of laid bare subconscious. The mind is the dark ocean that no survey can excavate fully and I am the measly nervous rower in the little rotten canoe. Still water on all sides and endless despairing void below combine for a sense, irrational and unshakable, that any moment might bring with it a grisly end as a giant scaly hand reaches from the water and plucks one into the lunatic depths. I cannot help thinking about the skull in the depths of seas and dreams alike; crystal studded, hollow eyed, and hungering for life again. The long dead dome draws new power in and in.
Stop it I mustn’t. What am I doing? I must stop thinking about the skull that- NO!
Obsession is that scaly hand- irresistible and unexplainable- and I am the captain who must be plucked down with the ship even if I had a choice.
Consider this explanation my resignation.
The skull will claim us all.
The affair started on a train to the city for work; my gaze falling off the morning newspaper and into gleaming blue eyes. He smiled at me. If it had been a 19th century romantic novel I would have been smitten instantly and been taken breathlessly in the train station bathroom before we got to our destination. In reality though, through the magic of Altera motives, facebook, and a few bad fights with our respective spouses we arranged at last to meet for more than coffee after about three weeks and several former meet ups. My potential suitor had been coming from a friend he’d gone to seeking refuge from his loving spouse that time we met and usually took a completely different train from a complete opposite end of the city to work. As such we would both go to our day jobs and meet for lunch.
It is only fitting the affair would end on that train also. I had always considered myself tamed by marriage- trodden down by responsibilities and children. I was convinced in those days just how much I was sticking it to my spouse carrying out the affair; how much it would absolutely destroy the fathomless cretin I was convinced I had married. So I took the train on a Saturday under the pretence of overtime and was gonna have all day to have my brains shagged out by a near stranger.
The train picked up speed from an empty platform usually bustling with other commuters and whizzed faster and faster through the running blur of countryside. Birds, slower than I was inexorably zipping by, flew backwards; blind to the world ahead and reaching blindly with their legs for whatever they might fly into. I stared out into the distance and became suddenly and powerfully aware of just how fast I was going. It disturbed me how little control I had over my own existence; how completely thrown into this world I was and how I was hurtling along at a breakneck speed not just on this train. I realised how very little about the world I understood and just how confused and scared I was. I shook with horror and despair at the incomprehensible randomness and speed and anarchy. Tears swept me and I began to feel all my conviction sink from the bottom of my soul. I thought of the last time my spouse cried; how pitiful they’d looked. Then I felt small and pitiful to and just had a terrible and skin crawling urge to grab them very tightly and bawl into their shoulder. I wanted so badly now to be shot of the coffee dates and late night facebook chats. I wanted so badly my small downtrodden life back. At any moment the train could go flying off the rails: killing me instantly.
I got off on the next station and headed straight home.
Anything was better than that speed and terrible tumble of independence.
I fell asleep at the keyboard and awoke to a terrible waking dream. My study, usually familiar, felt imperceptibly strange. The wallpaper replaced by a striking art deco bleakness of pinpoint vertical line and cog patterns with perfect saw tooth spacing that wrought a deep tremble in me. The candles flickered strangely; as if they phased into and out of concrete reality in bizarre and unsettling ways defiant of the conventional laws of existence. But the two characters of this theatrical nightmare were, by far, the most terrifying. It was my two skulls, Pop and Methuzela, that trembled on the mantelpiece with strange grins impossibly contorted onto their bleached white faces.
“You awake boss?” Pop asked with feigned concern. Me-me cut in.
“Of course he is. You back from that freak show for a while sir?”
“Bless.” Pop chuckled- his chipped lower jaw (I dropped him once) looking like it could break off at any moment.
“Seriously? You don’t see anything strange in what you called reality?” Methuzela growled. The world’s colours became brighter and sharper.
“Come on. The human race? A species that’s committed genocide and mass slaughter and yet calls itself “wise man”? It didn’t make you suspicious?”
I shook my head dumbly.
“Fascinating. It really doesn’t matter how crazy we make it. Hey I know; let’s try again but have some kinds of love be illegal. See how far this shit goes.”
I felt the fantasy world begin to fade and glanced down at myself. I was an amorphous slug-like mass of flesh instead of a human being. I and the skulls and the study disappeared to a dull white.
I woke. The skulls were inert on their shelf. The dream drifted into memory. Sometimes a catch glimpses. Only know, years later, have I began to recollect it in full.