Cookery as Bloodsport: A Memoir

He’s smiling at me as he makes dinner- an avalanche of little lighted logs of fries into the pot. His grin is to an awful extend that makes me compelled to look away but I cannot. I cannot look away for his eyes have a glow in them that I do not trust. If I look away it is but a short swoop till he is upon me- splash splash splash into the creamy white mix that begins to pop and bubble. The marmalade is next in its thick heavy plops that begins to congeal in the fluid with the running oil from the fries. Even from here it’s possible to see the snakes of cudish sickly yellow flowing over the mountains of-the-skin-of-the cust. ard-ant in my protest(“you don’t have to really you don’t” and all that) his smile only grows. “No need to fret” he pets “the suppers almost done” but of course it won’t be ready until the peas and mayonnaise have been added and the oven hasn’t quite done the jelly beans they still smell uncultured its quite impossible to tell really I mean its ridiculous to even speculate on the time when Supper was-will-is-was done done done.

There was black coffee and mustard filling the sink as the bags leaked through the holes He had made with the bedroom knife(the kitchen knives were all dirty) and he invited me to knead the mix so as the bright-a-black(as He calls it for some how) would stay even all the way all the way…

It goes without saying that I decline- it was unladylike in these days to do so and that glimmer in his eyes still made me uneasy. Only then did the alarm go off that meant the peas came out of the microwave and, in a single slash of plastic, they were freed and rumbled thousandrud an hour into the bubbly custard jammy sausage French fry pot that swamped and stewed in neath-

Ghostly White

It’s getting bigger and bigger and bigger- all the time it grows in the sky. If I keep typing maybe it’ll go away just keep typing don’t stop oh god the terrible glittering eyes in the millions of little white bodies- PLEASE MAKE IT STOP.

The mass just grows as it gets closer… I’ve shut the doors and windows but I don’t know if that’s –OH JESUS FUCK IT GOT IN IT GOT PLEASE NO OH JESUS THE LEGS THE TERRIBLE LEGS

I’m downstairs now. It seems like they’ve yet to breach the kitchen. They just crawl around on the outside of the windows with the glittering little eyes like they know I’m in here and are just looking for a way in-

I’m being crazy I’m being crazy I’m being crazy I’m being crazy I’m being crazy I’m being crazy I’m being crazy I’m being crazy I’m being crazy I’m being crazy I’m being crazy I’m being crazy I’m being crazy I’m being crazy they don’t know I’m in here…

But they will if I keep typing so loudly type quieter you bastard just shut out the buzzing and the eyes and the thousands of flecks of white in the sky like a blizzard of buzzing monstrosity. As long as one doesn’t get in he-

OH FUCKITY FUCKITY FUCK

Give Me Anything- Anything But Recognition

It was Halloween Night 2055 and I was bored. I was waiting on a street corner, illuminated by one of the thorium strain lamps that pooled milky white light around me, for Danny to arrive. I threw up a holo-screen and fired off a quick message to my pal:

“Hey dude where are you?”

Danny responded almost instantly.

“Sorry man be there in five. Hey, watch out for the Grinning man! ;)”

I chuckled- that bastard. We’d watched the remake recently where they’d done better CGI on the man himself. It was such a stupid premise, something that may have scared our grandparents but seemed down right goofy now. I kinda liked the busty chick they got to be the heroine running from him as he chased with a squeak in his shoe. I’d had a Grinning Man shirt for about two months but I was kind of over it now; happy to let the shirt be eaten by moths at the back of my closet.

Finally the twig-skinny bastard himself came bounding out of the darkness like a puppy with cheekbones that could skin a rat. He stopped to catch his breath for a second then straightened up.

“Okay let’s go. Come on we’re already late.”

We walked off at a pace talking very little until we reached the bridge. Beth and Bill were already waiting for us, their cigarettes lit and music playing harsh and loud from the stereo behind them. It was their post-grunge edgy emo shit that I pretended to like- although in all honestly completely obliterated the evening stillness and replaced it with a discomforting roar. They handed us slosh Bill’s brother had got and we all started getting shit faced (although it was clear Beth and Bill had already started).

“So how you guys been?” Bill finally asked- all slow like he was woozy.

“Fine…” We all answered- not wanting to seem weird.

“Well ever since Stacey broke up with me I’ve been feeling the Horror real strong.” He continued. Ever since the Man Across Town sequel (this time the girl who survived the last movie bangs a guy who’d investigating the murder) came out Bill had been skimming the source material and started to feel “the Horror” a lot. Apparently it was like angst or something. I didn’t get why it wasn’t just called ‘sadness’ but I suppose what more do you expect from shitty short stories about clowns and sewer people.

“Woah dude that’s really deep and stuff” Beth seemed in awe of Bill like he had expressed his being dumped by his girlfriend of three days in a truly ground-breaking way. I had never read the source material myself but it seemed strange to me that such a grand term as ‘the Horror’ would have such an ordinary meaning.

“Yeah I’ve been like on a Cutwick for a while kinda terrified of how the presidents a total douche about student loans I mean the world’s just so utterly terrible man.” He continued in a lazy stupor.

“Yeah man the establishments just screwing us all over.” My mouth and vocal cords said without my involvement.

He passed me another Budweiser.

“Yeah man those corporate drones just doing what the system wants. Why can’t they think about the big questions?” Bill went on.

“Yeah man… like… uh… like…”

“Like what happens after we die right?”

Somewhere, in a forgotten far away grave, a long silenced voice screamed out in protest.

Guided By A Shepard

“It’s terribly dangerous to walk these streets alone my dear.” The Chaplains voice was deep and commanding and the shadows seemed to scatter as he strode. The murky yellow light from the street lamps shone like stars of his shiny shoes and gave his big bushy moustache a curious chestnut tinge.

I thanked the Chaplain profusely (having always been brought up the polite type) but was too embarrassed to tell him how scared the dark streets made me. I made my appreciation of his company clear but didn’t capture the trembling adolescent terror that seemed to hang in every flutter of my own shadow cast, in the corner of my eye, down the long alleyways and across the deep dry gutters. The City was no place for the living after dark; the corpses chucked to the sewers making that awful gurgling from below that I often lay awake at night listening to. The sounds of so many slow shuffling feet made some perverse contortion of the sounds of an ocean echoing up from the depths and hearing that as I walked, nervous and always staring behind me, had put me into quite a state. The Chaplain seemed unbothered by these sounds; whistling a quiet little tune to himself as he strode beside me. I turned to him and he smiled back; broad and sentimental.

“This city is a place of ungodliness my child; but the Shepard guides us in all we do.”

I smiled back and we kept walking; both doing our best to ignore the blood curdling screams coming from the sewers.

Heat

The fan purred from its perch in the ceiling- blotting out all but the faintest breath of the city outside. My skin burnt by the incandescent darkness- the afternoon sun blocked by the thick heavy guise of curtains save for some shadow of the outdoor intensity. My fingers perched over the cooked keys whilst I struggled to concentrate. My mind was distorted as if by a haze of heat itself and the lull of the fan only exacerbated my fatigue. Outside was no longer the city I called home but the hot savage jungle of an ancient Africa- many thousands of years before the orderly involvement of mankind. I shed humanity in that moment and was but a beast- sweat and savagery without mind. Reason melted under the glare of primitive insanity and so I was lost; screaming into the darkness of the baking night that seemed to swallow the day whole. Beneath the fan I could hear children playing in the street become animals on the dark and barren plains blinded by sweat and hot rage. There squeals of delight were made swollen and savage by the heat.

I stood up from my futility and walked to the kitchen where I threw open the thick casket of cold in the corner; shrouded in its chill. I bathed in the milky white light and cool for a moment before grabbing a drink from it. My throat- that savage desert- cooled and commanded by the sugar and water and ice all sculpted in the cool and grace of mankind. The air was still thick and hot and buzzed with the lazy little swirls of flies; but the water of the Gods made it bearable.

I walked back to my study and pulled back the curtains to see the sunset; gold and brown life recoiling from the baked and sinking city. All the hot boxes of bricks and the concrete facades seemed to swelter in the streams of sunshine pouring over in a last lack-lustre thrust to fight off the night who, overpowering in strength, eventually all consumed.

I stared out on the desert built upon and smiled; savage desire gleaming in my beastly little eyes.

Meeting Ones Maker

The Artist was gunned down- long streams of blood erupting from him like flecks of red paint across the canvas of the night. He collapsed to the ground and gurgled blood for the final few seconds before oblivion. The Artist has been an Atheist, deciding that if there were a God and He chose not to reveal himself then it could only be because He had no issue with the Artist not believing. As he felt his eyes flittered shut he expected nothing to follow; the end of the universe as far as he was concerned.

But what followed instead was a blinding light and a feeling of weightlessness as the physical world was stripped away and the Artist ascended to another worldly plane.

“Well look who finally kicked the bucket.” A voice of unfathomable intensity boomed. There was no clouds but simply a large ornate courtroom bathed in a soft white light that made all the features seem impermanent. The Artist was dumbfounded by the discovery. There really was a Life beyond this one? But how could it be so? And who was that voice? Could it be?

“Yes my child.” Boomed the voice “I am your Lord God. As for which God that is well let’s just say the Israelites had a suspiciously good batting average when it came to guesses on the Divine.”

The Artist stood before the disembodied voice and tried to speak but found is voice overwhelmed into silence.

“You’re probably wondering what will happen you to- especially given all you’ve been told about what happens to Atheists in a lot of Mankinds religions. Well not to fear; the Lord forgives all here. Welcome to Heaven my child. Now there’s no need to speak- go into the Gardens of the Lord and be joyous.”

And the doors of the Courtroom opened and the Artist was confronted with a sight that brought complete bliss.

Ten Billion years later however the Garden brought somewhat less Bliss. The Artist had tried all the foods of heaven, enjoyed its most beautiful male specimens (which were his preference), and its breath-taking spectacles.

He had done every one of these things at least four hundred million times each. He stood nd watched the spectacle all hours of the day (as there was no need to sleep) and knew every contour. He had tried to write books and poetry up here like he had in life but the repetitiveness of his life gave him nothing to work with. Every book was bland and every poem sickly sweet in its prose. And that was when he did write. There was no urgency to anything. He often spent fifty million years procrastinating between each chapter and still had churned out many thousands of works by then.

The Artist stood before God with a great deal more words in his throat.

“Hello my child! What is it you wanted to see me about?”

“My Lord…” The Artist paused with the tears jamming his throat “…I must die. For good this time.”

But he couldn’t.

The Artist lived forever after.

Horror

I can hear it, clicking and scratching away in my head- just under the skin, the glistening black beetle. Click Click. Just need to ignore it.

Do I look okay? Normal? Oh well I’ll have to make the best of it. Out the door and-ohshitohshitohshittherearesomanyfliesinthesky- back inside, slam the door, and press myself against it. The many hundreds of ghostly thin bodies glittering in the summer sun is burned into my mind. Click Click- shut up shut up god DAMN it. Okay we’re going to be late we need to go. Take two; out the door-don’t look at the sky-, down the street-no sky- down the alley-no sky don’t you dare don’t you dare- across the roads- Click Click– please let it stop.

Okay made it. Wander in, don’t make eye contact with anyone just keep going don’t look at the pale pasty faces- Click Click– or their vacant soulless little eyes that glow under the halogen tubes just like the thousands of flies- Click Click– in an army of zombies; a horde of madness clambering towards me.

But what makes me so different. I’m just another pasty pale face with those same glassy eyes- Click Click- don’t react to that thought it’s weird to react you can’t ever react ever- never ever oh god why would you even consider- stop cringing and shaking you look like you’re going to have a stroke it’s weird stop it. You’re supposed to silently and robotically walk were you need to go don’t shake at the Horror that’s weird- CLICK CLICK.

This is all so pretentious what’s wrong with you? Why can’t you just accept that you’re not more engaged than anyone else? CLICK CLICK. You’re just an edgy teenager trying to- CLICK CLICK– be better than anyone else. CLICK CLICK.

STOP IT STOP THAT STOP IT OH GOD PLEASE STOP

Just walk on and forget all about it. Maybe if I stay calm it’ll quieten that-no not thinking about it. Oh Christ is that a plane? It sounds like a bombs falling. Why do their engines have to scream like tha-

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click    

Please make it stop.