The Camps:

“And Let It Be Known That All Who Step Within These Walls Are Damned”: is how the unholy sign above the door read: it was a dark door which, when entered, would return no man woman or child; it was a door which had swallowed and digested thousands: I stood at the foot of the door; it’s words made me very afraid. A haunting figure stood at the end of the first corridor clutching a rifle: it had huge bags under its eyes (I could see it’s bones): it stood around with nowhere to go and nothing to do: I knew not why it just stood there. As I approached the hollow figure I made out the faint screams beneath my feet: I knew the damned were down there; pressed together like cattle by angry men with guns: I ignored the sound and pressed on: I called out to the hollow figure “Hello where am I?”. I knew where I was; I asked in hopes the figure would take pity on me: it was a futile venture I know; I just wanted some information before I died: and perhaps (I considered this privately and only in my more naively hopeful moments) I would find out from it what I needed to escape this hell: I was not confident in this hope.

-Boy. The figure replied. –You’re in the fucking happiest place on earth.

I was disturbed by the figures curt tone and crude prose: I prided myself on order, cleanliness, and decency: I knew by honour and decorum by the well-kept sanity of a good list: I knew I could reason with even this brutish creature.

-You’re listed here as CB: 107. You will be taken down stairs in twenty six minutes. The chambers are fit to burst.  

By The Sea…

The beach was empty. The sea was gentle on it. Sparse sandcastles remained from the wild summer months. Most had collapsed. Those that stood crumbled. The cliffs loomed uninhabited. A mile or so away Mother got off a bus with her Elder daughter. She had two daughters. A year and a half before, the younger had become so enraged she had burned down their family home. Father had been dead years. The fire killed Step-father and blinded Mother. Elder daughter had survived because she was across town with a man her Mother knew nothing about.

-You were lucky… Mother said. …to escape unharmed.

-Yes I suppose so. Elder replied. Mother had asked Elder to take her to the cliffs. She had become so grief stricken since the fire. She’d lost her job, without Step Father she had been forced to live with Elder Daughter in a frigid single bedroom. Elder knew why she’d been asked to bring Mother here. Mother’s despair had to be cured.

-Is this it? Are we here? Is this the cliffs? Mother asked.

-Yes. Daughter replied whilst looking at the abandoned play park. The cliffs were barely visible in the distance.

-I’m ready then! Mother cried. She stretched up to her full height. She renounced Jesus Christ. She sobbed uncontrollably. Her grief, contained for eighteen months, was unleashed. She leapt.

She landed on the yellowing grass with a thud. Daughter waited a moment before pulling her back to her feet.

-It’s a miracle! How did you survive such a great fall?

-Surely divine providence! Mother cried.

-Surely!

On the beach, a gust of wind sent one of the castles crumbling into ruins.

Broken Things.

-He’ll be at work now. Diana said. She looked out the window. A scrunched up newspaper tumbled down the street. A rope swung from a tree. The tire it had held was gone. It started drizzling.

-Would you like anything to drink ma’am? Tracy asked. Diana was tiny. Tracy was six foot and had broken a man’s arm in three places. Diana’s husband had left shouting. He often did. However Diana seemed perturbed this time. Tracy had not been able to make out what they had been shouting at each other about. Their voices had become fuzzy from the volume.

-No thankyou girl. She dismissed her. Tracy went to the kitchen where she was to prepare her mistresses lunch. Diana and her husband had been fighting more and more. Tracy and the other’s would get their freedom when they were both dead.

-AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Tracy ran back into the living room. Diana froze and stared out the window. A pale man was lumbering towards the house. Diana’s husband’s severed head was in his hand. The pale man was covered in blood with wide teeth. Diana inched towards the gun mounted on the wall. It’s an old colonial. She takes it as the pale man steps onto the lawn. Tracy sees an opening. She runs forward. Diana aims.

Something is knocked from somebodies hands. There’s a gunshot.

 

Diana’s brains were spilled all over the ceiling. Tracy sank to the ground over her mistress’s body. She picked bone fragments off the carpet quietly.

Where We Lay Our Scene

Wandering (wondering?) on the smudged cuffs of sense, the ragged edges of the world, I become lost in the trees. I am on the edge of civilisation. I have a mouth that can’t eat and eyes that can’t see and lungs that refuse their daily air. Amongst the trees lurk the dead. Forgotten and unnamed they never return to the land of the living- the land of broken hearts stays crammed- they are those who civilisation drove out into the wilderness. c I v I l I s a t I o n. clvlllsatlon.

The drum beats around the campfire and the men get to work lugging timber and the women carry water and the oxen carry things too heavy for either and those too sick to work. Too sick. Too sick from what comes in the dead of night with a

-WIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeE!

Mosquitos tear through my veins like little savages. I can hear them chewing.

-Please have mercy I say.

-WEEEEEE say the mosquitoes.

The gods say nothing. I remember there and not but no memories of escape float in the clouds of thought. I perch on the mountain side under the stars with my bandana stretched over my eyes. I’ve learned to speak in Dreams. I watch over the thousand little villages beneath me and in my dreams float over them and go into the rooms of every man and woman and whisper to them. It all becomes unravelling all unravelling the

I was exiled for killing my girlfriend’s cousin in a duel. I shall surely never see her again.

Indulgent.

The corridor was long and straight. Rain hammered the carpet and the wind shook the door knobs to and fro. Inside the third door along vines grew across the walls. The en-suite bathroom/bog was swarmed with algae.

-Ribbet. Said the frog perched on a lily pad in the bath. Around the room, entangled in the branches of small shrubs and covered over with large leaves strategically placed, were imposing television monitors. Rainwater drenched the front of them and had to be wiped away but underneath each screen had a different face. All faces had the same look of apprehension and confusion in their eyes. Each one had beneath it the large glowing words: SOULS OF THE DAMNED.

-Stop right there! The little voice was shrill but very forceful. I felt my brain open to the sun to let the creative juices evaporate off.

-What is it? I asked. My hands hovered over the typewriter keys.

-What’s the point of this? A little indulgent don’t you think? The voice was very confident in itself. I wish I could say the sa-

-SELF PITY

-What?

-SELF! PITY!

-Okay whatever-

-NO CHANGING THE SUBJECT YOU’RE SELF PITYING

-What do you want me to s-

-YOU’RE SELF PITYING

-But,

-SELF PITY EDGY FULL-OF-SELF DUNNING-KRUEGER NO-NOTHING IMPOSTER IMPOSTER

-You don’t make sense

-JUST ACCEPT YOU’RE TERRIBLE OKAY?!

-Okay fine I’m terrible what do you want me to do about that?

-JUST SIT THERE AND WALLOW IN WHAT A FAILURE YOU ARE

-But that doesn’t sound very producti

-JUST SIT THERE AND WALLOW IN WHAT A FAILURE YOU ARE

 -But couldn’t I do something to fix th

-JUST SIT THERE AND WALLOW IN WHAT A FAILURE YOU ARE

-But I need to finish the short. It’s 1am now.

-Okay fine but what’s this one going to accomplish?

-What?

-How is this short going to personally end fascism?

-WHAT?

-You know there are kids in sweatshops right?

-What does that have to do with anything?

-There are kids in sweatshops. Why isn’t your short a PSA about donating to liberating them?

-Well sweatshop labour is obviously terrible but the underlying system has to be dismantled. I hardly think one short will-

-YOU DESERVE DEATH

-What?

-Nothing…

LegendPunk;

The tale goes that there was a strange hooded figure that travelled the world for many years and hardly ever stopped even for a moment. Everywhere the figure went death and misfortune passed in its wake. Crops would fail, children would fall ill, wells would run dry. Villages feared the figure coming into town. One day a village in the hills saw the traveller approaching along a long road beside a cliff face. Fearing for their livelihoods they sent out a group of hunters riding out on the village’s fastest horses and surrounded the figure. They told him they would not allow him to travel into their village.

-Why? The figure asked simply. The hunters replied that he was a bad omen and everywhere he went death surely followed.

-But gentlemen. The figure replied, the shadows parting to reveal a slim smile. –It’s not me causing the death to come.

-Then what is? One of the hunters replied.

As he said this was when a strange cold wind swept along the mountain path and the hunter’s began to die spontaneously.

-The thing chasing me. The figure replied shortly before collapsing.

 

The tale goes that there was a man who lurked on the edge of a small town in a forest. He would wander through the outermost houses calling out in the night strange prophecies and frightening the children. One of his predictions stood alone in that it was repeated often.

-The village dies when the last man in it hurts his leg.

One day the town became so infuriated with him that they banded together and drove him out into the wilderness. Many years passed before he returned. He reached the edge of the town and the mob returned to confront him.

-I have travelled far and seen much. The man said.

-We don’t care. The mob replied before driving him away again. This time there fury was such that the entire town pursued him so far only a single person was still inside the town’s limits. As he followed the rest of the mob he tripped and made a small scar on his leg before continuing.

The mob returned to find the entire town had burned to the ground. Nothing but ash remained.

 

The tale goes that a woman lived alone on a mountain and spun a spinning wheel every day.

Travellers and local villages at the foot of the mountain noticed over the years that the woman never seemed to eat or drink anything. Also she stayed there in just a thin shawl even in the very bitter depths of winter when few dared venture far from fireplaces or else freeze to death. Over the years legends built up around the woman that she ate people who got lost in the mountains or that she was actually the devil.

One village became so afraid of her that they offered to give a sizable sum of money to anyone who would kill her and bring them her head on a pike. Three mercenaries came to take up the offer. The first climbed the mountain but there was a snowstorm and he died before reaching the top. The second reached her only to realize he’d been followed by a wolf. The starving animal, faced with the choice between a beefy tough mercenary and a skinny meagre old woman, ate the mercenary and then left satisfied. The third mercenary made it to the top, drew his sword and had the old woman it his mercy on the ground. As he prepared to make the fatal swing he suddenly stopped. He looked up into the sky and questioned the nature of his gods and his life. He looked at the overwhelming nights sky and felt terrible alone. He felt suddenly sure that his life was pointless. His heroism lost all meaning. In that moment he stood up from the old woman, renounced the gods, and killed himself right there on the spot.

The old woman returned to her spinning wheel and the village only became more afraid of her.

Decency.

The Nuclear Family were gathered around the sacrificial altar. It was a lovely evening and they were a lovely Nuclear Family. Mom and Pop were beaming at little Kirstie and littler Robby. But away in the corner lurked awful Alex. He was a little older than Kirstie and Robby and a lot more moody. She seemed not to like the Nuclear Family very much at all. Did he not see how it provided for her? In the corner the television had static whilst a grave voice commanded.

-Bring forth the sacrifice! Bring forth the sacrifice! BRING! FORTH! THE SACRIFICE!

-Come on son! Pop said to Alex cheerily.

-No thanks dad. Grumbled Alex: moping as usual. Pop was a little concerned at all the radical books Alex had been reading. He was always coming out with strange terms like “morally wrong” and “rights” and “basic human decency”. Pop wasn’t too concerned; Alex was sure to grow out of it.

Mom had made them all a lovely dinner and would do some nice cleaning later. Her strained smile shone even as she put great labour into dragging a sack into the room. The sack kicked and screamed and the whole Nuclear Family chuckled. Alex looked over in horror and fascination. Out of the bag the helpless harlot was pulled and strapped to the altar- mom and pop both having to hold her down. She screamed- Alex saw that her dark face was bloodied and her arms and shoulders were covered in scars. The television voice blared on.

-KILL! KILL! KILL!

Pop picked up the knife. The whole Nuclear Family clapped and chuckled. They all looked at Alex.

-COME ON SWEETHEART JOIN IN! They yelled. The yelled and yelled. Alex watched them. He knew she should resist. But as he tried to fight more and more she felt undermined. Perhaps he was just overreacting. Maybe she was just being a little over-sensitive?

Eventually Alex stood and walked their direction. The whole Nuclear Family cheered.

He felt a little uneasy when Pop stuck the knife in with a spurt of blood.