Friday, 20 June 2014

Rejected Stories: "Divil Get Behind Me"

Divil Get Behind Me 
(Rejected by The Penny Dreadful magazine, June 2014)

I can’t keep my eyes in front of me, because there they are, plump, peeking and dying for attention. Of course, I can’t turn my head either, just in case I catch a glimpse of that terrible grin from the corner of my eye and lose whatever composure I’ve managed to maintain for this long. I’m probably shaking wildly, people are probably staring, that’s alright, I’ve opted to close my eyes entirely. You can’t scorn a man for giving his eyes a rest at this time of the morning.

That was a mistake.

If there’s anything more dangerous to a man than his own sight, it’s his imagination, and that all too familiar warmth was enough to snap me out of my phony slumber. I need to try and find a spot on the wall that I can concentrate on for the next few minutes. It won’t be for much longer, I’ll get off this damned thing at Harcourt and walk from there. Why didn’t I just charge my phone last night? Just squeeze the yellow bar, keep your eyes on the wall as if it’s the morning paper, and for the love of Christ don’t stare at her tits.

A high-pitched “woo!” at the back of the LUAS is its way of letting me know that it’s here, that it’s watching with those wide, loony bin eyes, and grinning that terrible grin. I’m the only one that can hear it though, so when the tremor finds my spine, my entire body shakes, and those squeezed up against me click their tongues and crease their brows.

It’s been following me for two days now, ever since I opened the window. What a fool I was to go messing around with that arcane poison. A fool with a dream maybe, but that doesn’t make my actions any more human in nature, there’s better ways of making your dream a reality than messing around with books, daggers and capes. Now I’ve this to deal with.

Sometimes it takes the form of a scruffy black dog, sniffing away at my ankles, never falling behind me in the crowds on the streets. Other times, well, I’ve only seen it take this form once last night, but it appeared to me as a nebulous cloud of silver smoke, right above my bedside locker, urging me in a thousand ancient tongues to plunge into the night and steal the bodies of the uncorrupted. Mostly though, it just takes the form of a young Little Richard.


Harcourt. I slip through the jammed tram and count my blessings as soon as my feet hit the ground, for some reason I get this mad idea that I’ll be able to just walk away from it, that it is limited by the same earthly restrictions as the rest of us are. No, not this foul beast, I’ve learned enough these past two days to know that.

I’m practically kicking up pavement in my frenzied haste, more concerned with being seen by co-workers or friends in my current state than with the fiend catching up with me. I keep close to the walls as I hurry down the street, keeping my head straight, never crooking it or looking behind me. Then, seemingly from out of nowhere, young ones.

They’ve just turned the corner and are now walking in my direction. I can suddenly feel hot breath on my neck and whispers, god awful whispers in my ear. They must be sixth years on their way to school, this is wrong. I bite into my lip and keep my shoulders stiff, maybe if I keep my eyes closed again, I won’t say or do anything and they’ll just pass on by. Nope.


It came from my own mouth this time, I howled the devil’s howl. The girls are laughing and rubbernecking me now as if I’m some kind of freak show. I’m not a freak show, I just need help and you two young, voluptuous strumpets have no idea what I’m going through. You have no idea what my nightmares look like, my sexy, sexy nightmares. God damn it, Pat, listen to yourself for fuck sake. Keep moving.

When I finally make it to the offices, I’m panting and sweating bullets. And as if the day couldn’t get any worse, Pauline calls me to her desk and tells me that Trevor, my boss, wants to have a word with me in private. I do as best to clean myself up, wiping the slime from my face and taking a long slug from a bottle of water. You’re golden man, you can do it.

“Howaya Pat, how’s she cuttin’?”

“Grand, Travor, Grand. And yourself?”

“Ah, sure you know. Here, Pat, you’re a sound man and I’m going to spare you the sugar coating. You’re not the type of fellah to listen to polished shite. Do you have any idea why I called you in here?”

“Eh, maybe, Trevor. I know I’ve been a little bit…”

“I want you to bend me over this table, Pat. I want you to bend me over this table and reach deep inside of me until you find the heart I thought I’d thrown away years ago, that hidden organ that seems to beat whenever you are near.”

Did I just hear that? Did I make that up in my own head? There he is. Trevor seems frozen, awaiting an answer, and standing behind him is that cosmic devil, a pencil-thin moustache framing a sinister smile.

“Ehm, sorry. What Trevor?”

“The e-mail, did you send the e-mail for me yesterday?”

“Oh, yeah. I did and all, sir. I did that yesterday”

Trevor looks behind him to see what I’m staring at, but finds nothing. Only I can see it.

“Jesus Christ, Pat, get some sleep tonight, will you? Right, I’ll talk to you later.”

I stride to the toilets, pushing past people trying to greet me with a “good morning”. No, it’s not a good morning, it’s a shite morning. It’s a fucking nightmare of a morning. “Woo!”. I need to get out of here, I need a release, I need to scratch an itch. Then, suddenly, I know what to do.

When I hit the cubicle, I unzip myself immediately. This may be the only way to keep it away. It feasts on my carnal lusts, it plants thoughts into my head, it is trying to brainwash me. I sit myself down and close my eyes. If it wants to live in my brain, I’ll make sure I’ve cleared the gash. The cache, cleared the cache. I wonder why I didn’t think of this sooner, I’m almost enjoying myself, and that malevolent wail seems to be fading in nothingness. It’s as if I’ve just been given a shot of morphine for a dire, endless agony. Then I feel the wind on my face, and hear the sound of a crowd emptying onto the streets from a tram. Then I hear laughter, shouting, berating. I don’t want to open my eyes, but if there’s anything more dangerous to a man than his sight, it’s his imagination.


Thursday, 19 June 2014

137 Stuffs To Do This Summer (Part Two)

Get Physical

71. Take ecstasy and do push-ups until it's morning.
72. Learn how to do handstands, hand-walk through the streets.
73. Take steroids and wait until something happens.
74. Power walk in front of a hearse en-route to cemetery. Don't let it overtake you.
75. Pregnant lady hurling. Interpret this as you will.
76. Listen to "The Final Countdown" until you have pecks.
77. Go to the U-18 disco well into your 20s, because you're a fucking freak of nature and you know who you are, you loathsome fucking scab.
78. Split your significant other in half using a myriad of weird sex appliances.
79. Climb a mountain, cartwheel off it.
80. Get SARS going again.

Thrill Seek

81. Conglomerate with a large group of friends and engage in anti-social behaviour in a residential area until the police come.
82. Bring a knife to a music festival.
83. Take a grimoire into your bedroom, explore your demons and don't emerge until you have become the mystikal dead. That which lives but does not breathe. 
84. Smack your bitch up.
85. See how many jelly worms you can fit in your mouth while driving.
86. Pregnant lady touch rugby. Interpret this as you will.
87. Buy human flesh on the black market.
88. Give yourself a cleft lip, carry a pistol. Become Cleft Eastwood.
89. Try to piss while sky diving.
90. Become an anti-semitic juggler or pianist. 

Reading and Writing

91. Show up at an Alice Walker book signing in sheepskin and crudely crafted bone jewellery. Throw her over your shoulder and claim her as your property. 
92. Teach disadvantaged children how to read George Bataille's Story of the Eye
93. Post your stupid Dungeons & Dragons short story to one of those social media fiction community sites. Then throw yourself into a fucking slurry pit when no one "favourites" it, you fauxhawk pussy.
94. Read this blog.
95. Write a mock epic poem about that time you got/gave a hand job in a car park.


96. Go to one of those adult cinemas and lick the hand rests on your seat.
97. Invite her over to watch The Lion King or Toy Story or something. You're just going to be eating each others genitals anyway.
98. Start an anti-semitic juggling trio.
99. Take a fistful of valium right before leaving your house to go somewhere important. See how long it takes for your limbs to turn to jelly. Lose friends.
100. Go to the fun fair, abduct children, sell them to the circus.
101. Visit the magician Nyarlahotep.
102. Enter a cock fighting competition as a contestant.
103. Go see Six Feet Under and heckle everything from the moment you enter the club. The beer, the opening bands, the venue itself, Six Feet Under, the person standing in front of you, taken no prisoners.


104. Learn how to play the sitar. Make sure every conversation you have with anyone is centered around your ability to play the sitar.
105. Stage dive at a Dickie Rock concert. 
106. Travel back in time and try to pinpoint the exact moment the rest of No Doubt realized that Gwen Stefani was the only good thing about the band.
107. Attend a Cranberries show wearing nothing but sellotape.
108. Start a noise rock band. Do it.
109. Learn how to play the piccolo and attend jazz society nights in your college town. Do this for the sole purpose of staring longingly at the girl on stage playing piccolo. Those lips.
110. Light up a cigarette while playing guitar because everyone loves a fucking prick.
111. Go to a nightclub, spike yourself, pick a fight with the DJ. Win.

Give Yourself a Makeover

112. Put a really huge hole next to your mouth, if anyone asks you about it, get really snarky and explain that it's your drinking mouth.
113. Transform yourself into a lizard using advanced technology and the broad command of chemistry that you developed that night you were drinking rosé.
114. Tattoo a message on your body to your future coroner, something along the lines of "bring me back".
115. Shave your entire body, grease yourself up, and touch everyone you meet.
116. Get swastikas tattooed to your face because that's a great way of putting your message across.
117. Get the Flock of Seagulls haircut. Then kill yourself.
118. Start dressing exactly like a mixture of Sonny Crockett and Adolf Hitler. Adolf Crockett, if you will.
119. Wear tough guy TapouT shirts over your fat fucking belly. You fat fuck.
120. Starve yourself for a few months, drop just enough weight so that ants can carry you but worms can't quite eat you yet.

Learn how to

121. Speak Spanish, use it to sell carpets to children in Italy.
122. The "pray and spray" method of automatic gunfire.
123. How to love again.
124. Contort your body into seemingly impossible shapes. Use this as a party trick, whether or not you are asked to do so.
125. Cook baby animals for your dinner party.
126. Surf with roller skates on.
127. Become a cage fighter, fight in cages.
128. Astral project into prison showers.
129. Play the acoustic guitar, learn exactly one song. Have all the sex.


130. To Iraq. Pick a side.
131. Remain sober on your flight but harass the cabin crew as often as possible.
132. Find Michael O'Leary (CEO Ryanair), befriend him, learn his patterns, then shit on his desk when he least expects it.
133. To Tajikistan and see what the fucking craic is like there.
134. To the deep, winding catacombs of your mind. Find the off switch. Become the air.
135. Purchase a motorboat and a rifle, become a coastline pirate.
136. Take a year out to travel the world. Realize that everything you've known and believed in is wrong and that, we, the human race as a collective, are the only true evil. Piety is a lie and it doesn't matter how you treat others, it doesn't matter that you don't eat meat, it doesn't matter that you are tolerant and it doesn't matter how active you are politically. The earth will be at peace when we have nuked ourselves off of its jaded, wrinkled face.

Retail Therapy