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At first, Kendall Fudakan -- along with his younger sister, Yoshina -- resented the frequent and lengthy visits from their aged grandparents. They would stay for months on end sometimes. Their parents obligingly gave up their own bedroom to the elders and slept in the living room, which meant that all television and such ended when they went to sleep around 9:00 PM.  Even more disruptive was that his grandmother took over the kitchen and would brook no dissent; her pride as a  Japanese housewife was paramount.  She spent much of the day preparing traditional dishes, most of which were based on exotic seafood and spent hours to prepare.  She served octopus, mussels, endless bony fish and various types of raw sashimi, and the children found much of it to be rubbery, slimy, and unpleasant.  Kendall and Yoshina desperately hoarded some treasured snack food items that they would retrieve from under their beds and munch on in the night.  Unlike his sister, however, Kendall eventually acquired a taste for the rich and salty fare, and no longer did he have to force the chilly gelatinous chunks down his protesting throat out of politeness; he savored every bite.  This pleased his mother, knowing how much importance grandfather and grandmother placed on preserving their family traditions, and how they deplored the idea of their grandchildren becoming "spoiled and modern."  Grandmother would beam and reveal a rotting toothless smile when she saw Kendall devour the intestines of a steamed grouper or chomp into the boiled bodies of soft-shelled crabs.  Yoshina stared in disgust, and earned many a disapproving glare for her finicky nature.

But in time, even his grandmother's strongest delicacies were no longer sufficient to sate Kendall's changing palate.  He required more.  By the time he was a freshman in college, he could no longer stomach the American food that was all around.  Pizza?  Burgers?  Chips?  It was all bland pablum to him.  He yearned for the pure marine flavor rush.  It was in his DNA, he knew, passed down from the ages and reactivated.  So he would sneak out into the night and scavenge the dumpsters behind the harborside markets where his grandmother shopped.  He'd gather the rotting meats, the squid tentacles and various roes, the urchins, starfish, sea cucumbers and such, and take them back to his dorm room where he would greedily devour them with glee.  Often he waited until they had totally putrefied and were crawling with visible parasites.  It was all just more life to absorb.  After his roommate was awoken one too many times by loud slurping noises and the stink of fish, Kendall was forced to occupy a single dorm unit, which served his appetite well. Now he could properly age his food and cultivate the parasites to adulthood.  Soon the parasites took up residence inside Kendall's intestines, which brought him even more delight.  He was an ecosystem of life, they were his children and he was their god.  His lower body bloated with excess meat and gas.  Needless to say, his fellow students were curious at the bizarre changes overtaking their friend and slightly chagrined at the powerful blasts of squid-scented flatulence that began to erupt from his overworked tract.  But most of them got used to it and held no grudge.  Every time Kendall had to move his bowels, he'd stare in wonder at the various worms and squirming things that infested his waste.  Flush them away?  No! he cried to himself.  At great cost, he filled up his room with numerous aquariums, each one filled with a thriving colony spawned from one of his many violent defecations.  In time he augmented the aquariums with neon lights and other decorations.  The other students would gather in his room during their leisure hours, often drinking and smoking, and spend many joyful hours staring entranced at the complexity and beauty of these living gardens.  Some of them never got used to the smell, but endured it because the rewards of being one of Kendall's Chosen were too great.  Do not think that his diet consumed the whole of his life, no, Kendall remained an excellent student, a helpful friend, an avid gamer, and a reliable source of kind bud during this time.  

And one day, Kendall, he would become the Bio-King.  He would initiate the Feast of the Seas. This is but the beginning of his story.  

And what of Yoshina? Did she escape this fate?  Partially.  But twenty years later, as the Bio-King's reign threatened the stability of the world, she was forced to return to Beach City to confront the thing that had been her brother.  Even though he had much changed she still recognized the boy behind the sharp snapping beak and whipping tentacles. Their parents and grandparents had long ago been absorbed and integrated into his carapace, but she knew that he could never hurt her, she knew, and this proved to be his ultimate downfall.
Kendall's Chosen
Ah, a random story.  It is reminiscent of the old days, when things were written rapidly and thought was not necessary.  Ahh, the old days.
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(A Curious Event in the year 2015)

Marc sat down next to the kid
in greasy dung his buttocks slid
they laughed and ate some Frosted Flakes
while drawing pics of pooping drakes.


Marc knew it was going to happen.  Well, not for sure that day, but sometime that week, after reading those four short lines that John had sent him in a recent email -- a poignant reminder of the glory days.  It had been too long.  He hadn't written any rhymes in quite some time and his muse felt blocked -- constipated, one might say.  There was too much interference from his lousy job, the bustle of daily chores, vet visits, the demands of his artistic "career" -- his present life was a far cry from the the old Council days when the madness would just flow like sweet honey from his intoxicated brain.  Especially when he busted out the lines with Tim, his special friend.  With Tim there was a certain ritual that worked like an arcane magic, a way to let the purest thoughts take over and eliminate any and all static within his brain...

...and so there he found himself, in a random aisle of his local Kroger around 9:15 in the morning.  Not the big Kroger on Memorial Boulevard, the smaller one in Georgetown Square.  It was one of those aisles that he almost never went down, the one with syrup, flour, boullion, and all that other crap.  Perfect.  If it was a more familiar aisle, it might have caused blips of static.  He might have seen an item that he needed at home -- sponges, eggs, coffee -- and his weary conscious mind would have awakened again, and the static would not clear.  He'd chased it away with five shots of cheap vodka and a 40-oz. of Icehouse beer.  It must not be allowed to return.

At last he felt ready.  Marc loosened his belt and let his work slacks drop to the linoleum.  Then he squatted, strained, and began to evacuate his bowels on the floor, oh yes, the floor of the store.  The stench was right.  The overhead light was bright.  He hunched over his worn notebook, uncapped his pen, and still squatting, still steadily releasing feces in a gurgling blast, he began to madly scribble the first words that entered his drunken and deranged mind...

You can try all night to generate your own light
but in the end you just might
need a lantern or lamp to show your ass the way
off the couch and back to the highway on-ramp
so you can get the fuck on to
your shitty job in the city
and suck on your boss's knob
while wishing it was a titty.
Here, kitty-kitty, have some catnip, it'll send you on a decent trip
check the deep telemetry
investigate the recent blips
on the plasma screen, what could they possibly mean?
Asthma.  Chasms.  Charlie Sheen
in a battle to death with Mr. Clean
truly
what does it all mean?

Shut the grid down, spark the aforementioned lamp
we are facing the specter of total collapse
some redneck out in the audience claps
at the thought, and plans to hoard the supplies he's bought
oh yes, his family will be up to their eyeballs
in macaroni and cheese, and drinking highballs
in the fallout shelter
while all else goes helter-skelter
and the liberals that once ruled his life,
their flesh will sweat and swelter in the ruin and rot
their misguided policies caused.
Will you find a safe financial haven
and save the AIDS-infested maiden,
or will you watch the world perish from the comfort of your couch, saying
I just want to see the cookie crumble and the ball bounce?
And then just keep on bitching, moaning and whining
until you grow so old that you don't even mind dying
and your soul is reincarnated into, like, a bear or a deer
and you're shot by some drunken hunting assholes smashed on beer
and smoking cigarettes and placing bets on who can put a bullet in your brain
even though its pouring down rain in some forest in eastern Maine?

The Beast feels no pain.  
Effluvial drain and the fluorescent rain.
Miconazole and Tolnaftate,
Clobetasol, Terbinafine Hydrochloride
Oh yes, it's been a worthwhile ride.

Barack Obama?
Failure-ama.

George Bush
Orange kush.

Kim Jong-Un
Looney Toon.

Netanyahu
Wretched Jew.

Mitt Romney
shit on me.

Chris Christie
sipped whiskey
briskly.


Bill Cosby.
    Ill, probably.

Jerry Sandusky.
Hairy and musky.

Mark Hamill.
Hark, mammal!

Darth Vader
in the park later.

Donald Trump, he
won't kiss your mother, she's frumpy.

I remember, yes I remember that back in class
the only thing you could ever pass
was an enormous amount of gas
and then you'd go to lunch with the other lunks
and demand expensive canned ham
from the lunchladies instead of the cheap Spam
the rest of us were eating.
In the end it was self-defeating
because
you soon forgot why all this is occurring
some girl with a PLUR tattoo says all the lines are blurring
and you want to see her naked on your bed and purring
but your tribal rival has her in his tent like
Khal Drogo
king of the dudes
stronger than the Ultimate Warrior and Ravishing Rick Rude
larger than a gym rat bloated on anabolic horse steroids
devouring his pizza before it gets cold to avoid the Noid.
So do as Drogo does, dominate all in your way
until you're cut by an underling, killed by infection
brought back by some bitch who might be a witch
at the cost of the life of your unborn son in the womb
of your wife you impregnated the last time you had an erection.

That's the attitude you need
to get a hot girlfriend who isn't hooked on speed.

Sarah Palin
parasailin'
on an alien world
and making out with a Raelian girl
where was Bristol?  Sucking the other end
of her boyfriend's pistol.
Shit, still?
I mean the bitch never stops
like the Witch King on Weathertop
stabbing hobbits as they scramble off
into the brambles while the Dunedain
waves a torch and brings the pain
because
Narsil was still shards in the sheath
not yet the blade it would become.
Anyway i'd bash and beat
those hobbits into mincemeat
until a voice from the trees
distracts me with rhymes about Attercop.
Attercop
Don't you stop!
Don't stop now, Shaun and Ed
urges the jukebox in the Winchester, as they battle hordes of the dead
while David is carried away in the flood and disemboweled
Ed doesn't make it make it but Shaun escapes and needs only a towel
to wipe the blood from his hands as he conquers
this Zombieland.

If you're just tired of life
go run out and buy
"Let's Get Killed: A Beginner's Guide to Suicide"
and learn some self-destructive skills
and teach them to some first graders for cheap thrills while the Durst haters
and former Korn fans get drunk on cheap swill and snort bath salts until their brains rot
and they take turns tearing all each others' face off.

Hold it. Fold it. Drop your next turd.
Edwin Green demands to be heard.

Edwin Green stood triumphant on the dancefloor
at long last he'd learned how to get down
so he breakdanced, as he moved from town to town
past the lands of Anryms and Engre Val
shining like Lucifer before the fall
while grabbing his sack and clutching his balls
some tried to capture him, but always they missed him
as he moved in and out of the ecosystem
only stopping to rest when his energies felt low
on the stoop of a Tennessee bungalow
Is he sleeping on the front porch?
No, he's knocking down the damn door
and filching all the beer from the fridge
such risks one takes, living up on the ridge...
And Edwin took whatever else his fancy spied
he'd been a nihilist since Sid and Nancy died
and had been ill at ease since back in the day
He raved "I make women moist, and turn men gay!"
which was not strictly true, you must understand
he'd not been on a date in ten years
and couldn't talk to a woman without twelve beers.
Yet none were alive to hear his oaths, his boasts;
he knew his Reign of Jive must extend to both coasts
so Edwin danced on, the redneck corpses strewn haphazardly
and as far as we know the bastard is still free.

And with that
we're back in the shack
Hey, how many bucks do you have in your slacks?
Buy your kids McRibs (because they're back)
wait, you can't afford it?  'Coz you're black
Is that a big deal?  Do you think I fear you?  
well
n__ger I hear you
n__ger I hear you
n__ger I hear you


...Marc's flow was interrupted as he was pulled backwards by strong hands.  His buttocks slid across the floor and left a rancid smear of light-brown feces.  He was being dragged out of the store and into the parking lot.  His mind was still absorbed in his work, words still surfacing and linking in his mind.  Noo!  Where was his pen?  The paper?  He had to record them as they came, else they'd be lost forever.  He flailed and scrambled for the tools he needed.  But then his hands were behind him, restrained.  Someone was talking.  Loud angry words.  Some laughter.  His vision finally refocused on the real world and the backs of the burly police officers in the front seat.  One of them was holding his infinitely precious notebook and reading his latest masterpiece... when he got to the final lines, Marc realized that the officer was African-American and therefore likely to be offended by the forbidden word he'd used.  The man was scowling, so that was apparently the case, and all doubt was removed when he turned around, raised his taser, and blasted Marc in the chest with 50,000 volts of electricity.  Marc screamed but did not lose control of his bowels as everything that had been within them was still festering in that aisle, the one he never went down, the one with syrup, flour, boullion, and all that other crap...

To be continued.
Marc's Adventures I: The Poetry Break
What, what is this?  The beginning of a wondrous new adventure for one of the original three heroes?  As always, a fate is uncertain...
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Book III: The Journey to Shadozar
Chapter 19: The Train of Thought



Calvin Kingwood could only stare with his mouth hanging open.  This was, unquestionably, the strangest thing he'd seen since coming to Venternia.  Beside him, Professor Gandledore positively beamed with relief as the clouds of the Endless Sky parted and there appeared a locomotive train, the old-fashioned sort that Calvin had never seen in his actual life -- well, he'd seen them on television, perhaps, but this one was entirely real!  As the mammoth train zoomed by them, he could see that it was fancier than any real train by far. Its sleek surface was a dark purple and glimmered like obsidian, and every surface was embossed with golden filigree.  The wondrous apparition did a few loop-the-loops in the air before screeching to a stop before a platform that had just appeared in the empty air of the chasm before them.  It was of a magnificent make similar to the Train itself, all oak and solid gray brick with pearl-encrusted bannisters.  Could his mind really have summoned this marvel, Calvin asked himself?

"Splendid, my boy!" Gandledore cheered, "I knew you could do it!"

"This is..."

"Why, this is the legendary Train of Thought, my boy, what else should it be?" the wise old man grinned.  "If you have to reach the other end of Venternia, as we must, it's by far the quickest way to travel -- much faster than hitching a ride on a wild Bugslog, I can tell you that!"

Calvin noticed that the smoke which billowed forth from the Train's smokestack was not the noxious fume of coal, but a light-umber fog that smelled pleasantly of cinnamon and fresh apples.  His favorite scent.  Before he could relate this to Gandledore, the old man answered as if he was reading the boy's mind.

"Remember, the Train of Thought looks, and sounds, and yes, even smells entirely unique to the person what summons it," he explained.  "To me, it resembles a great mechanical dragon and smells of the sea.  To you, I imagine it is rather different?"

"A bit, yes" Calvin admitted.  

"...as it must.  Now, we must board.  Be brave, young Calvin."

As if responding to his very thoughts, a gangplank lowered from the first car and landed on the platform with a soft thud.  Calvin thought he glimpsed a ghostly conductor beckoning him to enter, and shuddered.  Other pale faces seemed to hover in the windows of the car, but they vanished when he tried to look at them.

"I must warn you, my boy, that as spectacular and helpful as the Train of Thought can be, it is not without its own particular peril.  For it is, as its name implies, a vessel composed entirely of your thoughts.  If you dare to ride it, you must be strong, not of body, but of spirit, for anything you think of can become real, quite real, so long as you are within range of its chimes."

"Anything?"

"Anything, I am afraid.  If you are not prepared, many bad things can happen.  Are you sure you are up to it?" Gandledore asked gravely.

"I... I think so," Calvin stuttered.  "I mean, it's the only way.  We have to get to Shadozar if I'm going to rescue Princess Azalea from the Wrathlord, right?"

"Well, there's always another way, but this is the best way, I think..." Gandledore mused in his usual whimsical manner.

"Then... yes, I'm ready.  I've come too far to turn back now!" Calvin decided.

"Splendid!"

As soon as they were on board, the gangplank raised behind them and the engine began to chug.  The whistle blew a deafening blast, louder than a war trumpet, Calvin thought.  And they were off, speeding through the starry night sky at the speed of...

"...at the speed of thought," Gandledore mused yet again.

Onwards the great train steamed, in need of no track as it made its course through the clouds.  Calvin looked out the porthole-windows, spellbound, as the star-hermits waved and flickered from their distant abodes.  Great flocks of night gulls and the occasional moonbat flapped placidly alongside them.  Soon, Calvin began to feel a bit shut in, cooped up as they were inside the car.  He briefly wished that he could feel the wind on his face and -- lo!  It suddenly became so.  The car's walls and ceiling vanished, and both Calvin and Professor Gandledore were standing on little more than a moving platform, with nothing between them and the infinite sky than a narrow railing.

"Whoa! Intense!" Calvin shouted.

"Ah, but didn't I warn you?' Gandledore gently chided.  "If you ride the Train of Thought with adventure on your mind rather than safety, then that is precisely what you shall have."

After the initial shock wore off, Calvin thrilled at the feel of the rushing wind and the crisp coldness of the evening.  He drew away from Gandledore and stood near the edge, and gazed West-East, fancying that he could already see the great black towers of Shadozar on the horizon.

"How long will it take to get there, Professor?" he asked Gandledore.

"Ah, now that is the thing, young Calvin, the very thing.  There are no limits to the Train's speed or range.  If you are in the proper frame of thought, then the journey is as swift as a garden sparrow returning to the nest.  But if one harbors doubts, well... there are stories of foolish men who have boarded the Train and spent many years dithering about endlessly in their worry.  They say that some have never left..."

Calvin thought back to the ghostly faces he'd glimpsed, and grew afraid.

"...myself included, mind you!  Why, I once boarded the Train as a grave young man with too many troubles on my mind, and by the time I reached my destination, so many seasons had passed in the meantime that my robe and scarf were quite out-of-style, and tame griffons had replaced unicorns as the primary mode of transportation in Venternia, imagine my surprise!"

Calvin smiled weakly.

"So in truth, we'd be there already, if that was what your mind truly desired... instead, we are speeding along happily and yet going nowhere in particular, and shall continue to do so, until you make up your mind to change that."

Calvin blinked.  He started to protest, but the words caught in his throat.  It was true, he admitted to himself.  He certainly wanted to see Azalea again, but the memory of his last meeting with the Wrathlord still burned fresh in his mind.  The Wrathlord, so confident in his dark power had simply laughed evilly at him, saying that such a "whelp" was not worth his time.  Instead, he had waved his wand casually and summoned...

"Ware your thoughts, young Calvin!" Gandledore barked, but it was too late.

"BUR-LUR-LUR-LUR!!!  I am the greedy Grumble Bee, you'll be sore if you stumble across me!"  

And there, hovering menacingly in the darkness, was the great fat Grumble Bee, the Wrathlord's most cherished and deadly pet.  He was still haunted by the memory of their first encounter, in which he'd shrank and hid from the frightful beast while others rushed to his aid.  It wasn't my fault, Calvin insisted to himself, I had just come to Venternia and didn't know... if only I'd been stronger like the Lion Knights, or possessing magic and wits like Gandledore, it would have been different...

"BUR-LUR-LUR-LUR-LUR!!!  I SEE YOU THERE, LITTLE BOY-THING, PREPARE YOURSELF TO FEEL MY STING!"

Just as it had back in the Lost Forest, the Grumble Bee launched its great furry body at Calvin, its fearsome stinger poised to strike and dripping with venom.  Calvin and Gandledore dove in separate directions, barely avoiding the monster.

"No!  Not you again!" Calvin bellowed, "I had enough of you the first time!"

Calvin looked around frantically for a weapon or trick to use to distract the gigantic bee, but but finding nothing, he looked to Gandledore and noticed that the spry old wizard was back on his feet, shaking his head with chagrin.  He gave Calvin a reproving stare, and suddenly the boy realized what a fool he was being.  Of course, the Grumble Bee wasn't actually here, it was all part of the Train's magic.  He could take care of it easily if only he could keep his wits about him.  Calvin briefly pondered blasting the Bee with an imaginary cannon or skewering it with a volley of Lion Knight lances, but that could get messy.  Without meaning to, he thought of the one person who could always handle these sorts of situations with ease, and wished that he was there with him....

"Calvin!  Dear chap!  Are you lost?  Need ye a map?"

And there stood Kapella the wood-elf, just as Calvin remembered him, standing less than half Calvin's height but brimming with confidence and power.  Calvin grinned, knowing exactly what was going to happen next...

Kapella spun on his bare whiskery feet and faced the Bee, who was preparing for another lunge.  

"A bee that grumbles, such a sight, Kapella shall soon put him to rights!" the little elf cheered.  The Grumble Bee burbled with rage and dove at him, but Kapella was far too quick.  He whirled about with that nimbleness that only woodland Elves possess, spinning like a dervish, and with every movement his magic shifted the winds which blew the monster quite off his course.  The Bee was flung out into the ethers on a great gust, then recovered his bearing and roared back towards the Train.  But by then, Kapella's magic windstorm was blowing with gale force and the three of them were standing in the eye of a whirlwind which buffeted the Bee about helplessly.

"BURR-LURR-LURR, LET ME GO!  MAKE THESE AWFUL WINDS NOT BLOW!"

The Bee flapped his wings and buzzed with furious anger, but the wind was too strong.  With a final twist of his little finger, Kapella blew a gust so mighty that the Bee was launched skyward towards one of the distant stars.  His final "BURR-LURR" vanished on the winds.  

"Let the hermits deal with that one, O yes, they shall have some fun!" Kapella chucked.  Then he turned and looked at Calvin and Gandledore, his eyes twinkling.  

"So, old friends, what adventure are we on now?  Tell me what, and where, and how!"

For a brief second, Calvin almost believed that dear little Kapella was alive again, but was again admonished by a stern look from Gandledore.  He sighed, feeling a dull ache in his heart.

"Kapella..."

"Goodness, Calvin, why so glum?  Am I not your favorite chum?"

Calvin hung his head and stammered, for the next words he had to say were the hardest of his life.

"You are, Kapella, I mean... you were.  It's hard to explain, but... you're not really here.  You're just a.... a memory.  A great memory, but a memory nonetheless.  You... you died, Kapella.  You died, saving us all at the Spiderweb Bridge..."

"Me, Kapella, dead and gone?  Calvin, lad, you must be wrong!"

"I'm not, Kapella.  But I think I know why I wished you here, and not just to deal with that monster.  I wished you here because I never got the chance to say good-bye to you.  But I'm doing that now.  I have to say good-bye and... let you go.  So you can move on.  So we both can..."

The little elf looked in confusion to Gandledore, who looked even glummer than Calvin, if that was possible.

"But I..." Kapella began, before he fell silent.  He smiled the saddest smile you could ever imagine on the face of a merry wood-elf as he began to slowly fade from their sight, growing transparent in the night air.

"Good-bye, then, Calvin my friend, we'll meet again at the Very End..."

"I hope so," Calvin whispered, as two fat tears rolled down his cheeks.  Beside him, Gandledore was snuffling loudly and blowing into his handkerchief.

"That was worthy of him, lad," the wizard finally spoke.  "And I must say, you surprised me there.  The old you -- by which I mean, the younger you, funny how that works -- would not have been able to let him go.  You've grown up, my boy, you really have."

"I suppose so," Calvin agreed, thinking that if his heart had to hurt this much, growing up was a pretty lousy thing in many ways.  They stood there, mostly mute, for several minutes.  The Train of Thought was still zooming effortlessly through the dark purple sky, its eternal power not the least bit disturbed by their trials.  However, the boy noted that the very world about it had begun to change, reacting to his bottomless grief.  He saw great stormclouds rolling in from the horizon, dark and threatening.  They blocked out the light of the star-hermits, and soon muffled peals of thunder began to rumble in the distance.  The wind grew colder and stronger...

Gandledore placed a friendly hand on his shoulder, and a bit of warmth stirred in his heart.  Calvin glared up at the oncoming storm, having finally learned his lesson.  

"No... the Bee and Kapella were enough.  I won't let this happen.  I have to find the strength.  I think I understand now, Professor Gandledore.  I used to think that strength was all about muscles and swords, like the Lion Knights.  But I think I finally understand.  In Venternia, true strength comes from here," he said tapping his chest, "and here" pointing to his temple.  "True strength is in the heart and the mind."  

Gandledore beamed with pride.  "Quite right, lad.  Quite right."

"We're almost there.  We're almost at Shadozar..."

Gandledore interrupted, "quite so, Calvin, but if I might make a request... this old man needs just a moment more to collect his wits before we enter that dread realm.  We will be known to the Wrathlord as soon as we depart the train and set one foot into his land.  Let us... let us have just one more happy memory before we do that.  Just one more memory.  I leave it to you!" he cried, motioning to the sky which was already beginning to clear. Rays of golden sunlight began to filter through the dissipating cloudbanks, heralding the dawn of what might be their final day...

"Happy... memory... happy thoughts... " Calvin mumbled, "after all this, can I still just be the happy kid I once was?  What would make me happier than anything?"

He closed his eyes and thought.

The only clouds in the sky were now fluffy and pillowlike.  They surrounded the train, so thick that Calvin reached out and ran his finger through one as if it were a pudding.  Something simple, something happy, something good, he thought to himself.  And from these clouds, women began to emerge.  Not just women, but women more beautiful than nearly any that Calvin had ever seen.  They were slender of waist, but their curves were perfectly voluptuous.  And they wore nothing at all, save for a slight sheen of moisture from their cloudy nests.

The boy opened his eyes and grinned.

"I say..." Gandledore began, at last lost for words.

The clouds increased and so did the number of naked women emerging from them.  There were thousands of them now, preening and teasing the two travelers with flirtatious glances as they rubbed their lovely bodies with their hands, discovering their soft flesh for the first time.  Gandledore's eyes widened as he gaped at the increasing variety -- most were blonde, with light almond skin, but as more and more appeared, there came women of all colors, from dark walnut brown to as white as snow, and wearing different exotic hairstyles, some adorned with jewelry, others not, but all identical in their luscious perfection.

"I.... err... yes... unclothed maidens... perfectly reasonable, for a boy your age, I shouldn't wonder..." Gandledore stammered at the endless parade of nubile bodies around them.

Calvin gaped in wonder.  "Gandledore, why didn't I think of this right at first?  Gosh, I'm dumb!" Calvin laughed.  "This is wonderful!"

"Yes, I suppose, but..."

By now there were so many nude women in the clouds that the sky could barely be seen.  They were a literal ocean of moist, sleek skin.  Calvin cocked his head to the side playfully, and the imaginary women began to notice and pet one another.  Their mouths opened and they began to kiss, and caress, and fondle each other, and themselves with increasing urgency, writhing together while moaning and giggling with girlish abandon.  

"Yes," Calvin whispered in ecstasy, his quivering with emotion, "yes."

Gandledore looked increasingly uncomfortable but was still shocked into silence.  He saw that several of the women in fact strongly resembled Princess Azalea, and he blushed deep red.  At last the mass of nakedness spilled onto the platform of the Train itself, hundreds of tumbling, squirming, laughing women, glistening in the sun.  

"Calvin!" Gandledore bellowed, "this is enough!  Stop!"

"I don't think I can, Professor!  I don't think I can!  Ha haa!" the boy shouted gleefully as the women seized upon him and tore his clothing to shreds, their pink tongues seeking every inch of his pale skin, their painted nails grasping his hair.  Their moaning and gasping increased.  They were possessed of a frightening hunger and wriggled desperately towards the boy, as if he were the one thing that could satisfy them.  Calvin was soon buried in them, buried in a sea of bodies.

"I say!  I say!" Gandledore bellowed again as he was likewise enveloped.  The wizard was surrounded on all sides by naked flesh, although none of the women seemed to notice his existence.  Through the throng, he heard Calvin's voice.  "Don't worry, we'll still get to Shadozar, Gandledore!  Ahhh...!  But after this!  After this!"

Gandledore struggled for air, seeking to find an empty pocket in the throng, and wondered how long this Train ride would turn out to be.  

"On second thought, forget the Wrathlord!" he heard Calvin laugh, "I'm staying here forever!  Wooo!"  

Gandledore could barely hear him through the mass of bodies that surrounded him on all sides.  He tried to scream, but his mouth was filled with unidentifiable flesh and a mass of chestnut hair.  He could only whimper and battle for breath as he desperately tried to avoid being crushed to death by Calvin's seemingly infinite harem.  

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In the end, they did not stay there forever.  The two travelers did eventually reach Shadozar and defeat the Wrathlord to save all of Venternia  But their friendship was never quite the same after the Train of Thought -- but that, dear reader, is a story for another day.
Venternia Chronicles
At last!  The long-awaited companion piece to Cybertronic Star League 1987, featuring the welcome return of Calvin Kingwood, our daring young hero.  What adventures await him in the faraway magical realm of Venternia?
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1.3.2015

Hey there, son.  Come in.  Sit down.  

Son, I want you to tell me what these are, and you'd better be honest with me.

Mmm-hmmm.  That's what I thought.  

Thank you for telling me the truth.  Your dad knows Council writings when he sees them, you know.  I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday.  Son, why are you getting involved with this stuff?  You're smarter than this.  I know that you are.  Look, I know how it is, I do.  I was your age once.  Believe it or not, I had my wild days of counseling, oh yes, it's just... son, I know it seems like fun at first, all the cool kids are doing it, but you have no idea where this can lead you in life.  I've seen it ruin people, I've seen it take control of their minds and destroy their lives.  It seems creative, it seems bold, but before you know it... you're 26 years old and barely holding down some crappy job at a gas station, vowing to go back and finish college one day... but you spend every minute with your two friends, writing and reading endless crap about some ludicrous character named Malitrope Qwunt and his time-traveling feces or whatever.  And you're blowing half of your paycheck on weed and beer or [dismissive hand wave] whatever young people use to get into the Altercated State these days.  It's always about that next crazy idea, that next level of fictional invention or snappy rhyme that will make your friends howl with laughter... it's fun, yes, but then you're always pursuing it, 24-7.  Your real life recedes into the background.  Because it's not just the writing, you know, there's a whole lot else that comes with it.  When you're not writing, you'll be listening to weird techno music, and watching old shitty movies with your friends and gorging on convenience store food and listening to The Drunken Peasants all night, and wearing the same ratty t-shirt and semen-stained shorts for three days straight, because you don't give a fuck what the "normals" think and you're too busy searching for that next high.  Everyone thinks they can be the next Gooch or that they can write the next Gilbrod Sequence, but the odds of that are infinitesimal.  So you're just stuck in an endless morass of illusion, of deception, of self-imposed mental insanity...

...I know because that's how I used to live.  That was my life before I met your mother.  Now, yes, I was able to pull myself out of the sewer and get back on track.  I cleaned myself up and got the job at Centralia, and I gave it all up and never saw my old Council buddies again.  They're probably still living in that run-down apartment and doing the same garbage twenty years later, I don't know.  I escaped that life, but not all do.  

Not all do.

I don't know, it was different when we started, you know, back in the late '90s.  Things were different, the whole world was.  We... we had more time on our hands.  We didn't even have Fones and IntraWave, did you know that?   Ha ha, it's true.  These were the Clinton days, and the Bush days, it was that far back.  Errr, George, not Jeb.  Sorry.  And we would write our stories on some old clunky desktop computer and print them out on paper, did you know that?  On freakin' wood-pulp paper with an ink cartridge.  And we'd read them by candlelight... or blacklight.  What I mean is, we weren't all synced to the net, with that instant audience that you kids enjoy today.  We weren't putting on a show for everyone on the web.  Only you and your two fellow counselors would ever see the goods.  It made it truly special, like you were the only people in the world doing it.  That wasn't the case, of course, but that's what it felt like.  

Ah, those were great days.

What?

I mean, yes, we had the internet but things were still pretty basic.  It was only years later that I posted all our old Council stories on DeviantArt.  I had to retype them by hand, you know, because the files were lost when someone's hard drive crashed... yes, things were primitive.  So primitive, but damn it, every little paper story we wrote seemed really meaningful.  Oh, we wrote some epic stuff, there's no question... man, some good stuff...

....who do your counsel with, anyway, son?  Wait, let me guess -- Liam and Noah.  I should have known.  You know I don't trust those boys.  I trust you, of course, but I don't trust all of your friends.  I mean, I don't want to sit on my high horse and judge them or anything, but I just get the impression that their works might be a bit... lacking?  Noah, in particular.  He strikes me as the kind of kid who just writes a lot of violent rap poems, am I right?  Ehh?  Yeah, that's what I thought.  Now don't get me wrong, brainless rappy stuff can be fun, but you have to take things deeper.  You can't just blather out aggressive lyrics with no sense of absurdity, there has to be some kind of self-awareness to it, you know?  Just hearing "yo, nigga, I goan' kill you and fuck your bitch's fat ass" over and over again.  It gets stale.

What about Liam, what are his Council works like?

Hmmm.  Hrrrmmmm....

...interesting...

...well, that's not so bad.  He has some intriguing concepts, sure.  But I'm not entirely certain about the fan-fiction elements you describe.  It's just my opinion, but I think you need to depend on your own stable of characters and not get caught up always referencing the latest pop culture thing, and mixing up all those characters from games and movies and such... because your work just gets dated, and slightly masturbatory.  Ha, forgive me, I do like that word.

Son, do you want to know the truth?  I know you're at that age where I can't run your whole life anymore.  I know that if you're going to counsel, you're going to counsel.  But... I would actually feel more comfortable if you did it here, at home, where I can be sure nothing bad happens.  And... when I said my Council days were all in the past, I wasn't being entirely truthful.  I... I still do it from time to time.  But I'm very responsible about it, I only do it after I've paid the mortgage and done my taxes.  Those couple of days after Thanksgiving, before you and your mom got back from grandma's?  I kind of holed up here and did my old thing.  In fact, come over here to my workstation... let's see... ahh... hold on... da da da... ah, here we are.  I started working on a new thing, I think you'd like it.  It's called Cusk: The Ordained Outlay... hah, thanks, I though it was a pretty good title myself.  All part of the larger Cusk Quadrilogy, of course.  Anyway, it's about a third of the way done, I think.  Call me crazy, but I think we could work on this together?  If you're up for that sort of thing with your old man?  This may be immodest, but I do believe you will find it to be much more complex and interesting than anything that Liam and Noah have ever brought to the Chamber Floor.  Yeah?  And don't worry, I fully go by the no restrictions rule.  Trust me, nothing you write could ever shock me, son.  If it does?  That'd be great.  Heck, I'll make you a deal -- if you can whip out any lines that shock me, gross me out, or make me squirm -- I'll buy you a new Fone.  I'm serious.  A PadFone, even, any model you want.  Do you think you're up to it, son?  Nah, bring it!  Bring it!

Haaaaa, okay.  Read over what I've written so far, while I go to the store and get us some drinks... and some Sparkies from the pharmacy.  What?  Yeah, I can handle that!    And when I get back, we're going to tag-team this bitch until she bleeds out, son!  Oh, yeah!  Ah, this is going to be classic...

....of course, you can't tell your mother about this, son.  This will be our little secret, right?

Cusk.  Hells yes.  

Cusk.

Cusk for-fucking-ver.
Cusk: The Ordained Outlay
A minor work to herald the beginning of 2015.  

We can only wonder what glories are contained in the Cusk Quadrilogy.  For now, that is all we can do.
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Project: GILBROD
Part VIII: Yours Truly, Librus Carbone


"Ahh, what a beautiful Spring day. Hear the birds shrieking with joy as they devour the emerging bounty of lesser creatures."

-- John.  
   4.3.2014 -- 8:58AM EST

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Today we are pleased to announce our new, next-generation tablet: The Nergalito!

-whisks shroud off to reveal deformed multi-screened monstrosity-

The Nergalito features six different touchscreens, 14 ultra-HD video cameras, Wifi AND a 56k dial-up modem, but that's not all.  You might have noticed nozzles here on the sides.  Ladies and gentlemen, they dispense Coca-Cola.  Yep, no more assaulting that stubborn machine in the break room.  And to top it all off, the entire thing is connected via a state-of-the-art dynamic ball bearing mechanism which allows the use to manipulate the many screens into whatever form is desired.  As for software, we have countless new apps, designed solely for the Nergalito, the most impressive being our proprietary voice control system: Klatchkey.  If you thought Siri was impressive, wait 'till you interact with Klatchkey!

"Klatchkey, where is Davis and what is he doing?"

"Davis is in the break room.  He is assaulting the Coke machine."

-hysterical applause-

Of course, the heart of the Negalito's workflow is the revolutionary Windows 8 OS.  With over 17,000 copies sold, it is the most successful operating system released by Microsoft in 2013.  Much of its success is due to the revolutionary Metro Desktop that gives your workspace an unprecedented level of forcible interaction.  It completely does away with the complicated and useful folders and menus that have cluttered Windows since its inception and replaces them with a series of vibrant graphical appcons.  But there's so much more to it than just Metro -- Windows 8 also boasts the new Automatic File Corrupter, an uninstallable version of Internet Explorer with the Bandwidth Hog add-on, the dynamic Keystroke Randomizer, a Registry Eraser -- not to mention the exciting new embedded Virus Hive software with Spybot Magnet.  

The Nergalito retails for $2999.99 for the base model.  Pricing information for the higher end models is forthcoming.

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At last, I've found a doctor willing to transplant my scrotum hair onto my eyelids.

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The Japanese, to me, appear to be enamoured of extreme thinness, but still apparently enjoy the sight of a hugely obese sumo wrestler now and again.  Everything I know about sumo wrestling comes from E. Honda.  They can all fly like torpedoes, right?

Yes.  They are propelled by massive blasts of soybean-generated flatulence.  Their extensive training allows them the physical discpline to prevent any of it from escaping until enough has been built up in their rectal cavity to provide sufficient velocity when finally expelled.

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My friend Tony took a shit that was so nasty he passed out.  When he woke up he was on the floor in his own shit.  Tony immediately passed out again.  Tony is a good guy.  He told me that one time he did this thing for the community and got a medal for it.

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Fecal Cannons are achieving remarkable specifications.  The velocity with which the feces are ejected is incredible.  You can't see them exit the cannon, however when they impact the target the damage is absolutely catastrophic.

These Fecal Cannons... my uncle has told me a little about them.  He said they're mostly used for crowd control purposes in East Asian nations -- places such as Myanmar and Indonesia where governments have no fear of liability if protesters suffer incidental bacterial contamination.  But they are hardly known of in this hemisphere.  He did say that several thousand Cannons have been shipped to Germany and Russia, but that they are probably intended for more "festive" uses.  I'm not exactly sure what he meant by that.  But from the other stories he's told me about being stationed in Germany, I can pretty much fill in the blanks.  

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"Hello?  What?  Yes, yes, this is Fart Clownpenis.  How may I help you."

"I heard you have enlargement balloon harnesses that support a protium frame of at least 87 pounds.  Is this accurate?  Our communal access frequency is pending."

"No, I'm sorry, sir, but our units max out at 60 pounds of pressure.  They changed industry regulations back in 2009, and now anything larger is only available from a few Federal dispensaries.  However, we do have some 45-weight inverters that do nearly the same thing, with certain modifications."

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They spoke as one.  The Cathedral shuddered.  FECAL ENCORE.

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"Sauce.  Has there ever been a more versatile thing? I splash it liberally upon my neck and delight at the sensation of ground cloves and other spices that trickle down my back.  Through my skin is absorbed the essence.  Life of Sauce.  Become part of this dream.  Feed your flavors into the grinder.  The clump will be crushed by the specialized machine.  This powder when properly hydrated shall make a delightful sauce for the child and shaman alike.  

Sometimes the sauce seeps.  Sometimes the sauce erupts.  Both events are acceptable.

Everything begins with the Sauce.  Gentlemen, I know some of you have differing opinions on this matter, but frankly, they are irrelevant.  I am king here, and I say it is all about the Sauce.  Let it simmer, let the molecules percolate.  Only the most sublime flavor particles are permitted within the Locus.  Tony, rub the Sauce.  Goddamnit, Tony, take off your gloves and rub the Sauce in!  If my men don't know the Sauce, they know nothing!"

"Yeah, yeah, you and your precious Sauce.  That's all we ever hear from you Northenders.  Well, I got news for you.  Go to any place in Arensport and ask for Sauce instead of Gravy, and they're liable to crack your skull open.  It's all about the Savory Gravy.  We got a saying in the Port -- if what's in your bowl ain't congealed from drippings, it'll take a month to heal from the whippings. Something like that.  What I'm trying to say is, fuck your Sauce.  Sauce your dick up and get plunging."

"The Port is a remnant of the Old World, the Dead World.  The wise know of the Sauce and accept it as the true path to wisdom.  Tony, if you're not on board with this, we will have no choice but to destroy you and your kin.  First, we're going to inject this tomato sauce into your pancreas.  It'll help with the pain.

Ahh."

-mutters angrily under his breath-

"Alright, Gabe.  Fine.  Give me some of that Sauce.  I'll play ball.  How long did our fathers know each other?  I'll play ball.  Ahh... ahhh.... oooh!   You know what, though?  That ain't bad.  That ain't really bad at all."

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"So, it is my understanding that you are looking to add a new pet to your family.  That is wonderful.  What sort of animal did you have in mind?"

"I want the most high-strung cat you have available."

"Oh?  Then let me show you this little feller over here.  His name is Oscar, and he will bite out your eyeballs if you breathe in the same room that he is in."

"Perfect.  I'll take him."

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Rabid caribou.
Maya Angelou.

Four rectums filled.
Four rectums spilled.
Four rectums swelled.
Four then expelled.

A Man came.  From his own clan he came.  He sculpted the shit into the shape of Brad Pitt.  There the Pitt-Shit Statue stands, on the border between our land and the Land of the Other Clan.  

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His cane whistled.  It was awful.  He swung that cane with such merciless force it actually made a piercing whistle for a brief moment before impact.  And I've never seen bones break like that.  How was he so strong?  He looked like an old man, hunched, feeble, but what a show, what a lie.

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"Mr. Kern, your test results came back from the lab today."

"And?  What do they say?"

"I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but the results are conclusive.  You have Reagans."

"Reagans?  That's impossible.  I've been a registered Democrat for as long as I've been old enough to vote."

"Mr. Kern, we've done X-rays, MRIs, sonograms, blood tests, stress tests, taken stool and urine samples.  They all clearly show the presence of Reagans.  I'm sorry.  Somehow you've been infected.  Your case is advanced.  The growth is rampant.  See right there on the X-ray?  That darker grayish cluster, like a bunch of raisins?  Those are the Reagans."

"But that is.."

"Yes, your butt-hose.  And it is overflowing with the Reagans.  They develop higher up in the digestive tract, but once they ripen, they dislodge and are expelled during defecation.  Mr. Kern, at this point we need to talk about management, about achieving comfort for you during these challenging final days.  Please, put your affairs in order.  There isn't much time."

"Well, goddamn.  How many bullets did I dodge in this life only to end up being taken out by Reagans?  Irony doesn't come close to describing it."

"Enjoy your time as best you can, Mr. Kern.  Reagans feed on self-pity."
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So my efforts to paint a nude portrait of Yoda are encountering some minor hurdles.  Most importantly, I'm not certain of how to depict his genitals.  It would be the height of anthropocentrism to just assume that he has a shaftlike penis and bifurcated scrotal sac; these are mammalian features it's not entirely clear if he is at all mammalian in nature, or even warm-blooded. Lucas was always very mum on so many details about Yoda, as to preserve the mystery of the character.  Admirable, but it does present difficulties.  The obvious answer to this problem is to give him a sort of drooping fleshy thatch that shrouds his pubic region, or else to pose him so that the area is obscured.  But darn it, I didn't want to have to resort to those old Classical tropes.  This isn't a Botticelli nymph, this is Yoda.  I want him portrayed as fully as possible with no fig leafs and for the depiction to be definitive.
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'Rape Rape Revolution,'  It's the same game style as 'Dance Dance Revolution,' except it's about raping, not dancing.

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There's a lot of confusion out there, but trust me, the best way to resolve this is to insert a smaller rat into the body cavity of the first rat, and then boil them until all the hair falls off.

Interesting.  I assume the same process and principles are also valid when dealing with gerbil, mink, stoat, and mongoose?

Yes, though for mongoose, you must flay the outer skins in a radial pattern prior to insertion.

Ah, I see.  It's because of their unusual resemblence to mustelids, even though they are, in fact, viverravine-descended herpestidae?  I just have to be very careful these days, with the market being what it is... you would shocked at the number of unscrupulous suppliers who'll try to pass off mutated civet cats or deformed weasels as genuine Iberian mongoose.  It's a shameful state of affairs, and the regional governors need to intervene before all confidence in the market is lost.

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My friend Tony told me about this guy he knew where one time he was wiping his asshole and a fly landed right on the guy's shitty asshole and then with his next wipe he crushed the fly and the fly guts were mashed into the shit.  I wonder how often this happens.  Tony says that it happens to everyone about five times a year but I'm not so sure.

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Terbis Dengmore dipped his hand into the sputtering chalice of boiling lard.  He deserved this pain, this punishment, he knew.  He had failed the Elevated Ones, he had neglected to feed the Distribution Network.  Now, an occurrence.  His fellow Centurions roared with approval as his gnarled bones burst through the crumbling flesh of his hand.  Terbis managed to stifle his screams and remain honorably silent.  But the tears betrayed him.  They were not in fact tears of pain or sorrow, but rather the mundane ocular leakings caused by irritation from the gritty atmosphere... still, forbidden they were, and the shame of them brought unwarranted thrashings and unexpected blows blows from all sides.  Even the youngers *Gerard him from a safe distance and pelted him with stones and dry droppings.

*jeered, not Gerard, sorry.

Gerard Youngers.  He was an excellent shortstop back in the early days of the Knickerbocker Rules.



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Whenever I see an image of Dolly Parton, I am overcome by a sudden desire to strip away the artifice of her, to rip away all false trappings.  The wig, the makeup, the implants, the collagen injections the dental crowns... the perfume, every scrap of clothing.  I want... nay, need to view the simple, honest homonid buried beneath all the razzle-dazzle.  Intercourse will not occur, I just want to see the reality.  

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If you'll bring it over here into the light, you'll see what I'm talking about.  Take note of the distinctive markings, the facial structure, the garments... when combined with the unmistakable vocalizations the creature was making, there really cannot be any doubt.  We haven't seen one of these in over twenty years and most believe them to be extinct, but... gentlemen, you are looking at the remains of a genuine Bone Thug.  And if this one was out there, then there are others.  There could be... many others.

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Shitting into a well is on my bucket list.  Why?  I want to experience a long delay between poop and splash.

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We musn't neglect the lessons of the little-known but pivotal Greek philosopher, Homofagulous.  Some not-so-clever people like to pronounce his name as "homo-fag-you-liss," but indeed the correct pronunciation is "home-off-uh-gull-iss."  His canonical texts, from the Anum Pentratum to the Homilies of Fellato, are central to any student's comprehension of Western philosophy.  But he is regularly overshadowed by his disciple, Socrofece, who greatly expanded upon his logical underpinnings.  The impact of Socrofece's Treatise on the Anal Function did much to marginalize the, what I would argue are the more nuanced if less comprehensive, arguments put forth by Homofagulous in his Anum Penetratum.

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I wish I still had at least one Muslim coworker.  I'd go up to them and say "Hey, I heard that in the Muslim world, if a woman laughs at the size of your dick, legally, you can kill her.  But it has to be the same day she does it, either before the sun next rises or sets.  Also, you have to have at least one male witness that can testify to her father that she committed the mockery.  If there is no witness, you have to give her family three camels and two goats in recompense.  If you don't, they can kill any female member of your family.  That's how it works, right?"

I mean, I just like discussions like that.

I've never had a Muslim coworker that I'm aware of.  Certainly never one I had to interact with.  I bet they are fun.  They can tell you all about the logistics and moral justifications of suicide vests, right?  Like they bring up suicide vests at the water cooler.  You'll be talking about that new model Tesla, and they're like, "yeah, that car is cool, I admit, but hey, have you guys seen the new Cyber-Martyr 4000G?  It talks to your smartphone and gives you realtime data on your various physiological factors, letting you know if you're maintaining an appropriately inconspicuous demeanor.  I tell ya, it's tough sometimes, when you're 5 minutes from your target, and your heart is pounding at the thought of all the virgin meat you are going to be swimming in in just a few short minutes.  The new model also coordinates with other vests in the area and gives you navigation to guide you to the most densely occupied public spaces to maximize blast efficiency and reduce redundant bombings.  Nothing is worse than showing up at your designated target only to find that some other bomber has beat you to it.  You're hot and sweaty, the vest is starting to chafe, and now you realize you've gotta walk 5 miles to the other market because some jerk didn't notify the proper administrative units.  Ya know?

Yes, I've had several discussions similar to that.  You know the craziest thing about Muslims?  There are the regular Muslims who are light tan, the ones that you see on the news.  But then there are the African Muslims from places like Somalia, so they are BLACK and MUSLIM at the same time.  Which seems impossible, but it's true.  And it's not like they're 50%-50%, they're somehow 100% black and 100% Muslim.  Which means they also like rap music and talk about stealing cars in addition to everything you covered.

I don't trust the black ones.  Because they are black.  This is not to say that I trust the tan ones.  It's just that the black ones are very likely going to try to rape you before detonating their suicide vests.  Because they are black.  At least the tan ones probably will not rape you before killing you. What we need is the tan Muslim community to speak up and denounce the black Muslims for the rapist bombers they obviously are.

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I've added a considerable amount of hair to my diet.  Early results are promising.


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"Master, what shall we do with Shasta?"

"Release her."

"Release her?  Into the Wild?"

"Yes, she has fulfilled her purpose."

"I shall release her forthwith...... master, I released Shasta.  She is in the lobby, highly confused, and is butting her head against chairs and waste receptacles.  What should we do?"

"Tranquilize her and have her carried off the premises and to a safe, secluded woodland area nearby.  Must I think of everything?"

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After the death of my father, I took several weeks to help Mum with the estate and get all the things sorted that needed sorting.  It was a desolate and tiresome task, of course, and I wanted her to spend most of it by the hearth with a nice cup of tea, or else being consoled by the neighbors, while I toiled in the basement and the attic -- cleaning, organizing, consolidating, trimming what of Father's numerous possessions ought be trimmed; Mum had decided to move in with her sister, if not by this winter than surely the next.  The family house was far too large and empty for her alone, you see.  I quite agreed.

One rainy day, as I finished up the random assortments of papers and files in father's study, I probed through a small box that I had thought to be no more than some old office paperwork.  But I picked up a small ream and was surprised to discern that it was in fact a script of some sort.  "Oh, those are just his plays," Mum remarked offhandedly, "the horrid things."  

"Father... wrote plays?" I asked, gobsmacked.

"Yes, yes, mostly long ago.  Used to think he had a future in it.  Never had a single one produced, of course."  I sifted through the box and saw that there were several dozen of the tightly-packed scripts, in reverse chronological order.

I gaped in amazement.  I had been as close to my father as any boy ever was, and had never seen in fifty years any hint of literary ambition, or even interest, in his personality.  When I leafed through and read the first play, I thought I knew the reason -- his work was not merely horrid, it was indefensible.  The topmost one, his last work, presumably, was written in 2006 and entitled Where It All Went Wrong.  It was not so much a drama as it was a vicious outpouring of bitter hatred, a clownish mishmash of racism, misogyny, and xenophobia -- tendencies that had been hinted at in his speech, and which I had hitherto dismissed as the saltiness and weariness of old age.  But scanning the abominable document, I realized that the man who'd written it was possessed of a depth of hatred I'd never guessed at.  Even worse, there were embarrassing "scenes" that laid bare his inappropriate and puerile fixations with several contemporary female celebrities.  The words and actions that my father attributed to fictionalized versions of these young women were the worst sort of masturbatory pornography I've ever read.  Needless to say, I was overcome with a sickening shame... but I could not halt my exploration.  I flipped back to the first page and properly read the entire thing, unable to resist the exquisite awfulness of it all.

I tossed it back into the box and declared to myself that I ought to burn it wholesale, lest someone else discover the contents.  This I did not do.  The following morning I read the next play, dated 2002, which was called We Have Arrived, and was mostly a reactionary political screed concerning Muslims after the events of September 11th in America, and again, I was shocked, disgusted, and helplessly enthralled.  Apart from being a blanket condemnation the Islamic faith and all its adherents, it also featured disjointed diatribes about many local businesses, including an extended hallucinatory scene where children are brutally attacked by certain corporate fast-food mascots.  I found these quite amusing, despite myself.

And so I read on, devouring the forgotten filth of my father, unable to halt for even a single day.  

Curiously, the longer I read, the less objectionable the works became.  He'd written no fewer than three plays in the year of 1987, and while they were somewhat unfocused and baldly derivative of greater works, they contained no bile and were on par with what I'd have expected from a moderately-talented third-year grammar student.  There was a break in the chronology, the next scripts having been typed in the early Seventies.  And I was shocked again, as I began to pore over a pastoral called Phillipe's Countryside, to realize that I was reading something good, and I mean genuinely good, a polished and substantive work that would not be out of place next to Ibsen and Chekov.  Had I lost my bearings?  No, no, I read it again, and it was undeniably excellent.  I dove into the next one and the next one, spending the entire day engrossed in the words.  Thrashers was an ode to the British punk rock scene, and contained details of the intricacies of youth culture that I could never have imagined my father being aware of; and The Hardy-Canute Fulmination A-Z was a Dadaist thought experiment that sent me into gales of honest-to-goodness laughter as I goggled at the endless wit and insouciance of it.  These were followed by Leeds Must Lead and Man of Modest Means, a pair of ingenious mysteries with brilliant twist endings.

....and at last, I came to the final two in the box, and I stayed up late into the night, utterly devouring them with hungry eyes.  My father's 1955 effort, I Ain't Jemiah Tuckram, was an extraordinary work -- a sensitive tale of a small-town grifter who threatens to expose an aging gay couple, but destroys his own soul in the process.  It nearly drove me to tears.  And beneath that, as you have surely guessed, was the man's first play -- Wherefore Cometh Jereboam?   As soon as I had read its immortal opening lines, I knew that I was in possession of not just a good work, or even a great work, but one of the most pivotal pieces of art in all of human history.  How do I describe it?  It was as if the soul of Shakespeare himself had risen phoenixlike from the ashes of World War II and gathered the fumes of anguish and triumph from the skies above Europe, mixed them with all the tears shed in that time and thus distilled an ink, a sea of ink that formed itself into words, effortless and perfect, that composed a story in tribute of all humanity.  It took me from the Olympian heights of triumph to the blackest depths of spiritual despair.  Once I had finished it, awestruck, I dashed from the house and drove back to London to make copies of it, lest it be lost somehow, and begin the process of bringing it to the attention of those who must know about such an artifact, frantically plumbing every connection in publishing and academia I possessed.  I couldn't relax until weeks later, when after a deluge of calls and emails, I knew it had been taken from my hands and given to the eternal grasp of history.

You know the rest.

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Coming this fall to ABC, it's "Mr. Rapist!"

They call him Mr. Rapist, because he likes to rape.  
He's not an ape and he doesn't like grapes
but he'll tie you up with twine and tape
all while wearing a fancy cape
and a bowler of the finest make
he's... Mr. Rapist!

Who creeps up along the ledge?
Who climbs over your neighbor's hedge?
To find your corpse they'll have to dredge
the shores from here to Breckinridge
because of...  Mr. Rapist!

So who has sex without consent
inside his specially-woven tent?
Too fast to catch, he came and went
this rather happy, dapper gent
we know as... Mr. Rapist!

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This is one of those times when I look around at my fellow white people and think, sheesh, you guys are embarrassing us all.  This is worse than the Macarena.  What am I talking about?  This whole Ray Rice "controversy."  Of which there is none.  Look, my fellow honkies, Janay Rice bears no ill will towards Ray and married him, not in spite of his strong left hand but because of it.  You simply don't understand the mating dynamics of African-Americans and the behaviors they use to establish dominance and respect. They are slightly different than those of caucasian cultures.  Do you know what will help you?  When you think of Ray and Janay Rice, just think of... Klingons.  Think of Mr. Worf and his hilarious attempts to explain the sexy violence of the Klingon mating ritual to an incredulous Wesley.  What Ray Rice is Worf, Janay is K'Ehleyr, the are Klingons and warriors.  Their actions are entirely in line with their biology and culture.  You gotta smack the bitches around sometimes.  It weeds out the weak ones.

(And what does the male do?  He reads love poetry....)

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To be perfectly honest, I've never been especially fond of the shape of Eric Holder's head.  His face, as well.  I find them to be aesthetically challenging.  Very true.  When you see his face for the first time, you assume he must have a genetic disorder.  Then he talks and you're like, wow, you're not 'tarded?  Wow.  I get the feeling sometimes that Holder's most potent weapon is a sustained and penetrating stare.  No one can withstand it for long.  That would be unstoppable. I bet he has to be careful out on the street.  Like Cyclops, if he casually looks at someone, he could kill them in instant.  I can honestly see why most Republicans just don't trust the guy.  He really just looks like someone up to no good.  Aversion to such a countenance goes beyond pure partisanship... yet the accept as one of their own a man who looks like an ancient sea turtle, proof enough that they are insane.  Mitch hires day laborers to scrub the barnacles off his torso; their pay?  He allows them to eat the barnacles.  Quite a delicacy, I hear.

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Like most young boys, I naturally and intuitively assumed that the urine which flowed from my penis was stored in my testicles; that they were nothing more than a pair of urine holding tanks.  But soon I became puzzled that when I held my urine for a great length of time, they did not bulge or change shape in any way -- I fully expected them to steadily fill with liquid to the point of bursting.  I wanted to test my limits, to see how full they could get before I relented from the overwhelming pressure.  It was not until the 6th grade that I learned the terrible truth, and this truth nearly destroyed me.

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I know how you feel, but if you can't bring yourself to trust the Gorton's Fisherman, I don't know how we're going to make it out of this alive.  

I will never trust him.  He killed my old friend, Herpes Hernandez, killed him two weeks before he was going to be married.  I mean, his real name was Hercules, but we just called him Herpes.  He didn't actually have herpes, it was just a nickname, I think.  

Ah, yes, the Hercules Hernandez incident.  I'm sorry, man, I know that shit was fucked up, and we will never forget, but it's time to move on.

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The chubby toddler... well, "toddled" is in fact the appropriate word, as fast as his stout legs could carry him.  Having learned to move upright some two weeks prior, he had finally ceased to wobble and fall after a few feet and was now chugging forward faster than he'd ever before, under his own power anyway.  His arms windmilled and his mouth emitted nonsensical "ba-ba-ba" syllables through a steady drip of saliva as he discovered the potential of this new form of locomotion.  He saw only one person in sight, and made a determined beeline for the adult.  Not mommy, not daddy, but still an adult.

Chaz watched him come.  He judged the distance perfectly.  Leading off with a halting half-skip, he tensed his muscles for action.  This was a matter of pure reflex after fifteen years of training.  His leg began its arc as every ounce of kinetic power in his body was concentrated on the tip of his cleated shoe.  The fury of a lifetime fueled it.  The force he delivered to the child's sternum was perhaps greater than he'd ever mustered, greater even than the legendary fourth-quarter field goal from the 35 that had shifted the momentum of the 1988 Superbowl, so long ago, but recalled as vividly as yesterday.  He was amazed at the distance the waddling child traveled, and the sounds that it made as it collided with the hood of the gray Pontiac.  Chaz knew that it was fortuitous that no one had witnessed this, his most accomplished kick, but still sadly yearned for someone to see it, for someone to understand.

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The western media still keeps the kid gloves on when it comes to the Dark Continent, don't they?  We keep hearing bland warnings that the dread Ebola virus is spreading at a geometric rate because of "poor hygiene" and "certain traditional funeral practices that involve the washing of the body after death with bare hands."  And yes, that's true.  But they can't bring themselves to even mention the rituals observed by several tribes found in Liberia and Sierra Leone.  When a family member dies, the contents of their large intestine are harvested, and this "fruit of the belly," along with dripping from the gall bladder, liver, and pancreas, is mixed with camel fat, roasted insects, and various goat parts to form a dish known as Shagoo, which is then heartily consumed by all in the village.  The worst part is, children tend to dislike the strong taste of the Shagoo but are forced to consume at least a token portion as to not offend the spirit of the deceased.  This has become a problem for aid workers, since abandonment of the Shagoo ritual is specifically warned against in many of their ancient texts, to the extent that any who speak out against it are openly killed.

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Ah, welcome, Mr. Greedlow, welcome!  How are you this evening?  Splendid, splendid... and I say, this enchanting creature must be your lovely wife, Pernicia?  Allow me, my dear.  Oh, no, it's no problem at all.  And these precious moppets must be little Grittany and Quarantina -- how are you young ladies tonight?  Splendid.  Anyway, I bid you all welcome to Abominaria, my name is Sepulchre Biers, please do let me know if there's anything I can do to make your stay more deplorable.  

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I think that many critics were too quick to mock the so-called "Bat Credit Card" that Batman displays in Batman & Robin.  It's just a lot of fanboyish griping, because when you stop to think about it, such an item makes perfect sense in his arsenal.  One of Batman's core attributes is that he is always prepared for any foreseeable situation, so of course he would develop a method to access to his financial resources at any given time -- perhaps not so much when in Gotham City and in close proximity to his base of operations, but the possibility of being forced to a completely different geographic location is always present.  In the film that features the infamous credit card, it's only a stroke of luck that Batman is able to exit Mr. Freeze's rocketship quickly enough to skilfully ride a piece of debris back down to the city; if the flight had been longer in duration, he might have descended to some other location, perhaps one outside the Eastern Seaboard itself.  That would be just one of many cases when having access to his funds would prove invaluable.  In Nolan's grittier The Dark Knight Rises, how do you suppose he made his way back to America after escaping Bane's Far East desert prison?  By hitchhiking?  Sure, Bane's men most likely confiscated the physical card offscreen, but Bruce would have the numbers memorized.  As for the card itself, we can assume that it probably works much like the legendary solid-black AMEX card that is issued only to very wealthy people at the invitation of the corporation itself, but modified by Bruce to work via a labyrinthine network of fake accounts and shell corporations.  We can also assume that he has several accounts set up in this manner that he can utilize if one fails, and that they are designed to allow access from nearly any nation on Earth that uses credit card technology.  Would you really expect any less of the Batman?  Can you imagine such an intelligent hero allowing mere physical distance and circumstance to sever his connection to every resource at his disposal?

And yes, I concede that it was foolish and needlessly ostentatious for Bruce to flash the Bat credit card at the charity ball, but we must remember that he was being deeply affected by Poison Ivy's erotic pheramone spores at the time.  He would never have done so if he was in his regular mindset.  That was regrettable.

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Woody Harrelson looks pretty great for his age, I think, and his diet is a big part of that.  Now, on the set of Cheers, I remember him as a typical vegetarian/borderline vegan who would hold forth at length about the evils of factory farming and processed meat.  It was becoming fashionable in those days.  Now, he's advanced even further in his gastronomic discipline and is one of those "59-Minuters" that are becoming common in Hollywood.  You haven't heard of that?  It's pretty expensive, so it's not like you or I could afford it... basically, Harrelson only eats raw locally-grown organic vegetables from the surrounding farmlands, mostly in the Santa Clarita region, which are picked, washed, and delivered to his table via airborne drone.  The idea is that the food goes from the soil to the stomach in less than one hour, so that not an iota of nutrition is allowed to degrade...

...so he's in excellent health, but there are some drawbacks to this lifestyle.  Everyone knows that he refuses to tolerate any animal products on set and tends to only work with directors who share his views (they say he even turned down a fairly large role in the Harry Potter franchise, as he was reluctant to film in the UK with its meat-heavy food culture.)  There are darker rumors, too... for instance, you'll never see him in another movie with Jesse Eisenberg; on the set of Zombieland, Eisenberg approached him holding some kind of turkey sandwich, and Harrelson reportedly kicked his legs out from under him and started repeatedly stomping him in the face and neck.  Whatever, they say the antagonism between them actually helped their chemistry onscreen -- you know the scene where their characters first meet, when Columbus hitches a ride from Tallahassee?  The fear and trepidation on Eisenberg's face are entirely real.

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When I was finally dethawed in the year 4510, it obviously took me quite some time to adjust and function in anything resembling a manner considered normal.  Merely communicating with these advanced cybernetic beings required several cerebrospinal implants and many months of rigorous training.  Later, I even elected to undergo radical surgeries in order to "fit in" to the world, as it were, because you would simply not believe how tiny the people of the future are -- no more than four feet tall, at most, a result of a centuries-long quest to achieve maximum resource efficiency.  After five years or so, I was no longer the gibbering giant they had uncovered, but an able citizen of P~liaa`a3  and a valued source of historical information.  For you see, there had been such cataclysms in the early 22nd century that nearly all history before that point had been reduced to an extremely fragmented state, in many areas having devolved into incomprehensible patchworks of mythical gobbledegook.  Once they ascertained that I was mentally stable and my memories fairly accurate, my most important life-value function was to speak at length with their Historians and relate all I could remember from my former life.  They were astonished, for instance, to learn that "George Washington" was a real person and not some imagined composite deity, and that Harry Truman was not a mad bandit who indiscrimately bombed peaceful cities with nuclear weapons from his orbital craft the Enola Homosexual.  However, no matter how assiduously I argued, at no point did they accept that Barack Obama had been elected freely and fairly in my time... because -- and this is surprising -- the people of the future are incredibly, indelibly, and incurably racist.  Life is funny that way.

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You're always talking about Tony.  I know he's your friend, and at the end of the day he really is a good guy.  But sometimes he can be kind of thoughtless, you know?  Like, this one time, we were all sitting around outside, and Tony was munching on this enormous bag of M&M's, one of those big party-sized ones from the candy aisle.  He just kept eating them and eating them.  But I guess eating so much sugar gave him a stomach ache because he got a weird look on his face and said "Uhh, I don't want any more of these."  And then he just poured the whole rest of the bag down the sewer.  Me, and Brian, and Jimmy, and everyone else were thinking the same thing -- who even does that?  We would have liked some of those M&M's, we'd have taken them off his hands.  Or he could have at least tied the bag off and saved them for later.  What he did was wasteful.  When was this?  Umm... back around 1982, 1983.  I guess it has been awhile.  Still.  

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See, to me, Antichrist was a film more to be endured rather than enjoyed.  That's not a criticism, because it is a masterful thing.  But from the opening shots of Willem Defoe's veiny erect penis, to the nightmarish interludes involving the maggot-eaten fox and the stillborn deer, to the horrific interpersonal torture, to the climactic scene in which Charlotte Gainsborough viciously mutilates her own vagina -- it is a gauntlet of sights more painful and unsettling than any I've ever seen committed to film.  So to be perfectly honest, your decision to show it to your second-grade students, on not just one but multiple occasions, is a bit baffling to me.  Perhaps you could explain your line of thinking?  Please?

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"Victim has been identified as Kimber Atwell, age 24.  She went to the same school as my daughter... anyway, this is all that's left of her."

"Oh, god... it doesn't even look human.  And the smell!"

"Yeah.  Takes a while to get used to.  Hanley, give him the rundown."

"From what we can tell, she died from a combination of acute asphyxiation and a ruptured stomach while being force-fed large amounts of feces.  Whoever did this to her made her consume the waste for several hours.  And from the distension of her trachea, he may have ultimately resorted to some kind of feeding apparatus when she was unable to continue."

"Jesus, but what about the rest?"

"Yes.  Post mortem, he... well, as you can see, he coated her entire body with a fecal paste, which according to the lab contains a plastic resin, which was then exposed to a high level of heat in order to harden it."

"Are the DNA results on the feces back yet?"

"Yeah.  And he's a clever one.  All the feces here belonged to the victim herself, none from any other person.  Which means she was held for weeks before the final act, so that he could harvest and stockpile enough to complete his work."

"I've never seen anything like this."

"We have, rookie.  We have..."

"What?"

"Me, Ridge, and Hanley were all here when it first happened.  The Brown King murders of 1982 and 1983.  Nineteen girls, all killed the same way as Kimber Atwell."

"But they caught him, they caught the Brown King!"

"That's what we thought.  Alastor Dukes has been rotting in the bowels of Blackstone Penitentiary for the last thirty years.  He was convicted on circumstantial evidence and witness testimony, but he's always maintained his innocence.  You don't understand how it was back then -- the fear, the hysteria -- we had to put someone away."

"So... you're saying Dukes might not have been the guy?  Or are we dealing with a copycat?"

"Don't assume anything at this point, rookie.  All we know is that there's one sick bastard out there, and he will do this again.  Doctor Sharder?  You wanna weigh in?"

"Mmm yes.  It is fascinating -- the way she is posed, the circumstances of her discovery... this wasn't done from rage or jealousy.  He doesn't seek to murder, that is incidental.  He seeks to transform, to transmogrify his victim.  Like the previous victims, Atwell was attractive and from a wealthy family.  This is a message, a work of art that expresses his disgust towards our society and its values.  He's sending civilization a message, intending to transform us through his actions, just as he transformed poor Miss Atwell.  It is his 'gift' to us."

"His gift?  The hell, doc?"

"That is what it is."

"Where do you get this twisted crazy..."

"...it is not my place to protect your sensibilities, detective.  My job is to tell you what the perpetrator is thinking, what this horrific event looks like through his skewed perspective.  I am an expert at what I do.  This looks like random madness to the uneducated mind, but..."

"Yeah, well then, educate me, doc!"

"Feces are simply abhorred today, but they have been viewed very differently through the span of human history and have been used for various ceremonial and ritualistic purposes.  There is a genetic basis for this; our ancestors that figured out how to use their feces as a weapon gained a distinct evolutionary advantage over their rivals.  Such behaviors that originally held a significant survival advantage have been rendered gratuitous by modern society and technology.  Yet so deeply engrained are they, we see them manifest as certain paraphilias, such as the tragic disorder Fecum Braknosauria.  This is not that, precisely, but a related disorder on the same spectrum, which..."

"Enough!  Fascinating stuff, doc.  Ridge, you got the names?"

"Ayuh, there are 24 known cophrophages and various fecalphiliacs in town, we're checking up on all of them to see if anything turns up."

"Good.  I doubt it's any of the local turd-eaters, but one of them might still know something.  Keep at it.  And pay Dukes a visit, if it's a copycat, they might try to contact him at some point.  Rookie, you and me are going downtown.  There's a bar there -- The Floater -- where these lousy crap-obsessed bastards hang out.  I got a feeling we'll find something there."

"Right, chief."

[They leave.  Dr. Sharder is left alone with the body.  He stares at it for a moment before picking up the phone's receiver and rapidly dialing a number.  The other line picks up.  Sharder speaks furtively...]

"They are coming, my friend.  They are still in the dark, but will soon stumble into the light.  You must be prepared to embrace them.  Take care."

-click-

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I was an altar boy for a time, many long years ago.  During one fateful mass that I was serving, as we were all seated, the elderly, wizened priest expelled an outrageously loud, moist, and protracted fart.  He shifted in his little wooden throne, presumably in a feeble attempt to sop up the stinging liquid which was spilling down into his crotch, befouling his robes.  I and the other boys struggled with limited success to contain our snickering.  The stench soon arrived and it was a heinous mixture of egg, rotting cabbage and death.  It was then that I realized there was no god.

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We should never forget the name of Stanislav Petrov, because the simple truth is that he very likely saved humanity from nuclear annihilation.  While serving as duty officer at the Oko Nuclear Early Warning Command Center at the height of the Cold War, the military computer system erroneously reported a missile attack by the United States.  Although under tremendous pressure to follow procedure and retaliate, he instead followed his instincts and refused to give the orders which would have caused World War III, and possibly the end of civilization as we know it.  Even in the midst of a totalitarian system such as the USSR, the intelligence and judgment of one principled made a vast difference to the world.

But we should not forget the other character in this story, that of Lt. Colonel Ivan "The Stone Finger" Vronski.  He was supposed to have been at Petrov's station that fateful night in 1983, had he not fallen victim to a sudden and virulent intestinal tract infection which has since been traced to spoiled pork.  Vronksi was remembered by his colleagues as being fanatically hawkish and loyal to the Kremlin, and that he remarked on many occasions that he was eager for the "inevitable confrontation with the decadent West to begin" and "that we will have no choice but to launch, soon, very soon, Comrades."

The aged and ailing Vronski, now 95 and in ill health, still looks back bitterly on what he saw as a missed opportunity to play his part in history. "I never ate Nashya's pork again," he remarked, "if not for it, we'd have achieved total domination, and Mother Russia would now rule most, perhaps maybe all of world."  
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Jacob used the epoxy resin to fuse his macrums.  Each stab of my ragged blade crashed through his crumbling accretions.  I jittered uncontrollably as his pressured chambers erupted upon the canopy.

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Gondor brand Dung Satchels, available at fine retailers everywhere.  Yes, Gondor brand Dung Satchels, for when you gotta go on the go!

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Very little about the Three Stooges makes me comfortable.  Probably because ocular trauma is a special peeve of mine.  I always felt that an unreasonable amount of their work was dedication to the simulation of intentional infliction of damage to the eyes.

You'd think they'd wear protective glasses, or some kind of armor, what with the alarming frequency of eye assaults they experience.  And then, there was that awful day we'll never forget:  Moe had let his fingernails grow for months.  The simulated eye poke became real when his long yellow nail ruptured Larry's cornea.  Granted, they ran with it and today it is heralded as one of their greatest moments.

What I find most regrettable about the Stooges is that because of the mores of the time, they were not allowed to brutally assault each others' genitals.  It's an unfathomable omission, given the stupidity and cruelty of the characters.

Yes.  A sharp stick to the sack would have been a glorious thing when executed by those masters of chaos.  

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During Bianca's recovery from the accident, we faced complications that I could have never foreseen.  Once she was awake and lucid, it was clear that large portions of her memory were either damaged or entirely gone, but there was no way of telling what she'd remember and what she would not.  She'd remember details of her thesis on global climate change, and dogs from her childhood, but she would not recall what sort of cars we owned, anything about her job, or who certain celebrities were.  And once she was well enough to eat solid food again, we were all shocked to learn that she had... forgotten how to eat.  Forgotten that it was even necessary -- literally, the simple fact that humans needed to ingest food seemed like an alien concept to her.  "What?" she'd say, "I'm not putting stuff inside me, that's disgusting."  I'd explain it again and again, as if to a small child.  "But it'll just stay inside me and rot," she'd claim with utter conviction.  "Well, no," I began, and described the digestive process in great detail.  "My god, that's disgusting!" she's scream, "You're lying!  Leave me alone!  That's gross!"  Eventually they had no choice but to renew the IV drip.  But weeks later, as her body deteriorated, drastic actions were taken.  Feeding tubes, other involuntary measures... she resisted the entire way, shrieking and thrashing in terror whenever she sensed that it was coming.  The process of elimination was even more traumatic.  To see her reduced to such a state was the most painful thing I've ever gone through.  "How is this possible?" I would ask them, "how could she forget something as basic as food?"  And Dr. Piyush would say "It is extremely unusual to say the least.  But we must remember, most brain damage involves one or two large portions of the cerebrum.  This damage is almost unique and there are no useful precedents; those high-velocity shards caused 37 tiny pinprick hemmoraghes in different parts of her brain as they traveled through her skull, each one varying in degree.  Her neural networks have had to adapt throughout the healing process, forming new synapse bridges to reroute basic functions... so yes, it does appear to be possible, but still, medically extraordinary."

It wasn't until years later when Bianca admitted that she had just been fucking with us the entire time.  "You thought I'd forgotten how to eat!  You asshole!" she'd laugh, playfully punching me in the shoulder.  "I can't believe you guys bought that for so long.  It was funny!"  And I'd kiss her hideously scarred face and think, my God, I love this woman.

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"Excuse me, ma'am, but I don't think you realize, but I'm known roun' these parts.  Imma have to ask you to reconsider your last statement.  If word got out that you contested the knowledge of ole Greet, well, les just say, better things could happen to ya.  Not a threat, just a fact."

"Did you hear?  DID YOU HEAR?  Charlie Dandridge and Franklin Bones have started a band!  A goddamned musical music-playin' band!  They callin' themselves 'Charlie and the Bones' and sayin' their music is Country Funk, whatever the hell that is.  And they say their album is gonna be called Jugs and Bones.  I tell ya, that is just about the dumbest thing I've ever heard.  But the dumbest thing of all is they expectin' the band to work without the participation of Greet Skutz MacCabbins!  Them idiots didn't even ask me to be a member, not that I'd waste my time on such nonsense!  I've got too many projects in the works already to entertain their foolery!"

"Yeah, Greet, man, that is kinda messed up.  I didn't even know you played a music instrument.  What you play?"

"What instrument do I NOT play is the more reasonable question!  There ain't ever been any instrument ole Greet's laid fingers on that don't let loose a sound to make the gods blush!"

"Well all right.  So like you could play the guitar?  I heard that's real hard to do.  It looks easy when they do it, with their fingers moving real fast, but they have to think about every single little time they hit the strings... to be sure, I'm not sure I could ever do that right."

"That's only because you lack the necessary learnings.  I'll maybe teach ya, one day, if I've the time.  I wouldn't hold your breath, though.  Free time for a man like ole Greet here is a scarce commodity."

"I hear ya, man.  What you been up to these days?  I ain't hardly seen you around Skeeter's all that much recently."

"Revolutionary concepts, revolutionary concepts.  The world's gonna change when I unveil 'em.  Now don't tell no one 'bout this.  I'd have to kill you if ya tried tellin', heh heh.  I only tell ya this much because I consider you such a good friend.  But seriously, I will kill you, so not a word."

"I gotcha, man.  Lips are sealed."

.
.

Yes, yes, my people.  It is the time.  This is the hour and this is the day that we celebrate the crucifixion of Christ Jesus.  It is a truly sacred day.  It has been now more than two thousand years since he came to our lands to spread the words of his god.  But despite his admittedly impressive arsenal of mystical powers -- his ability to raise his minions from the dead, to conjure provisions for them out of nothingness, to sustain their lives on naught but his own blood -- we were able to defeat his deluded followers and destroy this man, this Yeshua, this favored son of the vengeful sky god Jehovah, so that reason and order might reign again.  But even as we speak here, his followers' descendents gather in caves and perform dire rites in hopes of orchestrating his resurrection.  That is why we, here, every winter season, amass and perform the critical counter-ritual that makes his return to the physical world impossible... and we pass on this tradition to the younger, teach them to do as we have done, every year on this day, so that this will continue indefinitely into the far future.  Let us now begin, and discharge our duty with the utmost care... and after, we may surround the sacred ceremonial tree, and make gifts and pledges to one another, and feast, oh yes, feast and make merry, and welcome another year devoid of Yeshua, the hated Christ Jesus.

Ah, now prepare the meats!  Yes, we must have more meat!  The MEAT!


.
.

Kelley had a rare condition where every night as he slept, a thin curtain of skin would grow over his asshole.  In the morning when he took that first dump, the skin would swell up into a large bubble before bursting and splattering shit all over the bowl, his ass, his genitals, pretty much everything in the general area.  

He killed himself.

Do you realize that feces come out of the asshole?  The very same asshole that we eat from.  Take the strawberry Pocky stick and dunk it in the fountain.

Feces, yes.  

In the end, the Geltairn's strategies proved to be far-seeing, as it was the Gelts' unprecedented alliance with the nearby Tungusko tribesmen, who rarely ventured forth from the shores of the Kreen, that proved decisive in the war with Narn.  Many a Narnish warrior perished that day with the Tungusko battlecry -- yawa etta nung tatsho! -- echoing in his ravaged ears (which, when translated, means roughly "may you die with the stink of my feces upon your lips.")

Feces, indeed.  They play a role.

I tried to stop him, but it was too late.  His feces completely covered the face of the young child.  I emerged from the closet, my hands dripping with the putrid waste.  As I closed the door behind me, the child's muffled gurgling wails began in earnest.  Now you have to understand that the child had asked, even begged, for this to happen.  But you also have to stop and realize that a child at that tender age is not prepared, emotionally or legally, to take responsibility for decisions like this.  What sort of creature could be capable of such an act?  The gaunt, muddied face hovered in the window's reflection, pondering.  I stroked the crusty beard.  Outside I heard sounds of fresh childen jostling for the front of the line.  

Little Terrence was among my visitors.  Such an inquisitive child he is.  He has that odor, you know the kind, that rare scent of clean genes.  Warm-up was on the trampoline.  He did very well there.  Very well.  After we each had a Klondike bar in the study to cool off.  He had some residual chocolate around his mouth so I sent him to the bathhouse to clean up.  Porter was in there, he radioed asking if he could dabble.  Of course I explicitly denied his request.  He'll have his turn later, but I assembled this collective, and I have long claimed first pass on all our parrots.

Oh, almost forgot, I found the squirrel costume that Sharbo used to wear.  It's a perfect fit for Terrence.  This is going to be an exceptional year.

Yours Truly,
Librus Carbone
Project GILBROD VIII
Ah, the closing of another year.  This means several things, not the least of which is the latest installment of Gilbrod.  

Here, we ponder many mysteries.  The qualities of the Nergalito.  The whereabouts of Shasta.  The seemingly mundane life of Tony.  And the diseased aspects of Librus Carbone, a frightful man who is quite unable to glimpse himself.

Journey with us.
Loading...
Welcome, dear friends.

We are the Council of Gandalf.  Long ago, when the earth was younger, we gathered around the sacred flame, partaking of the holy herbs of knowledge.  Far we traveled with the aid of these herbs that we kept in a jar...

...in our many mystical journeys we brought back much knowledge, and many amazing stories of long-forgotten legends and vast vistas unknown to mortal man.  We wrote them with ink on paper, sacred texts that were treasured above all else.  Long these tomes sat in secret, known to only a select few.

But now the world is changing.  Times of change and strife are upon us.  The winds and waters are changing, becoming strange.  It is in these times that the hidden knowledge must come to light, to offer guidance and wisdom to all who seek it.

We are the Council.  

Learn our knowledge and find your way in this world.

Peace and Love.

-- Gandalf.

deviantID

CouncilofGandalf
The Wisdom of The Council
United States
Current Residence: A hideously stable geosynchronous orbit.
Favourite genre of music: Electronic.
Favourite photographer: Tom Bombadil.
Favourite style of art: Surrealist.
Operating System: Old Toby.
MP3 player of choice: The harpers of Elrond.
Shell of choice: Just an old blue hat.
Wallpaper of choice: That which pleases me.
Skin of choice: Old and leathery.
Favourite cartoon character: Smaug the Mighty.
Personal Quote: "Through the time, i see the minds, hear the voices of the world..."
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:iconacaciathorn:
Acaciathorn Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for the donation! :hug:
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:iconcouncilofgandalf:
CouncilofGandalf Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014
You are most welcome.  
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:iconelusivegnome:
ElusiveGnome Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2011
look, some quality! *watch
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:iconcouncilofgandalf:
CouncilofGandalf Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011
Thank you, sir. We treasure our humble works, and are pleased when others do so.
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:iconststreet:
ststreet Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2009
I have a question if you don't mind.

It's a bit stupid, but how do you make the font go back to normal after you put it in italics like this? Is there a certain way?
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:iconcouncilofgandalf:
CouncilofGandalf Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2009
Well, yes, i use html tags. I use < i> to start the italics, and < /i> to stop the italics. Of course, those tags have spaces so they'll show up in this note. Normally, they have no spaces.
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:iconststreet:
ststreet Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2009
Thanks.
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:iconargo602:
Argo602 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2009
Thanks for the watch!
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