Archive for the ‘Snippets’ Category

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Priapism

April 30, 2012

Do you get bored of being the sinister one?”

Satan winced as the question was posed to him for the umpteenth time this century, taking a drought of his gimlet with one hand while feeling for the bar’s oak finish in the other. He turned and stared into the gnarled, wart-laden face of the lesser imp with his own half-moon beauty; sweeping black hair covering the shine of a quartz eye on one side, charred head with gilded horn on the other. From his other eye burned infinite galaxies, black hole of incandescent souls that writhed in a peculiar storm. Satan felt them, grasped them in his brain, and usually let their hate fuel his own until the routine mid-day purging of souls into the Abyss (where a painfully long wait for Processing began.)

Boredom has nothing to do with it. People who are bored don’t know how to work properly,” he proposed matter-of-factly, with only the mother-of-pearl wisdom the Hated One could profess as truth. “You get older and you find more things to take care of. I suppose He thinks of it the same way.”

Satan tapped his glass, signaling the wyrm for a refill. It could have taken a mere wave of the crooked tree roots on his hands to summon more alcohol, but he found more delight in the subservience of this toothy reptile as it struggled to handle the task. Its dragon-like claws slipped and coiled over the jug until it finally stumbled towards the glass, Satan gesturing back to the previous conversation slowly.

Do you get bored of being sinister?” he countered to the imp.

Well, no,” the imp muttered, nursing his long-dead beer. “We’re winning, aren’t we?”

It’s not an issue of winning,” Satan mused, almost allowing a grin, “If it was, we’d be losing.”

But we—”

We aren’t. You realize that the human race hardly brings me up anymore, don’t you? All people wanted to raise up from the depths was the vindictive Christ. It’s He who gets his name lauded and cursed on a daily basis…at least, that was the case. Until now.”

Satan felt his spine unfurl, grow furrowed with philosophical fury. It was true that he had been more or less a parlor game for heavy metal music and teenage ecstasy; no one seriously paid tribute without a derisive snort at the thought of a dark lord controlling them. Nowadays, the Satanist way eschewed even its namesake; a life lived in sin without any god or monster to worship.

What made us truly great was that we offered only the answers; not the questions,” Satan went on, even as the lights dimmed for First Day’s Closing. “God challenges you; I always gave you a free swing, didn’t I? Always an option, really. There are no options when you worship God. You do as you are told.”

But,” the imp interjected, its sharp nose poking in, “There’s the compromise of eternal damnation–”

Damnation, feh,” Satan drooled, waving it off again with his glass, “Pain and pleasure in excess, really. It’s no different from Earth. You get the blowtorch and the blowjobs on alternating days; it’s no different than Earth. I’m just as much of a bastard as any man alive.”

I’ll drink to that.”

A new, spritely voice came from the dank corner of the bar; it raised a single wineglass to Satan, rising from a seat and joining the two demons.

Leave us be,” Satan ordered to the subordinate, allowing Christ to take the imp’s former stool.

Through the dimmed radiance of his diamond shell, Christ merely smiled sardonically and toasted his demonic counterpart once more.

To your reign, of course.”

Puh,” the demon said, shaking his head, allowing his dark locks to partially mask his displeasure. “What do you want? Did you come here to try and gloat? Neither of us have anything to celebrate.”

Not at all,” Christ claimed, leaning his snakeskin vest upon the bar and swirling his wine, “we’re both in the same position. Times have changed. We’re in closer competition.”

Closer,” Satan sniveled. “You are aware, of course, that the reptilian brain is more susceptible to tricks than the mammalian brain? You won’t win. You cannot possibly promise salvation to a race of animals who act upon impulse. Sex, murder, power—these are all instinctual things. There’s no place for your words in this new world.”

New?”

Christ merely downed his wine in one gulp, as both of the celestial beings thought back to the past few years: Man lived, man died, and man generally was stupid about the eternity beyond their comprehension. But, man had also used up resources and melted the ozone, making it imperative to seek colonization elsewhere. Through the invention of the Relay, mankind had upped and left for Mars; the last of humanity leaving only their plastics and television sets behind.

All that remained were the flora, the fauna, and the world before man’s dominion: those that crawled and stalked and struggled to evolve. And beneath the tough crust of this world flowed the magma rivers of Hell, the demonic hands itchy with frustration as the last human soul withered away.

I’ve swallowed up the last of your kind,” Satan shrugged, feeling a sigh of indifference rise up but quelled it with another quaff of his drink. “We’re at a new junction in an old game. You don’t think you’ll win by showing them a crucifix or healing the lame, do you?”

Aside, the choking cough of laughter erupted from the scaly throat of the barkeeper wyrm; Christ smiled, shaking his head and folding his hands. Satan felt his eye grow empty, the screams softening, and the rumble of the netherworld being evidence of the last relic gone dry. Above them, a wealth of new prospects crawled and creeped under the baking sun, all of them striving for cooler climes and favorable mating grounds. None of them had a concept of time and space; they simply did as their instinct dictated. They had no desire for spiritual matters or salvation because the concept of sin and goodwill did not apply to the food chain. There were simply hunters and prey.

You must know, as much as I do, that there was a reason why evolution chose only certain mammals to gain sentience of the cosmos,” Christ offered, letting the prism of his rings shine across Satan’s dark mop of hair. “An infinity of second chances. A new breed of brains that will, in time, bear fruit: supreme intellect, apex predators, and finally—cognitive reasons for doing what they do. The ability to ask, ‘why’ in nature of their exploits. That is what humanity did, and this is what the rest of the animal kingdom will do—in time.”

You say so. But, time will not be swift. It will not be kind to us. We will keel over in boredom and speed up the process, making errors. And even gods make errors, because they are vain enough to believe they are gods.”

You are no God,” Christ responded, beaming.

Satan only shook his head again, rolling his one consistent eye, already feeling the hunger pangs. God and all His Angels would bide their time until God grew bored and petitioned His Son to arrive on schedule, effectively casting the Earth in a new Light. From there, the freewill of these old animals might sway, but it would take time. Satan, meanwhile, would stand in the shadows, hexing their minds with these new freedoms; with every attempt to throw down the shackles, he would ensure that new pleasures would replace those bindings. Desire and laziness and envy of power would take hold—eventually. Satan thought about this for a few seconds before placing his glass back at the bar, rising from his stool and gazing up at the cracks through the ceiling; there, the tunnels towards the surface revealed the tiniest speck of sunlight.

And you are no God to take hold of destiny and bend it to your will,” Satan countered, gritting his teeth into a haggard grin. “How long, I wonder, until lizards command the ships to destroy planets in the name of their lizard-god?”

Are you proposing I would take such a biased form?” Christ asked.

Satan laughed, his voice turning into a hiss; his eye became yellowish, and his tongue, forked.

Not at all.”

And thus began the thousand-year hard-on.

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Cupcakes

September 1, 2010

The candy factory was in arms—the sound of dripping sweat from the teeming, groaning masses rose to an unbearable octave. Uncle Joe was coming soon, and the cupcakes weren’t done. He wanted them all to be perfect, but—a sprinkle askew here, and a chocolate nub misplaced there, and—he’d have their heads for sure.

“Oh my God! Dear Lord, smite their stupid heads—they know not what they do!” Spartacus lamented, wiping his brow with a tattered lambskin.

The one hundred and thirty eight workers toiled ceaselessly, feverishly—but still, it would not be enough to appease Uncle Joe.

“I demand a million cupcakes, for I hunger,” he had ordered in a booming, totalitarian tone. “Also, my daughter’s birthday is approaching fast.”

And Spartacus, in his meek effort to appease Uncle Joe, agreed to have it done by Tuesday evening.

It was almost midnight now, and not even half the pasty delights had been finished and shrinkwrapped in day-old bags. Spartacus tore at his hair and gnashed his yellowed teeth, running down the stairwell and onto the main floor of the factory itself.

“Judith! O, Judith! What is going on?” he cried.

One female worker, with lank mousy hair and a fair olive complexion, turned towards Spartacus apprehensively. She was holding two frosting cups with each hand, with a pair of scissors dangling from her thumb.

“Judith, tell your row to raise the production level! We cannot waste a single moment!”

“Sir! We are working as fast as we can!” the young woman protested.

Spartacus bit his lip furiously, wringing his hands like an old man.

“Tell them to work faster, then! And what are those scissors for?” he asked.

“To cut the cupcakes precisely congruent, sir,” Judith replied breathlessly. “Uncle Joe has stated that all of his delicious treats must be perfect in both a cosmetic and culinary sense.”

Spartacus nodded grimly, and went around the production lines to make sure everyone was toiling at full capacity. He took extreme care in the handling of the miniature cakes into wide cardboard boxes—as if these delicacies held the secrets of life itself, and any blemish could result in the loss of that valuable answer.

“We’re all dolls in the service of Uncle Joe,” Spartacus’ wife had quoted so famously.

“Yes, I agree,” Spartacus openly stated.

“Then you won’t objectify to Uncle Joe’s demand for me,” she clucked.

“How can I?”

If anything, Spartacus was secretly pleased that his wife was considered to be pretty enough to take to bed with Uncle Joe. It made Spartacus feel like a bigger man. This made his son Klaus very depressed that his mama should be labeled a whore. Spartacus slapped his son with his entire hand for that snide remark.

“How dare you question Uncle Joe,” Spartacus snorted, pawing the ground with his heavy boots like a mad old bison. “You should be grateful that your mama will be given precedance over other women. We will benefit from her beauty.”

Klaus never shook his head to defy his papa again.

“Spartacus! Spartacus! We need more frosting!”

The poor frontrunner of this frantic candy carnivale skittered as fast as he could up the stairs, sweating with a nervous euphoria.

“What is wrong? Oh God, please let there be more frosting!” Spartacus yelped, whimpering like a kicked puppy.

“The reservoir is dried up, sir. No more chocolate topping can be squeezed through!” one worker said mournfully.

“No! It cannot be! There must be more—“

He rushed to the enormous tubes, banging each one with desperation. He pushed buttons and pulled levers, turned knobs and spun various contraptions. But, nothing. He began to feel genuinely doomed as the mechanical regulation meter showed zero percent frosting outtake.

“No more chocolate flavoring? Uncle Joe will have my head for this!”

He tore what little greying hair he had left, and turned to his employees with red, smoking eyes.

“Who…Who was in charge of the frosting? Who didn’t refill the tubes like I asked?” he inquired through gritted mandibles.

A shivering ripple of silence fell over the workers and veiled their potentially guilty faces. Spartacus looked at each of them carefully, wishing he had infrared senses to better view waves of inferiority in the human spectrum.

By chance—by fate, maybe—his steely gaze fell on Judith, and the heat felt more intense than it did when he merely cast a cursory once-over. She seemed to know; the flaming, treachorous leech.

Spartacus pointed an accusing finger at her frail, trembling self; his chief digit unwavering and unforgiving in its choice for a reasonable scapegoat, beyond all logic save for the logic that Uncle Joe would not hesitate in cutting off said digit—along with the other nine—when he found out that his daughter’s birthday surprise would be partially disrupted. All due to the incompetence of this pitiful, homely woman.

“Judith,” he rasped, effectively summoning the voice of a dragon in his whispered croak.

She mouthed the word, “Me?” to which Spartacus slowly nodded his head, sneering with dispassion and disgust. She retreated several steps, carefully minding her so-called comrades who seemed to be forming a barrier of oily gauntlets and frosting-smattered smocks around her.

“Judith,” Spartacus repeated, tasting the acidity of her accursed name.

Damn her; damn her twist of merely existing and damn her parents and all the seed to come from her harlot hive. At this moment, Spartacus could think of nothing he despised, utterly loathed more than his young employee. Even the devil—in his cast-iron hide of gnarled elephant skin and bloody goat masks of archaelogical origin—seemed less of nuisance to him.

Spartacus was going to kill her with his bare hands.

“When you feel the meathooks tear the skin from your bones, and the fire smoke your flesh till it has disintegrated, thank Judith! For she has ensured our judgment; the punishment which will surely rain upon us by His Greatfulness, Uncle Joe. Thank her! Hold up your arms and bless her head—now, only a god can save her, and subsequently, us!”

Spartacus reached for Judith, who was buffeted by her many friends turned hypnotic foes, all under the spell of puppetmaster Spartacus. They became jerky and erratic in their movements to halt her escape, drawn to and fro by the invisible marionette strings of a corrupt demagouge.

“Kill her fast; do what must be done. Don’t let the ruse of the afterlife bar you from vengeance; justice in this life means more than that in the next. I say to you all—attack!”

The shocking intransigence of her formally taciturn bunch made Judith’s blood run cold with honest fear, and in the ensuing chaos that followed, she scarcely summoned enough fortitude to muster a hasty escape. The flailing hands, caked with vanilla and chocolate and strawberry—all the flavors of dissent—reached in vain for her.

“Yes! Yes! Yes!” Spartacus roared, his sweaty face splitting into a sinister grin, yellowed teeth bared like feral fangs, and dripping with blood-red cherry filling.

They raised their frying pans and sharpened sporks to murder Judith.

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Now Here’s Something.

August 29, 2010

Dominance and submission; dominance and submission.

The second generation was without much flash-in-the-pan, to be honest. Our fathers had been executioners; our mothers, pallbearers. We were only gravediggers. This was not a metaphor to something grand—it was the literal definition of our lives. Bodies were never in short supply, so at least the occupation was a steady one.

“Here comes a truck,” one of our number would remark as the heavy vehicle rumbled up above the soft soil. We were ahead of the schedule, already finished with maybe four dozen pits. We were always ahead of the count.

“I hope they aren’t children,” another voice groaned wearily.

I hoped so, too. One woman, older than the rest of us, had the habit of cradling the forsaken corpses of young girls and weeping as she filled their graves afterwards. I hated that because it made my flesh ache to see her press a cheek to that of the rigid bodies.

The dump truck lowered its rump and vomited a putrid pile of stale skin and bone atop the heap of dirt at our feet. I leaned on my spade, watching them tumble helplessly. In a minute, there would be a swarm for possession of any unchecked jewelry and valuables still on the dead. It was strange that we should be burying them in the clothes they perished within; but like most insecurities that garnished us under an eternally overcast sky, this too was accepted as the standard. Personally, I had never joined the wild throng, save for the first time the bodies came crashing to the earth. In a frenzy, I managed to wrestle my fingers around a gold ring—only to accidentally snap the whole joint off entirely. The shred of the ligaments was a sound I just couldn’t forget; it was like a cork jettisoned from a particularly foul bottle of wine. Since then, I regarded the mad dash as a bestial playtime to be observed, not partaken in.

“Look at it! Look at this!”

The first jumble of tangled limbs was quickly sifted through with subsonic speed. Arms of naked white were caressed without love, jostled about without intimacy. No love, no life, nothing. It never fails to amuse me—to the point where I am laughing softly to myself, looking over this party—to suppose that someday, it will be I that they poke and prod for my belongings and semiprecious stones. And it makes me laugh to think that I will always be a poor man; what could they possibly desire from this rag and bone?

A sole fist punctures through, and a grin permeates the gray fog.

“Gold! Real gold!” he cries in jubilation.

Ah, now here’s something.