Blackbeard – A Life of Fabulousness

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“A Very Jolly Roger” by Neil Dinsmore (2016)

Most people think Blackbeard was just some kind of pirate captain with a beef against life.  They are of course, completely wrong.  Blackbeard was a lot more than that.  For example, did you know he was also a wizard who dealt cocaine?  Didn’t think so.  So here is the complete and historically accurate biography of the one and only, fabulous party icon of the Caribbean.  Written on the 17th September 2016.


Blackbeard – A Life of Fabulousness

Edward “Blackbeard” Teach (c. 1680 – 22nd November 1718) was a trendsetting wizard, smooth pirate, heroin dealer, inventor of the LCD watch and admiral of the Caribbean Party Armada. It is not clear what his real name actually was; some historians believe his surname may really have been Thatch whist others believe it to be either Umboogoo or Clampett.

Blackbeard made himself famous during his outlandish activities in the Caribbean, primarily dealing his exotic black tar heroin in Spanish settlements, introducing chlamydia to Dutch ones and establishing the modern hip hop scene in Mexico. He also earned a reputation as one of the most flamboyant and cutting edge wizards in history, as well as one of the most talented rumba dancers amongst those active along the Spanish Main at the time. Blackbeard also had a tendency to attack the bejesus out of merchant ships and rudimentary helicopters in the Caribbean and the American colonies.

Undeniably, his best known ship was the Leipzig Party Galleon. At over three hundred feet long and with a cargo capacity of 600bm, it was the largest ship to ever be a registered charity and it was also notable for being the only galleon to ever sail the Caribbean sideways. It is thought to have run aground at the summit of Mount Olympus after its caches of cocaine were spilled during a particularly outrageous party in 1718.

No one knows for sure how many fingers Blackbeard had. A layman might not think this is particularly important but the number of fingers a smooth pirate or marine wizard had played a significant role in how well he could dance and/or perform party magic. The famous children’s book A General History of Motherfucking Wizards says that he had as many as fourteen fingers, but as he was never seen without his trademark leopardskin latex gloves on, no one can really be certain.

During his lifetime, Blackbeard often competed in maritime dance-offs whilst wearing the outlandish feather boa and a hot pink PVC pork pie hat his mum gave him for his eighteenth birthday. He also enjoyed wearing gratuitous amounts of glitter, sequins and silly string about his person in addition to brandishing two confetti cannons at all times. Some of his ancient instagram pictures depict him with a well-maintained horseshoe moustache, proving that he was at one with his feminine side. Blackbeard also used to weave neon pipe cleaners into his enormous hedge of facial hair during high octane dance battles or extreme displays of his über-wizardry. The pipe cleaners unravelled slowly during the course of the excitement and were designed to confuse and discombobulate opponents. They were also instrumental in making him look exceedingly fabulous. He probably got the idea from somebody else, as it was an exceptionally popular nuance of pirates and wizards during the golden age of piracy.

 

Early Life

Blackbeard is thought to have been born in a peg leg distribution centre near Bristol, England in 1680, the same year disco was invented. Teach was born with the power of party magic and so went to sea as a scuttle wizard when he was very young. He originally served on an English inflatable party ship in the War of the Spanish Balloons, creating and dealing wizard drugs in the Spanish West Indies and along the Spanish Main. At the war’s end in 1713, Teach, like many other drug dealers, briefly turned to male prostitution, DJing in clubs up and down the Caribbean and even indulged in a tiny little smidgen of highly illegal and much frowned upon piracy.

 

Blackbeard the Grand Pirate Wizard

Teach began as a journeyman wizard under Captain “Too Fresh” Benji Hornigoat. In 1716, Hornigoat retired from active wizardry when he slipped on a banana and fractured his beard, deciding that he would much rather take advantage of an amnesty offered to former pirate wizards by the British government than get his beard put in a cast. Teach then took command of his own ship and immediately painted it hot pink with glitter infused into its hull, hoisted his own jolly roger featuring two turntables and a microphone and set sail with a crew of newly hired pirates and amateur magicians.

During the next two years, Blackbeard attacked merchant ships and seagull-powered helicopters, forcing them to allow his misfit crew to board with the threat of a confetti cannon to the face. The pirates would seize all of the valuables, including popping candy, hypodermic needles, liquid nitrogen and semi-automatic swords. Ironically, despite his ferocious reputation, there are no verified accounts of him actually killing anyone with anything other than a pencil or a mop.

 

Capture and Death

Grothgar the Mole King eventually learned of Blackbeard’s Caribbean adventures and became quite jealous. Despite his moniker, Grothgar was not actually a mole at all, but rather the leper governor of North Carolina who had a severe skin condition and looked spectacularly ugly. He sent two anti-magic, anti-fun ships after Blackbeard with hopes of slaying him and achieving some degree of fame from it.

Teach was said to have been shot full of black tar heroin fifteen times and stabbed more than a hundred times with injections of Mexican cocaine before he eventually died. The effects of the drugs are said to have caused his head to shoot off and fire across the bay, whereupon it landed on top of a flagpole. Legends about his grizzly death immediately started to circulate. His headless body apparently back flipped overboard and managed to swim to shore, steal a parked man-of-war, sail it back to his own ship, sink it with his confetti cannons, laugh, stop laughing when he realised he’d sunk the wrong ship, become incredibly angry and then turn the cannons on his original attackers, obliterating them spectacularly. Then he keeled over dead and his body turned into a sausage. In lieu of Blackbeard’s head, the sausage was retrieved by a surviving crewman and taken back to England where it was impaled on a gate in a London park.

Later, Teach’s dried sausage was turned into a novelty shower fixture and sold on eBay.

The Helminth

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“Allghoi Khorkhoiby” by Pieter Dirkx

This is a short poem I wrote about a giant helminth (parasitic worm) and its attack on a small community.  Originally written on the 9th September 2016.


The Helminth

Late one day in the merry month of May,
The great helminth crawled out of the clay.
It screamed and it roared,
Striking a hellish chord,
‘Till the men gathered and assembled the horde.
With swords in their hands,
They stormed the sands,
Striking wildly as clay flew and scattered the lands.
And when all was said and done,
And the battle was won,
The beast sank beneath the waves, with the setting sun.

A Study of Neranids

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“Jellyfish at Royal Burgers’ Zoo” by Wihoda (2016)

There are many mysteries regarding the vastness of the universe, until recently perhaps none more intriguing than the possibility of the existence of life beyond the boundaries of our own planet. The neranid is a recently discovered creature of which little is known, but what little there is has now been gathered here for your scientific enlightenment and reading enjoyment. Originally written on the 8th September 2016.


A Study of Neranids

Neranids are large, brain-like creatures which inhabit the distant reaches of certain star systems. From scientific observations, they are believed to be around thirty metres in diameter. Due to a lack of information on their biological make up, their mass is currently unknown.

Neranids are classified by the scientific community as free-floating cosmic beings with a gelatinous human brain-shaped bell and trailing tentacles. In addition to housing all vital organs, the bell can also pulsate to help propel them through space at speeds of up to twenty miles per hour. The creature’s tentacles sprout from their bloated undercarriage and can grow to be up to several kilometres long. These are used primarily to catch its main food source of space lampreys and tube worms, which it captures and kills by emitting lethal toxins and crippling ultrasound. Despite looking almost exactly like a human brain, comparisons have also been drawn between them and the common jellyfish of Earth, both in terms of physical characteristics and mannerisms.

The neranid’s epidermis is covered in a thick, oil-like substance, and it was through the reflection of distant stars upon its surface that resulted in our scientist’s first observations of them through deep space telescopes. The animal’s slick coating is also believed to help them attract mates. In contrast to the adults, juvenile neranids lack the viscous coating of their parents and instead emit a dull phosphorescent glow which it gradually loses until it reaches maturity.

From recent observations, neranids have been discovered in almost every galaxy known to man, including our own. From just beyond the atmospheres of planets to the distant depths of deep space, the extremely hardy and versatile creatures appear to thrive in almost any vacuumous environment. The only exceptions to this rule appear to be asteroid fields, which the creatures cautiously avoid. Due to its requirement of extremely cold temperatures and a vacuum in which to survive, the largest neranids can only be found in certain locations which are precise distances from stars. These areas are now referred to as “neranid zones”. In addition to these animals, the zones are also an ecological hotspot for the space lamprey, certain strands of cosmic fungi and plasma rods.

The reproductive cycle and habits of the neranid are not fully understood at this time, though there is ongoing speculation that the creature might be hermaphroditic as evidenced by their behaviour towards others. The nomadic animal has on several occasions been observed getting into vicious and more often than not fatal fights with other members of its wandering species.

Neranids are estimated to have roamed the universe for at least eight hundred million years, and possibly a billion years or more, making them the oldest multi-organ animal known to man. In addition to being organisms capable of life without oxygen, they are also believed to be highly resistant to radiation, as evidenced by their ability to live comfortably in even the most deadly of radioactive galaxies.

Whilst there are currently no known natural predators of neranids, it is believed that there may be something as yet undiscovered out there which feeds upon them, as an unchecked population would certainly be much larger than it currently appears to be.

A Formal Complaint

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“Painting of Russian Writer Evgeny Chirikov” by Ivan Semenovich Kulikov (1904)

The following is a letter written from the perspective of a man who is quite upset about his recent robotic arm transplant.  The company who performed the proceedure is on the recieving end of his passive-agressive wrath, and who knows?  He may even get a refund.  Written on the 12th September 2016.


A Formal Complaint

Dear StumpCorp,

I am writing to you to formally complain about a recent arm transplant I had at your Antarctic compound/hospital. I feel it is necessary to put these words in writing as I feel that I might lose my figurative shit if I were to phone you instead. This medium allows me to take my time and present my opinions and feelings regarding my malfunctioning Auto-Masturbator 9K in a hopefully coherent and respectable manner, even if the thing fucking sucks.

At first, I was pleasantly surprised with my new electro limb. Your flagship model was certainly a lot more functional than my mangled stump and its associated dangling bits. Upon taking my complimentary hot air balloon back to my village in Transnistria, I tested the shiny new contraption by choking out a feral goat. I was pleasantly surprised to break my own personal record of twelve seconds until it fainted. Elated, I sought out and choked a further nine goats as well as several small monkeys. On a related note, it is not considered cruelty to dispatch these animals in my village, as we are currently overrun by them and are fearing that they may stage a political coup at any moment.

All was fine and dandy, that is until I chose to get intimate with myself later that night. You would think that a device approved by the “Allied Council of Honest, Agreeable and Undoubtedly Legitimate Business Practices” would be able to live up to its namesake of Auto-Masturbator 9K and easily achieve its primary purpose. Not so. I am now sans genitalia and am quite upset about this alarming fact. A robotic arm should not have a secret built-in miniature chainsaw which only makes itself known when the user is in a high state of excitement and therefore unable to do anything other than scream and bleed. Nor should it be built into the palm of the thing. I am deeply disappointed with StumpCorp for not informing me about this feature. This is clearly a huge oversight in design and I request that an immediate investigation begin, in addition to a full refund and a goodwill gesture of a new prosthetic penis (preferably forty inches or longer so I can also use it as a bullwhip), if you do in fact produce such a thing.

In summation, I cannot express my disappointment at my new arm’s inability not to fuck me up. The removal of my genitals has perturbed me greatly. I believe that all companies operating in the field that you have chosen to specialise in should offer quality aftercare and honour their patient’s right to not be fucked up in as spectacular a manner as this. A prosthetic arm should be capable of much more than just choking out goats and monkeys. I didn’t even get to play ping pong with the gimp I keep locked in the cage at the bottom of my garden, and that is undoubtedly your fault. For shame, StumpCorp, for shame.

Please do your best to resolve this disconcerting situation as soon as possible, otherwise I shall be left with no choice other than to begin legal proceedings with my very expensive lawyer. Failing that, I shall ask the Transnistrian government to bomb you off the face of the planet (and don’t think I can’t do that, they owe me a favour).

Yours furiously,

Ron Fanny

The Bogle

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“Haunted Forest” by Slava Gerj

The bogle is something which has fascinated me my entire life.  A ghost or elemental being from Scottish folklore, it has featured in many of the stories I read growing up.  And so, this poem is my own take on the ominous entity.  Originally written on the 17th June 2016.


The Bogle

Moss-clad byways, ancient haunts of man,
The bogle stalks ancestral lands.
That’s what it does, as it always has,
Hunting the lost, with outstretched hands.
Country roads, isolated and forlorn,
A dying forest, through moonlight torn.
Dwelling in fractures, wandering alone,
Gathering strength with the coming gloam.
Waiting is nothing, nor is there end,
To the haunting of that which never transcends.
It never lived nor died, it is something else,
As old as man and as real as self.
Up and down those forgotten lanes,
The hedgerows, forests and quiet plains.
Over hills and shores and restless borders,
Meandering without end the desolate corners.
Transcending legend, traversing yore,
The silent concierge of death’s grim door.
A silent stalking phantom, seldom seen,
Yet sometimes felt in light’s dying gleam.
Sullen hearts of ice, lonely and afraid,
Out of the gloom emerges the shade.
Glacial fingers delivering death’s touch,
Casting victims into the clutch.
And in the distance, an old kirk bell chimes,
And the bogle resumes its wandering,
The avenues of time.

The Last Magical Fart Donkey

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“The Rainbow” by Willem Roelofs (1875)

There sure aren’t enough stories out there about magical fart donkeys.  I’m aiming to solve that very real problem by posting this thrilling tale of animal vengeance.  Originally written on the 6th September 2016.


The Last Magical Fart Donkey

The solemn animal stood in the corner of the shed, mud on its legs and a tear in its eye. She was an overworked slave donkey, the kind that hauls bricks around a burning desert for uncaring idiots with no conscience. If only they knew her secret. If only they knew she was a magical fart donkey.

Nowadays, magical fart donkeys are incredibly rare. Rarer than laser penguins actually, and twice as impressive in their unique abilities. You see, magical fart donkeys don’t just expel regular donkey farts, no sir. They fart out rainbows. And not even regular rainbows, but ones that produce sparkling pots of gold at the end.

There used to be many of them, back in the good old days before people discovered they liked the taste of magical fart donkey steak. Fart donkey nuggets were popular, sure, but magical fart donkey steaks were like an explosion of uncontrollable awesomeness in your mouth. Way back when, the skies used to be filled with rainbows and the pungent aroma of big piles of gold overflowing everywhere.

The donkeys were great for the environment too. No living creature ever got depressed when there were so many rainbows to see. Occasionally, a donkey would let out a double fart and produce a mind-boggling double rainbow. Tears of joy would run down the faces of every animal with a set of eyes.

All that ended however when the humans invented hate. That’s how it started. Then they invented war, which in turn was the precursor to ballistic weaponry. Magical fart donkeys were rounded up and enslaved in their thousands. They were force fed baked beans and kicked in the gut until they farted out their pot-o’-gold-carrying rainbows. The evil humans would aim the donkey’s anus at enemy camps and time the fart stoppage (via unnatural closing of the anal sphincter) so that the heavy pots of metal would materialise over their enemies’ heads, fall, and crush them into paste. What a horrendous race the humans turned out to be.

The lonely donkey was one of the last remaining pieces of magical fart artillery still alive. Her captors did not know this of course, and had assumed she was just a regular fart donkey. They had captured her in the Dim Jungle and were planning on turning her into nuggets. She was kept under lock and key in a dismal barracks and fed cabbage. Tonight was to be the night of their great banquet.

What the humans also did not know, however, was that magical fart donkeys can learn to hate as well.

For the previous week she had held in all the tiny little farts which wouldn’t have been strong enough to power a rainbow anyway, and had hatched a plan of wicked donkey vengeance. Those miserable fools will pay, she thought to herself as her stomach rumbled from storing the biggest fart in donkey history. She heard one of the men coming. From the tone of his voice he seemed to be extra jovial today. He must be coming to slaughter me, thought the donkey. She put her plan into action.

Turning around in the grotty shack, she faced the wall and pointed her anus at the opening door. Her captor stood in the entryway, but he did not make it another foot into the prison. Before he could do anything more, the magical fart donkey squeezed with every fibre of her being and unleashed the most catastrophic rainbow in the history of donkeys, meteorology or fairy tales.

Spearheaded by a giant cauldron of solid gold bullion, the rainbow obliterated the man at a molecular level before splitting off into several smaller rainbows and redirecting themselves skywards. When they reached their zenith, they stopped, and let their golden cargo plummet to the ground, where each pot of gold landed with a devastating sonic boom on every single human settlement on the face of the planet. The mega-rainbow had just wiped out the entire human race with spectacular efficiency and bright colours.

The magical fart donkey smirked to herself, and trotted out the open door.

The Cybernetic Pope

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“Le Pape Formose et Etienne VII” by Jean-Paul Laurens (1870)

Here is a short story about, well, a cybernetic pope.  You know what they say: strange and bizarre tales are good for the soul.  They don’t say that?  Well they should.  Written on the 4th September 2016.


The Cybernetic Pope

Pope Formosus, the Cybernetic Pope, raised his arm and commanded the swarm of mechanical wasps. They descended upon the sacrificial children and within minutes had converted them into pulp. Their screams recharged Formosus’ cerebral batteries, and their juice flowed through the channels into his abdominal cannisters, enabling him to continue his papacy for another month.

Smiling, the reanimated head of the Catholic church activated his hypersonic heel boosters and blasted across the tiles of St. Peter’s Basilica. He was due out on the balcony in a few minutes to let his loving followers know that the cycle had been successful. He also had to pick out the seventeen children who would become the next month’s sacrificial lambs. The Pope had to select them now, for the fattening process could take up to twenty eight days.

Formosus arrived at Vatican Papal Teleporter #8, connected his cerebral jack to the port and was molecularly deconstructed. An instant later and he was standing on the basilica’s famous balcony, overlooking a vast sea of elated, cheering minions.

“My children,” he began, sending his robotic voice out over the crowd like a billowing cloud of PCP smoke. “The cycle has been successful. I am once again fully charged and fully dedicated to governing your sweet, innocent minds”.

The crowd roared. The Pope’s metallic lips twisted into a wry smile.

What a change a thousand years makes. The year following his death in 896, the Cadaver Synod orchestrated by Pope Stephen VI had seen Formosus’ corpse exhumed and put on trial for perjury and illegal papacy ascension. He was found guilty and his body was mutilated, his acts and ordinations invalidated and he was dumped unceremoniously into a pauper’s grave. Later, he was dug up once again and thrown into the Tiber River. However, his corpse washed up on the banks and began performing miracles. The subsequent public uprising led to Pope Stephen VI being overthrown and imprisoned, where he was eventually murdered. Pope Theodore II later convened a synod that annulled the outcome of the Cadaver Synod and had Formosus reburied with full honours.

That was in 897. Formosus lay in his coffin in Saint Peter’s Basilica for the next thousand years until the second coming of Jesus Christ in the form of a giant wriggling mass of black tentacles. The Messiah had telepathically told the people that he had come to inform them of the Last Days, the final ten years of life on Earth before his Father would come to perform the Great Cleansing and nullify existence itself. Christ appointed the final pope himself, claiming that Formosus was the chosen one. He was exhumed once more and taken to the Vatican’s Cybernetics Division (which had made such scientific breakthroughs as the exorcism rifle, giant roach priests to preach the word of God throughout the radioactive wastes of North America and of course, the robotic nun). They worked feverishly to get his frail husk up and running once again.

Pope Formosus left the balcony and teleported himself to St. Peter’s Basilica’s command centre. There were always more matters to attend to for the Cybernetic Pope during the Last Days of life on Earth. Using his secure wireless connection with the main console, he downloaded the coordinates to Serbia. There were reports coming in from the Vatican spy satellites that the Hell Well had erupted again and the mecha-priests had failed to stop the spawn from breaching the Barriers of Blessedness. Being the only sentient entity capable of smiting the hellspawn in numbers this large, Pope Formosus attached his fusion cannon and loaded himself into the orbital launcher.

The Lord’s work was never done.