The Devil Knows Lucha

luchador_speed_painting_by_studioretardo-d2yckl7

“Luchador” by Dan (2010)

One of my heroes (Dr. Wagner Jr.) lost his mask on Saturday night at Triplemania XXV.  Losing your mask in the world of lucha libre is a huge deal and probably difficult to understand if it’s a subject you’re not familiar with.  Therefore, in tribute, here is a loosely connected lucha libre themed tale for your pleasure.  Originally written on the 27th February 2017.


The Devil Knows Lucha

In his infinite quest for happiness, Satan had tried it at. He’d been a satanic mechanic, an MMA fighter, a baker. Hell, he’d even taught stump painting to the amputee demons. But in all his endeavours, he’d never experienced the true sensation of happiness. He’d never known genuine bliss. That is until the day he discovered lucha libre.

“That’s it!” he’d shouted to the demonic parasite sucking cheese out of his toenails. “That’s my calling, I can feel it in my bones!” The parasite was promptly crushed into a decidedly hellish paste and Satan shifted closer to his six hundred and sixty six inch LCD screen. Through the mesmerising power of 666K HD, the lord of the underworld watched in glee as L.A. Park nailed Cibernetico with a Parkinator off the top rope and put him away for the three count. “This…is…gold!” barked the devil, foaming at both the mouth and nipples. “I have found my one true calling at long last. I shall become…a luchador!”

And so it was decided, Satan would try his hand at his new-found passion, Mexican professional wrestling. The devil didn’t thank God for much, but in his head he thanked him now for the ability to receive a decent television signal this far underground. First thing was first, he must acquire himself a mask and costume. For everyone knew that the most successful luchadors are the ones with the sweetest aesthetics and Satan intended to blow everyone away with his mad sewing and visual arts skills.

For six hundred and sixty six days and nights he toiled away in the seclusion of his satanic sewing room, during which a revolution broke out in Hell and several of his archdemon generals were blood eagled and gibbeted. Satan cared not for the distractions of the outside, he was focused on creating the single most awesome luchador costume and mask the world had ever seen, and at the conclusion of his seclusion he had achieved the ultimate goal in mascara manufacturing: the most awe-inspiring use of spandex, sequins and leather of all time.

After leaving his sewing chamber and thwarting the hellish revolution by clicking his fingers and turning the revolutionists into screaming puddles of viscera, Satan set about his second task: coming up with a suitably epic name for himself in the lucha world. He went to his personal place, that one special area of Hell in which he found solace and peace. It was a place of contemplation and soul-searching, a place no one else was allowed but him. It was his downstairs toilet. There, upon his throne of porcelain with its seat made out of petrified livers, the master of all that is evil considered his choices. “How about…” he drummed his fingertips upon his thigh. “El Diablo”. After staring into the framed picture of his deceased pet goat Carl for a few moments, he scrunched his face up and decided against it. “A little on the nose,” he reasoned. A few other names soon came to mind: Demonio Maligno, El Chico Rojo, Señor Miedo. They were all decided against in the end for the crime of being far too bland and boring.

It took some time for Satan to eventually come up with a suitable name to match the vision he had for himself. It was pretty lucky that he hadn’t had a bowel movement in over a thousand years and so had plenty of time to mull it over. As he finished off his thirty seventh roll of sentient toilet paper, it finally hit him like a steel chair to the face. The devil had his luchador name. And it was glorious.

* * * *

Nombre?” asked the clerk at the National Lucha Office in Mexico City. Satan was all dressed up and feeling somewhat self conscious as he stood in front of the glass panel, staring at the diminutive middle aged man on the other side. Satan didn’t like the look of him, he looked like a paedophile. In fact, he was a paedophile, and Satan knew it because he had a knack for smelling that sort of thing on people. He wondered if he should smite him right there and then, send his infernal soul to the pits below. Maybe he’d sentence him to an eternity of getting his fingers caught in a window hinge.

“Nombre?!” barked the man, a little louder than necessary.

“It is I, the one and only scourge of lucha libre, the single greatest luchador to ever walk the face of the planet. I am… Estrella de la Mañana! Fear me!”

The paedophile didn’t look up. He hadn’t actually looked the devil in the eye once during their brief meeting. Even if he had, he’d probably have no idea the man dressed up like an immaculate luchador before him was actually Satan himself. The man stamped some forms and slid a receipt under the glass, not saying another word.

Satan, now also officially registered as Estrella de la Mañana, was annoyed at this lack of respect. How easy it would be to turn you inside out and paint the building with your juices, he thought to himself as he took the receipt. Satan wasn’t going to do that though, he didn’t want to blow his cover. No, he’d made up his mind to do this properly. The devil was walking the Earth to achieve his relatively-recently forged dream; becoming a grand lucha libre superstar. If the people found out that he was the devil in disguise this soon he’d never make it far. No promoter would book him. No kids would buy his t-shirts or replica masks. No, the middle aged Mexican paedophile would live to see another day. Although Satan did use his demonic magic to secretively turn his cup of coffee into chupacabra urine.

Out in the bustling streets, Satan basked in the glory of becoming official. Now all he had to do was get himself on a card and prove to the world how awesome he was. He’d watched all the lucha libre TV he could in Hell and he knew he had it in him to be the very best. To Hell with starting out small and paying your dues, Satan was better than bingo halls and carnivals. He’d go straight to the big leagues and dominate the competition. A second later and he was asking passersby for directions to Arena México.

“I am Sat– ahem, Estrella de la Mañana. Book me on your show or you will regret it for the rest of your miserable life and beyond!” boomed the sequins-bequeathed eyesore to the man behind the ticket booth. The arena’s atrium was cavernous and made Satan’s words echo just like they did back home.

“Qué?” replied the spotty teenager, picking a scab on the back of his lumpy head.

“What don’t you understand, peasant? I am demanding that I am placed on this show in a match of high billing or I will destroy you and all of your beloved luchadors and I’ll probably even steal their t-shirt merchandise money!”

The employee didn’t reply this time, only stared. For one, he didn’t speak English, and even if he did he wasn’t in any position to call the shots of the wrestling event happening that night. The teenager farted nervously. Satan was not pleased. It was very hard for the exquisitely attired deity not to put the teenager through a world of hurt that would be incomprehensible to the human mind, or at the very least take his legs off and throw them through a wall. But somehow he controlled his displeasure and simply marched past the man and headed straight for the locker room. The employee probably would have tried to stop him, especially considering the luchador hadn’t paid for admission, but thought better of it on account of being stunned into submission by the thrilling lucha mask he’d been wearing. It was so beautiful that the teenager pulled out his mobile and immediately tweeted about it to his seven followers.

Upon kicking down the locker room door and flipping a few benches, Satan was promptly beaten over the head with a steel chair and powerbombed through the drywall into the public restroom next door. “Well that didn’t go so well,” mumbled the devil as he brushed pieces of broken toilet off himself. “Take two”.

“Okay you bunch of taco eating cloth heads! My name is Estrella de la Mañana and I demand to be put on this card immediately”. Once again, Satan found himself upside down in the public restroom.

The third time good old Mañana attempted to gain acceptance into the luchador’s locker room went a little better. He made a quick detour to the concession stand first and brought with him a caseload of cervezas and a bunch of foam fingers, attempting to bribe the grapplers into accepting him into their exclusive brotherhood. Surprisingly, it worked. Somewhat. For a large man in a silver and white mask who identified himself as the legendary Ángel Santo Jr. took all the beers, downed them in a oner and beckoned the brash newcomer to sit beside him.

“I’m Estrella de–”

“You already said that,” said Ángel Santo Jr.

“You speak pretty good English, Mexican,” replied Satan, eyeing the other luchadors as they shot dirty looks at him beneath their own vibrant, tasteful and undeniably majestic luchador masks.

“Of course I do, I’m the greatest luchador in the world. I’m good at everything. Now tell me, stranger, why should we put you on this show when we’ve never heard of you before?”

“Because,” said Satan, slapping his thigh as if he’d just told a joke but hadn’t and instead looked kind of ridiculous doing it, “I am the greatest luchador of all time, not you. In fact, now that I’ve gotten you drunk on cheap beer, I hereby challenge you to a match tonight. I will build my legacy off your misery!”

Ángel Santo Jr. stood up – almost falling over in the process – and slapped Satan right across the masked face. “How very dare you, cabrón! I shall beat respect into you. This is not how we go about things in lucha libre. I will take your challenge and make you wish you’d never put on that highly impressive and admittedly spectacular mask. In fact, let’s make things interesting. I hereby challenge you…to a Luchas de Apuestas!”

The entire locker room gasped in unison and several pre-match hotdogs were dropped onto the floor. A Luchas de Apuestas was the single biggest challenge a luchador could lay down in all of wrestling. It was a match where each competitor would put their mask on the line, with the victor taking their opponent’s, thus revealing their true identity and shattering the image all the little merchandise-buying kids had of their beloved idol. It was the ultimate challenge. As soon as the words had left Ángel Santo Jr’s lips, Mexico City was rocked by an earthquake, such was the devastation infused in such a powerful challenge.

Beneath his awe-inspiring mask Satan unrolled a sly grin. He’d gotten what he wanted already. And all it had taken was a few stolen beers.

* * * *

To the sounds of his well chosen theme music (“Don’t Give Me Your Life” by Alex Party), Estrella de la Mañana made his way through the curtain and into a baffled crowd of lucha libre fans. They’d never heard of this flamboyant individual before, why was he main eventing one of the biggest shows in Mexico against none other than Ángel Santo Jr. in no less than a mask versus mask match? What insanity was this? Satan let them all know by pirouetting, back flipping, somersaulting and handspringing his way down the ramp and into the ring like something not even a ecstasy-fuelled firework would be capable of, let alone an unknown luchador with a sweet mask.

A minute later and his opponent was in the squared circle, circling Satan in a circular motion which was apt because even though it’s called a ring, it’s actually square-shaped and not circular and so his circular movements contrasted well with the physical dimensions of the ring and looked quite artful, even if that wasn’t the intention. The bell soon rang and Satan immediately went for a running dropkick, a move he’d seen performed on TV countless times before and therefore obviously knew how to do himself without the need to practice.

With a mighty right hook, Satan was floored by Ángel Santo Jr. The crowd erupted. Seconds later and Satan had been German suplexed over the top rope and into the fourth row, wiping out a family of holidaymakers from Zimbabwe. The realisation dawned on him in an instant – much like an actual dawn at the equator where it happens rather quickly –, Satan wasn’t anywhere near as good as he’d previously thought he was. Before the newcomer could gather his thoughts of bitter revelation, Ángel Santo Jr. was flying through the air with the grace of a donkey falling off a pier and landed a thunderous elbow right onto Satan’s forehead. The devil was in trouble in Mexico City.

For forty five minutes Satan, the supreme lord and master of all that is evil and horrific, was subjected to an absolute beating from a near-fifty year old man in silver spandex. He was kicked and punched from pillar to post, thrown around like a rag doll and beaten to within an inch of his eternally infernal life. Never had the Mexican people seen such a one-sided affair, not even the time El Hijo Del Fontanero was utterly owned by Pato Verde in an Evening Gown Match. The pro Ángel Santo Jr. crowd were utterly enthralled and loving it, watching their beloved legend decimate this brash neophyte. They’d all get to point and laugh at his unmasked face soon, it was only a matter of time.

After yet another clothesline to the throat, Ángel Santo Jr. locked in the El Pulpo finishing manoeuvre which had won him countless bouts throughout his illustrious career. Satan was in a world of hurt, he’d never know true pain such as he felt now. It was quite the eye-opener actually, suddenly giving him a glimpse at what the worthless wretches below the surface went through on a daily basis at his command. Pain sucked. The referee asked if he was ready to give up and submit. Ángel Santo Jr. cranked back on his opponent’s spine even harder. Pain really sucked. That’s when Estrella de la Mañana gave up on his lucha libre dream and reverted back to being good old Satan: scourge of the damned.

It all happened so quickly. So quickly in fact that most of the fans in the arena didn’t realise what had actually happened until long afterwards. Afterwards, when Ángel Santo Jr’s molecularly compromised organs had plastered themselves all over the walls and rafters. Afterwards, when the ring had been vaporised and replaced with a steaming crater in the shape of a pentagram. Afterwards, when the first fifteen rows had been replaced with smouldering wreckage and charred human remains. Yes, it was only after all this that the surviving fans put the pieces together and actually acknowledged what they were looking at. Estrella de la Mañana was standing alone where the ring had once been, holding his opponent’s severed head in his hand. Despite the carnage surrounding him, Estrella looked immaculate. As did his sweet mask. That’s when the fans noticed it.

The tail.

There was a forked tail protruding from Estrella de la Mañana’s spandex tights, and it was red. “Sweet Santa Muerte!” screamed an elderly lady in a commercial grade replica Ángel Santo Jr. mask she’d bought at the concession stand mere hours before. “That’s no luchador! That’s Satan!”

All Hell surely would have broken loose right there and then but the devil froze them all to the spot with an icy stare. He enjoyed misery and panic in the masses, and he’d let them get to that in a moment, but first there was something important to take care of. Something he wanted them all to witness. Something he simply had to do on account of his obsessive-compulsive disorder. He’d started this journey to become a lucha libre legend, and by Christ (or a suitable underworld equivalent) he’d finish it too. Slowly raising the head of Ángel Santo Jr. into the air, Satan pointed to it.

In his devilish mind, he was the winner of this Luchas de Apuestas and he’d earned the mask of the legendary luchador. In one fluid pull, he yanked the silver and white mask off the severed head and revealed the bulging-eyed face beneath. Satan roared with laughter as he allowed the capacity crowd to resume their panicking and freaking out. “I did it, you old fool! I told you I was the best. Now look at you!” the devil jeered at the severed head.

That’s when it winked at him.

Satan dropped the head and jumped back aghast. No mortal was capable of that, as far as he knew, and he knew a lot because he had an IQ of six hundred and sixty six which is pretty high. No, he was pretty sure severed heads weren’t supposed to do that. If the winking had shocked him, then what was about to happen next would make him wish he’d never turned his giant LCD television on and watched the Lucha Channel in the first place.

The head lying in the smoking crater in the centre of Arena México started glowing like an angelic pumpkin, with beams of blinding white light shooting out of its eyes, nose, mouth and ears. It levitated – quite un-head-like indeed – and began emitting a loud hum, one unlike anything anyone had ever heard before. The stark raving mad fans in the crowd had utterly lost their innocent little minds by this point, a lot of them were just bugging out on the floor, flipping and twitching and just generally losing the plot. Satan took off his own sweet mask and stared in slack-jawed disbelief at what was unfolding before him.

The floating head suddenly exploded in a shower of gleaming sparks and vibrant lights, and when the light show had cleared, none other than God himself was stand before Satan.

You?!” blurted the devil in disbelief.

“Yes me!” retorted God, hands on his hips. “You’ve really upset me this time, Clive,”

“Don’t call me that!”

“Oh that’s right, it’s Lucifer now isn’t it?” mocked the Divine Father as Mexicans fainted so hard they went to Heaven.

“No it’s not! I stopped using that name years ago and you know it. It’s Satan now. What are you doing here, you righteous old fool?”

“You’ve discovered my secret pastime, and you couldn’t leave well enough alone, could you now Clive?”

“I told you not to call me–“

“Shut up!” commanded God, silencing Satan with a thought that sewed his mouth shut.

“I’m sending you back to Hell, and I’m taking your TV away too. No more lucha libre for you. I will not have you ruin this hobby for me. Now begone!” God fired his magical finger of celestial wonderment at his old foe and teleported him back to the fiery confines of the underworld.

“Right,” said the divine deity, surveying the carnage of Arena México around him. “A quick click of the old magic fingers here and we’ll be right as rain. And I think it’s high time to retire the Ángel Santo Jr. gimmick and start afresh”.

Absolute Helmet

pexels-photo-350784

“Ancient Antique Armor Fighter” by Mike (2017)

No, I’m not dead.  I’ve just been really busy working on some things recently, so haven’t posted much.  But fear not!  I have a treat for you (if you’re borderline mental and like outrageous weird literature).  The following is the first couple of chapters of a novel I was once working on that I may get back to one day.  It’s mean.  It’s degenerate.  It’s not very nice at all, and to be perfectly honest about it, it’s a bit of a bastard.  If you are easily offended by four letter words then just ignore this tale altogether.  If, on the other hand, you like living dangerously (or do not care for feeble warnings) then read on and allow your wig to be joyously flipped!


Absolute Helmet

Chapter I

Roland Pilejuice was a piece of shit from the Lower East Side of Pentagon City. He lived in a great big pile of pig manure that he’d stolen straight from a pig’s ass when he was twelve. One day, as Roland lay inside his horrific nest, jerking his pepperoni to the sordid thoughts in his malformed head, a brick was thrown through his bedroom window.

“What the fuck?!” yelped Roland as the brick bounced off the head of his penis, causing the shaft to fracture in the middle like a twig. Before he could do anything more, a junkie bastard with bubonic super AIDS clambered in through the broken window and leapt onto Roland like a pissclam possessed.

“Give me all your heroin!” screamed the little junkie fuck, throttling Roland’s throat like it was a cock and he was an epileptic prostitute.

“Get off me, dickhead!” gurgled Roland before throwing the junkie off him, which was easy to do given that junkies are notoriously feeble and pathetic. Roland stood up and kicked the ass fungus out of the intruder until his head exploded and he got brain mush all over his varookas. “God dammit. What was that all about?”

Throwing on his clothes, which consisted of a t-shirt with “Haemorrhoid Suckers Tour 1992” written on it in feces and a skimpy pair of short shorts stolen from a decomposing hooker he’d found in a dumpster, Roland Pilejuice picked the junkie scumbag up and walked out of his fermented pig muck hovel.

He marched all the way across town until he eventually reached the Doughnut n’ Bacon Pork Chopper Police Compound. It was easy to find, even without directions, as the stench of over-cooked bacon was hard to ignore. Roland stormed up to the front desk, dumped the corpse of the junkie onto the counter and headbutted the stupid little bell, letting the desk sergeant know that he was there.

“Fuck you want?” asked the great big fat pile of sweaty blubber and doughnut crumbs that came waddling out of the back office. He had his penis out. It was poking through his unzipped trousers and it was covered in steaming fresh colon fudge. Apparently, this upstanding member of the police force just bludgeoned a convict up the poop shoot because he could. Cops were as corrupt as shit pickles in Pentagon City.

“Fuck I want? Fuck you think, wank chops?” spat Roland angrily. “This skinny sliver of anabolic dog shit broke into my house and tried to choke me while I battered my rhythm stick!”

“So? You killed the bastard, what’s the problem?” The fat undulating mound of pork put his trotters on his hips, much like an uppity bitch might do when feeling mightily uppity indeed. His penis was still hanging out, dripping shit onto the crumb covered floor of the precinct. It was quite distracting, but not enough to prevent Roland from retorting with increased malice.

So, that’s the eighth time this week! I’m sick of this horseshit flavoured goat crap! I want something done about it, you big fat jelly doughnut guzzling puddle of rimjob paste!”

The sergeant got mad. Like, really fucking mad. His face immediately went deep red like a baboon’s hindquarters and he started sweating more than physically possible. It was so impossible that his entire body swelled up like a pork balloon and he shit his own ass kibble out, along with his intestines, heart, kidneys and semi-digested doughnuts. Then the fat sergeant burst like said pork balloon, showering Roland in bacon bits and bloody waves of annihilated pig.

Roland could tell right there and then that this pig cop wasn’t going to help him. Fuck him. So, thinking on his feet like the industrious little waster he is, he stole a couple of machine guns from the lock up using the exploded cop’s key and exited the building. If the useless police of Pentagon City weren’t going to clean the streets of junkie scumbags, he was.

Chapter II

The man known across the bustling city of bullshit and harrowing misery as Roland Pilejuice was more than just a piece of shit. He was a piece of shit with a cleft palate, a harelip, inverted nipples, a baked bean-shaped head, two left feet, scoliosis, various skin diseases, a fetish for sometimes eating shit and a grudge against junkie fucking bastards who broke into people’s pig shit cabins and snapped their dicks in half with bricks. Roland was going to wipe those bitches out, and he was going to do it with style.

But first, lunch.

Sautéed goomba dicks were on the menu down at Uncle Fudge’s Packed Clam and Filthy Crab Palace. It was a hole, but it was Roland’s favourite hole in the city. Well, besides the holes between old women’s crusty labia, or the ones between big sweaty ass cheeks. Roland, drenched head to toe in fresh piggy offal and wielding two stolen machine guns made his way through town to the old restaurant and ordered a bowl of sautéed goomba penises.

“You got coin for that shit, faggot?” asked the owner. Uncle Fudge was more of an asshole than a friend, but Roland felt close to the salty old fool anyway. They’d had a threesome once with an unidentified dead thing, so it was kind of like they were brothers. Roland loved Uncle Fudge a lot. So he shot him in the kneecaps with one of his new guns.

“Haha! Yes I do, you grizzly old piece of cod shit. Now get me my sautéed dicks before I shoot your forehead into next week”. Roland laughed heartily as he emptied the rest of the clip into the ceiling above a fellow diner and giggled as the plaster fell into her shark shit soup and the LED chandelier fell onto her head with a dull crunch.

A few minutes later and Uncle Fudge crawled back into the restaurant with a platter of goomba cocks, trailing his fragmented kneecaps behind him like some kind of almost-roadkilled skunk. Roland snatched the plate from the owner and pierced the fattest, most succulent goomba sausage with his fork. He brought it to his mouth, inhaled its gravy scent and opened his salivating mouth wide to enjoy the pleasures of a thrilling good chew.

Suddenly, from out of absolutely nowhere, all the windows in the restaurant were obliterated by the sounds of “Bad Medicine” by Bon Jovi being blasted at ear-rapingly high volume.

“What the fuck?!” exclaimed Roland, dropping the fork.

The entire front wall of the building exploded and a hot pink army tank crashed into the diner area. There were high wattage speakers mounted all over the thing, as well as lashings of colourful streamers and party balloons in the shape of mythical creatures, like dickrats. Roland couldn’t understand what he was looking at. He turned to Uncle Fudge for an answer, but there was no answer, only beloved old Uncle Fudge lying beneath one of the treads, popped like a bile-filled grape.

The hatch on top of the tank suddenly flipped open and Roland shit his short shorts in anticipation. To the god damn awesome sounds of eighties’ hair rock, something amazing emerged from the portal. Whatever it was immediately blinded Roland because it was so damn shiny. Shielding his eyes, the bewildered man beheld the thing extending out of the tank like a penis rising up out of a hole in a pair of boxer shorts. It was a helmet. A god damn, chrome-plated, titanium alloy, diarrhoea-inducing, wig-flipping, holy fucking shitting hell epic ass awesome as southern fried fuckery helmet. Roland fainted.

When he eventually came to, Roland noticed that the song was still playing. Maybe it was on repeat. The helmet had extended further out of the hatch and it was now clear that it was not just a helmet, but an entire god damn knight. This epic fucker was now straddling the tank’s cannon like it was some kind of giant phallus and he was holding his arms in the air like a messiah of metal.

“Roland Pilejuice!” boomed the mysterious knight.

“Oh shit,” mumbled Roland under his dog shit scented breath. It knew his name.

Chapter III

The glistening knight with the most amazing helmet ever to be a helmet back flipped off the tank, performed sixteen corkscrew twists on the way down and landed on the floor like a gymnast with high functioning autism. As soon as his feet hit the linoleum, the sound of a previously uninvented guitar riff rocked the room from seemingly nowhere. Roland had completely forgotten about his cold goomba cocks by now.

“Who-who are you?” asked the bewildered man.

The knight slid up to Roland and bedazzled him some more with a close up view of his god damn supreme helmet. “I am Balor Balcbéimnech!” he boomed.

Roland was flabbergasted, like a porn starlet discovering a small fishing vessel inside her on-screen partner during an elbow-deep fisting scene with an otherwise bland and boring storyline. “The Helmet Knight?” he stammered. “You’re Balor Balcbéimnech, the Absolute Helmet himself?!”

“Yes, Roland. It is I, the great and powerful keeper of the Absolute Helmet. I am here to tell you that you are a feeble fuckneck and that your junkie slaying skills are weak”.

“But I just killed one a half hour ago!” interjected Roland.

“Exactly. You killed one. And that was only after it managed to snap your dick in half. You may think that those two machine guns will make it a bit easier to wipe these scumbags off the face of the planet but you’d be wrong. There are many, many more junkies out there. Far more than you have bullets for”.

“So you just crashed in here to make fun of me, call me a fuckneck and make my goomba cocks go cold?”

“No, Roland. I am here so that you may fulfil your destiny”.

 

…To be continued?

Tripping

psychedelic_mess_by_acid_flo-d3cq9od 2011

“Psychedelic Mess” by Acid-Flo (2011)

I wrote this today when I should have been working.  Written on the 29th May 2017.


Tripping

While out running down by the pond one day, Algernon suddenly tripped over a rock and tumbled head first into another dimension.

Occasionally (as in supremely occasionally, like, barely ever at all), things like this do happen. It’s got something to do with the ether. Or maybe it’s magic? Actually, no one really knows. Once it even happened to a duck, but that’s another story for another time in another dimension altogether, so let’s not dwell on it.

Poor Algernon had left the plane of reality he had known since he was a boy and now found himself to be quite discombobulated, rearranged and exceptionally baffled in an altogether new psychedelia entirely. It was quite disconcerting, to say the least.

He was now somewhere between thirty and thirty three thousand feet tall, and stretched as thin as a human hair. His new surroundings consisted of colours so loud and flavoursome that they couldn’t even handle themselves and instead burst into showers of foaming mushroom things before they had a chance to properly exist at all. It took some getting used to. So much getting used to, in fact, that Algernon didn’t get used to it at all.

Algernon ate a piece of mushroom. He didn’t want to, nor had he physically made the effort to do so. The shroom had simply become one with the inside of his mouth. After he’d not chewed it – yet had at the very same time – his teeth uprooted themselves and ran off into the exploding mushroom void and became distant stars that screamed a lot from afar.

In his understandable confusion, Algernon had forgotten to become scared and so, in the dawning realisation that he must feel something, lest existence itself become pointless, he resorted to radiating sheer, unaccountable and very much misplaced elation. In this brand new world however, elation existed solely in liquid form.

His leaking excretions made the broken slivers of exploded mushroom laugh at him. This upset Algernon greatly, and so he took it upon himself to begin smashing them with his gigantic fists.

Having all-new physiological anomalies for fists that were now wafer-thin and ridiculously sharp meant that rather than punch the mushrooms, he diced the little things up something rotten instead. And oh how they squealed when he did. The enamel stars, watching from afar were greatly upset by what they witnessed and howled so loud that they disintegrated and left the world a little less toothy.

Soon, Algernon had wiped out most of the laughing, screaming mushrooms and had left nothing but a floating carpet of grey pizza toppings and one singular mushroom with a decidedly terrified vibration emanating from it. The pitiful shroom looked beseechingly, in about as much as a mushroom that used to be a colour could, and hoped to appeal to the vast and murderous sliver of wrath’s better nature. But alas, it was not to be. Algernon was the Destroyer, the Cleaver of Worlds, he was the Ragnarök of the loud colour dimension and as he cut the last mushroom down with a mighty slash, the concept of colour ceased to be altogether.

In the next instant, Algernon landed face first in a muddy puddle beside the pond.

Massive Fuck Off Beard

The Bearded Lady, Madame Delait Vintage Postcard

“Madame Delait, the Bearded Lady” 1910

Some argue that women aren’t celebrated enough.  I argue that bearded women aren’t celebrated enough.  Therefore, in the spirit of justice, I have endeavoured to help change social attitudes towards the glory that is the thatched female and present this tale of intrigue.  Well, there probably isn’t all that much intrigue actually, but there is beardage, and to some that can be quite intriguing itself.  Written on the 20th May 2017.


Massive Fuck Off Beard

She was a woman with a plan. Her affliction had seen her childhood and teenage years ruined but now in the intellectual awakening that was her twenties she had a brilliant idea. Some may even say, a spiffing one.

At its core it was a rather simple idea, one which would turn her world on its head and reap great rewards. She would embrace her facial thatch and cultivate that which would become both revered and loved as, the “massive fuck off beard”. And so, she set to work and squeezed real hard.

In a month she was regularly mistaken for a man. In six months she had become a well respected wizard, despite knowing no magic. And in two years she could form a skipping rope with her facial foliage so long that up to seven children could jump it at once.

But now came the tough part: convincing the locals that she was indeed a she and not a he as many would initially presume.  For it is often said in carnie circuits that nobody buys a ticket to see a bearded man.

She pondered her options for some time. She could take her top off, but that would be lewd and no self respecting bearded woman would lower themselves to such a standard. There was also the option of getting pregnant and popping a crotch fruit in a public forum. But again, that would be vulgar. And besides, she wouldn’t have a child for such a ridiculous reason.

No, she would much rather prove her womanhood by not laughing at the next fart that happened in front of her. Then they’d know she was all woman. For it was a well known fact that this was something that could not be faked.

She’d show them she was all woman. All, bearded, woman.

The day finally came when an opportunity arose and a fireman farted beside her in church. All the men burst out laughing as the coffin squeaked off behind the velvet curtains. But the one with the gigantic forest for a face didn’t even crack a smile.

The reverend noticed first. He dropped his bible and pointed, a vacuous wheeze coming from his agape mouth. In the commotion that followed, several stained glass windows were shattered, the organ collapsed and the pews were weaponised and thrown around in the uproar.

This he was undeniably a she, and clearly in no way a he. And she was very happy that everyone now knew the truth behind her dense thicket of bristles. “Behold!” the woman shouted, calming everyone with a polite courtesy. “I am a woman, and if you wish to behold my massive fuck off beard, you may pay me tuppence at my house on Wilted Cabbage Road and see it at your leisure”. And with a brief flick of her skirts, she turned heel and left.

In the months that followed, many curiosity seekers did come to the house on Wilted Cabbage Road and the young woman was soon rich beyond her wildest dreams. After a time she decided that she’d earned enough coin and so shaved her local legend off, sold her home and left town altogether, coming to the conclusion that she would much rather spend the rest of her life beard-free and soaking up the sun on the coast than remain in the town which had once ridiculed her for her differences.

The town, having now lost a huge portion of its wealth to the absent woman, found itself bankrupt. And soon enough, as is the way with such things, it had fallen into disrepair and disrepute. Things eventually got so bad that the government threw up its hands and nuked it, pretending it had never existed at all. They sworn vehemently for the next several decades that the radioactive crater several miles across had always been there, and the twelve limbed dogs that the chased neon cats were indigenous to the area.

And somewhere out there on the idyllic sands of a distant sun-kissed beach, a content woman rubs her petite chin, and in the process reminds herself to grab a quick shave whenever she gets back to the beach house.

McAllister’s Woe

Back to Black - Laura in Bella Magazine1

“Back to Black” by Anna Gunselman (2014)

I am an odd person.  I have decided this based on the standard of weirdness that my writings regularly attain.  This tale is absolutely no different.  I won’t even give it a proper introduction.  Instead, here are two relevant points of interest discussed within: Laura Prepon and a toilet of God.  Sound fun?  Fantastic!  Have at it, reader!  Originally written on the 8th May 2017.


McAllister’s Woe

Reverend McAllister was thinking about Laura Prepon again. In addition to being a famous actress of her day, Laura was also a whimsical painter with dazzling nails and vast toes with which to cultivate them. Most of that is probably not true, but McAllister liked to think it was. In addition to being an employee of Christ, he was also a devout creep.

The man of God pranced through the vestry and over to the decorative gold toilet, whereupon he reflected on his manhood. As a general rule, he had always hated other men’s more picturesque genitalia because his own was not so aesthetically pleasing. The fact that he made a habit of stabbing knitting needles into it certainly didn’t help. Though, despite its flaws, it was alert and featured an above average pain threshold. It was an organ that encouraged his tendency to feel mighty.

As he picked out a piece of broken knitting needle, he saw something in the toilet bowl. Or rather, someone. Yes, it was unmistakable. It was a miniaturized version of Laura Prepon.

McAllister gulped. He glanced back at his manhood, waggling like a puppy dog’s tail and semi-obscuring his view of the little woman in the toilet. He shifted slightly to the left. Yes, there she was, floating alongside half a knitting needle, the love of his life and star of his most sordid dreams.

It was weird, yes, but who was he to question an opportunity like this? Perhaps the Almighty was finally rewarding his lifetime of service. This was his big chance to impress Laura Prepon with his knowledge of toenails and snag her for life. But there was something nagging at the back of his mind. Was he truly deserving of Laura Prepon’s love? He was a man who had once made a cup of nesquik for a senile blind person and smashed it in her face so many times she was never identified.

But not even a spiteful person who had once made a cup of nesquik for a senile blind person was prepared for the reason sweet Laura was in his toilet that day.

She was there to kill him.

Being astronomically in love to the point that, as mentioned, his genitalia wagged like a doggie’s rear appendage, tears of elation began to rain down from the reverend’s face like lemon juice off a bag of lemons being headbutted repeatedly into a wall by an elephant seal with a headache and a disdain for sour fruit. He had to regain his composure, else Laura Prepon might think he was weird. McAllister quickly grabbed a copy of the bible off the shelf above the toilet. He rubbed its fine paper pages, trying to reclaim some dignity.

Without putting his still wagging man-of-the-cloth away, McAllister reached into the toilet and was elated to see Laura reaching up to meet his grasp. Suddenly, he could see a look of devilry in her eyes. It confused him. Laura Prepon was meant to love him, it was written in the stars that he drew on the ceiling above his bunk bed. But devilish glints meant nothing to him anymore, he was so consumed, he didn’t care. Lust had taken control of his sensibilities as well as senses.

Suddenly, Laura glared with all the wrath of 2099 cold-blooded, murderous giraffes trying to coordinate a carpet bomb attack on a trio of primarily dessert-based nations. In a tone that made the toilet water quake, she screamed, “I loathe you and I want a nail clipper!”

McAllister looked shocked. No one ever expects a three inch version of their crush to appear in a toilet bowl and demand a nail clipper after confessing its supreme hatred for them. The reverend fingered the bejesus out of the fine paper biblette.

“Laura, I am your father,” he replied.

This wasn’t even remotely true, but clearly McAllister wanted to hurt Laura Prepon and that was the best he could come up with on such short notice.

They looked at each other in surprise for a moment, like two homeless Croatians who’d had a string of bad luck as of late and had thought they were about to turn things around only for someone to poo in their cheeseburgers and laugh. On their collective birthday.

Suddenly, Laura lunged forward and tried to punch McAllister in the moustache. Quickly, the reverend used the almost immaculate – but not quite because he’d been fingering its fine paper pages for a long time by this point, and with excessive force – biblette and brought it down on Laura Prepon’s soaking wet head.

Laura, the three foot woman with toes for days and nails to match was dead. McAllister’s heart was broken. The poor miniature woman, she looked so squished, like a trodden on burrito.

The reverend let out an agonising groan and collapsed onto the toilet, smashing his head off the rim and, in his unconscious state, drowning to the point where he attained the biological event known as death.

It was not a beautiful death, however, as the vestry’s toilet remained unflushed throughout.

Infernal Solicitations

L0030887 An angel leading a soul into hell. Oil painting by a followe

“An Angel Leading a Soul into Hell” by A Follower of Hieronymus Bosch

Life in the underworld isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Allow me now to share with you this revealing tale of one depressed denizen and his harrowing experiences in the pit of eternal suffering.  Originally written on the 12th May 2016.


Infernal Solicitations

He had always hated Bilefield, what with its stupid citizens and copious amounts of flesh statues on every corner. It made him sick, which was appropriate given that the constant vomiting of bile from its inhabitants was precisely how it came to acquire such a striking name in the first place. Most locals assumed it was the smell from the flesh mines to the east that irked their insides so, though some insisted it was simply the Overlord’s wish. Whatever the case, it was a foul place, one in which the residents perpetually felt like killing each other. More so than they were expected to, at any rate.

Drekavac Merihem was a socially maladjusted Poliknish drinker with buff knees and very handsome exo-spines. He’d lived in Bilefield since his sack burst and he’d crawled out of the birth divots in larva form. His old friends had once seen him as a strong, sometimes squealing, suicidal nutcase, the kind that really goes places around those lawless haunts. Once, he had even revived a dying, paraplegic wasp queen with gout after she’d had a heart attack whilst teaching aquatic yoga to troubled larvae in the hot mucus springs. That’s the sort of demon he had been.

Nowadays however, he was an alcoholic shut-in. His friends were long gone, he’d dumped their ruptured bodies down a shaft at the nearby flesh mine. They nagged way too much anyway. He’d spent his most recent years throwing back the glowing radioactive liquid and spending his last coal coins on deformed prostitutes, the kind that smelled and dressed like unwashed toilet lids.

Drekavac got up off his bed of screaming bones, stretched, chose a set of arms for the day and shuffled over to the pentagram-shaped window overlooking the square. He gazed down with malice at the other spawn, mindlessly going about their day, maiming, devouring and generally causing a scene. “Look at this hole,” he muttered to himself with disdain. “The worst district in all of Dis”. He glared at the soul destroying surroundings. It was lucky he had no soul of his own, the ones he’d collected in jars on the outskirts usually burst within a matter of hours, though they did smell nice for the brief time he had them. The sight of the busting square below made him want to pee. Not out of the appendage he usually urinated out of, no, but rather the curved tumour growing out of his right eye. He only ever peed out of it when he was bitterly angry or depressed.

Thunder rumbled overhead once more. Drekavac wondered if the large, fapping centaur on top of Mount Cyst was abusing himself again. Sure sounded like it.

The demon poured himself a mug of molten iron and added a liberal splashing of Poliknish, favoured tipple of the damned. It sizzled as it tore a hole through his throat and blistered his gullet. Drekavac wheezed and looked back out the window. “What a life”.

Then he saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It sort of looked like a dead whale, one that had already exploded and hadn’t done a very good job of stitching itself back up yet, pieces of gelatinous fat were falling off as it drew nearer. Eventually the figure got so close that its awkward gait was unmistakable. That shambling, stumbling disaster of tissue was the festering figure of Philomena Catastrophe. Philomena was a worthless whore with sagging, pierced knees and an atrocious set of bleached blonde spines held together in a tight bun. She was disgusting, she was diseased, she was renowned in Bilefield for her catastrophic existence of putrefying horror. She also happened to be the deformed prostitute that Drekavac currently owed the most coal to.

The demon gulped back the rest of his drink, tore some skin off the wall and sewed it over the gaping wound in his throat. He was not prepared for a visit from Philomena.

As Drekavac stepped outside and Philomena came scuttling closer, he could see the trademark belligerent glint in her one good eye. It made the left side of his head collapse. “I am here because I want my damn coal!” the broken wreck of femininity bellowed in a fat tone that curled both paving slabs and roofing tiles. With a grunt, she slammed a podgy fist against Drekavac’s spiny chest equal to the force of a shotgun blast. “I frigging hate you, Drekavac Merihem. You gave me bum sex for nine hours last Friday and didn’t pay a damn thing. Cough up the coal or I’ll tear your head off and squirt my rancid teets down your neck!” Most clients would pay a small bag’s worth for an experience like that, but Drekavac wasn’t a normal client. His personal tastes never involved Philomena’s teets, they reminded him far too much of his former career as a nipple remover on the dead hooker barges.

Drekavac looked back, his wall of depression collapsing beneath the wrecking ball of nervousness that Bilefield’s worst prostitute had brought to his door. He started fingering a marginally seductive earwax candle he’d picked up off the table where he kept his keys and hatchets. “Philomena,” he eventually replied, “die in a ditch”.

As the town clock struck thirteen and the roosting bundles of carrion took to the red skies, the two demons looked at each other with upset feelings, like two leaking, little lobsters abusing each other at a very gimpy orgy, one which had thumping organ music playing in the background and two lazy uncles dancing to the beat in crops tops and stilettos.

In the stewing silence that ensued, Drekavac regarded Philomena’s pierced knees and blonde spines for a moment. They sure made him sick. Spurts of vomit erupted from his shoulder pipes and coated them both in steaming foulness. With a snort and a shake of his head, the depressed demon eventually held out a claw in truce. “Let’s not fight,” he whispered about as gently as a hacksaw to the head. “Come into my house and we shall soon sort this mess out”.

“Hmph,” sulked Philomena, passing gas in abundance at the helplessness she felt when trying to argue with him. Despite his attitude and tendency to never pay for their sordid and more-often-than-not crusty escapades time and time again, she had a soft spot for him. She thought it was probably in her post-gastric love box. Once, she’d even tried to cut it out with a rasp, but to no avail. There was just something about Drekavac that made parts of her melt like boiled lard.

“Please?” begged the demon with puppy dog eyes. That is to say, with a puppy dog’s freshly plucked eyes in his clawed hand, something that he very much liked to play with whenever nervous or bored.

Philomena looked ravenous, her bulbous body blushing like a teenage nymph after lifting a stranger’s kilt to discern that which hangs beneath. Try as she might, she couldn’t fight the urge to be with Drekavac one more time. His array of detachable appendages and unique secretions never failed to rock her underworld, and she was an afflicted whore very much in need of a good rocking.

With a menstrual belch that stripped all the pebbledash off Drekavac’s house, Philomena waddled inside for a nice drink of Poliknish and the prospect of yet another unpaid cardiovascular workout. Little did she know that it would be the last anyone would ever see of her. Well, except for the eye fungus that grew at the bottom of the flesh mine, anyway.

The following morning, as the haemorrhaging moon broke the horizon and scared away the feasting nightkin, Drekavac Merihem stood at his window overlooking the square once more. With a mug of molten iron laced with Poliknish in his hand, he counted up the tally in his head and scratched another line into the frame. “I hate this town,” he quietly wheezed as a piece of Philomena’s fat melted away in the steaming mug, like a creamy ice cube.

À La Carte

BrainChain by Willem den Broeder (2001)

“BrainChain” by Willem den Broeder (2001)

The following is a short piece about a short piece.  Dark culinary fiction, flash fried for your consumption convenience.  Written on the 22nd April 2017.


“À La Carte”

She couldn’t go through with it and shot herself shortly after leaving the room. Eventually, the drugs wore off and I could feel again. The pain of having the top of one’s skull removed with a hacksaw is indescribable. Alone then, I vowed to finish the job we’d agreed to start.

Luckily, the scalpel was still on the tray before me. I doubt I could have stood up and walked far to fetch it anyway, I was feeling rather ill. I picked it up and felt along the slick contours and ridges of my exposed brain. It didn’t feel as I’d expected it would. “Gelatinous” was the word we’d used. That would be the wrong word. It also didn’t hurt. Well, not directly at least. So I plunged the blade in like it was a baked potato.

I cut for maybe a minute, careful not to go too deep – we’d decided earlier that anything more than an inch and a half would probably kill me before we had a chance to eat. The ease with which I filleted my own brain into a neat and chunky cutlet was quite surprising to me, I imagine Janey would have felt the same way.

Next I dropped the grey sliver into the frying pan, preheated and sitting just beside the table. I let it sizzle for a few minutes. Sure, I wanted to cook it longer but I was feeling more and more faint with each passing moment. I fried it on both sides, no seasoning, just as we’d discussed.

Human brain, it smells nice. Cannibalism, sounds less so. But we’d always wanted to try it. I put the morsel in my mouth and chewed. I didn’t like it. I ate it anyway and then had another mouthful. The second one was for Janey.

I wonder now as I recline in my chair, what will they think when they find us? If they’re not too late they might even still catch the smell. That’ll be something interesting for them, at least.

Nasal Oddity

wax-worm- skeeze 2015 911591 2

“Wax Worm” by Skeeze (2015)

Greetings, dearest readers.  A few days ago The Book of Hangman celebrated one full year online, and in celebration of such a milestone I have decided to celebrate it in the only way befitting the celebration of such a celebration-worthy occasion: by using the word “celebration” a lot.  And also posting a story about a worm.  Yes, it’s fitting in a “not really fitting at all” kind of way.  I do hope you enjoy my worm.  Originally written on the 28th February 2017.


Nasal Oddity

Clarence sat and waited patiently as the creature crawled out of his nose. It twisted and wriggled, even screamed a little – Clarence thought it might be stuck – but eventually it fell out and landed with a splash in his cornflakes.

The thing’s tiny head emerged from the surface and looked up at him. “Hello,” it said hesitantly.

“Hello,” replied Clarence.

It was some sort of worm, a pale orange in colour with streaks of black running up and down its sides. Maybe it was a wireworm.

“Who are you?” asked Clarence, picking up his spoon.

“I’m Fletcher,” stated the thing, shaking its head free of a soggy cornflake. “Get me out of this bowl, please”.

Clarence scooped the creature up and let it wriggle off the spoon and onto the table with a plop.

“Now,” began Fletcher, craning his neck and looking around the kitchen. “Where am I?”

Clarence regarded the odd little thing on his kitchen table for a moment. It had been some time since a creature had emerged from his nose. Many years in fact. He’d thought that had all stopped now, that’s what the exorcist had told him anyway. “No more beasties,” Reverend Scott had promised as he fired a water pistol containing holy water up Clarence’s nose. “No more beasties”.

“You’re in my kitchen,” replied Clarence, motioning around the room with a gesture which Fletcher followed, nodding.

“I see,” mused the worm. “And tell me, how do I get back home?”

This was always the problem. Whenever something crawled out of Clarence’s nose it always wanted to go right back home again. A slug-like creature had once told him it had performed a magical ritual with a coven of witch slugs and a portal had appeared, it had been the bravest slug-thing and so offered to enter it. That’s when it had found itself in Clarence’s nose. Clarence’s friends had reasoned that he must have a portal to another dimension up there. Clarence thought they were probably right.

“I don’t know,” said Clarence, picking up the spoon again. “None of the others ever made it back home”.

“What others?” asked Fletcher, looking rather concerned.

“Oh, you know. The others”. Clarence raised the spoon high above the trembling worm.

“You wouldn’t…” whispered Fletcher in horror as it dawned on him what this giant was about to do.

“I have to. If I don’t, I’ll be forced to believe you things actually exist, and I can’t let that happen again. It would drive me insane. No, I have to kill you so you don’t disturb my mind. Sorry”.

“Wait!” screamed the worm, trying desperately to flip itself out of the way of the descending cutlery. But it was too late. With a dull splat Fletcher was crushed to death.

Clarence flicked the soggy remains off the table and threw the spoon into the sink. “And I don’t appreciate you ruining my breakfast either”.

The Twat

Christian Van Minnen 2

“Manfungus 1.2” by Christian Rex Van Minnen (2007)

I may delete this.  So get it while it’s hot, I suppose.  Written on the 8th April 2017.


The Twat

Ray kicked down the door and stormed into the living room. “Welp, I’ve just been for my god damn twatogram,” he announced with the air of a man ready to kill multiple people and/or animals without the aid of weapons.

“And?” replied Kathy, putting the phone book she’d been licking down.

“And it turns out I am a massive twat!”

Kathy picked up the book again and resumed slobbering over its yellow pages. She always knew her boyfriend was a twat. This was simply confirmation.

Ray, on the other hand, had always denied with great passion that he was anything other than a well-respected, upstanding and productive member of the BDSM community. In his mind, there was no way he could be a twat, let alone a massive one. No, the twatopractor must have gotten it wrong. Maybe he’d put the diodes in the wrong hole or something?

“I’m going to go back there with a sledgehammer,” he declared, kicking their rubber cat statue across the room and into the television.

“We don’t have a sledgehammer,” reminded Kathy. They had to get rid of the last one. Court order.

“Shit. That’s right. Well I’ll just have to use the cat statue then”.

“You can’t do that either,” said Kathy, deciding now that chewing the pages of the phone book was a far better use of her mouth than merely licking them until the phone numbers entered her bloodstream. Without looking up she pointed to the far end of the room. The cat was melting in the electrical fire which had begun to consume most of the wall.

“I don’t care anymore, Kathy. I really don’t. I can’t accept this. There’s no way I’m a twat! All your stupid friends are wrong, they shouldn’t be throwing insults around like that. Someone’s going to have to pay for this injustice!” Ray ran into the sub-basement dungeon and retrieved the rubber fire hydrant they sometimes used in their party games. “This’ll have to do”.

“Is the minister’s pee off it yet?” asked Kathy, not looking up from her mindless chewing.

“No. And you know what? I don’t care if his pee is all over it. It’s going through someone’s face in a minute. I’m out of here”.

“Don’t forget you’re still wearing that latex gimp suit, Ray,” reminded Kathy.

Ray looked down and suddenly realised he’d been out and about in his homemade slug costume the whole time. Maybe he was a bit of a twat after all?

But Ray was too far lost in his rage to care or change into something more reasonable. He dove out the window, obliterating the triple glazing in the process as well as most of his facial features. “If I don’t come back, watch for me on the news”.

After kicking most of the mithril flamingoes off the neighbour’s lawn and smearing some war paint on his bleeding face with cat feces, Ray looked back through the window at his gorging girlfriend. “Oh, and Kathy?” he said, mounting his Segway.

“Yes Ray?”

“Tell them I’m not a massive twat”.

A Bit of a Pickle

Whimsical Pickles on a Bicycle Built for Two by Alison DeBenedictis

“Whimsical Pickles on a Bicycle Built for Two” by Alison DeBenedictis

Pickles.  Love them or loathe them, they’re part of our lives.  Oftentimes more so than we could ever possibly imagine or comprehend.  Take for example this thrilling tale of a pickle that promises to change everything in the lives of two unsuspecting people.  Written on the 28th February 2017.  This story is suitable for vegetarians.


A Bit of a Pickle

“I swear that’s it!” shouted Donna, pointing at the innocuous-looking pickle lying on the carpet.

“Is it nothing!” retorted Alf, giving it a weird look. Surely it wasn’t true?

“It is, Alf! It’s the Pickle of Destiny!”

The Pickle of Destiny was a legendary pickle spoken of in local…well, legend. People said it would grant whomsoever found it the power to will their wildest dreams into realities. All they had to do was grasp the pickle with both hands, close their eyes and pray to the Pickle God.

“How do you know this is it?” asked Alf, picking the curious item up off the floor and brushing the dog hairs off it.

“How many pickles have you known to materialise in the middle of your living room?” Donna fired back, huddling close and helping pick the grey hairs off its green and bumpy sides.

It was a fair point, Alf hadn’t seen a pickle appear out of thin air and flop onto the carpet before, not until a few minutes ago anyway. There was a pretty good chance this really was the Pickle of Destiny.

“Well, what if it is? What now? What do we wish for?” Alf looked around the living room for inspiration. They needed a new sofa, that could be a start. “What about the suite?”

Donna looked at the faux leather three-seater against the far wall and its accompanying chairs. They were pretty worn out, and they had been talking about getting it replaced recently anyway. “Okay, we’ll give it a try. Pass it here”. Alf passed the pickle with both hands, careful not to drop it, lest the dog came into the room and ate both it and their wildest dreams.

Alf took a step back and watched as his wife hugged the little green vegetable with both hands, closed her eyes and addressed the Pickle God out loud. “Dear mighty Pickle God, I ask of you to bequeath us the gift of a nice new three piece suite, preferably with real brown leather. Actually no, make it cream, I don’t want the dog hair to show up on it. Thanks”.

Alf lowered his eyebrows and shook his head slowly. “Bequeath?” he asked mockingly.

Just then the room lit up with a radiant green light, and in the next moment their worn-out seating arrangement was replaced with a brand new real leather affair complete with matching cushions. “Gosh!” blurted Alf in disbelief. “It really is the Pickle of Destiny! Imagine all the cool things we can do with it!”

“What should we do with it next?” asked Donna excitedly.

Alf took a seat on the nice new leather sofa and thought about it for a second. “Oh, I know!” he announced. “You know how when we go shopping I hate how busy it is?”

“Yes,” replied Donna, wondering where he was going with this. “What about it?”

“Give me the pickle and you’ll find out!”

Alf was handed the pickle. He hugged it tight, closed his eyes and addressed the Pickle God. “Dear Pickle God, I kindly ask that the next time we go shopping down the street all the other people disappear and we get the whole place to ourselves. Thanks”.

“Nothing’s happening,” said Donna after a moment of awkward silence.

“That’s because we’ve not went shopping yet. Let’s go out right now and see”.

The couple left the house and began walking into town. There was absolutely no one else in sight. Luckily, their local Tesco had self-serve checkouts and so they didn’t even need a cashier, and in no time they were back home again with lots of bags of shopping and none of the hassle that comes with dealing with other people.

“That was great!” beamed Alf, cracking open a can of beer. “I can’t wait to see what we get up to with this thing tomorrow. Here, let’s put it in the fridge for safekeeping, I don’t know if the Pickle of Destiny goes off if you keep it out in the open too long”.

Donna and Alf hit the hay and enjoyed a nice peaceful slumber filled with fanciful dreams about the future, now that the most famous pickle in the history of pickles was in their possession.

The next morning Donna wished for a new coffee maker and an automated kitchen that cooked them a deliciously hearty breakfast. Alf wished for the best shower on the planet and enjoyed a good scrub. After redecorating the entire house, adding several additional wings, turrets and towers, they decided to head out for a stroll to tell all their friends and family the good news.

As they walked down the street they transformed local parks into world-class zoos, replaced all the street lights with ones made out of solid gold and encrusted them in diamonds. They even took it upon themselves to turn the pigeons into something a tad less horrible: graceful eagles that could and did play the harp. It was a very productive walk indeed.

“Hey, you know what’s weird?” asked Alf as he passed the pickle to his wife after turning the sky purple because he was a big Prince fan.

“What?” replied Donna, readying herself to wish for a nicer handbag.

“We haven’t seen anybody else out today”.

It was true, they’d been out of the house around twenty minutes now and not one person had they laid eyes on. It was very strange. They contemplated this weirdness as they entered the Lider Centre; the largest shopping centre in town.

“Alf, what’s going on?” Donna had stopped thinking about a new handbag and instead stood still, looking around at the utterly empty mall. There was nobody around. Not a soul. They were the only people in the what was normally the busiest place in the entire town.

“Oh cripes…” Alf’s words trailed off.

“What?” asked his significant other.

“I think there’s a small chance we were wrong about the Pickle of Destiny”.

Donna stared at Alf for a second, trying to figure out what he could possibly mean. Then it dawned on her too. “Oh no. You’re kidding me. You don’t think we–”

“That’s right babes, I think we mistook the Pickle of Destiny for the Accursed Pickle of Great Inconvenience”.

“For the love of the Pickle God, I don’t believe this!”

“The Pickle God’s got nothing to do with this, Donna. The Accursed Pickle of Great Inconvenience is the unholy property of the Pickle Devil. Everything we wished for may have come true, but it’s permanent. No exceptions. When we wished for everyone to disappear yesterday so we could go shopping in peace, they ceased to exist forever! Oh dear, what have we done?!” Alf broke down in tears and fell to his knees.

The Accursed Pickle of Great Inconvenience was another pickle spoken of in local legend, it was the yin to the Pickle of Destiny’s yang. In fact, it was only one of around eight other legendary pickles spoken of in the local area, though admittedly, both it and the other pickles were rarely heard of.

Donna’s eyes were almost falling out of her head. She threw the Accursed Pickle of Great Inconvenience at the nearest wall, ridding herself of its power. Unfortunately, the potent vegetable bounced off the wall of Nicho’s Taco Shack and landed with a splash in the mall’s main water feature; the Dave the Clown Memorial Fountain.

“Oh Christ no, Donna!” screamed Alf, momentarily looking up from his lamentation on the floor. “You didn’t chuck it in the fountain, did you? The Accursed Pickle of Great Inconvenience is water-soluble!”

It was true. Just as the words escaped Alf’s mouth and he went back to crying, the pickle in the fountain began to fizz like a certain brand of mint in a certain brand of carbonated soft drink. Green foam began filling the fountain, and soon all the water had turned a lurid green colour, sort of like limeade but more menacing. Donna ran and hid behind a mobile phone stand as Alf rolled onto his side and gave up on life. The foaming reached ridiculous levels of foaminess not seen before in the history of foam, green lightning began shooting out of the billowing mass overflowing from the fountain, shocking fast food outlets and putting entire clothes shops up in flames. With an almighty explosion and roar, the great Pickle Devil himself emerged from the frothing green fountain.

“Behold, I have risen at long last! You have released me from the binds of my pickle prison and I will now turn everyone on the entire planet into a pickle!” The hulking green demon bellowed with demonic laughter and fired a series of small pickles from his eyes, scattering them across the floor of the Lider Centre, where they started running around kicking holes in windows and walls.

“Erm, excuse me, oh powerful Pickle Devil,” said Donna, timidly emerging from behind the mobile phone stand. “But we actually already wiped out the human race about half an hour ago. There’s nobody left to turn into pickles. Sorry”. Donna resumed her cowering behind the mobile phone stand. It was probably for the best.

The Pickle Devil stopped laughing. The little pickles stopped breaking things. “Well what am I supposed to do now?” the large green monstrosity eventually asked. “I mean, come on, I finally rise to power after all these years and there’s no one left to turn into pickles? Seriously? What kind of luck is that? I guess I’ll just have to turn you two snivelling fools into pickles and call it a day. Might as well go play on the swings down at the park afterwards, it’s not like there’ll be anything else to do”.

“Actually…” Donna’s head emerged from behind a row of Nokia 3310s. “We got rid of the park too”.

“What do you mean you got rid of the park?” demanded the Pickle Devil.

“We turned it into a zoo”.

“A zoo?” the demon stroked his lumpy green pickle chin. “That’s not so bad, I guess. I could at least turn the animals into pickles”.

“Yes you could”.

“I know I could!” spat the Pickle Devil angrily. “Fine. I’ll turn you two worthless maggots into pickles and then I’ll go turn the animals at the zoo into pickles too”.

“That’s something, at least,” said Donna, trying to sound comforting but immediately wondering why she wanted to comfort a giant demonic pickle that wanted to turn her and her husband into little pickles just because he could.

“Right, say your prayers and all that jazz,” boomed the Pickle Devil before turning a blinding green light on them and transforming them both into six inch pickles and stamping on them.