Poets of the Fringe

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“Volcanic” by Unknown

The amount of short stories and other works of fiction I’ve written about Hell could be made into a large volume all of its own (but I’m holding onto them, just for now).  It’s a source of infinite inspiration to me artistically, something I can’t say I particularly believe in but at the same time gives me a limitless supply of visions and constantly warping interpretations.  The following is a short piece that was originally part of something much larger.  I may get back to completing it one day.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy!  Originally written on the 23rd May 2017.


Poets of the Fringe

On the shivering coast of the great circle sea of viridian plasm, that vast body of infernal solution with its myriad of ignitions, shock waves and bursts of dead light, there stand the stoic poets. These unwavering souls were deemed too valuable by the Unmaker to waste in the likes of the killing fields or to be fed into the mouths of the various, wandering titans. The intellectual perished serve a higher purpose: creation. Their sole function, to stand an eternal vigil between the dead waterline and the rotting dunes of oblivion.

On those shifting sands of fragmented dreams, the damned face the infinite nothing that both exists and does not beyond the horizon of the pseudo sands. And there they are forced to compose grotesque sonnets and vile poems to the infinite glory of the hell both behind them, and to the maddening mysteries of that which lies beyond.

Born in the excruciating ecstasy of a bastard spawning within the confines of perdition itself, their potent words take form and become continental extensions, such is their immense power. Resonating consonants that influence the very fabrics of the rock and air, expansions of the deadscape whipped and spun out of rancid thought alone. Verses birth mountains of purifying flesh. Choruses become bottomless depths of blood. Stanzas of horror metamorphosise into ghastly landforms, around which nightmare storms congregate and throw wild abandon in their orgies. And around them all, hideous, shambling abominations, once mere words themselves, crawl and twitch across the new clays.

Their repulsive compositions are infinite, and therefore so too are the maddening expanses of the inferno they spawn. With each new chasm and monolith influencing the words of the next poet laureate, it is an endless cycle of birth and evolution, soaked in the blood and agony of battery farmed creation. It is a most horrific process, a sickening childbirth played out to a thunderous symphony of crushing bones, tearing sinew and rattling gurgles.

With the breaking of each new dawn, their fried and soiled minds are wiped clean of their freshest conceptions, and they must endure anew the depraved forging process. Aeons without number, void of end, a special damnation without cessation or even the lingering hope of a distant reprieve. They are the unwilling architects of their own perpetual doom. A process so draining, so arduous and foul that it wrings sangria tears out of blackened sockets, eyes rendered mere ghosts after punishing centuries of burning visions assaulting their feeble tissues.

But still, they endure and compose. It is demanded, and the way is unquestionable.

The volcanoes vomiting liquid bone over the sorrow fields, the black smoke stacks belching fire and puss to the crackling sounds of consumed flesh, they are all products of the poets’ horrific artistry, twisted constructs of the maimed intellectuals’ finest works.

And for evermore, be it under the watchful eyes of the blood moons or the scorn and judgement of the scorching suns that they themselves birthed, the cursed compose on.

McAllister’s Woe

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“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.

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.

The Deity in Tartan

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“Shadow Warrior” by Andrew Hillhouse (2000)

This is a short story, a fairy tale almost, about the Scottish people having their very own god, and the incredibly stereotypical things that He did for bonny Scotland.  Written on the 9th May 2016.


The Deity in Tartan

Made out of kelpie-grade haggis, the Alpha Scotsman was the physical embodiment of all that is Scottish. He was not born, but rather came into existence when a large shipment of battered haggis accidentally fell off a cliff and had been struck by lightning at the exact same moment it impacted with an Irn Bru factory below. The combination of the impact, burst of raw energy and that fact that “Real Gone Kid” by Deacon Blue had been playing at full volume in the factory at the time resulted in the single most powerful surge of pure Scottish energy in history. Out of the mighty tartan explosion, which sounded like 10,000 bagpipes filled with selkie fart all erupting at once, emerged the 50 foot Alpha Scotsman.

According to scribes, His first words were “Get it richt up ye!”, presumably directed towards God, for His existence was clearly never supposed to happen. God, unavailable for comment at that time (or any other since for that matter), did nothing to stop the towering Alba golem as He flung Himself across the turbulent seas in a highland jig so perfectly executed that it caused salmon farms and oil platforms to sprout in His wake. The mighty Scotsman soon landed in the Outer Hebrides, where He allegedly took a dump so magnificent that it became a lighthouse powerful enough that it was the only one ever needed for all of Scotland thereafter.

After this fleeting visit to the storm ravaged shores of the western coast, the giant proceeded to break physics by caber tossing Himself all the way to the beautiful isle of Skye, where His porridge-flavoured sweat became premium whisky and His copious dandruff was presented to the local crofters, who in turn baked the pieces until they became black puddings, worth their weight in gold.

The Alpha Scotsman was revered by many, loved by all. Except the English, that is. They, for whatever reason (no doubt dating back to the outcome of the second Scottish War of Independence in 1357) seemed to loath the fact that their neighbours to the north now had a living, resident and quite magnificent deity providing them with all the happiness, success and tourist sex appeal a country could ever need. The jealous nation south of the border simply could not let the Alpha Scotsman live, especially when their own attempts at creating an Alpha Englishman proved fruitless. As it turns out, dumping a shipment of teabags and crumpets off a cliff onto a red telephone booth in a thunderstorm does not create a supreme being. It only makes a mess. The English therefore hatched a sinister plan.

But the Alpha Scotsman was no ordinary Scotsman. He was a super Scotsman. He’d eaten all the porridge in the country and it had expanded both His stomach and consciousness to such a level that He could read other countries’ thoughts. As He sat sunning himself atop Edinburgh Castle one day, He suddenly sensed that the dastardly English were planning to bomb his kilt off, rendering Him nude from the waist down. They had assumed that the Scotsman’s subsequent embarrassment would be such that He would run away from Scotland forever. They were dead wrong. The Alpha Scotsman smirked when He discovered this devious plot, He would teach them not to mess with His bonny kilt and country. The proud giant waited patiently for the English to get their act together and execute their ill-fated plan.

The following summer, as the Alpha Scotsman refilled the North Sea oil reserves with His mind power and eliminated heart disease amongst the population by developing a health and exercise program for school children that they actually enjoyed for once, the bitterly jealous English finally made their move. Scotsman had just finished performing stand up comedy for the first time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival when a squadron of English fighter jets tore up Princes Street, scaring young children and international dance troupes in the process. The Alpha Scotsman immediately somersaulted onto Arthur’s Seat and bellowed at the screaming metal wasps advancing towards Him, “’Mon then, ye wee beasties!” And ‘mon they did.

The attacking jets fired their guns which had been preloaded with bullets filled with tea and crumpets in addition to the more traditional gunpowder. The Supreme Leader of England had assumed that tea and crumpets would be the Alpha Scotsman’s kryptonite. They weren’t. To the Scotsman, they were less dangerous than midges. Never the less, the screaming bullets tore through the air and obliterated the Scotsman’s belt, dropping the giant’s colossal kilt to His ankles, exposing His Scotch saveloy.

However, far from being embarrassed and running off never to be seen again, the Scotsman started laughing and swinging His dong around like a Glaswegian windmill. You see, what’s under a true Scotsman’s kilt is Grade A highland beef and that’s something to be proud of, not embarrassed. The exposed love organ was the exact same length as one of the giant’s arms, though twice as ripped and intimidating. The sight of such a thing caused the fighter pilots to crash their planes into Princes Street Gardens, where they went up in a giant tartan fireball.

The Alpha Scotsman knew it was now time to put an end to the English people’s jealously once and for all. He did not hate them, nor did He really care what they did, unless it encroached upon His bonny lands and people. A terrorist kilt attack in the middle of the Fringe Festival was just that. So, not bothering to find a replacement kilt, the titan caber tossed Himself down to London in one fluid thrust. Once He landed, the Scotsman did His best not to blind anyone with His gargantuan third leg, but casualties could not be helped. He quickly located and tore the roof off 10 Downing Street, pulled the Supreme Leader out of his office where he was engaged in trying on bowler hats, and told him to leave His beloved country and people alone, lest he wish doom and gloom to befall his own nation. The Scotsman promised to create an army of haggis golems and send them to England with orders to turn every house into a bothy and every man, woman and child into a wee Scottie dog. He’d turn all their crops into highland toffee and Tunnock’s teacakes, making all their teeth rot and fall out. It would rain every day and night for all eternity and He’d even batter and deep fry the Houses of Parliament. The Supreme Leader, through tears, agreed to the Scotsman’s fair terms.

The great tartan titan put the trembling man down and then whisked Himself off to His homeland once more. He had secured Scotland’s future and His people would be free to enjoy the more Scottish things in life, without the threat of an English tea and crumpet invasion ever again. The giant icon of Caledonia smiled, His glistening teeth sending out vibrant rays that caused all the crops in the countryside to spontaneously reach maturity and harvest themselves.

Deciding upon a temporary rest from public view, the Alpha Scotsman made His way to Arbroath, where He created a battered Mars bar so big that it could, and did, feed the entire town for the next five generations. He also made a second one, this time for Himself, and legend says He took it with Him into a secret cave somewhere to the north, where He remains to this very day, waiting for the time when His faithful Scottish people need Him once more.