Archive for the ‘Texters’ Category

Text Trailers: The Enterprise of Death by Jesse Bullington

–Turning in the doorway, she yelled at the crypt, “You stay in there until you behave!”

–It had been years since Awa was genuinely terrified, but she fell back into it easily enough.

–For an instant he considered going back for his charcoal and planks but then the monster begged for help with the voice of a little girl and he advanced with his weapon.

–“Morality, eh?  The shakiest fuckin word I ever ‘eard.”

–The shriveled cadaver jammed her blackened digits into her mouth and began to chew, faint whines slipping between the sharp teeth and wet meat and crackling bones as she ate her own fingers.

–“Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim,” said the ugly little man as he bowed. “But you may call me Doctor Paracelsus.”

–Fuck.  Paracelsus?  Fuck.

–“If you mean to ask why I sleep inside a giant, monstrous beast instructed to rend apart anyone who might disturb my rest I would ask what happened to your previously acceptable wits.”

–The rays of sunlight punching through the smoke cloud would have formed the shapes of skulls to the artist if the vapors had not blinded his eyes, and the mud squeezing up between his fingers as he climbed the earthen wall would have looked like worms. Instead everything looked like a blur, and he thought veil of tears with a giggle.

–She reached the wall of the cemetery, and the girl’s song abruptly ended just before Awa’s hoof crunched down into the snow.

–Getting the corpses fitted with hat and draped with cloth was easier than having them hold the instruments properly, but a cadaver that had somehow kept its mustache in the grave while losing its lower jaw seemed more adroit than its fellows, so Manuel gave him both the flute and the drum.

–“He was slinging chicken bones, trying to pass them off as old popes!”

–She was surprised to see the man’s spirit had not drifted away to wherever they went, nor had it stayed in its skull, but had somehow come loose and settled in the wet lump of muscle Awa held in her hand.

–“Bruja, warlock, wizard, sorcerer, witch, necromancer, diabolist, all the same—I can raise the dead, Niklaus Manuel Deutsch of Berne, and I can command them to do my will. I can parlay with spirits, with demons, and I can kill any man that lives with only my touch.”

“Fuck,” Manuel squeaked.

–The circles of blood were bubbling, burning, the stink like scorched hair only sweeter, sharper, and a column of smoke rose from the puddle of blood in the second, empty circle. The shape was indistinct, swirling, and the voice was a strange warble, closer to an insect’s than a person’s, yet Awa was sure she had succeeded, and the pleasure at this victory was only surpassed by the pleasure of seeing her mother again, no matter how dimly.

–There was the problem, a thick mold clogging the poor girl’s mouth.

–“So your house is on top of a warren of bloodthirsty monsters, your summer home is next-door to a warlock, and to top it all off you’ve been letting your undead witch girlfriend call the shots. You’re a credit to your profession.”

–The hammer came down again, a beatific grin on her face as the tool struck home, the handle gripped in both hands. The shrouded body underneath her was convulsing now, and the hammer went up a third time.

–“Vivisection.  A lovely word, don’t you agree?”

–…and there, in that cold, miserable cave, their nightmare began in earnest.

(Texter by Marc Laidlaw, based on The Enterprise of Death by Jesse Bullington:  Orbit, March 2011.)

Text Trailers: The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bullington

–“Grossbarts,” the pig said, licking its teeth.

–“There’s no need to amend your typical discourse on my account. I know the difference twixt a turn of phrase and a considered sin.”

–Blood can go bad in a single generation or it can be distilled down through the ages into something truly wicked, as was the case with those abominable twins, Hegel and Manfried.

–As the first syllable left her mouth the gentle waves cupping the boat glowed, and as her voice rose so too did the sea emit brighter and brighter luminescence, a sea-foam-shaded light shining on her joyous face.

–The flow of fluids from the armpit quickened and thickened, and then the pus, blood, and biles poured upward into the frosty air, swirling into a hovering humoural maelstrom above the corpse. The growing mass of liquid let off a meaty, musky, hot-rot stench that curled the nose hairs of all present.—

–Manfried imagined the stars to be jewels shining in the depths of a long-sealed crypt and, drifting off, he almost glimpsed himself prying open the lid of night and stuffing his pocket with the glittering gems.

–They were accustomed to being the sinister voice in the night, and did not care to be on the receiving end of such a discourse. “You’ll beg and cry and I’ll suck the marrow from your bones before you expire. You’ll feel bits of you sliding into my belly still attached, and I’ll wear your skins when the weather turns.” “Uh,” Hegel managed. Manfried could not even get that much out.

–They spent several days scouting the stone monoliths, choosy as nobles about their grapes.

–Despite his charitable decision to knock her with the blunt end of the ax head, the metal crumpled in her skull and she collapsed.

–“Next time I’ll leave you to the crow’s mercy!” Hegel barked. “You got no concept a what I done for you, and you act like I shit in your beard. Some brother!”

-His gums remembered the method to coax out milk, and with the first drop he felt heat returning to his limbs. His hand went to her flabby breast and squeezed, frigid as what it was, his slurping mixing with her rising moans; a nearby bear retreated up the slope in search of less sinister prey.

–“Witches, in my voluminous experience, do not have goddamn fish parts stead a legs. Monsters, on the other hand, have all kinds a weird animal parts. What makes’em monsters, after all.”

-The thing rubbed itself against her side, and she realized the low growl was it purring like the cats her father would not let her keep but drowned in the pond to spite the Devil. She silently pleaded with her eyes to remain fixed on the fire but they gazed down at the brute as it moved to the corpse.

–From the window one of the guards hurled an oil lamp at those swarming the front door, setting several ablaze and then catching a bolt between his eyes.

–“What brought illumination to your ignorant fuckin ass?”

–Just as there exist dark things that traverse oceanic abyssess as if they were dry land, so too do fell beings troll the skies as if they were seas. The releasing of the artifact brought the attention of one of those, which might otherwise have failed to notice the object from such a distance. With the speed of God it descended from the heavens in pursuit of the shimmering prize for which all vile powers lust.

–“Stow that noise or I’ll demote you to bishop.”

–“One ear each, to hear your commands, and so in Hell I can hear the Grossbarts scream. One eye each, to hunt their quarry, and so I can see the Grossbarts die. Half a nose, to smell them out and inhale the last breath breathed by Grossbart lungs. Half a heart to live, to live despite all wounds! My tongue—” But her instructions turned to a scream as they devoured the region whence they had so freshly birthed. “You eat. Or. They’ll eat. You. Alive.”

–Before he could recover, half a dozen slaves on the edge of the firelight disappeared, yanked backward into the darkness without a scream among them—but their fellows who had seen what had taken them supplied shrieks to go around.

–“She’s already seen my sins and absolved me. Every rotten trespass I committed washed clean.”

–“Circles!” Hegel shouted. “Draw circles bout you in the dirt! Now!” “Ah fuck it all,” Manfried groaned, seeing what his brother was on about. “Not all this again.”

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Text Trailers: Bullet Park by John Cheever

–“How is your horrid country?”

–“You can look all over the world but you won’t find neighbors as kind and thoughtful as the people in Bullet Park.”

–He possesses for a moment the curious power of being able to frighten himself.

–“Oh, I wish it would never get dark—never. I suppose you know all about that lady who was mistreated and strangled on Maple Street last month. She was my age and we had the same first name. We had the same horoscope and they never found the murderer…”

–I heard her swear and a moment later I heard the noise of falling glass, and why is this sound so portentous, so like a doomcrack bell?

–He turned on a light and saw how absorbed his son was in the lisping clown.

—society had become so automative and nomadic that nomadic signals or means of communication had been established by the means of headlights, parking lights, signal lights and windshield wipers. Hang the child murderer. (Headlights.) Reduce the state income tax. (Parking lights.) Abolish the secret police. (Emergency signal.) The bishop had suggested that churchgoers turn on their windshield wipers to communicate their faith in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.

–The place had long ago gone to seed and had then been abandoned. The water traps were dry, the windmill had lost its sails and the greens were bare concrete but most of the obstacles were intact and on summer nights men and boys still played the course although there were no trespassing signs all over the place.

–“I was feeling good too but we have a problem here and we can’t evade it just because the veal birds smell good.”

–The man explained that he was after draft evaders because he had spent a year and a half in a POW camp in Germany, eating rats and mice. He wanted the younger generation to learn what it was all about.

–“Alchemy is, of course, the transmutation of base metals into noble ones and when an extract of beaver musk, cedar bark, heliotrope, celery and gum resin can arouse immortal longings in a male we are close to alchemy, wouldn’t you say?”

–She’d keep saying hello all through the preliminaries and then when we came to the main feature she’d keep on saying hello only louder and louder and finally she’d sort of yell hello, hello. Then when I got dressed and said good night she’d keep on saying hello.

–Rainwater had collected in one of the commemorative urns or ewers and he scooped enough up with his hand to get the pill down.

–“I suppose I’d drug him or poison him at some cocktail party. I wouldn’t want him to suffer.”

–Snowcapped toilet seats.

— It was the turtle’s lawn, the turtle’s sky, the turtle’s creation, and Nailles seemed to have wandered mistakenly onto the scene. He fired again and missed.

—looking through my handbag I found an invitation to spend a weekend with Robert Frost. Of course he’s dead and buried and I don’t suppose we would have gotten along for more than five minutes but it seemed like some dispensation or bounty of my imagination to have invented such a visit.

–Out of the window he can see his lawns in the starlight. HOPE, HOPE, HOPE, HOPE. Their voices sound like drums. His lawns and the incantations came from different kingdoms. Nothing made any sense.

–“Where’s the body?” “I don’t know.” “There’s his loafer. He was standing right there and the train came through and he was gone.”

–She claimed only last month that her windshield wiper urged her to invest in Merck Chemicals which she did, making a profit of several thousand. I suppose she lies about her losses as gamblers always do.

–Boarding a DC-7 one night in Innsbruck I distinctly heard the engines produce some exalting synthesis of all life’s sounds—boats and train whistles and the creaking of iron gates and bedsprings and drums and rainwinds and thunder and footsteps and the sounds of singing all seemed woven into a rope or cord of air that ended when the stewardess asked us to observe the No Smoking sign–

–“I would entertain in order to conceal my purpose.”

–That road and all the rest of the freeways and thruways were engineered for clowns and drunks. If you’re not a nerveless clown then you have to get drunk. No sensitive or intelligent man or woman can drive on those roads. They ought to sell pot and bourbon at the gas stations. Then there wouldn’t be so many accidents.

–He enjoyed maneuvering the howling, screaming engine and its murderous teeth.

–Had she gone mad? She watched the procession until it had wound out of sight. Shit was the last placard she saw.

–“I heard him talking to himself. ‘I can’t stand it any longer,’ he said. I still don’t know what he meant. Then he went out into the garden and shot himself.”

–They were merely acquaintances but the casualty had thrust them into an intimate relationship.

–We do not fall in love—I thought—we re-enter love, and I had fallen in love with a memory—a piece of white thread and a thunderstorm. My own true love was a piece of white thread and that was so.–

–I sat in a chair by the window feeling the calm of the yellow walls restore me.

–The woman who dreamed of a mink coat had more sense than the woman who dreamed of heaven. The nature of man was terrifying and singular and man’s environment was chaos.

–“Get out of here,” the swami said. “Get out of the Temple of Light.”

–“Mr. and Mrs. Hammer, may I present your neighbor Mr. Nailles.”