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Peter Stubbe: Werewolf

Passages

Peter Stubbe belongs in any thorough examination of the accounts of mediaeval monstrosity: his sordid career was an example of unparalleled perversity, capped by a hideous abomination to his own son that leaves little doubt as to the fact that somewhere, within his icy heart, the Devil did, indeed, in some form lurk. Peter Stubbe had been afflicted, since his earliest days, with the reputation of being a monstrous lad, given to thievery, bestiality, and a sullen, sordid countenance that did not win him many friends. By the time adulthood beckoned him, Stubbe was already a novice practitioner of the “black arts.”

Stubbe was apparently successful in his attempt to conjure up the living Devil, and was able to secure with him a pact in which, for the price of his mortal soul, Stubbe was to be endowed with the power to transform himself into a blood-crazed, ravening wolf. The…

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Books, Dreams and Nightmares, Experimental, Fiction, short-short, Uncategorized, Young Adult

A Dream of the Rat

I was standing in line with a buddy of mine, and some bullies come up and cut in front. They push us back, and we know there’s really nothing we can do, no one we can appeal to.

He turns to me and says, “So take the example of the rat. A noble creature, the rat. Misunderstood, he’s the true winner, the true achiever of the world.”

I turn to him,”What in the world are you talking about?”

He smiles. We’re both really hungry. Rats equal cheese in my mind.

“Well,” he says, “a rat will forage for a piece of cheese, will sneak into the pantry of an unsuspecting family. Steal that cheese. Make off with it. Eat it up, and come back for more later.

“Well,” he continues, as the line starts to move, “soon the Noble Rat comes back, and he’s gotten bigger, stronger, and he steals more food. Right under their noses, sneaking here and there, never being anything more than a thief lurking in the dark, a little tittering shadow, a suspect…soon, Mr. Rat is big, strong; sharp little teeth for gnawing and biting. And one day the family discovers him, and he’s too much for them to handle. They’d call in an exterminator, but he’s got kinfolk, babies, and they’re strong, too; from eating all that free cheese. And so the family, not wanting to live with that infestation, pick up and move somewhere else. And now the Noble Rat has the space all for himself.”

We finally get to the serving counter, and the old woman with the hair net and the horrible THING on her chin ladles out mashed potatoes and mystery meat onto my plastic tray. I consider the Noble Rat, carefully; it all makes a sort of terrible sense.

I wonder what it feels like to be bitten by the noble, ring-tailed, furry-faced King of Pilfered Cheese.

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The Psychopath

This Fist and What It Can Claim

Passages

I’ll trap you in the silent cathedral,
a place of dour amusements,
with pick and rope and bone saw handy
to take your little ego to pieces
part by puzzled part,
with drill bit hammered through splintering door
into the dancing figure
of the unwilling hostess
who jibbers in the darkness
at the injustice of it all.

This love is a madness born within,
the sickness they say I can never shake,
and with hands in grubby pockets
I peer beneath beard to see the game
being played by Sacred Mother in the dust.
And this place they’ve set apart for us,
beyond reach of newspaper jackal
and tired blue suit eye
is perfect in the way that a thigh bone crushed
By the speculation of a weight imposed
is perfect in the way it pops.

I cower in the darkness,
crouched above booby trap,
swinging the noose,
waiting for…

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When I First Saw the Demon

Edited. Whoosh!

Passages

cloaked

I was thirteen years old when I first saw the demon.

It came to me in the darkest watches of the night. Waking up from slumber, I found I couldn’t move. I knew I had been away, somehwere, in a place that was dark and grey and dead. Upon coming back from that dismal, horrifying place, I would slowly open my eyes and see the immense form, the hooded shadow that a man has described as “blacker than the black.”

When it first came to me, it was invisible. I could feel it crawl over me, and the feeling was both overpoweringly exhilarating, erotic, and terrifying. I could feel it press down upon me, could feel its weight as the bed creaked up and down heavily…

I awoke that night in a panic, and had to be rushed to the hospital emergency room.

A year or two later, I saw…

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The Power Of “Greed”…And “McTeague”

Silent-ology

A few years ago I watched the hallowed classic Greed (1924) for the very first time. It was the shortest version, a fuzzy YouTube copy that probably makes Eric von Stroheim spin in his grave every time a viewer clicks on it (spinning while being immaculately dressed in his white Prussian uniform, mind you). And like any cinephile who makes an honest effort to appreciate film history…I liked it. It involved unusual characters. Its plot has interesting twists. It was obviously well-made. It was insanely dark. All in all, I was glad I watched it. I decided to put it on my “future re-watch” list, intending to study its skillfulness a little more at some point.

Now let’s fast-forward a bit to two summers ago. I was in North Carolina visiting friends, and one afternoon we decided to visit a used bookstore (they’re fellow bookworms). I was scanning some…

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