desmondwrite
Follow
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
An insane asylum plaques your city.
Written by desmondwrite

Bed Springs Insane Asylum

It was a nurse who took down the plaque—the one commemorating "Bed Springs Insane Asylum" and its historic efforts. Partly because there was no Bed Springs Insane Asylum. (This was, after all, the Julie Kryor Hospital for the Mentally Impaired.) Partly because nothing was allowed to be posted on the walls without administrator consent. (The irony of hanging Van Gogh prints in a mental hospital was lost to everyone.) Partly because Dr. Chaudhuri requested it.

The plaque was made on paper because what was the point of wasting good wood or iron? Nor did anyone have access to the shop. It was drawn in crayon because crayons were special to the patients and they wanted the plaque to represent them as much as it commemorated their neighboring city. And the plaque was created by Ms. Zanna Tully, because the other 'resident artist' had asked for a lifetime supply of cigarettes and Joséphine de Beauharnais's hand in marriage, only smoking was not allowed and Joséphine had been dead for two hundred years. In the end, free, free, free was more appealing.

The removal of the plaque caused enough disturbance that Dr. Chaudhuri had to summon Zanna into the interview room. These disturbances were little ways the patients found to riot, like refusing to take pills, or drawing new plaques on the wall right on the paint, or breaking lamps and chairs. One patient—Mr. Bryan Brightley—ate a handful of crayons and pooped rainbows in the parlor. The truth was that not every patient understood the significance of the plaque, but it made them feel something like an eel in the stomach. A good squirming feeling, I should clarify.

Zanna was a frightened young woman—thin and gray and collapsible. Her record was archetypal: schizophrenia, suicidal tendencies, a litany of medications, allowed acrylics and canvas only under the scrutiny of the head nurse. Now Zanna scrutinized the tall mirrors to her left, thinking she could see the outlines of persons like glimpses of another dimension. Before her was a gray-foam table with safely rounded corners, and beyond that was Dr. Chaudhuri wearing a blue blazer that was still clean even though someone puked on it earlier. 

Now the good doctor put the plaque on the table and wondered aloud why Zanna would make a memorial for an "insane asylum city."

The plaque read simply: "Bed Springs Insane Asylum. In the 19th-century, there emerged a need for a place of refuge and treatment for Americans suffering from mental illness. In 1843, the county built the city on an old farm site. The city houses over 2 million patients today." There were no pictures, only blue text on yellow ground.

It took some pleasantries before Dr. Chaudhuri caught some substance on his recorder:

"Someone—I think it was Dr. Glines," said Zanna, hesitating as she gave the mirror a glance. "Someone mentioned that in city hall there's a plaque for our hospital, so we thought we'd do a plaque for the city of Bed Springs. Because we feel bad for Bed Springs. Here we're doing great. We're receiving help. But that city is full of people trapped in disorder and destruction, struggling forever, wearing the straightjacket of the 9 to 5, screaming silently in bedrooms, hearing voices that say 'you'll never be good enough' or 'no one really loves you,' and, well, everyone forgets to appreciate their struggle, too."

"But the city is where we want to send you someday," said Dr. Chaudhuri, adding a pinch of artificial sweetener to his voice. "It's not an asylum. It's real life."

And he went on to describe how there is a natural and healthy rhythm to being human, how spirit and survival dictate society, how a community creates compromise—not crazy. On and on he went, only now that he thought about it, how real was regularity and responsibility, and how awful were clocks? All those tick, tick, ticks like icepicks to the brain telling you when to be awake and when to be asleep and when to eat and when to crap. And many people in Bed Springs took more pills than his patients. And lived in big blocks of cells where they weren't allowed to enter each other's rooms without consent.

But Dr. Chaudhuri could tell Zanna wasn't hearing much of his explanation because her hands were shaking and she was looking fearfully to her left. She was seeing something that disturbed her—probably a visual hallucination. The doctor signaled to aides in the hall, and they quickly took her back to her room. Alone now, he turned off the recorder. The plaque would remain down for nothing should contaminate the asepsis of the hospital—that clinical cleanliness that is not comforting, never comforting, and acts as a platform for despair with uncaring, easily-cleaned uniformity.

Before he left the interview room, the doctor had an odd moment. For a heartbeat (and only a heartbeat) he thought he saw the bald shape of Zanna in the mirror—the suggestion of a silhouete.

11
3
1
Juice
46 reads
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
An insane asylum plaques your city.
Written by desmondwrite
Bed Springs Insane Asylum
It was a nurse who took down the plaque—the one commemorating "Bed Springs Insane Asylum" and its historic efforts. Partly because there was no Bed Springs Insane Asylum. (This was, after all, the Julie Kryor Hospital for the Mentally Impaired.) Partly because nothing was allowed to be posted on the walls without administrator consent. (The irony of hanging Van Gogh prints in a mental hospital was lost to everyone.) Partly because Dr. Chaudhuri requested it.

The plaque was made on paper because what was the point of wasting good wood or iron? Nor did anyone have access to the shop. It was drawn in crayon because crayons were special to the patients and they wanted the plaque to represent them as much as it commemorated their neighboring city. And the plaque was created by Ms. Zanna Tully, because the other 'resident artist' had asked for a lifetime supply of cigarettes and Joséphine de Beauharnais's hand in marriage, only smoking was not allowed and Joséphine had been dead for two hundred years. In the end, free, free, free was more appealing.

The removal of the plaque caused enough disturbance that Dr. Chaudhuri had to summon Zanna into the interview room. These disturbances were little ways the patients found to riot, like refusing to take pills, or drawing new plaques on the wall right on the paint, or breaking lamps and chairs. One patient—Mr. Bryan Brightley—ate a handful of crayons and pooped rainbows in the parlor. The truth was that not every patient understood the significance of the plaque, but it made them feel something like an eel in the stomach. A good squirming feeling, I should clarify.

Zanna was a frightened young woman—thin and gray and collapsible. Her record was archetypal: schizophrenia, suicidal tendencies, a litany of medications, allowed acrylics and canvas only under the scrutiny of the head nurse. Now Zanna scrutinized the tall mirrors to her left, thinking she could see the outlines of persons like glimpses of another dimension. Before her was a gray-foam table with safely rounded corners, and beyond that was Dr. Chaudhuri wearing a blue blazer that was still clean even though someone puked on it earlier. 

Now the good doctor put the plaque on the table and wondered aloud why Zanna would make a memorial for an "insane asylum city."

The plaque read simply: "Bed Springs Insane Asylum. In the 19th-century, there emerged a need for a place of refuge and treatment for Americans suffering from mental illness. In 1843, the county built the city on an old farm site. The city houses over 2 million patients today." There were no pictures, only blue text on yellow ground.

It took some pleasantries before Dr. Chaudhuri caught some substance on his recorder:

"Someone—I think it was Dr. Glines," said Zanna, hesitating as she gave the mirror a glance. "Someone mentioned that in city hall there's a plaque for our hospital, so we thought we'd do a plaque for the city of Bed Springs. Because we feel bad for Bed Springs. Here we're doing great. We're receiving help. But that city is full of people trapped in disorder and destruction, struggling forever, wearing the straightjacket of the 9 to 5, screaming silently in bedrooms, hearing voices that say 'you'll never be good enough' or 'no one really loves you,' and, well, everyone forgets to appreciate their struggle, too."

"But the city is where we want to send you someday," said Dr. Chaudhuri, adding a pinch of artificial sweetener to his voice. "It's not an asylum. It's real life."

And he went on to describe how there is a natural and healthy rhythm to being human, how spirit and survival dictate society, how a community creates compromise—not crazy. On and on he went, only now that he thought about it, how real was regularity and responsibility, and how awful were clocks? All those tick, tick, ticks like icepicks to the brain telling you when to be awake and when to be asleep and when to eat and when to crap. And many people in Bed Springs took more pills than his patients. And lived in big blocks of cells where they weren't allowed to enter each other's rooms without consent.

But Dr. Chaudhuri could tell Zanna wasn't hearing much of his explanation because her hands were shaking and she was looking fearfully to her left. She was seeing something that disturbed her—probably a visual hallucination. The doctor signaled to aides in the hall, and they quickly took her back to her room. Alone now, he turned off the recorder. The plaque would remain down for nothing should contaminate the asepsis of the hospital—that clinical cleanliness that is not comforting, never comforting, and acts as a platform for despair with uncaring, easily-cleaned uniformity.

Before he left the interview room, the doctor had an odd moment. For a heartbeat (and only a heartbeat) he thought he saw the bald shape of Zanna in the mirror—the suggestion of a silhouete.
11
3
1
Juice
46 reads
Load 1 Comment
Login to post comments.
Advertisement  (turn off)
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Writing with Authenticity 100-300 words. No rhymes accepted.
Written by desmondwrite

Teaching Tapas (3)

Sometimes I'll see a student staring out the window at the end of the hall. But what does she see out there that holds her attention? I know from experience there's only a gray lot of teacher's cars, the track field, a tennis court hidden by a blue wall—all of it yellow and hazy from the sun slapping against the dust on the glass. But I don't think she's looking at anything in particular. Maybe it's a mood she senses on the other side of the pane. Behind her, white walls slide into a maze of lockers and locked doors guarded by a panopticon of ceiling cameras and teacher lounges. But out there are streets and side-streets and green, green grass and the bayous that interlace Houston like little green veins, and beyond the red roofs of the suburbs are patches of green trees binding shadow-flooded marshes and the homes of alligators.

Sometimes I think I know what she sees.

14
5
3
Juice
51 reads
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Writing with Authenticity 100-300 words. No rhymes accepted.
Written by desmondwrite
Teaching Tapas (3)
Sometimes I'll see a student staring out the window at the end of the hall. But what does she see out there that holds her attention? I know from experience there's only a gray lot of teacher's cars, the track field, a tennis court hidden by a blue wall—all of it yellow and hazy from the sun slapping against the dust on the glass. But I don't think she's looking at anything in particular. Maybe it's a mood she senses on the other side of the pane. Behind her, white walls slide into a maze of lockers and locked doors guarded by a panopticon of ceiling cameras and teacher lounges. But out there are streets and side-streets and green, green grass and the bayous that interlace Houston like little green veins, and beyond the red roofs of the suburbs are patches of green trees binding shadow-flooded marshes and the homes of alligators.

Sometimes I think I know what she sees.
14
5
3
Juice
51 reads
Load 3 Comments
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Describe freedom in 15 words... with one caveat: you can't use the words free, freedom, freeing, freest or freer (even in the title).
Written by desmondwrite

Teaching Tapas (2)

Sometimes students stare wistfully out the window at the end of the hall. Sometimes teachers.

9
4
0
Juice
18 reads
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Describe freedom in 15 words... with one caveat: you can't use the words free, freedom, freeing, freest or freer (even in the title).
Written by desmondwrite
Teaching Tapas (2)
Sometimes students stare wistfully out the window at the end of the hall. Sometimes teachers.
9
4
0
Juice
18 reads
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Capture a moment
Written by desmondwrite

Teaching Tapas (1)

My classroom is a block like one of those you stack to do math when you're in kindergarten. Desks turn forward like lines of British soldiers, and students shout and throw rulers and text each other in a war for attention. My desk is the general's tent—present, to the side of the commons and barracks, capable at a moment's notice to survey the ranks (all I have to do is lift my eyesight an inch from my monitor to review a regiment using cell phones to redo eyelashes or sneaking markers to color in a map of Asia or clunkily dropping fidget spinners). From this distance it's difficult to tell if a student in the back is passing notes digitally on the phone in her lap or using a calculator to complete physics problems. So, with a war-weary sigh, although sans mustache, cigar, and epaulets, I get up from my chair and remind the Front that their assignment is due in two minutes.

10
2
0
Juice
39 reads
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Capture a moment
Written by desmondwrite
Teaching Tapas (1)
My classroom is a block like one of those you stack to do math when you're in kindergarten. Desks turn forward like lines of British soldiers, and students shout and throw rulers and text each other in a war for attention. My desk is the general's tent—present, to the side of the commons and barracks, capable at a moment's notice to survey the ranks (all I have to do is lift my eyesight an inch from my monitor to review a regiment using cell phones to redo eyelashes or sneaking markers to color in a map of Asia or clunkily dropping fidget spinners). From this distance it's difficult to tell if a student in the back is passing notes digitally on the phone in her lap or using a calculator to complete physics problems. So, with a war-weary sigh, although sans mustache, cigar, and epaulets, I get up from my chair and remind the Front that their assignment is due in two minutes.
10
2
0
Juice
39 reads
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Teenage angst. Admit it, we've all been there haha. Share your most angst filled poem from those dramatic teenage years, or, you could write a new one from a teenagers point of view.
Written by desmondwrite

The ink on his arms

[Wrote this my senior year in high school. I was kind of an emotional mess.]

As he showered from another day,

the ink on his arms was washed away.

It'd been left by friends with ecstatic pens

who in excitement had been carried away.

One wouldn’t rub off no matter how much he scrubbed,

drawn by a girl whom he had once loved.

15
7
4
Juice
52 reads
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Teenage angst. Admit it, we've all been there haha. Share your most angst filled poem from those dramatic teenage years, or, you could write a new one from a teenagers point of view.
Written by desmondwrite
The ink on his arms
[Wrote this my senior year in high school. I was kind of an emotional mess.]

As he showered from another day,
the ink on his arms was washed away.
It'd been left by friends with ecstatic pens
who in excitement had been carried away.
One wouldn’t rub off no matter how much he scrubbed,
drawn by a girl whom he had once loved.
15
7
4
Juice
52 reads
Load 4 Comments
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Written by desmondwrite

Time Tour

Arisa sighed so intensely she almost dry heaved as she collected a bucket and mop and tried to soap up the green stain on the floor of Paul Revere's house. She looked to Paul and said, "Sorry about that," and he waved his hands dismissively—he was one of the few historical celebrities who enjoyed the attention (and groping stares of tourists). Arisa put the cleaning supplies back in the Vault and wondered if the Agency covering Ancient Persia had to deal with this much puke, but she knew they had it worse—mounds of McDom wrappers, discarded bottles of sugar cola, the occasional beheading, and tourists sneaking aspirin to Alexander the Great. She didn't even want to imagine all the fanny-packed Americans bumping into each other at the barricades of Revolutionary France, disappointed when the Bastille raised the white flag after an underwhelming battle, and keeping on the lookout for Valjean or Javert (some forty years off—not to mention they were fiction).

As Arisa came out of the Vault, she suppressed a second sigh that threatened to blow the back of her brains out. There were two fresh pools of goo on the floor where she'd just mopped. She nodded thankfully as one of her past selves went to the Vault to grab the mop. Or future self. She couldn't quite tell as she always wore that crisp black tee-shirt with the text "VASS STAFF" in poison green on the front and kept her hair in a permanent collarbone-length chop. Of course, these were only the selves from this week. Time Tourism was only possible for short durations to the same spot, same time, lest the area become overpacked with panicking, puking people stepping on the Dead Sea Scrolls and interrupting Hitler's speeches.

"All right, folks," said Arisa, motioning to her group. They mostly consisted of old people and women of all ages and a fat goateed man with his hair in a pony tail. All of them looked queasy and not quite ready to go back to the Vault but she had a schedule to keep. Otherwise, they'd be trapped in 1775 as a cube ported directly on their's (inside which would be a whole new slew of stinkers led by a whole new Arisa). If that didn't generate an explosion about three planets wide. So, disinterestedly saving the human race (something she did fifteen times a day, Mondays to Fridays), Arisa herded the group back in the Vault and punched the coordinates for April 19th—Concord. The doors shut and the Vault rumbled like those simulator rides in Los Angeles theme parks and the doors opened again to a haze flickering with red lights like an array of fireflies. Gas masks on, the group spilled onto a hillside of gravestones and looked out over old colonial mansions (not old at the moment) and regiments of red-and-white infantrymen in shag hats firing at a horde of green, browns, and blues—the Americans. This was the highlight of the day before she took the timesick to the Second Continental Congress for cocktails and a hearty dose of patriotism.

Down in the creek, she watched with almost dull apathy as a Vault appeared and two figures in orange slipsuits creeped out. One took a bullet to the chest and the other rushed back inside. The Vault disappeared. It was an event some ten years ago on Arisa's side of time. These were first scouts to investigate the Battle of Concord for a scenic view. Now, preserved in time, there was nothing to do but watch as Butter Khowaja died and Keely Varga narrowly escaped. Scouting was a dangerous, exciting occupation. Guiding, on the other hand, was like waiting for a broken clock to fix itself.

11
5
3
Juice
57 reads
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Written by desmondwrite
Time Tour
Arisa sighed so intensely she almost dry heaved as she collected a bucket and mop and tried to soap up the green stain on the floor of Paul Revere's house. She looked to Paul and said, "Sorry about that," and he waved his hands dismissively—he was one of the few historical celebrities who enjoyed the attention (and groping stares of tourists). Arisa put the cleaning supplies back in the Vault and wondered if the Agency covering Ancient Persia had to deal with this much puke, but she knew they had it worse—mounds of McDom wrappers, discarded bottles of sugar cola, the occasional beheading, and tourists sneaking aspirin to Alexander the Great. She didn't even want to imagine all the fanny-packed Americans bumping into each other at the barricades of Revolutionary France, disappointed when the Bastille raised the white flag after an underwhelming battle, and keeping on the lookout for Valjean or Javert (some forty years off—not to mention they were fiction).

As Arisa came out of the Vault, she suppressed a second sigh that threatened to blow the back of her brains out. There were two fresh pools of goo on the floor where she'd just mopped. She nodded thankfully as one of her past selves went to the Vault to grab the mop. Or future self. She couldn't quite tell as she always wore that crisp black tee-shirt with the text "VASS STAFF" in poison green on the front and kept her hair in a permanent collarbone-length chop. Of course, these were only the selves from this week. Time Tourism was only possible for short durations to the same spot, same time, lest the area become overpacked with panicking, puking people stepping on the Dead Sea Scrolls and interrupting Hitler's speeches.

"All right, folks," said Arisa, motioning to her group. They mostly consisted of old people and women of all ages and a fat goateed man with his hair in a pony tail. All of them looked queasy and not quite ready to go back to the Vault but she had a schedule to keep. Otherwise, they'd be trapped in 1775 as a cube ported directly on their's (inside which would be a whole new slew of stinkers led by a whole new Arisa). If that didn't generate an explosion about three planets wide. So, disinterestedly saving the human race (something she did fifteen times a day, Mondays to Fridays), Arisa herded the group back in the Vault and punched the coordinates for April 19th—Concord. The doors shut and the Vault rumbled like those simulator rides in Los Angeles theme parks and the doors opened again to a haze flickering with red lights like an array of fireflies. Gas masks on, the group spilled onto a hillside of gravestones and looked out over old colonial mansions (not old at the moment) and regiments of red-and-white infantrymen in shag hats firing at a horde of green, browns, and blues—the Americans. This was the highlight of the day before she took the timesick to the Second Continental Congress for cocktails and a hearty dose of patriotism.

Down in the creek, she watched with almost dull apathy as a Vault appeared and two figures in orange slipsuits creeped out. One took a bullet to the chest and the other rushed back inside. The Vault disappeared. It was an event some ten years ago on Arisa's side of time. These were first scouts to investigate the Battle of Concord for a scenic view. Now, preserved in time, there was nothing to do but watch as Butter Khowaja died and Keely Varga narrowly escaped. Scouting was a dangerous, exciting occupation. Guiding, on the other hand, was like waiting for a broken clock to fix itself.
11
5
3
Juice
57 reads
Load 3 Comments
Login to post comments.
Advertisement  (turn off)
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Write a parody! Or even fan-fiction!
Written by desmondwrite in portal Fiction

"The Artist's Wife" (Lovecraft Mimicry)

Sluice Warrington was growing more and more annoyed with Rez, especially the man's side-street studio with its clitter clatter of canvases and layers upon layers of dust and paint-pocked floors as mindless as a Jackson Pollock. But worse, he hated how the man's oil canvases would sell for upwards of five grand; how entropy spawned celebrity. It seemed the more Rez became a mess of a human being, the more potent the paintings he pushed into galleries and living rooms and furniture stores and government buildings, while Sluice kept a tidy space—white and rounded as an Apple Store, clean and clinical as a nurse's ass—debarring his passion only on canvas, releasing himself like a frothing inmate given knife and vein—and made nothing. Not a quarter on skulls biting into moons, not a dime on robed figures biting into babies, not a nickel on statues wearing human skin, not a penny on nude women exhaling trails of beetles down their necks. But no one wanted truth anymore. No one wanted darkness. They wanted lazy pleasures that took a heartbeat to decipher. Rez's slurred landscapes, his blotted horses, the slop he called wildflowers and slabs of meat he called people, that sold.

But no longer! thought Sluice as he nailed up a shelf in his studio. Onto this shelf, Sluice piled the most obscure books he could find—travelogues of strange seas, manuscripts by madmen, maps, codices, scrolls, books of lost alphabets, ideas, and animals, illustrated stories about historical monsters, portents, prophecies, addendums to the Bible and Koran, alchemic recipes, pamphlets from an English secret society called the White Cloak, the lost diaries of Turriciano, Alan Moore's Providence (it was a good read), and heaps and heaps of spellbooks—any Sluice could find—from scratched out equations on toilet rolls to black blood volumes with poison green titles to crackling leather barely protecting crinkling vellum slips. It was in this search that he finally found what he was looking for: an edge.

The time was opportune, too, for Rez had reached a new tier of nuisance. The Bed Springs Fine Arts Museum was exhibiting a collection entitled: “Rez, Resurrected,” featuring his series of graveyards that looked like gray teeth on green lips. During the opening ceremony, Rez had attributed little depth to his works, describing them as: “Pretty, aren’t they?” and focusing instead on process. This was the worst of it, that someone with such talent would be an idiot. Only Sluice recognized “Rez, Resurrected” for having all the subtly of ape excrement.

But finally, inspiration. In a manuscript made from animal skin—the pages scrubbed so thinly they were translucent—Sluice found a text black as burns and slashing wildly as knife strokes. The manuscript's language had been lost in the loams of Persia, but he could read it legibly, although this induced migraines. Into these petrified layers of Sign and Sorcery, he peered. Most of it was murky as a cauldron, but here and there surfaced insights into the nature of magic, and the entire work seemed to promise to end the reader's sterility and that half-abominated world of near-but-never fame. Instead, the reader would be elevated to Subcreator, to really shape a Work from the materia, to make art that lives and pumps. Every artist before had been a neanderthal, grunting through the rubbish of language, smearing shadow people and spears on ill-lit caves.

So Sluice read and read, and read all over again. His day job at an IT firm assisted his mediation; the dull, tedious investigation of a computer’s interior workings and those codes which can bring configured metal to life helped him understand how script might Signify; how language could lunge from petty black symbols into systems of reality. He read through swollen eyes and a thunderous cavern of bone and finally he was ready and went to his wife and said: “It’s time we had a child.”


He did it. There were certain preparations. The candles were bloodmeal; the paste between the mattresses a viscosity of crushed raven, frog bile, and peaseblossom. He drew sigils in notebooks which he carefully placed about the room—the diagrams’ energies not deterred by the roofs of their binding. The Endless Words were uttered under his breath, and in the throes of passion, when the muttering would have discouraged the mood, he thought the Endless Words articulately, repetitively. The process gave him headaches, prolonging the creative process and letting him dive deeper and deeper into her folds. When he was done, he laid lustily in perfumed sheets as she sat on her back, legs in the air.

The early days of her pregnancy were normal. He read the book often. It stayed, this manuscript, by the bed, and he consulted the text as if it were a child-rearing guide. The words were less legible now, revealing only glimpses of truth which devolved into blaring, world-tearing headaches. Sometimes he felt the thinness in the air, or the quiet sound of movement, or a gonging noise like the heartbeat of some alien pressing its chest against his ears. But the reading wasn’t as helpful anymore. The process had been completed: the canvas had been her, the paint the black text, the brush his tongue slapping against teeth. The Great Work, hidden beneath her bump, needed to ferment like alcohol.

His wife was always hungry—she would eat loaves of bread in the check-out aisle and could never keep a stocked fridge. She also felt impressions of the art within her. She complained of dreams that there was a parasite in her belly—sometimes it appeared like a squid thing with the face of a spider, or a plated beetle coated in slimy horns, or a bundle of worms whose heads ended in an array of needle-roots piercing the womb lining. Did all pregnant women feel this way? Feel slowly eaten alive from within? Her stomach swelled larger and larger but her legs, butt, neck, etc., all remained thin. The baby was gorging itself on her—sipping her nutrients through the straw in its belly. Sometimes it pressed against the womb, and the impression pushing out of her skin wasn’t a foot, but something like a sliding eel. But Sluice didn’t want an ultrasound. “We can’t afford it,” he said. “You lost your healthcare and most of our income is going toward student loans and I’m afraid in three months we’ll be out on the streets or moving in with your parents.” But Sluice said this with a gleeful intensity and his eyes didn’t match the sour news. Instead, the narrow bands of blue around his engorged pupils glittered in anticipation and she thought—he’s excited about the baby.

But she was worried about Sluice and the darkness of his appetite. Sluice avoided his friends, especially Rez. His nights were spent at home, dozing, or reading the crumbles of paper he called “the Manuscript.” There was a smugness there despite the black bags bordering his eyes and the strained, rashy complexion of his skin. And a patience, too, which exceeded all compassion and bordered on the stoicism of a scientist cultivating a petri dish. They did not have sex—he didn’t feel comfortable pressing against the bulge too harshly.

Sluice kept reading, and the book kept revealing new layers of text until he thought he must be at the organs of the thing, or digging against the bones. The further he pressed his face into the Manuscript, the more Signs he uncovered, until he realized this book was an autopsy of sorts—an unraveling of the corpse of the cosmos.

The day came when he was dreaming about ruins that a text buzzed on his phone: [Hurry. Now. Having contractions.] Sluice rushed out his cubicle past confused glances, his phone pressed to his ear. “Sluice,” she moaned over the phone while he stood in the elevator. “This doesn’t feel right.” “There’s blood, Sluice,” she said as he pulled his car from the lot. “And—And something else.” The exit by the toll booth was accompanied by a series of moans, almost in pleasure. By the freeway they’d curdled into fulsome screams.

When Sluice pulled up to his driveway, the house was like an egg cracked open and poured into a pan. The wall to the living room had shattered into tufts of concrete and insulation foam and the veins of electrical wires. Coating it all were smears of what could have been jelly, only they stank of umbilical fluids and maggots. Sluice examined a series of craters on the driveway and, with the satisfaction of an artist who, masterpiece complete, must put away the tools, went inside to put away his wife.

14
7
5
Juice
89 reads
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Write a parody! Or even fan-fiction!
Written by desmondwrite in portal Fiction
"The Artist's Wife" (Lovecraft Mimicry)
Sluice Warrington was growing more and more annoyed with Rez, especially the man's side-street studio with its clitter clatter of canvases and layers upon layers of dust and paint-pocked floors as mindless as a Jackson Pollock. But worse, he hated how the man's oil canvases would sell for upwards of five grand; how entropy spawned celebrity. It seemed the more Rez became a mess of a human being, the more potent the paintings he pushed into galleries and living rooms and furniture stores and government buildings, while Sluice kept a tidy space—white and rounded as an Apple Store, clean and clinical as a nurse's ass—debarring his passion only on canvas, releasing himself like a frothing inmate given knife and vein—and made nothing. Not a quarter on skulls biting into moons, not a dime on robed figures biting into babies, not a nickel on statues wearing human skin, not a penny on nude women exhaling trails of beetles down their necks. But no one wanted truth anymore. No one wanted darkness. They wanted lazy pleasures that took a heartbeat to decipher. Rez's slurred landscapes, his blotted horses, the slop he called wildflowers and slabs of meat he called people, that sold.

But no longer! thought Sluice as he nailed up a shelf in his studio. Onto this shelf, Sluice piled the most obscure books he could find—travelogues of strange seas, manuscripts by madmen, maps, codices, scrolls, books of lost alphabets, ideas, and animals, illustrated stories about historical monsters, portents, prophecies, addendums to the Bible and Koran, alchemic recipes, pamphlets from an English secret society called the White Cloak, the lost diaries of Turriciano, Alan Moore's Providence (it was a good read), and heaps and heaps of spellbooks—any Sluice could find—from scratched out equations on toilet rolls to black blood volumes with poison green titles to crackling leather barely protecting crinkling vellum slips. It was in this search that he finally found what he was looking for: an edge.

The time was opportune, too, for Rez had reached a new tier of nuisance. The Bed Springs Fine Arts Museum was exhibiting a collection entitled: “Rez, Resurrected,” featuring his series of graveyards that looked like gray teeth on green lips. During the opening ceremony, Rez had attributed little depth to his works, describing them as: “Pretty, aren’t they?” and focusing instead on process. This was the worst of it, that someone with such talent would be an idiot. Only Sluice recognized “Rez, Resurrected” for having all the subtly of ape excrement.

But finally, inspiration. In a manuscript made from animal skin—the pages scrubbed so thinly they were translucent—Sluice found a text black as burns and slashing wildly as knife strokes. The manuscript's language had been lost in the loams of Persia, but he could read it legibly, although this induced migraines. Into these petrified layers of Sign and Sorcery, he peered. Most of it was murky as a cauldron, but here and there surfaced insights into the nature of magic, and the entire work seemed to promise to end the reader's sterility and that half-abominated world of near-but-never fame. Instead, the reader would be elevated to Subcreator, to really shape a Work from the materia, to make art that lives and pumps. Every artist before had been a neanderthal, grunting through the rubbish of language, smearing shadow people and spears on ill-lit caves.

So Sluice read and read, and read all over again. His day job at an IT firm assisted his mediation; the dull, tedious investigation of a computer’s interior workings and those codes which can bring configured metal to life helped him understand how script might Signify; how language could lunge from petty black symbols into systems of reality. He read through swollen eyes and a thunderous cavern of bone and finally he was ready and went to his wife and said: “It’s time we had a child.”


He did it. There were certain preparations. The candles were bloodmeal; the paste between the mattresses a viscosity of crushed raven, frog bile, and peaseblossom. He drew sigils in notebooks which he carefully placed about the room—the diagrams’ energies not deterred by the roofs of their binding. The Endless Words were uttered under his breath, and in the throes of passion, when the muttering would have discouraged the mood, he thought the Endless Words articulately, repetitively. The process gave him headaches, prolonging the creative process and letting him dive deeper and deeper into her folds. When he was done, he laid lustily in perfumed sheets as she sat on her back, legs in the air.

The early days of her pregnancy were normal. He read the book often. It stayed, this manuscript, by the bed, and he consulted the text as if it were a child-rearing guide. The words were less legible now, revealing only glimpses of truth which devolved into blaring, world-tearing headaches. Sometimes he felt the thinness in the air, or the quiet sound of movement, or a gonging noise like the heartbeat of some alien pressing its chest against his ears. But the reading wasn’t as helpful anymore. The process had been completed: the canvas had been her, the paint the black text, the brush his tongue slapping against teeth. The Great Work, hidden beneath her bump, needed to ferment like alcohol.

His wife was always hungry—she would eat loaves of bread in the check-out aisle and could never keep a stocked fridge. She also felt impressions of the art within her. She complained of dreams that there was a parasite in her belly—sometimes it appeared like a squid thing with the face of a spider, or a plated beetle coated in slimy horns, or a bundle of worms whose heads ended in an array of needle-roots piercing the womb lining. Did all pregnant women feel this way? Feel slowly eaten alive from within? Her stomach swelled larger and larger but her legs, butt, neck, etc., all remained thin. The baby was gorging itself on her—sipping her nutrients through the straw in its belly. Sometimes it pressed against the womb, and the impression pushing out of her skin wasn’t a foot, but something like a sliding eel. But Sluice didn’t want an ultrasound. “We can’t afford it,” he said. “You lost your healthcare and most of our income is going toward student loans and I’m afraid in three months we’ll be out on the streets or moving in with your parents.” But Sluice said this with a gleeful intensity and his eyes didn’t match the sour news. Instead, the narrow bands of blue around his engorged pupils glittered in anticipation and she thought—he’s excited about the baby.

But she was worried about Sluice and the darkness of his appetite. Sluice avoided his friends, especially Rez. His nights were spent at home, dozing, or reading the crumbles of paper he called “the Manuscript.” There was a smugness there despite the black bags bordering his eyes and the strained, rashy complexion of his skin. And a patience, too, which exceeded all compassion and bordered on the stoicism of a scientist cultivating a petri dish. They did not have sex—he didn’t feel comfortable pressing against the bulge too harshly.

Sluice kept reading, and the book kept revealing new layers of text until he thought he must be at the organs of the thing, or digging against the bones. The further he pressed his face into the Manuscript, the more Signs he uncovered, until he realized this book was an autopsy of sorts—an unraveling of the corpse of the cosmos.

The day came when he was dreaming about ruins that a text buzzed on his phone: [Hurry. Now. Having contractions.] Sluice rushed out his cubicle past confused glances, his phone pressed to his ear. “Sluice,” she moaned over the phone while he stood in the elevator. “This doesn’t feel right.” “There’s blood, Sluice,” she said as he pulled his car from the lot. “And—And something else.” The exit by the toll booth was accompanied by a series of moans, almost in pleasure. By the freeway they’d curdled into fulsome screams.

When Sluice pulled up to his driveway, the house was like an egg cracked open and poured into a pan. The wall to the living room had shattered into tufts of concrete and insulation foam and the veins of electrical wires. Coating it all were smears of what could have been jelly, only they stank of umbilical fluids and maggots. Sluice examined a series of craters on the driveway and, with the satisfaction of an artist who, masterpiece complete, must put away the tools, went inside to put away his wife.
14
7
5
Juice
89 reads
Load 5 Comments
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Write a 10 sentence fantasy story.
Written by desmondwrite in portal Fantasy

Garden War

Between two trees exploded into boulder stumps, Elemmírë raised a fist. Behind him, ten figures, barely visible above the gloom and bloom, dropped to their knees and scanned the street. They relied solely on the ghostly green readouts from their face masks, as their actual sights would have been distracted by the feral tapestry of flowers, the result not only of civilization gone wild but the biodegradable ammunition being used in the War. Inside each bullet was a gene seed which, when struck by fire, would sprout by day’s end into a single flower. It'd been the only agreed-upon convention between the elf factions—a way of turning war zones into gardens, of reducing the carbon imprint from endless shelling.

For a heartbeat, Elemmírë's Sight picked up a cracked skull, lilac seeping out like purple brain. Then he was Focused on the lights of armored cars bouncing across perforated rock-wake. A set of hand signals and the Ten disappeared, their gaudy red-and-gold camouflage blending with laceleaf and marigold. What Elemmírë's scouts were about to do was an ugly thing; an undignified ambush of a supply convoy. But in another way, a way beyond the soulless tactical hell of battle, they'd be returning motorized death-cannons and plated mercs wearing the ears of enemies around their necks to the serenity of nature.

17
8
3
Juice
136 reads
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Write a 10 sentence fantasy story.
Written by desmondwrite in portal Fantasy
Garden War
Between two trees exploded into boulder stumps, Elemmírë raised a fist. Behind him, ten figures, barely visible above the gloom and bloom, dropped to their knees and scanned the street. They relied solely on the ghostly green readouts from their face masks, as their actual sights would have been distracted by the feral tapestry of flowers, the result not only of civilization gone wild but the biodegradable ammunition being used in the War. Inside each bullet was a gene seed which, when struck by fire, would sprout by day’s end into a single flower. It'd been the only agreed-upon convention between the elf factions—a way of turning war zones into gardens, of reducing the carbon imprint from endless shelling.

For a heartbeat, Elemmírë's Sight picked up a cracked skull, lilac seeping out like purple brain. Then he was Focused on the lights of armored cars bouncing across perforated rock-wake. A set of hand signals and the Ten disappeared, their gaudy red-and-gold camouflage blending with laceleaf and marigold. What Elemmírë's scouts were about to do was an ugly thing; an undignified ambush of a supply convoy. But in another way, a way beyond the soulless tactical hell of battle, they'd be returning motorized death-cannons and plated mercs wearing the ears of enemies around their necks to the serenity of nature.
17
8
3
Juice
136 reads
Load 3 Comments
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Everybody has a dark side
Written by desmondwrite

A Zelzer Stiff

The android was making them all uncomfortable with its Zelzer Stiff eyeing them from its hip. It’d only been forty point three seconds since the landmark decision to include artificial humans in the Second Amendment and this son of a manufacturing plant had just walked into the Rig & Rattle with a laspistol holstered, twinkling. Kghoshi—a real bastard on a good day—splashed his drink on silver chestmetal and said, "You packing, tin can?" The bartender—a saint on a bad day—put an arm on the droid: "C'mon, now, let's not do this." The move was registered as an offensive action and the android shot the bartender between his eyebrows. Kghoshi's finger moved a centimeter toward his gun when a second shot put a red dot on his forehead as uniform as urna. The men in the bar leaped to their feet. Offensive actions. The men in the bar toppled over chairs and tables. By the time the android reached the counter, empty now of breathing souls, a feed of reaction times, facial registers, psycho-prints—all pointing to self-defense—had been submitted to local authorities.

13
6
5
Juice
66 reads
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
Everybody has a dark side
Written by desmondwrite
A Zelzer Stiff
The android was making them all uncomfortable with its Zelzer Stiff eyeing them from its hip. It’d only been forty point three seconds since the landmark decision to include artificial humans in the Second Amendment and this son of a manufacturing plant had just walked into the Rig & Rattle with a laspistol holstered, twinkling. Kghoshi—a real bastard on a good day—splashed his drink on silver chestmetal and said, "You packing, tin can?" The bartender—a saint on a bad day—put an arm on the droid: "C'mon, now, let's not do this." The move was registered as an offensive action and the android shot the bartender between his eyebrows. Kghoshi's finger moved a centimeter toward his gun when a second shot put a red dot on his forehead as uniform as urna. The men in the bar leaped to their feet. Offensive actions. The men in the bar toppled over chairs and tables. By the time the android reached the counter, empty now of breathing souls, a feed of reaction times, facial registers, psycho-prints—all pointing to self-defense—had been submitted to local authorities.
13
6
5
Juice
66 reads
Load 5 Comments
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
You've travelled into the dead world\realm. Only with your spirit. You're alive, but can't find your body. You meet ghosts, zombies and other scary creatures. What happened to you to be in this state? Do you end up finding where your physical form/body is? How do you end up returning to normal & the physical world. Narrative, & descriptive writing format, please. Or You can also make it a quest. You needed to be in the spiritual or dead realm to find a special powerful device|object.
Written by desmondwrite in portal Horror & Thriller

"The Great Fugue"

[An excerpt from the famous orc scholar and adventurer Brakis Grimdear. For the full text, please consult the librarians of Teatree University in the city of Harkness.]

"The underworld is not the heart of a volcano as described by the Cult of Fire, nor a blue ice-fringe as described by the Cult of Ice. There is no eternal whirlwind, meaning the djinn of the Cult of Air are wrong (or metaphorical). Perhaps the Cult of Earth understands this realm best, for the underworld is a cave that expands to bounds unknown. Here, shadows rule, and the darkness has such potency that it becomes fluid and runs on the rocks. The void is lessened only by the blue lights emitted from the souls of the dead, and by the cairns, or stacks of stones and skulls, which glow internally from some secret flame, and the lanterns at the docks. 

The terrain is mostly plains of a material akin to obsidian, and is intercut by hills and shade-cloak rivulets; these 'rivers' are called Little Fugues and are easy to cross as long as you don't step in them. The entrance of the realm ends at the Great Fugue, an immense black channel, although I am sure it has no current. To be truly initiated into the dark halls, one must cross the river. This is usually done by a barge called the Ferryskul, although I believe that boats buried in tombs can be used as well. On this side of the Great Fugue, the undead do not emit a glow, for they still carry their meat and cloaks and any possessions left in the grave. I think the lantern-light attracts them for they crawl across the plains intently and growl if deterred. At the docks, sarlowes strip the dead of their belongings, load the barge with freshly-shaved souls, and ferry across the Great Fugue. The dead's luggage is tossed into the river which is, in some form, alive. I did not see where the refuse went, but if you peered into the muck, you might glimpse lights in the depths and the honeycomb of tombs.

The sarlowes (these labormen of the underworld are robed halflings with faces concealed by hoods, although each had a single blue eye which shone from within; not cycloptic, but as if the other had been punctured) were efficient carvers, and could whittle a man to spirit in seconds. I watched an elf lose her long-ears and long hair, her pale skin, her accruements of sexuality, her green and brown leather coat, and a single arrow puncturing her neck, and when this was peeled away I watched the sarlowes scrape away muscle and bleached bone and even bits of personality, including her elvish grooming, artistic ability, honor, freedom, vitality, and grudges. A dwarf tyrant, too, I beheld; I think it was Urist II of Val Dhuhaim (he had died of an energetic bowel). The stone-faced king was first parted with his beard and jewelry—diadems, rings, a crown, armor plate laced with silver. Then his gentle red cloak, his garments, and all other materia that makes a fattened monarch. Urist almost kept his cruelty and folly if an observant sarlowe hadn't pulled him from the barge for a second snip—then the tyrant lost his lust, glory-love, and insolence, too.

Finally, it was my turn, and those robed barbers examined me confusedly. "Yes," I said to them. "I am still alive." The creatures chittered to each other in an underling vernacular, and then one of them asked about my trip. I explained my rationale; how I was not satisfied with the wars between humans and goblins and other species, nor the political conflicts of Harkness, that rotting capitol, or world cultures. All of these endeavors were arbitrary, and it was a testament to the entropy of scholarship that I was one of the few who still wondered what the gods were made of, if they were merely magical mortals, if there was an afterlife, how magic originated, from where the different races derived, etc, etc. How could anyone let themselves be distracted from examining the principles of the cosmos?

The sarlowes wanted to know how I had come to the land of the unliving. I will not detail my process of reaching the underworld here for it was a tedious project, but I explained to them my preparation. Just imagine a ritual with the usual accruements of necromancy: signs made from blood, infernal words, candles lit and extinguished by cold gusts of wind, wails from invisible spirits, etc, etc, and a breach into reality itself—down into which I climbed.

Finally, the sarlowes took their blades to me. It was fascinating to watch my physical experience be severed from immaterium. First they took my armament—my foul-wind sword, my cloak of ever-fire, my flying scabbard beetle for a shield, and the black crown I let hang by my neck from a chain. Then they cut away my green flesh and layers of muscle beneath, and pried away my bones. Of my persona, especially my intellect, courage, pride, and independence, I would not depart.

All of this luggage they secured in a chest for my return. And then it was the onto the Ferryskul, and onward to Hell, not to rescue a lost lover, not to seek ancient counsel, not to conquer some infernal beast or steal a wondrous artifact, but to better the annals of mankind through the cogency of research."

12
6
4
Juice
61 reads
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
You've travelled into the dead world\realm. Only with your spirit. You're alive, but can't find your body. You meet ghosts, zombies and other scary creatures. What happened to you to be in this state? Do you end up finding where your physical form/body is? How do you end up returning to normal & the physical world. Narrative, & descriptive writing format, please. Or You can also make it a quest. You needed to be in the spiritual or dead realm to find a special powerful device|object.
Written by desmondwrite in portal Horror & Thriller
"The Great Fugue"

[An excerpt from the famous orc scholar and adventurer Brakis Grimdear. For the full text, please consult the librarians of Teatree University in the city of Harkness.]

"The underworld is not the heart of a volcano as described by the Cult of Fire, nor a blue ice-fringe as described by the Cult of Ice. There is no eternal whirlwind, meaning the djinn of the Cult of Air are wrong (or metaphorical). Perhaps the Cult of Earth understands this realm best, for the underworld is a cave that expands to bounds unknown. Here, shadows rule, and the darkness has such potency that it becomes fluid and runs on the rocks. The void is lessened only by the blue lights emitted from the souls of the dead, and by the cairns, or stacks of stones and skulls, which glow internally from some secret flame, and the lanterns at the docks. 

The terrain is mostly plains of a material akin to obsidian, and is intercut by hills and shade-cloak rivulets; these 'rivers' are called Little Fugues and are easy to cross as long as you don't step in them. The entrance of the realm ends at the Great Fugue, an immense black channel, although I am sure it has no current. To be truly initiated into the dark halls, one must cross the river. This is usually done by a barge called the Ferryskul, although I believe that boats buried in tombs can be used as well. On this side of the Great Fugue, the undead do not emit a glow, for they still carry their meat and cloaks and any possessions left in the grave. I think the lantern-light attracts them for they crawl across the plains intently and growl if deterred. At the docks, sarlowes strip the dead of their belongings, load the barge with freshly-shaved souls, and ferry across the Great Fugue. The dead's luggage is tossed into the river which is, in some form, alive. I did not see where the refuse went, but if you peered into the muck, you might glimpse lights in the depths and the honeycomb of tombs.

The sarlowes (these labormen of the underworld are robed halflings with faces concealed by hoods, although each had a single blue eye which shone from within; not cycloptic, but as if the other had been punctured) were efficient carvers, and could whittle a man to spirit in seconds. I watched an elf lose her long-ears and long hair, her pale skin, her accruements of sexuality, her green and brown leather coat, and a single arrow puncturing her neck, and when this was peeled away I watched the sarlowes scrape away muscle and bleached bone and even bits of personality, including her elvish grooming, artistic ability, honor, freedom, vitality, and grudges. A dwarf tyrant, too, I beheld; I think it was Urist II of Val Dhuhaim (he had died of an energetic bowel). The stone-faced king was first parted with his beard and jewelry—diadems, rings, a crown, armor plate laced with silver. Then his gentle red cloak, his garments, and all other materia that makes a fattened monarch. Urist almost kept his cruelty and folly if an observant sarlowe hadn't pulled him from the barge for a second snip—then the tyrant lost his lust, glory-love, and insolence, too.

Finally, it was my turn, and those robed barbers examined me confusedly. "Yes," I said to them. "I am still alive." The creatures chittered to each other in an underling vernacular, and then one of them asked about my trip. I explained my rationale; how I was not satisfied with the wars between humans and goblins and other species, nor the political conflicts of Harkness, that rotting capitol, or world cultures. All of these endeavors were arbitrary, and it was a testament to the entropy of scholarship that I was one of the few who still wondered what the gods were made of, if they were merely magical mortals, if there was an afterlife, how magic originated, from where the different races derived, etc, etc. How could anyone let themselves be distracted from examining the principles of the cosmos?

The sarlowes wanted to know how I had come to the land of the unliving. I will not detail my process of reaching the underworld here for it was a tedious project, but I explained to them my preparation. Just imagine a ritual with the usual accruements of necromancy: signs made from blood, infernal words, candles lit and extinguished by cold gusts of wind, wails from invisible spirits, etc, etc, and a breach into reality itself—down into which I climbed.

Finally, the sarlowes took their blades to me. It was fascinating to watch my physical experience be severed from immaterium. First they took my armament—my foul-wind sword, my cloak of ever-fire, my flying scabbard beetle for a shield, and the black crown I let hang by my neck from a chain. Then they cut away my green flesh and layers of muscle beneath, and pried away my bones. Of my persona, especially my intellect, courage, pride, and independence, I would not depart.

All of this luggage they secured in a chest for my return. And then it was the onto the Ferryskul, and onward to Hell, not to rescue a lost lover, not to seek ancient counsel, not to conquer some infernal beast or steal a wondrous artifact, but to better the annals of mankind through the cogency of research."
12
6
4
Juice
61 reads
Load 4 Comments
Login to post comments.
Advertisement  (turn off)