SHORT STORY 20

2019

I N A L I E N A B L E - T H E O P H A N Y

SHORT STORY 20

2019

INALIENABLE THEOPHANY

DISCLAIMER:

The wisdom to know the difference is a fucking lie!

Her scream ended the moment the hatchet plummeted into her face! Shoving her back into the brick wall, I continued hacking into her skull, until she slumped onto the floor where her mouth was chopped into a butchered mess. I watched her shredded meat mix with her hair and chunks of skin, as I heaved the tool again and again into her eyes. Blood obscured the details, but the holistic desecration remained unchallenged by her flapping paws. Teeth swam in a giant cavity that I continued to carve out with systematic determination. In less than half a minute, her face had become a chaos of concave brutalization. Catching my breath, with the sound of arteries draining onto the concrete, I looked up at a blueish light coming from that tiny basement window. The evening rain blessed my sacrifice, with the only witness being the great indifference of the universe. Sinking my left palm into her destroyed identity, I coated my erection with her warm blood, before I sodomized her twitching carcass even more violently that I'd treated her smug expression.

-

Sitting in the center of my floor, facing the east, I watched as a black liquid began bubbling up through the porous surface of the cave that my flat had become. Headless serpents hung from the ceiling like the roots of some diseased tree. Other intestinal-like worms coiled slowly around the corners, while the rocky mass that coated the walls continually undulated despite the solid state of its appearance. A circle of tiny candles gave the only illumination, as I watched the oily puddle swell, bulge, and then rise before me. Shapes soon began to emerge from that sickly liquid. Deformed bones and ugly mouths. I could see faces within that mound of organic disfigurement. The screams that burst forth were deafening. Disembodied voices cried out in misery, as that cluster of faceless mouths lurched and grew higher. Sitting naked with my legs crossed, I slowly reached forward with both hands. Grabbing onto of that writhing thing, I shook it violently, out of sheer impatiences. The voices went quiet and the echos of their suffering slowly followed. Looking at the black ooze on my hands as I sat back, I heard the serpents slithering all around. In disgust, I smothered my face with that rancid shit. The mouths then began whispering. Dozens of mouths speaking in tongues. I didn't understand, and yet I listened. Listened as the voices of hatred spoke up. Listened and welcomed what I heard.

-

Sometime in early November 2018, while visiting Mara, I saw new people moving into the neighbors flat across the street. I leaned against the balcony door, and considered how many secrets these Berlin buildings had just beneath another thinly spread coat of cheap paint. Just before midnight, I left Mara crying and we both refused to speak of why we kept so silent. There was a mist about the Rotes Rathaus, as I walked across Alexanderplatz toward the river. After stroking the statue of Saint George and the Dragon, I continued to Mühlendamm Bridge and stopped in the center. The Berlin Dom was lit up golden downstream, but the water was black and dead still. Pulling off my small backpack I grabbed a long bundle of bondage rope and immediately began feeding it over the railing. I had tied the six lengths of hemp together before leaving this evening, and I measured 8.5 meters from the railing to the river. Marking the distance with a knot, I reeled it in. I then knew that I would have plenty of rope to bind my ankles at one end while the other was fastened to the railing. Stuffing the lengths of hemp back into my bag, I then leaned against the sturdy railing and stared down at that slick surface. I could already see myself without shoes and shirt, floating face-down with my arms out wide. The rope around my ankles preventing my body for drifting with the current. Then, just below the water, the spine of a giant serpent swam under the bridge. Other forms moved on either side of the beast like coiling bowels slowly writhing in and out of the water, and in and out of my vision. Glancing away, I wasn't there for them. Not that night. After a few moments they passed, and the surface of the water returned to a glassy reflection of the starless sky. By then my eyes had adjusted enough so that I could distinguish the very shadow of the bridge from the black of the water, and it spoke to me. The shadow in the water spoke to me. Cold and methodical. The water told me what had to be done. Follow through. Become the water. But the distance from here to the surface was a vast empty space. A space that was mine to fill with depravities. Fill up with golden atrocities smothered in the blackened water that welcomed me with the jaws of the dragon. It was fate. When I turned away, I knew that soon I'd be face-down, but until then, I walked with my chin up.

-

I stood looking down at her. My eyes focused on the tone of her thighs until I was drawn to the curve of her lips. The glint of moisture in her pupils was already evaporating as she stared straight back my fixation. I fucking loathed this constant allure of the female figure. The patterns that her wavy brown hair made was as beautiful as the awkward posture of her strewn limbs. Calmly scanning the creamy texture of her naked skin, I knelt down and touched the soft surface of her inner elbow. Her fingers were curled at increasing degrees, and the smooth hairs of her eyebrow felt like a feather beneath my thumb. Her small breasts were crushed beneath her weight as she lay on her stomach, but her round ass was as pronounced as ever. The tips of her shoulder blades were subtle, while the crease of her back lead my eyes past her hips and down to her meek labia. Her ankles were delicate and as perfectly shaped as the arches of her feet. I placed the tip of the funnel against her bare anus, and while prying her cheeks apart, I pushed inside. The canister was heavy as I lifted it above the funnel and poured the gasoline into her rectum. Bubbling slowly, the fuel eventually drained into her carcass. I then ripped the funnel out and tossed it into that vast darkness before pouring the rest of the canister over her pale body. Crouching next to her sodden hair, I watched the stinking gasoline drip into her wide open eyes without causing the slightest response. I noticed how it had pooled in her ear as I opened a pack of matches. Standing at a safe distance as the bonfire burst high and wide, I watched her meat roast. Blackened skin peeled back, teeth shimmered within the blaze, and ribs soon appeared among the sizzling flesh. Her guts then suddenly exploded with a flash as the carcass finally gave some signs of life – but her pretty eyes had already been burnt out of this smoldering ruin that no longer recognized who I had become.

-

The candles began flickering as the holes in the walls of my cave started to hiss. That was when the black sheet that I was wrapped in became wet. Several candles were then overturned as water seeped up out of the very floor. I watched black, anaconda-size worms stretch down from the ceiling and gently slip into the rising water. Soon, the only light came from a couple of candles that sat on my furniture which I had pushed back to the edge of the space. I remained seated with my legs crossed as I watched a continual flow of serpents extend from every orifice in the porous walls, until finally, there was only a tangled mess of tendrils all around. Once the water was at chest-level, my shivering was joined by something else moving through the water. Despite the dark, I could still make out the shape of the creature pushing through the vine-like serpents as it circled me. It moved slow, and by the time the water was around my neck, the creature had drawn in so many other serpents that I was beginning to get crushed. When the water was covering my mouth and I was snorting for air through my nose, the hanging tendrils eventually retracted upward. The creature that now curled around me with its enormous trunk of a blackened body filled most of the cave as if it had quadrupled in size, and then I recognized it. It was the same as one of those imprisoned oracles that I'd seen in the pit below the little white house.

-

I came home one evening and found an ivory-colored envelope in my mailbox. Slowly walking through the small courtyard, I opened the letter before I stepped the stairwell and switched on the light. It was a handwritten message, and I was familiar with its formal style. Skipping straight to the last page, I was right, it was from Marcus. The rain started falling, as I stood with my foot in the door, so I turned away from the light and looked back toward the leafless trees in the courtyard. There was no indication that anyone else was awake in the rest of the apartment building, but then I heard the rattle of a nearby tram. My attention drifted from the patter of rain to the cold air in my lungs. I then skimmed through the handwriting. Marcus insisted that I contact him immediately. But that was all I read before I screwed up the fucking message! Marching upstairs, I grabbed the glass bowl that I used to burn my old sigils, and I lit the letter on fire!

-

The mountain was barren, and I pulled the black sheets tight around my head against the freezing wind. The stone was dusty under my bare feet, however, as jagged as the landscape cut the horizon, eons of erosion had left the rocks smooth below my bare feet. The staff I used as a walking cane only felt necessary once I reached a narrow gap along the top of a cliff, where I used the long wooden stick to keep my distance from the edge. The path followed the chasm for a long stretch. The further upward I went, the more the mountain below seemed to descend at greater angles. The way ahead was without reprieve. It was a vast, desolate incline of stone reaching up into the thickening clouds as darkness fell. The path itself was little more than a smudge in the rock. I scanned this world of tectonic magnificence with its surrounding peaks with more mountains beyond. This was a towering desert of broken stone. I couldn't tell if this mountain was greater than any of the others, but it felt as though I could see over the summits of more than most. Or was that a mere illusion brought on my the proximity. When the rain came, the tall staff saved me from slipping countless times. I quickly lost track of the path as waves of water came gushing down the rock, and my footing grew intolerably perilous. Unable to go on, I glared up toward the unseen summit. It had always been there, waiting, and yet it never gave any encouragement. With my black sheets soaked, I clung to the staff as I began slipping backward. There simply was no other option but to inch onward spitefully, before I got swept away.

-

I snapped the moment that the little chihuahua started barking. Grabbing the wriggling animal in both hands, I slammed it flat on its back! One hand crushed its rib-cage, the other clamped shut its snout. Squirming, the thing squeaked, as I showed my own teeth only an inch from its ugly fucking eyes. My hateful disgust breathed heavily over its white fur until the tiny animal's movements went limp. Rolling my jaw, I pressed my hands down harder onto that piece of shit, until a new squawk of pain winced out of his muzzled nostrils. I then dug my fingertips in tighter still and held the animal in place. The bathroom door opened behind me, but I didn't release the dog until it gave up. It then lay in absolute submission while I stood. As soon as the blonde stepped into her lounge, the chihuahua raced out of the room. She was warped in a long, silk bathrobe and wore a coy expression of utter deceit as she looked down at the concentric circles and sigils that I had drawn with chalk upon her wooden floor. I continued lighting candles, and made sure that the radiators were all set to maximum, so that her flat, which was also her art studio, became like a sauna. The cunning blonde knelt next to the drapes and watched with suspicious eyes, while I took my time with the chalk, writing a lengthy inscription around the edge of the largest circle. Finally, I stood barefoot in the center and reached my hand out. The young blonde slowly stood, staring straight back at me. Scowling, I sneered at her bathrobe. She dropped it and entered naked into the circle.

-

The snow crunched under my shoes, as I carefully stepped around the trees in the early morning light, and the surrounding mist caused the woods to fade into a blueish haze. Apart from a few lost birds, the forest was silent. As I came upon a thick layer of dead leaves, I made out a shape in the dark. A clump of rock formed a small hill silhouetted by more skinny trees. The mound became more defined the closer I got, until I came across a large rock standing in an alcove in the hill. The boulder was about a meter high and had clearly been chiseled into a flat surface. Then I spotted a man standing to one side of the small hill. He had filthy, coarse blankets hanging over his head as he glared back at me. As I slowly approached, the old black man crouched down and began poking at the ground with a broken branch. His beard was long and white, and there was a series of tattoos on his cheeks. Taking a knee, the old man cleared the leaves and began drawing a crude shape in the mud. At first it appeared to be a symbol, but after twisting my head sideways, I began to recognize the object that the old man was trying to illustrate. He then pointed at one of the external lines with his stick, before tapping my leg. He pointed at the parallel line, and then tapped my other leg. He did the same with the other two matching lines which corresponded to my arms. While I studied the two wings touching at the top of the drawing, the old man suddenly started grunting, before he fell backward and slid down the embankment. I watched him muttered wordless incoherence as he crawled away, shaking his head. The further the old man went, the louder his distraught cries became. With a sickly smile, I looked back down at the child-like image of the Ark, and I thought of Gnothi Seauton, and knew that my sadism is a bi-product of that which I sought: desecration.

-

Three glass jars. One full of salt. One with soil. One topped with coal. The shadows surrounded and watched closely as I worked. A small pile of smooth pebbles waited their turn as I scratched at them one at a time, carving various sigils and numbers into them. The higher the number, the bigger the stone. A pile of dead insects waited nearby. Bugs that I had collected from the last summer after they had trespassed upon my space. Some insects were whole, though, most were merely shattered clusters of legs and broken shells. I soon picked up a loaf of German bread, and stabbed holes in it with my knife. Once the loaf was adequately perforated, I pried open each puncture, and spat inside. I then took a pinch of insect remains and stuffed them into the holes, filling the bread but making sure that the loaf as a whole looked untouched. Taking a bottle of red wine, I poured half into a bowl, and then refilled it by pissing inside. I selected three new glass jars and placed them next to a small bowl and a paint brush. Picking up a permanent marker, I then wrote a title on each empty glass jar along with their accompanying sigils. I could already picture the female organs that would soon fill these vessels. But I couldn't get ahead of myself, there was still much more preparation that need to be done. I had to focus on the ritual that I would perform once all three jars were full, but that operation would never happen if the foundations weren't securely built with the precise blood, sweat, and ejaculate.

-

A young guy led me through a multitude of narrow corridors with locked doors on both sides. Everything smelt new, even though the library was already a few years old. The windows in the doors revealed long rooms with looming shelves packed with boxes and books. Once we entered the architecture section, the boy unlocked a door and walked away without a word. Ignoring him, I put my shoulder into the spring-loaded door and shoved it inward, breaking the airtight seal. The light flickered on and I discovered just how long those thin rooms were. Tucking the authorized documents into my jacket pocket, I held up the piece of paper with the printouts that I had gained a month ago. It had taken all this time for permission to be granted that I enter this restricted area. Scanning the shelves, I found the filing system illogical at first, but twenty minutes later, I began figuring it out. There was a workstation where I found another light switch, right next to the box that I was looking for. The cardboard case wasn't tall, but wide, and when I slammed it down on the desk there wasn't a speck of dust in sight. I sat and opened the box, pulling out several large portfolio-like books. They were at least a hundred-years-old yet in immaculate condition. I skimmed through each index, and then flipped directly to my street number. And there they were, the original blueprints for my apartment building. In German it stated, 'Gebäudeteil: Vorder- und Hinterhaus'. More importantly, 'Baujahr Gebäude: 1908'. The facade was completely different, but as I turned the pages I recognized the layout of my floor. When it had first been built, my neighbor's and my flat had been one big apartment. Holding up my printouts, I then scanned another shelf nearby. Grabbing a binder, I thumbed through it until I came to a long list of names, dates, and street numbers. There I found, '1908-1945', and the name, 'Haushofer'. There was one final number on my printouts, and I picked up a leathery box and knocked off the lid. It was full of old black and white photos. On the backside I found names and some with dates. It took nearly an hour to go through the pictures, before I spotted Joachim Haushofer's name along with the year 1938. Flipping the photo, I found a serious, fifty-year-old man with a beard glaring back at me. He wore a fine black suit with a tall white collar and thick black tie with a pin through it. Standing next to a huge tree, he was framed by a classic Bavarian building in the faded background. In his right hand, he proudly held a slab of stone bearing Egyptian hieroglyphs. Leaning back, I stared at his white eyebrows above cruel eyes. Even after all this time, here was a man who projected dignity, discipline, and determination. The swastika on his lapel, however, meant nothing to me.

-

I was sitting at my desk when my phone rang. Not knowing the number, I picked it up but kept my month shut and listened. The old voice was unmistakable. Marcus grumbled angrily into my ear, before he quickly paused. Sitting back in my chair, I glared at my empty walls as I heard the elderly guy grit his teeth. He then took a deep breath as he began to speak – but I ended the call before he could utter another word. Glancing out my Venetian blinds into the dead of night, I couldn't recall ever giving Marcus my number. But then again, of course, he had most likely gotten it from his niece, Rauna. How could I have already forgotten such an unremarkable little cunt like her.

-

There was a long expanse of rock that gradually dropped away in massive segments, becoming an arid valley miles below. Looking to my left as I walked, I saw large outcrops of stone from the cliffs above. The huge wall of barren rock curved away from this clearing, but as I continued toward the descending valley, I was drawn closer the shadows between one of the eroded protrusion from the cliff face. Once I approached the towering outcrop, I saw further inside the natural cavity that there was a simple entrance carved right into the cliff. It was like the opening to an abandoned tomb from antiquity. The closer I got, the less black the doorway appeared. Once I stood at the entrance and peered inside, the evening breeze disappeared entirely. There was only a shallow grotto behind the thick frame, but I paused, confused. There was something there, I was sure of it. Shaking my head, I rubbed my eyes. Glancing all around that recess in the solid stone, it was utterly devoid of detail, yet there was something there. Taking a step backward, I scanned the wide, tapering-rectangular-shape of the entrance, and then looked straight ahead into that empty space. It was approximately, two-meters-deep, four-meters-wide, and four-meters-high. But there was something there! I didn't understand why I felt that way, and I couldn't shake the impression that there was more there than an empty hovel. Standing still, I tilted my head, listening to the hollow echo. The space was shallow and yet it sounded vast. And then, in the corner of my eye, I saw it! Looking up, however, I found nothing more than flat granite. The surface of the stone had once been perfectly chiseled, though now, it was rough after being left to the elements since before civilization. Turning my head again, I listened. And once more, I glimpsed something in my peripheral vision! Glaring at the dark wall of stone, I took another step backward and twisted a little so that I let my eyes roll around the edge of the entrance. There, I saw it slowly reveal itself. Another door lay inside. Like looking at a blind-spot, it wasn't black, it was as if the edges of my vision had filled in the space. Looking straight ahead, I raised my hand to touch the wall, it was solid. Looking away, I reached up, and then my hand passed right through! So, with my head turned to the side, I stepped inward.

-

Using a small boning knife, I sliced all the way around the edge of her belly. From her left hip to pubis to right hip to right ribs to sternum to left ribs and back to the left hip. Dropping the flap of skin to the floor, I leaned over the table and cut up her left side, over each rib, severing the pectoral muscle, and right over both clavicles. I then separated the skin from her chest, cutting away any fatty resistance. Dumping this second sheet of skin, I examined her exposed torso before removing her breasts and cutting away as much of the muscle below as would come. With a chisel and a mallet, I took to each rib along both sides of the body, smashing through until I reached her neck. There, I used a fruit knife and freed any last threads of pulp, before I yanked the top of her rig-cage away. Her internal organs were mostly untouched, though, her liver was somewhat damaged from the intrusion of the chisel. Nevertheless, I hacked out her lungs and crushed the soft tissue in my palms as I stuffed each one into a tall glass jar. The boning knife was the best tool I found for dealing with her heart's stiff texture. I soon watching it bounce wetly within a wide based glass jar. The stomach stank as I slashed through the alimentary canal, and watched its oily contents trickle into its own jar. Livers were always larger than the host seemed capable of containing, and I needed both hands to squeeze that darkened organ into one of the biggest jars. Stabbing at the spleen and pancreas, I still had a hard time telling the difference in that butchered mess. I plopped them each into short, narrow jars. Peeling the bowels aside, I scoped out the kidneys one at a time, and then looked affectionately back at the intestines. They were an awkward heap that I struggled not to rupture as the fruit knife parted their clingy membranes. The uterus was neatly tucked among the entrails, and I soon snipped them free. I placed the biggest jar between her thighs as I dug out her guts. Her large intestines coiled around like a fat worm in the jar, and slowly began leaking shit all over itself. In the dark, I couldn't see where I had discarded her decapitated head, but it wasn't important anymore. Examining that empty human shell, I stroked the abdominal aorta as fluids pooled in this meaty basin. Now she was ready for a truly new breed of born-again baptism of unholy impregnation.

-

Walking up the stairs at the Eberswalder Strasse Ubahn Station, I fought my way through the busy crowds. It was utterly freezing that night, and I clenched my gloved hands in my coat pockets as I just missed my train. However, on the top step, I noticed homeless guy sitting, hunched over, and holding out a cup for spare change. But it was the tears that poured down his shivering face that slowed my pace. I watched his filthy chin quiver while his other hand cradled his oily scalp in fetal defeat. No one else seemed to pay him any attention or even give him a few cents, as the masses hurried by with their Christmas spirit thirsty for some more steaming Glühwein. This guy had nothing, not even a jacket against the brutal cold, and as he sobbed, I knew he had no one and no options. He had nowhere to go but sit and dwell upon the worthless cards that the world had dealt him. Moving slowly past, I had no cash nor comfort to offer, instead, I listened to his cries of absolute hopelessness like the words of the messiah. Through all the shame that I saw him suffer, I understood as clear as I saw him in pain, that this was exactly what my own abysmal future looked like. It had always been hanging over my head since youth, but the reality was getting closer by the month. Thinking of all the tax that I owed, the lack of gainful employment, and with Brexit fast approaching, I knew that I too would very soon find myself huddling neglected on the streets. If my reasoning brain had failed to secure my lifestyle by now, then what chance would I have once I was homeless. Fortune simply wasn't on my side. There had probably been a time when this guy would have seen his demise coming and he would have been desperately trying to avoid becoming what he now found himself as. Still he wept. He wept for us both. For I didn't know how to help either of us. But then I thought of Mühlendamm Bridge and the black river. At least the water would always be there for me.

-

Sitting on my floor in the dark, I made notes in my journal, creating new sigils, and writing spiteful incantations. Once the candles fell over, I felt the water seeping up through the floor again, so I handed my notebook to one of those pale devils with an intestine-like body. He slowly began muttering something as he coiled away while the water rose quickly over my crossed legs. That particular creature seemed somewhat more calm than most of his kin that usually hung from the heights and leered. A large entity then slithered through the foot-deep waters and circled me. Its body was long and blackened, its head was the same, and as its pointed jaws opened, I saw that it was full of thick black teeth. It could easily overpower me. I was naked. Like an alligator without legs, it was three times my size. As its jaws closed, I saw small eyes focus on me before it sunk under the water. The devil with my notebook huddled in the upper corner of my flat that had now become a cave with porous walls. The creature held his hands together and looked as if it was praying to my notebook. With a splash, I glanced to my right. A child-size lump of black slime emerging from the water. The thing was an obese slug that gradually twisted around. It had limbs, many tiny limbs, and a skull-like face. Its mouth was similar to that of a giant spider, and it was in the middle of eating some kind of rodent. Once the fat slug realized that I was staring at it, the thing titled its head. It seemed consciously uncomfortable that I was aware of it. The hideous slug leaned away in shock, paused, and then took another bite out of its squirming meal. As the water rose to my chest, there was a splash to my other side. There, a tall figure stood. It held a long staff in its blackened grip, and just before the last of the candles succumb to the water, I made out the silhouette of a high crown with multiple peaks, like that of an Egyptian deity. A new glow then appeared, and I glanced around. Mid-way up the cave walls, there were now much larger cavities. These holes were big enough for a person to crawl inside, and an unknown light flickered from far within their twisting depth. The opening directly in front of me made a rumbling noise that was hard to discern as the water has finally risen to my ears. I could have stood up for a better view, but I waited. Something else was coming. Something from under the water.

-

On the last night of Hanukkah, Mara and I had spent the evening with her ex-boss and his family. I had wanted to talk about Ezekiel, specifically his vision of the Third Temple, but I knew there was no point in asking any questions about anything. Afterward, Mara and I headed toward Savignyplatz Sbahn Station through the wet streets with the cold trees littered with Christmas lights. On the way, we past a tiny framing store. I peered inside and paused to admire the elegant old picture frames. Hundreds of flaky, gold-leaf rectangles with ornate corners sat on the floor and hung from the walls. All made of wood, they seemed like antiques and should have been on display in grand galleries in Paris or Rome. In the dim light, the amber glow was infinitely more attractive than all the festive decorations across Berlin, even though not a single painting or photograph resided within any of the frames. I was then distracted. Recently, after my second reading of my short stories at the Z-Bar, the owners had offered me the opportunity to hold my own exhibition at a gallery across the street in February. As tempting as it was, I couldn't afford the costs, especially considering no one would even buy my work. And of course, sponsors wanted nothing to do with my content. My art was not worth anyone's time. Even the short film that I was working on, based my suspension vision, would, once again, prove to be another waste of time. It was all shit that no one wanted to see. But now with an actual gallery at my disposal, I was confronted with frustration upon frustration. Was I still here just to face defeat?! My spell at Loch Ness had failed! I was still obsessed with past fixations, and I was still saturated with fears beyond my feeble fucking control! No. My spell at Loch Ness had work! This was the great fall I had foreseen all my life. I was here to witness my own annihilation! I came back to Berlin to be all I will be! I will revel in the fucking torment ofmy own futility!

-

I was awoken one morning by my doorbell. Crawling out of bed, I grabbed my keys and unlocked the door. My clenched fists, however, were furious to find no one in the stairwell. And then the bell rang again! Punching the intercom, I heard a croaky voice muttering something over the scratchy line. It was fucking Marcus! Slamming the receiver down, I shoved the door shut and locked it with the deadbolt. He might know where I live, but he had no idea on which floor. I had never put my name on my front door for this very reason. Mara had once called the cops when I had ignored her, Marcus however, had no justifiable excuse for getting any authorities involved if he didn't even know which door to kick in.

-

The rain had been more persistent than most years, and one night, even the wind had been too vicious for my umbrella. The streets of Berlin always became those of a ghost town during winter, so as I approached an intersection I took notice of an individual on the opposite corner. It wasn't a man. The shadow of a devil stood with translucent legs as gusts tore at its smoke-like form. Scanning this Friedrichshain neighborhood, I was expecting to find many more of those apparitions gathered somewhere in the distance. However, this shadow of a figure stood all alone out in the open. I was about to continue on my way, when I watched the devil gently raised his arm and point down different street. A taxi then came from another direction, and as the headlights swept over us, I could clearly see the rain drops pass straight through that silent manifestation. Standing in front of me, only a couple of feet away, it slowly lowered its arm. The wind suddenly grew in strength, and at times larges portions of the figure were completely blown away, only to rematerialize the next moment. It then held out both hands, palms upward as if it were offering me something. Dropping my umbrella, I too lifted my gloved hands, mirroring the gesture, and we stared back at each other. Despite the pounding rain, I slowly saw something within the smoke of that devil's featureless face. Something solid that the wind couldn't effect. As the swirling darkness wrestled with the storm, another pair of headlights approached. I slowly began to see a cluster of black worms forming a twisted bundle, and then the number 11 came to me.

-

With her legs spread wide open, I dug inside with sowing scissors. One snip cut the divide between her asshole and cunt! With short but vigorous stabbing motions, I hacked away at the gash. The meat quickly became a bloody excavation that I ripped chunks of flesh out of with my bare hands. Taking a steak knife, I slashed in sideways, smashing apart internal resistance. I scooped out more and more slop from her vaginal cavity that was just as much her guts as it was her shit. Stretching open the hugely gaping wound, I slashed at her flesh, exposing her pubis all the way to her hip joints. Inky gore continued trickling out of that barbaric hole, as I reached my entire hand inside her body with a garden trowel and relentlessly diced her innards until her shrieks finally faded to gargled murmurs. She bled to death while I had my arm elbow-deep inside her abdomen. With my other hand clutching her thigh, I pinned her body in place and used the steak knife to mince anything that I came across inside. When the internal organs came spilling out of her mutilated pelvis, they were a grotesque blend of unidentifiable bits and pieces. Lying upon the sodden mess, there seemed to be far more coming out of her than could have ever been contained within such a petite female. Yet still, I yanked out more and more vulgar fragments that splashed against my chest and quickly turned cold. Blood pooled in that meat quarry as I felt my knuckled grate against her ribs. Everything inside her was in my fucking way. I dug on with bitter resolve, hacking even further inward. The only thing I was careful about, was never to puncture the surface of her skin. It wasn't until my face was pressed against her empty belly, with my right arm was shoulder-deep inside her carcass, that my hand finally located that orifice. Slipping in my fingertips, I stroked the back of her tongue, as I looked up at her quivered jaw. Kneeling back, I leaned over her body with her wrists still bound to her bed frame. I then tilted her head back so that her spine arched and her mouth opened. Reaching under her body, while still between her legs, I grabbed her long hair and pulled it down toward her ass. I grabbed her inner thigh in my other hand, and forced my face into that butchered hole through her pelvis. My head pressed so tight into the wound that not even my breath could escape. Utter darkness filled the space. Furious, I pulled back harder on her hair with all my fucking strength. The body arched, and then I saw it! I saw the light at the end of the tunnel! The weak glow from the candles crept down her gaping throat and into that slaughtered pit. The sight reminded me of within the mountain at Pergamon, but there were no devils in here. More importantly, there was not, never had been, and never would be any kind of fucking enlightenment found within the fucking meat of fucking whores!

-

During the Kabarett Der Namenlosen at the Delphi Theater, I was invited to sit at the front with some of my burlesque friends. Commi Star was performing fully nude on stage, and I began to regret that I have never taken the opportunity to sodomize her fat ass. After the show, the flamboyant representative of a gin, told me that he hoped I wasn't offended by declining to sponsor my proposed art exhibition. He admitted that there's a certain kind of art scene that he can associate with, but he was afraid that my work was a just too extreme. Smiling, I patted him on the back, and excused myself as I went to the bar in the lobby. I casually scanning the crowd of elegant creeps and cunts, and knew for a fact that I wasn't living in some romanticized version Berlin in the 1920's. I was fucking living what those on stage were masquerading as. And it was all fucking disgusted. A black thing then walked up the stairs toward the balcony. Without hesitation, I followed the slender figure. Its long black cloak covered it from head to toe, while a black vulture clung to its hooded scalp. Sitting in the back row of the upper balcony, was an elder woman with a short-back-and-sides silver haircut. She wore a white tie tux, and in her gloved hands, she dangled a small golden pendant on tiny chain. The cloaked figure grew more transparent as it stood next to this distinguished woman. I stood near the railing, and watched as the old woman slowly took notice of me. The big vulture then spread its wings, when it, and the inhuman figure, both suddenly vanished. The sour-faced woman then grabbed her pendant and gestured for me to sit with her. However, with a sneer, I turned my back on this false tutor, and returned to the mob.

-

On the morning of the 18th December 2018, 4 years since I should have died, I drew circles on my floor in the dark. An extra layer was added, including the hieroglyph that the Iranian woman had on her palm. I had wanted to find her and do to her in death that which I had failed to while she was still alive. But instead, I found myself on a mountainside surrounded by burning clouds with waves of sparks rising through the volcanic air. Scorching winds raced up from a massive crater full of smoke, and yet freezing rain randomly pelting down against the churning gales. Stretching the black sheet, I pulled it up over my head as a hood, when there was an earthquake! My feet slipped on the rock, but I caught myself as I fell. Looking up through the rain and haze, I found a black winged beast standing on the edge of that enormous cliff. Its deformed body was the size of a hunched over steam engine, and its head was jagged like a broke asteroid. It was oblivious to my existence. Turning, I found only thick smoke and golden sparks in all directions. I was naked under my sheet, but I had managed to bring my knife with me this time. Full of impatience, I ran across the edge of the crater toward the silhouette of the beast. It was still a distance away when somehow it was suddenly upon me! I hadn't even seen it move. But in the next moment it bit me in half! Great jaws crushed my left arm, chest, and face as I was ground to pieces, before plummeting into an overwhelming depth. The pain was incomprehensible, but in the next instance, a surge of adrenaline extinguished my devastated nerve endings. However, no matter how hard I screamed and fought back with my pulverized remains, I made absolutely no fucking difference against that suffocating force that swallowed my-puny-self beneath miles of wet soil.

-

Walking back from Mara's place one night, I looked up through the rain at the lights in my neighboring buildings. It was deathly quiet like always, and there was no one inside those looming windows. Mara had given me a carry-on travel bag for our Christmas trip to Edinburgh tomorrow, but my mind was elsewhere. I had received an e-mail from the printers two days ago, informing me that they had refused to print my third collection of short stories. Of course, there was no reason given. Frustrated, I had simply uploaded the PDF again with a different file name. But if that failed, then I would have find a new printer that I could afford. Though, after all, why would anything work out in my favor. Nothing I have ever struggled to achieve has ever paid off before, so why would it now. I was defeated, and yet I still defied! It was my nature to defy! I defy to spite everything that I fucking could! But then my mind shifted to the temptation of hosting an exhibition. It was then, while I had been considering the layout of the gallery, that the concept had come to me, DESECRATE THE TEMPLE! It would be a depraved exhibition of blasphemy! Though, my rational brain dictated that I still had no budget, and if nothing sold, then why bother? Because I fucking defy myself! As I put my key into the front door of my building, I glanced back the way I had come, knowing that creativity was my ruin. However, as I made sure I wasn't being followed, I saw someone! I planted my weight on my forward foot and pushed slowly backward. Scanning the distant lamplight, I saw them crawl. The silhouettes of three individuals moved about the wet cobblestones and parked cars. Gradually twisting my shoulders, I glanced upward. Like humanoid insects, they climbed the buildings to where dozens more lurked upon the rooftops. With the city ambiance casting a dull glow on the low hanging clouds, I could clearly see those blackened devils focused their attention directly upon my vulnerable situation. These were not the semi-transparent entities that usually watched on apathetically. These things were fully present, tangible monstrosities. And most of all, these particular things filled me with a nostalgic, child-like dread! That was, for about two seconds, before I sighed. Opening the front door, I turned my back on them and walked inside. I had an early flight tomorrow, if those things already knew how to find me, then they could join me in the fatherland. Maybe then I'd finally have a Christmas worth looking forward to.

-

While passing through security at the airport, and with my belongings under the x-ray, I hadn't noticed my phone ring. After collecting my wallet, passport, and carry-on luggage, I saw that there had been a call from Rauna. Immediately erasing the message, I then deleted her number. I was glad to be leaving this fucking city, even if it was only a temporary distraction. There was no one in Germany worth the time of day, but none in Scotland either. Just like waiting for the flight to depart, it felt like I was trapped in permanent transition from nowhere to who-gives-a-fuck. Mara then smiled as she sat next to me. Looking out the huge window in the departure lounge, I knew how close I was to freedom, and yet I always failed to fully reach escape-velocity out of Berlin's self-destructive gravity.

-

Much like the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, Rosslyn Chapel stank of sycophants. With no other plans, while visiting my old aunt for Christmas, Mara and I took the bus an hour south of Edinburgh, only to find ourselves surrounded by more wretched cow-people. The voice of the tour guide, with her memorized little speech, was intolerable. I soon exited the meek structure and found that the view over the woodlands had much more allure. Moving down to the west-end of the chapel, I stood near the extended ruined walls, and wondered if this was the beginning of the transepts. It seemed as though the chapel was merely the chancel of a much larger building that had never been completed. Otherwise, architecturally, these ruined walls served no function. Mara headed toward the cafe to warm herself, as I looked down to where the nave should have been. There, I watched the settling sun fall beyond the treeline, as a growing sense of disgust filled my lungs. No matter what I did, I'd never live on these decrepit lands. All the studios I had contacted in the UK had been for nothing. I was trapped back in Germany. I didn't belong here or there. All my attempts to improve my financial situation, my career, and my professional future had failed again and again and again! And then I saw the forest burn! Massive flames stretched up from the sun as it touched the horizon. A vast intrusion of smoke, like a growing storm, thickened over the distant twilight. Yet among the great flames a primitive shape began to emerge. A colossal black pyramid appeared within the smoke. A huge passageway that led straight through the center of the pyramid. Inside, resided a giant sphinx. A scarlet sphinx with the head of a red snake! Below the cobra's chin, and between its god-sized paws, stood a blackened figure holding a long spear. The flames from the burning forest only came up to his knees. As the smoke overcame the golden sky, I realized that these weren't statues. The giant figure below the sphinx, raised his right arm and pointed straight in my direction! No, not at me. Toward the east wind. I just happened to be in the way.

-

By the time I made it to the riverside next to Märkisches Museum, it was 3am and Maddy's the New Year's Eve party on the boat was already over. Backing away into the darkened park, I headed to Mühlendamm Bridge. Staring into the churning waters from the over-flow, I saw nothing but imprisoned chaos. I soon wandered past Saint George, and then below the Berlin Dom, until I came to the back of the Pergamon Museum. There was no one around, and all I heard were the faint echos of dwindling fireworks. I took a seat next to the Neues Museum, and scanned the Alte Nationalgalerie. The big courtyard was empty, and I felt nothing. Staring at the bullet holes in the stone pillars, I couldn't think I anywhere I would rather be. No other person came to mind and no hope bothered me. There was just the cold alienation of everything. I was part of it. Part of the stone. Part of the dead. Part of everything. I was a prisoner on the Island Of Ogygia. But then they came back to me. Shadowed figured surrounded the colonnades as more faded into existence, changing the very silhouettes of the rooftops. They brought me recent memories of a blonde Scottish girl weeping like a lamb. Ignoring her lingering ghost, I looked down toward the Dom. The flash from distant fireworks lit up the overcast sky, and I saw swollen serpents coil about the cathedral's spires. They were reaching upward. Up to those coming down. Gigantic limbs passed through the clouds so that a million parasites from hell could crawl onto that Neo-Renaissance dome. I watched on unmoved. They weren't here for me. They may have been all around, and some looked in my direction, but I wasn't important to them. Just as a tornado doesn't give a fuck about whatever it wrecks havoc upon. Staring at my Chuck Taylors, I thought of all the art that I had bought into this world, and yet still no one had seen it. When I looked up, the courtyard had become a riot of devils killing devils! The roar of countless abominations massacring each other was a bloody spectacle that I welcomed into the new year of our Lord 2019. Giant beasts stomped through thousands of frenzied horrors, as an enormous worm rose out of the river and ripped a massive pig-like mammoth to pieces! Looking back at my Chucks, I then got up and walked away. I didn't belong there. Yet there I was. However, where are all the consequences that should have rendered my own hubris humble? My hatred had never been so fucking strong!

-

After receiving another rejection from the printers, I went into Mitte and asked at a new place, but they didn't print books in the required format. It was dark by the time I had walked all the way back to my flat in the drizzle. Mara has text me links to three other printers, but my third reading at the venue was in less than a week, so it was futile to delude myself that anywhere could get it done by then. Slumping onto the floor, I stared at my hands and told myself to bottle it up. Years of frustration are worthless. Sublimating my anger into art is a waste of time. All the efforts in the world wouldn't accomplish shit against the bigger picture of the civilization machine. I was master of nothing. Constant disappointments had stomped my skull into disillusioned defeat. And yet even this disheartening exasperation didn't even fucking matter. I could snap in the face of those that might listen, but the only response would be ridicule and mockery. There was no ear to lean on. Ears solve nothing. I've spoken to shrinks and had the devil's sympathy, and they only left me wanting. This infuriating predicament of failure was my fault, so I bottled it up and kept it to myself. Bottled it up in my sterile little flat of white walls, white floors, and white ceilings. Bottled up my self-loathing in new jars full of meat that I stabbed to fucking death, and then hid in the overhead storage space. I bottled up my reptile brain, bottled up my insanity, and bottled up my plans for cutting the head off of just another little girl with long brown hair. Sitting on the floor, I didn't even need to shove the furniture aside and encircle myself in sigils anymore – the unholy ones came to me like an unconscious reaction. There were two figures standing before me. A tall individual with a long dark rag covering it completely. Its blackened hands in a position of prayer were its only exposed body parts. The second individual was so tall that it had to hunch below the ceiling. Its head was halfway between a huge bird skull and a splintered stone tablet. Indian ink appeared to be dripping from its skeletal limbs. These two figures stood side by side, until the sharp-headed one reached over to another wall. That was when I noticed that I wasn't actually surrounded by that porous mass this time. The bony creature then smeared his huge hands across the wall, spreading a massive stain that ran like tar. I watched the figure move behind me to the wall on the west. It stained that wall too, before also touching the northern. Returning to the eastern wall in front on me, it ran both hands down between the two Venetian blinds. The other figure then held up its index finger and ran it down the air where a metallic line appeared. Its finger turned and the line followed becoming a circle. Its other hand joined in and the circle became a metal sphere floating in midair. The cloaked figure then spread its arms wide, and the sphere multiplied into four which then shot into each wall! glancing about, I found that the black stains on the walls had somewhat changed. They had all become hollow openings and housed large stone altars. Focusing directly in front of me, I looked into a portal that lead away into a great arched tunnel.

-

The sound of dripping water echoed all around. Everything was wet, as if a torrential deluge had only just stopped pouring. The light was a dull ambiance and the soil was rough below my bare feet. Enormous walls of black rock stretched upward through the night which faded into a mist a mile above. I could see primitive windows in the two towering walls at random locations either side of me. The space between the walls was about twenty-meters-wide, and ahead, in the darkness, I could make out the shape of an imposing tree. The leaves were thick and dripped loudly into deep puddles. It was cold but the stillness eased the bitterness. Circling the tree, I glanced up at the endless walls. There were angular shapes further up that might have been stairways cut into the stone, leading to other crude gaps. The walls went onward into a imperceptible obscurity in either direction, and while I was looking back, I saw a figure in the dim haze. However, I quickly turned my attention toward approaching footsteps from in front. Eventually the stranger became the undeniably form of a naked female. She walked cautiously with her arms crossed, and seemed as curious as I was as we neared one another. The chill wasn't causing my eyes to water, but I soon found that I couldn't stop from continually blinked. I was having trouble focusing on the female. The closer she got, the less I could identify. Her face was an ever shifting arrangement of features. As soon as I glanced from her eyes to her lips, her entire face had become someone else. Once I recognized one part of her expression, it would transform into a slightly different configuration. Her hair too was constantly metamorphosing from dark to light, long to short, smooth to wavy. Squinting, I consciously tried to assemble her facial structure by not looking directly at her face, but the moment I seemed sure, she would change just a fraction into a completely different person. Her body shape did this too, though, to a lesser extent than her expression. Clenching my jaw, I sneered in confusion at who or what this female was, until she uncrossed her arms and raised her chin, exposing her slender throat. The weak light shimmered upon her damp neck, as I reached for the one part of her that was in perfect focus. Before I could touch her, however, something rustled in the tree. A growling voice then snarled from the branches. I was about to turn toward the noise – when I saw a gap in the stone wall to my right, and there the old rabbi I'd seen many times before on the Berlin streets, glared straight back at me.

-

While I had been contacting studios in the UK last year, I had also applied for a teaching position at the University of Edinburgh, where I would be giving lectures on animation. My plan was, once I had gained the full-time role as a teacher, I would also apply to study theology part-time at the seminary, as well as continue to animate as a freelancer. I knew that it would use up all of my time, but at least then I'd be able to pay off my debts, and finally afford to travel to historic sites I'd wanted to investigate. That was my plan. A simple but honest plan. This evening however, I had just received a e-mail rejection from the University of Edinburgh. Good! I despised the idea of dealing with young people that knew even less than I did. Looking up, I suddenly realized that I had wandered out of Berlin and into the realm of wilderness without even realizing it. Though, the overcast clouds and mist-like rain was the same here as it was in my neighborhood. Steep cliffs surrounded this location and reached up into the sky, while a small lake stopped me in my tracks. The shoreline was rocky and full of deep cracks that were cluttered with thousands of bones. A single Romanesque column stood in the center of the murky water with a statue of a man in robes at the top. Scanning the tranquil waters, I dug my hands into my jacket pockets, when I heard a distant landslide. Something was coming through the gaps in the jagged cliffs further along the waterfront. A big animal on all fours then stumbled out from behind one of the many rock formations and splashed knee-deep into the water. It was as big as two black horses, but it moved more like a lion. It's head however, was a twisted mess of serpents that looked like parasites which were eating its face alive. Or maybe that was its face. Suddenly the creature turned toward the space in the cliffs where it had just emerged from. Waiting, it seemed anxious. Until it caught a whiff of me. The creature's demonic posture suddenly changed and it took a hostile step in my direction – when something else, leaped from the cliffs and tackled the first beast! I couldn't make head nor tail of the two as they wrestled. That was when I noticed that the water at my feet had withdrawn significantly. It was as if the tide was suddenly going out, revealing countless tiny creatures that lived in the sludge. They weren't like any crustaceans I had ever seen before. They were all black and thoroughly non-terrestrial. Some of the larger, spider-like bugs scurried out there muddy holes and began viciously attacking each other. Smaller worms stabbed themselves into the joints of other invertebrates and ate them from the inside out. The further the water retreated, the more of these nasty lifeforms emerged. The two beasts along the shoreline were still mauling each other, when they rolled down into the shallows. Suddenly they both lurched apart as they found themselves swarmed upon by an infestation of tiny devils. The screams from the two animals was so loud, that even from this distance, it made my ears winced. And then, a thing a hundred-feet-high caused me to turn my head! It was as if the lake itself had come to life. Endless coils of gigantic slugs swirled around the central stone column. These massive worm-like creatures rose into the sky, before they dropped like the hand of a god upon those two trespassers! The entire valley shook, and I grabbed the closest cliff to prevent myself from falling into the mud. As that horrific abomination sucked up the shattered remains of the two demons, I saw that those enormous slugs were also covered in a million other monstrosities. Everything was eating one another. Even the air was probably a cocktail of microscopic pathogens infecting my lungs. Once those giant worms settled around the stone column, fluids began excreting from large pores in their flesh, refilling the entire lake. Picking up a bone from the shoreline, I was about to throw it into the water – when a hand caught my wrist! Shocked, I was suddenly back on the rain-swept streets of Berlin and looking into the devious eyes of Nefertiti II. Slowly shaking her hijab-wrapped head, she then immediately turned, climbed into a black Rolls Royce, and was driven away.

-

Arriving home one night, I found a package in my mailbox. The stiff cardboard was heavily wrapped with masking-tape that secured the contents. The only delivery I was expecting was an angry notification from the finance office wanting their money. However, the packaging wasn't the recycled stock that the German authorities always used. Flipping it over, I found that the return address was in Wales. It was from Telford. I then walked straight into the small courtyard, and threw the unopened package into the big black rubbish bins.

-

The moment Maddy left my flat, I sat in the center of the floor naked and began spelling out the serpent that I would force-feed her. I hadn't had a chance to chat with her last night at my 41st birthday when I had held the third reading of my short stories. She had then declined to join us at the strip-bar, and yet she wanted to see me today. I did admire her hip-to-waist ratio and that great ass of her. She smelt like another sacrifice to the gods of desecration. But then, glancing aside, I knew that she wasn't right for what was coming. Looking up I saw those tiny holes appear in the eastern wall between my windows. Then the walls on the north and south became great holes. Slowly raising my head, I saw a dark shape within the shadows to my right, and a similar thing to my left. A distant light then flickered within the portal between my windows. The light was masked behind black smoke, until a voice whispered behind me. My eyes however, remained focused on the portal as the smoke quietly thinned. The female's voice faded away as the light became clear. In the distance there was an enormous doorway beyond two obelisks and two pylons below an immense black pyramid. I had already illustrated this place in the short film that I was making, but seeing it again in that night sky, reminded me just how small I was. If I truly had any real power, then I would have built unrivaled monuments, not wasted my time with my minuscule artwork. That voice behind me then spoke up louder. Spoke Deutsch. Turning, I glanced at the silent Jinn either side of my cave, before I discovered that the western wall of my flat now had an grand, perfectly chiseled, stone stairway that cut through the entire building down to the ground floor flat. Stepping over to the top of the stairs, I saw the petite blonde neighbor in her flat below staring back up at me. She was draped in black sheets, and held out the decapitated head of what looked like her identical twin. The head then began to burn with intense scarlet flames right on her palms. Gradually the scorched face melted as it burnt. The exposed skull soon crumbled into ash and the remains in her hands revealed an unblemished orb of gold. This whole time, the blonde stared straight at me and kept whispering something over and over.

-

The fucking rain was raking my face like a cunt, as I marched against the wind and around the side of the mountain. It was so fucking freezing that it made me angry. Clinging tightly to both the sheet that hooded my head, and the squirming female that I dragged behind, I scanned the environment for shelter. All I could see in the dark was a faint mist further up the slope. The brunette wept from time to time, though, mostly gave little resistance. Her entire entrails were hanging out over her tits and face. When my bare foot slipped, I twisted my grip on her ankle, and from then on I dragged her face-down. It wasn't long after that that I finally laid my eyes on the ruined columns in the upper reaches of the mountain. I hurried onward, eager to see that symmetrical silhouette of stone. The rain soaked through everything, and even though I wore three layers of sheets, I still hated the icy air. Just before I reached a rise in the rocks, I heard a BOOM! I felt it in the gound. The sounds of stone on stone increased the tension in my brow, as I yanked the girl up onto that rugged plateau around this perversion of Pergamon's Altar Of Zeus. BOOM! Another brutal collision of stone brought me to a standstill. A huge figure, fifty-feet-tall, with smoke gushing from its face, was tearing apart the walls around the altar! And then my feet were pulled out from under me! My hands caught my weight but my face struck the gravel, and I immediately kicked at whatever had grabbed my leg! Suddenly several individuals cloaked in black swarmed around me, and pinned me down. The stomping footsteps of that giant were like electric shocks coming up through the rock as it approach with a malicious roar! I could hear the disemboweled female shriek as the inhuman giant loomed above. A massive hand of claws reached down, and as simple as that, my rib-cage was torn open to the elements! Blood and excruciating agony poured over my head! Suddenly I was pick up off the ground. Hanging upside down, and unable to breath, I caught one glimpse of the ruins. Instead of the sacrificial altar in the center of the encircling colonnades, there was a tall standing stone with a bonfire surrounding it. Just before that berserk giant smashed me into the rocks like a gavel, I wondered, what you do call the defilement of sacrilege?

-

Mara was in Milan for her Birthday with her best friend, so once again, I stood on her snow-covered balcony staring across the street at that first floor flat. The lights were off in the neighbor's place, but I could still picture the new girl who moved in a couple of months ago. However, while I glared into the dark windows, recalling the time I stood in the flat, I was struck by the frustration of that day and how livid I was for forgetting my fucking knife! I had assumed that after the occupant had gotten home that evening, she must have called the cops about a break in. It was understandable that she soon moved out. She then became just another female that I've stalked for a brief time before vanishing from my perception. Some plans fail, but there were always plenty of other atrocities to achieve through, THE RITUALISTIC MECHANISMS OF INTERFERING WITH DIVINITIES. The devil made flesh. They spoke to me now all the time. I didn't need to invoke anything in order to hear their presence. Yet I didn't give a fuck what they were saying anymore. I had come to accept that the things that I saw were not actually trying to show me anything. Resolution through conflict had taught me one goal far superior to the esoteric wisdom of Saurid, Enoch, and Metatron. This great objective spoke through all the chaos: how much trouble could I inflict upon hell itself!

-

My headache hadn't diminished throughout the long day, and as I stood on that urban street north of Berlin, I felt fatigued. The neighborhood was far enough out of town that these big houses all had large front yards with overgrown gardens. That particular three-story, private home was made of old marble. There were dim lights on inside, but I no sign of movement. The cold wind soon summoned my anger, and I clenched the steel rod that was wrapped in a thin cloth bag. I'd come here to kill anyone in my way, and take what I wanted. However, then the front door opened wide. A hunched figure slowly walked out into the night, approaching me with his hands behind his back. The freezing gusts were a continuous force against my side as I waited next to the front gate. Once the elderly German was close enough, a nearby lamppost lit his gaunt, seven-year-old expression of contempt. A scowl which I unmistakably recognized. Standing well within my striking distance, the old man was about to speak, when I raised my hand. My index finger pressed hard against my lips. Even the rustling trees remained hushed. I then reached into my inner jacket pocket, and held out a photograph. The old man took a long look at it before he raised his own index finger, paused, and slowly gestured for me to follow. The house stank of dust and rotting velvet. Dismal floorboards creaked under every step, as we moved through to an oppressive den. Every square inch of the walls were covered in framed photos and paintings. Shattered statues and crippled pot plants filled the darkened corners. A massive dining table sat in the center and was stacked with hundreds of tomes up to my shoulders, while a ancient desk was lit by several lamps in front of the heavy crimson drapes. The old man returned to the cigarette still smoking in an overflowing ashtray. Taking a drag, he stood next to his desk, and without looking, pointed to one of the many Art Nouveau frames cluttering his workspace. Picking up the photo, I studied this much younger picture of Joachim Haushofer, wearing the same military medal that hung over the corner of the frame.

-

All of these visions are secondary. I must remember what I had read in The Sacred Book Of Magick, that these spells are to raise devils in order to control them. You don't talk to cattle and expect them to enlighten you, you exploit their raw strength as beasts of burden. I have been lost in the pursuit of understanding, when the core desire of my motivation has always been manipulation of others in order to inflict suffering for my reward. I am a fucking sadist! I only want to see the world in pain, and then I had to capture it in my art to prolong the torture. There never has been any greater reason to exist. Those seeking an altruistic reputation are deluded by the dream of immortality. I know that my name will never been known beyond this moment. I seek no betterment for anyone. And yet the lessons from serving others were necessary. The wisdom to truly perceive what I saw was only gained through the conclusive understanding that all humans are not worth the shit at their core. It was somewhat ironic though, that the beasts did in fact remind me of these fundamentals. The sight of a giant being attacked and eaten alive by a pack of smaller demons, brought me a moment peace. However, the pleasure came once a much smaller devil came out of that primordial land and slaughtered the both giant and the pack. Yet look at me, a cowardly weakling, only six-foot-three, and still I drew that devil forth and bound a collar around its throat. After all, before you ride a bronco bull, you strap on a saddle. He joined the four others on my leash, and I stood with my chin high, recognizing how my father had grown so strong beneath Pergamon. Devil's are potential that can be harnessed, literally, and put to work for the great art. It was clear to me now, why I hadn't been ready to fulfill the ritual at Loch Ness. The first time was only my baptism, and the second time was my initiation. Both events were as important as they were unavoidable for the distillation of Bark and the alchemy of my hatred.

-

A random e-mail from Chloe had her repeating herself from over a year ago. I hadn't thought of her in a long time, and yet she still had no leverage in which to gain my interest. Fuck her and wherever was so special about some spot in the middle of fucking England. And I deleted her message and blocked her. However, she was still a foot in the door to Natalie. But then again, it had been years since I'd tasted her ass, and there had only been silence from her. How many Natalie Portman's have I kept on the back-burner without ever receiving anything in return.

-

There was frost on the black stone and thick mist in the still air as a light snow fell. At least I had on my shoes and overcoat this time. Following that narrow gorge, I paid close attention to the looming cliffs. Despite how frozen the ice appeared in the surrounding darkness, there was a strange wet sound moving above. Something was moving up there. However, further along the small valley, there was an ambient glow that drew my focus. It was a flame somewhere deep within the fog. The closer I got, the thinner the mist became, until I entered a wide clearing. There was indeed a fire, but it moved in an unnatural manner. It burned too slow. Like it was slithering about itself as it floated several feet above the ground. Surrounding this flame were four long spears that lay in a perfect square. There was then a clattering echo, as small rocks fell down the steep cliff. When I glanced in the direction of the disturbance, I noticed that the space was encircled with twenty-foot-tall standing stones. And then those gray, emaciated creatures with worm-like bodies crept around the big stones. I ignored their growing number, as I walked closer to the free-floating flame. A shriek suddenly shattered the silence, and I unconsciously braced my footing! The scream was coming from the fire itself. From under the flames a woman was expelled and crashed onto the rocks like a newborn. Writhing, she tore at her wet hair and punched her skull. She twisted into more and more violent spasms as she flung herself outside of the four spears. In that same moment the flame extinguished itself. She then thrust her head up, looking me in the eye, and then drove herself face-first into the ground! Her mud-coated body dropped limp, and silence fell with the snow. The entire perimeter of standing stones was now crowded of those lecherous devils, but they kept away like cautious scavengers. Using my foot, I shoved the female and rolled her onto her back. She was dead. There was a massive crack in her forehead where I could have easily placed my fist inside her skull. Glancing at the gathering, I gestured with my gloved hand that they could have her. I was more interested in the four spears, each with a completely different head. One blade looked like simple obsidian. One looked iron, crude, and medieval. One was long and thin like a bayonet. And one was wrapped with beads and had a double-edged, wavy blade. Collecting them, I stood up, and to my surprise, the female hadn't been touched. Yet the group of hundreds had closed in and were staring at me with sunken eyes. I wanted the spears, and had no intention of giving them up. The gathering continued moving in on their long disgusting bellies, until they all opened their diseased mouths and began breathing aloud. A mass hiss became a hum, and then a droning noise. They all moved in unison, holding there palms either side of their skull-like heads. There were no words, but it was still some kind of chant. They were attempting to communicate. Perhaps I had been wrong about these creatures for the last twenty years. Maybe they have been trying to tell me something this whole time.

-

I had been stumbling across a bleak vista of pale mountains and lifeless swamps for hours, when I eventually reached the base of those ruins. There were only a few columns and two obelisks standing on that low mount overlooking the wetlands. The morbid air had been without movement since I had arrived, and there was no signs of inhabitants great or small. Even the muddy puddles seemed to hold no devils. However, every now and then I heard far off screams creeping over the mountain ranges. This vast realm of damnation was consumed with nothing but emptiness. Between the stone obelisks, I crouched and pulled out my hands from the black sheets. In my palm was Haushofer's military medal of honor. Reaching out, I was about to draw a circle in the dirt around me, but stopped. I thought of when the Italian witch at Mara's body suspension had offered to cleanse us all. I had thanked her but declined. There is no protection here. No sigil magick, no spells, and no invocations could stop me anymore. I simply placed the medal on the ground in front of me as I sat, glaring out over all of that foreboding gloom. During the next hour, my mind went to paranoid places, and yet I always past through them and returned with a fundamental hatred that kept me focused on my goals. After a time, I thought of the porous mass that covered the walls of my flat and I wondered what it ultimately represented. Finally, a wind began to blow against the sheet draped over my head. Scanning the swamp, I appreciated the view with its brooding storm clouds overhead. Unlike others, this entity didn't come from the distance, it came from above. Levitating fifty-feet in the air, it slowly descending before me. Its oily black flesh was not transparent, yet dark smoke still emanated from beneath its black robes. The white pupils within an impenetrable silhouette were far more threatening than the sword it held at its side. As close as this devil came, its robes never touched the ground. Remaining where I sat, I gestured toward the medal. The devil merely titled its head. The sword then slammed flat onto the ground with a greater impact than if one of the columns had fallen over! Dust and ash exploded in my face, and when I finally looked up, I found that I was back in my flat. The sword, however, was still lying in front of me. The broad blade was old and scared. The moment I reached for the weapon, I realized there was something resting on my crossed legs. A human head! Grabbing it, I immediately identified the decrepit face of old man Haushofer. He looked ancient and ghastly, but slowly his gruesome eyes looked back at me. Haushofer was conscious! His dry lips parted yet he had no lungs to power his voice. Studying this Yorick in my hands, I realized that he had only been a man. He had no recognition of where I had summoned him. I was the only one to blame for the wickedness that happened here.

-

While having dinner with Mara at my favorite Russian cafe at Rosenthaler Platz, I glanced out the back window, and suddenly hoped that Mr. Bismarck might enter the establishment and shoot me in the back of my fucking head. But no one stopped me. With my back to the front door, I finished my delicious beef stroganoff, and reflected over my busy Friday. At midday, I had an interview at a small film studio that, to my surprise, offered me a full-time position. They had a long-term contract with the government, and needed someone immediately, and yet they were still willing to let me work freelance in my spare time, plus they were willing to teach me how to film live-action. The meeting ended with arranging another appointment for the next week to discuss money. Such good news had made me suspicious, as I walked through the falling snow toward the printers. There, I printed the majority of the works for my exhibition without any problems. Later, I had gotten home to find the copies of my third collection of short stories had just been delivered. I spent the rest of the afternoon fitting my artwork in their frames. In the evening, I went to the gallery and flushed out any remaining logistics with the owner. At dinner, Mara brought up the practicalities of becoming a permanent employee, discussing appropriate salary before taxes, numbers vacation days, and travel expenses. Sometimes the universe wants to see you dead, other times it conspires with you. Everything was coming together. My plans were aligning. I had assumed by now, that I would be living rough on the street, but for now, the devil was on my side.

-

An anemic waterfall trickled behind, as I stood on a broken rock and stared at a blackened mountain range crowned with rain clouds. A hand then took mine but I pulled away as I turned. Seeing that face was like a slap to mine! The thirteen-year-old girl lowered her head as she reached for my hand again. She hadn't aged a day since her death. As she led me toward that yawning cave behind the waterfall, I focused on the naked flesh of those other nine females standing in the waters of that vast cavern. Their white bodies were almost glowing against the unseen depth. These were my ten. As I turned to the blonde German, she immediately became that sexual demon I lusted after. Whilst sodomizing her, the Serbian with her fake tits shoved her lips into mine. The German brunette and rival to the blonde, took my erection into her skilled mouth while I found my fist elbow-deep down the French whore's cunt. My lips moved to the German musician as I pulled a fistful of her hair back and then stabbed my knife into her gut! The Russian then pulled my hard-on into her pouting anus, but I slammed her face into the rocks! The country-girl from my motherland reached around my shoulders, but I shoved her into the Jew and used their bodies as a mattress. Grabbing the blonde who took my virginity, I drove her face-first against the stone while I sodomized her ruthlessly! Each demon begged for me to stop, and yet they needed more. I cut there heads off, one by one, and finished by masturbated over all of their decapitated yet moaning mouths! Their butchered bodies clung to me seductively as I stood over the pile of heads. Twenty hands clawing for more, as I craned my neck, and saw how far inside I was from the waterfall. Rain was now pouring outside, but the sound of water further within that cave brought my eyes toward the subterranean pool. Ignoring the mutilated females below, I watching as ten-to-the-power-of-a-thousand duplicates of these sexual demons arose from the infinite black waters.

-

After dropping off the fliers for my exhibition with a petite French girl to distribute, I walked away with another package in my left hand. The black rubbish bag sat next to me on the empty Ubahn, until I carried it out onto Mühlendamm Bridge. There were tourists standing in the middle taking photos of the Dom at night, so I waited above the overflow and listened to the heavy undertow. Eventually, I drifted over to the center of the bridge and glared down into the shadow, where no city lights reflected. It wasn't late, and I could see people standing in the windows of the buildings lining the river. Though, as I pulled a girl's severed head out of the plastic bag, I knew that no one was watching me, not even the traffic racing by. Her face looked cold as I examined her dead eyes. And then I let her go. The drop took slightly longer than I had anticipated, but when her head struck the surface of the water, a loud CRACK was definitely not was I was expecting! A large sheet of ice had drifted on the current from under the bridge. The head bobbed a bit, but that chuck of flat ice was buoyant. With her pale brown hair flared out around her unaffected expression, the ice slowly continued down the middle of the river. Watching it drift away, I buried my hands in my jacket pockets and slowly looked down stream. There was absolutely no way I could reach it. However, no one would notice her, and even if someone did, what did it matter, it wouldn't change anything. She was dead. Dead and the world hadn't notice. Just as all my efforts wouldn't change anything. Yet still I persisted, and still I killed her, and it hadn't changed anything. I could accept that her head was out there for all the world to see, and yet she remained unseen, and in that acceptance I could find some indifferent comfort. But acceptance was just the delusion of self-deceit, reframing the ultimate fact that all of this wouldn't change anything. What did it matter, even my own memories would fade and this very moment which might have seemed important would become nothing to even the one applying meaning to it in the first place. However, that was when the water moved! A wave in a sudden sweeping motion consumed the girl's head and she vanished into the river! Following the ripples, I saw an elongated creature swim beneath the bridge before turning. For a moment, I wondered if the devil had mistakenly assumed that this trophy was an offering. It wasn't! The wave then moved further down stream where the beast climbed the walls of the river into the old Nikolaiviertel. Crossing the bridge, I moved down the riverside walkway. The place was deserted, as I stepped up to that big statue and stood below the dragon's head. Saint George held his sword high and glared straight back down at me with a look of utter contempt. If I was insane and all the devils were in my head, then why was there fresh water dripping off the statue of the dragon?

-

While leaving my flat, I took a deep breath of the evening air in the small courtyard. I then looked up at the dark windows and considered all the neighbors that I would never know. Stepping out onto the footpath, I noticed someone exit a car parked on the other side of the street. To my disdain, it was Rauna. Christ knows how long she had been waiting there. She called out and started to cross the street. I, however, marched straight toward her. Wisely, she instantly retreated and barely managed to make it back inside her car and lock the door before my fist thumped the windscreen! Staring through the glass, I watched Rauna cringe behind the wheel like a frightened fucking child. Someone then came walking their dog, so I backed away and left that worthless female to mind her own fucking business.

-

Sitting on the floor, reflecting over how my freelance work was finally working out, I knew that I had to become a more respectable professional in my industry, and keep my occult psychosis even more private. The two aspects of my life must never intermingle. If I could earn enough from this upcoming permanent position, it would finance my personal studies, and then soon I'd be able to put to rest this nagging curiosity about Ethiopia. I wanted to speak with the guardians of the Chapel Of The Tablet and look in their cataract eyes. And if I could make it to that part of the world, I wanted to find the cult that resided in the mountains between Mecca and Medina. Who was the Red Snake of the Pharaoh? I wanted to walk alone into the desert, just to spite Abra-Melin the Mage, Jesus of Nazareth, and old man Satan himself. But these were just more unobtainable plans if the capricious Goddess Fortuna would become a cunt once again. On that thought, I realized that I was again sitting underwater. Whatever I was doing, it wasn't mediation, though, it left me free of external distractions, and I hadn't even noticed that I was holding my breath. The eastern wall, between my windows, was now a tall chasm leading upward. So, suddenly needing air, I swam, although mostly climbed up the passageway toward a dull light. The surface of the water was in a narrow crack on a gentle mountainside. Being sheltered by the jagged rocks, the pond was calm, yet the wind was shrieking overhead. Crawling out, I found a massive glacier stretching down from the mountain ranges. The overcast sky was miserable, but then, in the next moment, screaming came from more than just the gales. Half a dozen twenty-foot-log centipede-like monstrosities were attacking something else that was hard to distinguish. Limbs were torn at, and bursts of blood soaked the predators and prey. Devils devouring the damned devouring devils. Apart from this savage attack out on that barren landscape, the place was otherwise lifeless. A heavy rain started to fall, as I slowly approached the feeding beasts that relentlessly lashed into each other. Undressing from my drenched clothes, I felt that old sensation of terror well-up in my chest. But upon remembering that I've been eating before, I knew that after a few minutes of horrendous agony, the pain would pass, and so, then the fear also faded.

-

I had been in the north of Berlin and was walking the streets, staring at the asphalt, when I saw that the ground had slowly turned to dirt. The night sky was still festering with storm clouds and yet the wind was no longer freezing. Instead of ugly apartment buildings, a wasteland lay stretched out into the distant fog. Directly ahead, I discovered a large black square in the ground. It was a pond carved into the rock. The stone edges were rough from neglect, and there were no other structures or pools within my limited sight. Straining my eyes, I couldn't see a single shape out there in that vast expanse. Not even a hill on the horizon. Silence and abandonment was all there was. Looking down at the perfectly smooth surface of the water, I kept my distance. It was about fifty-meters-wide and fifty-meters-long. I thought I saw a light below, but it was just a reflection. Thunder soon rumbled, and more ambient flashes smeared across the sky and pool. That was when I noticed stairs leading into the water. Broken stairs thick with sand. Crouching, I peered into the water and gradually my eyes adjusted to the depth. With each flicker of lightning, I discerned that there were pillars and statues below. Some kind of building had been cut downward into the rock. Standing up, I backed away. The water knew my trepidation. I dreaded water, and yet always found myself drawn to it. Just as water gives life, someday it will take mine. But not tonight. And I stepped into the pond. As my Chucks sunk into the icy black, I reminded myself that my pain today will mean nothing tomorrow. The clouds had gone quiet as my head slowly went under, and then all I heard was that nullifying submergence mixing with the apprehension in my pulse. My eyes cracked open as I took one final step down into the freezing cold. On either side were perfectly preserved statues of lion-sized sphinxes, but the heads were of devils with huge jaws. Below, a tall colonnade surrounded a lower colonnade which encircled a ring of enormous obelisks much further down. At the bottom, in the center of everything, reaching upward, was the silhouette of a giant statue. This place was just another forsaken mausoleum. It was exactly like the inside of my skull. That was, until a massive shock-wave welled-up from far below! The water swelled, and I lost my footing. Grabbing a sphinx, I looked up at the surface that was only a few feet above. However, despite my shivering state, I forced myself to wait and see. With another BOOM, I twisted back toward the depth. The big statue was tilting, as a huge cloud of muddy silt rose and overwhelmed it. I was then completely blinded by the churning disturbance when the third shock-wave tore my hand from the sphinx.

-

I was walking back to my flat just after midnight, when I glanced up at the surrounding rooftops. I didn't see anything lurking among the leafless trees, so I pulled out my keys and opened the front door. While crossing the inner courtyard, I heard a shuffle in the bushes to my left. The light was on in that flat where the blonde lived, but then something came crawling through the small garden! With clenched fists, I steadied my back foot, but relaxed upon the sight of one of those pale devils with its long, worm-like body. Reaching for the door into the stairwell, I ignored that miserable creature, until I spotted something that it dragged behind. A naked female. The decrepit fiend hunched its back as it heaved the unknown body toward my feet. The gift-giver then immediately withdrew. However, behind it, I saw movement in that ground floor flat. The urge to slit the blonde's throat surged through my arteries with the same arousal as when I girl sucked on my erection. The question of if it was the blonde or her good-looking boyfriend, then forced me to restraint my impulse, and I looked away with a vile taste on my clenched teeth. I didn't even know my neighbor's name, and never fucking wanted to! Kneeling down, I touched the cold flesh of the girl in the garden. She was already dead! In disgust, I stood up and shoved the carcass back into the shrubs with the bottom of my shoe. The devil grunted pitifully next to the wall, before it's bony fingers grabbed the dead girl's ankle, and it slithered back up the side of the building. Pulling my black scarf across my face and my hoodie over my head, I stepped into the garden and sat right outside my neighbor's flat and waited.

-

It had been another Sunday of rain, as I sat in my flat looking at all of my artwork stacked up and ready for the exhibition in two weeks. I was proud of what I had created, and yet, the depictions were barely a glimpse of what I had seen with my own two eyes. It had captured the tone of the place, but it lacked the textile depth. Like all representations, they were merely weak imitations of the experience. This is the frustration of the artist, confronting the inability to recreate the vision. After all, sight was only one sensory perception of these things encountered. Just yesterday, I had stood in a cold, gray swampland where I was surrounded with snow-covered mountains. I had noticed an unusual line in the distance. A perfectly vertical divide sliced through one of the peaks. From my perspective, the gap was maybe a hundred-meters-wide, and I could see the gloom of the sky on the other side. It was miles away, but it was obvious that someone had deliberately planned and then carved this passageway with precise engineering. This place was a dead kingdom of desolation and ruins. But the enormous storm clouds groaned, and something moved the very sky itself. The swamp shook, as I looked all around, and massive forms slowly slid down from the rain. God-sized worms rolled over one another, and the entire hemisphere above undulated unnaturally. The vast, pale surface of the worms glistened wetly, while more clouds parted and huge sections of the sky revealed gigantic slithering entrails. I had seen that place, and I had written it down, trying to preserve the vision as a mental photograph, but I wanted more than just memorabilia! I wanted to bring all the atrocities of hell into this world! I wanted to prove that I had seen them! That I had been there! But no one cared. I've heard them say it many times before, whether from a skeptical employer, the finance office, or from the lips of a lover: my delusions were irrelevant and detrimental to my good standing in the community. Nothing I did mattered! And so, I foresaw exactly how my exhibition would go: a handful of people would come, I would sell practically nothing, and no one would truly see what I was trying to portray.

-

Withdrawing my erection, I watched my cum leak out of her dead rectum. I flipped her body over and brushed her bleached white hair out of her face, before I hacked her throat open with my knife. Grabbing a fistful of black salt, I rubbed the gritty powder into the meaty stump, and then I blew softly on the bloody mess in my palms. Several spindly black worms slowly began reaching upward from the muck in my hands. Smearing the blood, salt, and worms on the concrete, I moved around and knelt over the girl's torso. I sliced open her belly and ripped out the organs, dumping them all around. Stabbing her her spinal column from the inside, I soon chopped her body in two, discarding a foot-length of vertebrae. I then twisted her hips to a better angle for my blade, and shoveled out her uterus, bladder, and the remains of her large intestine. Grabbing the upper half of her body, I also scrapped out the insides of her rib-cage with little concern for the tricky bits that clung on defiantly. I worked quickly, and shoved aside any meat that sat too close to the butchered body, including her worthless fucking head. I found that there was no more time, so I moved back as the shadows closed in. The basement was long and narrow, and full of those translucent figures. I quickly controlled my breathing and crouched near the wall. Despite how sweaty I was, I still pulled up a black sheet and draped it over my shaved head as I watched on. I had seen these devils interfere with the dead before, but what happened next made me think of Captain Grant's own basement experiments. One of the black shadows crawled into the hallowed out carcass and pulled it on like a suit. The limbs twitched before stretching into a slumped over, seated position. A headless body without a midsection moved as if it was alive again. It was meat possessed! But it was better than that. Where the head should have been, two black horns began to appear. The body then got to its knees, hands at it sides as if it was exhausted. The gathering seemed just as intrigued as I was. Tilting my head, I watched her left hand slowly stroke her blood-soaked breasts, before her fingers ran along the edge of her ribs where the upper half of the body floated above the basin of her hips. When the mutilated body finally rose to its feet, she had become a post-human, scarlet woman!

-

Just after I had left work and cross the busy street, Emanuel suddenly appeared. The big man stood on the windy corner of Frankfurter Allee with his hands in his coat pockets, and he looked as unimpressed about seeing me again as I felt about him. He took one step in my direction – when a police van suddenly pulled up to the curb between us. A dozen hungry young cops quickly shuffled across the wide pavement toward a cheap Doner takeout. The gruff Frenchman seemed strangely nervous as he hesitated. Leaning away, he climbed into a huge black Range Rover. Watching him slowly drive on by, he shook his head bitterly, I ran my index finger murderously across my throat.

-

I had taken a running leap and landed on the other side of a chasm in the ice sheet. My Chucks quickly found their grip, and I climbed up onto a frozen hill, where my eyes followed the blood trail further along the glacier and then up into a snow-draped mountainside. There, I saw the creature limp toward the mouth of an extremely wide cave. But that was when I heard those other things coming. Twisting, I scanned the wilderness of snow with black patches of sharp rock protruding from the ice. Like a pack of wolves, they raced across the empty landscape. Their shrieks were shrill with rage and hunger. Glancing back at the mountain, I was filled with frustration. At the speed in which the pack were coming, they'd track me down long before I'd reach my target. All my effort were for nothing! However, like the test from earlier that day, when I had been working out the logistics of screwing the hinges onto my pentaptych, The Pergamon Of Jerusalem, I had to trust in myself that I knew what I was doing. And indeed, my calculations had been correct. With anger at my own self-doubt, I then moved on! Picking up the pace, I ran faster! It wasn't the claws that I feared, it was failure that mocked me. Once I scrambled up the boulders from the field of snow, I raced into that huge cavern made of solid ice. I wasn't expecting to confront a looming pyramid inside. Upon closer inspection, I found that the huge mound was made of human bones. Suddenly the screams of two voices echoed out from the dark blue depths of the cave. The ice walls allowed a shimmering illumination to back-light the creature that I had been following, as it ripped the stick-figure of a man into piece! A hand then touched my shoulder, and I lurched away from an ancient man's malnourished expression of intolerance. The bearded man quietly walked past me, as I turned toward the pack of twenty devils hurtling closer to the base of the mountainside. Running after the naked old man, I sped past him, and followed the escaping creature. When I reached the body of the guy I had just seen slaughtered, I paused. It was the same old man who had appeared out of nowhere. Glancing at the massive pile of bones, I understood that it was built from the previous bodies of the same old man. He seemed to obsessively collect his remains the moment that he was resurrected. The pack then rushed into the cave, and feverishly devoured the old man! Only for him to reappear in the presence of killers again and again. Shrieks filled the place as I escaped deeper inside. I then found the other creature around the first bend in the tunnel. It stood grunting in the shadows. The animal itself was something between a thirty-foot gorilla and an armored rhinoceros. Its entire face was gone, eaten off and left bloody to the bone, and its left arm was missing, leaving a huge wound down its side. However, as blind as this mutilated devil may have been, it still lunged directly at me! I ducked the leaped into a narrow passageway, as colossal fists shattered the walls! Crawling backward on the slippery ice, my foot was grabbed – just when several others from the pack attacked the injured creature! Tumbling sideways down a slope, I quickly made a run for it while sneering in disgust. I had wanted that motherfucker's head as a trophy for myself! BAM! I thumped right into a wall, but I caught the handle of a door! The light was piercing, as I stumbled out of the tunnel, and immediately recognized the glossy green tiles of the Alexanderplatz underground. I found myself in the busy station full of busy people going about their busy little lives. Walking among the rest of the herd, I ignore them just as they remained unaffected by my presence. Slowly the world came back to me. Taking the stairs down to my train, I stopped halfway and looked around the masses all heading home. I couldn't think of a reason to continue. This morning, I received a phone call right before the meeting at the new studio, where we were to have discussed my contract. The director kindly informed me that they had suddenly found somebody else for the job. The solution to all of my financial problems then just evaporated. Berlin had done its thing. Having hope stolen again and again, teaches you the ultimate truth: no one is important.

-

While sitting on my floor facing the east, I heard them behind me. I heard their breathing and the sounds of a thousand of subtle moments. Twisting, I saw that my entire flat had transformed into an endless tunnel that gradually curved away to the north and south. The eastern wall arched upward from the stone floor into a high ceiling that reached for the western wall which was utterly comprised of tightly packed creatures. I recognized some of the inhuman beings, yet most were completely foreign to me with their sickly flesh and blackened eyes. They seemed to be growing directly out of that obscene wall which curved away in either direction. At evenly placed positions along the arched ceiling, there were circular orifices that let a dull light trickle down into the tunnel. Stepping closer to the inhabitants of the wall, I saw serpents mingle among the bodies as well as long stringy worms that seemed like a network of veins interconnecting them all. Taking another step closer, I examined one deformed creature, and noticed a gap behind its shoulder, where another set of eyes squinted back at me. There were more layers of these entities built into the wall. It was hard to tell the separation between the stone construction from the organic beings. The one thing for certain was, they were critically scrutinizing what the fuck I was doing in this hushed space of condemned contemplation. That was, until the air pressure suddenly condensed. A loud blast then struck me from the right, and I stumbled backward, spotting a wave of water come racing down the passageway! I lurched aside, but it was impossible to avoid being swept up like a rat in a gutter! The stampeding wave filled the tunnel to the limit, and I was smashed from side to side. Bunching off the individuals in wall, I reached out and grabbed something. A bony limb. Another creature caught a hold of me, and despite the brutal current of the flood water, the occupants of the wall pulled me into their embrace. The rushing water was then quickly replaced by the compression of countless bodies crushed against mine. Thankfully, however, my head soon pushed through the muddy surface of a puddle and I gasped frantically for air. The odd logic of my new position quickly came to my attention. I was upside down, miles above an ocean where two freight-train-long beasts rose through the waters. They were made of warped limbs and lashing tendrils which coiled over each other's blackened mass. It wasn't until they both slowly rolled, that I saw a third leviathan in their enormous jaws. They tore this lesser beast into a magnificent scene of absolute carnage! When the two great sea gods separated, they continued ripping the slain beast wide open. The foam from the writhing abominations splashed all the way up to where I hung. Finally, after scanning my situation, I found that I was but a parasite in the bowels of a mountain that was as much alive the ocean was above.

-

Walking through Potsdamer Platz, on my way to the kino, I passed by the red lights and red carpets surrounding to the Berlinale film festival. I continued next to the Grand Hyatt and glanced inside the big windows at the restaurant's open fire place. There, I came across a pretty face peering out. She was a redhead, thirty, and dressed very professional. So, I walked inside and join her. That female was just another vlogging, YouTube film-critic, writing click-bait headlines about art-house shit that I didn't give a fuck about. Soon, upstairs, I found her four-year-old son sleeping in an adjacent room. The female squirmed from the chair that I had tied her to, and she squealed once I cut her child's head off and dropped it into the bathtub. I then disemboweled the tiny body like so many of the rabbits from my childhood. Despite the duct-tape over her mouth, the female's muffled distress was still making considerable noise. With bloody hands, I turned to her distraught thrashings, and pinched her nose. Wrenching about, she lurched and convulsed, but my thumb and index finger clung on until she suffocated. It was that simple. I then stripped her body naked and cut her head off, dropping it next to her child's butchered existence. Bending her carcass over the edge of the bath, I sodomized her while wondering if this sexual addiction was a psychological form of biological slavery. But it was better to fuck a dead body than endure the self-sabotage of suffering through the tedium of intimate human relationships. Fornication was a bodily urge that needed to be alleviated on a daily basis, so that you could then get on with the great work without any lingering distractions. There was no reward nor gratification down the cunts or assholes of whores. They were meat to fuck and eat. So, once I ejaculated, I cut out a slither of flesh from the female's thigh, and fried it in the suite's kitchen. While savoring my meal, I glanced around the hotel room and focused on a couple of camera tripods next to a laptop on the desk. I then cut up the two bodies, dumped them in the toilet, and flushed them all away. While walking through the big lobby streaked with golden lighting, I carried the heads and bones of the mother and son in a large metal-framed, camera-case. The glass doors slid open as I approached, when in came an Asian gentleman in an tailored suit. We both slowed down once we recognized each other. I hadn't seen Mr. Slappy since the incident at The Little China Embassy. He glanced at the camera-case, and immediately bowed his head in an unexpected sign of respect. I, however, still wanted to sucker-punch the prick, but we both continued on our separate ways. Berlin was a fucking village, and I wouldn't have been surprised if Mr. Slappy's boss owned this establishment as well.

-

The many layers of the long black sheets dragged behind as the violent rain struck my face. I slipped constantly on that steep mountainside, using a headless spear to keep my balance. There was nothing out there on that exposed slope, just a continuous incline into the night's domination. Upon one more misplaced footing, I tripped and landed onto my side! I grit my teeth as I snarled furiously about how much I hated this fucking place! Cold and soaking, I smashed the wooden staff into the stone, trying to the fucking break it! I felt as if I had been washed up on the rocks of a volcanic island in the middle of a hurricane. The wind tore at my cloak, as I scanned beyond the mountain. There was only the impenetrable dark out there. I saw nothing back the way I had come, and absolutely nothing up ahead. Still, I grabbed the cumbersome sheets, slung them over my shoulder like a dead body, and clawed my way up the side of that weather-worn ridge. The voice of old Malloy then repeated in my head after our coffee at Gendarmenmarkt last week. He had spoken again about Jung and his Red Book. Spoke about The Masons and their symbolism for building yourself into a better man. And he had spoken of those that have a drive to push on despite facing constant defeat. After our conversation, I had begun wondering if my true-will, was in fact, my own fucking prison! White light then pierced the chaos. The full moon suddenly cut through the eye of the storm, and the rain slowly pulled itself away. Bracing the staff against the mountainside, I looked for signs of a peak, but the shape of wings suddenly drew my eyes further upward. A great vulture with a serpent's body swung down from the clouds and clamped its talons into my forehead! The powerful wings lifted me clean off my feet, and in that same instant, the serpent stabbed both ends of itself into my temple! I grabbed the vultures legs, and then the wings wrapped around my entire skull. We dropped and crashing against the mountainside! While rolling down the stone surface, I ripped at the wings smothering my infuriated screams. My right hand then found my knife. Suddenly the wings released my head, and in my bloody grasp was the golden dagger that Nefertiti II had given me. The rain returned and washed my hands and forehead clean, but I could feel the serpent coil around my horns as I could hear the very voice of the storm. However, when my shadowed-third-eye looked above the mountain, the storm suddenly vanished, along with the sky, and the moon. All I saw was the absence of everything, including myself.

-

On Wednesday, I went to the butcher and picked up the pig's blood and the pomegranates. I now had all the elements required for my exhibition in two days. Passing through my courtyard, I saw the blonde neighbor standing in her window, staring at me as I moved into the stairwell. Placing the heavy sword on the floor, I sat in the center of my flat with the four unique spears lying in a square around me. Almost immediately, the black serpents slid across the floor, and a darkness filled the air. Water began seeping up from the bare stone that I sat upon, and the screams of distraught women howled from the southern, western, and northern walls. A hollow sound filled my ears as I looked up at the porous eastern wall where hundreds of serpents emerged. On either side of the tendrils, were those two tall individuals who gestured toward one of the shrieking voice on my left. The northern wall of the cave had that a large recess where a dozen of those gray humanoids with worm-torsos, were packed around a stone altar and clung to a naked girl. A different figure then forced his way through the others, like a man in a cloak with a stretched head that had five more demonic faces above one another. He looked at me before suddenly plunging his bony fingers into the girl's stomach and ripping out her guts! Other screeching voices simultaneously increased, as I slowly twisted and saw the same act performed behind me and to my right. There was another shift in the air pressure. The water-level rose over my crossed legs as serpents swam all around, and I noticed a pair of enormous feet in the corner. As my eyes scowled upward, I found that the previously rough surface of the cave, had now become smooth stone columns. The feet belonged to a giant thing that was as similar to a human as a burnt tree was. Higher still, the space stretched into a distant mist. The walls were full of arched cavities that were full of hundreds of devils of every vile shape and wicked form. They all glared silently back down, but not at me, only at what had to be done. The screams of the three females then struck a never. Instinctively, I grabbed the archaic sword and stomped through the knee-deep water. Using the weapon like a guillotine, I sliced down through the neck of the northern sacrifice! The five-faced being then draped her entrails around my shoulders. Sneering, I moved to the western sacrifice and hacked off her head! Her bowels were also slung around my neck. Turning to the southern sacrifice, I heard her scream the name of a man I used to be. Her decapitation was all I ever wanted from her! Before the priest could hang the intestines over my shoulders, I threw the sword at the crowd and grabbed the innards myself. Water was pouring down those profane cathedral walls and it was up to my thighs when I stood in front of the two guardians of the east. The space in the wall between them had returned to flat, impenetrable stone again. With impatient disregard, I slammed all of the guts straight into the fucking wall and smeared their shit as I dragged my hands down! Still there was only the sound of running water and the murmur of devils breathing down my neck. Clenching my fists, I shook my head. It was then that I thought of the standing stone that I had found in the cottage basement on the Holy Island. Looking at the bloody surface of the eastern wall, my eyes lost focus on the feces. No, I didn't lose focus, I couldn't focus! The wall was shifting. Reaching up, I touched the glistening stone. It was solid and unmoved, and yet it shifted and changed. Stepping back, I examined the stain on the wall and found it to be more than that. I then walked into the stone and traveled through the wall. Absorbed, I was taken. Digested. And when I could move again, I watched the very fabric of space open and stretch apart. A massive cavity appeared. It heaved and then closed. In that brief moment, I saw absolute chaos! When a void opened again, a blackness moved alive with cosmic attrition! Gigantic beings larger than planets ate one another in a colossal environment of churning self-destruction. Worms that were a million miles long, wrestled with slithering impossibilities in a constant embodiment of mutation and mutilation. I saw through things. There was no empty space between these vast monstrosities, all space was teaming with lifeforms of utter, unadulterated damnation. Yet, somehow, I saw through them, while I still saw them commit perpetual savagery upon the farthest reaches of one another. The sound alone was of such salacious annihilation, that I was transfixed by my attraction toward this supremely divine state of war. And as I smiled in hell, I knew with sublime clarity, that throughout the great indifference of the universe, was an endless entanglement of violence within everything!

-

Setting up an exhibition was exactly the same as carrying out any magical operation. Once prepared, the act of the ritualized invocation became an unconscious procedure. The second-nature moved through what had to be done. By 11pm on Thursday 21st February 2019, I had hung all of the art in the Fata Morgana Galerie. There was just the candles and other details, like spilling the pig's blood, to attend to on the opening day. Taking a moment, I sat on the steps between the upper and lower rooms and appreciated the audacity that I had had to invest so much time, energy, and money into something that I knew would have little to no returns. Was this the crucial mistake that all idiots make in which they finally dig themselves a grave so deep that they could never crawl out of? This idiot's audacity would leave me penniless, with nothing but the rationalizing: that it was worth the experience! An experience which would become a memory of a fulcrum that only led me further toward my inevitable demise. Was I merely creating future resentment toward myself for my own hubris? But what choice did I have, if all my determinism had guided me up the side of Mount Sinai to this temple of my own true-will, so that I could face this manifestation of the self! This had to happen! I had climbed this far of my own volition, knowing full well that I was doing it to spite my fucking limitations! I must remember, that the regret of reservation is far worse than the regret of following through! Suddenly I saw a pair of scornful eyes looking through the front window! The eyes of Marcus! It had been a long day and I was running on fumes when the old man burst in ranting. His voice soon fell to heavy wheezing once he focused on the framed pictures. My art, my curse, my exhibition, Desecrate The Temple. What greater gift could I give to this world that I despised, than that of PERMANENT PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE! It was quite some time before Marcus began muttering something about, of all the things that I could have become, this deformity is what I have made of myself! He said, that I was no good! That I was contaminated! Said, that all I did was defile! He got louder and more manic with this gestures, yelling, that if I truly sought god, then I would have devoted my resources to the betterment of his glory, not fixated upon this heinous obscenity! His righteous disgust was livid as he stomped up the steps into the Unholy of Unholies, and stared at the closed panels of, The Pergamon Of Jerusalem. His hand rose and shook as he pointed at the devils clinging to the two upside down females in the artwork. He demanded I speak! He shoved me! Snarling, that I should say something! That I must explain myself! But the time for talking has passed... Turning toward me, his mouth opened again – until the steel rod in my hand caved in his fucking skull! He struck the floor like a sack of concrete. A calmness consumed my murdering as I SMASH, SMASH, SMASHED the old man's head into broken fragments of meat and bone! This was the perfect squalid consecration of the gallery before the exhibition tomorrow. Taking the shattered chunks of his skull in my bare hands, I cracked the shards of his cranium wide open, and then grabbed both hemispheres of his blood-drenched cerebrum. All ten fingers dug into that greasy mass of folded gray shit, and I crushed everything I held in my fucking hands! I know why Elohim doesn't speak to you anymore. I am the silent hatred of god.

Bruce

© 2019 BRUCE STIRLING JOHN KNOX