Fiction of the weird


Dilly Dally


Blaff was laughing. He was laughing at the houses and the cars and the traffic island. Something black lived in the bushes of the traffic island. Blaff had been told by a fortune teller that he would one day do battle with a black thing. Maybe it would be the black thing on the traffic island. But he had once seen a black thing rushing up the fire escape of an apartment block. Maybe that was his foe.

Blaff found himself not laughing anymore. So he started laughing again.

Later, Blaff was in the wasteland. The wasteland had once been a power station. The station was now the odd wall and pile of rubble but the power was still there. But only Blaff could access it. He was born during an eclipse, which gave him gifts that nobody else had.

Blaff felt the buzz of the power and moved to where it was most powerful, next to a giant curved pipe sticking out of the ground. He felt his black hair standing on end. The power was filling his body like a gushing tap filling a watering can.

Then it was night. Time moved on when you were accessing power. Blaff stalked home like a panther through streets that echoed with emptiness. Street lights lit up the pavement with discs of yellow. Alleyways contained black holes and cats. Barbed wire glittered on brick walls too high to climb. Blaff laughed at a parked car. It looked so demented. He could imagine the adventures it had seen in its days.

Later Blaff woke up from a dream. He had been dreaming about a man with a fishing rod. On the hook of the rod was a large hand. The man had been swishing the hand around hitting his bedroom window.

Blaff screamed as he ate his breakfast. Blaff cried as he washed his face in the sink. He kept being haunted by the notion that he had more than one face and that the other faces were behind his real one if only he could peel it off like sellotape.

As he dressed for his daily walk Blaff felt the power blasting in his hands. He wondered what would happen if he failed to use it. Would he transform? Into what?

Blaff laughed at the man washing the windows of a van. The man laughed back. He had a beard made from twigs and a nose shaped like an ear. Blaff felt the power trying to release itself. It wanted to change the van man.

"Not yet!" Blaff insisted. He walked towards the statue gardens. Here were marble effigies of lovers hugging each other. Here were still life representations of people doing mundane things. One statue was frying an egg in a frying pan. And there was someone sat on a toilet.

Blaff wept at it all. He didn't know why. The power inside him suddenly leapt from his hands and struck the statue of the figure on the toilet.

The statue stood up and began to wipe its bottom.


The Secret Factory


Glinz had been born during the war between the feathered people and the smooth people. He could play the piano pretty good and could drink alcohol all day and never get drunk. His mother had worried about him as a child because he would not cry even when pinched. Nowadays he cried all the time. Anything could set him off: birds flying high above, women walking past him in the street, the taste of blood.

Glinz worked at the secret factory.

The factory looked like a block of flats but the flats were a front. There were flats but the rooms were populated by mannequins. If you saw the flats from another building they would appear real. The mannequins were moved around once a week to maintain the illusion. But behind the fake flats the factory produced its wares unseen by anyone who did not work at the factory.

Glinz liked to work at the factory. His job was easy. He checked curvy yellow pipes for imperfections. Sometimes they were not curvy enough. Sometimes they were not yellow enough. Mostly they were okay. Maybe one in a thousand was not perfect and those he took from the conveyor belt he put into a large box on wheels that would be pushed away into the depths of the factory.

Glinz was not allowed to see any part of the factory other than where he worked. He even had to eat his lunch at the side of the conveyor belt. He had never spoken to any of the other workers. They were not permitted to.

One day, while sitting on the toilet, he had been passed a piece of paper by a gloved hand under the stall. He knew it was wrong to take that piece of paper but still he did it. He had always been curious. If the people who ran the factory knew about him being so curious he would probably have lost his job there. Curious people were a danger to the working of the factory. It thrived on secrecy.

But Glinz took the piece of paper and unwrapped it. There were words written on it. "No on leaves the factory alive" it read. Glinz understood what the message was talking about instantly. How could the secrecy of the factory be kept if people retired? It couldn't.  The people who ran the factory could not rely on the secrecy of its workers.

Glinz put the piece of paper in his pocket and finished using the toilet. He then returned to the conveyor belt and continued his work. Curly yellow pipes filed down the conveyor, all of them perfect. It took two days for a bad pipe to appear. It was not curly enough. Glinz allowed it to continue down the conveyor belt along with the perfect pipes. It was a small act but it was all he could think to do.


Peurile and Awesome


Plagg felt the explosion but did not hear or see it. He had an idea what the explosion meant: the sea was at war with them again. The sea had been warring with them for decades. It had murdered millions of the rubber people. Plagg was one of the rubber people.

Plagg had not started out as a rubber person. He had been born solid but at the time of his tenth birthday had begun to soften until he had become a rubber person. His family were all solid people so it came as a bit of a shock to them. They kept his rubber body secret from the elite in case it meant trouble. No doubt scientists would be rather suspicious of Plagg and his new rubber body and all manner of tests would be implemented to discover why he had become a rubber person.

The sea hated rubber people. It had started a war with them before Plagg had been born. It sent starfish to assassinate them. Sometimes it flooded entire villages just to get at one rubber person. The solid people did not know what to do about it. They contemplated segregating the rubber people so that the sea could kill them off. But the elite politicians decided against it. They were not all bad.

But now the sea had found Plagg. They had sent their agents to bomb him with subtle explosions. So Plagg ran away. He ran as far away from the sea as he could. Which wasn't easy as he lived on an island, albeit a large island. He did not want to leave his city. He had lived there all his life and all his family lived there. But his life was at stake. He found a small village high up in the hills. It was easy to find a place to live. But after a week something strange happened. He was walking in the hills, looking for mushrooms to eat, when he saw something like a piece of white paper flying towards him. It wasn't even windy so he wondered what was forcing it across the hills. Soon it crashed into his legs and he saw what it was. It was not a piece of paper. It was a section of white plastic. It wrapped around his legs and threatened to topple him. Somehow it was gripping onto him. He tried to peel it off but it seemed glued to his legs. He got a good look at it and recognised it. It was a scale model of his city, the city he had left behind. He could see streets and roads that he knew. And there was his house, where his family lived. The floppy white plastic model could not have been sent by the sea, could it?


Black Magic Mask


Joot pushed his metal hand into the yellow pile of goo.

Joot worked at a shop that sold bottles of pig blood. Pig blood was useful to sorcerers in their rituals. He had a girlfriend called Numa that used it to conjure lost gods. The gods brought her all manner of shoes and gloves, some with special abilities. Some of them gave her power over worms. She had a pair of purple mittens that allowed her to chat with people over long distances. She had spooked her friends like that many times.

Joot pulled apart the yellow goo.

Joot had a cousin who lived in the dead body of a whale. He had treated the flesh with a special varnish that preserved it. He had built walls and floors in the whale and slept in the head of the whale. He claimed that when he was asleep he had dreams about the sea. Joot had stayed in the whale himself but had only dreamt about sausages.

Joot felt around in the yellow goo and found something solid. He pulled it out and tried to wipe away the goo. He put it under a tap and washed away the yellow substance.


The Strain


There are twenty fires burning in the room. Lord Hebb likes a warm room. Pictures of fires adorn the walls. Statues of flames sit on sideboards. In the centre of the room is a black form. It looks like a figure swathed in a black sheet, twisted by anguish. Lord Hebb likes to look at it and imagine it is made from charcoal. It is in fact carved from stone.

The door to the fire room opens and Lord Hebb's wife enters. She is wearing a pale blue dress and has white hair.

"Do you think much?" She asked.

"Do I think much?"

"Do you think much?"

The fires burned and the statue writhed as if tormented by the flames. Lord Hebb stood up and walked to one of the fireplaces. He was wearing a tweed suit the colour of oatmeal.

"I don't think much," he said.

"Then you will never put out the fires, " Lady Hebb told him as she walked into the room, wringing her hands. "You will never be free."

Lady Hebb approached the black statue and laid her right hand on it.

"It is warm," she proclaimed. She touched another part of the statue. "It is cold," she said.

Lord Hebb screamed. The sound was like a window smashing. He knelt by the fire and held out a hand.

"Must I touch the flames?" He asked. "Must I set myself on fire?"

Lady Hebb turned to him.

"Yes," she said. "You must set yourself on fire."


People Trying To Admit They Are Wrong About A Fish


The naked man left the shop and stared at the ground. Someone had dropped some chewing gum and it had been flattened into a white mishapen coin. For a second he thought it was a coin. You would never think the reverse, he told himself. You would never think a coin was a discarded piece of chewing gum.

The naked man walked on. He had to buy a watch. But where could he purchase one? He could try the jewellers on the other side of town.

A bus screeched and there was a loud bang like a tin drum being beaten by a giant. There had been a crash, the naked man realised, his mind spinning. A purple car had been struck from behind and green smoke issued from its wound. The naked man began to think about food. He had not eaten in twelve days. The thought of food was alien to him. Maybe someone had died in the crash. Maybe somebody was dying and he could help.

People were already moving around the crashed car. The driver of the bus had left his vehicle and was running to see if there was anything he could do. Maybe he felt responsible. He shouldn't, the naked man told himself. The crash had been caused by the evil one. The evil one who lurked in the invisible realm and caused chaos in the visible.

The naked man walked towards the crash, the road wet. Maybe the driver of the crash would need first aid. The naked man had read a book about first aid and felt confident that he knew what to do.

Before he reached the crash he knew that the driver of the car would have a yellow face, like marzipan. The naked man also knew that the driver would be bleeding black blood from his nose. His nose would be pointy like a finger. His hair would be like a scrubbing brush.

When the naked man had pushed past the curious crowd he saw that the driver was in fact grey skinned and had no nose except for a couple of holes. His hair was blond and luxurious.

"Make way!" The naked man commanded.

The evil one was watching him. He knew why he was naked. He knew everything.

The naked man leant in through the open window of the crashed purple car and kissed the grey face of the driver. The naked man fled the scene, crying golden tears from his naked eyes.


Dark Matter Exploding In a China Cup


(The red wheel is floating in darkness)

Blick had green hair and wore a black leather jacket and yellow trousers that were way too big for him. On his feet he wore red plimsolls. Blick was smoking a pipe stuffed with a purple substance. He was sat in a tatty orange armchair surrounded by paintings that he had created himself. He was waiting for his muse to kick in. He had a fresh canvas to fill and paints aching to be smeared into life. His paintings were abstract and dripped with energy. They looked blurred. Deformed.

(The red wheel began to spin in the darkness)

Blick smoked more of his pipe and closed his eyes. His girlfriend was visting friends on the other side of the city. Blick did not like her friends much. They had shown interest in one of his paintings but had failed to buy it. They also never laughed at his jokes. They were squares in a world without definite shape. Blick was shapeless.

(The red wheel began to spin faster)

Blick felt his mind widen. This was the first sign. The muse was waiting for him. He could feel his brain merging with the rest of the room and beyond. He could sense stories being written in nearby rooms. He was next door, he was in the flats above. His mind could not penetrate the sky yet. He had penetrated the sky many times thanks to the purple substance. He had found the purple substance in a phone booth last year. A pound of it. He had used half of it. He hadn't been a painter back then. Smoking the substance -which he had been dared to do by his best mate-had filled him with ideas for paintings. He could only paint under the influence of the substance.

(The red wheel is spinning so fast that it appears to be running backwards)

Blick coughed. The substance had that effect. Whatever it was it was potent but harsh. His girlfriend didn't like to be around when he smoked it, but she missed seeing him paint. Blick's mind was in the next street and he could just make out a dark figure in the distance. The figure moved like lightning towards him.

Blick opened his eyes and screamed. The face he had seen was the worst thing he had ever seen. It was so ugly that it wasn't even a face. Blick put his pipe down and stared at the blank canvas. There was a knocking sound somewhere. It took half a minute for him to realise it was his front door. No, it was the door to his living room. Someone was in the hallway. Blick's mind filled with black ink and his heart began to beat loud enough for him to measure. He closed his eyes and saw the face. He opened them and still saw the face.

(The red wheel stops spinning and begins to drip blood into the darkness)


We Don't Stand A Chance


(Black tubes gleam in the midnight grey. Obsidian machines glitter and charge. Ebony men race through shadows. Ghosts in glass tubes barely light the gloom of massive tunnels where wet things writhe. The planet has no sun and relies on suffering to see how things really are.)

Wandy takes a knife and scoops some butter from the jar. She smears the butter onto the slice of bread in her hand. She repeats this ritual until all the slices of bread are buttered. Now she takes the knife AND STABS THE SLICES OF BREAD. STABS AND STABS UNTIL THERE IS NOTHING BUT SHARDS AND CRUMBS OF BREAD AND BUTTER.

"Oh why could that not be flesh and blood?" She says to herself. Her mind is a black brain and always has been. She just hadn't seen it until now.

Wandy sways. Her mind is a spinning lump of coal that has no ability to burn. She is sterile from toe to top. BLACK SNAKES ARE SQUIRMING IN HER GUTS. BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK IS BEFORE HER MIND'S EYE. NOTHING AWAITS HER IN THE ABYSS.

Wandy checks the oven. The jam pies look cooked. She turns off the oven and puts on her oven mitts. She opens the oven and takes out the tray of hot pies. She places the tray of pies on the kitchen table AND SPITS OVER THEM. If only she had some poison or broken glass. Her guests at the party would love to eat her jam pies and if they contained razor blades then they would enjoy them in another way. What a joke to play on pleasent people.

Wandy takes a deep breath. Just outside her field of vision is a black imp with a face like an owl and long fingered hands like worms wiggling as if caught on hooks.

Deep within Wandy a light is shining in the darkness. It is like a candle in a well about to burn out.

"Maybe I should make some more buns, "she says.