More surrealism in word form


Name This Film

I think it was a seventies film. English. I saw it when I was a kid, snuck down in the middle of the night. I was just shaking off a dose of the flu, or something. The doctor didn't know what I had. Just kept sticking her thermometer in me until I eventually passed out.

Anyway, I saw this weird film. Missed the beginning, so I don't know the name of it. Maybe you'll recognise it. First off, there's this mad guy in a rubber suit, like something off Sesame Street, except weirder. He was all yellow with this big round head. His face was just like a man's, but his eyes and his mouth were fused to the shiny rubber of his head. A great effect. Looked like he was really made out of rubber. They had stained his mouth blue, on the inside. Horrible he was, riding around in a little kid's car.

He seemed to be lost in an underground shopping centre, with endless grey corridors like a maze. He would drive around, quite fast, beeping his horn and stopping to look in the shop windows, which were full of odd stuff. Not like shop windows, more like mini theatres. I remember this one display was of a gigantic heart, bristling with thick black hairs like antennas. It filled most of this little room beyond the glass -beating, beating. He watched the heart for a while, this horrible look on his face, and these things began to appear behind the mass of the heart. I think they were little men, but all grey and featureless, covered in webs.

Another thing I recall is a window with this room painted entirely black. Walls, floor, table, chair, and a man who was sat in the chair. The rubber man watched for ages before the scene came to life, the seated figure's mouth gaping open, full of all these weird colours, glittery and alive like snakes or fingers, spilling out and waving about. How they did that effect I don't know. Maybe it wasn't made in the seventies, but just made to look like it was. There were all these other windows with dolls running around being chased by giant spiders and spooky cemetaries spinning around upside down. Weird shit.

Another thing was this weird house, nothing to do with the yellow guy. It was in the middle of a misty wasteland of pebbles. Pebbles as far as the eye could see. There were these strange women walking about in the mist, holding big bunches of flowers. The flower heads were like flames, fizzling and smoking. The women looked burnt. Burnt rags and mangled up skin. The camera got a good look of these burnt women and then flipped to the interior of the house. A horrible kitchen. There was another woman, not burnt, wearing this bizarre dress made from maps. She was sniffing something in the sink. The camera came close but turned away at the last second. The thing she was smelling must have been like a drug, because she came away looking really off her head, falling about the place and making a weird noise. A creaky wood noise. Only it wasn't her, it was this blue door, slowly opening inwards. This black thing, like a towel, came dangling down over the top of the door. It just hung there, jerking slightly. The woman watched it, fear in her eyes. Then she grabbed the door handle and slammed the door shut on the black towel.

It made an awful raket, screeching and writhing about in agony. I had to turn the volume down so my parents wouldn't wake. Horrible it was. Stuck in my head for years. I must have gone to bed after that, or fallen asleep on the couch, because I don't remember seeing any more of the film. If you know what it is let me know, because it's been bugging me for years.

Black Flames

The burns victim crawls around naked in her back garden giving birth to purple babies that writhe like earthworms. The infants have black smudges for eyes and gaping silent red slits for mouths. I count thirteen babies before the mother collapses on the grass.

Gradually the purple babies pull themselves over the grass towards their mother. I assume it is time to feed.

For breakfast I have scones with jam and cream and a pot of tea. Colourful thoughts stream through my mind like smashed rainbows as I bite into the jammy scones and slurp tea. I cannot detect all my rushing thoughts because they are simply too swift and numerous but now and again I catch a theme or image. Our thoughts are what we are, I realise; how awful to miss out on them. I wonder if they are my thoughts at all if they are too much for me to experience.

(Black flames grip the flesh and turn it inside out deftly. Shoes curl up like stale slices of bread)

I sketch for an hour as a half visible black cat stalks through the room. My drawings are mostly of chairs; chairs with tall ornate backs; chairs with long thin legs. Some of the chairs are not chairs at all but appear to be beasts peering into misty distances. I expect the beasts are predators perusing the snowy landscape for prey or small animals to toy with. The idea fills my chest with pride and maybe a streak of envy. Then I am engulfed by stark horror which causes my pencil to wither like a thin snake that has given up the ghost. I cannot draw now. All I can do is sob and wonder if the beasts I have drawn will find innocent victims some day. It will be my fault if they do.

I am sat in my dining room when the man appears. He is my height and shape and is dressed in my clothes. He looks like me too if you ignore the flaps of skin dangling from his enormous nose. I ignore the phantom and he ignores me, but when my curious eyes flicker in his direction he looks at me instantly, if not at the very same time. He peers at me through eyes the colour of the sky when the sun has dipped itself into the horizon. He fondles my statues and vases and I wonder if he aims to destroy them like I have dreamed of doing in the past.

Then he takes a small porcelain figurine and raises it high. I dare myself to protest but the words will not manifest in my mind. Instead they sink, half formed, into the quicksand that has always existed in my brain. The man seems to smile but I am not sure; it could be a grimace or a twitch.

A sound fills the room. The sound of something smashing. The man hears it too because he looks startled. He puts the figurine back on the sideboard and vanishes with a puff of pink smoke that takes minutes to dissipate. I rush over to the sideboard and examine the figurine. It is not as it was. The position of the figure has moved. It's hands now cover its eyes.

(Black flames unstitch clothing and turn hair into dark balls of plastic)

There is a knock at the door so quiet that I wonder if I imagined it. I wait and it comes again only louder. I rush through the house to the front door and open it. Standing on the doorstep is a boy; a thin boy with purple skin. He is wearing grey shorts and a grey jumper. On his feet are bright red shoes, the toes of which are rounded and shiny like blobs of blood. His eyes are black orbs protruding from the flesh and his head is sparsely covered in straggly brown hair.

His lipless mouth opens.

"Mh ool har muh muh," he says.

"Excuse me?" I respond my hand trembling as I hold the door.

Then the boy turns and runs away. I smell burning.

Snoozing in the living room I hear screams. There are many people screaming. The screams stop and I snooze some more. A few minutes later I hear more screaming. It is a high pitched shriek of pain or distress. I smell burning, or think I do. I try to sleep as the screaming continues. It is not the first time I have heard screaming in the street. It is a quiet part of town usually but things do happen. Only last week there had been a fight between two men. A year before a car had crashed into a tree. I had seen it all from my window. I had not ventured out to investigate; leaving the house is dangerous. If you leave your home for too long you will not be certain of finding it again. Or worse: someone may have taken up residence there without you knowing.

The screaming stops and then there is laughter.

See? Pain does not last for long here. Dark things happen but there is always an ice cream van or sweetshop just around the corner. Black things fly across the sky but the sun is not blotted out. And when it is night do not fireworks crash into the darkness?

I eat crisp sandwiches for dinner and drink red wine. My attention is distracted by things moving. The statues on the mantelpiece appear to be writhing like snakes. Some of them are flickering like flames.

I am stood in my library when there is another knock on my door. I go to the window and look down. It is the purple boy again or another like him. There must be a flaw in the glass of the window because the boy's skin looks...messy. He is wrinkled, surely. No boy then, but an old man dressed as a boy. I knock on the window to get his attention and he looks up. He raises his arm and waves, before running off. I can see where he goes this time. He is running next door.

Something Black

Something black is moving around the room. The room is square and contains a single red chair. A door opens and a purple man enters. His face is a smooth blank. He sits in the red chair and plays an invisible trumpet. The invisible notes fill the room.

Something black approaches the purple man in the red chair. The trumpet notes become shrill. The purple man with no face races to the door and leaves the room. Something black sits in the chair and begins to play an invisible trumpet. The invisible notes fill the room.

The purple man with no face explains to himself the laws of physics in the corridor outside the room. He does this with hand movements. He has red fingernails. One of the nails is cracked. The crack looks like lightning. The lightning is striking a tree. The tree catches fire. People gather around the blazing tree. The people are green. Something black sneaks up on the green people.

Incomparable Denizen

The audience applaud with floppy mitten hands. Their eyes glitter like stars in soft white pudding faces. Their slits for mouths are drooling black goo onto their ragged clothes.

The stage goes dark but the audience still clap their hands. They are barely making a sound. Soon they struggle out of their chairs - still clapping. Still clapping they make their slow way out of the theatre and wobble into the dark streets. Walking as a mob they applaud the parked cars. Their eyes shine in the dark like fires. Their faces are draped in shadow or strips of night. They applaud a dog as it sniffs around the base of a postbox. They move down an alleyway where rats scuttle behind dustbins. The audience clap their gloved hands, their mouths dripping black goo.

Lies Are The Truth

The man picks up his phone and switches it on. He dials a number and pushes the call button. He puts the phone to his ear. The phone rings three times. Then the sound of a woman crying issues from the tiny speaker. The man smiles. He sits down on a brown leather sofa and listens to the woman crying. Her sobbing increases in volume.

Function Creep

Molly was playing with her doll in the back garden. Her mother, Julie, was washing the dishes and watching her daughter with a smile on her face. Her teeth are black. She could hear Sam the dog barking somewhere in the bushes at the end of the garden where Molly liked to make dens.

Later Molly rushed into the kitchen with a wild look on her face.

"Mummy, mummy come quickly!"

"Whatever's the matter?"

"There are fairies at the bottom of the garden. They are kissing Sammy. Come and look."

Molly took her mother's hand and pulled until Julie went with her. Molly had black teeth like her mother.

"Come and look, Mummy. The fairies kissed Sammy and he laid down to sleep."

Julie saw Sammy laid down by the edge of the bushes. He had several red spots on his white fur. He wasn't breathing. Sam had black teeth.

Julie grabbed her daughter tight.

"Get into the house, Molly. It wasn't fairies, it was Daddy."

"Daddy? But I saw fairies!"

"He can come in many forms now. Now that he is working for the witches."

Factoid Dementia

Yellow fat seeped through the holes in the wall. The fat drooped into a golden bowl. James spat blood on the dirt floor;blood that writhed like exposed worms. James waited for the golden bowl to be nearly full before he pulled the lever that closed the holes in the wall. He picked up the bowl of yellow fat and took it to the altar where two brightly coloured cones sat. He took a lighter from his pocket and lit the cones. They began to smoke and then issue red sparks.

"God that has forgotten itself! Come to me now!" James cried as he stared into the trembling darkness of the cave.

And then he felt his mind wobble.

Something black appeared in the back of his brain, like a reminder. It swam through his thoughts until it reached the front of his consciousness. Now he could see it. It was hovering between the fireworks. The fireworks began to dim. The black thing was covering the sparkles with its hands, if they could be called hands.

"I command you, God that has forgotten itself! From the four winds and the four elements I command you!" James ordered as the books had told him how to.

The black thing flopped down like a rag onto the bowl of fat. What it had for a mouth began to slurp the yellow goo.

"I said I command you!" James repeated.

"I heard you, mortal. I heard you. And what is it that you want from me? Gold? Power? Knowledge of arcane matters? What?"

Its voice sounded like stone grinding against stone.

James cleared his throat and built up his courage. This was not the first time he had summoned an entity but it was the first time he had conjured a God.

"I want a girlfriend," James said.

The God stopped eating the fat and raised its head. James saw only a black skull with holes for eyes. He looked away as the books had warned. To stare into the eyes of a God brought madness.

The God writhed towards him and to James' horror placed one of its hands on his head.

"Try internet dating," it growled, before it vanished back into the doorway in James' mind.

Higher Than Him

Jenny, Bill, Hugh and Mandy were enjoying their picnic. They had found a loveley place for it, on a grassy hill speckled with flowers. They had laid their blanket in the shade of a tree out of the sight of the blazing sun and were now drinking hot cups of tea from a flask.

(Fifty dead bodies hung up to rot)

The two couples had been friends since childhood and knew all about each other. They had eaten many picnics in their time and tried to have one at least once a summer. At the moment they were eating cold sausage rolls.

(plucking the eyes out of a dead man's head)

They chatted about their sunny lives and the successes they'd had. Bill had received a promotion and Mandy and Hugh were planning to have a family. They had moved to a larger house which they hoped to fill with children. They wanted a boy and a girl.

(Severing the thumbs and burning the stumps with a blow torch)

Hugh served up some sticky buns on paper plates and they all tucked in, laughing at a joke that Bill had just told. The four of them ate more buns and slurped more hot tea as the clouds sailed across the blue sky.

(A car crashes into a man, ripping his intestines out and splattering them across the road)

Jenny told them all about how her card shop was doing and that she hoped to open another in the next town. Hugh checked his watch and began to tidy up the picnic.

Train Story

The train is canary yellow and passes beneath a red stone bridge. The bridge is covered in a mass of blue toys, all the same shade. The train trundles beneath and enters half a mile of darkness until it reappears by a lake. There is a man who lives in the lake. He has tomato red skin and long grass green hair.

Black machines sit around the jagged edge of the lake. The machines dip grease coloured tubes into the still water. They are feeding.

The yellow train clatters onwards through a dense wood. Some of the trees are decorated in dangling globules of red and blue and orange masses. Large statues of people sit amongst the trees, catching knives of sunlight through the thick foliage. The statues are fighting each other.

The wood ends and wide fields appear. The green and yellow fields stretch to the sky in all directions and are pinned down with tall towers.

The train stops at a crumbling station. Flags and bunting flap in the wind. A man gets off the train. He is wearing brick orange clothes and a wide brimmed hat the colour of a summer sky. The train hisses and starts up again, leaving the station behind.

The man left at the station vanishes through a door, only to reappear a few seconds later. He is now holding a gleaming sword. He swished it this way and that, energetically pumping it back and forth, before tossing the weapon onto the train tracks.

A single bead of sweat dribbles down his cheek and falls from his chin.

People begin to appear from the doors in the station. They are wearing clown colours and are dancing.