Thursday, April 05, 2012

Old Stories: The Tower

I've been trawling through some old files and finding old stories. This one is from 2009 or earlier. Never published of course.

The Tower by Paul Mannering

The architect and reason for the tower were lost to the sea in aeons past.  Only the stones remained. Each block of black basalt curved slightly, just enough to cling to its brethren and encompass the tiniest angle of curvature in the round edifice.  The tower stood tall and phallic on the barren black cliffs above a storm grey sea and waited.

 Tomlay and Adelsa left the tower in dull morning light cast by the ancient red sun. The tide had receded uncovering the rich mudflats and the shellfish that they harvested.  Today they called each other Tomlay and Adelsa, yesterday each had created different names for the other.  One was male and the other female, and after smashing the hard calcite husks of their meal, they slurped and gnashed their teeth against the pale slime flesh nestled within.

The emptiness of their bellies satiated, Tomlay grunted at Adelsa and pushed up against her buttocks, his genitals swelling.  Adelsa, today bearing the complimentary female parts refused him and Tomlay pushed harder, grunting with increased ferocity.  The female scampered away and climbed the sea-worn stones of the cliff, pausing, crouched on a narrow ledge to throw small stones at the furious male below.

With a dismissive gesture, Tomlay turned away from her and loped off down the beach.  Hunched over, his flat pale hands slapped the hard-packed wet sand every few strides and he collected and discarded anything that caught his eye without pausing in his rush.

Adelsa’s hoots faded into the hiss and moan of the surf.  Tomlay scampered over the horizon, if Adelsa would refuse him today, then he would seek solace elsewhere.

The sun was midway between the grey sea and the highest point of the sky when Tomlay reached the next bay.  The tide was returning, sweeping back in a long pulsing flood to cover the mud and sand, refreshing the shellfish beds and maintaining the smooth palate of the long beach. Tomlay splashed through the edge of the surf until the salt stung his eyes and his translucent eyelids flexed shut and turned his view into a muted sepia shade.

Turning away from the water, he scuttled on long boned legs, up and over the dunes as barren as the tower cliffs, to the border of the marshlands beyond.  The marsh did not interest Tomlay or Adelsa, they had never found reason to penetrate its humid, rustling depths.  Passing along the soft-earthed strip of land between sand and bog Tomlay felt his lust swell anew.

At the further end of the second bay, a peninsula rose.  Twin to the rock under the tower, this outcrop made a pedestal for a statue, vast and unknowable, the smooth stone rose to a dizzying height in the air and bore a pleasing feminine shape like that which Adelsa wore today and Tomlay might wear tomorrow if Adelsa tired of it.

His hairless body glowing with exertion Tomlay bounded up the rocks, leaping and grunting he sprang and clung until he reached the top.  Here he rested, idly stroking himself as he crouched and breathed the salty air. Squinting up at the statue Tomlay considered every curve and niche.  Not wanting to waste his climax, he released his grip upon himself and hooting in delight scuttled forward to leap upon the naked toe of the figure. From there he scampered up the smooth incline of the massive carved foot and laid his hands on the cool stone of the giant ankle.

Adelsa grew bored with crouching on her ledge.  She knew where Tomlay was going, having been there herself many times. Straightening, she finished climbing to the top of the cliff and with her back to the tower; she flexed and twisted her body, catching the warmth of the morning sun on the waxen flesh of her breasts and thighs.

Tomlay became one with the embodiment of female essence.  He entered her; this vast repository for all that was female, merging his own flesh with that of the dark stone.  In the warmth of her womb, he was zygote.  Fertilized egg dividing and conscious of all existence, the seething turmoil of a billion-billion generations of DNA twisted around him.  Filtered light glowed sanguine and comforting; he remembered conception and birth throughout time.  This was the culmination of life, only the genetic memory remained. Tomlay ejaculated and cried out, his emissions floating in the warm space that both surrounded and engulfed him.

Returning to the tower Adelsa felt the shuddering connection that Tomlay made with the female, encased in the up-thrust structure. With a moaning cry to the burning sun her own form broke down and joined with his in the union of genetic replication. Together they disseminated in to the component units of genes and the chemical codex of life. 

Through out the day and the night they would gestate. In the following dawn two new forms would emerge, craft names for themselves and bask under the pale light of the red sun and experience the success of life.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Fabulous Furry Freakout

There are some events in life that people dream about, a celebrity sighting, a zombie apocalypse, losing their virginity, baking the perfect souffle. The most intriguing moment is when one of these WHOA! moments happens and you miss it.

I'm a member of a particularly active Facebook group called "Moody's Survivors" It's a fan-club for David Moody (author of the Autumn and Hater series). I've worked with David before on some audio projects (including scripting and directing an audio drama adaptation of his Autumn novel). A really nice guy, with great fans. Like most groups it's also a good forum to share your own work. I posted a link to the blog post about the Meow Cafe reading that I got ejected from. I think I linked to it on this group a few days ago. I linked to it in several places.

Someone mentioned in passing today that there was an absolute shit-storm went down on the Survivors list - over my post. What I have been told (and I have no way of verifying this, except it came from a source I trust) there were over 200 comments - which were a massive fight over this post and the story it related to. Some women were calling those who were defending me "pedophiles" and saying the story was "child pornography" and saying we should "all be arrested"

I'm not sure why they didn't just message me, or leave a comment on the blog post expressing their opinion. It's nice to know that in my absence (all this happened while I was offline) some fellow horror fans and writers defended me.

The only thing that concerns me, is that it's a story that people don't understand. I hope it's not because I'm a bad writer. I hope it's just because they have their own perceptions and fears.

So here is my analysis of the story.

It was written in response to a request. The requestor sent me this:
 Fun fact. Serial killers often keep the bodies of their victims, stashing them in the freezer or fridge, or burying them in shallow graves, or under the house, so that they can check in on them, care for them, and observe their deterioration. It's as if they nurture them like children, or lovers.

I was interested in that concept. The idea of someone who is completely devoid of normal human empathy and understanding being nurturing towards their victims.

So I started writing. There is nothing about a psychopath that is restrained. They generally don't react emotively or in normal ways (unless it's a learned response). So you have this first-person view story about a guy who has a clearly warped and monstrous view of the world.

It is evident in his language, his attitude and his behaviour. It's not justified, or presented in a way that is meant to glorify the behaviour. It is just presented. Uncensored, un-edited and in your face. You aren't meant to get off on it.You as a reader are meant to be disturbed by it. I know I was disturbed by it, and I wrote the damn thing.

The key element of the story that those who freak out over it seem to miss, is that the supporting cast are all dead. There is a reason that Theresa's eyeball popped out and fell in the popcorn. She's dead. The entire supporting cast isn't real. The voices he hears, the stories his alter-ego "Walter" tells him, it's all in his head. 

There is a reason that "Walter" made a hole in Lucy's stomach. It's because she's mummified. I have no idea how old she is. The only "little girl" referred to was a fantasy of "Walters" where he talks about leading little girls away from crowds. "Lucy" might have been in her mid-twenties for all I know. She is referred to as "the youngest" because someone has to be.

So people read it in response to the blog post. Some more people got offended. Accusations of various types were reportedly thrown about. I don't really care. I'm disappointed that people missed the key structure of the story, which if you do understand it, doesn't make it any less disturbing, but does give it the correct context.

If you want to read child-pornography, try those other best-selling works of fiction, the bible, the talamud and the koran.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites ... And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males ... And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones ... And Moses was wroth with the officers ... And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? ... Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. Numbers 31:1-18
 How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing we have sworn by the LORD that we will not give them of our daughters to wives? ... And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the valiantest, and commanded them, saying, Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the children. And this is the thing that ye shall do, Ye shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man. And they found among the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead four hundred young virgins, that had known no man by lying with any male: and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh. Judges 21:7-11

 "A child is betrothed by intercourse if she is 3 years and one day old" ~ The Talamud

Surah al-Talaaq 65:4: If a woman does not menstruate, either because she is very young or old and past menopause, then her ‘iddah is three months, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And those of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the ‘Iddah (prescribed period), if you have doubt (about their periods), is three months; and for those who have no courses (i.e. they are still immature) their ‘Iddah (prescribed period) is three months likewise. [Basically an underage girl can be used for sex according to Islam]