Saturday, April 21, 2012

extract from chapter 25. untitled


New content. Thank whichever god or deity you pray to, or whatever polytheistic beliefs you ascribe, - or subscribe, if it's an online newsletter - to, if you do; if you don't, well that's cool too, epic maybe, to use the slang of the time, can't be a snob, you can still read this too. As I consider that it's been a while since posting an extract, I decided to post material that I have only just recently written. But considering that possibly, perchance, perhaps, one of the sections is redundant for the final novel and will be removed, well I don't mind slapping it up, to not borrow from the current day-speak of our youth soon to be slipping away. 

I loathe the word 'just', unless it's used in the context of deriving from justice or you know, whatever. It was a long dilemma for me, minutes, hours, months, to decide whether to remove the one instance of use in the paragraph above. I might still get rid of it.

Please note: Yep, I used the word "Turk." 

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The street was empty and desolate. On a corner there was a shining beacon: an open bar. Strangely, for all appearance’s sake, it seemed shut. The lights were dimmed. There were no customers and no one was serving. Yet the front door was most certainly open. A sign directed them downstairs for what they needed. They went downstairs.
Downstairs was a tiled, tiny hall with another bar. White tables and chairs filled the hall. The tiles were white. The walls and ceiling were white. The bar was black. The drinks selection was a collection of exotic liquor bottles, the labels all primary colours and promoting names from foreign places. Downstairs wasn’t empty.
Three Turkish men sat at a table. On the table: three conical glasses, filled with black liquid, and a packet of cigarettes. At the bottom of the stairs, there was another sign. Rachel turned right and followed the directions to the toilets. Sean stood, awkwardly out of place.
For a room all white, it was poorly lit and remarkably dim. At the back of the hall, Sean could make out a projector screen. There was also a small stage, slightly raised, and boxes of black equipment.
The Turks watched him out of the corner of their vision. The youngest of the three, in his thirties, wearing a spotless white dress shirt, his face badly marked from acne scars, stood up and walked around the table.
“Can I help you?” he asked.
Sean stammered. “No, it’s ok. We just need to use the toilet, well the lady does, she needs to use it.”
The Turk reacted with a slight movement of his head, not really a nod, and leant against the bar’s counter. He was tall and had very broad shoulders. The older men still didn’t acknowledge Sean. There was the noticeable smell of cigarettes.
From hidden speakers a song started to play. In sync with the music, the projector came to life and a video clip lit up the screen. Yellow subtitles underneath prompted the words: ‘She’s a good girl, loves her mama, Loves Jesus and America too, She’s a good girl, crazy bout Elvis, Loves horses and her boyfriend too
Sean turned away from the bartender and pretended to be very interested in the d├ęcor. Plastic ferns in pots lined the walls. He tapped his foot and looked in the direction of the toilets. The doors and lighting fixtures were newer than the rest of the room, almost a recent addition.
A door hinge creaking and rushing water accompanied Rachel’s entry into the room.
“Ready to go?”
“Yeah,” she said. She hesitated and regarded the Tom Petty video clip and the Turkish men who shifted in her seats to look at her. She didn’t feel any compulsion to dance to the music.
“Let’s go.”
“Very good.”
They left without saying goodbye and the men said nothing back to them.
“What the fuck was that about?”
Sean stopped and looked back at the bar’s shopfront.
“Are they dealing drugs in there?”
Rachel laughed. “Let’s go home.”
Sean didn’t argue. The side streets were a winding labyrinth that rose and fell. Only through instinct did they know where they were headed.  
A man stood in the doorway to the street entrance of some hotel. The alleyway was too narrow to see the sign. He wore a grey suit with pink pin stripes, cream lapels and golden cuff links. His hair was grey and thin. When Rachel and Sean came upon him he was holding a cigarette to his mouth and fiddling with a golden zippo lighter.
Rachel eyed the smoke.
“Excuse me?”
The man jumped in shock and stopped what he was doing. He held his unlit cigarette at his lips and took in first Rachel and next Sean.
 “Yes?”
“Can I… uh, may I… like, may I possibly have… one of those cigarettes?”
The wrinkles on his forehead made it impossible to tell if he was frowning, but the narrowing of his eyes told them he was considering his answer. His face broke into a broad smile.
“Why, of course, my dear.”
He reached inside his jacket – the inset stitching was cream – and procured a green cigarette packet. He pulled one out by its filter and offered it to her.
“Sorry, they are menthol. I hope you don’t mind?”
“Uh, no. Can I, may I – ”
Before she could finish the man flicked his Zippo lighter and held the flame out to her.
“Of course you may.”
“Thanks.”
“Thank you,” said Sean.
“Goodnight.”
The man returned to the hotel foyer with his unlit cigarette. The door locked electronically behind him.
“I was nervous asking him then. I didn’t know what to say.”
They waited for a taxi to barrel down the road and crossed to the other side.
“I was like, ‘uh’ and ‘uhm!’”
She puffed from her cigarette.
“I get nervous talking to old people.”
The footpath overlooked a building site. The ground was being prepared for a skyscraper of some sort. A concrete barricade had been erected to prevent pedestrians from slipping from the path and falling ten stories to the gravel-pit and pipes below.
“Take my photo?” she asked.
“Ok, stand back.”
A streetlight cast a long diagonal shadow through the arches of the barricade. He directed her to stand in the light between the blocks of shade. She stood on the balls of her feet, heel to toe, and delicately posed her hand inches under her chin as she hid the cigarette behind her back.
She didn’t ask to look at the photo.
In the picture, she stood at the end of the long corridor. She was surrounded by darkness. The colour of her dress was washed out. Her face was blacked out and entirely absent.




Tuesday, April 17, 2012

AAYL We own this place.

And a horrible AAYL post fighting against your misogony masquerading as alpha-male bullshit. Rewrite the way you speak to draw attention to the futility of it all. I'd argue that this piece is a satire... but of what?


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Saturday 24th of January
There is some conjecture regarding which day Australia Day occurs on. We do not care about Australia Day per se. We just want to crash your parties, get rowdy, insult your good person, dismiss your poor taste in music, hurt your pets, and spill water on the floor so that one of your drunken guests can slip over and split their head open. And then we will disappear into the night, en route to another event to disrupt. So a bunch of us are going to walk into this pub, in a big fucking group, like we own this fucking place. No, we do own this fucking place, right? And we're going to declare to everyone our undying faith in the cause of being straight. We're fucking straight you dyke cunts! We're straight and god damn proud! I'm gonna’ tell everyone in ear shot that I like me a tight arse on my woman. Fuck you if you want to persecute my beliefs. Don't you dare hold me down. We're not going to be cute about it, or funny, or facetious. Fuck that. Sexuality is a serious issue. If you don't like it then I'll be forced to stick a finger in your chest and then punch a fucking hole in your dumb fucking head. I'm gonna’ look at whoever I want. Well, whichever girl I want. She can either look back at me or fuck off. She's got it going. She does too. She doesn't. Why does that one bother? May as well stay home and pray to god for a new body for all the good it's doing her. A tight, good-looking body. I'm not leaving until something positive happens. We own this place, remember that. I pushed myself hard up against her hips. I grabbed and pulled at her tits, stuck my tongue down her hot, wet mouth. She buckled a little, I think she wanted me to stop. I didn't want to stop, I never want to. She can wait until I'm done. They all will hold still and count down the time ‘til I'm finished. Now we're getting the fuck out of this fucking place.

AAYL The week that was not of worth.

Here's a week's worth  - or two weeks, maybe - of the imaginary madness that is the AAYL. An interesting perspective of the role of the diary? Only you can be the judge. One of these entries refers to the sleeping pills. Two of these pieces are about parties, because that was what we did back all the way then.


Please note: all of this writing is 2003. 


Please, please note: this isn't the entire diary over these specific days; just the interesting entries from my viewpoint. 


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Friday 17th of October
So it's a couple of months back. And I'm at a party, right? I'm with a group, at this house in Northbridge, sitting out back. There's a really deep backyard that hasn’t been gardened in a long time. The plots are filled with weeds, the grass is shoulder high and there's a big shaggy tree blocking most of the view. That doesn't really matter though because it's nighttime, I'm just telling you all this to create some ambience. The group is sitting on some bricks, around this green table made of wood. Somebody has spilt beer on the table and it's dripped down a hole in the middle, leaving a gooey puddle on the concrete floor. I'm sitting on an old, uncomfortable wooden bench. The bench is so awkwardly matched to the contours of my bottom that it feels like my hips are pointing into the space above the group's heads, shooting their eyeballs out in a salubrious manner. The group is listening to some girl talk and talk. I don't really remember what this talking is about. Maybe she was speaking just to hear the sound of her own voice. I hear that's relaxing for some. So she's talking, people are nodding, I'm pointing my hips at the moon, and then the girl says something about time. Ever since somebody, I don't know who, I'm not listening, told her about it, she's always noticed the time 3.33 on her clock. She notes it every day, in the late hours of the night. The group sparks up at this time and starts agreeing with her. Then the group starts to share the times that they notice reoccurring at a daily rate. This is my cue, I reposition my hips, aim for the foreheads and speak: "Well, I've found my life tends to be organised in half hour intervals. No matter how hard I try, everything I do seems to fit into thirty minute blocks. When I listen to music the records either run for half an hour or an hour (two thirties). When I drive to university I either have to leave half an hour, or an hour, before my class starts. Even when something doesn't fit into the thirty minutes, I find I'm waiting to fill in the remaining time before I can start something new." Stunned silence. Nobody nods their head to agree. No one offers up the time block that they work in. One girl, a different girl, thinks my idea is odd. The group continues on a new topic of conversation, I go back to quiet and point my hips at the night sky.

Monday 20th of October
The other day I found a packet of sleeping tablets in my bedside draw. Being the wild person I am, on a whim I decided to read the ingredients on the side of the package. It was the usual information: mepyramine maleate this, lactose that. I flipped over the package and had a look at the instructions for use. Again, nothing earth shattering. Don't take more than this, don't operate heavy machinery when doing that, these tablets are for relief of the minor symptoms of insomnia, if said symptoms persist then seek your inner nervous breakdown immediately. And then I noticed some information in the instructions that raised the proverbial eyebrow, so to squeak. There's a warning alerting the user to the fact that this medication may cause drowsiness! These sleeping tablets might cause you to fall asleep - my god, what an unfortunate side effect! State the obvious to me some more; I love it when you talk dirty.

Monday 27th of October
my left thigh aches, or is it my left groin? i think i have over-done it doing whatever it is i do i have lost all balance in mind shaking the glass in front of my nose produces a very interesting visual effect that negates all peripheral vision and sense of self-worth damn this ache it leads into the core of my hips and hangs like a raw wire in the air like a raw nerve bracing against an impact of broken glass and hard brick walls steadied with syringes essence is indebted to the process by which it stores itself indefinitely in shelves and places of hiding i will scratch my cracked nails against my skin rake the forearm good more scars i can deal with focus i can not deal with my sweaty palms letting aces and jokers slip out of the pack and fall amongst tears and crushing divides in the gaps of interstices relating to golden networks i think there is a terrible tumour eating away behind my forehead and supplying me with faint fleeting liminal white traces of lights whenever i shut my eyes in capitulation to pain pressing against the back of my eyelids and golden calves left dead and red flowing on backdrops of sun-kissed brown grass wavering in the heat of certainty this is my sacrifice this is my war waged against the world

Sunday 2nd of November
And with my right foot falling asleep I've been given my cue to start the typing. Set that bar and people will fight to be the first to stand up to the mark and go under. No matter how degrading the situation you'll always find a group who will line up to be part of it. And once you've filtered out those who can't go under, lower the bar and the winners will come back for the next attempt. It won't even occur to them that there's something else out there. Just keep the dumb sods distracted with sliding scales, and a greater demeaning challenge, and possibly up the ante on garish visual candy if everything else fails to control, and they'll suck it up. And what is this something else? Well it's a road outside the house you're at. It’s a desolate major highway at six in the morning. The sun is breaking over the treetops, you can almost see the gradient between black and shimmering aqua as the night turns into day. You're coming down off the drug you were on during the night; the final waves of anxiety are washing away from your stomach, the bright lights have packed up and gone home. There's a crisp stillness in the air, you're absolutely certain that the rest of the world hasn't woken up yet. The party is in its death throes behind you, behind the front door of the house. There's still time for you to go back inside, still time for you learn how to lose control. And when they're done with limbo the group breaks up and everyone drifts away on their own little spiraling paths, much like bees or ants, towards the next new challenge.

Monday, April 9, 2012

AAYL Janet Jackson's right boob at the Hyde Park hotel.

Talking about Janet and the Superbowl. Da-ted. But this definitely happened, the woman was definitely wearing a string-bikini singlet. This is back before the Hyde Park hotel was renovated and all my happy memories were destroyed. Back when there were the four pool tables when you could get a game for only forty cents. I swear this was the same woman who flashed us at the Bob Log III gig at the Charles Hotel. My companions shouted me down at the time but I swear I swear. 

In hindsight; there's some body horror going on in this piece. Written before anyone had to label anything anywhere. Why do they got to do that?

Please note: I'm guessing by electronic hardcore I was referring to the happy hardcore scene that was a'going on in Perth at the time. I wouldn't have known any better. 

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Tuesday 3rd of January
Janet Jackson's right boob is an insult to common decency? To be perfectly honest, my dear Michael Powell, I can't find anything insulting in a right boob. To me a right boob is a remarkably harmless object. The right boob should be placed on a high pedestal and worshiped, not mocked and feared by millions. All forms of nudity should be embraced. Shock over the human body in its purest form is one of the key reasons for humanity's problems. Clothes are an anchor; they fuse us to the moral majority. A fold of fabric is a greater threat to the mind than a naked right boob will ever be. Instead of asking why a flap of black skin, replete with areola and nipple, is insulting; question who would be insulted by such a thing? How can you know yourself when you don't know your enemy. We're in the dirty pub. We're playing pool against two drunks. One of the men presses a hand up to his neck to talk. He's wearing a metal talk box in his throat. There's a buzz in his voice whenever he speaks. My skin crawls as my imagination runs through the accidents that would have resulted in him needing that device. I overcompensate by trying not to stare and giving him a nice smile whenever I hand him the cue. There's a girl, a mature woman in her late thirties, across the room playing on another table. She has greasy, unkempt hair. Her face has been hardened by years in the sun. She's wearing a white string-singlet. I can see her breasts. Her nipples are the public domain's nipples. The string shimmers against her skin like scales. There's a beautiful thin girl standing in the doorway of the pub. This girl has a wart on her right knee. She is completely oblivious to this protrusion on her beauty. To me this bulbous piece of skin is all that is wrong in the world. It is all the itching, dry diseases centered upon the point of her knee. Early 90's electronic hardcore pumps into the room from a DJ rig down the hallway. Oh sweet baby jesus, I can't deal with this freak show tonight.


AAYL Whitehouse.

2004. Whitehouse + Merzbow came to town and played a show at the Hellenic club. Toby and Daniel and myself decided to go. Whitehouse was in heavy rotation in the playlist and there was no way we were going to miss 'em. Toby turned up late to Masami Akita! We couldn't believe it, he was his biggest fan. Toby even owned the Merzbox. Dan disappeared for a while. We didn't know where he'd went. Turns out he was begging for a proper Greek coffee. They finally relented in serving him, under the provision that he sat on the other side of the bar with the Greek men. I guess they didn't want every goth and hipster and spare heavy-metal dude in Khanate shirt asking for a cup of joe. Daniel was also olive skinned with full-length beard and sort of full-length hair, replete with male pattern, so it wasn't much of a stretch that he was: one of them. The doors opened too early and everyone was asked to stand behind a barrier whilst Whitehouse did their 'soundcheck.' They basically played an abridged set. During the set proper their microphones were too low in the mix, so instead of screaming into one mic, they had to scream into two. Near the end one of the audience members tried to unzip Billy Bennett's fly. He bashfully swatted the probing hands away.  

I had to edit this piece. Back then, when I wrote about anything I liked, I would get too excited and resort to platitudes. I don't know why I bother saying. 

I was also scathing of Cat Hope. A shame, as she's done some great work for the local scene. Possibly I got the impression from this night's set that it was too much of a 'noize for noise's sake' vibe. I was a demanding cynical prick back then. 


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Wednesday 11th of February
So I've been told all I do is talk about music. What can I say, everyone needs a hobby. Considering that I'll never be proficient at an instrument, or make any artistic contribution to the wide world of music whatsoever, then the very least I can do for this medium is write about it in homage to the sounds which move me. Tonight I saw Merzbow and Whitehouse at the Hellenic Centre. This was a very satisfying night of noise manipulation. Cat Hope, a local artist, started off the proceedings with a brief ten-minute set. She played a bass solo, with aid of a cello bow and jockey's whip, and contorted the sounds produced via the positioning and repositioning of the instrument over the feedback monitor in tandem with relaxing and tightening the tension of the strings. Her set doesn't really do much for me, it trivializes the very possibilities that I believe noise can achieve. Merzbow performs next. Merzbow sits at a desk, in front of two laptops, plays music for around an hour and blinks a total of three times. I guess this music is meant to be heard loud, otherwise why else am I here to watch Merzbow stare at a computer screen if it weren't for the pro-quality speakers surrounding him. His set is soon finished and there's a short break. Why didn't Merzbow headline this performance? Whitehouse hit the stage wearing matching black pants, tight fitting European shirts (one white, one red) and dark sunglasses that mask the top half of their faces and contort their cheeks to impossible points. They scream obscenities and rhetorical, surreal cutups of monologues at the audience. Regardless of the resulting retort they don't stop. Whitehouse's faces alternate between grimaces and wide smiles displaying their pearly whites. The music kicks in as a low undulating throb. Over the course of the forty minute performance the only noticeable change to the music will be the intermittent playing of a sampled bass drum hit and, near the climax, a skittering break beat. When not sharing the microphone both members hunch over their consoles, twiddling knobs and descending or ascending the pulsing throb a pitch either way. As they sound manipulate Whitehouse open their mouths and flick out their tongues, as they shake their heads to the different sounds they're producing (or should it be, what they're hearing in their minds?). The Whitehouse member in white wraps a microphone cord around his neck and pirouettes across the stage in glee. The Whitehouse member in red lights a cigarette and sneers in disgust. Once in a while the noise stops and Whitehouse stand there, staring down the audience with absolute revulsion. And finally they drop the microphones. The music throbs from two giant-sized PA systems on either side of Whitehouse and the band take off their shirts. They stand in the middle of stage with arms outstretched, like some leader of a political party who has just given a successful speech to the faithful and is basking in the resultant applause. There's something going on here with this band, a hidden motif that would coalesce all the pieces of the performance into a complete jigsaw. Why else would they begin the performance by baiting the audience with pre-prepared rants on humanity and end it like false gods?

Friday, April 6, 2012

a big night out


It’s your first night in the town. You decide to go to the Tavern. You step through the door at the right moment. 
There’s a Thai girl working behind the bar. She’s wearing a black G-string and high heels and has a couple of ripped up TAB cards sticky-taped to her tits. Everyone is ignoring her. 
The local – single – young girls in the town are all there and dressed to the nines. Flower and leopard print and boob tubes feature prominently. In the boob tube girl’s defence, she wears that getup all the time. 
A local, who has been drinking in the pub all day, and was sleeping at the counter, has decided to wake up, vomit, and fall off his bar stool. 
Paul, who has also been drinking all day and lost the power to speak coherently his one, and only, language, is alternating between boot-scooting around the vomit and using his false teeth to try pick it up.
There's a pool competition taking place but nobody asks you if you want to join in.
Welcome to Toodyay.  



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

AAYL I know a girl


A section from that day's entry. The other part to the entry was in a similar vein. However, I think I completely made it up. This is real. It's either gotta be 95 percent real or fake; nothing in between is allowed to exist. 

When I wrote this, I remember being very happy with how it came out. It was almost turning point in what I was writing, which up till then was mostly shit.  

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Monday 21st of July

I know a girl with sensuous full lips who brushes her teeth six times a day. She has keloid scars running up and down her legs, forearms, and stomach. She gets drunk four nights a week. She wants to stop smoking and eating. When she speaks her face moves in a great pantomime but her eyes are blank and dead. I think this girl isn't really here. She only lives to be in the cusp of conversation, to tell everyone and everything all about her life. She's never alone but is always lonely. She feels sad about sex but needs it all the time, with sex she doesn't exist. She breaks a glass and holds it to her throat. I think she cuts to let out the feelings of other men that she can't hold inside. This girl wants my honest opinion but will never give hers; she doesn't know what honesty is. She is truly insensitive of other people's feelings. You don't matter if you're not in her crosshairs. One flippant remark and she won't speak to you for eight months. She told me once that she'd spin lies to her friends and didn't really know why. "But I've never done that with you." I could tell that even then she was lying. I never did talk properly to this girl. I was too shut off to tell her anything important. I was always with her but wanted nothing of her company. I hurt her without even really knowing how.  

AAYL I declare the following truths at the age of 3


A lazy day spent waiting, always waiting. Another trawl through the archives. This entry impressed me. It's nothing magnificent in grammar or style. However, some of these memories I still have. Ok, caveat, all the memories I still have, but some of the memories I regularly think about. 


I was born in Albany. I was lucky to leave when I still had my youth. When I visit the town I can last about two days before I have to go again. Everything that follows originates from Albany. 


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Monday 14th of July
When I was three, maybe four I accidentally shut myself in the kitchen cupboard, early in the morning before anyone else in the house was awake. There was just enough space for me to be stuffed in between the door and the shelves. I remember thinking I was going to be stuck in there forever. That's my earliest memory. For a while I thought it was the image of a white cake with a big red five on it. One Christmas Eve, my family went out to visit relatives. When we came home the Christmas tree had twice as many presents underneath it. I was amazed that this had happened. It took me many years to realise that there could be more than one key to the front door and that somebody else besides from my parents would have access to it. I remember going with my brother to see my first film. The movie was Masters of the Universe. We were standing outside the cinema, which was actually the old town hall in Albany, and I couldn't get my head around the fact that it was a movie. I thought it was going to be a theater play. In year one, during recess, I saw a boy from my class clicking his fingers. I asked him how to do it, he told me to see another boy who would show me. That boy did and I haven't stopped since. One night a baby-sitter was looking me after. I was trying to rewind a tape to record The A-team. I kept getting angrier and angrier that in the brief moment that I pushed rewind the tape didn't instantly forward to the start. I know I liked The A-team very much but I can't remember one thing from it, not even Mr. T. One day the kid from across the road came over. Wivus, our Australian terrier, attacked him. I remember him walking on top of the fence, blood spurting from the kid's ankles onto the driveway as I ran alongside with the dog. When driving in town my mother and I pull up to a give-way sign. I'm scared stiff until the car starts again, worried that I might have to give away some of my stuff. When alone with my brother I'm completely in fear of him until Matthew finally leaves home. Wivus the dog dies of cancer, we're in the lounge room and everyone in the family is overcome with grief. Dad accuses me of feeling nothing because I’m not crying. I remember being very detached from this life as it unfurled around me.  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

AAYL The Evil Overlord and the well-built demon.


Have you ever experienced a dream that felt as if it went forever? A dream epic in scope; with many different characters and plot twists and locales? Well, the following AAYL flashback is one of those said dreams, occurring in 2003.

Not much context involved here at all. I can still recall a few images of the dream itself. I also remember waking mid-dream, amazed at what I was experiencing, and forcing myself back to sleep so that the dream could continue. And continue it did. 

The old Angry angry young lady website also had a link to my email address, ostensibly for feedback. Rarely would a reader click the link. However, this time, a few days later, an email arrived in my inbox. No subject line, no name, just a generic 'from' email handle. The message contained a single line: 

'Interesting. But think about how style can help content and understanding'

I never replied back to that email. I never replied back to any email. 

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Sunday 13th of July
I've got a special number and it's the lucky thirteen. I've got a bunch of movies from the seventies and I'm about to be obscene. No- scratch that, twist it around, turn it down, run it into and under the ground. What, you're an army of amphibious clones? You ride a green Viking long boat with an ornate, arabesque golden prow. We may fight a little at first for control of your solitary island in a sea of blue and green, but soon you'll join us to lay siege to the gothic Lovecraftian castle. But that's another story, tenuously linked by an exposition of a brown, well-built demon hanging by wire in the symbol of a mock crucifixion. He groans once and dies, a hole exposes his skull that flops out into the great beyond. The castle is a maze, featuring levels upon levels of growing difficulty. Traps, magic and subterfuge abound here in this evil place my fellow amphibians, so step with every caution. It's a giant puzzle, we need to unearth the red dot. One of us is the new version of the well-built demon. That's a good question, I'm slightly uncertain as to why we need to storm this castle. I think we need to stop the Evil Overlord of this domain. Now, there are many, many levels, an infinite number almost. Yet for some reason we're only concerned with the three immediate levels, the bottom, the middle, the penultimate, the top. The bottom has the Dark Lord's army of disposable minions. This level is the stone maze, the puzzle we need to solve. The middle is a tiny square room with four red doors. The doors each open up into a hallway with another door. These doors open up into agoraphobia inducing areas, back lit by the great metal grids of the penultimate level. These locales house the Overlord's blind minotaurs. Wait! There's a false wall in the maze, it leads to another wall with a dark red dot. Don't kill the minotaurs we need to use their great strength somehow. The penultimate defies all human reasoning, nature and physics: it's a living nightmare. This area is guarded by the cenobites; they won't kill you, they'll torture your body and soul for all of eternity. The penultimate is a huge metal grid suspended in the air. Some of these grids are glass cages for the prisoners. Some of these grids are demon art-student mortuaries, where cenobites in training make art out of the lesser victims. The cenobites are incorporeal, invisible beings of shape shifting matter. They flow into the glass grids and impregnate the prisoner with their essence. The prisoner then explodes and the Cenobite contorts the internal organs, endoskeleton and veins into living malleable sculptures of flesh and bone. What could be possibly worse than the cenobites? One of us gets trapped in the glass prison, I think it's me. Or maybe somebody better, acting on my behalf. The cenobites float into the grid but they don't get me. They might deconstruct my body but he'll use my mind, this will be a metaphysical escape through the laws of grammar, time, space, and meta-narratives of web browsers. They create templates, each a trap to get wrong and leave me open to their world of pain, but he'll fulfill their every requirement and stipulation. It's no use, I'm free. Wait, are they guarding something we need to capture? I think I've been drugged, my mind won't remember what the artifact is. The brown demon, whoever that is again, will get caught after a noble fight against unbeatable odds. He will come face to face with the Overlord. Except the Man isn't a man, it's a room. It exists in the mind, it's a person's subconscious. The demon enters and is trapped. Images and situations and places and primary colours, especially beige, are conjured up in an attempt to drive you insane, brown demon. But the room, the mind, grows complacent, lazy and arrogant. When it thinks you have been exhausted, defeated by the interplay of disturbing visual images and ESP, the two red dots will be revealed to taunt you, Yes, the dots! I get it now. Amphibious brethren, what is left of us, we need to lure the minotaurs down to the lower level. Get them to strike out at us and at the very last moment, before they connect, leap out of the way and let them punch through the red dot. Damn! That didn't work. My god, of course! We need the brown demon to stand before the red dot. His skull and the red dot must be punctured simultaneously. The mix of blood and brown demon soul will send the puncturing object into another dimension, another world beyond our very reach. This is what the Overlord is guarding: his very self.