Suggested Audio Candy
Roque Baños “Exorcism”
Being the Brutal Word Wrangler is no walk in the park you know. It may appear to be quite the cushy gig but battling hordes of mean-spirited nasties eventually takes its toll and occasionally it just feels nice to kick back, sink a few cans of cheap industrial strength lager, and enjoy the silence some. I don’t think my request is that unreasonable given that recently I endured a decidedly close shave with an inhospitable xenomorph and picked up a fair few knocks in the resulting scuffle. Indeed, I only made it through this encounter by the very seat of my pants, thus it is high time I grab some down time in a locale as far removed from civilization as feasible. We’re talking somewhere that I don’t have to worry about gate crashing aliens or anyone else come to think of it, a nice secluded safe haven. It doesn’t get any more secluded than an old log cabin in the woods right? If only I knew such a place.
Actually, I’ve got Bonus Brain to thank for this hiatus as he knew of one that has been uninhabited for some time, miles away from the hustle and bustle of suburbia. While he proved precious little help during my time aboard the Nostromo, his suggestion appeared sound so I took his advice and packed my overnight bag. I’ve heard a few derogatory reviews about the cabin in question but ordinarily slander such as this is unfounded so there’s no way I’m being swayed. After all, what is the worst that could happen? No fresh running water? Fuck it I’ve seen Cabin Fever, there’s always a nearby lake for me to replenish and hydrate. Broken lamp shade? Not a problem as I hear there’s a disused tool shed on the cabin’s grounds. Uncomfortable sleeping quarters? Ain’t no thang as I know all about a secret trap door which leads to a basement chock full of old mattresses and the like. All bases appeared firmly covered so I locked in its coordinates and prepared for some good old-fashioned R&R.
I’ve been here an hour now and have to say that, while not the Hilton by any stretch, it really isn’t at all shabby. What it lacks in creature comforts it makes up for effortlessly with charm and, should I get bored, then there’s always that dusty cassette player I found and the intriguing looking book on the shelf that has been calling my name since I arrived. Throw in a nearby quarry for any late night skinny dipping and I’m one happy camper. It just so happens that I carry my collection of old electro compilation tapes on my personage at all times and have been simply aching to practice my caterpillar for some time now. Ever since watching Breakdance 2: Electric Boogaloo on Betamax, I’ve been waiting for some downtime to perfect my technique and, with not a solitary soul to object to my loud music, I may never again get a chance like this to brush up on my popping and locking. Thought I’d never be saying this but I owe you one Bonus Brain. Guess you ain’t so bad after all.
How thoughtful, whoever was here last left a cassette already loaded and were even kind enough to rewind. I’m on something of a roll here, already I feel relaxed and every minute another of my muscles unknots which is precisely the reason for me being here in the first place. I’m not holding out much hope for the music selection to be honest; it more than likely consists of horribly antiquated banjo heavy line dancing numbers as I’m not convinced that electro has quite taken off in the backwoods yet. However, I’m nothing if not adaptable and, as he old saying goes, when in Rome. When you consider that the last leg of my expedition involved fighting off the advances of a ten-foot xenomorph hell-bent on starting a family and boasting questionable impregnation technique, I think I should be thanking my lucky stars for the peace and quiet. Time to get my yeehaw on methinks.
Well that’s bitterly disappointing. Having gotten myself all psyched up for a good old-fashioned hootenanny and pressed play, the tape turned out to be much ado about nothing. I even busted out the leg warmers and sweat bands, just in case I was required to pull some shapes, but there wasn’t even any music on there, just a whole load of garbled noise and some inbred loser harping on about some ancient curse. I have to be honest as I invariably always am, I’m feeling more than a teensy bit cheated right now. Nobody could accuse me of not giving it a fair shot as I listened right through to the bitter end in the hope that Chuck Berry would commence crooning about his ding-a-ling. Instead all I got was a load of superstitious clap trap about malevolent spirits and randy oak trees. Never mind, there’s always the book I suppose.
Fuck a whale in the blowhole and call myself Ahab, that was a grim read. I say read, but most of it was totally illegible and it consisted of mostly crude pictorials. I will say one thing, whoever sat and scribed the Necronomicon clearly missed out on way too many episodes of Sesame Street as a child. Credit where it’s due, I kind of dug the visual creativity and all, but every last drawing was of some gnarly winged deadbeat, all fangs and no lipstick. It’s hardly what I’d call a leisurely read, by the time I had spoken the last few lines aloud, I felt pretty disheveled and anything beyond Mickey Mouse Clubhouse would be too demanding after that.
Who needs mousekatools when you’ve got Bonus Brain? He has come up with a doozy of an idea and I have to hand it to him, he’s one resourceful little blighter. For those of you joining us late and unfamiliar with this cantankerous cerebral egghead, he consists of a portion of grey matter, around a quarter of the size of a regular cerebellum and at least four times as much of a headache. He has his plus points to be fair, in a fix he has been known to come up with some glorious last-ditch game plans and has seen me though my fair share of scrapes. However, like any twenty-five percenter, he has a dash of small man syndrome and feels it necessary to constantly throw his weight around like he owns the joint.
Anyhoots, it was his astute plan that I check out the sub-levels just in case there’s an old vintage Pong machine with paddles to while away the rest of my evening. Once again he has proven his worth but once again he did so with a tone I find less than congenial. I’m down here in the basement as we speak, three of the steps fell through on my descent, and the termites have evidently filled their shitty little cheeks in this dank little hole. Bear with me for a moment as I shall place you gently down while I investigate that strange giggle emanating from the darkest recess of this squalid pit. Sounds like a female to me and this could be just what the doctor ordered after the whole Nostromo debacle. With a bit of luck she will be in her mid-twenties, double-jointed, and even easier than Sunday mornings. Much as I’m partial to Pong, it’s no match for an impromptu round of sweaty coitus. Be back in a jiffy or, should things go well, six-and-a-half minutes.
Holy cowpats, now I’m a little perturbed. I was indeed right about the sex of our sub-basement stowaway, although she isn’t exactly easy on the eye and sex was off the table the moment she reared her ugly head and began chanting “Dead by dawn, dead by dawn” incessantly. This haggard old wench appears to have contracted a dash of cabin fever during her stay and a good dermatologist wouldn’t go amiss either. That said, I haven’t had my oats in many a moon and, despite the fact that she looks like a bit of a fishwife and suffers from acute gingivitis, she may well have got it had she not attempted to gouge out my eyes with her callus strewn thumbs. Suddenly I’m feeling far less than aroused and think it may be wise to leave her to her own devices as I’ve seen menstrual cramps before and they usually don’t involve your head turning 360 degrees as far as I’m aware. Much as I’m grateful to Bonus Brain for the suggestion, this has been something of a bum steer and the first thing I’m going to do once I’ve clambered topside is to place this bitch on heat on lockdown.
She’s a persistent mare, I’ll give her that. Banging and crashing against that trap door, while laughing maniacally and attempting to grab my ankle every time I pass and ram a pencil into it, her hormones may be well off-kilter but this festering old trollop isn’t even the half of my worries right now. Foolishly I left all the windows ajar and their incessant slamming is driving me ever so slightly gaga, while the ornate grandfather clock in the corner appears to be on its last legs as the hands keep moving backwards. That’s not to mention the wall-mounted moose head which appears to have found a new lease of life, even though it’s evidently dead from the waist down. Does nothing in this God-forsaken hell hole work? How hard can it be for a Wrangler to catch a break? This was supposed to be a relaxing break but I’m starting to think I was better off on the Nostromo after all.
Okay. Now I’m well and truly fucked off and allow me to explain why. My hand, my always reliable, there on the end of my wrist should I ever need it, rather adept at the old salami stroke righty has become mutinous. I know it may sound a tad erratic but there really wasn’t any other choice but to cut it off at the wrist as the bastard turned on me. One minute I was knitting Bonus Brain a nice little hat and mittens combo in the old rocking chair in the corner and the next I’m punching myself repeatedly in the temple and attempting self-strangulation. It simply had to go as it was smashing crockery like it was at a Greek wedding and I don’t wish to be footing the bill for all this compromised bone china. Thus, I separated it from straight above the wrist tendons, as I am partial to wearing a wristwatch from time to time and, after flicking me the bird, it scurried away into the shadows. Needless to say it smarted some, stung like a motherfucker, to be honest but desperate measures were called for as my sanity is currently dangling from a precariously slender thread and I’m not sure how much more of this I can stomach.
That said, my Grandmother taught me always to search for the positives and, while far from the ideal set of circumstances, it’s not all bad. What a find the old tool shed out back turned out to be. It just so happens that there was a fully fueled chainsaw in there, juiced up to the teeth and ready to percolate. Better yet, my arm slides straight into its handle. I know right, you could have blown me down with a feather when I sussed that one out. Clearly it won’t always be beneficial as both masturbation and ass-wiping will have to be done mittens-free from hereon in but, right now, I’m taking it as a distinct bonus. I need to find a way out of this shit box as there’s a demonic skull with wings for ears flapping around the kitchen cackling and I intend to skedaddle before it all goes a bit Jason & The Argonauts if you get my drift. Looks like there’s plenty of over-hanging tree branches to hinder my progress as I head into the great outdoors but, with my new toy all revved up and ready to cut any branches down to size, it shouldn’t take long to reach a safe vantage. When I do, I’ll be sure to fill you in with any developments.
That’s the last time I donate a solitary dime to saving the rainforests. It all started innocuously enough as I set off into the undergrowth and I was making significant headway courtesy of my handy tool shed acquisition. That was until I reached a moonlit clearing and arrived face to bark with the largest tree in the forest. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that men have particular needs and who’s to say that trees don’t feel a little lonely too from time to time? After all, they spend centuries rooted to the spot, waiting to get their boughs wet and almost spewing sapling at the mere thought of a simple etching. I was flattered by the attention and there appeared no harm or foul in giving it an affectionate hug before proceeding any further, just to raise its spirits some. Said tree then propositioned me, not with a briefcase of crisp $50 bills and the promise of a new life, but with one harmless twig just asking for a moment to tell its grandchildren about down the line. Bonus Brain was frantically gesturing me not to partake but I figured it as sour grapes. After all, he certainly isn’t getting any. Thus, I granted its wish and, considering myself to be doing my bit for nature, unclenched my buttocks.
I’m beginning to spot a trend here as, every time I ignore my sidekicks paranoid rants, bad things invariably happen. What began as a harmless enough rendezvous, soon escalated into something far more nefarious as the delicate crooning of Al Jarreau was suddenly substituted for the raucous roar of Cradle of Filth. The single twig we had agreed on prior to engagement was not so rough, a touch nobbly at first, but it swiftly located my good friend Mr. Prostate and the two appeared to be getting on famously. Then suitor number two popped his thorny feelers in and held my rectal curtain open as he called out to the rest of his associates. Before I know it, it was an out-and-out tree party and, while this sounds relatively pain-free, the anus is really not the premium location to play host to such a rowdy rabble. I instantly felt violated and my displeasure appeared to act as an aphrodisiac of sorts as I found myself on the receiving end of an all too thorough hardwood forest foraging. Jesus, that tree had some timber.
Indeed, I’m not sure what I would have done had I not been armed with a giant humming chainsaw. I decided to deny these decidedly forward advances whilst explaining in no uncertain terms that any wood on my part had long subsided. However, while trees are rather attentive in the lovemaking department, they’re also rather lousy when it comes to hearing tap-outs. Presumably, it took my resistance as foreplay and it all got a little messy come the end. In no tree hugging hippy but I do always conserve kitchen roll and have never so much as snapped a branch in anger before now but, with the bite about to prove way worse than the bark, it was time to call time on our brief but memorable (for all the wrong reasons) encounter. Mercifully, if there is one thing that trees fear, then it is the sound of dozens of approaching chainsaw teeth gnashing in unison. It released me from its grasp and, ordinarily I would have left it at that, but I felt fully justified in fashioning some fire wood after such a mortifying venture.
Anyhoots, I’ve blathered on for long enough and would say it is high time I vacate this wretched place and chalk the whole sorry affair down to experience. I’m a little disparaged if truth be known as this was meant to be a nice leisurely break and all I have to show for my time at the old log cabin is a pounding headache and ass full of splinters. Never mind, according to my map, there’s a bridge up ahead which leads back to the highway and I will soon be able to put this all behind me.
What’s that Bonus Brain? Well isn’t that splendid. Turns out that said bridge is down and there’s no other way across the infinite abyss other than a twelve-hour trek around the canyon’s circumference. Oh, fucking toodles! Good job I packed my hiking boots. One thing’s for sure, when I finally make it out of this infernal place, I know exactly what my next move will be. Time for some well-deserved shut-eye.
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014