The Horrors



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I wish I had’ve listened to my mother now. She always told me that watching too many horror films would corrupt my young mind and right now I’m inclined to agree. Back then they just seemed so appealing, after all, why rent Yentl when you can take home Galaxy of Terror or some other horrorific delight? It seemed like a no-brainer to me; I was seduced by the allure of a winged beast swooping in on a busty oiled vixen and, when you consider I was one nut hair away from being classed pubescent, I could hardly be held culpable for taking the path more treacherous. The video store afforded me my first ever seduction and I was powerless to resist from the moment I stepped into that dust-strewn palace.


While I sat there drinking in sights most inexplicable, my poor mom nodded her disapproval, knowing full well that she had failed in her bid to dissuade me. I loved every gruesome second; winced at every bloody kill, shuddered with every piercing scream, and scrambled upstairs like a whippet come bedtime, so as to avoid any demonic arms grabbing through the banisters upon my ascension. Once inside my boudoir, I initiated phase two of my plan. The closet in the corner would need to be thoroughly scouted for straggling imps and beneath my bed checked for wayward spirits before I so much as considered laying my head down. This was the price I paid for my over-imaginative mind and one which I salaried gladly.


When all is said and done; it’s only a movie. I kept telling myself that as I rationalized my terror and it threw me a bone as I slumbered each night, albeit with one eye wide open and frozen in abject horror. My dreamscapes were filled to the brim with all manner of ghouls and succubi, each more gnarled than the preceding one, and I often woke drenched in my own fear but logic suggested that they would never actually track me down. Fair enough, they had invaded my dreams, but that was only to be expected. As long as they remained mere phantasms; I considered it necessary remuneration for terrorizing services rendered. Nobody else could ever know of my secret torment as the family VHS player would have been off-limits should I have spilled the beans and that wasn’t an option worth entertaining.


Toothy vampires, mossy werewolves, festering zombies; all inhabited my nightmares, each searching for a way to rob me of any remaining threads of innocence. Of course, for as much as the usual suspects made an appearance, there were also plenty of creatures far too hideous to label also stomping my subconscious. I took it all with a pinch of salt and tried my darndest not to let it affect me but ultimately my best attempts proved fruitless. That was thirty years ago now and I can barely recall my childhood whatsoever. Indeed, I shave my balls bi-weekly not, as you would expect, because I like a smooth finish but, instead, because it reminds me of a simpler time, when screen monsters couldn’t penetrate the real world.


As I write this now, I am in the most dire of conceivable straits. I had a feeling that the time was growing near for my castigation at the talons of said monsters and recent dreams have suggested that they knew of my coordinates and were preparing to collectively pounce when I least expected it. They weren’t shitting me either. Tonight I sat down and watched one of my all-time favorite movies from yesteryear, Animalympics. Movies don’t get much less nefarious than that; nothing that could possibly corrupt my mind any further… or so I foolishly thought. Turns out I riled them; gave them a sniff of returning innocence. They didn’t take it at all well and right now they’re congregated on my window sill, leering in with intent to maim, molest, and murderize, and not necessarily in that order either.


So I guess it would be the ideal time for a roll call right? Time for you to become better acquainted with the horrors which lurk menacingly in my peripheral vision as I write this. Believe me, you may not be thanking me in a minute as, once they’re done with stripping me to my marrow, they may well come for you next. However; sharing is caring. Just don’t come crying to me when you’re wearing your still-beating heart on your belt-buckles and, should your peepers vacate your skulls like Kerplunk marbles, well you can’t say I didn’t give you fair warning. I admire your courage and perseverance to this point as many would have legged it like O.J. from a crime scene at the first sign of imminent danger. But not you. Thank you truly…suckers.


So those gnashing teeth you discern masticating my drape linen are The Deadly Spawn. I know what you’re thinking; there are far too many teeth for their face right? Their dental costs must be astronomical. Actually, there ain’t an orthodontist in state willing to delve into their snapping jaws and any resulting tooth decay is nothing compared to the agony they feel, should they not get a bite to eat for any longer than is absolutely necessary. Hungry just doesn’t cut it; ravenous doesn’t come close. These death-dealing spawn of hell’s kitchen have appetites so insatiable that they often eat each other just to pass the time between snacks. There were twelve a minute ago and now only three remain. If that sounds promisingly like an open invite for extinction then think again my friends. Their reproduction rate is ridiculous and they make sopping Mogwai appear impotent in comparison. In the time it took me to scribe that last sentence, several more have hatched, and their tendrils are beginning to slither towards me as we speak.


Comfort eating would surely be the best course of action right? If in doubt, binge it out, isn’t that how the saying goes? Negative; feasting offers no respite from my penance as the catering has been laid on in my honor by somebody who clearly bears a grudge. Two tubs of The Stuff and a half-consumed bottle of Viper. Them’s the options. Both are dubious at very best and I’ve seen the devastation they provoke first hand through way of visual stimuli on a number of occasions. Viper I can take or leave if I’m honest; never really been much of a drinker. However, give me some marshmallow fluff and an oversized ladle and I shall fill my oral inbox faster than you could say “my, my, that marshmallow fluff over there looks mighty appealing.” Fuck a duck in a dump truck, I’m remaining strictly nil by mouth, even if my stomach is growling. It just ain’t worth the crude calories.


Then there’s the small matter of Critters. Actually, they appear to have brought some friends along too, just to encourage a coronary that much more persuasively. Ghoulies, Gremlins, even the shabby Hobgoblins have made an appearance and they all appear to be positively itching for the kill. I think this largely unfair; I also watched E.T. as a child but you don’t see him sitting on my dresser wagging his healing digit. Why do I get all the reprobates in my boudoir? Selective memory is a bitch. I thought I was in luck just then as a workman entered my chamber, looking like he was about to save the day in the eleventh hour. However, those pesky Ghoulies tied his shoelaces together and, as he fell headlong to my bedroom floor, he swiftly turned into three dozen petulant demons from The Gate. Now all hell is breaking loose and I’m running out of options fast.


I think it is time for me to vacate my compromised sanctuary and make a run for it. They will have to catch me before I become their meal ticket and right now I would gladly challenge Forrest Gump to the 500m hurdles and even wage a bet on the outcome. He may be able to sport a more significant facial growler than I and, indeed, six weeks growth for Keeper leaves me resembling a stunted peach but I’m pretty sure I can outrun the bastard, Jenny or no Jenny. It’s time to skedaddle; As I often state, I’d rather die trying than try dying, especially since the current Deadly Spawn count is at seventeen and rising like a bishop’s pecker in the confessional. Would you care to join me Grueheads as I make my dash for freedom? You’ve seen the options and they ain’t all that reassuring. Oi! Stop ogling The Stuff; one lick of the spoon and you’ll be woefully sorry. Have you not learned anything? Come; join me as I run the gauntlet.

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Bloody stairs. Straight out of the traps, I am faced with adversity in the form of twelve marshmallow steps which have no intention of affording my passage without momentous strife. I was actually rather fond of my heated carpet slippers but I’ll gladly donate them just to make it to the foot of this stairwell intact. As if that isn’t disparaging enough, The Bog of Eternal Stench lies in wait once I traverse this downward assault course. Well that’s just fucking fantastic; even Jim Henson can’t be trusted once shove surpasses push. Of all his creations, I had to get this one didn’t I? Ludo would’ve come in handy here; even The Goblin King himself would be preferable to his stinking pit of misery. Should I meet my grisly end tonight, when I turn up at the pearly gates, they’ll likely turn my ass away for smelling like I spent the previous night camped out in a moist diaper filled with spoiled Mexican cuisine. I just can’t shit a break.


That was close. Somehow I have managed to temporarily evade certain death, courtesy of my getaway sticks, rapid response, and a slither of good fortune for once. If I can just make it outside, I will surely be free of my demons, at least for the time being. If there is one thing I have learned about monsters it would be that they are very selective about public appearances and prefer to pick their quarry off in moments of solitude than rub shoulders with the general public. I’ll make my way straight to the nearest mall and loiter in aisle six until this all blows over. That’s my plan and, if I adhere to it to the letter, then I may yet make it through this ordeal in one piece, albeit a gibbering wreck and likely bereft of a single strand of body hair through fear-induced all-over alopecia.


If I thought that the Gods were smiling down at me then I’ve just been schooled on the smugness concealed in their grins. The front door is no more than a two-second dash from my current coordinates but now appears far less than inviting. What callous swine went and stirred up The Deadites? The last thing I need right now is a date with those hell wenches; they must be avoided at all costs or else their cries of “dead by dawn” will no doubt be recognized and I’ve come too far to fall at the last. I’m now regretting ever getting that moose head framed above my mantle piece as I don’t like the beady look it’s giving me one iota. Moreover, one of those bitches has gotten into the cellar which ordinarily wouldn’t bother me much. However… I DON’T HAVE A FUCKING CELLAR!


The window. That represents my last remaining hope of freedom, just as long as I can squeeze my child-bearing hips through a space hardly large enough to fart through with any sort of conviction. It’s do or die; no time for procrastination. Six of The Deadly Spawn have already made it downstairs and every last one of them traipsed through The Bog of Eternal Stench so it’s shit or get off the pot smelling like shit. Window it is then. Here goes Grueheads; wish me luck and hold on tight. I shall be required to breathe in and wriggle like I’ve never before wriggled if we’re to see the light of day once more. It’s tight as hell; akin to penetrating an amphibian after necking a handful of Viagra, only without the tingling bell end. Almost there… just one… more… PUSH!


We made it guys. No more Deadly Spawn, Ghoulies, Deadites, or any other murderous hell spawn. I think that is what is known in the trade as dodging a bullet you know. Moreover, our reward for such plucky resolve is as vast as the deep blue sea itself. A fishing trawler, out here on the open waves, and floating aimlessly… damn right I’ll take it. Maybe now would be the time to engage in a spot of bass fishing? Ordinarily I find this pursuit somewhat mind-numbing but, given what we have just endured, I’ll gladly raid the bait box. Hold up; I don’t think we’re alone. Please don’t tell me they followed me out here, surely that would be too cruel considering the punishment we have been subjected to. Fret not; nothing to concern yourselves with. It’s only Roy Scheider; I’d spot that chiseled jaw line anywhere. Aloha… Roy? That’s odd; he appears somewhat vexed. Maybe he’s contracted a bout of Scurvy? Think I’ll give him a wide berth and go for a quick dip instead.


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