Waltzing the Grey-Chapel Path




Title art by Alexandro D’Marco. Click image to visit his studio.



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Christopher YoungSin Sister Sweet”




Are you afraid of the dark? We are. Chills us to the bones, it does. Which may explain why we spend so much time hanging out there. Should you have been a frequent visitor to our “Vestibule of Dark Fusion”, then that should come as no great revelation. You see, while some of our output dances in the light, others lean towards far more tenebrous territory. Let’s just say it’s one click beneath purgatory and we all know where that leads. Enticed by the knell to the fiery pits of Hell; a place we know perhaps a little too well. It’s like a parasite within us and with each subsequent swell, our flesh we bid further farewell. Unless diagnosis is off-kilter, we reckon we’re fucked in the head you know. Just a little. Not enough to go calling the men in white lab coats. Not sure they could help us now anyway. But that’s not to suggest we are done for. Far from it in fact as our plan is exact and we’ve found all the tools that we need to extract. It’s just that we have no intention to turn back.

It would be easy to presume that the darkness has claimed us as the bile that we spew can admittedly veer towards heinous. But our game knows no shame and we cannot be blamed for what some would regard as spent saneness. Life untamed us. We weren’t always this way. At least not til the pages got frayed. Real life has a habit of playing that way. Every chapter, each verse, went from bad straight through worse – to well fucked and it wasn’t even done yet. Not by a barbed fist and right up to the elbow. It’s not a good place to be and could result in a spree; should you gorge on the fruit of the poisonous tree. Some toys are just a little too broken. To others like we, the dark is a token. Reality had spoken and its tongue appeared forked. Twisting and writhing. Didn’t care for its torque. But it’s tough speaking up with your head in a vice. Clamped in tight as we’re reminded life don’t always play nice. One more yank of the crank and our skulls would be fucked. So if ever there was need for a dash of blind luck, then this would’ve been that moment.

And what could be more blind than a leap into uncharted territory? This is precisely what played out as the Elusive White Rabbit and her White Knighted Keeper took the ultimate in plunges, hand in hand. We both knew in that second neither one would disband. That the place we were headed was a noir wonderland. Not a quibble or qualm, just an ocean of calm, and the sweetest of balm which soothed as it charmed. So why stop at just chancing an arm? Best foot forward – isn’t that what they say? Shake a leg just to lead it astray. It was strange, not a solitary doubt lurked in the murk of our already collective subconscious. It was merely instinctive. After such a stampede, after such heavy bleeds, there was precious little left to relinquish. But both of us trusted the blush. Both were now flushed for the gush. So gush we bloody well did. Gore galore and a few geysers more. And a fistful of FUCK YOU to the angry mob of archdemons baying. Time to show these vile cunts we weren’t playing.

And this is where things get really compulsive. You see, there is such tremendous darkness in both of us. Indeed, you’d be forgiven for believing this a recipe for no less than disaster. That being said, we bounded across pathways at just the very instant it was vital to our hearts. Any longer and the shadows may well have had their wicked way with us. But now we have fused together there is no longer a line separating us, one from the other. Twin-tongues, Twin-hearts and Twin-brains. All ferociously pumping blue-blood back and forth to the other through vein. We will always have scars from the past maladies we’ve both suffered, but case in point – we know precisely how to heal each other in a moments instant. Better yet, both of us respect the darkness enough not to ignore its cries. And suddenly it seems unthinkable to sever these ties. So while these baleful lurkers and big-boned berserkers still smirk, they no longer irk us. Dare we say and we shall – they’re more of a perk.

And this bled straight out into our work. Should you have happened across “Brutal Honesty”, “To The Manor Bled” or “Come Darkness” on your travels, then you may not be reading this now. You see, we mined our resources from the very densest fire clay for this terrible triage and glared straight into the eye of the beast within us. Make absolutely no error, we’ve got issues. But before you break out those tissues, we’ve made the sweetest of peace with that. Furthermore, we endorse the living shit out of that. Double-daring ourselves to burrow deeper and down, we do this as a singular compound. Thus strangers like danger luck out. Doing so affords us the opportunity to purge this black tar out with each Merge. And this, in turn, makes way for the light to inhabit. Reminds us we’re lion and rabbit. Mere children in a garden of such divine luminescence. Ever since we achieved this quintessence.

Through the responses we have received to these nefarious nuggets of noir, one thing has become clear in hyper-abundance. Folk rather enjoy hanging out in the dungeons. One of mankind’s numerous frailties is our tendency to bottle that angst. Should we have found ourselves a way to channel, then we may not be fit only for septic tanks. But without some kind of release valve, we’re little more than soiled tampons. Perhaps this is why we live for the discharge. Turns out we’re ultra absorbent but that doesn’t mean we don’t need wringing out once in a while. When Dark Artists take this to the gush, there’s like this collective release. With every foul beast we unleash, we’re supplying the voiceless some much deserved peace. No breach. At least not one prohibited. And there’s method to every last madness exhibited. To tease that inky tar to the surface. Whether it weeps depends just how deep you’re prepared to join us in the fire clay and play.

Should you find it distressing, then you’re on the right track. As brutal honesty is one thing greykeeper don’t lack. We face demons head-on, know not how to hold back. And we’ve sussed how to launch those attacks. You see, we’ve been drawing blood for as long as can be recalled. We never miss a vein. We live for the bleed, love attrition…quill or brush…We are Death Technicians. Each canvas we rape with our fuckstix, something clicks; we turn Serial Killer double-quick. The Grey-Chapel Path guides us directly to the charcoal heart of our Rippers. And let’s just say we’re some way from daytripper types. Far more of your whores of the night. We’re the stain on your teeth. The crud in your nails. Putrid air you breathe in. Thickened sludge you exhale. As we bid to court madness on a major damn scale. So you see, we’re kind of a commodity. This is no time for modesty as we know what this means. We’re done with cold sweats as we jolt from bad dreams. Besides, we’ve long since locked down particle beams. So we’re geared up for every transfusion. Reddest of truth beneath every contusion.

So you see, it actually transpires that we provide something of a public service. Who would have thought it? A couple of ghastly Godheads with filters that appear to detach entirely the very second they take to their squalid sanctuary. Surely we’re better suited to the sin bin. Quite a bitter load to take on the chin, don’t you think? After all, we never conduct ourselves in anything less than a dignified manner once we’ve mopped up the membrane and hacked off those limbs. We may dip beneath the “mental health” umbrella just to protect against acidic rain but we’re easily diagnosable as happy crazies. And we reckon that’s the greatest miracle of all you know. That through such asphyxiating blackness, we’ve remembered how to access the light. And those in our dual line of sight. Toss in a love that is much more than a love either one of us ever believed existed. And that one chilly December night becomes the warmest in unrecorded history.

So here’s the plan Grueheads. Let’s all go deeper. Far deeper. For here in the Citadel, there is no such thing as curtailment. No eleventh-hour cure for this particular ailment. Our course has been set since we very first bled. Tis the reason we deceived our derailment. Five fingers of fuck for taboo. We eschew the suggestion that certain topics shouldn’t warrant a mention. Should it smart then you’ve got your head start. Dig those cuticles into each open wound and massage the area. Get a feel for that harmful bacteria. It’s far better out than in. And together we forge a new skin. But here’s the thing. While our armor consists of the hardest of scales, we never surrendered our softness. We simply learned the ancient Art of counter-balance. And the even more ancient Art of Love. For those who choose to walk the Grey-Chapel Path alongside us, you’re the ever so lucky beneficiaries to every last dribble of darkness we can prise out until our arteries clot. Even then, we’ll keep drilling, and shall do so with willing, as we’re Lovers with a penchant for Serial Killing. Technicians of Death to way past the last breath. With a red-blooded heart in its war chest. See you in the fire clay fellow miners. Now let’s bleed some shit out like vaginas.




Richard Charles Stevens


Keeper of The Crimson Quill



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