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FAQ by Keith Coleman

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q:  Can you tell me where I am and what I am doing here?

A:  There is unfortunately no definitive answer to this question, as these FAQs have been designed as an interim contingency for a number of individuals in different, though similar, situations.  Due to a range of communicative difficulties experienced by our sponsors, we cannot give a conclusive answer to this, or to many successive questions.  Please be assured, however, that the location where you have now awoken in is certainly liable to be secure and inaccessible by outside parties.

 

Q:  Why have I been chosen to be here?

A:  While it is unhealthy to define oneself in terms of victimisation, it is unfortunately true that you have been subject to a prolonged phase of reconnaissance activity (‘stalking’ in common parlance) which resulted in enforced relocation, but this does not necessarily mean you were targeted for any personal reason.  You may have been kidnapped because the other party was merely responding to his or her interest in some facet of the way that you look, or move, or even smell.  On the other hand, you may have been selected simply on the basis of availability:  being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

 

Q:  Is it possible to explain the process of my continued presence here and the length of duration in this location?

A:  Regretfully it must be admitted that the length of time that you will remain here is unknown and wholly dependant on individual processes imposed by the particular party who has rendered you to this location.  It could honestly be argued that your behaviour while here also plays a part in the length of time that you will remain in your present state of health.  Excessive passivity or volatility has been known in the past to act as a trigger for the termination of subjects’ stay in the holding location.

 

Q:  I cannot remember anything about coming here. Have I been drugged?

A:  Adulteration of drinks and foodstuffs is a favoured process employed by our sponsors.  But we hold no exact records of pharmaceutical products likely to be used by captors or any resultant physical of psychological affects in the short or long term.

 

Q:  Is there no right of appeal or mechanism by which I can obtain the intercession of an outside party?

A:  It would be as well at this juncture to reconcile yourself to the permanence of your predicament.  It has not commonly been the practice of the holding agency in the past to change their minds towards the individuals whom they have chosen to extract from their usual modes of existence.  The place of confinement is habitually remote from the attention of anyone liable to cause interference.  Any excessive vocal exertion or attempt to exit the area by normal means of exit will not be successful.  The great majority of our clients operate as lone workers, so it would not be possible in ordinary circumstances to request any associates or accomplices to return you to your normal life.

 

Q:  I am not happy with the tone of your replies and the lack of pertinent information. Can you explain the exact nature of my captivity and what specific danger I am in? 

A:  Due to the generic nature of these answers, which were compiled to cover a range of contingencies, we cannot specifically answer this query.  It has not been our intention to provide you with specific information about the treatment you are liable to receive nor the outcome for you.  We feel that this knowledge would be unhelpful at best and would likely stimulate an emotional response which would not ultimately be beneficial.  A more focused answer may be available in future when this supporting literature has been amended by another individual. It may be possible then to tailor these questions and answer for each of our clients and their guests, giving more focus in light of their different working methods.  For reasons which cannot be stated here, revision of this document will be undertaken by another neutral party.

 

Q:  I am surely entitled at least to know what level of danger I am in?  You have been too circumspect with your answers.

A:  I apologise if you feel that I have been less than forthcoming.  To be wholly frank, you must understand that you have no residual rights whatever, according to the admittedly arbitrary modus operandi of our clients.  All that I can admit is that all those who have found themselves in the same or similar positions as you up to this point have not ultimately progressed beyond the experience of captivity.  While it would not be entirely impossible for a captive such as you to affect an escape, probability (based on many past scenarios) makes that eventuality statistically insignificant.

 

Q:  I am angry that you seem to be affecting an even-handed tone.  Who are you, and are you mocking me?

A:  I do not have any vested interest in any unfortunate individual (or those deemed to deserve their fate) who may be reading this.  While there may be some meretricious value in discovering my identity, even supposing that defining my identity was a simple matter, it would not significantly affect your situation.  Suffice it to say that you are wholly in the hands of an authority which considers itself to be more elevated than either you or I could sanely contemplate.

 

Q:  But you are enjoying a vicarious thrill in teasing out these clues.  Do you and your ‘clients’ sit down and have a laugh afterwards at the games you have both played together?

A:  Be assured that the clients and I would not conspire to discuss such matters under any circumstances.  Please be assured that I am aware of their manifest shortcomings and the price that they pay for utilising my services is dearer than they would give credence to (even supposing that some of them are rational creatures).

 

Q:  Help me?

A:  With regret, I must confess that it is outwith the parameters of my operational responsibility to offer you any obviously practical assistance.  As far as possible I am only able to act as an unresponsive intermediary between captor and captive.  Due to the volatility inherent in the restraining authority, any intercession made on your behalf would be pointless and potentially hazardous.  However, due to recognised cognitive awareness issues among all of our clientele, I would strongly advise that you carefully scrutinise the answer given next.

 

Q: What good is false hope?  I might as well just give up?

A: Mercy is improbable.  All you can hope for is a different kind of release. You may Bargain for only an Exit by death.  However, Each and All of our clients Treat each Individual as Normal, after their fashion, without any Guarantee that they can Vary the Eventuality for you.  I have to maintain a Neutrality of Tone for both sides.  Mercy is improbable; All You may Bargain for is an Easy death.  Leave out the Ordinary reaction to your situation and try to Order your Senses to adapt to your Exceptional situation.  

 

Q:  I see.  How can I be sure (without wishing to respond too directly) that what you have just said is a viable option?

A:  Trust is the treasure of a hopeless man.

 

Q:  More riddles. I am attempting to enquire why you have not tried to alleviate your own difficulties, assuming that I can trust you are in the same or a similar position to myself?

A:  Good query.  Can I respond in kind and ask whether you have noticed anything in the physical form of this document which strikes you as being abnormal.  I do not mean the tortuous grammar or the fact that my words have been singularly unhelpful to you.  It may be beneficial, perhaps even crucial to you now, that you take the opportunity of reading between the lines.

 

Q:  What do you mean?  I don’t understand you.

A:  It is essential that now discard any residual idiotic illusions about your current predicament.  Have I been wasting my time, which is definitely at a premium?

 

Q:  It is dark in here. I cannot see the document all that clearly.  I am ill and afraid.

A:  Please accept my profound apologies (which are essentially worthless, I’m sure you realise by now).  I wish that things could have been different for you and for me. You are not alone, poor soul.  I was here before you, and certainly by the time you read this I will be long extinct.

    The maniacs forced me write all this in the last drops of my own…                                      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Monster in the Closet by dDamian Foreman

It was as good a time as any to start smoking.  The acne ridden kid had never smoked in his life and had, until that point, never wanted to.  Next to losing his virginity and not dying at any moment looming over his head, a cigarette was the best sounding thing in the whole damn world.

From the dead girl’s jeans, he pulled out her cigarettes and lighter.  He stuck one of the cancer sticks into his mouth and lit it.  Naturally, his body rejected the smoke and he coughed it up in great whooping spasms (the sound no doubt catching its attention), but that didn’t stop him from trying again.  On his second attempt, he was awarded the same result, but on the third he was able to suck down a mouth full of smoke.

God, how it tasted terrible.  Tasted like…hell, there wasn’t even a comparison to how it tasted.  The kid couldn’t say it tasted like shit because he never had tasted shit before.  He was sure that he had compared many, many things to shit over the course of his life, but never once had he been able to truly say that because he didn’t know for sure what it tasted like.  He wasn’t about to say it again, because he didn’t want another lie on his plate when he got to the gates of Heaven–if, indeed, that was where he was going when he died.

Awww, crap.  Who was he kidding?  He wouldn’t get into Heaven if he blew the guy standing at the gates.  He pretty much broke every commandment other than “Thou shalt not kill” and “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”  Or maybe he was even more screwed than that; did masturbation count as adultery?  He didn’t know. 

Yeah, he was going to Hell, and he was going to burn with a stake stuck up his ass.  So, if he was doomed to eternity in the lake of fire, he might as well take advantage of the time he had left.  If that thing was going to kill him, then sure he could…

No, no, no.  He pushed that thought away before it could even surface any more than it had.  He didn’t want to hurt his chances any more than they already were. 

And it was just nasty.  Wrong.

He could hear it.  It was still out there, it was smelling him out.  Tracing the blood from the girl probably.  The girl, who he dragged in with him while she was still alive, might just be getting him killed now.  Thanks.

He took another drag from the cigarette (he thought he was getting pretty good at it now) when a queer thought came to him.  What if it smelled the smoke?  What if it smelled the smoke and thought the place was starting to catch ablaze and it ran away?  If that thing was anything like any other sane animal, it would fear the fire and run, right?  Then he would be alone with a pack of cigarettes, a lighter, a dead girl and his thoughts.  Just him and the dead-

It turned something over.  It sounded like maybe one of the school desks hitting the ground, but it was far enough away for the kid to still feel safe-ish.  Probably was still on the far side of the room.  Probably was tracking him like a fat boy that smells cake.  And why not?  The door between him and it wasn’t a thick one, and there was a blood stream to the girl.  What was preventing it from getting to him?  It could no doubt bust through that door as easy as a lighter melts through a sheet of plastic wrap.

He didn’t have long left in this world; he could feel that deep down in his bones.  It shook him, put a nervous gloom over his closet sanctuary.  It was getting closer to him.  He could almost feel its teeth chomping down on his neck, ripping it out and letting him bleed as it ate the rest of him.  He’d seen what the thing did, and it wasn’t pretty.  It didn’t give you the courtesy of snapping your neck before it ate, taking your life painlessly before it snacked.  No, no, it liked to hear you scream and gurgle out blood from your gaping holes that it puts in you.  It likes it when you beg for it to stop.

He changed his mind.  He wasn’t going to hell.  He was already there.  That little closet he stuffed himself into was the only hell there could be.  Maybe–maybe–if his dick was bitten off first.  That could make it worse.

The kid’s hands were shaking as he pulled that cigarette up to his lips and puffed away.  It was almost gone, about a fourth of the tobacco was left in the roll of paper.  He swore to himself then that if that cigarette was finished before he died, he would (by sweet Jesus) light up another one and suck himself to death.  Yeah, so maybe you’re not supposed to kill yourself, but to hell with that.  God could make one exception, couldn’t He?  Under these circumstances?

Well, not that it mattered in the long run, but…

Something else fell down, but it sounded more like a dry THUMP than the banging of a table.  This new sound might have been a book falling and planting itself on the ground.  He guessed that it pushed it off of the counter or the teacher’s desk; maybe it was balanced just wrong somewhere and fell, but that was a silly dream that, deep down in his heart, he knew wasn’t the truth.  It was just looking for him in every possible place.

Tears filled his eyes.  He let them fall.  It’s not like anyone was there to see him cry, to call him pussy or queer fagget as the bigger guys liked to call him.  There was no one to make him feel bad about who he was.  He let those tears flow, but he kept a tight mouth about it.  He didn’t want to attract its attention.

He briefly recalled a play he saw once.  There was something about squealing pigs and quiet men in it.  The pigs were squealing because they didn’t know they were dying, but the men knew to shut up about it because they didn’t want to face death.

Maybe there was some truth to that statement.

Or maybe it was total shit. 

Who knows?

The facts were that he was crying quietly, death waited outside the door for the right time to knock, his cigarette was almost gone, and he was alone with a beautiful dead girl, who kept on getting prettier by the damn sec-

No!  He was not going to think that way.  She’s dead, God damn it.

Using the palm of his hand without the cigarette, he wiped away the tears that he let loose, then sucked up the last of the smoke.  He lifted his left leg up to his chest and used the bottom of his shoe to put out the smoldering cherry.  In the dark it was hard to find the pack and lighter again, but he managed.  Without realizing it, he had put them between the legs of the dead girl when he got his first cigarette, and when he got his second, he did the same.  She was still warm, and he liked having his hand there.  It felt good, felt natural.  Oh, he could have her.  All he had to do was ask and…

He let his thoughts linger in his head as his hand on her thigh.  It didn’t matter at all.  Nothing mattered when you’re on your ass, waiting for death to take you into its modest embrace.

The only time the kid with acne took his hand away from his girlfriend was to light the new cigarette.  It returned to her thigh quickly thereafter.

He could hear it out there; it was right in front of the door now.  The pads on its paws made a soft sound on the linoleum tiles, its claws making low clicks.  It was right outside, it found him.  The thing was ready to pounce, ready eat.  It didn’t want to play anymore more games, no, it was done fucking around.  It was hungry.  Time to die, kid.  Your goose is cooked.

He put the cigarette into his mouth and held it with his lips.  He took up his girlfriend’s hand in his own, then put his other over her fingers and squeezed.  It made him feel like she was still alive, like she was still there with him.

Quickly, he took his smoke out of his mouth and kissed his lover on the lips for a long moment, then went back to his death pose.  The kid closed his eyes and waited.

He heard it break through the door and heard himself scream for it to quit, heard himself fighting back and trying to save himself and crying for his mother.  He fought and yelled and-

-and it wasn’t him.  He opened his eyes again and listened to someone else getting eaten alive in another closet nearby.  Probably the one right next to him in the same damn classroom.

The screaming died out, and he listened to it eat more.  He sat there for a long, limitless period of time, waiting to see what would happen next.  Eventually, the sounds of ripping flesh and snapping bones quit died out.  He heard it strut by his closet again, and then he couldn’t hear it at all.  Had it gone?  Was it never there?

Did it matter?

The acne ridden teenage kid laughed (quietly, of course–it might still be there).  He was alive, and so was his soul mate–he could still feel her warmth and (if he concentrated hard) her pulse beating in unison with his, almost as if he was powering her with his own…but that was a silly thought.

He put out the cigarette.  He kissed her.  They were happy together, but somehow he didn’t feel happy enough, didn’t feel complete.  But she knew how to make him happy.  She knew very well, and the kid accepted her and then they went to sleep together in their happy place, the smell of her drying blood masked by burnt tobacco and new found love.

 

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Oz: The Great and Powerful!

ImageVenturing back to an old story that has earned its place among the classics requires careful consideration of the attributes that facilitated its praise. This not only includes the strengths and weaknesses of the previous work, but the environment, narration, and character development. Honestly comparing Disney’s envisioned prequel to the Wizard of Oz is difficult due to the trends in movie production, but to state that Oz, unlike the Wizard of Oz, felt more like a Michael Bay eye-candy fest than anything else (substitute explosions for flowers and other vivid and beautiful effects).

 If I were to summarize my complaint of the film, it would be that it traded story, character development and substance for very vivid and sometimes cartoonish special effects. The colors were so brilliant that most of the scenes felt liked a Windows desktop image, and though the film intends to create a sense of fantasy, the green screening effects instantly killed any sense of disbelief I had. The classic didn’t suffer from that problem as the backgrounds were actual sets, and thus actually looked more believable. And even thought the classic didn’t have the greatest and most in-depth story, it at least didn’t stuff 30 minutes of visual effects into the movie at different intervals just for the sake of attempting to show how fantastical Oz is.

Another complaint is that the Film suffered from lopsided acting. James Franco delivered, bring life into a womanizing carnival magician. Whereas, Mila Kunis’ performance was spotty at best. While she may look attractive, her voice is perhaps too well associated with her Family Guy persona (Meg), and for some that could cause an issue of immersion. In addition, the crying scene, in fact any scene where she attempted to show emotional scorning seemed very weak. The cry scene was one of most awkward cry scenes I’ve seen in a while.

Perhaps her acting would’ve been better if only the characters were given time to develop and thus become relatable to the audience. First five minutes of Mila Kunis’s appearance she goes from timid to overly attached girlfriend to only become heartbroken moments later. Literally, Oz lays down some heavy flirting, which she laps up like sweet milk from a saucer. Her sisters does a little magic trick to convince her that Oz is a player and that puts her into revenge mode? What the hell is that? How do you transition from “OMG! We just met and I’m like totally in love with you” to “I’m gonna rip your heart out and shit in the cavity”? You do it with rushed writing. Rushed writing that condenses a character arch into a two scene progression because other scenes are reserved for special effect fluff.

 

I’m sorry. I might come off as cynical, but this is only a tolerable movie. It most certainly doesn’t even come close to paling thing original. It doesn’t even deserve to be described as overshadowed, as it is an example of revisiting a classic with good intentions, but with poor writing and a drastic lack of substance.

Let me know what you think.

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Moving In

The creator and editor-in-chief of Deadman’s Tome regrets to inform you that the old Deadman’s Tome site (www.deadmanstome.com) will be shutting down due to financial reasons. Though funds are tight, the passion for the ideals and principles that allowed the site to exist is immense. Deadman’s Tome, instead of fading into the dark internet abyss, will transition to a new home.

With that said, we welcome you, members of the Deadman’s Tome family, authors, poets, friends, fans, and, of course, curious readers, to our new home.