haven’t got a cross

March 30, 2020

‘You aren’t going to wave a cross at me?’

John shook his head. ‘No. I haven’t got a cross.’

The vampire seemed a little happier, for he ceased to tremble, though he continued to watch John with a wary eye.

‘You’re sure? Everyone I’ve met in the past hundred and fifty years has either waved a cross at me, or smothered me with garlic flowers, or – worst of all – tried to drive a stake through my heart. Everyone is rotten and mean – all because I have the misfortune to be a vampire.’

R. Chetwynd-Hayes
The Sad Vampire

Auschwitz

March 29, 2020

Just as you enter, over the door
There’s a sign that you can see
Though it’s written in German
It means ‘Work Makes You Free’
When we were small kids
We were told all about hell
But the inmates of this place
Knew it only too well
The starvation and torture
That was carried on here
The hangings and shootings
And the beatings so severe
When you had to strip naked
There was absolutely no hope
Your hands tied behind your back
As you faced the hanging rope
After hanging for a while
You were then taken down
Hosed with freezing water
Till you thought you would drown
While you were still alive
You were put up against the wall
The Gestapo called the order
‘Shoot them dead, one and all’
After more than one and a half years
They couldn’t kill them fast enough
So they built some gas chambers
With the Zyklon B deadly stuff
No matter how hard they worked
Or how hard they tried
Only about four or five hundred!
Poor innocent people, everyday died
So they built more gas chambers
About six kilometers away
And then they were killing
Four to five thousand every day
The commander in charge
Was a man named Rudolf Hoss
When he finally got hanged
Himself, he was a small loss

Kommadant Rudolf Hoss (sometimes spelt Hoess) was a mild-mannered family man, married with 5 children (2 sons & 3 daughters). He lived with his wife and children within the confines of Auschwitz where he could see the crematoria chimney stacks from his bedroom window.
He was the greatest mass-murderer in human history, by his own irrefutable admissions, during his trial in April 1947.

He denied murdering 3 million people, but admitted killing only 2.5 million! and said the rest died of starvation.

Under his command Auschwitz had the capacity to exterminate 10,000 people each 24 hours!
He was hanged in Auschwitz on 16th April 1947 only a few short metres from where he lived with his family, while he was the architect of evil and madness all around, the likes of which mankind had never seen before.

Up to 12 people used to be hanged naked simultaneously on each iron gallows (like the goalposts in a soccer field) close to the entrance gates. The adjoining forest at the edge of Birkenau or Auschwitz 2, which is a much larger camp than Auschwitz 1 is inhabited by snakes but no birds are to be seen here, over this vast area, where millions died.

Daniel Sammon

taken so roughly

March 29, 2020

Lying on the bed, half-asleep, half naked, he knows it’s time for them to part – but after such a night together, he groans, eyes closed, and calls in a husky low voice, as if still sore from being taken so roughly, so often: “I still want to suck you…”

Coronavirus Sunday

March 29, 2020

Bored on your own?

Well, quarantine and vaseline, boys and girls. Seclude and get nude, before opening that toy cupboard door.

WOW!

Bon appetit!, Chitlings.

BARDIC DREAMS

March 26, 2020

Bold warriors and women, shield mates, sat
wrapped in the darkness, sheltered between knees
warmed by their lovers and heat of kettle fire.

A bard regaled with tales and love song
Bold warriors and women, shield mates, sat
toasting their fallen friends with ale and tears.

Mist rose from the surface of the enchanted lake.
Wrapped in the darkness, sheltered between knees
a sprinkle of fireflies crowned the knight’s heads.

Some stood like shields behind their ladies back
warmed by their lovers and heat of kettle fire.
Heads lolled; golden strands were drawn through fingers.

Seated knights cradled ladies between armoured thighs.
A bard regaled with tales and love song
washing the weary of bloodlust and death cries.

Mere hours before, they had held swords not cups
toasting their fallen friends with ale and tears.
Now, cameo visages flushed in firelight

revealed ice-blue eyes of Viking descent.
Mist rose from the surface of the enchanted lake
as each weary warrior visited, in tale,

the halls of Beowulf, and Artur’s Camelot.
The daytime was bent on war, but the night,
sprinkled with fireflies, was meant for lovers.

Deborah Guzzi

a mountain of bones

March 26, 2020

Through all this horror my cat stalked unperturbed. Once I saw him monstrously perched atop a mountain of bones, and wondered at the secrets that might lie behind his yellow eyes.

H.P. Lovecraft
The Rats in the Walls

URGENT WARNING

March 24, 2020

Here’s a quick rule of thumb. Don’t annoy science fiction writers. These are people who destroy entire planets before lunch. Think of what they’ll do to you.

John Scalzi
Whatever

black extra-cosmic gulfs

March 23, 2020

It was just a colour out of space — a frightful messenger from unformed realms of infinity beyond all Nature as we know it; from realms whose mere existence stuns the brain and numbs us with the black extra-cosmic gulfs it throws open before our frenzied eyes.

H.P. Lovecraft
The Colour Out of Space

…If he concentrates on shaving, maybe he can stave off the memory of what they found at the end of that hallway and, a little later, huddled on the roof. The sight of those bodies, and the smell.

It’s actually a number of species of fungus existing together in a symbiotic mass, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, often referred to by a more colourful and more pronounceable moniker, zombie fungus. It attacks a particular family of tropical ants, known as camponitids, or carpenter ants, entering the hosts’ bodies during the yeast stage of its complex reproductive cycle. The fungus spreads through an ant’s body, maturing inside its head—and this is where things really get interesting. It eventually takes control of the infected insect, forcing it to latch on to the underside of a leaf and bite down in what we call the grip of death. Then atrophy sets in, quickly, completely destroying the sarcomere connections in the ant’s muscle fibers and reducing its sarcoplasmic reticula and mitochondria. At this point, the ant is no longer able to control the muscles of the mandible and will remain fixed in place. The fungus finally kills the ant and continues to grow as hyphae penetrate the soft tissues and begin to structurally fortify the ant’s exoskeleton. Mycelia sprout and securely anchor it to the leaf, at the same time secreting antimicrobial compounds that ward off competition from other Ophiocordyceps colonies.

….And get this, okay? These doomed ants, these poor dying bastards, they always climb to a height of precisely twenty-five point twenty plus or minus two point forty-six centimeters above the jungle floor, in environments where the humidity will remain stable between ninety-four and ninety-five percent, with temperatures between twenty and thirty Celsius. And always on the north side of the plant. In the end, sporocarps, the fungal fruiting bodies, erupt from the ant’s necking, growing a stalk that releases spores that’ll infect more ants. It’s evolution at its best and, yeah, at its most grisly, too. Mother Nature, when you get right down to it, she’s a proper cunt.

But these weren’t ants. These were human beings.

Well, sure, and this isn’t Ophiocordyceps, either. We’re not even sure if it’s an actual fungus. No one’s ever seen anything like it. Jesus, if I didn’t know better, I’d say it came from outer space….

Caitlín R. Kiernan
Agents of Dreamland

For the love of heroes

March 19, 2020

First they fought with heart-devouring hatred
then they parted, bound by pacts of friendship.

Homer
Iliad
Trans. Robert Fables

(Hence Hector reflects on his fight with Ajax)