Sabine Baring-Gould ~ A GALICIAN WERE-WOLF

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a danse macabre classique supplémentaire

In vain he attempted to speak; from that very instant
His jaws were bespluttered with foam, and only he thirsted
For blood, as he raged among flocks and panted for slaughter.
His vesture was changed into hair, his limbs became crooked;
A wolf-he retains yet large trace of his ancient expression,
Hoary he is afore, his countenance rabid,
His eyes glitter savagely still, the picture of fury

Ovid

The inhabitants of Austrian Galicia are quiet, inoffensive people, take them as a whole. The Jews, who number a twelfth of the population, are the most intelligent, energetic, and certainly the most money-making individuals in the province, though the Poles proper, or Mazurs, are not devoid of natural parts.

In the most quiet and well-disposed neighbourhoods, occasionally the most startling atrocities are committed, occurring when least expected, and sometimes perpetrated by the very person who is least suspected.

Just sixteen years ago there happened in the circle of Tornow, in Western Galicia — the province is divided into nine circles — a circumstance which will probably furnish the grandames with a story for their firesides, during their bitter Galician winters, for many a long year…

In the circle of Tornow, in the lordship of Parkost, is a little hamlet called Polomyja, consisting of eight hovels and a Jewish tavern. The inhabitants are mostly woodcutters, hewing down the firs of the dense forest in which their village is situated, and conveying them to the nearest water, down which they are floated to the Vistula. Each tenant pays no rent for his cottage and pitch of field, but is bound to work a fixed number of days for his landlord: a practice universal in Galicia, and often productive of much discontent and injustice, as the proprietor exacts labour from his tenant on those days when the harvest has to be got in, or the land is m best condition for tillage, and just when the peasant would gladly be engaged upon his own small plot. Money is scarce in the province, and this is accordingly the only way in which the landlord can be sure of his dues.

Most of the villagers of Polomyja are miserably poor; but by cultivating a little maize, and keeping a few fowls or a pig, they scrape together sufficient to sustain life. During the summer the men collect resin from the pines, from each of which, once in twelve Years, they strip a slip of bark, leaving the resin to exude and trickle into a small earthenware jar at its roots; and, during the winter, as already stated, they fell the trees and roll them down to the river.

Polomyja is not a cheerful spot — nested among dense masses of pine, which shed a gloom over the little hamlet; yet, on a fine day, it is pleasant enough for the old women to sit at their cottage doors, scenting that matchless pine fragrance, sweeter than the balm of the Spice Islands, for there is nothing cloying in that exquisite and exhilarating odour; listening to the harp-like thrill of the breeze in the old grey tree-tops, and knitting quietly at long stockings, whilst their little grandchildren romp in the heather and tufted fern.

Towards evening, too, there is something indescribably beautiful in the firwood. The sun dives among the trees, and paints their boles with patches of luminous saffron, or falling over a level clearing, glorifies it with its orange dye, so visibly contrasting with the blue-purple shadow on the western rim of unreclaimed forest, deep and luscious as the bloom on a plum. The birds then are hastening to their nests, a ger-falcon, high overhead, is kindled with sunlight; capering and gambolling among the branches, the merry squirrel skips home for the night.

The sun goes down, but the sky is still shining with twilight. The wild cat begins to hiss and squall in the forest, the heron to flap hastily by, the stork on the top of the tavern chimney to poise itself on one leg for sleep. To-whoo! An owl begins to wake up. Hark! The woodcutters are coming home with a song.

Such is Polomyja in summer time, and much resembling it are the hamlets scattered about the forest, at intervals of a few miles; in each, the public-house being the most commodious and best-built edifice, the church, whenever there is one, not remarkable for anything but its bulbous steeple.

You would hardly believe that amidst all this poverty a beggar could have picked up any subsistence, and yet, a few years ago, Sunday after Sunday, there sat a white-bearded venerable man at the church door, asking alms.

Poor people are proverbially compassionate and liberal, so that the old man generally got a few coppers, and often some good woman bade him come into her cottage, and let him have some food.

Occasionally Swiatek — that was the beggar’s name, went his rounds selling small pinchbeck ornaments and beads; generally, however, only appealing to charity.

One Sunday, after church, a Mazur and his wife invited the old man into their hut and gave him a crust of pie and some meat. There were several children about, but a little girl, of nine or ten, attracted the old man’s attention by her artless tricks.

Swiatek felt in his pocket and produced a ring, enclosing a piece of coloured glass set over foil. This he presented to the child, who ran off delighted to show her acquisition to her companions.

“Is that little maid your daughter?” asked the beggar.

“No,” answered the house-wife, “she is an orphan; there was a widow in this place who died, leaving the child, and I have taken charge of her; one mouth more will not matter much, and the good God will bless us.”

“Ay, ay! To be sure He will; the orphans and fatherless are under His own peculiar care.”

“She’s a good little thing, and gives no trouble,” observed the woman. “You go back to Polomyja tonight, I reckon.”

“I do — ah!” exclaimed Swiatek, as the little girl ran up to him. You like the ring, is it not beautiful? I found it under a big fir to the left of the churchyard — there may be dozens there. You must turn round three times, bow to the moon, and say, ‘Zaboï!’ then look among the tree-roots till you find one.”

“Come along!” screamed the child to its comrades; “we will go and look for rings.”

“You must seek separately,” said Swiatek.

The children scampered off into the wood.

“I have done one good thing for you,” laughed the beggar, “in ridding you, for a time, of the noise of those children.”

“I am glad of a little quiet now and then,” said the woman; “the children will not let the baby sleep at times with their clatter. Are you going?”

“Yes; I must reach Polomyja to-night. I am old and very feeble, and poor” — he began to fall into his customary whine — very poor, but I thank and pray to God for you.”

Swiatek left the cottage.

That little orphan was never seen again.

The Austrian Government has, of late years, been vigorously advancing education among the lower orders, and establishing schools throughout the province.

The children were returning from class one day, and were scattered among the trees, some pursuing a field-mouse, others collecting juniper-berries, and some sauntering with their hands in their pockets, whistling.

“Where’s Peter?” asked one little boy of another who was beside him. “We three go home the same way, let us go together.”

“Peter!” shouted the lad.

“Here I am!” was the answer from among the trees; “I’ll be with you directly.”

“Oh, I see him!” said the elder boy. “There is some one talking to him.”

“Where?”

“Yonder, among the pines. Ah! they have gone further into the shadow, and I cannot see them any more. I wonder who was with him; a man, I think.”

The boys waited till they were tired, and then they sauntered home, determined to thrash Peter for having kept them waiting. But Peter was never seen again.

Some time after this a servant-girl, belonging to a small store kept by a Russian, disappeared from a village five miles from Polomyja. She had been sent with a parcel of grocery to a cottage at no very great distance, but lying apart from the main cluster of hovels, and surrounded by trees.

The day closed in, and her master waited her return anxiously, but as several hours elapsed without any sign of her, he — assisted by the neighbours — went in search of her.

A slight powdering of snow covered the ground, and her footsteps could be traced at intervals where she had diverged from the beaten track. In that part of the road where the trees were thickest, there were marks of two pair of feet leaving the path; but owing to the density of the trees at that spot and to the slightness of the fall of snow, which did not reach the soil, where shaded by the pines, the footprints were immediately lost. By the following morning a heavy fall had obliterated any further traces which day-light might have discovered.

The servant-girl also was never seen again.

During the winter of 1849 the wolves were supposed to have been particularly ravenous, for thus alone did people account for the mysterious disappearances of children.

A little boy had been sent to a fountain to fetch water; the pitcher was found standing by the well, but the boy had vanished. The villagers turned out, and those wolves which could be found were despatched.

We have already introduced our readers to Polomyja, although the occurrences above related did not take place among those eight hovels, but in neighbouring villages. The reason for our having given a more detailed account of this cluster of houses–rude cabins they were — will now become apparent.

In May, 1849, the innkeeper of Polomyja missed a couple of ducks, and his suspicions fell upon the beggar who lived there, and whom he held in no esteem, as he himself was a hard-working industrious man, whilst Swiatek maintained himself, his wife, and children by mendicity, although possessed of sufficient arable land to yield an excellent crop of maize, and produce vegetables, if tilled with ordinary care.

As the publican approached the cottage a fragrant whiff of roast greeted his nostrils.

“I’ll catch the fellow in the act,” said the innkeeper to himself, stealing up to the door, and taking good care not to be observed.

As he threw open the door, he saw the mendicant hurriedly shuffle something under his feet, and conceal it beneath his long clothes. The publican was on him in an instant, had him by the throat, charged him with theft, and dragged him from his seat. Judge of his sickening horror when from beneath the pauper’s clothes rolled forth the head of a girl about the age of fourteen or fifteen years, carefully separated from the trunk.

In a short while the neighbours came up. The venerable Swiatek was locked up, along with his wife, his daughter — a girl of sixteen — and a son, aged five.

The hut was thoroughly examined, and the mutilated remains of the poor girl discovered. In a vat were found the legs and thighs, partly raw, partly stewed or roasted. In a chest were the heart, liver, and entrails, all prepared and cleaned, as neatly as though done by a skilful butcher; and, finally, under the oven was a bowl full of fresh blood. On his way to the magistrate of the district, the wretched man flung himself repeatedly on the ground, struggled with his guards, and endeavoured to suffocate himself by gulping clown clods of earth and stones, but was prevented by his conductors.

When taken before the Protokoll at Dabkow, he stated that he had already killed and — assisted by his family — eaten six persons: his children, however, asserted most positively that the number was much greater than he had represented, and their testimony is borne out by the fact, that the remains of fourteen different caps and suits of clothes, male as well as female, were found in his house.

The origin of this horrible and depraved taste was as follows, according to Swiatek’s own confession:

In 1846, three years previous, a Jewish tavern in the neighbourhood had been burned down, and the host had himself perished in the flames. Swiatek, whilst examining the ruins, had found the half-roasted corpse of the publican among the charred rafters of the house. At that time the old man was craving with hunger, having been destitute of food for some time. The scent and the sight of the roasted flesh inspired him with an uncontrollable desire to taste of it. He tore off a portion of the carcase and satiated his hunger upon it, and at the same time he conceived such a liking for it, that he could feel no rest till he had tasted again. His second victim was the orphan above alluded to; since then — that is, during the period of no less than three years — he had frequently subsisted in the same manner, and had actually grown sleek and fat upon his frightful meals.

The excitement roused by the discovery of these atrocities was intense; several poor mothers who had bewailed the loss of their little ones, felt their wounds reopened agonisingly. Popular indignation rose to the highest pitch: there was some fear lest the criminal should be torn in pieces himself by the enraged people, as soon as he was brought to trial: but he saved the necessity of precautions being taken to ensure his safety, for, on the first night of his confinement, he hanged himself from the bars of the prison-window.

The Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould (28 Jan 1834 – 2 Jan 1924) was an English hagiographer, antiquarian, novelist and eclectic scholar. His bibliography lists more than 1240 separate publications, though this list continues to grow, rather amazing when one considers Baring-Gould is said to have died 87 years ago. He is remembered particularly as a writer of hymns, the best-known being “Onward, Christian Soldiers” and “Now the Day Is Over.” And, as you see, he also had an enduring interest in…werewolves. He habitually wrote standing up, making those 1240 (and growing) publications all the more impressive. Can we be assured the man is actually dead?

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FR DUNNE 2

The Buzz About

Father Dunn’s School for Wayward Boys

Kyle Hemmings takes us on a provocative trip into a blend of fantasy, psychosis, and the angst of boys on the cusp of adulthood in Father Dunn’s School for Wayward Boys. Through descriptive imagery the reader is compelled forward. A quick and yet challenging read, as we travel some roadways best kept locked within the soul.

~ Melanie Campbell, author of The Innocence Challenge.    

Kyle Hemmings’ book is both wicked smart and wicked funny in a laughing in a graveyard kind of way.  It is also dark and quite absorbing. The characters that people his book, and presumably live in his head, have a lot of creep factor going for them. Still, they elicit enough reader sympathy that I kind of wanted to take them all home and feed them good food. Okay, not all of them. Read this book, but not if you are alone in the house. That creak in the other room could be Hemmings’ imagination coming to life.

~ Lisa Cihlar, Pushcart nominee, poetry chapbook winner, author of The Insomniac’s House and When I Pick Up My Wings from the Dry Cleaner.

Father Dunne’s School for Wayward Boys is a multi-layered work in both form and theme.

Form-wise, it’s a hybrid composition: each of the twenty titled chapters stands alone as a complete nugget of a story; together, they fuse into a novelette. The first two chapters briefly describe the setting, mission, and chain-of-being hierarchy for Father Dunne’s School. They lay the foundation for the culture of the institution—a reformatory, with religiously-based prep school overtones—and the history, fantasies, activities, and bonding behavior among its residents as they sneak into basement rooms and forests seeking human connections and redemption.

Thematically, the work offers multiple topics for societal and philosophical exploration: the argument of nature versus nurture; the function and effectiveness of juvenile disciplinary institutions; the probability of moral and criminal rehabilitation; and the existence of a God or a higher power in the universe.

The book engages on a literary level, too, because it’s fun to read. Kyle Hemmings originality shines throughout in prose that’s fast-paced, slyly observant, and often humorous, as in these passages: “We fed him our leftover lives,”  “She might even be a saint someday, if they lower the restrictions,” and “He wanted to write a new version of the Bible with only blank pages. Then everyone could create their own theology.”

~ Sue Ann Connaughton, author

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Mark Twain — 1601

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[Date, 1601.]

CONVERSATION, AS IT WAS BY THE SOCIAL FIRESIDE, IN THE TIME OF THE
TUDORS.

[Mem.--The following is supposed to be an extract from the diary of the
Pepys of that day, the same being Queen Elizabeth's cup-bearer.  He is
supposed to be of ancient and noble lineage; that he despises these
literary canaille; that his soul consumes with wrath, to see the queen
stooping to talk with such; and that the old man feels that his nobility
is defiled by contact with Shakespeare, etc., and yet he has got to stay
there till her Majesty chooses to dismiss him.]



YESTERNIGHT
toke her maiste ye queene a fantasie such as she sometimes hath, and had
to her closet certain that doe write playes, bokes, and such like, these
being my lord Bacon, his worship Sir Walter Ralegh, Mr. Ben Jonson, and
ye child Francis Beaumonte, which being but sixteen, hath yet turned his
hand to ye doing of ye Lattin masters into our Englishe tong, with grete
discretion and much applaus.  Also came with these ye famous Shaxpur.  A
righte straunge mixing truly of mighty blode with mean, ye more in
especial since ye queenes grace was present, as likewise these following,
to wit: Ye Duchess of Bilgewater, twenty-two yeres of age; ye Countesse
of Granby, twenty-six; her doter, ye Lady Helen, fifteen; as also these
two maides of honor, to-wit, ye Lady Margery Boothy, sixty-five, and ye
Lady Alice Dilberry, turned seventy, she being two yeres ye queenes
graces elder.

I being her maites cup-bearer, had no choice but to remaine and beholde
rank forgot, and ye high holde converse wh ye low as uppon equal termes,
a grete scandal did ye world heare thereof.

In ye heat of ye talk it befel yt one did breake wind, yielding an
exceding mightie and distresfull stink, whereat all did laugh full sore,
and then--

Ye Queene.--Verily in mine eight and sixty yeres have I not heard the
fellow to this fart.  Meseemeth, by ye grete sound and clamour of it, it
was male; yet ye belly it did lurk behinde shoulde now fall lean and flat
against ye spine of him yt hath bene delivered of so stately and so waste
a bulk, where as ye guts of them yt doe quiff-splitters bear, stand
comely still and rounde.  Prithee let ye author confess ye offspring.
Will my Lady Alice testify?

Lady Alice.--Good your grace, an' I had room for such a thundergust
within mine ancient bowels, 'tis not in reason I coulde discharge ye same
and live to thank God for yt He did choose handmaid so humble whereby to
shew his power.  Nay, 'tis not I yt have broughte forth this rich
o'ermastering fog, this fragrant gloom, so pray you seeke ye further.

Ye Queene.--Mayhap ye Lady Margery hath done ye companie this favor?

Lady Margery.--So please you madam, my limbs are feeble wh ye weighte and
drouth of five and sixty winters, and it behoveth yt I be tender unto
them.  In ye good providence of God, an' I had contained this wonder,
forsoothe wolde I have gi'en 'ye whole evening of my sinking life to ye
dribbling of it forth, with trembling and uneasy soul, not launched it
sudden in its matchless might, taking mine own life with violence,
rending my weak frame like rotten rags.  It was not I, your maisty.

Ye Queene.--O' God's name, who hath favored us?  Hath it come to pass yt
a fart shall fart itself?  Not such a one as this, I trow.  Young Master
Beaumont--but no; 'twould have wafted him to heaven like down of goose's
boddy.  'Twas not ye little Lady Helen--nay, ne'er blush, my child;
thoul't tickle thy tender maidenhedde with many a mousie-squeak before
thou learnest to blow a harricane like this.  Wasn't you, my learned and
ingenious Jonson?

Jonson.--So fell a blast hath ne'er mine ears saluted, nor yet a stench
so all-pervading and immortal.  'Twas not a novice did it, good your
maisty, but one of veteran experience--else hadde he failed of
confidence.  In sooth it was not I.

Ye Queene.--My lord Bacon?

Lord Bacon.-Not from my leane entrailes hath this prodigy burst forth, so
please your grace.  Naught doth so befit ye grete as grete performance;
and haply shall ye finde yt 'tis not from mediocrity this miracle hath
issued.

[Tho' ye subjoct be but a fart, yet will this tedious sink of learning
pondrously phillosophize.  Meantime did the foul and deadly stink pervade
all places to that degree, yt never smelt I ye like, yet dare I not to
leave ye presence, albeit I was like to suffocate.]

Ye Queene.--What saith ye worshipful Master Shaxpur?

Shaxpur.--In the great hand of God I stand and so proclaim mine
innocence.  Though ye sinless hosts of heaven had foretold ye coming of
this most desolating breath, proclaiming it a work of uninspired man, its
quaking thunders, its firmament-clogging rottenness his own achievement
in due course of nature, yet had not I believed it; but had said the pit
itself hath furnished forth the stink, and heaven's artillery hath shook
the globe in admiration of it.

[Then was there a silence, and each did turn him toward the worshipful
Sr Walter Ralegh, that browned, embattled, bloody swashbuckler, who
rising up did smile, and simpering say,]

Sr W.--Most gracious maisty, 'twas I that did it, but indeed it was so
poor and frail a note, compared with such as I am wont to furnish, yt in
sooth I was ashamed to call the weakling mine in so august a presence.
It was nothing--less than nothing, madam--I did it but to clear my nether
throat; but had I come prepared, then had I delivered something worthy.
Bear with me, please your grace, till I can make amends.

[Then delivered he himself of such a godless and rock-shivering blast
that all were fain to stop their ears, and following it did come so dense
and foul a stink that that which went before did seem a poor and trifling
thing beside it.  Then saith he, feigning that he blushed and was
confused, I perceive that I am weak to-day, and cannot justice do unto my
powers; and sat him down as who should say, There, it is not much yet he
that hath an arse to spare, let him fellow that, an' he think he can.  By
God, an' I were ye queene, I would e'en tip this swaggering braggart out
o' the court, and let him air his grandeurs and break his intolerable
wind before ye deaf and such as suffocation pleaseth.]

Then fell they to talk about ye manners and customs of many peoples, and
Master Shaxpur spake of ye boke of ye sieur Michael de Montaine, wherein
was mention of ye custom of widows of Perigord to wear uppon ye
headdress, in sign of widowhood, a jewel in ye similitude of a man's
member wilted and limber, whereat ye queene did laugh and say widows in
England doe wear prickes too, but betwixt the thighs, and not wilted
neither, till coition hath done that office for them.  Master Shaxpur did
likewise observe how yt ye sieur de Montaine hath also spoken of a
certain emperor of such mighty prowess that he did take ten maidenheddes
in ye compass of a single night, ye while his empress did entertain two
and twenty lusty knights between her sheetes, yet was not satisfied;
whereat ye merrie Countess Granby saith a ram is yet ye emperor's
superior, sith he wil tup above a hundred yewes 'twixt sun and sun; and
after, if he can have none more to shag, will masturbate until he hath
enrich'd whole acres with his seed.

Then spake ye damned windmill, Sr Walter, of a people in ye uttermost
parts of America, yt capulate not until they be five and thirty yeres of
age, ye women being eight and twenty, and do it then but once in seven
yeres.

Ye Queene.--How doth that like my little Lady Helen?  Shall we send thee
thither and preserve thy belly?

Lady Helen.--Please your highnesses grace, mine old nurse hath told me
there are more ways of serving God than by locking the thighs together;
yet am I willing to serve him yt way too, sith your highnesses grace hath
set ye ensample.

Ye Queene.--God' wowndes a good answer, childe.

Lady Alice.--Mayhap 'twill weaken when ye hair sprouts below ye navel.

Lady Helen.--Nay, it sprouted two yeres syne; I can scarce more than
cover it with my hand now.

Ye Queene.--Hear Ye that, my little Beaumonte?  Have ye not a little
birde about ye that stirs at hearing tell of so sweete a neste?

Beaumonte.--'Tis not insensible, illustrious madam; but mousing owls and
bats of low degree may not aspire to bliss so whelming and ecstatic as is
found in ye downy nests of birdes of Paradise.

Ye Queene.--By ye gullet of God, 'tis a neat-turned compliment.  With
such a tongue as thine, lad, thou'lt spread the ivory thighs of many a
willing maide in thy good time, an' thy cod-piece be as handy as thy
speeche.

Then spake ye queene of how she met old Rabelais when she was turned of
fifteen, and he did tell her of a man his father knew that had a double
pair of bollocks, whereon a controversy followed as concerning the most
just way to spell the word, ye contention running high betwixt ye learned
Bacon and ye ingenious Jonson, until at last ye old Lady Margery,
wearying of it all, saith, 'Gentles, what mattereth it how ye shall spell
the word?  I warrant Ye when ye use your bollocks ye shall not think of
it; and my Lady Granby, be ye content; let the spelling be, ye shall
enjoy the beating of them on your buttocks just the same, I trow.  Before
I had gained my fourteenth year I had learnt that them that would explore
a cunt stop'd not to consider the spelling o't.'

Sr W.--In sooth, when a shift's turned up, delay is meet for naught but
dalliance.  Boccaccio hath a story of a priest that did beguile a maid
into his cell, then knelt him in a corner to pray for grace to be rightly
thankful for this tender maidenhead ye Lord had sent him; but ye abbot,
spying through ye key-hole, did see a tuft of brownish hair with fair
white flesh about it, wherefore when ye priest's prayer was done, his
chance was gone, forasmuch as ye little maid had but ye one cunt, and
that was already occupied to her content.

Then conversed they of religion, and ye mightie work ye old dead Luther
did doe by ye grace of God.  Then next about poetry, and Master Shaxpur
did rede a part of his King Henry IV., ye which, it seemeth unto me,
is not of ye value of an arsefull of ashes, yet they praised it bravely,
one and all.

Ye same did rede a portion of his "Venus and Adonis," to their prodigious
admiration, whereas I, being sleepy and fatigued withal, did deme it but
paltry stuff, and was the more discomforted in that ye blody bucanier had
got his wind again, and did turn his mind to farting with such villain
zeal that presently I was like to choke once more.  God damn this windy
ruffian and all his breed.  I wolde that hell mighte get him.

They talked about ye wonderful defense which old Sr. Nicholas Throgmorton
did make for himself before ye judges in ye time of Mary; which was
unlucky matter to broach, sith it fetched out ye quene with a 'Pity yt
he, having so much wit, had yet not enough to save his doter's
maidenhedde sound for her marriage-bed.'  And ye quene did give ye damn'd
Sr. Walter a look yt made hym wince--for she hath not forgot he was her
own lover it yt olde day.  There was silent uncomfortableness now; 'twas
not a good turn for talk to take, sith if ye queene must find offense in
a little harmless debauching, when pricks were stiff and cunts not loathe
to take ye stiffness out of them, who of this company was sinless;
behold, was not ye wife of Master Shaxpur four months gone with child
when she stood uppe before ye altar?  Was not her Grace of Bilgewater
roger'd by four lords before she had a husband?  Was not ye little Lady
Helen born on her mother's wedding-day?  And, beholde, were not ye Lady
Alice and ye Lady Margery there, mouthing religion, whores from ye
cradle?

In time came they to discourse of Cervantes, and of the new painter,
Rubens, that is beginning to be heard of.  Fine words and dainty-wrought
phrases from the ladies now, one or two of them being, in other days,
pupils of that poor ass, Lille, himself; and I marked how that Jonson and
Shaxpur did fidget to discharge some venom of sarcasm, yet dared they not
in the presence, the queene's grace being ye very flower of ye Euphuists
herself.  But behold, these be they yt, having a specialty, and admiring
it in themselves, be jealous when a neighbor doth essaye it, nor can
abide it in them long.  Wherefore 'twas observable yt ye quene waxed
uncontent; and in time labor'd grandiose speeche out of ye mouth of Lady
Alice, who manifestly did mightily pride herself thereon, did quite
exhauste ye quene's endurance, who listened till ye gaudy speeche was
done, then lifted up her brows, and with vaste irony, mincing saith 'O
shit!' Whereat they alle did laffe, but not ye Lady Alice, yt olde
foolish bitche.

Now was Sr. Walter minded of a tale he once did hear ye ingenious
Margrette of Navarre relate, about a maid, which being like to suffer
rape by an olde archbishoppe, did smartly contrive a device to save her
maidenhedde, and said to him, First, my lord, I prithee, take out thy
holy tool and piss before me; which doing, lo his member felle, and would
not rise again.

___________________________________________________

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NEW from Hammer & Anvil Books!

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November 1989. The Berlin Wall falls, sending shockwaves throughout the world. Not a shot was fired. “Sam” says otherwise. A tale of nonviolence, togetherness and courage in the tradition of le Carré, SAM AND THE FALL OF THE WALL chronicles an almost forgotten CIA remnant going rogue, back into the cold to protect a volcanic freedom movement from both East and West. Here, living history clashes with the winds of change, moving the reader from once upon a time to the Europe of today, and to the dashed hopes and false dreams of our own post-Cold War backyard. Hammer & Anvil Books presents SAM AND THE FALL OF THE WALL by American expat Robert J. Gregg, author of DEATH ROAD (H&A, 2013). Come back into the cold and enjoy!

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R.A. Miller – THE HOUSE CALL

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Weezer blared through the headphones in Godam’s ears.  The demon found herself bopping her head to the music.  The blond hair of the human she inhabited bounced with each toss of her head and she had to keep pushing it out of her face.  She had found the iPod in the glove box of the car she now sat in.  The car belonged to a disappointing human named Peter Ludvig.  He had tasted terrible but his car was nice.

She decided that she liked the Weezer song so much that she put it on a loop.  Now it played endlessly in her ears as she sat in the dirty old Chevy, waiting for her next meal to come home.

She had parked the car in the street three houses down from where her target, Walter Hamill, was supposed to be living.  She had been sitting here for three days now with no sign of Hamill.  With the drive down to Miami she had been sitting in this car now for almost five days.  Her demon eyes had taken in everything going on around her.  Day or night she was watching.  No one had come or gone from the house since she arrived.  She was becoming impatient.

Now it was approaching midnight on her third day here and there was no sign of her target.  Three days of waiting.  Three days without food.  She needed to eat and at this point any human would do.  She glanced up at the rearview mirror and saw an old woman walking a small dog.

Godam pulled the handle to open her door when she saw him.  Three houses down from her current location a short but plump man was walking up the driveway.  He was nervous, just like Peter had been before she ate him.  The fat man was disheveled and in serious need of a brush.  She watched him fumble for his key and once it was inside the lock, she got out of the car and walked towards the house.  She gave a momentary glance behind her and saw the old woman and her dog turn the corner out of sight.

She quickened her pace towards the fat man.  She had long abandoned her host’s high heels, opting to go barefoot.  She made no noise as she walked, allowing her to surprise her prey.  Walter Hamill jumped at the sound of her voice only inches from his back.

“Walltterr Hammilll.”

“What,” Walter spun around to see Godam staring at him.  He took a step back and nearly fell over himself into the open doorway, “How…how can I help you?”

“Are you Walter Hamill?”  Godam could smell the fear wafting off of him in waves.  It made her salivate.

“Who wants to know?”  Walter tried to straighten up and look tougher than he was.

“Are you…” She was pushing him through the open door now, “…Walter Hamill?”  She had him pressed against the wall opposite the open door.  She reached back with one foot and slammed the door.  The fat man was sniveling and she thought she smelled urine.  “Why do they always piss themselves?”

“I have…I have powerful friends, ya know.  You don’t want to mess with me.”

Godam smacked Walter in the face.  “Shut up.  Are you or are you not Walter Hamill?”

“Fine,” Walter yelled, “I’m Walter Hamill.  Now what do you want?”

“That’s all I need to know.”  She gripped his throat and pushed him up the wall as far as she could reach with her human arms.  She noticed that he had indeed pissed himself.

“I can get you anything you want…” Walter pleaded, “I’m loaded.  I…I can pay you.”

She retrieved a small razor blade from between her breasts and sliced easily into his large belly.  Blood and intestines began to spill from the opening.  She dropped the blade and forced her hand into his belly, grabbing a handful of intestine and yanked them from their home.  Godam shoved them in her mouth, letting out a small moan of satisfaction.  It had been so long since she had eaten.

Walter continued to scream and kick at the demon.  She ignored this knowing soon he would lose too much blood and then die.  They tasted better when the human was alive, however, so she lowered him and laid him on the floor.  His hands went immediately to the hole in his belly as he continued to scream.  She couldn’t understand what he was screaming but she didn’t care.

As the song on her iPod was restarting she picked up the blade she had dropped and began making more cuts on his chest.  She used her free hand to turn up the volume on her song while the hand with the blade cut out his heart.

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R. A Miller has an AA in Fine Art from South Florida State College and is currently studying for a BA in Creative Writing at Full Sail University. Miller’s work has been published in F*cked Up Fairy Tales Volume 1 edited by H.E. Ellis (H.E. Ellis, 2013), under the pen name EmeraldDragun.

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Amour Sombre

Third Canto on the Undead

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The sky is changed!–and such a change; Oh, night!

And storm and darkness, ye are wond’rous strong,

Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light

Of a dark eye in woman! Far along

From peak to peak, the rattling crags among,

Leaps the lire thunder! Not from one lone cloud,

But every mountain now hath found a tongue,

And Jura answers thro’ her misty shroud,

Back to the joyous Alps who call to her aloud!

And this is in the night:–Most glorious night!

Thou wer’t not sent for slumber! let me be

A sharer in thy far and fierce delight,–

A portion of the tempest and of me!

How the lit lake shines a phosphoric sea,

And the big rain comet dancing to the earth!

And now again ’tis black,–and now the glee

Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain mirth,

As if they did rejoice o’er a young; earthquake’s birth,

Now where the swift Rhine cleaves his way between

Heights which appear, as lovers who have parted

In haste, whose mining depths so intervene,

That they can meet no more, tho’ broken hearted;

Tho’ in their souls which thus each other thwarted,

Love was the very root of the fond rage

Which blighted their life’s bloom, and then departed–

Itself expired, but leaving; them an age

Of years all winter–war within themselves to wage.

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