Confessions of a Ghoul and Other Stories

Confessions of a Ghoul and Other Stories

by M. F. Korn
     
 
"I am recording: Tim Meadows here doing his thesis: The matrix of grave markers are neatly trimmed in the evanescent moonlight. Helixes of crickets surround the paddock of mist. Silent screams bob up from cavernous graves of the recent dead. The banks of mausoleums stand on the north end flanking a thatch of dark woods. That is where the man lies who is

Overview

"I am recording: Tim Meadows here doing his thesis: The matrix of grave markers are neatly trimmed in the evanescent moonlight. Helixes of crickets surround the paddock of mist. Silent screams bob up from cavernous graves of the recent dead. The banks of mausoleums stand on the north end flanking a thatch of dark woods. That is where the man lies who is forever alone. For a change he is sleeping both day and night. Then perhaps he will trap himself in the brick walls for two days in a row, mouthing Gregorian chant. Yes, he is a religious man. He scribbles astral charts and makes little Christian fishes like the symbol from 1000 A.D. It is almost the millennium again. Does that mark suffice again? Or will it be replaced by something else, something more arcane to fit these strange times? A collection of six short stories and one novella. Contents: "Eternal Questions Posed at the International House of Pancakes" "And Now, the Wizard of Gore, May I Present the President" "The Great Find of the Nontraditional Computer Cowboys" "Rags to Riches to Hell" "The Unwelcome Guest" "Letters from Skitzo" "Confessions of a Ghoul"

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940000082782
Publisher:
Double Dragon Publishing
Publication date:
11/24/2004
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
339 KB

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

A filthy man sat inside a mausoleum. There were stacks of bound manuscripts around him in the darkness. The first page to this man's open manuscript lying at his feet said:

"I am Tiresias and I live in a charnel house. You, whoever you are, may think this odd. I am the Cosmic Christ of the Universe. The Macrosomametakosmos."

In the corner of the vault, blotched and once bulbous, a rat's carcass was stripped clean, even the internal organs. The manuscript continued:

"I don't remember the past, doubtless due to the schism in my head. The two hemispheres are fundamentally at odds, but you could say I am a lost man. I am an outsider, much like Colin Wilson's book of that name that was popular in colleges in the '70s. I am not sure about this, but I think I was a student at Proteus then. Proteus College, not too far from where I live, rather modestly."

Guts of every sort of night-creature lay in blobs of rotted carrion, mummified by oxidation. Flies ceased to buzz around the bloody, coagulated drippings all in the interior of the tomb.

"I must tell you exactly where this charnel house is. The college hubs around a circular drive. This circle protracts into a singular drive which threads through all the lovely students walking around, unaware of me. This drive is introduced to a red light, which to me is my lost beacon for me to find my way back to my cool tomb in the blackness. The drive continues after this arc light beckoning the city of Dis in which I have been ensconced.

It neatly splits this manicured graveyard." The stench was stifling in this bleak dark chamber. Insects crawled over worms which lay inthe folds of his jacket.

"I don't remember this past much, I'm not sure if I actually had one. I try to grasp some thread of it, but my mind is simply too occluded. All I know is that I filch books from the library by ripping off the electronic tag within each tome. I live in an ephemeral world due to my hallucinations that impart their wisdom to me. I am a solitary stranger that walks the fog banks of this city in the dead of night. I have been pretty good about staying away from the policemen."

A train whistle far off. A caretaker mowing the lawn of the boneorchard. Dung in the corner, reeking.

"I am alone, lying prone on this slab of concrete that is chilling my bones with this dreaded humidity. Eternal Noes. An Eternal No as scribbled in my journal is something akin to this: ?NO! ?NO! Do you see? I must sleep and the knots of Morpheus are tying up my grey matter now."

When he awoke he went a stalkin'. He went through a dark, mysterious paddock, with foetid trails of his own hygiene trailing around him. Vegetation, overgrowth, thickets abounded in the vesper-like trail. A carcass awaited him. He walked through desolate tracts of varicolored dismality. He emitted a throaty laugh to himself and looked behind him suddenly without so much as a pulse as if he sensed someone beside him was there. Without so much as a brief pause, Tiresias thrust his way into an immediate thatch of thick woods and unattended, overgrown underbrush of thistles, sinewy nets of vines, and large high weeds.

There was a sort of opening to the place, a path blazed somewhat. Tiresias had to literally be as quiet as a silent stalker, where one simple snap of a twig could rile Man.

The night was as black and dismal as midnight in the secret recesses of some sinister deep space. Whimpers whistled through the spooky paddock.

Tiresias stopped and hunched over something in the thicket with a clearing just ahead. He appeared to cut and thrash, and saw and hew away at a bundle of lifeless bulk which lay propped sideways on the very ground. Very much deceased since God knew when, but now Tiresias was hungrily chewing at a now-separated chuck of the meat of the remains. It looked like a frail body, perhaps that of a homeless bum or such.

A young man sat not seven blocks away from Greenlawn cemetery, who was investigating the ghoul Tiresias. In fact, he was doing his thesis on the cannibalistic freak. He sat lazily on his sunken couch with cartoons blazing away noisily, eating a flaccid stale burrito as he fumbled for the tape recorder:

"I am recording: Tim Meadows here doing his thesis: The matrix of grave markers are neatly trimmed in the evanescent moonlight.

Helixes of crickets surround the paddock of mist. Silent screams bob up from cavernous graves of the recent dead. The banks of mausole- ums stand on the north end flanking a thatch of dark woods. That is where the man lies who is forever alone. For a change he is sleeping both day and night. Then perhaps he will trap himself in the brick walls for two days in a row, mouthing Gregorian chant. Yes, he is a religious man. He scribbles astral charts and makes little Christian fishes like the symbol from 1000 A.D. It is almost the millennium again.

Does that mark suffice again? Or will it be replaced by something else, something more arcane to fit these strange times?

"He lies in repose, he is thin, gaunt, with hollowed eyes and a slant of insanity about his countenance. He has no identity. Yes, he is a vast storehouse of knowledge. Is it polite to snore incessantly amongst your brethren? The dead don't argue much, he notices. His voluminous bibliothËque is filled with inscribed journals, diaries, and marginalia from a psycho. He himself is not sentient to regard himself in any manner whatsoever. So he is tabula rasa for his hubris. He is just a walking memory bank of intellectual debris. Harmless though, I am not sure. I am following him. I know who he is. I am a stranger too.

"I am a graduate student at Proteus. Hear the bell town chime out? That is my heart, all atria bleeding, gesticulating in my adventure here. The man is a formidable subject, you see.

"I first noticed him at Darwin bus station. He never speaks to anyone as far as I can tell. But that doesn't mean the Pantagruelian people do not speak to him. He is a quintessential derelict of the soul.

Copyright © 2004 M.F. Korn

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