Despite my ghoulish reputation, I really have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk.
When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, Why god? Why me? and the thundering voice of God answered, There's just something about you that pisses me off.
The best of humanity's recorded history is a creative balance between horrors endured and victories achieved, and so it was during the Harlem Renaissance.
And one thing we know is real: horror. It is so real, in fact, that we cannot be sure it could not exist without us. Yes, it needs our imaginations and our consciousness, but it does not ask or require our consent to use them. Indeed, horror operates with complete autonomy. Generating ontological havoc, it is mephitic foam upon which our lives merely float. And, all said, we must face up to it: horror is more real than we are.
[Horror fiction] shows us that the control we believe we have is purely illusory, and that every moment we teeter on chaos and oblivion.
But I know just what it feels like to have a voice in the back of my head, like a face that I hold inside, face that awakes when I close my eyes, face that watches everytime I lie, face that laughs everytime I fall. (It watches EVERYTHING) ... But the face inside is hearing me, right beneath my skin.
Sherman Reilly Duffy of the pre-World War I CHICAGO DAILY JOURNAL once told a cub reporter, 'Socially, a journalist fits in somewhere between a whore and a bartender. But spiritually he stands beside Galileo. He knows the world is round.' Well, socially I fit in just fine between the whore and the bartender. Both are close friends. And I knew the world was round. Yet, as time went by I found myself confronted with the ugly suspicion that the world was, after all, flat and that there were things dark and terrible waiting just over the edge to reach out and snatch life from the unlucky, unwary wanderer.
The truth of the matter was something much more subtle and tremendous than any plain physical miracle could ever be. But never mind that. The important thing was that, when I did see the stars (riotously darting in all directions according to the caprice of their own wild natures, yet in every movement confirming the law), the whole tangled horror that had tormented me finally presented itself to me in its truth and beautiful shape. And I knew that the first, blind stage of my childhood had ended.
The sea had jeeringly kept his finite body up, but drowned the infinite of his soul. Not drowned entirely, though. Rather carried down alive to wondrous depths, where strange shapes of the unwarped primal world glided to and fro before his passive eyes; and the miser-merman, Wisdom, revealed his hoarded heaps; and among the joyous, heartless, ever-juvenile eternities, Pip saw the multitudinous, God-omnipresent, coral insects, that out of the firmament of waters heaved the colossal orbs. He saw God’s foot upon the treadle of the loom, and spoke it; and therefore his shipmates called him mad. So man’s insanity is heaven’s sense; and wandering from all mortal reason, man comes at last to that celestial thought, which, to reason, is absurd and frantic; and weal or woe, feels then uncompromised, indifferent as his God.
Her eyes were of different colors, the left as brown as autumn, the right as gray as Atlantic wind. Both seemed alive with questions that would never be voiced, as if no words yet existed with which to frame them. She was nineteen years old, or thereabouts; her exact age was unknown. Her face was as fresh as an apple and as delicate as blossom, but a marked depression in the bones beneath her left eye gave her features a disturbing asymmetry. Her mouth never curved into a smile. God, it seemed, had withheld that possibility, as surely as from a blind man the power of sight. He had withheld much else. Amparo was touched—by genius, by madness, by the Devil, or by a conspiracy of all these and more. She took no sacraments and appeared incapable of prayer. She had a horror of clocks and mirrors. By her own account she spoke with Angels and could hear the thoughts of animals and trees. She was passionately kind to all living things. She was a beam of starlight trapped in flesh and awaiting only the moment when it would continue on its journey into forever.” (p.33)
Why did I, like thousands of others, have to carry a cross I hadn't chosen, a cross which was not made for my shoulders and which didn't concern me? Who decided to come rummaging around in my obscure existence, invade my gray anonymity, my meager tranquility, and bowl me like a little ball in a great game of skittles? God? Well, in that case, if He exists, if He really exists, let Him hide His face. Let Him put His two hands on His head, and let Him bow down. It may be, as Peiper used to teach us, that many men are unworthy of Him, but now I know that He, too, is unworthy of most of us, and that if the creature is capable of producing horror, it's solely because his Creator has slipped him the recipe for it.
There are people in the world, who are just wrong, and then there are the masses of population that are right, or at the very least they lie in the veil of between. I on the other hand, do not belong to any group. I don’t exist. It’s not that I don’t have substance; I have a body like everyone else. I can feel the fire when it burns against my skin, the rain when it caresses my face and the breeze as it fingers my hair. I have all the senses that other people do. I am just empty, inside.
A lizard brain fired the gun that wounded you, but it was the combination of three brains that orchestrated the elaborate circumstances in which the trigger was pulled. Way back when, the Landlord believed a second brain would endow some of his lower life forms with the capacity for emotional connections. By adding the third brain, he probably planned on having his... higher forms empowered with the ability to not only think before acting, but to feel regret afterwards when their actions were wrong. But that’s not what happened, is it?
I Hear the sledges with the bells - Silver bells! What a world of merriment their melody foretells! How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night! While the stars that oversprinkle All the heavens, seem to twinkle With a crystalline delight; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells From the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells - From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells. II Hear the mellow wedding bells - Golden bells! What a world of happiness their harmony foretells! Through the balmy air of night How they ring out their delight! - From the molten - golden notes, And all in tune, What a liquid ditty floats To the turtle - dove that listens, while she gloats On the moon! Oh, from out the sounding cells, What a gush of euphony voluminously wells! How it swells! How it dwells On the Future! - how it tells Of the rapture that impels To the swinging and the ringing Of the bells, bells, bells - Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells - To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells! III Hear the loud alarum bells - Brazen bells! What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! In the startled ear of night How they scream out their affright! Too much horrified to speak, They can only shriek, shriek, Out of tune, In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire, In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire, Leaping higher, higher, higher, With a desperate desire, And a resolute endeavor Now - now to sit, or never, By the side of the pale - faced moon. Oh, the bells, bells, bells! What a tale their terror tells Of Despair! How they clang, and clash and roar! What a horror they outpour On the bosom of the palpitating air! Yet the ear, it fully knows, By the twanging, And the clanging, How the danger ebbs and flows; Yet the ear distinctly tells, In the jangling, And the wrangling, How the danger sinks and swells, By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells - Of the bells - Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells - In the clamor and the clanging of the bells! IV Hear the tolling of the bells - Iron bells! What a world of solemn thought their monody compels! In the silence of the night, How we shiver with affright At the melancholy menace of their tone! For every sound that floats From the rust within their throats Is a groan. And the people - ah, the people - They that dwell up in the steeple, All alone, And who, tolling, tolling, tolling, In that muffled monotone, Feel a glory in so rolling On the human heart a stone - They are neither man nor woman - They are neither brute nor human - They are Ghouls: - And their king it is who tolls: - And he rolls, rolls, rolls, Rolls A paean from the bells! And his merry bosom swells With the paean of the bells! And he dances, and he yells; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the paean of the bells: - Of the bells: Keeping time, time, time In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the throbbing of the bells - Of the bells, bells, bells: - To the sobbing of the bells: - Keeping time, time, time, As he knells, knells, knells, In a happy Runic rhyme, To the rolling of the bells - Of the bells, bells, bells - To the tolling of the bells - Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells, - To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.
They that be born in the strength of youth are of one fashion, and they that are born in the time of age, when the womb fail, are otherwise.
Seeing thou hast now given me the way, I will proceed to speak before thee: for our mother, of whom thou hast told me that she is young, draw now nigh unto age.
Like as a young child may not bring forth the things that belong to the aged, even so have I disposed the world which I created.
Consider with thyself; as the rain is more than the drops, and as the fire is greater than the smoke; but the drops and the smoke remain behind: so the quantity which is past did more exceed.
As for the tokens whereof thou ask me, I may tell thee of them in part: but as touching thy life, I am not sent to shew thee.
If the most High grant thee to live, thou shall see after the third trumpet that the sun shall suddenly shine again in the night, and the moon thrice in the day:
He shall rule, whom they look not for that dwell upon the earth, and the fowls shall take their flight away together:
The Sodomy sea shall cast out fish, and make a noise in the night, which many have not known: but they shall all hear the voice thereof.
There shall be confusion also in many places, and the fire shall be oft sent out again, and the wild beasts shall change their places, and menstruate women shall bring forth monsters:
Salt waters shall be found in the sweet, and all friends shall destroy one another; then shall wit hide itself, and understanding withdraw itself into his secret chamber-
One land also shall ask another, and say, ‘Is righteousness that makes a man righteous gone through thee?’ And it shall say, ‘No.
At the same time shall men hope, but nothing obtain: they shall labor, but their ways shall not prosper.
To shew thee such tokens I have leave; and if thou wilt pray again, and weep as now, and fast even days, thou shall hear yet greater things.