David Stevens

Posts Tagged ‘vampire’

How the Australian Cricket team could FEED THE WORLD

In Uncategorized on February 28, 2017 at 9:05 pm

I dream of an ink vampire, draining chinese ideograms, celtic crosses, pictures of dogs, MOM, southern crosses, rebel flags, big boobed naked girls, meaningless epigrams, fanned cards, LOVE, band names, HATE, gothic script, military insignia, stupid lyrics, astrological signs, hula dancers, horned devils, feathered chiefs, bible quotes, affirmations, garish sleeves.  How it thrives now, after years of sustaining itself only on sailors, convicts, military personnel and bikies.  It has added hipsters and wannabes, footballers and cricket captains to its food supply.  All the skinny Zooey Deschanels of the world, not much blood, but lots of ink.  Spread the disease, so that the hungry may feed on the hipster inksters.  Share the plague, disseminate it throughout the world, so that the hungry hordes may rise up, then descend.  How they scream, the victims when they awake, searching their bodies for their specially chosen design, but finding only a faint outline left.  “Do you know how much that cost me?”  A small child wipes its mouth, hunger sated for the first time.  INK!  MORE!

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Most hits …

In Uncategorized on July 19, 2014 at 6:30 am

Thanks to Jonathan L Howards tweeting for the most hits ever here:

Next covers the books get, I want on the backs: “Warning: Contains High Levels of Smart Arsery”

Happy to be of service, especially when one considers the ways people are usually of service to his character, Herr Cabal. If you haven’t read him yet, start with Johannes Cabal the Necromancer. And if you haven’t listened to Devo, what is wrong with you?

Toil is stupid

A spud’s work is never done.

Speaking of Necromancers, though not Herr Cabal. I had to flee to the upper floor of a branch of the American Book Centre (my spelling, not theirs) in the Netherlands, as the ground floor was being dominated by the extremely loud voice of a dishevelled mother choosing to share every thought fart she might have with the rest of the store. ‘Look at the cover, Bobby, this is not suitable for a 12 year old. Necromancer? What’s a necromancer? “A powerful wizard raising the dead to help him …” That is just not suitable Bobby.’ ‘You said I could have a book, Mom.’ (His spelling, not mine.) ‘This is not suitable, Bobby. No, we will have to go home and google this author on line.’ ‘But Cindy got a book.’ ‘We need to google Bobby. Look at this, it is not suitable for a 12 year old. Its about necromancy.’ And on it went, until they reached the counter, where she said to the assistant, ‘My son wants this book and it is just not suitable for a 12 year old, look at the lurid cover, its about a necromancer.’

‘I would have read that when I was 12, and I would have loved it.’

A pause. Everyone in the store mentally applauded (well, me and my 19 year old at least, I checked with her later).

‘But we’re from the States.’

(As was the book. And a good portion of the other people in the store.)

It can be difficult for all parents. I didn’t object to the lady’s plight, or her desire to research further, it was the noise and the assumption that everyone agreed with her. (And the fact that Bobby was missing out on a promised book, especially when Cindy had hers.  Marcia was asleep in a sling around her mother’s neck. Names have been changed to protect my bad memory.) There were no ‘Young Adult’ books when I was a young person. I can recall many days in the school library, where we would move from John Christopher’s Tripod books straight to a Pan Book of Horror where a slasher was slicing  prostitutes wide with a can opener. Literary works were not of much interest to us, so we went from ‘The Weirdstone of Brisingamen’ to thrillers and the latest bestsellers such as ‘The Andromeda Strain’ and ‘Jaws’. I deliberately did not read ‘The Lord of the Rings’ because of the other people who read it at school, and I suspect I would have been the same with Harry Potter if he existed then. The 70s blockbusters I read were definitely not age appropriate, though many of them were childish in so many ways. As a father I empathise with the lady in the store, but the fact is, there is much wider range of age appropriate material, about things kids are actually interested in. And as a 12 year old, I would have gobbled up books about necromancers too, if there were such things then. (My great love was vampires, but I can recall only a handful of books I found worth reading in those days – Dracula, Salems Lot, and I am Legend – and I am still happy to re-read those. As a boy, I would not have approved of sparkly vampires or paranormal romance, and while I would not encourage anyone to read such things, neither would I deny them, they are just not, and never were, things that interest me.)

I am happy when my children read, I am happier when they talk about their reading with me and discuss the things they like and don’t, and I am happiest when they stop reading in order to write, whether stories, songs, fan fiction, poetry, blogs, whatever.

School camp

In Uncategorized on February 28, 2014 at 7:31 am

The school camp was held in another universe. The cabin was small but the huge moon pouring through the window swelled it with liquid light. I could not sleep with the drilling of mosquitoes. I could not sleep this far from home. I had to lie in the tedium, desperate for the hours to pass. With no reference, I could not tell what time it was.

The night before, the only one still awake in a room of snoring boys, I had kneeled in my bed looking out the window, hanging out of my sleeping bag, a towel draped round my shoulders in an attempt to further block the mosquitoes. It had seemed like a good idea at the time. I prayed for sleep. I thought of my family. I said to myself that this too would pass.

In the morning, it started. ”What were you doing at the window?” I could not think of an answer quickly enough, so Kevin answered for me. ”Tossing off, I bet.” Ha ha. Ha ha. Ha haaahaaa. I ignored it, went off somewhere else in my brain while I spooned at the weetbix made with hot water. Mum made mine with hot milk at home. And honey. And sometimes chopped banana. To me, this was like pouring orange juice on cornflakes for a lactose intolerant kid – it might do, but who would want it? ”What were you doing brushing your teeth?” ”What were you doing wearing a hat?” ”What were you doing riding a bike?” ”Why did the chicken cross the road?” . Kevin’s answer would always be “having a wank” or “pullin’ his pud”, and the donkey chorus would erupt. Wheat shreds braying through teeth and braces. The repartee of boys. He wasn’t even in our cabin.

I had thought the silence meant they all slept. It just meant that the fear of Mr Palmer, lying in the corner, was more powerful than I realised. They were all watching, all of the time.

It was unbearable. I ached with the tiredness. I wanted to scream, but I did not want to go through the rest of my school years known as the screamer. The loony who broke down at camp. Let someone else scream first. Of course they were not as sensitive as me.

The idea came to me, and I was calmed. I could test the universe. If I fell asleep, I would not do this thing that I had thought. I could not do it immediately, it would need to wait until the depth of night, to be sure the others were sleeping. If I nodded off, then it would not come to pass. Good. if the idea came from God, then I would know whether He wanted me to do it or not by whether He granted me sleep or not. Fair enough.

I counted sheep. They started off as white, strong merinos. As I got into the high hundreds, they were leaner, scrawnier, meaner looking. Their faces were more canine. Sometimes the dingoes didn’t just kill sheep, I figured, picturing the genetic mingling. I was nearly asleep, but the nocturnal sounds of wombats kept bringing my consciousness back to the surface.

Finally, when the sheep were all mangy curs and jackals, snapping at each other and refusing to leap the gate, I stopped counting and realised I was standing up. With the room flooded, I could float through it. I drifted to the corner where the games equipment had been tossed. I had seen it before going to bed. A loose cricket stump, slipped from the kit, lying there. The cricket pitch was tough here, grassless with the endless drought, and the spikes of the stumps were all sheathed in metal, the easier to knock them into the earth.

I picked it up and let the current carry me. It was no surprise that I found myself next to Adolf’s bed. Even then, I knew him for what he was. I had no doubt of his evil. I stood there a long time. I was not wavering. I just wanted to be in the moment, to be fully aware of what was happening. From an early age, I did not want to simply stumble through life as a mindless sleep walker.

I had waited long enough. I raised the stump with two hands above me (thinking, if I could see this, I would look like a pyjama-ed Druid), gripped it hard, and thrust down. The metal tip pierced, and I leaned in, pushing down, forcing it with all of the weight of my body.

The stump made a shucking sound as it entered Adolf’s chest, and I felt the resistance of bone and flesh. I kept pushing, and would swear I felt the wiggle as it pushed between ribs, the final scrape against his spine.

I felt nothing. I stood back and looked. Clear in the moonlight, the stump was buried in his chest. Nothing momentous. No blood fountain, no demon scream, no flash burn to ash. Not for Adolf the instant dissolution of the centuries delayed death of the vampire.

After a few minutes, I returned to my bed. I had no thought for consequences. I felt annoyed that really, nothing had happened. It was only after I had laid there a long time that I realised that I had staked one of my school mates, and that this was no small thing. I could not have done it. It must be a dream. It could not be real.

I had to look. As I raised my head, Adolf snored and rolled in his bed. There was a drawn out vacuum suck as gravity slowly dragged the wood from meat, and I looked about in horror, sure that everyone would hear it, certain all eyes would turn to the noise. The noise ended, and I rested relieved, until I heard the crack as the stump crashed to the wooden floor.

No one reacted. No one heard. They were all fast asleep.

I got out of bed, not floating this time, more grounded. I knew the solution. Shoes in hand, I snuck past Palmer.

The sun rises early in summer here, and dawn was starting. I would have to be quick. Yes, the axe was sticking out of the wood pile. It was not much effort for me to pull it out of the log, and I was on my way. You have to pick the appropriate weapon when fighting monsters. Adolf was something foul, but he was no vampire. A stake through the heart was not going to deal with him. I would have to put a lot more thought into it. But I was pretty sure an axe through the head would fix Kevin.

His cabin was across the path from mine. I began to run, when I heard the yell.

“BOY! What the fuck do you think you are doing?”

Old Palmer was awake. (I wonder whatever happened to him.)

“Nothing sir.”

“Then put down that axe and get back to fucking bed!”

“Yes sir.”

I was much wearier that morning when I sat down to breakfast, bowl of slop in front of me. Then it appeared, slipped straight in front of me. Crispy bacon on toast, a dab of scrambled eggs, a spoonful of baked beans. I looked up. It was Adolf, feeding me from his personal supply, sharing the bounty that was magically served to him each morning.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“Benito” I replied, finding it hard to meet his eye.

“Benito.” He stared hard. ”I hadn’t noticed you before. Benito, you and me. We’re going places.”

And so it began.

I, (and the) Vampire (Hunter): Creature Feature

In Uncategorized on September 29, 2013 at 12:57 am

I suspect he must have made his way into dream at some stage, for me to feel about him the way I did, though I have no memory of the dream itself.  It would not surprise me.  My parents recall that I ended up in their bed in the middle of the night after being terrified by a man dressed in a hairy suit on an episode of ‘Lost in Space’.

I remember seeing him interact with humans.  It was during a fund raising telethon, no doubt for a children’s hospital, and there he was on a lounge with other habitues of TV land (I don’t know how else to describe them, we did not have celebrities in those days, and in my head, the world of television was separate from but equal to the mundane world).  “He’s with other people”, I said to my father.  He was puzzled.  Years later, I understand Dad had no perception of how seriously weird my understanding of the world was, the bizarre conglomeration that no doubt all kids make of the bits of information provided to them*.  [For instance, Commander Strongarm.  He presented the morning cartoons on one channel.  The conceit was that he did this from an orbiting space station.  As I understood it, he arrived at work on time every Monday morning, then departed after the final cartoon on Friday.  Did I entertain the possibility that this was true?]

Perhaps it is not true that I have no memory of the dream.  Writing this, aspects of it rise.  A serious young man, sitting down, unfazed while about him great evils are committed.  Though he does nothing, somehow he is complicit, his presence facilitative in some way.  The age I was, and remembering other dreams, the great evil would have included harm to my mother and father.  And yet, no one did a thing about him.

The young man was Deadly Earnest, who presented weekly horror movies on television (a la Roddy McDowell’s Peter Vincent in the original ‘Fright Night’).  It was bad enough that he had his own world to which the rest of us were exposed each Saturday night, but here he was on a lounge chair chatting with other people, and they were laughing at him.  Didn’t anyone know?  Was this allowed?  Somehow he had leached out of his own place, and was spreading to other domains.

Knowing my parents, it cannot have been that they would deliberately have allowed me to see the introduction to Creature Feature or whatever it was called, at that young age.  Perhaps we had had visitors and for some reason the TV had been left on, unsupervised.  Sometimes i was up late when a sibling had a fever.  My father was a shift worker, and there were times when I could not sleep and I would sit with my mother.  For whatever reason, I saw Deadly Earnest.

Why write all of this?  I wanted to record one of my earliest memories.  I can remember being afraid in my bed.  i can remember some form of dissonance, that this person was allowed to be, to persist, was even encouraged by others, despite being associated with great evil.  Anxiety grew within, and I tossed, uneasy in my bed.  I can remember the feeling of growing fear and great stress.  Then all was better.  I was calm.  For I had made a decision.  I would murder Deadly Earnest.  I would remove him from the world, and all would be better.  I felt relieved, and sleep soon followed, the long, deep sleep of the innocent.

No wonder that (some) years later, I readily fell into the thrall of the vampire hunter.

*Perhaps I had been frightened and he had tried to reassure me at the time that he was only on TV, that he could not get out, he was just on that show, and yet there he was TALKING TO OTHER PEOPLE AND THEY WERE TALKING TO HIM

Here he is, the unscariest thing you will ever see.  But then, I understand there are even people who like clowns.