Theme VII: Supernatural, “Sanguine Stockholm”

By Nikolas Reda-Castelao

There was a young man, let us call him “Notme,” who is staring at a mirror. It was a mirror born out of squalor, the kind found on the street with detritus of civilization shuffling about it. It was the kind with little chips in it and the framing has a plumage of splinters waiting for you to make a stupid move so it could draw your blood and laugh at you about it. That kind of mirror.

And behind this young man was a monster. Not the Grimm fairy tale or the televised pop culture Del Toro “still manageable enough to enjoy some popcorn to”. It was a wretched audacious affront to all creation. It was a shadowy and floating recluse. It had a world of eyes about it, protruding and ever so intruding, staring down the infinitesimal scope inside Notme’s earholes into his eardrums banging out war rhythms and dirges and all sorts of melancholy affairs. These eyes crack addicts, as in they were addicted to the cracks in them, never sleeping and never blinking and they loved that they were constantly fixated on this one person. It had teeth, what awful circulating saw jagged monstrous teeth it had on the back of its front. Notme, so he couldn’t hear or see the mouth speaking, but it was there and if he were to claim “aha, I see you!” he would be snatched up and eaten by it. It wanted to eat him. It wanted to eat him whole. The front mouth, the small demure motherfucker mouth, it fed him little lies. Regurgitating like a motherbird to its twisted dying child, trying to console it that, no, it wasn’t twisted at all. And then there were the appendages, these lengthy lashing large livid lacerating things I guess we could tentacles with little hooks on the end.

The monster hated him. Notme hated the monster. The monster wanted to eat him. Notme wanted the monster to die.

But he didn’t how to kill the monster, because he only saw it when he saw himself.

So, maybe, he needed to break this mirror. Maybe he needed to bleed and curse the monster. He shoots for the mirror with his fist, badly made, and shatters a piece of it. He screams at it

“MOTHERFUCKERMOTHERFUCKERMOTHERMOTHERFUCKERFUCKFUCKGOD!”

Tears like god-damned pouring showers, as the monsters grabs his arms and crashes them into his head.

CRASH! into the temple! It’s blue now! He’s dizzy! He doesn’t stop! It goes again, and again, again, again, again, again, again, again, again, again, again-GODDAMIT!!- and it won’t stop until he’s on the floor gasping for consciousness and trying to stay sober-teared. Sober-minded of a temple that had been desecrated by the death wish of a child with a monster following him everywhere.

Do you see this thing?! It’s so fucking ugly!

It scares him. It scares other people when he describes it to them, and they turn away and say they can’t help him with that, that he has to stop it himself. Did you see when it grabbed his hand and made beautiful artsy expressionist etchings on his stomach with a knife, how edgy!

The monster says to him, “let’s take your hands and make dirges and symphonies of your hands smashing on the keys and call it ‘pain’ and then write your name ‘genius’. Let’s make a Jackson Pollock out of the blood you’re shedding from yourself, and then the tears will give it chiaroscuro and it becomes Rembrandt and then you faint and fall face first and now it’s post-modern!”

Then the monster, when he’s on the floor, crying and gasping for consciousness, will hug him. He will embrace him. Because he can’t let him die. He wants him so badly. He is so jealous that he tells him that he’s too good for everyone, that no one loves him. That only he loves him. This beautiful monster, cooing and hushing the crying Notme.
Notme only knows how to be intimate with the monster that follows him everywhere but only appears in the mirror that he found among the detritus of a sad society. The fucking mirror is broken, because he was a fuck that tried to break it and his hands are useless now. He only sees pieces of himself now.

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