Archive for March, 2015

I believe I have previously mentioned that certain albums/bands remind me of the foods I was consuming when I first received their sonic magic into my ear drums. Well, the “shock rocker” Marilyn Manson will always remind me of meatloaf. My mother made it for me when I first discovered his eat me drink me album through his MySpace page. It never ceases to amaze me how fitting that is….meatloaf and Marilyn Manson. This is because, no matter what your opinion of his controversial band may be, it cannot be denied that it consists of SUBSTANCE, RICHNESS, MEAT (the obvious depth of his lyrics and imagery as well as a disgusting incident with a fan that he recalled in his autobiography), LIFE, SACRIFICE, and blood. This probably sounds silly so I may as well move on to the review itself (but not before explaining one more thing about the meat/Manson connection, also found in his autobiography: a quote placed directly before chapter 13 by Roland Barthes: steak is at the heart of meat, it is meat in its purest state; and whoever partakes of it assimilates a bull like strength. The prestige of steak evidently derives from its quasi-rawness. In it, blood is visible, natural, dense, at once compact and section. One can well imagine the ambrosia of the ancients as this kind of heavy substance which dwindles under one’s teeth in such a way as to make one keenly aware at the same time of its original strength and of its aptitude to flow into the very blood of man). Anyway, if you are still reading this, then you are most likely a fan of Marilyn Manson, and most of you would agree with me that the highlight of the groups career was between his very first record  and his sixth(the golden age of grotesque). Many believe that he became “calm” after golden age due to the change in his lyrics from the point of view of an irredeemable monster to a human being full of regret. I myself did not mind this soft side at all, as eat me drink, the album following golden age, is the one I enjoy the most(holy wood is the most well made, but I just like eat me drink me more). But fans were given a taste of the old psychotic Marilyn Manson in his album released before the pale emperor, born villain, which sounded like a blend of antichrist superstar and mechanical animals. Well, for those of you seeking out “hardcore”, this newest album only has one song that can be considered heavy in my opinion (deep six). But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t over the top, vicious, and nasty like his earlier works. It’s got everything that made us love Manson in the first place, but with a new twist: blues rock. Yes, Marilyn Manson has become a blues band, from the guitars to the drums to the vocals. And it sounds amazing. Think about it…rock and roll originally began with the blues anyway. So what Manson has done with this record is, as usual, quite intelligent. But what many fail to realize is that although mr warner(Manson Himself) is the primary factor of the band’s imagery and success, most of the songs were written musically by his band mates. In the past, twiggy ramirez(real name jeordie white) has written some of the coolest bass grooves and guitar licks of rock and roll, but this time around the music was composed by Tyler bates, writer of the score to the new guardians of the Galaxy film. I have yet to see this movie, but from his jangly guitar riffs and funky basslines in the pale emperor it is obvious that he is a very talented musician. As for Manson himself, his blues infused voice has never sounded better. It is still very eery and the lyrics are of course loaded with violence, profanity, and negativity, but the way he sings against the awesome sounding instruments provides for a surpringly upbeat rock record. This isn’t the old Marilyn Manson, but I believe diehard fans will still find it to be a good listen. Critics love it, calling it the best album produced by Manson in over a decade, and I have to agree with them. But I will go a step further. Eat me drink me is still my favorite, but the pale emperor is actually a very close second; even better than holy wood and mechanical animals. And, if you are a Manson fan, you know that that is a huge deal. Very huge. Long live the real king of rock. Ten out of ten stars

“You said they were vegetarians.” “Pardon?” “You said they were vegetarians. That isn’t true. I watched them eating their young.” I began this conversation with the cow after I had awoken to find myself being carried on his back. Surprisingly, I felt no pain from the kick he had inflicted earlier. It was very dark. Moonlight stabbed through the branches above, taunting me with its beauty. This caused me to remember that I had been dreaming about a beautiful woman during my cow induced sleep. I loved her hair…silky, golden, and mesmerizing. It was to my enjoyment that I remembered her because she took my mind off of the horrors I had faced previously and that I would probably have to endure again in more dreadful, terrifying ways. Still, the dream was like a blur, for I could not envision her fully upon awakening. I had only caught a fleeting glimpse of what I would later come to find was the most utterly real and beautiful thing in existence. Was she from my past? Did I even HAVE a past before waking up in this world? Could I ever see her face to face? But it was hard to find solace in thinking about her, because the cow I was with knew things, things of this world, and I didn’t, so I just had to talk to him. He hadn’t answered my question, so I asked again. “Cow, they’re not vegetarians. I saw them…” “Address me as STEER, Young creature. Or, if you do prefer, SIR. I am much older and wiser than you. Every creature of this world is older than you. Centuries old. Though, none of us really know how to explain it….oh silly me, I’m rambling on like a common horse. You want me to tell you if the fairies? They are a dreadful annoyance; everytime someone new comes along, they have to frighten them. They are not evil or even formidable in the least bit. That, young man, was the fairies feasting on their own bodies…why so shocked? Your face is sickly pale…well, they don’t like eating anything else with blood filled veins, and their wounds recover instantly when inflicted upon themselves. Their main diet is fruit and leaves, but eating themselves allows them to live forever. Most boring creatures, all controlled by one simple mind and vocabulary…” “Why is nothing here normal?!?!? Cows talking?!?!? Creatures that eat their own flesh?!?!?! A suit of armor that is somehow alive?!?!? Tell me now or I’ll slice you with my sword, I swear…” The cow simply laughed at my interruption. I was in horror, and this creature who acted as if he was my helper didn’t even give me pity. He replied, with a look of self righteous satisfaction on his face. “You cannot harm me, silly one. I am s noble servant of the Alpha, as are you, and I know that each of our brains are too large to permit us such stupidity. And what, exactly, is normal?” I could not answer him. “As I had thought. Cut me with your sword indeed! Even if you truly wanted to, I am much faster than you, and…” I rolled off of his back and kicked him hard in the face. Vengeance was mine. I didn’t care to know how he could help me any longer. His assumed authority over me(that’s how he seemed anyway) was unbearable. I ran off laughing as he howled with pain. Yes, it did sound very much like a MOO and it was hilarious. “COME BACK HERE YOY FILTHY COWARD!!!” He began to chase me with astonishing speed. I continued to race off into the jungle, wanting to look back but not daring to do it….and then I tripped. I could hear him calling for me from behind. I waited for a laugh or another fearsome kick from his hoof, but neither came. As he approached me, I turned to face him and saw a look of what seemed to be fear upon his face. “You have called Vengeance,” he gasped. “You have called it. It will be here shortly. We must make haste! Terrible mistake you have made! Terrible!” If this cow, this Steer, this sole creature I knew who had answers was frightened, I knew I should be as well. He seemed to know this world so well, acting as if he had survived for centuries grazing amongst the place. What on earth could frighten him? “We must make haste, we must make haste,” he said in a terrified whimper. “Vengeance is coming, we must make haste! Get on my back.” I climbed onto his back and held tight. He zoomed off into the jungle even faster than I had done just a few moments before. His strides shook the jungle floor, scattering birds and fairies from the trees and into the night sky. “Where are we going,” I asked. “We are going to the waterfall, the only place that can protect us from Vengeance until you are trained. What a considerable amount of mortal peril you have gotten us into….hold on tight!” We continued our race through the jungle. I had a feeling we were out of harm’s way, for nothing seemed to have been following us or anything, but then that illusion was broken. I heard a bloodcurdling roar that shook us hard enough for Steer to trip over his own feet and fall face first into a puddle. I fell off of his side and rolled down a hill. I heard him yell “Youngling!” As I tried to grab ahold of a branch, a vine, ANYTHING that could keep me from rolling further and further into this unknown called a jungle. I finally gripped a slimy toadstool protruding from the earth that didn’t even break. It held my weight and suspended me over what I now saw was the edge of an immense cliff. I began scrambling up the cliff face, hoping that whatever had produced that roar wasn’t waiting there to face me. As I pulled harder onto the toadstool to lift myself up, I saw that if was not a toadstool at all. It had two big yellow eyes perched atop its head. Slowly, it lifted up out of the ground to reveal a body covered with feathery tentacles. It made a disgusting shriek that was echoed by my own, for I was in deep fright and disgust. An evil mushroom, for pity’s sake! In this moment of fear I made a terrible mistake and let go, falling thousands of feet down, down to certain death below, down to the end of all things…….

Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for more!

-s.d.

This is part of chapter one: I awoke. I had no recollection of who I was or how I came to be here. Here, this wondrous place. A place that encircled me, no, TRAPPED me in a thick wove of trees twisted together like amalgamations of human beings and monsters. Shaking the leaves off of my body, I discovered that I was encased in something like a medieval suit of mechanical armor. As my bewildered eyes drew closer to the suit, I could see that it wasn’t just mechanical. It was BIO-mechanical. What a sight! Tubes and tentacles woven together like circuitry, bright shades of green that transformed into orange as I moved, a sword literally growing out of my right arm as a hand; and, on the ground beside me, there was a spiked helmet. Could I have been a demon? For this looked to me more like a suit fit for the walking dead than for a hero. My shock at my lack of memory was quickly extinguished, for in this suit I felt purpose, longing, and adventure. The land around me was the most extraordinarily beautiful thing I had ever seen; though apparently it was the ONLY thing I had ever seen. I didn’t even know what I looked like in full, having not seen my own reflection. I had, for lack of better words, simply been born. Created. Purposeful. Though, I did not know what my purpose was yet. So I decided to search for it. I reached down for my helmet and put it on. The spiky helmet felt cold upon my face. It felt unbearably uncomfortable, but as I tried to remove it, sinewy tentacles like those of an octopus shot out and connected to my suit. Once the connection was made, my body felt an intense shock and i convulsed violently. The excruciating pain was short lived. I suddenly felt a surge of power, but of a good sort. Oh was it good! I felt complete, as if a painting could feel satisfied once finished. I was a work of art. My suit of armor felt more like a part of my own body than an actual suit. As I said earlier, it was bio-mechanical, a perfect marriage of living flesh and computerized metal. Perhaps a better description would be living metal and living flesh strung together like fabric, for it did indeed have parts that resembled string or yarn, though they were hard and cold. But, as I touched them, they changed to soft, blanket soft; a transformation just as eerily quick as my colors. I didn’t merely feel it’s softness with my hands; my shell felt the change as well. Yes, this armor was a shell. The closest analogy I can think of is that I was a tortoise, my hard suit shielding me from danger. But why it became soft when I touched it, how I could feel it’s changes, how I could feel the air breezing upon it, how I could not get out of it (though that was certainly not something I desired), and what sort of danger it was there to protect me from, I knew not. I stumbled around the jungle, weeds twisting onto my feet as if they did not wish me to go on. I resisted them however and continued. I heard no sound other than the earth crushing under my feet, like I was some sort of lumbering monster, or perhaps Paul Bunyan. How I know that name and his story, I have no clue. It seemed as though I remembered it by instinct, as well as all of the normality of my environment. The smell of trees, the breeze of silent wind, and the taste of the air all seemed familiar. It doesn’t make sense, I know, but it is the truth: a man without memory feeling as though he knew everything about his surroundings, just not himself. Also knowing language, as well as scenarios (and certain words) that I would soon come to find are virtually non-existent in this place. I must have come from someplace else. I spoke of normality, but this jungle was far from normal; far from the normal I somehow knew of. It was much too serene, as if nothing but plants existed; and after I had walked perhaps twenty yards I discovered a large puddle that did something strange, though strange seems to be the norm in this world. I noticed that there was much wind(silent wind, mind you), but as it tossed the leaves about the ground, it did not ripple the water whatsoever. It simply stayed calm. I wondered if it was perhaps frozen and somehow only LOOKED liquid(this was a silly thought, for the air was warm), so I knelt down to touch it. To my surprise, my hand sunk within it normally. The water could be disturbed by my hand, by life, but not by wind. Somehow, I knew that it could only be penetrated by living things(I would experience many more strange occurences of intuition later on). I tested my theory by dropping a stone into the clear water. It bounced, no, it SHOT off of the water as if it had been dropped on an unusually bouncy trampoline. The rock zoomed straight up into the sky, and I did not see it return to earth. I began to feel thirsty, so I scooped some water into my hand and brought it to my mouth; but I had forgotten that my helmet was on, so I felt the cold liquid just run off of my metallic face. Cold, cold, cold! I shuddered in freezing amazement that the water was so cold in such a warm place. I was in a most upsetting circumstance. The helmet would not come off, so I was unable to quench my thirst. Would I never eat or drink? I didn’t let this bother me too much, for I was confident and would not let fear touch me. still, I had to try. As I felt around the back of the helmet, I noticed that my reflection in the puddle was simply stunning. I looked demonic and terrifying. This didn’t bother me either, for I was determined to go through with the current task of helmet removal. My hand quickly located something like a button near the back of my neck and pushed it. To my relief and excitement, I heard a hissing stream of gas, and then the tentacles disconnected. I removed the helmet,began to drink, and peered down at the reflection of my true face. I had brown hair and brown eyes, distinguished eyebrows, a small nose, small ears, and big lips, which smacked together in a funny fashion as I drank. The water trickled down my throat and made me feel euphoric. This good feeling, however, disappeared within seconds of its arrival. Without the helmet, I immediately began to feel afraid, incomplete, and unfinished. I then seemed to have had a vision(I thought in that moment that it was only from fear) of multi legged monsters twisting and roaring together. They clambered on top of each other like maggots. It felt as if the creatures were right there with me, their slimy mouths longing to sink their serrated teeth through my armor and into my soft flesh. Thankfully though, the vision died away after a few seconds. I reattached the helmet, and felt invincible once again. After I had walked aimlessly for a few hundred feet, I saw up ahead of me a group of about a dozen birds nesting on the ground. I thought that they may have been flightless, for there were certainly enough branches around for them to house their families in, but in fact, the things weren’t birds at all. As I advanced slowly, trying not to frighten them away, I noticed that they had no beaks, no feathers, and no feet. They walked upon their bat like wings in an almost reptile like fashion, though they were not sluggish at all. Graceful little creatures! I was mesmerized and entranced by their sheer uniqueness. A few of them became aware of my presence and did not seem alarmed. They stared me down with a look of boredom. But what they did next completely shattered my curious trance. Placed into a state of disgusted fear even worse than when my helmet was off, I watched as, one by one, their exotic forms all turned their heads to face me, and, with sickening unison, the things SMILED, showing off rows of bloodstained teeth. I had assumed that they had been feasting on their very young, or at least their own kind, for there within the mouths of some of them I could see reptilian forms not unlike the eaters themselves. Seeing as they were not impressed by my large form and sharp sword, I turned and ran. They began to pursue me at a surprising speed, with some circling over my head and some flying by my sides near the ground. They did not take their eyes off of me all the while. Then, to my utter horror, the beasts spoke. “Why are you here, Youngling? Lost? Scared? A bit worn and tired? Come with us, and we shall soothe your flesh with our tongues.” The tongues shot at me, like those of chameleons, and lifted me high into the air. They didn’t soften my suit, so I at least possessed some protection. How much that mattered however, I knew not, for I was being carried away by monsters that spoke in unison as if they were all directed by a single brain. My survival instinct kicked in, and I began slashing at the slimy tongues with my blade. They laughed as their tongues were severed, which of course caused me to fall. I didn’t even realize that they had already carried me as high into the air as a mountain(for I could in fact see mountains of immense height off into the distance). I fell to earth with fear, embracing the inevitable. But I did not die. I landed with powerful pain and rolled down a steep hill into a river without flow. There were beasts underwater too! These fanged, hairy brutes dragged me further and further down what seemed like an eternal depth. Then, I was lifted back onto dry land by the long tongues of the flying ones. They surrounded me, leaving me with no chance of escape. This all happened so fast! Their cruel voice then spoke to me once more. “WANNA show us some gratitude? We rescued you from the water sprites! They would have ripped your body into little shreds if we hadn’t kept our chase.” With intense, hopeless, fearful, and burning anger, I replied to them for the first time. “Who are you? What do you want from me?” “We are fairies, though you may call us LEGION, for we are many.” At this they all howled with laughter. “We don’t want to hurt you, silly thing. Just give you a tour around our jungle. You ARE the one the neighborhood speaks of, are you not?” Still fearful, I told them I had no idea who I was or why I was here. Their humor was most distasteful. “Stupid creature,” they chuckled. “Not knowing your own destiny, your own worth. You will learn soon enough the rules of this jungle….OH stop with your cowardice, you fool! We wouldn’t eat you. Anyone who can save HER is a friend of ours. She loves us and we love her.” A new voice bellowed out of nowhere. “Come now, Annoyance. You know you wouldn’t hurt this man, for you are nothing but playful vegetarians. Why must you frighten him? You always play with new arrivals; but I believe this one is no fool. His helmet connected. He is the one. And do please refrain from calling yourselves LEGION. You are far from demonic.” At this, they fell silent, having a look of spoiled fun upon their scaly faces. The newcomer who silenced them was a cow. His eyes however looked more like the eyes of a man, full of wisdom and life. He had a black body with orange stripes across his back. “How do you do friend? I am Steer, noble servant of the Alpha. I trust you are weary. Here, have a treat.” The cow nudged a small bag of colorful candies towards me with his hoof. “What you gonna do cow,” cackled the fairies in a mocking tone. “STEER him in the right direction? Why, you don’t even possess horns! Look at that belly! UTTERLY unacceptable; UTTERLY feminine. The male with mammary glands! UTTERLY, UTTERLY, UTTERLY! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!” I laughed as well, and then looked to the cow, expecting shame and embarrassment to be on his face. Well, I was mistaken. The cow went mad. “YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS HERE! Though you saved him, all you continue to do is attempt to frighten and discourage him! Leave now at once!” “Gooooood grief, old heifer can’t take a joke.” With this, the fairies flew off into what was beginning to look like a sunset. It caught my eye and gave me brief comfort, for it distracted me from the fact that I was speaking with a fluent cow. He nudged me and said, “eat. It will help you recover from that nasty fall.” I was impatient, tired, frightened, doubtful, and on the verge of losing my sanity. So I lost my temper with steer and screamed at him; asking who I was, why I was here, and how the hell am ugly cow could talk. His reaction taught me one thing…you cannot lose your temper in this world, especially with a cow. Apparently, they don’t take insults very well, for once the words left my mouth he lifted his front hooves and kicked me square in the jaw with such a force that I felt my helmet nearly crack. As I began fading out of consciousness, he stopped over me and whispered in my ear. “I cannot tell you who you are or why you are here. My lips are unfit to speak such noble words. But I can take you to one who can give you the answers. And I am not ugly, you hoof lacking, hairless monkey!” And then everything went black.

Thank you for reading! I shall post chapters two and three on here in the near future for everyone to read. Then, once the chapters have been seen by enough people, I shall post a link to sell the rest of the novel in its entirety. Feedback is very much appreciated!

-Shane