|This comic is a needless parody of last Friday's xkcd.|
"Re' on white makes fer a lovely bride, don' ya think darlin'?" my voice was thick with malice while hot tears trickled down my pale face. It was something he had said to me when he took me our 'wedding' night, when he was pretending to be a husband.
Murder, death, the very end of existence. Is it some black hole or a white light? Do we go peacefully and know everything is going to be fine, just fine; or is it going to be not fine...not fine at all darling? The end or the beginning...either way, it's not my problem anymore. You're not my problem anymore 'darling'. Not at all.
I mulled these thoughts over his body, my hand smeared pink with the pricks of the herb.
Standing there long enough to have the clouds pass over the sun slowly, several times; each time dimming the shack we used to share and then setting the inside vividly aflame with light, I realized it was time to finally move. Suddenly, an urge came over my insides and I briefly considered soiling his body as further insult to his person, but reconsidered that this might be an act of ownership, like an animal marking territory, and discarded the idea entirely. I wanted no connection to this...person, this waste of life and breath, any longer.
I had been fifteen when my mother arranged it. He was "above" my class, but when you're at the bottom of the caste system there's only one way to move up and that is to marry up. Jeb was up alright, always eyeing me at the pub I worked at to make ends meat. He would come in from the Fields of Discard, he was a warden around there, organized the Rabble and kept out the Riffraff that would steal ( "But who cared if you stole someone elses' garbage?" I would ask "Order!" he barked, foaming at the mouth at my insolence "ORDER. An' if ye can' ge' tha' ye might as well kill ye'self, bettern' dyin' at the hands of anarchy!" )
I used the sleeve of my dirty brown woolen tunic to wipe away the remaining emotion I had left in me and then set to figuring out how to drag his lifeless, mammoth frame out and throw it into the Fields of Discard. A refuse train would be along town any moment...I could throw him on that...it would take him and burn him and I would never look back.
Just then, a thundering noise shook the house and I fell, the huge massive vibration that was familiar and unnatural. "O God!" I gasped and put out the fire to stand in the still heated coals, quivering with fear I had not felt since childhood. They were coming again, again to rape the ground, possibly the villagers and definitely to raid their homes.
The Steel Goliaths with their razor-sharp maws and their steely necks were controlled by the government of our "kind and benevolent" leader to weed out any and all plastics, steels and any other "threat to the kingdom". Our leader...a man in the castle to the north, so far away and barely-but-still-yet-visible in the distance. A god on Mount Olympus that no one could dream of touching or even seeing. One only heard of him, they did not see him, and they only heard tales of his "kindness and benevolence". However what we experienced was far different than the tales told to us by the guards of his, the kings army, steel monsters with plastic casings and sharp needles filled with red, blue and green liquids that we were forced to be injected with ( "Or you will die!" the crooked town apothecary sputtered while ogling my breasts ).
Dust from the rafters above rained down and soot feel warmly on the back of my neck. No matter, I would not be caught and my house would not be razed (or so I kept whispering to myself). Even if it were, I was in the only thing that would remain and would not be killed. Safest place in the house right?
Not for Captain Cutthroat as of 1:41 PM
December 25th, 2008: 0413
Things were cold, then. Cold for Jack, and cold for the earth, the wind was bitter like an old man with no family and no friends. It turned his face a shade of festive blue, his lips cracking a wide smile.
Jack knew there was no room in this world for yet another poem about snow. It covered the surroundings and turned all things virgin white, pristine and so on, so forth. How many ways can one say that Winter is a time of death, hibernation, and purificiation, he pondered?
O Lord, thou art a four-faced phantom!
This face: white and flaky like canned biscuits!
Still, he felt compelled to mull over the icy landscape, the unshovelled sidewalls frozen with millions of shoe- and boot-prints. Dirty mountains of grimy snow were plowed onto the curb and left to melt on the sides of the streets. It was certainly a magnificent and beautiful Time of the Year!
O Mother, thoust nature is four-sided!
This side: chill like the store-bought Christmas ham!
Drops of ice-water fell on his head and sent shivers down his spine, as he stood outside the train station. Icicles had formed on all of the doorways and tops of windows, arcing their tendrils downward above him, menacing him. The puffy snow-filled clouds hovered overhead like bombers ready to strike. Jack needed ear-muffs.
O Father, yourst face has four hands!
This hand: turns the slowliest of all!
Short days and long nights drove Jack insane. The sun came too short, didn’t deliver on its promise of rejuvenation, and hid away from the cold dark. Doctors would just say he suffered from seasonal depression, but Jack knew better. Jack knew God hated the Cold, too—why else freeze the Earth, but to spare it the suffering?
Jack huddled for warmth, waiting for the train, and felt alone in a shared isolation, shared between him and the City. The City: she had fallen flat on her face, slipped on a patch of black ice, and didn’t want to get up only to inch forward, barely lifting her feet, in fear of falling, again. Things were cold, cold for Jack, and cold for her, too.
O Christ, mas o menos buenavista!
What ho? Ho, ho, ho, frozen peas!
(They’re even better when you’re dead!)
Well gosh, children, it's so nice to get a chance to see you all on this most special day! Oh, but I should introduce myself. You can call me...oh, I know, how about Mommy Despair? That's so cute! I'm quite proud of myself! You see, little Johnny has come back home for the holidays, bless him, and while he's busy checking his stocking, he seems to have left his laptop logged into his little website! What a silly child. I'm sure I raised him better.
Now, let's see here...oh, my, judging by this site, I think Santa must have made a mix up with all those gifts. I mean, making fun of religion, and all the profanity and allusions to deviant sexuality! Goodness me, it's a good thing I found this! I'm sure Johnny would have written some other horrible little story, and just gone and soured everyone's holiday spirit! Good thing Mommy Despair is here to keep the season bright.
Why, that reminds me. Did he ever tell you all why they call him Johnny Despair? I bet you thought he just picked it out himself, because it sounded all "punk." Oh goodness me no. He didn't pick the name at all, you see. It was... gosh, how many years ago was it? Hm. Oh, Johnny, would you get in here and help your mother out with something?
Oh, my, maybe I shouldn't have called him in. He looks livid! Oh, but he's soo cute when he's all pouty and stompy. Isn't my handsome little man just the cutest! "Ma, stop it," he says. Well maybe you should have kept your computer more secure, mister, and we wouldn't be in this boat. You know I worry about your computer, and the identity thieves and all. But anyway, do you remember how long ago it was you first got your little nickname?
Ohhh, he doesn't look mad anymore, internet peoples! "Ma, don't go there, please," he says to me. But it's such a sweet little story, and even appropriate for Christmas! Well, fine, if you won't help I'll tell it on my own. Oh no you don't, mister, hands off! On Christmas Day, you can't even give your mother, who worked and sacrificed and slaved to bring you up, put you through college, and get you the damn laptop you're trying to snatch away, you can't even give her the simple gift of being involved in her son's life? Hmmmm?
That's what I though, mister.
Anyway, it was a number of years ago, a bit before Christmas break. Little Johnny was still in grade school, and he was so excited for Christmas, as all children are. But Johnny was not exactly a popular child, I hate to admit. He would get teased and picked on. He had, well, there's not a nice way to say it, is there....he had emotional issues, you see. Took everything oh so seriously. And not just the way a child does; he'd be murderously angry over a lunchtime insult, or be shamed into silence for days over a little mistake. There's nothing wrong with being an...emotional child, of course, but it made him such an easy target for the other boys and girls. I always told him: if you stop reacting, they'll stop doing it, but did he listen to his mother? Noooooo....
Well like I said, it was a little before Christmas, and Johnny was excited. He carried his list to Santa all around with him, to remind him to be good, he told me, although I knew it was really so he could add more things as it came to him. Well, one of the other children saw him working on his list and snatched it away. The boy said something like, "Aww, little baby is working on his list for Santa. Aww, little baby don't even know that Santa ain't real!" (I'm just guessing, here, based on what Johnny told me later, of course.) And then he laughed and tore up the letter. I think he might have made it into spitballs, or made Johnny eat it, or something. I don't really recall that part. Something else mean happened, I think.
Well little Johnny was so upset, he just started bawling. I mean he would not stop! He just kept crying and crying and crying and class couldn't go on like that so they sent him to the principal's office and called me to get him. And when I got there, well, I told you he's so cute when he's pouty! I couldn't take the poor boy seriously. He was so upset, but all I could do was pinch his little cheeks and say, "Aww, what's wong wif Mommy's widdle Mistah Sadness? What's makin' her little Johnny a little Johnny Despair?"
Oh, and let me tell you, that dried those tears right up! He was so embarrassed! "Nothing!" he said, and put on his bravest little face. And that was so cute too! So I imagine I don't really need to tell you, that from then on, every time he made a little pouty face, I'd tease him, say, "Excuse me, widdle Mr. Despair, have you seen my Johnny? I swear he was just here," or something like that. Ohh, but he hated it! And, of course, eventually other mothers heard about it, and then their children did, and pretty soon everyone in the neighborhood knew all about my little Johnny Despair.
Well, I hear the neighbors at the door. We always do a little Christmas exchange, you see. They were like a second family to my little Johnny, I had to be away so often. Now, Johnny, you better not delete this. I'll be checking your little site, even if it makes me uncomfortable, and making sure this is still here. I'm your mother, goddamnit, and I won't be ignored. You know how a lot of moms say "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it?" Remember, Johnny: you may have grown up big and strong, but I have cop friends. And guns. And a whole lot of quiet woodland where you could hide almost anything.
Don't mess with me, Johnny. I am your fucking mother.
Merry Christmas all you strange little people who read my son's nasty little website!
Call your mothers.
Not for Johnny Despair, Esq. as of 11:33 AM
Okay kids, you all saw the title, but don't go freaking out now. Yeah, I'm ill, and yeah, I gotta nasty cough that maybe makes a little of the green stuff fly out when I'm tryin' to talk. It ain't no thang; your boy Johnny Despair, Esq. here ain't been contagious for weeks, and if he wasn't so under the gun trying to get his got-damned degree, he'd probably be fit as a fuckin' fiddle. But alas and alack, my speedy recovery was not meant to be. Boo hoo, for shame. Woe and fie on those foul machinations of fate what rob us all etc. etc.
Anyway, in case ya'll couldn't tell by now (and in which case, you have definitely not been paying attention. I am fairly sure I mentioned at some point you would have to try harder. Of course, I also said something about regular content, so maybe I ought to just shut my self-aggrandizing sickhole), this here is one of them filler-posts. A little somthin-somthin to let ya'll know I am (basically) alive and there will be things here as soon as I can make that be.
In the meanwhile, here's a neat little link, just so's you can't say I never gave you nothin': I been clued into this show called Ginga Nagareboshi Gin. Yes, it is an animu. The title translates roughly to "Gin the HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS DOG WHO FUCKING FIGHTS BEARS." It is old, and the translation sucks, but that honestly is helping to sell it for me. Another fun fact: no one seems to own the rights to distribute in the US, so if you felt the need to illegally obtain it, perhaps through some sort of known harbor for pirates, you wouldn't even technically be committing a crime. You know, if that sort of thing bothers you. Dunno why it would, but as a hypothetical.
Anyway, I got papers to write and mucus to forcibly expel, so I'ma cut this short. Until next time, kiddies, make sure to pour a mug of hot cider on the curb for your lost homeboy,
A certain Mr. Johnny Despair, Esq.
Stand back, boys and girls, don't get too close, and hurry up and put on the supplied face masks and sanitary gloves. It's your boy Johnny Despair, Esq. here, and he's sick, baby, sick. But not with that flash-in-the-pan swine-flu business. Hell no. That ain't no respectable kind of sickness. Nuh-uh. Your boy's got some old-school fukken' disease right here. Got some pneumonia all up in his lungs, wreckin' the place, all coughin' up gobs of boogers 'n blood and sounding like a big old pile of dyin' grandpas. Pneumonia is a real friggin' sickness. That shit killed presidents, man, at least one of 'em. I think. I may currently be hallucinating under fever. Whatever. Pneumonia is bad shit, no doubt. So, you know, not been a productive week, unless you count massive sweats and disorientation as being productive.
So, as a little gift to you (but mostly myself), I'ma link ya'll to some righteous entertainment while I'm out of commission. Now, for reasons that have nothing at all to do with a contest that he's runnin', now seems like a hell of a time to spread my deep love of Wondermark. Wondermark is a great comic. It is consistently really, really funny. David Malki! is a guy who knows how to write comics. He has put essays up on his site about this very subject, and they are also very friggin' funny. Malki! is really a guy who ought to be a much bigger force in webcomics, in my estimation: he's clever; he's handsome (raaawr); he's nice; he's productive (despite only updating the comic proper twice a week, he does regular sketches, and various essays and blogs posts means there is content basically every day); his aesthetic sense is poised to pounce upon the exposed jugular vein of the steampunk/anachro-fashion movement like a beautiful, misunderstood vampire eager to drink it dry and not even give a shit and not even be beautiful but a disfigured old monster with horrible claws and barely human anatomy because that is how my vampires role and jesus FUCK can I stop seeing Twilight ads in my fucking convalescence pretty pretty fucking please I know bitching about Twilight is now about as cool as bitching about Fox News but honestly I am sick and I do not need this shit all up in my eyes; he's all about these "beards" that the kids seem excited about these days; and he produces one of the most listenable podcasts I've ever heard, Tweet Me Harder along with Kris Straub, who is, last time I checked, a friggin' institution or something. True story about Tweet Me Harder: I once listened to it so harder, that I was unintentionally talking like a weird Kris Straub/David Malki! slash-fic lovebaby for days. It took three hours of listening to the Sex Pistols to cure it.
Oh, another item for the list: David Malki! designs some of the net's best shirts. Don't believe me? Consider the evidence. If I was a cartoon character and could only wear one shirt forever, it would be hard not to pick "Steam Powered Heart."
Okay, going back to forcibly losing fluids from various holes. Drink your orange juice and don't lick strange objects, kids, and you may just avoid the terrible fate of the sad, the pitiable, the ever-on-the-verge-of-covering-himself-in-sick,
Johnny Despair, Esq.
Not for Johnny Despair, Esq. as of 11:04 AM