First, a reminder of things past so if you like this one, you'll be able to find more. Or, if you hate this one, which is certainly possible, you'll be able to find a better one. So, here's The Mighty Blowhole Anthology Of Short Horror Fiction Table of Contents:
This one's odd. Lots of references to factual things mixed in (with what's probably terrible taste on my part, but it's horror fiction, dude, sometimes you gotta go there), and you could research them on your own but I can't swear that'd be good for you. It's not my usual kind of narrative thing, but it's short so maybe it won't be too painful.
Maybe you won't even feel it...
665 + 1
Here we are, all clinging to a ball of mud, living eyeblink lives on a particle still flying outward from an explosion so incomprehensibly violent and enormous that it's taking trillions of years to complete. Our molten fleck cooled, still spherical from surface tension as all droplets are, and became inhabitable as it drifted around one of the many specks of debris that was still burning, like an electron circling a nucleus. It all seems so vast to self-important, self-referential little us, but in reality we're no more than germs consuming a moldy crumb on the universe's tabletop.
So when you think about it, it doesn't really matter so much that I killed Dorothy. I sliced her throat so deeply with a razor that her head is quite loose and hanging horribly (it'd give you nightmares to even see the shadow it's casting) and I took her blood and eyes and baby. Well, most of the blood. There was so much around. I painted a pentagram on the wall with some of it, just to make it fun.
Her soul fled rapidly from her sorrowful flesh and was doubtless grateful to be gone after the things I did to it, which were the worst things I've ever done. But not the worst thing I'll ever do; that will come in a few minutes.
Ah, Dorothy. She was perky! Wanted to be called "Dot," even though she was far too young to be a "Dot." Really, "Dot." If she really thought about it beyond its "cuteness" -- which I doubt -- one could guess that she embraced her own insignificance, at least subliminally.
"Dot." If she'd lived, she'd only have grown to become like that tiresome friend of your aunt's.
Not such a crime when you put it into perspective, and consider what I can gain from it.
And what I can gain is everything. I have a chance to step out of all of it -- the eyeblink of time, the crumb on the tabletop, all of it.
I sense confusion, but I can explain it all.
Perhaps the thing from the Bible that's most prevalent in our popular culture is from Revelations 13:18, even though no one really understands it. Six hundred and sixty-six, the number of the beast. There are countless movies about it, countless songs... even if your theological knowledge is scant, you know of six-six-six.
What fun, but what does it really mean? No one seems to understand what's being counted. Except me. I figured it out. I am him who hath understanding. And it's not a warning, or a prophecy; it's a set of instructions.
Six hundred and sixty-six is the number of infernal objects one must collect to become this beast, and be given immense power and all of eternity in which to wield it. And, thus, I'm a collector.
When I say "objects," that's not precisely what I mean. Some objects of lesser true evil are needed in greater number. My collection of black metal recordings, for instance, is large, but I only count it as a single object. As hard as it is to find original Hellhammer vinyl now, Abruptum's Evil Genius (including the razor blade that came packed inside for purposes of self-mutilation... and mine had been used, ha!) or Mayhem's Dawn of the Black Hearts with their singer Dead's gruesome suicide photo on the cover (Google that one sometime for a real treat!), I count it all as part of a whole. The black metal genre led many souls to Satan (mine included), but it did it as a collective; a soul captured and condemned to eternal torments would, of course, count as a whole object (the most magnificently splendid one, in fact!), but since black metal is easy to obtain, compared to many things I've acquired, I count the pile of LP's, CD's, and tapes as one object, a collection within the larger collection.
There are other black metal related objects with greater evil power, though, and those I count as a singular object. You wouldn't believe what I had to do to track down a shard of Dead's skull, even though his guitarist Euronymous mailed many around the underground. Or the blood-stiffened "I (heart-with-a-stake-through-it) Transylvania" tee-shirt he was wearing when they found him, or strands of his hair? Or the knife Varg Vikernes later used to kill Euronymous? Those are major finds. I also have blackened nails and charred wood from Fantoff Stave Church, and Holmenkollen Chapel, Skjold, Asane, Revheim, and Hauketo, all victims of the black-metal church arsons in the 1990's. I have the jaw from a pig used at an early Mayhem show, still greasy with fat and stinking abominably (Dead would love it!)
Music's but a small corner of the museum, though. I've collected Aleister Crowley manuscripts and wax cylinders of his voice, doing rituals. I have letters from Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and Richard Ramirez (those were easy enough to obtain, you could hardly shut that chatterbox up!). There are the bones of a sacrificed baby (though I wasn't involved in that; as I told you, killing "Dot" is the worst thing I've done), and the skulls of three serial killers whose names you would know, and the ashes of another. I have sharpened teeth from the grave of a 17th century Prussian "vampire," black cat bones owned by a witch who was burned in Germany, and some of Ed Gein's craftwork (which I can vouch is similar to certain Nazi art). I have some of Albert Fish's needles, recovered during the autopsy. Surely you guessed someone would have saved those, right?
I have the diary of a sufferer of Cotard's Syndrome that would sour your mind like old milk were you to read it. The anguish of someone who believed that their blood was putrid and organs turned to soil... it's simply not meant to be read. Even I lost sleep over it.
I've had to travel the world at great expense and greater risk to procure this collection. I've been at it for decades, a lot of time, but not even a fraction of the eternal life it will earn me. I've had to befriend horrible people and bribe police to get murder weapons and fatal bullets (and a clotted chain of a chainsaw from a notorious "unsolved"). I've had to gain the confidence of serial killers so they'd give me locations of unrecovered remains. I was extremely lucky to get some from a member of the Hand of Death cult; two days after I dug them up Hurricane Katrina washed the site away!
I've financed all of this by taking big gambles on the stock market. Or, so they seemed, at least. I confess they weren't really gambles; my "luck" was via Ouija board, from a source that's better than E. F. Hutton! Believe me, Satan knows the stock market!
There is much interesting esoterica. A guitar string of Robert Johnson's; there was something to that story about the crossroad deal, it turns out. There's a chain from the LaLaurie house in New Orleans. A Mayan dagger that harvested countless hearts for Quetzalcoatl. People argue over the existence of snuff films, but I don't need to -- I have over a dozen. I don't like to watch them, but they're there; I'm looking at the box I keep them in even as I type this. There are various murder weapons -- a deformed hammer, a couple of hatchets, a steam iron, a machete. Grape Flavor-Aid packets left over from Jonestown (getting those was a tale in itself!). A hammer from the infamous Dyatlov incident. A head from one of LaVey's androids.
You may think I'm morbid, collecting such things, but I assure you, it's more a case of the one I'm trying to please being morbid. And why not? His home has seas of slugs, oceans of rats, a sky of flies and lakes of rotten blood. His friends and agents are invisible things more horrible than anything you could see, and they're all crazed to get out and force themselves into your body for warmth. Once there, they will lodge and suck like a tick or tumor. I know it all sounds crazy, but soon they'll all be here and this miserable world will finally get what it truly deserves.
For, you see, I've almost completed my collection. Dear Dotty served as the six-hundred and sixty-fifth item, earlier tonight. And I'll have the final item I need in just a few short minutes.
I knew I was close when the powers that be let me find a certain book, just last week. It was buried in the ruins of an old abbey of such horrifying reputation that only I (in my desperation) dared go there. And though I cannot read it -- it might as well be pages of black thorns, written in an insane scratchy language no one speaks -- it is undeniably an object of monumental evil. It's terrifying to even have it in the house. Scattered throughout are passages written in our letters, but they're nonsense. Mind-injuring absurdity. For example, there's
CRALECH ERGUS FIRANDIZ GHARNA XUL MALEFICAGHAGH
You think it looks funny, you should hear it! Try speaking it, your throat will make noises you can't help but find humorous! And aloud, it almost makes sense, like it's tickling at being a sentence you could almost recognize if your mind would only stop rejecting it.
In any case, somehow this book (whose smell is indescribable and intoxicating -- it's vile but I'm still driven to want to eat it!) told me what to do to Dorothy. I'd wondered why I formed a relationship with her almost a year ago, when I never was particular to her type. Honestly, I never much cared for the silly woman and yet I still made the effort to romance and then maintain her and never knew why until that book opened the door in my mind to a room full of pictures that showed me what to do.
Yes, she was 665. Out of the 666 which are now complete, thanks to you!
Oh, you didn't know? I thought perhaps you'd feel it when you read that absurd passage back there. Some emptiness, some loss? Maybe a touch of cold? Surely there was some discomfort. I've never been through it myself, but I can't imagine it goes without creating some odd sensation, some uprooting.
Anyway, now I have all that I need and can ascend from this world which, by tomorrow, will be an indescribably fetid nightmare of atrocity and obscenity. Nothing like what awaits you, of course, after reading that infernal line.
In any case, my dear reader, you have provided me with the one most magnificently splendid item I was missing, and for this you have my apology, and my eternal gratitude!
(c) copyright 2015 by me