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(short story)Metamorphose [Feedback]


Hey, folks. This was a bit of brain vomit that doesn't make a lot of sense. It's true in the metaphorical sense, but otherwise is complete fiction.

What I'd like is to know what you think of it. Be honest. This will never be published anywhere, so I just want to know what thoughts you all may have about it.

I don't want to change it at all, because I'm pretty happy with its randomness and lack of real structure. Also, be warned, it gets rather bloody. My only question is a curiosity: What do you think?



Everyone knows that monsters are small and imperfect, with squat bodies and misshapen feet, but Mary is tall and lithe, long and black. He usually needs no introduction, and since people rarely give one outside of formal occasions, most folks assume he is the devil. I don’t know where they get that idea, but I think it comes from the yellow fear inside them of things as beautiful and sharp as Mary.

Mary is a knife. He slices through cotton silences and stupidities. Jeordie is his best friend, the right-hand man. Johnny became lookout and paladin for them long before there was even a consensus that they would travel in a pack and beat kids into their own kind of submission and solitude. Somewhere in the tangled mess of their shared mind, they thought four was a round number and invited me in, but I don’t fit so good.

We met during a house fire. It started out as a joke, but ended up going too far and some people were tricked out of a lot of money. I was breaking and entering at the time, and no one expected me. It’s like they say, “Nothing holy can come out of Jerusalem.” So I was unexpected, an accidental addition, like the house fire.

Mary gives orders and jobs, and if you think about it, he probably started the fire in the first place. But if you ask him, he’ll say something witty about society and tell you about America the War Criminal. He’s got skinny legs and a load of tattoos, just like his brother, Jeordie.

They’re twins, but telling which one was older was as hard as counting the sins on a nun’s heart. You couldn’t tell anything from the murky brown of their eyes if you were trying to get an idea about which one cared about you. Hell, maybe neither of them did.

Johnny cares. He’s sweet and sly and smiles at my anagrams. He appreciates a good word game, or a good mind-fuck, which is how I suppose he became the Paladin.

They walk around in circles and drop names, like “Hunter S. Thompson” and “Damien Echols”. They think they’re full of brains. I’m convinced they’re full of Something Else.
Me, I walk around them, or between them counter-clockwise and repeat the end of poems no one remembers. I’m too careful to drop names, because the fall usually shatters them. It takes a lot of arrogance to break people up like that, as though you were God. As far as I know, that’s all these guys exist for. Like I said, Mary is the leader, and he breaks things in two.

We were supposed to die that night, I’m certain of it. The fire consumed an entire three structures, like a triptych from heaven. I was on my own mission – to get in and get out – and if at all possible, to steal the title to the old, ruined house that ended up burning down under Mary’s directive fingertips. Later on, Jeordie got caught with the lighter fluid (the accelerant), and all four of us went to jail.

That’s how it happened. We all came together, like a quicksilver coagulate, mercurial and deadly because we didn’t die. It was not our fate.

Prison lent a grey sheen to everything, even Mary, who was always so dark, but who now looked like smeared charcoal. Time pulled everyone’s faces downward, and ours were no exception. In the cell, Jeordie’s hair seemed longer, and even Johnny’s kindness was pulled taut as a piano wire. Oblivious to the change because I didn’t know them, my jokes rebounded off the grey slab walls, cutting each other open as they glided against the sharp edges of Mary and the cold silence Johnny held in front of him like a shield. Everyone was wounded.

Jeordie walked about in agitation next to the urinal, chattering to himself about getting a car and driving to Mexico. The whole thing made me tired as the hours wound down to our release. We grated on each others’ nerves; even the White Knight Johnny looked like he wanted to scream.

For me, the walls bore down in hatred. I never liked closed spaces. I needed my world to be cracked wide open, and I said so. Mary fervently agreed. The world needed to be cracked open: like an egg, he said, or like a skull. Of all of us, Mary wanted blood the most. Of all of us, I was the one who ended up spilling it.

When we were released, the day yawned out of the sky and we filed out, wary and unconditionally happy. We were ecstatic, and we celebrated with the depths of our liquor need. Only Mary got bombed enough out of his mind to sleep that night, but while we drank to good health and free will, a plan began to form.

God was watching, and God wanted to die.

It was Mary who found the cathedral, tucked away on the south side of the continent, which housed a priest older than stones. Mary said he was the apotheosis of religious fervor, which meant he was exact, and constrained, and full of judgment. We were going to get in and slay the old man who housed the soul of God.

As the plan took on form, Johnny and I sat in the foyer and drew out lists. We put it together, piece by piece, like a jigsaw puzzle.

Jeordie ordered strippers for himself while Mary slept. Jeordie was friendly and freakish with them, as he was with everyone else, but they all confessed to us they were in love with Mary. That’s the kind of guy Mary was, bound to be provocative even in sleep. Jeordie’s smile drooped like a day old flower when he heard, but he made clean advantage of their services anyway. And that’s the kind of guy that Jeordie was. He always took full pleasure in what lay before him. He was an opportunist.

Mary was just a Born Villain.

After the miasma of the party died away, and the sun stretched its wide eye toward dawn, the four of us took stock of our tools. I had my picklock kit, Johnny had his long, two-handed blade, Jeordie owned an arsenal of pistols, and Mary had his intense anger. It looked grand. It looked like crime.

So we set out to a small church at the edge of the world, counting down the seconds until the priest rang the bells that signaled the Sunday service. The universe waited on bended knees, and rustled her skirts. She knew something huge was about to happen, and we let her twitch.

The church bells rang to life with one, large peal of fury, and we set out. The white robes itched at me, and my hood was whipped back by the wind. Mary’s was the only hood that behaved like it should, and his cowl still obscured whatever was happening in his unbalanced mind. The rest of us wore faces like razors.

The church loomed over us, just absolutely forbidding, with its spires that touched the thrones of heaven. We crossed the lawn, closing in about ten feet in what seemed like a year. Mary pointed at the door and shouted. Jeordie followed his unintelligible orders.

A ruined old man stood at the door, allowing the few worshippers inside. As we approached, I saw the ancient priest looked like a raisin. He was shrunken and shriveled inward, as though he was constantly focused in meditation. Mary screamed in his face, taking the small man aback with his wind and spittle.

Everything moved in slow motion colours. One of the worshippers pulled the Paladin aside and began talking to him about the vanity of Ecclesiastes, and liking it to the roses on the lawn.

Jeordie shot the woman on the spot and all sound froze. Mary stopped his screaming and turned toward us. The priest looked equally stunned. There was blood spatter everywhere, staining mostly Mary, who was planted behind the shot. The priest raised his hands to cover his face. The world was still and gruesome.

It took me a few seconds to process that the shot had also ripped through Johnny and both bodies were tangled on the ground, the woman on top of him in a cruel embrace.

Jeordie was smiling, his broad teeth flecked with red. It was obscene on his whiteness, those teeth; that robe. The priest turned and fled, and Mary started screaming again, chasing. Jeordie’s eyes lit on me, and I realized it was all a ruse: I was next.

I did the only thing I could do, which was plant one of my picks into Jeordie’s exposed neck. I watched him struggle on the lawn in front of the grim cathedral, groping at an artery I knew I had punctured. His skinny legs kicked hopelessly; his array of firearms lying useless on the ground. I picked one up – a five chambered revolver – and made sure it was loaded. I pulled out the bullet in the first chamber, thinking to myself that of course Jeordie wouldn’t leave a “safety”, an empty chamber to allow for a mistake. I did. I wasn’t as lucky as Jeordie, I suppose, and the irony of that didn’t slap me in the face until later.

At that moment, I wanted to walk away, but schizophrenia doesn’t plan things, it just is. So I followed Mary’s red splotched robe into the darkness and silence of the church. The still-white spots of him disappeared like the stars at dawn somewhere behind the altar, and I could hear the wrinkled screams of the raisin priest. I knew Mary had him, I just didn’t know how.

On the other side of the nave, I found an open door in the wood slats of the floor. I knelt on my hands and knees and peered inside. What I saw was Mary, bending over the obviously dead body of the priest, eating bits of flesh from the dead man’s face. It’s true what they say, that he ate “a small and brutal creature.”

I couldn’t stomach the carnage that followed, so I crept away as silently as I could in my thief’s shoes. I walked away from Mary’s quick, metabolic absorption of the priest and what he embodied.

God was dead. And I was next.

“When I’m God everyone dies.” – Marilyn Manson


It reminds me of the style in Clockwork Orange. Gritty to the extreme, filled with things about mental stuff, but the most jarring thing is that there is a charming streak. You gain an insight in interesting characters, where in this case you want to know more about them.

I really like what you've named the monster. Mary is such a feminine name here in the western world, but not only is Mary a he, but different from other monsters. Or so you describe him. Wink

It has a nice flow.

What I like best though is the scene where he understands that Jeordie is gonna take the storyteller now, cutting to how you describe the open artery.

And last but not least... Ilove quote endings. Others call it cheesey but I love it.m :D


Thanks, Immoral!

I'm glad you liked it. It was one of those things that just ... I don't know ... fell out of my pen. I clearly had no direction with it at all. Good to know it stands up with it's own, crippled legs.

Also, I've worked some on Asylum, though it's not finished. I've taken a lot of your suggestions into account. Do I start a new thread, or edit the old one, or put it under the old one? How do you want edits done?


Bleh, meant to get back to this one, but never did. I'm a bad Admin.

Actually, I think that the best thing would be new thread. I usually think it is useful to have both versions up, that way you don't have to rely on vague memory of what one thought was cool parts in a story. (Though, this might just be me.)