M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Friday, May 02, 2003  

Begone, Foul Beast!

So, the other night Trash and Bitter and I were downstairs in our basement watching last week’s episode of Angel, and Trash was explaining to us how she’d be leaving the room when it came to the scene where the scary-ass sewer demon with the head and torso of a hideously deformed man on top of the legs and thorax of a giant livid insect is working on his gruesome little underground art installment that he’s creating from the interwoven organs and viscera of several dead bodies and at least one undead body.

I’m sorry, I just have to pause and say I love that sentence because people who have been watching Angel are going, “Yeah, that scene, okay,” and people who haven’t are all, “Wait, what? This was on TV?” and a few are like, “If that’s the kind of stuff they’re showing now, maybe its cancellation is for the best.” Angel rocks lately.

See, this stuff doesn’t bother me, because I can’t ever forget that it’s just some guy in a lot of character makeup playing with plastic and rubber and colored corn syrup while the Foley artists make as much noise as they can with a couple of turkey basters and a tub of mayonnaise. Trash can’t do it though. Those wound-re-enactment scenes on CSI in particular send her crawling between the couch cushions. If she ever meets the guy who plays the coroner on that show, he’s going to be very offended by the Pavlovian reaction she'll have to the sight of him.

Anyway, Trash was just explaining how she had no interest in sitting through the impending simulated grodiness, blissfully unaware of the all-too-real nightmare of squick we’d be facing in a matter of seconds.

A shadow fell across all three of us. Bitter screamed. Trash ordered me to pause the tape in the tone people use to ask you not to finish impaling them. I was the closest to what they were looking at, but I was the last to see it.

Any description of the taxonomy-defying creature crawling along the edge of the wood paneling would have been rejected by H. P. Lovecraft for being too over the top. Clive Barker would have gone mad at the sight of it. Stephen King would have stepped in front of another van to get away from it.

Legs so numerous they were indistinguishable from fur undulated along the chair rail, which creaked under its weight. Antennae waved malevolently, either receiving orders from its masters in the Pit through the aether, or sending orders to its minions there. A brimstone stench filled the room, and an atonal buzz bypassed our eardrums and burrowed straight into our brainstems. I paused the tape with nerveless fingers as the abomination dashed behind the bookshelf.

All three of us knew what was going to happen next. Now that it was safely out of our horrified sight, the Beast was free to begin multiplying, sending forth wave upon loathsome wave of chittering, CGI-looking mini-Cthulhus that would overrun the floor in seconds and devour our souls as easily as our flesh. Obviously we had no choice but to burn the house down and catch the next plane to Antarctica.

But then we remembered that the gas can was outside, in our detached garage. We were going to have to do battle. And without a single gun in the house.

I took point. Trash and Bitter were my courageous squires, placing weapons in my hands as I needed them. I slid the bookcase away from the wall and shone the 4-cell Maglite™ back there. This is the same model of flashlight that cops in Philadelphia aren’t allowed to carry any more. But the small comfort its threatening weight afforded quickly turned cold as the Beast turned its luminous green gaze upon me, hissed “they’re building a new circle just for you” in a voice like a coffee grinder full of serpents, and scuttled out of sight.

By this time, Trash had arrived with a spray bottle I might use to flush it out to where the light of this world might dissolve its very substance. Why she didn’t bring me anything more toxic than Windex™ is something I can only attribute to the panic of the moment. I misted for my very life, but all I could hear was its hideous laughter. Realizing we were totally outmatched, it came out into the open to face us. All I had on hand to stop its relentless charge was a pair of paper towels.

Ordering Trash and Bitter to stay back lest they be besmirched by the shower of meat and bone I was soon to become, I scooped up the monster into its makeshift prison of Brawny™. I was just about to deliver the coup-de-grace of a crushing squeeze within my powerful, bass-playing fist, when it somehow escaped--onto the back of my hand!

That was the longest nanosecond of my life. Bitter and I shrieked like a couple of Girl Scouts on fire. The entire right side of my body involuntarily broke the sound barrier and our enemy landed on the carpet in front of the TV. It blinked for a moment, disoriented by its fall and the unaccustomed contact with the atmosphere of our world. I ignored the smoking acid burns and the rapidly mortifying flesh where the Beast had touched me, and I grabbed a DVD case from the rack next to me. Blinded by panic and fury, I landed blow after blow on the sections of the thing that had the most hateful protrusions, while it cackled imperviously at me. Finally Bitter dropped a Newsweek on top of it and jumped up and down on the magazine until it was the size of a mere brochure.

When we worked up the courage to pick the magazine back up, all that remained was the powdery outline of a large centipede. We had driven the monster to abandon part of its corporeal form, while the rest of it rode its leathery wings back to the demon dimension from which it had come. I swept up the remaining fragments, burned them in a fire fueled by fragments of the True Cross, sifted the ashes into a bottle of holy water, buried the bottle in a churchyard under the full moon, and sprinkled host crumbs over the fresh earth.

When we restarted the tape of Angel and got to the part where the demon practices its sailor knots with the intestines of some MFA from Julliard, I was too distracted by the persistent phantom creepy-crawly feelings on the skin of my arms and ankles and neck and scalp to be grossed out by what was going on in the show. Trash, of course, true to her earlier word, was nowhere to be seen.

posted by M. Giant 3:47 PM 0 comments


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