FASH ATTACK! A real life fan fic pastiche.

Once again, a few wonderful people on twitter have inspired me with insanity.

Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Content warning, violence, blood, death.

Bobby felt the warmth on his cheek before he heard the screams. Almost in slow motion, he turned to his partner as his hand came up to feel the warm, wet spot that had appeared on his face. He watched the scene, Timmy slapping frantically at the clucking, pecking, swirling mass of white and red that clung to his head.  It was surreal, watching his friend get pecked to death, blood turning the white parts of Timmy’s Flag tshirt redder than the stripes.  He looked down at his fingers. Red with blood, ‘Timmy’s blood’, he realized to himself.

The screams stopped, but the clucking and slicing never did, the rooster riding the body to the ground and continuing to savage the already mangled flesh.

“What in the… FUCK! IT’S THE FASH!”

The world sped back up to normal speed as the bite of pain cut into his upper arm from behind.  Bobby’s fingers went limp, and the metal gas can fell from his grip. It clanged off the rocky ground, the gas inside sloshing noisily as it fell over. He spun, nearly tripping over the can as he jumped back, the head of a spear, ‘A SPEAR FOR CHRISSAKES?!’, whizzed past his face, slicing the cheek that had been free from blood.  In reflex, he pulled the pistol from belt, aiming it one handed, the other arm still limp and usesless.

“Stay… stay back!” 


The woman who had stabbed him narrowed her eyes and curled her lip in a sneer, nostrils flaring around a ring that glittered as dark and dangerous as the edges of the spear she kept pointed at his eyes.  She dropped into a crouch, twirling the spear point in a small circle, ready to strike.

“Look, I don’t want to hurt anyone. We were just delivering a message to Fisher.”

The circling point stopped for a moment.  “Fisher?” 

“Yeah, Fisher.  Urving Fisher, the author? He lives here right?”

He felt his grip loosening, the gun dropping, as she started laughing at him, deep, booming, and dripping with ridicule. He stepped back again, tightening his grip and raising the gun slightly.

“Well, where is he?”

“Sonny boy, you’ve made two mistakes in coming here.  One, someone sucks at GoogleFu.  No, you have the wrong place. Two… ”  She pointed the spear tip at the pistol in his hand. “You shouldn’t threaten someone with a pistol when you left the safety on.”

Confusion flared to panic as he looked down at the gun, thumbing the safety back and forth, trying to remember which side meant what. Then a dark shadow swopped through his vision, and he stared down at his hand, missing the gun, half his thumb, and all of his pointer finger. It didn’t hurt until AFTER the blood starting pouring. 

“Go ahead, pick it up with your other hand.”  The spearwoman stepped forward, back leg over front, staying in her crouched stance. “C’mon, pick it up so I can legally run you through!”

Bobby’s mind gibbered, his hand throbbed, his arm hung limp, and his cheek burned.  He felt a warmth spreading across the tops of his legs, and thinking she’d gutted him without him feeling it, he looked down in alarm at his darkening jeans.

“Did you really just piss yourself? They just don’t make Fash like they used to.”   She stepped forward again.  “Ah well, maybe they’ll let me put your head on a pole as a warning to the others. ”

Bobby closed his eyes, ready to die.  He found his lips moving, his voice escaping as a gasp. “Heavenly Father, I commend my soul to your hands, may my sacrifice be a torch held by the “

The impromptu prayer ended with a grunt of pain as the breath was driven out of him, and he felt himself lifted and tossed from an impact into his side.  Keeping his eyes clenched tight, he felt the ground slamming into his right side, his left, his back, his knees, as he rolled and tumbled from the blow.

“BAAAAAHHHH!!”

He came to a stop, and after a deep breath, opened his eyes.  He was a good twenty feet away, laying next to the house. Putting his bloody palm against the door, he struggled to his feet, to see the spearwoman yelling at a goat that pawed the ground next to where he had just been standing.  She stood with the spear butt in the ground, pointing with her other hand.  “Damnit Havoc, I did NOT cry you and slip the goats of war.”

The door opened behind him.  A figure peered out, leather hat tucked over her brow, trowel and rake in her leather gloved hands.  “Shep? What the hell is, WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU!?”

Operating on instinct, he pushed the door the rest of the way open, and shoved the newcomer out.  She swore, stumbling and windmilling arms as he slammed the door, fumbling with the deadbolt, pain shooting through him as he squeezed with the stump of his thumb.  The gloved woman’s voice came muffled through the door.  “FUCK DAMN SHIT. DUDE!  If you bleed on the carpet, I’m going to gut you and compost you!”

Glancing around, he ran into the house, looking for something, anything.  KITCHEN!  He burst in, looking for a knife block, pushing aside cans labeled in other languages, bags of candy, and assorted produce.

TAP. TAP. TAP. 

He stopped, and looked up at a small window in the corner of the kitchen.  The spearwoman grinned evily in at her, tapping on the glass with the spear.

“Mistake three, Fash.  You’re in the kitchen.  With Sergei.”

“THE FUCK LADY! Who the FUCK is Ser”

His lips clamped shut, drawing blood from his tounge, and fire ripped into his back. With a clatter, a small butcher knife fell out of him onto the tile.  He turned, slowly, to see a cat standing next to a magnetic bar rack, holding the knives he had been looking for. The cat looked sideways at him, out of the one eye it had.  “MRRROOOWWW?” 

Bobby watched, abstractedly, the adrenaline burnt away, his abused body giving up, as the cat perched up on his back legs, reaching with front paws towards the rack.  Glittering arcs ended against his body, some hitting him handle first, some not thrown hard enough to pierce, but a few slid inches into him, rivulets of red running together, pooling in his socks.

‘Fuck. I hate walking in wet socks.’  With that final, pedestrian thought, Bobby’s eyes closed for the last time.

Poetry – Song: Phantom Limbs . A tribute to Neil Peart and Rush, and to lost friends.

I’ve been thinking about death and loss lately. Specifically, I was thinking about Neil Peart. And how his friends and bandmates must feel. Especially Geddy. His voice has sung, for decades, words put there by Neil. How must that feel? To have a portion of your voice… gone?

And I can kind of understand. I’m missing a piece of my own voice these days, a dry sarcasm that would point out my stupidity, and sometimes add its own dumb ideas. Over a year now. I miss you Twitch. You were part of me, and I still feel you there.

And it made me think of phantom limbs, that feeling of something gone, but still there. People, friends, family, as a part of ourselves. So… I wrote a song

The man who lost his hand to the cannery blade,
Still can feel the tickle of his five fingered shade,
A bomb blast leaves the soldier sitting in a chair,
Late at night she could swear that her legs are still there.

Phantom Pains from what we’ve left behind,
Phantom Fears they’re only in our mind,
Phantom Pieces that we never find,
When they’re gone.

A clot bursts, tissue thirsts, deep within a friend’s brain,
No more hugs, pull the plugs, release him from your pain,
Sometimes you hear his voice, greeting you by name,
A vital piece of you will never feel the same.

You feel him at your side,
hear his words wry and snide,
You turn to him in pride,
Empty chair where he sat,
Makes you lose your stride.

Phantom Pains from who we’ve left behind,
Phantom Fears live only in our mind,
Phantom Pieces that we never find,
When they’re gone.

More than a hand or leg, my friends are a part of me,
No matter how I beg, Time will not let them be,
My words feel hollow now, without your counterpoint,
My soul is borrowed now, no more beats to anoint

You wrote the song I sang,
With my strings, bells you rang,
Backing me up from behind,
I fear to turn and find…
The empty swivel chair,
Still I feel you there.

Phantom Pains from who we’ve left behind,
Phantom Tears they live in our mind,
Phantom People that we’ll never find,
When they’re gone.
When they’re gone.

The man in the mirror…

Content warning : physical dysphoria

About two years ago, I grew a beard. My wife asked me too! And I’ll humor her just about anything she asks, at least once. I was expecting a short experiment. I had grown a beard about 15 years ago, or at least, tried. I tried to do a goatee, and by the time it got a few inches long, well… The hair grew in several different shades, fine and fuzzy, and every which way. It basically looked like I had reached into a vacuum cleaner bag, pulled out a large dust bunny, and SLAP, glued that sucker to my face.

Much to my astonishment, my beard hair grew in nicely. My mustache hair grew faster, it always had, so I ended up shaving it a few times until the beard was thick enough. My face with just a mustache looks just enough like my father to freak me out in the mirror. See, when I look in a mirror, it takes me a moment to parse that that’s me. And anything that makes me look like someone else, well, my brain goes there first. The one and only time I tried growing JUST a mustache, I woke up a few days in, looked at myself in the mirror, and had a panic attack. (I also can’t watch the live action Jungle Book with Cary Elwes for that reason. He has my father’s exact mustache. )

But the beard grew nicely. I noticed that I had two TINY spots of white on my cheeks, which left me quite chuffed. I had always said that I wouldn’t have minded starting to go bald at 17 if I had also gone silver, but nope. I kept it trimmed, and it became a look that I enjoyed. None of that bushy ass hipster lumberjack thing. I don’t need to keep a snack in there. It took me about a month with the beard to start instantly recognizing myself in the mirror with the beard, which seemed, at the time, normal. It was a very pleasing thing, the morning I looked in the mirror and went, yup, that’s me. In retrospect, it was VERY pleasing, although I didn’t understand why at the time.

Picture below by the very talented Keyhole Photography

The Scrivener – My persona in a local role play group

I’m going to back up a bit in my reminiscing here. I’ve always had a touch of body dysphoria. Specifically, there are times when my body feels too BIG. “Oh, that’s your brain’s way of telling you to lose some weight, fatty.” (Yes, I’ve had someone tell me this in response) No, fuck you, not like that. I mean… Watching Men In Black when it came out was the best thing I could reference. I feel sometimes like I’m piloting a meat suit. The “real” me is like, two foot tall, with spindly limbs, grasping nerves and tendons inside my body and pulling them to make me move. I have a bad sense of how much space I actually take in the universe, and bounce off walls, doorways, people. Because of that, I’ve always been extra careful and paying attention, and stay further away from things than I really need to.

The odd thing is, the times I feel the LEAST like that, are the times when I’m working out regularly. The bigger my body actually is, muscle wise, the more I feel like I “fit” in it. I’m just mentioning this to show that I have a minor understanding of this feeling of “This is not my beautiful body!? How did I get here!?”

ZOOM fast forward to today. My face has gotten ITCHY the last couple of months. I’ve got a bit of dandruff. I read that it is a good idea to give facial skin some time to air out now and then. Also, I’ve lost a LOT of weight since growing it. You can tell in pictures, even under the beard. I was kind of curious to see what my face looks like now. So today, my wife used the clippers and buzzed my face. (She insisted that if the beard was coming off, she was the one to do it!). She stopped halfway for a moment, and let me see it with just a goatee and mustache. Hilarious. I looked weird. But I still instantly recognized myself. She took the rest of it down. And I looked in the mirror. And… who the fuck is that? Oh, wait, it’s me. Hunh. It’ll probably take a month to start recognizing myself without the beard, but by then, it’ll have grown back, I though.

Move over Mr. Price! This man is eggs-actly the one to bring down The Bat.

And that’s when it hit me. And I realized why I was so happy that day I looked in the mirror and instantly knew who I was. I never had before. I see myself in photos, clean shaven, and I’m more likely to recognize myself from the back, than the front. In fact, I HAVE looked at photos of myself in a group, and asked, who’s that dude? And people stare at me. “Uhh, that’s you Alex.” No, really, who… oh shit it is.

I don’t recognize my own face, without the hair. I never have. I never really thought about it, but… My own brain doesn’t see me as me, without at least a thin ruff of hair on my face. It’s… an interesting feeling. The cold on my cheeks, splashing water on my face. That’s weird. Looking in the mirror? It’s downright disorienting. I can’t wait for this to grow back.