Jocelyn Deane17 October 2017
You’re reading Hellboy in Hell—cornered in a pocket of the Brunswick library—the collected trade paperback of the original comics run. Hellboy is in Hell, because. He falls as a beating heart through the mouth of a petrified giant.
The holiday starts when we follow a white cat named Jennifer into the Faewild. In the backstory, Andi has been trying to catch her; she’s been cohabiting with Emily Dickinson in secret. We don’t remember the mechanics of entering the Faewild. It’s verdant and as bright as a Lisa Frank drawing.
Maybe the internet is a history machine. Much under the surface. I remember clicking a page of one-on-one RPG blogs: two friends/writers for Something Awful documenting their campaigns for lulz.
So. Emily Dickinson—who may not resemble Emily Dickinson—is closing her eyes in the garret she rents from her boss. We agree there’s nothing much in her room. A bed. A chest of drawers and facsimile crucifix. A chair—the dress she arrived in slumps over its back, caked in sewage.
So. The premise is there are three planar components to the multiverse. The inner planes are the houses of elementals: dimensions of the spirits, and energies that set the universe going like a fat gold watch. There are dimensions here for the elements, for matter and antimatter, and however many smaller planes for all the forces that roll through the cosmos.
At night, the streets—unlike any other city—are empty, but the repurposed Victorian gas-lights remain lit. They project onto the neo-classical architecture, the statues of Oxford circus, the garrets made of red brick, exaggerated angles/boundaries of shadow like the cabinet of Dr Caligari, or the fingers in F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, edging around the columns and overly decorated facades like vines.
He was wearing a coat of leaves, the body and genitals covered in poultice. I’ve always known when mirrors lie. His face, though, was my dad’s fly lure, tremoring over a lake body, my gums reddening when I brushed too deliberately, the desire to chew with my mouth open, the wasps I’d seen fumigated by mum in our roof, their nest like a football. I gazed hungrily as he pointed to a mound of earth on my left—his right—nails bark-splintered.
I can tell you everything about natural history
Museums – the two kinds of dinosaur hips:
you say: two people crossing on
a flight of stairs is bad luck – you
can feel the ghosts trying
to reach out through the sudden
confusion of space –
Content warning: sex
The doctor is kneeling on top of the Tardis. They raise one of their hands; floating through the rings of a gas giant—imagine Saturn but lavender—particles twist around their sixth digit. They remember a quote from a Futurama episode: “The ship stays where it is, and the engine moves the universe around it.”
– A purse of deep space sheltering nothing –
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