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Quick Fingers
Quick Fingers
Published by Druidic
Quick Fingers

Quick Fingers

"Ligotti is knots...the tangling and disentangling of puppet strings..."

--D. F. Lewis

“These knots are Ligotti,” declaimed the suave man in the black suit with the red carnation. “Can you undo them?”

It was a challenge and the audience understood, They murmured appreciatively, not without awe: undoing such knots had never been accomplished, never could be, they presented physical and metaphysical impossibilities.

The magician smiled at the outrageous provocation. With a theatrical flourish he drew a large white handkerchief from a breast pocket and placed it with great delicacy over the knotted cord held out by the suave man in black who now stood positioned in the center of the spotlight.

And, slowly at first, the magician proceeded to move his long pale hands over the covering cloth in motions that became ever faster, too fast for the audience to follow. Then, with an abrupt, almost contemptuous gesture, he uttered a single syllable and whipped away the white handkerchief; and simultaneously the cord fell from the suave man’s hands. The magician’s pretty assistant hastened to retrieve it. She turned to the crowd and held it triumphantly over her head, now a long smooth piece of thin rope stretched between her white-gloved arms.

The crowd applauded wildly and at that very moment the well-dressed man (who had offered the magician The Impossible) groaned in agony and fell writhing to the floor, clutching urgently at his gut.

With a smile and an imperious command, the magician motioned the audience to silence.

“Some knots,” he said, “cannot be untied, no. But they can be sympathetically moved by, shall we say, quick fingers? Now call an ambulance for this poor fellow. I fear he is suffering from an unfortunate twisting of the intestines..."

Falling for You

Will we recognize Its smile
when It comes to us;
Its dark and gaping maw
filled with the soundless mirth
of freshly turned earth?
-- The Abyss

“I distrust smiles,” he said to her.

“Really?" said the pretty girl. "Wouldn’t the world be a sad place without smiles?”

“I can’t help it," he said. " Ever since childhood I've felt that way. Why, even the most genuine ones seem false to me. I dread what might be behind them...hiding perhaps. Or waiting. Something evil and hideous.”

The lights and sounds of the party were already far behind them.

“Well, then,” said his pretty companion, linking her arm in his. “I’ll simply never smile at you again. Would you like that?”

The conversation had become awkward. He had drunk too much. And making such confessions was not readily in his nature.

“Why, no,” he said. "No, I wouldn't...I think you have a wonderful smile.”

“Then I’m glad,” she said, suddenly, teasingly, pulling away, clapping her hands with the enthusiasm of a happy child.

A moment passed and she spoke once more, very somberly this time.

“You are wrong you know…about smiles.”

“Yes,” he agreed, “of course I am.” His head was slightly spinning as they walked in the cool evening air. “It’s all foolishness I know but I can't help it.”

She frowned at him. A very pretty frown.

“I didn’t mean that, silly,” she said. “I mean you’re wrong about smiles. It’s faces that are horrible.”

And laughing merrily she peeled the flesh of her face slowly off, revealing the glistening, hungry Blackness within.

The world spun madly as into her starless Dark he fell. Screaming.

Somehow, in that moment, he sensed she was still smiling prettily.

The (Un)real Wolf

The fire of Life coursed through its veins, rippled like flowing electricity through the muscles of the sleek, powerful form. All vestiges of human identity had been consumed by that pure flame of the Change, and now it knew only the Pure—the exhilarating freedom of desire without reflection or restraint, the shedding of the collective inhibitions men call Sanity--and the Pure’s companion, Hunger--the voracious need to devour the warm flesh of prey, to consume utterly even as its own humanity had been consumed by the Change.

Beneath the star flecked sky, it loped leisurely into the shadowy margin where the great forest began, nostrils quivering, breathing the fragrant summer air with all the excitement and awareness of the vast sensual world about it. Within seconds, it detected that it sought, the scent of one approaching, a lone man, the solitary hunter who had fired the bullet that had struck it in its flank. This tracker was sn old one, seasoned and wary. With simple animal cunning, the beast was leading him--luring one who was now prey--to an inescapable death.

As the other approached, the wolf felt, for the first time, a wrongness. It felt an alien emotion, a fear which a beast cannot feel; but a fear a man would recognize as rising from a sense of unreality. Suddenly, there was a weakness in the world as if fields and trees and sky were dissolving like smoke or mist before its eyes. (All animals dream and the wolf felt that it was dreaming.) An objectless fear pervaded the animal consciousness and confused it even more as the surrounding night seemed to convulse in nameless terror. The animal had no knowledge of such things, any more than it understood bullets or the properties of silver or how a sluggish infection crawling through a bloodstream slowly poisons the victim.

The wolf had barely felt the sting of the hunter’s projectile…

The wolf was dying. The vast sensual world it loved so was slipping away, less substantial than a dream; and even the incessant hunger was gone leaving nothing but an animal sadness. With confusion, fear and perhaps an animal’s acceptance, it was slowly devoured by the unreal, the incomprehensible, the Absurdity that was Death. Perhaps, it died like a wolf; perhaps, in the final moments, it died like a man. Perhaps, it makes no difference.
5 Thanks From:
Doctor Dugald Eldritch (08-03-2016), miguel1984 (08-03-2016), Mr. Veech (08-11-2016), Nemonymous (08-16-2016), xylokopos (08-06-2016)
By Mr. Veech on 08-13-2016
Re: Quick Fingers

Surely you have a collection of these in book form. Give me a damn link!
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By Druidic on 08-14-2016
Re: Quick Fingers

Thanks for the kind words, my friend. The closest thing you'll find to a collection of my poems and prose-poems would be Joshi's Spectral Realms No. 3 (2 poems), No. 4 (three poems, prose poems), No. 5 (three poems) and the forthcoming Dec. issue which has 3 poems/prose works including "Falling For You." The Ligotti piece has never been published.

Spectral Realms : Hippocampus Press, specializes in classic horror and science fiction

I very much enjoyed your own prose poems. esp. "The Fate of Thomas Abelard" which I found quite haunting.
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By Mr. Veech on 08-14-2016
Re: Quick Fingers

Thanks for the comment as well as the link.
Last edited by Mr. Veech; 08-14-2016 at 03:36 PM..
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fingers, quick

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