Sunday, 25 December 2011

The Worst Christmas Ever

Lady dumped me. She called a while ago, saying she was sick of how much time I was spending looking for Sophie and that she wasn't going to put up with being ignored. I feel like an idiot. How could I neglect here like that? She was crying so hard and it sounds like she's already found someone to replace me. There was some man whispering to her in the background.

I can't believe I've fucked up the only adult relationship I've ever had. I'm such a fucking failure.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Still think you can get away with your fuckery, Pankaja? Think again. Have a Merry fucking Christmas.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Pursuit

I found a member of the writer's circle who knew the old lady and found out that she lives in a gated community in the suburbs. I tracked her down there and, using my job as a cover, asked her if she knew anything about Sophie's disappearance. She acted like she had no idea what I was talking about. I have to admit that if I didn't know she was lying ahead of time, I nearly would have been fooled.

I waited around after talking to her and when she left the estate, I followed her through the snow. I followed her a good way across the city, then she disappeared down an alleyway and when I pursued her, she was nowhere to be seen. What really worries me is that the alleyway was a dead end and there were no doors into the adjacent buildings, no steps or stairs.

Ever more questions. Never more answers.

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Next Step

I used the phonebook and the Internet to track down Sophie's address, an apartment on the other side of town. I went there earlier but there was no sign of her and her landlord said he hadn't seen her since the day of our meeting. She'd returned from the park with an old lady, they'd gone up to her apartment for a while, then they left together as well. I pretended I was Sophie's brother and asked to see the security footage of the front door camera for that day. I fast-fowarded to the footage of Sophie and the old lady and realised that I recognised the old lady, though it took me a while to realise from where.

It was the old lady I was talking to that time I went to the bar with the writer's circle. I don't know what to make of this. Sophie was talking about me being targeted by some cult; is the old lady part of it? Are they the ones who broke into my apartment? I think that someone from the writer's circle knew the old lady, so I'm going to see if I can find out who she is and track her down. I'll keep you all posted.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Lead

I've got a lead on the Girl. Her name is Sophie Stevens. I found an article about her in the paper's archives. A few years ago, she was rescued almost unscathed from a fire at a church in the suburbs. I recognised her from a photo in the article. There doesn't seem to be anything else on her in anything I can find but a name is a start. Hopefully I can start getting to the bottom of this.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Lack of Success

I haven't been able to find the Girl since whatever happened in the park. It's like she's disappeared from the face of the earth. Lady's not happy about how much time I'm spending looking for her either but something important obviously happened at the park and I can't remember it! I know I should be more grateful about her wanting to spend more time with me but I need my space too, I need my own time to do my own things!

Speaking of my own things, the insurance company had made its decision about my puppets and it's not coming through with the money. Even with the job I have, I don't have the money to replace them, so it looks like I'm going to have to retire from puppetry. At least I have that job with the newspaper to fall back on but it's going to be hard to turn my back on my art after so least I still have Harvey and the other puppet (I still haven't unravelled the secrets of its control mechanism, by the way). I guess I can still get a booking now and then when I'm missing it, but it looks like I'm going to be focusing a bit more time on the newspaper for now.

Well, the newspaper and this whole situation with Girl. Whatever it takes, I'm getting to the bottom of this. I have questions that need answers.

Friday, 2 December 2011

The Meeting

Dammit, my head is pounding. I don't remember what happened.. Well, I don't remember everything. I remember meeting the Girl at the park. I remember her telling me that she used to be a member of some weird cult and that she was following me because she thought the cult was targeting me or something, it's all fuzzy. She was trying to tell me something important and then she saw something and ran away and I turned around to see what was there and then darkness.

I need to find her. I need clear answers.

Monday, 28 November 2011

The Catch

Today, I was walking in the park where I found the blank-faced puppet when I saw something dark moving out of the corner of my eye. I turned to see the Girl watching me from behind a tree. She jumped when she saw that I'd noticed her and tried to run but she wasn't very athletic and without a crowd in my way, I was able to catch her after a couple of minutes of sprinting. I grabbed her by the arm and started shouting at her, asking her why she was harassing me. After a minute she stopped struggling and started looking around in fear. Then she leaned forward and whispered into my ear.

"Come back here in three days' time and I'll explain everything, Andrew. I promise."

Then she jerked her arm away and ran off.

What the hell is happening to my life?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The Forgotten

Things are still strange here. No one else seems to remember anything that happened at the party. Not Darren, not Lady, not any of the other people who were there. I gave the "STRINGS" note to the police to see if they could get fingerprints off it or anything, I dunno, I don't really know how those things watch, I only watch CSI at weekends.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Hahahahaha, that was hilarious. And it looks like Andy-boy hasn't figured it out yet either. This is gonna be real fun.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Halloween Night

I was at a party last night with Lady and some really strange stuff happened.

I was dancing with Lady when I spotted the Girl out of the corner of my eye. I shouted at her and she saw me and ran away but when I tried to run after her, the crowd kept closing in around me. When I asked people why they were doing it, they acted like they weren't doing anything, but it was too late anyway, the Girl was gone.

Then, when I went for a drink in the kitchen, Darren was there, even though he said he told me he was going to Veracruz for Halloween. When I asked him why he wasn't in Mexico, he said he was, even though he quite clearly wasn't, and asked me why I was in Mexico. Before I could continue the conversation, Lady came into the kitchen and dragged me upstairs to...well, yeah.

Afterwards, I came back downstairs and Harvey and the other puppet were sitting in the hall windows. I grabbed them quickly in case someone damaged them, then I went outside with Lady and the house we were in was in a forest, even though it was in the middle of a city when we got there. Then I went back inside and everybody was staring at me for like five minutes, then they stopped as if nothing had happened, but I got freaked out so I went back outside and we were back in the city, so I took Lady home and then went back to my apartment with the puppets. Someone had left a note on my door that just said "STRINGS".

What the hell is going on!?

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Break-In

Oh gosh, sorry, I forgot to update again. I have a good excuse this time though, so don't be too mad!

Someone broke into my apartment and wrecked the whole place. They destroyed all my puppets except for Harvey and the puppet I found in the park. The insurance company are being really difficult about paying out for replacing them too, even though I need them to work. If they don't come through with the money...I think I might have to give up my art altogether, though the newspaper have said that they'd be delighted to have me on as a full time employee. That would definitely be enough enough money to get by on, though I'd need to cut back on stuff.

Sorry, I'm probably boring you to tears with my financial situation. The more important thing is that I think it was the Girl. I've done a couple of short shows with just Harvey and she hasn't been at them. I gave the police her description but they haven't had any luck finding her just yet. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed though.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

The Brand New Day

Oh, sorry again, my few, five followers. It's so weird to say but I've been busy, with my newfound social life, my newfound romance and my newfound...well, everything! It seems like my life has finally taken a turn for the better, a turn that it took its sweet time taking (not that I want to seem ungrateful)! But you folks have been here since before everything started looking up (even though we've never communicated or anything), so I do feel like I owe it to you to keep updating. I'll do my best to be more regular from now on.

Anyway, as I hinted at earlier, Lady and I have started dating. I don't want to jinx myself, so I won't say the L-word get what I mean. I apologized to Darren about the last time (though I still feel he was in the wrong to some extent, even if he didn't agree) and I've been gigging once every two weeks or so since then. A bit down from my normal but I'm not too worried about money for once because I also got a job writing short stories for a local literary magazine! I was really bowled over when I got the job because there was a lot of competition for it but, well, I did! I'm so glad I met Lady, I couldn't have done it without her encouragement. I'm...actually getting a bit teary thinking about how great life is at the moment. I'm sorry, I'll be back to finish this post in a few minutes.

Okay, I'm back. The only other thing I can really say is that since the last time I mentioned her, the situation with Girl hasn't really changed much. She's always at my shows, standing at the back, glaring at me. I don't get it but I'm thinking of calling the cops if she keeps intimidating me like this. Anyway, that's all for now.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

It's so sad that Andy-boy keeps forgetting to update his little writing project. So busy with his little romance. Too busy.

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Vent

That's what this is here for, right? So I can vent? I mean, I apologize if I cause offense, but I'm just so steamed at the moment. Darren and I got into a big argument about finances. He claimed that I didn't fill out some form, but I know I did, and then he tore into me about up and disappearing, so I said he was a crappy manager and it all devolved from there. He told me he was just trying to get me out and about and help me go into the world, but if I wasn't paying him he wouldn't give a damn, would he! It's all false sympathy, he doesn't really care about anyone! He's just a snake! And I'm sorry to the snakes! I could probably do better on my own. I have friends and things now, I've got the courage to go out and take on the world now! The last few performances have gone really well but the amount of money I've been making barely amounts to a trickle! How am I supposed to live like this?

Lady's an accountant, she can help me with paperwork. And I'm not absent minded, I can't believe he'd say that! I'm fairly good at math, I mean, I never failed in High School! And I know all the people at the places I do gigs somewhat! I can get work from them. I have a friend group now! And I've been to big cities and they're not as interesting as Darren makes them seem. I'm way more confident and smart and together and organized now and

I just found the missing paper under my computer.

I better go apologize...

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Absence

Gosh (I'm really sorry for using gosh and probably offending atheist and believer alike), it's been a while! I'm so sorry, four followers, for such a long absence! I know most of you don't really care about-- well, that's more presumptions, isn't it! Sorry! But I've had the time of my life over the last few weeks (for once). Well, the first week I didn't post anything because there just wasn't anything to post. But the second week, I visited the bar again, and I met a lovely young lady, whose name I won't give out in case of stalkers, not that I'm presuming you're a stalker!

But this Lady was such a sweetheart, she listened to me and I talked for once! (Not that this is implying anything about mute people!) So we chatted away and before I knew it it was past midnight. She was just getting up to leave when I panicked and blurted that the view from my balcony was fantastic! I live pretty high up, you see, and the light pollution isn't too bad, so you can see all the stars. Here's what surprised me; the Lady said yes to my company. She came back to my house with me, and we shared a bottle of wine on the balcony and talked some more. It was a wonderful night, with a bright moon and not much starlight. Somehow I got around to talking about my nan and how I wanted to chat with her properly, but she lives in the city. Lady said we should go, so the very next day, we did! I visited Nan, and we looked around the city together. Then I came back and had to do a bunch of shows since I'd done nothing for two weeks. I'm glad I'm the type of artist that can take a break once in a while!

Girl showed up to a few of the puppet shows, always near the back. She looked a bit more... I'm not sure how to put this without sounding sexist or weak, but I guess she seemed a bit more threatening? I mean, I'm easily unnerved I suppose. I'm not sure if Lady is a friend or what, but we've been hanging out and she likes my puppets, and so I'm happy anyway. Darren is pissed that I missed two weeks of work but I've been working and working to make it all up and I apologized a lot. So all's a bit better in the world than it was a few weeks ago!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

The Bar Visit

So we went to the bar, well I went to the bar with some of the people from the writer's circle and some of the people the people from writer's circle knew and the Girl was there. So of course I was kinda freaking out because I had been a predatory jerk and scared her off and made a total fool of myself. For the first half of the evening I spent the entire time trying to avoid the Girl and ended up talking to a random older lady. I'm not sure if it's fair to call her an older lady, or even very P.C. She was 80-ish, but I think you're supposed to say longer-living person. She was very nice, and fascinating, though. We had a good long chat, or she talked to me and I listened.

And then I was going to get another drink, and the Girl cornered me by the bar, and started talking to me like I was a human and not some pond slime she'd found at the bottom of her shoe. She said she was sorry she had missed a couple of performances, and wanted to know where the next ones were so she would be sure to show up on time. So I gave her a couple of dates and locations, but I was stuttering so much, and she just laughed. I don't know if this is normal or what, my dad was single and I didn't have any sisters, so I don't understand girls. Is that fair to say? Or is that sexist, I don't want to be sexist, I'm just confused. Or is that sexist in itself? But we talked for a bit, and then a group of people tried to teach me how to play darts, and I lost at darts a lot. Then I walked home in the moonlight. It was nice. I wouldn't mind doing it again.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Long Wait

Gosh, I'm so sorry I haven't posted in here so long! I've just been, well, so busy, and I'm never usually busy, so I don't have very much internet time because I haven't quite figured out how to balance a social life(?!) with everything else! But the trip to the coffeeshop went well, even though I didn't really say anything the first time round, and they told me they meet on Sundays and Thursdays so I could I come to the Thursday ones as well, so I've been out twice a week for the last three weeks! I know it doesn't seem like much, but for someone as pathetic as me it's really a massive achievement. Uh, yeah, so it's going really well. It's a mixed group of people but there are some people my age, and it's probably good for me to be talking to people and not just puppets.

Uhh.. I'm sorry, I just really don't know how to well, talk on this blog thing. I thought I did but I guess I just don't have that interesting of a life, there's just nothing big to chat about usually. I had three gigs and they all went okay but not enough to make a proper living off of. Nothing else much has happened. Although I did get invited out by one of the people at the writer's circle to a bar this weekend, and I'm kinda wigging out about it. I'm really not sure I want to go I mean when I get drunk I do stupid things, and I know I'm using personal pronouns and talking about myself too much but I don't really know what other people get up to or anything, and anyway I think I might just not go. It's too much to think about really. I don't know what to do about that. Maybe I will go. No, it seems like a bad idea.

Alright, sorry for taking up your time (again) internet. 

Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Moment of Relief

Oh lord above, thanks to him, unless your not religious, I'm not into religion much myself. But it's a good phrase to signal relief, unless it offended you, in which case I am really sorry. To move on from that, everything has been good recently, or at least on the up and up. Because after many hours on the phone, after filling out forms and getting references and bank details and such, I've finally got my grant in the tubes, so I won't have to worry about money so much, which is a huge relief. Unless you've got problems with money at the moment and my boasting has just made everything seem so much worse, in which case I'm sorry again. I'm starting to think this whole blog is me apologizing.

I had another performance the other day, and the Girl was there. So I didn't completely scare her off forever. Good thing too! She really is quite pretty. Wait, is it PC to say that? I don't want to objectify women or be scary or anything. Ooh, I really hope she doesn't find this blog, it'd seem like I was leering at her all the time or stalking her or something. But the show went really well, though again I'm pretty biased so you might not want to take my word as read. The audience might just have been feeling sorry for me or something. But in any case I made a lot more money than usual, so I could send some cash to gran, and I had a good time anyway. The kids got really into the show. It was pretty great.

Also, later today I'm going to a writers circle in a coffeeshop, and I'm really nervous because I bet they won't like me. I've gotta go anyway, Darren says I need to have more people to talk to in real life or I'll go crazy and start talking to my puppets. I regret writing that now, it makes me seem crazier than I actually am. Well, I should go an try to make some friends at least. If you don't mind I guess I'll update on how the writers circle goes or something. Hopefully well.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

The Garden

Sorry about the lack of an update, I've been trying desperately to try and keep my grant and with all the phone calls and letters and forms, not to mention continuing my regular shows, I've been really stressed out, so stressed out, in fact, that I don't even think I have the energy to talk about how horrible a waste of space I am. Here's another story I wrote. I'm sorry if it sucks, I wrote it very early one morning while slightly drunk and listening to a CD my Granny Margaret sent to me.

The Garden
by Andrew Gerard Panjaka
As we looked out on the bay, the fishermen came back across the water. Their boats were empty of fish but their mouths were filled with words that roared across the cool divide, from where their lips parted to release them to where ours met to speak them without sound. Over the whistling of the wind as it blew through the bulletholes in their sails, they screamed of navy blockades and an approaching army.
The screams that erupted from everyone in that park except us were as piercing as your tongue as it entered my mouth. In that moment, passion overtook me and I pulled you close, holding you tight in my arms. In that moment, the entire city seemed to stop around us before exploding into an ever more cacophonous bombardment of the senses; the wailing of the sirens, the scent of burning oil and, somehow, through it all, music. Looking back, I can remember the tune and the words, but never the name or the singer.
I don't believe in an interventionist god, but I know, darling, that you do. But if I did, I would kneel down and ask him not to intervene when it came to you.
Somewhere, in the distance, just above the sound of that song, a man on a hill was calling out, telling his brethren to fight back and crush the enemy. There was a rumble of thunder from above, followed swiftly by every cloud in the sky opening like a flower and letting its tears spill forth. As the rain fell, I asked you whether the calling man was with the army or the rebels and you replied that you didn't know. But when we looked back at the smoke that was filling the sky above the burning city, turning the rain to acid, we understood, for just one moment, that it didn't matter whether he was a soldier of order or of chaos. Either way, anarchy prevailed.
Oh not to touch a hair on your head, to leave you as you are and, if He felt He had to direct you, then direct you into my arms.
The next day, peace was announced. To this day, I'm still not sure whether it was the army or the rebels that won. All I know is that, mere days after the city had burned, a million people were walking back to work while another great crowd left the city forever, walking towards the horizon. Maybe it was the rebels being banished, maybe it was the army retreating, I could find out if I asked but I didn't care then and I don't care now. To me, that day was just another day, lying with you in the garden, holding you close, caressing your thighs, running my hands through your hair, just experiencing you until, at last, our lips met again and, somewhere, that song played again, the singers deep, sonorous tones hanging in the air alongside our sighs of content.
Into my arms, oh Lord, into my arms, oh Lord, into my arms, oh Lord, into my arms.
And that's where you ended up. Whether it was fate or circumstance that guided you there, it was in my arms alone that you rested for the rest of your life, brief though it was. Even as I sit here in this house alone, I think back to those few days. The world exploding around us while we just lived. We lived as hard as we could, because we both knew we wouldn't live long enough to join in the victory celebrations. But at least, if nothing else, we went on our terms. Dr. Andersen wanted us to have chemotherapy but why drag out our lives in misery and pain when we could simply enjoy what time we had left together?
So, you and me, we just laid down in the garden and died in each other's arms. Our bodies held each other close as we grew cold under the night sky. Yeah, you and me, we just laid down in the garden. 

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Failure

My dad used to say, “There is no failure, there’s only stupidity,” and I’m stupid, but I’m also a failure, I mean I guess dad has what he thinks, but how could anyone think I’m anything other than a stupid failure, I mean I bet all of you do, what else could I be? I mean what happened today I just fucked everything in my life up and almost lost my ability to do the things I love and afford the things I love, like my puppets, I mean without the grant what am I supposed to do about the puppets? And oh god I’m not making sense again, so I’m really sorry for that, I’m sorry that I’m being so stupid right now, at least in writing this.

I was supposed to send in my renewal for my grant to make puppets by the twelfth and my manager kept telling me to but it slipped my mind and I only realized on the tenth that I was supposed to do it but I still put it off, so, well, I did really badly on the essay and I bet it doesn’t get in on time and I bet that I end up with no money because of my incompetence. So I told my manager what happened and he said “I told you so, barbosa.” or something like that but I can’t be sure because I don’t really speak Spanish, at least not very well, though I have some Italian but I don’t like to talk about it because I’m really bad at Italian I just learned it so I could learn more about masks.

But what kind of fool am I? I mean this sucks and I suck and if I don’t get money from the grant there’ll be no way for me to continue with my work and then I’ll be absolutely nothing at all of worth, I mean honestly without puppets all I am is a sad sack man all alone in his room, who’s only talent outside of puppetry and storytelling is tripping over and screwing everything up. Without puppets I’ll be exposed for who I am; a failure trapped alone with his stupidity.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Brambles

Today was frustrating. Finances have been terrible recently not that you really want to know about that, I've been feeling unwell but I don't want to go to the doctor in case I can't afford it or I bother her, and shows have been booked less and less which I can't help but think has something to do with the party, I mean you know how rumours fly around and I made such a massive awful fool of myself I bet word has gotten around. You know how people are or maybe you don't or maybe I just made a huge assumption about people, I mean maybe I'm the only person who gossips, I mean I know it's rude and it's not supposed to happen but I do it so maybe I'm the only person who does it in the whole world and people have been talking about how rude and mean I am this whole time. Or something.

Then when I went to the park to clear my head I fell in I patch of brambles, which is silly I think because what if a kid fell in, but then I guess kids are smarter than that, and I guess that the gardeners probably have enough on their plates and some people might think it looks nice so I shouldn't presume it's silly just because I cut my finger. But in the brambles I found a puppet! It's really cool looking, you can't really tell by this picture though.

It's such a good puppet, very well made, and such contrasts. There's a streamlined, almost art deco, form, yes, reflecting our modern society I'd think, and it's contrasted with the natural materials used in the design. The arms and legs are roots of some sort I think, the extended fingers very thing, almost straw-like twigs. Each limb is riddled with very finely tuned hinges for the maximum of maneuverability. The strings are fine cloth, or maybe metal, it's hard to tell at the touch, and the control mechanism is magnificent. The control piece is so complicated- I'd rather the design not go onto the web for to avoid people catching onto the design, so I won't photograph it until I've unraveled its secrets. Oddly, it's got a perfectly blank head. Of course, that's the standard with a teaching puppet, since it shows you to move the body for to create emotions within the figure, instead of relying on a face. I just say it's odd because it's such a well made puppet...

Okay, I'm done here, sorry for wasting your time with my rambling again.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Performance

I'm really sorry for not updating for a while but I also guess I'm not sorry because I kinda suck as a human being, I mean my life is really boring, so I guess I don't really have to apologize because you were probably glad to be shot of me. I mean my life is just so boring and dull and embarrassing that I can't imagine why anyone would ever want to read about it or like me or anything. When I watch films and the characters do stupid stuff I can't stand to watch the films so I can understand why people wouldn't want to read my blog so honestly you don't have to. I mean, I'm a total wreck of a human being, uh, see, after the party I was just so so very embarrassed I couldn't even perform, and I just ended up making masks in my basement for days, and that's really embarrassing to admit to because it seems like the more I write and the more I blog the more pathetic I seem but I just couldn't handle it all after that horrific display at the party.

I finally got around to performing again on Saturday, for some kids. And I did my act, and they were enjoying it, but the girl wasn't there and I felt a bit mopey and one of the littler kids began crying in the Punch and Judy part of the act, and it was really sad and I felt really bad even though I was talking to one of the parents afterwards and she said the little girls sister had run away and the little girl was feeling super sensitive and it wasn't my fault, but I still felt awful. The bit where I let the kids wander around the set and play with the puppets at the end was just more stressful than usual because they were really boisterous and someone broke the nose off of Danielle and I just know she blames me for it. You might say, or you might not, I don't want to put words in your mouth or anything but well, you might maybe perhaps say that puppets can't judge because they don't have brains or something but I can tell they get sad sometimes, at least I think they do. That might just be because I get sad sometimes…

And after I did strike I went and sat in the park for a bit and played with the grass alone because I'm kinda pathetic and lonely. I must have a big glowy sign on my head that says "pathetic" because this one guy from a church or cult or something about the "last" or something came over and started trying to recruit me, though I don't want to judge and say all people who are in religions or cults are gullible or anything. I just feel like they go after gullible and vulnerable people sometimes and well, uh, I guess I'm sorry again. Sorry to religious people and people who are vulnerable sometimes and everyone for wasting your time on this... Oh god I suck.

Monday, 16 May 2011

I Told You So

Well, after that last post, I figure you don't want to hear about my life. I'd probably just depress you. Unless you have a worse life than me, in which case you're probably already depressed, and if you're not, you're a much stronger person than me. Anyway, since I can't imagine why anyone would want to hear about me, here's a short story I wrote about Harvey the other day;

I Told You So 
by Andrew Gerard Pankaja 
That day, on that hill, a lot of things went wrong. 
It was supposed to have been a simple enough process. Harvey had done it a thousand times before; sneak down into the city, kidnap a virgin female, bring her back to the hill and kill her, letting her blood flow into the smooth recesses that lined the ancient altar on the hill's crest. He had been doing it for years, for decades, and it had never gone wrong before, until tonight. Harvey laughed in spite of himself. 
Nothing ever goes wrong until it does, he thought, the bitter taste in his mouth intruding into his thoughts. Harvey sighed, the unfairness of the situation clear in his sight. He hadn't chosen any of this; he'd been forced into it by circumstances outside his control. It was hard, being homeless, and if some seemingly kindly people offered you a way out, how were you to blame for taking it? Some people complained about being born and raised into a religion instead of being allowed to choose themselves. As far as Harvey was concerned, they could shove it where the sun doesn't shine. If they were given a choice between being born into a Catholic family or being forced into a sinister cult of bloodthirsty maniacs worshipping a faceless, shapeless, nameless eldritch abomination from the endless void beyond time and space whose very gaze would cause the brains of all who saw it to seep from their ears from sheer incomprehension of the entity's existence just to get off the street, Harvey was sure they'd be whistling a different tune. 
His initiation into the cult had been...interesting, for lack of a better word. He'd been retaught everything he'd forgotten in school, along with some other more...specialised topics, learning English and mathematics alongside how to properly prepare sacrificial victims. His mentor had been the cult's high priest, so he got, as he put it, a "fairly good grounding" in their belief system, by which he meant that if he couldn't remember a tenet of their holy book, his mentor would grind his face against the wall. As his thoughts wandered into memories of his years as an acolyte, he ran his fingers over the rope-like scars that ran across the right side of his face. 
It was in his acolyte years that he started to disagree with his mentor on a few major issues of their religion, the main one being the belief that by bringing the virgin sacrifices to Jesmegoth, as the beast was known in their holy texts, the cult would be spared when he eventually woke up and set the whole universe aflame. Harvey had grown skeptical that a creature known varyingly as "The Heartless", "The Merciless" and "All-Consumer of the Nethervoid" would value the cult's loyalty enough to not send their minds spiraling into oblivion. As he remembered the conversation with his mentor, his fingers moved from his facial scars to the hole where his ear used to be. 
Perhaps the most important area where he and his mentor differed was on the issue of what exactly the sacrifices were for. His mentor believed that the sacrifices would act as sustenance for Jesmegoth until he was ready to awaken and reign over all from an obsidian throne draped with the flaming corpses of all who opposed him, whereas Harvey thought that the sacrifices were keeping Jesmegoth asleep, which was the reason that, despite differing rather fundamentally with his mentor on the issue of the value of human life, Harvey had continued to make the sacrifices when his mentor and the rest of the cult had been killed in a shootout with the police, having kidnapped a member of the royal family as a special sacrifice. 
Until tonight. 
Until he'd tried to sacrifice a rape victim, who, unfortunately for both the child and Harvey, did not meet the "virgin" requirement. 
A nearby rustling shunted Harvey from his idle wanderings. As he watched in horror, tentacles of liquid darkness seeped from the undergrowth, snaking across the ground before wrapping themselves around his ankles and lifting him into the air. Harvey found himself face-to-nearest-equivalent-thereof with something that looked like a mass of slimy, black worms in the rough shape of a giant squid. Harvey shrieked in horror and, as his brains started to ooze out his ears, he heard a voice inside his head, ancient, powerful and cruel; the last thing he would ever hear. 
"At least you can say "I told you so.""

Thursday, 12 May 2011

The Party

I went for a walk in the park today, not that I'm a hiker or anything, though if you are a hiker I don't mean to offend you I mean I think hikers are pretty awesome so I'm sorry if I offended you. But I go walking in this park like once a week, usually on Wednesdays. Around noonish, after breakfast. Uh, was that too much information? I know I can get a little too detailed about things and I really don't mean to I just notice details around and is that weird or something? I just like details because they help you to organize things and figure out what's important and what isn't and what you need to do and what you can do something about and what you can't do anything about and what's interesting and what's boring and what's fun and what's funny and when you do things and people and yeah… Sorry, went rambley there again for a moment. Oh, rambley isn't a word. Ramble-y maybe? Oh no, I'm wasting your time again, sorry, I didn't mean to. God this is so awful, I'm a terrible writer, I'm really sorry that you're reading this. If I was a comedian I'd have been pulled off the stage with that giant hook by now. Sorry.

Ugh, anyway, I was in the park. It's a nice park, a big wide open space, lots of grass, playground made out of tired with a big old tree in the middle. I think it's an oak, but I don't really know, I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on trees or on anything really. Ugh. Anyway, well, I was out for a walk in this big old park and I was wandering around on one of the bike paths when I ran into Darren, my manager, walking his dog, which I think was a german shepherd or maybe a labrador? I don't know anything about dogs, but that should be obvious because I don't really know anything about anything, but anyway back to Darren. He's about forty and he's lived a pretty full life, lots of exciting stuff going on, like I think he had a drag act in the early nineties (I can remember those, I feel old…) and he worked for a circus a couple of times. He's a smalltime manager of smalltime people and I think  he likes it that way because he knows a lot of more interesting people but chooses to let them go do other things and be managed by other people. I don't know very much more than that because I kinda shut down when people talk to me. But I can remember that today he was wearing jeans that had holes in them which is a bit unprofessional if you ask me though he was only walking his dog so I suppose he doesn't have to be professional.

 Anyway we exchanged greetings and smalltalk, or at least he did, and I stared awkwardly at the ground like the truly charismatic and outgoing person I am, whilst he kept giving me this look like he wanted me to answer his questions with more than a one word answer but I'm terrible at stuff like this, truly awful. But eventually he asked me what I was doing that night and I said "My recycling" because I always do recycling on Wednesday nights but I guess I was kinda rude because I think my tone implied that he should already know that which is very presumptuous and I don't mean to presume things I'm just really bad at talking to people.

But then he said "I'm having a part tonight with a bunch of people, you should get out of your house and come and hang out." And then he said that he was worried about me so I said I'd come. And he said it was a casual party so I wouldn't have to worry about fancy clothes and that it wasn't a pot luck so I wouldn't have to bring food or do anything that I don't want to do I'd just pop in and "socialize" for a bit and I nodded and said yes, and said I'd go just over and over whilst he was trying to convince me and I think he thought I wouldn't be true to my word or something.

So that night I dressed in a nice shirt and slacks because I wanted to look somewhat nice but I put converse on to make sure that I wasn't too formal because I didn't want to look too out of place or something and then I walked over to Darren's since I don't have a car. And, well, it was a total disaster. I was a total disaster, Darren's never going to invite me over again after what a totally insecure pathetic anti-social socially awkward THING I was at that party, and I didn't drink or anything, I mostly just sat there and twiddled my thumbs and felt awkward and scared and kinda gross and just wrong and I didn't quite know what to do with myself so I sat on a chair for a bit. And for a bit of the party I just kinda hovered around Darren but I'm sure I was in the way and cramping his style and stuff. But all of those failures as a human being were nothing after the final climactic failure of the evening occurred. You see… The girl was there.

The one I talked about before.

She was there and I tried to talk to here. I tried to be suave to her. Guess how well that went. I talked about puppets and girls don't like puppets no matter how much I try to convince myself that SOMEBODY, ANYBODY else in the world likes puppets and is over the age of nine. But nobody but me likes them, not properly, and so I scared her off and creeped her out and she laughed at me, she laughed at me and I apologized and said sorry and I didn't know what to do and I said that I was sorry for creeping her out and being annoying and making her laugh at me and that I was sorry that my only skill was puppetry and the only thing that I could talk about was puppetry, but now that I think about it it sounds like I was trying to guilt trip her which is not what I wanted at all, oh god I bet she thinks I'm a colossal jerk and weirdo and a kind of self-hating emo who threatens to cut himself so girls will like him not that there is anything wrong with being emo I'm sorry emos I didn't mean to offend you but I keep offending people I'm sorry...

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Cast

So I figure I should introduce you to my cast of puppets. Not that I feel obligated to or anything, or that I'm presuming that you'd be interested but...well, my puppets are more interesting than anything I have to say about myself. They're all I have, really.

I start my act with two marionette servant girls called Clémence and Danielle, who start off doing jokes about their stingy employer before noticing that the audience is there and doing the can-can for them. A bit cliché, I know, which is why I try to liven it up by having them mess up the can-can, kick each other in the face and start arguing. It usually gets the audience's attention.

After Clémence and Danielle, I bring out two innamorati or lovers, traditional puppets which developed from the commedia dell'arte style of acting which emerged in late Renaissance Italy. My lovers are called Ortensio e Aurelia. Like many innamorati performances, Ortensio e Aurelia spend the beginning of the performance bickering and jibing each other until Ortensio has to go to work, at which point both he and Aurelia start overdramatically pining for their departed love. Once Ortensio returns home, he and Aurelia act lovey-dovey once again, for a few moments, at least, before returning to their bickering. Not unlike real-life couples in that sense, I suppose. Not that I would know.

Once Ortensio e Aurelia have done their bit, I take another leaf from the commedia dell'arte book with a traditional Punch and Judy performance. As is the case with most Punch and Judy performances, the play has a rough structure but is largely impromptu and allows for a good deal of audience participation, much like a pantomime play. At this point, I usually have the audience's attention for the grand finale.

Through combining the familiar Harlequin archetype from the commedia dell'arte tradition with the modern penchant for fusing ventriloquism with stand-up comedy, I created the character of Harvey the Tramp. My act with Harvey is based primarily on quick back-and-forth banter, as well as commenting on the misfortune of Harvey's life and the stories in the newspapers he sleeps in, which allows me to poke fun at whatever's topical at the moment, which means I can keep the routine fresh.

You know, I love the feeling of being on a stage. I love making people laugh. I love making people applaud. I love taking my bow at the end of the performance, with all my puppets, of course, and knowing that I've made people happy. The thing is, when I'm on stage, I know that people like me. I can see them liking me, I can hear them liking me, I can feel them liking me.

I just can't get that feeling off the stage. Oh, look at me whining. I'm sorry to be unloading my self-pity on you, whoever you are. There are people in the world worse off than me. There are people starving in Niger, being gunned down in Libya and dying of AIDS in South Africa, I shouldn't be complaining. Oh, that sounds arrogant and racist doesn't it? Because I used all African countries and made it sound like I can't complain because at least I'm not like those people. Oh god, I'm sorry if I've offended you and I'm sorry if I've annoyed you by complaining about my problems when there are people far worse off and I'm sorry, in general, for being me.

I hope I didn't offend you. 

Friday, 6 May 2011

The Girl

There was a girl at the gig I had last night, and I mean, that's not too unusual, there are girls at most of my gigs, but usually they don't come to more than one. Uh, I mean, not that it's bad! Honestly, I mean, I don't think it's bad, I mean some people think it's bad I'm sure because people have their own opinions and stuff, but I mean, girls don't usually like puppets do they. Wait, sorry, that's sexist isn't it, I just haven't seen a girl come to my show more than once, though that might be because it sucks, but anyway! There was this girl at the gig last night and she was there last time so I think she likes my show, or maybe it's coincidence, but I think it couldn't be, since last time it was in a mall, and this time it was in a theatre, so maybe she saw me and then went to see another show to find out more, or something. I mean, she was cute, I don't usually check out girls because I don't want to be creepy, but she was about my age, I think, and I wasn't ogling her or anything and it's not like I'm going to talk to her ever because I'm bad at talking to people and communicating, especially with girls, I mean I've never had a girlfriend or anything. Yeah, 28 and no girlfriend, and I live all alone in this tiny apartment, and even my mum thinks I'm a loser, and I guess I am really, I mean, I'm totally a loser, I can't handle it really myself. I'm good at puppetry. Really, really good.

So yeah, there was this girl. I think there was actually a guy there too. Maybe he's into the puppets? I mean, that'd be just my luck, or maybe she's married, or has a kid or something. I mean, I should probably just forget about it all, forget the whole thing, or something, because well, I guess, uh, there's no point thinking about it really, I kinda suck at this kind of thing, and stuff, and girls are confusing in the end you know? I just don't know how to react to them. I'm really sorry if you're a girl and I'm sorry I'm being sexist and such a loser but I'm just kinda awkward and confused and stuff and yeah.

Friday, 29 April 2011

An introduction, I guess?

Good evening, internet. Wait, that sounded presumptuous, I'm sorry, uh, I mean, it might be morning wherever you are, or afternoon, or you might live in one of those countries where it's day all the time and so that would be culturally insensitive, so I'm sorry, so I guess it was wrong of me to presume it might be evening, and I guess it was wrong that I presumed whatever day you're having is good, I mean, well, since you might be having a bad day or a weird day or a really, really good day and in any case even if I was just wishing you a good day there's still the issue that I don't know what a good day would be like of you so I might be imposing my view of a good day on you and that's not nice either so I'm sorry for that. And I guess it's also wrong that I've presumed that you're on the internet, even though I don't know quite how you'd be reading this if it wasn't on the internet but maybe you printed this out to give to an elderly relative though why you'd want to do that I don't know so. Wait, I mean, I don't want to presume anything, so I guess if you want to print this out for some reason or something, I mean, I think that's weird, but I guess I just don't want to judge, and we're all weird in the world and stuff and well there are are all types  out there. Uhh, okay, that went on way too long.

I suppose you can call me Andrew. I don't have a nickname because I don't have anyone to really talk to about the things that happen in my life and the things I find interesting, in fact, well, I'm writing this in lieu of having real friends. Well, I shouldn't write that either, it makes me sound like I have no friends, when in actuality, I do actually have some friends. Well, there's Darren. I suppose he counts, right? Even if he's my manager, there's still a friendly relationship there, and he makes sure I eat and things, so he's nice to me, so he must like me and think I'm an okay guy to be alive. And the guy at the video store smiles at me sometimes. I guess that might also count more in the professional relationships than in the friendly personal ones. But I do have friends!

Who am I kidding? I'm a puppeteer, we don't make friends. Well, no, wait, that's presumptuous as well because I'm sure that there are hundreds or even thousands of puppeteers with lots of friends and I shouldn't lump myself in with them. I'm just not very good at making friends. Or doing anything, really. I'm really boring, one of those reclusive guys that you read about and you think that they can't exist because nobody can be that antisocial, they have to have friends on World of Warcraft or something, but no, I don't even have friends there, or even with other puppeteers, or even my puppets sometimes. I just think my poor puppets deserve better and now I'm personifying my puppets and you're reading this and thinking that I'm a serial killer with dolls stuck to my walls and mummy issues but I'm not, honestly, I'm just not good at anything else.

And I don't want to make any presumptions, but if you're still reading my blog after everything I've written here, you must be crazy. Not to judge or anything, I'm sorry.