Sorry about the slowing down of these updates, but I’m not one of those people that works well when all they want to do is just melt into the earth and die a quiet, peaceful death.
Actually, what’d be cooler is to just bore into the ground at a fantastic speed, having just waved to the people around you and spoken something along the lines of, enjoy the rest of your now very short lives, you Nazi fuckfaces!” Â (In this scenario, I’m the last person not infected by some kind of virus that turns everyone into Nazis). Â Upon reaching the Earth’s core, I detonate myself, as I am inherently a plutonium construct from…eh…Pluto, blowing the planet apart, killing everyone and everything still breathing and simply being on the planet.
But enough philosophy…
Let’s see…yesterday, Saturday, or as they call it here in Australlia, “Vomit Day”, was the first official day of the prestigious Supanova Pop Culture and Cattle Dancing Show, and the weather knew it, taking a godly dump of balmy horror all over the city, swirling it specifically over the rusting shack that acted as the convention grounds.
All I told the cab driver that morning was “Follow the terrible visions you see shambling along the streets.” gesturing toward a Â Twi Lek dancer walking with something from Final Fantasy, but I couldn’t be sure. Â The cabbie squinted, steeling himself for this detestable fair that just fell in his muggy lap. Â “This isn’t why I became a cabbie. Â I never agreed to this shit, goddammit.” Â he said, his heavy German accent making it sound scarier than normal.
“This IS what you signed up for, you sonofabitch.” I said to him, sharply, but encouraging, “This is why you are here. Â Right Now. Â You won’t get another chance like this and you’re letting it slip between your dirty German fingers!”
That did it. Â The cabbie almost put his foot through the car’s floor, setting up a Flintstones joke, but he didn’t, so fuck that. Â The cab rocketed off, slamming into the Twi Lek first, exploding her like she was mere sausage casing stuffed with blood. Â Her head, the only part of her relatively intact stuck to the windshield, slowly being forced upward toward the roof by the g-forces, leaving a gaudy streak of dull green paint on the glass, screamed for two blocks as the cabbie wove in and out expertly, just like a scene from one of those Matrixes only not boring as fuck after the 7th hour of cars flipping and exploding. Â Just like that!
The next fifteen minutes were like a real life game of Pac Man, only with a cab belching black smoke instead of a yellow pizza pie, and instead of dots this Pac Man fed on the crimson gore of the young and obsessive. Â The cabbie’s eyes scanned the path for anyone not dressed as a boring office clone, homing in on anyone with false, inhuman ears, or a crown, or a scepter. Â Stormtroopers were a given, but he seemed particularly hungry for the blood of Imperials, prompting orgiasticÂ exultationsÂ from the wild-eyed German with every impact.
Now, I can’t STOP time, no. Â What I can do is just slow it to where it only appears that it has stopped, and that’s precisely what I did when I saw a brief glimpse of red, blue and green. Â Sure enough, it was some lil peepsies dressed as Mario and Luigi, and I wanted nothing to do with the destruction of anyone in such costumes. Â Putting an hand on the cabbie’s shoulder, which burned to the touch, I said, gently, “No. Â Not these two.” Â Cabbie pressed his eyelids shut tightly, straining to do what you might think to be the impossible, but this was a day for impossible things, so shut the hell up. Â The cab, not unlike the Event Horizon, folded space, vanishing at one point, and re entering several yards ahead of where we last were, skipping Mario and Luigi altogether. Â Thankfully, in our case, unlike Event Horizon, a naked Sam Neill didn’t show up to make a shitty movie even shittier.
The cabbie, agreeing to be merciful on the case of our plumber fanpeople’s case, had wisely chosen to reappear directly in the space where a group cosplaying as the entire cast of one of the more recent Sonic the Hedgehog games. Â No explosion, no impact, rather the car was simply and immediately stained red. Â Bathed in the pink light of the sun filtered through Sonic fans, we began the final leg of the journey, with the cabbie expertly slamming on the breaks at precisely the right time to slide to a stop, factoring in the obscene coating of slick convention goer mess all over the vehicle.
20 bucks Australian. Â I’ll never forget whatsisface the cabbie.
It was immediately apparent that Brisbane’s convention was much larger and much more hideous than Melbourne’s, with thousands more people packed into what felt like a locker stuffed with old, damp towels. Â People didn’t so much walk around the convention as allow the natural bodily fluids intermingling from one another to propel them around the con floor like peeled grapes dipped in olive oil.
Went up to the green room, this one much cooler than the last, where I was shocked to find Hayden Panetierre, apparently reconstituted from having been exploded by Katee Sackhoff less than a week before. Â The entity that calls itself Hayden didn’t look up at me when I entered the room, remaining, instead, hunched over a submarine sandwich the size of a baby, her hands clasped on either side of it as she slowly chewed on one end, the sandwich never quite leaving her mouth. Â The end she gnawed on was a nasty, mushy pulpy thing from the thing’s saliva being siphoned into it. Â Only at one point did Hayden’s eyes loll up in my general direction when I reached over for a napkin on the table near her.
I nodded, not wanting to be rude, still amazed at how quickly she had pulled herself together, literally, as the last time I had seen her she was just a puddle and fragments on the floor. Â Only when I walked to the other side of the room did I see that her appearance was incomplete, lacking almost the entire left side of her face, just a raw, violent gash with wavering, cilia like edges reaching to one another, trying to seal up the void. Â Seeming to sense the attention, she turned to me with a motion that wasn’t quite human, not quite ready to pull off the illusion.
“And what is it YOU do?” she asked me. Â A little thrown off by her sudden conversational turn, I began collecting myself, preparing to answer. Â “Well, I do a bit of comic book work and anima-” I managed to get out before having to duck as she hissed and threw her sandwich at me. Â What she spoke then was neither human nor sound as I have ever known it. Â Her very presence seemed to waver, the glamour of her entire being faltering, revealing, just for an instant, the true being before me. Â For a moment, I saw the pitiable midget man that was host to this evil, his eyes filled with pain and an unknowable desire to be ended.
At that moment, I recalled Geena Davis, realizing that the monster that was once her lover, now holding the barrel of a shotgun to his head, was asking to be put to death, begging to have its miserable existence cut off in a final explosion of mercy. Â I was not Geena Davis, despite the resemblance, and I had no shotgun, but those tiny eyes left me without choice, I had to finish the job. Â Hoping I was fast enough to take advantage of this drop in the Hayden entity’s defenses, hoping I was fast enough to violently save the tiny man acting as a battery for the supernatural thing that the foolish people were queueing up to take pictures with out on the convention floor, I grabbed a metal garbage bin and raised it high over my head.
My aim was true, but something was wrong. Â It was as if I had struck a stone wall, as if I were no more than some idiot swinging a bat at a mountain. Â The bin was held firmly in place where my swing had stopped, appearing to be wedged stuck in the air. Â Slowly it moved to the side, revealing the terrifying truth.
The midget had been absorbed once more, and, standing there, holding the bin in one hand, her arm outstretched, was Hayden Panetierre, or whatever it’s real name was. Â The garbage bin began to go soft, its contents and all doing the same. Â I realized that Hayden was using the garbage to rebuild the other half of her face, the skull of her reforming, then the dead, lifeless face of the thing was complete.
“You cannot stop me, boy.” It squeaked in my general direction, never quite meeting my eyes with its own. Â Celebrities, right? Â “I walked this world before your kind and I’ll walk it long after. Â I once bumped into Jesus Christ in a crowded market and didn’t say excuse me. Â I rode a triceratops into a wall just for fun, and you think you have any chance against my power?”
Outside the crowd chanted Hayden’s name, impatient for their photo ops, the chanting only giving the beast more power to use against me, inflating her to almost twice her size at almost 4 feet tall. Â She floated off the ground, drinking in the love from the fans who weren’t seeing their beloved cheerleader the way I was. Â Would they still cheer had they known? Â Probably. Â People are fuckin idiots.
But I saw my chance. Â The thing that was a girl that was a midget was in the throes of a fresh high, a heroin addict with the needle still pumping shit into its arm or ballsack or whatever. Â For all I knew Hayden had such a ballsack, and that was fine with me because it gave me a chance, my only chance.
I remember that the entire time I had seen her over the course of this Australian nightmare, she had been eating conservatively, lightly, likely in terror of some impending morbid obesity. Â The enormous sub sandwich was out of character for the tiny television girl, but possibly not for a little midget man currently being used as a power source to and anchor for a being that has no place in our world. Â Surely the little man must be nourished in order to be kept quieted.
I picked up as much of the remains of the sandwich as I could, fashioning as close a proximation of an appetizing meal as I could, running back to where Hayden was floating, absorbing the misguided fan love. Â I held out the sandwich like a torch against the darkness, and I swear the thing did glow. Â Sandwich torch.
It was working! Â Hayden’s presence wavered once more, only not nearly as smoothly and completely as before. Â Her belly seemed to open up and I could see the tortured man’s face within, eyeing the sandwich hungrily, hellishly. He reached out but something was holding him back. Â Hayden’s face twitched with dismay as she realized what I was doing. Â The allure of the sandwich was too much to resist, however, and the little man fought her, willing the portal to remain open despite Hayden’s best attempts to shut it.
“You’re a good person, tiny man! Â Fight her! Â Fight IT! Â Sandwich!” Â I cried out, doing my best to pierce through Hayden’s shrieking. Â Things were beginning to vibrate in the room, levitating and swirling around us.
I leapt, sandwich arm extended, and managed to punch through the membrane of evil that surrounded Panetierre, and the tiny man’s tiny hand made contact.
I was in a black void, sitting as though meditating, sitting on nothingness across from the tiny man doing the same. Â Somewhere was the sound of a child playing Moonlight Sonata on a toy piano.
“I was once an actor, I was.” Â said the little man. Â “All the usual stuff that a person of my size gets, ya know? Â Elves, midgets in dream sequences, fuckin Ewoks.”
I nodded, sympathetically.
The story the man told was one of desperation and bad choices, ultimately ending in a deal with his own particular devil, Hayden Panetierre. Â The Hayden came to him in his darkest time, a time where he found himself replacing Warwick Davis in a 13th Leprechaun film with a whole shitload of dancing. Â He couldn’t resist the deal Panetierre offered: Â the use of his body in return for Â fame. Â Sure it wouldn’t be him that that the people loved, but being along for the ride would still be better than being screamed at for not getting the silly jigs right. Â He accepted, and immediately knew that hell was a thing for the living.
“You must go now” he said, and raised the sandwich to his mouth. Â I saw a tear fall from his eye just before he bit into the thing.
I was back outside, in my own body, in the green room. Â I was flat on my ass, propped up on my palms looking up at Hayden who, for the first time, had an expression of concern.
“What have you done, whatever your name is I dunno I never bothered to ask?!” Â screamed the thing that was a girl that was a tiny man now munching away on a sandwich within a world none of us could properly conceive of.
And she exploded.
Covered in a fine mist of actress, I stood up, slipping a bit in the gore, and stumbled over toward the window that overlooked the convention hall. Â Her fans were already dispersing in a daze, confused as to what they were doing there at all. Â They shambled out into traffic, being mowed down by the lunatic Australian drivers.
My work here was done.
Actually, I had to go do a Q&A pretty much right after, so I did that, not at all liking the sound quality in the sweltering room that wasn’t so much a room as a tumorous outcropping from the main hall, not separated for decent sound at all. Â I did my best to hear what questions were being asked and to yell over the sound of people milling about on their quest for more hats with cat ears on them, but it was actually quite a bad setup. Â I apologize to the people that had to sit through that mess.
The signings were even more polite than the Melbourne signings that day, which is about as freakish a thing as you could get at a turnout for me.
Met a few new players in my adventure, and the difference between people who are actors and monsters that have made deals with actors is just striking. Â Amber Benson and Adam Busch were at this con, both having played spacemen or lawyers on Buffy the vampire slayer. Â I had only seen a season of that show, so they popped up long after I had gone off in favor of hardcore pornography, but they were delightfully more genuine in terms of just being able to sit and uncomfortably mill about around. Â Benson in particular, was Â someone I could sit and have a fine chat about how racist Lovecraft was and extoll the virtues of all manner of horror movies with. Â I also think she looks like a young Sarah Connor, so in talking to her, I liked to pretend I was hanging out with a key player in the salvation of the human species against an uprising of murderous robots. Â It’s just a thing I do.
That night, I witnessed the two of them, watched in horror really, as they pulled plate after plate of tiny Japanese things from a conveyor at a restaurant. Â I began to wonder if they had actually made deals with sumo wrestlers who were nestled in their own dark voids as I watched them devour more and more food than I could eat in a lifetime.
The two of them gave one another a look, sealing some unspoken deal. Â Screeching, blowing apart all the glass in the place, the two rocketed up into the ceiling, vanishing for good. Â I was really getting sick of that shit.
Left me to pay for the check, too.
Sunday is next.