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The Devil Is In The Detail
2002-11-03 14:05:54


Bad People
 
Spock would use Linux.
-- Johnnie Royale

 

This cautionary tale of dyslexic satanists and Klingon-speaking demon-dweebs just might save your worthless, unpopular Goth ass. But you didn't listen to us when we told you to lose the black nailpolish, so why start now.

The room was wrapped in darkness save for the light of the coals glowing in the brazier; for fire and darkness are the fiend's only friends. Nine men and three women stood in a circle clad in robes of black, even as the room was swathed in darkness. In the centre stood a man in a robe the colour of dried blood, its tint echoing the brazier's glow. With a stylus fashioned from the longbone of an executed criminal, he engraved his eldritch spell on a leaden tablet, all the while muttering his incantation. In the appropriate places the others answered in sonorous tones, adding the dark power of their collective will to his own.

Each held in their heart a seed of turmoil excitement tainted by fear and a sluggish current of disbelief that they held down but could not altogether banish. This day would change their lives, one way or the other. If they succeeded, then their hands would be filled with a dark power that would make them masters of the World. If they failed, then their faith would crumble and they would turn their backs on this chapter of their lives, abandoned like the beards and ideals of those for whom the sheepskin has provided an anodyne for the student's angst. Today, one way or the other, they left the things of childhood behind.

The words of the man in red came more quickly now louder and more sure as the climax approached. Of all of them, he had come the farthest in crushing the doubts within him. It was the strength of his dark faith that had brought them together and held them to their dark purpose when their will wavered. A tint of fanaticism coloured his voice and a gleam of madness touched his wild eyes. It was for this, he knew, that he had been born. No more would he be dismissed almost invisible, save for the dyslexia that marked him for ridicule, overlooked entirely except when a cruel joke required a butt. This twelve would rule the World and he would rule over them all, second only to the Master Himself. He would teach the World the cruel lessons he had learned lessons in debasement and hopelessness and despair. He would drown the World in a sorrow that would dwarf his own. He would rise from the last to be the first. His power would be absolute and the mighty would fall on their faces and tremble before him, serving his whims and fearing his cruel caprice. They would learn to their never ending sorrow that payback is indeed a bitch.

And then the denouement was upon them. Their voices rose as one, a single dark beast with he as its head, he lifted the struggling black cock in his left hand, the cruel, gleaming blade in his right. With a single sure stroke he opened its throat and let its blood rain upon the brazier's glowing heart. A plume of smoke rose with a roar, swirled and solidified, resolving itself into the figure of a man. They fell to the floor, prostrating themselves before him. With one voice they cried out, "All hail the Master!"

His reply sent a shiver through them all, "NUQNEH!"

"What is he saying?" The boy's voice was plaintive and tinged with fear. "It must be the language of Hell," the high priest replied.

"It's Klingon, actually," another supplied.

"Klingon? What the hell are you talking about? Why would Lucifer Himself be speaking Klingon?"

They risked raising their eyes and looked more closely upon the being they had conjured. He was spare, and not tall. His hair was greasy, his shoulders stooped and his chest sunken. He was dressed in togs that were far from fashionable in this world or any other, with pants of an unflattering cut, much too short in the leg and showing more of his white socks than was commonly held acceptable. Perched upon an overlong nose were a pair of unfashionable horn-rimmed glasses, broken at the bridge and inexpertly repaired with white tape.

"Christ! Satan's a total geek!" Becky stammered. "Why is he so geeky, Stu?"

Stu had no ready answer for his acolyte. He had expected a being of terrible dark power, wrapped in evil puissance that would freeze a mortal's very blood. He had not expected the revenge of the nerds.

"What the hell did you do, Stu?" Andy demanded in a tone at once filled with hurt and accusation.

"The spell was perfect!," he insisted. "I followed the ritual to the letter!" Stu held aloft the leaden tablet by way of emphasis.

"Let me see that," Andy demanded. "Somebody turn on the lights."

Someone flicked the switch and the light revealed the messy dorm room that had housed the ritual. Andy glanced at the tablet and groaned.

"You idiot! You were supposed to invoke Satan, the Dark Prince!"

"I did," Stu protested.

Becky, who was reading over Andy's shoulder, said, "No, Stu, actually you invoked Stan, the Dork Prince."

"What? Let me see that." Geoffrey snatched the tablet out of Andy's hand and read it for himself. "Way to go Stu!"

From that moment things took an ugly turn indeed as the influence of Stan the Dork Prince left its stamp upon all their lives. Their pants grew shorter, their hair grew greasier, their faces erupted in blemishes of biblical proportions. They found to their utter and profound horror that the basement of popularity that they all inhabited that had nudged them towards that ill-fated experiment in the first place had a hitherto unsuspected sub-basement into which they were plunged. The effect was most profound on Stu, who had led them on that fateful day, and to whom Stan the Dork Prince had attached himself as close as a shadow at midday. Stu found himself speaking in Klingon in Tourette's-like outbursts, and spending an ever-increasing amount of time alone in his dorm room eating Doritos and masturbating to pictures of Marina Sirtis and Jolene Blalock on the Internet. Salvation came unlooked for from the unlikeliest source. Stu went home for Christmas, and Stan followed. Stan always followed. Stu and Stan were sitting in the livingroom when Stu's older brother, Biff, walked in. Biff had always been the bane of Stu's existence. Athletic and popular, he had very nearly driven Stu to suicide in those dark 'Goth' days of his last year of highschool. Biff took one look at Stan the Dork Prince and reacted instantly out of blind instinct. He fell upon Stan as the lion falls upon the gazelle and gave him an atomic wedgie of overweening viciousness the likes of which has never been seen before or since. Stan gave a single strangled cry in Klingon and vanished, never to been seen again. Stu was ecstatic. He vowed that he had learned his lesson. He embraced his brother and the mainstream values that he embodied, and he swore that he would reject forever the kind of antisocial fringe mentality that had so very nearly destroyed him.

All's well that ends well so they say.

Two months later Stu shaved his head and bought some Doc Martins. He was killed in a freak accident in the mosh pit at an Axis concert the very next weekend.

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

paco@pigdog.org


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