Fiction/Selection/Dan Shea

The Monolith Cocktail has coaxed a number of guest spot contributions from the impassioned and adroit musician/writer Dan Shea. Roped into his family’s lo fi cult music business, The Bordellos, from a young age, the candid but humble maverick has gone onto instigate the chthonian Vukovar (currently working through a trio of ‘greatest hits’ packages here) and, with one part of that ever-shambling post-punk troupe, musical foil Buddy Preston, the seedy bedsit synth romantics Beauty Stab (who’ve just this week released their second single ‘French Film Embrace’, here)

An exceptional talent (steady…this is becoming increasingly gushing) both in composing and songwriting, the multi-instrumentalist and singer is also a dab hand at writing. For his debut, Dan shared a grand personal ‘fangirl’ purview of major crush, the late Rowland S. Howard (which can be found here), on the eve of Mute Records appraisal style celebration reissue of his highly influential cult albums ‘Teenage Snuff Film’ and ‘Pop Crimes’. This was followed by an often difficult, unsettling, potted with dark comedy, read on Dan’s friend and foil Simon Morris (of the Ceramic Hobs infamy; the piece can be read here), who took his own life last year.

Now, from his lockdown quarantine, Dan has been providing us with a weekly series of ‘imaginary film screening jukebox’ selections come loose horror and increasingly unfathomable Lynchian, cloaked autobiographical, fictions.


Xiu Xiu – The Wrong Thing


Ronnie was dead to begin with.

I dunno if it was years or days or weeks between the resurrection and her disappearing into the plug hole. Truth be told I remember it being a bath and I may have had one for a while but I don’t know. I just know that me and Gretchen always look into the drain in case she catches us at it. That’s also why I stand G over the drain: so R could peer straight up and maybe consider that I was right and that heterosexuality is just a lie.

“It’s just a lie she tells to her friends”

I move then she moves. An electric purple shuffle stains my eyes and fingers. I told her the Back To The Future nonce joke. She told me the only crowd I’d ever attract was flies.

I told her about the yellow dog then we discussed whether or not dogs could be blonde. This woman will make me a better human being even if I’m not sure that she exists and the feeling is mutual. I don’t want to chance putting Lynch films on around her. Xiu Xiu is close to the bone enough given the connections.

“(My name redacted)”

“Yeah Gerst?”

“Do you remember the princess who lived on the hill? Who loved you even when she knew you were wrong?”

I take her hand and look into her eyes but they’ve gone and she is looking back at me with my eyes. I hate it when this happen. I attempt to stick my fingers through my eyes into my brain to change the channel. She prevents me from doing so with an offhand murmur of “fuck’s sake”.

Performative support aside no one is “always there for you”. It’s a truth that should be more widely spoken. Sleep, death and things more important than my whining will always take precedence. I get it. And it’s a two way street, obviously. I can’t possibly always be there for you. I can try but it’s unlikely in the extreme. Even if I could, would you actually want that?

Tindersticks – A Night In

“I know you’re hurting, and I can’t be there for you”.

She lies her almost translucent head on my lap and asks me about the parts of that film she can’t see that keep sluicing into my brain. The kindness of her smile makes me feel less sick than usual. I feel instant nostalgia for this moment knowing that it will rush through our minds when one devours the other that final time while still admiring the Other’s beauty.

I tell her it as it unfolds with no forethought. How the film troubled me when he found a tape in a fridge abandoned behind his flat. Well, he’s American (albeit of Polish extraction) so he said apartment. But whatever the point was it stands. The girlfriend was then insistent that he transcribe what was on the tape.

He did in this long florid monologue that contained a lot of songs that meant a lot to him and his girlfriend. Then turned over the content of the words between the songs to Ellroy Steers. The guy who did himself in in the movie and bled on my fucking carpet. Lucky it’s a red carpet.

“Hey Tom this is just a voicemail I’m leaving so I can ask for your number so I can phone you. It’s important. It’s about the factory, and what’s left.”

That was the first entry on the tape and it’s the same in the Pulaski movie strangely. It’s the same voice: maybe it’s a prank call using a soundboard. Maybe whoever made it on the tape liked the film so used it as an intro. Maybe they related to this film as much as I do. Who can say?

I despair at the fact I can’t get Riesling from the corner shop anymore.

Cindytalk – Circle of Shit


“So many people are too loud. Needlessly so. Over enthusiastic about the fact they’ve remained unmurdered another day. Servile, simpering, unthinking and incapable of thinking beyond that which is in the interests of their “betters” who make in a week what we do in ten years. Every workplace I’ve had the misfortune of exchanging my precious time for money in its been the same. People who create nothing, produce nothing, and consume a steady diet of nothing. Surrounded with them. Substitute one for another and who would even know or care?”

I’m listening to goth records and drinking in the shower again as I spew this pointless angry screed into the plug hole. I’ve not even turned the water on: why pretend it’s about cleanliness? If you’ve been the places I’ve been you know you’ll never be clean again. Trust me, I’ve been places you wouldn’t shit.

Dylan had been locked in that bathroom for a long time but time has ceased to have any meaning. It was a strange thing. He had no need to eat or drink. Not that there was anything to drink: you turn the tap and all you’d get is shadows. Outside the window BLACKSHEETSOFNIGHT BLACKSHEETSOFNIGHT BLACKSHEETSOFNIGHT BLACKSHEETSOFNIGHT. I break the glass til I bleed shadow. The darkness seeps into the bathroom and I am drowned in black milk, briefly comforting me with its reminders of her velvet void.

Tried to drown himself in the bath and woke up again on the floor, as if it matters anymore. Tried to drown himself in the toilet and woke up back in place. Tried to hang himself with his belt and woke up in the same place. Downstairs the mask on the wall kept screaming and he screamed along with it. Smashed his face through the window bleeding shadow into BLACKSHEETSOFNIGHT BLACKSHEETSOFNIGHT BLACKSHEETSOFNIGHT BLACKSHEETSOFNIGHT.

The mask was a gift from Farrow for the work he’d done on Thomas Communication. Strange gnarled smile that out of the corner of his eye he noticed twitched when he didn’t think it was looking. How long need I wait for my angel? Every second yawns open for her prize. The apple I stole rotted before my eyes. I blink and I see a dignified old man with his hands folded. I smell disinfectant and the familiar stabbing pain returns in my very core.

The only way to soothe this pain is to use a vibrator: I never put it in fully just let the pulse soothe and numb til I no longer feel him inside me. But as I do this, lay on my mattress with my eyes closed I can’t but help think of Dylan stuck there. And I’m ashamed of the physical response the thought of him produces.

“If I cum thinking of a dead boy is it necrophilia?”

My art is bleeding into my surroundings again. Muttered obscenities under my breath. Thinking of that smug balding prematurely midlife faggot and his simpering entreaties to open my legs. Of the coke fuelled unpleasantness with the mole woman. Of that evening I lost my favourite jacket. I lost two notebooks, my favourite jacket and a sleeveless t shirt. Cunt.

Ceramic Hello – Binary


How about this one? You’ve not heard it before. I’m so jealous that you get to experience this for the first time! Such a beautiful song. My romantic ideal to both listen to minimal wave records with a headphone splitter. In a stupor in a hotel room somewhere. Eating pastrami sandwiches, naked in bed as a mute TV shows the end of a documentary on railways. We will put the sound on when the Bowie doc comes on and I’ll bore you, G, when I won’t stop going on about his cheekbones.

L showed up and was magnetic as usual. One of the few people who just the appearance of makes me a bit happier. I keep having dreams where I’m pregnant somehow and she’s delivering my baby. Well I say it’s a baby. She is kind enough to always look amused by my prematurely senile rambling but I get the feeling she’s worried I may try to kidnap her at some point. Lunch with her and the swastika girl.

I brought up the ritual to her and she ushered me out into the smoking area where we sat nursing pints of Cwtch. Inside the bar a live Van Halen drum solo played: the place was really going downhill since it changed management. The bar staff were sartorially disappointing. We talked about this for a bit and I again mentioned my enjoyment of her Jessica Fletcher t shirt then we returned to discussing the ritual.

“So Dan what did you do in this ritual? This is all very vague. Reminds me of the story about you drinking two bottles of white wine, staring into a scrying mirror and the woman from some 80s goth band showing up in your living room.”

“You know full well that happened you came round to check I wasn’t lying”

“It sounds like you got pissed and took the wrong dosage of your meds, which you shouldn’t be drinking anywhere near the amount you do with, then started having hallucinations again. It’s like when you shaved all your hair off, kept it in a box and then covered every reflective surface.”

I described what happened, the bloated foetal figure that raped my mind forcing me to submit to the ritual. The floor of flesh criss-crossed with veins. And other things around the same time. The hairless inside-out dogs that prowled outside in my back yard when they thought no one was looking. The swollen faced children that I saw washing Carter’s car. And how I had no choice but to lose her again down the plug hole.

She sat watching me explain this with a curious expression. Sphinx like. Then she calmly unbuttoned my shirt, put her cigarette out on my chest and kissed me harsh as barbed wire. Told me I’d kill for her and I agreed. A kiss that drew blood. She forced me to kneel under the table, twisted her fingers round my hair and then right then and there I ate her out in the cold sea air.

That didn’t happen. I wish it did. A crazed public sexual encounter would have been far less troubling. The curious expression part was true. She leaned in close:

“When did we first meet?”

“When I moved here two years ago. I walked into this bar because Lou Reed was playing.”

“No. It was in the snow. You lay your head in my lap and you bled to death. When you mentioned Carter then”

A pause.

“It took me back to that classroom. 2008. Do you remember?”

“You tell me, Ariel”

“In that reality the holes opened wider than ever in the sky. You lay with what was left of your head in my lap, bleeding. I kissed what was left of your face then blackness. We began again.”

I draw a line under the rest of that evening. Even as naked as I leave myself writing this there are some secrets need to be kept.

That Ceramic Hello track isn’t on the CD reissue copy I’ve got, annoyingly.

Psychic TV – The Orchids


Her winter kiss won’t leave my skin.




Don’t come home with that smell on your breath. Don’t beat your head over and over into walls out of self loathing. Don’t blame me for your sickness. I’m ill too. I’ll always be there for you as the unbearable closeness becomes a prison limbo as desire is gone.

Her winter kiss imprinted bruise. Monochrome preferably a room almost empty. We turn the volume up. Double knot, double cross. I’ll show you loss.

The smell of incense in the air the smell of her on my finger tips. I pull back the curtain and I see him there. Carter. A swollen, red faced man. In beige slacks and a blue shirt, buttons strained by his fat hairy stomach. Look I need you to see him in your mind’s eye. Slip ons. Grey thinning hair, strands falling onto that baboon face. He “speaks” in bestial groans, grunts splatter the world. The bruise faced kids in their underwear cleaning his car, til he smacks one of them and they all file back into his house.

I think of what he was in the Other World and what he is in this one two and know what I need to do. This is an important decision I do not make lightly. Please don’t understand me too quickly.

I confided my intentions in her but I did it silently and I cannot be sure she knows what I mean. This is a common issue.








L/G slides into view. Her winter kiss won’t leave my breath.



“The world is growing louder”

She saw the holes widen in the sky. She knew all that had happened. Once I broke the barrier of her resistance she believed me about the ritual. Something is happening here. Something new. Her name meanders through the echoes of mine. She’s seen the movie, you know? She’s seen it.

Fleetwood Mac – Gypsy


“SHOUTING. I was. In the street. I had no idea what was going on. I went to the Conti for a beer and it was shut. At 2 in the afternoon on a Saturday, I ask you. I mean last time I went there I did get my dick out and have a widdle on Hugh Cornwell but my shoddy behaviour is no reason to punish everyone else”

G/L laughed.

“Is that a woman laughing? You could’ve told me. I shouldn’t be on speaker phone with a young lady present. I’ve no trousers on! It’s not right!”

She laughed so much that if I really studied her I could see individual muscles contract. I did and I did yeah She is saving my life.

“So I checked at the Ferret as well. Beer Snob Billy told me they had Cwtch on and the jukebox is pretty good. It’s a digital bitch, you can have Nina Simone or Skullflower on. All sorts of loud penis music like your band. That was shut as well so I went home. Then I looked at my neighbours doorstep paper. There’s this disease that makes people act like poofs and not leave their house.”



I told Mad ‘Mad’ Tony about the ritual and he told me about his latest imaginary girlfriend. He said he was going to have an imaginary affair with Gersten. He told me he’d have an imaginary threesome with us then I could hear him raising his eyebrows as he dropped his burner phone in the bath.

“One day we need to meet Mad Tony then go to Lonely People. You can do your Gordon Cole voice and yell at people pretending to be a tourist.”

She did that “expectant canine” expression American women do at you and then smiled, half her face first then the other half warming up when I laughed and told her how cute it was. Bless her she always looks confused. I wish I was an American. An American woman in particular. Everything’s new to them. Showing a Yorkshire pudding to an American woman is the most fun you can have legally.

A middle class family sat in their dining room talking in hushed tones of the horrific injuries the survivors had sustained. Talk of fissures and gaping, horrific injuries. Fog is slowly filling the dining room. A Duke Ellington record plays but the needle is stuck so it sounds like NON. They don’t seem to notice the noise or fog. They prattle on in stilted RP tones about how awful the whole thing was but they can’t stop talking about it, cunts.

G wakes me up.

“Carter. You know what you have to do don’t you?”

I have to pause as it’s a big decision. But if this is what is necessary to keep Louise/Ronnie/Gersten then I’ll do it. Fuck it. I’ll do it twice. While she watches. Then we’ll go home, still a bit bloodied, and watch a rerun of a mid 80s Top of the Pops in her bed. Just another hit and run.

“Do you want to be there when it happens?”

Her eyes go full circle and her grip on me tightens. Every breath a silent movie heroine. Trust me enough to deem me translucid. Your eyes widen and I’m snagged in your leopard print and wide eyed enthusiasm. I can’t face watching you disappear.

Tom Waits – Alice


I told her about the dreams where I’m pregnant and she asked was it with her genius or what? Reality moves faster than experimental fiction. Sometimes slower but if you know you know.

Suddenly I feel the pain pulsing in my head as I lay my head in Ariel’s lap. The blood gushing rushyrushrushyrush from my wound as the CRISP CLEAR snow falls. She strokes my remains before the moment of calcification. She tells me I did the right thing and I’ll do it again. I flash forward to her drinking a gin sour in leopard print before Ritual Night.

Addiction is the anus of art.

Death is the absence of work.

L pegs me in my living room. Whispering in my ear “he has to go”. She puts cigarettes out on my nipples when the moon talks. She refills my glass. When we’re out of booze she pisses on me, as delightful as ever. I yawn for her prize.

Shambling unshaven neurotic wreck. But she sees something in me.

Burn me again and again.

The sun spills over her in all her eye popping enthusiasm. I normally hate this but I’m being suckered in. Has she seen what I have? I believe she has. I believe she has. The dogs pace rotting back and forth. She’ll stroke them. Til Carter is gone and, presumably, they disappear. Then we will harness the frozen moon til delirium kills me.

I crawl through the passages under Dylan’s home. I bleed shadows into insignificant interior. No one and nothing is unforgettable.

Sometimes in my mind’s eye she is cowering and shivering at the sounds I pull from her. Inciting silence, compassionate construction. Nothing is granted my Mermaid but my submission. Crash in and take over my life. Let’s do this.


Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four


Selection/Writings/Fiction/Dan Shea

The Monolith Cocktail has coaxed a number of guest spot contributions from the impassioned and adroit musician/writer Dan Shea. Roped into his family’s lo fi cult music business, The Bordellos, from a young age, the candid but humble maverick has gone onto instigate the chthonian Vukovar (currently working through a trio of ‘greatest hits’ packages here) and, with one part of that ever-shambling post-punk troupe, musical foil Buddy Preston, the seedy bedsit synth romantics Beauty Stab (who’ve just this week released their second single ‘French Film Embrace’, here)

An exceptional talent (steady…this is becoming increasingly gushing) both in composing and songwriting, the multi-instrumentalist and singer is also a dab hand at writing. For his debut, Dan shared a grand personal ‘fangirl’ purview of major crush, the late Rowland S. Howard (which can be found here), on the eve of Mute Records appraisal style celebration reissue of his highly influential cult albums ‘Teenage Snuff Film’ and ‘Pop Crimes’. This was followed by an often difficult, unsettling, potted with dark comedy, read on Dan’s friend and foil Simon Morris (of the Ceramic Hobs infamy; the piece can be read here), who took his own life last year.

Now, from his lockdown quarantine, Dan furnishes us with his new series of ‘imaginary film screening jukebox’ selections come loose horror and increasingly unfathomable, intangible fictions.

John Foxx – Blurred Girl


Glosso la la la la la lalia

What a beautiful word. What a beautiful world. What a beautiful girl. Birds are blue and sky is singing.

Christmas trees covet British DAYTIME and turn to warn mum but continuing from love, because, I was hunting. Talking (!).. was I furry from the covenant and hating the lithium charityyyyslide. But really I am merely soft and disappointing. I will either become an institution or institutionalised. I cannot sleep i am merely erratic and depressing, it’s fun and then it’s not and then I sleep no more. 

When I sleep for too long it feels like sex magick. I fall from one dream into another and you’re mine all of the time. Maybe my dreams are the most significant part of my life and reality is a distraction? Do you ever feel that way?

Gersten doesn’t have a key but she was suddenly with me in the shower. She shaved me, fully clothed all soaking wet and making sure to “accidentally” cut me in the right places. She put cigarettes out on my nipples as the sun came up. When the moon fell she was gone again. I don’t know where. She doesn’t ask me questions so I try not to be nosey. Nostalgia carved a glow ghost into me.





Syd Barrett – Late Night


I remember playing this and drinking gin and orange while Ronnie fucked the guy from the arts council. The orange ran out as I was drinking the juice straight so eventually I was just necking gin. I passed out face down in a copy of House of Leaves.

My nan gave my dad that record player when he was a teenager as she thought he was dying. I’m 28 so it’s nearly 40 years old. Maybe he did die. Maybe none of this is real.

I fucking hope so or I’ll have to go to my mum and ask her to have an extremely late term abortion. “But REDACTED it’s been nearly 30 years!”, “This is best for everyone.”

The grey eyeless world sighs blood red and steeple dark. The rune cloud shows your name meandering into mine. I can’t remember my name but names aren’t important. There’s nothing in a name. When someone asks me my name I wonder what they think it means and why they believe I’m being honest with them. 

The party is over and we watch the nightlife crop itself shorter still through a haze of smoke. A mute TV shows static, like pictures in the fire I just about make out the image of a screaming woman being forced down a plug hole by a man who is nothing more than dead air. He stares into the camera.

You’d like to think he was looking at you thinking about getting pregnant with my genius but you realise only you think that way and I only ever did in the most mixed of company. 

Leonard Cohen – First We Take Manhattan


Lynch or Badalamenti must have played this before they scored Twin Peaks. The horn motif from I’m Your Man happening in the intro to this, foreshadowing almost, makes me view the album like a movie: as endings go Tower of Song is up there with Vertigo or the undecayed angelangelangel in Fire Walk With Me.

am not tranquil I am merely tranquilised

put his girlfriend’s dress on and honour his memory with my hands over my reflection for the second time in as many hours. Imagining my voice is her bratty whine and her hands are mine and he is watching.

Dark mutterings about a car so big you can lose a kid in it and the text messages we swapped after Michael Jackson died. If Kanye was white would you still be mocking him for having a manic episode or would you adopt the standard lib standpoint of making noises about “removing the stigma around mental health issues” while hoping we die soon?

Guilty fantasies about a specific guy caught on To Catch A Predator and what I’d do to make him think he could be released. Cum and come to senses. Gin + rap battles.

You loved me as a loser now you’re worried that I just might win” – L Cohen

Gersten/Rotten is insistent that I transcribe the contents of the tape I found so I will.

It begins with a voice, perhaps your own, asking for your number so they can phone you. It is followed by Surrender by Suicide; Coney Island Baby by Lou Reed; Blue Jeans by Lana Del Rey; Hospital Hurts the Girl by Lemon Kittens; a recording of gurgling water and a man screaming;

Dead Radio by Rowland S Howard; First We Take Manhattan by Leonard Cohen; Voices Seers Voices by Vukovar; Taking Life In Your Hands by John Cale; Blurred Girl by John Foxx; a man screaming about whores; a dignified old man with his hands folded; a man finding a cassette in a fridge.

Robert Rental – Double Heart


Side 2 begins with Double Heart by Robert Rental; a man listing songs on a cassette; Jesse by Scott Walker; a man in a shower weeping and screaming into a plug hole; Rothko’s kitchen sink; Voices Seers Voices by Vukovar; ectoplasm; Subterraneans by David Bowie; more ectoplasm; a girl in a black velvet dress; static; JG Ballard JG Ballard JG BALLARD; a megaphone swan song; Rook from Black Dresses describing you; an eternal loop of Gersten pissing.

Me I’m fine. The Swastika Girls dropped around and silently put beer in my fridge. I have been renamed Thomas Communication.

SHIT taming a hoover feel your gratitude and do my own part by some shouting. I want not know not feela thing same the and same the outside your mum arrives and 2 rings in2 hovering ion.

You were my music box dancer and you tried to be everything to everyone. I think endlessly of you in humiliating situations. I draw sigils on paper and use this to mop up drops of dhaal. 

Double Heart by Robert Rental drips the grey romance of a woozy early morning in Glasgow. It makes me shiver. It’s so fragile, unadorned angelangelixx. The drums are by the guy from DAF I believe. It’s a truly beautiful record. Like if Arthur Russell was Scottish.

In my memory it was playing when me and Ronnie sat down in that bubble tea place at what felt like the latest hour possible but was in fact March 8PM. In reality some terrible Disney sounding Asian pop music was playing. I remember buying a book of all the artwork from Mute Records releases and sitting in the sun getting gradually less and less sensible in some terrible hipster bar’s beer garden reading it. That was a great solitary afternoon. I prefer it when it’s by choice, though.

Tom Waits – Sea of Love


“Do you think Waits and Lynch working together would be too on the nose? To straightforwardly look at these old American weirdos fan service?”

An old man in a shop mobility scooter is slumped dead to the world behind the wheel. He is careening down a hill holding a can of cider which remains unspilled. 

“Nah. You overthink. The preponderance of midgets and people missing limbs in both their work aside.”

Transcript from Scene from Pulaski: The Disappeared

Sam is sat outside a cafe smoking a cigarette. She is drinking a cup of coffee. She is dressed in terrible early 00s cyber goth clothes including huge sunglasses. Pulaski approaches and sits down opposite her. 



Are you not going to have anything?



There’s time for that later. We can have all we want when we get there.






Remember that dream, where you were sat where I am now? Your sunglasses were just as big.



You kept telling me I looked like a goth owl.



Andrew Owldritch, yes.






And now you sound like an owl.



Who’s Andrew Owldritch?



It’s a play on Andrew Eldritch.



Who’s Andrew Eldritch?



Sisters of Mercy.





You’re a shit goth. Let’s go.


Sam walks off with Pulaski still holding her cup and saucer. 


That’s how I remember it. I don’t think Lynch directed it as everyone had Northern accents and the dialogue definitely isn’t Lynchian. I’d upload a link to it but it’s only sometimes on my hard drive and whenever I upload the video my bathroom ceiling collapses.

Fragments of it keep bleeding through, distorted other dream languages. I’ll keep you updated as I remember it.

Galaxie 500 – Snowstorm


Several times I find myself soundtracking my life like its a film. Like the way I deliberately put Technique on when Ronn was arriving; or when I played Celluloid Heroes by The Kinks walking through a downpour knowing it’d make me feel like I was in a Wes Anderson film.

This was accidental and I’m aware I’m stretching the limits of plausible deniability here but I hope up to this point in my rolling news for Monolith Cocktail I have given you no reason to doubt the veracity of anything you have read.

didn’t originally plan to perform the ritual that briefly brought Ronnie back. I’d had a heavy night okay. 

One calm crisp evening I had finished work for the week. I went home, had a shower and as is my custom dressed up nicely to go out and see friends.

wore a blue and black polka dot shirt, some new black jeans, my brown leather Chelsea boots and my battered leather jacket. I put on a bit of eye shadow and back combed my hair a bit so I’d look full Mary Chain. Checking my pockets for my phone, wallet, keys and personal alarm I set out into a calm crisp winter evening. 

The holes in the sky were for once conspicuous by their absence although en route I did nearly get into a fight with a tree. A perfect moment – as Snowstorm by Galaxie 500 played it began to snow. A moment of beauty that compelled me to sit in the park by the bar til it was over.

I drank too much this I know but I’m told I did nothing embarrassing and no one even knew there was an issue. Walking home however was a fucking nightmare. Not just because of the snow and hail getting in my eyes but because as I approached the stretch of road to the HACK DOOR my surroundings began to shift.

The lightings were all a lot brighter now but flicker. The ground now throbbed criss-crossed with network veins that pulsated sickeningly conveying the blood through the infant city. I dragged on, trying to avoid the veins as you would cracks in the pavement. A sudden sense something was watching me as the path home elongated. Every step the word Ritual. Step. Ritual. Step. Ritual.

I looked to his left to see the source of the voice. The voice I think with sounds like my own so I knew it wasn’t me. Nothing. Buildings unchanged. To the right there was a thing dragging itself along. A bloated foetal figure gurgling and puking, an umbilicus ever extending with my every step. The malformed lips mouth ritual but the sound arrives fully formed in my head.

This continued for hours and somehow along the way I found myself naked and bloodied. Ritual. Step. Ritual. Step. Finally my head voice spoke yes and I found myself again fully dressed and deposited on the back step. I looked up at the HACK DOOR and saw it form in smoke. Ritual. Your bind rune meanders into mine forming ours. Tattooed on the tin foil mirror of my synapse the first time she came home from death.

I realise I drew this sigil the night we met. That’s the night I first knew I was your pet. I want to tell you how much I love you but I’m drowning in a sea of love where everyone would love to drown. 

Ramones – Pet Sematery


Farrow sits in his office staring blankly at a block red painting with a black life rune drawn on it. Smoke spools outside the window. A cup of coffee on his desk, a cigarette in his hand. An assistant walks in and, trying not to make eye contact with him, hangs a black painting with a red death rune on next to it. He then scurries out. Farrow stands. 


How blind I have been!

He then sits down again and resumes staring.

The display turns to static. Maybe your own refleReflected in the TV is a worried looking man sat next to a catatonic woman. The head resting on his shoulder: is it for comfort or to keep her upright?


Dan Shea

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