The Life That Lasts a Little Longer

There is a castle, a monster, a scientist. There are peasants outside, at the bottom of the castle rock, marching through the village. The burgomeister leads them. In a house in the distance lies a swooned and fallen bride. The silly mare. This is a pure story. It begins, it middles, it ends. Sterotypes are reached. Not stereotypes, archetypes. There is a hero. And a dwarf. A hunchbacked dwarf who stole the wrong brain.

At some point in the story, towards the end, the monster reaches out – stretches out – to grab the bride. Before he can reach her, before he can tug at her gossamer bra, he receives a face full of kerosene lamp. Thrown by the hero. Aaagh, my face! my face! the monster expresses. Expresses, of course, because he has no voice. He staggers through the patio doors, falls quickly through the night, to the woods, his head and face still aflame.

Patio doors? Of course. And a conservatory.

Scientist: What happened to your face?
The monster gesticulates wildly.
Scientist: Someone threw a parafin lamp at you? Who?
The monster gesticulates again. Wilder this time.
Scientist: Oh, a kerosene lamp. Right. So who…
The monster gesticulates.
Scientist: The hero? What hero?
The monster gesticulates.
Scientist: I don’t understand. You are saying ‘hero’ right?
The monster nods.
Scientist: Hero? What, you mean he’s your hero?
The monster gesticulates.
Scientist: A hero? Just a hero?
The monster nods.
Scientist: Don’t be daft. You don’t just call someone a hero.
The monster gesticulates angrily, wildly.
Scientist: All right, all right. Calm down. Fucking hell.
The monster sits down.
Scientist: Here, let me put your face out.

Earlier in the story, an old woman walks in on the monster as he’s strangling the man she keeps house for. She screams and stays screaming while the monster lurches slowly towards her. As his fingertips touch her throat she pulls away and runs down the stairs, arms flailing, screaming hysterically. We stay with the monster as he watches her through the window running towards the village, still screaming hysterically. She is, in a few ways, comic relief.

But short-lived comic relief as the monster goes back into the room, the door swinging slowly shut behind him, giving us just enough time to see him tugging at the corpse’s belt buckle. The implication being, of course, that he’s going to indulge in a bit of necrophilia. Made all the more distasteful by the fact of the monster being made up largely of dead tissue.

Expectations overturned: later we see the monster wearing the strangled man’s distinctive checked trousers. And now that we recall, the monster did tear his old trousers. That’s right.

Just to be clear, the monster doesn’t look like Boris Karloff. You can’t have everything. Ours looks more like Charles Ogle. Look him up.

So the bride’s there, mooning at the window, hoping her monster-hunting fiance is safe. You’d think, wouldn’t you, that she would hide somewhere? After all, we’ve already seen that the monster has intentions towards her. She had never seen an erect penis that big before. Nor as disgusting. Stitched together from the cocks of five dead men. A monster indeed. And no, really, she wasn’t intrigued by it. It didn’t open up her repressed sexual yearnings. None of that crap. She was disgusted by it. Five dead men’s cocks. Imagine.

Anyway, so there she is mooning at the window and because she’s mooning at the window she fails to see the enormous shadow that darkens the room. The tension. His hand into frame, gently stroking her hair before she freezes and slowly turns. Of course, she faints. Into his arms. And just above that enormous throbbing, rotten penis.

Expectations met: In the sequel the bride gives birth to a monster child. Or maybe we just see her later: walking funny, grimacing.

The resolution is that the monster is trapped within the burning castle which collapses into the rock below. Everyone cheers. Except for the hero.

Who doesn’t cheer because, obviously, his heroness is defined solely by his relationship to the monster. Without the monster, the hero isn’t a hero. He’s just a man.

It all ends with happiness. With a hint of unhappiness.

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About Paul Saxton

More information about Paul Saxton here: www.paulsaxton.co.uk Follow me on Twitter: @paulsaxton
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2 Responses to The Life That Lasts a Little Longer

  1. womaninblack says:

    'Here, let me put your face out.' I laughed right hard.Nice work, Mr Saxton.

  2. Shannon says:

    Funny, smart and more so each time I read it – I like the begins, middles and ends very much. xx

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