Steven Cline


“Horror of horrors! Look out Professor Calm, it’s quicksand!”

In a half-dead, economically depressed southern town, a spectral grind-house movie theatre will sometimes glow in and out of existence. Yes, on certain accursed days only, when the weirding moon is full and the stars all spell disaster. It is an unmistakably diabolic thing, something which the hillbilly locals all avoid, acknowledging only in hushed whisper and fearful glance. A very rare ghosting variation sometimes classified as a “Deviant Picture House Spook” by the more overeducated paranormal kooks. This particular theatre protoplasm lays partially dormant until activation. Activation requires Desire.

You enter through a side door, taking your seat near the screen.

A shadow-thing sits up in the projectionist’s booth, bathed in a halo of green light. Don’t worry, it already knows your weird proclivities. Yes, because you’ve been here many, many times before, in fact. It rustles through the dusty film canisters, and loads one inside the rusty machine. The black rectangle suddenly lights up, playing for you a continuous montage of every quicksand death recorded by past and future cinema, a delightful rush of old and new filmic atrocities. Diverse cross-sections of forgotten Italian horror, Art house, and Hollywood trash lovingly played out before your schizocompressed visioning. Repetitive spectacles of little celluloid feet running through unnamed jungles, of sudden drops. Is it solid, is it liquid? The panic playing across faces of the victims as they experience the dreadful epiphany of body’s imminent dissolution. Ah, you nasty little pit-trolls! Strange jelly monsters caressing and suckling at their sacrificial flesh-gifts, painting their struggling skin with layers of gritty, stinking mush. And then the inevitable disappearance into unknowable void, that vacant beauty of the final silence. The treasured savior with the rope always comes to us a bit too late, doesn’t he?

Scholars teach us that “Quicksand is merely a colloid hydrogel consisting of fine granular material and water.”—but is it really? Only a fool would believe such a joke! There is a vast occult conspiracy at work here, something cooked up by the legions of crooked intelligentsia throughout Terran history. I am now convinced that there is a cache of hidden mystic pearls which dwell deep inside the body of the quicksand-animal. Misguided ones, you need only admit it here, before all assembled, that everything you think you know about Q.S. is erroneous. If you do this we can begin to move the clock towards the great sublimity together—In Granular Fellowship!

To continue we must reset comprehension clock.
You must learnsee it in your toes.
You must seefeel it in every microscopic pore.

We daydream it together now, we picture what happens after.
After the fall.
Sucked down into the UNDERGROUND.
Absorbed by the SUBTERRANIUM.
Apocryphal dreamtime spelunkers—Activate!

New Man drifts towards the cavern floor, his thin osmotic body dripping in a slow-motion downward float. A Luciferian feather at shedding-time. New Man’s body is covered in sticky sandy afterbirth. New Man thinks of Jules Verne and of volcanoes in reverse. Of underground seas, prehistoric plants, Atlantis. New Man’s elongated toenail meets with the slippery rock floor, is followed by naked toe, and by heel, and etc. New Man starts a-walking.

The Subterranium is a massive vibration machine. Warm-metallic. Abandoned alien labyrinth stretching towards an unreachable core. Certainly, certainly. And it is a living, breathing machine, created neither by conscious thought, nor natural processes. It is always the third way, the impossible path, with this one. A tricky little fellow.

New Man descends this world, traversing across miles of bone-ladders, skull steps, blood-ships, and other gothic-kitsch monstrosities. Long stretches are covered, and no soul. No rain. But what a draft, though! A wind with purpose, sentience. A trickster rabbit wind. He can almost see it now, in fact he does see it. An oozing pus man swimming in the air, a dead acolyte. Something for the fancy kids. He sees a dark hole below with some spiraling sex curves, and, fearing death from rabbit wind, he leaps into it.

From out of this warm, comfortable black hole our New Man is soon expectorated, dropped down onto the happy land of Lard, forgotten. To spiralhole he was merely the unwanted fecal artifact. Unfortunate fellow! Just another castrated cast-out and deepspawn of Hell Sanctum. Ah, but he is beginning to cry out dead oceans now, and I think that the cave is flooding. Please cease all hysterics and rejoin the subanal parade! We sad folklore offal wish to enjoy a piece of the soiled and soiling banquet, too, and I’d like to partake of that sacrament undrowned. Preferably.

New Man gets up, resolving to do whatever it takes to succeed, come what may and spiralhole be damned. This sudden over-electrified output of Misguided Positive Thinking™ has a few strange effects, however. He grows a thick mane of curly black body hair, and his mouth gathers wave upon wave of dark purple spittle. He feels incredible, he really feels like a “new man!” He takes one confident step forward, trips over a poorly placed aggregation of cave octopi, and lands head first into the waiting bosom of one very aroused, gelatinous stalactite. No doubt some occult-dabbling pervert or fool must have awakened her stoneflesh in a shower of crocodile blood and lime powder at some earlier date…

Ah, but this is all just one long CharlieKeaton joke, just silly american tall-tales and comical theatrics. Unbeknownst to our whimsical little yarn, the (sur)real underground and the (sur)real New Man have already reached the blasphemy of the deepmetro, they have already bought their golden ticket, and they are already feasting merrily inside the belly of King Desnos’ subconscious Metro train. On board this vessel there is an abundance of crucified mice, dragonfruit, and tomato, and the snake is also invited.

Stated destination: The Great Burrowing
Estimated time of arrival: 12,838 A.M. (After Marx)

This runaway specter of a train wishes to lodge its troublesome monorail thoughtbody inside the damp wall of the Great Empyrean Vagina, to gain gaseous new liberation among pink mythic fold. It seeks to expel unchained virginalcognitions into the depths of the living Ether.

Stay tuned next week for the exciting “Great Opus” conclusion—wherein five larval-discharge conductors will be undeniably cauterized and convulsed before your very slime-swept and cadaverous eyes.