The Succubus and Other Stories

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Bad Sex

(complete text full story - 5,285 words)
(first of three sections)

        The phone rang and Terrence Azlenabek regarded it with disfavor. Another journalist? He had reached the point where he was ready to vote for the total suppression of the press. As for the reporters who worked for the tabloids, they should have their heads chopped off. Terrence would be more than ready to do it himself. He could feel the heavy weight of the axe in his hands, see the line of sun bright on the blade ....
         "Yes?"
         "Is that Terry?"
         "Terrance. The name is Terrance. Terrence Azlenabek."
         "Yeah, okay, uh, Mr Terrance, I'm - "
         A film producer, apparently. Busy putting together a moving picture destined to be called "Sex With Angels".
         ".... so what I want to know is, is it true? I mean, about the babies?"
         "The babies?" said Terrance, lost.
         "Eating their way out through the mother."
         "As an instructor," said Terrance, "I've always encouraged my students to read the texts for themselves."
         Then he hung up. And, for good measure, unplugged the phone.

*

        John was in the pub when the reporters found him. Their questions were about the projected movie, "Sex With Angels".
         "What?" said John.
         "Eating their way out through the mother."
         "I think I saw a movie like that," said John. "It's a ... what do you call it? Science fiction movie?"
         He turned out to be referring to the classic monster-in-space movie known as "Alien".

*

        "To the extent that he's Milton," said Terrance, provoked into comment, "he can't deny responsibility. His vision predates the invention of science fiction."

*

        Gavin Maps was furious.
         "Terrance, Terrance," said Gavin, lifting up his hands in frustration. "Haven't I told you? I'm your lawyer. You have to keep your mouth shut."
         Yes, Gavin had said that. Many times. But the truth was in the text, wasn't it? How did the text go? Terrance couldn't remember exactly. His mind wasn't working as smoothly as it used to, maybe because of the media impact, or maybe because he had been putting too much sugar on his muffins.

Made pregnant by you, and swollen to excessive growth,
I felt the violence of your gaping birth
Tear through my entrails, dissolving flesh
To this foul coil of serpent that you see.

Something like that. Not exactly. But something along those lines. Sex as transgression, as violence, as rape. The daughter, made pregnant by the father, giving incestuous birth to a son. The son tearing his way out of the womb, a violent image predating the "Alien" movie by hundreds of years. The mother, made pregnant by the son, giving birth to dogs which then gnawed holes in her serpent body and lived there, barking, howling, malevolently aggressive in their efforts to torture her.

*

        "The work is the work of a sex pervert," said Terrance to himself.
         And longed to say it to the world. For he was an academic, was he not? And was not truth at the heart of the academic quest? Well, no. If the truth be told, at the heart of the academic quest was the holy grail of tenure. But it would be nice to have truth as well, if you could.
         Terrance was pleased, in a way, with the invented quotes that the sleazier segments of the media used to fill his silence.

*

         As the media frenzy gathered pace, it became increasingly necessary to counterpunch.



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This story, "Bad Sex", made its first appearance when posted on Hugh Cook's website zenvirus.com on 2003 January 09 Thursday. Copyright © 2003 Hugh Cook. All rights reserved.



Comment in Hugh Cook's diary on Milton and Paradise Lost (and sex and Satan and literature) is here.



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HARRIET'S ARMPIT

modern fiction story modern life


When Harriet got married, she didn't know quite what to expect. Her upbringing had been very prim, and she had never been able to bring herself to play the "instructional videos" that her well-meaning parents had purchased for her in such quantity. However, she figured that Jack Porn had enough experience for both of them; he had, after all, been in jail for the past twenty years, and jails are places where you learn things.



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