Four unrelated stories, and years separate their creation. They weren’t really planned as a single volume, but I think they work together well. Each is a self-contained tale featuring an invented character, never used before or since. Coincidentally, they all happen to be drawn at A4 size instead of my usual A3. They all use a rather fragmented, semi-poetic style of writing.
The story Bone in Heaven’s Sky is an example of how free-association with words and ideas can be used for a story. The links between the story elements are very tenuous, but I take them as triggers for dramatic events. The undertaker character has only to think to himself “Trees must be the guns of Hell”, to find that it somehow comes true; a tree trunk turns into a cannon, and “shoots” the Bone down into the ground.
Voice of a Dream continues the abundance of skeleton and skull imagery which appeals to my macabre tastes. Like the Bone tale, it follows a nightmare logic. It’s not a pleasant story at all. The couple I’m portraying were based on real people I knew at the time. I wanted to enact revenge on the selfish man; the story allowed me a way to tear him to pieces at the end, after inflicting pain and suffering, both mental and physical.
It’s Not Satin goes even further with its nightmare logic, and its violent imagery. Again, it was the stream of consciousness and word-association in the writing that came first, allowing for the same tenuous connections. The character only has to think that “words in the mouth are as hot as coals” for him, and us, to see what it would be like if such a metaphor were applied literally. Wild imagery follows.
If Voice of a Dream perceives a basic disfunction in sexual relations, Satin is even more pessimistic; the only way the outsider can achieve something approaching love is through this terrible “ownership” of another person. Through this kind of “mad love”, we all end by “cancelling” the identity of the very target of our affection.
Serpent In Hell may touch on themes of “mad love” somewhere, but it’s mostly about a horrifying fear of alienation, a self-imposed separation from all that’s good in mankind. I write from the heart; more than once I’ve experienced this form of despair, seeing everyone and everything through the wrong end of a telescope. I had to visit all my bad feelings onto this poor wretched snake, devising no end of vague scenarios and imagery to act as symbols and metaphors for this state.