normancrane

normancrane.ca/

I live in Canada. I like history, coffee and cinema.

Grid View
List View
  • normancrane 7w

    As I Lay Decaying

    I remember sharp morning light piercing the trees.

    Glacial wind.

    The voluminous silence.

    I remember the heaviness of my backpack, the crunch of the undiscovered under my boots, and the awe of solitude in the mountains.

    Then—

    Sudden emptiness underfoot—

    My body descending while my mind lingers, immobile for a few more sensations of its final landscape, as my soul, or whatever binds mind to body, stretches like an elastic...

    Until the downward pressure is irresistible and my mind snaps back:

    The unfathomable sensation of impact.

    The horrid pain.

    Followed by the merciful snapping of the neck. Audible, echoing…

    Blackness.

    The coarse sound of my own breathing.

    No feeling below the jaw.

    No mobility except the eyes, through which the darkness slowly dissipates, revealing the grey sky of an autumn afternoon across which scatter the black crows of despair.

    When you've nothing but thoughts, thoughts achieve a terrifying dimension.

    I should have told someone where I was hiking.

    They won't find me in time.

    I expect to die because such is the rational expectation. If not coldness, dehydration, or eventually starvation. Perhaps an animal ripping apart my throat. Perhaps madness.

    But my body does not die. My cognition endures.

    The minutes fall away.

    Hours.

    A rain shower passes, moistening my face and throat. Although I have no voice, my mouth must be open.

    Night chills me.

    I hear ruthless nocturnal predation.

    I persist.

    On the break of the seventh day, a bird perches on my weathered face and drops a split worm into my mouth.

    Insects follow, and I imagine them as a parade of nourishment marching single-file within me.

    My broken body begins to decay.

    At night, wolves tear away the dead and dying flesh.

    Ants eat skin off my face.

    Autumn cocoons me in her fallen leaves.

    But always a creature drags them from my eyes, so that I see the clouds, the fluid sky, the surpassing of time by time. Months. Human legs step over without stopping, without identification. The leaves disintegrate. Snow accumulates like dust. Spring reveals dirt, moss and a mound with eyes. Years. I must be consciousness in a skull by now. I remember:

    As I lay decaying, the wolf with the woman's eyes would not close my eyes as I descended into Hades.

    I lose time.

    So many skies have passed.

    When the she-wolf gazes down upon me as if at her own reflection—

    I understand.

    That night I prowl through her eyes.

    I learn to bend my fingers: roots, branches; my arms: trunks; and feel through my antennae: swaying grass…

    How good the first taste of human meat, lashed by vines and ripped apart, consumed in the darkest caves. But humanity is mere appetizer. What I crave is civilization. To grind flesh and skyscrapers into sludge, to spear tanks and eviscerate data centers, to pull down airliners as effortlessly as a frog catches flies. But I am young, and long shall on your decaying world I feast.

  • normancrane 11w

    Azalea Garden

    The red waves of an azalean sea,
    Foaming in crimson and pink and ruby,
    Break on the soft green grass shore before me,
    Behind them / Looming / Snow capped / Mount Fuji,
    Oh, how much I wish right now to be,
    Surrounded by these florid waters,
    To swim into the painted scene and see,
    To exist as colours—in eternity.

  • normancrane 12w

    Seedhead

    Even among my more troubled patients, Richter was unique. The level to which he was disturbed without any known cause or stimulus was unprecedented, and so I considered him my prized patient, the broken mind upon which I would sail to psychological stardom. This was even before I personally witnessed him bloom and unseed.

    The primary cause of Richter's psychosis was nightmares. He experienced them constantly, cyclically and, when they reached their inevitable crescendo, with such completeness that to describe them as his counter-reality would be an injustice to his terror. They were hyper-reality, more real than the everyday world for you or I.

    Each nightmare gripped him for weeks, first whenever he slept but soon creeping into his waking life, so that he had no respite. Indeed, the nightmares gained power over time, adapting to his emotions and evolving to maximize their own atrocity, until they attained peak horror and released him, never to return.

    Sometimes a few peaceful days would subsequently pass, but even those were stained with the dread of a new nightmare to come.

    However, it is this act of peaking, which I shall in my professional capacity call the bloom, and which I first witnessed two months ago, that has shaken me to the core, not only as a psychologist but as a human being.

    I witnessed the following through a secret window in a clinical room mocked up to resemble Richter's bedchamber:

    After suffering several hours of unrelenting mental anguish manifesting itself almost grotesquely in the physical realm as perspiration, tremors, self-mutilation and incomprehensible muttering, Richter falls suddenly to sleep.

    The slumber, which to my observations appears deep, lasts two hours and thirty-four minutes.

    It ends abruptly as Richter leaps to his feet, tears off his clothing, digs his nails into the top of his scalp, and proceeds, in much the same brutal manner, to tear the skin off his skull.

    His screams are unbearable, although it is unclear whether they are the result of mental pain or the physical pain of his auto-deskinning.

    Once his skull is exposed, he proceeds to tear the skin off his face, which, in the most unbelievable way resembles less human bone and musculature than the petals of a bloody dandelion.

    No longer veiled by skin, this face-flower achieves a gloriously yellow colour and blooms before my eyes!

    One madness of flora and fauna!

    But swiftly, as the screams intensify, the flower begins to wilt, the hanging veils of skin climb his face, enclosing it—

    Before bursting forth to reveal a spherical seed head.

    As a wind of screams rages within the chamber, breaking the blowball and dispersing its multitude of nightmare seeds, reality ripples.

    Finally the wind subsists, silence returns, and Richter stands: an immobile, headless body.

    The veils of skin form an orb above his neck, he falls, and when he awakens in the morning his head has been biologically re-created. His memories of the entire incident are faint, fading…

    The entire process leaves no visible scars and no physical evidence.

    Thus my hypothesis: Richter is not only man, but an organic manifestation of the nightmare impulse, a sentient host for a parasitic nightmare laboratory whose creations are perfected in his mind before being disseminated into humanity at large. The nightmares we experience, often dulled as if through a fog, Richter has already experienced countless times at an impossible clarity.

    Whether he is the only one of his kind I cannot say.

    In the coming weeks, I must complete my written study and submit it for peer review. I predict it will revolutionize the field of psychology, the understanding of the mind and introduce finally the notion of horror as a living entity: an incubus among us.

  • normancrane 14w

    Innermost

    Flay me, shroud my body
    in Saran wrap, for others to see
    what you mean to me: a relief
    map of live suffering,
    writhing organs in a plastic bag,
    a human soup to drag
    behind you, sensitive to everything you do,
    overflowing with formless worship,
    pink, raw and dreaming
    of a vicious kinship:
    Open yourself and slip my parts in,
    we can exist, two hideous beasts
    within a single beautiful skin.

  • normancrane 14w

    Episode 7567

    Ignacio Rojas was seventy-two when the doctor told him he was dying. He had three children, nine grandchildren and a long-term starring role on the soap opera (“Filmed live before a studio audience!”) Passionista as Don Ignacio, the poor stable boy who had risen to become dictator of a fictional banana republic. Now in his senior years, he was keeping power by playing his devilishly handsome sons, Jorge and Luis Garcia, against one another in a high stakes game of scenery chewing.

    All this was going through Ignacio’s mind when during a meeting, the show’s producer mentioned the idea.

    “We want you to die on the show."

    The producer continued, “Not just die, but really die. I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out…”

    And Ignacio did. In exchange for Ignacio’s live on-screen death, the producer was going to pay [censored], more money than he had made in the last twenty years.

    Thinking of his family, Ignacio agreed.

    The scene, once written, was somber.
    Ignacio would be in a hospital bed, his sons kneeling on either side, and as he took his final breath their hands would meet across his dying body, symbolically ending their terrible feud. Power would be shared. Family would prevail over politics. The show’s viewers would join in a now-genuine mourning, and afterwards there would be a half-hour live tribute to the departed.

    On the day of filming, after everyone had said their goodbyes, Ignacio gave a wonderful performance, culminating in his hospital bed scene. A real nurse hooked up a fake IV, through which the real killing drug would be administered, and as he said his final lines and closed his eyes, Ignacio prepared to die.

    But instead of feeling arms meeting in truce, Ignacio heard shouting!

    Jorge and Luis Garcia were arguing.

    First about dictatorship, then brotherhood, and finally childhood.

    Dulled by whatever had been pumped into his veins, Ignacio was unable to speak.

    He barely sat up in bed—

    Before Jorge’s fist cracked his cheek!

    Luis Garcia turned on him too, jerking him up by his hospital gown, and the two brothers performed a hateful dialogue as they took turns pummeling him.

    They knocked him out of bed and beat him mercilessly.

    “The face! The face!” the producer instructed.

    And the actors obliged, taking turns on Ignacio’s face until it was but a bloody quagmire with teeth.

    “Now!”

    Sputtering meekly on the floor, Ignacio could only watch as they picked up a heavy piece of machinery, no doubt bought for this very purpose, and smashed it against his head—once, twice, three times!—fragmenting it as audibly as a hollowed-out melon.

    The music swelled. The credits rolled.

    Blood pooled.

    Followed by a message:

    What you saw today was real. Welcome to the future of television. For more information, visit [URL removed] or support us on Kickstarter. Fuck [network name removed]! Be part of the entertainment revolution.

    Passionista Episode 7567: In memory of Don Ignacio Rojas.

    “And cut!”

  • normancrane 15w

    Olive Orchard

    Let's lose our minds amongst the olive trees
    Labyrinth of oiled imagination
    Twirl like falling leaves / falling to our knees
    in unbalanced joy and veneration
    of ourselves. For there is nobody else
    but us; there is no other time but now,
    Red flowers bloom. A blue shadow propels
    a still landscape into being somehow
    fluid. Timelessly we swim, wet within
    each brush stroke branch and painted wave of wild
    emancipation— to forget the din
    of the wretched asylum. Vincent smiled:
    Dive too deep and you shall go insane,
    The olive grove remains the other side of the pane.

  • normancrane 15w

    Looking back at the bay where our ship waits slumbering

    We've sailed cerulean seas to pastel shores,
    Known only to the glorious few,
    We have disembarked, ready to explore,
    As our lone ship waits slumbering in view
    of the glorious bay. Light paints daybreak
    across the sky. We see the rising sun
    through imagined jungle—and hesitate:
    The image lingers, but it must be done,
    Eyes close. Toward the interior we turn
    remembering, and hoping to return.

  • normancrane 15w

    The Pyramid at the End of the Street

    I lived with my parents on a suburban street ending in a cul-de-sac. Our neighbour, Mr Maxwell, was a widower who brought us home baked pies and helped my sister with her math homework. My high school crush, Natalia, lived in a brick bungalow three houses down. On Sundays we all went to church, and twice a month during the summer there was a street-wide BBQ. In the winters the kids went sledding on a nearby hill. Growing up, I considered it boring. Looking back, it was paradise.

    The Abaroas moved in in November. From the beginning it was obvious they were different. They didn't attend our church or make small talk by the community mailbox. Instead, they smiled and spoke about their own faith, Aknaism. "Buddhist and Maya thought is connected," Mr Abaroa once told me, "because the Maya crossed the Pacific and colonized Asia."

    Although they were never aggressive in their proselytizing, it was their one topic of conversation, and we quickly learned to avoid them altogether. However, this didn't seem to phase them, and many of us recalled their polite but ominous refrain: "Unfortunate, but you will soon see the truth."

    Those words echoed in my head when on a particularly dark February night the pyramid appeared at the end of the street.

    It was ethereal, an effervescent volume of red mist, and one by one we came out of our houses to gaze upon its impossible appearance until every house was empty and the street was filled with silent awe.

    The pyramid pulled us toward itself.

    And like human ice breaking from a glacier, individually we went, freeing ourselves from the loving grips of our neighbours and families.

    I watched as Mr Maxwell drifted toward the pyramid and disappeared into it.

    Then it took me.

    Despite its tangible exterior dimensions, the pyramid was infinitely vast on the inside. Its crimson redness pulsed, and space itself hummed, and from the hum emanated the voice of Mr Abaroa. "Welcome, Norman. Tonight you shall know enlightenment."

    I fell.

    On impact, I arose and saw before me an axe and the kneeling, crying figure of Mr Maxwell.

    "Don't," he sobbed.

    Bloody spray adorned his face.

    "Take the axe," instructed Mr Abaroa. "This is your destiny."

    I hesitated.

    Mr Maxwell cried hysterically. His hands were bloody too.

    "Understand, Norman. Everything up to now: it has been for you. All life has been for you."

    My heart pumped hotly. I picked up the axe.

    "You are the one."

    And somewhere deep inside I knew he was right. I was special. Mr Maxwell raised his eyes to look at me—

    I crushed his skull.

    His body crumpled. His blood painted my face, and I fell to my knees, tossing the axe aside. I had done it!

    Mr Maxwell's body disappeared.

    Natalia landed in front of me.

    Our eyes met.

    "Take the axe," Mr Abaroa instructed her out of the hum. "This is your destiny. All life has been for you."

    "Don't," I sobbed.

  • normancrane 16w

    Digging Potatoes

    I hold the tool. I am the blade. I drive
    myself into the fertile ground. I dig
    potatoes out. They were buried alive,
    but in darkness they thrive. Now the old pig
    will feast. When he grows fat I will slay him
    to feed me and kin. I don't like killing
    but when necessary it's not a sin.
    I shall live another year, God willing.
    I have long been on the land. I am old
    but my sun is not yet setting in the
    sky. When I was a child I was told once by
    my father you become earth when you die.
    If so, I hope my children carve my chest
    with blade. I hope I'll yield a fruitful harvest.

  • normancrane 16w

    The Distance Between Us

    To look up,
    And see the plane flying past,
    Is to conceptualize,
    The distance between us.
    We may sit together on the swing,
    Winter slowly rolling in,
    And talk,
    But we speak in different temperatures.
    Your words condense on me,
    And drip down my body.
    Shivering we see,
    That we are separate seasons,
    Never again to exist coincidentally.
    There will always be,
    The distance between us.