Thursday, 4 March 2010

De-Terence #fridayflash

Terence found himself staring full flush at the navel of the colossus currently barring his admission into Club Eros. Beneath the surging silk shirt, he could see the man's effusions absconding from their pores, like the juices running free on a doner spit. The sour astringency - body odour tinctured with ammonia - emanating from the rolling flesh scarp, threatened to anaesthetise Terence.

He was unable to gaze up into the face, seeing as it was atop a trunk so vertiginous, as to be actually nestling within the vermillion 'Eros' awning. A bulbous skull, shielded within an elongated lampshade. The leviathan had acquired the perfect defence mechanism – since Terence could not credit this as being purely genetic – interjecting a huge expanse of belly flesh to render his head out of range of any cuffed fist. No matter the tale of the tape on one's reach, with Terence a mere featherweight, borderline lightweight at best. It would be like trying to bop a giraffe on the end of its snout.

He briefly weighed up a wallop to the beast's solar plexus, only it too was eclipsed by the stellar amount of flab. A rabbit punch to the kidneys also only seemed to hold out a facetious adult version of pin the tail on the donkey. Wherever Terence might opt to strike, he feared that the blow would be cushioned by the cocoon swaddling of sebaceous flesh. Moreover, not solely this disarmament, but that his hand would be instantly encased and stuck fast within unseen folds. Untold bodily secretions might then set to work dissolving the flesh of those knuckles faster than you could say "Ebola Gay".

The behemoth cracked his knuckles. Its lingering snap resounded even over the thumping report from the dancefloor beyond the closed door. The weird thing was, the monster hadn't actually flexed his digits in order to do so. Terence concluded that they might be too pudgy to enable the pugilist to form a fully rendered fist, four fingers tightly curled together, thumb locking them in place like an iron bar. There again, he may not actually have need to, since the heel of that massive hand had a greater surface area than Terence's entire face. Simple enough to have his aquiline nose driven up into the brain and therefore clinch non-entry on a permanent basis. In the light of a Bouncer's discretionary powers, Terence's own discretion was definitely the greater part of valour. Terence stepped back from the sash rope's effete apartheid. In order to regain the illumination of the neon streetlights, he had to move a half-block away from this man mountain's penumbral kill zone.

This flurry of diffuse thoughts coagulating around violence, was a far cry from Terence's former demeanour. Halcyon student demo days protesting the bomb, grappling with Policemen (before both files settled for filming each other's ranks and taking it to judicial review for violated rights). How the deterrent argument always struck him as false, since it would only take a single happenstance to disprove the theory. In which event all folk would be long past caring, gripped in seeing their skin shed itself and absorbed with blood bubbling through every gash of self.

The pity of this youthful earnestness being, that Terence was aligned against Thanatos. Rather than partying with Eros through coming to Clubs like this, as he seeks to do now in making up for lost time and failing rather spectacularly it has to be said. The irony not lost on him, seeing how he was now faced with a perfect exemplar of the deterrent argument. The furrowed brow of a no win situation clearly incised all over the man’s signet rings and gold sovereigns. Terence was finally going to be forced to concede the argument and that his years of student protest and pacifism had led him up life’s garden path. There hadn't been that one instance of a nuclear bomb being loosed off. But he had embodied a slow radioactive poisoning of his paltry half-life all the same.

17 comments:

Michael Solender said...

wow. not easy to read but worth it. you have very intriguing word choices and combinations. powerful story here.

Anne Tyler Lord said...

Whoa, you out-did yourself with the big words this time! Had to look a few up in the dictionary. If you have these words on the tip of your tongue then you are as scary as Terence.

Poor Terence definitely has some problems! And you have quite a way of describing them!!

Laura Eno said...

Densely packed writing! Poor Terence against the mountain of flesh!

Carrie said...

Very deep and profound. Densely-packed writing hit it on the top. A bit above my education level but like a succulent meal. Thank you for being so fun to read.

Cascade Lily said...

Bugger - Tried to leave a comment but got bounced by Blogger.

I was going to suggest that more paragraph breaks might help - there is so much going on each paragraph that it's hard to read. We need some space to let our brains catch up with our eyes!

Anne's comment made me chuckle :)

Marisa Birns said...

Firstly, after reading through the story, the title is just brilliant!

Secondly and on... your story is suffused with such intricate language which awed and amused.

So Terence's life turns around. As a youth, in league against the death drive, and probably protesting that the deterrent argument was flawed.

And then years later, a behemoth guarding the doors of the club, lead to his thinking that having the big guns does keep the uninvited away.

Enjoyed this very much!

mazzz in Leeds said...

My favourite was where he contemplates the palm strike to the nose "and therefore clinch non-entry on a permanent basis"

Skycycler said...

Wow, serious funny writing Marc! Alas, poor Terence, I knew so many. To don the living sandals, the lock-on tubes of resistance and stand shoulder to shoulder with the resistant sensibles and bleat slogans at the benighted nuclear convoys - or just at the illogicals in Parliament. And all the time to hate a small part of the whole package, and to despise oneself for wearing the brand of pascifism and then to want to 'make up for lost time'. This, Marc, is deft.

Coagulating, oleaginous invective here against a life-half lived. Wonderful stuff!

Sulci Collective said...

oh it's all self-loathing where I come from.

Wait, did I type that aloud?

Oo-er, I'll have the self-help brigade down on me like a ton of well-meaning bricks.

It's just a product of my imagination honestly. No, please put the 12 steps away... Arggh, I'm a goner

Joyce Chng said...

Wow. Interesting story - and I agree with the rest of the comments: interesting choice of words.

PDAllen said...

The rich descriptions transcend the scene, sort of like Gormenghast, but more grotesque like Bizarro literature, but much better written then most of than. You have de-Terenced to a microscopic level. That is quite a literary skill.

Liras said...

W-O-W! I felt like I was standing there, watching it play out and being the person, too. Spectacular use of words with multiple meanings, you crafty wordsmith, you!

John Wiswell said...

With a vocabulary like that, I wouldn't let him into Club Eros either.

estrella05azul said...

Poor Terence indeed... so much fun to read though :)

Melissa said...

Whoa. Existential musings. Deep and sad. And funny. Hard to pull all that off, but you did. The longing itself is a form of eros. Eros is bittersweet. Unfortunately, he's got the bitter in regret and rebuke. "The reach of desire is defined in action: beautiful (in its object), foiled (in its attempt), endless (in time)." --Anne Carson Eros, the Bittersweet

Cecilia Dominic said...

This is so well-worded that I wonder if the bouncer really is that big, or if it's Terence's realization that his own disillusionment is, for the moment, bigger than his idealism. I love your descriptions!

CD

Mark Kerstetter said...

One could get fat eating plates of such delicious wordage. Hard to pick out a favorite phrase, but "the sash rope's effete apartheid" is quite nice. Deft use of "deterrence". Bravo.