"One of the surest tests [of the superiority or inferiority of a poet] is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion."


Let's all be good thieves together.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

A Dream

The second item I have for you tonight is a matter of equality, in my previous entry I played with one of Nicky's dreams. In this one I've written a piece of flash fiction recounting a dream of mine, anyone who reads it is free to do with it what they will.

A Dream

I woke with a start, something was wrong in my bedroom but what? I turned my head back and forth looking at the shadows cast by the streetlamps through my curtains, but I could find nothing wrong with them. In the end I settled down reassured by the comforting, familiar pressure of my beloved cat by my legs.

It was just as I was about to fall asleep again that my eyes widened in terror. My cat was dead. Had been for over a decade had I not buried him with my own tow hands? But that was his weight I could feel, I knew his presence as I knew myself from those long ago halcyon summers where I would lie reading, he beside me purring as was his wont.

Why had he returned to me? Was it an act of benediction or punishment for some forgotten sin?

With every fibre of my being I tried to force the covers off me, to leap from my bed and flee this unnatural scene but I could not. My muscles tensed, the cords taught as steel wire but I could not move I was helpless, trapped. Then the weight on my legs began to move, slowly climbing up my body, the claws piercing my blanket pricking at my clammy, sweat soaked skin, not deep enough to draw blood but enough to hurt. At first all I hear was the blood roaring in my ears but as he edged closer I could hear his rasping, tattered breath and smell the mouldy gravedirt that matted his fur and dyed it black.

I wept. I begged. I reminded him of the love between master and pet, of the bond that we had shared and that's when I realised, it was that bond that had summoned him. He had waited patiently for over a decade for me to join him and now he had come to claim me. His paw slammed into my mouth, past the teeth and tongue, past the gullet deep into my lungs where his claws began to rake my lungs, I tried to scream...

And awoke in my bed, panting, terrified, but it had only been a dream, just a dream. Everything was fine and that familiar, comforting pressure was beside my legs.

Strange Dreams

I have two items to share with you tonight, the first is inspired by one of my beloved Dumpling's terribly written codexed.com posts about what I assume was a dream or it might have been a mental breakdown, it's hard to tell with Dumpling's attempts at writing. Dreams can be a fantastic source of inspiration for a writer but they must be moulded and strengthened if they're to be used at all, this was my attempt to do something along those liens with Nicky's little dream, for fun I tried to write in a similar style to how he believes he writes, so it's a bit purple.

Strange Dreams

Do you think me a monster? I know there are some who do, petty, small minded fools who fail to appreciate the depths of my unique intellect and the conservative commentary I bring to my writing, but I tell you I am no monster, merely a man.  

Well perhaps not merely a man -- there are few after all who have been gifted with such divine vision as to pierce the lies and illusions foisted upon us by our so-called leaders and see the true face of the world, even fewer still who possess the insight to rip open the veil of deceit and expose that face to any and sundry at with but a handful of words placed upon the waiting page. Indeed among my peers I am known as The Surgeon, for the sheer finesse with which my prose slices open the skin of humanity's self deceit exposing the twisted veins that carry hatred, perversion and intolerance to the heart of this great country of ours, pulsing with dark intent as they await the denouement where with the scalpel of preternatural discernment they are severed exposing their foulness to my beloved readers.

So while I may not be a mere man I am still human and what better proof is there than the nightmares which burden me? Nightmares are a gift to humanity, not only do they inspire horror writers such as myself but they illuminate the  mistakes and regrets of our youth keeping us humble. Monsters have no need for nightmares, they are the very terror in the darkness after all and our regrets often number among their fondest memories, as such they sleep deep and well. I do not.

Every night I am tormented by visions from beyond  our limited frame of understanding, tossing and turning so violently that to share my bed with another would constitute an act of physical violence, depriving me of the love that might salve my soul. So often have I awoken screaming on the floor, my body drenched in sweat, that out of consideration for those around me I have been forced to sleep ensconced within a cocoon formed from duvets and blankets, a ball gag within my mouth, in my repose I am the very image of a resting pharaoh of old, the Tutankhamen of Horror as my dearest friend and a writer of no small regard himself once joked.

Allow me to share the most pestilent of these nightmares with you, that you might come to know me better and to refute the lies my detractors may have poisoned your mind with. To understand this nightmare first you must know something of my youth. I have never been of great stature in a physical sense, indeed the unkind amongst my peers often labelled me a runt. A painful term to be sure but one I could live with for I harboured little desire to be known for my physical prowess, however there was one other label foisted upon me so repellent that even to this day I shudder to hear it uttered and even the act of typing it is almost physically painful to me.

You see High School with its standardised syllabus and tests, where teachers all sing from the same dull hymn sheet is a place ill suited to handle a unique intellect such as my own, it bridled at their common methods and sought unique solutions to the problems they set that were sadly beyond the system's limited ken. As such my teachers blamed their frustration with my answers upon me and not their own stagnant minds and thus my methods, which would have elevated me to the crème de la crème in a more enlightened society, condemned me to the Hades of Special Education where I laboured in a Sisyphean struggle to acclimatise to their mundane methods . Of course my peers could not understand the true nature of my demotion and thus took every opportunity to regale me with the insult which haunts me to this day, retard.

You cannot imagine how such an epithet burned when hurled against the tender soul of a born artist, even one whose natural inclinations lay towards the darkest aspects of the collective soul of humanity. I responded of course, with witty salvoes and clever rejoinders seeking to disprove their accusations of retardation, they responded with violence. Still even though they were clearly Neanderthals lacking in all appreciation for the delights of culture they were still my peers and I sought to earn their grudging respect, in time most of them appreciated my determination and dark sense of humour bestowing upon me such fond nicknames as Iron Horse.

All save one.

His name was Lloyd Campbell, and he was my nemesis, the Ahab to my Moby Dick, seeking to reduce the leviathan of my intellect to a cooling corpse of mediocrity with harpoons fashioned from bitterness and jealousy each with that vile insult "retard" carved into every barb. Aside from his unremitting hatred of me he was an average teenager of average build, average looks and average achievement. Perhaps that was the source of his distaste for me, an innate desire to drag down to his own level those who strutted among the clouds he could only dream of and exposed the dullness of his existence to him.

It seemed that wherever I was there he would be, in the halls, at lunch, or on the bus my meditations on the darkest aspects of the cosmos and the terrors lurking in the depths  of society would be interrupted by Lloyd's lilting voice ringing out with "Hey retard, watch where you're going." He was a single child, his father long since absconded into the ether so perhaps that's why he would react so strongly to my delicately phrased response to his insults in which I described his mother's amorous adventures with a veritable menagerie of the inhabitants of the animal kingdom, for while in all other respects he was as I have said average his wedgies were an art form and I oft  feared that I might never free my underwear from the stygian depths of my sphincter.

I know what you are thinking, that my nightmares are merely a banal recreation of my childhood experiences with bullying, but that would be for lesser men, not one such as I. Though perhaps that would have been the case were it not for the tragedy that struck our school one cold Illinois winter when the snow blanketed the ground and the children played hockey on frozen ponds.

 That was the winter Lloyd died.

It was a tragic incident, the death of one so young always is, he had gone out early one bright and frozen morning and never returned. After two panicked days of searching his waterlogged body was found beneath the ice of a frozen pond, it seemed he had misjudged the ice's strength and plunged to a watery death. I take no shame in the surge of pleasure I heard at the news of his passing, I was young after all and this seemed to be the answer to my many prayers to God above that I be spared Lloyd's vicious attentions.  Of course as a man of principle I refused to attend his funeral, I would not mourn his passing after all and the very idea that I should join those who would in a public ceremony of grief seemed hypocritical to my mind.

It should come as little surprise that my peers, with their limited perception failed to understand this and thus my ostracisation was complete. Everywhere I went I could feel their judging gazes upon me until I could almost hear their accusations lurking behind their eyes, "Why didn't the retard attend Lloyd's Funeral? Look at him flinch when we say Lloyd's name is it guilt? Was he responsible for his death?" Oh how I longed to unburden myself to them, but I knew they could never understand my pain, how could they who knew only the light and warmth of a society that accepted them understand one who from birth was destined to stand outside who could not ignore the horrors in the shadows our world cast?

"Yes," I wanted to say to them, "I prayed for Lloyd to be gone, why wouldn't I given the pain he caused me? But I never wished him dead, only a monster would do such a thing, it is God you must blame not I! It was He that answered a young boys prayer for release with death, His hand that swept Lloyd from the board of life!"

But I kept my silence, even when the dreams began.

(Yes, we now come to the nightmare I promised you, the damnable vision that haunts my nights to this day and though its frequency has mercifully decreased over the years it is still as potent as that first night I awoke screaming.)

It begins the same way every time, I find myself alone standing in the back of an impossibly large church, it's rafters reach to infinity the roof hidden by black, undulating clouds. On occasion I  can spot pale, blank... faces for lack of better word staring down at me from amidst the darkness, though how one can call those smooth featureless discs of flesh a face when they lack all the features we associate with a face, eyes, nose and mouth. Still I know instinctively that these are faces, belonging to the nightgaunts of legend and that they watch my suffering with amusement. The church itself is built of the finest marble and I stand beside a font filled with noxious liquid that bubbles before me, and as each bubble pops I hear Lloyd's voice forming a damnable symphony of "retard, retard, retard".

With a herculean effort of will I manage to ignore the noise and look around and then I realise that this is Lloyd's church, a monument to his life and my suffering. Mighty pillars rise into the clouds adorned with sculptures of cherubs, each one bearing Lloyd's sneering grin, mocking me. The walls are adorned with frescoes  of my humiliation, in the halls, the lunch room, the field, the school bus, the bathrooms. All those places I felt the lash of his tongue, the roughness of his physical retribution when I responded in kind. With each image the pain and shame inside me grow ever sharper until I see at the far end of the church a stained glass window,  where a canonised Lloyd, evincing a beatific expression of peace beneath his halo, is performing a wedgie upon a vile caricature of myself.

It is at that point I collapse to the floor of the church in aguish beating my hands upon the cold marble, tears flowing from my closed eyes. I stay there for what seems an eternity until I hear distant whispers and I open my eyes, lurching to my feet to find that the rows upon rows of once empty pews are filled with now silent mourners in black, the women's faces hidden by veils the men's distorted by my tear filled eyes and the expressions of disgust upon their face. Beneath the stained glass window is a lone coffin, a wreath set before it and the knowledge blooms within me that it is Lloyd's coffin, that this is the funeral I avoided and my penance for the insult my absence dealt to his memory.

I have no idea how many lifetimes I stand there, the eyes of the mourners focused unblinking upon me like a horde of snakes confronted with a tasty morsel but eventually with hesitant steps I begin the journey forward to pay my final respects. As I pass each pew their heads swivel to follow my progress and they begin to whisper again, only this time I am close enough to make out what they're saying and again it's that hateful word which cuts through every layer of my being to whip upon the tender soul I conceal within. "Retard", they whisper their voices dry as a desert wind echoing through the cavernous church, "retard, retard, retard".

Each pew I pass adds their voice to the throng until the whispers become a roar, a tsunami of sound and pain smashing against my back driving me onward as I begin to increase my pace. My stride widening with every step until I'm running forward at full pelt, my arms pumping, my lungs burning, gasping for air up to the point where I collapse before the coffin and the chant ceases. As the final echoes die I manage to drag myself to my feet leaning upon the coffin to look one final time upon Lloyd's corpse.

The mortician has done a fine job, at a casual glance you would think Lloyd's merely asleep, the aftermath of drowning erased by their craft. I stand there my mouth hanging open as I try to find the right words, what can I say though? What words of respect can I leave for one I despised with every fibre of my young being that won't rot in my mouth? As I ponder this conundrum, my eyes raised towards heaven seeking divine inspiration I begin to notice the smell,  the sweet and sour stench of rotting flesh. I look down in disgust at the body of my former classmate to see his belly distended, his flesh swelling and water beginning to drop from his pores. I stare in dumbfounded terror as his eyelids open to stare at me as the eyeballs themselves melt into pools of jelly that drip down his cheeks. The flow of water increases filling his coffin and flowing over the sides. His hands grab the sides of the coffin pulling the rotting body into a sitting position, the empty sockets staring at me as the flesh begins to slough from his face. His jaws open wide, wider than they could in life the decaying flesh at the corners of his lips tearing at the force leaving him with a ghoulish Glasgow grin, his hand extends towards me a bloated accusatory finger pointing in my direction. Then a jet of foul, blackish water, foul with the remains of his decaying organs ejects from his mouth and hits me in the face as I hear Lloyd voice distorted and burbling as though from deep underwater scream with all the hatred he bore towards me "RETARD!"

It is then that I awake safe in my bed, soiled with sweat and urine, oh the shame I felt as a child having to endure the resentment and anger of my family at my failure to control my bladder. They ignored my desperate explanations and punished me harshly, oh if they could only have experienced a fraction of my nightmare they would have understood! Alas such visions are not meant for the common man, only for those of us who have been gifted with true imagination, only in those blessed few will the subconscious mind create terrors that beyond humanity's ken. 

Lloyd's spirit was not content to hide within that nightmare though, oh he spread to other dreams. I would be a hero flying above the clouds when they would shape  themselves into his face and the wind would whistle, "retard" into my ears driving me into the ground, or I would seduce the finest courtesan in a sultan's harem only for her to whip aside her seven veils and reveal Lloyd's mocking face and dangling penis at which point I would flee the raucous call of "retarded homo" echoing after me. In time he even began to intrude into the waking world, I swear I once turned around in a Laundromat to see Lloyd standing before me asking "What you doing, retard?"  I ran screaming from the place and it took me hours before I summoned up the courage to return and claim my clothes. Fearing for my sanity I decided that I must appease his spirit in the only way I knew how, I took his name for a nom de plume, granting it the same immortality my other writings have guaranteed me.

So, my friend, you can see now the truth? That I am far from the loathsome monster my detractors have painted. After all would a monster be haunted to this day by a childish wish to see his tormentor gone and the accidental death that soon followed? No, only a man could harbour such guilt, just as only a man would have prayed for intervention in the first place. A monster would never have done such, he would have called Lloyd out to a fight on a pond one frozen morn, the night before he would have hacked and salted the ice weakening it to the point that it would not bear Lloyd's weight, he would have lured Lloyd out on to the ice and stood there laughing as that poor child fell through into the freezing cold water, as he desperately bobbed up and down struggling to find purchase on the ice and pull himself free screaming and crying all the while until he sank beneath the surface never to rise again. Yes, a monster would have done all that, but as we have agreed I am not a monster, merely a gifted man.

Monday, 12 August 2013

For My Biggest Fan.

A little gift for Nicky P, my biggest fan, who proves every day that denial isn't just a river in Egypt.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Guest Post: A Chance Meeting at Fossil Lake

Today I have a special treat for all of you, if you've been good little girls and boys?

I'll take the silence and baleful stares as a yes. So that means today we have a guest post by one of my online friends and a fellow budding writer, the marvellous Robin E.! A talented woman whose inner fire exceeds even this blasted heatwave that has stymied me, still the forecaster predicts a brief break in the next couple of days, hopefully it will be a productive one for me if not I'll see if I can cadge another guest post from someone else to keep you entertained. So without further ado allow me to present this sad tale of warped paternal love and delusions of grandeur.

A Chance Meeting At Fossil Lake
By Robin E

Notice of Disclaimer: All characters and events in this story--even those based on real people--are entirely fictional. I the author of the content can assure you that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my mind interprets a particular situation and or concept for the purpose of parody. I would like to expressly convey to you (the reader) that were I to accidentally defame, purge, humiliate and or hurt someone's person or feelings as a result of them reading this story, it is entirely unintentional of me to do so.

The odds that the strange man would ever see his son again seemed almost impossible, but he still held hope that he would be blessed with a miracle. In order to facilitate the event in case God should ever smile down upon him, the man created a map of sorts, written within the pages of his various self published books.

It was a dark and stormy night that Michael was born, and it was an equally dark and stormy night when Michael was removed from the man's life. Many years had passed but he never forgot the child he lost.

"Someday I will see you again." The strange man mumbled to himself as he posted clues to his location in the body of his stories. "Someday we will meet again, and you'll be proud of my accomplishments!"

The man was quite insane of course, but there was a method to his madness. He hoped that his insanity would translate to the written word, and he would be lauded as the next H.P. Lovecraft or Richard Matheson. His goal was to become as famous as the authors that the strange man admired, by any means necessary. Unfortunately for the man his writing skills were nonexistent, so he was forced to self publish his work because legitimate publishers wanted nothing to do with him. Self publishing was the means to getting his work in print, and while the goal of becoming famous was never realized, the strange man became infamous for lashing out at successful writers because they could do what he never could, in every single facet of his life.

The strange man hadn't been able to do anything right in his life; he was an utter failure at everything he tried. He barely finished High School, but thanks to the 504 Program pushing him through he at least had that. It was a different story when he went to college and then realized that he was in over his head. The man was totally unprepared to be an adult, thanks to his own mother abandoning him to his grandmother's care. But you can't exactly fault her for doing that, after all she had caught him peeking at his own little sister while she bathed.

When the man failed at college he tried to join the Navy, but he didn't even make it out of Basic Training before they kicked him out for being a little too playful around the sailors. Upon returning home he attempted to get a job flipping burgers, but he couldn't even keep up with that simple task and was fired. It was then that he decided to go on the government dole under the diagnosis of mental illness. A monthly check kept him somewhat financially stable, even if he had to leech off from others in order to make it work for him.

This eventually led him to the mother of his child. She was a sweet girl, but unprepared to deal with the insanity the strange man brought to her existence. Whether the man's mental illness was the cause or he was just an asshole, or both, he began abusing her and the baby boy they created. It didn't take long before the child was separated from his father. Steps were taken to ensure that there would be no contact, and the child's whereabouts and identity were hidden so that the poor kid could have a normal, happy life. 

Ever since then the strange man crashed in his grandmother's basement, writing books that he hoped would support him, as well as help lead his son back to him. The man's mother moved completely across country in order to protect her young teen daughter from him, knowing what her own son was capable of after his arrest for beating his child, knowing in her heart of hearts what he was when she caught him spying on his sister. The whole family knew and avoided being around him, although they still felt obligated to care for him because of his mental deficiency. Besides, whenever he was out on his own and got into trouble, the police contacted them in order for them to come pick him up. Society expected them to be responsible for him, since he was incapable of taking care of himself and thus their hands were tied.

How many times had the man exposed himself for the deviant he truly was? He was always trying to get his family members to purchase a new computer for him when it crashed due to all of the porn he downloaded. And they were tired of the phone calls threatening to contact lawyers because of him stalking young girls on such websites as Vampire Friends, and Model Maybe. As it was the man had got into some trouble online, and had his grandparent's internet privileges revoked. Yet they continued to support him, because they had no choice. He didn't even pay rent half the time, because he overspent his monthly dole on beer and buying expensive Goth dresses for underage models to wear under the pretense of a "photo shoot". Everyone knew this was code for him to ogle little girls some more.

Everything the man did was a failure, and it bothered him a great deal, but what bothered him the most was the fact that he never got to see his son Michael grow up. So he created the maps hidden within his books in order for his son to find him. The man considered himself quite the genius.

"Someday I will see you again." The strange man mumbled to himself as he posted clues to his location in the body of his stories. "Someday we will meet again, and you'll be proud of my accomplishments!"

Although there were no accomplishments to speak of, the man comforted himself with his delusions of grandeur.

One of the locations on his map was a nearby body of water known as Fossil Lake. The name of the lake was derived from the many different fossils that were found along its shores. It was also a popular destination for Cryptozoologists, because of a local legend about a monster that lived in the lake similar to the creatures spotted in Loch Ness, Scotland, and Lake Champlain, Vermont, here in the United States.

It was at Fossil Lake that the strange man met his destiny. Although he didn't know it at the time, Fate was about to bestow its blessings upon him. Although the man had deliberately been making pilgrimages to the lake, hoping his dream would someday come true he had no inkling of what was to befall him.
So it happened that fine bright day when the strange man stumbled upon a younger man busily setting up his photography equipment. The camera and various lenses appeared quite expensive. The strange man fancied himself a bit of a photographer, although his equipment consisted of a cheap digital camera from Wally World, an old,  hand-me-down Camcorder with a broken microphone, and his computer's webcam. He couldn't resist wandering up to the kid and bragging about his own foray into the world of fine art.
The younger man was good natured, and friendly. He'd made his way there hoping to catch a glimpse of the mysterious creature that supposedly dwelled in the lake. In fact, he informed the strange man that he was there on assignment for National Geostatic Magazine.

"A magazine? National Geostatic Magazine?" The strange man sputtered.

The young man smiled and offered his hand, "My name's Michael Porcine, and I'm a writer. I've been working on this new story about the monster in the lake."

The strange man's body went cold when he heard the name. It was all he could do to stem the flow of tears that streamed down his face. Michael Porcine! That was his son's name! And he was a writer too like himself? The older man's heart filled with pride as he gazed upon his son standing in front of him.

He watched the kid as he set up the camera. He was amazed that the day had finally arrived, his son was right there, just as he'd planned.

The older man couldn't gather his thoughts he was so overwhelmed, but he stuttered something out in hopes of impressing his son. His words were garbled because he had a fast accent, but the younger man was kind, and he took the time to decipher what the strange man was saying.

"What was that? The cover of Storms and Earthquakes? The kid replied, vaguely remembering some controversy about it. "Wasn't that the cover that the publisher stole a photo from the magazine I work for?"

The strange man grumbled something under his breath and changed the subject. Already he'd started off poorly, and needed to save face. Forget about photography, he steered the topic toward writing.

"You know, it seems we have something else in common." The older one tossed out, hoping to pique his son's curiosity.

"Yeah? What's that?"

"Have you ever read Tabloid Intentions?" He asked.

"Never heard of it."

"The Eyes in Shadow Out of Time?" The older man offered.

"Nope. But it sounds a bit Lovecraftian." The kid offered, trying to be nice.

The strange man beamed a yellow-toothed smile. "I was compared to Lovecraft by the late April Derleth!" He announced.

The younger man shrugged his shoulders. "Ms. Derleth, from what I understand, was a very nice lady. She was always trying to say uplifting things to encourage others. But to tell the truth, I'm not really a fan of H.P. Lovecraft because he wasn't a very good writer, and a racist too!"

The strange man felt deflated. He tried again. "What do you think about Poe?"

The kid scratched his chin and pondered his words. He didn't want to insult the strange man, but he wasn't really into Gothic horror.

Before he could reply, the older man proudly declared that he had a book in the Poe Museum.

"I bet you're really proud of that." The young man soothed the older man's ego. "So you're a writer too, I take it?"

"Yes, those books I mentioned? Those are my books. The namesake came from the inspiration that came from a dream within the waking nightmare that resides in this lake." The strange man rambled. The namesake is inspired by the tales of something that which cannot be described that haunt this place."

"I don't know what you're talking about." The kid didn't know anything about some namesake, and thought the older man was trying too hard to sound spooky. He shielded a smirk as he bent to pick up the lens he had chosen for his camera.

"The books were a map for you to find me..." The strange man stated as he stared into his son's eyes.

The young man felt a little uneasy. He didn't know who this person was, but things were starting to feel a little weird. This strange man had approached him and started talking to him about random things he didn't care about, but still, he was raised to have good manners so he indulged the old guy.

"Heh heh, good one!" he chuckled. "I see what you did there, you're trying to yank my chain a bit. You're trying to scare me, but really, I'm not into that sort of thing, but I did like...what was it...Dorian Gray?"

"What? Why would you like that faggot story with the homo dead at the end wearing an evening gown? I don't allow erotic content in my submissions, especially faggot content like that where one would love to anally rape another of the same sex!" The stranger seethed. "Or suck each other off while fingering their stinkholes! Or reaching around and jerking the other off while they get sperm injected into their Hershey Highway!"

The young man just stood there, still trying to remain patient with the now obviously insane man. Evening gown... had the old man latched onto the term "evening dress" in the book and confuse it for an actual dress?

"Didn't you mean evening dress, and not evening gown? And did you know that Oscar Wilde wasn't referring to a dress at all, but instead describing a type of semi-formal suit that gentlemen wore in those days?" He laughed at the man.

"So, it wasn't a dress, but a suit?" The strange man asked.

"No, it wasn't a dress. You completely misunderstood the entire scene!" The kid rolled his eyes. At this point he tried to busy himself with his equipment hoping the stranger would get the hint and move on. He did have work to do, and the old man was distracting him from it.

"Michael," the strange man spoke again, "my books were a map for you to find me. And now you've come back home."

Now things were really getting creepy, and the young man glanced around him, looking for his partner who was setting up other equipment meant to detect the creature in the lake, if it truly existed. He should be coming along any time now, he thought to himself.

In order to keep the stranger talking while he hoped his partner returned soon, the young man repeated that he knew nothing about the older man's books, nor had he even heard of them.

"You mean you don't know who I am?" The strange man asked.

"Actually, no." Came the rather blunt reply. His eyes spotting the familiar sandy blonde hair of his partner as he climbed along the bank, approaching them.

A sigh of relief escaped from Michael as his partner walked out of the tall grass. The strange man took in the other man's attire. He immediately prickled at the length of the man's cut-offs, although he couldn't take his eyes off the impressive bulge in the crotch region. While still staring at the other man's package and feeling a sense of confusion mixed with repulsion, the strange man blurted out, "Michael, I am your father!"

The two younger men's eyes flashed toward one another. Could this be? Michael had always known he was adopted, and even though he had been in contact with his mother, his father remained a mystery. Or at least his identity was a secret, Michael's mother had explained the rest and now the one person who had been missing from his life, and for good reason, stood before him.

Michael had matured to be a successful artist and a respected journalist. The family he grew up with were Christians who had taught him mercy and compassion for others. They didn't judge lest they be judged. With that in mind the young man reached his hand out to his partner's, signaling for him to join Michael by his side.

"Well father," he began, "seeing as though we may have a few things in common I figure now is a good time to introduce you to a special person in my life. We have a lot of catching up to do, and I'm willing to forgive your sins if you can accept my relationship. Dad? I'd like you to meet my partner, Lloyd Philip Campbell." 

With that Michael leant in and received a kiss from his lover.

Everything around the old man went black as a strange mist billowed up from their surroundings. A long, gray, elephantine column rose from the inky depths of the lake. A loud screech echoed from what sounded like far away, or was it from far above? Suddenly ruby eyes and sharp fangs were all the old man saw before everything went dark.
Michael Porcine got his evidence. He was lauded for the discovery of a previously unknown species and headed up his own team of extreme cryptozoologists that circled the globe in search of things that cannot be described for National Geostatic Magazine. His articles are well respected in all the writing, scientific, and gay communities. Michael wrote a suitably appropriate dedication to his father for his famous Fossil Lake article, it read: "To my father, in death you did far more for me than you ever managed in life" posthumously giving him the fame he had always longed for.