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Red Dress
Written by Nick Llanes

Woke up with your red dress still in my dreams,
fresh in my memory.
That night, when we were dancing on the floor,
It’s something, in my mind I always see.

Holding hands in the dead of the night,
Your glow shines brighter than the lights.
Beating hearts and magical comebacks
Nothing ever felt that right.

And when you went away
I was dancing in the pain,
It’s something in my mind I’ll always see.
Ain’t I, A man; A man that you could love?
Someone that I thought I’d always be.

Every time that I see that red dress
All I think about is you
So I hope that when you think about me `
You don’t think of me like a fool.

‘cuz everytime that I think of your smile
Something inside me dies.
If you could see the tears in my eyes
You’d call off your baleful goodbye.

And when you went away I was dancing in the pain,
It’s something in my mind I’ll always see.
Ain’t I, A man; A man that you could love?
Someone that I thought I’d always be.

She’s gone now
She’s gone now
She’s gone now
She’s gone away

A Crawling Chaos Monologue

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I wrote this for my Stage Arts class in college. We had to write/find a monologue for our…monologue performance, and I wrote a monologue about Nyarlathotep. To be honest, the mere fact that I wrote this scares the shit out of me. Your Mileage May Vary.

NYARLATHOTEP: A Monologue

By Nick Llanes

I look upon you and grin. Your follies. Your loves. Your hideous rituals. You constantly reassure yourselves of your own significance. From up there—out in the stars, dearest Ant, you are nothing but a mere speck of dust one flicks away in annoyance. My master does not even comprehend your existence, the Blind Idiot that He is.

Yet I, the Haunter of the Dark, do. And I laugh. And I laugh. And I laugh.  Each and every little paramecium here, has set up a whole plethora of barriers—hindrances, and you call them “Morals”.

Morals?

What are Morals but barriers? See us, in our true forms, and let us see what “Morals” are compared them.  So many questions linger in the air, answers rendered meaningless.

What is beauty?

What is horror?

What is Good?

What is Evil?

All this are meaningless when we take that of which is ours. We are things bounded by no such creation—such concepts are incomprehensible to us as our appearances are to you.

The Great Old Ones are sleeping. Azathoth is slumbering. The underwater cities of old are sunken. Yet we shall rise again. What would your puny minds comprehend of us, then? Your gods will not protect you from the True powers of this Universe.

One day, the Old Ones shall rise from their death-like slumber, and the seas once more will be frothing in madness. The Deep Ones shall rise and claim their birth-rights—their lands. The Shoggoths will consume your cities, like alien tidal waves. On that day, humanity shall be rid of their morals, killing and revelling and laughing merrily. Great Cthulhu, from his risen house at sea, shall teach Man new ways of fear.

You look at me now, little dust mites, as if I was some hideous aberration. Point your guns. Point your blades. Point, even your sharpened sticks.  My mask is mortal, but my essence is immortal.  You look upon me in fear, bacterium, yet I am merely a voice. An echo. A consciousness, able to take forms you measly creatures can comprehend. There are things sleeping underneath the earth, in the depths of the sea, and even in the black void of space, that you must fear more.

Yet I suppose I may say that I am fear.

For when Man lay shivering in the caves, afraid of the black, I was the thing lurking in the dark. When men stare in to the Abyss, I am the Thing staring back. I was the daemon who whispered into Hitler’s ear. I was the one who told Nero burn the Christians in Rome. I have been here, dearest insects, since you were mere apes, and I shall be here when you—all of you—shall realize that you are merely a miniscule electron in this universe of universes.

I have many names and many faces. I am Nephren-ka. I am the Black Pharaoh. I am the Devil. The Haunter of the Dark. The Whisperer in the Darkness. The Walking’ Dude. The Howling God. I am the crawling chaos.  I am the Messenger, Will, and Voice of the Outer Gods.

I am Nyarlathotep.

 

 

Lovecraftian Fiction, and why it’s terrifying, P1.

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Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fhtagn!

He dreams. (Art by TristJones)

 

Size matters, they say.

To the lowliest of ants, we are dreaded gods, looking down from our Olympian thrones. To the littlest paramecium, ants are the gods, and we are little more than horror stories for their children. This leads us to the next, horrifying question—“Who looks down on us?”  Who, in this universe, looks down on our civilization, and sees our folly? This, in turn, leads to more questions, such as “Are they benevolent?” and “Can we comprehend them?” This is the plight of Lovecraftian Horror. This sub-genre of horror, as stated by Tvtropes.org, “depresses you with the fatalistic impression of being insignificantly powerless before the vast, unknowable and fundamentally alien entities.” It was named after the esteemed horror fiction writer, Howard Phillips “HP” Lovecraft, who codified the Lovecraftian Horror genre.

What, then, makes it so scary? I argue that Lovecraftian Horror is a terrifying sub-genre of Horror fiction due to the psychological horror of the unknown, the pervading sense of cosmic dread and doom, and the fate of the protagonist.

Psychological Horror

Psychological Horror, by definition, is a subgenre of horror that focuses on fears and emotional unstableness in order to build the tension. It focuses mostly on the more subtle aspects, rather than the traditional “Pop-up” horror.  While it may have all the essential aspects of horror, it builds up slowly, eating away at one’s mind. Most of the terror is left to the person’s imagination.

This is the Horror of the Unknown. Lovecraft, in his essay, Supernatural Horror in Literature, once wrote: “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” It shows in his works—Lovecraft wrote of hideous, alien abominations that are “indescribable” and “incomprehensible”, leaving the viewer to imagine the finer details for themselves. Lovecraft also used a variation of the literary convention in the most conventional of ways, as shown in his story The Music of Erich Zann. It is about a musician who plays strange music at night. In the story, nothing happens—no creatures burst out of unnameable dimensions; no alien horrors emerge from the deep, dark creases of the earth. The Threat, while implied to be lurking within, is not shown within the story. The reader is left to imagine what happened, instead.

 

Cosmic Dread and Atmosphere

Atmosphere plays a major role in Lovecraft’s works. It is there to set the mood of the story, as with any other work. Lovecraft wrote stories full of unspeakable horrors, and the mood followed. There was a sense of cosmic dread hanging in the “air” of his stories—a sense of hopelessness in the midst of a vast, uncaring Universe. It was so prevalent in his works that it was made into a literary philosophy—Cosmicism. This is the main emphasis of most of his works; the backbone, one could say.

Lovecraft took inspiration from the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Lord Dunsany, Arthur Machen, and Robert W. Chambers, and as such, his works gave off a gloomy, ghostly, and gothic vibe. This coincides with the psychological horror aspect of Lovecraftian Horror—his settings are unnaturally creepy.  Lovecraft often used New England (which was his home) as the setting of stories.

Sanity’s fragility and the fate of the Protagonist

Lastly, there is the concern of sanity. In Lovecraft’s works, where eldritch abominations lurk within the threshold of Human reason; where the monstrous, malevolent beings are apathetic to the existence of men; where there are beings so enormous in size that it would be maddening to fathom them; there would obviously be a lot of insane people. This is interconnected with the atmosphere of doom and the psychological aspects of the subgenre.

The doomed protagonists, at the end of the story, are either rotting away in an asylum, driven into insanity, or worse, killed by the very forces they uncovered. Then, there is also the concern of the “Unreliable Narrator”—it could be possible that some of Lovecraft’s characters were merely hallucinating. While not (to this author) explicitly stated, it could be possible that some of his stories involve hallucinating characters within an asylum. What makes this aspect of the subgenre so terrifying is the broken perception of reality—you do not know what’s real anymore.

Lovecraftian Horror, while sometimes seemingly obscure, is one of the most influential subgenres of Horror fiction. It is, also, one of the most terrifying, due to the subtleties, the atmosphere of cosmic dread, and sanity’s fragility. In my opinion, this subgenre is the ultimate form of Horror fiction—a world where everything could kill you with one swipe of a tentacle hand; a world where the things we perceive as “gods” are nothing but bigger fish in a small pond, and that there are even bigger fish swimming out there, in the great ocean that is the Universe. There are things man was not meant to know, and Lovecraft—and his subgenre—is here to show it.

Line up of articles.

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Hey, guys. Haven’t been too active nowadays. It’s either I’m too lazy or I just don’t have the time. But, I feel like prioritizing you guys–whoever you are–and start writing the hell out of stuff.

So here’s a line-up of articles that I’ll (hopefully) write about.

Prometheus: The Lovecraft Connection.

Lovecraftian Horror: Why is it so scary? 

The Slender Man Mythos overview

Marble Hornets review 

SLENDER review 

Take an umbrella. Rainy as hell nowadays.

 

No one’s too old for Fairy Tales.

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This is a  short story I wrote. I hope you guys like it.

Goodnight, Moon
(Sometimes, the Magic Comes Back.)

No one is too old for Faerie Tales. Care for a story, love?

She was falling. Running and falling. The stars gaped at her, as a shadow—her lover—pursued her through the darkness of space. In the Dark One’s despair, he tripped over cosmic specks of stardust, and threw off newly-formed planets along the way. He had been pursuing her for days now, worried sick and tired of all her stupid games.

Her name was Elune, and she gave light to the Earth at night.

The Dark One called out her name. Screamed it out into the Heavens, and into the Nightly Void that separated each realm. But Elune never noticed. She fled, in fear.

For somewhere, beyond the farthest reaches of the cosmos, an Unspeakable Thing shifted in its sleep.

It stirred in its slumber, groaning. It was because of this cosmic monstrosity that the goddess was running away.  The old prophesies told stories of how the God of the Void would awake with the union of Black and White. Elune could not, for the life of her,  bring forth the destruction of the Universe due to their love.

So she ran.

There was another god in pursuit. Sol was the Steward of the Brightest Star of the cosmos—the Sun. He was coveted by everyone; from the littlest dwarven stars to the largest dragonstars. He was lovely. On Earth, all the folken sang songs of praise and thanks, as the Sun gave them the chance for life.

As he saw the two running through space, he immediately thought, in his haughtiness, that the moon-ward was running away from her dark pursuer. Sol, in a hazy mixture of anger and adoration (for Elune), ran in pursuit, a trail of flames behind him. This gave Elune more reason to run.

Terra—the Earth was near. It had lost its magic a thousand years ago. She could probably hide there, she reckoned.

Elune, in a fit of panic, leapt into the blue world. Her stardust-laced dress burst into flames. She was not hurt as her whole body was engulfed in fire.  Her memories faded away as the ground slowly rose up to meet her.  The Dark One screamed out for her once more. He screamed so loud, that the Dead momentarily woke from their graves. He couldn’t get to her—he was too weak to enter the Earth.

Sol arrived just as the Dark One was contemplating. Wondering where the beautiful Moon-Girl could have been, he seized the Dark One with his fiery right hand. The Dark One, in his cold sadness, looked into Sol’s flaming eyes, in despair. He muttered a sentence—a phrase, really.

She’s gone.” He said.

Sol, in a fit of blazing anger, threw him into the deepest pit of the Earth, and into his own kingdom, the Underworld.

On Earth, the locals who witnessed the event called it the “Most beautiful thing the gods have given us,”. Scientists of every related field began investigating and pinpointing the location of the comet, only to be disappointed. The comet crashed into the earth, and exploded in a brilliant display of white light.  The Historians have already started writing about the event as the “Greatest atmospheric phenomenon since the Golden Age of Magic”.

Alas, without a Steward, the Moon fell into despair. The once-docile moon-beasts became vicious creatures, and without a Steward to tame the little satellite, the ecosystem of the Moon became a ravaging mess. The once-mighty white ball that lit up the night sky slowly faded away.

Sol, in his anger, went back to his Star, brooding. He would wait.

In her little crater, Elune slept, dreaming. She dreamed of her lover, the Dark One, who also slumbered. They communed in their dreams.

He swore to find her. He would leave the Underworld for her. He would do anything for her. They dreamt together of the wild things they did in the name of love—riding across the stars with their stellar horses, witnessing the birth of stars and galaxies. They even witnessed the simpler things; sunsets, sunrises. They fought the Star-Beasts and the Moon-beasts and the Sky-Beasts and even jousted for each other.

In a brief instant, the Dark One saw her fears. Images moved through his mind—The Void Thing; the maddening screams of the star-men as they are wiped out from the Sky; the sharp pain of seeing the Thing rise out of the event horizon, and materializing in their dimension. The immensity of the thing itself was horrifying.

It was that very same reason that the Dark One never made love to her. The Union of Dark and Light was the final signal. The Key to the End. Finally, he understood. Understood why she had been running, all this time.  And he knew that they could never be together. Not if he wanted a Universe still standing.

So before he woke up, in the very same room that they slept in, he gave her an astral kiss, and whispered. All the memories she had disappeared in that instant, along with her powers.

Somewhere, on Earth, a beautiful, pale woman awoke. Magic awoke with her.

Prometheus: Impressions

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I like Ridley Scott. The mad genius who contributed to Sci-fi, horror, and, in general, the Film Industry, has been working on a little project for quite some time now.

Wait, scratch that.

Prometheus is anything but a little project. The multi-million dollar block-buster was my most anticipated film in the last decade. Before the film was released, though, massive hordes of fans (of Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise) were anticipating a sort of ‘prequel’ that led to the said franchise. Some, like me, expected a more philosophical twist to the old sci-fi genre.

The question is: did we get the movie of our expectations? Did we get that philosophical hook? Did we find this gigantic epic that would both raise questions and answer them and raise more questions?

For the most part, the answer would be NO.

Much of the excitement, the culminating tension of wanting to see it adds up to a disappointing thing. I was expecting some kind of movie a la Blade Runner. Y’know—one that really makes you want to question something.

But no. We got an Alien prequel. As in, an Alien film with a different Alien and/or Aliens. Not that it wasn’t good on its own. It was good in its own right. But the thing is, after watching it in an epic movie theatre, you are bound to ask: “Is that it?”

Still, a few things stand out. There was this interesting scene within that movie that truly stood out from all the other horror movies that I’ve watched. Usually, there’s this invulnerability of a Final Girl in a horror movie. Either they survive to the end, unscathed, or with a few scratches.

But this one…man, this was terrifying. So you’ve got the obvious Final Girl, who is apparently immune to the trope death by sex. Elizabeth and whatshisname screwed each other the other night, and being barren, it was unprotected. Sadly, whatshisname was infected by this black-oil sludge virus thing, and infected Liz with it.

A few hours later Liz finds herself to be pregnant. It was obviously freaky, since she was barren.

So, she shambles towards this Auto-doc machine—a machine that operate on ones self—and does a C-section on herself to extract the monster. We witnessed this gruesome scene from the beginning to the end.

A few actors stood out (Michael Fassbender as David!).The plot wasn’t as bad, but it was cut up.  For the Alien fans, there’s also a lot of references to the old films, and a “proto-xenomorph” appears at the end.

So in the end, P R O M E T H E U S isn’t a bad film. Just one that doesn’t meet up to expectations.

 

It’s Indie Rock n’ Roll for me…

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The Killers say it all.

People think I’m a hipster.

The key word here is think. People think I’m a hipster so much I think I’m a hipster. Or, at the very least, a person with the musical tastes of a hipster. Or indie. Or whatever the hell you can call it. I don’t know why they think I’m part of that subculture, since I don’t have their brilliant fashion sense. Hell, I don’t even have clothes that look the type. But if you strip down the Indie/Hipster to their roots, they are, essentially, people who like Indie Music. Although I’m pretty much  restricted to the Indie Rock genre.

So maybe I’m not a hipster—just a guy with very discriminating taste in music (although I do listen to general rock), who loves Indie Music.

I don’t know. There’s something awesome about the Indie scene; its ‘unconventional’ kind of music. Depending on the song, it gives you this strange, goosebump-like feeling of euphoria, vintage-ness or just a quite different feel to it. Again, I think the best word would be Unconventional.

But I gotta admit that I don’t know much bands from the genre — I just stick with the basics; Bloc Party, Foster the People, the Morning Of, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, that kind of stuff.  Then again, there’s always something for everyone.

I think my Favorite has to be Mumm-ra and their song, She’s Got You High. Sadly, they broke up.

And now I weep.

Sometimes I don’t understand what constitutes as ‘Indie’. I hear people defining ‘Indie’ as being in an Independent Label, but I digress. Yes, a song on an Independent Label is indie, but, paradoxically, it is not indie.

A song is Indie, in the sense that the style is unconventional, experimental, even, such that there’s this certain vibe in it that makes you feel a certain kind of emotion through these techniques.

In retrospect, I think it’s pretty hard to analyze Indie Music, hell, Music itself, without being pretentious or having a wide knowledge of notes and whatnot. Then again, I am the listener, and I listen to music.My kind's your kind, oh stay the same!

What I feel about Indie Music is simple:

It’s this Euphoric feeling that can only be taken by a mixture of leads, synthesizers, bass, and a wonderful voice, something that other genres can’t doto me. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Maps is a big example of this strange euphoric feeling. It’s something you’d want to play driving in a vintage car with your horn-rimmed glasses and stubble, as the sun started to set.

Edit: Okay scratch that, She’s Got You High isn’t my favorite. It’s Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Zombies in Fantasy: The White Walkers of HBO’s Game of Thrones

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The White Walkers, strange, terrifying creatures of the North. Eldrich Abominations, or just undead things?

A grimly accurate depiction. It’s like they stole it from my head.
Kidding.

I like zombies. Not because of the benefits of a zombie apocalypse, or the satisfaction of having a morally acceptable cannon fodder and killable monster,  but rather the overall undead appearance, and the metaphor it represents: a literal Walking Death to all it passes.

Yeah, the factors I said before those still matter–you can’t have one undead bastard running around without other undead bastards running around, hence a zombie apocalypse. They’re undead, and as such are probably a menace to the living (duh), so you have to kill them. Or, if you were a Necromancer, you could boss them around the like, because it’s awesome.

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, you’re given this intimidating impression that the White Walkers are just that, or at least their by-products are. Earlier in season one, you see a group of wildlings mercilessly killed.  A girl was left hanging on a tree branch during the encounter. Suffice to say, that girl, that creepy, creepy girl turns too look at the screen.

I won’t mention the moments afterwards, but that was horribly chilling (and how fitting! Being in the Wall and all.)

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Creepy shit.

 I think how they were elaborated on (the White Walkers, not the wildling girl), were pretty intimidating–raiding cities in the winter and what not, and it was, again, positively chilling to watch it unfold like that.  And the fact that the people they kill reanimate as wights, as if they weren’t deadly enough.

I think in the end the best thing about the white walkers is this impending sense of doom. Winter is Coming, as the Starks say, and with winter comes the White Walkers, with their undead army of wights.  And the Game of Thrones being played in King’s Landing would be all for naught, because Winter is coming.

A word on the things you’ll see in this Blog.

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It’s imperative for you to know the things I’m going to write about. First, I’m a very expressive man. Writing gets me going sometimes, and I tend to ramble on and on and on about things. But since this is wordpress and not twitter, I promise I’ll keep things nice and sweet.

Okay!

So,  anyways,  I am a person who enjoys various forms of entertainment —whether books or music, television or video games, I enjoy them like the civilized fan that I am, perhaps whining and puling only moderately, and not in ALL CAPS. And because of the enthusiast in me (read: Nerd), I have decided to list down the things I am most likely to write about:

Video Games
Silent Hill
Survival Horror
Fantasy
Stephen King
Neil Gaiman
Scott Pilgrim
Indie Music
Rock Music
Zombies
Horror
H.P. Lovecraft
 Diablo
RPG games
Romance 
The Walking Dead
Game of Thrones

Trust me, that’s just the icing on the top of the cake. I could ramble on about other stuff, too.

Stay in touch, will you?