I have complicated feelings about men. Horror, naturally, for they are despicable beasts and I know only too well what they are capable of. Fascination, because they are so alien, so incomprehensible. Their facial hair. The state of their collars. The noises they make.
I have noticed how powerful these forces are, how horror and fascination combine to draw you in. How these inclinations can bring you to offer yourself up to the indignity of horror and fascination.
He is a man of mystery. The first time I saw him, his gloveless hands were stained a dark and ominous red. I felt it then – the thrill of repulsion, the power of disgust. What had he done? And to whom? If I paused and gazed for long enough, would I draw his eyes? Would I discover by most unwholesome means the true nature of his stained hands?
On subsequent investigations I noted similar marks on his clothing. I wondered so long if he smelled of blood that this morning, I was overwhelmed by my own, most bestial compulsions. I deliberately stumbled into him outside The Crow.
He smells of beetroot. Not of death. Not the heart aching smell of old gore on a woollen jumper. I may never smell that again in all my life. Beetroot does not have the same effect upon me. It does not call forth suppressed memories.
But still, the man is a beast, and one stain is very much like another.
Being improper artists, Tom and I like to draw and paint things. Sometimes I colour stuff in.
We got thinking about mark making when exploring the idea of an arts and crafts movement on the island of Hopeless, Maine.
We give you…. Werewolf mark making
Werewolf mark making is much sought after by some collectors on the island, although many people find it more gruesome than is strictly speaking necessary. As you can see from the above image, the slash of claws and splatter of blood on an object indicates an attack. Indeed, werewolf mark making items invariably come from the scenes of violent deaths. In the absence of survivors, the exact way in which the marks were made remains purely speculative.
It may be that the item has been held up defensively, but to no avail. Perhaps it was hit accidentally by a poorly aimed paw. Either way, it raises a philosophical conundrum for the potential collector: Can it truly be called art if the werewolf was not consciously making it as an artistic statement? It’s important to focus on the big issues in cases such as these.
It’s a tradition whose origins are lost, and a very fine piece of our local heritage. This Sunday’s Apple Procession begins at the Church at 10am after the Apple Blessing service. Following the green dancers in their foliage attire, and the drummers, the Procession will then make its way around the island’s farms. Hopefully this year’s drummers will have some sense of rhythm between them. (I shudder, recalling the horrors of trying to march to last year’s attempts).
We will be following the traditional route, but, after numerous requests, the wild apple tree at the end of Silver Street will be our first port of call. While each farmer will be providing buckets of blood for the traditional blessing, those attending are welcome to carry their own as well. As ever, bring gifts to hang in the trees – ribbons are good. Make sure whatever you bring is dead before you try and tie it to anything, or anyone. If the weather holds, it should be an excellent day out. The Crow will be supplying a range of apple themed dishes in the evening to round of the festivities.
I can’t imagine anyone missed the major event of last week, but as nothing else of note happened, I’m reporting it anyway as there may be more to this than meets the eye.
On Tuesday night, a bloodstorm swept the island, covering people, buildings and streets. We were lucky in that the rain on Wednesday washed away the worst of it. I consulted Doc Willoughby who confirmed that the red rain was definitely blood, but he could not say if it was animal or human. Where did all the blood come from? Does it represent some unimaginable horror that has happened beyond the boundaries of our beloved island? How could so much blood have become airborn, with no trace of any bodyparts? I fear this latest mystery may go unsolved, but if you have possible answers, do share them.