Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: monsters

Dogs Would Know

I thought I’d be good with animals, growing up. Just one of those strange kids who exerts no pressure on the surfaces he touches, and exudes goodness, something birds can trust. In the square by the cathedral they came to me because I paid a man to put seeds in my hands. I thought because I was broken in half there would be good inside me spilling out like a ruptured silo and that dogs would know.

You think the accident gave you superpowers. Like abuse has made you better as a person.

I thought that dogs would know. When I was homeless I slept in the bed of a woman who did not believe in evil; I think that must be the reason she let me stay there. I think there’s something foul in me. I slept in the corner of her mattress, like a dog. I took up as little space as I could and I disappeared from her life.

And someone else froze when I walked into the room. Jumped if I grazed her, walking past. And she was shaking when she said, I’m not afraid of you, attempting a reassuring tone and not a defiant one, ears perked like a fox in danger. I thought I’d be good with animals, instead I’m limping and shedding fur like an irradiated jackal. I thought from how badly broken I was, there would be recompense if not a reckoning.

Dogs don’t know, or they don’t care.

Any good that comes from me is what I’ve done. And any good that comes from you is you alone.


after Cecilie K.


Every monster child goes through this. Changeling, they would correct me with boiling water in their voices: every changeling goes through this. Monsters are something different. It is the rite of passage at the edge of the woods (even in places where there are no trees for miles, there are woods). The changeling stands peering into the darkness, perhaps looking at her claws which she has filed down to be just nails, and she thinks with a clarity usually only found in orchestral flute music and cloudless nights at great altitudes: I am not the scariest thing in these woods.


Also a thing from the archives, although some other archives. Written after standing at the pitch-black mouth of a forest for ten minutes in the middle of the night, trying to get my eyes to get used to the level of light in there, eventually realizing that it didn’t get lighter than that. Inspired a lot by things Cecilie K. had written, also. You can read her excellent writing at this following link, for example:

Evelyn Myers

Image courtesy of The Thrusting Sensations

Image courtesy of The Thrusting Sensations, who have a facebook page:, and a website:

The static disappears, and instead there is the wet, slick sound of well-oiled hands picking up an old corded microphone, like breathless fish jumping on a rocky riverbed, flexing their whole bodies. The hands come perilously close to dropping the microphone a few times, then their grip steadies and an androgynous voice starts to read out sounds with regular pauses after three or four syllables, like names from a list. There are traces of Indo-European in the sounds, but as names they all sound desperately fake. The static returns with a peculiar ebb and flow.

Months pass until the next reading. On the day when autumn turns into winter, faithful listeners are treated to what sounds like the same hands as before, fumbling for the microphone, and the same voice monotonously reading from the list of name-sounds: “…Pritya Alaskor. Nevb Slauvt. Gulend Evetchkas. Nsiovet Lkall…” Humans paying attention to the droning are recording all the sounds, catching frantic and excited keystrokes on tape as well, as they try to tell other humans about the sounds. By the time anyone reads their messages, and has time to tune their machines to the right frequency, the static has returned once more like whalesong, signature and indecipherable.

Years pass, this time. The roar of white noise crescendoes and disappears. A sound of dripping, nervous hands gripping the microphone. The vocal chords that create these sounds belong to something other than human. It is using human sounds, yes, but it is new to them. It is an anglerfish with a 40-watt lightbulb in front of its maw now; it is understanding that human things have uses. It likes the name-sounds: “…Kalskk Mäter. Kral Bedun. Nortmater Juerie. Aulp Pill…”

Someone counts how long it takes until the next broadcast, and it is two years and three months and five days. This list sounds more deliberate, slower than the others. It takes ten minutes to read in total and it gets a name right at last – “Evelyn Myers” – and she immediately stands up from her chair and walks toward the door, stretching the cord of her headphones taut until they are yanked off from her head and clatter to the floor. It is snowing outside, and she walks out barefoot, toward the mountains. The last name-sound, hopeless gibberish, is spoken on air and then the slippery hands drop the microphone with a thud, and the static comes back.

What You Left Behind

You have left something behind, quite carelessly. I locked it in your old abandoned room, because that room smells of you (pine trees, heather), and I would think that this thing you left behind would be calmed by that. It just thrashes around, emitting a high-pitched screech at the edge of my hearing, like something blurring in and out of focus. Why did you leave this behind, so carelessly? It even looks like you. You should have taken it with you. I’m sleeping in the treehouse tonight. You have a key. I expect this thing to be gone by morning.

The Rabid Dogs #7 – Group Hugs and the Sudden Feeling of Being Safe Again

His bite is worse, no matter what you think you know. You have only seen his tongue hanging out of his mouth, felt the room quiver when he puts his rumbling stomach to the floor. You haven’t felt his teeth in you, and maybe that’s why I hone my teeth. I hit him once and he just smiled an escalating smile at me. Psychologists can cure everything. And I have honed my teeth and picked up a hammer. Today’s the day I get him fixed. I make an appointment with a psychologist. Then I finally bash that dog’s brains in.


There is a statue in Whale Park, inconveniently placed right next to a big wall like some shady dealer. It has too many teeth and they are all too sharp for something that supposedly is modelled on a human being. The statue tells me about my future, if I ask it, two truths about my future plus one lie. It’s always one line about my family, one about money, and one about love.

And I guess this is me, hedging my bets that the one about love was right, because I can’t control my father’s heartrot. Will you marry me?

Bed Time Story

There’s a forest, dark and deep, lit only by the fluorescent fungi covering dead tree trunks. And there are mud creatures; bubbly, oozey beings, who make a special kind of tea. Sometimes, rarely, a human finds the forest. Even rarer, a human might be invited in for tea.

Ze will be instructed to take off hir clothes, and come into the mudbaths. The creatures, many-limbed and shapeless, will then start the rituals, and if the human stays throughout the whole night – the time it takes for their tea to brew – ze will drink a cuppa unlike anything ze’s ever tasted.

All the Stop Signs

All the stop signs in this town are redder, written in a different font, suggesting that the company producing them never had seen normal stop signs before. Sometimes they are placed in an entirely illogical fashion, as if the map was held the wrong way when they were placed there. There are small campaigns from small people who write letters to their town’s representative, hoping that some bored intern reads it and plucks up and talks to the politician about it. Some times kids go missing from the back of cars. The politicians have bigger things to worry about. Obviously.

Dream Journal Entry #4

In my sleep I have a sword and a shield, otherwise I am the same person wearing flannel shirts, thick glasses, and bracelets from five different festivals. The people I meet in my dreams all seem relieved to see that I am carrying all that steel, they put their hands on my shoulders and they thank me. I never think to ask them what for. My dreams are about social happenings, polite dinners, running into old friends. I am always moving toward the setting sun, the direction of my childhood. I wonder what will happen when I reach the ocean.

I Will Try, I Will Try, I Will Try

And for my next trick, I will become a seasonal slime creature. In the winter, I will be cold but I will live grudgelessly. In the summer, I will live under a bridge and watch the water. Sometimes, I will catch a fish, extending my crude approximation of limbs outward to stop the happily skipping fish in its tracks. I eat all of it except for the bones, which I wear as jewellery. They slowly sink into my skin and migrate to my heart. Watch, as I live life in a cycle of freezing and thawing, free from the pain.