Monday, February 13, 2012


This evening a character of mine dropped by Six Demon Bag for a little chat. Please welcome to this page Bosley Coughlin, protagonist from my soon-to-be-released Permuted Press novel The 7 Habits of Highly Infective People

Hi, Bosley. Welcome back to my head. We’ll start off with the usual Six Demon Bag opening question, which you can interpret and answer however you please: if you were in possession of a Six Demon Bag, what would yours contain?

Now that’s a good question, man. What the hell is in this bag? Hmmmm, let me see. Rollin’ papers…. Dime bag… red crayon, half a tab of blotter, some Vitamin C drops, a pen-style mini-microscope. Library card. One coupon good for a free order of fries at Meat World, expired. Some fuzzy little crunchy thing that may have once been a Cheeto, and a single Tarot card: The Queen of Cups.

Now Bosley, you and I know each other pretty damn well but some of my readers might not be that familiar with you. What can you tell my readers about the man behind the myth?

What’s there to tell? Like Zaphod, I’m just this guy, ya know? I like gettin’ a little mellow in the evenings, if ya get my drift. And mornings. Afternoons, too. I flushed my system out just long enough to land a cushy little job doing data conversion for the post office. I keep to myself, for the most part. Me, my books, and my telescope. I guess the biggest thing that makes me who I am though is that I’m dimensionally unstable. I was fuckin’ around with some mystical-type shit while riding out a killer acid buzz, see. And that’s when I accidentally opened the Eye of Aeons. Now I just kind of drift like metaphysical pollen through the dimensions. Every now and then, I’ll get all tangled up in someone else’s consciousness and be able to see the world through their eyes for a while.

What’s the hardest thing about being dimensionally unstable?

Definitely lack of control, dude. I mean, I’m a naturally curious person, ya know? Things catch my eye and I want to investigate. To take a closer look. But if I ain’t in my own body, man, there’s nothin’ I can do. Shit, I can’t even cast a sideways glance unless my host does. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a conscious puppet? Imagine if Pinnochio turned into a real boy, but Geppetto never cut the fuckin’ strings. He just wants to go outside and run and play; but that old cat’s havin’ none of it. Dance, little puppet, dance.

Here’s the next in our series of Six Demon standard questions: there’s a train rocketing through the night with nearly a hundred people looking out the windows. The only person actually sitting in a seat is a small child who gazes unwaveringly at the floor. What is going on with these people?

Okay, the little girl? She knows that outside of that train is nothin’ but a vast expanse of nothingness, man. No stars. Nor horizon, no up or down. It’s like someone turned out all the lights in the corridors of infinity. And she can feel that shit squeezing in on the little coffin she’s zippin’ along in. Not quite enough to make the ceiling buckle and sides crunch. Not enough to shatter the windows. But she can still feel that pressure bearin’ down, threatening to squeeze the air from her lungs like the coils of a python. The other folks on the train have the option of helping her, ya know? They could sing soft songs to her, pet her hair, and tell her every little thing is gonna be all right. But instead, one by one they’ve turned away and shown her their backs. If you stand at the very end of the car and tilt your head just so, you can even see the progression of these sorry bastards’ soul. The sin of inhospitality personified by their corporeal flesh. Their reflections in the glass, staring back at the people they’d once been. And then nothing but darkness, man. That’s what’s goin’ down on that train.

If I were to look on your bookshelf, what books would I find there?

Let’s see, there would be Theories for Everything: An Illustrated History of Science. A bunch of shit by Jack Kerouac. The Encyclopedia of Symbolism. Aleister Crowley’s Book of the Law. I dig on some Lovecraft too, man. Oh and there’s what looks like a book, but when you open it up there’s actually a planisphere and some star charts inside.

If I could bridge the gap between present and future and transport a gift from you to Ocean, what would it be and why?

It’d be a big fuckin’ box, man. Some automatic weapons inside and plenty of ammo. She’s smart. She’d figure out how to use it. A bunch of rugged clothes for all seasons. Good pair of combat boots. Topographical maps of the area. Basically anything I could think of that would make her life a little bit easier.

This isn’t really the first time we’ve talked, but is there anything you’ve never told me that you’d like to get off your chest?

Damn right there is. You’re an asshole, man. I couldn’t give a flyin’ fuck what you choose to do to me, dig? Send me back in time and let the Mayans play soccer with me head. Let the Romans tack me to a giant T. Shit, send the most ravenous organ fiend you can find from that horde of undead fucks and let ‘em tear into me like a pig rootin’ up a truffle. But leave Ocean alone, man. I mean, come on. She’s just a little girl, ya know? Yet you plop her right down in the middle of that shit hole and continually mess with her world? Fuck you, man … fuck … you. Maybe I was goin’ after the wrong damn person all along. Maybe I shoulda set my sights on you.

Well, Bosley, thanks for stopping in. I wish we could talk longer, but I have some other imaginary people demanding my attention. So it’s up to you to wrap this interview up. Anything at all you want to talk about or promote is fair game; the forum is yours. Ready … GO!

If people are sleeping’ you’ve gotta be an alarm clock. You need to make a stand when it’d be so much easier and more convenient to simply look away. You’ve gotta be willin’ to love somebody you’ve never met so damn much that their tears are your tears. And don’t go dismissing all this as a bunch of hippie bullshit, either. Fuck hippies, man. Sometimes peace and love just don’t cut it. Fuckin’ sit-ins don’t mean shit to Fate. A body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest dies. Plain and simple. Don’t let yourself die, people. Not without a fight. Learn the seven fuckin’ symptoms and for God’s sake don’t let humanity have been in vain. Show ‘em what you’ve got….

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