As peculiar, violent, and perversely humorous as Demophobia happens to be–and it is all of those things–it is also a deeply sad story about survivor’s guilt and an insightful discourse on being an outsider. Mr. Foicus is a Pus-Eater, or as he prefers, an Eiterfresser. A packed auditorium watches his multimedia lecture on the history of his kind, distorted and sanitized to elicit sympathy and hopefully engender less of a freakshow aspect to his existence. He’s one of the last of his kind, and he’s regretful of that. While he may be an inhuman, vicious monster, he suffers from the same melancholy any human might experience under similar circumstances. All of this doesn’t change the fact that Mr. Foicus is still a monster, and it doesn’t take long before the story takes a violent and revolting turn when the Pus-Eater shows his true colors. Through the perspective of someone hoping to capture images amid the panicked crowd, we experience the dread of knowing that everyone should have left when things turned sideways. That’s the problem with a crowd, though; they feel safety in numbers, and if a large number of the individuals begin to relax, everyone else will go along with it, even if they think there’s something wrong. I’ve never been more grateful for the fact that I loathe being in crowded spaces with large groups of people than when I imagined the carnage and wash of bodily fluids in the lecture hall. Geick does an excellent job of building the reader up to a conclusion that feels both fitting and depressing.
This title was released as part of the 31 Days of Godless event at http://www.godless.com for October of 2021. You can obtain it for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:
Geick’s Cynophobia begins with a drabble. In this case, it’s a heartbreaking drabble that certainly sets the stage and tests the waters for the reader, in advance of the main story. It’s suitable for that purpose, in that it’s perhaps harder to read than what Geick offers up to us in this new tale of mental illness, irrational fear, and failing relationships. None of this is easy to read for an animal lover, and especially a dog lover. I am an animal lover. While I was growing up, I had several birds (my great aunt raised them for sale and had a room that consisted of virtually nothing but walls of bird cages. I’ve owned snakes and tarantulas. I have a daughter who didn’t take particularly good care of three guinea pigs she’d received as pets quite a few years ago–but she was only eight or nine at the time, so I shouldn’t have expected too much. They were adorable little things, though. They were, all three, sweet as can be, but they also produced a whole lot of waste that wasn’t properly cleaned up. I’ve owned a total of five ferrets over the years, and it’s challenging to keep up with the rancid mess they make, no matter how well-trained you believe them to be. We have a cat in our home, and we had a terrific rabbit until recently, and I’m allergic to both. I’ve had, at this point in my life, a total of 11 dogs, I currently own three of them, all under the age of five and two of them under the age of two. In October of 2019, the best dog I’ve ever owned died in my arms when a cruel sort of blood cancer stole her from me when she was only seven. It was worth mentioning all of that because I can sympathize with the protagonist of Cynophobia in a handful of ways while simultaneously considering him almost alien in others. No more pets was not the insoluble rule he expected it to be, he learns, as his wife progressively turns their home into a menagerie. The relentless hoarding drives the couple further apart and our protagonist distances himself from both his wife and his daughters. As the situation at home spirals out of control, Geick propels us toward a breaking point at which nothing will be the same. It’s a train wreck in relatively slow motion that the reader can’t turn away from. Cynophobia presents us with two possible endings, the original (S.A.D.) ending and the new ending Geick’s written for this version of the story. In one available ending, the sickness and mental illness appear to spread from one parent to the other, manifesting in an awful climax that will make many readers cringe. In the alternate conclusion, we witness the–hopefully–more natural end of the relationship and the outcome of the clear mental illness left unrestrained at the core of this tale. You’ll have to read them both, to discover which one you prefer. The splattery side of my nature prefers one, while the animal lover in me prefers the other. Neither of them is pleasant, and as the story says, there are no happy endings.
Cynophobia is available as an exclusive title from http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app on your preferred mobile device. The link to this title is below:
Continuing a tradition started by none other than the author of Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift, Geick presents not only a strong defense for the consumption of babies, but an entertaining glimpse into the future. With food scarcity a real concern, what better solution than to devour babies and unwanted children? As presented in A Modest Proposal, the argument was that it serves a twofold solution, removal of a hungry mouth from circulation and a suitable meal provided for those who might otherwise be starving. I Eat Babies provides us with a refreshed and reinvigorated baby eating platform for the modern age. Using the drabble form, Geick succeeds in packing a hugely amusing–albeit perverse–collection of themed snippets of story into small packages. The important thing is that he does it well. Personally, I have to say this is a successful teaser for his upcoming collection of drabbles, double drabbles, and pentadrabbles. While I understand that this medium might not be for everyone, this collection has been made available for potential readers at no cost, so there’s no reason not to give it a chance. I know I will be picking up the new collection when it becomes available. Maybe we can enjoy the new collection together, over a main course of baby stew?
This collection is available from http://www.godless.com or through the Godless app on your preferred mobile platform. The link is below:
What do you do when your life is falling apart around you because your kinks and perversions are too shameful for loved ones to accept? What if you also have neither the motivation nor the courage to sort things out? In the case of our protagonist, you pack your bags and head for China to teach English as a second language, evading your problems while hoping to return someday with unearned closure in tow. While unsympathetic, our protagonist is relatable in more ways than is probably comfortable to admit. Geick dips into the well of our shared experiences of insecurity, loneliness, shame, and isolation to craft a character that reflects some of our least appealing traits. A night of drugs and exotic dining, characterized by increasing haziness and disorientation, leads us to a conclusion that the reader sees coming just a short while before the revelation hits home. Nosophobia should rank among the best works of short fiction to arise from the pandemic conditions of 2020/2021.