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: