Comedy Of Terror

Entry by: Writer_GG

5th February 2016
Comedy of Terror

[“...and laugh, but smile no more” - E. A. Poe]


Dennis woke up. Oddly enough, he couldn’t remember falling asleep. All he could recall was driving mindlessly down the highway, drenched in sweat as he sped away.. away from what? He remembered ploughing through the streaming rain, sheets of water falling from the sky in a biblical flood, the roar of thunder and savage lightning strikes blending seamlessly with the blinding headlights and deafening ruckus of the oncoming truck, and then..


Dennis opened his eyes. He was sitting on a wooden chair in a dimly lit room, illuminated by a single incandescent lightbulb hanging from the ceiling. At least he assumed there was a ceiling somewhere up there, lost in the vast darkness from which the cord dangled, a thin, bulbous-headed snake protruding from the shadows. The light cast an eerie red glow around him, but he couldn’t see any walls or other identifiable features anywhere. Just him, the chair, the bulb, and an utterly nondescript floor.


It was only then that Dennis noticed there was someone else there with him, sitting in the darkness. He could barely make out any of the other person’s features, but what he could see disturbed Dennis greatly. The eyes that were looking at him were enormous, two fiery orbs that were bigger than life, bigger than the universe, bigger than time. It wasn’t their physical size so much as their presence, the sheer tangible energy they radiated. Any mortal soul would get lost in those eyes, forever wandering aimlessly, devoid of sense or purpose.


The word was spoken by the watcher with the timeless eyes. It was a simple request, and Dennis saw no reason not to oblige.

“Dennis. Dennis Victor Glass.”


“Yes, it does. Very funny,” Dennis sighed. He’d had to endure that particular lame joke for most of his childhood, and he wasn’t particularly impressed - nor was he especially surprised - that it would continue to haunt him in the afterlife.

The light appeared to grow a tiny bit brighter. He could see the watcher’s nose now. It was bulbous, almost spherical. It was red, but so was everything else he could see. Strange swirls were spiralling in the watcher’s eyes, ebbing and flowing like the passage of aeons, like a billion stars merging and bursting at once, cycling, fusing, spinning in endless revolutions around the centre of everything and nothing.


“16th April, 1981. London,” Dennis said. He felt very queer, a strange mixture between being completely at ease with where fate had led him, and being absolutely terrified of what was yet to come. Also, his bum was getting uncomfortable.


“Umm. Putney. Does it matter?” Dennis asked, getting a little irritated by the banal questions.


Dennis was about to roll his eyes, but was suddenly struck by a bolt of excruciating pain in his entire body. He couldn’t move at all, paralysed as he was with sheer agony. He was forced to stare straight ahead, into those terrible eyes, which seemed to be burning with an even greater intensity now. Below the red ball of a nose, a sneer appeared, thick red lips twisted in a terrifying grin. The eyes dimmed slightly, the corners of the mouth dropped by an almost imperceptible amount, and the pain left Dennis’ body. Relieved, he let his tense muscles relax, shifting his weight on the chair as he did so. A loud farting noise emanated from the whoopie cushion that had somehow materialised under his butt.


“Not loving more. Not loving her more,” Dennis said. He didn’t even have to think about it. It was so clear to him, now that his perception was no longer blurred by all the insignificant burdens of life. He could see all the miscalculations, all the wrong words he had spoken, all the avoidable fights, all the occasions on which he had taken the wrong turn at the forks in his life. The turns that had led to, well.. death. He could trace it all back in his mind, could see what his life could have been, and what her life could have been. They could have been happy together, so easily. Instead, there was only death.


It wasn’t a question, clearly. It was a statement.
“I suppose it is, yes, in a twisted sort of way,” Dennis said, as he felt a tear well up in the corner of his eye.


Dennis didn’t laugh.
His refusal did not go down well. The two red orbs erupted in a galactic explosion, supernovae colliding amongst the death of a billion burning stars, the fire raging beyond the edge of infinity, fuelled by an anger so terrible that it rendered everything else meaningless. Dennis felt the fire running through him, igniting every nerve ending, gnawing at every fibre of his being with white-hot tendrils. The agony was beyond description, and a million times worse than anything he had ever experienced in life. Just as he thought he was about to die a second death, the pain subsided.
Dennis looked at the face in front of him, two horns now clearly visible atop the infernal head.


Dennis forced himself to emit a tortured guffaw of a laugh. His throat felt raw, but he filled his lungs again and pushed more air through his mouth, his face twisting into a terrible grimace as his body shook with the convulsions of the insane.


Where the pain had been moments earlier, insanity now filled the void. Laughter was flowing freely from Dennis’ wide open mouth. Even if he had wanted to, he wouldn’t have been able to stop. In between fits of laughter, Dennis talked. Or rather, he laughed out every word, his monologue mixing seamlessly with the tortured hysterics.

“I am laughing because I am here, I am here, because I AM me, because I did what I DID. I did an evil thing, I DID, and now I am here, OH and how it makes me HOW it makes me HOW it makes me LAUGH! I shouldn’t have pushed her, I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW, but OH how she laughed HOW she laughed HOW she LAUGHED! At me, she laughed, she laughed, and I felt my BLOOD boil and I felt my ANGER rise and OH still she LAUGHED. And I pushed her, OH and I shoved her and she fell, she FELL, and OH OH still she laughed she laughed OH how she laughed as the life was draining from her OH OH and I am laughing and how it makes me LAUGH!”

All around Dennis, a dozen, a hundred, a thousand red light bulbs burnt brightly, hanging over millions of pairs of chairs. All through Hell, laughter rang like a billion church bells chiming chaotically, echoing off the vast expanses of infinity.
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