Alex S. Johnson

Bring Me the Head of F.W. Murnau

Anton Shreck peered through the sliding glass door that led to the patio and the outdoor heated pool, checking on the girls.

They were well-secured and squirming, and their sounds of muffled protest pleased him. He supposed on reflection that their frogties and pimp goggles were a bit over the top, but the visual gave him a hard-on and focused his powers.

Soon the juices would trickle together into the steaming blue soup, the girls tumbling into the mix in a fleshy fireworks display of sizzle, crackle and pop. And then…

He smiled, and the universe seemed to smile with him. Then it frowned, studied the situation, did some quick calculations and smiled again. Alternatively, the black acid had begun to kick in, because the moon was dripping gore that slid down the white tile matrix surrounding the pool, crawled up naked thighs and planted its crimson fingers inside the girls, one by one.

A scent of iodine and sulphuric acid bloomed in the night air. The stars were in alignment, the lines of transgression had been cross-hatched into the mother of all sigils, and the patient work of long hours in the basement lab was finally yielding fruit.

Shreck closed the door and entered the den. Much was left to be done before the ceremony proper could commence.

Specifically, he now had to face what was left of the head of German Expressionist filmmaker F.W. Murnau. After its removal from the family plot in Stahnsdorf, the head’s bumpy ride to a mansion in the Hollywood Hills had been the stuff of splatter-driven screwball comedy. Sometime actress and full-time clown whore Missy Crampton had smuggled the head between her thighs, passing off the odd crotch-bulge to TSA agents as a cancerous growth. “I don’t really like to talk about it,” she said later in a press conference.

While obviously Crampton’s flatter-than-flat belly had suffered no metastatic drama, the withering glare she gave the TSA agents focused media attention on the treatment they’d accorded the waif-like starlet, famed for her roles in such films as Ivanna Fock andHeadbanger Grrrrlz. The agents were handcuffed and taken to the same cramped room in the LAX terminal where they themselves had interrogated countless passengers. They were then brutally worked over by drag queen whores and turned over to a succession of stressed-out dock workers from Long Beach.

The actress played a central role in the ceremony, the most important role of her career. Because of her close proximity to the head while in transit, Crampton’s legendary thighs had “soaked up death jizz,” according to Shreck’s narcissistic cabal, led by a floating doppelganger of occult filmmaker Kenneth Anger.

It was this very same “death jizz” that Shreck hoped would reanimate Murnau’s head once it had been grafted onto the Philip K. Dick robot.

There was a long story there as well, but Shreck had no time for such folderol. He raised his left hand—nightmare shrapnel—and a winch squealed on the roof, plunging Murnau’s head through the lurid colors of the skylight in a hybridized homage to Frankenstein and Suspiria. A black leather bondage harness held the moldering head in place as it descended, raining its desiccated skin flakes to the floor, gleaming white bathroom tile that sloped upwards to create a ramp down which slid esoteric skater-bois who had wandered in at the last possible second.

“Attention, ahem.” Shreck cleared his throat and spat a fat wad of phlegm oton his hermaphroditic henchthing, Wendy. “On my instructions, the pool girls will be rendered and the Murnau-Dickbot graft shall commence.”

“But what if there are complications?” mewled Wendy, in a voice that closely resembled Peter Lorre’s. “Remember the last time we…”

“Silence, bitch!”

“I love your dominance,” simpered Wendy, crawling off to its corner to watch and masturbate itself into a puddle of ambiguous fluids.

Shreck blew Wendy a kiss.

The body of the Philip K. Dick robot was lashed to an antique electric chair.

“And a one and a two…”

Murnau’s head continued its journey from the skylight until it sat squarely on the shoulders of Robo-Dick.

Outside, Missy Crampton was the first to hit the water, a boiling broth that instantly sent thousands of watts through her nubile ass. Her flesh bubbled and blackened.

“I’ll get you, Mister Shreck,” she screamed, “And your troglodyte bearcub, too!”

A surge of electricity spiked, and the mansion was plunged in darkness, intermittently rippled with strobes of oversaturated red and blue light that played over the final fusion of German Expressionism with proto-Cyberpunk.

But something had gone horribly, terribly wrong.

No sooner had the knit taken, cubic inches of synthetic nerve bundling joined with dead organic matter than the head began to swivel, accelerating speed until it tore from Robo-Dick’s body and flew through the air. Skeletal jaws hurled the curse Crampton had secreted within Murnau’s head—her terrible revenge against Shreck’s duplicity.

A bolt of blue flame blasted forth from Murnau’s mouth, cocooning Shreck’s body in fire. He thrashed about and clawed at his melting features, calling out for help that never came. Reduced to a junk heap of bone and metal, Shreck crumpled to the ground and lay there, wafts of white ash slowly rising from his mangled form.

Shreck’s cabal, composed mainly of bored necrophiles, dabblers in the occult arts, and dropouts from UCLA film school, regarded the scene with detachment and began their exodus from the mansion.

“Shit is weak,” said one of the dropouts. “I liked it better when it was Andy Warhol’s head and Burroughs’ body.”

“That was pretty cool,” said a skater-boi.

Desultory bro-bumps were exchanged.

“Hey, what was that noise?”

“What happened?”

They looked back, startled, as a procession of waterlogged actresses, charred beyond recognition, came pouring out of the pool. Their eyes blank discs, their intention homicidal.

“Time for some hipsters to die the death!” roared Crampton. “Let’s get ‘em, girls!”

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