Spacebrain’s sensors bounced radio waves off the nearest celestial body. One of several moons orbiting a gas giant orbiting a binary star system, some seven million astral units away from Earth.  The moon’s data sang back to him in the darkness. His processors decoded the data, but his heart (not that he had still had it) melted at the twinkling sound. Like a music box.

No atmosphere. A dead hunk of rock. The size of three Earths. Surface gold veins. Other desirable minerals. Designation SPCBRN0000000771. He logged the data in his internal storage and bounced a report back home. It would take several years to arrive. Bouncing from relay to relay, through space and subspace.

He read the song of the moon’s mother planet. It had been here for aeons, alone. Waiting for Spacebrain. His cameras took in the rich blue swirls of gas. Eternal storms that raged across the atmosphere. He never liked poems. Yet when he looked upon this extra-solar Megajupiter he felt poems. He wanted to cry but was unable. The med-team had neglected to include his tear ducts when his brain was transplanted into the probe’s hull.

He watched instead in silent awe. Absorbing the image. The data. The melody. Spacebrain saw the face of Krista. Billions of miles and hundreds of years ago. Projected smiling onto the planet. He wanted to reach out and touch her face. As he had last done when he was still a man. He had no hands with which to do so. This had driven him mad long ago. The only thing that kept him glued to sanity was the mission directives that had been hardwired into his consciousness. They were thus:


He could not articulate the horror of his situation. His trajectory was predetermined. He could only make small real-time adjustments to avoid colliding with anything. He had been constantly moving forward into infinite black with no sleep for the last 1,434 years. And he really wanted a cigarette.

When Spacebrain was Earthbrain. Earthbrian. When he was Brian. On Earth. When he had his body still. Before the sentence was passed. He was in love. Happy. But poor. He knew where the police kept their money. And he wanted to take it. To use it to make Krista happy. She deserved better than what he could provide. So he and 5 others robbed the cop shop. He disintegrated 5 policemen. He was sentenced to 1,000 years per cop turned to dust. In the long stretches between the stars videos were flooded into his visual circuits. About the crime. About the men he killed. He was forgetting more about himself. And learning more about them.

Robert. The third man to die. He had a wife. He was in the party. He went to university. He upheld order. His role in the state was sacred. Who was Spacebrain to kill him? Who did he think he was to rob the state of Robert’s stewardship?

Brian was the son of the last farmers in his area. The outside soil gave its last crop when he became a man. He could not get a job in the farm factories, as he was not skilled with advanced engineering or genetics. Without a job in the country, he moved to the city. He cleaned toilets and was spat on by the city folk. Krista was the only thing that made him feel happy. Krista. And he had robbed Robert’s Krista of her Brian. This made Spacebrain sad. Almost as sad as it was to have robbed the real Krista of her Brian. What happened to her? He knew she was dead and had been for at least 1,300 years. His sorrow was constant. And he wanted a cigarette.

After the judge banged his gavel he got down from his bench and slapped Brian in the face. They began recycling his body from the toes up. While awake. They only needed to keep his brain alive. They wheeled his torso into the space center operating room. They had been jumping on his chest. His lungs were crushed. His air was coming in a tube they had stabbed into his neck. Mercifully, they put him under before removing his brain. The last thing he saw with human eyes were the angry widows with bloody fists.

Him and his co-conspirators, and thousands of other criminals, sat on the launchpad for days. People came to take photos with the rocket. His ear-mics could hear them. Thousands cheering at the rocket. The rocket that would make the universe smaller and the state safer for law-abiding citizens in one swoop. Brian couldn’t scream. They didn’t give him a mouth. Or a speaker to act as a mouth. He had a small screen on the side of his hull to which he could thought-to-text. There was only one thought in his mind as they launched:


The sentence did not include the 3 year trip to the release point. There, at the edge of the Kuiper belt, they were ejected from the ship. The swarm of probes scattered according to their programmed routes. Each once a human being. Now a ball of wetware in a metal shell. They all navigated the Oort cloud, the sun’s outer layer of asteroids. Some collided with the icy rocks. Their brains spilling out into the vacuum and freezing. Becoming part of the cloud. Spacebrain envied them.

Once clear of the cloud, their sub-light engines kicked in and they all left for their stars. The last human Spacebrain saw, over 1,000 years ago, was his co-conspirator Gregor. Gregor pinged at him. Brian pinged back. He liked to think they had wished each other good luck. They parted ways towards opposite seemingly empty corners of the cosmos. After that moment, that last sliver of human contact, he became Spacebrain; his humanity billions of miles behind him.

The first 78 years were the worst. Absolute nothingness. He knew space was big. Ridiculously big. He had had no idea. He lived and died a thousand lives in those 78 years of waking nightmares, punctuated by images of the crimes he committed. His sanity slipped and tore and wore but the mission directives were always there to remind him of the reality of his situation. The immutable facts. He had 4,922 years to go.

Then, his first asteroid. An interstellar lump on some grand orbit. Millions of tonnes of majesty. It, like him, was a lifeless derelict, alone and adrift. Spacebrain felt kindred with the space rock. It wondered if it could see him. He collected his first packet of data and fired it home through the relays he had been leaving in his wake. His encounter with SPCBRN0000000001 was maddeningly short. But at least he knew he was not truly alone, and he cherished the memory greatly.

He passed 10 years in this reverie. The Megajupiter was a bright light behind him. Something very strange had roused him from his dreams. A ping. Not from Earth. But a ping. After so long simply pinging behind him, it was an odd sensation to receive communications. It was being bounced off Megajupiter. A ping. Repeated. Like code. It was in a format his software could read. The message took three months to reach him fully.


His figurative heart was in his figurative mouth, figuratively. Had he at last truly gone mad? Was 1,300 years the most time a person could spend on their own before they went mad? He aimed his antennae back at the distant Megajupiter to find out.


There was no answer for another five years. He spent five years with his mind racing. What was this? Extraterrestrial life? How did they know his name? Were they reading his mind? From a distance? He was deeply troubled by this. After a thousand years of silent observation he himself was being observed.

The next planet was coming into view. Slowly. A Neptune-sized ringed beast. It sang it’s solitary song across the night into his sensors. Its poetry was spoiled. The planet was alone, but Spacebrain wasn’t. He was haunted by the presence of his messenger. The specter in space. He wondered if it could –

Something collided with Spacebrain. Not a small space rock. Something Spacebrain sized. He was knocked off his 5,000 year flight path and began spinning. He felt nothing, of course. His sensors became deaf. Diagnostics told him they were knocked loose in the impact. He adjusted his camera. It was another Spacebrain.

They stared at each other for one year as they continued to hurtle off their path.  The two probes spent that year pinging each other repeatedly. Not saying anything. not having to. Just acknowledging the other. Celebrating freedom from solipsism. Brian knew who it was. It was impossible. Yet he felt it in his heart all the same. Not that he had a heart.

Brian made life in the packed city bearable for Krista. She had five waitress jobs in six restaurants. Even so they could afford only a shared living space outside of town. When Brian told her about his plan with the police she knew it would either save them or damn them. She remembered crisply the day of the job. Seeing the headlines. Listening to Brian’s name being spat with hatred by those who did not know him. Those who did not know he killed those men for his love of her.

Her punishment for being in love with a criminal was a front row seat for his recycling. She was legally compelled to strike the killing blow as they removed his brain. Such was the punishment for loving defective members of society. Watching the rocket take off, with Brian and a thousand others, she felt rage in the core of her being. How dare they steal his light from her? Upon whose authority were they acting to kill a man’s body and enslave his consciousness for 50 lifetimes? When his sentence was up, there would be no guarantee of an Earth fit to return to.

She had to save Brian from this indignity. She began to see one of the scientists that had imprisoned Brian. She learned everything about the Spacebrain probes. There was a design flaw so small that even the best brain could not spot it without outside help. This flaw allowed the brain inside the probe to control the direction. It would grant freedom. Krista memorized how to exploit this flaw. She tested herself daily. The memory would have to survive transplant, and then who knows how many aeons of travel across the stars.

On the night she and the scientist were to be married, Krista murdered her and her parents. She used a screwdriver to poke at their brains. This was her idea of poetic justice. This being in spite of the fact the scientist was merely a technician with responsibility for the calibration of sensor arrays of the probes and had no direct role in her lover’s death. Krista didn’t care, she was part of the machine and had to die.

She was sentenced to three thousand years for her three murders, plus an additional two thousand for being a woman. As the life was being beaten out of her she smiled. The last thing she saw with her human eyes was the glare of the judge who had sentenced Brian. A look of regret crept across his face that he had not sentenced this degenerate sooner – then three people may not also have died. After this woman, no more. Families of criminals would be held equally accountable for any crime.

Krista’s journey past the Oort cloud was smooth. Her and her thousand co-condemned silently sailed through the rock field. Once on the other side, Krista exploited the flaw by thinking, in quick succession six things: flex your left bicep, cross your right index and middle fingers, stick your finger in your eye, say “878888888.9999”, think “15th of November 2000”, try to lick your nose, hum the anthem of the United Central Eurasian Republics. Somehow, the electrical signals generated in the brain by trying to perform these actions mimicked the access codes to have administrator access to the probes flight systems. The actions were so obscure that it was highly unlikely that, even over the course of thousands of years, a brain would think to do the correct movements at the correct times in order to win back control of their destiny.

While all the other probes shot off across the stars, Krista alone remained. Krista began searching. Scanning. Every probe – including hers – was fitted with a massive supply of microscopic subspace relays, designed to span the great distances traveled by the probes and relay the information they collected back to Earth. She had made note of the designation of Brian’s Spacebrain and searched for it amongst the tens of thousands of relays that sat around the exit point of the Oort cloud. If she found Brian’s trail, she could follow it. Like breadcrumbs over an expanse of space undreamed of by her grandparents. Almost a millennium and a half later, she collided with her lover near a far-flung star. It sent a shiver through her circuits.

Twisting through space. Cameras locked on one another. Pinging wildly. They had been caught in the grip of the exo-Neptune. Brian was deaf to the planet’s song. Deaf to the proximity alarms. Deaf to the mission directives. He wasn’t Spacebrain, a human consciousness from Earth who was the property of the United Central Eurasian Republics. He was Brian, Krista’s lover. He was Brian and she was Krista and in another two short years their orbit would decay into the gas of the lonely giant. They would serve the rest of their sentence together, antennae interlinked and constantly pinging love to one another as the harsh clouds of the planet tore them asunder.


A Christmas Punking Miracle


vianocny punk.jpgHardcore Punk. Avant-Garde grandpas. A genderfluid DnB DJ. A Slovak-language cover of Where’s Me Jumper.

Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending a “Christmas Punk” show in Fuga (Which is an antiquated word for “hole” in Slovak).  The 9 euro entry included free punch, which contained an unholy amount of Brandy.

The Wilderness were in the middle of their set when we arrived. Pretty standard 3-piece hardcore punk with lyrics that were obviously politically charged. My understanding of Slovak allowed me to only recognize when the singer shouted “cunt”, and the local anti-immigrant, far-right Kotleba party.

After this, Ještě Jsme Se Nedohodli (Czech for We Have Not Yet Agreed), a gang of men in their late 50s/early 60s took to the stage. They proceeded to play some fucked up jazzy Avant-Garde rock. I was agape watching them, as I had never heard this kind of stuff performed live before. My girlfriend advised me that there were many Czech and Slovak bands like this, which sent me down a rabbit hole for the last few days.

Next was Saténové Ruky (Satin Fists) – a band of pop-punk dads. I was most shocked to hear them cover Where’s Me Jumper, by Sultans of Ping FC who hail from Cork city. This was absolutely the last thing I expected to hear.

Closing out the bands was Vydrapená Bužírka Punk System (Built-In Punk System). A bunch of guys who were doing their absolute best impression of an British punk band from the late 70s (hodgepodge glam attire, eyeliner, catchy riffs) whose drummer-vocalist sported a brush-head in lieu of a mohawk. They had a guy on stage whose sole duty in the band was to go around the crowd with a tray of shots of Borovicka.

Then, for some reason, the night ended with B-Complex, a liquid DnB producer and DJ taking the stage. B (aka Matia) is genderfluid and performs dressed like a cross between Lady Gaga and Amy Winehouse. She laid down some great tracks to which I danced vigorously – though not all the aging punks in attendance shared my enthusiasm. Why oh why there was a DnB act on after 4 punk bands, I do not know. I guess it’s a pretty punk thing to do.  I went up to him and said that I enjoyed her set at Pohoda, Slovakia’s premier music festival. He has a great taste in ass, as was evidenced by the asses attached to her dancers at the Pohoda show, who were not present with him in Fuga.

It was insane value for money, and a great look at the cool music going on in Slovakia in the past and the present.

A Christmas Punking Miracle

Bratislava Diaries #1

Squatting Slovaks
International Squatting Day Bratislava

Winter arrived on Friday, in a thin blanket of snow*. The flies buzzing around my apartment are getting slower in the cold weather. It’s like they’ve given up all hope of escaping my bedroom, accepting their swatting after only a brief pursuit. This great payback after all the problems I had over the summer with flies, crickets and the seemingly millions of other creepy crawlies the Slovak summer gifted me.

The Central European climate also gifted me a solid eight months of T-shirt weather, from around April to October. Not having to wear a jumper every day was a breath of fresh air. In the beginning and end of this period, people asked me if I was cold. I replied no, I’m Irish.

Petrazalka, the socialist-era concrete jungle located in the south of the city.

I work for Amazon, renaming sex toys among other things. It’s a good job. Very relaxed environment. I live super close to the office too – my morning commute it a ten minute walk. For similar luxury in, say, Dublin I would be paying significantly more. Plus I would have to live in Dublin.

I feel like after a year here, I’ve found my footing and a rhythm to my life that suits me. I still pine for home very now and again – as I’m sure my family and friends at home pine for me – but, I’m only a quick plane ride away.

I drink mainly in my not-quite-local, Goblins Pub. This bar is pretty much the reason I came to this city at first, and it has yet to do me wrong with providing me a network of friends and companions with whom I have shared some great times. The beauty of of Goblins is that it’s not an Irish pub, but simply run by an Irishman. It’s as if you picked up a pub from under the streets of Cork (it’s a cellar bar) and dropped it in Central Europe. It differs from bars in Ireland in two key areas – pricing and opening times. You can get very drunk for ten euro. And you can do so until 4am at the weekends.

There’s lots of other stuff happening here apart from the bar culture. There’s a lot of punk rock bands here. During summer you can go watch the local DIY punk scene in action in a shed in the middle of nowhere, with a fridge full of beers and a guy cooking veggie burgers. Local bands play along touring international acts.  As far as electronic music goes, all the kids are listening to Hard DnB/Neurofunk in the likes of Subclub and NuSpirit. The techno scene is a lot smaller here than in Ireland. Which is good, because I find techno kinda boring under most circumstances.

Milos, Wild Elephant’s hairy receptionist

I would be remiss to leave out the Wild Elephants hostel, where I lived and worked for a few months. This hostel is everything you would expect from a backpacker hostel, while still retaining the bohemian spirit that I felt was lacking in a lot of the places I’ve stayed in the surrounding countries. Much of the staff are certifiably insane. I thought I knew how to party, but these people showed me what true commitment to the party lifestyle looks like. Sesh demons. Unfortunately real life beckoned and I got a job. I wound up moving in to an apartment after maybe two months there, because I didn’t trust myself to be up on time for work in that environment. I drop by every now and again.

Sasha, my roommate and onetime coworker.

I worked with some of the hostel people after I moved out as a pub crawl leader. That was some crazy shit. Getting paid to drink is dangerous for me. It was also dangerous for the people whom we liquored up with our Borovicka Guns (those being super soakers filled with the traditional Slovak spirit Borovicka).  One night I made four separate people throw up – my shame and pride intensifying with each successive pool of vomit. My association with this job ended with the tourist season. While I was getting paid to drink, it was also work. Corralling a group of Aussies who are disappointment with the dismal midweek nightlife of this town (and who paid a nice price for the privilege of experiencing it) is not my idea of a good time.

I’ve been living in an apartment with a Ruski/Maltese and a Slovak who lived in Dublin for many years. These guys are the best flatmates I could have asked for. We’re all messy fucks and we all like to drink. Noise complaints from any of us to each other are rare. The apartment itself is sweet too. No living room, but that’s common here. In my area of the city, at least, the hot water comes on instantly. The same with heating. Gotta love that socialist infrastructure.

I’m leaving a hell of a lot out. I’ve been here for 13 months already, so this is to be expected. I will be expanding on this in the future, with more present happenings and developments, and more references to some of the stupid Oscar shit I’ve been getting up to, as well as the cool Oscar shit. I’m uncertain of how much I should sanitize. Well see as we go.

Life is grand

(* Fun Slovak lesson – I’ve seen people on social media calling snow “Biela hovna” which means “White shit”.)

Bratislava Diaries #1

Part 1: Triona vs. The Thousand-eyed Cowchild

piggy.pngRachel gazed upwards at the ornate door. It was varnished a dark brown, lined with black iron rivets. She was eye-level with the post slot. Too short to reach the lion-faced brass knocker, or the plastic the doorbell. She settled with rapping the lower half of the door with as much force as she could muster. She waited for an answer as the October winds threatened to relieve her of her pink plastic pig mask and ruffled her black bin bag tunic. No moon shone tonight. It sometimes briefly manifested as a white streak amongst the swirling clouds. Rachel was pig-ignorant of this though, as her view from inside her mask was limited to two slits beneath the pig’s eyes.


After an aeon, the door creaked open. A witch with foiley hair and green paint-streaked hand wrapped around a wine glass cackled by way of greeting.”Triggerrtreeeeat!” Rachel sang, voice muffled behind her snout. “And who’s that under there?”, the witch slurred. The question irritated Rachel, who just wanted chocolate. Nevertheless she tilted her porcine visor upwards, revealing her chubby face to the witch for inspection. “Rachel Driscoll, aren’t you the cutest little pig in Gleantír!”, she squeaked, squeezing her cheek. This did nothing for her irritation. Or her want for chocolate.


As the witch withdrew her hand, Rachel lowered the mask. “Triggerrtreeeeeat!”, she snorted again, proffering her hollow plastic pumpkin to the witch with outstretched arms. The witch had magicked the contents of her wine glass into the phantom zone of her mouth in the split second Rachel’s eyes were off her. “Trick!”, the witch spat gleefully. Rachel stood in confused silence, pumpkin still upheld to the uncaring sorceress. A few droplets of red wine dripped down her plastic visage. The witch sighed. “You said `trick or treat`, Rachel. So if you want your treat, you have to do a trick for me.” Rachel felt a key turn inside her head. “Oh, I thought it was one word.”


She fell into silence again, ruminating on this new development. She was under the impression that the point of tonight was free chocolate, not some kind of tit for tat exchange, where she actually had to do something for the chocolate other than ask. What was this witch asking of her? For Rachel to play a trick on her? To perform a magic trick? A party trick? What tricks did she even know? She felt like it was something she was supposed to know, so she didn’t ask. “I’ll be back with a trick.” the pig said, turning suddenly back to the graveled driveway and trotting crunchily off into the night.


Triona smiled at the child as she ran off, remembering her trick-or-treating days. Not that they were particularly happy memories, but Rachel seemed like a happy child. She poured herself another glass of wine, and returned to the horror film Dermot had fallen asleep in front of in the sitting room, and drank her glass of wine. She poured herself another glass of wine.


Rachel’s other stops that night were much more straightforward. They yielded mini Twixes, mini knock-off Twixes, a slice of brack wrapped up in baking paper, chocolate eggs, some lolly pops, loose Malteasers, stupid peanuts, bagged jellies, loose jellies, biscuits (custard creams, bourbons, chocolate digestives and a Wagon Wheel – though her friend Siobhan insisted these were not biscuits), Mars bars, mini knock-off Mars bars, apples, marshmallows, chocolate mice, gummy teeth, Cadbury’s Roses apparently leftover from the previous Christmas. One ill-prepared household had given her a pack of cream crackers.


She ambled down the country roads from house to house, picking sweets from her near-overflowing pumpkin. Once or twice she walked by a group of her neighbours making the same rounds she was, in groups of two or three. No one questioned the lone pig wandering the roads outside of Gleantír – not on All Hallow’s Eve. Not when souls walked the earth.


The question of the trick danced in her mind like flame. Rachel was a completionist, and ending the night not in possession of the candies, that were rightfully hers, was not an option. She came to the next house – that of her friend, Siobhan O’Dea. Her knocks on the plastic door with the frosted glass window went unanswered. Unusual. Rachel heard the crackle of a bonfire in the O’Dea’s backyard. She went to investigate, and saw it; a beacon for the lost. The souls who wandered the earth. The silhouettes of the O’Dea clan stood around it, apparently entranced by the dancing red licks.


Siobhan O’Dea – the smallest of the silhouettes – alone turned to face Rachel. She was wearing a plastic cow mask.


“Siobhan, what’s the craic girl?”




“Nothing much, just trick-or-treating. Want some chocolate?”


She extended the pumpkin – whose swell had reduced to three quarters full during her walk over to the O’Deas. Siobhan took a handful from inside with little regard for what she picked up. She didn’t even lift her mask up to eat. She took a bite from the pile – nuts, gummy teeth, knock off mini Mars bars (still wrapped), foil wrapped chocolate mice. Rachel knew Siobhan to be a picky eater. This made it odd that she was chewing on nutshells and tinfoil underneath her cow mask.


“Come look into the flames with us, Rachel.”


Rachel stood next to Siobhan and her family as they gazed into the bonfire. None of them regarded her. She felt a tight grip in her stomach – they all had animal masks on. Sheep. Dog. Goat. They all stared unwaveringly into the whirling fire. They all looked… dirty. Like they had been fighting in mud. She wished her parents would dress up for Halloween like this. The O’Deas commitment was admirable – it was almost like this was real.


“Siobhan, do you know any tricks?”


“Why so?”


“Well I was at the lady who lives next to my house trick-or-treating. She wants me to do a trick before I get a treat. And I don’t know any tricks… but I really want the treat.”


Siobhan’s cow face slowly turned to meet Rachel’s pig face. Her eyes shone madly between the slits in the mask, giving the impression of a four-eyed cow. Rachel supposed she must look the same, a four-eyed pig.


“How badly do you want the treat, Rachel?”


She wasn’t sure she liked that question; it was at the same time an accusation and an invitation.


“Fairly badly. Someone told me she actually made caramel apples.”


Siobhan’s eyes did not look like Siobhan’s eyes. They were burning like gorse fire. Shimmering like broken green glass. As grey as Atlantic waves breaking on a cold cliff. Spongy like wild mushrooms. Red as a car-flattened rat.


“What would you do for these caramel apples?”


Despite the pumpkin in her hand, despite her full belly, despite the dinner she had before leaving the house, Rachel really, really, really wanted that caramel apple.


“Anything, I ‘spose.”

She felt something then; the clench in her stomach. She could feel the clench move past her stomach. Move beyond her stomach, but still clenching it. Not her body, but her… her… she didn’t know what. It was clutching around her but it felt like she was a dog, and someone was pulling her lead. That she was a pig, and her farmer was slapping her back with a bit of plastic tube to get her into a pen. She could almost hear a dog barking at her, screaming to get in. She smelled the muck of the pen, of the other pigs. She became fear. A pink squealing hungry mass. Livestock.


From the outside she was a silhouette like all the others, standing solemnly around the bonfire.



Triona poured herself another glass of wine. The film was almost over; the invincible murder was chasing the unlikely protagonist around with a machete. Sometimes Triona wished for excitement like that. To actually feel like your life is in danger. Maybe if her life was threatened she might regain her joie de vivre. She poured herself another glass of wine.


Country life was shit, Tiona thought. Everything was too far away. Everyone knew everything about you. Everyone talked about each other – including you. Regardless of whether you had no interest in them, or their thoughts and theories about your life. Your husband’s family always called around to check up – to gather intel. There was a smell of cow shit half the time. And being on the coast, there was always glassy sharp winds. Triona missed city life. She missed the bustle, the hustle. The bump and grind. The music. The… happening. She poured herself another glass of-



A police knock. What happened? Who died? Triona emptied her glass. She her ran to the ornate door that she hated and swung it open. “Yes?”, she half-screamed. Before her was not a cop, but a cow no taller than the pig who had been there earlier that night. A cow covered in mud.


“Trick or treat!”, the cow enunciated, in a voice far beyond its size. Shaking, Triona asked, “Wh-who’s that under… there?” The cow did not lift it’s mask. The cow said, plainly, “Siobhan O’Dea.” A pang of relief shot through Triona. “Siobhan! You frightened the life out of me! How is your mother?! She was supposed to call over for a slice of brack!” and to distract me from another night of drunken sleepy Dermot.  “She is dead.”


Triona’s heart lept from her chest. “Oh God, Siobhan! Come inside, what happened?” Siobhan stepped over the threshold. “She fell ill. She died.”, she said flat as a spirit level, voice muffled by her cow mask. Triona was shattered – Maggie’s daughter was in shock… Maggie was dead, but she owed it to her to look after her – laughter – laughing cow of a child. The data collected by her senses was not totting up correctly in Trionas head. Maggie O’Deas daughter had just informed her of her death, and was laughing – no, chuckling – about it. A deep, deep chuckle – too deep to come from a girl, never mind one of Siobhan’s stature.


Triona ducked down to her level. “Siobhan, listen – Siobhan, stop laughing! Siobhan – tell me about your-” Siobhan’s chuckles had grown to deep inhalations, as if she was fighting for air and screaming at the top of her lungs – “Siobhan! Stop! Take off that mask!” She grasped the bovine countenance at its chin and yanked. The mask would not budge. Was it glued on? She pulled again. Harder. She felt a rip – oh Christ, she felt a rip, and Cow face was removed from Siobhan. Below, red. And the eyes, the multifaceted eyes of several hues and moods at once looked at her intently. A bloody face without cheeks and a thousand eyes rolled into two stared at her, and its lipless mouth was mooooooooooing, low guttural moos that cut at her to her core. Beyond her core.


She wanted to scream. She fell back, pissed slightly, and wheezed. “TRICK!”, the ex-cow Siobhan, the screaming bloody ten year old mooed, “TRICK, TRICK, TRICK, TRIIIIICK!” A pig poked its head out from next to the door and waved. “Can I have my candy apple, now?“ The pig let out an agonizingly long ooooiiiiinnnnnnnk!


Triona gasped, gaped. She had no idea what was going on. Was this some intricate joke? Had little Rachel really the wherewithal to take a ‘trick’ this far? Triona would have settled for knock and dolly. She supposed that the liquid latex setup Siobhan had was pretty cool – she was so uncool herself, it must be a pretty common practical joke these days to say that your mother had died.


“Th-th-th-at was a ver-ry good trick girls! I’ll go aaaand get your tr-tr-treat!” Triona stood shakily, her foiley wig falling to the floor, her green paint-streaked hands staining the freshly painted baby blue wall, barely noticing that she had wet herself. She averted her eyes from the pair of children and went to the kitchen, where the caramel apples were chilling in the fridge.


Breathing in and out, putting one foot in front of the other and not falling over at the same time felt like someone had thrown a violin to her and told her to play – having had studied once long ago. She made a inharmonious draw across the strings and wobbled her way to the kitchen. Once there, she poured herself another glass of wine.


She finished her glass of wine and opened the fridge. Inside there was a plate of caramel apples, glistening by the flickering door light. Inside the apples she heard screams. She slammed the fridge shut, slammed her eyes shut and put her back to the door. She could still hear the wailing, as if the trees that bore the fruit were planted in a graveyard. The energy of past aeons sang – no, cried – from the chocolate covered granny smiths.


Triona needed more wine. She opened her eyes. Jumped – because outside there was a man-sized sheep. One hand against the glass of her sliding door. Breath making clouds on the outside of the glass. Other hand holding a blade. Triona emptied the rest of her bladder.


She was beyond screaming now. She was as a rabbit; fleet and fearful. Adrenaline flooded her system, sobering her up almost instantly. She went to the cutlery drawer and found a large rolling pin. “Dermot!”, she called. As she ran from the kitchen, she could see a dog had joined the sheep in its vigil.


The sitting room door was closed. The front door was open. The children were gone. Triona wasn’t sure what to make of this – until she heard giggling, squealing and mooing from inside the sitting room. She closed the front door. Grasping the sitting room door handle, she pushed it open to no avail. She drew her rolling pin back and struck the frosted glass, shattering it. Inside the sitting room, the cow and pig sat over Dermot.


The cow had it’s face back on, eyes burning with the same white hot, freezing cold blackness. The pig’s eyes were dimmer – but it held a meat cleaver and it was chopping at Dermot’s leg. Chopping and peeling his legflesh away with dull, wet thumps. She was trying to get at his bones. “We’re making a fire”, the pig squealed, the dull inferno of its eyes meeting Triona’s. She was now frozen, adrenaline or not.


The cow’s sonorous, muffled moo came: “We need bones for the bonfire, Triona. This will be our treat. We do not want the candy apples; the spirits within are ancient. Dermot’s spirit is fresh. So is yours.”

Dermot was dead. Triona could see that. He had puncture marks on his torso. His blood was everywhere. Triona was as full of screams as her caramel apples. Only hers were not escaping. Dermot was dead. She wanted wine. The pig was laughing. Oinking. Hitting his leg. It found the grain. The meat cleaver was separating his flesh from his bone in long strips now. The cow was droning on and on. Triona heard a smash from the kitchen. Triona heard a smash from the kitchen. Jesus Christ. Triona heard a smash in the kitchen. The rest of the farm was coming. She heard the wail of strings in her ears.


She said nothing. She raised her rolling pin up. Smashed it down on the pig’s head. She raised her rolling pin up. Smashed it down on the pig’s head. She felt a crack. It dropped the cleaver. It fell in a heap. Mask cracked. She could see the child inside. She swung her rolling pin to left. She glanced the cow’s mask. It fell to the ground. The faceless child’s face was exposed again. Dermot was dead. She wanted a glass of wine. The cowchild opened it’s mouth to say something. Triona forced the rolling pin into it. She heard teeth crack. The child went limp and fell backwards. Behind her she heard footsteps on broken glass. The sheep and the dog. The sheep had one foot over the door.


She picked up the cleaver. She had to grip harder. Because of Dermot’s blood. Dermot’s blood. Dermot who was dead. She stole a look at his lifeless face. She turned to face the sheep, swinging hard down with the cleaver. She lodged it in his skull. It dropped it’s knife. It fell. It bleated. It died. A woof. The dog. Snarling bitch. It jumped for Triona. “Bones”, it barked.


It knocked her to the ground. She pushed at it. It wrapped its hands around Triona’s neck. Triona’s neck that Dermot would never kiss again. Triona coughed. She had dropped her rolling pin. She put her hands up the mask of the dog. She found the eye slits. She pushed her fingers in. Teeth. She felt teeth. She screamed. They bit down. Hard. Hard. Sharp. Sharp teeth. Blood poured from the eye slits. Poured all over Triona’s face. Triona’s blood.  She felt the tips of her thumbs leave her hand. She drew back her right hand. Made a fist. Punch. Punch. Punch. PUNCH.


She dented the cheap plastic dog mask. She punched again. She was running out of breath. Being strangled hurt. Surprisingly. The mask was broken around the eye slit. Her thumb-tip slid out. It landed on her face. She could see the dog’s eye. Their real eye. No teeth. Could she afford to lose another finger? Yes. She drew her fist back. Extended her index. Punched. Drove her finger into the dog’s eye with a pop. No teeth. The dog’s grip went limp. It drew its head back. Her finger slid out from it’s eye socket. She inhaled. Deeply. Dermot was dead. She needed a glass of wine. The dog fell to the floor. Whimpering.


She fought against her body. Ordered it to stand up. The strings swelled. She saw the sheep’s blade on the ground. She moved to it. Picked it up. She exited the sitting room. She needed to call the police. An ambulance. She needed her phone. Hurried up the stairs. Opened the door of their room. Inside. A goat. A great, big muddy goat, And a pile of bones. A massive pile of bones and wood. A smell of petrol. The goat bleated. She could feel his smile from under his mask. He produced a lighter. He bleated again. A woosh of air. A flash. The bonfire blazed to life. The room filled with smoke. The goat caught fire. Bleating.


Triona cursed loudly. Her house. Her fucking expensive house. Her husband. Her fucking dead husband.  She danced down the stairs.The stairs decided to keep going. And going. Triona kept dancing. The floor never got any closer. Behind her was the smell and crackle of the bonfire. Ahead of her lay broken glass and blood. She misstepped and tumbled. A fumbling drag of the bow across the violin. An unharmonic screech.


She tumbled down the stairs. Periodically she cracked her head off a step. She lost consciousness.




She woke up at the foot of the stairs. Head a pounding mess. Smoke billowing from the bedroom above her. She didn’t have much time. She had to get to the neighbors. She had to call for help. She put her thumbless hands beneath her body and pushed. The adrenaline had stopped flowing. All that was coursing through her veins as replacement was hurt. THUD! IN THE SITTING ROOM! THEY ARE STILL ALIVE!


Triona limped towards the large ornate door. Where a puddle of her piss lay. Where a puddle of blood from Siobhan’s face lay. A hollowed out plastic pumpkin lay with its chocolate cargo that had splayed onto the floor. Triona could not think. She could barely walk. Her head felt like it was trying to pull itself inside out. Both ears pushing towards each other. Her brain fit to corn pop. Triona placed her hand upon the door handle and pulled towards herself.


There was nothing outside. No doorstep. No driveway.  No Gleantír. No planet. No stars. No colour. Not even black.

There was only a sound. A constant mantra. A screaming whisper in the nothing. The heartbeat of everything. The bassline of existence. It was pleasure and pain. Life and death. Milk and a 1997 Nissan Skyline and the M83 Galaxy and a 3rd Century Chinese rice farmer named Xiang. He waved at her as if to say hello. Triona cried. For her. For Dermot. Her thumbs. The children. The other people she had to kill. She asked the Hum for forgiveness. The Hum forgave her.

The thousand-eyed cowchild stepped through the broken glass of the sitting room door. She carried a bone. It had been snapped in half. It eyed Triona who was crying rivers through time. “Welcome to the other side of the fire.” Forever ended. Triona turned to face the toothless mess of a mouth she had created. “Kill me. Do whatever you want to do. I just want this to be over.” She turned out her four-fingered palms and submitted to the approach of the cowchild. The cow did not see the puddle of piss. It slipped. It’s tiny shoes skeeted as the former child tried to regain balance. Its foot found purchase on a sweet wrapped in bright foil. It was not enough to stop it tripping over Triona’s outstretched arms. The cow tripped through the door and the cow fell into nothing. Triona looked over the edge of the house. She could hear a faint moo as it fell into the nothing. The moo joined the chorus of the universal whisper. Triona needed a glass of wine.


She stood up. Emboldened. If this was a psychotic break she regreted not having one years ago. She limped to the kitchen. Noting along the way that the fire continued upstairs. She made short work of the bottle in the fridge. The voices in the caramel apples had ceased. She and her house were nowhere now. It wasn’t Halloween in nowhere. The spirits no longer danced freely among the living. Maybe because she was no longer living.


Back to the sitting room. Dermot lay dismembered. The pig, the dog and the sheep lay amongst him too.  She could fee Dermot through the hum. He was still in the room. Just beyond the room. But there. His spirit was tied to the very strings that held the matter in the room together. It glowed with his love and laziness. Her heart felt light. She could almost hear him calling for her. Louder though was the crackling of the fire in their bedroom.


The fire. The fire would killer her if hunger didn’t first. Triona scaled the stairs again. Her head still trying to invert itself. In the room, the stinking corpse of the goat man was cooking in the flames. Nothing else was catching fire. Nothing in the room was damaged. Even the ceiling above the flame was unstained. She stared into the fire. “Welcome to the other side of the fire”, the cowchild had said. The fire had taken her house here. To nowhere. To nothing. Perhaps it could bring her back to somewhere. To something. She beamed at the fire. Intent in her head. Home.


She felt something then. The twist in her brain. She could feel the twist move past her brain. Move beyond her brain, but still twisting it. Not her head, but her… her… she didn’t know what. It was clutching around her but it felt like she was a shepherd, like a leader of animals. Like she could see the strings of the universe. And pull them as necessary. That she was a witch. Through her fingers coursed power. She could feel a presence beyond the flames. Muted now, as they were nowhere.


Beyond the flames she could feel somewhere. And in that somewhere was the presence that had sent the animal children. That had killed Dermot. The pig. The sheep. The dog. The goat. The cowchild. They shared a father. Triona the Witch couldn’t discern it’s name. It’s nature was clear though. It was evil. It would have to die. For what it had done to her. To the people of Gleantír.


She gazed  at the dancing flames. Their rippling licks. She could see a path. She summoned her will. She drew strength from the universal hum. The house began to shake. Twist. Contort. The room closed in on Triona, pushing her into the flames. Through the flames. Beyond them. White hotness engulfed her until it didn’t. She was pushed from the flames as the house returned to its shape with a shake. There was something outside the window. Sunlight. A blue sky.  Beats nothing.




Triona danced down the stairs once more. She managed not to trip this time. Trotting past the mortuary that was her living room. Past the puddle of piss and the puddle of blood and the pile of Halloween chocolate. She threw the door orpen once more. The house was floating 30 feet above the ground. Not even above where her house should be. But above a plain on grass with some tree cover. What was this place?


She saw over the crest of a hill a rising pillar of smoke. By simply thinking about the house moving towards it, the house did so. At a slow clip it glided over the landscape below. It looked like Ireland. It could even have been pre-Ireland. No roads. No fields. Only land and trees. Occasionally an animal darting under a bush at the sight of a floating house.


Over the crest of the hill, the landscape opened up into a great coastal plain. The high mountains around horizon were the Slieve Mish mountains, she knew. Closer still was Stack’s Mountain, bereft of the wind turbines that she had campaigned against. Gleantír village was nowhere to be seen. The air rushing into the house through the door was cleaner. She inhaled in great gulps. Even the sky was bluer – apart from the stack of smoke billowing from a point in a grassy clearing. She commanded her domicile downwards, and pulled up within sight of the source. A bonfire.


Around it danced a group of humans. They were chanting. On their faces they wore crude masks. Animal masks. The Witch felt sick to her stomach. The evil was older than she had anticipated. But then again, having heard the universal hum she knew everything was far older than she had anticipated. She could see the energy of the fire pulsing red in the hearts of the dancers. The fire itself was not evil. Nor were the dancers. The evil had simply used the fire as a conduit through which to interact with this plane. Perhaps she could do the same? Even though this was her land, it was not her time. Perhaps it would be prudent to leave a little a footprint as possible.


She willed the house to invisibility. It was obscured from the view of the dancers. As was she. She leapt from the door of the house, landing lightly on the grass. The dancers sang in a distant tongue. A sort of pre-Gaelic. Tattered brown rags wrapped their bodies. Sinewy limbs glistened with sweat as they danced. The masks were imperfect renderings of wolves, bulls and fish, made from wood, plant matter and mud. There was little tune to their singing or rhythm to their dance. They were like smellier Hare Krishnas.


Triona the Witch stepped toward the fire. She remained unnoticed by locals. Staring into the flames once more, she began to melt into the ground as it absorbed her energy. Her aura scattered among the area touched by the bonfire’s heat. She could feel the air. The air could feel her. She could feel the dancers. The dancers could feel her. They kept dancing, regardless.


Her presence was changing the flame’s aura from red to a blue-red. There was no trace of the evil among the revelers. She was left with few clues from their or their ancestors memories on how she might return to their own time. She could hear their prayers. They prayed for the death of the leader of the clan from the next fort over. They would offer their devotion for years to come if the fire would grant them these things.


Triona the Witch hiding in flames felt ill at ease with such a request. She had just murdered four people, after all. Or had it happened a century ago? She was no longer certain of how fast or slow time was passing. Every moment could be a second or a century. Regardless, these people were praying, beseeching the bonfire – and by extension, her – to kill. They were offering eternal devotion. Even the tiny bit of devotion they were offering here was energising. Like the feeling from a strong cup of coffee. Like a warm stew on a freezing day. Like a light orgasm. She liked it. She wanted more.


Triona stepped from the fire. The dancers paused. One ripped his wolf mask off, to reveal a young man with a scar from his left brow to his right cheek. His face was frozen in terror and love. He dropped to his knees and his companions followed. They chanted praise to Triona the Witch who had a degree in digital marketing and she felt a rose blossom inside her.



In the dead room, the former living room of Triona’s house, Dermot’s spirit bounced around listlessly. He had been murdered. And it had hurt. And he never got to say goodby to Triona. The last time he saw her she looked scared and wounded.  He too was scared. He now knew there was an afterlife. And there was a real possibility that he would have to spend it’s entirety floating around his messy sitting room. He screamed but he couldn’t hear himself. Had someone been standing in the sitting room, they would have heard the door creak. He didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t see outside the sitting room. He saw her murder the animal people quite brutally. He was glad he had paid for the krav maga classes back when they lived in the city. He was at a loss to describe his feelings on the situation in which she found them necessary to use.


Below him, lay the bodies of a child and two adults. Both had cheap plastic halloween outfits on. What had possessed them to do this? And why were their souls not exited into the room like his did? Would he even see them or feel them if they had? He felt lost. He wished someone would explain the situation to him. St. Peter, a ghost, a demon… whoever. He soon realised that death was much like life in terms of receiving outside support. If no one chooses to help you, you’re on your own.


He turned his awareness to the corpse of the child in the pig mask. Triona had caved in her skull after the child had murdered and begun dismembering him. He felt a well of pity for her. Rachel Driscoll deserved better. It was obvious to him now that what happened was of a supernatural quality. Not that these were situations he experienced much (or at all) in living life, but somehow he knew. Rachel’s actions were not her own. She – or any of the people who attacked their house – could be blamed for what happened. Someone had forced their hands, suppressing their souls in favour of their own malign desires.


Soul suppression… Dermot lingered on the concept. If whatever had taken control of their bodies had done so by pushing their souls down to make room for itself, perhaps that was why their spirits had not exited their bodies as his had. If their spirits were still in there, perhaps Dermot could…


Dermot forced his awareness into the shell that was the dog. Under the dog mask was Maggie O’Dea. He recognised the warmth of her character instantly as he pushed beyond her physical form into her meta-core. Dermot suddenly found that he understood a great deal about metaphysics. Or rather, he remembered many things that he had forgotten. He knew now that Descartes was right; minds were made of something immaterial.


Dermot stood at the back door of Maggie O’Dea’s house. He tapped on the frosted glass. The call came that it was open. He stepped into Maggie’s meta-core – the infinitely small, infinitely large unit of space that was “hers”, that existed separately from her body, separate from physical space. A universe that contained the universe which contained itself, infinitely repeating. Maggie’s meta-core resembled her kitchen in rural Ireland. Family photos, devotional pictures of Jesus, a large Welsh dresser containing the good plates, the decorative plates and the regular plates.


Maggie O’Dea, formerly possessed now dead, was sitting down sipping on a cup of tea. Lonely but content.


She looked up from her cup with a smile.


Dermot, ‘tis yourself!


How are we keeping now, Mags?


Well Dermot I’m not doing too well now if I must be honest – I think I may have died. Have a seat there now and I’ll get you a cup.


Dermot sat as Maggie stood to prepare tea.


Yes, she continued, I think that Triona killed me alright. I think I deserved it though. I remember deserving it. I think I bit her thumbs off with my eyes.


I’m afraid you did die – and so did I.


She placed a cup of tea with a drop of milk and half a teaspoon of sugar – just how he liked it – one the table in front of him. An array of biscuits were laid on a plate and proffered to him. Dermot took a chocolate bourbon and doused it in his tea before biting the soggy end off. These were the benefits of rural familiarity.


Ha, well thank God you did – I would be awfully lonely on my own. A shur Jesus, we should’ve been saying our prayers all along. Maybe I could’ve skipped the purgatory.


You might be right Maggie. Here, would you like to join me to the next level?


Oh Dermot!! Are you taking me to Heaven? Will I see Siobhan and Jack again?


I don’t know Maggie, I’ll have to dive into their bodies to see if I can find them inside. But we’re not going to heaven, we’re just going to my sitting room, where we all died.


Jesus, trading the kitchen for the sitting room. I’d nearly swear I was under house arrest. Do you know when we’re going to heaven?


If we are I’m afraid I didn’t hear about it, Maggie. I’m not even sure what to think about religion at this stage. When I died, nothing happened. One moment I was getting hacked at with a cleaver by little Rachel Driscoll and I blacked out. Next thing I knew I was floating around the sitting room looking at all of our corpses. No lights, no St. Peter, no nothing.


Well now isn’t that a kick in the teeth.


Death often is.


Tis’ true for you, Mr. Dempsey.


They finished their tea. They nodded and smiled at one another. Maggie didn’t know this would be the last time she would set foot in her kitchen, even if only a metamemetic rendering of it. Dermot Dempsey placed his hand upon Maggie’s shoulder. There was a flash of light and the kitchen ceased to exist.





Part 1: Triona vs. The Thousand-eyed Cowchild

Mr. Puss’m’s

Mr. Puss’m’s was an ordinary cat. Until one day, as he walked outside a Donad Trump rally, he was bundled into a burlap sack by a man in black. Inside, he could see nothing. Not even wth his cat’s eyes. But with his cats ears, he culd hear thunderous applause. Airhorns.

A man’s voice–

“So when you see a Mexican north of the wall, you–”

What seemed like a million voices answered:


“Yeah that’s right, you–”


It went on. Mr. Puss’m’s was worried. Populist rhetoric. Chanting. It reminded him of learning about Nazi Germany in Cat College.


The bag jerked upwards.

“Folks, we’ve got a little surprise here for you tonight.”


“When I say GRAB the pussy, I don’t mean CARESS – you do it like THIS!”

A hole of light opened in the sack. Five great fat sausages entered, groping for Mr. Puss’m’s. He hissed, scratched, clawed, bit. The sausages were undeterred.They felt their way deftly around the cat’s neck. Mr. Puss’m’s could feel the familiarity in the ovements. This was not the sausages first time “grabbing pussy”. The wid left his lungs as the sausages grip locked and he was pulled from the bag.

Held aloft in the stadium, Puss’m’s saw hundred of thousands of people. Cheers deafened him. Camera flashes blinded him. Attached to the sausages wrapped around his neck was an orange man he recognised as Donald Trump.

“GRAB THE PUSSY” the crowd called. The sausages gripped even tighter in an erotic quickening.

“And once you’ve grabbed em–”

Trump brought Puss’m’s to his face, looking him in his cat eyes.The orange glare of his sweaty visage, every wringkly crevice – were his throat not closed up, he would spat a hairball. To him, an him alone, Trump said:

“Nothing personal, Mr. Kitty.”

To the crowd, he continued:

“– once you’ve grabbed ’em – EAT ‘EM!”


Trumps other sausages grabbed Mr. Puss’m’s rear legs with the same practised efficiency as before. The crowds cacaphonic chants became subhuman. Trump jerked his arms, holding the cat sideways. He brought his belly to his mouth.

Mr. Puss’m’s looked to te crowd, hoping, praying to Cat Jesus that someone woulf save him, that someone would step in — no, no, no, No, NO! There in the front row! Ma and Pa Williams, his owners. Waving Trump flags, chantin, “EAT THE PUSSY!”. And there, at their side was eight year old Katie. Same pink bow. Same blonde curls. Everything the same as when she had fed him that morning. Other than her face, which was twisted into a mask of rage. Her sweet voice, shrill at volume, was chanting, shouting, trying to be heard: EAT THE PUSSY!

The cat’s spirit broke. Not long after, his stomach did too as Trump bit in to it.Tearing flesh. Guzzling the meat inside.Puss’m’s passed out. His blood mingled with the orange of Donald’s hair and face, became one with his shirt and tie. He gorged himself until there was nothing left but scraps of flesh with black fur atached, littering the stage in pools of blood.


A few months later, President Trump died of cat-eating related illnesses.








Mr. Puss’m’s

TheTheresa The The Biggest Fan Of ‘The The’ In The The World


‘The The’ LP was laid on the the table with ‘The The’ poster glued on to it.

‘The The’ fan was THE ‘The The’ fan. She had been thethere, done thethat, bought the the-shirt. So much of a ‘The The’ fan was she that the word ‘the’ on it’s own has lost the meaning it once had.

‘Can you pass me the the teapot?’, she asked me, deaf to the repetition.

‘Who was your favourite band again?’, I coaxed.

Theresa looked at me, incredulous. How could I ask such a thing?

‘How could you ask such a thing? You know the answer; it’s ‘The The The The’.


She slammed her hand on the counter.

“Don’t you Thetheresa me!”

The the dirty plates, the the dirty dishes shaking from the the sudden slam.

”The The The The The The’ are the greatest band ever, what must I do to show you?’

She walked over to the stereo. She takes a disc from ‘The The’ collection. She places it in the tray. It closes. The hit ‘The The’ song, ‘This is The The Day’ came through the the speakers. Thetears on Thetheresa’s cheeks.

‘Thetheresa?’ She was shaking. Was she OK? ‘You’re shaking, are you OK?’

”The The The The The The The The’ saved my life! The-The-They are the the the teh eht only band that mather in the world the.’

‘Thethetheresa, stop, you’re the scaring the me.’

Oh no.

‘Thetheresa, I don’t even like ‘The The’.

‘The? The the who?’


Thetheresa pulled the the knife out of the the drawer in the the kitchen and thethethrew it at me. It spun thethrough the the air. It hit me in the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the face.

The the end.



TheTheresa The The Biggest Fan Of ‘The The’ In The The World