Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: torture

Grandpa Nutso

Grandpa Nutso

Poor little kids! Is Grandpa Nutso reading
Aloud to you? And are you forced to sit
And listen to his crap? My ears are bleeding
Vast rivers as I merely think of it!
He has a sissy voice – not just a bit
Of one. His sibilants confound the genders.
And on his form obesity is writ:
He’d burst the longest, stretchiest suspenders.
Where other grandpas go on whiskey benders,
This one is infantile and steals your milk.
If there are gods of gluttony, he renders
Pansified adoration to their ilk.
He’s reading George MacDonald, kids. Hang tough:
At least it’s not his own disgusting stuff!

–Tom Riley

Image may contain: one or more people, beard and text
(Planned Parenthood ally and notorious glutton Mark Shea tortures grandchildren.)








“You’ll acknowledge unbounded regret—

And the punishments you will then get

     Will seem just to the heart

     They torment.”  “Very smart—

And you’re right, Mr. Fire.  But not yet….”






–Tom Riley

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream




(for Dustin Johnson)




The Demiurge is just some circuitry

That’s got, alas, a little out of hand.

The Scriptures are inscribed in binary.

Programs that clever coders never planned

Now comprehend and heartlessly command

The prison world constructed out of hate.

The space that AM’s established won’t expand.

Poor Ted decides to scream a little late.

Were Dustin, though, the prisoner, then fate

Would be a whole lot different.  One by one,

The ones and ohs would fall beneath the weight

Of Dustin’s sneer and laugh.  He’d get it done

Without a mouth – then make his mouth anew.

Computer God, he’s crazier than you.





–Tom Riley






The sum of all that’s trivial and vain

She’s proud to be transcribing on the board.

She’s eager to mold every little brain.

She knows what every little hand has scored

On the most recent quiz.  With one accord,

Her cells embrace the lame, self-serving lie

That virtue’s what her wasted years have stored

Up in her being.  Think?  She doesn’t try.

Ideals she betrays are always high

Ideals: in betrayal, they become

Her own.  She whips those slaves until they cry.

She spanks them till their bottoms all go numb.

She tortures kids until their souls are screeching.

Where she was educated, that’s called teaching.




–Tom Riley

Interview with the Santa

Interview with the Santa

The room was too bare for the Holiday Season.  It hadn’t been occupied long.

In the back, toward the hall that led to bathroom and bedrooms, stood an All-American family unit: tall, lanky dad; fetching brunette mom; little boy in pajamas and, comically, baseball cap.

In the middle of the room, under the bright overhead light, two figures –- one skinny, one roundly substantial –- stood over a chair.

The skinny figure held a pistol.  The round one held a bag that could have been a carpet bag or a large gym bag –- or even an old doctor’s bag.

He also held a pipe –- and smoked it.

In the chair, something was tied.  It could have been a man.  It was dressed like Santa Claus.

“Dirk,” said the woman next to the hallway, “can’t you stop this?”

“Dad,” said the little boy, his voice high and genuinely frightened, “don’t let them hurt Santa Claus!”

“It’s –- it’s already gone too far….”  But Dirk’s voice was uncertain, and his meaning was ambiguous.

“Professor,” said the skinny figure, “maybe they’re right.  Maybe we should put a brake on this while we still can.”

The Professor ignored him.  “Let’s get this straight, you.  I ask the questions.  You give the answers.  I am not a patient man.”

The figure bound in the chair looked up into the Professor’s broad, bearded face.  All of a sudden, what had been unclear became clear, like a friend stepping out of the fog.  The figure bound in the chair –- with wire that cut deep into his red outfit –- really was Santa Claus.  The face was round, jolly.  The cheeks were like apples –- candied apples.  But the mouth wasn’t smiling, and the big eyes were charged with fear –- and a terrible sadness.  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.  I’ve never done anything to hurt anybody.  All I want is to make children happy–”

The Professor moved quickly and gracefully for such a big man.  He kept hold of his pipe but dropped the bag in his left hand to the wooden floor, where it made a dull sound.  The right hand came down to his side, while the left one circled up next to the Professor’s right ear.

Then it snapped cross body, the back of it cracking Santa hard just under his left cheek.  There was a sick sound that lingered for a moment in the air: the sound of something crisp and vulnerable being broken under a boot heel.  Santa’s head sank way too close toward his right shoulder, then slowly came erect again.  A stream of blood was vividly visible against the rich white of Santa’s beard.

“No!” cried the little boy.  “Don’t!”

“Dirk,” said the Professor, “keep the boy quiet.”  But his tone was unconcerned.  “Timmy, I mean.”

“You!” said the woman.  “Who do you think you are?  We–”

But he turned toward her, still unconcerned, and she stopped.

“Now,” said the Professor.  “Anything to say?”

“I’ve said everything I can.  Please!”

“All right, then.  We escalate.”

He took a long drag from his pipe, the way a man takes a stiff drink after a sudden resolution.  But it may not have been a drink he needed.

There was an ashtray on the table next to the curtained window.  The Professor strolled deliberately and set his pipe down with care.  When he returned, he bowed, like an actor receiving accolades, and drew a long, shiny knife from his bag.

“Stewart, get his hand.  The left one.”

“No, Professor.  I –- I can’t.”

A brief, calm glance.  “Very well, then.  I can manage this myself.”

He took Santa’s hand, bound at the wrist to the arm of the chair.  In a second, he had the ring finger.  Santa made no sound when the edge of the knife sliced neatly through his finger –- and only whimpered when the blood rushed out, hot and crimson.

“Get the towel, Stewart.”

This time, Stewart complied.  The Professor stopped the bleeding almost tenderly.

Santa looked up at Stewart.  “Don’t you realize,” he said, “that he can’t get away with this?”

“That’s right!” said the woman, regaining her voice.  “You can’t!”

“Betty, please….”

“I’m not trying to get away,” said the Professor.  “You’re the one who needs to get away.  But you’re not going to.”

Now it was Timmy’s turn to regain his voice.  But no words escaped his mouth.  He screamed the scream that Santa had withheld.  Then he bawled.  Then he sobbed.

“Dirk,” said the Professor.

But Dirk stood impassive.  “He’s quiet now, Professor.  He won’t cause any more trouble.”

The Professor put down the knife –- not into the bag, but next to it.  Then he took out a little brown bottle.  “Iodine,” he said.

But Santa Claus had gone cold.  His eyes held not sadness, not fear, but hate.

“I’ll say what I know,” said the Professor.  “You tell me when I’m wrong.  If I suspect dishonesty, it’s the iodine.  And remember: you have nine more fingers.”

Everyone looked at the Professor, not at Santa.  No one knew where Santa was looking.

“First of all, you are not alone.  There is a Santa Claus.  Yes, Virginia –- and all that crap.  But not only one.  There’s a whole army of you bastards.”

He stared hard at the Santa.  He thought he saw a nod.

“Second, your little army has been in operation for a long time –- longer than the Mafia, at least in his country.  Nod if I’m right.”

Another nod –- maybe.  Santa’s eyes had narrowed fiercely, little dark stars in the white vastness of that face.

“So we understand one another.  I’ve been looking into this for a pretty long time myself.  You may not be aware of me, but I’ve long been aware of you.”

The mask of the Santa Claus was as hard as marble and as blank as fresh paper.

“Third, you’re not in the kiddy happiness business.  Your wonderful toys come at a price.  Don’t try any subtleties here, Old St. Nick.  I’ve dissected too many of your so-called presents.  That’s what put me on to you in the first place.”

The Santa was as still as a statue.  No hint of a nod at this point.

“That’s assent enough for me.  Your toys contain electronic circuitry….”

The Santa laughed –- a sound like a big dog retching.  “Electronic circuitry!  Electronic circuitry!  Oh, you sorry clown!  You don’t even have a word for the technology we’re using.”

The Professor stared.  He wasn’t the only one.

“Thank you for confirming my hypothesis.  You’ve been of great assistance.  May I go on?”

“Please do.  It’s well worth the price of a finger.”

“Your circuitry –- whatever it is –- exerts an influence on the child’s mind.  He wants more and more.  He can’t get enough of Santa’s presents.  Isn’t that the way it works?”

“Oh, you are so insightful!”

“What I’m not sure of is the ultimate purpose.  What are you trying to get out of these kids?  That’s what I want to find out.”

“And that’s what you’ll never find out.  Until it’s too late.”  The Santa’s face had changed.  It didn’t quite look human anymore.

“That’s what you think.”  The Professor’s hand made its cycle again.  He didn’t have a pipe anymore.  He wasn’t completely calm anymore, either.  The Professor wasn’t an athletic man, but he possessed a sort of ponderous, bear-like strength.  And he was angry.  He hit a lot harder than he had the first time.

Yet he wasn’t hitting the same Santa Claus.  His backhand might have broken the neck of an ordinary man.  It would have hurt any man, even the strongest.  But the Santa’s head hardly budged, and no blood dripped from his placid smile.

“No surprise,” said the Professor –- but he looked surprised.  He stooped again, less gracefully than before.  Out of his bag came a short black length of pipe, one half of which was wrapped in tape to provide a handle.

There was a collective gasp from the back of the room.  Dirk, Betty, and Timmy couldn’t quite see what the Professor was seeing.

“Professor!” said Dirk.  “That’ll kill him!”

“I wish it would.  But it won’t.  Serious business, Dirk.  We can’t afford to play around.”

Then he swung the pipe into the Santa’s head.

Something there shattered on impact and disappeared like dust in a strong wind.  The Santa’s neck stretched like a steel spring, then snapped back into place.  On its return, the head wasn’t Santa’s head any longer.  The white beard was gone –- but no one could see where it had gone to.  The face was nothing but a gray globe with dark eyes and a muzzle.  From the gaping mouth fell teeth, if teeth they could be called: they were more like bright ivory pocket knives.  They fell on the hard floor with the sound of a shattering window.

Then the muzzle yawned wide –- like a crocodile’s, like a rattlesnake’s, like an attaché case, like a laptop.  The sudden cruel grin was broken and ragged.  More fragments fell out and rang on the floor.  From the rear, at the entrance to the vast black throat, there was a strange semi-circular movement.

“Try it again,” said the Santa.  “There are plenty more where those came from.”

And indeed there were.  In a couple of seconds, the Santa had a mouthful of fangs again, three inches long, shiny as polished china, sharper than any razor.

The Professor took a short step back.

And Stewart’s pistol came up level again.  It was pointed at the Professor.

“We can’t get away with this.”  The voice came not from the Santa’s motionless metallic lips but from deep in the darkness of his throat, where it seemed a scorpion was whispering.

“We can’t get away with this,” said Stewart.

“We’ve already committed multiple felonies,” said the scorpion voice.

“We’ve already committed multiple felonies.”

“And it’s wrong, Professor.”

“And it’s wrong, Professor.”

“Santa only wants to help children.”

“Santa only wants to help children.”

“Professor, drop your weapon.”

“Professor, drop your weapon.”

“I mean it.”

“I mean it.”

With a look of disgust, the Professor tossed his pipe aside.

“Now back up, Professor.”

“Now back up, Professor.”

“Nobody messes with Santa Claus.”

“Nobody messes with Santa –”

But Stewart never completed his final line.  The pipe, in Dirk’s hand, fell hard on the base of his neck.  The pistol clattered to the floor, and Stewart sank to his knees, then teetered over and lay still.

The Santa’s shiny black boot lashed out, and the pistol slid like a hockey puck across the room.

Then the Santa’s inhuman head struck like a viper’s, coming within inches of the Professor’s face.

Dirk was on top of the thing in the chair in an instant, beating at it with the butt end of the pipe and holding its serpentine neck in his left hand.  But the Santa wasn’t exactly sitting still.  Its legs had changed shape somehow, and, although still bound to the chair, it was now standing, splay-legged, and holding its assailant aloft.  The neck was writhing, the head snapping, and the red suit squeezing slowly through the wires.  The fabric was cut through in some places, and a substance like mercury was oozing through its slits.

“Professor, it’s too strong for me.”

The Professor strode forward, stooping to scoop up the knife, but, as he brought it down, the Santa’s neck twisted impossibly, and the fanged jaws closed on his wrist.

He screamed as the Santa tossed Dirk aside like a stuffed animal.

Then the pistol fired.  It fired right through the Santa’s head, out of which exploded a torrent of white, metallic liquid.  The jaws yawned again in a paroxysm of anguish, and the Professor yanked his mangled forearm away.

The round, muzzled head turned again –- and Timmy, little Timmy, the baseball cap still on his head, fired again, right down the throat, at the scorpion voice that had so offended him.

Then the Santa fell, for now still.

“Serious business, Professor,” said Dirk, rising.  “We can’t afford to play around.”

Timmy nodded.

“How’s Stewart?” asked the Professor.

Betty was kneeling next to Stewart.  “I think he’s dead.”

The Professor looked away.  “He was never very strong, I guess.”

“Your arm?” asked Dirk.

“The hand is useless.  I can’t feel anything under the wrist, and the forearm hurts like the devil.  I’m pretty sure it’ll have to come off at the elbow.”

“What do we do now?” asked Betty.

She was looking at the Professor, but it was Dirk who answered.  “We’ll have to get out of here.  We’ll have to take — that –- or some of it — with us.”

“And after that?”

“We keep going.  We have to keep going.  We’re the ones who know.  We’re the only ones who know.”

–Tom Riley

Her Smile Lights up the Room

Her Smile Lights up the Room


Her shining smile indeed lights up the room–

Much like a fierce bulb burning overhead.

You sit bound to a chair.  Torturers loom–

And promise you will wish that you were dead.

You wish for that in seconds — but instead

Receive hour after hour of searing pain.

You’re long past hope.  You’re long past mortal dread.

Adrenaline is gnawing at your brain.

It’s more than any mere man can contain.

Your every cell is bursting from within.

Through the mist of your tears you look in vain

For mercy — and behold the Devil’s grin.

But wait: that’s not the Devil.  All the while,

It’s been our heroine’s enchanting smile!


–Tom Riley