18 – One Glory Hole to Rule Them All

Washington D.C.,
Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery,
United States

An Uber carrying Stacy Dasher, Mikel Serone, Patrick Kibby and a complete stranger pulled up tentatively around the corner of the Tilted Kilt restaurant they saw in the video Kibby found of Duke Dasher. Though Serone and Kibby objected to riding Uber Pool on the way to something so dangerous and time-sensitive, Stacy had insisted that Duke would be furious if they splurged on a regular Uber. The Uber driver and the stranger peered out the window of the extremely crowded Toyota Prius. The restaurant looked like a warzone. There were two decapitated bodies in the parking lot, the windows were blown out of the entire restaurant, and there were bullet casings everywhere.

The Uber driver sheepishly asked if this was their location and offered them a loose mint from a dirty tray before reminding them to tip and leave him a five-star review. The stranger, who had also opted into the unfortunate pool that day, was sending a selfie of himself with a dog filter applied that showed the carnage behind him. He captioned it with “felt cute might delete later LOL!” and sent it off to his uninterested followers. Serone motioned for Kibby and Stacy to follow him around the side of the building. They hugged the wall tight, noticing the President’s limo pulling into the lot. 

“Duke must have not been able to get the job done in time. Even if he’s in there wearing Popov’s face, there is no way the President and his security detail won’t notice the butchery out front,” Serone whispered to the others.

However, there was nothing they could do now. They waited anxiously for the brake lights to go off and the President to inevitably discover the plan. The President exited the car with his detail following. Serone was breathing heavily, anticipating the discovery and wondering what the hell happened at this Tilted Kilt hours earlier.

Washington D.C.
United States
(1 hour earlier)

President Knudson’s limo ride to his favorite local establishment had been uneventful. He had been happy that Popov chose this bar and grill as the catalyst point for the collapse of America; somehow, it seemed fitting. The most powerful country in the world would be toppled by two men eating buy-one-get-one chicken Caesar wraps and drinking Appletinis in an inexplicably sweaty booth at a fast-casual restaurant with sexually objectified waitresses. He waddled to the limo with more vigor and excitement than he had experienced in the last decade of his life. His right arm grew numb, a daily occurrence for the fearless leader, so he took his left hand and furiously pounded the shoulder until feeling returned. He made a note to check with the White House doctor about the constant sensation, but almost immediately forgot about it. He knew he was healthy. Would an unhealthy man really be able to run a country as seamlessly as he had? The bedsores forming all over his body were a testament to his Presidential conquests. His irregular bowel movements were proof that this country was the best it had ever been. He wondered if Abe Lincoln had made sacrifices as he had for the country he formally loved. Once the agreement was made with Popov, he could rewrite the history books as he saw fit and his Presidential run would last as long as his thinning heart continued to pump blood into his enormous limbs.

He sat in the limo and spread his legs as wide as humanly possible. He learned long ago that spreading your legs out was a sign of class and fortitude. Although, it also helped air out his painfully swollen testicles, which were at the bottom of his laundry list of eccentric medical abnormalities. The prospect of betraying his country would be a lighthearted romp compared to the routine suffering of his everyday existence.

The security guards sat uncomfortably close to the President in the limo, their shins caressing the soaking wet suit pants of President Knudson. The heat in the car was on full blast, which made matters worse for the security detail who were drowning in the scent of stewed cod and burning hair. President Knudson glanced out the window to take in the light snowfall that had started. He loved the way snowflakes glided peacefully towards the earth and the white flakes reminded him of doing cocaine. He imagined himself on Christmas Eve, hovering over a mirror, battling the blood coming out of his nose to muster one final hero loaf of the white stallion before collapsing under an undecorated tree and sleeping until New Years. The limo pulled into the lot of the Tilted Kilt parking lot. The majesty of the restaurant immediately consumed him; drool ran visibly out of his mouth. One guard nudged his enormous protruding gut, signifying that it was time to enter the restaurant. President Knudson snorted and horked, seemingly awoken from brief unconsciousness. He stepped slowly out of the car. He took in an enormous breath of the cold night air and exhaled, creating a vast plume. It was a great night to become the most powerful man in the world he thought.

Washington D.C.,
Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery,
United States

The President and his detail approached the headless corpses and shuffled past them without a second thought. One of the security guards nudged a body with his foot, moving it slightly out of the way to create a clear path for the President,  but otherwise, they disregarded the Campbell’s chunky soup can full of assorted human remains that stained the snow beneath their feet. The other guard pulled the pilled suit sleeve of President Knudson. The president shopped almost exclusively at Jos A. Bank, and thus his suits were in an eternal state of disintegration. He claimed that the cheap-looking suits made him appear more approachable, but in reality, Jos A. Bank was the only company willing to fit someone who had a fifty-inch waist and twenty-six inseam. The proportions were downright perplexing. Many speculated that his kneecaps had simply collapsed under the weight of his enormous gut, leaving him with unnatural appearing limbs.

The President turned to the guard who just had the nerve to tug on the regal polyester blend of his double-breasted coat on such an important day. Knudson recoiled his elbow away from the guard. He noted to himself to have the man and his family murdered once the new government was in place. Absolutely no one touched his suits, save the odd suit handler, who he locked in the confines of his bedroom. The reality of the suit handler was a fiercely debated topic amongst White House staffers.

Few people had seen the alleged creature who was presumably responsible for steaming and pressing Presidential garments. His existence or possible existence was based solely on the wait staff delivering a nightly meal through a rusted food slot in the President’s bedroom and the sound of a rattling cage and pained wailing they heard throughout the dark halls of the White House on a nightly basis. Many of the house staff wondered why there was a need for a quarantined human with the sole task of caring for cheap suits, but they were too terrified about the true nature of the relationship to ask or pursue the matter any further than shoving food through a slop hole.

The guard pointed at the two bodies lying on the ground; they were headless and covered in flies despite the cold temperature. The President looked down at the beige masses and snorted. He dislodged another heaving wad of phlegm from his congested chest and spit it near the bodies; the green membrane was made even more visible by the snow.

The two bodies were of no concern to him.

Vladimir Popov was known to have an extremely short temper, especially after a few blended cocktails or Bartles and Jaymes. For his amusement, he would offer varying restaurant coupons to destitute employees who were willing to play Russian roulette. These two had obviously lost the game and the opportunity to take 20% off buckets of Michelob Ultra with the purchase of the Celtic Bacon Bleu burger. His mind was also totally consumed with visions of infallible control; this obsession blinded him to the peculiarities about the ghastly parking lot scene. It was the type of power and dominance that most men only dreamed about. His entire sexless life full of varying shortcomings and ineptitudes would finally be rewarded the way it should be. He looked forward to a time when he could sentence someone to death for looking at him wrong. His right arm grew numb with the anticipation; he slapped it a few times with his left arm in an attempt to regain feeling.

He cursed at his lousy heart, blaming bad genes instead of chain-smoking cigarettes, cocaine, and an inhuman amount of organ meat. He needed a drink badly. His genes may have been bad, but a lifetime of casual physical and emotional abuse had not served his insides well. Just as the President was about to perform the biggest coup in the history of humankind, his insides were waging a similar coup inside his wilting frame.

His enormous body lurched forward slowly. If you were a bystander, it would be impossible to determine whether or not he was moving at all, save the scratching sound made by his enormous orthopedic shoes as they dragged painfully through the snow. His guards grabbed him by the forearm and helped him over the small step to the restaurant. President Knudson noted that all of the windows in the building had been blown out; maybe Popov had taken his suggestion to install a stained glass window piece featuring varying scantily dressed and extremely busty Celtic women. If there was a guaranteed way to add class and elegance to a restaurant, it was busty stained glass women. 

Serone exhaled heavily. “Did they really not notice those disfigured bodies?” asked Serone, attempting to interpret what he had just witnessed. 

“There are bodies everywhere, I suppose,” Stacy replied emptily. The brevity and coldness of the statement had a certain weight to it. Each person was momentarily spiraling within their own heads about how insufferable humanity as a whole had become, about the carelessness with which we all operated and the constant quest for an unreciprocated orgasm at any cost. They all shrugged at the same time and shared an enormous feverish laugh at how helpless they all felt. They followed at a distant behind, hoping to catch a glance at whatever was going to happen in the confines of that run-down, vaguely Celtic-themed bar and grill. 

After some time, the President finally made it to the door of the restaurant. He touched the rusted knob of the mossy door; the familiarity of its slipperiness warmed his heart. He pushed the door open after some struggle. The country would be his soon enough.

Knudson and his two guards entered the main room with some uncertainty. There were bodies everywhere, significantly more than just a couple games of harmless Russian roulette would generate. Most of them were missing limbs and horribly burned as well. He made a mental note to ask Popov if this was the type of party he could expect once the country was a Communist dictatorship. Not that he needed any more convincing, but he kicked himself for not showing up earlier, as the twisted mass of loose limbs and flesh melting into the shag carpeting seemed like the perfect way to commemorate the day democracy died. He kicked a few of the bodies as a belated celebration. Having not taken part in the actual party, he felt he deserved some type of retribution, and booting a disfigured carcass did just fine.

His eyes turned towards the bathroom stalls and he immediately grew light-headed considering the prospect of the coveted glory hole he had hand-carved himself. He had spent countless lonely hours waiting for an anonymous sexual encounter that never happened, left only to be hypnotized by the craftsmanship on his perfectly whittled hole. A bespoke hole constructed almost exclusively for him. Maybe tonight was the night he thought. It would, after all, make sense given the amount of power he was about to inherit. His fantasy neglected the fundamental principle of a glory hole, which was based not on status or authority, but rather two strangers at the brink of a sexual collapse plunging into the unknown together. 

He looked at one body in particular; it had been blatantly placed in the room. The muscles of the face were exposed entirely; the eyeballs appeared to be saucers of milk in the middle of the stringy red flesh, which stuck to the floor like old wiring. The President’s mind wandered to the spaghetti, which he had smothered in ranch dressing, and eaten earlier that day. The man must have suffered immense pain before dying. The spaghetti with ranch, on the other hand, was a delectable breakfast. President Knudson heard something stirring in the corner and looked up. A man walked towards him and his two guards. The guards both drew their pistols as the figure approached.

“President Knudson!” said the voice in a friendly, boisterous manner. There was something off about the sound of the man.

“Popov, is that you?” asked the president shakily, checking his boxers to make sure he had not already ruined them. The physical check yielded what he already knew – he had.

“Of course it is Alphonso. Are you ready for this,” said the apparition, drawing nearer still.

The Russian accent seemed contrived at best, though then again, outside of his favorite comedian Yakov Smirnoff, the President wasn’t familiar with Russians speaking English. Moving with unnatural speed and agility, Popov appeared almost immediately in front of them. His frame was massive; his skin was sickeningly red and bruised, most likely a product of the debaucherous party. A bone protruded clearly from his forearm, breaching the surface like a newborn lamb from its mother’s womb. The skin on his face looked tighter than a drum; its stretched nature appeared incredibly painful and ill-fitting. Each movement made pockets of other skin bulge through the rips and tears that consumed his face. It looked as though any of the worn holes were capable of tearing the weakening structure with one wrong muscle twitch. His eyes, oddly enough, sat sunken back, receding deeply into the skin, almost barely visible at all. Two black, shining balls floating in a relaxing, rejuvenating skin Jacuzzi. A white liquid dribbled down his neck at a snail’s pace. He reeked like vodka; his breath held the same stale stench as a men’s steam room – it was a menacing presence that served to drown the uncontrollable excitement experienced by Knudson moments earlier.

“You look like hell Popov and that means a lot coming from me. I’m not exactly a spring chicken!”  President Knudson said nervously. He limply extended his wet hand; his fingers hung towards the floor as though they were cooked noodles. One of the guards stared deeply at the faceless carcass lying in the middle of the entire interaction. Its melted eyes and screaming mouth fixated on the ceiling fan spinning slowly above their heads. He looked back up at Popov and back down at the destroyed pile of flesh. 

“Yes, that was vaping accident, electric blue raspberry,” said the man with a friendly laugh in his thick Russian accent… “Come and sit President,”

They sat down at a booth and the man ordered one of the waitresses to bring them over a couple pints of Vodka. The waitress looked like a shell of a human. She was openly weeping, but dutifully brought the vodkas to the table and even used a fake Celtic accent to make them feel as though they were in a traditional Irish pub.

“Nice touch. You run a hell of an establishment Popov. I’ll give you that, but do you have a blueprint on how to run a country?” commented President Knudson, leering at the woman’s ass as she walked away. “As much as I love this restaurant, frankly, staring at you is making me sick Popov. I am ready to get the deal done. Let’s flip the kill switch on those clones and run this country together…the way it should be done!” continued the President.

The engorged burlap sack of stew beef known as the President of the United States had just offered his complicity in the plan to plunge the United States into the red rivers of communism by way of clone enslavement.

“You’ll be an advisor, of course, Popov, but I want absolute power. I want to be the face of the new regime,” continued the President, again thumping the right side of his body, attempting to stave off what could be the big one. “The money, the women, the control of the clone army…all mine.”

Knudson looked closely at the man in front of him. If he was not mistaken, he could almost see teardrops forming within the gaping sunken orifices from which his white eyes swam.

 

Absurdist exploration into our agreeable descent to madness.

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