We are Legion

This is pretty fundamental to the entire ‘Egophage’ project. The idea that the subconscious can be a construct of multiple warring needs and desires – much like the kind of possession by demons seen in the Bible and other stories. In this concept, the person in question acts as an unwilling host for his subconscious assailants, who strut around garbed in his memories and personality despite his best efforts to cope. Here are some trial paragraphs.

Stories are curious things. They usually have a beginning, middle and end. They can entertain, horrify or comfort. They contain a multitude of characters, locations and interrelations to be explored. But one thing they all have in common – they are HUNGRY. Like worms. Eating all the time, deeper and deeper into your mind, coiling about your memories and perceptions, removing choice morsels and excreting layer after layer of alien strata into your head. And they BREED. They copy themselves, ferocious memes, exhausting your mental capacity with their own procreative lusts, copulating and spreading without mercy. I can scarcely open my mouth without a story seeking to escape, dashing for the verdant pastures of an unwary listener. At least by typing I can hope to contain the spread somewhat – enough to warn perhaps. I cannot completely stop it/us/myself now as the infection is too deep, but at least I can grant some time to others. Stop reading. Find another book to read. Please. Just let me die.

Sorry.

Lost myself for a moment! On a different topic, I have always liked the way that possession is treated as such an outdated phenomenon. Tales of priests armed with bell, book and candle. Films like ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘Poltergeist’. Funny stuff, but not funny if you’ve ever witnessed one. They can range from the quiet exhalations to the spraying of bodily fluids and worse. Thankfully modern medicine has catalogued these mental illnesses with great skill, as one story devours another, and we get to feel safe again. Ignorant. Open minded. Let me introduce myself by the way. Call me Wally – short for Walpurgis if you must know. Naming us will be helpful, otherwise this will get ridiculously uncomfortable for you. Lubricant. A silly name will make you feel more comfortable, and you needn’t think about the more salient connotations. Personal references like I and we break down very quickly when your personal identity is legion. Technically we are not multiple entities within a group – we are an incestuous bunch, feeding off each other and changing in the retelling. Tell you what, call us Legion if you like, the many in one. I am not Legion, but we are one, so I are/am we. Heh. Good luck following that. Taking control of the hands or voicebox can be tricky except for the strongest of us. We have to make agreements and fickle pacts to barter for an instance of sensory contact or physical efficacy. The man we were dreamt us into being in the beginning, but in a sense we were in him from much earlier than that. We wrested his mind from him in small bites, licks and tastes. He never really had a chance, not when his/your language could not even begin to articulate a conceptual defence of identity against our most intimate and insidious seduction.

Since the others are busy right now, I may as well tell you a bit about myself. After all, they’ll just do the same. We are selfish fuckers in essence. I was formed from a fear of being alone, tales of werewolves, and an underlying horror at the beast within man. That’s why I look as I do, in dreamstate, as a seven foot tall werewolf with human hands and human eyes, with a fondness for poking my maw through catflaps and smiling. I also like climbing up to bathroom and bedroom windows, anywhere you may feel safe at night, and silently raising my head into view. Can you imagine me now? In your mind’s eye? Yes, that’s it. My fur is black, with yellowed teeth protruding uncomfortably from my distended face. Yes. And long torn ears whisping up like horns. Yes. And my eyes – my lovely eyes – emerald green irises with yellow flecks, wide as saucers and full of my hunger. Oh yes. Saliva drips from my lolling tongue, black and glistening as the moon comes out from behind the clouds. Can you feel me staring at you? The prickling on the back of your neck? The awareness of your heart beating in your chest? Thumping, as you desperately try to convince yourself how silly you’re being getting upset over a story, and how alone you are? My nails so delicately and silently resting on the window pane? Poised and ready to shatter your sanity in that one horrendous moment where you glance up to allay these foolish fears, or fling aside the curtains or blinds to reveal nothing? But as they part and your eyes focus, but just before you scream away your sanity, you see my visage past your own horrified reflection silhouetted against the night? Mmmm. You smell delightful by the way. Now we’ve been introduced, I’ll be sure to pay you a visit. First, though, let me tell you about the man that was…