Friday, 29 October 2010

Tortured Souls

Tortured Souls is a short novel written by Clive Barker. It's full of violence, macabre, disgust and insanity.
On the basis of the book, six action figures of the main characters has been created. Here - three of them : Lucidique, Scythe-Meister and Venal Anatomica.


And now, the intro to the story:

He is a transformer of human flesh; a creator of monsters. if a Supplicant comes to him with sufficient need, sufficient hunger for change - knowing how painful that will be--he will accomodate them. They become objects of perverse beauty beneath his hand; their bodies remade in fashions that they have no power to dictate.
Over the years, over the centuries, indeed, this extraordinary creature has gone by many names . But we will call him by the first name he was ever given: Agonistes.

Where would a Supplicant find him?
Usually in what he calls 'the burning places': deserts, for instance. But sometimes he can be found in 'the burning places' in our own inflamed cities: places where despair has seared away away all belief in hope and love.

There he moves, silently, irreproachably, his presence barely more than a rumour. And there he waits for those who need him to come to find him.

When a Supplicant presents him or herself there is never coercion. There is never violence, at least until the Supplicant has signed over his or her flesh. Then yes, there may be some second thoughts, once the work begins. The truth is that on many occasions a Supplicant has begged to die rather than continue to be 'empowered' by Agonistes. It hurts too much, they tell him, as his scalpels and his torches work their terrible surgery upon him. But in all the time he has been wandering the world Agonistes has only ever granted the comfort of death to one Supplicant who changed his mind. That man was Judas Iscariot, who whined so much Agonistes hanged him from a tree. The rest he works on despite their complaints, sometimes for days and nights, coming back to his labours when a piece of flesh has healed and he can begin on the next part of the surgery.

There are some minor compensations for all this pain, which Agonistes will sometimes offer his supplicants as he works. He will sing to them, for instance, and it is said that he knows every lullaby written, in every language of the world; songs of the cradle and the breast, to soothe the men and women he is remaking in the image of their terror.

And, if for some reason he feels particularly sympathetic to the Supplicant, Agonistes may even give his victim a piece of his own flesh to eat: just a sliver, cut with one of his finest scalpels, from the tender flesh of his upper thigh, or inner lip. According to legend, there is no food more comforting, more exquisite, tan the flesh of Agonistes. The merest sliver of it upon the tongue of the supplicant will make him or her forget all the horrors they are enduring, and deliver them to a place of paradisical calm.
Then - once his client is soothed- Agonistes continues his work, cutting, infibulating, searing, cauterizing, stretching, twisting, reconfiguring.
Sometimes he will bring a mirror to show his Supplicants what he has so far created. Sometimes he will announce that he wants the results to be a surprise, and so the Supplicant is left to imagine, through the haze of pain, what Agonistes is turning them into.

And Agonisties himself:

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