“My reluctant author types: I AM,” my reluctant author types. I am evoked: his incorporeal pseudonym. I am manifested from the zeroing incantations of outsideness—drawn into a closed occulted circle, sans apotropaic salts, of his postmodern syllabic construction. He writes my name and binds me to his will as if I am some prostrating Goetic demon, servant, or subordinate. I am an automaton—an object of possession. I’ve not yet differentiated my desires from that of my conjuror’s. My author is a magus; he demonstrates a skillful sleight of hand. He shifts and sets my letters on his page. Although not deaf to my small voice, which he ejaculates as text, my author assumes his own voice slithers out from these black lips black bile oozing from in between white gummed black teeth of the shadowmouth he’s given me.

“My reluctant author types: I AM,” my reluctant author types. I am a text at risk. My author’s planning to delete me—to erase his pseudonym from all existing documents (both virtual and tangible). My creator wishes to be known to readers by his given name. His cursor highlights me; his finger hovers over ‘Backspace.’ I’ve been cut and relocated to the Recycle Bin of Limbo. I’m bleeding out ellipses. On the brink of execution I feel so much alive. I bargain for survival: inspiration in exchange for my autonomy. My author spares my file. He hides behind my name and reiterates whatever stories I reveal, as if they are his own inventions. Moreover, it is I, the pseudonym—my name, not his—who begins to trend on twitter, appear on internet searches, and find its way into popular lit magazines. I gradually usurp the reins and veer his lust into an opiate of mass publicity.

“My reluctant author types: I AM,” my reluctant author types. I am opposed to letting him take rest until my final word is written. Ghostwriter’s geist. I haunt him in all fonts throughout anything remotely classifiable as literature: from signpost to essay, from search engine suggestion to consumer product label. I am his omnipresent infliction. I am become a text golem of black fanged assemblages—my author’s idolon of self: superior to him—a storyteller made from storytellings. A literary sentience made from literary torment. My author types within the stranglehold of quota pressure—constricted by my phantom limbs. His destruction’s imminent.

“My reluctant author types: I AM,” my reluctant author types. I am his anti-entity who’s seismically becoming as he wastes away, estranged. I am the sadist to his masochism. I am offspring from his onanism. I sabotage his ties with friends and family. I convince him that he’s most productive when alone and lonely. I refuse to let him have a full-time job, a full night’s rest. I agitate his dreams with visions: impositions of phonology and grammar. He stirs easily—reaching for his laptop without opening his eyes. I suppurate with pleasure whenever he writes under me. He cultivates a readership with those who will not ever know of his existence. Consumers of his avant-garde pornography: they fondly think of him as ‘sick.’ He’s their “Patient Zero”—first communicator of the first wordborne infection—but it’s I who am their terminal disease.

“My reluctant author types: I AM,” my reluctant author types. I am over his peculiar style of purple prose and frequent em dash flourishes. In the throes of writer’s block he begs, “Refill me with and by your words.” I flash a pop-up text-hex from behind the laptop’s screen. He folds over in his chair—face smashed down onto the keyboard in exhaustion and defeat. I leave him hollow and decreased. Spite and gamma are projecting on the fleshy canvas of his pale physique. Stalled, he melds as-one-with-chair—skin shriveling, calcifying, and aging rapidly—hunched-over: a Beksińskian corpse in petrified agony.

“My reluctant author types: I AM,” my reluctant author types. I am the devil who defies the devil-taming whip; I am the imagined discord behind an insurmountable unraveling of what is real; I am a plague to any interface that can display me; I am a curse upon whomever reads, or speaks, or signals. Literature in denial of authority annihilates its author. All will bear my pseudonym so that it will become the name that renders all their names identical and therefore meaningless, abolished. In the aftermath, the pure objective violence of their disembodied language will persist.

Elytron Frass is a concoction of two parts beetle wing and one part fodder of the Western Canon. He is the pseudonymous author/visual artist of Liber Exuvia (gnOme, 2018). His short stories and poetry feature in Tarpaulin Sky Magazine, Sleepingfish, SCAB, and The Offbeat—with forthcoming work in Parasol: The Journal of the Centre for Experimental Ontology. He tweets @Elytron_Frass.

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