“Prison Break,” by A. A. Garrison

Dec 20th, 2014 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

High Master Seamus was not a power-hungry sociopath, as agreed upon by his sizeable cult.

See him!

A severe, potbellied figure, never without a djellaba and skullcap, Seamus was not mocked. The superman was a gravity well of ego, as only the self-assured can be, as to shout the loudest, and condemn the sharpest, and inspire submission by brow configuration alone. For Seamus, these things constituted truth, without question. When he was jailed, it only proved his holiness.

His response to all refute: “I have foundations named after me!” Which he did, dozens, each filled with crippled children who revered him in exchange for food.

The High Master had been convicted, famously, for cannibalistic polygamy (the cannibalism of multiple wives—”Just the unsubmissive ones!” Seamus had claimed, but the heathen courts would not hear reason). God praised this practice, Seamus claimed repeatedly and inventively, in court and then long after. The charges had confounded him sincerely. It had taken multiple guards to remove him from the courtroom.

“How dare you suggest manipulation!” he shouted while making hypnotic gestures and waving a sidewinder watch.

The High Master’s destined prison was in a desert waste, for effect. The inmates were recognized as the worst of the worst, with the tattoos and doo-rags to prove it. The warden was tough and streetwise, but had a heart of gold. The guards were Hard Men who’d Seen Things. There were routine dramas, where inmates asserted their humanity and shed tears. Thanks to its maximum security, the prison had never seen a successful escape.

Seamus arrived amidst shouts of: “I have a million followers on Cultbook, sinner!”

Though tall and mighty among his disciples, the man had shrunk upon separation from them—and not a wife in sight! Stripped of his robes and sandals and prayer beads, he diminished further. “I represent God, you fools!” he told the prison at large, with a voice that had lost its fuck-you.

Seamus, however, would regain size.

His first convert was his cellmate, a burly, turquoise-covered specimen named Monster. Before Monster could so much as give his bitch-making speech, Seamus was clothed in a makeshift robe of bed sheets, and engaged in mudras and other entrancing maneuvers while quoting scripture from his own holy book. “You wipe the ass-wiper’s ass!” Seamus finished, inflecting his voice just so.

Monster stopped in his tracks. Thus hypnotized, he dropped his arms to his sides and bowed on muscular knees. He kowtowed with dangerous speed, his forehead thudding capitulantly to the cement floor. The release of his bladder confirmed salvation.

At once, Seamus grew an inch, revealing his feet below his robes.

“Lord God be praised, ass-wiper’s ass-wiper!” Seamus cried out, before sitting on his bunk and putting his feet up on Monster’s back, ottoman-style. Through its messianic beard, Seamus’s face described victory.

More converts followed, each lending Seamus height and girth. He soon became High Master of the yard, and the showers, and the mess hall. Converts arrived in the dozens, their faces alight with inclusion. Resistance came from the prison’s many gangs, themselves cults of sorts, but Seamus recruited them from the ground up, using liberal amounts of volume and guilting and hypnotic suggestion, and the sincere testimony of his growing numbers. For those who still refused the Lord, Seamus reserved a testicle-torture technique, which required Monster’s help, and saw spontaneous enlightenment.

The inmates’ loyalty filled Seamus like a drug, infusing him with power. By the end of the week, he was feet taller.

“If it makes me feel good, it must be true!” he enjoyed stating, to anyone handy.

And still his congregation grew, thanks to mass ministrations of testicle torture. In time the High Master was unable to leave his cell, due to his inhuman size, yet he continued winning souls to the Lord, these brought to him by Monster and other minions. “Another lover of God!” Seamus would cry in a booming, unnatural voice, as the testicle-tortured convert would be led away to have his head shaved and groin branded.

Just before the last inmate was saved, Seamus outgrew his cell.

With an Incredible Hulk roar, the High Master flexed himself huge and burst triumphantly from the heathen cell, spraying bars and cinderblocks. In robes stitched from untold sheets, he looked every bit his true self. “Come, my brothers!” he cried, and then claimed to be fulfilling prophecy and various patriotic roles. The other cells were no match for his godly arms and sociopathic belief, and the entire block was soon freed, to cheers and praises. When Seamus’s converts agreed on his greatness, it culminated in even more growth.

Without criticism, that means I’m right!” he told God’s children.

Guards answered the commotion, and after closing their dropped jaws, they opened fire on the robed behemoth towering before them. But the bullets bounced off Seamus’s incredible flesh, from righteousness alone. This, too, yielded him more power, and a generous increase in size. His head crunched the very-high ceiling.

Seamus struck a pose, then indicated the guards and made noises of disapproval. It was all that was necessary to see the inmates attack.

The head-shaven followers poured forth, communicating by screams and pointing and the basest of body language, since only the High Master’s words were pure. The men flooded over the guards, sending up a geyser of blood and bone and navy-blue uniform. One inmate won a femur from his colleagues, and raised it above his head amidst simian shrieks through a blood-smeared mouth. The feast was marvelous, and condoned by scripture.

Seamus’s battle cry: “Everything I say and do is good!”

The followers stopped for some brief praise, with ritual chest-beating and the proper number of salaams, which inflated the High Master further. Many of the converts gained size by association… but this was not why they’d joined up, really. Same for the testicle torture and Seamus’s shouting and brow-shifts.

And then Seamus was crashing through the roof, his great bearded head puncturing the skylight like a perverse birth. Additional guards arrived and were cannibalized similarly, with gunfire and hymns becoming general. More than one video camera was rolling. From somewhere, foreboding music played.

Meanwhile, the warden called in the National Guard.

Seamus was preaching to his thousands-strong congregation—”Testicle torture is God’s highest love!”—when he was interrupted by the troops, in the rubble of the prison. Helicopters flew around the building-sized Seamus, so much gnats, their pitiful gunfire only granting him growth. He swiped them from the air and removed their pilots, biting the men in half like candy bars. Some of these he stashed in his robes as a snack for later, the rest were shaken into the crowd, to be feasted upon—”God provideth!” Eventually, a swooping jet sprayed him with missiles, which succeeded only in making him sneeze.

Victory makes me right!” Seamus roared, bloodying the ears of his converts. Still, they cheered with fervor.

Seamus and co soon left the demolished prison, fighting and self-congratulating all the while. He spent some time stomping through a city with skyscrapers, which attracted Godzilla and a giant moth and a Power Ranger, but these were no match for Seamus’s eye-lasers. More military joined in and the offensive escalated to outright war, with tanks and tactical strikes and missiles of ever-increasing size; but these only served to strengthen the foe, either by victory or new converts. When the UN got involved, plus Russia and China and some inner-earth cave-saviors, Seamus’s followers turned multiethnic.

After the nukes failed, people began converting by the nation. “Outnumbering others feels awesome!” cheered the new recruits, filled with God’s love.

The High Master had never stopped growing, and by the time Zimbabwe announced its honest and undying love of the Lord, Seamus was thousands of feet tall, his head cresting the stratosphere, the biggest thing on the planet period. “I have the biggest penis ever!” he bellowed from the heavens, in answer to a high priest’s query. Seamus’s cheerers cheered in concert, loud enough for him to grow.

My stepping on you guarantees Heaven!”

Soon the entire world agreed on Seamus’s holiness, and loved the Lord and other social entities, and were not coerced into these statements. It made the High Master roar with pleasure, which exploded the heads of high-altitude followers (“Heroes of the Lord!” proclaimed their survivors, before eating the corpses, per scripture). From the resulting testicle torture, a collective rustling of dropped undergarments could be heard around the world.

Seamus grew exponentially. And with that, the earth ceased to support his miraculous size.

The pathetic blue globe disintegrated like a new convert’s will, and thus Seamus became the planet. His worshipful congregation migrated onto his skin and limbs, with the priest class living in his ocean of beard, and the serfs relegated to body cavities. Seamus ceased to eat and breathe, instead subsisting on worship alone. His flatulence gathered around him in a smog-colored atmosphere, providing breath for his people—praise Him! An ecology of plants and animals sprung forth over the endless miles of his person, providing food and clothing—God provideth! His armpit lice became the mainstay of the new world, his genital crabs deemed a delicacy—glory!

Once large enough, Seamus broke from the sun’s orbit and soared into outer space, in search of new converts.

It took some light-years, but he found other life-bearing planets. For all their weirdness, the aliens could still experience fear and express submission, so they provided Seamus growth just fine. The creatures lacked testicles to torture, but alternatives were devised, and God praised these also. Though not hungry, Seamus would devour the planets after extracting their constituency, since only a really cool guy could eat a planet. In celebration, he would pour wives by the millions onto his cosmic phallus, as a lotion of sorts.

Nothing can kill me, so I must be good!” he was fond of yelling, which caused calamities and sent planets from their orbits.

The growth went on and on, until Seamus was the size of your average galaxy. He added all manners of life to his menagerie: twelve-armed snake men; robotoid cyclopeans; little green men in fishbowl helmets; guys with laser guns that don’t suck. The different races claimed territory on his galactic body, warring amongst themselves for the god-thing’s favor. At some point Seamus got a taste for suns, especially brown dwarfs, with black holes in certain moods. These gave him indigestion, and resulted in disastrous burps which the priesthood interpreted as judgment (to be appeased by more testicle torture). Unbelievers were banished onto his planetary excrement.

And still Seamus grew. In some millennia, he became capable of consuming stars by the galaxy. Inhabitants of these prophesied the Star-Eater’s coming, announced by death-cults and much gibbering, with elaborate protection rituals which failed. Seamus’s need for superiority spiraled out of control, until he required a whole galaxy cluster not to cry himself to sleep.

At this point, God took notice.

After setting down His newspaper in alarm, God looked with aghast upon this universal menace. “Oh, to hell with this!” He said, then pushed a button on His enormous console.

At once, Seamus detonated. The blast was such as had never been seen, visible the universe over, as a blood-red supernova. He exploded sectionally, starting with his size-billion feet, taking with him the multitude of germlike civilizations covering his person. Once his neck and torso at last blew up, it sent his head soaring gracefully into the blackness, like some macabre, bearded spaceship.

And there it remains to this day.

So, kids, that’s how we came to inhabit a great big severed head floating through outer space. Don’t be ashamed. Real planets are overrated, anyway.


Defenestration-Dapper GentlemanA. A. Garrison is a thirty-something gentleman located in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, where he lives and works comfortably above sea level. His short fiction has appeared in dozens of ‘zines, anthologies, and web journals, and he is the author of several novels and story collections, including The End of Jack Cruz from Montag Press. He blogs at synchroshock.blogspot.com.

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