Brigadier Robert D’Alby
(a sweaty tale of irresistible desire within remote salty environs) by E F Hay

Brigadier Robert D'Alby of those immaculate Glorious Roscommon’s was a fine figure of a man. As a Sandhurst officer cadet it was crystal clear D’Alby was hewn from exactly the right stuff-possessing athleticism, but devoid of narcissism, and employing a military style of life, minus that all-too-familiar “boot-polish-up-the-kilt” mentality. Unerring devotion to discipline and Spartan indifference to discomfort made D’Alby a splendid soldier.

Additionally, over time, D’Alby's ability to remain aloof from subordinates enabled access to genuinely private thoughts beyond the appreciation of his rough and ready non-commissioned comrades. In fact, even fellow officers bored D'Alby: their drunken parties, latent homosexuality, imbecilic gambling, and tunnel vision interdicted any possible camaraderie.

Yet, above all, he abhorred their collective disregard of cubic art. Still, such wilful blindness didn’t detract D’Alby from an admiration for their old-fashioned strength of character; nor could crude behavioural patterns, disseminated amongst his natural ruling class, annul an esteem in which he held an intrinsic nationalistic existentialism pursued by élite English gentlemen.

Since his retirement and subsequent initiation into an ancient guild of mariners, D’Alby had taken up a reclusive commitment as a private lighthouse keeper. As a proud wickie, he kept Bishop Rock Lighthouse shining bright—and spotlessly clean. During his spare time, he manufactured basic rugs, model ships—frequently embattled within bottles—and many other crafty objets d'art. It was a lonely, challenging life, his service made as comfortable as possible by central heating, frozen crabsticks and Cornish regional television. In the fullness of time, Robert quietly observed how natural power emitted from the bowels of Mother Earth reigned supreme; that is, put simply, that man, a sentient nonentity, merely floated upon her ethereal waves.

Yet one who could curry Poseidon's favour was blessèd indeed. So, weather permitting, Robbie irregularly attended a local mariner's guild, where a gracious and most proper art of ingratiation was taught to select scholars in confidence—there one could secretly manipulate mystical gifts according to one's wisdom and talent. These occult factors were two tools of divine provocation, both of which were empowered with prodigious energies that enabled a righteous seeker to beseech and be adorned with charmed privileges afforded to an orthodox craftsman. These were as follows: one pukka velvet wishing cap—immaculately derived from the original recipe of Fortunatus—and one pair of elegant lorgnettes, proffering unlimited all-sightedness.

Now, amusing as this esoteric bourgeois scenario might seem, it was lamentably not entirely satisfying. Hence predictably, increasingly influenced by the compelling literature of Aleister Crowley, Roberto sat, forlorn, under his pointy pink cupola staring disconsolately through magical retinas at his unemployed purple Hampton. Hallucinatory masturbation wasn't working—hard-core, no-nonsense skulduggery was called for. So, one day this abstemious xenophobe—inasmuch as his wasp's waist seldom played host to dodgy foreign foods—clipped his magnificent monkey wrench moustache, smeared petroleum jelly liberally around his unloved ring hole and purposefully penned a charmingly succinct advertisement to be displayed in the Lonely Hearts section of City Limits magazine ref: pubescent wantonness, which he dispatched post-haste by means of a supplies boat which fortnightly brought him his baked beans marinated in orange tomato sauce.


“Yes, yes. London. Now there's a filthy city full of perverted deviants,” he thought, fiendishly. Inconspicuously revelling in sexual imagery, still on the surface, Robbie's attitude publicly conveyed a cultivated character, and simultaneously an impression of an esquire who coveted beauty and classical repose—but instinctively, he required a fist fuck too. Processing contradictory hormonal and religious pressures resulted in guilt and his superego took umbrage, scolding the little id beast for its impure thoughts, “Just lay back and think of England!”

D’Alby undressed in front of a full-length French brass Cheval mirror, increasingly perturbed and critically reviewing his aging reflection—an inner resentment grew darker. Most shocking was his nauseating, surly features which appeared outlandishly ugly, quite bizarrely misshapen, and obnoxious in every detail. Each flaccid aspect called for slashing and expert mutilation. A self-defacing element imbued Robbie's mind. “Oh, for a Black & Decker Workmate!” Bobby hated it. This damned chimera was no longer he; rather, a mocking curse.

Whilst hailstones crashed against toughened glass surrounding him, D'Alby laughed uproariously loud as he smeared arterial blood over his scarred nakedness. He sliced his nipples off and super glued them to his knees. Plus, he took a cheese grater to the ship's ginger tomcat while ejaculating over some lucid adolescent memory. Relaxing later, he reflected upon infamous initiation ceremonies he’d witnessed agog. Stan Crabbs for example: that plausible cephalopod became unstuck, his ovoidal working-class body falling prostrate between scary cloven hooves—where he was instantly plagued by ankylosis and force-fed slough from a million damned excrescences whilst his raw sphincter was hurriedly invaded by a vile swarm of chattering animalcules—besieging his cerebrum and infesting his imagination with an obscure form of regimental Catholicism. Cruelly enough, metemsomatosis irretrievably undermined Crabbs’ innate processes of perception, rendering his substitute frenetic, barren, snarling and regardant. Why he had to suffer so, fuck only knows.

“And then us fishermen, aristocratic seafarers and the like all steamed the fat cunt and put his eyes out. He can't see anything now.”

Following a dour two-fold month of auto-erotic overload, resulting in the first instance of little more than a sore willy, while in the second, only sensations of dizziness, nausea, acute futility, and having received absolutely no replies whatsoever, Bob nonchalantly applied his Fastskin Elites, before suddenly, yet decisively, jumping overboard in his best Speedos, determined to swim ashore and hard ride Shanks’s pony to London immediately in his picaresque personage, to get into some heavy-duty cottaging. He wondered what the precious all-seeing eye would make of that. Beat off an all-penetrating stethoscope perhaps, or tickle its ever-swollen vulva?

“Because whatever it is and wherever it's coming from, one needs a jolly good going over now and again, just to maintain one's sanity. Seen?”

E F Hay exists in Britain and, rather than follow spurious leaders, over the years he’s intermittently found it therapeutic to write out various thoughts, feelings, and ideas as short stories to be examined, considered, and interpreted by clinical practitioners who may be able to offer professional psychological assistance. He has been published by Flash Fiction North, Ink Pantry, Schlock! and Dig Magazine.