The Woodwork Teacher

‘ You are Ivan Jacob Kurst. Rich, disgraced schoolteacher, a self-professed pervert known to the authorities. You consort with undesirables, recruit under-age girls for personal gratification. You’ve been involved with Irene Ballamore, Henry Albert Lynch, and you entertain vampires. You may or may not be involved with the police, but those you meet are known to be “unorthodox”. You may or may not have been complicit in the murder of Mr Lynch. You converse with ghosts and seek phantoms. Yes, you were attacked my elements who considered you a threat. And what happened? Red goo.’

Sad reflection indeed on a life distorted out of all recognition…

True – my compulsion, my obsession is to create, in perfect wood, the essence of any 15-year-old girl my muse judges worthy. Am I a bad man? Perhaps; but I do no harm. Burden enough, then; yet now I am forced to acknowledge an even greater sin: that of ignorance. Ignorance of the true plight of innocents at the hands of sexual predators. So many horrors, so many victims; they seek to smother me. Thus, I must convene with ghosts, consort with the surreal…

And yes, I have witnessed apparitions and sanctioned death. Moreover, I have supped with Liliya Simonova, chameleon extraordinaire, and taught girls the ways of plane and saw. Be in doubt, I place no limitations on my quest. As a rich man blighted by perversity, passage into Heaven via any needle’s eye is, for me, no longer imaginable. Yet, it is not salvation I seek. Grievous wrongs must be set right. It is my penance, my mission. The destruction of those who exploit the innocent is my goal. I am Ivan Jacob Kurst, and I am the woodwork teacher.

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The American Journeyman

Just Another Job

A handyman, some might say drifter, – yours truly – hired to do a job in Avalon, New Jersey. Special like. A mother and daughter want a panic room restored, no questions asked. The girl, Junio, is a major league oddball. Super smart without question. No way your average teen. Quirky, weird for sure; but that’s not the half of it… The mother, May Edgerley, is a real class act, but it’s clear she has a well-hidden secret or two to protect. Could be there’s something unnatural going on – but what..? And we’re off with the crazy questions – again: the seriously messed up kind. Let’s start with a big one. Where will we all be in, say, a hundred, a thousand years? Anywhere, nowhere? Does Nature have a plan? If so, is it working? If you ask me, no, not so well. Can we, the people, help? We? No. Junio perhaps. A conundrum… Then there’s another doozie. What does Junio have in common with Joan of Arc, the Salem witches and so many other ‘troubled’ and persecuted woman of the past? Now that’s really important – I’m sure of it. So, Evolution’s waiting: been waiting a long time. Nature clearly needs a hefty nudge. Who better, then, to provide it than my ‘Sisters of Avalon’ and me, Joss Nyland, an American journeyman…

Once inside, Miguel smiles, leers, smirks – hard to tell which.‘You’ve done well, Amigo… Here!’ A vintage cuban finds its way into my shirt pocket. I have questions and plenty of ’em, but Mr Rodriguez is set to ‘broadcast only’. ‘Listen, Amigo. You don’t need to know nothin’. You got the job. Be happy! Now listen to your uncle Miguel. Mrs Edgerley and her strange little girl, they’re special. Comprende? They want you to build a maramba growing room in la recámara, what do you say? You say, “Si Señora”. You don’t even think to say, “Why, Señora?” Got it? Good, good… Now go, make your uncle Miguel proud, and remember, don’t fuck up!’ It’s a week since I agreed to take on the Edgerley job. I’ve seen Miguel only once following our disturbing mano a mano talk and that was to confirm I have free rein with this one. Whatever I need – supplies, equipment, time – I'm my own man. As best I could translate Miguel’s hasta luego words to live by, we’ve gotta behave like the three wise monkeys – minus the evil: see nothing, hear nothing, speak nothing. Well, something like that.

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Coral’s Age

A little girl, confused, unable to speak.

A bizarre interview leading to… What exactly? Some ‘Right’ or other?

A secret of Earth’s past hidden from the world… Until now. An enigma buried deep within its mantle about to emerge, and the devastation this will cause.

How can a mere mortal decipher such an intricate and complex mix of legend-cum-science fiction?

What lies beneath the volcanic mountains of Takasaki? Who are the soulless Scavengers and what is their aim? Can the wayward leader of the reverent Collective be found in time – Earth’s last forlorn hope?

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Reckless Writing

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Ivan Jacob Kurst

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