Sam Chandler

Horrorshow Roundabout: A Short Story

Written in the style of Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange. Most of the language is taken directly, while other parts have been created for the purposes of the story.


What will it be then? You lowest of souls, most diligent workers, sufferers of Bourgeoisie oppression, what is your choice? Revolution or Slavery?’ Now now, Comrades, no need to be getting all razdrazzed already! I viddy these starry-timer slovos are tough to pony for some of you simpler droogs of mine, so allow your Humble Orator to explain in good old salted-earth Nadsat. That’s the lingo spoken by me and mine up and down this country in every workhouse and proleshed from here to the big grey sea. Quite a lingo it is too! All cockney, Slavic and common slovos bundled up together in a real powerful shared goloss for us revolting so-and-sos! Many a time in the old world did an uppity lewdie get all threatened-like by our collective goloss. None of us gave a cal then, so why would we now?


But I digress, O dearest Comrades. For the slovos above were not govereeted by me but by Our Glorious Leader on the nochy of the Horrorshow Roundabout’s beginning, with the uprising of all rabbiters (‘workers’, that is). The bolshy chelloveck had stood oddy-knocky on his platform wearing the platties of the common rabbiter and the otchkies of an academic type, and espoused his ‘ideal’ of a classless society. Aye, what pronouncements they were too, O my Comrades! His honeyed slovos dancing into our collective ookos, blessing us merry masses with vigour and hope and the like! That wise, starry dedoochka filled our gullivers with sparkling viddeons of pasture and plenty! Lands free of bosses and statesmen, where we rabbit for our brothers and not for masters! ‘Rise up’, he said. “Teach the oppressors the power of the common man! What is there to lose but your chains?


He went on, creeching red murder for those Boogs and Cat Pits with their big fat plotts and bulging brookos: them with their piles of pretty polly. Heaps and heaps of silver-like treasure sealed in grand starry domys – real horrorshow domys too – with gates and gardens and drawing rooms. All that cal. He compared the cosy jeeznys of these Boogs and Cat Pit Capos (or the ‘Bourgeoisie’ and ‘Capitalists’ if Sir Reader doth prefer) to our measly lot: us the rabbiters on whose backs the bratchys had prospered. He reminded us of the prolefeed (or ‘rabbit-food’) which had been doled out to us Dignified Workers, the grey stuff which tasted like swissy noga after a full days run. All rancid and mucky for us deserving chellovecks, the cheek of those Boogs! It was enough to drive a veck bezoomny, brothers! Yet we had kept our gullivers down and stayed all quietish, real bogmen like. I admit I was a eunuch jelly in those days, as were many of us law-abiding lewdies. Hey, hey! I see you liar vecks wobbling your thick gullivers in flat denial! You can’t lie to me you bratnchys! Anyways, it doesn’t matter now.


It all changed with the Horrorshow Roundabout, when Me and We merriest of masses swept the nation as one. Dratsing and ultra-violence spread like the plague-pox from polis to polis, coast to coast. Cat Pit krovvy, O my Comrades, ran like the finest vino over our swinging shlagas and swooshing nozhs! A swift tolchock to the litso of a flabby Cat Pit Capo dropped the veck where he quivered! The wardogs of State were set on us in retort; uppity milicent coppers and their bossmen in camo armed to the zoobies with steel and fire! Didn’t take long ’til all the King’s horses and all the King’s men fell to pitchfork and torch, and after we burnt jackboot and truncheon in great raucous bonfires! We’d cracked up the hard shell of the Beast; now we got to filly with all its soft, gooey insides. We stormed Workhouses, Law Courts, Flatblocks, Sky Stabbers, Grand Domys, Railways, Med-Sheds and Schools. We cut out the cancer of the Capo yolk wherever our drat took us. All had to go, you viddy? They being the State of Things: the thousand black arms of that mighty Leviathan which had crushed we proles for generations untold.


We went for the bogmen next, starting with the Yahoodies. Them in their… what was it? Synthemesos? Sympatibogs? Synagogues? I don’t remember the slovo now, my old droogs. Whatever the cal, those Yahoody Bogmen (or godmen, you ken?) had ran afoul in some such way of the Gleader’s mighty viddeon. We went and ransacked their holy houses. Wasn’t long before Christocossacks and Mussulmen rose to our fury in divine disgust too, as if Bog himself had slooshied our call to arms. These religious lewdies put up quite a drat I admit, clinging to their chants and trinkets like men possessed. But in the end we did the deed, casting the crarking vecks side-by-side into their own precious Afterland! Abraham died for Abraham died for Abraham: ancient enemies in the war of the Three Gods bleeding and dying as one. A ‘historical irony’ we were told, but history never really meant all that much to us. Why give a cal about some sterile past when the Utopia of today can fill a man’s heart forever?


So there you have it, O my Comrades! This Humble Orator’s fondest account of the greatest drat in history: the Horrorshow Rounda… ay, what’s that? Ah yeah, I forget we aren’t to call it that any more. Ahhh cal, what’s the preferred slovos again? “The Glorious Revolution” or “The End of History” right? Aye, those starry academic vecks which that Gleader keeps around always did hate our eemya. To be fair to us humble prolesoles we never meant anything by the naming, HR being a straight-up honest translation of “Glorious Revolution” after all. The problem was in them niggling im… im… implamations? Imp-lacerations? Implications! That’s the slovo! Not conclusive enough, you viddy, Comrades? ‘Roundabout’ suggested some such struggle after struggle, another drat after this one. It made the delicate vecks fret about krovvy that would never stop flowing. Rivers and rivers of krovvy and vino from here to the big grey sea. I didn’t ken, dearest Comrades, that the slovos in lewdie-speak carry such bolshy finality.


In truth and frankness, I find it hard to swallow sometimes that we who shed blue krovvy for our cause don’t get to eemya the damn thing! For we who poured our each and every deed into a noble drat, a nod or the like wouldn’t go amiss on occasion. I know I’m not the only veck who suffered and strained against those dark tide, nor am I the only one who still suffers either. I feel the need to confess to you now, Comrades, some personal cal if you’ll have it? Sometimes, when I think back to the Horrorshow Roundabout, I get all filled up with a baddiwad feeling. All sicky-bolnoy, the kind you get on eating up rancid pishcha, or on having too much peet at the Liquorpit. It happens when nochy falls and I lie oddy-knocky atop my bedsit in perfect dark. I begin to sloosh the creeches and cries of dead-and-gone foes. Distant at first, then growing to a clamour. Their rakzazzes creech raz and raz and raz again, starting and finishing like clockwork until I bury my litso in pillow and creech my gullet raw!


By the looks on your litsos it seems a great poly of you have stared down the same spectral eye as I. Bog, how they burn us with their anguished caw-caw-cawing! Those cackling spookydooks causing such posthumous palaver, as ugly and broken in death as they were in life. Whispering black words into our dozing gullivers, they chide and mock and speak of secret corruption: a little black stain on our perfect works. A blemish in paradise: could it be so? ‘Impossible!’, you say. ‘How could that be?’ How could us innocent we, who only fought for me and mine since the start, become embroiled in such vile ugliness? I believe an outsider stands among us, Comrades. Some secret perverter of pure hearts who sows greed and malice into society’s fabric! Someone who stands above and beyond, pretending to be one of us but never truly of the masses. It beggars the question: who has gained the most from our corrupted crusade?


Yes, I see you vecks getting it now. I put it to you that the snakes in our Paradise are none other than the Gleader and his cohort! This ailing cabal of weary fossils just like the Capos built an empire on blue krovvy and rabbit sweat: the true inheritors of the Capo crown! They ransack our ranks and punish ‘dissenters’ while we live a life all too familiar. They tread on our necks and call it order. Well, I say ‘piffles and cal’ to the whole thing! So what’s to be done then, eh? My dearest allies whom I stand beside in the great gutter of history, what to do? Bend and break under the weight of their world, or rise and fight the dark demons of man? Do we give up on the works of the Horrorshow Roundabout, or carry it out to its natural end? All must make a choice. I can’t decide for you. But I promise you this: come with me, bratties and sestras, and we will kill history in its spinning wretchedness! Our fury will sweep the horizon like a red sun, melting starry dedoochkas atop krovvy-soaked thrones from here to the big grey sea. Let us rile and enrage that bitter-bored ocean, which bears ice cold witness to our shining works!

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Sam Chandler

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