This is (approximately) the introduction to my upcoming book, “Villains, Dark Lords, and Monsters: Villainpunk microfiction by Jeff Mach“.)
Before we begin, you should know:
Villainy is apparently contagious.
Even listening to a Villain can get you accused of Villainy, even if you listen with scorn. The Writings of Villains are secret runes, innocuous at first glance, but addictive, seductive, and, in the end, ineluctable.
In short, whatever you do, don’t read these writings.
I mean, you’re familiar with Atlantis, surely? It drowned because its citizens didn’t recognize the basic truth: words are immensely powerful, and thus need to be trapped beneath layers of fear, shame, guilt, and unhappiness. We need to rely those who seek selflessly to protect us by trying to blot out, censor, cancel, or silence the wrong words; and if all of those Wards and Circles of Protection fail us, we’ve nothing left to fall on except the knowledge that we’re bad people for doing all this reading, and we should feel the most hideous Remorse.
Otherwise, how will we know which things are acceptable to do, speak, and think?
It’s those damn Villainpunks, the Dark Lords, Villains, and Monsters who break rules, disobey, and challenge the ideas of what’s permissible and what’s possible. They’re beasts; unruly, unrulable; rogues, cads, ne’er-do-wells, rakehells, vagabonds, pirates, fiends.
And you surely don’t want to be like them.
DAMNIT, IT’S TOO LATE. THE CONTAGION HAS SPREAD, AND YOU ARE INFECTED.
Well, nothing for it, then. Best buy this book and resign yourself to a live of infamy. Pull up a seat at the bar; first round’s on the house.
MONSTERS are we? Oh, good heavenses
This news might spoil our elevenses
I gotta tell you, it ain’t right
To put us off our appetite.
MONSTERS are we? Bloody cheek!
I ain’t done nothin’ bad this week
I’ve ‘alf a mind to cry a river.
But firstly, I shall eat your liver.
A Note On Doggerel
Some of the microfictions within this book come in poetic form; and not just any poetic form. I am a lover and champion of the red-headed stepchild of poemerie: Doggerel.
Doggerel is to, say, a sonnet the way a villainous monologue is to (the original) James Bond: underrated, a guilty pleasure, and much more practical than people would like to admit. You’ll find lots of it in this book. I quite like doggerel; it is, by definition, the least respectable of all the poetic arts, and that’s just one of its many charms.