FIFTY SHADES OF GREY BY E.L. JAMES

I am scared. Something, something…significant has happened. I’m writing this from my bedroom, only it’s not my bedroom, it is…different. The door is locked and barricaded, from the outside; the window has, ah, disappeared. There was a window once, of that I am sure. My bed too is not where it was. Where is it? I don’t know. Maybe he knows. Yes. My possessions…they were all here yesterday. Now: nothing. No. Not nothing, there is something. There is him. Ah, yes, he is here, even though I cannot see him. And then there is the snow. I don’t know how, but it is snowing in here. Yes. And it is starting to settle, like a thin gip of vomit on the surface of toilet water. Yesterday. No. Go back. Two days ago. Yes. Two days ago I was at work. Ah, that’s right, I was at work tidying up my desk when I happened upon a series of small drawings. A series: four. All clearly named by the, uh, artist, if you want to call him that. Or her. More likely a he, I think, rather than a she. I’m cold; it’s cold in here. The snow is slowly filling up the room, like an egg timer. I am trapped in a giant egg timer, his egg timer. This is his work, of that I am sure. I must continue. Four drawings. All original. By which I mean that they were…are…drawings of things that I had…have…never seen before. Magical creatures: four. In terms of quality, or skill, the little drawings are…were…basic…rudimentary, but display…displayed…some kind of, ah, charm…some ability. Ability. Yes. By which I mean that the things looked like actual things. Magical things. Yes. Things not of this world. Yes, yes. Of the four, uh, drawings…or illustrations…yes…of the four one stood out, like an extravagantly swollen and vibrantly red tumour. The title or the name of this, yes, this character is…was…is Penis Body Gremlin.

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You may laugh. I can imagine you laughing. Or smirking. Yes. I laughed. I couldn’t stop. No. Long after it had stopped being funny…I still laughed. Helplessly. Sadly. Now. Still laughing, somewhat. Even though I don’t want to. No. I locked the drawings away in my desk for safe keeping. A premonition, maybe. No. For sharing, with my colleagues. I picked up my things, my work things, my coat. I was leaving, it was time to leave. I left…the building. I walked home. Pace: brisk. At my front door, the door to my flat. No. At the security door, the ground-floor door to the apartment complex. I check my pockets and I discover…I realise…that I have left my keys…at work. A disaster. Ah. No. Not a disaster, but a disappointment…an irritation. I have to go back. Laughing, despite myself. Not wanting to laugh. But thinking: Penis Body Gremlin. Yes. This is the work of P.B. Gremlin. Ha. Silliness. The next day, by which I mean yesterday, I felt as though, uh, something…yes…some thing was watching me. Is watching me. Now. Still. That thing was…is…directing events…me. First: I sleep through my alarm. Yesterday, I did. I’m late for work. Very. Ah. And then I fall over, on my way to work. I trip…am tripped…by some thing. Graze my knee. At work: my tongue, thick…I cannot speak…cannot…communicate. Are you ok? They ask me. Many times. I knock things over. Clumsy. Ah. Sleepy, too. I have been poisoned by…Are you ok? I sit on the desk, like a flirtatious secretary. And I won’t move…cannot…no. You’re not ok. No. I am sent home. Early. I can’t helping…help thinking, I mean…about…him. About: Penis Body Gremlin. Yes. It is…him. I know it. I can feel him…around me…inside me, almost. Ah. At home: I lock the door. Hide. In my room. What can I do? Madness, ah. Yes. This is madness. This is what madness feels like. Ah, so be it. There is some comfort in that. At least. No. In my room…yesterday. I sleep. I fall, plummet, into a deep sleep. The world disappears. This is how it works: sleep. Sometimes your reality is replaced by, ah, another reality: a dream. I dream of…it’s not a dream. But, yes, him, it is him. I dream of P.B. Yes. Penis Body Gremlin. And he speaks, to me. He calls me boy. Of course. He says: I was there. Always. I have always been there, before time. I will be here, after time. I want to ask, yes: who? He senses this, my thought. I was there when the first man scrawled the first cock on the wall of his cave; I was there in every toilet in every bar and pub in the world when on those walls too were scribbled and scrawled words and pictures in my honour; I was there when Jackie Collins put her glossy fingernail to the typewriter key; I was there when Lil Jon sang ‘to the window, to the wall, till the sweat drops down my balls;’ oh, yes, I was there in the mouth of Lenny Bruce, in the brain of Rabelais. I am the Prince of pricks! the Commander of cunts! I am P.B. Gremlin, the Genii of the dirty lamp! Rub that lamp, boy; oh rub that lamp, my boy! I want to ask: why? Why me, why now? My greatest achievement, boy, my finest puppet is E.L. James. Those books! Oh, the fun I have had! Millions of people sniffing at my odiferous turds! But, the momentum is starting to flag, the cocks starting to flop, the vaginas drying up. Oh, the arid vaginas! Look at Goodreads; the top rated review: over thirteen thousand ‘likes’ and only one star! This won’t do. I charge you, my boy, the greatest amateur internet reviewer, to write a review, a review to end all reviews! I want to clarify: you’re asking me to write a review of 50 Shades of Grey? I want you to write a review of 50 Shades of Grey, boy! I want you to laud it, laud the book like the light that first shone on the world! I want to ask: even though I have never read it? Not one word? I believe in you, boy! You don’t need to read it; in fact I advise you, just between you and I, not to read it! Go on Amazon, use the ‘Look Inside’ feature; you’ll find all you need there! But a review, boy, a review of the highest order, a persuasive, gushing, but well-written and intelligent review! That’s the ticket, boy. Oh, what a ticket! The entire world: perverted by my message! Dancing with me: Penis Body Gremlin! No one will have ordinary sexual relations ever again! Sex defined by fear and manipulation, oh yes, we will convince the whole world that this is enticing, that this is exciting! I want to ask: what if I refuse? You won’t refuse, boy. I have you in my grubby paw now! You are infected! He…disappears. I, ah, I wake up. Yes. Today, that is. A dream? Perhaps. No. It was not a dream, because I am here. In my…room. And I can’t leave…and…the window…and…the snow. The voice: his. I can hear it, resounding. In my head. Everywhere. It tells me: your time is running out. You must write the review. Oh, that’s the ticket! The review to end all reviews! And I know that I have 24 hours, to, ah, write…the review. So. Here I am. Facing…the computer. My fingers: working. Fingers…frozen and, uh, wet. My body temperature…decreasing. Desperation: increasing. Yes. I can’t do it. I will fail. But I must write…something. This. And as you read it. You will hear: a sound. The sound of laughing. Mine. And, yes, his. And if you read the book…What sound, then? That, that sound, will be the sound of Emily Pankhurst spinning, madly, in her grave.

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