Tales of the Asp: Introduction, by Liz Kane

The Asp is a difficult individual to introduce. He is charming and appalling. He is caring and malevolent. He will go out of his way to help, only to watch with glee the destruction caused by his assistance.

When I first found an 'Asp Story' on the Usent newsgroup alt.basement.graveyard I was both appalled and fascinated by the story of a twisted individual. The story centered around the individual placing live animals and AA batteries into a buffet table's overflowing trays of food. The title was 'Feeding the Poor'. Ever since then I've been hooked, and I hunt them out with morbid enthusiasm.

What makes the Asp short stories fascinating may be the fact that the main character actually cares for his victims, and within his rotting, short-circuited brain he actually believes he is working towards improving their lives. He acts in their better interest. And if they happen to... well... not survive his love and attention, he is fulfilled with the knowledge that they received benefit from his help before leaving this plane.

But his love is short-lived. The Asp bores easily, becomes distracted and will move on to someone more "deserving" of his attention. But not before leaving a token of his annoyance -- a sample of his bodily fluid, a dead pet, broken glass strewn on the driveway.

The Asp is rich, but dresses poorly. He's an inventor and a destroyer. And he cares about you. Pray you don't need his help. Ever.

Told from the perspective of the Woodear character, Aidan's tales of the Asp posess -- as do all his short stories -- a dark quality that I applaud. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Liz Kane
March, 1998

Tales of the Asp
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Swagazine Special Number One
Copyright 1998, All Rights Reserved.