Legend of the Swamp Fat Jangles, Written by Matilda Cassey (The Plophet)
Legend has it, a nameless muddy water swamp gave birth to the Swamp Fat Jangles, it flows east of the hills and is inhabited by mystical one-eyed swamp mutants. The swamp mothered the jangles with such tender devotion, her heart pains to watch them grow more curious of the land beyond her banks. If you swam down to her deepest darkest depths you’d feel the pressure of her pulse expand the ripples of water above.
Nuet inherited many of the swamps enchanting characteristics. Her eyes were as wide as a snails, crawling over an acid mushroom. They shone in the dark with a peculiar luminescent glare, the same you’d see on a fox, photographed in a dark distant field. She blinked voluntarily as though closing a curtain. No one could be certain with Nuet, you might find yourself talking to a swaying shrub, thinking it was her, or talking to her, when you thought no one else was around.
Joet plodded through sludge, gathering earthworms for the jangles and bartering cricket legs for toads which were a popular aphrodisiac among the swamp mutants. Joet, desensitised to the toads lethal poison, frequently held one by its hind legs up to her mouth, and with one lick, transcended into a phantom state of euphoria where the more sinister and unnerving nature of the swamp vanished into an illuminated spectrum of colours unknown to the inky black swamp.
Lathered in the swamps thick mud and mutant mucus, Hollie was an unmistakable product of the swamp. Sucking sap from tree branches, bursting gloop bubbles, peeling the toughened skin off her callouses and incessantly scratching her hair for swamp critters. She embodied the swamps deviancy through her own undomesticated behaviour. When plucked or caught jumping mid air she grounded her hair critters into a flavourful spice to grind over her cricket legs.
Around the darker corners of the swamp, Jack held up jars to trap the sound of blood-curdling screams from depraved and ravenous swamp mutants resorting to petty crime or prostitution. He developed other sounds, experimenting with undesired swamp material- a fly-bitten wobygon foot, an overused gullet from a paunchy horn-beast or the undigested spinal cord from a foul born mutant, tied to the spineless stem of the same gobbler plant that suckled it down.
When together with their instruments the Swamp Fat Jangles performances provided an opiate for the swamp. Their music carried in a wind that passed through the entire swamp and never reached civilisation… till now.
Drawings by Roy Smith
‘Wrath of the Swamp Squid, A Lament to thee’
There is an age long lost and forgotten, separate to the history of man, where the art of sorcery and magic was rife and brilliant. During a heated dispute a young master was cursed to an immortal life. Having lived well beyond the long existence of his kind, wrinkles had formed like mountains over his forehead and drooped like
canyons beneath his chin. His hair, a mass of thick long dreads followed beyond sight behind him. Forever searching for a place to rest his soul (ostracised by the threat of man) he submerged himself deep into the solitude of the swamps still waters.
Still unable to die, it was during this time his metamorphosis into the Swamp Squid begun. Dreads from his hair slithered out of the water like snakes and wrapped themselves around the trunk of trees, snapping them in two. There were reports of the moon blinking over the rim of the water, ‘eyes the size of dinner plates’ as the common saying went amongst the nearby inhabitants.
As time passed the mystical forces ebbing from the squid manifested into every slug and slime, moss and frost. Like the couch that wreaks the stench of its owner’s old age and loneliness. This contamination resulting in an aftermath of Swamp mutants, the Swamp Fat Jangles themselves and other swamp phenomena too dangerous to discuss.
Since the Swamp Fat Jangles began their music, the swamp had never felt more calm and untroubled. Pungent breaths of smoke were seen exhaled from the water and rolled up onto the banks as a weed scented fog. Unfortunately, since their recent absences to play their songs to the city, stories had been whispered into the wind pleading for their return. Piecing together the swamp mutants’ absurd accounts of tree roots growing metres over night, as they could feel the ground splitting beneath them, the Jangles could finally confirm it was the Swamp Squid, wide awake and wrathful, flailing its tentacles about and dragging in anything that moved within its reach.
Rushing back, the Jangles ventured through the disarray into the heart of the swamp to talk with the Swamp Squid. Not much can be said for their conversation as words were not spoken and only the sacred powers of the swamp allowed them to communicate. By the end, and with great difficulty, the Jangles managed to console the Swamp Squid and agreed upon his wishes for them to record an album, which, in their absence would sooth and repair his broken heart.
On their departure, the Jangles looked over their shoulders and saw the swamp water rise as the Squid wept heavily within.