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About Deviant James FlaxmanMale/Australia Groups :iconthe-d-a-r-k-arts: THE-D-A-R-K-ARTS
Lovecraftian Nightmares
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The Cyclowns by jflaxman The Cyclowns :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 42 4 Easter Smackdown by jflaxman Easter Smackdown :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 67 18 Happy Easter Hotaru by jflaxman Happy Easter Hotaru :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 45 8 Storm Angel by jflaxman Storm Angel :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 149 32 It's Nearly Easter by jflaxman It's Nearly Easter :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 119 15 She's Mine by jflaxman She's Mine :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 129 38 The Chihuahua Slayer by jflaxman
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The Chihuahua Slayer :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 104 34
Throw and Catch by jflaxman Throw and Catch :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 116 14 The Ankylomorph by jflaxman The Ankylomorph :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 118 8 Amnesian Cavalier by jflaxman Amnesian Cavalier :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 111 17 Abandon Pig! by jflaxman Abandon Pig! :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 128 17 Rampage by jflaxman Rampage :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 129 13 Hallow Kitty by jflaxman Hallow Kitty :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 155 11 Mickachu by jflaxman Mickachu :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 217 53 Audible the Porcupine by jflaxman Audible the Porcupine :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 145 60 The Endless Quest by jflaxman The Endless Quest :iconjflaxman:jflaxman 136 25

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mohawk nosferatu by AlMaNeGrA mohawk nosferatu :iconalmanegra:AlMaNeGrA 120 9 Futuristic Cityscape by 2wenty Futuristic Cityscape :icon2wenty:2wenty 221 10 A Final Payment by 2wenty A Final Payment :icon2wenty:2wenty 1,608 60 Pinkie Pie by fristdynamo2 Pinkie Pie :iconfristdynamo2:fristdynamo2 85 15 Ultimate Pony Samurai Battle by curtsibling Ultimate Pony Samurai Battle :iconcurtsibling:curtsibling 220 382 Wub Went Wrong? by curtsibling
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The Cyclowns

Screedrift lay exactly halfway between the towns of Pan and Graben. Few people would have stopped there were it not for Bulgar-Witten’s Broilerhall. This roadside diner was attached to Screedrift’s only gas station, and the Bulgar-Witten family – descended from two feuding clans who finally made peace through marriage – owed its wealth to running both. The Bulgar-Wittens managed finances and paid locals to work as cooks and cashiers. They were always casually employed, which gave them slightly higher wages but little job security. The Bulgar-Wittens had high standards, and workers who fell short of them were dismissed immediately.

Gareth believed he was lucky to have found work in the Broilerhall. He rarely spoke to customers; Pilcher Bulgar-Witten hired young women for this role, perhaps because most of the truckers, bikers, prospectors and adventurers who stopped for fuel and food were male. Gareth worked behind the scenes, unloading pallets of chickens from trucks, storing some in a freezer, thawing others, cutting them up, roasting them in an industrial oven and basting them with sauces that ranged from mild to lung-scalding. His section of the Broilerhall, which few outsiders ever saw, seemed less a habitable workspace than a steaming grotto with stained walls and a perpetually greasy floor. When he was not preparing food he was sweeping, mopping, scrubbing, scouring and scraping dead insects from light fittings, but no matter how hard he worked, every object in the roadhouse retained a thin veneer of chicken fat and an equally distinctive smell.

Unlike some of his fellow workers, Gareth remained in good health by cycling to work every day and never eating anything on offer in the Broilerhall. One day, in the quiet spell between late lunches and early dinners, he was scouring a chip fryer in the loading bay behind the hall when a weary traveller arrived. The newcomer was very old, wore very dusty, timeworn clothes, and pushed an almost prehistoric bike weighed down with tools and camping gear. “I don’t mean to trouble you,” he said, “but my bike’s gotten a flat tyre. Would you mind if I fixed it here?”

“I won’t mind, but my boss will.” Gareth stopped his scrubbing and looked around nervously. “He doesn’t offer things for free.”

“I won’t cause any trouble,” the old man humbly replied. “I just need some time and space. I’m hoping to make Pan by nightfall, and I’ll be on my way much sooner if I can work here in the shade.”

Gareth considered his options. The old man was not asking much, and Pilcher Bulgar-Witten had gone to town to do some banking; Gareth could also safely assume he would stay there for a drink or two. “Alright,” he said, “I’ll let you stay. But please be quick for both our sakes.”

The old man got to work at once. Gareth finished degreasing his chip fryer and carried it back to the kitchen, where a string of unexpected orders kept him busy for a while. When he had finally finished with them he went back outside to check on the stranger. The old man had removed his bike’s front tyre and was busily repairing the remnants of an inner tube that had been patched and re-patched countless times. Gareth felt a twinge of shame. How many times had he cursed flat tyres, searing heat and freezing cold, on his much shorter trips between work and home? He felt a sudden admiration for this tough old wanderer who faced setbacks with such stoicism. With it came an urge to help.

“Don't take this the wrong way,” he said, “but that tube’s seen better days, and you’ve got a long way to go. I’ve got a bike with brand new tubes, and I won’t mind exchanging them if it makes things easier.”

The old man’s eyes brimmed with gratitude. “Easier? It certainly would.”

Gareth went back inside where he kept his own bike and removed the tyre tubes. He was not just thinking of himself; patches took a while to cure and he knew his boss would be back soon. He gave his tubes to the old man, but even as the stranger thanked him, Pilcher Bulgar-Witten’s car pulled in to park behind the hall. Gareth paled as his boss climbed out. “Why aren’t you at work?” he asked.

“I’m sorry. I’m helping a customer,” Gareth hurriedly replied.

Pilcher took a long look at the stranger. “That’s no paying customer. I shouldn’t have to tell you it’s the paying kind that keeps you here! And as for you,” Pilcher told the old man, “I’m not running a charity! Don’t let me catch you here again!”

The old man apologised, but Gareth never saw him go; he was already back in the kitchen, wondering about his kindness and the Bulgar-Wittens' lack of it. Would this trivial issue cost him his job? He took his frustration out on some chickens, cutting them up with more force than finesse, but to his relief Pilcher said nothing more. On seeing Gareth hard at work he retired to his office and shut the door.

When Gareth finished his shift he remembered his bike now had no tyre tubes; but when he wheeled it outside he saw the stranger had stashed the old tubes between a dumpster and a wall. Gareth felt a little better; they might save him a walk home. He pulled them out, and to his surprise, he found they had been wrapped around a mobile phone and a handwritten note. This note read:

“Thank you for your help, young man. Kind acts like yours are all too rare. If you want another job, switch on this phone and make a call.”

Gareth was not too surprised; he’d heard stranger things from stranger sorts in his time at the Broilerhall. The job offer was welcome but he felt no urge to make the call. He got his bike in working order using the old tyre tubes; to his relief the patches held. As he rode home he wondered how far the stranger had come and how far he had left to go. He also wondered why the man had left him the note and phone. Had he really come across as that unhappy with his job – and what was the alternative?

These thoughts stayed with Gareth when he got home. At last he chose to make the call; he felt nothing bad could come of it. He switched on the phone and dialled the only number in its contacts list. As it started ringing he felt a tingling in his hand which shot up his arm and into his head. He had the faintest sensation of falling and after that he knew no more.

Gareth woke up on a patch of bare earth, raised his head and looked around. He saw no sign of his home, his town, or anything he recognised; his world had changed entirely, if indeed it was his world. Before him lay a great expanse of weathered rock and shifting sand; dunes marched towards the far horizon beneath a dark oppressive sky. He raised a hand and recoiled in shock. What had once been flesh and bone had been replaced with something stronger yet more elegant. The body he had known was gone, and from what he could gather his new one was bipedal, vaguely feline, and primarily mechanical. From a human point of view, nothing about it would have called for modesty, yet it was partly swathed in cloth – perhaps to keep dust away from the well-made tools sheathed on its hips. He saw a larger artefact – a hook-backed blade affixed to a pole – lying on the ground beside him. He picked it up and gained his feet. His new body seemed a marked improvement on the old one he had worn, which gave him newfound confidence in this otherwise foreboding world.

His ears picked up an ominous rumble beneath the howling of the wind. It grew louder and he saw its source: two titanic constructs rocked and whirled across the earth, raising plumes of swirling sand. Like him, they seemed mostly mechanical, though their bodies were much cruder affairs – all swash plates, pistons, cranks and gears – and they had hooks instead of hands. Their bone-white faces looked more human, but their blank eyes and fixed smiles showed no signs of intelligence.

Gareth watched the Cyclowns pass. They cared nothing for his presence, if they noticed him at all. He gave a minute’s thought to Screedrift, the old life he had left behind, and the new one that awaited him. He sensed it would hold challenges, but would serve a higher purpose than his working in the Broilerhall; and the laws that governed this new world, be they natural or cultural, could be no more grotesque than the ones he had known. As the rumble of the Cyclowns faded, Gareth chose a random path and with it a new destiny.

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I’d like to have exciting news, but the last few months have been characterised less by highs and lows than contentment. I didn’t draw much over winter and spent too much time on retro games, but I finished a major gardening project and roughed out another novel synopsis. The first was very satisfying in a humble kind of way and should mean less work later on. The second needs a lot more work and raises the usual challenge of finding the right balance between an enjoyable (for me) and publishable story, so I’ve put it aside and gone back to drawing. This year’s also seen an increase in long and detailed backstories, though they’re probably too long for a lot of casual viewers and too short to count as literature.

A very welcome email from my oldest surviving friend gave me a bit of Sydney news and a bit of contemporary culture I’d missed. It was both inspiring and frustrating to see Simon Stalenhag's work, which is thematically similar but technically superior to a lot I’ve posted lately. My thoughts aside, it’s worth a look:www.boredpanda.com/scifi-girl-…  The post-apocalyptic genre’s been explored so thoroughly in books, movies, games and TV series it’s hard to come up with anything new.

I haven't posted much online but in the past month I've been drawing more. Some of it’s comedic trash, like Audible and Mickachu, but there’s better work in store. When I look over this year’s work I see lots of careful detail but a certain lack of energy, which may well be a symptom of being more domesticated! Lately my partner’s been good enough to give me the odd night to myself, and the drawings I’ve done after midnight have been a whole lot more inspired.

Coming back to DA has been just as inspiring, and it’s always a pleasure to hear from old friends and see new work from other artists! I often feel guilty about replying late, or not at all, but I appreciate your time; and I’ve often found the most positive comments are the hardest to reply to. It’s genuinely uplifting to see my uglier creations bring a certain kind of viewer joy!

Hope to have more for you soon,

 

JF

  • Listening to: Sounds of nature
  • Reading: Wool
  • Watching: Docos
  • Playing: Freeware
  • Eating: Mostly plants
  • Drinking: Mostly coffee

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jflaxman's Profile Picture
jflaxman
James Flaxman
Australia
Current Residence: Hobart, Australia
deviantWEAR sizing preference: L
Print preference: Varies
Favourite genre of music: Metal, classical, dark ambient
Favourite photographer: Archival
Favourite style of art: Surreal, imaginative, visionary
Operating System: Crappy old PC
MP3 player of choice: Loud
Shell of choice: Armed and mechanised
Wallpaper of choice: Skin
Skin of choice: Metal
Favourite cartoon character: Too many to name
Personal Quote: "So much work, so little time."
Interests

Comments


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:iconteroporthan:
TeroPorthan Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2018   Digital Artist
Your gallery is out of this world.. literally! Clap :happybounce: Heart 
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:iconjimbowyrick1:
Jimbowyrick1 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Big FVTHNX!!!
Check-out my friends at "Wallace Thornhill and the Thunderbolts Project", on YouTube.
They're challenging scientific orthodoxy in a terrific way!
Also, visit the site of "Citizens Electoral Council" and see how my political friends are fighting against the POME's and for a true Australian Republic! 
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:iconstyrtd:
StyrTD Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2018
You've been doing an impressive job, keep it up!
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:iconmario-felix17:
mario-felix17 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2018
hey can you do spongebob and super mario got all mix up plz
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:iconlunarmoon21:
Lunarmoon21 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
can you draw finn from adventure time with an umbreon can you draw finn from adventure time with an umbreon can you draw finn from adventure time with an umbreon can you draw finn from adventure time with an umbreon can you draw finn from adventure time with an umbreon can you do vib ribbon
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:iconbrodudethagod:
Brodudethagod Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2018
Please make more Warbirds.
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:iconjflaxman:
jflaxman Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2018
Sorry about the late reply. I've been having some major Warbird withdrawals and hope my next pic won't disappoint!
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:iconmisterblackwood:
MisterBlackwood Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2018  Professional General Artist
Hey thanks for faving :)
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:iconjflaxman:
jflaxman Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2018
No worries!
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:iconcrazywulf:
Crazywulf Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
ackkkkk.... you are one stranger person...... keep up the good work....Flapjack - She's Here Icon  
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