Wednesday, October 26, 2005

"TERROR COMES IN TWOS" is a very special fast fiction based on work by an artist from Korea. Jisung Bahng's work strips down unexpected moments from fairy tales and then gussies those scenes up with humour, quirkiness and dread.
So take a break from your halloween dress rehearsal at the front door, read this story and enjoy...


Shin-pori Kim arrived in Vancouver in April with the highest of hopes and expectations and tolerance towards alcohol. He was certain that after several months he'd be shooting the breeze and chewing the fat and using all of his newly acquired idioms to communicate with English speakers around a table full of spirits and drinks. Most of all he was looking forward to living with a Canadian family in the most beautiful of environs in North Vancouver, a part of the Lower Mainland that was minutes away from either the culture of the city or the quiet depths of nature.

For the first time in his life, the world was about to become his oyster.

This dream was dispelled in two hours.

The family that he moved in with consisted of a father, a mother and their twin boys, Hans and Lutz. They had only lived in Vancouver for five years and having emigrated from Germany they still retained very thick German accents. Instead of the mellifluous tones of English, Shin-pori struggled to decipher nouns and verbs that came out of their mouths as though coated in slabs of sausage and sauerkraut.

"Vat should ve do tonight ?" his "home-stay" mother inquired, after Shin-pori's bags had been unpacked.

"Maybe we could just shoot the breeze," he politely suggested.

She stared at him blankly with total incomprehension.


She smiled and nodded a hundred agreements.

"Or would you like some traditional Korean alcohol ? Makoli is very sweet !" he looked at his home-stay parents expectantly. Again they stared blankly.

They didn't drink.

All the while the twins watched as Shin-pori tried to make himself understood. They could understand most of what he was saying but they realized that he spoke with an accent. If he spoke with a German accent he would make a better playmate, they decided later that night.

As Shin-pori lay in bed, trying to reconcile his expectations with his new fate, Hans and Lutz made sketches in the next room of a contraption consisting of lip clamps, jaw grip and a tongue hold which would move in accordance with their way of speaking. Once they built the machine and used it on themselves to record the movements of their facial muscles, it would be ready to be tried out on their new playmate. An electric stimulator would be placed on the vocal chords to ensure vocalizations would be made. Late into the night they discussed how they could lure him into the forest and then knock him on the head and place there speaking contraption on him.

And he would speak just like them.

The twins were excited and started this new project with the highest of hopes and expectations and intolerance towards difference.


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