Éric Poindron’s Étrange (*) Questionnaire. Discovered at the Weird Fiction Review.
(*) Bizarre, extraordinary, singular, surprising. Le Robert Dictionary
1 – Write the first sentence of a novel, short story, or book of the weird yet to be written.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Dark Lord in posession of a plot to destroy the world must be in want of a minion.
2 – Without looking at your watch: what time is it?
3 – Look at your watch. What time is it?
4 – How do you explain this — or these — discrepancy(ies) in time?
My time keeping device indicates the time via the screams of a minion, and he was a bit hoarse today.
5 – Do you believe in meteorological predictions?
Why would my weather minion lie to me, knowing, as it does, the unfortunate consequences?
6 – Do you believe in astrological predictions?
Piffling one! No aspirant may claim the title of Dark Lord without full powers of precognition and ambulatory divination.
7 – Do you gaze at the sky and stars by night?
The all seeing eye does not gaze. Glowers perhaps. Or probes. Yes, probes.
8 – What do you think of the sky and stars by night?
I am the Dark Lord of all I survey.
9 – What were you looking at before starting this questionnaire?
The dark heart of mankind.
10 – What do cathedrals, churches, mosques, shrines, synagogues, and other religious monuments inspire in you?
Only that it can be informative to study the techniques of ones forebears.
11 – What would you have “seen” if you’d been blind?
What would you have “seen” if ‘you had’ been blind. Pedantry is the pleasure of all Dark Lords.
12 – What would you want to see if you were blind?
Your mortal concept of sight means nothing to the awakened ones.
13 – Are you afraid?
*ahem* OK. A little bit. Just between us.
14 – What of?
Sometimes, when I awake from my eternal slumber, I worry that I won’t destroy the world. It’s a stupid fear I know, but it vexes me. What if I’m not evil enough? What if actually I’m quite nice, and might just be happier with a quiet job in a museum and a nice little house somewhere? Ridiculous of course. My destiny is a subject of prophecy. I can’t choose a quiet life, even if I wanted to. Not that I want to. At all.
15 – What is the last weird film you’ve seen?
After a particularly long day of dominating the mortal plane of existence I will, on occaision, instruct some among my minions to perform a popular entertainment of the day. You have not experienced culture until you have seen Avatar interpreted by terrified and highly trained minions. In 4D.
16 – Whom are you afraid of?
Paxo. Even Dark Lord’s fear a Newsnight grilling.
17 – Have you ever been lost?
I did once spend a frustrating afternoon in a service station McDonald’s near junction 8 of the M6, watching rain stream down the plate glass windows, receiving ever more apologetic text from a soon to be kept in agonising torment for eternity driver minion.
18 – Do you believe in ghosts?
Well, I am keeping you suspended between realms in order that we may continue this discussion.
19 – What is a ghost?
Describe your current circumstance.
20 – At this very moment, what sound(s) can you here, apart from the computer?
The weeping of minions.
21 – What is the most terrifying sound you’ve ever heard – for example, “the night was like the cry of a wolf”?
22 – Have you done something weird today or in the last few days?
23 – Have you ever been to confession?
What full blooded Dark Lord has not been tempted to employ the services of a Man of the Light? But it’s not something we talk about at the dinner table.
24 – You’re at confession, so confess the unspeakable.
‘Damn me father, for I have done good! I have fed and homed a number of kittens, and allowed my minions moments of peace and freedom!”
25 –Without cheating: what is a “cabinet of curiosities”?
Why would I not cheat?
26 –Do you believe in redemption?
27 – Have you dreamed tonight?
Only of power.
28 – Do you remember your dreams?
No. I make them real.
29 – What was your last dream?
Destroying the world. Then I woke up and destroyed the world.
30 – What does fog make you think of?
31 – Do you believe in animals that don’t exist?
I must be careful what I believe in, as it will automatically come to pass.
32 – What do you see on the walls of the room where you are?
Let’s just say it involves numerous minions in various states of discomfort.
33 – If you became a magician, what would be the first thing you’d do?
Reverse Paul Daniel’s and Debbie McGee’s costumes.
34 – What is a madman?
Someone who believes in an objective reality that does not conform to their every whim.
35 – Are you mad?
I bend reality to conform to my every whim.
36 – Do you believe in the existence of secret societies?
They make an excellent entree.
37 – What was the last weird book you read?
Every now and again a writer or two dedicates their being to my service as a minion. They amuse me with the contents of their puny mortal minds which I have them labour for year upon year to record in words. At least, watching the manuscripts burn is amusing. I would never read one. How funny! Reading the hopes and dreams of a minion. Ha!
38 – Would you like to live in a castle?
Funny you should say that…
39 – Have you seen something weird today?
40 – What is the weirdest film you’ve ever seen?
Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker. Creepy or what?!
41 – Would you like to live in an abandoned train station?
I…have never considered the issue.
42 – Can you see the future?
I can see your future.
43 – Have you considered living abroad?
If by abroad you mean in parallel tiers of reality, then, no.
44 – Where?
The problem with pan dimensional travel is that wherever you go you find British people. I mean honestly, if you make it to the eighth tier of transcendence do you really need a traditional english breakfast and a pint of lager? Apparent you do if you’re from Essex.
45 – Why?
oh all right then. I’ve always quite fancied a backpacking trip to Valhalla. Satisfied?
46 – What is the weirdest film you’ve ever owned?
Ah ha! I am indirectly responsible for the Transformers movie franchise and Pearl Harbour, following the transfer of Michael Bay’s soul to my possession. ouch! stopping kicking me!
47 – Would you liked to have lived in a vicarage?
I had much more fun living in a vicar.
48 – What is the weirdest book you’ve ever read?
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. A post-modernist satire on the absurd impossibility of writing an epic fantasy in the 21st century, surely?
49 – Which do you like better, globes or hourglasses?
Globes of course, to better peruse my possession. And hour glasses make me nervous. Like I’m always late for something.
50 – Which do you like better, antique magnifying glasses or bladed weapons?
Ah ha! The former, because they allow me to better see the impact of the later.
51 – What, in all likelihood, lies in the depths of Loch Ness?
You do not wish to know, I assure you.
52 – Do you like taxidermied animals?
heh heh heh heh…that made me think of something I did with a few minions last week. *snort*
53 – Do you like walking in the rain?
That…oh my…my memories are flooded with the aroma of fresh cut grass after a thunder storm in late summer. Walking across the open fields of an idyllic countryside hand in hand with a young maiden who loved me with all her heart as droplets of moisture tumbled from the sky on to her beautiful, upturned face. Then sacrificing her. So, yes.
54 – What goes on in tunnels?
You…don’t really want to ask me that, do you?
55 – What do you look at when you look away from this questionnaire?
My favourite minion Tony. He seems…agitated.
56 – What does this famous line inspire in you: “And when he had crossed the bridge, the phantoms came to meet him.”?
57 – Without cheating: where is that famous line from?
I do not appreciate your attempt to outwit me, for which you will suffer in agony for eternity.
58 – Do you like walking in graveyards or the woods by night?
See question 53. Replace maiden with gentleman.
58 – Write the last line of a novel, short story, or book of the weird yet to be written.
He loved Dark Lord. (Inspired by Orwell)
59 – Without looking at your watch: what time is it?
60 – Look at your watch. What time is it?