So was a tempest loosed upon the city, and its very fabric uprooted from the mud. Whirling and howling, the city was dispersed upon the firmament, coming to rest none knew where. And the mud spawned all manner of noisome pests, squirming and wriggling to escape the gigantic puddles which were left in the wake of the storm. These were not puddles of water, no, nor of any liquid known to the human mind. And then my eyes saw, standing fiery on a wooden plinth ringed by scum-pools, the obscene figure of Winckelmann. In his left hand he brandished aloft a scrap of burning linoleum. His right hand was made into a fist. As, dribbling, I watched, the fist was slowly opened to reveal a….. I cannot say. I do not know. For just at the moment my peering, watery eyes would have seen that… that thing, I was startled by a toad, which leapt up at my face, and thwacked me on the forehead, leaving an imprint which remains there to this day, like a brand.
- A history of “The Book of Gnats”
- Three extracts from “The Book of Gnats”