The Exorcism of Craig Wallwork

“What an excellent day for an exorcism.” ­­- The Demon from The Exorcist.

I’m possessed…

Okay, maybe I’m not possessed in the Regan-head-spinning-levitating-off-the-bed-throwing-up-pea-soup type of possession, but there’s something definitely inside me. I haven’t consulted with the clergy yet (a letter has been drafted to the Vatican, but the post office is a good twenty minute drive away and the woman who works there gives me the creeps). Instead, to understand fully whether this foreboding demonic presence is something nefarious, or as innocent as indigestion, I’ve sought advice from those two grammar hounds Merriam and Webster. They state on their website that possession is the domination by something. This “something” could be passion, an idea, or worse case scenario, an evil spirit. So which is it, I hear you ask? Or was that the voice of the demon spirit? Moving on…

Unlike Pazuzu, the forever engorged poster boy for Viagra featured in the 1972 movie, The Exorcist, my demon is more in the guise of doubt. I prefer to remain gender natural when talking about demons or deities, but my demon is definitely a cock, so for that reason I will be referring to it as he/him or simply the bastard. From what I can gather since he took rule over me, said bastard’s particular trait is not to force me into masturbating with a cross (or for that matter, masturbate whilst cross), nor to tell those of the cloth that their mothers have a proclivity for sucking appendages of all shapes and sizes in that oppressive, muggy refuge of the damned and iniquitous (no, I’m not referring to Cancun). Instead, my demon spends most of its time whispering in my ear that I’m foolish for thinking I am anything but a mediocre writer. Actually, I would be lucky if they considered me mediocre. Most of the time they refer to me as sub-standard, inadequate, second-rate, and, this one really hurts, as ineffective as a speechwriter for Trump. Now, unlike Regan, there’s no priest standing under a lamp outside my house waiting to enter and purge this demon with a sprinkle of holy water and a hail Mary (say it with me: Hail Mary!). No, I’m left to fend off this earworm by watching episodes of Schitt’s Creek back to back, and as much as I adore the subtle acting of Eugene Levy’s eyebrows as much as the next caterpillar, I am struggling to anchor to the unfortunate events of the Rose family because I keep drifting back to that bastard demon of doubt. Something has to change, and if William Peter Blatty has taught me anything, it’s that having a little faith goes a long way, and that stairs are particularly fatal if you’re not a drunk or a baby.

What kind of faith am I talking about here? Well, not that spouted by theologians and evangelists the world over. I’m thinking more the faith decreed by that Greek stubble-chinned pop God that is Michael of the George. Yes, I gotta have faith. I need to be driven forward, not held back by doubt. What I need is some time off from that emotion. Hell, I need some time to pick my heart up off the floor. So I’m here to ask for help. Doubt has had tenure over my mind for far too long and the only way to rid it from having social gatherings of more than six in my head is for you to do a couple of simple things…

On September 15th my new book, Labyrinth of the Dolls, drops on Amazon (yes, I used the verb drop like all the cool kids, and believe me, I felt more uncomfortable writing it than you did reading it).  You can do one or two things to maximise my exorcism: the first is to buy the book. I know, another author trying desperately to get readers to hand over cash like some panhandler in the street.  I make no apologies. That’s our thing. Too, that comparison isn’t too far from the truth. Like panhandlers, authors often have a strange smell, write with typos, and extend our hand in the hope someone passing by may be kind enough to tender a coin or two. Think I’m overstretching the analogy? Look at Alan Moore for Christ sake! Second, if you don’t want to buy the book then help spread the word. Social media, for all its evils, is a great platform to help promote indie writers.  Sure, it’s also a platform for Trump to start World War III, and Taylor Swift to tell us what salad she’s eating today, both of which unnerve me equally. But you can make a difference by throwing out a link to the book (see below). Better yet, review the book! And by jolly, reviews are the holy water in this poorly constructed metaphor. Oh yes, to see that people are reading your book and actually have nice things to say (I get it’s offset sometimes by the bad things, but I have a long and very extensive shit list that I’m adding names to daily that helps quell any frustrations) is like sipping at ambrosia. It cures. It heals. It makes writers want to write. That, I believe ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is the only way to stamp out that bastard demon called doubt that inhabits my head and soul. So, to paraphrase the immortal words of that Greek God once more: Go put the boom-boom into my heart. But please, just don’t leave me hanging on like a yo-yo. 

Stay safe, and best wishes. Craig 



Published by craigwallwork

Craig Wallwork is the author of the novels, Bad People, Labyrinth of the Dolls, The Sound of Loneliness, To Die Upon a Kiss, and the short story collections, Quintessence of Dust, and Gory Hole. His short stories have been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and feature in many anthologies and magazines both in the U.K. and U.S. He currently lives in West Yorkshire.

2 thoughts on “The Exorcism of Craig Wallwork

  1. Written with that classic Wallwork blend of wit and heart! Loved it! And trust me, your work is definitely worth reading, celebrating, and sharing. Keep it up!


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