Brigadier Robert D’Alby

A sweaty tale of irresistible desire within remote salty environs.

Brigadier Robert D’Alby of those immaculate Glorious Roscommon’s was a fine figure of a man. As a Sandhurst officer cadet, it was crystal clear D’Alby was hewn from exactly the right stuff- possessing athleticism, but devoid of narcissism; employing a military style of life, minus that all-too-familiar ‘boot-polish-up-the-kilt’ mentality. Unerring devotion to discipline & Spartan indifference to discomfort made D’Alby a splendid soldier. Additionally, over time D’Alby’s ability to remain aloof- distanced from subordinates, enabled access to genuinely private thoughts, beyond the appreciation of his rough & ready, non-commissioned comrades. In fact, even fellow officers bored D’Alby: their drunken parties, latent homosexuality, imbecilic gambling, & tunnel vision, interdicted any possible camaraderie. Yet above all, he abhorred their collective disregard of cubic art. Still, such wilful blindness didn’t detract D’Alby from admiring their old-fashioned strength of character; nor could crude behavioural patterns, disseminated amongst Blighty’s natural ruling-class, annul an esteem in which he held his creed, & an intrinsic nationalistic existentialism, pursued by élite English gentlemen.

Since his retirement, & subsequent initiation into an ancient guild of mariners, D’Alby had taken up a reclusive commitment as a private lighthouse keeper. As a proud wickie, he kept Bishop Rock Lighthouse shining bright- & spotlessly clean. During his spare time, he manufactured basic cotton rugs, model ships- frequently embattled within bottles- & sundry, craftily reactionary objets d’art. It was a lonely, challenging life- dutiful service made as comfortable as possible by central heating, frozen crabsticks, & Cornish regional television. In the fullness of time, Robert quietly observed how natural power, emitted from the bowels of Mother Earth, reigned supreme- that is, put simply- the everyman, a sentient nonentity, merely floated upon her ethereal waves. Yet one who could curry Poseidon’s favour was blesséd indeed. So, weather permitting, Robbie irregularly attended a local mariner’s guild, where a gracious, & most proper art of ingratiation, was taught to select scholars in confidence. There one could secretly manipulate mystical gifts, according to one’s breeding, wisdom, & talent; ancillary occult factors being two tools of divine provocation, both of which were empowered with prodigious energies, enabling a righteous seeker to beseech, & be adorned with, charmed privileges afforded to an orthodox craftsman. These were: one pukka velvet wishing cap (immaculately derived from the original recipe of Fortunatus), & one pair of elegant lorgnettes, proffering unlimited all-sightedness.

Now, amusing as this esoteric bourgeois scenario might seem, it was lamentably not entirely satisfying. Hence predictably, increasingly influenced by the compelling literature of Aleister Crowley, Roberto sat forlornly under his pointy pink cupola, staring disconsolately through magical retinas at his unemployed purple Hampton. Hallucinatory masturbation wasn’t working- hard-core, no-nonsense skulduggery was called for. So, one day this abstemious xenophobe- inasmuch as his wasp’s waist seldom played host to dodgy foreign foods- clipped a magnificent monkey wrench moustache, smeared petroleum jelly liberally around his unloved ring hole, & purposefully penned a charmingly succinct advertisement, to be tastefully displayed in the Lonely-Hearts section of City Limits magazine ref: pubescent wantonness; which he dispatched post-haste, by means of a supplies boat, which fortnightly brought him his baked beans, marinated in orange tomato sauce.

Pagan Erotica in a Lighthouse? Proletarian Teenagers! Call D’Alby now!

‘Yes, yes. London. Now there’s a filthy city full of perverted deviants.’ He thought fiendishly. Inconspicuously revelling in sexual imagery, still on the surface, Robbie’s attitude publicly conveyed a cultivated character, & simultaneously an impression of an esquire who coveted beauty & classical repose- but instinctively, he required a fist fuck too. Processing contradictory hormonal & religious pressures resulted in guilt, & his superego took umbrage, scolding the little id beast for its impure thoughts ‘just lay back & think of England!’

D’Alby undressed in front of a full-length French brass Cheval mirror, increasingly perturbed, & critically reviewing his aging reflection- an inner resentment grew darker. Most shocking was his nauseating, surly features, which appeared outlandishly ugly, quite bizarrely misshapen, & obnoxious in every detail. Each flaccid aspect called for slashing, & expert mutilation. A self-defacing element imbued Robbie’s mind. ‘Oh, for a Black-&-Decker Workmate!’ Bobby hated it. This damned chimera was no longer he; rather a mocking curse. 

Whilst hailstones crashed against toughened glass surrounding him, D’Alby laughed uproariously loud as he smeared arterial blood over his scarred nakedness. He sliced his nipples off & super glued them to his knees. Plus, he took a cheese grater to the ship’s ginger tomcat, while ejaculating over some lucid adolescent memory. Relaxing later, he reflected upon infamous initiation ceremonies he’d witnessed agog. Stan Crabbs for example: that plausible cephalopod became unstuck, his ovoidal working-class body falling prostrate between scary cloven hooves- where he was instantly plagued by ankylosis, & force-fed slough from a million damned excrescences, whilst his raw sphincter was hurriedly invaded by a vile swarm of chattering animalcules- besieging his cerebrum, & infesting his imagination with an obscure form of regimental Catholicism. Cruelly enough, metemsomatosis irretrievably undermined Crabbs’ innate processes of perception, rendering his substitute frenetic, barren, snarling, & regardent. Why he had to suffer so, fuck only knows. 

‘And then us fishermen, aristocratic seafarers & the like all steamed the fat cunt & put his eyes out. He can’t see anything now.’

Following a dour two-fold month of auto-erotic overload, resulting in the first instance of little more than a sore willy, while through the second, only sensations of dizziness, nausea, acute futility, & having received absolutely no replies whatsoever, Bob nonchalantly applied his Fastskin Elites, before suddenly, yet decisively, jumping overboard in his best Speedos, determined to swim ashore, & hard ride Shanks’s pony to London immediately- in full Picaresque personage, to get into some heavy-duty cottaging. He wondered what the precious all-seeing eye would make of that. Beat off an all-penetrating stethoscope perhaps, or tickle its ever-swollen vulva?  

‘Because whatever it is, & wherever it’s coming from, one needs a jolly good going over now & again, just to maintain one’s sanity. Seen?’

Art by Stevo

Story by Evan Findlay Hay

Brigadier Robert D’Alby and the illustration by Stevo first appeared in Dig Magazine — long ago and in a lost world.

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