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Hungary

What is it? After spending moments doing online research, it turns out Hungary is a country, or nation, in Central Europe. The Kingdom of Hungary came about as a Christian monarchy in the year 1000, and we can pretty much thank those guys for protecting European Catholicism from the invading Turks during the 15 th Century. We might all be speaking Turkey language and going to Turkey church and wearing those famous red Turkey hats were it not for those brave Hungarians. Some of you probably know that eventually Hungary teamed up with Austria and became an empire, which was all the rage in the 19 th Century. Austria-Hungary is where Hitler was born. It is also where Zsa Zsa Gabor was born. People will not soon forgive Austria-Hungary for existing. Then a popular young aristocrat from that already questionable empire was shot and killed, starting a world-wide war. What a bad decision that was, but within a few years, Austria-Hungary decided not to exist anymore, and Hungary was once again an independent nation, albeit it had lost Romanian and Yugoslavian weight in the process. There was a bit of skullduggery again during WWII when the Hungarians joined the Axis to try to keep out an infestation of burrowing communists that had been plaguing them for the interwar decades. This gave Hungary the rare distinction of being one of only eleven countries (or ten if you count The German Empire and Nazi Germany as the same country) that the United States actually bothered to declare war against. This was a very proud moment for everyone involved and led to great things, like economic ruin and genocide and relocation of ethnic groups, and totally held the door open for those pesky Soviets to finally launch Hungary as one of their most successful satellites since Sputnik.

But what’s interesting is that Hungary’s recipe for Goulash Communism was one of the most liberalized, allowing the culture of the country to get really weird, instead of repressing the shit out of its people. In the 60s and 70s the country did well and even produced some brilliant experimental art and music. It wasn’t until economic disaster once again hit in the 80s that people really started to worry that once again, Hungary would undergo a massive makeover. (More on this after the commercial break.) From the days of the Magyars to the days of János Áder and their new national mascot, Gary the Hungry Hun, there has always been a Hungary. There will always be a Hungary. And this issue contains just a few of the reasons why the Anglosphere should be paying more attention to what’s going on in this good old nation.

a few of the reasons why the Anglosphere should be paying more attention to what ’s

Hair Follicle-Satan Zoltán Komor

I have to call in sick to work when I wake up and find myself possessed by the devil.

My head spins around 360 degrees and I vomit yellow gunk on the wall. Later I chant in

a long-forgotten ancient language in front of the mirror while I’m trying to shave, and

when I stick a cross up my ass, whimpering "Fuck me Jesus! Fuck me Jesus!" I think:

great, seems like I caught it too.

At the workplace everyone's already fighting Beelzebub, and according to last night's

news, area hospitals have imposed visiting restrictions because of the demonic flu. So

I'm sipping hot Camilla tea, I lie in the bed, rubbing eucalyptus oil on my chest, and only

call a doctor when strange texts begin to appear on my skin, covering my upper body.

But instead of unholy obscenitieslike you would expect with a regular Satan-

infectionamazing facts from the internet appear on my body. Like "We don't sneeze

while sleeping, but we do it a lot after sex: ten amazing facts about sneezing" or

"Newborns cannot produce any tears: ten amazing facts about babies."

"Strange, maybe, but there's nothing too wondrous about it, viruses keep mutating

all the time!" the doctor calms me. "The Antichrist wants your attention, and he knows

that nowadays obscure prophecies about the end of the world won't get him anywhere.

So he's learning some new tricks. A few years ago, he was experimenting with spam

about erection problems, but even less people cared about those than his apocalyptic

mumbo-jumbo. Since then, he sometimes leaves twitter messages and hashtags on the

demon-possessed patients’ skin. There was a man here a few days ago who had a whole

YouTube video embedded in his chest. It was a real ugly sight. We could only remove it surgically. And one of my dermatologist friends could tell you horror stories about the pop-up ads around the pubic area. Seems like in your case he is trying with list articles."

"Andand what can I do?" I ask, looking down at my left arm where words

appearthe pigment-pixels swim to the skin surface like tiny jellyfish in the sea: Your

chances of being killed by a vending machine are actually twice as great as your chance of being bitten by a shark. "Well, whatever you do, stop reading them! Remember, Satan wants your attention. If a sign-up button or a register link shows up on your chest, in most cases around the nipples, you must ignore it! Signing up leads to instant damnation, and even the antibiotics can't save you then. But look, I'll write you a prescription." "Pills? I thought you'd recommend exorcism." The doc begins to laugh, his glasses almost fall down from his fat nose. "Oh, come on. We don't live in the dark middle ages anymore! Modern healthcare can handle Satan. I'm just going to write you a prescription. This pill is the real deal when it comes to devil-infection. It mainly contains holy water extraction resolved in gelatin, with the active ingredients of the Holy Trinity." "Unbelievable!" I whisper, and the doc shrugs his shoulders. "Since the pharmaceutical industry has connected with theology, a brand new world of possibilities has opened for us," he mutters. "Would you believe that the Antichrist himself is the most effective birth control ever?" "You're writing prescriptions for the Antichrist?" "Oh, you have no idea how many teenaged girls come to my office begging me for the Dark Lord. The unproductive hate of the satanic active ingredient prevents the ripening

of the ovum in the ovaries. Of course, there are some side effects as always, some pentagram shaped bloodstains on the menstrual pad, and stuff like that, but all in all it doesn't do much damage to the hormone levels of the body. Counter to Pope Boniface II birth control pill we used to prescribe before, which they only sell now as a laxative." I hit the drugstore with my prescription. A pharmacist holding a box of nicotine patches yells: "This is the body of Christ, this is the body of Christ!" The line before

the cash register is like a giant, cursed snakeand everybody has the Satan

infectionsome of the customers are crawling upside down on their arms.

"Your mother sucks cocks in hell!" a man says, greeting an old woman. "Shove it up your ass, you faggot!" she says back with a smile, then her head begins to spill. Fuck, I'm not gonna wait for the line, I tell myself. I wanna get home and into my warm, warm bed. So I back out and leave the store, crumpling the prescription back into my pocket. Finally at home, I'm trying to ignore the dark sign that appears on my belly: Did you know? Cleopatra lived closer in time to the building of the first McDonald's than to the building of the Sphynx and the Pyramids: ten facts that will change your idea of time.

Well, I didn't know that. But it looks like Satan is rightaccording to Wikipedia:

Cleopatra was born in 69 BC. The building of the first McDonald's was in 1955. The Pyramids of Giza has built between 2589 and 2504 BC. Oh shit, why hadn't I waited in line at the drugstore? Without that holy water pill thing in my system I'm definitely

fuckedI need a priest or something to bless my Camilla tea.

There are 10 times more bacteria in your body than actual body cells (my body tells me). So I'm really only ten percent of me? Ten facts you definitely didn't know about

Paris

facts about the ten top facts. Top ten facts that you never knew about

everything. Soon I find myself standing in front of the mirror every ten minutes, waiting for a new interesting fact from Satan to pop out on my tired skin. Did you know? An average person’s yearly fast food intake will contain 12 pubic hairs. 95% of people text things they could never say in person. A small child could swim through the veins of a blue whale. Goddammit, I didn't know that. Now even a sign-up button appears over my right nipple. But I resist. For a while. But then a new fact turns up: has anyone ever told you there are bugs living in your eyelashes? Well, it's true. Ten bizarre facts about your body!

no way. Bugs? On my eyelashes? You're fucking kidding me, Satan.

I wash my face every day and the shower gel and the soap I use blinds me every time

it surely kills bugs. I take a lot of hot showers. Even baths. What stupid bug survives

I touch the sign over my right nipple. Now a pigment stained pop-up window

that? I

appears, that requires only my name and e-mail address. I look around, then grab a pen, and fill out the form on my skin. And finally the article opens. And right before the red flames engulf my eternal soul, right before my hopes and dreams fall into the ashtray of Hell and turn into gray mud, I have some time to look through the text, which informs me that tiny eight-legged mites are living in the hair follicles of the eyelashes and the eyebrows, eating dead skin. Holy fuck, did you know that?

Ten interesting facts about beluga whales

Ten fun facts about teeth and ten

fucking

No way. I mean

*

Well, I have a fact that you probably didn't know. Hell is nothing like people imagine

it. Okay, well, maybe a little. It is hot, it is moist and it’s really distastefulso partly it

would fit your expectations, but there are no flames and not even one proper instrument of torture lies around, except an old leather whip. Here we just eat and gobble all day, guzzling the greasy and pale puree of dead skin cells, while Lucifer yells and beats our round backs with that stupid whip. There's not a minute when I'm not wondering about what I did wrong to end up here, in this ugly hair follicle, but then I remind myself: yeah, yeah, of course, I clicked on a stupid article. "Eat!" the Lord of Darkness now growls at me, and I drop my face back into the smelly cream of wheat. If only I had a middle finger, I could just tell Satan to go to Hell,

but in fact, I have eight legs, and not even one fingerthey all end in claws. Sometimes

I wonder whose eyelashes we are living in, and if that person has a damn clue that his or her eyes are really the gate of Hell. "It doesn't matter whose eyelashes we're living in," one of my old-timer mite-fellows tells me, while his long, wormlike body swells and swells from the fat pottage, which exactly smells like unwashed hair. Here’s another fact for you: we mites don't have anuses. Inside of us live bacteria that digest the waste product, so we don't have to defecate at all. But the bacteria are not fast enough. They can't bear the pace Lucifer is

forcing on us, so we are distended all the timewe look like crawling balloons.

"It can be anybody's hair follicle," my comrade continues. "I believe that there are many, many afterlife-pits like this, and every person is carrying Hell in their eyelashes."

"Maybe you are right," I stutter. "ButI wonder. If this is Hell, what Heaven can

the angels." I burp up a big lump of gluey skin cells, which I try to

force back down my throat. "I heard that they are all lice in the pubic hair of teenage girls," he laughs, and his

be like? You know

twenty-four-micron-long penis begins to stiffen from the thought. Which is quite joyous considering I soon have to mate with him.

Ten facts you definitely didn't know about Hell:

1. The ratio of sexes of the doomed is not equalmany more men arrive in Hell than

women.

2. To keep the balance, some of the males arrive here as female mites. (Like myself.)

3. The Lord of Darkness not only forces us to eat all the time, but he also forces us to mate all the time. (Which is far less sexy than you might think it is.)

4. He does it because Hell needs new mite bodies for the arriving doomed souls.

5. The lifespan of a mite is only about two weeks long, and after we die we also need new mite bodies for ourselves.

7. The reproductive process here in Hell is very well calculated, and it allows me to be my own grandmother.

8. So we mate all the time, but since our thoughts and personalities are still the same inside our bug bodies, we are thinking about naked people while we do it.

9. Somewhere in a kitchen a pretty girl sits by a table over her steaming hot tea, and

she doesn't have a clue that bugs are living on her eyelashes. And she definitely doesn’t know that those bugs are fucking right now and fantasize about her. Her mother walks

into the kitchen and caresses her daughters sweet, innocent face, and she doesn't have a damn clue that an orgy is happening right there, right now in her sweet daughter’s eyes. And these orgies are everywhere. Look at an old photograph of John F. Kennedy smiling. We are right there, fucking on his face. We traveled to the Moon with Armstrong, and had an orgy there too, and yup, we also had a really great time on the eyelashes of Christ, when he was hanging from that cross. We have been here always.

10. And it goes like this till the world ends. So many decades, people kept wondering about what Hell could be like, and all this time, Hell was sitting right there, right on their eyelashes, right before their eyes.

Now I imagine how these top ten facts appear on someone's skin who is possessed

by the devil. Maybe he'll sign up, and find himself here in no time. Sign up please, just

grab a fucking pen, and write your name here:

address here:

, and your e-mail

I need to lay my eggs now. I have to lay more and more every goddamn day. My fat, pregnant body is squirming up and down on one of the greatest hair pullers, pushing out transparent pearls, while I'm thinking about the dream I just had last night. In that dream, I've made my escape: with my fellows, we managed to cut off one of the big eyelids, and we made a giant hot-air balloon from that enormous piece of skin. Then we flew away from this rotting place. And from the great height, I saw a bloody, open eyed man lying in the bed, looking straight at this rising eyelid-balloon. The man in the bed was me. Or who I used to be.

eyed man lying in the bed, looking straight at this rising eyelid-balloon. The man in the

Childhair Márió Z. Nemes

Mr. Dog has been living in the cellar since the war. The Romanian volunteer units

had burned all his hair off, and he barked and banged on the door of the tenement house

until the landlord let the poor, tortured thing inside. Since then, this became his home,

and his hair began to grown out againbut still, the tenants are not really fond of him,

mainly because he stinks from the sulferated potash that he usually chews out from the

walls of the cellar. Even Aunt Samuel threatened him once or twice that if he didn't bath

properly, he wouldn't get any saveloy. Of course this can't stop Mr. Dog from being

stinky, because no one can tell a good old Hungarian soldier not to wash his shitty horse

in the Adriatic Sea. Since the Romanians burned off his hair, he became more sensitive

to the cold. He must do something about the cold. The tenement house is fine, there are

several hands and resting lard he can nuzzle against. Even Aunt Samuel lets the moaning

Mr. Dog against her buttocks now and then after a good saveloy supper. At these times

he has to bark like a good doggy, and raise his hairy face to the ceiling, while she turns

their love into a folk song. In that song, a shepherd is playing his flute, while his heart’s

chosen one sticks her hand into a long-haired sheepdog, and the Romanian units line up

on the hillsides, ready to burst joy all over the landscape. This happens every week. At

the end of the game, Mr. Dog usually regurgitates the saveloyit's a shame for the meat

at times like this, the landlord always says, while poking the life back into his body with

a fire iron under the servantsstairs. The landlord always talks about the neighbor dog,

that it always helps carry the coal and barks at the young pastors if they get too close

to the good, protected citizens. But only jealousy speaks from the landlord, because he also wants to appear in a folk song, like every decent Hungarian human being. He chases back Mr. Dog into the cellar before the tenants can catch a glimpse of him

when they leave for workhe would only shame him with his presence. After that, Mr.

Dog just listens to the tiny noises of the house: the squelching of the floor-cloth, the chattering of the gossiping housewives, and the sound of the growing flowers. This last

one bothers him the most. He's particularly mad at one rose on the second floorMr.

Dog doesn't understand why people are keeping plants while they banish the animals belowground. He takes his revenge by growing even longer hair. He wants to become the night itself, but this makes him even more interesting to the children who want to

play with him. Becauseand this may show him in a more positive lightMr. Dog's

only hobby is child-keeping. He adores listening to the pounding sounds of their tiny feet in the maze of the stairs and the corridors, while they leave for school, or arrive at home, with their flying locks of hair. They have very soft hair, even the thought of touching it makes him shiver. The gleaming light in their eyes is mesmerizing. Mr. Dog isn't afraid of this glow at all, moreover, in a way he envies it. Getting to know the

children usually is not a hard task for Mr. Doghe just waves his fluffy little tail at the

flight of the stairs, and begins to whine or make playful sounds, then he rushes into the shadows pretending to be scared. The blond children run after him, bringing hot croissants and friendship along with them. They try to lure out the seemingly scared Mr. Dog from his hiding place, who first caves in, running out and licking their small hands thankfully, then rushes back to the cellar. The children slowly toddle after him in greater or lesser groups. That's when the

real play begins in the cellarthis is when Mr. Dog becomes bolder, and he shows his

burn-marks to his new audience, asking for kisses on his bruises and scars, but as a good host he returns the favor. Sometimes they chase around old bits of trash and scrap metal, but Mr. Dog always catches the little rascals. In the end, when the children get worn out by the game, he dazes them with thick sulfureted potash, and he drags their bodies into a pit, so he can bathe in their shiny hair. He mostly like boys who have just reached the age to be scouts and who don't get what they would deserve at home. Uncle Dog knows what they really need, and they are much happier with him because they can dance all night long together under the house, until the sparkle doesn't shine in their

eyes. Girls can't join the ballMr. Dog won't let the dear, littles ones mingle with the

boys. Instead, he himself puts on a skirt before the dance, so he can be the only woman underground. And the little boys cheer, they clap their hands, because they have never seen so hairy a mother before. Their palms nearly bleed and their hair turns to ashes as they clap and clap inside the dark, sulfurous stomach of the cellar.

Pantry of Memories by Gábor Dajka

I never make mistakes doing my job. I’m the best in the billing department and

everyone knows that. But today I seem to be a bit clumsy and somehow I end up filling

out an electronic form using my own personal data instead of an old, retired lady’s. By

the time I notice the mistake, the form is floating somewhere far away in the depths of

the World Wide Web. I guess there’s nothing left to do about it now. My boss is furious,

his body shaking in anger and disappointment, and he’s telling me that we cannot make

such blunders at a respectable company like ours. Every deed has its own consequence,

and this rather unpleasant mishap is no exception. From now on I have to live as an old,

widowed woman, known by the name of Mrs. Kováts.

The girls in the HR department are handling all the paperwork. After signing a few

pages, the real Mrs. Kováts will get my job in the billing department and from now on

she will be in charge of dealing with a thousand unprocessed invoices daily. I guess she

will have some trouble operating the online register, so I already feel sorry for her. But

orders are orders, and I’m not too happy about the idea of wearing a mothball-smelling

housecoat and living together with five cats, or the immeasurable suffering caused by

the lower back pain that I suddenly have to deal with. But of course, I’m still better off

than she is. Instead of sitting all day under the flickering yellow lights, processing all

that useless data, I can live my carefree life on the veranda of a pretty little house with

a nicely maintained kitchen-garden.

In the cellar I find a lot of dusty jars, all piled up and sleeping on grimy shelves. They

all seem to be filled with dried vegetables floating in sour liquid, or chopped up fruits

preserved in thick, sugary syrup. I really like the idea of preserving some nourishment

for harder days, so I decide to make some compote myself. In the garden, I have a lot of home grown fruits and veggies to start with, anyway. But it doesn’t take too long to get bored with the withered cucumbers, parched potatoes, and vapid peaches. So I’m starting to shake out the remains of long lost Soviet divisions marching to the beats of rhythmically beating drums from the wrinkles of my forehead. The tiny soldiers pour like rain from the depths of the dusty grooves. I put them all in one large jar and sprinkle them with the acidic water coming from the creeks under my weary eyelashes. Then the thick mix is seasoned with some black pepper, vinegar, and garlic paste. Off the soldiers go, up to the shelf, next to the long forgotten old jar of pickled turnips. But sadly, the Russian compote doesn’t turn out to be my finest creation. After a while, the tiny soldiers preserved in sour liquid are starting to go off, one by one. Their bodies turn bitter, I guess because they can’t stand the salt mixed in the thick liquid. They all turn into little, black, gooey lumps, and soon the whole preserved division becomes totally unconsumable. But not the sweet, syrupy smiles of the grandchildren I make from the extracted ingredients scraped from the rattling bones of my wrist. I have to be really careful, since

this counts as a real bottled curiositya rare, gourmet treat for the elite. Not a single

drop of sunlight-smelling jelly can go to waste during the process. After a while I’m getting better and better at preserving things and everything gets put on the shelf in thick glass jars. The juvenile summers are floating in sweet, sunlight- flavored fluid, next to grandpa’s set of yellowing false teeth. The lilac-scented, budding loves, the swirling skirts in the gloomy grass, the endless gaggling of the geese, and the soft spring breeze, carrying the humming of the dairy hall all get preserved somehow

and put on the top shelf of the pantry. In the small, musty cabinet, the unfiltered cigarette butts and red wine stained tablecloth are floating in a stale, sour, alcohol-based tincture of bad memories. The whirly sound of the thick, heavy leather waist-belt is levitating in some phlegm-tasting fluid, recalling much harder and tougher times. But now it’s all good, nothing hurts anymore. As long as I am able to, I’m struggling to extend the lines of relics sitting on the pantry shelves. But in time, I run out of old memories and there is nothing left to preserve. In a short while, I get anxious and I start to miss the process of preserving old memories. I decide to take on the forgotten splinters, hiding really deep, buried in the subconscious. With the blade of my pearl knife, I carve delicately thin, narrow creek-beds into my dry, paper-like skin. The clear stream of tears running down my face is washing out all the last bits and pieces of preservable memories, hidden under the depths of my pores. This goes quite well for some time, but soon, the scratching of wrinkles and the endless search in the seemingly empty pockets of my old, floral-pattern dress are starting to become useless as well. I have no other choice but cutting off tiny parts of my own old, worn-down and shabby body to fill the hundreds of empty jars stacked in the corner. I start with my ears. The carefully cut-off auricles end up in spicy tomato sauce and they look just like delicious mussels. Then my fingers follow, first only from my left hand. These are going to make such lovely, crunchy, salty sticks. The grandchildren will surely be delighted when they come to visit me next time. It’s such a shame that I will only be able to see them through the thick wall of a jar filled with gelatinous juices. But this way it is going to be so much easier. To witness myself through popped-out, sloppy eyeballs as my pearl knife slips between the ribs and carves out something heart-shaped,

pulsating to the rhythm of the old cuckoo-clock standing in the corner of the dusty summer kitchen. I take the misshapen muscle out and hide it in an old, rusty enamel pot. Meanwhile the widowed Mrs. Kováts (I mean the office clerk, who, despite her age looks pretty old) sits in a very uncomfortable office chair, staring at the vibrant computer screen, thinking about how nice it would be to have some quail eggs preserved in spicy tomato sauce for dinner. But she has to keep on working. She has not been able to outwork a minute of the mandatory overtime the whole week.

The Strange Edge has presented THE MODERN MONARCHIST, Hungarian Mini- Issue

Artwork by László Győrffy

Front cover design by G. Arthur Brown

Hair Follicle-Satanand Childhairtranslated by Zoltán Komor

All work used by the kind permission of the creators

31 st July 2018