This is the first article in a limited series on the cult British comedy, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace.
“Larry Renwick will be remembered for his wit, and laughing eyes. And for being above-all a good friend. I’m sure we all feel that he exploded too young, but, the Lord moves in mysterious ways. Sometimes, he’ll come in at an angle. Other times, he can hover, then swoop. Sometimes he can even come in from beneath, like a worm, or mole. The Lord, it’s his call how he chooses to manoeuvre.”
By the time these words had been uttered from the mouth of the presiding padre, Larry Renwick would be alive again, resuscitated, only to be put down once again by a revolver, a shotgun and a blowtorch. His mother lying on the ground having taken a sacrificial bullet to the shoulder so that Garth Marenghi could end his friend’s possessed life once and for all. All of this for naught, with the massive, gaping portal to Hellsmouth open over the hospital known as Darkplace.
These events occurred after Larry Renwick had exploded—a curious instance of internal combustion—in room 213 of Darkplace. A death, a resurrection, another death and nothing more to show for it. “’Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.’ What profit has a man from all of his labor, in which he toils under the sun?” These words are true of Larry and the Hellsmouth he opened…except for the last part of that.
I don’t frankly know what that has to do with this story. I looked it up on some quote compendium website. Sounded good at the time.
Garth and Larry’s foray into the dark arts, while they were colleagues in Darkplace, opened up this portal though. Their goal was to push their minds to the limit. They wanted to see if they could receive the very knowledge of God <<mandatory biblical quote that proves my point: “The Lord knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile.”>> (My mother told me that was a psalm. I think that’s what she said anyways. When I repeated it back to her, she told me the pee is silent. I disagreed, my pee is never silent. We still haven’t recovered from that argument.) Their rituals opened the gates of hell and all they got for their efforts was madness and milkshakes. Larry was changed forever. The fires of hell burnt so hotly inside him that he exploded.
Why was Larry Renwick admitted to the hospital then? Why did it happen to be the same hospital where his good friend, Garth, practiced? Who pieced together Larry’s exploded body after God moved into him at an angle in preparation for his funeral? What exactly was Thorton Reed, Garth’s boss at Darkplace, aiming at with that shotgun? These are just some of the questions to be addressed within the scope of this piece. [Redacted. None of these questions will be answered at the request of the makers of this property. ©Garth Marenghi, LLC. Buy my book Afterbirth, where a mutated placenta attacks Bristol]
The padre though, as cowardly as he was to run away in the face of chaotic gunshot sound effects, placed all of the events leading up to this funereal fiasco at the hovering, holy feet of God, his mysterious movements a perk of his position in the cosmic hierarchy. Why would he say such a thing in the wake of such rational evidence to the contrary? Cannot this world be freed of this God myth and be left to the Hellsmouth that can actually be seen, touched and, most likely, smelled right in the very corridors of Darkplace?
It seemed odd then that Garth, the other member of this infernal fraternity had to be the one to try and right their wrongs to the point of killing this friend…twice. Why do these things work out in such a way? Mere coincidence? Or is one of the mysterious movements of God from behind, by that I mean, the past. Does the past come back to haunt us like the wild oats we all sowed back in college? Mine sure did. And I assume the price to pay for Garth—who hadn’t gone mad because he was making the milkshakes at the time—was to see the err of their ways through his colleague’s death. He had to drink Larry’s milkshake with his own straw.
Mom always said that those who received the mark of the beast would have to drink of the sour wine of the wrath of God. Larry had given himself over to the beast, to the gaping void of the Hellsmouth. God’s angle cut him down in true trigonometric justice. He definitely moved at Larry with a sharp slant (I’d say, at most, 23 degrees). No doubt about that. Garth, though, drank Larry’s milkshake of judgment and it probably didn’t feel too good on his insides. Maybe something like what Thornton Reed called a ‘knuckle supper.”
However, maybe the padre had been right as he ran squealing into the woods. Maybe God’s movement is such that the absurdity of the story is the proof of His existence. Two people partake in an act that opens up a portal to hell while God kind of hovers and then God takes one out by allowing hell to explode him and the other he moves from beneath, as the padre said, like a mole to move the other to confront the sour wine they both drank from even though Garth didn’t get drunk on it—in all things, moderation, kids.
This is all very confusing and probably doesn’t make much sense, what with all the talk of angles and milkshakes and “infernal” combustion. It’s very possible that I’m just too young even though I am a big boy now and in a year’s time, I’ll be a man. Maybe these things will make more sense then.
Nah, probably not.