One line from The Absent-Minded Gentlemen’s fourth single off their third album “Cadaviar” strangely predicted Eddie’s journey into the supernatural and superunknown. “Cerebral Hemorrhoids” tells the fictional story of a man who is overcome by the weight of his own knowledge.
“I know too much/me brain’s too heavy
“It feels like ragin’ water / bursting through the levy
“You want the truth / but the truth is a lie
“You want to know what I’m thinking / I’m thinking you should die.”
The origin of Eddie Inferno’s powers—dubbed “pyrokinesis” by scientists—was a matter of broad speculation. Some believed him to be the next step in human evolution—an advanced being, free from the encumbrances of the common man. He freed his mind with over 800 doses of psychosilbin and DMT. Others believed his abilities were a byproduct of his lineage that directly linked him to the bloodlines of a number of messianic figures. To some, Eddie Inferno was God. The fact he possessed such power felt like a natural progression.
His early abilities manifested themselves in unrefined and uncontrollable ways. Eddie explained his power as “exploding thoughts.” With a great deal of concentration, he could think about a person so hard their bodies exploded into little more than a bloody smear of torn tissue and broken bones.
Eddie’s first victim was a prickly, persistent member of the paparazzi: Keith Click. He followed the worldwide star to a heroin den in London’s Southend. After finding Eddie stumbling from the premises, unable to stay upright as he walked down a barely lit, seedy alley, Keith began to ask him a series of pressing questions that he was in no condition to answer.
“Go away, cunt!” Eddie whispered, barely able to move his mouth to form the words.
Keith persisted and fired off his flash like a strobe light, which sent Eddie into a furious stupor. Dehydrated and stoned beyond reason, his body was in no condition to take out his anger on the intrusive cameraman. Eddie’s thoughts became all-consuming. His mind became a swirl of irrationality, and wanted Keith Click to no longer exist.
The initial explosion surprised Eddie. At first he even wrote off the event as the product of a particularly thorny trip. However, a number of witnesses (including less obtrusive journalists) recorded it. Keith Click had been transformed from a morally grey tabloid photographer into an unrecognizable pile of crimson detritus, with an explosion powerful enough to paint the buildings on both sides of the alley blood red. Cobblestones filled with a pulpy mass of purified paparazzi.
Initially, Click’s death was unclassified with multiple medical professionals unable to determine its cause. Noted medical examiner Sir Arthur Glosten gave the most colorful estimate of the events. “It was as if Mr. Click’s entire body had been wired with explosives from within—a controlled demolition starting somewhere near his bowels. The violent expulsion worked its way through the body, with force of a pea-sized hydrogen bomb detonating from his rectum.”
The entire incident would have gone unresolved if not for several more mysterious explosions—most notably a Serbian flight attendant. He exploded mid-flight after informing Eddie they could not accommodate his request for a low-sodium in-flight meal. Christos Myrgugan’s remains ended up covering the inside of the private plane. His team of handlers attempted to mitigate the horrible happenings, but it became evident to the media and his legion of fans that Eddie Inferno possessed superpowers.
The civilized world initial reacted in shock and dismay that the world’s most notable celebrity could indiscriminately murder people with his mind. Foreign nations restricted his travel. Scared citizens called on the government to hold him accountable. The media struggled with how to frame Eddie Inferno’s extraordinary story. The crazed attention made Eddie and the Absent-Minded Gentleman more popular than ever. Fans clamored for a new album and tour, but producers were reluctant to work with the star when an audio engineer was decimated after accidentally eating Eddie’s lunch order.
Eddie finally addressed it at a press conference and told fans: “Really fucking sorry.” His entourage, bandmates and peers highly encouraged him to seek out medical or scientific help. Eddie was reluctant to become a guinea pig for the world governments that consistently denounced his messages and personal ideologies. Instead, he sought the help of spiritual leaders, which led him on a weekend-long, personal pilgrimage.
After emerging from a “spiritual congress” at a five-star day spa in Bangladesh, Eddie and his team of gurus told the media he discovered a path to enlightenment that allowed him to control his newfound abilities. Eddie assured fans, “I promise to try and not blow anything up with my mind anymore.” Everyone seemed sufficiently satisfied with his treatment, so the Absent-Minded Gentlemen embarked on their largest international tour to date.
It would be their last.
Anghus is encore’s 2020 fact or fiction writer, featuring the serialized piece, “Burning Sensation.” Read the prologue and previous chapters at encorepub.com.