My Experiment With the Ancient Mariner & the Rauschmonstrum

When I was in high school the worst book they had us read was The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. For those fortunate enough not to have read it, it is the story of a sailor who kills an albatross (for unclear reasons) while on a voyage, causing nature to get revenge on him by having everyone else on board killed, and putting the Mariner through a string of hardships. These hardships tend to include skeletons bargaining for souls and other hallucinatory visions. None of this is written with any ambition at all in instilling interest in the reader.

However, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is put over the top by its outrageousness by perhaps the worst framing device in the history of literature. The Mariner (now an old man) is telling this story to guests at a wedding.  The thought of this senile old man making up hallucinatory nonsense to a confused table of wedding guests was too much for my (often stoned) high school mind to handle. It seemed like incredibly shameful behavior on the part of the Mariner.

Now that I am armed with my good friend the Rauschmonstrum, I decided I could utilize his power in order to give the Mariner a piece of my mind. Also, this allowed me to do some experimenting with schemes by which to use the Rauschmonstrum. As I’ve mentioned before, I think of the Rauschmonstrum as a “storytelling virus,” one who infects stories, and this little number gave me a pass to flex those virus muscles.

And so the finished product is here. I’ve told you the plot-line, so if you’re actually interested in reading it, you may as well skip to the very end to see my addition to the story. If I’ve wasted your time, at least know I did a better ending than Coleridge.

—{The Rauschmonstrum’s Press Agent}—

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *