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Blake Butler: Death Update

A specially commissioned short story from one of American literature's true radicals, Blake Butler

Under the Blog Get Lit, Dazed’s books editor and new lit-ophile Stuart Hammond commissions an original story or poem from one of the most exciting writers around for you to enjoy.


Kicking off the proceedings is our favourite Atlantan literary enfant terrible Blake Butler, author of the eye-burningly weird/harrowing fictions Scorch Atlas, Ever, There Is No Year and Sky Saw, as well as the memoir of insomnia Nothing and a bazillion other bits all over the internet. One of the star contributors to our star-studded 'Feed Your Head' literary issue last summer, Blake also edits the brilliant "internet literature magazine blog of the future" HTMLGIANT and regularly livens up Twitter with his smart and thoroughly freaky-deaky updates. Butler's surreal, terror-tinged style is experimental and often just plain mental: fiercely provocative, wilfully challenging and regularly overrun by staggeringly violent, brain-buggering imagery. We're into it, and we are proud to bring you the LOL/sob-inducing, thoroughly scorching epistle that is Death Update. Get lit, read it and weep.

My password for is organwindow1991. I’ve activated the secondary login option, after I got hacked a while back, so you’ll also need to know that my first pet’s name was Sand. She was a hermit crab, but you don’t need to know that to log in. When I got hacked all they did was replace all my information like my name and location and occupation and relationship status to read MY Dear one Remain blessed in the Lord. They put a picture of a dead horse where my picture was; its eyes were open. I left it up that way for weeks.  

My password for my email account is organwindow1999. I used to have a lot of different passwords but now I just change the number at the end when I feel it’s been used enough times that I should change at least a part of the password but don’t want to change the whole thing because I’ll forget. Feels like all the space inside my brain I used to use for things like remembering passwords has been eaten up by something else. Even the years will stick together, so they are special. 1991 is the year I was born. 1999 is the song by Prince. Other years that are important include 2004 and 2005, but for reasons I don’t feel like listing. I don’t know why organwindow. It’s just what came into my head the first time I had to make a password and now I have to think it almost every day.  

I'm writing this all down in case I die. I've been having the feeling lately I'm going to die soon. I haven’t told anybody else. I don’t know who to tell. In my email drafts you’ll find a list of things I’d like to have be given to who if something does happen. I wish I knew an email to send it to besides just having it as a draft but I don’t so if no one finds this then I guess they’ll just do whatever they want with my stuff. It probably doesn’t matter, but maybe it does.  

Sometimes it’s like I get this feeling that something is above me in the sky. That something is coming down so hard and fast at my head from somewhere way beyond the earth, and has been traveling for longer than I even know to get here. I used to duck out of the way and cup my head and try to see it but now I’ll just freeze and wait for it to hit. Nothing ever happens, but then the feeling always comes again, and each time when it comes again it’s like it’s closer now, and bigger now. I can’t imagine how much closer or bigger it needs to get before it’s here. It’s only aimed just right at me.  

When I’m inside the feeling comes on in the opposite direction. It’s like there’s this point deep down between my ribs, a sharp low numb that’s easily ignorable but also keeps getting wider through my chest. It’s black and tingles and seems to have things also there inside it, like tendrils that connect back to wherever it begins. Maybe it begins at the same point the thing that seems from overhead did. I know the color black contains all colors. I can still walk around like nothing’s in there when it happens and be looking normal on the outside but something’s in there, and it’s alive. Then it’s gone. Last time I could not feel either of my arms or right down beneath my waist where my pubic bone begins and up my neck meat near my chin. I don’t know what will happen when it spreads across my brain.  

I wonder if the blackness has a password, and can I guess it.  

Anyway, what I’m saying is if I die, which I think I might, and might be soon, please get on and post a status update saying that I’ve died and that I saw it coming and that I’m okay with it and, well, goodbye. Also, please post posts on each of the people’s profile’s who I’ve left stuff to (again, see email drafts) and let them know what’s theirs and where they can come and pick it up. In some cases, for these people, I’ve also attached more private messages I’d like to have sent saying specifically thanks for being cool or fuck you for being a fuck or hey I always had a crush on you and couldn’t figure out how to say it or remember that one time, and so on. After that get on my mail and send out an email to my top contacts relaying the same thing as my status update was, with a note also that it’s not necessary to write back because I’m not going to get it.  

If you feel like it, after that, you could post a thing also on and and post the same. The passwords for both of these accounts is organwindow0000, which that number doesn’t stand for anything at all.