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                                   - 2.0 -

                          THE VAMPIRE BITES BACK

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away........

Things were getting out of control again.  

I had been drinking too much wine, watching the home shopping channel, and 
letting my hair grow.  I'd even moved the bulk of the CD's to the office so 
I could listen to the Sisters on the ROM drive.

In the days where it's possible to go clubbing in Los Angeles before 
breakfast without even leaving London, it's getting increasingly hard to
deal with the real world.  There's no virtue in a virtual world, it doesn't
rain in cyberspace!

I found the bottles of lovingly imported aquanet, took my cow out from
behind the swivel chair, and did what had to be done - I went shopping.
After months of browsing, drinking Guiness, and eating curry, it was a
simple choice - get fat, or get writing....

This time it took a little longer.  

And so, we present the second in a series of vodka inspired volumes of
the net.goth handbook, which will, over the months, form a unique and
important reference for you, for your family, and for generations to come.

Or maybe not - how the hell should I know?

(editor from Hell)
"The Look of Love"

An ABC of those classix days when Heaven 17 walked the earth ...

I remember the first time I saw the album sleeve for "The Anvil" by
Visage.  I had but one comment to make- "What the hell is a goth doing on
the cover of poncy trash like this?"  It puzzled me for a while, until I
figured something out.  That is, there was once a period when it was quite
fashionable to be a goth, and that time coincided with the end of another
period; the period when in was quite fashionable to be a new romantic. 

It's quite hard these days to believe that there ever was such a time. 
After all, those who partake these days seem to believe that goth is a
subculture, something quite "alternative" to be.  There's a great deal of
sneering at other subcultures involved, and a great deal of elitism- yet I
can remember when I held in my hands a copy of "Chart Hits '82", and there
was a Bauhaus track on it amidst the gilded synth-trash. 

New romantics and goths had a lot in common.  They both indulged
occaisionally in cross-dressing, new romantic males wore makeup.  Let's
face it, if you took the clothes Duran Duran were wearing in '81, back
when they released their first album, and dyed them black, there would not
be a single garment there that wouldn't fit in a goth's wardrobe.  Some
things, like their gorgeous billowing shirts (which they've long since
abandoned for a sort of dreadful Vic Reeves 70's look) would not need the
dye.  One of them even wore black leather trousers. 

I must admit goth makeup differs slightly from the new romantic sort; 
pastel eyeshadow is far less prominent, and few goths would be seen dead
in that glittery lipgloss that some poor fools wore.  Pale skins were in,
though.  The new romantics were probably the first people on the streets
to go for a beautiful, painted androgynous look, not dissimilar to the one
that goths have been aiming at all these years.  They danced better, too. 

New romantic music is rarely credited as an influence on gothic music of
any sort but (be it vicious rock or floaty-girlie-stuff) its impossible
that it is not, in some way or another.  After all, the two were
contemporaries.  Perhaps its an idea to consider an almost-goth new
romantic song, "Hallowe'en" by Japan (1979).  Listen to it.  Its fast,
spooky, slightly vicious and has some of the most wonderful haunting
guitar sounds I've heard. In comparison, some atrocities such as.... oh,
let's say the remix of "Temple of Love" have an epic dreadfulness slightly
more reminiscent of some of the worst new romantic bands.  That's a cheap
shot, I admit, but its only an example of the dud goth songs that have
been released over the years, which often suffered from the same malaise
as dud new romantic songs- over-indulgent production of a poseur's
uninspired output. 

As record companies pillage the 80's for compilation-album material, many
of these poor forgotten songs are briefly ressurected.  Perhaps it would
be kinder to let them rest in peace, for on the whole they were fairly
crap.  There are but a few songs that stand out from the new romantic fad
as being genuinely special, and they are buried among all the other
pop-trash that filled the charts, and always will.  Be charitable, though;
for many, goth too was just a fad to be adopted when it was "in" and
abandoned when it went "out".  How many of those ex-goths will go back at
their old goth rock albums and be as surprised pleasantly at what they
might find?  I certainly still love my new romantic records. 

I met a lass called Kaz at a party.  She confessed that she'd done the new
romantic bit first, then slowly slipped into the gothic bit, then when
that wasn't in anymore, she changed again.  That she did so is not really
surprising.  Lots of people did.  Lots of people do.  Those who stay
faithful to a style forever are in the minority, and goth, like new
romantic, is to most little more than a way of wearing your hair, a set of
bands it is permitted to like, a label to wear while you seek a more
interesting one. 

Kaz also confessed to me that of the two, being new romantic was far more
fun.  I agree- I'd go back to it if there was a hairdresser left on the
planet that could do a decent bleached-and-flicked cut, or a person left
on the planet who wouldn't laugh at me for doing it. 

Take a Bite is delighted to present RAT CARE part 1, an article cobbled
together from books, drunken memories, and eating curry with people who
know people who own rats, and buying Tennants Extra for people who used
to breed rats and now have snakes.


Places to get a rat:
1. From a pet shop  
2. From someone who breeds rats

Make sure the cages are clean and not full of other rats - otherwise you
might end up with a bad tempered or diseased one.

Places not to get a rat:
1. Between the live rails on the underground (no matter how cute they are)
2. KFC
3. Biohazard Animal Experiment Labs
4. The sewer

Things to look for in a rat:
1. Alertness
2. Intelligence
3. Healthy Plumpness
4. Clear Eyes
5. Livelyness

Things to avoid:
1. Cuts, Scratches, patchy fur
2. Runny eyes/nose
3. Mice


You should get a rat when it's about six weeks old as they are easier 
to tame when they are young.

Top 10 Amazing Rat Facts

10 Some rats like to hide in your hair, climb the curtains, and are prone
   to making nests *inside* your furniture
 9 Dead rats were thrown into vats of scrumpy cider.  When the rat had
   dissolved the cider had fermented.  Today they use a small piece of
 8 Bubonic Plague killed about 25 million people in Europe in the 14th
 7 Rats in Magdeburg are often over a foot long, many of them work as 
   architects in the city.
 6 In America alone, wild rats do about $200,000,000 of damage a year,
   enough to buy almost 1 fighter bomber or just under 202,020,203 bottles 
   of 99 cent aquanet ultra hold professional.
 5 Rats are more intelligent than dogs, horses, cows, and most politicians.
 4 On average a rat lives for only 3 years, yet in this time, a female rat
   can produce 300 babies!
 3 A rat once drank 4 pints of cider in one night at the Intrepid Fox in 
   London's Soho
 2 The most common fatal disease in domestic rats is 'chewing through power 
   cables.', but unlike hamsters, they do not explode if you play catch with
   them.  (Editor's note, TaB does not condone playing games with animals,
   not even if you are a film star)
 1 The Kangaroo rat can jump 20 times its body length AND *can change
   direction in mid air!*

We really should tell you about housing and feeding your new pet, but we've 
run out of space, time, and inclination - so you'll have to wait for
issue 3.  As a result, we suggest that you *don't* rush out and buy one now -
as it will be very hungry by then and may well start chewing your power 
Shadows on a Silver Screen

Gothic Horror Films - just what are they? Take a Bite asked Gary Slegg and
Mitch Brian on the off chance that they knew ....

     Many people may be familiar with the term Gothic Horror. 
The term probably conjures up images of mist encircled castles,
with people draped in cloaks, shawls, or shrouds, and acting very
mysteriously.  But is this really true, do gothic movies have to
be set in medieval buildings, with people running around in
nothing more than a set of bed sheets, with maybe some type of
supernatural power?

     Well, if this was really all a gothic movie was then we
would be forced into accepting that something like Robin Hood -
Prince of Theives was a gothic movie, as it contains all the
necessary criterai.  A castle, people wearing the type of clothes
that normal people wouldn't be seen dead in (or perhaps that
should be 'would only be seen dead in'), and of course dear old
Robin Hood has lots of supernatural powers (well - how else does
he manage to live in a tree with his band of merry men!).  Robin
Hood as a goth film is probably something which many of those
amongst us would find a bit unpalatable.

     Okay then, lets try again at a definition.  One of the most
prolific type of Gothic genre movie is the 'Hammer Horror' (as
Kate Bush would say).  There are of course two main
distinguishing features in a Hammer film which we might want to
extract and use as defining features of Gothic film in general. 
They all have Christopher Lee, or Peter Cushing, or both in them,
and the acting in them is, well, not up to Oscar standard.

     Other, lesser distinguishing characteristics of the Hammer
film are that peasants are always portrayed as drunk, filth-
covered morons, with a tendency to die violently, and the
aristocracy are portrayed as arrogant, upperclass twits, with a
tendency to die less violently.  In fact, the only nice people
in the Hammer film are the middle classes.  You can guarantee
that the Transylvanian tavern will be full of peasant with
cockney accents who will warn the unwary traveller not to go near
the Counts Castle.  This warning, needless to say, will be

     Finally, you can always play 'Spot the future star' with
Hammer films.  George Cole (yes - Arthur Daley) appears in the
Vampire Lovers, Dennis Waterman is in Scars Of Dracula.  Joanna
Lumley is in The Satanic Rites Of Dracula, and Wendy Craig
appears in The Nanny.

     However, some of us might feel this defintition is a bit
narrow.  For starters, it would mean that Star Wars would be
classed as a Gothic film.  Also, most of us would want Bram
Stokers Dracula included under the Gothic heading, but although
Sir Anthony Hopkins and Kenaveau Reeves accents were a bit dodgy,
the acting was never really that bad, and besides, neither
Christopher Lee nor Peter Cushing appeared in it (probably
because they were both dead - well Christopher Lee's career is
anyway).  So, again we must look else where for our definition.

     One feature of Gothic films is perhaps that they have an
erotic element to them.  True, this is very debateable with
Hammer films, although I am reliably informed by people not that
much more older than me that they were considered erotic in their
day.  It is claimed that Gothic films, in particular Vampyr
movies have a 'polymorphous perversity'.  

     Polymorphous perversity was a term used by Freud to describe
the gaining of sexual pleasure from body parts other than the
primary sexual organs (ie the genitals).  For example, in Vampyr
films sexual pleasure is denoted by the 'Vampyr Kiss', and thus
this is oral satisfaction.  People have what are known as
erogenous zones, and this can include places like the neck,
behind the ear, or, if you are Madonna, the big toe.

     Another feature of Gothic films are the use of vivid colour. 
This might come as a shock to some Goths, but in Gothic films the
dark surroundings are often contrasted with rich colours.  One
only has to think of Bram Stoker's Dracula with it's
overindulgent use of blood, the flowing white, and orange outfits
of Lucy (Sadie Frost), the red sky etc.  This use of colour is
also very evident in Hammer movies, and also in films such as
Suspiria, with the clever use of red, blue and green light, and
Roger Vadim's Metzengerstein.  In these films colour is used in
a highly styerlized, symbolic way, often representing the moods
of the characters.  For example in the film The Vampire Lovers
the colour of the dress of Carmilla gets darker and darker as her
victim becomes weaker and weaker, symbolizing the saddness that
Carmilla feels for her victim.

     Thus, if we define the Gothic film as being set around some
type of medieval (ie gothic) building, erotic undertones, with
a 'supernatural' or 'uncanny' element and use of vivid colour,
then this rather neatly includes films such as Bram Stokers
Dracula, and excludes films such as Robin Hood (unless of course
you happen to think that Kevin Costners bum is erotic - in which
case you are either a very sad person indeed, or my secreatary).

     Okay, so this definition is better, but is it complete?  As
it stands at present Gothic films can only have European
settings, America having no genuine medieval buildings.  A bit
of a downer that one, as it means films such as 'The Hunger' or
'Near Dark' and even the television classic 'Salems Lot' are
excluded, while films such as 'Excalibur' are still included.

     Well, although 'Excalibur' contains many element of the
traditional Gothic film, the medeival setting, strong eroticism,
and mystical events it can probably be excluded from the Gothic
genre as it does not concern itself with the supernatural or
uncanny.  It does includes shape-shifting, but Merlins magic is
nothing more than magic.  It not about rising the dead, or
losings ones soul.  Excalibur then is a film that is as close to
being a gothic film as possible, without actually being one.

     As for The Hunger and other films set in America, if we are
to include these films, then we are going to have to drop the
stipulation that they require a medieval setting.  It is wise to
do this, as it then allows us to consider the Gothic Western.  
The best, and most recent of which is Clint Eastwoods

     True, the erotic element in the film is barely traceable (it
does start of in a whore-house but that's about it).  However,
there is the polymorphous perverse element.  Eastwoods character
gets pleasure from killing (which is one of the two extremes of
the libido, eros and thanatos - as with the vampyr), which he
does with a gun.  It also involves uncanny elements.  Eastwoods
characters claims at the start of the film that he "...ain't like
that anymore" never quite ring true, and we see the torment in
his soul as he ones again is driven to a blood lust at the end
of the film.  At this climax of the film there is a feeling of
Eastwood being some supernatural being bringing death and
destruction on those that have opposed him, like some avenging
black angel.  This is also a feature of the other Gothic films
we have so far discussed - the Byronic Hero that is both the
nemisis and victim in the film.

     Indeed, many of Eastwoods films can be considered gothic in
nature, or at least to have a Gothic flavour about them.  This
is probably most obvious in The Beguiled.  Consisiting of
decaying southern mansions, an incestuous brother/sister
relationship, violence, madness, polymorphous perversity,
castration - it's a lurid mishmash of Poe and Bierce.  Also High
Plains Drifter is very gothic, and it's twist is that the
stranger coming into the new place dominates (rather than is
dominated by) it.

     The Medieval setting is useful to distinguish between
European and American gothic films, as for that matter is the
social class of the main characters (European films tend to be
about aritocratic families, while American tend to be based on
the cowboy/biker sub-culture), but it is too restrictive to be
used as a defining feature of a gothic movie per se.

     Thus then, we can now return to the original question of
what exactly constitutes a gothic movie.  

     Gothic movies can thus be defined as films set in mysterious
surroundings (medieval building, woods, or wide open plains). 
These maybe represents a 'journey into another reality', from
whence on return the traveller will be in some way changed,
either physically (as in the case of vampyr films) or
psychologically (as in the case of The Unforgiven).   This
journey does not have to be a physical one, but can be a
psycho/sexual one, such as in the Hunger, where the characters
contact a strange new (for one of them) relationship that
threatens to destroy them.  This erotic element is also charged
with either a supernatural or uncanny overtone.  Within Gothic
films there is also a destructive, dark figure that the hero or
heroine is drawn too. This destructive figure often fits the
Byronic Hero type - Heathcliff, Rochester, Max DeWinter and
Dracula - and the hero or heroine is at once ensnared, repulsed
and attracted into this destructive relationship.

     If it hasn't got these characteristics, then it's not
Gothic.  So there!  
Zombie cooking with Confidence

[Weird Music and FX - Scene a candle lit medieval kitchen with some 20th
 century essentials]

        Welcome to my kitchen....[noise from earpiece] oh alright then,
        Welcome to a soundstage which is probably N times bigger than my
        kitchen, today we are going to make Curried Goth.

        You will need:
        1lb of goth (thigh or breast)
        1 tin chopped tomatoe
        1 large onion
        1 packet of lady's fingers
        2 tablespoons of yoghurt
        1 tablespoon of ghee or vegetable oil
        1 clove garlic
        1 dash of balsamic vinegar

        spices (in teaspoons):
        1 x tumeric, 1 x garam masala, 1 x chillie powder, 2 x cumin,
        1 x corriander, 3 x fenugreek

        1. Slice and fry the onion and garlic until golden brown then add
           the meat and fry till sealed
        2. Par boil the lady's fingers until soft then drain
        3. Add the fingers to the pan and fry for a few moments
        4. Add and stir in the spices
        5. Add the vinegar, youhurt and tomatoes in that order and then
           simmer for 1 hour on a low heat
        6. Take off the heat and leave to stand for 24 hours (refrigerate if
           climate requires it)
        7. Reheat and serve on a bed of fried rice with tumeric and sultanas
        8. Eat with lots of beer.

        You can replace the goth meat with chicken or vegetables if you so

        Vegetarians can use Okra instead of lady's fingers.

        Next week, we will be making Spagetti Bolognese with my special
        guests - the Duke of Bologna and Sweeny Todd.

[Music, candles and cooking fire dim to black]
Prometheus in Chainmail

A guide to armour for the Quintessential Goth

Body armour or fashion statement?  Take a Bite neither knows nor cares.
What we do know is armour has been the height of club fashion since the
club was a fashionable weapon.

Let's face it, large amounts of hard looking silver metal looks great!
It could even keep you in one piece next time you fall out of a lamp post!

Take a Bite sent Daniel Stern to investigate...

* How do I get some chainmail?

1: Buy it!

Buying yourself a suit of chainmail is by far the easiest thing to do,
but it is only an option if you are riceh as it will probably cost you every 
penny you have though.  Prices are typically around 200.00 for a hood and 
up to 800.00 for a decent shirt.  More rational, or less well off people will 
refuse to fork out a grand on metal clothes, and therefore have little 
choice other than to...

2:  Make it yourself

Compared to the price of buying chainmail, making one's own is relatively
inexpensive. (averaging around 40.00).  The downside is that its VERY
tedious and time consuming, so if you want to make a suit in the near
future, don't make any plans.

You'll need:
          -a metal dowell, with a hole drilled through (near one end)
          -a drill to put the dowell in
          -a lot of steel wire (the more the better)
          -wirecutters (preferably aircraft wire cutters)
          -tournequets, in case of accidents
          -a coffee can to put the soon-to-be links in.
          -two pairs of pliers (small and needlenose are best)
          -the patience of a saint
          -a big, counter-mounted vice, to hold the drill upright & 

Mount the drill upright in the vice, and place the metal dowell in the
drill (as if it were a bit), making sure the end with the hole drilled 
through is close to the chuck.  Then, thread one end of the wire 
through the hole,  letting it stick through the other side about an 
inch or so.  Then, SLOWLY engage the drill, and guide the wire up the 
dowell.  Wrap the wire tightly so that each pass is against the 
previous one.  When you reach the end of the dowell. disengage the 
drill and cut the wire at the top of the dowell.

Do not rest the drill point over any major arteries, as the result, no
matter how spectacular, will be short, and you'll probably miss most of it.

Remove the dowell from the drill, and cut the wire where it went 
through the dowell.  Slide the wound up wire off the dowell, and you 
will have what looks like a tightly wound spring.  Once you have the 
coiled wire, cut off each link until you reach the end of the coil.  
Repeat until you have a lot of links; the amount depends on what you 
are making.
Most people who make their own mail use 16 gauge wire; it is quite 
sturdy and quite easy to come by.  Also, the most common pattern is 
what is called the "international" pattern, namely four links going 
through a fifth.  The mail I make consists of EIGHT links going 
through a NINTH, giving a nice 2-1-2 pattern.  On average, it takes 
about 50,000 links to make an average sized shirt (**REMEMBER!!  When 
making mail, make it OVERSIZED, or you wont be able to get the mail 
on unless you are very bendy **).  As far as the dowell is concerned, 
a 5/16" diameter is about average.  The larger the diameter, the bigger 
the link (and, following logically) the less links needed.

When making a shirt, make 3"x3" squares, and after you have about ten 
or so, start joining them together.  Keep trying the piece on for fit.  
The exact number of squares will depend on the size of the shirt, so 
make them as you need them. 

To make chainmail, take one open link, and close it using the pliers.
Then, take four (or, if you like, eight) open links and link them 
around the first.  It should look like this:

                  0000    0000  <---- Outer ring
                       00 /\
                       00  L______ Inner ring

Then, link one ring to the four outer rings.  Then link three to each.
It will look like this:

             0000    0000
           00     00     00
         000000 000000 000000
      0000    000    000    0000
         000000 000000 000000
           00     00     00
             0000    0000

Continue expanding this pattern, and eventually you will form squares
of mail.  It is by far easier to link these squares later on than to 
work with one huge sheet of mail.  Remember to close each link when 
you attach it to another one.

The types of things you can make with chainmail is endless; you can 
make everything from shirts to chokers, purses to gauntlets.  
Bracelets are a snap.  So, get your tools and wire and get to it!  
Be the envy of your peers, and if they don't like it, eat them!

(Prices are either US dollars or UK pounds sterling at an approximate
exchange rate of 1:1.  This has something to do with economies of scale and
supply and demand and market forces and other such stuff which will be 
dealt with in the net.goth guide to World Finance.)

You can also buy ready made links by mail order, ask on rec.org.sca or
rec.games.frp.live action if you don't believe me!

(not for inclusion on usenet unless you are a immigration lawyer)

                         Introducing the Take a Bite

                         "Industrial Aerobics Video"

Filmed on a rubbish tip just on the edge of the Hackney Marshes on a 
wobbly old super-vhs camcorder in the pissing rain.  Featuring several 
scantily clad models with cheap and nasty plastic and lycra outfits which 
could fall apart at any moment.  

Including songs by Bodycount, Nine inch Nails, The Utah Saints,
Ministry, and Alien Sex Fiend.  This video will work your lower carpal
muscles as you press the fast forward button in an attempt to find the
new and exclusive Sisters of Mercy track which isn't actually on the tape
at all but the artwork was already finished and we're still waiting for
our calls to be returned.

Exercises include:
     - 30 seconds of serious areobic workout followed by
     - falling over in the mud and sliding into a stagnant pool full of
       rusty paint tins
     - being chased by an attack dog over a barbed wire fence
     - Gasping for breath

For further information e-mail FAT@batt.demon.co.uk

net.goth: one (goth) who, having access to usenet, both posts to alt.gothic
and wants to be known as a 'net.goth'.  

This differs from 'Cybergoth': those covered with tinfoil who insist on
wearing wrap around sunglasses with bits of wire stuck to them.

This differs from 'Idontwannalabelgoth': one who does not believe in 
subcultural labels, but is still a 'goth', "but that's not a label, it's
a way of life err... death, um... yeah"

If you want to find out more, stalk down to your local book shop, arrive
alarmingly in front of the information counter and say:
 "Forsooth, I desire a tome about the Internet which lists local service
  providers.  Provide me with such a work or the minions of hell will
  strike you down!"

Pull out your quill and vellum and, using the blood of the bookseller as ink,
copy out the relevant addresses and phone numbers.  Replace the book on the
shelf and repair to your waiting chariot.  (or you could always go to the
public library).

If you don't have access to a computer and modem you will have to learn to
whistle very fast.
Take a Bite is delighted to present a "Tale from the Shades of Midnight"                                
                                The Tattoo


                                Laura Lemay

Ellen was nearly finished with her third drink when she noticed the man
in black. He was standing by the edge of the dance floor, watching the
crowd with a bored expression.  The crowd deserved his disdain; for an
underground nightclub, there were certainly a lot of normal-looking
people at Shades of Midnight tonight.  Ellen had been on the prowl all
night, and had been decidedly unimpressed with the variety of men she
had seen.  Until now.  She put down her glass and turned to Tamara,
prodding her on the shoulder to get her attention.

"What do you think of that one?" she asked, leaning close so her voice
could be heard over the blast of the music.  She pointed through the
crowd where the man was standing.

"Oooh, definitely do-able," Tamara replied, nodding.  "And just your
type, too."

"Who's this?"  Andrew, the third at their table, asked.  "Who are we
talking about?"

"The longhair in the corner.  Black jacket, black pants," Tamara
replied, gesturing with her cigarette to the figure Ellen had
indicated.  "Ellen wants him."

Ellen put on an mock expression of indignance.  "I only pointed him
out, I didn't say I wanted him."

"Just your type," Andrew affirmed, as the man took a long drink from a
bottle, completely oblivious to thier observations.  "Long hair, black
clothes, earrings.  Yup.  Ten bucks says you wants him."

"Ah, but you don't know if he's tattooed," Tamara noted as Ellen opened
her mouth to protest.

"True," Andrew demurred.  "Five bucks."

"Sucker's bet," Tamara said, refusing Andrew's outstretched hand.

"Cut that out," Ellen laughed.  She had obviously spent far too many
nights in nightclubs with these two; they knew her taste in men all
too well.  Although she had to admit her taste was all too predictable;
to give Andrew credit, the mysterious man in black had most of the
characteristics she looked for in fresh meat.  

"Well?"  Tamara asked, nudging her with her arm.  "If you don't get a move
on, some other sweet young goth thing'll steal him away from you, and
I'll have to listen to you bitch all the way home."

"Wait, the song's ending,"  Ellen protested.  "And besides, he sees
me.  I have time."  

                *                  *                     *


Ellen took her time in approaching the man in black.  For almost three
songs she watched him as she had a fourth drink, watched him as he danced a
little bit, danced with the showy air of someone who knows they are being
watched.  He had most definitely seen her in the corner, watching him; 
even though he was positioned on the dance floor at the opposite cornber 
of the room, he peered at her through the spaces in the crowd.  Ellen
felt herself flushing with drink and with the attention; she loved this
game of tease and reply, of hide and seek.

All the while Tamara and Andrew made fun of her for not getting up from
her chair, but she shushed them.  The crowning glory in Andrew's and
Tamara's evening came when the man removed his jacket after dancing to
a particularly hard and fast song, revelealing his bare chest underneath.
Covering the front of his upper torso, and snaking over his shoulders and
around his sides, was a single, huge, tattoo.  Andrew and Tamara 
practically crowed with glee.

"Ten bucks,"  Andrew reiterated his bet.  Tamara merely gave him a sarcastic

"What is it of?"  Ellen asked, peering through the darkness as the man 
wove between the dancers in his own rhythm.  "I can't see clearly from 

"Its some sort of monster, I think."  Tamara said.  "I can see claws,

"Its beautiful work,"  Andrew commented.  Of the three of them, Andrew
was the resident tatoo expert and owner of five of his own.  He was on
a first name basis with most of the artists in the city.  "I don't
think I've seen so many gradations of purple blended like that

Tamara snorted.  "Leave it to Andrew to provide a running commentary on the
artistic qualities of punker tattoos."

"Oh, its ok,"  Ellen said, relishing the chance for the teasing to 
turn to  someone  other than herself.  "You know how Andrew gets 
sometimes --"

"Holy shit."  Andrew abruptly said, sitting upright in the chair.
Tamara and Ellen turned to face him.  "What?"  Andrew's gaze was
riveted upon the tattoo.  "Thats a Mark Killock.  I'd swear it, its his
work."  Andrew leaned even further foreward, trying to get a better
view through the lights and the darkness.  "Shit, I never thought I'd
see one."

"Who's Mark Killock?"  Ellen asked.
"A tattoo artist, obviously."  Tamara replied.  Andrew looked sharply
back at the two of them. "Not just any tattoo artist.  Mark Killock is
one of the very best tatoo artists...his work is incredible.  That tat
is just his style, the colors, the blending, and the subject

"Its delicious." Ellen commented, grinning, standing up and adjusting
her short skirt over her thighs.  "He's mine."  

"Don't look so worried,"  Tamara commented after a pause, reaching out
a hand.  "Ellen will be fine.  You know her, she likes dangerous-looking 
longhaired boys."

Andrew shook his head.  "I was just thinking about that tattoo."

"Is it that special?"

"I've heard some really wild rumors about Mark Killock,"  Andrew replied,
looking at Tamara mysteriously.  Tamara laughed at him, taking 
his hands in hers as if to reassure him.  "Ellen can take care of

                *                  *                     *

Ellen was pleased with hwo the night was progressing. When she had started 
dancing the man had ignored her, but he had been watching her the whole 
time. When this song had started he had given her his undivided attention. 
One more song and she would be sure. The music pounded in her ears as she 
swayed back and forth, and the man in front of her mimicked her movements, 
watching her with black eyes that radiated lust and made her breathe faster 
even before he had even touched her. And here on the dance floor, with the 
lights, Ellen could get a better view of the tattoo. 

It was a shapeless monster of a tattoo that seemed to writhe as its
owner moved.  It appeared to have dozens of tenacles, tentacles that
ended in claws, claws that were tinged with dark blood at the ends.  It
had no head, this monster, but it had eyes, thousands of them, greenish
purple eyes over the exapanse of its gelatinous body that seemed to
look straight at Ellen while she danced.  Its mouth, in the center of
its body, was ringed with teeth in rows, sharks' teeth.  The creature
was purple, varying shades of purple that reflected and glistened in
the light, almost like scales.  It was a repugnant picture, and Ellen
could not fathom why anyone would want it painted permanently on thier
skin.  But at the same time she had to agree with Andrew that the work
was fantastic.  It was hard to believe that any single needle had
crafted the lines and blended the inks so perfectly that you could not
tell where one shade of purple ended and another one began.  Reaching
out playfully, Ellen ran a finger down the center of the man's chest,
right over the creature's mouth.  The man's shest was smooth and
hairless, with nothing to break up the lines of the tattoo.
Beautiful.  "Do you like it?"  the man mouthed to her as he danced.

"Yes," she nodded admirably.
"He likes you too," the man smiled at her, and Ellen smiled back.  
Bingo, she thought.  She had made her conquest.

                *                  *                     *

Later on Ellen approached Tamara and Andrew, who had moved to the
upstairs bar where the music was quieter.  "So whats up?  Progress?"
Tamara said as Ellen approached thier table again.

"Oh, yes,"  Ellen said, smiling.  "We're leaving."  

"Have a good time,"  Andrew commented.  It was ritual that made him say
that; Ellen always had a good time.

The man approached Ellen from behind, wearing the discarded leather jacket 
over his bare skin once again. He reached out and took the back of Ellen's 
neck in the other. Andrew looked uneasily from the hand to the man's face; 
he looked like he could close his fist and snap her neck with barely a 
thought. "Ready?" the man asked, as Ellen took her jacket and purse from 
the chair where Tamra had put them. 

"Yes," Ellen said, nodding politely to the pair, and turning to leave.

"Excuse me," Andrew suddenly asked.  Ellen and the man stopped and
turned back to the table.  Andrew motioned to the tattoo with his
chin.  "Is that a Mark Killock?"

The man looked at Andrew, and his eyes pierced the darkness as if a
light was shining behind them.  "Yes,"  he replied.  "It is."

"Are the rumors true?"  Andrew asked, his voice straining to remain
causal.  Tamara could feel the tension behind it in the air.  "The
rumors about the rituals...?"

The man laughed, once, a short laugh that showed only in his mouth.
"Of course not,"  he replied, taking Ellen by the shoulder and guiding
her away from the table.  Ellen waved back as she left, grinning.

Tamara waited until the couple was out of sight before turning to face
Andrew.  "Rituals?"  she demanded, eyebrows raised,  "what rituals?"

"Its just rumor."  Andrew shrugged, watching at the doorway where the
two of them had vanished.  "I've heard a lot of rumors about Mark
Killock's work.. wierd satanic shit."

Tamara waited several seconds for Andrew to continue and when he did
not, asked, "what sort of satanic shit?"

Andrew shrugged again, reluctant to continue.  "Mark Killock tattoos

"I'll say," Tamara stated.  "That creature was horrible --"

"That not what I mean.  I don't mean that he tattooes pictures of
demons; he tattoos the demons themselves."  He took a pause as Tamara
absentmindedly let the ash fall from her cigarrette onto the floor.
"Its just rumor," he finally continued, when he realized he had said
too much to just let it drop.  "I've heard that just finding Mark
Killock is a test; you have to be really determined to want to find
him.  It's not like he tattoos in any shops.  Then once you find him if
you want to get tattooed by him you have to go through years of
training, to prove yourself, before he lets you go through the
rituals.  And the rituals are the wierdest part.  I've heard claims
that during the ritual, black magic draws out demons from your soul.
Usually the worst kinds of demons.  The magic enslaves them and then
Killock tattoos the demon itself into your skin."

There was a long pause, and then Tamara took a long drag on her
cigarrette and laughed.  "Do you actually believe all that shit? Thats
major twilight zone stuff...Personal demons, exorcised from the body
and painted into the skin.  Ooooh,"  she laughed, waving her hands
about in the air in front of her.

Andrew looked over at her almost angrily, grasping one of her hands in
his.  "Does it really matter if I believe it or not, or even if its
true or not?  The point is that if someone goes through the trouble to
get tattooed by Mark Killock, he very probably believes it himself.
Regardless of the validity of the rumors, Ellen has just gone home with
a man who believes that he has enslaved his own personal demon under
his skin. And thats what worries me."

                *                 *                  *

Ellen laughed as they walked to his apartment, feeling drunk and silly,
and loving the feel of a new man in her arms.  They weaved haphazardly
down the sidewalk, occasionally taking breaks in the dark sections to
grope each other. Inside the building, he stopped her abruptly in the
hallway outside his door and shoved her up against the wall, one hand
tangled in her hair, forcing her head back to kiss her, hard, and the
bit at her neck.  Ellen pushed her hands up under his jacket, gasping
at the naked skin on his back.  She gasped when he hurt her.  Then as
suddenly as he had grabbed her, he let her go, standing aside and
reaching for the keys in his pocket.  She had to press her hands up
against the wall to keep her balance, t keep from collapsing in a heap
on the floor.  Lustfully she eyed him as he unlocked the door and gestured
chivalrously into the apartment.

She giggled when he locked the door behind her and pulled her directly
to the wide futon in the middle of the small studio.  He pushed her
onto the bed, and took off his jacket in the dark, dropping it
absentmindedly on a chair.  "Get undressed," he
commanded her, turning away from her and moving about in the room.
Ellen did as she was told, watching him in the half light as he lit
candles around the bed.  In the flickering of the yellow light the
tattoo on his chest moved with the muscles in his body as if it were
alive.  "Come to bed,"  she said, impatient.

"In a bit."  he said, ignoring her as he finished with the candles.  It
seemed like an hour before he finally put down the matches and climbed
onto the bed next to her.  She gasped as his body covered her, gasped
as his teeth bit into her neck and her breasts.  "Oh," she said, once,
and he leaned over her, his hands on either side of her shoulders, the
demon on his chest fully displayed by the light of the dozens of tiny
flames around the room.  "Oh," she said, again, finding herself drawn
to stare at the work on the skin a few inches before her face.  It was
moving in the light.  The clawed tentacles undulated towards her and
the mouth appeared to open and close, dripping black saliva as it did.
The demon's eyes looked down at her body in lust and hunger, and Ellen
found she could not take her eyes away from them.

"Oh," she said, a third and final time, as the man bent his arms and 
crushed her body beneath his.

                *                 *                  *

"She's not home,"  Andrew said, holding the receiver against his ear
with one shoulder. "I'm telling you, she's not home."

"Well then where the hell is she?"  Tamara asked.  "She never misses

"Maybe she has a new guy,"  Andrew shrugged as the phone rang over and
over again in his ear. "Maybe she's out with him. You know her."

"She would never miss a Friday at Shades,"  Tamara insisted.  "Never."

"When was the last time you talked to her?"  Andrew asked, giving up
and hanging up the phone.

"Same time you did," she replied.  "Wednesday, when she went home with
that guy with the tattoo.  He's probably murdered her, dismembered her
body in the bathtub and poured acid over it to get rid of the

Andrew smiled, once.  "And you claim that I have a vivid imagination."
Then looked worried.  "I woulnd't put it past him.  He does have a Mark
Killock, after all.  The type of people who get Mark Killock's tattoos
are hardly the type who are into normalcy in any way shape or form.
And I didn't like that guy to start with."

Tamara suddenly leaned close and pointed.  "We could ask him."  she
said, her voice low.  "Thats him over there."

He was standing by the bar, wearing the same battered leather jacket as
before, once again bare-chested underneath it.  The creature on his
chest seemed much less frightening than when it was fully exposed.  In
the full flourescent light of the upper bar, it looked almost like a
regular tattoo.  Andrew and Tamara watched him for a while as he
ordered a shot of something dark and sludgy looking, and swallowed it
effortlessly.  "Go ask him,"  Andrew said, nudging at her arm.  He
didn't admit that he was slightly afriad to ask himself.

"OK, I will,"  Tamara took the challenge.  Andrew watched as she pushed
through the people standing around in her path, watched as she walked
boldly up to the man and talked to him.  Andrew could not hear thier
conversation, but the man looked puzzled when she asked.  Tamara made
motions that were obviously a description; about this tall, longish
hair.  The man looked at her, and a slow languid smile spread across
his face.  He leaned over towards her, and Tamara seemed transfixed by
her voice.  The man's lips just touched her ear, and he whispered
something to her.  Tamara blinked, once, and then turned pale.

Andrew pushed himself away from the wall, ready to jump in if Tamara
was being threatened. What was going on?  Tamara took a step back,
blinking, and the man leaned back and turned back to the bar, waving at
the bartender with authority, that smile still stuck on his face.

Tamara stood stock still for nearly a minute, and Andrew was just about
to go up to her to see if she was all right when she turned and bolted
for the door, one hand pressed up against her mouth.  Andrew paused,
debating whether to confront the man, or run after Tamara.  He chose to
run after her, following her outside.  He called her name as she stumbled
along the sidewalk, chasing her, and finally caught up to her several
doors down from the club.

"Tamara."  He said, grasping her shoulders, turning her towards him as
she went weak against the wall.  Her expression was panicked, her eyes
wide and full of frightened tears.  "Tamara, what is it?  What did he
tell you?"

"She --  I--"  Tamara started, and gulped for air, struggling for
control.  "He has her.  He has her trapped."

"Wait here," Andrew said, turning back towards the club.  He pushed
past the door guy, pushed through the crowds to the bar where the
man with the tattoo was still standing, talking to the bartender and
looking as if nothing had happened.

"You,"  Andrew said, pulling on his shoulder, spinning him to face him.
"What have you done with Ellen?"

The man stumbled a bit as he was spun, but he caught his balance and
looked coolly at his attacker, a faint air of disdain in his glance.
"Ah, its you,"  he said.  "I just explained it to your friend, ask her."
As if that was the end of the conversation, the man turned back to the
bar.  Andrew took hold of his shoulder again, grasped the front of his
leather jacket in his fist and turned him forcibly back around again.

"She told me already.  She said you had kidnapped Ellen.  I want to
know what the deal is, but if you've hurt her, I'll fucking kill you
right here."

The man looked into Andrew's eyes for several seconds, and then laughed
again with that faint humorless laugh.  "I haven't done anything
with her."

"Well, you certainly gave Tamara that impression.  Why is that?"

The man pulled back, ripping his jacket out of Andrew's grasp.  There
was a long pause between them as thier eyes locked.  "Perhaps because
I showed her this," the man said, and pulled aside his jacket, turning
slightly into the light.

The full glory of the tattoo was displayed in the flourescent light,
and Andrew found his eyes drawn once again to the fine detail in the
work, admiring it even as he was disgusted by its subject matter.  The
thousands of eyes appeared to be staring at him, almost blinking.  The
tentacles writhed in the light, and then as Andrew atched it, the
creature actually was moving, rolling about on the fabric of the man's
skin.  And in one of its tentacles, viciously mauled, was Ellen.
Andrew stepped back, unable to pull his eyes away from the scene.
Ellen's lower body had been entirely eaten away, the remainder cut in
slashes over every inch of her skin and her hair hung in her face,
caked in her eyes with blood and slime.  Andrew watched in horror as
Ellen's body turned in the creature's claws, and saw with ever mounting
panic that Ellen was still alive, that she was fully aware of what was
happening to her, and that she was screaming at him, screaming
mindlessly, trapped within the tattoo.

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o Drunk too much blood?
o Had one kebab too many?
o Too big for those PVC leggings?
o Cheekbones not prominent enough?
o Pinch more than an inch?
o Fed up with Shakes for Lunch?
o Would you like to loose some weight?

Take A Bite presents the only foolproof guaranteed loose weight short of 

* "The S-Plan Diet " *

Just take half a gram of speed for breakfast, nine cups of coffee for
lunch, another half gram of speed for dinner, and chase it with a
couple of aspirin to kill the headache then go out, drink 6 pints of
bitter snakebite and lime have a take away sweet and sour dish, then
go to a club and dance for three hours.

In a matter of months, you'll have the body of your dreams - you'll see the
weight fall off!  

"eat right, exercise lots, die anyway"

[Warning: there are some people out there who do not want you to be thin,
 they are waiting for you, outside, right now!  They are after you, they
 are out to get you! Everywhere, plotting, planning, waiting!  Anyone could
 be one of them, your best friend, your neighbor, me, even you!  Best to
 lie down and get a couple of days sleep once in a blue moon - before the
 space aliens come and eat your brain!]

Strange things can happen, so, just in case you find yourself falling
through a hole in space and time and find yourself stranded in in the
middle of Europe towards the twilight years of the Roman Empire, here 
is a selection of useful phrases for YOU the 20th centruy goth tourist
looking for a second hand record shop and a decent kebab...

A Visigothic Phrase Book

General Phrases
Hello -                            audags wisan (lit. blessed be)
meina namo is ... -                my name is ...
Hwar ist af-guths barns -          Where are the godless children at?
Hwar ist hlaiwgarda -              Where is the graveyard?
Hwar ist swistas bleidis spaurds - Where are the Sisters of Mercy 
Hwar ist mein salithwos -          I am drunk, where is my hotel?
Lekeis! -                          Doctor!

In the Bar
Hiri Magus -                  Waiter
Hiri Magaths -                Waitress
                              (lit. Come Here Boy/Girl!)
sokja -                       I would like
sokjos -                      We would like
Sokjam -                      We would like (if there 
                              are three or more of you)
Ieithu -                      Strong drink
eins mel nadrs beitan 
jah swarts, leikan -          a snakebite and black please
                              (lit. the bite of an adder)
sokja drubjan -               I have come to smash the place up!
Ein qina-kunds insail jan -   A female to bind with ropes
mats -                        some meat
Skuggwa! -                    Get me a mirror!

At the Doctors
Lekeis -                      Doctor                        
Ikai -                        I have                        
Thuaih -                      You have                 
Slahs -                       The plague
thruts-fill -                 leprosy
ieithu siukie -               A hangover (lit. strong drink sickness)

Thuaih Un-hultha innana -     You are possessed by the devil
Dauthus -                     Death
Ga-tharban papurpura ieithu - Abstain from purple drinks
Top 10 Bad Taste Things to do:
10 - Eating Vietnamese Food and watching Apocolypse Now
 9 - Walking up behind people wearing Nirvana T-shirts and shouting BANG!
 8 - Join Weightwatchers when 2 stone underweight with the sort of
     metabolism that makes supermodels weep
 7 - Eat Venison and Rabbit while watching Bambi
 6 - Releasing laughing gas onto the stairs at Slimelight 
 5 - Giggling and slurping jalapenos while watching The Crow
 4 - Crossposting cannibal recipes to rec.food.cooking
 3 - Buying a bottle of good claret for someone with a hangover
 2 - Dub "The Laughing Gnome" over the titles of "The Hunger"
 1 - Eat a kebab while sober
The Good Lunchbox Guide

Take a Bite likes to think of itself as an international publication.  Thus,
to avoid a charge of parochialism, we though we'd do some further 
investigation into the gothic lunchbox.  An accessory rarely seen outside
of the United States, and indeed usually located in the more earthquake
ridden areas of the west coast..

We grabbed a passing net.goth intercontinental traveller, and while I
took notes in eye-liner pencil, other members of the editorial posed as
customs officials and went through the contents:

1 flyer for a club
1 airmail letter
1 address boox
1 fan
1 squeaky pickle
1 plastic dinosaur
1 plastic spider
assorted jewellry
1 noose (portable) - probably suited for trendy barbie dolls
stickers in various shapes and colours including scooby doo!
1 eyeliner pencil
some money
personal stationery.

We at Take a Bite have assembled our own lunch box contents, and have:

1 bottle of aquanet extra hold
1 eyeliner pencil
1 white foundation compact (with mirror)
assorted lipsticks and makeup
makeup brush
blank CD
Bendy squsihy biro with a bat on the end
Inflatable plastic bat
Just 17 scrunchie
Folding siscors
Witch Head PEZ dispensor
Packet of Alka-Seltzer
Glow in the dark plastic vampire teeth
Sheep on Drugs Sweet
Wallet containing:
     Business Cards
     Game card for Trocadero Arcade
Clockwork Skull
Rubber sucker dart
Rubber finger
spent .38 shell case

Which is a bit of a squeeze, but great fun on public transport.
Dear Ticia

Take a Bite's own Agony Aunt answers *your* questions!  All letters are
genuine, and on this occasion we'd like to point your attention to
the file TaB2_1.JPG which accompanies this issue and was printed in the
on paper edition in answer to our first letter.

 Dear Ticia,
    I am a janitor at MIT.  When I look at you goths, you look like babies.
    You look like grandmothers.  You are scared of the world.  You look like
    apple pies.  You are from Beverly Hills.

    You look like Trendy Gothic Barbie(TM) Dolls in Black!

    Um... baby,

    Jeremy Flump

Dear JF,
     Here is a photo of a gothic doll in black (TaB2_1.JPG).  If this is
     what we look like to you, then I suggest you change your brand of
     floor polish and seek urgent medical assistance!

     I have sent you a leaflet on solvent abuse.

 Dear Ticia,
    When I stand on the platform waiting for the train, I often find myself
    surrounded by hoardes of screaming schoolchildren with no dress sense.
    Would it be bad manners to push them onto the tracks?


Dear XX,
     I receive many questions about manners, so to help I have produced a
     simple ettiquette quiz.  But remember, manners come from breeding,
     and are difficult to learn any other way!

Auntie 'Tish's Ettiquette Quiz!

1) You walk into a record shop to see when the new album by Alien Sex Fiend
is coming out.  While scoping the 'A' section, you notice the plain clothes
security man watching you suspiciously do you:

 A) Leave the shop in disgust
 B) Deliberately wind him up, wait 'til he stops you outside, refuse to
   co-operate, and when the police arrive and it is proved you are
   innocent, demand the name and address of their solicitor - and buy
   a car with the money
 C) Put in some plastic vampire teeth and grin at him until he goes away

2) You are sauntering down a busy shopping street on a saturday afternoon making
growling noises at anyone who gets in the way, when you see two young girls
dressed in 'almost-designer-goth' clothing with make-up plastered inexpertly
over their faces.  Do you:

 A) Put in some plastic vampire teeth and grin at them until they go away
 B) Complement them on their appearance and regail them with stories of
    how it used to be
 C) Slam them up against the wall and fix their make-up until it looks right

3) It's raining and you are standing in a taxi queue behind two other people
in an underground carpark (yes, there is such a place).
Suddenly two drunken idiots push to the front and try to get the next cab.
Do you:

 A) Let them get away with it and do the same thing to the people in front
    of you.
 B) Close the fire doors and block the exits from the carpark and then
    pick off the idiots one at a time as they try to escape.
 C) Skin them and make umbrellas from their bones, then walk.

4) You have decided to be in a band.  Do you sound like:
 A) A techno band with a guitarist
 B) A drum machine and a singer with an auto-erotic asphyixiation fetish
 C) Living proof that the Devil has all the best tunes and none of them
    are heavy metal.

5) It is time for afternoon tea.  What do you drink:
 A) Vodka
 B) The blood of a virgin
 C) Earl Grey

How did you score?
1) A-1 B-3 C-5
2) A-3 B-1 C-5
3) A-1 B-3 C-5
4) A-3 B-3 C-5
5) A-3 B-0 C-5

6 -   You didn't do very well.  The only way you could score lower than this
      is if your arithmatic was as bad as your manners.  Take a bath!

7-12  Not bad, perhaps you should move to a city!

13-17 Average, average, average - It'd be more exciting if you did it again,
      go on, live dangerously, cheat!

17-24 Splendidly well done, you are obviously a creature of some breeding!

25    And you drink Earl Grey Too!
Top 10 Gothic Summer complaints:

10 - Accused of eco-terrorism by pressure group when surfing with make-up
     and hairspray.
 9 - Snakebite evaporation Syndrome.
 8 - Hayfever and amphetamines don't mix.
 7 - Everyone's got sunglasses on.
 6 - Increased fuckwit quota on the streets at closing time.
 5 - Pointy boots stick in melted pavement (sidewalk)
 4 - Top 40 records worse than usuall
 3 - Customs & Excise won't let you back into the country because you
     don't look like your passport picture (who does?)
 2 - Superheated can of shockwaves explodes in cloakroom, covering 
     everything with a slightly sicky but 'natural looking' gunk.
 1 - Factor 40 total sunblock turns green under uv lighting (black light)
Take a Bite 2.0
First published in 1994
by Battlebridge


(c) 1994 Battlebridge
except "The Tattoo" (c) 1993 L.Lemay
       "The look of love" (c) 1994 E.J. Barker
       "Chainmail for the quintessential goth" (c) 1994 D.Stern
       "Gothic Horror Films" (c) 1994 G.Slegg, M.Brian

This publication is sold subject to the condition that it shall not,
by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise
circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding
other than which it is published.

The Electronic edition may be circulated and distributed in full providing
no charge is made for the service on any network to which free access is
available.  If printed, the electronic edition becomes the standard edition
and is subject to the constraints of the previous paragraph

Transgressors will be persecuted to the full extent of the lore

ISBN 2 666 66666 6
(Internet SexBat Number)


                              NEXT ISSUE!
                             (Winter 1995)

                          "Scouting for Goths"


                            Rat Care Part 2
                        A Tourist Guide to Hell
            A beginners guide to mad science, and much more!

                           See you out there ....