Jedward And Gormenghast: A Re-Imagining

Gormless British pop duo Jedward have always unsettled me, in a way that no other ‘celebrities’ ever have. Too unsettled even to confront the fact of their existence at first, I have slowly overcome my terror.

I recently realised exactly why they inspire such fear in me. After literally minutes of research, I discovered a great deal of evidence that they were not even real people, but had in fact escaped from the pages of an original draft of the gothic masterpiece Gormenghast, consequently causing havoc and mayhem in the real world. As they get older, watch for the following signs of their bizarre origins:

  • Unusual pets.
  • Decadent, self-destructive tastes: perhaps an over-fondness for food, wine or more exotic fare.
  • Increasingly rampant and bizarre hair.
  • Somehow becoming notable, important people without anyone quite knowing why or how.
  • Incompetent scheming and/or plotting.

Here is a copy of an extract from the original draft I managed to lay my hands on, with Jedward restored to their rightful place as Steerpike’s main adversaries, using only their bizarrely naive (trying to avoid the word “stupid” here) approach to life as a weapon. It is the scene in which Steerpike, having gained entry to Fuschia’s room and having pretended to be unconscious, is ‘woken’ with filthy water, and confronted by Fuschia. As you can see, the presence of Jedward decisively changes the course of the novel.

Fuschia squatted back on her heels in surprise as he sat bolt upright and glared at her. She could not hear what he muttered through his teeth. His dignity had been impaired, or perhaps not so much his dignity as his vanity. Passions he most certainly had, but he was more wily than passionate, and so even at this moment, with the sudden wrath and shock within him, he yet held himself in check and his brain overpowered his anger, and he smiled hideously through the putrid scum. He got to his feet painfully.

His hands were the dull sepia-red of dry blood for he had been bruised and cut in his long hours of climbing. His clothes were torn; his hair disheveled and matted with dust and twigs and filth from his climb in the ivy. Jedward stood, staring vacantly about them, fretting and pulling at their too-tight and time-worn suits. One of Jedward remarked “You could get a disease, or something, if you did that.” The other Jedward nodded wisely, “Mother,” he asked, “can I go horseriding?” They laughed their hollow laugh together, eyes wide and empty.

Standing as straight as he could, Steerpike inclined himself slightly towards Fuschia, who had risen at the same time.

‘The Lady Fuschia Groan,’ said Steerpike, as he bowed.

Considering the now-empty dark-blue vase, which had contained the putrid water, the first Jedward said “Probably the gravity’s pushing down on all the plumbing, and that’s why there’s no water up here.” The second Jedward nudged the vase inquisitively with his foot, squeaking and recoiling when it rolled up a slab, then back down towards him. Steerpike did his best to ignore them.

Fuschia stared at him and clenched her hands at her sides. She stood stiffly, her toes were turned slightly inwards towards each other, and she leaned a little forwards as her eyes took in the bedraggled creature in front of her. Jedward, oblivious, said “Let’s see my beautiful legs,” hunching over himself in a series of grotesquely arch contortions as he tested the very limits of his suit’s fabric; the other Jedward leaned in and watched with uncomprehending fascination, like an owl regarding a vole. Fuschia could tell that the intruder was not much bigger than she was, but much more clever; she could see that at once.

“I feel so sick Edward, do you feel sick?” said the Jedward who, by process of elimination, must have been John. Edward stared in fascination at Steerpike and Fuschia, and declared “They both look like women. One of them is definitely a man, but we don’t know which one.” Fuschia did her best to ignore them.

Now that Steerpike had recovered, Fuschia’s mind was filled with horror at the idea of this alien at large in her room. She had grown accustomed to Jedward wandering in whenever the fancy took them, although she still hadn’t worked out how exactly they were getting in, but their mindless stares and disturbingly blank expressions stood in stark contrast to this youth, with his insolent and cunning animal eyes. Steerpike’s eyes shared a single-minded sort of character, a remorseless ambition, though towards what goal or goals they strived she could not tell.

Suddenly, before she had known what she was doing, before she had decided to speak, before she knew of what to speak —

“We’re like caged heterosexual tigers!” one of the Jedwards shouted. As the level gazes of Steerpike and Fuschia turned to rest on him, his face fell. “Well, we are,” he muttered, suddenly downcast.

“Go away,” said Fuschia, “go away from my room.” Steerpike mutely obliged, baffled and filled with an inexplicable joy, leaving the Jedwards with Fuschia to innocently frolic, preen and chatter to themselves, as their kind had done for the Groans’ entertainment for generations.

This post, a Jedward/Gormenghast crossover fic, was brought to you by a desire to further reverse the positive effects of last Wednesday’s disconcertingly popular post on Google alternatives, which I accidentally released at probably the most perfect time possible. If there is a perfect time for a Jedward/Gormenghast crossover fic, I do not want to be any part of it. I honestly have no bloody idea why I wrote this post, and if you enjoyed it, you worry me.

Jedward remind me of Sonic the Hedgehog for some reason. This is some music. It’s not even metal, for once.

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