Two Brothers and a Ghost

by Flagland

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“There are black zones of shadow close to our daily paths, and now and then some evil soul breaks a passage through. When that happens, the man who knows must strike before reckoning the consequences.”
- H.P. Lovecraft, “The Thing on the Doorstep”

“His eyes were turned inward, and he saw only emptiness there. A desert, in which his dust blew with all the things he'd ever loved and lost; blew to the end of time and knew neither rest nor meaning.”
- Clive Barker, Weaveworld

“Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
--But who is that on the other side of you?”
- T.S. Eliot, “The Waste Land”

“A long time
It's been mine.
Open the doors,
Now it's yours.”
- Oswald Herz


released July 21, 2017

All music and lyrics written by Kerry Kallberg.
All music performed by Flagland.
Recorded throughout 2015 by Nick Dooley at the Barn in VT. Mixed by Nick Dooley. Mastered by Sarah Register.

Flagland is:
Kerry Kallberg - guitar, vocals, piano
Dan Francia - bass
Nick Dooley - drums



all rights reserved



Flagland New York, New York

Rodents skittering across the wasteland floor: that's the company I like to keep.

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Track Name: The River
Kerry Kallberg cuts school and takes sixty-some sleeping pills. His mother comes home early and while laying in bed Kerry hears the sound of roaring waters. This frightens him into action and he tells his mother everything. She calls the authorities. He barely makes it. If his mother had come home five minutes later would he be so lucky? Or if he hadn't heard the river rapids? Someone didn't make it, someone is lost, but whom? He muses on what drove him to suicide.

Hear the river in my ear;
Something distant, barely here.
Suddenly the river roars,
Brings me crashing back to shore.

I think I’m starting to feel it!
Eyes fixed upon the ceiling,
Head swimming in the river.
Here’s where the birds eat my liver…
Mommy, I took the pills!
Mommy, I took the pills!
Officer asked if I like Marilyn Manson.
Wheelchaired me into the back of one of their ambulances.
Five minutes later what would have been my chances?
Technicians exchange worried glances...

I saw my friend burn into ash
Through clouds of smoke.
Nobody told me it would be like this!
Oh wait, yes they did…
But how could a kid
Imagine this?

Hang on,
The river’s strong.
Now I’m back on the ground.

Day by day the mind games play
And slowly take their toll.
Maybe I won’t feel like this tomorrow;
Like a girl in her prime,
But tonight I’m carrying the wheel,

Must’ve been a dream,
Or something I had seen.
Must be a lie;
It was only ever me that died.

Hang on,
The river’s strong.
Now I’m back on the ground.
Track Name: King Bug in the Wasteland
Ozwald Branehart kills himself. The ground where he was buried turns sour; everything dies and nothing can grow. More and more children kill themselves and are interred nearby, creating an ever growing swath of dead desert. Ten years pass and the wasteland is huge. The dark and powerful energies of grief, pain and pure rage accumulate around the corpse of Ozwald. Insects fill his coffin, then the corpse itself, reanimating it with a depraved sort of undeath. This creature, King Bug, the writhing hateform, is unleashed upon the world, seeking revenge on anyone who could possibly be blamed for the plight of the children. Namely, everyone alive. He aims to smother the living in his pain; to fill their lungs with bugs.

King Bug…

Everybody knows
Everybody goes.

Rising, rising, rising
From the dry, cracked earth monolithically,
The tomb of Ozwald Branehart
Splits like a skull
Spewing forth the caustic contents
It could no longer stomach.
And writhing, writhing, writhing,
A lone figure dripping in the desiccated wasteland
Stands the one last, true king,
The one king this world deserves:
King Bug.

Choke. You’re gonna choke.

I am the death knell of this world
Set in the seven dimensions curled.
I exist in a thousand places
Wearing many a name and faces.
I am the vengeance of a thousand suicided sons
Crawling out of the ground to choke you on your tongue.

Choke. You’re gonna choke.

Make way for the poison king
Infecting everything.
Make way for the rotten god
Made out of insectoid arthropods.
What have
I done?
This one’s
Coming alive.
Is this hell?
Can’t tell…
Oh well,
Everyone dies.

Feed this nightmare and it grows!

My friend right to the end,
But when it’s over he’s back again.
He’ll burn, or is it my turn?
We are the fallen, we are the spurned.
Does the eye passing me by
See all the screaming hell that’s inside?
Last night I had a dream:
Bit by bugs and then scream,
And I saw you there!
My god, covered in blood.
He’ll burn this whole dang world into crud.
My rage on every page…
And I thought the fire would tire with age.
King Bug says he’s not real,
Just some anger I feel.
But I saw him there…
Die like the kids.
You’ll all die like the kids.
This world will die like the kids.
Die like the kids.
Track Name: Chokin' (The Fire Sermon)
A parallel timeline in which Oswald grows up to be a musician in New York, the city of doors. As he grows in popularity something begins to bother him, a distant memory of something lost. He can't put his finger on it, but he feels anger inside. He starts writing songs about it.

Everybody gets to go home
At the end of the show.
Everybody gets to walk away,
Because to you it’s just a story.
But you’re not wearing the ghost of yourself
Like a stone around your neck,

Everybody wants to be real.
But what’s that inside you, can’t you feel?
Everybody thinks they’re insane.
But that’s just the fire inside you that comes out when you scream.
So scream fire.
Track Name: Rising Light
Flash sideways and back to King Bug who is taking his revenge out upon all the world. Ozwald Branehart’s father, knowing that somehow he is responsible, sacrifices his own tongue in a dark ritual with malevolent forces, undoing King Bug’s wrath and his son’s death. The light rises; this creates the timeline of track three and others.

Look inside yourself,
See who’s peering out at you…

I’d trade his life for mine.
Take this tongue as collateral.
Just give me one more time.
There’s nothing quite so pitiful
Than to lose a son so beautiful.
Then all this rising, rising light…

Rising light,
Burn away the blood
And turn the clock hands into spinners.
Falling dark
Around the burning firewood.
Spread his ashes all around
As insects scutter toward the sound.

Look inside myself,
See who’s peering out at me…
Track Name: Burn, King Bug, Burn
The story of King Bug, his end and his beginning. Eventually not even he knows who he is, where he is, or who he's supposed to punish. Another memory comes to Oswald; a woman lost at sea. Fear death by water.

To all of the cowards
Who fight what’s already broken,
Who step on the shards and grind them into dust:
It’s your turn to be dust.

I’m a god
Stuffed in this puny, pickled body.
We’ll chew you and chew you and chew you,
Right through you,
Then spit you out
Of one million mouths.
All these names and all these doors…
You will know me by my first face and the one beneath,
The father, the son and the holy shit,
I’m a god!

I’m a god
Trapped in this circle-world;
I oughta tear apart this pathetic vessel before your very eyes.
And all these people listening,
Who the fuck are you?
I’m King Ozwald,
Who the fuck are you? I’M A GOD.

We made a million maths
To bring him crawling back.
Trapping the bug inside.
Get it out of my mind.
But we’ve released a monster...
All I know
Is he’s got my soul
In his filthy jaws.
How does it feel
To be bugs beneath the grinding of the wheel?

All the kids inside the ground,
Away from sight where can’t be found
Are rising, rising toward the sound
To bring the burning bodies down.

Write him a
Write him a
Write him a

Can’t cover an inch
Of my heart.
You can shovel all the dirt you want
On my grave,
But you all better run,
You’re the one who’s got no sons to save.
You can burn all the bugs you want,
Fight with fire.
Come back around in the sound.
Don’t you know a storyteller is a just a liar?
Because you
Can’t cover an inch
Of my heart.

I’ve been dead,
I’ve been dead before.
I’ve had dreams,
I’ve had dreams like this,
And I know it’s sometimes hard to tell
Just which is which.

How does it feel?
Don’t you feel small?
Well I learned that from you.
I learned that from you.
How does it feel?
Don’t you feel small?
Well I learned that from you.

I’m running out of spacetime
And I’m coming after you.

Feeling ghosty…
You could walk right through me and feel a chill.
I am the bug,
I am everywhere,
I am in the air,
I am on your skin,
I am within.
So swallow the bug, kids!
Swallow the truth.
Don’t look away.
I know it’s hard to see,
But don’t look away from me.
You know how sometimes when you’re all by yourself
You feel like someone is watching?
Like you’re part of something bigger,
Like you’re part of the big story?
Can you feel it?
Are you starting to feel it?

She’s just like me:
No one to stop the fall,
Can’t help but blame you all.
I was too scared:
I ran away from her,
Had no strength to change the world.
I can’t see my face in mirrors
Without staring into the eyes
Of that man from long ago.
How much pain can you take burning you inside
And how many times will we die?
But I
Tried to save her.
I tried.
I tried to save her.
I tried.
But now she’s
Track Name: Take Pictures of Me
Kerry is on vacation, but nothing can change her from within. She decides to take a swim...

A holiday in the sun
Is fun for everyone.
But there’s nothing you can do
To remove the you in you.
Blast off for the last time,
Til I’m out of my mind.
And when I’m good and pissed?
Go admire the cliffs.
Admire the cliffs and then the ocean.

Take pictures of your food.
Take pictures of your dad.
We’re all going out of the country
With our friends and neighbors too!

Take pictures of me.
For all I know it’s okay.

You can take pictures all you want,
But she’ll cut herself out of every one
Saying, “I’d just like to spend this moment with you,
And for once we can be true

Take pictures of you.
Take pictures of me, too.
For all I know she’s okay…

Take pictures of the cars.
Take pictures of the stars.
Take pictures of the moon.
Take pictures of the sea.
Take pictures of
Track Name: S.D.
A father’s guilt, a son’s anger, a mother’s fear, two brother’s ignorance.

Got so much I split myself in half.
Getting very good at math.
One, two and one.
Some brothers for my son.
But what have your children done for you lately?
I don't know.
Then I think about her and the time we were.
And I suppose I should know,
But there's just too much ghosties telling me “Go.”

Got no tongue to spit it out real loud.
Go and make papa proud.
One, two and one.
Another life begun.
But someone will pay the toll eventually,
That much I know.
Then I think about you and who let down who.
And I suppose we're both cold.
Maybe the difference between the young and the old
And the S.D.
Track Name: Get Up
I am stronger for having picked myself up all these times.

Everybody's gonna wear you down,
Use you up then drop you on the ground; you gotta get up.
Staring at your sunken face in the bathroom mirror.
Gotta get your head out of the water, see it clearer
Gotta get up.
Inside your own skull clawing at the walls.
Don't kid yourself, kid; everybody falls.
You gotta get up.
A hundred thousand bugs drowning in a river.
One side wants to see you burn,
The other wants you to shiver,
You better get up.
Get up.
Track Name: My Silverfish Friend
Is this the end? Kerry, the musician, knows that it's coming. He knows what must be done; a trick so devious that its players don't even know they're a part of it. But doesn't this all seem familiar somehow...

My silverfish friend:
Fall in love with me again
For the thousandth time.
My silverfish friend:
No, no one can understand
Why I've got to die.
And I don't have too much time.
Before I’m the next one in the line.

Can't you feel it too?
I'm sending right to you.
I know it's a song, it's a story.
But I've still got to go and I'm sorry.

It's time to walk away
Because it's over.
But I would rather stay
To get some closure.
A single man with the city in hand.
Who gives a damn if it goes to plan?
Who gives a deuce? But what do I know;
I'm twenty seven years and five minutes old.
Track Name: A Man Possessed
The moment before the last stand, Oswald remembers everything, even what is yet to pass. What will the kids say?

Everything it all feels wrong.
Voices whispering “You don't belong.”
Did I make it through that day
When I decided I'd go away?
There is a man deep down below,
And he's still angry that he had to go.
He's a royal pain in my head,
But there will be no rest for your dead friend.

There is a place where these people go:
Into the wasteland, the ground deep below.
There is a special kind of memory
Where these people live permanently.
And in this world where they always remain,
Kept alive only by so much pain.
Here they come again, back around.
There'll be no rest til we're all in the ground.

And the kids will say,
“Hey, I hear you!”
And the kids will say...
Track Name: Falling Dark
King Bug’s vengeance was denied him. Through the ritual he was blasted from reality and back into the in-between. But he found the one responsible, that vector of grief, pain, sadness and rage that can be smelled from across dimensions. 1 2 1. He will have his revenge on this new world and he's brought the kids along with him. But is he so sure of his target? Who is who in the maddening curls of these dimensions and the baffling city of doors, with all its entrances...and exits? The trap is set. The last stand, then the apology. The final dream and the final awakening. Over and over it turns. In the end we are only dust. Forgiveness.

"O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!"

Time is moving faster now, can you see it?
They're pounding on the door to our world, can you hear it?
Two becoming one again, can you feel it?

Everyone holds hot, secret pain deep down under their ground.
Don't let all that burning turn you into one of the damned.
There's a bug in the back of the brain,
Screaming, screaming like you're insane,
Telling you what you don't wanna know,
As we go, as we go...

Into the darkness,
Into the light.
Into the darkness,
Into the light.
Into the fire,
Into the night.
Into the darkness,
Into the light,
Over and over.

Holding hate in your hand like burning coal, waiting to throw.
Drinking pain like salt water, always making you thirsty.
There's a man inside your head,
Another self that you thought was dead,
But there will be justice for all,
As we fall, as we fall…

Into the darkness,
Into the light.
Into the darkness,
Into the light.
Into the fire,
Into the night.
Into the darkness,
Into the light,
Over and over.

Gotta let go of all the burning anger.
Gotta let go of all the poisonous guilt.
Gotta let go of all the aching sadness,
Or else it's all gonna kill ya.

Everybody's burning, burning.
I burn too.
Everybody's burning, burning.
What burns you?
Down in the prison inside yourself
There's a burning man who is screaming hell.
Never, ever listen to a word he says,
He will keep on screaming until you're dead.
Go then, there are other worlds than these.
You can leave this world dying as it bleeds.
Suddenly the river of time is a flood,
Gotta open up and show me your burning blood.
Everybody's burning, burning.
I burn too.
Everybody's burning, burning.
What burns you?

I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.

King Bug is in me,
He ends and begins me.
The circle repeating,
The snake always eating.
But I'm gonna stop it,
Put the pin in and pop it.
I'm gonna trap it,
Write the record and track it.
I made a version,
A subtle diversion.
The young man I've mentioned
Will draw his attention.
If you take everything ever written or said about a kid committing suicide it all adds up to nothing,
But he can't read, he's a ghost.
I'm a ghost.

You stinking morons, have you understood a word I've said?
I'm trying to warn you of the demons dripping in your head.
There's nothing good left to destroy.
Eviscerated girl and boy.
There's nothing left for me to say.
That's good, and anyway
Who am I supposed to be?

When you don't look at me I don't exist.
If you don't hear it then it didn't happen.
When you don't look at me I don't exist.
If you don't hear it then it didn't happen.
If you don't hear it then it didn't happen.
If you don't hear it then...
It didn't happen.

Not these tones!
Gimme something that'll bring me home.

He: his head's not right,
But why's he gotta fight?
Maybe he's just a fucked up kid.
She: she's all gone,
Left us for a song.
Maybe she's just a fucked up kid.
And I: I let em all out,
But why do I have to shout?
I guess that I'm just a fucked up kid.

I forgive you.
I forgive you.
I forgive you.

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