The Ape is Quicker than Man

The ape is quicker than man and sure-footed.

Pattern-feet in basins of land and washed in soot,

And his feet do hold on the sand and don’t fold,

At the ankle brushed with rivers of fur, for the cold.

The belly of the orient’s sovereign is quite filled

With the skin of ripe fruits and little creatures he’s killed.

And the turn of his brain is a mysterious thing,

As he wades in snow oceans on the footprinted plain.

Waiting patient for the passing of slink-shape things,

The ape is witness to daydreams of glorious wings.

And his envy has grown to the roots of his home

For the birds in command of a different throne.

He stands on his hands with a struck-stone blade,

Swayed swift to the violence he was keeping at bay.

And he hefts the great point to the sky with his might

And engages the vibrant sky thing in a fight, and-

The bird’s cleaved down the chest by the heave,

And it crashes out past where the ape can see

In the bleach-place, white like bones is the scorched face,

Miles-long craters where the water once laid.

The old ape pauses there, sways on his hands

On the precipice of stepping on the sand of the dead lands.

The cracked earth glows white in the sunlight,

And sweat beads down into pools in the ape’s eyes.

The ape takes another step in the rock shapes,

his foot-flesh spreads on the face of the landscape.

He has travelled some infinite lands

Grunting echoing calls of his kingly commands.

But something else is creeping in the view of his mind’s eye,

Panic spreading fast as he wanders in the hot-dry.

Some siren-call sings in his head,

And draws him to the shallow-cut path of the riverbed.

Over miles every muscle will quiver,

But still he will cling to the path of the river and

Two days, in the night and the sun,

The ape won’t walk but for some strange compulsion.

The river sides grow to a cavernous height,

Weak plant-things withered by the blight of the sunlight.

Some strange cold visions and illusory things

He sees the desert path washed by a false rain.

The ape, struck dumb, keeps his parched mouth hung

To capture the drops of the mind on his cracked tongue.

But after waterless miles of sick shivering,

And seeing false hope mirage pool shapes glimmering,

He sinks to the ground with a short croak.

And closes his eyes with the loss of his last hope.

But that compulsion, that pull he can’t see,

Once again brings him up, fatigued, to his knees.

A great vegetable lays before the ape lord,

With his last strength, he desperately rips at the gourd.

Green juice cascades on his face,

And catches in the thick black fur that it traces.

He drinks heavily, and eats of the gourd meat

And soon he is flooded with the strength to stand on his feet.

Looking ‘round, in the cavern he’s found

There’s a glittering color patch there on the ground.

Still weak, with a hunk of gourd meat,

He stumbles up and prods the cold thing with his feet.

There it lies, in the heat as it dries,

The bird in the cracked pool of blood it has died in.

And the life of it’s eyes is a vapor-shape

Going on the clouds in a final escape.

Something there that wasn’t is moved greatly,

Some change in the ape’s brain chemistry.

Death’s arm grabs the only live being he can find

To grant understanding to the depths of his mind.

The ape pushes up with his back to the wall,

As a glittering movement of smoke goes crawling.

And a cracked-dry corn husk skin thing,

Appears, prostrate, with the sound of a bell’s ring.

The great being, draped in a blood-red cape,

Is as tall as a twenty-high tower of apes.

The husk-corpse looks up with its hollow eyes,

In the center of its forehead a great, dark ruby shines.

The wind draws to its cavernous throat,

To speak from its void the old words it invokes.

“Ye childe of the wilderness, bound

In the Id’s dark clutches and the path you have found.

I am the figure of humanity’s death,

And the boil of sheol doth turn in my breast.

There are no souls left here to feed me,

No ghosts in the plains walk, far as I see.

Lo, my body, and shriveled up skin,

My teeth and my lips hunger endlessly for them.

I, a shadow creeping, am trapped in the rock bowl,

Shaking for the long-lost flesh of a human soul.

The tenderness of it doth cause my wretched mouth to drip

And blubber for the spiritous texture as it slips in.

I have grown tired of the pain that I feel,

And the hate that congeals in my want for a lost meal.”

Death pushes himself from the dirt

And the voids of his eyes glow with power, inert.

His form quivers as he raises on his thin bones,

The red cloak falling o’er his body as he moans.

The ape breathes heavy and deep, but is silent,

Kept in his place by the power of the giant.

His fuzzy head tips back into the wall,

As the flooding of consciousness begins from the husk maw.

“I am spent as the vessel of death,

And I will give you a power with my final breath.

You will roam through the lands of the others

To devour the nectar-tasting souls of your brothers.

I will give you the power of thought,

To be cunning, to know of the death you have wrought.”

And the ape is flooded with the thinking of a man

And beyond, he is brought to his knees on the cold sand.

The giant raises his hands to the light

And the shining of the ruby shifts strait to the ape’s eyes.

The new death’s black forehead is split,

And from out of it’s depths, another stone pierces it.

Another ruby, as deep as a blood pool,

Draws the stale air from the corners of the room.

Death falls to the ground in a pile,

And the haggard old leather lips hint at a smile.

“I am released from the power I have wielded.

You, now, determine to curse or to heal.”

And he fades with a flash, to the winds of the earth.

And the ape is left panting, the ruby’s wound hurting.

The old wanderer, silverback king

Goes walking from deadlands, dark ears ringing.

Something in the air is sweet, calling him towards

Another body dying in the distance of the world,

A soul to take away, to claim, devour to the astral plain.

The great expanse lies open, and the ape is gone again.

Hide Away Your Seams

My pop was a ponytail rider on the outskirts of decency. Not given to fits of rage as his father was, as I am, but certainly given to other unpleasantness in his own way. He would smoke on his pipes, he built them himself from copper tubing, and tell stories to me. They were dark, brooding, bloody tales. They twisted and turned with his mind, meandered about pillars of his experience but never brushed them, took me away to places so beyond the human experience that I was set to reeling in my thoughts at the close of every one. He told them at night as bedtime stories. I never could sleep well in the time he was with us.

Still, it interested me beyond belief. I’d heard from mom and my various extended family that he had gone to school for it, for storytelling I mean. He did so love the written word, reading was all I saw him do when he was inside, which was irregular for him. He preferred the universe of his head and he entered it past the tree line.

Those were dark times, don’t let them tell you they were lighter than these. I play-acted like I’d not heard the rumors, that the earth was going to open again. Everyone’d learned about those slick, amber things, the elders which had opened the hairline cracks in the earth to chasms. Had swallowed up our oil, our magma, left the earth as cold and dead as it was. My pop believed in it like nobody did, he even said he’d had his heart taken out by them and had the scar to prove it.

There had been machines before, that ran on oil. Not like in sardines, the oil we’ve got left, it was a black sort of oil. The amber fathers had come for it, they drank it, and it bubbled up in their olden guts. So my pop said in his stories. He told me that their powers lied in their ability to find the seams in things. In a person, you couldn’t see them, but they could. They knew how to touch you with no implements of war, with their hands, to break you apart.

They broke apart the earth. They pried apart the atoms with their fingernails. They were so, so loud, it made the ears of the children run with blood. So he always told me. He said, if you feel that pain and the rushing down your cheeks, pray to God to take you. Find any way you can to cover your seams. Run in circles, they can’t find seams in a blur. For years, I ran back and forth in the house when thunder sounded outside.

Well, they came, as you know. They slipped between the seams of the border, great blobs they were. In school, we’d learned that they were shapeshifters in their place, that what we saw was an infinitely thin bit of them poking through, that they could make into something like the form of a man.

We were in the woods when they came. I felt that deep pain, the screaming needles pushed into my ears, the sides of my face painted like the doorways of the Passover. The compass went wild, pointing at the wall of erupting sound. My pop pushed his hat back to tug at his hair with one hand and grabbed my shoulder with the other. His bulbous eyes skipped off the trees and back to me.

Mallo, get back, he told me. Run in circles, like I said. I did, I waved my arms. No seams, I kept thinking. My pop yelled, I couldn’t hear it now, he tossed his rucksack and I caught it awkwardly. The compass was swirling around, I could feel the vibrations of the sound in my bones but I could not hear it. Then, they were all around. Breaking apart the trees into mist along their seams. My pop was tugging his hair, face wretched, he hadn’t tugged it so since mom had gone. He screamed, mouthed my name, stopped his stamping to push me away as they came to him.

Their fingers came up like cracks in the wall, broken, twisted fingers with many joints. They touched all over him. It looked gentle, almost, like a loving caress. I ran, as he bid me to do, and when I turned they had found the hairlines. His body was torn to reddish mist. It’s very-most basic pieces. His seams spilled open, I could see the heartless, wet chasm of his chest yawn as they tore him away. Insides flopping on the dirt and misting away.

They were here for eleven minutes, so they say. Taking some, and leaving others at random. They took our wood away as they had taken our oil, to power themselves up I suppose. I miss the wood. God, I miss the wooden handles of axes and the paper dolls. I miss the books, I miss the trees, I hate the grass-grown abyssal plains where there is no shade from the boiling sun. I do as my pop said. I pray to God to take me.

Hi, Going to Hell, I’m Dad

Me boy’s feet slipped on the rock in the third circle, bless’em. Not as far as the ancestor. The ancestor came to him with great, fleshly, extended hand. Did beg him to take a-hold. And laughed when me boy’s embrace passed straight through. Sinner in the hams of a lanky cod, som’ like that.
Dead grinner, big spender he was, my boy. ‘Is mouth was always open. He said to me, he says, pop, I’m concerned with TRUTH. I said, says, hey kid, ye oughta should be concerned with reality. This is kid stuff, to dream. To dream is to be taken off Lord knows where, one o’ th’ circles. And ‘e says “aye”.
When a boy says “aye” y’ shouldn’t take it as th’ god’s honest. And he said it as much as he drank. He said, too, he said that the ancestor t’was an old broken lantern no’ so fit to show th’ way. Tha’s the way, exactly, swear it. I says to him, I said, I said he needed to get a bit of clarity. See Th’ Ring, live in Kerry a’bit. He wouldn’t hear of it, never would, an’ he ended up in that third circle.
So the ancestor comes to ‘im, in the night, wingspan out an’ bellowing an’ all that, an’ this lad believes him to be me, dressed so!
Aye, aye, wha-ah waste! Wha-ah matriarchal pattern-cut! Aye, aye. Landed ‘im in the fires, it did, jus like I’m been sayin’. But my boy, shore as ‘e keeps a length o’ rope ’round his gut-hangin’ waist, ‘e ‘ad a merry ol’ thinking in the pit.
He say-said to the ancestor, he said “Say, mac, say me elder pop, I’m pleased by your eminence and such. Much so. Maybe, say, maybe, we depart ta’ th’ wilderland ‘tween hev’n and ‘ell and gulp the beasties which roam such.”
I cannae’ get this point ‘cross well enough. My Boy Bespoke Wisdom. Bold as the sun goes slippin’. He loves meat, does the ancestor, mor’n he loves th’ all-father. An’ he slipped away with th’ boy, me boy, t’was the last straw y’ see, thinkin’ of that juice gone running.
They sit there now, love, me love, are y’ listenin’ t’ me? Aye, love, they’re sippin’ the saltless streams an’ growin’ heavy with elk. Don’ cry, ‘is body’s th’ only bit o’ him what’s left here. All-father, lord, we love ya, we do, please leave ‘im in his wilder places. God, lord, don’ cry so, love. Lord God does it break me t’ see ya.
I’ve seen ’em in the pit of me dreamin’, love, congregation. Aye, aye. Ye all must believe it, plain as ye believe me to be standing here.

Child of Beating

Warm little kid and sharp as a bird beak, born right there on the carpet when his step father won’t let his mother out to the hospital. He’s raised by himself and away from watchful eyes, creeps ’round the woods in quiet hours gathering blackberries in his shirt. Always cutting his legs up with the thorns. Beaten savagely like his mother before him.
Any such child of beating has his leanings, to fear or darker musing. Even as he wanders in the branches some hell rises inside him. Clenching his fists and gritting his teeth and pressing his red face into the creek long as he can while his breath poisons slow in his lungs.
Looking up with just his eyes, a strand of water-soaked hair shaking in the corner of his vision. A squirrel is passing by just in front of him. Twitching and blinking, one eye just slightly after the other and it moves it’s little paws over the dirt. The hate is welling. He feels like yelling but keeps obediently quiet, not disturbing the peace of the forest. But he can feel it fighting to the surface, gutting him from the inside and rising to the top like impurities from boiled gold.
The creature looks up at him, transfixed by creeping realization. They lock eyes, and a single muscle twitching under the squirrels nose gives warning and just at the moment when the whip will crack, something stops it. The boy can feel it pouring out from him in waves into the mind of the creature until it overflows. The squirrel falls down sideways to the ground, consumed wordlessly by vast pain both physical and mental. Ten long, sick years of it. It can’t understand a second.
The boy stands. By the green-filtered light he watches, feeling the pain leaking out from somewhere. Concentration on the writhing little form, he pushes it. More and more, the pains of his ten years flowing into the body. He can feel it ebbing away, his cuts and bruises bubbling off it’s skin. He smiles, blinking. And looks up at the forest’s ceiling, tears of joy on his face.
From then on it gets a little better. When he can, the boy slips out into the forest to release his pain on the unaware forest. He finds that letting it out provides a semblance of relief, temporarily. But the more he lets bleed the more takes it’s place, of thrown insults and bottles and rough hands moving over him. Of words from schoolmates breaking over his shoulders. Every tortured night vomited up into the mind of a passing animal. They writhe on the forest floor when he does it. He used to not watch.
The switch is flipped proper on an unassuming winter day. The irritation causing it is so minor as to be nothing. He’s pushed to the ground by a schoolmate and kicked in the sides by two others. His scabs can attest to the frequency of these things.
He begins by redirecting the pain they cause him. Bruising their sides, making them grow paranoid in the hallways for the scraps of money in their pockets. Making them taste sweaty hands in their mouths and down their throats and vomit on their teeth. When they won’t stop it escalates. A broken rib. Bottle glass in their neck, the sharp corner of a table to the side. Lonely, sleepless depression driving them deeper into the wilds. Hate screaming inside them pushing free.
The air about him is always awash in these and many more such torments. It is an ever-present stench about him. His pains fill every space, his paranoia and fear. Even the innocent children are burdened by a fresh cascade of pain as he passes them in the halls. No one dare raise a hand, not when he can call such pain and guilt as to cripple their body and mind. Hit me, he’ll say. Hit me you old bastard, right across the mouth. Just to feed the pit.
He turns to drinking.
He’s in from a night out in the woods again. The bottle hangs limp in his clammy hands. He fumbles with the keys. Anger rises so easy now it flows ever present, thick in the air he exhales. It brings people to their knees. The porch light overhead flickers violently, and little clicks sound as moths hit it. The key turns.
The flickering light extends out into the house and stretches black impressions over it’s surfaces. Immediately the stink of blood fills his nose. His eyes dart nervously over every nook. A TV is going in the bedroom like always, the light it casts moves to the cadence of sport but no sound. He can see the back room, and now a faint banging and swearing. He enters the bedroom.
Her head is broken open at the top, cracked lines of blood stain her eyes and mouth. Strands of hair are gathered up in it, in the wound cut across her brow. It soaks the carpet, congealed among it’s fibers. Her tongue is swollen and seems to fill her gaping mouth, and blood is crusted on her two front teeth. She’s sitting up against the bed eyes open as if contemplating the wall. And over her the bringer of death, stood ready with his gaze locked on the boy.
Don’t do nothin’ you’d regret, He says slowly. A pause, the boy is drinking it in. I had to do it like this, she was comin’ at me. She would’ve hit me, sweartogod. The boy looks up at him in disbelief. His step dad looks away at the wall, lip quivering, and turns back to him. All I had was a bottle, I was just gonna do a… a practice swing. W-warning swing. But the damned thing didn’t break. He looked down at it, lying there. Wasn’t my fault it happened, but I know you’ll blame me.
Seconds lapse in the little stand off. And then it begins. Silently, he lets every last drop of it hard into his step father’s fat body. Waves of hurt filling the old man up to the very brim. Tears run down both their cheeks in unison. He’s dredging up the darkest thoughts from so far down he’s hardly aware of them. His anger and sorrow are filling faster than he can unload them. His step father is on the floor, leaning against the bed and weeping hard.
The guilt of secret sins, of standing over the weeping bodies of classmates. Of arguments screamed out while he cowers. Of many pulls from the bottle by the light of an overcast moon. Filling up the animals with his hate and pain. Every bit of it emptied into his father’s writhing form, but it’s not enough. Nothing could be enough.
He leans down close, right by his father’s ear, clutching at his grubby shirt. There’s comin’ a day, he says, when I come back. Hate gathered in his voice. I’m gonna go out and find the pain of the world, he says. I’m gonna find pain like you never felt before. He pushes his step father back into the bed frame and stands up in the same motion. The last reserves flow out into the broken form.
Morning breaks out over the dashboard. He’s been driving all night and his eyes are tired. He rubs the hair from out of his eyes, pulls the sunshade down. The sun’s rising diagonally in the corner of his eyes. Arriving at a diner, he sits down on a bench outside and looks over the town. He’s never been this far.
Three years. He wanders in and out through American dreamscapes, guided by a compass rambling where is hidden to man. Getting into squabbles in bars, by choice walking barefoot and coat-less. Collecting pain. He kills a man with the strength of his hands in an alleyway for looking at him. He tells himself he’s nothing, worthless. Guilt is welling, sorrow, and tangible pain. Pain in his joints and muscles. In his blow-rattled jaw. Old pains from times past, and new ones. Chaffing against him.
How quick can three years enter the old man? Should it be compressed into a moment, or drawn out as long as it has taken to gather? Will such poison kill, or will it merely bleed him? He pounds his body against the steering wheel on the road at night. Screaming raw. He is violent, the younger image of his step father. Paranoid, his instinct is away from prying eyes. His spirit lies in puddles and rain sumps. In stains and mud and cracked blood tied up in bandages, American soil.
He returns. On the back of the bus way, cold and tired. Broken up. At last, he has gathered all he can stand. He sits down next to an old man swallowed up in a leather coat. The man looks sideways at him.
Young man? The old man says. He doesn’t look.
Young man, the old man says louder. He turns. What?
You’re shivering. Would you like to borrow my coat? He shakes his head.
Naw, old man. It’s been a long time coming to stop now. Silence. The old man wipes the scruff of his face.
You young ones, now I don’t understand y’all sometimes. You… you feel there’s debt you’re to pay, for better or worse.
The man laughs under his breath. Yeah, I got a debt to pay somebody. The old man shakes his head again, still looking out the window.
You carry it all with you. And act like you’ve got to do it. Like it’s a man’s lot to do it.
The younger turns to the old man. It is, old man. This whole damn country’s created from suffering. The old man turns back to him, eyes severe.
That’s true. It runs in a man’s veins. The old man leans in close so their shoulders are touching. The younger recoils, but listens intently.
But even if we’re made of suffering, it’s decency keeping us together. It’s God’s breath moving in the clay.
He breathes quickly, glaring wildly at the old man. The old man settles back into his seat, looking out the window again. The younger leans back, staring up at the ceiling.
The bus pulls up to the stop and he gets off. It’s cold and snow moves in the clouds. His feet are bare on the sidewalk as he walks. Coming to the old house, it’s unruly and unkempt as he left it. He pulls the old key from his pocket, holds it down by his side. The breath clouds in front of him. He looks up at the cloudy sky, gathering all the years up that he’s saved, bursting to be free.
He steps up onto the porch, his jaw tight and his fists clenched, coaxing the tide. Steadying the key with both hands, he slides it slowly into the lock, putting pressure on it.
It doesn’t turn.
He pushes it again, harder. Breathing heavier, he shakes at the door knob, swearing under his breath. He hits the door, slamming into it with his body. The flimsy old key snaps off in the lock. He calls dying rabbit screams out into the air as he forces his aching body into the door. He looks around, the hair falling in his face, and sees the window. Smashing it, he steps into the house, wanders through every room. Weeping his eyes raw. The stain is still in the carpet in the bedroom, but cobwebs are gathered in the corners. Life is long since left from this place.
He sinks weeping to the living room floor. Moaning, feeling the years ache in his legs. He pushes himself up and out of the house, sprinting back further into the woods beyond and stopping at the creek. Pushing his head into the mud of the creek, he unleashes the tide.
Something is different. The pain doesn’t spread to the ground, to the animals there. It rises like helium, up over the tree canopy and into the atmosphere. It pours from him like smoke off an iron, off his back and clothes, bleeding out from every pour. He sobs deeply into the ground.
But he finds it doesn’t fill him again. It just flows and flows, until he is empty of it and he rolls over onto his back. The snow is falling, floating down softly over the wood. The tears streaking his ruddy face are freezing, and they stop entirely. His burden is gone, taken up. There is nothing left to feel.

Desolation in the Wake of the Ocean.

Oh, great city, distorted in the wake of a mountainous tide. Awash in decaying salt. Thine people’s arms stretched above them, thine whispered prayers and homeless writhing in the alleys as the great shadow passes. It is upon them in the span of seconds, a force that cracks their fragile bones and pulls at their aching forms. Hell is brought by the quiet ocean.
Oh, great city, watch thine masses be carried by the river of the streets. The poor and the wealthy, the children and the dogs. Corpses weakened by the waters, in days the skins are cracked and bloated insides vomit out into the depths. The rats creeping in the subway are swept away and bound to the walls by current in the dark. The waters of the sewer and the sea mingle evenly.
There are those above it. They at the tips of buildings that call at the sky, but even they are not saved. For the wave brings the towers down. There are those outside its path, but neither are they saved. For the stink of humanity in the waters spreads sickness among them. And the pockets of life that cling at the edges of this place become ruined by desperation.
See, oh city, what has become of a survivor. She shall swim in the waters of the flood, she shall bathe herself gently in the squalor of the earth. The urban river rushes like the waters of the forests do but is clouded instead with the stink of death and the fluid twist of venomous snakes. She sees their bodies shine in the overcast, and tells herself they are only branches. The outcropping she stands on, some remnant of a skyscraper, is jagged to her bare feet and set low in the murky rush. A crying child and the bark of a stray and the wail of alarm bells are the siren’s song calling her, come deeper. Be at peace.
Her feet enter the flooded street first, and brush something momentarily beneath the surface. Her body is cold and clammy and shivering, the water takes her head down and the current whips her back feet-first into the void. Her hair is spread on the surface of the water like a lily pad. Already the brush of deathly slickness touches at her side and cold spreads slow in her limbs. Her breath sits locked in her chest but she pushes herself to let it escape. To gasp as desperately at the water as she has at the air.
One step beyond the city. A bare footstep has escaped the water-saturated muck and is planted firmly in the grass. He staggers forward, naked and dripping and cut deeply along his arm. The cut is long and pus-ridden and the steam of his body heat rises away. I have eaten her, he cries, I have eaten her like the rats. The city is silent but shifting and the sounds of crumbling buildings and subways can be heard through the spaces of the ruins like dust is seen in stripes of sunlight. He kneels in the grasses and rubs his withered, bearded face upon it and breathes deeply. Weeping upon it. His tear drops pull at the blades. God, he whispers, God help me. God help me.
Some thing of the sea glides in the darkness. Its pale form delivered to sunlight for the first time. Light has not touched it, and it seeks the darkness. It feels with inhuman tendrils for the beauty of comforting black. And suddenly it is struck by a pillar of flesh from above the plain of murk and cold ink erupts from its innards. O’er the forests of twisted metal that cloud wanders, washing the deadlands before diffusing completely. Finally, there is release from the day, the thing slips into the sewer like a ghost and devours the dead things keeping there. The filth of that place is dispersed evenly in the city. Its soft limbs play weakly across algae-ridden walls.
Under the waterline the displaced elements of an apartment float. The alarms have faded in the distance, the lights are dark. Warped tables and chairs rock in place. A picture of a man on the wall watches serene o’er the quiet, a crust of dry salt has been left on the edges. A mother and child float face-up by the window as if trying to see. A soft ripple of current released by a building’s collapse buffets them slightly and the tops of their heads brush against each other in rhythmic reunion.
The outside cannot reach what the waters have claimed, cannot pull its captives away, and the flying hands of the outside can only drop containers into the fray. The count of bodies is unreachable as the survivors. How, oh city, how shall thee shine again? How, belabored so with waking horror, shall any love thee? Lo, this place is given up to the ocean. Weakened through by salt.

Ah-Lou-Miniaum

Space-shiap made’a ah-lou-miniaum waltzes ‘cross the sky makes trails in the wake of it takes guys up into it, swertagod. Git prodded, git dropped, take a cow, prod a cow, drop a cow, earth’s sun bright through tha winder, it’s ah-lou-miniaum but clear. Sing a bit when drunk an’ smoke an’ lis’n to a music ontha radio, got big ol eyes tasee yua. Big slug foot and got yonder ah grey hat maeda som’on’s animal fuzz. Make’a guys got prodded sick but they don’t care, don’cha, Ali’n? Gotta yellabit, I’d say, atta sky atcha, Ali’n! Lika moonshiner read’na Dead Sea’s Scrolls ya don’ git it, imma commin’ fer ya! Backwoods iz yua, say, Ali’n!? You take a soul ah just ah man, say, Ali’n?!

Yessir, its ready I’d say, yessir.

Good, yeah, that’s a loyal grey, I’d say. Fire’it.

Yessir. Its a doomsday lazer, its ’bout like a double-barreled-sort, see, mac, hangin’ offa mothership.

Blowtha’ horn o’ war, raisetha standard. Takea’ human out, I’d say.

Blowed it up, em’ Ali’ns did, took our Joe’jah offatha map, an’ Akansaw’ too. We’s screamin’ an’ hollerin’ an’ we’s got owr sawedoffs out ta’ takem’ down. Ah-lou-miniaum up yowda, inna blue sky, turnin’ it just red’rnan ol barn, I’d say. Ol barn yua Ali’n caint hit! I mocked em’ likeat, said I ain’t skert o’ yua Ali’n! AAAAAAAAeeeeeeeh, mac, yua gottem’! Yuah hit mah ol family and ah’d retha be dead, I’d say!

I say, ‘tender,’ken still hearem’ breathin’ onme froma darkness. Wy’d it beme, mac, wy’dit be? Oh, ‘tender, gimme nother shot of it, mah glass is sorta spacey likethat shiap what did do em’ in back then. Mah poor kin. I like ‘sploshans, mac, I’d say. Getta kneckerchiff outta yua back pocket an’ stickit inna ‘homebrew likeiss and lightit witha zippo- STAP, MAC! DON’ TOUCH ME! Anyway, annya BLOWITTA CRAP! HA!hahahahahahaha…. Tha’s that. Pump an’ fa’r and yua’s poolin’. Quitea blaze. Hehehehehehehehehahahahahahahahaheha.

Soen, mac, yua’s in ‘Nam, en? Prettymuch a given withtha’ rifle onna wall, itssa emsigsteen I’d say,  ah can smella powder still. I eva tellya ’bouta Ali’n I seen? kiltma kin an’ ah’ve been lookin’ fer it since. Yua ain’t seena ufo, eh? Didn’t thinksa, than’ka thoa. Say, ya wanna seeya trick, mac? Yua gotta lettle bitta whisk’y… Likat, yeh, an’ ya put it onna rag fromya pocket and yua HEYH, DONTCHA STOPPMEMAN, IGOTTA DOTHIS! STOPPIT! I GOTTA GETTIT BLOWN UP LIKEM’ ALL! HAAAHAHAHAHehehehehehhahahahehe!

Sier’ns, author-it-ies, guess its time I got outta dodge. Gotta makea speck-tec-ale anna Ali’n’ll come an’ I’ll getim. Shame ta’ reckit I reckon, It’sa model a pickup wit whitewalls anna red painjob, haddit through tha’ dustbowl. She’sa larapin lady-she-is. Ah hell ah well can’ sell miteas well.

Ahem. I’m the narrator. I’ve not been in it yet. Lets see, my bit is… umm… Oh, yes, “boom”.

WHAZZAT?! Hurrp… godwherami? Isthis kain-zis? Lookit mah ol model a, like tha reckathe heas-preas I’d say. HAhahahah, ran them pigs inna the dirt, dinni? HAH! Aw, then, yua’s alive, ain’tcha, coppar? Writhin’ inna bleedin’, aintcha, but alive. Mor’n my PORE OL MA GOT, AINTIT? Weeeeell, we’ll see you offnow, mac. Let’see, how’stha’ salute goagain? Therewego, salute! They’s gonna giveya a purp’lart in hev’n fershoer, ain’t they, pig? BAM, lookit tha’ sawedoff blow! Yer missin aface, ain’tcha?!

His old face is deranged looking if you ever saw a face that was and it has a long beard that’s white and the lines of his face are so deep and many that they trap a few rogue hairs in them from his beard and he’s got liver spots all over him and the beard’s frizzy because it’s humid and his eyes are bloodshot and his smile is weak but could be weaker and his hair is thin on top except his brows which are caterpillars or cat tails maybe stuck on him. Pipe cleaners, that fits. Anyhow, he’s standing knock-kneed on the precipice of a mountain cliff and he’s brought one of the white walls to roll off it while he waits for the Ali’ns. He’s got an ancient part-gleaming part-rusty sawed off Colt coach-gun, double barreled side-by-side configured and boxlock actioned and the serial number’s been removed with a course file. Not that he knows it but the regulation on it is loose and it won’t hit the broad side of a barn for crap over more that ten feet. And he’s got a little hair in the back grown long, tied up in a little rat-tail and in his leathered thin skin old oily fists he’s got moonshine, good hard homebrew high proof brew contaminated a bit with glycol from antifreeze ’cause it was brewed in the backwoods and they used a truck radiator as a condenser. Probably there’s lead in it, too. And he sits there after he’s rolled the white-wall down and sips at the white lightning and kicks around a pebble on the ground while he sits on a dusty redish rock that’s in a sea of other dusty redish country dotted here and there with little sickly tumbleweed plants and prickly pear. It’s probably Arizona or maybe New Mexico. Colorado, even. He’s got no shirt so his shoulders are tanned and nearly burnt up and he’s got on Levi over-alls with one shiny button still left but the rest are scuffed up and some are gone all together and just left behind some hanging thread and the aged thread-bare denim pockets have an empty flask and an old faded olive-drab handkerchief in them. He’s got some spit dangling off his lips that’s a yo-yo, bobbing up and down. It reflects an image of the blue sky and the red land and the greenery that’s really, truly brownery but the image is inverted in the droplet, with the sky pointed down. Same with the sweat on his bulbous nose. His nose is red and pock-marked and it’s got scabs on it. His upper lip is shaved so his beard is just ’round his chin up to his bottom lip. He’s bored and he whispers an old folk song to himself.

The wind picks up a bit and then the sky splits and there, great mothership in the sapphire sky, towers over him and blows the wisps of fragile white hair gently ’round his head. The ship is massive, so tall that the top of it recedes from sight high into the atmosphere and into space where it opens up into a massive ship. The Soviets have got a space station up there but they don’t mess with the mothership because of it destroying Kansas and Arkansas earlier in the story, you remember that? And the ship is covered in black protrusions and buttons and pipes and lights and switches and there’s windows all along it, made of clear aluminum. He rolls back off the rock an’HAHAHAHAHAHahahah I nowed yua’d come yua suckers! wanaya born er’y minute, bailey useda say! Takis! He fires the gun and it misses because it’s old like I said and he immediately fires again and misses again. The glow surrounds him and he’s pulled upward along with a few of the pebbles on the ground, the straps of his over-alls float upwards so you can see the tan lines there. He opens the gun and the empty twenty-gauge shell casings float upward and the depressions in the metal where the firing pin struck them give a minuscule, warped image of him and the receding ground. He loads another shot hastily, he’s got his pockets stuffed full of twenty-gauges. He points it at the vessel and an aperture opens (that’s a hole, you know) and there’s one of them in there in a grey beaver fur wool-felt fedora hat like the old man was saying about in that part at the beginning of the story and the old man blows it’s wretched grey bulbous big-eyed head clean off with one shot and puts the other shot into another one as he enters the hole. In the hole the consciousness that joins the Ali’n civilization together mutters a scream of intense lament not because of two deaths, or not just ’cause that, but truly it’s a matter of perception on the part of the old man, they ain’t terrorists, the Ali’ns, and why they aughta should be perceived that way just for a few of them screwing rural America?

Anyhow, then they gang up on the old man and beat him with electric sticks because they’ve only developed ranged weapons on a world war scale for some reason, which doesn’t seem all that much like a logical progression, I mean, didn’t it start with them throwing rocks around or something? The sticks cast a greenish light on the scene and they’ve got a sort of mechanism like rubber but not quite rubber that makes it so the Ali’ns themselves don’t get shocked too much, but it’s not rubber like I said so they still get a few volts of it to be honest. Now’s the bit in the story where it’d be good to have a twist, but there’s not one. The old man’s dead. You can tell it’s a big deal because I didn’t make the sentence telling you  about it three paragraphs.

Part Three: Ascension 

No, sorry, I was serious. That’s really it. The end.

 

 

Dogmachine

Dog sits and stays. Dog kills rabbits because they are a waste of space. Dog knows rabbits will always testify. Dog invents new systems. Dog licks the palms of men in power. Dog wants the men in power to pet the dog. Dog gets the guts up to blow its own brains out with a shot gun but it looks at a picture of its puppies and refrains. Dog buys an expensive painting. Dog spreads lies. Dog buries a bone. Dog buries the truth. Dog buries a reporter. Dog kills another dog via acute blunt force trauma. Dog licks where it isn’t supposed to but isn’t reprimanded and establishes a repeating pattern of behavior. Dog is hooked up to a machine. Dog loves the machine. Dog knows that the machine is indifferent to dog. Dog aches for a vacation. Dog hears rumors. Dog is a prison rapist. Dog devours an infant. Dog removes someone’s face carefully with a number twenty-one surgery grade scalpel that it holds with a palmar grip and places the face carefully over its own. Dog thoroughly sanitizes an environment. Dog screams into a pillow at night because it is so tired. Dog is in too deep. Dog deals with unsavory characters. Dog kills another dog via acute blunt force trauma. Dog spreads lies. Dog buries a reporter. Dog sneaks into a house. Dog buys an expensive painting. Dog becomes jaded. Dog wants to die sometimes. Dog devours an infant. Dog aches for a vacation. Dog aches for a vacation. Dog aches for a vacation. Dog loves the machine. Dog loves the machine. Dog aches for a the machine. Dog machine. Dog machine. Dog kills another dog via acute blunt force trauma. Dog wants to die all the time. Dog looks at its puppies and feels nothing. Dog kills another dog via blunt force trauma. Dog looks over its shoulder often. Dog catches a pang of guilt. Dog feeds its guilt to the machine. Dog loves the machine. Dog aches for the machine. Dog machine. Dog machine. Dog yells at God. God is not the machine. Dog loves the machine. Dogmachinedogmacinedogmachinedogmachine. Dog gets up the guts to blow its own brains out with a silenced .357 SIG caliber SIG Sauer p229 handgun but looks at a picture of its puppies and puts the picture face-down so they don’t have to watch.