All tagged august 2015

You’ve come to this forest in search of the creature known as "sasquatch." By now you’ve learned that he is human; at least, by some definitions of the word "human." His flesh has been warped by years of long-exposure photographs, and his skin has blurred into a pareidoliac wool. A grotesque thumbprint remains where once there may have been a face, neither able to see nor speak.

The old man loads another cartridge of glimmering sand into the dreamthrower, then takes aim. Each of its three scopes rattles into alignment as he turns the crank, wrapping a collection of infrared crosshairs around the teenage skateboarder’s face. His weapon’s ribs glow brightly in the midnight fog. “God damn insomniac kids,” he yells. “For the last time, stop fucking around with the city’s circadians!”

After a decade of fighting crime, the city’s first hero was forced to wear his cape as a sash. The goldenrod dye used during its manufacturing had faded to gray from years of exposure to direct sunlight and acid rain. Though knives and bullets could not pierce his skin, they left jagged, butterfly patterns in the knitted cotton. Eventually, the time came to bury him, and there was nothing left with which to cover his coffin.

A closer look at the fluid inside the jar reveals that it is, in fact, alive. Magnetic ants have formed a colony within, and are living in extremely dense quarters, crawling all over each other’s bodies. It is difficult to discern at a glance where their tunnels end and the insects begin.

    She’s going to wear all six of her faces tonight, and needs something that’ll pull them together. The cloud that emerges from her little black bottle isn’t exactly a vapor. Thousands of tiny knots in space-time erupt from its nozzle, clinging to her skin and bending the light around her wrists. No physical matter is involved in the formula; it’s all a trick of subjective geometry. At this point it is nothing more than the empty fragrance of a hypercube: a hollow presence which the nostrils can experience, yet cannot understand.

You remember Utah, and how the mountains were reflected in the pale mirror of the salt flats, and how the salt flats were reflected in the pale mirror of the sky, and how the road, with nowhere else to go, was reflected into itself. You remember exiting onto the lonely stretch of concrete and tar that was I-13 as you made your way towards Reno, sleepless and broiled, your own pulse visible in your peripheral vision.

There are chambers beneath the city where sound continues to exist without space in which to propagate. For most species, including human beings, these environments appear to be little more than solid walls of limestone and granite. For bats, however, these barriers are as permeable as the air they breathe. They dip in and out of the subterranean passages hidden beyond, preying upon the immaterial insects within.

She fills the filter cartridge with crushed cinnamon, then slides it under the boil-jet. The inverted kettle howls to life as vapor erupts from its exhaust system, mere seconds before water begins gushing through a Medusa’s wig of transparent pipes. The fluid slowly takes on a shade of burnt umber as the cinnamon concentrates inside, combining with milk and black honey in its coils. The final product trickles into her mug, still steaming from the heat of the machine’s galvanic wires.