All tagged october 2015

Frater Cleon opens the sanctuary doors, and two dotted lines of burgundy neon bloom along the floor. They create just enough electric glow to know that there is a path forward. He clutches a lone bottle of fine malbec against his silvered robes.

“You have arrived in the innermost sanctum,” a soothing voice speaks. It is that of a once-mortal consciousness preserved in silicon amber. “Speak your intent, that I might know if you are worthy to enter.”

After several years spent bathing in a white noise of ink, Jason could at last hear the narrator’s voice. The world melted into view, and he could see the walls of the gas station that surrounded him, the shelves lined with rainbows of high-fructose nothingness, and the broken roads of a desert town just outside the window. His nameless manager leaned over and whispered to him, “check out that guy on pump three.”

“So, what’s the weirdest thing that you believe in?” Her hands were busy sawing through a thick cut of swordfish. After a few rough dates, she figured that she would lead with the question this time. “I’ve got a doozy, but I want to hear your story first.”

“Well.” He put down a forkload of farfalle. “Sometimes, you know… I guess I remember things from my childhood that couldn’t possibly have happened. It's made me wonder if this is actually the universe that I was born into.”

He withdraws her bones one-by-one from the living flames, violet-hot from the forge. With each blow of his hammer, he discovers yet another intricacy of his lover’s interior. He measures out the breadth of her collarbone, the space between her radius and ulna, and the diameter of each individual vertebrae. It pains him that he cannot reach down and touch them; at least, not yet. He leaves out the two bottom-most ribs on the left hand side, a reminder of her distance from life’s original creator.

The batteries bulge at the seams when inserted into your flashlight, as though filled with flesh or bubblegum. There’s no satisfying click of connection- only a sense that they don’t belong in such a device, and that any more pressure would cause them to burst. “Do not squeeze,” reads the mostly-black label in seven different languages. This warning is printed next to a cartoonish silhouette vomiting some sort of jagged fluid.

There are many devices which consume and digest coins in order to survive, and in turn, fulfill the desires of humanity. They have many different names: vending machines, claw machines, gumball machines, slot machines, jukeboxes, wishing wells, arcade cabinets, frontloaders, payphones, and so on and so forth. Each one exists in symbiosis with our species, finding a niche product or service that convinces us to manufacture more of its kind. There is an exception to this rule, however, for only one Baph-o-Mat was ever constructed.

The sea rolls back to reveal that the tides have not entirely receded; thick cubes of saltwater remain in place, with independent waves traveling along their sixfold faces. They look like aquariums that forgot to put on their glass in the morning. Fish that jump out through one surface are dragged downward by the gravity of another, trapping them inside indefinitely.

The highway’s first head clings to the mountain’s northern face much like a remora clings to a shark. Its face is a mess of steel teeth that have been worn down over the centuries, drills and grindstones that process its host’s tectonic body into liquid stone. Rust and weathering have rendered this process imperfect, and waterfalls of wet concrete drool forth from its mandibles.