Monday, June 22, 2009

He pulls around in a wonky swerve, beating me to the corner. The window wound down, his face appears, beckons me over. He works so much his hands are melted to the steering wheel, skin splaying from fingers in a wheel-turning frenzy, all the time. Blackened tissue around his eyes from fighting the test of sleep and he's still going, covering more distance every day, more distance than the human body allows, in a part-broken taxi. The sound of the break shimmies, like it's messed up, shot to gravel, like it isn't there.

I've been thinking about religion alot. About how people use it to do what they want, its convenience in its meldability, the way you structure your interpretations. I'm an atheist. I cannot believe in God, I lack the imagination for it. I study religion, I study from an outsider's perspective, keeping it real. Keeping it within my safe and objective scientific lens. I study people from a scientific perspective.

'I believe in black magic,' he says, suddenly, turning to me and I feel a rush of black fogging the car. I see the yellow-whites of his eyes gleam golden in the momentary darkness, suddenly enlivened like coals with air blown over them to feed the fire within. Then he screws his lids, chuckles.

Susan's experience - part 1

Susan sank back into the plush couches and felt them swell up around her. When she fitted her chin into it, steam from the mug cupped in her hands seemed to catch on her cheeks nose and forehead. It was a pleasant and warm relief from the stiff harsh cold of the distilled air inside the lounge-room, its relentless freeze-over as callous, objectively scientific, arthritic, as - to Susan - a morgue. Stifling any chance of planning or any kind of meaningful activity. Utterly dead, sucking noise and light from the room. Even masturbation was out of the question.

With Jeffrey and Kyle out at the clubs tonight, and Mildred practically dead in the bath, senseless metal tunes grinding her into a somnambulent stupor, Susan was at a loss for either finding or developing her own erstwhile diversion to pass the time with.

Pictionary? Box eaten into cardboard tatters; no one to play with.
Television? Don't have one, flickshit. It was true. There was nothing left in the corner of the room where it used to sit, besides the short stack of bricks it used to sit on. Still, she wasn't regretting those text-books, the ones she had bought with the television money, cash-converters coming to the rip-rip-rip-off rescue.

Susan sighed quietly and nestled deeper into the couch, cold near to unbearable. It seemed to originate deep from within the floorboards, rising up steadily, and culminating in the icicling of a bogey, which now dangled from the tip of Susan's numb honker.
'What to do, what to do with this...' the rest of the sentence popping into her head like press-tuds, inauspicious: '...what to do with this cold misery?'
But then the striking of the clock clashes around the room, and Susan looks to, aghast, wondering when it was that any of them had actually bought a clock....

To be continued......

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Zombies, droning under lights. Their moans steady as drips of water.
Zombies, scratching marks in books, tearing quietly at pages. The symbols made by zombies are almost indecipherable; zombies scratch their temples with the tips of their pens, trying to reach some level of comprehension, unearthing scabs. They stare, eyes cloudy, splashed with pools of milk. Zombies look at the cryptic symbols they leave on their pages.
They can't see the pages for shit.

Zombies, muttering things inaudible as phantom-speech, heads hurting from the effort. Memorization is a task given them to keep them from dying, when all they want to do is sleep. Memorization is supposed to prevent dying, and yet the pain of it indicates only to zombies the degeneration that is occurring within their skulls, neural synapses dissolving, neurotransmitters leaking into stagnant cerebral fluid.

Zombies. You'd think they were being whipped to remain there. Their slow droll movements are manufactured exercises, bought from a store; routinized, not even understood, anymore.
'What happened to you?' an intruder says. A being to raise them from the dead.

The intruder enters, she spies them, a packet of zombies. Locked in a box-like room. Each zombie situated at their own zombie, child-size desk. A guttering unnatural fluorescent light. One common feed trough in the corner out of sight. Another corner, filled with miniature plastic bags, each placed neatly, compactly-as-possible, into the excrement bin.

'What happened here,' she repeats. She seizes what's left of the bicep of the nearest zombie, and pulls the muscle free till it's half-rancid meat in her palm.
He faces her with the corner of his face - the other side is still; trained upon his book. The look is momentary; he shifts back, jaw clacking in a remnant of indignation. The axle of his neck cricks as he shudders back to senselessness.

'Someone answer me! Someone answer me! What happened here? Someone answer me?' Someone answer me, she says, she says, and it is a question. Someone answer me, she repeats, flapping a book, flapping around in a circle, like she has caught a chook by the ankle, unawares.

A green and grey ponytail slipping off the back of a flat-headed zombie, bobs up and - with a more vehement effort than her de-bicepped brother - walks to the intruder and wrestles her pages back. She descends upon her desk and seat once more, absently unruffling the papers, fingers rubbing off onto the paper as she straightens it against her threadbare shirt.
'Now, come on, precious. What's wrong with you all?' says the intruder, patting ponytail until it hangs by a disintegrating single fibre of hair, and then slips to the floor.
A moan like an anguished dinosaur belittles the intruder; it puts her on her knees. She picks up the shock of hair, hair like pulling a bundle of it from the drain in the shower. She crouches.

Bald advances towards her. Bald is about to throw and release a punch, release an arm as it flies airborne and seeks out its target crouching on the floor. Time slows her, as a cry in the middle of the room stops time, in a cause-and-effect chain so momentous that the meaning of the zombies in the room either will or will not come into consciousness like a cloud descending upon people.
In the middle of the room one man forces through his zombie and lets out a shuddery cry, drops his pages to his side. His cry is so great, so hungry, it catches all attention.

He cries out again, and his head drops to his hands, still clinging to neck via certain strings. Head in hands, thin streaks of saliva escape between his fingers like steady streams of tears, melting away the scabs at his temples.

His neighbour cricks her neck around, uses the tips of her fingers to position her eyebrows to a state of anger. He begins to wail, a man forcing through, beating against the confines of his shell, a pupae cracking the ribs of its carcass-like cocoon. She grasps, wrenches her knee, and throws her kneecap into his head. It is a clean hit, sliding around the side of his temple, and away, into the air.
His cheek slides away with the kneecap, melding with it in the air, into oblivion, a fragment of a zombie.
Arteries exposed begin to haemorrhage, purple blood coating his lips, and dripping down steadily onto the floor. A moan like hunger fills the air and curdles it, but it is not stagnant, anymore. A moan like hunger moves the particles, swills the particles of the air, mixes, churns it up.

Just when his blood is running out all along the floor and he sinks into it, sinking off his chair and melting peacefully into his own liquids,
just when he ceases to move,
purple ooze runs clear and red as blood.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Talking herself through the study session, she weaves layers into the room, room otherwise desolate. The sterile white fluorescence of lights keeps the few of us hunched, as though in private bubbles. Into our books, into silence. Chicks in eggs, separated from each other by shell, incubating.
But she talks.
I know she will be here until ten o'clock. Filling the space with a constant murmur, so comforting. So nourishing, comforting, coming through the egg shells like streams of talk from a mother. Like through umbilical cords.

I do not stare at her. I do not want to scare her. I only glance. Making sure of the identity, the identity behind the murmuring.

Then I take a longer draught. I savour that gulp of sight.
Sometimes she talks, eyes staring at the page. Lashes like blinkers, training her gaze.

Sometimes she talks, her head raised. Eyes trained somewhere over the tops of pages. Memorizing, the stream of talk still a constant.

Pouring herself into study like study is cups, like cups are there to catch her in. I see the subjects in the books catching in her mind like her mind is completely and utterly open, waiting, little hooks like hands in the walls.

All we hear is the lulling lisp of the tongue on the roof of the mouth, the moan of speech like a janitor's trolley at the other end of the corridor, ghosty and comforting.

She leaves, Early. People look around, awakened by the quiet. Then their heads go down, return to study.