June 26, 2014

Good Business (draft)

Somewhere on the New Earth flatlands, an enormous plume of smoke arose, putting a smile on the face of Lieutenant Briggs, watching the explosion through a binoculars. Once the smoke dispersed, nothing was left of the Groms, the giant insectoid beings who peacefully grazed there. In an instant, they became dust. 
For Briggs, that was the best result he could have hoped for. And judging by the enthusiastic chittering going on behind him, the other Groms -- the Groms who were watching with him on the mountain slope, the Groms who wore bulletproof vests marked with the word "police", the Groms who were carrying the weapons the humans had given to them -- had been wooed sufficiently. 
Beside Briggs, Carl was looking nervous. Briggs himself had it in him to never show emotion, and that's why he was in charge, why he was Lieutenant, why Carl would never go beyond being a Private. Briggs knew all about ruthless aggression. Carl didn't.
“As you can see," Briggs said to the Groms, "timber mines are highly effective in combat scenarios, especially against soft targets. What do you think, you in or out?”
The Groms communicated amongst each other. Some fired bullets into the sky. Then one of the Groms stepped forward. To Briggs they all looked the same, but when that Grom opened its beak, speaking human language, he recognised it as the leader.
The Grom replied, “<We'll take them.>”
“So," Briggs said, "15 automatic rifles, 10 rounds of ammunition, 20 grenades–”
“<And don't forget the mines.>
“– and the mines,” Briggs checklisted. When that was done, he and Carl left the Groms alone and headed down the other side of the mountain. Briggs barked orders at his soldiers in the supply trucks. “Start unloading the goods.” 
Carl took Briggs to the side. “Are you sure?” he asked Briggs.
“Sure about what?” Briggs said with a surprised laugh.
“Handing all these guns to them like this.”
Briggs paused. “They give me the willies, too, but it's company policy and we follow orders through no matter what.”

Briggs didn't respond. He whistled at the mountain, signalling to the Groms up there. Dozens of tiny Groms quickly came out of holes in the ground, squirming their way to the supply trucks to take what was theirs. Soldiers handing over the crates warned for patience, but the Groms kept grabbing at anything they could, as fast as they could.
Briggs grinned at the mess of a scene, then finally offered Carl a nod. 
They quietly walked a few paces over to the gunner truck they were riding in, Carl following Briggs. Then Briggs explained further, once they were out of sight, “This way, not only have we secured prime real estate for ourselves, but we've set it up so the current residents kill each other off – and at no extra cost.”
Suddenly Carl found a Grom stalking the tyres of the gunner. He leaned down and whispered, “What are you doing, little fucker?” 
It poked its head up and stared at him with its many bulging, beady eyes. 
Carl stood up straight, wiped his pants, saying to Briggs, “I don't know, man.” At the same time he kicked the Grom away, causing it to scuttle off with an angry hiss before retreating and wiggling into a hole. 
"Don't know what?" Briggs said.
“Just seems like a hell of a way to settle a world.”
“Carl, you don't get it. We're at war with these roaches already.” 
"That so?"

"Just get in."
They climbed into the gunner. Briggs got in the driver's, Carl took the passenger side. Briggs grinned, keying the ignition. “See, we're at war, but they just don't know it yet.”
The gunner started up with a loud sputter, drowning out the low hum coming from the underside of the vehicle, where an electronic mine was planted.

June 20, 2014

My_Journal.txt (draft)

I was staring at the neighbour's dead cat, which was inside the trash can by then, when my father returned home from his trip in a hooting frenzy, and at quite an unexpected time, too.
Father dropped onto his favourite recliner. Once he had his pipe and his pint and had settled down, he bid me on his lap because it was a rare occasion, and piqued my curiosity with tales from faraway Cairo. Then, to my delight, he showed me a treasure he'd bought. 
The shiny, golden one-fingered glove was deemed the Anut, and was as ancient as the night sky - though Father had bought it for five dollars at a peddler's. Of course, I was to never touch the Anut, because it was his by virtue of the law, and, horror of horrors, it was cursed.
When he was done providing entertainment to yours truly, he moved on to the next portion of the conversation. Father wore his serious face and determined on his watch how long the conversation had lasted, concluding that he still had ten minutes before that part of the schedule when he was to bury himself in Behavioural Sciences books in his study.
Father asked me if I'd found a job yet – no. Secondly, he wanted to know if I'd taken my pills – no. Finally, he questioned what I'd been doing all week – nothing. And so, as he was to always do when I misbehaved, he gave me a right old whipping. 
But I didn't mind, since taking the sting of the belt was my way of apologising to poor Father. Again and again, twenty times over.
Afterwards, I thanked Father for his humbling and received some much-needed advice: I was to stay out of my journal because I spent too much time in it.
Father was always right.

The following morning, I found Father lying dead. His pants had been pulled down and his bum was bare. In the deep blackness between his thighs, something was poking out, and as I peered into the gape, I discerned it to be the tip of the Anut, now situated inside his rectum. 
The first mystery had been solved, at least.

Yes, I deduced, the Anut must have been forced inside him many times, shoved in there for the purpose of torturing the poor man. But there was another, important part of the mystery unsolved, as I wondered who could have done such a cruel, horrid, twisted thing.
I had to find out who had done this. I had to take revenge, seize back my father's dignity.

The body was gone. I looked all over the house. I couldn't find my father's body anywhere. Then I went outside, and – aha – there was the neighbour, removing the lid from the trash can, trying to get a glimpse of what was inside. And that wasn't very polite.
I knew he could smell what was in there, too, because why else would he have looked?

When he saw me, I saw him, so I did what Father would've wanted me to do. Because Father was always right, especially about that fiend of a neighbour, who had never returned our lawnmower.

The neighbour was off the to-visit list before I had even scribbled down the names of people Father disliked. Indeed, my father had many enemies, a great majority of them family. Jealous people, in other words. People who wanted in on Father's riches a long time ago, and didn't get in.
Fittingly, second on my list was Mother, divorced from Father. Of course, she acted completely surprised. But I knew better. With Mother, you never know when she is acting or not – Father always told me that, and Father was always right. 

The list grew smaller.
But with all the uncles and aunts and cousins, it was the same. They pretended like they knew nothing. But I knew they knew something, and eventually I began to realise they were all in on it, every single one of them.
Thankfully, on the seventh day, the list came to an end.

– and the mirror in the bathroom said, in red lipstick, “Murderer.”
How could this be? Who had done this? How had the killer evaded me so successfully?
Paranoid about staying in the house, certain that someone was messing with my mind, I quickly escaped to a motel room. I brought nails and boards, so I could barricade myself in. Then, on the first night, I was struck by an epiphany so monstrous in scale, so blinding in effect, that I felt my skin turn inside out from the glow of my laptop. And it was this: the perpetrator had been nearer than I thought. 
I smiled, I laughed, I cried, while a liquid warmth coursed down my upper thighs. So many emotions. But one emotion stood above all: Pride. Yes, Pride. And the pride I felt for finally fingering my father's killer was dampened only by the fact that I swore to murder my father's killer. 
As I type these last words, dear friends, remember me. I've fingered myself to death.

February 1, 2014

What Could've Been

“Can't you sleep?” August asked his little brother from the open balcony where they would normally play and watch the streets of the grey ghetto.
Ludwik was standing inside, by the doorway of the room they shared, stretching. “I couldn't sleep at all,” he replied. “Are you spitting again?”
“No,” said August, who then sighed instead of laughing.
“Where's your arm band?” asked Ludwik.
“I was getting tired of it.” August added, “Because the night felt like forever.”
Ludwik nodded in understanding. “Where's mama, papa?”
By their parents' bedroom, the door was shut. “Still sleeping, probably.”
“Let's go wake them.”
“You know we're not allowed to go in there,” recommended August.
“Close the balcony door, then,” said Ludwik, shivering. “It's getting cold.”
“First come see here,” said August.
“What's going on?”
“Remember what mama and papa said, the rumours?”
Ludwik leaned on the railings with his brother. The lamp posts were still lit below. “Hm?”
“The ghetto's been talking about a purge lately.”
“A purge? What did mama and papa say?”
“I think the rumours are true, Ludwik. They're coming to take us to the camps after all. I knew it.”
“Who?” Ludwik's voice trembled a bit, his teeth chattering.
August pointed to the leftward horizon, where the sun was only beginning to rise. It was there, up the street, from which a rumbling noise, commands, could be heard. The smoke of transport trucks parked there made it seem as though there was a new mist. Shadows emerged, becoming figures. Rows of infantry could then be seen, urgent in their march, intent on occupying the street. The soldiers gathered neatly on the pavements both sides of the street and readied their rifles, taking orders from a pair of frothing commandants. All of them wore the swastika on their uniforms, and the two boys knew this symbol well, too well.
“The monsters,” said August. “The monsters have come.”
Ludwik looked up at his brother, distraught. “Are they going to kill us, August? Tell me they're not, brother.”
“Don't panic,” said August, holding Ludwik's hand. “They can come and try, but we'll fight back.”
“Are you sure we can take them?”
“I promise you, we'll be fine.”
“I can't fight, August. We should really wake up mama and papa.”
“Don't be silly. Leave them.”
“But this is important, August. This is our lives.” Ludwik's heart was beating out his chest. He couldn't bear August's composed demeanour. He didn't understand it. He wormed out of his brother's grasp and stormed back inside.
“It's no use,” said August, solemnly.
“They can't be asleep,” protested Ludwik. “Not at this hour, surely?” Half sobbing, Ludwik turned the handle of their parents' bedroom door several times, then gave up.
“Do you see?” said August.
Ludwik, slumped, returned to his brother's embrace. “What do we do?”
“We hope.” August pointed to the building opposite theirs, the one the soldiers were instructed to first enter. “Look.” Lights were turning on in some of the apartments.
“What are the monsters up to? They better not come here.” Ludwik was trying to sound menacing. But when that bloodcurdling scream came from their neighbours, Ludwik couldn't help but sob more violently.
The soldiers came back out of that building, this time escorting fifteen of the ghetto's tenants, who had their hands touching the backs of their heads. They were shoved, mocked, and then told to get on the ground, on their stomachs, on the gravel of the street, where old death lingered. An elderly man was shot first, and then a child, who couldn't have been older than Ludwik. And then a pregnant woman.
Ludwik was on his knees, clutching his ears against the gunfire, so stunned he didn't notice the dribble hanging from his mouth, the tears pooling on the balcony floor, the wetness in his pants. August forced his brother to his feet and hugged him, and wouldn't let go. There was a river of blood in the street, a strange quietude that even the commandants were inclined on assuming for a forever-minute. The bodies went into the trucks.
“The monsters won't touch us,” said August. But this time August wasn't so sure; he was trying to convince himself. As he held Ludwik's head, he saw that his own hands were shaking involuntarily. “They'll go away. They'll leave us alone.”
“Breach the fifth,” they could hear a commandant say. Unit five—that was their building.
There were sounds of footsteps on the stairs, in the passage. Then hammering. At the front door. Once, twice, and there wasn't time for the boys to think, and the door came unhinged, and the monsters were inside their home, stalking their prey with their big guns.
“Hide,” August told his brother. Ludwik did what August was doing, hiding by the walls of the balcony beside the door, where they couldn't be seen from the inside. They didn't dare breathe. They didn't dare spy, although they could hear the destruction the soldiers were wreaking on their possessions. With every crack and shattering, the boys were jolted, and as they could hear the soldiers nearing, their knees grew weaker.
Ludwik wanted to hold his brother's hand, so he reached out, despite August shaking his head, telling him not to. Then they were found. They were staring right into the cold, blue eyes of one of those monsters, one who had come to the balcony for a brief smoke. It happened so fast.
He had them in his sights.
And he was doing nothing, but they swore the monster could see them. Yet the soldier turned away, flicking his cigarette into the air before going back inside, having had his name called. August and Ludwik looked at each other, in awe, wondering if they had been made invisible by prayer.
“They must be in here,” said a voice inside; another monster.
August and Ludwik could tell where the ensuing bang had come from: the door to their parents' bedroom. They winced with the noise.
“Bastards,” said the same voice with a chuckle. “They've already done themselves in. All four of them.”
“9mm Luger,” said another voice, scoffing. “Where could they have gotten this?”
“Never mind. Get to the next door. On the double.”
“Yes, sir.”
There was complete silence in the home when the monsters left. The brothers stood in the doorway of the balcony, peering in. The dining table was split in two, the cupboards undone. What remained of the family cutlery, shards. Their photographs on the wall, on the ground.
“Do you think we can go see mama and papa now?” said Ludwik, wiping away his last tears.
“No, Ludwik,” replied August. “Let them sleep.”
“What about us? Where do we go? What do we do?”
“We imagine.”
“Imagining things will help us through the rest of our journey.”
“You mean like when we play?”
“Yes. We can imagine fun things, what can be.”
“What could've been,” said Ludwik.
“That's right, brother. We can imagine what could've been.”

January 31, 2014

Leave Kyle Palombi Alone!

At nine in the morning, the most beautiful man in Beverly Hills went outside, and was startled. A large crowd was pressed up against his driveway gate, chanting and calling his name, reaching for him through the bars, flashing cameras, proposing, singing – doing all sorts of desperate, shameless things. They were persistent, like rabid dogs, with mad expressions on their faces. He hadn't felt such fear before.
Snatching his newspaper off the mat, he dashed inside and dialed the police. A few minutes later, sirens whooped. But then the arriving officers didn't seem interested in moving the crowd. Instead, realising they were at the mansion of the now-incredibly-famous Kyle Palombi, they joined in the idolatry. They stood with the civilians at the gate and snapped pictures of their own.
Kyle dropped his newspaper. It was the shock. The headline stated, in bold:
World's First Zombie: Teen Idol Kyle Palombi Rises From The Dead...And Lives!”
Feeling like he was about to faint, he phoned his agent. He didn't get an answer. He paced back and forth. He kept looking out the window, unsure of what to do. At half-past-nine, the crowd was so big, the road was blocked. The crowd was growing madder, rattling his gate, removing the barbed-wire lining his walls.
He tried his agent again. This time, he connected.
“Kyle, please don't be mad at me,” said his agent immediately. Judging by the sounds in the background, he was in a public place.
“Kyle, Kyle, Kyle, buddy, please. I know what you're feeling right now, but be cool. I know about the nutters outside your house. But, my man, I'm handling it.”
“How do you know about the–”
“The news,” replied his agent. “And I'm with them. I'm in front of your house. Can you see me?”
“Kyle, listen,” Tony shouted. “Right now, I'm trying to end the situation.”
“What about last night?”
“Wasn't me who gossiped, man. You have to believe.”
“Who got my address, then?”
“I don't know, paparazzi? I'd never give away your address, man.”
“Could only have been you. You snooped on me. You hurt me. How much did you get paid?”
“Dude, come on. I've been with you for ten years. Who's been more loyal in your down years? Just listen already. The paparazzi had the hospital covered, bro. They knew you were in a car accident last night. They bugged your room, they stole documents, they found out everything. Swear, that's the truth.”
“I wish I could, like, punch your face. Or something.”
“And I'd let you do what you want to me. But damn it, Kyle, how many times have I got to tell you, it wasn't me?”
“So you're saying the paparazzi heard when the doc said I was going to turn into a zombie? They heard all that?”
“I guess so. Yes. Uh-huh.”
“What am I going to do now? I'm too scared to leave my house.”
“It'll blow off.”
“Will it?”
“But look at the bright side. At least you're more famous than you ever were.”
Kyle went red in the face.
“Know what I'm saying? The whole world is at your doorstep, not just teenage chicks now. Which is a good thing.”
“I hate you.”
“Any press is good press, right? Kyle, I'm just kidding. I'll get you out of this, I promise.”
Kyle peeked through the curtain. He panicked. “Oh, heck, no.”
“What is it? Talk to me.”
“Some moron just jumped the wall.”
“Don't do anything rash–”
Kyle disengaged. He stomped outside, clenched his fists. He blocked off the young trespasser's path and puffed out his chest. In response, the young man gasped and waved around a pen and notepad. But Kyle wasn't interested in signing his autograph. Rather, Kyle wanted to hurt him. So, he grabbed the young man by the shirt and shook him around and shoved him to the ground and threw a sandal he was wearing.

The young man didn't seem irked by the bout of physicality, however. As he raised the sandal in the air like it was a trophy, he declared to the sky that he could finally go to his grave a happy man. Then the young man boasted to the rabid crowd at the gate, “I'm going to be famous.” He waved to cameras. “Hi, Ma.”
The crowd applauded and requested manhandling from the teenage zombie.
Kyle stood over the young man, and said, “Who do you think you are, stepping onto private property? This is my”–Kyle's tongue came loose. Before it could slip out his mouth, he twisted it back inside–“my house?”
Swooned the young man, “But I'm your biggest fan–”
Kyle smashed his phone over the young man's head, and didn't stop smashing, not until the young man's skull was caved in, until the young man was quiet. Quiet and dead. When he was done, he glared and growled at the crowd at the gate, who had gone silent. He told them, “Boo.”
They reacted with confused stares.
“See what I did there?” Kyle said. He wasn't sure if his knees were weakening due to the trauma of killing someone, or the rot. “Now get away from me and my house, or the same will happen to you. I'm not afraid to, like, bust in people's heads, as you can see.”
They said nothing. Their mouths were wide open.
“Hear me? Do you people understand English or what?”
Their mouths slowly turned into smiles. A clap of hands started. Everyone resumed cheering and howling and whooing. Right then, the gate toppled inward from the crowd's collective weight.
Kyle ran.
He locked the front door, eloped upstairs, hid in his bedroom, curled up in a corner, wet himself and prayed. He heard the destruction of the front door and windows, the sound of their footsteps on the stairs. Soon, they came banging at the bedroom door. Then there was no door. Then they were in.
Kyle yelled, “Stop this. You're savages.”
The room went quiet.
“Don't you know I'm just a human being? I need my privacy, too.”
Someone said, “You're Kyle Palombi, Teen Idol, World's First Zombie. You're not human.”
Others agreed.
“Well, yes. But am I not like you? Am I not able to walk and talk? Do I not feel feelings? Do you see these clothes, these eyes and ears, this heart?”
“Buh?” said someone in the back. They lurched in his direction, stretching out their long, bony fingers. They trapped him up against the wall then had him where they wanted him.

Completely surrounded, Kyle bit his nails nervously. “Guys? It's me. I gave the world Heartbreak. Remember? That number one hit?”

They swarmed in like wolves.
They shook his hand, rubbed his arms, pinched his cheeks, poked snot in his nostrils, wet his ears, punched his stomach, made him clap his hands together, rhythmically patted his hips, tore his hair, did frog leaps over him, suplexed him, soothed him, insisted that he smoke marijuana, cupped his groin. And that was only half of what they did to Kyle Palombi.
“I just touched a zombie. OMG.”
“I love you, Kyle. You're my hero.”
“I hate you and hope you die a miserable death.”
“Hey, sexy.”
“He's real. Really real.”
“Your grandfather thinks you're a disgrace, boy.”
“When are you doing a follow-up to the First Kiss album?”
Kyle didn't know what was happening anymore. He let go and decided to answer their questions.
After a while, he noticed his arms were missing, and so was his right leg; and just as he realised that, his remaining leg was stolen as well; and he fell on stumps before those were taken, too; and almost every other part of his body, stolen by those greedy hands. Finally, the crowd, bored, began leaving. Afterwards, all that remained of him was his head.

And he felt no pain, only a deep sadness.

But then he felt nothing at all, as someone else came into the room to dig for his brain. His agent wrapped it in foil and departed for the nearest museum.

January 26, 2014

The Culling

In the dark, John sat numb on the bed's edge, paying little attention to the television that was a few inches from his face. Each time he raised his unlit cigarette from his ashtray on the carpet, his fingers would forget where his lips were.
The newsman looked on the verge of a breakdown.
...remember these days...tapping into the source of mass consciousness...third eye imaging...what has long been deemed the other side...mystery no more...”
Sarah, his wife, was curled up. She was restless in sleep.
...we will continue to broadcast these images for the next three hours. As for me...I would like to say...”
The newsman was cut off, replaced by a transitional black background.
Text scrolled across the screen and advised sensitive viewers to switch off. That familiar semi-fuzz followed, showing faces of people who used to be. Every night they would appear on the television. There were always many of them, just standing there in distorted nothingness, whispering.
Die, die, die,” they would always say.
John would keep searching for the face he wanted.
Groans. Sarah was up. She turned off the television for John, told him to quit his habit, said he was scaring her. And he said nothing. He returned to bed and stared at the roof with her. The alarm clock spelled out 1:02AM when the television turned on by itself. They both heard the voice. Together, holding hands, they leaned forward.
There was one face on the screen.
I'm stuck, Daddy, Mommy. Get me out. Destroy what you know.”
John sobbed violently.

Sarah dropped a pan in the morning, messing eggs on the kitchen tiles. She shambled to the living room, short of breath, and downed an anxiety pill. She spotted John hiding behind a curtain.
“What are you doing?”
He pointed to the window. “They're making the sacrifice. They've started.”
She looked. The neighbours opposite them were kneeling on their front lawn, cutting their flesh, bleeding themselves to death.
Sarah turned away and retched.
“But it's what we have to do,” reasoned John. “It's what they want.”
Sarah closed herself off in the bedroom.
John pressed his ear against the door. She was on the phone.
“Can't I come pack in by you, just for a time?” she was saying.
“What do you mean? Aunt Jane's dead. Mother?”
Then a long silence. Sarah came out wiping her nose with a tissue, her eyes red.
“I don't want to talk about this,” she blubbered to John, trying to get past him.
He showed her their son's photograph. “Everything is falling apart, Sarah.” And he showed her the pistol in his other hand. “We have to do this. There's no choice.”
Sarah pushed him and ran. John grabbed her before she could reach the kitchen. She screamed and screamed as he pulled her by her hair and forced her into the bedroom. He threw her onto the bed and switched on the television. And then he made her watch.
“I need you to understand,” he said.
Their boy appeared on the screen.
John said, “Tell Mommy what you want. Make her understand.”
I will always love you, Mommy, Daddy, but I want you to die,” said their son. “When you die, I can be freed, and the universe can start anew. Help us.”
“Do you see?” said John.
She kept shaking her head.
Mommy, don't you like me anymore?”
John made her look at the photograph again. “It's him, Sarah.”
Do you remember, Mommy? Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are...”
Sarah buried her face in her hands.

“...we'll burn our house then all the houses left. Afterwards, we'll take turns with the gun. Okay?”
She nodded. She was crying onto the photograph.
John lifted her chin, smiled at her and cupped her hands. “We'll be with him again.”
She nodded. They went outside. Half the neighbourhood was already burnt down.

January 23, 2014

I Did It For The Lolz

And then the airport terminal was a slaughterhouse.
But, that high. A million pussies couldn't compare to that high. Just for a few moments, I was traveling the stars, tasting the milk of the universe's teat. In my state of bliss, everything was perfectly splendiferous. Splendiferous – I mean, what the fuck is that?
Alas, good times never last. What my dealer didn't tell me is I would shit my pants on the come-down.
People were screaming on the ground. I told them to shut up and stop complaining because I had a headache and smelly pants, and at least they could still get disability in this country. I headed for the bathroom, stepping over their bodies. I cleaned my machete, neatened my tie and entered a post-high seizure. I hated those. Aaack – that's what I sounded like, convulsing up against a wall.
But I knew what my body needed right then. More mother fucking Krokodil. I had two doses left, not enough. Quickly, I phoned my dealer and stuttered my way through a conversation, barely able to grip the phone. I told him to go fuck himself then politely asked if he could come visit. Said he knew where I was – apparently, I was on the television – and he was already waiting.
I didn't bother with an elastic band. Just stuck the needles in there. In my ass. I floated like a butterfly for a while, dancing across the terminal. Rubbing my crotch against dead people's hands, punching my balls, biting my lip off – everything felt so good. The pain was tremendous, the blood pouring aplenty, but I was happy!
I was going to start decorating my fingernails on the windows, too, but then the pigs were in town. Blue-red flashed outside. Some dude was yelling through a loudspeaker and was with a bunch of other dudes, dudes with guns, dudes with cameras. I shaped my fingers into a pistol and told them to make my day. Odds favoured me, anyway. The universe was on my side.
My man with his ridiculous dreadlocks was over there with an audience, waving. I went towards the window to see what the hell he was mouthing. I asked him where my drugs were before my nose fell off. Then he was laughing at me. Idiot. I suppose it was funny, but the least he could've done was come over and give me my damn tits. Starting to get annoyed, I went outside.
All the police dudes crouched behind their cars, readying their weapons, shouting.
“Stay where you are,” the loudspeaker announced. “Put your hands behind your back and get on the ground, else we'll turn you into mince meat, mother fucker.” He didn't really swear, but it would've been cool if he had.
I told him, “I'm the messiah. There's no reason to be afraid,” but I don't think it came out right. More likely, they heard, “I-nd-ah-tere-no-ron-t-be-arm.” See, the tip of my tongue had just gone.
And he said, “We're giving you ten seconds.”
And I said I had rights. I accused him of being a nazi. I hoped he heard.
They had me. From behind, pigs snagged my arms, hooking cuffs on my wrists. But the joke was on them. I was like – what's his name? – Mister Fantastic, and I pulled away. I was free. Missing hands, but free. I arrowed for my man, grabbed my drugs, gave his green, scrammed.
Damn, I was fast.
And sure, I was losing more and more of myself in the process of trying to escape, but at least I got another hit. I stuck five more needles in my ass and kept running, taking the police in circles.
Oh, man. So good.
My arms and legs were bothering me, stifling progress, so I ripped them off in freedom's name and threw them in the sky. Finally I was there. At the pinnacle of everything. My universe, my way.

January 19, 2014

The F'N Man

Class A citizens make the decisions. Class B citizens do the paperwork. Then there's the rest of us who fight to the death. That's how you get your licence to earn big dough in this world. Nobody's forced to, but for Class C, that option is there. Seven fights, seven kills – got to earn capitalism. I get it, though. They want the bloodsuckers.
I'll make them see.
The waiting room is empty. Manilow is singing. Mum's telling me about heaven. Dad's saying how strong my opponent is. And I'm saying fuck it. I don't need anyone telling me any bullshit. I'm made of iron. This is my house.
“Death's the road to immortality,” says Mum, applying spit to my face.
I snarl and pound my chest. “Who's 6-0? I'm still standing. I'm the best. I'm the boss.”
“But your opponent is also 6-0,” chips in Dad, that frail piece of shit.
I tell them both to fuck off.
Then the secretary says something. She stops filing her nails, and says, “Well, they call that mo'fucker Knuckles. Know why? On account of his big, ol' razor fists. That mo'fucker done caused beheadings, I'm telling yo ass.”
I want to go punch a wall, but then, right on time, the intercom wants me.
The office is open. Examiner's behind a desk looking like he misses the fight game. Poor, sad fucker tells me to sign on the dotted line. I take my time. I give Knuckles the evil eye. I let him know this is my moment. Then I sign like I'm painting a goddamn masterpiece.
I hope you're ready, capitalism.
“Remove your shirts,” Examiner says.
Already off. Primed. Pumped. Fists up. The fight's on. Before I realise it I'm on the floor. Shit. Knuckles has me in a chokehold. Fuck. He's hitting me in the gut. Goddamn. He won't stop. On and on. And then–
There's no pain, but there is a funny splat sound afterwards. The fight is stopped. But I don't understand – I'm not dead. What the fuck?
Knuckles pukes in a bin, runs off calling for his mother. I tell Examiner to raise my arm in victory – rule a forfeit – but the dick's just standing there, staring. That's when I realise.Turns out I'm split in half. My entrails are hanging out, too.
But there's nothing Muscles can't handle!
“Don't move,” Examiner tells me. He takes out a cellphone and records. “This is the most fascinating thing I've ever seen in my life. What do you feel?”
“I feel like finishing this fight, that's what,” I say.
Mum and Dad come in, and I hear gasps.
“What did I tell you?” says Dad, the bitchass.
“Do you want to go to the hospital, son?” asks Mum.
“Fuck you,” I reply. “I don't need any help.” I use my arms as legs, and stand. More of my innards splosh on the ground. Briefly, I can manage walking. Two steps, I'm on my back again. “Oh, shit,” I begin whimpering helplessly. “I don't feel good, Mum.”
My face is full of snot and tears. What a pussy!
“It's alright, son,” she says. “Death is okay. It's not something to be embarrassed about.”
Uh-oh. I've lost feeling.
“I can see,” I whisper, “the other side.”
“What's it like?” Examiner asks.
I ignore him. “Mum, I just want to say sorry for the terrible things I've done.”
“It's okay, dear,” says Mum. “You're still special to me.” She kicks my intestines closer to my body.
“What about me?” asks Dad.
“Go fuck yourself, Dad.”
Dad cries on Mum's chest.
Examiner again. “What do you see? You must tell me.”
I keep quiet for a few seconds, then raise my middle finger. “You'll never know, ass-wipe.”
Going up. Or is it down?
Either way, they'll know I'm the man.