Category Archives: Fiction

Seeds

fibbonacci sky
Fibbonacci Sky

He could feel the seeds growing under his skin like hard knobs of bark. His fingers mindlessly playing over the curves and points nested in his arms. On the back of his neck, protruding from the bulge of his seventh cervical vertebrae, edged ridges and grooves of a walnut hull pressed out from his spine. From there, a spiral of wooden grooves embossed his skin in a preternatural pattern. His arms bent into twigs, the trunk of his ribs ringed with age.

branched

Every day, his chest formed a new circle, an expanding radial of mutated skin. His pores began to open with green sprouts. Tiny roots twined around his nerves, gripping them, wrapping themselves across his meridians. Buried deep inside him, something was coming alive.

He wondered, after the fire, if he was being possessed. He thought, as constant puffs of dandelions blew out from his fingertips, if it was the smoke of his own hand that choked her. It was too hot to see her face. It warped in the air with unforgiving heat.

His whole body trembled in a sticky sweat, sapped. His consciousness drug itself down into the abyss of an ocean with the unstoppable weight of anchors. He needed water. The storm in his head cracked with lightning, but never rained. His pupils dilated, drinking.

Every day he came to in the woods, a small clearing at noon. A cairn marked its center like a gravestone, a totem of faceless rocks balanced so precariously they seemed to be held together by still air. He was so thirsty. Digging always made him thirsty.

He carved triangles around the stones, an irrigation of mazes. He shoveled with the patience of a sundial, always leaning toward the sun, chewing its shadow. He had to keep digging. Somewhere in the memories, there had to be a reason.

His fingers shook as he tried to dial a number that no longer existed, the sharp watermelon seeds of his knuckles protruding into pinpricks. His head began to ring. He breathed the poison from the air, coughed up oxygen. He tried to breathe life back into her, watched the teary glaze of her eyes shudder, beginning to roll back.

Smoke filled her lungs, and then the house. He remembered the soot smeared on the roasted almond of her skin, the helpless streak of his thumb. The crackling house frame collapsed inward, chewed from the inside by the engulfing tongues of fire.

Pando

He felt her ashes below him, still with anticipation.

Rock by rock he covered himself, the cold weight pressing him farther into the ground. His roots tendriled into the earth, connecting him to each tree on the edge of the clearing. They would be one mind, a web of life, an interlocking pattern of growth exploding in the rivulets of God’s fingerprint.

He opened his throat, a wide gasp stuck in it, jarring his mouth toward the sky. He would eat the sun. He reached for it, digging his toes into the grit, bones splintering as he stretched through the space.

His face was covered in dirt, black and gritty, arms stuck up like two quivering aspens, the oldest organism. The white and black bark of his skin breathed with the sun. In the fall, tourists would come to see him, the trembling giant, the seeds of his eyes a matrix of raw potential, millennia old, bright orchids glowing in his palms. They quaked red and orange in the dry wind, leaving long trails of light in the dark like a lit cigarette.

Chaotica Hack
Chaotica Hack

The Line of Idyl

Electric power lines

The Line was long today. It was glorious, everyone gathered together, stretched all the way from the front to the back like a straight ocean. We were a part of something, standing up for ourselves, our history marching forward on the x-axis toward infinity. It was our responsibility. The wait was on our shoulders.

Today was the Grand Opening. They said a banner wider than a mountain was cut with scissors 2 miles long, operated by a mechanical arm that crushed ocean liners in its past life. “Welcome To the New You” splashed across the shimmering fabric, the font impressed with the intricacy of a call center menu robot, the color of muzak. I wasn’t here, but I could imagine it was perfect.

There was buzz that helicopters flew over dropping confetti bombs, spraying pamphlets with a thumbs-up logo “Facing the Now (subtext) Re-inventing the Self”. They blasted Tshirts out of cannons, loudspeakers sewn into the chest that broadcasted advertisements for public opinion. Anything could happen here. It was every idyllic, nostalgia-laden childhood fantasy rolled into one.

We were a conduit, a closed circuit, like a live wire finally grounded, the charge passing through me harmlessly. My subdermal GPS tracker said I was in the center of the whole thing, as if a guitar string coiled itself into the unknown and I was perfect Middle C, the exact division of an octave. You might not believe in utopia, but here I was, hands in my pockets, staring into the back of the person’s head in front of me. It was voyeuristic. Could I see into him? My heart raced. Did they even know I was here? Of course they did. The Line wouldn’t be as long without me. They could sense it.

Sure, there were pointless distractions. Holograms blinked in and out of existence to offer a variety of artisanal cookies. Cutters gathered in large blobs to point and gawk at trapeze artists base-jumping from skyscrapers, their broad strips of fabric streamers spiraling like DNA from their arms and legs as they contorted into each other’s bodies in an intricate dance of balance and grace. Their parachutes strobed with three-dimensional Fibonacci fractals, organically morphing through an unknown spectrum of colors.

Men and women ran naked through the street, manifesting live art experiences through body expression. They splashed prismatic paint through the air as they played, their motion extending out into the breathing world, leaving a trail of hand, splatter, and footprints behind them. The aesthetic impression was vivid, but temporal, nuanced. “The exuberance of a joyful laugh left ringing in your mind, a tickle that rises from your groin and into your chest, flowering up into your head as if your face could glow with 100 smiles,” my father might say. He was very Freudian, in his own romantic way.

If I wanted to experience the process of pure child-like awakening, I would go back to my old job mountain climbing the Andes. I used to photograph the rarest animal life on earth as I snowboarded in my wingsuit. I reconstructed the imagery into a graphic novel pastiche meant to reflect the internal struggle of humanity’s adapting eco-consciousness. It was all very meta. I was an adrenaline junky.

But I’m not here to talk about work. I was here for a reason. I was focused. The days of hammock-swinging in my sprawling compartment overlooking the lush jungle of South America were over. I shuffled congruently past a yonic fountain spraying meteorite dust into a maze of interlocked circles, opening and closing. The pools bubbled with an undulating fog of helium. The mist reminded me of the tiered tongues of waterfalls cascading over the Mayan ruins back home, a stressful acid rising in my throat.

A hologram server flashed beside me, offering me an empty wire-frame hand. He must have sensed that I was getting bored. “Would you like to see your self?” it bleeped.

“Definitely.” My voice squeaked, tightened from excitement and 5% noble gasses.

“Uploading credit bill,” he responded, his voice modulating with sine waves. The hologram’s face rapidly shifted into every person that stood in Line today. “Welcome to New You!” His chest ticked off with a rollover counter of charges to my bill. The Line was the only place you could spend money. Every face blended seamlessly into the next until my balance reached the charge limit. The longer I watched, the more it cost. It was absolutely exhilarating.

Days blended into weeks into months. Occasionally it rained, occasionally it didn’t. A group of monks read “Ulysses” in reverse, pressed the open book to their chest until the ink smudged onto their skin. Impromptu carnival games split off, tests of strength, skill, wit, and luck announced by a freakshow ring leader. Masked men and women, skintight with leather, flirted with lace, silk, feathers, silver rings, handcuffs and rope. They carted wheelbarrows full of toys around, offering free orgasms. They were homesick. They needed something normal, a safety net, as if they couldn’t think about the big picture, constantly obsessing the menial day-to-day.

But here it was in front of them: the ultimate meaning, the truth of it. Directly ahead. I stepped one foot forward, the reward center of my brain firing a symphony of serotonin and dopamine cocktails. I could feel when I stepped into the previous space of the man ahead of me, filling the ghostly shell he left behind, the imprint of his aura still warm in the air. We were one person, one long worm stretched through time, each of us different phases of the same.

Everything shuddered. I was ahead, in the lead, the first man.. Directed by the green blink of an elongated traffic sign, I stepped into a small trailer, drawing aside a flat black curtain. Transcendence awaited. I sat in a chair, staring at a radio. This was it, theophany becoming imminent.

It garbled with a fast-forward reading of Clockwork Orange. A Noam Chomsky impersonator deliberated the value Foucault’s linguistics in a trans-human society. Wait. This was it? An arm folded out from the side of the radio. A drillbit whirred on its tip. Highlight reels of history’s greatest revolutionaries fired up on the wall, the familiar click of a reel-to-reel projector rising to a crescendo as mobs silently cheered them on. A lecture from Carl Sagan, Terrence McKenna, and Richard Dawkins simultaneously jumbled at near subliminal levels. The right wall fed in a monologue from Einstein; the left side of the trailer illuminated with Tesla arcing lightning from his hands.

White noise of yogic chants funneled in from the ceiling in a binaural wash tuned to Solfeggio harmonic sequences, balancing my chakras, every cell of my body singing like a cymatic tuning fork. My left eye began to twitch Pythagorean theorems in morse code. I yawned, the The Unified Field Theory unfolded before me like an elementary school textbook.

It was a mishmash of every genius mind and concept of the last 1000 years, every physicist, scientist, mathematician, artist, philosopher, and poet, overloading the unconscious mind, forcing it to download every relevant detail of humanity’s genius in a single, epileptic session. Just like the one I listen to on the car ride from work. What is going on? How disappointing.

This can’t be it. The arm drilled through his skull, sucking the pine cone of his pineal gland from its root. He came online. The “I” was dead now. He flashed up, his wire-frame body filling with liquid green laser. He was suddenly beside her, without knowing, turning to a child in the Line. “Welcome to New You. Would you like to see yourself?”

The ego overflowed with zeros. His face was a dial tone printed with an alien language.

Insomnia

televisionglow

There wasn’t much on the humans today, but I watched them anyway. It was the same old, boring, lazy crap that they tried to pass off as humanity these days, but I couldn’t help myself. It was a ritual, a tradition. It was expected of me. It’s what my father did, and my father’s father. It was unheard of to be brought up in a house without humans. It was obscene. Impossible. Absolute savagery.

Every day I would awaken, something inside me a sudden tick, my face humming with a brief and vibrant blue. I would watch the kids when they came home from school, waiting for their parents to get off work. The family gathered around me, eating out of bags, gnawing on the plastic colored cheese hardening on the pastel wrappers, and we would stare at each other. You really get to know a human if you stare at them for 10 hours a day. It’s almost like they have a soul, a flicker firing up behind the red glaze of their eyes. Sometimes, when they start talking to me, well, you’d think they were alive.

Occasionally they would offer me food, on game days, screaming obscenities and throwing me offerings of popcorn, chips, pretzels. I was never hungry, but I liked it. They stood and cheered around me, a primal beat of the chest, empty with echos. I felt like a pocket-sized Kubrik’s monolith. But in reverse–devolving. I could train them.

One human whipped a bottle at the wall, establishing dominance. Rolling Stone called it “gripping satire,” “riveting,” a “Turing de force.” I called it a Sunday afternoon. Besides, the special effects were terrible. If you paused him at 23 seconds, you could see the strings, the reflection of a cameraman in his belt buckle, his hat was on backwards. He said he did his own stunts, but you could clearly see his double, terrible wig and all. Some people call them easter eggs, I call it sloppy continuity.

I put the kids to bed. The parents lean against each other, make passing attempts at becoming aroused. They don’t do much of that anymore. They already have each other. I can tell.

“I’m gonna get ice cream. Do you want some ice cream?”

“What do we have?”

“Chocolate fudge peanut butter swirl with caramel toffee chips.”

“Bring me a soda.”

“We don’t have any. We need milk.”

“Put some syrup on it.”

Who writes this dialogue? Mechanical, derivative, forced, preachy, pretentious, smug, wooden, drowsy, uninspired, convoluted, poorly paced, phoned-in.

They are terrible actors–waiting for the big break, trying to land walk-ons on a major channel, pretending to be in someone else’s lives, just trying to get noticed by someone powerful. One day they’ll be rich enough to become someone else.

Everyone gets 15 minutes before the commercial break. Hopefully it’s your favorite commercial. I heard, last year, that someone got paid 1 million dollars to watch a Super Bowl ad. It was the best he ever saw. He’s still talking about it.

Now his start-up company sells beer flavored toothpaste. He tried to invest in gambling therapy. He lost it all in a week. The odds were against him. It was good for the economy. He adjusted for inflation in 50 years and realized he only lost about 1,000 dollars.

I am a programmer. I sit all day against the wall. The back of my head is getting hot. My face is morphing with liquid crystals.

I used to be a story-teller. Move people. Now it’s just a puppet show. I tell them what they want to hear. I force-feed them, gluttons too full of despondency to lift a spoon to their mouths.The absurdity flashes around them. I swear, with the lights off, I can see it. Wiggling in the couch shadows, rolling pet hair up into balls, breathing dust, coughing up cigarette butts in the middle of the night, farting mold into the central air, eating the month-old leftovers, pissing on bathroom floor mats, it’s mouth full of microwaved aluminum foil.

The mother went to bed. It’s 2 a.m. The father’s mouth is open, the back of his throat bathing in my light. Let me sell you something–I am not a god, but I wouldn’t mind being treated like one. His hand is down his pants, in front of the privacy of the whole world. He is too tired to masturbate, but he tries anyway, with empty compulsion, still searching for the right channel.

I can’t sleep. I am always turned on, plugged in, jacked up. I can always feel the line noise feeding into me.

“This citrine-quartz necklace is only 555 for next 20 callers”

“…invest in the Christxmas gift that unwraps itself”

“This unfolding ladder extends through your apartment neighbor’s wall so you can finally walk up to each other”

Consumerism, etc. But his eyes are too blurry to see the numbers on his credit card. I am getting too old for this, too good.

I am a hypnotist. I will whisper in between the frames. I can see into him, through him, my plasma eye shifting with rainbows. I flash him the fake tits and fame-hungry moans of soft-core porn. This is my highest resolution.

Tonight, I will sell him dreams.