Sat stumped, wind down my legs. Birds coded hallucinations in intricate song, one tweeting sideways while another ate bugs to scales unknown to earth ears. What, sweat like black blood wipes clear? I thought I’d cut my pineal gland out with a sharpened deer antler earlier to help me sleep, but I must have missed and lobotomized myself. No matter. The stump knows gravity, I know the stump. This is why I come here to these wet woods. Beauty wrapped in death linens, mind gone with the morning rain. When they find me, my hands will have rotted off from exposed prayers to the dark unknown green beyond the edge of my failing vision.
My only hope is that a family of birds make love in my chest to keep my heart company.
You better go to sleep now.
Or the Veggitabull Man gonna come down from the attic and put his fibers in you. That’s right. Gonna pump you full of vitamins and dirt juice. I seen him. He’s real. I saw him up in the attic just the other day when I was looking for my Spring cotton candy machine. You know the one, the one with the bird on it. And the egg. Yes, he was just standing right there like the devil, but he had cucumber horns and corn fangs.
Oh yes I did. It wasn’t an LSD shadow warp or nothing. You know I stopped talking to that old doctor anyway. He always had me trying something or other for my levitating brain disorder. I won’t go into it. You’ve heard enough from me on that. Anyway, I’m telling you, if you don’t go to sleep that Veggitabull Man is going to creep on down with crinkle cut toes and stick his celery fingers right in your mouth and make you chomp down on them. Yes, he’ll hold your jaw up tight against your skull until you have to swallow.
And you’ll be so full on his body parts that you won’t even want sugar fried waffle pops in the morning. I know, I know. Just go to bed and you won’t have to worry about any of that. Everybody knows that the Veggitabull Man can’t go into dreamland and snatch you up. You’re safe there. So go on now.
Get your jammies on.
The good freaks over at Bizarro Central have once again found it in their squishy, rancid hearts to include me in Flash Fiction Friday. Check it out:
When the Thing Did
Thanks to everyone over there for keeping it weird all these years.
Check out my Publications page for links to other work of mine to be found out in the crimson wilderness of the internet.
Holy shit, the Internet! Did you see my bony horns poking through your collective lawns yester’eve’morn? The rains came and the dirt fell away and my bones grew flesh, sparked to life by the sun’s radiation. I think. Either that or someone has been rebuilding me methodically and just finally hit me with life-nourishing lightning.
I think my brain might have even slithered its way back into Central Command Skull. No longer a corpse in the garden, I have returned, unpromised and uninvited. I’ve cut my toenails and even found my dancing shoes hanging from a wire. If you can’t dance while you write, then what’s the use, eh?
Worry not, sexy strangers and otherwho’s. I am still here, sliding ever so slowly into the poisoned river, but never letting the fish arms reach me where it counts. Lately, my focus has turned to larger things, longer things, things which I hope to reveal once I can find the damn keys what that witch made invisible when I used her familiar as a condiment dispenser.
Boom-whiz-bang! Kids of all ages, boys and girls, victims and oppressors, step right up and experience the raw, flesh-crackling power of the PKD-23,000,000: the fieriest death ray ever installed into a human forehead by government alienists! You wanna melt the faces off of your so-called friends for tittering while you talk? You wanna see the brains of cattle and other passive herbivores fall directly from their gaping assholes and onto the ground like horse placenta only to realize that it is fully cooked and ready to spread on some lightly toasted crackers? You wanna toast crackers more fully for a charred (but not too charred) taste and a corpsey mouth-feel?
Well, just step right into my sanctioned parlor and I will merely put you in a box, punch a hole in your skull right into your frontal lobe, extract the pineal gland and destroy your goddamn, bullshit, hippie imagination zone making you into a lethal assassin to whom even popes and bankers bow in supplication. Your mind can become a weapon, more than a weapon, the best weapon! Isn’t this what you’ve been yearning for ever since Chet Crockerocket kicked you in your exposed, malformed testicles in a board meeting and you were too stupid to find his family and feed them to each other? It can be yours.
The PKD 23,000,000 is available only in the back of this van for a limited time of right now or I hit you in the head with this bat and do it anyway. You see, you simply must have this installed in your skull. A witch told me and, whatever this crazy world has become, I will still always place my faith in the cards of old Maggie. You are destined. Your brain was ours when you were nothing but sperm and star dust. So go ahead. Get in the van. Your beautiful transformation awaits.
The dirge played through too few teeth, a stale, sputtering whisper of a song as they hauled off the last of them. Splashes, squirts as they hit the mud until the bodies were piled up higher than sound. Their moldering bones would be their only testament. The last men strong enough to kill and to dig graves and to squeak out a few meaningless syllables would find themselves, in the morning as the air warmed, unable to keep their skins about their skulls.
The birds overhead were silent. There was nothing to communicate. They would feast and fuck on bloated bellies until the raisin-eyed chicks chirped impatiently and unknowingly in the nests of hair and mourning rags. But no more would men walk, hear, or think that, perhaps, these new beaks were singing for them.
Listen, you’re not getting off this ship without me, one way or the other. You signed up for this trip. You dotted and dangled I’s and such. And they didn’t tell you about the License to Breathe? Well, fuck you for not reading right. That’s the scam, baby. This trip might be free, but the air ain’t. At least not down on Earth. Sounded exotic, eh? All those fleshy bipeds, driving exoskeletons full of liquid fire around the crushed stone. Trees as tall as monoliths. Real nice.
Look, don’t give me this sob story shit. You aren’t welcome down there. The air don’t care who the fuck you are. Without your LB suctioned to your flap, your bug eyes’ll explode after a few minutes. But I got you. Don’t worry, my man. I can hook you up. I happen to be a Independent Licensing Agent. I know, I know, you’ve heard to never, ever get tangle up with us, but what choice do you have? I can get air into your lungs. That’s it, that’s what its all about.
See, payment comes later. You know that. Once you establish yourself and find a host womb and such, then you can start breeding your little baby brain slugs or whatever your case is and we’ll only take 15 of the first hundred, just like it outlines in Form 584 that you filled out for your License to Impregnate. Why you looking at me that way, partner? Don’t tell me you don’t have a LI either.
Shit, you’re lucky I’m here.
Eventually, they take your dendrites and pull them loose of the bulbous, salted and sparking meat-product of your brain and pull them even tighter now that they’ve got them and start to build upon them with blood and protein and microscopic steel particles until you’re walking around with exo-nerves waving in the air on a blustery late winter day like a tree caught in a gale, only the gale is derisive breath and laughter at the audacity of someone wearing their nervous system outside of their skull before Walpurgis Nacht.
And you hear them, feel them, and interpret them, wondering why they would take the time to transform you if all they were going to do was tell you how damn silly you are for their bad timing.
A long, dead river crumbles corpses into the sea, flows from my rat upholstered throne upon which I sit, masticating ancient Doublemint flavors, thinking on what was and what can no longer be.
The royal family, my family, all tugged out each others’ organs sometime ago during the War of I Want More Things, their eyes white with atomic fire. Silk and human skin fell in sheets upon the cold kitchen floor. Even the servants’ souls fell out and were left to rot in the halls. No reaper came. He had never been hired and angels don’t often come knocking unannounced. Especially not at this house.
Only I am left and my energy only flows because of a bad habit of mine of looking a bit sideways at life. Like this throne, for instance. Soon the cats will come and they will bring the dogs who will bring more humans to serve me. Until then, I will chew my gum and try to keep my hands out of the fire.
Every human can smoke a cop’s drugs and see gods and yet they had them lined up to meet him like Santa on a Monday at the mall when the workers are working and the students are working and the mothers are working and the only one not doing shit is Liza, the girl behind the make-up counter in the department store 40 feet behind Santa, 567 feet behind God, and not very happy for either of those two.
I mean, one is a drunken phony and the other gets pissed on.
She’d much rather do nothing. And no one needed make up now that camera’s self-edited blemishes and it became illegal to transmit a real human face across the internet. But sometimes the mortician would place an order, so she still had a job. She’d last longer than God, that was for sure. Santa seemed to be a fighter, however.