Saturday, April 21, 2012

"Whispers of Mutiny"

On a ship with the greatest masts
Going on a journey simple as can be
There was talk of something in the deep
O'er the greatest sea.

The captain sent an investigation
And the crew started murmuring about he
And the cap'n wondered if it was just a joke
O'er the greatest sea.

Strange occurrences grew and grew
And what he saw the crew didn't see
So he started to record his observations
O'er the greatest sea.

Then somehow - though he was in the control room -
He heard talk of mutiny.
And these whispering murmurs gave him so much stress
O'er the greatest sea.

The days grew longer and the ship went off course
And the cap'n went over the brink of insanity
However, if he'd looked in his shadow he'd see The Choir
O'er the greatest sea.

They change what you see and alter what you hear
For your actions are all about your perception
And they climbed aboard a cruise line ship
To pull a fatal deception.

So if you hear somebody say something mean
Think carefully about what you do
For it might not just be that that guy's a jerk
The Choir could be following you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"An Unnatural Smile"

You open the door to find a man. He smiles. It is not a normal smile. It is too long, and far too wide, stretching across the man’s face. It makes you feel sick. It makes you want to scream. You try to look away, but you can't. That smile is eternal. That smile is forever. You look towards his hands, which he holds out in a gesture of offering. He has a single, red rose, just for you. It is an offering of death. You blink. You see that the flower has changed, and the man now holds bouquet of chrysanthemums in full bloom. Again you blink, and he now holds hyacinths of different shades. Then you close your eyes, as if trying to will this monster away.

When you open them, you find yourself standing in a field of flowers. It seems to stretch forever, a vast sight of colours and smells. Cherry blossoms float in the breeze, as the flowers around you sway. Then you see the man again, except he is different. His face is different. But his smile is the same. You realise that you recognise the face. It is the face of someone you once knew, a boy who had a crush on you; who followed you all the time; who wouldn't leave you alone. He loved you, yet you hated him. You hated the way he acted, the way he talked, and the way he made you feel. The smile grows wider, on the face that doesn’t belong. You remember his name, Jason, as clear as day. He followed you all summer, until you got a restraining order. You removed him from your life. Then he killed himself, blaming you, and leaving only guilt.

When this sinks in, you try to scream. Except, you find you can't. As you mouth opens, cherry blossoms pour out. You can feel them in your throat, as you slowly begin to choke. The breeze picks up, and the petals in the air begin to thrash about. The flowers on the ground remain perfectly still. As the petals whip about, they cut at you, drawing blood. The cuts grow and grow, staining everything red. You look at the man, through the haze of petals and the blood that covers you face. He has changed again. His tussled shock of hair is red, and his dark, cold eyes shine with intense madness. But all that pales to his smile. It stretches and bends, and doesn't belong. It fills his face. It goes beyond his face. As you choke on the petals, and feed the flowers with your blood, you are enrapt by that smile. And you still try to scream as it swallows you whole.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"The Truth Will Set You Free"

Over the course of three hours, an adulterer was outed.

It started when her husband noticed a strange pattern of disappearances, the realization just snapping together in his head. He ignored the trickle of blood from his ear as he investigated further, memories coming to the fore - the strife that their relationship had gone through, the strange eyes of his young son. All of these things snapped together in the mind of a previously trusting man.

He immediately deduced that she was an adulterer, and quickly sought his family for advice. However, before he could reach his father’s home, he met a man on the street. The man smelt like a butcher’s shop and was misshapen, but the husband was entranced by his bloodshot eyes. The butcher man tilted his head to the side.

The husband explained his situation to the butcher, who nodded with a sad smile. The husband understood, then – there was only one punishment for adulterers. He ignored the sharp pain in his skull, and he began shouting the truth for all to hear.

He went to the town square and raised an angry mob, and the butcher man plodded behind him, wiry black hair rank with the smell of death. The people shouted in outrage, rallying around the husband and the butcher man, raising their fists. They all bled from their ears, their noses, and their eyes as the butcher man gazed upon them.

The mob charged down the streets and dragged the husband’s wife from her home, tying her to a metal pole in the town square kicking and screaming. They told her that they knew the truth, and that she could never, ever escape it. They then took up stones in their hands and ended her life, the dull thudding of rock on flesh and bone echoing through the streets for half an hour.

Then the crowd dispersed, the husband simply standing there alone with his dead wife, bleeding from his nose, ears and eyes. The butcher man plodded in front of him on heavy paws, wiry fur rank with the smell of death.

It crouched down, smoke drifting from its maw as it lowered its face towards the wife’s body, and began stripping it of meat in the middle of Times Square.

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Everything the Same"

Supermarket aisles, Camper lined up on both sides. Moving as one, looking for something other than the best deals. One eye spots uncharted movement heading for the back door. The Camper break into a run. Something is trying to avoid them, and whatever it is, it isn't a Camper.
Not yet.

Thirteen minutes later, five blocks away, the figure escapes down a stairway. It's headed for the subway. What trains are coming? The H train? The Camper driving stops the H train before it reaches the station. No way for the figure to escape now, not unless it's willing to risk going onto the rails. That'd be suicide.

Suicide, however, seems to be on the menu this evening. The fugitive on the run dives for the train tracks, feet seeming to merge together in some disturbing cascade of emotive flourish. Whatever the thing is, it's not a Camper, and it can somehow become a train.

The H train takes off once more, chasing after this abomination on the rails.

This continues for eight long minutes before the Camper stops driving the train, realizing the figure hasn't been seen for a while. Did it even exist? Better question, does it exist anymore?

128 miles away, in a cabin in the middle of the woods, two Camper-- formerly male and female-- are sitting on a couch in front of a fireplace.

"Do you need anybody?"
"I just need someone to love."
"Could it be anybody?"
"I want somebody to love."

The creature known as the Camper has no fundamental need for these two beings to be gathered in solitude. They are both the same consciousness, and they have no need for numbers, not when the whole world is now Camper. Still, memories exist within the collective brain bank, memories of marshmallow pies, flowers, and human interaction. Memories of euphoria experienced when oddly specific criteria are met.

These two Camper were chosen to be the test subjects. The criteria requires one male, one female. Solitude is optional, but highly recommended by the former-human knowledge.

"For the benefit of Mister Kite, there will be a show tonight on trampoline."

Particular poetry has been shown to evoke positive reactions, as well. The Camper wish to experience this joy for themselves.

Now the show begins.

Music plays. Both Camper can recount every note and detail to the songs and their creation, and if given instruments, both Camper could easily perform without sheet music in front of them.
The male lays on a bed. The creation and dimensions of the mattress are elementary to it.
The female lays on top of the male, cold eyes staring into itself.
Upward motion.
Downward motion.
Upward motion.
Downward motion.
"Oh yes."
Upward motion.
Downward motion.
"Oh goodness."
Upward motion.
"This is fantastic!"
Downward motion.
"How did I ever go without this?"
Upward motion.
Downward motion.
Upward motion.
The female dismounts. Not a drop of sweat had left either body.
Neither Camper is thinking of the other. Both are thinking the exact same thought:

I know I did that correctly; the knowledge is right there, in front of me. I followed every detail. Something was missing, all the same.

The Earth turns, all the same.
The people exist, all the same.
Very little is different, all the same.
No passion play; everything the same.


The world rotates several more times, the nations flooding and flowing with water and structure.

In a desert country, two former humans stand fifty feet away from each other, massive armies behind each, men standing line-by-line and ready for war. Not a single toy wonders what the point of fighting is when every mind is the same consciousness, for the Camper all know exactly what this conflict's purpose is.

Sound off, one two three.

Muskets fly, spears pierce, feet trample, limbs make contact, bruises develop. Not a single voice is heard; there is no need for exclamation in a world where all think alike. Pain is all in the mind, and what are a few limbs to a being with all the arms in the world?

Thirteen minutes later, only the leader Camper are left standing. Neither had moved an inch in the duration of the skirmish, their faces remaining stern as the philosophies they share. The desert is littered with bodies, and not one of them is dead, only sleeping with holes in their hearts.

At this call of silence, the corpses rise and begin their exodus, following the leaders to the next town, where they will repeat the skirmish identically, a shot-by-shot remake of an artificial war film.

This is how conflicts are settled: Systematically.

In an urban country, a stadium stands, filled with a quiet race of Camper watching the game, concentrating on every nuance and detail. Down on the field, balls are kicked around, boundaries are crossed, figures dash from side to side. Points are scored, boards light up, and the crowd cheers together at every goal, mouths closed at every other instant.

The tactics of the game run through every mind to the point of becoming second-nature. If a Camper in the crowd were to stand up and run onto the field, she could seamlessly enter the game and not a play would be out of place.

A blimp flies overhead with the winning team's name being advertised to the people in the bleachers. Every character knows who the winners will be, and every part of the crowd knows the details of every participant of the blimp. Not one mind ponders on the purpose of advertisement in a world where all are one; all the coaches and all the players and all the producers and all the audience knows what this event's purpose is.

When the game is won, the predicted winners are carried out by a mob of fans with emotionless faces. Parties are held, celebrations roar in every household. Every detail is carefully planned and executed by the same mind, never questioning the point, always certain in the answers sought.

This is how conflicts are created: Systematically.

Everything the same.


The world breathes the same. The waters still the same. Nothing has changed a bit; your life continues the same. History repeats, everything the same.

And every mind thinks, the same:

What of that enigma that was no Camper? What of the beast with the wheels that disappeared down this tunnel? Will I ever see it again? Will it ever allow itself to be seen again?
Will I ever learn its secrets?
Come a year, everything the same.
Come a hundred years, everything the same.
Come a thousand, everything the same.
Come the end of the universe, everything the same. Now to play it all over again. Now to try once more for 
the passion play. Now to try once more to learn, to escape.
Once more, with feeling.

Friday, April 6, 2012

"Letter to Mistress"

Rain came down on the main street yesterday. Grey, cold wet grey, running by the signs and tall rooves just before the golden morning sun comes up, oh, how I wished everyone there and everywhere had seen it. Have you? Silly question, really – of course you have. As with us, as with all things before.

The week went well, more than anything I could’ve hoped for. There was a young lad, then an older one, then a girl, then another boy, tall men, short men, an old woman in a yellow dress. Some kicked and screamed, some kept quiet and went along, but all neatly sorted up now.

The order, as usual, took me places. Quite a lot, in fact, enough to paint everyone home green with envy. Roamed the streets, the alleys, the gardens and the fields. One time or another things took interesting turns. Life wasn’t easy before I got here, it still isn’t now. Have to run and hide in the shadows when the others look. Not that it matters. Life with the mistress heading, guiding and walking us all into the future, we alone know how good it is. Sure, things don’t turn out well at all times, but the sight, the sounds, the feel after all is said and done, I’ll never give away for anything in the world.

Has all been well on your side? All calm and safe, no bad men to watch out for? I really wish it’d been that way over here, I really do sometimes. Whenever I come down to act, the crowd would make their move. The shady blokes in the know, the little ones who ran and now rising up to arms, and whenever I stop for a moment to catch a breath, the other ones in the shadows wherever I look. All in such hurry to take a peek and hear a little bit of the plan. Chased me down at night, stalked the corners by the day – how inconvenient, no less when we’re all so close to the week’s goal.

Things haven’t been the best, to be honest, and as I write this in this basement, not terribly likely to be looking up soon. But it’s all right, it still is fine. When the clouds start to clear and the sky outside is calm, I hope to rise from these shadows and into the light you give.

Because when I do it all, I think of you.