Postmodern Supremacy

Yorrick lay disintegrated. Naught but a pile of ash remained: still smouldering from its total obliteration several hours before. The ship thrummed as it dipped in and out of super-luminal speed.

-Oh poor Yorrick! Hamlet cried -He was a very funny fellow do you remember Horatio? Do you think Alex looked like this when he was disintegrated?

Alex had gone missing many days ago. Hamlet had contacted the Galactic Government only to be told Super-Ops agents had found him just as a pack of Krell raiders disintegrated him. Hamlet seemed unstable. But of course he was. The whole set was.

-Oh I assume so Sir. Horatio replied. The ship was beginning to come apart in the “warp storms”. But was this supposed to be believable? Krell raiders were from the planet Krellin C. Their economy had been feudal until interacting with the great Galactic Empire. As a result two broad factions developed. The conjugated verb forms in one faction followed the t-q parsing which followed system of…

…and so on so on…

Hamlet looked on in stupefied confusion at Haratio’s novel length soliloquy on Krell verb-conjugation. It had involved a subplot about a Krell woman who led a rebellion that led to lengthy reforms that had resulted in the phrase “when Krell breathes water” keeping its Old Krell iterations of breathe. But why would a whole planet…?

-As I was saying… Hamlet went on. –His dust was once a noble body with noble… arms… and things…

Hamlet was whisked away to an erotic recollection.

The ship was starting to disintegrate. Everything became very confused and contingent. The Author began to scream as he died.

-Where is this going? The Reader™ thought.

-Goodnight sweet prince… An android cooed. –May flights of angels sing thee to thy-

-NOT YET! HAMLET CRIED! Promptly, as quickly as they had appeared, the crew of the ship entirely evaporated.

Watch Out!

The town was a hush. Everyone had retreated into their homes and sealed every door. The chimneys had been bricked up years ago. Soft snow fell in the streets. I was pressed into a chair by the kindly man whose name I did not know.

-It’s better if I do not tell you. He had said to me when I’d arrived. –In these parts we tend to stay detached from outsiders. We will all show you as much hospitality as we can but the Night is coming and it’s easier for all of us if a distance is kept.

The people didn’t really understand why I was there. They didn’t even have printing presses and the majority knew only how to read and write their own signature and shop fronts. I think the idea of a journalist was well beyond what their puny minds could imagine. The Night had been prepared for. I still had no idea what it involved exactly. When I had asked the question was avoided. No records were kept save any deaths and major property damage and those records had numerous gaps and inaccuracies (no system’s perfect).

Suddenly bright light streaks down from the sky. A tinkle of bells sinks like a pack of daggers. I remain motionless. The old man whose name I still don’t know is but a silhouette in this flash. When it goes I make out the pale contours of his face: his eyes are stars.

There is a thunder of nightmarish iron hooves on the roof and a loud thump. Something begins hammering the barricaded upper chimney. Now I understand the distance, the terror in the people’s eyes describing the Night. One night a year that the rest of the good Christian world celebrated with frightful anticipation this little hamlet in the middle of the wilderness whipped themselves into a fury of anticipation. When perfectly good barricades could be used to keep out the bears and wolves that stalk the brush beyond the edges of town they instead board up houses and block off chimneys all for one day a year. All to keep out the terrible man “with breath of ice and eyes of fire”: all to keep out the vicious that for others is the jolly. And why?

I’m telling you why:

Santa Claus is coming to town.

History of the World

A king sat at his desk. He wrote lines of blood on skin-paper and smiled. Bombs fell outside in the distance. Another man entered wearing a modest suit. He spoke in a timid stammer.

-Excuse me sir do you mind oh um… do you mind awfully if I…

The King was very old and had been plagued with many health problems. As such before the man in the suit could even say…

-sit in your seat?

The king had a heart attack and slumped in his chair. The man in the suit was surprised but, despite his polite and spineless exterior, he had no empathy. He slid the king’s body to the floor and sat in the chair. He could hear a soft murmuring.

-Oh this will not do! He thought in reference to the king’s red writing. It was all poorly organized and the blood had spilled all over the paper. The man had a much more civilized way of doing it. He took the quill and dipped it in the dark scarred arm that stretched across the desk. Faraway troops were marching into the distance. The king had sapped the blood almost completely from the arm but the man gave it occasional breaks and sapped different bits in shifts. The whole thing was much more efficient. But sometimes the lines of blood would be a bit bloodier than they needed to be if it suited the man in the suit’s ends. He was sure no one would mind. At least the man in the suit was sure it was fine until the door burst open again and a burly General stomped his big black boots into the room. He had a rifle over his shoulder.

-ALRIGHT I’M SITTING IN THAT CHAIR NOW SUNNY!

-Oh hello!

The man in the suit smiled cheerily. This general seemed like a respectable chap. The murmuring went on- more agitated now.

-Well I think it goes without saying that you have just as much right to sit in the chair as I do so why don’t we share it?

-OR HOW ABOUT I KICK YOU TO THE CURB AND HAVE THE CHAIR TO MYSELF?

-Well come on now you are a funny chap aren’t you? Why do you even want the whole chair?

-I LIKE SOME OF WHAT YOU’VE BEEN DOING WITH THE BLOODY WRITING AND WHAT NOT!

-Now please sir I prefer to think of it as ‘unfortunate crimson ink substitute with a base of-

-HOWEVER I FEEL YOU ARE BEING FAR TOO SOFT WITH IT- THE BLOODY ARM NEEDS A BLOODY GOOD THRASHING!

-Now sir really come on-

But before the man in the suit could continue, contrary to everything he had thought about the general, he found himself kicked to the floor and shot in the arm. The general began to scribble vast bloody gashes across the paper. The arm bled and bled until the whole table flooded with blood and all the words and meaning were bleached away to reveal blank red flags of death. Whilst the man lay on the ground, his suit bloodied and his face pale, he began to gather his strength. The general cackled as blood spilled across the floor and the arm became haggard horribly. It was then that a gruff iron-faced soldier stepped confidently into the room. His arms were big and his face mean but he had a valiant look in his eye the man in the suit could not discern. The man in the suit watched in awe as the soldier walked up to the general and punched him so hard in the face that he flew out of his chair. The two men struggled and fought and both sustained horrific injuries. As they did so the man in the suit healed his wounds and began to feel his strength growing. He crept over the desk and drank the blood directly out of the bloody arm and off the desk whilst the other two weren’t looking. As he did so he felt himself grow and change into something no longer human. And so when he swaggered over to the feuding two he leapt on the General and proceeded to tear flesh from his bones. The soldier and the man in the suit together smote the General and rose slowly from his body with a triumphant catching of breath. After a moment the two men looked at each other. Then they looked at the chair. Then they looked at each other again.

The resulting struggle took hours- but the soldier was too bloodied and exhausted by the struggle with the General and eventually, at long last, fell to the ground close to death.

The man in the suit smiled and sat once more. His increased strength led him to cut deeper into the arm and scrawled bigger bloodier letters on the pages (but at least he wasn’t as bad as the general). The general seemed to be dead but the man in the suit wasn’t too keen to check his horrific remains. He was happy to ignore the blood that had spilled off the table and through the gaps in the floorboards. He was more worried about the dead soldier who the man in the suit saw as the real threat despite being dead. Somewhere in the distance a mother wailed over the corpse of a child.

So distracted in fact was the man in the suit (both by the soldier and by his rabid scrawlings) that he didn’t notice the general’s son slip quietly into the room, take the rifle of his father’s shoulder, and stick it to the man’s head.

-I’m having the chair.

-Well I think it goes without saying that you have just as much right to sit in the chair as I do so why don’t we share it?

The man in the suit smirked. The General’s son seemed like a reasonable chap. He was sure to listen to reason. He turned to look at the boy. He bore the General’s likeness but his features were softer somehow- more palatable. The man in the suit reached out for the gun only to be knocked to the ground and shot over and over. The man in the suit lay gasping on the ground as the sins of the past were repeated on the bloody arm. The man in the suit couldn’t understand why this was happening again. Hadn’t he been reasonable? Perhaps he should have appealed more to the son’s humanity. He looked at the soldier’s body to see that it still lay dead. Blood poured onto the floor. It sloshed in great gulps across the ground. It was then that the man in the suit realized what the murmuring was. It came from under the table were the Black arm led. It was a woman’s voice repeating the same words over and over again.

-I told you…

Reclaiming Lost Signs Vol I

Dusk was setting in- the fluttering final rays of sunshine spread across the back of the world. He saw in me the primordial anger of a woman scorned. He had the expression of two random pieces of film smashed together- the metaphor was disconcerting but made a sort of demented sense.

He sighed. “Will you forgive me if I apologize?”

“What you did was neither more nor less, than the total, absolute crime since, instead of attacking, like any offender, a particular decision or wish of mine, you attacked my very principle and physical person!” I insisted.

His eyes were suddenly shrewd. “How about if I mean it, and I agree to let you drive Saturday?” he countered my conditions.

I considered, and decided it was probably the best offer I would get. “There are no fixed penalties for this sort of monstrosity.” I agreed.

“Then I’m very sorry I upset you.” His eyes burned with sincerity for a protracted moment — playing havoc with the rhythm of my heart — and then turned playful. “And I’ll be on your doorstep bright and early Saturday morning.”

“The ideal punishment has to constitute the sum of all possible tortures.”

His smile was condescending now. “I wasn’t intending to…”

“an expression of infinite vengeance. And, in turn-”

He cut me off. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll be there, no car.”

I let it go. I had a more pressing question.

“Have you the fear of the uproar, shouting and cheering that people usually indulge in?” I asked significantly. He walked away without answering. The question burned in my young body. Within me flew a thousand leathery wings.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Oh my goodness are you alright? I cried. My voice lost in the rabble of other voices. It was a sunny afternoon when a man just dropped dead in the street. We didn’t know why. I heard it was a drone. Apparently he issued Supercommunist pamphlets in Union square, he’d protested the war in Yemen as well as in South Syria, and they found child porn on his computer I heard. All the war parts anyway are pretty much true. I didn’t know any of it at the time though. It seems so silly I almost thought a drone might shoot me as well. A ridiculous accusation really- I’ve never done anything to criticise Downing Street- I’ve never written long forbidden passages across back alley walls- I’ve never questioned- I’ve never wanted to see a woman’s pleasure (since it doesn’t exist why would I???)- I’ve never done anything with my life. This strange wretch seemed to have no end to crimes as the weeks went on. Minister Zero issued Her first statement in years. He was every kind of crook and horror. I never heard about him again after the official government investigation was concluded. I never understood why the investigation even took weeks. Couldn’t they just ask whoever was flying the drone? Did they fly the drone? Did the drone fly itself? What do drones look like? And for that matter why was She called ‘Minister Zero’ anyway? Was there a Minister One? We all ran around in confusion. Blood ran into gutters. Cars screeched to a halt. All very strange for a child porner- let alone a communist. I wonder also…

I’m waiting in the square were He gave his life for the cause. It is night. I have been being followed for several blocks now. I understand why. It’s been too rainy for the last month for the drones to fly. I always had wondered if somebody flew them. I hope my parents will be okay.

nausea.

Its a creeping thing. And there’s the barbed wire. And there’s the swamp behind it- stretching away with endless black water. Beneath the surface are the beady eyes of them. They’re impossible to see but I know they’re their they must be. I’m trying to keep my heart rate down. High above the canopies I can hear chopper blades with their strange devices. Machines on board scour the muddy banks looking for fleshy targets. A thousand miles away in impregnable invisible bunkers lay snaking wires and humming minds and wide eyes and-

It’s a creeping thing on the branch that lies prone on the waters surface. A cricket maybe, a wetter perhaps, its stranded in amongst the inky water. The twig knocks something under the water and the creeping thing is knocked loose. It drowns. Maybe the twig hit a rock or a stretch of river bank under the water or maybe…

Deep breaths. Pulse slacks gently with the numbing of a muscle relaxant into the wrist. Were am I? Why are they doing this? The barbed wire rustles a little in the wind (is it wind?) and a little ripple of something moving just under the water sends a shimmer of moonlight across the smoky battlefield. Maybe it was an otter. I stay pressed to the wet mud. A twig snaps. I’ve completely forgotten about the opposite bank. I turn and the sergeants dead. I look around in confusion and then turn to see a shape swoop closer and shimmer with a flash of stee-

-Honey are you alright?

Stephen was still asleep but had swept the air above him with his big bear paw after whispering 

“(can’t you see the barbed wire.)”

Stephen’s bad dreams had mostly stopped by the time we’d married. At least he told me they’d stopped.

Undeath and Taxes

With the noisome effusion of a thousand burst graves the Skeleton King rose from the Hellish bowels of the Earth. Millions of harpies flew from the depths of the Mountain of Insanity and rained terrible sorrow upon the human race. With a rattle of bones heard for hundreds of miles the Lichian calamity called forth his skeletal kin by the millions and took over the earth.

Many years later the Skeleton King, Lord of Sorrows, Destroyer of Flesh and Eater of Blood, Father of Damnation and Brother of All Woe- Dismal Lord of the Fallen Souls Sitting on His Throne of Bones Lint in Suffering Made Manifest sat at his table with the many disorderly papers strewn across it. A Skeleton Accountant stood across the room away from his master.

“I’m sorry sir but the fact is unless serious thought it put into Tax reform we just cannot fund your Terrifying Obelisk of Damnation without cutting the budget down a bit. Maybe reducing the number of Zombie Elephant regiments-”

“You fool!” The Skeleton Lord cried out in futility “I can’t cut the budget and certainly not on those the Zombie Elephant Lobby would have my skull if they heard that! No maybe we can cut the education budget a little”

Sir are you sure Skeleton Parents and Skeleton Teachers are both pretty key demographics and you do have a by-election coming up…”

Oh the blasted by-elections!” The Skeleton King cried out “Those blasted by-elections!”

The King had long been forced to negotiate with a Skeletal parliament of Darkness and if his party didn’t hold sway passing the measures he wanted became practically impossible.

“Well what do you suggest since you’re so smart!” The King cried in exasperation.

Well if the Tax code was restructured so middle class Skeleton’s payed 3% higher…”

The Skeleton King lay his skull in his hands. This was not the career he had hoped for when first “running for office”, cackling and running down terrified humans as the skies were swept with unholy fire. He sighed airlessly.

“Very well I suppose.”