I write things, and here is where I shall post them
Nothing I post are part of any larger works, and none of them will be expanded upon, probably
First order up was a writing exercise. A friend asked me to write a story based on one word: stirrups. And off I went!
“I'm telling you, I can bring these back.”
“'Bring these back?' First of all, you're a two hundred and fifty pound black man. Second of all, stirrups were never here. Maybe for some crazy workout broads in 1985, but their casual use in day-to-day fashion is and always has been limited.” Lou took a drag from his cigarette. “You look like a god damn techno ballerina.”
Elminster, as he was known, pulled his pick through his afro as he examined himself in a full length mirror. He was wearing striped neon blue-and-green stirrups, which ran under white tennis shoes, and a hot pink mesh top which left very little of his round, freckled body to the imagination. “Lou, do you consider yourself a professional?”
“Yes. Yes I do. That is why I dress as a professional.” He motioned to his simple, unassuming beige suit and black tie.
His harlequin-like companion laughed and wagged a finger as his free hand continued to groom his impressive hair style. “Ahhhaha, no, see, you are not dressed as a professional. You are dressed as a car salesman.”
“That's so I don't draw attention to myself,” Lou replied. “You... you realized we just killed, like, eight of those things, right? I mean there are still flecks of like... green goo on your shoes.” He made a motion with his hands, as if flattening out some invisible ironing board. “Incognito, 'Minster.”
Elminster turned to his partner, an incredulous, but quizzical look on his face. “The public doesn't care, man. You could walk down the street carrying a bug corpse over your shoulder, plain as day, and as long as you act like you belong with that bug corpse, people will just be like, 'aw he's just in a movie' or somethin' like that. If you act cool, you be cool, you dig?”
“You have yet to explain why being a space clown is professional.”
“Because, nigga, I am dressed for the part. It is a well known fact that bugs see in, like twelve extra dimensions or somethin' like that, right? If they see some colorful ass guy like me walking towards them, they will be stunned. Think about it. It's sensory overload.” He laughed and clapped his hands, causing his breasts to jiggle in an unattractive way through the mesh. “Sensory overload!”
“No. I... no.” Lou sat down on a nearby chair that wasn't covered in a mess, kicking aside a stray, chitinous limb as he did so. “You're out of your mind. You are not stunning them, and if you do it's because in all twelve dimensions they are able to process, you are a flaming fairy in each one.”
“Y'all's just jealous,” Elminster replied as he examined his beard in the mirror.
“You are missing one crucial fact in your vomit of terrible rationalization, my doughy friend.”
“And what is that?”
“You still could just wear like, a really bright tuxedo or something, there's no reason to dress like Richard Simmons.”
“I told you already, Lou.” Elminster turned and posed. “I am trying to bring stirrups back!”
They call me a fool for posting work on the interbutts. A fool they say! But I'll show them. I will become an internets hero, just you wait
Ignore my initial disclaimer. This was originally the first chapter of a longer work I was writing, but five more chapters in I realized I'm terrified of having any kind of obligation and scrapped the whole thing
I kept this though, 'cause I liked it
Have you ever had a dream? Not the kind where you want to be an astronaut when you grow up, or when you want black kids and white kids to play together without the risk of burning crosses appearing. I mean the kind where you think you're in a zoo, made out of glass or something. And you can fly, too. There is also a very strong possibility that at the end of the dream, you will be having some kind of weird taboo sex with your high school sweetheart or the hermaphroditic doppleganger of a president. One of those obscure ones that you only know about because you had to memorize their name for an 8th grade history test.
That kind of dream.
You wake up afterwards and you feel very... for lack of better words, perturbed. That hazy few seconds when look around in a half-panic, not quite recognizing your room, still adjusting to the morning light peeking through your window shades. The luminous digital numbers on your alarm clock sear themselves on your eyes, following your gaze and painting themselves on your bedroom wall. You have an intense fear that Grover Cleveland might be laying next to you, his mustache still damp with the sweat of lovemaking.
That period after the dream, that panic, is the key point here, dear reader. Imagine that feeling of helplessness, that primal fear sneaking up on you. You don't know who you are, or where you are, or what just happened. All you know is that you don't know. And that terrifies you.
Man has always had an insane aversion to the unknown. We hate it, we fear it, we ignore it in hopes that it goes away. Hell, technically it has. There are few places left on Earth where humans have not gone, especially right here in the good old United States of America. We've explored just about every nook and cranny. At least, someone has.
So why do we still fear the dark? Why, when we stumble home at 3a.m., fumbling for our keys outside of our houses, do we constantly glance over our shoulders and gasp at what we think we see between the trees? And what do we think it is? A burglar? A madman with a gun? Our boss coming for us with more work?
No. Nine times out of ten, we think it's something supernatural. A MONSTER or an ALIEN or maybe even the DEVIL himself. Hermaphrodite Grover Cleveland. It really depends on what the last movie we saw was. This malign creature is out to get us, and unless we are able to lock the door, we will be eaten alive or soul raped or some other horrific end.
Such vulnerability. Such weakness. To be afraid of darkness and trees. But there it is. This fear of the unknown. And it's with us more than we think, too. Any lapse of our daily schedule, any change in the comfortable monotony of life, terrifies us.
Sometimes it excites us, granted. It can be a pleasure. After all, we only laugh when we are surprised; that's why you always laugh after the Japanese ghost pops out of the wall to eat Sarah Michelle Gellar. A change in routine, though scary, can be good for the soul.
Other times it angers us. We hate when life changes unwillingly. It messes everything up, we say. It makes life more complicated than it already is. It threatens our values. The unknown is a thing to be spat at and loathed.
Yet... yet there are those different situations where the unknown brings forth neither our excitement nor our hatred. All it brings out is that basic, unfiltered fear. All by itself. If anything, those are the times when we should be anything but afraid, as surely being scared just for the sake of being scared is a foolish endeavor.
Of course we all know that isn't the case. We still struggle to get our keys in the door, and we still struggle to figure out just whose bed we're sleeping in, despite the fact that there is nothing in the trees, and the bed is our own.
The only time we need to truly fear is when we hear the footsteps crunching the leaves behind us, and when the bed is, indeed, not ours. Then the fear of the unknown is justified.
I've also been known to write poetry. What kind of poetry you ask? The kind that usually is a metaphor for ejaculation.
Here are some
Rusted eyes shut
Blurry mind strokes out
Time slips down my throat
Drowning on the night
Can't see the drop ceiling sky for the stars
Jacket shadows chase my gaze
Waving arms through my peripheral
Bury my head in concrete
No rest for the weary
I feel the need
to divide up
my thoughts in
When you feel down
try new beat masta flex
niggas gonna frown
When you show you da best
they can't top dis
ain't gonna stop dis
you gonna bump an stomp an
Niggas gonna rock ta dis
Always room to write
name I know half
well. Clear is
his fame though
Shady are the
Once where faith held sway
Now does the TV rest on the altar
Gone are the friendly faces we knew
Only strangers remain
Masks held by makeup and lies
feeding us the status quo
Where has the cross gone?
Its cousins of stars and moons
Where are their fairy tales
At root preaching decency
Collecting dust in an entertainment center
Warmed by the glow of a false reality
I almost yearn for a priest not dressed in leather
I almost want pslams sung from under cloth
But almost is all it is
I don't wanna miss Lost
I hear there is a polar bear
If one were to view the capsule from the shore, it would appear to them as nothing more than a shooting star arcing off into the horizon against a canopy of night. A simple line of light to barely worth note.
But this was no mundane event, at least not to one man. To him, it was a long-awaited home coming, a day he had been dreaming of for years. Inside the dark interior of the capsule, he could do nothing but shake and sweat in anticipation. Or, perhaps, he was shaking from the force of the atmospheric reentry and the sweat was from the intense heat generated therein, but that was neither here nor there for the brave astronaut. He was excited, and he was home. That was all that mattered to him.
As the vessel screeched down to the waiting black waters of the Atlantic, the man could not help but envision the reception waiting for him. Truly, he was a hero—isolated in the cold vastness of space for nearly a decade, braving the mysterious dangers of the great Void, nearly giving up hope of ever seeing his family and loved ones ever again. He was lost in an emptiness so great that it was surely impossible to ever hope of returning. But then that day—that wonderful day!—when he heard that tiny burp of static on the radio frequencies. The burp turned into a gargle, and the gargle turned into a slur. When that slur finally turned into the friendly voice of Mission Control, he knew that he was saved. He knew he would walk on Earth's fine soil once more.
The crash of the water was deafening, but it could not even compare to the sheer volume of his own laughter. It had been so long since he had heard any noise besides the whir of the ship and his own tired voice. As the capsule bobbed up to the surface, his laughter turned to heaving sobs. No man had ever been more grateful as the astronaut, not in the entire history of the world.
He eagerly unfastened himself from the confined safety of the seat and reached above his head to unseal the hatch keeping him confined in the damnable capsule. At least, he tried. For some reason he couldn't will his arms to lift anywhere above his torso. In fact, he began to feel his entire body slide and sink like it was made of gelatin. He soon found himself collapsed and curled on the floor of the vessel.
Almost ten years without gravity seemed to be taking its toll.
The man moaned in pain as the capsule rocked in accordance to the waves, his arms clutched tightly around his waist. He could feel the pressure on his insides. Tears began to stream down his face as he mumbled a loud commentary on how his current predicament was not entirely fair from his point of view. He had heard stories of men who spent too much time in space and could not cope with returning to Earth's gravity cordially. At best, he would most likely be crippled for most of his life. At worst, he would die within the next few minutes.
Right when he was about to come to terms with his unfortunate and tragic demise, there was a loud crash above his head, the sound of metal rending. The sudden rush of sea air nearly knocked him unconscious, but the hope of rescue before he met his maker kept his head above the black.
The light of the moon blinded him at first, but soon his eyes adjusted enough to see a silhouette framed in the hole gouged in the capsule. Rescue!
The figure burst out in shrill laughter and reached down with one arm. With cold fingers clutching tightly at his collar, the astronaut was heaved out of the capsule and onto hard, soaked wood, the force of which broke a multitude of bones, softened by his extended time in outer space.
A quick grope of the wood soon revealed that he was on a small rowboat. He lifted his head as much as he could—despite the pain of gravity—and saw the figure leap from the wrecked capsule and onto the half-flooded watercraft. He was horrified to see a twisted sneer, and even more so to hear it harshly bark a sarcastic welcome to Earth.
Was it human? It might have been. It was too skinny to be healthy, and too disheveled to be civilized. His immediate thought was that he was captured by a pirate of some kind, but the odds of his capsule landing next to a pirate ship in the middle of the ocean under the nose of his reception crew seemed unlikely. Unless the pirates killed his rescuers!
But he immediately squashed such thoughts. Pirates? He was being ridiculous. Maybe if it were the 1600s...
Or if his space ship went back in time!
He began to panic and squirm, expressing his time traveling concerns aloud, which was met by more laughter from his unkempt “rescuer,” followed by reassurance that no time travel was involved.
The lithe cretin hastily pulled the oars through the water, sending the small rowboat steadily towards what appeared to the astronaut to be a dilapidated ocean liner. From his awkward position, he could just make out what seemed to be a thousand tiny lights sparkling on the deck of the large ship. As they neared, he could see that they were lanterns, each one being held aloft by a person, but any details to their appearance were lost to the already disoriented man.
Ropes were lowered and attached to the boat, and slowly they rose, occasionally bouncing along the hull of the barge. The former space-man moaned in agony as his insides progressively fell victim to the pressure and as his bones cracked and splintered, inciting more laughter from his captor.
As the rowboat finally came to a rest on the deck of the ship, seemingly hundreds of greedy, dirty faces descended upon him. Long, crooked fingers poked his body and slavering mouths gaped. He could barely hear what any said, though he caught a few words. They talked about how well the radio they found worked, to reach even as far as space. How they were worried that going to sea all those years ago had wrought so few fortunes. They talked about how it had been so long since they had seen anyone... uncorrupted?
They talked about how hungry they were. It had been months since they last ate fresh meat.
They began to fight, but a few barks from several of the less chatty ones calmed everyone down. They would all get their share. They would all eat.
Hands grabbed at him and lifted him up, and carried the poor astronaut into the depths of the derelict ship, either ignoring or enjoying his screams of protest. The last thing he saw was the interior of a large metal room, a collection of sharp, evil looking instruments lining the walls. In that room, one of the horrible people stood over him, wearing a white puffy hat and a stained apron, grinning a rotten grin from ear to ear and sharpening a butcher knife.
The chef asked the astronaut if he preferred red or white wine.
Haha, what you say?
Who you callin rapist? Ain't that a *****
You devils, are so two faceted
Wanna see me locked in chains, dropped in shame
and gettin stalked by these crooked cops a-gain
****in with the young black male, tryin to stack mail
and umm, stay away from the packed jails
I told the judge I'm in danger
and that's why I had that fo'-five with one in the chamber
**** the world!
Mass ended late that night. The pastor's sermon had lasted almost an hour, as he condemned sinners and blasphemers and all the other people that would never hear his oaths of damnation, as they did not attend Church. Anita had spent the entire time biting her lip and shaking her legs, restless in her white vestments. Her fellow virgins often had to rest their hands on her knees to stop them from shaking the bench too much; it had almost gotten to the point where worshipers were beginning to stare.
One of the other virgins, Vanessa, had given her a warm smile. She knew all too well why Anita was nervous. This small gesture helped her last until the end.
They spent the last few minutes of sunlight in their dormitory, wrapping themselves in the heavy wool necessary to keep them comfortable in the unseasonably cold fall. Vanessa tried to make idle conversation, but Anita's nerves kept her silent. She shakily fastened her jacket as her friend droned on about meaningless things. At least, meaningless in the face of what they were about to commit to.
Vanessa finally noticed Anita's trepidation and once again gave her a warm smile. “Be calm,” she said, helping her friend secure her white hood. Even under all their heavy clothes, their position must still be obvious. “Everything is going to be fine.”
Anita covered her face with her hands. “You must think I'm such a wreck... I don't know how you managed to cope with your first time.”
“I had a friend to help me.”
Anita laughed a bit and hugged her friend, whispering her thanks.
A cough from behind them brought them out of their embrace. Standing in the doorway to their room was Pastor Franks.
“Are you two going out tonight?”
“Yes, it is a friend's birthday today!” Vanessa said, smiling broadly. Anita was amazed and a bit dismayed at how quickly her friend was able to lie.
The pastor rubbed his wrinkled and sunken chin, his eyes narrowing. “It's not that ***** you two always seem to pal around with, is it? I told you, I don't want any of my girls associating with *****s.”
Anita stepped forward, wringing her hands. “She's not a *****, she's a kind person. And... she's just...”
“It's not her, pastor,” said Vanessa, interrupting Anita's stuttering. “It's an old friend from our childhood, a very devout young woman. Why, you'd probably even want her to join our Order, were it not for that fact that she is to be married this Spring.”
Franks considered what she said a moment, then nodded in stubborn resignation. “Alright. It's good you two are staying away from that other one. She's trouble, y'know.”
Vanessa sighed. “Yes, pastor, we know.”
“These are, after all, troubled times. You two be careful out in the city tonight. The air...” he stared past the girls, suddenly lost in his own mind. “The air is heavy these days. This is a deep fall, no doubt.” He snapped back into focus. “Say your prayers, and mind be careful. Try to be back before midnight tonight.”
Each of the young women kissed the pastor on the cheek and thanked him, then hastily made their way to the exit, nervously giggling at the close call.
The streets outside were all but abandoned. The congregation had long since dispersed to the safety of their homes, their doors locked and their lives content. A few citizens mulled around the ever-darkening streets, all moving hastily to their respective destinations. The girls, too, quickened their pace. The streets had become dangerous of late. Muggers, rapists, murderers, and combinations of the three had infested the city after dark. Two virgins by themselves would be prime targets.
They wound their way through the dark alleys. The sky was an iron gray, as it had been the entire season; a sure-warning that the coming winter would not be gentle. It also meant that the girls could barely see a few feet in front of their faces. Anita relied on Vanessa to make sure that they found the Tower in time for the ceremony.
The Tower was not, ironically, a tower. It was an old bar, long since closed and abandoned. It proved a very popular hangout for the older children, drug addicts, *****s, and any ne'er-do-wells who needed refuge. However it was quite safe now; the Fellowship had made sure of that. Not just safe, either. They had made it hidden.
Hidden to all but those who belonged to the Fellowship. Members like Vanessa, and by the end of that night, Anita as well.
Finally, after almost an hour, they had reached the old oak doors. Confidently and with an air of familiarity, Vanessa knocked an odd tune. Barely a second later, the doors opened, and the girls let themselves in.
It was dark inside, the only light being a lantern held by another young woman. Her name was Karen; she was the “*****” Pastor Franks thought so little of. She held the lantern close to her face, giving her pale features an eerie glow. In fact, everything about the place was eerie to Anita. It was cold, yet unnaturally humid. It was silent, yet she felt a pulsating hum in her ears. She couldn't help but suppress a shudder.
Karen smiled in the lantern-light. "You guys are just in time! C'mon! He's waiting.”
Vanessa stopped suddenly. “We're... we're going to see Him? Tonight?”
“Oh, yes! Isn't this exciting? He's very anxious to Indoctrinate you, Anita. He says you have a lot of potential.”
Anita began to fuss with the hem of her jacket. “How does.... how does He know?”
“He knows a lot of things,” said Vanessa, laying a hand on her friend's shoulder. “Come on. We don't want to keep Him waiting.”
They began to walk through the tavern, winding around dusty, chair-less tables to the back of the space, where a dark door waited. Although innocent enough, Anita felt the hum in her ears grow in intensity as they neared the door. It was almost like the darkness within was trying to reach out to her, to pull her in.
She whimpered a bit. “Is He frightening?”
Vanessa and Karen exchanged looks. The virgin smiled her smile and said, “Only at first. Once you get to know Him, he really is quite magnificent.”
“He's beautiful,” said Karen wistfully.
Vanessa continued. “You will be surprised at first, but please, try not to panic. You are safe here. He is a friend, and He loves you. Once you understand that, you won't feel the fear you do now. He will give you peace.”
Anita nodded, and the three crossed the threshold and into the basement of the Tower.
The first thing she noticed was the smell. It wasn't repugnant, yet it wasn't... right. It was an aroma unlike any she had ever experienced. It suffocated her, filled her head, yet she couldn't help but take it in. She began taking deep breaths, just to get more of it. She began to feel euphoric.
As the three women walked down the stone staircase, they heard moans coming from down below. Before Anita could even ask, Karen said, “Those are the Brides. They are filled with a constant state of pleasure because He has chosen them to bear his young.”
Anita found herself once more playing with the hem of her jacket. “How many are there?”
“A few dozen,” said Vanessa quickly, “He is always interested in finding more, though only those he finds worthy.”
Finally, they reached the bottom of the staircase. They found themselves in a relatively small, low-ceilinged room, illuminated by lanterns behind green glass. A single red carpet led to the opposite side of the room to a large, locked metal door. On either side of the carpet were the Brides, lounging on pillows and couches, each with swollen bellies, and each moaning in pleasure. They writhed, clutching at their large stomachs, their backs arched, their eyes rolled, and even with their tongues lolled out. They wore long black skirts buckled just under their breasts, and nothing else.
Although her mind was becoming more and more bogged down because of the aroma, and because Karen and Vanessa rushed her to the metal door, each anxious to meet Him, Anita was still able to catch one glimpse of a bare belly of one of the Brides. The woman in question had the skirt lifted all the way, so that she may undoubtedly enjoy the tactile pleasure of feeling the skin of her stomach. But there was something odd, something that the virgin knew was wrong.
The belly was larger than most pregnant women she had seen in her life, and it was even slightly discolored. It almost looked bruised, and she was sure she saw dark veins lining the protrusion. Something rang in the back of her mind, some kind of warning bell, but she could not quite understand the wrongness of the situation.
Before she could get a better look, the metal door swung open, and the three women pushed through. It closed behind them with a hallow click. Karen and Vanessa fell to their knees, pulling Anita with them. She did as they did and bowed her head, as if in prayer.
Although she couldn't see, Anita could definitely hear an assortment of odd noises over the now-ever present hum. A distinct sound of metal grinding against metal, a thousand silent clicks from an unknown source, the occasional hiss of steam, and a tinny metronome were just a few of the things she heard.
A light female voice suddenly spoke, clear as a bell in the seeming din. Her voice was halting and uncomfortable, as if she were unused to speaking at all. Even more odd, was that with every word she said, there was a low, garbled rumbling somewhere in the room. “Three approach,” she said. “The one from PI325, the one from PI34, and a second new one from PI325.” She breathed in quickly, and then with a long, familiar sigh, said “Vanessa... who is the second new one?”
“A friend, from Church. She is a virgin, like myself. Her name is Anita.”
The woman sighed again. The deep rumbling, however, belied the loving manner. “Stand, Vanessa, Karen, Anita. Let me see your faces.”
Anita stood with her three friends and stared. Where it not for the fact that she was lost in the aroma dampening the Tower, she would have screamed.
The voice came not from a woman at all; at least, not entirely. Propped up on a long, jagged metal spike was the disembodied head of a woman, her features all but hidden under a jumble of tubes and bolts sticking in and out of her near-visible skull. The tubes in question ran down the length of the spike and floor to the back of the room, where a massive jumble of machinery lay sprawled across the entire length of the basement. Pipes and tubes and odd shards of jagged metal hung from the ceiling and walls and pulsated with artificial activity, each leading to one of several strange-looking engines nestled amongst the tangled mass of technology.
The engines themselves were the source of most of the noises Anita heard earlier; the clicks, the humming, and the steam, all came from these massive devices. Dozens of multi-colored lights flickered across their panels while grinding pistons and black pipes churned the massive amounts of energy undoubtedly coursing through the entire ensemble.
Yet all this was simply a background to the true oddity, the thing that caught Anita's eye immediately.
A large... something was at the center of it all. Something alive. The creature was, indeed, comprised mostly of the strange technology which smothered the room, but it was something more. Beneath a carapace of metal and gears was a dark, slick skin, heaving with breath. Several long, metallic appendages stuck out from its main body, splaying either against the wall or on the floor, like that of a spider. Its head—like most of its body—was encased in a metal armor, but its multiple eyes and gaping, salivating mouth were bare. Two smaller, clawed limbs were folded beneath its head, rubbing against each other slowly.
The engines all seemed to be connected to the beast through some means; the cords and tubes sticking out of its thorax at odd angles. One such jumble of cords led to the disembodied head.
“Anita,” sighed the head. When she spoke, the monster's own mouth moved, its multiple mandibles clicking as the deep rumble rolled from behind fangs. “You are a particularly beautiful one. You are fearful, but please be calm. I mean you no harm. Only peace.”
Anita's lower lip quivered. Every voice in the back of her head was screaming at her to run, to get away from the horrible thing staring at her. But the smell... the perfume, it slowed her. She couldn't help but say, “Yes... yes I want peace.”
The disembodied head smiled. It was a grim sight; it had no teeth or tongue, merely a mouth full of cords and gears. “Then peace is what you will receive. All you must do is serve me. Swear fidelity to my wishes, and you will have anything you want.”
The young virgin fell to her knees and bowed her head. “I am yours. I serve only you. Do with me what you will.”
A long, slender tendril snaked from the jumble of pipes and tubes and ran up Anita's body. Though it felt alien against her, she did nothing to stop it. It curled around her neck and brushed against her face gently.
“Welcome to the Fellowship, Anita,” sighed the head. “Welcome to my family. When the Day of Emergence comes, you will be amongst Chosen, and you will be spared.”
Vanessa suddenly stepped forward. “I have done good, yes?” she asked quickly, a strained smile on her face. “Please... please, like you promised...”
The tendril slid off of Anita and crawled towards her friend. Others joined it as it twisted around her leg. “Vanessa, my beautiful... you have done more than necessary.” The tendrils wrapped around her arms and other leg, until she was completely ensnared. She began to weep; joyfully so, it seemed to Anita.
Vanessa sobbed and lowered her head. “I love you.”
“And I love you, child. This will only hurt for a moment.”
The tendrils all but lifted the young woman into the air as they brought her closer. Another appendage emerged from the beast, this one thicker and tipped with a sharp metal barb.
Anita averted her eyes as it stabbed into Vanessa's abdomen, the woman's screams only barely audible above the sudden violent churning of the engines.
When it was over, the tendrils uncoiled and the woman fell to the floor, limp. The head turned to the remaining two women and said, “Fit her in the gown of a Bride, and lay her in the antechamber. Make sure to take care, as she now carries my ilk.”
Anita felt Karen's hand on her shoulder, and stood. She laid a hand on her face where the thing had touched her, and she smiled. “We will do as you say, my God.”
They sat on the dry hill, limbs entwined, lounging on a checkerboard blanket littered with the scraps of what was once a lunch. An oak tree loomed over their heads, shading them from the harsh sun of midday. Down the tall hill and across a wide, black river, a city sprawled as they did, inching towards the furthest end of the horizon. Sky scrapers poked from the glass and cement canopy, threatening the blue sky with needles and antennae. The metropolis shimmered in the heat like the waves of the very river over which it rested, rendering it akin to a blurry image one might see in a dream.
He mentioned how good she smelled, and how he enjoyed the time spent that day. He told her how, if things would only be different, they would probably spend the rest of their lives together. His eyes trailing skyward, one half of his mouth inching to a smile, he regaled her with tales of a two story house and its white picket fence. Children—their children—playing in the front yard, with the neighbor kids. All of the neighbor kids. He told her of the friends they would have together, the love they'd all share.
He turned his gaze back to her. To her moist eyes. He stroked a stray strand of hair from her face and promised her that, in another life, they'd have that happiness.
She smiled at him and made as if to speak, but her eyes, too, turned to the sky. Eventually she found her voice, and explained her feelings. She wished so much that they would be able to share their love with each other, and grow old together, like she had always dreamed as a child. She choked on a sob as she asked, weakly, whether there was any chance it would be possible.
He kissed her then, in response. The soft sensation of his affection caused her heart to skip beats and tears began to run more freely down her face, mixing with his own. It was not the answer she wanted.
They were silent when their lips parted, and remained so forever more. They laid back and held each other as they watched the massive dark things slowly descend. Whatever their last thoughts were as scaly tendrils wrapped around the city towers would never find voice, yet voice was not necessary. They knew each other too well, bonded in love and death. Their eyes met one last time while cold, wet fingers lifted them to an endless gaping void. Despite the pain and darkness, the hands of the lovers never separated, one feeling the pulse of the other's heart slowly fade as all things ended.
“Meat Co., Inc. is dedicated to the making and distribution of healthy, affordable food products for the American family. Gourmet food, quality prices, that's our mission statement.”
Hendrix smiled and shoved the spork full of Meat Co., Inc. Brand Mini-Sausages into his mouth. The smile remained as he chewed, struggling to keep his mouth closed over the large portion of food.
The jackal sitting across from him tented his paws and frowned. “So your commercials say. But I've heard that the stuff tastes awful. Despite your company's well-funded advertising campaign, I just don't believe that any American family would want to buy your food. I'm sorry Mr. Hendrix, but you're going to have to give me more of a reason to stock your cans in my supermarket than this unseemly large check and a pocketful of promises.”
“Mr. Shopwell,” Hendrix moaned between bites, bits of gravy dribbling down his double chin as he continued to choke down the disgusting food, “Do I look like the kind of fellah to lie to you? This food is delicious!” He lied. The food was awful. Repulsive. The taste of it was leaking out of his nose. It was all he could do to keep from spitting it up all over his anthropomorphic host. He swallowed what was left in his mouth with a whine, crammed the spork back in the open can, and slid it across the spotted mushroom table. “Try it! You won't say no!”
Mr. Shopwell, owner and CEO of Shopwell Shops n' Stuff, adjusted his tie and lowered his snout to the can tentatively. His yellow eyes shot Hendrix an disappointed glare. “It smells like ****.”
Oh god I know. It's awful and it makes your head do loops and its addicting oh god don't eat it don't let more people eat it it's going to kill us all. Hendrix's eyes were bulging as he forced the smile across his face, sweat rolling down the sides of his forehead. His fingers drummed a dull beat on the fungus as Mr. Shopwell slowly picked up the spork, a single red, bloated sausage impaled on its stubby prongs.
Their mouths opened at the same time, Shopwell's to take in the food, Hendrix's out of fear. The sharpened teeth of the jackal business man's met a split second of resistance as they pierced the thick skin of the rotted meat. A small tail of steam erupted from the teared flesh, the foul stench and hidden disease no longer sealed under the casing.
Shopwell grimaced for one glorious second, and then raised a furry eyebrow. “Repugnant, but it has one hell of an aftertaste...”
* * *
Hendrix looked up at Dr. Fortsmith from his vantage point on the blue leather couch, his hands folded on the flannel shirt stretched over his protruding belly. His psychiatrist's head poked out from the neck of a horse's head, his eyes miniature square television screens. With one hoof he stroked his spiked beard. “Why don't you just tell them your suspicions? Why let the deal go through if you're so worried about their shops carrying your product?”
“Who would believe me? These guys are all businessmen, they have no room for imagination.” He saw Dr. Fortsmith's television eyes flicker to an old western movie as he spoke. “I tried telling my friends but they didn't believe me. They all eat it now, y'know.”
“Some of them. Most of them eat the noodles and meatballs. They can't get enough. I can't get enough, either. My mouth is watering just... thinking about it.” He squirmed in discomfort, the blue leather cushions sliding from their place slightly and making him even more uncomfortable. He sat up and adjusted his seat back to normal as he continued. “I tried telling the press, too, but they wanted proof. I didn't have any proof, it's just a feeling.”
“Describe this feeling.”
“Dread. Suspicion. My bosses aren't businessmen, they just pretend to be. They have imaginations, and they're using them to rule the world through canned goods.”
“Are they succeeding?”
“You watch TV?”
Dr. Fortsmith's eyes dimmed to black screens. “No, I don't own a television.”
“Well, magazines? Internet? Have you seen their advertisements? It's propaganda.” He was still adjusting the couch cushion, but it kept sliding out of place. He knelt on the floor to get a better angle at it, his actions more frantic. “Meat Co., Inc. is dedicated to the making and distribution of healthy, affordable food products for the American family. Gourmet food, quality prices, that's our mission statement. It's drugs. They put... I think they put drugs in the food.”
“Why? To mask the taste?”
* * *
Hendrix shook Shopwell's paw. The jackal was grinning from ear to pointed ear. Red gravy matted the fur around his mouth. “You're one hell of a salesman. I don't know what I was thinking, Meat Co. Inc.'s products are out of this world! You can count on Shopwell Shops n' Stuff to spread your product to the world at large!”