Saturday, October 10, 2009

Soldier of legend

I'm a soldier. Well, a crappy soldier. I've been training for a while, but never seem to get it all together. They didn't give me a rifle. Or wait, maybe I forgot to go get mine. Everyone else has one. I'm not wearing a tactical vest either like everyone else. It's not good to be an individual in the army...

We're sitting in the huge, dark canvas tent. Everyone is talking and having a good time. I'm silent, worrying about my predicament. Someone calls everyone outside. Feeling naked without the proper gear, I reluctantly follow the crowd.

Outside is an old hardwood forest. The trees have incredibly thick trunks that run up into the darkness. The ground is a soft bed of moss. Everyone is walking briskly, funneling towards the back of a well used green army truck and climbing inside. The instructors are standing here and there, ushering people along with sweeps of their arms. One yells at me.

"Where's your weapon soldier?"

"I didn't get one sir."

"Go back and get it now!"

Easily defeated, I return to the huge tent, and slump onto a bench. Face in hands, I wonder if there are other heroes somewhere, or if I must I continue my journey alone? I close my eyes...

Practically on the other side of the world, in a dense and snowy evergreen forest in China, stands a legendary man. If the cold eastern winds blowing flakes of ice into his face bothers him at all, he does not show it. Standing completely naked and motionless in a martial arts pose, the thick orange-brown sasquatch hair that covers most of his body flickers wildly. His face and his feet, I notice, are the only parts not covered by long hair; if you saw him with a passing glance, you would swear it was a yeti. Yet he is well known here for his heroic deeds, and nobody considers his appearance strange.

Suddenly he is alive with movement. A snap kick, seemingly lightning fast, knocks snow from the lower boughs of one of the many short pine trees surrounding him. After some jumping and wild punching, he brings himself to a different pose and stands still for a moment. Then flipping and leaping between the trees, his face covered with freezing snow yet somehow warmly glowing, he takes off at a fast sprint towards some distant point, the trees brushing him as he goes. I follow, as an observer with no body.

He passes the forests edge and keeps running, through a snowy field towards an icy river. He jumps gracefully across the river; I follow still, but know the river would normally be too wide for me to jump across. From the ether a body coalesces for me, like an invisible 20 foot tall reptilian kangaroo. As my partially embodied consciousness flies across the river, even in this form I lose faith in myself; there is no way I can make it. Yet my feet reach the other side, only dipping my heels in the cold water of the river for a split second before I am off again, chasing the hairy naked man.

He reaches a new forest, like the first one with slightly less snow on the trees, and enters. As I come to it, I notice to my left a cliffs edge that drops about 6 feet, which surrounds a canyon filled with people who look like soldiers. They are tightly packed together and milling about. Some are wearing helmets, some berets, some bandanas, and some with nothing on at all. They are not wearing the same gear or carrying the same weapons. To me they look more like a slightly organized militia than a real army. Many of them are men, and all of them appear to be white. I jump into the canyon and attempt to run along on tops of their heads to display my disdain for the army. However, they quickly disperse throughout the canyon as I jump, and so I only manage to plant my foot on one mans dark green beret before my next step plants me on the ground. As I rise up from the jump, I notice I am once again a human being, and that everyone is pointing their guns at me.

Without a thought, I kick the pistol from the hand of the man I had jumped on, and roll across the ground to pick it up. With incredible precision, I begin shooting the weapons out of the hands of the other soldiers surrounding me, while rolling and dodging as best as I can. Practically nobody is taking a shot; this makes sense, considering that they are in a canyon filled with their allies, so missing me could mean hitting their friends. They are on edge, to put it lightly. I fire the pistol and an AK-47 flies from the hand of a man wearing a helmet. Another shot disarms a young guy with a shotgun. Certainly they know by now that I'm only trying to protect myself an woudn't hurt them? Many of them aren't even pointing their guns at me. As I run I notice a girl in a bandana with two machine guns aimed at nowhere in particular. Mid-flip I give her a friendly look and raise my hand in a covert wave; she waves back in return.

My head swivels around to see that I have landed right in front of their leader. He looks french and has black hair and a pointy moustache, and his silver magnum is pointed point blank at me. I dodge the bullet in a nearly lightning fast flash. We engage in mortal combat for a split second, blocking each others punches and kicks with perfect precision. It ends in a flash with him on the ground and my hand outstretched to help him up. He grudgingly accepts, and our feud is put to rest forever, it seems.

Suddenly nobody really pays much attention to me. They have turned and started heading down a narrow corridor carved in this rocky canyon. I follow the crowd. The clear blue sky contrasts the earthy trench we walk through, broken wooden objects interspersed among the gravel and boulders seem to point to recent skirmishes that have taken place here. After walking a decent distance, I begin to wonder where we are heading. To the left I notice a small room carved out in the rock; I squeeze my way through the dry shattered boards that fail to protect it's contents. Inside I find a smaller shelf carved out in the rock, with a wooden machine gun resting within. I pick it up and examine it, noticing that it is broken. VanInderstein comes into the room, and I show him the gun. Showing off my amazing prowess, I quickly fix it by adding a metal barre that is laying on the ground. Now I am armed and dangerous. We leave the room via the open wooden door, and keep following the crowd.

Many miles pass by, and I finally arrive at an opening in the chasm-trench. It is a wide semi-circle canyon carved into the rock, with a rickety wooden bridge at the center leading across an endless pit to the other half of the circle on the other side. All the soldiers who have gotten here before me are already in tactical positions, hiding behind huge boulders and against the wall, pointing their weapons towards a small wooden tower at the other side of the bridge. I take the hint and haul ass towards a small boulder sitting just by the bridge. Once in position, I realize that I am not particularly well covered from the fire that will presumably be coming from the other side, and realize that nobody is firing at all.

Taking a closer look across the void, partially motivated by my severe vulnerability in my current position, I see the two snipers in the wooden tower. They are both wearing snow suits and skiing goggles: one dull blue and one dull green. They are too far away to be hit accurately by a normal machine gun, but I know that my modified gun will work just fine. I give a subtle look to the general lying prone beside me; apparently his sniper skills haven't done the trick. I fire two quick bursts, injuring both of our teams enemies. I get a small pat on the back from th general, and without a sound our soldiers begin hustling across the bridge. I take a deep breath and look around again.

This time, I notice a chain link fence behind me to the right, enclosing a yard that is overlooked by a rickety metal tower that is seemingly made up of old rusty scrap. The general points towards it; my next mission is confirmed. I run in a zig zag pattern towards the big metal gates, and find a hefty padlock blocking my entrance. No sweat, I put my small jack knife into my teeth and do a super flip over the top, easily avoiding the barbed wire that was supposed to stop infiltrators. Nobody shoots at me. I skirt the edge of the chain link fence to the left. Two brown skinned militants, wearing dirty scarfs around their necks, pop out of nowhere and challenge me. They don't have guns, and I decide to make it a fair fight; I drop my machine gun and spit out my knife, which sticks into the ground. It's time again for mortal combat.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Especially since you eat your own scoot!

We're living in a soap opera. Myself, a girl in a hospital gown, and a boy are visiting an empty bed inside the hospital. It is dark except for a single lamp on a table between two hospital cots that gives light to that hospital green color cloth that seems to cover almost everything in sight. When we got to the bed, we noticed that the extremely skinny old lady who is curled up in the fetal position, back towards us, looks completely dead. The girl with me looks forlorn and apprehensive as she moves her hand towards the lady for a poke. I put my hands on her shoulders before she makes it the whole way in order to stop her. "You don't need to see that" I say very quietly, as I steer her away, and towards the exit to this room which is more like a dark corridor lined with cots and curtains. She looks really, really dead.

We make it to the main corridor, which is brightly lit with yellow walls. There are a few doctors and nurses making their way through here, as well as some visitors standing abjectly. I approach a a nurse, who I know to be assigned to the dark hallway. "I think that stiff old lady is dead" I say bluntly. "No, she just doesn't like you people" the nurse replied. "Can you check on her anyways?". "I don't have to see her again until the morning" she said, slightly annoyed. Then she turned around and left us standing there.

The camera pans out to a small slab of rock floor, hurtling through space from the moon towards the ocean. On this strange meteor is a treasure chest, with a mans head on top of it. The head looks like Charlie Chaplin, complete with top hat. He hurtles into the ocean with his treasure chest. I jump in after him.

I plunge into the ocean and land on the sea floor. It is a dark and barren landscape made of rolling waves of gravel and sand. I look around for the treasure chest in hope of getting it for myself. I see the man head with it; he is carrying it with arms which have sprouted from his neck. I know he can breath in the water because the treasure chest has some sort of magic. I'm not sure how, but I seem to be able to breath as well. I don't question it, and follow after him as he disappears over a hill of sand.

It is hard to move down here. The water is salty and all my movements are resisted by the high pressure of the water above me. By the time I crest the hill, I have already lost him. I keep moving forward in a straight line; I'm not sure if I sense him in this direction, or if I actually know where he is headed. I pass by a single red coral on my left, like a leafless twiggy tree covered with pores. As I continue on there is a rock face to my right. I feel I am getting closer.

Eventually, there is a sandy alcove to the right, heading into the stone cliff. The mans head is sitting in front of it, and he still has the treasure chest. His familiar, an orange tabby cat, is here as well. I no longer feel the pressure of the water; it feels like I am above the surface, surrounded by an atmosphere of air. His cat communicates with me. I can not have the treasure. I think I am supposed to leave.

I turn around and start walking away from the cliff, and I come upon a steep hill, covered with old seaweed and an ancient crust. I can barely see what appears to be old steel bars underneath the crust; I start tearing at the gunk covering them and confirm my initial impression. I look behind me, towards the man's head with his cat, and yell "Hey, look what I found". I turn back towards the bars and am startled to see the face of an old woman peering at me from the darkness behind the corroded steel gate. Her skin is wrinkled and her grey hair is frizzy and unkempt. She has a crazy smile that shows rotten teeth, and intense eyes which stare intently at me. Her visage is completely motionless, and I feel uneasy being in her sight. I go to leave, and turn around to see a creature with purple and aquamarine skin and eye stalks, like a mix between a cat and a sea slug. It is the crazy lady's familiar. It lets me know that she has been locked up here for a very long time, and I get the impression that these two are not beings that I would like to have as friends.

I walk with the sea slug-cat, back to the alcove in the cliff. The man's head and the treasure chest are nowhere to be seen. I go around the corner of the alcove, out of sight of the crazy lady. The tabby cat is here as well, and it incites me to stomp on the sea slug-cat. I follow its instructions and kill the creature, but when I take a second glance, I see the tabby cat squashed dead on the ground and the sea slug-cat sitting happily. I realize that it must have used some sort of illusion to trick me into killing the man head's familiar. For some reason I don't retaliate, although I am upset about this. I just want to get away from this insanity; I turn away and leave the alcove.

As I emerge, the hidden undersea prison is in front of me, and I veer to the right. Now I notice that just beside it is a giant purple gorilla with rubbery skin, standing there motionless like a statue with two or three smaller but similar looking animals. I approach and stand before them, fixated. I sense the presence of someone else standing to the left of me. I begin chanting: "Oooga bundooba nooboo goombup...". It is like I am speaking in tongues; I know I am chanting the right thing, and can sense the approval of the person standing beside me. The gorillas have come to life, and is raising and lowering its arms along with my chant. Just beside the gorillas to the right, I now notice some anthropomorphic wolves standing as well. I'm not sure, but I think there are more animals standing in the line further to the right, but I do not look. Suddenly I wonder how I know this chant, and I lose confidence. The gorilla jumps up high and lands right in front of me and yells in a loud voice. I can barely make out the words, but there are subtitles which tell me what he is saying.

"WHAT THE FUCK DOO YOO THINK YOOR DOING???" he booms. I have bowed myself before him, almost unknowingly. " I...I don't know" I meekly reply. "I CAN'T HEAR WHAT YOOR SAYING!!! FUCK WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOO DOOING???" he yells at me again. There are tribal drums booming from behind him. I reply again, as loudly as I can muster my voice, "I'm not sure!". "YOO ARE NOT THE DISCIPLE OF ANY OF ME TWELVE ANIMAL SPIRITS!!!". "I'm sorry, please forgive me!". "COME, YOO MUST PLAY SOCCER WITH US!", and suddenly the animal spirits have withdrawn from the vicinity, to prepare for the game I suppose. I am very frightened to play soccer with them.

I turn to the person who was standing next to me; he is a white man, clean shaven with short reddish brown hair, and is wearing some ceremonial robes. I feel as if I know this man very well. "You should prepare yourself." I reach into the side pocket of my cargo pants, and pull out two granola bars. I open one and eat half of it in one bite. "Will this be enough?" I ask him. He shakes his head slightly and sighs. "Just go" he says to me. I am gone. It seems like a commercial break has arrived.

I see a bright scene: an ice cream shop. A skinny middle aged man with a black moustache and a mullet is singing a song about this ice cream store in a sort of high pitched, gay sounding voice. I think I work here, although it's my first day. The song is very funny (sadly I don't remember all the words). There is a green headed duck working behind the glass counter where the ice cream is stored. The last lines of the song that the man sings are "If you keep putting your feathers in the whipped cream you just might lose your job, Especially since you eat your own scoot!" Although I have never heard that term before, I know that scoot is a slang term for feces. The duck looks embarrassed. The commercial ends, and the screen goes black.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The post-apocalyptic conscience

My mind is in a foggy haze; nothing is clear. The world is in ruins. The bleak grey sky is not contrasted by the dried-earth brown buildings with their hollow, empty openings. Debris is scattered across the landscape, but no living things are evident in this city. I have just come from my old high school, although much has changed there. I am driving a car that must be made completely out of rust. The car doors are long gone, and I am completely naked. It doesn't bother me though; there is a certain feeling of freedom in it, for nobody is here to see, and if they were, they would not care.

I drive the car into a wide alley, manoeuvering around a forgotten dumpster, and park at the end perpendicular to the rows of towering abandoned buildings. The full moon peeks out from behind some clouds, white with a hint of fluorescent blue. I remove myself from the vehicle, and an ominous breeze blows paper and leaves towards a tall chain link fence at the end of the alleyway. Looking through the fence, I realize I am on the edge of a cliff, and I can see most of the destituted city sprawled out below me. I walk into the building to my right.

Oddly enough, I am not particularly suprised to see a family as I enter the building. There is a middle aged, blue eyed man with short dark hair and a moustache here, with his wife and older teenage daughter. They do not seem to notice my nakedness, and I feel no shame. The dirty white walls of their house are lit by electric lights, and all kinds of useless junk (mainly plastic childrens toys) occupy most of the anavailable space. He greets me warmly, and beckons me deeper inside the house.

It seems that I have arrived just in time, as they are about to cook a hearty meal. Food must be hard to come by in this post-apocalyptic world. We are going to feast upon their baby. I am in the lead as we walk into the long and narrow kitchen. There are pots and pans, and more toys piled on the counter, with a lone window above the sink that shows only blackness from outside. I feel suddenly vulnerable, and turn around to see that the man is holding a large knife. I stay facing him, for fear that I have been lured to my own slaughter, but he assures me that no such thing shall occur. The child is laying naked in the sink, with soft white cloth resting between him and the cold metal.

I tell the man we should have some fun and poke holes in him with a scalpel before killing him, and the man seems eager and excited. He hands me the tiny blade, and I poke him once in the chest. It isn't as enjoyable at all, and I get that feeling that occurs after you've done something which you cannot undo. A voice beckons me from outside the room; there is a phone call, and it is for me. I thankfully take the excuse to escape, leaving the man in the kitchen to finish what I have started.

His wife leads me to the back room. It is cramped in here, and there is a brown couch along the wall, and a window divided into four panes of glass. A pay phone is nailed to the wall, right beside the doorway. I pick the phone up off of the cluttered desk. The voice on the other end sounds familiar, yet odd, and I am not totally certain who it belongs to. He explains how the government had infected him with vampirism, and now he is hiding out so they can't find him again. His two little sisters ran away from him, but he knows they are still hiding outside in the woods around the house he is in. As we talk more, I become more and more certain that it is Aaron on the other end of the phone (although he does sound different).

I ask how I can get a hold of him again. He tells me that his number is 1111-THROAT. I know that this isn't the actual phone number though, since there are too many numbers; he does not want to say the number outright because the government is listening in on our conversation. So he starts giving me hints to help decode the real phone number. First he says something about a submarine, but I miss the message because at that moment the mans daughter comes in the room and starts talking to me. Trying my hardest to listen to the distant voice on the telephone, I ask him to repeat himself; this time he mentions something about U, but once again I fail to hear everything he is saying because the girl is talking to me, and now the woman is shouting from another room that dinner is ready to eat. I give up; I'm sure I know where he is staying anyways (the house we went to buy drugs at years before, located in the middle of nowhere). The phone call is ended.

I leave the back room, and tell the mans wife that I just need to go to the bathroom first. I find the toilet in the kitchen; the man is slouched beside it, looking dazed and distant. I lift the toilet seat, and see a big metal ladel resting inside. There is diluted blood all over the sides of the toilet bowl, and I can smell blood and guts. The man looks very disappointed and I ask him if it was what he expected it to be. He shakes his head, downtrodden.