Sunday, April 18, 2021

Auspicious moment

There are no bats in this story. 

Well you sure look like one! [Other young men giggle or twitch their hands.]

Go on. Feed the flower, child. 

He doesn't wanna do it! [The young man stands up. There are no longer feet on the coffee table.] Give me that coin! 

The young man, a solid bio-engineering grad school candidate, tries to get up from the filthy sofa, but he is knocked back down as if by a sonic boom.

Suddenly, there is disco. 

Reptily's hackles rise atop her head to full height, transparent like tough, thin slabs of bacon shocked with blue.

The faces of Jan's daughter Jan and her boyfriend Lloyd can be seen peeking through the outside window to the chamber of the Mthyuh First House. Behind them, the ankles and three-clawed feet of Mrs. Jansdaad have stopped, steaming in the dust, and the music, except for the highest and most soulful of the voices, has faded completely. 

The young men may or may not not have believed in the Monster Poinsettia, but they all know what a K looks, sounds and smells like, even from miles away. Now there is one that appears to be waiting patiently outside their door. 

Take me, Chama. I am your slave. I pray that Mthyuh eats me first.

One by one, the young men fall to their knees around the Spanish-revival coffee table, repeating the chant, holding tight to the rings of black wrought iron letting their tears, snot, and drool rest on its glass top now instead of their shoes. 

Soon the five young men can be seen obediently following the Chama's five fleke slaves up into the jungle and this way and that in a line along the switchback trail that crosses the hill to Mthyuh Chank. The one on the end has been tasked with carrying the poinsettia, which he holds at arms length and with great exertion as far away as he can from his face. 

Greetings of welcome my travelers, fresh through The Crack. Welcome to Mthyuh First House. Your moment of arrival couldn't have been more auspicious. I would invite you in, but... [Chama steps further outside, cranes her neck back and blinks awkwardly to parse Mrs. Jansdaad's hideous face from a blinding sky of bright, silvery clouds.]


Early Spring Interactions with Neighbors are Painful and Sweet

Since Jan's been gone, new Jans have moved in next door. They are hesitant to let their kids come near me, as they should be, when our backyard activities intersect, as they do and will. I think at first they regretted that I'm a single man with no wife to watch me and no kids to play with their kids. I tried to gain their trust with greetings, offers, and small concessions so that they'd at least relax and appreciate me as a good neighbor. They did leave a key with me when they went off to Dubbaberah Chank for six weeks. The kids have noticeably grown since they left, and I've just told their mother so. Now I find they'll be moving to Dubbaberah soon.

The neighbors in back have exposed a vile and disrespectful streak. Am I a magnet for sociopaths? Never again will I enter into a dispute with a non-property-owner girlfriend of a property-owner neighbor. Always speak with the property owner about property issues. Typically, a young female Jan will make up for her feelings of insecurity about not being on any legal license or deed by entering into property disputes on behalf of the romantic partner, a sort of second-best to an engagement ring. I don't know what a male non-owner romantic partner would do in that situation because I have not encountered it. 

The other next-door neighbors are flekes, and they give life to our dead end on the park. It's impossible to tell who lives there and who's just visiting, who's related to whom, where this dog or that dog went and how he got replaced by another backyard dog. The father died. I'd seen him with his head in his hands on his front stoop one day, the day after his front window had been busted out with a rock. 

All my life I looked at the other end of our street as the bad part, and now I've brought all of that here, he says, wiping his face.

I haven't noticed anything else, was my answer. 

Yesterday I ran into the new owner, the ex-wife, as I was coming back with Lala from a walk. Her dogs were barking at my dog, whom I'd just let off her leash, through the fence. 

What's all the commotion out here, boys? She shouts coming out the back screen door. 

Lala is just showing everyone who's boss around here, I explained. 

Oh, dog stuff, she concluded, going back inside. 

Yeah! Haha, I replied.



Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The seedy part

Cap'm Pariah:  danger!

Five students at High Chank U who went to the same high school together are sitting around on filthy sofas. 

Common chamber rules Mthyuh First House put your damn feet on the damn furniture. 

Yeah! [Most of group places their immaculate athletic footwear atop a long, wrought iron, olde-Spanish-mission style coffee table with a precarious glass top.]

Say has anyone seen that guy Ilyn remember?

Ahhhaha. Out of sight, out of mind. 

What a freak that guy was-- with all the rings, right?

Yeah Rings of Ilyn we'd sing.

And the teeth necklace. He drilled holes when they extracted his teeth. 

When I think of what we did to that pervert. 

Don't you feel sorry for him though.

Totally, you think I'm a dick?

That's why you do shit like we did to a guy it's to wake them the fuck up. 

Wow brother you are caring truly now. 

ENTER Reptily and a potted plant. Four slaves follow in line behind her and take positions against the circumference of the chamber. 

Shit that looks like La Chama. 

No it's her bitch self Reptily. [Whispering] Her hackles are up. 

Yes it's me. I am Reptily. You are strong. You'll be among my proud slaves. You will have many wives, and your children will feed our Mthyuh. This is the Mthyuh First House? 

Ya but we are just staying here while we are in school. 

Tell me this. Who believes in the Monster Poinsettia. 

Hah it's a myth. 

I don't know-- I saw a guy once and

Fine. Your friend says it's a myth. I'll tell you what. If he wants to prove to me that this flower in this pot is not the Monster Poinsettia, then I, too, am a myth, and he will not be my slave. 

He's not really my friend, he's...

What do you say. Come here. 

I

Do it. Just do this. She's right. We should just kick her ass. There's no real Chama. 

The young man stands and walks around the coffee table close enough to smell Reptily. 

Don't swoon now. Be a man. Have you got a shiny coin?

Most of the young men check their pockets for shiny coins just in case.

Now give it as alms to the flower. Right there into the seedy part. Go on. It's only a myth. 

 

 



Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Within The Crack

Lloyd... It seems like the only time when you are not verbal is during sexual activity, in which case I wouldn't actually mind. 

Mrs. Jansdaad farts. 

When they wake up, they are going through The Crack.

When Jan's daughter Jan looks up, she can see Lloyd's foot only. But that foot, shod and pant cuffed, is all that she can see anywhere besides herself.

Both Lloyd and Jan feel the peristaltic waves, inside themselves and all around them; they can watch the undulations against their clothing and feel it on their faces and the backs of their legs.

Jan hears a voice.

Oh really? Well you didn't even go to high school-- it was more like low school. 

Lloyd?

Oh my god Jan can you hear me

Yes. Very funny.

I think we're going through The Crack now.

Uh-huh, baby. You're the brilliant one.

The Crack is home to a billion holes

They say The Crack is home to a billion holes. Pilgrims, daredevils, and lost hikers alike will never be able to predict when and where they will come out. 

The Community College of Cement's entire Chang K. Chang Chank campus is dark except for a few pools of security lighting-- and the strong yellow bug lamp which illuminates the Crack Door Event area. Jan's mom Jan Jansdaad's steaming underwing fat flap is all that's keeping Jan and Lloyd from falling hundreds of feet into the parking lot below. 

Jan lands as close as she can to the bug light, which is there for the air conditioning unit attached to the bookstore next to temporary mobile classrooms B-D. Most campus employees, students and visitors walk around the air conditioning unit instead of trying to duck under it, which could cause them to end up in sudden Crack-related peristaltic shock (SCRPS), and besides now being invisible, their associates quickly begin to forget they ever existed. In this respect, SCRPS can affect an entire community from one instance only.

Lloyd is trying to keep up with Jan and her mom. As the odd group rushes across the moonlit baseball fields, plumes of white chalk dust spray from below Mrs. Jansdaad's three-clawed feet. And then they have crossed a short span of black top, and then they have reached The Crack. 

They might sound a little like disco when they're running, but when they stop there's nothing but funk, says Lloyd.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Downward motility

become an animal during wartime, there's maybe a way back;
going feral during a peace assures that battle will be your path.



by Ilyn
"Sermons" frag. 18

Dire Cricket

Lloyd has been awake for a just few moments without moving from the tangle of sleeping bags a Scouts of Mthyuh brigade had donated to the clothing drive bin that the beast had lifted from its cement moorings and dumped here in its cliff nest. 

He fears that if he moves he will lose the beautiful light scent of jasmine? Monster poinsettia? It's very early in spring yet, and how would flowers grow this high up against a rock? He even imagines he can  follow light, pensive plucking on a mandolin. 

Then young Jan, sweet Jan, is walking toward him in gentle rays of light, with the massive and hideous silhouette of her mother resting behind her against the moon and clouds. The beast's subsiding breaths after flight create the lilting music as her lungs contract with a melodic metal popping perhaps more similar to a steel guitar.

In this new place, with his confidence dashed for once, Lloyd sees Jan's daughter Jan anew. He is prostrate and broken; she represents a future, a woman who can change his life for once, powerful in a sleeveless chintz chrysanthemum-print frock, even while barefoot and picking her way toward him through the soft debris.

He waits until she has climbed up beside him in the heap of torn, shiny viscose lining, fluffy polyfill and plastic zippers, her red-dark face only inches from his own. 

How

Shush. [She places a finger across his lips.] Just listen. And breathe. 

He draws in another chestful of her cologne, which is Dire Cricket, by Pharmsupply.

I'm here to take you away. It's... you know that's my mother, right? 

Lloyd nods, slack-mouthed.

Well she never wanted to hurt you. Only that you'd understand. To stop being such a shit.

Lloyd stares up into Jan's shadowed eyes, at the impossible sparkling there. 

She wants... and it's not really up for discussion, you know? She wants to take us through The Crack.