Brad Liening 日 18/06/2024 · admin No comments

A BUSINESS LIKE ANY OTHER

You line up with the others.
An unscrupulous eyeball attends.
It’s been years and the drinking water
Remains suspect. Power
Continues to pool. You want it to be happy hour
But it’s not. Now you’re nowhere
With everyone else.
White teeth multiply
Behind the tinted glass of a limousine.

David Kuhnlein 日 12/06/2024 · admin No comments

JACOB’S STOLEN BLESSING

The unending construction on Michigan roads was due to the gold hidden beneath them, but all Jacob’s team had unearthed so far were corpses. Tantalized by lost Indian mines, the promise of bandit treasure thawing beneath the surface of a cryptic X, myths of sunken steamers, buried stagecoaches, outlaw caches, gangster banks, they entered potholes deep as vehicles. There were days when Jacob wished that cracked roads were as simple as fluctuating temperatures and half-assed craftsmanship, and that his life had not taken such a brutal, subterranean turn.

Jacob faced his church, an empty lot, as hundreds of cotton wisps danced sideways through the air, collecting in curb corners like snow. Any pleasantness was undermined by the groans of bars of gold beneath them.

Putzing down I-75, heading home from a dig, sunbeams refracted off the cracked windshield, blinding him. His wife, Rebecca, piped music directly into her hearing aids, mumbling ska band lyrics. Jacob cranked the knob on the dash, drowning them in static. She ignored his moving mouth. It was rare his words had a receipt. Had there been no promised pot of gold at the other end of his hair piece, Rebecca would have left. She enjoyed crumpling his body parts like leaves in her mind. Not even the wind his soundwaves floated upon mistook his stagnancy for motion. Like an anatomical cross section of them together, the road wore away in thin patterns of tread.

Nick Greer 日 04/05/2024 · admin No comments

LIZARD BRAIN (EXCERPT)

She makes for the door, managing a foot in the hallway before he hooks her away, giving her a shove back into the apartment. This time she rushes him, clawing and biting, managing to sink her teeth into his arm before he shoves her off, harder this time, aggravated by the pain. The shove sends her stumbling back, slamming into the kitchen island, where she slides down to the floor, defeated. He inspects his wound, more curious than anything. Her teeth have broken the skin and droplets are beginning to well, accompanied by a tingling. He brandishes his arm near her face, inviting her to inspect her handiwork. Is this what she wants? To hurt him? Or does she want him to return the favor? She cowers against the island, hoping this will turn him off, but it has the opposite effect. He brings the wound to her mouth, demanding she taste his pain, meager as it is. She refuses so he smears the blood against her lips. Just a little touch-up, he sneers before kissing her, taking back what is rightfully his.

Ryan Kelley 日 11/12/2023 · admin No comments

SCRAPE RUNNER

They call him Bug Man, though his flat is polished to sterility, all in place arranged the shelves, in main centred on his Okuno ZN70 flatscreen and the space it takes up which he keeps on aquarium mode as he stumbles through his flat. Through that same screen hacked long ago I can see him groping as if for balance. Thanks to the dossier I know he’s really trying to prise for skullmoths that’ve burrowed and tunneled into his body.

Day by day he lives, he breathes, he survives. When he goes out the lurch is gone; with will he straightens his spine, keeps his hands in the pockets of his dusty jeans. The moths aren’t real. That’s why he only tries to dig them out when no one else is around.

We call them Typals, the schizophrenic wraithform in them choosing to hide itself rather than suffer Sanitization. Sanitization is mandated in the effect you trigger blue on the SchizoTuring, the standard test that detects the wraithform. Typals beat the ST by saying the sky is blue or paveshredders roll on wheels or whatever. Then they emerge from gaunt grey facades or hovels and see dragons and skies of blood.

That Bug Man’s got a nickname is bad news for him. I myself tunnel, burrow, through the infogrid for Typals when there is no dossier; investigate when there is. I first got into Mental Health Administration to be a compassionate voice within it. I soon found the system is full of compassionate voices. As the years drag out, we are all subject to endless directives from above from men who stand elevated with wide-rimmed glasses, opaque lenses, in shadows or in places far away or both. They too were compassionate voices once. But it has become Enshrined Policy that the Typal is the newer model, the threat model, and represents the latest evolution of the schizophrenic wraithform which must be wiped from the greater thoughtgeist of 206X Earth.

I am a Scrape Runner. My job is to hunt the wraithform. My job is to hunt Typals.

Kenneth M. Cale, Matthew Kinlin 日 24/11/2023 · admin No comments

extracts from THE ARCADIA PROJECT

Midsummer was the clarity of its own sweetness. We were gentle and careful with each other, stumbling through violet darkness into the forest clearing. We held up a crystal flute and drank the clear fluid inside, a love-in-idleness petal balanced upon the brim. It dreamed of laziness, making love inside perfect azure, each body arched atop the other in meridians exchanged like searing crescents. The thoughts of sleeping and fucking moved through our hands and feet into quiet ground, the silent roots of alder and chestnut. England evaporated and replaced with a black box we could all look inside and see the olde phantoms, an Athens marionette dangled into a bride named B. was in love with D.