They say that the fear of the water is an irrational one, but I have never agreed with that. It amazes me that people can see water as just another thing, to be held or seen or imbibed. Water is something wholly other to me, as other as the outer reaches of the darkest space. It is a dimension of itself—an ethereal, alien force that is both damning and essential. Without it, we would die—but make no mistake, it is no boon to humanity.
We are allergic to it, water. Like mercury it slides over and engulfs us, fills us, swims over our eyes and pushes the air out of our lungs. Its surface is a gateway into another world in which we are unable to live—in which demonic, other beings thrive through murder and destruction. Scaled and toothed and clawed, parasitic and poisonous or behemoth and incomprehensible, these beasts have nothing in common with humankind. There is nothing for us beneath the waves.
Applicant no. 26,672,313,008
Davien V. Fairweather: DOB – September 5, 2991
The Honorable Judge “Betasoft Model 888, OS 112” presiding…
Q1: Mr. Fairweather, why do you believe you deserve preservation within the H.E.V.N. system?
Davien took a deep breath and smiled into the lens.
“Good afternoon,” he said, feeling his cheeks grow flushed. “Well, I just want to start by saying how much I truly appreciate the opportunity to—”
Q1 repeat: Mr. Fairweather, why do you believe you deserve preservation within the H.E.V.N. system?
Davien swallowed. He had worried that his palms would be sweaty, but as he squeezed his hands into fists, he realized that the opposite had occurred. His skin was uncomfortably dry.
Free Willy as a Cryptic Reference to Free Will
We freed it
from a sandbar a kennel insolvency an evil stepmother,
but the damned thing refused
neon lights flutter nervously
in the oily sky
in predictable dystopian fashion
an interminable flow of men coalesces and
like sand particles scattered by the water jet of
light, disappears again, back into
bubbles of silence converging and dying
screams fill the air
an undertone of whispers beneath
I put on another layer of repellant and starblock. Fabio leads me from headquarters,
then jaunts off on his rounds. His arm points me down the path toward the newest find.
What hits me first: the lurid red faces, a striking contrast to their black bodies.
Not like other ones I’ve seen. Am I in the Amazon or outer space?
When I approach, some stay in the back upper corner, legs pulled up tight.
Others hang suspended from the ceiling. All of them stare, black eyes positioned
too close together on their crimson faces. Black hands wet with chunks,
fruit dumped in their trough, orange preferred over yellow or green,
It was the kind of nightmare you wake up from with something on your chest. Literally, it felt like this time. I let out a short gasp and coughed; I smelled old cigarettes. I don’t smoke—had I had anyone over who smoked lately? I was too groggy to remember much beyond the fact that I do not entertain at my apartment very often.
Blackness gripped my vision. It was dark enough that I could not see across my bedroom. Normally, slanted bars of light cast from the streetlight pierce my blinds. But not tonight. Tonight, the air was opaque and stale.
I rolled over onto my right side and craned my neck to see my alarm clock; it displayed a sickly green 3:13. Witching Hour, just great. One of the first things you learn in The Program is how time and space affect magic, and the spells that were particularly nasty had a proclivity for the Witching Hour. I felt fearful, perhaps remembering dregs of my dream. But even if that was not the case, the time put me on edge. My mind wandered as I roused myself further—how many bad things happening could I imagine at once? What if someone was breaking in? What if it was someone who would not hesitate to harm me in their pursuit of my crap? What if it was a lunatic casting shadow magic?
Fabulous legs or not, these stiletto heels were straining and pulling my calf muscles tighter than an elf’s asshole. Word travels fast in the underground, especially when money is involved and I had probably less than a half an hour before some halfwit-junior-bounty-hunter was bound to stumble into me. I had to get out of this outfit and fast. Luckily the Academy’s general store was nearby and still open.
I grimacingly finished strutting my way across the grounds of the Academy and into the store whereupon I headed straight for the clothing section. I grabbed a set of gold and orange robes, a big pointy-ass wizard’s hat, and a set of nice, sturdy boots with belt-buckles and changed outfits in one of the store’s private closets.
Sweet merciful arch support of the gods! This was so much better. I packed Allie’s clothes into my backpack and made my way to the cashier where I grabbed a pack of smokes, some elk jerky, and some green, bubbly sugar water off the countertop.
Bare-chested on a witch’s rooftop in the gloaming of the volcanic sun, I screamed to make eternity know me. (But scared a flock of pigeons off the roof.) I cried to make the gutters gush me and the earth seep me. (But my tears only watered the begonias in a window a few stories below.) Desperately, I threw my wits against the universe to lodge myself in memory gears! (But found I’d lost my mind.)
They took me from the rooftop with a crane and lowered me into the asylum, and I was deeply afraid. Afraid for my daughter. How would she eat? How would she breathe?
He thinks he can hide from me, but I have seen his type before. They’re all alike; hideously malevolent creatures who swarm in the night and impose themselves onto places once thought to be uncompromisingly private.
He doesn’t see me yet, but he will. He will move around the white room, my white room, the white room that is my private sanctuary, until he finds something to eat, then move on as though he had already been granted permission to undertake such an expedition. As is common with creatures of his persuasion, he thinks there is no danger in his future. This time I will not hide as I did before on the pretext of watching the bloom of his nefarious activity. This time I will tell him that he has breached the boundaries of my territory once too often. This will be the last time he will assert his arrogance. I will hide and wait him out. Then I will pounce. Continue reading