Friday, 17 October 2014

Click Click Bang Bang

P   R   E   V   I   O   U   S   L   Y      I    N 
S   P   I   D   E   R   F   I   N   G   E   R   S
    The Audi released itself from Saul's control. Spinning, Steph tried to keep upright as the car flipped over and over. Before she blacked out, Steph was sure she saw a violet bus brake alongside her cracked passenger window.
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    Steph opened her eyes to take in her new surroundings. No longer in the upturned stolen car, Steph realised she was back aboard the violet coloured bus. She moved along her sickly yellow hued seating - briefly taking in the words stitched into the seat in front: 'It could be you.'

She peered into the void outside. The world was gone. There was blackness out there, as if some universe large creature had devoured everything but her and this oddly painted vehicle. A vehicle beginning to move. She felt the shifting beneath her trainers…but where was the engine rumble? And seemingly, there was no one but her and the driver aboard the now silently traversing transport. Tinny electronic beats burst out of the headphones, headphones affixed to the head of the man at the wheel – surely painful at such a volume.

The tune was familiar. Steph made out the song clearly, an adrenaline-pumping-technology-flaunting remix of Sylvester’s I Will Survive. 

I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love
I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
And I'll survive
I will survive, oh

    ‘Thank you, if it wasn’t for you I would have been dinner.’ said Steph from her place in the middle of the bus.

The driver, or rather the man at the vehicles front-end, he remained mute. His relaxed arms never flinching for the wheel. He didn't turn around and beam a friendly smile. The music was so loud and so...

    ‘Where are we going?’ shouted Steph.

    ‘We are going away,’ replied the man with no uncertain brusqueness,

    ‘We are going away from where we have been.’

    Undeterred by the rudeness and safe in the knowledge that he had saved her from cannibalism, Steph fanned away the urge to disembark. Not that the compulsion dissipated entirely. She recognised the Scottish accent of her driver, but decided that in here was safer than the emptiness of out there.

Go on now go
Walk out the door
Just turn around now
'Cause you're not welcome anymore

    Steph succesfully turned a bark into a few convincing coughs. She composed herself, clearing her throat thoroughly. And then...Steph presented the story she reckoned she'd finally got straight,

    ‘You’re here to help me get to The Discordians' house.’

    No reply. She had definitely addressed him loud enough over his not so personal sonic entertainment.

    ‘How long will it take us to get there?’

    The man laughed. What he knew was not for Steph, not so easily,

    ‘On the Matryoshka there are only riders.’

    ‘What was that?’

    ‘I am a passenger,’ he replied, ‘This place has no driver, the Matryoshka drives itself.’

    She wanted to see his face. She wanted to keep to the five rows of distance she had placed eagerly between them.

    ‘Everybody that was here before, where are they now?’

    With a grunt the man ahead merely stated, ‘Elsewhere.’

Weren't you the one who tried to break me with goodbye
Did you think I'd crumble?
Did you think I'd lay down and die?
Oh no, not I

    Steph had enough to worry about. She had the strangest nervous tick in the form of an involuntary bark, nevermind this red stranger and his puzzle-talk. She wouldn't play this game – not anymore.

    ‘You’re minions from the Oma,’ announced Steph, ‘you and the blue man, and that yellow baby, you’ve been sent here to protect people that knew Spiderfingers.’

    ‘Oh really,’ asked the man, ‘Why is that then?’

    ‘Eh? I don’t know - I’m important, in some way? Spiderfingers sent Saul to find me so you're like, back up?’

    ‘Interesting, what else do you know?’

    ‘You’ve got red skin and your brothers have blue and yellow skin…so I thought…because of what Spiderfingers wears and…look - where are you taking me?’

    ‘I can’t take you anywhere.’

    ‘But you’re driving the bus.’

    ‘I’m not driving. I am a passenger.’

    ‘Well,’ said Steph searching outside's darkness in vain, ‘you’re in the driver’s seat. If you’re not driving then who the bloody hell is?’

    ‘To drive implies a control and if one were able to control this area then it would cease to be known as your chaos.’

    ‘What did you say? What do you mean this bus is my -’

    ‘It is now storm eyes. Treat it well. Whomever you invite into your life ends up here. Not quite as you’d expect but here nonetheless. A little mangled but recognisable given the right going over.'

    'Woof!'

    'Someone got a little Toto in their throat, hmmm?'

    ‘Never mind my throat, I have so many questions…Maybe you don’t have any answers? Maybe you’re clueless?’

    This is when he spun around, revealing his glittering emerald eyes that were frightening to glimpse at but difficult to look away from. 

He sported a violet eyeball in his forehead, staring without blinking just under the rim of a grey gangsters hat. His elongated face was punctuated by his angular ruby red goatee. His face was red, the harsh tone of freshly chopped meat. And from within the folds of his jacket two of his four hands stretched out. Blue hands, cobalt-coloured fingers to accompany his other pair, folded scarlet ones.

    ‘Clueless creatures cannot outwit brothers of blue. Cluelessness is an obstacle that would prevent the winning of these my prizes.'

He advanced quickly, so fast that Steph found herself recoiling only after he had managed to take a new seat merely a row away from her. He smiled. He removed his hat. He removed his headset.

    The entire vehicle filled with the electronics, a propulsive beat that carried the upbeat lyricism of Gloria Gaynor. The vocoder inflected lead vocal gushed out of unseen speakers; a decibel level suitable for larger places. He Who is Red ruffled his wired and spiky mohican as he said,

    ‘Consider this – with Spiderfingers dead and you being his most devoted priestess, who do you think manages the hex? Who do you think the gods need to kill now?’

    It was in the wee small hours that Sarah Edwards decided on a title; Hiding in the Open. Pleased to have finally named her masterpiece, she saved the file.

    Hiding in the Open was as far as Sarah was concerned - the best picture in the collection of prints depicting her brother, the fast food eating, self-described ‘multi-media-model’, Foley.

Their plan, Sarah’s and Foley’s, was to provoke gossip among various demographics for the necessary attention.

Hiding in the open; a means for the Edwards' siblings to survive. The craze for Spiderfingers wouldn't last forever, not as far as Sarah was concerned. Foley, he had no clue as to how his deal with the world worked. Sarah could see the arrogance in his eyes whenever he let slip to someone he'd just met regarding his life as the man who played Spiderfingers in the mixed media phenomenon that was Stephanie Tent's tour de force. And all Foley had to do was pose here, pose there, use his acting chops to be something he could never be and barely understand. This is what Sarah thought as she sipped long sips of her cocoa, the Jazz FM providing the room with the correct amount of relaxed and soulful ambience. Within that bubble Sarah Edwards could work.

    Hiding in the Open, a name ascribed to her siblings' newest album, a fame-leaching-celebrity-sustaining tour de force, the nude images radiating out of Sarah’s computer screen, so resolute.

This compendium, this latest artistic collaboration would be emailed to magazines that didn’t normally reprint such works but ah, Foley had been romantically linked to melon smuggling/glamour-puss Lucy Pinder, for weeks now.

Naturally, the value attributed to Foley’s face had sky-rocketed, great copy as they say.

As she added tint and touch to the images on her laptop, Sarah drifted from computer-bound artistic decisions to the easy recall of the shoot earlier that day.

She remembered bindi-adorned Foley posing in the steamy shower, her instructions to him, that he should lower his spindly Spiderfingers arms,

    ‘Keep em down!’ she’d blast as her disposable lens aimed its way towards Foley’s face again and again and again, ‘Stop covering your nose...’

    Her mind back in that past, Sarah heard her womb-mate's thin well-educated voice breeze out over the cadence of sprinkling water,

    ‘Do you think we should leak some nude shots to Heat?’

    ‘Not yet,’ replied Sarah crouching low and aiming her camera up, ‘We need to grant expense to your image before reaping the rewards that come in its cheapening.’

    Click-click.

    ‘Nice.’ replied Foley and at that moment the model delivered a rarity; his muscles relaxed – no head tilting at all – this was the pose Sarah had been searching for, if only Foley could feel/allow for such honesty more often. Any desire to find and flaunt his ‘best side’ was seemingly extinguished. His fatigue and desperation captured by her disposable camera. Sarah knew, true moments of vulnerability can transform the vainest of people, if only for a few click-click bang bang's of her picture-taker. With hands reaching out of the steam created by funnelling water, Foley announced,

    ‘I had another one.’

    ‘Did he kill anyone this time?’ asked Sarah not letting up in the resetting of her snapper,

    ‘He always kills someone,' replied Foley, 'And it’s like, I was there.’

    ‘How did you feel?' She asked.

    Click-click, bang-bang.

    ‘I enjoyed it. I don’t know how wrong that is.’

    ‘You should enjoy it. Don’t be a Luddite Folio – if one can’t be a serial killer in their dreams then I mean, y’know? Shit - Fo, c’mon? You were doing so well. Please keep your face clear for these last few shots, yeah?’

Click-click…bang-bang.

    Handy Andy didn’t need eyes to see but still, even though he relied on a sixth sense to perceive the events around himAndy decided to look away, to not visualise Zombie Boy chowing down the policeman he’d dragged against the trunk of a large oak tree.

    Just off the main high road in the dark world of early morning, there trembled the ever-loyal Handy Andy, doing his best at steadying himself as he doodled away. Andy let his awareness fall onto the police officer's bike, which lay in the middle of the road. The constant spin of blue light issuing from the handlebars. Handy Andy focused his formidable talent upon a pound shop note-pad. He was busy rendering a cartoon likeness of Vicky snoozing on the sofa back home. He drew Vicky's hands cradling him in her lap. Unfortunately, it didn't matter how much Handy detailed his art, he couldn't escape the sound of death. Chomp and crack and snap went the bones in the policeman’s body.

    Handy knew that zombies merely begin their dining at the cranium. Everything must go.

The hand watched Zombie Boy tear out marrow now and it wouldn’t be long at all, soon his partners intelligence would overtake his ravenous condition. The young man’s soul returning to the body whose wild hunger had forced it out, raw meaty sustenance ushering it back in. Andy, being more than privy to how Saul's biology ‘worked’ commenced his gradual, measured, tentative crawl over towards his hunched feasting. Ever so gently, creeping along the damp grass with the sensitivity of an expert masseuse, climbing Zombie Boy’s dark blue trench coat until he was at the base of the neck. Handy Andy slipped his fingers under Zombie Boy’s ponytail, brushing away the black and crimson strands so that he could knead away, and massage knotted shoulders.

    Handy Andy observed Zombie Boy, so tearful between morsels of wet flesh, and Andy could see his friend's soulfulness returning, the instinctive glares away from the police victim, the corpse he had made, this innocent man of the law. Or was it a woman? Handy hadn’t looked and wondered when Zombie Boy would be conscience enough to check. He understood why Zombie Boy had begun to cry. His emerging humanity granted him an unwelcome awareness, that he owed the healing of all his wounds to cannibalism. Now that he’d been fed, the ghoulish and most primitive personality began to completely coil up into the back of a shared mind. Zombie Boy was now asleep.

   Welcome back Saul Buchannan.

______
    Steph knew that asking He Who is Red questions would lead nowhere, but her query tumbled out anyway,  

    ‘If the gods kill me they can return to Earth, right? Shit. Shit - what do I do now?’

    Silence. He Who is Red's lips did not move.

    I Will Survive played on.

                               I've got all my life to live...

    ‘Of course, you don’t do answers do you?' continued Steph 'and whenever you do talk its in allusions and puzzle-talk.’

I've got all my love to give...

    ‘And this bus, this bus is my subconscious and -’

    ‘- it is now, Storm eyes,' cut in Red, 'Look after it well.’

    ‘It belonged to someone else before?’ inquired Steph.

    ‘If it’s answers you seek then you will meet brother blue. If it is cowardice you reek then the walrus’ house for you. If you’ve an adventurers streak then go to the Oma for the Oma alone will do.’

    ‘How do I drive this thing?’ questioned Steph, limping to the wheel, which continued to swivel of its own accord. She grasped at it but found the action fruitless. Her hands phased straight through the rubber handling. Her steering wheel target was as tangible as a hologram. Frustrated but eager to figure her way out of this, Steph made the only gambit she could think of, since it had worked before,

    ‘Let me off the bus,’ she said squinting through the dark tinted windows as best she could, ‘I’ll take my chances on the outside.’

N   E   X   T      T   I   M   E      I    N
S   P   I   D   E   R   F   I   N   G   E   R   S

    ‘Twelve from twenty six equals eight of eight.’

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