Tag Archives: spiral narrative

Ice Flue Chapter 25 

30 Nov

Ice Flue Chapter 25

   Elizabeth Dracula licked Stan’s eyeball feverishly as they made out hungrily in the cold metallic corridor outside the Work Lab at Ice Enterprises. “Jesus, Stan. The Ice flows through you. I just want to suck down every last chip of your bones.”

   Stan glanced down. His skeleton was indeed glowing blue through his skin.

   The lab door creaked open. Cheryl, dressed as a nun, greeted them with a look of dismay. “My god…you brought HER. Stan…but…THE CHILDREN ARE HERE.” She opened the door to reveal children in white lab coats with the faces of badgers, moles, and skunks fiddling with dissecting tables and knives difficultly with their inflexible purple and blue glass hands.

   Cheryl returned to her lectern and pushed down the pleats of her nun outfit at the thighs. “Let’s continue our lesson, children. Now where were we? Oh yes: and so who was SOLELY responsible for starting World War 4?”

  “Stan Lunch and Elizabeth Dracula!” the children chanted in unison.

   Elizabeth abruptly stopped licking Stan’s eyeball like a rabid animal hit with a stun gun.

   “And what about World War 3?” Cheryl asked hopefully.

   There was dead silence.

   Cheryl blushed. “Yeah, I, uh, don’t remember much about that one either.”
 

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Ice Flue Chapter 9

15 Oct

Ice Flue Chapter 9

   The laboratory was cold and dark; jagged shadows of the experimental disease machinery were cast from the pale moonlight. 

   A light in the laboratory desk station next to Stan’s turned on. With enormous pilot goggles obscuring her face, she went immediately to work on a glowing orange and serum. After about five minutes of adding and subtracting chemicals, her serum exploded and burned to a dark crisp. “Damn!” She raised her goggles. It was unmistakably the beautiful but terrifying face of Elizabeth Dracula. 

   Stan recoiled in horror. “Elizabeth—“

   “Cheryl, actually.” She extend a long, thin hand, the Elizabeth snake rings intact with raised unusual jewels from the Zebra Fire Mines of Zantra. “I just started here yesterday, although my main interest is in politics. I’d like to be queen someday.” She blushed. “Arrogant, aren’t I? I haven’t even asked your name yet and here I am spouting off about my pipe dreams.” Her tone became series as the green in her eyes sent a chill through Stan. “I just want to state here and now that I do believe in the Time of the Ice Princesses with all my heart.” 

   Daylgo Arnie’s menacing and sweaty clown face appeared on the day screen at the front of the laboratory. “Okay grunts! Who’s ready to rebel against the system? Now don’t get down and give me—“ The screen was flipped off. Cheryl stood beside the screen, her puckered lips crumpled like a starfish’s legs as she raised a thin finger to them. Nobody had ever rebelled against rebelling in Stan’s presence. Nobody contradicted the revelations of Dayglo Arnie. Nobody. 

   Cheryl walked down the aisle, the green of her eyes flaking to blue as she stared hypnotically beyond Stan’s soul. “We’ve been at it all night and you haven’t even asked me out for a drink. Wanna play hooky?” Cheryl smiled, the ghosts of recently consumed silver cockroaches burning into muted fireworks displays. “I’m sick of all this rebellion. Let’s try a different approach. Have you ever been hurt by submitting? No? But it’s the most delicious hurt there is. I don’t even care if a religious disease burns me from the inside out. Get on the back of motorcycle, Stan Lunch, and hold me tight. Hold me like I’m your last breath of fresh air. Breathe me like a breath of ice.” 

   She ran her fingers through Stan’s hair, but the excitement made him clench up. He raised a shaking hand: he’d burst another vial of Ice Flue. The blue liquid dripped down his wrist like a precious wasted drug. His eyes blurred as he went cross-eyed until he could only see the glowing green skull of Elizabeth Dracula cackling as she gunned her motorcycle and aimed it straight past his soul. 

Ice Flue Chapter 8

14 Oct

Ice Flue Chapter 8

   Above ground was an endless desert, except for some bone-shaped skyscrapers blending with glittering ice castles in the far distance. 

   There were no other recruits besides Stan and the police officer.

   “Get down and DON’T give me a 1,000. We’re gonna make you rebel and we’re gonna make you like it!” Dayglo Arnie roared, lifting belts from the sands and strapping Stan and the police officer down so that it was impossible to do a single push-up even if they’d chosen not to rebel. 

   The two ferocious suns beat down from overhead as Stan coughed from the sand he inhaled. As Dayglo Arnie began to lecture about the importance of rebellion at all costs, Stan’s attention drifted to the faraway town of bone-shaped skyscrapers and glittering ice castles.

   “Don’t look over there. You are forbidden to visit the Time of the Ice Princesses,” the police officer said, lipstick blurring into mustache while smirking. 

   One of the ice princesses floated across the desert as fast as an arrow. Her lips were grotesque as her jaw spread inhumanly wide as she smiled and rocket back and forth as if her face were a villainous mask in a Noh theater production. “Take the Ice Flue to Elizabeth Dracula. Only then can you bridge the gap to the Time of the Ice Princesses. Go back to discover the ice flue again. Go back.”

   The Ice Flue droplets had changed from blue to red on Stan’s hand. 

   Dayglo Arnie, red in the face, continued to berate the police officer for its lack of motivation in rebellion. But, due to the altered state of the Ice Flue, Stan faded from existence as Dayglo Arnie and the police officer looked on in dumbfounded slow motion. 

   Stan’s surroundings elapsed and blurred, his vision a throbbing tunnel, as he was pushed back to a surface, a cold dark cave surface that gradually revealed itself as his laboratory. He held an unspilled vial of blue Ice Flue as a magic trick had been reversed.  

Ice Flue Chapter 7

12 Oct

Ice Flue Chapter 7

   Their bunk was like the inner chamber of a submarine.
   “Would you like some butter? Mother sent it from Germany!” The interval between spins had shrunken to a millisecond and the police officer blurred between male and female.
   Stan Lunch regarded the stick of coiled butter with dismay: it was shrouded by mold and packed full with cricket carcasses.
   “Mother says Elizabeth Dracula eats this every morning to keep her skin looking beautiful.” The police officer’s metal limbs resembled an antique wind-up toy.
   The hatch opened violently as a rush of boiling water poured onto Stan and the police officer. Steam rose from the police officer’s limbs as Stan screamed in agony. His metal hand bubbled and popped, but it didn’t feel like his skin burned; his hand was being forcibly shrunken, slowly and as if by an AWOL gravitational pull.
   Dayglo Arnie straddled the opening of the hatch. “Get a move on grunts. Your training has already begun. Where were you during the introductory video? Didn’t you hear the Flue Whistle?” Dayglo Arnie, his white clown makeup glowing as beads of sweat suspended within thick strands of his orange clown afro, hissed with fangs barred.      

Ice Flue Chapter 5

7 Oct


Ice Flue Chapter 5

   Stan’s hover car passes hundreds of Ice Enterprise employees for his departure coincided exactly with their arrival. 
   The Ice Flue, warm like the embers of a campfire, hummed in his lab coat.
   A blue film glazed the early morning sky. Treasure birds, wrapped tightly with their dead in bundles, hung from billboard scenes from the Holy Book of Dracula and Dayglo like cryptic warnings, but nobody could be watching Stan. Nobody else knew about the Ice Flue, right?
   Woozy, distracted, yet curious about this break in Stan’s daily driving routine, Stan’s hover car sniffed around a billboard depicting a scene from the Frost Holly Book of Derevelations: a thousand or so children sank with the burning ship while praying to a ghostly giant emanation of Elizabeth Dracula, immune to both flames and drowning in her ghostly state. The children had undergone the purest act of martyrdom for the cause, according to the book. The cause was Elizabeth Dracula’s continued animation by crickets. 
   The next billboard illustrated a scene from the Holy Book of Defamation Regulations in which versions of Elizabeth Dracula hatched from eggs, her heads wobbling grotesquely on the bodies of spiders.
   Arnie Dayglo approached with his brigade of the Child Crusade–curiously, all of the same children from the previous depiction were present–bearing flamethrowers. 
   The children set the spiders with Elizabeth Dracula heads aflame in the manger. The scene bubbled and popped like a burning oil painting.
   A Police Sandwich Cruiser pulled up alongside Stan’s now nervous hover car. 
   Stan gulped. A strip search would undoubtedly uncover the Ice Flue. 

Ice Flue Chapter 4

5 Oct


Ice Flue Chapter 4

   When Stan resurfaced, after having retrieved over 20 ecto ghosts, his chamber at Ice Enterprises was silent and dark, A smashed vial of his breakthrough concoction, the Ice Flue, lay on the floor beneath his lab desk station.
   Most alarming was that Stan had revealed this invention of synthetic disease warfare, the Ice Flue, to no one. It caused one’s opponents bones to shift to a cheap brittle metal, yet also enacted other curious side effects which Stan Lunch did not yet fully understand.
   Stan’s first successful administration of the Ice Flue had occurred yesterday upon the unfortunate Trouser—a recently-deceased faithful servant of the company (Ice Enterprises), Trouser’s human-sized spider bones had shattered from a tooth-pick prick following a miniscule dose of the Ice Flue.     
   What was ironic was that Ice Enterprises was known for its Body Heat mists, a sprayable substance five times warmer than down feathers. Stan had originally been tasked with biological warfare shield work, but had inadvertently discovered a powerful weapon (The Ice Flue) instead.  
   A hologram plant across Stan’s chamber and unfolded: Ice Enterprises took pride in the fact that it forced all its employees to become informed citizens.
   Elizabeth Dracula’s doughy, pockmarked visage reigned supreme over the insect antennae airwaves with the usual aura of terror. The green juices of a mashed sequeira caterpillar dribbled down her chin as she belched blue fire and clacked her purple crystal skull scepter as if upon the forehead of a distracted pupil.
   “Citizens!” She blew a swirling rainbow of fire which roamed around her powdery face. “We have work to do! Don’t eat, sleep, love, or allow yourselves even the slightest pleasures!”
   Stan Lunch saluted Elizabeth Dracula and began marching in place. It was required that citizens march to the tune of the cricket anthem, which, when slowed down, sounded like a million violins pleading in a rhapsody.
   Midway though the march, Elizabeth Dracula’s face was replaced by Dayglo Arnie. Although it was hard to take Dayglo Arnie seriously with his orange clown wig and vampire fangs, it was also a requirement that citizens rebel whenever he incited a rebellion. “It might not be any of my business, but Elizabeth Dracula is just a doll animated by crickets. Now let’s skip work and play hooky as the world crumbles! Are you ready to boogie?” Arnie break danced, his gold chain of scorpions whapping and smearing his clown make-up as video surveillance footage revealing the back of Elizabeth Dracula’s head with thousands of cricket legs twitching along her neckline as if in competition to animate her.
   Arnie Dayglo, as he turned to reveal the back of his orange afro, was also being animated by insects—but in his case it was by a swarm of praying mantises.
   “Citizens. It is now your duty to rebel. NOW!”
   Stan pocketed the last remaining unbroken vial of Ice Flue in his lab coat.    

Ice Flue Chapter 3

4 Oct


Chapter 3

   The skeleton of a Dracun Lizard greeted Stan at work that morning. Splayed out on his desk like marionette, the skeleton gave off an aura of having recently been handled.

   Stan glanced up from his work desk laboratory. Not a single other soul stirred in Potion Control Chamber, his department at Ice Enterprises. Was today a holiday?

   Magenta and fuchsia bubbles surrounded the flu feelers of his two neighbors’ gage monsters, but there was no trace of a blue ectoplasm ghost harvest—a daily ritual of both his neighbors to stimulate the company’s senses—Ice Enterprises was, after all, a living breathing entity—and increase productivity.
   Something skittered past in the blacklight hull bulb above Stan’s row of laboratory cubicles. Sweat pooled on his forehead as it breathed hotly down upon him. So this was how it felt to be finally found out: the burglar police had infested his work dream space with hunting worms because of the incident with Heiferwaith.
   “Stan? Stan?” The furry hunting worm coiled around Stan’s shoulders.
   Stan blinked. It was not a furry hunting worm after all but his octopus-headed boss, Dennis.
   “Stan?”  
   It was like coming out of a dream. No, it was more like taking a deep breath of air after being forcibly held down in a plasma chamber.
   Dennis’ shaking intensified the longer Stan neglected to perform the recognition ritual.     
   Finally, rather dimly, Stan said “Good morning sir and welcome to Ice Enterprises. How can I be of assistance? I am your personal scientist forever.”
   Dennis slapped Stan on the back jovially. The gesture was overly familiar. Dennis, the pendulums in his grandfather clock earrings trying to lull Stan back to sleep, appeared blurry.
   “Whoa there, buddy. I just wanted to know if you’d seen Hoagy or Heiferwaith. You know, your neighbors? We’re running low on ecto ghosts in Chamber 23 and my data is showing no harvesting on this quadrant level. I know it’s not your job, but would you mind reigning in a few ecties for the health of the company?”
   Although Stan nodded with enough vigor to satiate the cloying Dennis, some time passed before he began to do Hoagy and Heiferwaith’s job for them. He’d kept remembering the sound of his sculpta brick smashing the cartilage in Heiferwaith’s kneecap. He’d managed to free the Dracun Lizard, that was certain, but his memory after that had gone patchy. The world had gone completely black once he’d left Heiferwaith’s apartment tube dwelling. A stew bubbled in an enormous cauldron on the stairs to his tube dwelling, the severed head of Heiferwaith floating beside some Dracun Lizard skulls and peeled vegetables in the broth.
   “Why’d you do it, Stan?” The floating head of Heiferwaith gurgled from inside the boiling stew. “Did you think you could get away with it?”   

Palace of Clover

10 May

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“What were you looking for?”

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The storm forced us back inside, but then we left again to lick the lightning.

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I met a tiger who gave me a prickly fruit tasting better than wine.

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I found it then: a whole world trapped inside my closet behind the hundred or so hanging neckties.

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“I’ll get up for you today.”

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“Well…what did she say?”

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“She gave my money back. Her face turned white.”

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And so: sighing, I opened the closet door. I brushed aside my neckties.

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We descended the ramp and took our rightful places at the palace, and we never did turn back.

Whistle My Name A Sandstorm Whisper

9 Mar

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“What do you want?”

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“…I…don’t know how to put this…”

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“I met her in the desert, but I had the distinct impression this all happened in the future…that is: the series of events I’m about to relate to you.”

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“Do you like blue flowers or red flowers?”

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“I don’t remember. I do remember it happened in early spring. My horse had just come down from the mountains to bring the family fresh spring water.”

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“We were feeling trapped, as usual. But then we started dreaming about dragons and everything was fine again.”

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“What happened next…I mean…after the funeral…”

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“They weren’t mean spirits, but they were wild animals.”

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“Can you repeat what you said before? I wasn’t even listening.”

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“When bees harvest their eggs from the deep dark oceans, a terrible wind might blow.”