Makyo in My Mind
hallucinations of the unconscious eye
Other half of my short life
In short story form
Saturday, September 15, 2007
It's nighttime. I'm outside my home, but it's a home I never had. The remains of a wooden swing hang from a shadowy tree in the yard. A tall wooden fence blocks my view. My dad is at a workbench in the darkness of the garage, messing with my computer, because he thinks he found viruses on it. If he did, it wasn't from me, and regardless, he shouldn't be touching my stuff.
My mom has been inside for a while, making a mess in the family room. Building me a new wife, since my other one left me earlier in the day. Was my previous wife a robot, too? I don't remember, anymore. After a while you can't tell the difference.
I step inside my home. The lights are out. I call out, and the robot responds. I can barely make out her figure sitting in my dad's old chair among the boxes and packing she came with. She sits a little to the side, her legs together and her hands clasped in her lap. Her head hanging down a bit.
"I'm not very good at talking yet," she says, "but I've been practicing the word 'Thursday' all day." Her speech is awkward, but still endearing, almost like a foreign accent. I kneel down by her and put my hand on her leg to feel how real it is. It's very real.
I think back to all those dreams I had where my parents did stupid things, and when I'd yell at them at the top of my lungs. Things like, "Get the fuck outta here!" Did those things really happen? I don't think so. They must've been dreams. Did I really have those dreams, or did I just think I did?
There isn't much familiar about this place.
Time passes and daylight comes. I pull into a parking lot. I see Jackie Chan, an old black guy from the gym, and my lunch friend Tim getting together under a tree. I'd forgotten that this was the place they met on this day every year, to fight. It was a way of commemorating their friendship, for as many long-standing friendships do, it started with a fight. I was fortunate to catch it last year, and it was quite something.
I get out my camera and turn on the video, but night falls instantly and I can't get a good picture. I run toward the site, but they disperse. I continue and find many college kids camping out at a good vantage point on the grass. I'm in a dorm courtyard. One group carries a piece of furniture from one building to the next as a practical joke. I take a seat on a comfortable patch of ground, but then wonder if it's an anthill and stand back up.
The Rock comes over and hands out hard, blue candy from a plastic bag. He also gives everyone a roll of tape and gets everyone's attention. He starts to peel the tape from the roll and says, "This roll of tape is you. It has many layers. On the surface is your personality, wrapped around your core." He and everyone else, including me, unravels his tape as he speaks. "Keep unraveling, and you find your hopes and dreams..." and so on, until everyone is left with an unraveled piece of tape. "What's left?" he asks.
"Nothing!" I shout, because there is no single part of a person that makes a person who they are. But he ignores me and talks about disabled children, bringing himself to tears before running off across a bridge. It's then that I realize he is disabled, his arms and legs in braces. Explains why I haven't seen him around lately.
I tell someone a story about how I broke out of prison in Antarctica, then took a small boat to France and fought ghouls. I don't remember the point of it, but I figured I'd pull their leg for a while. The previous night, I dreamt about breaking out of prison, so it was still on my mind.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
My Own Creation
I find out I can go back to graduate school part-time for free. This sounds like a good idea, because I can work and just take one or two classes at a time. Only the brightest and best go to this school, which is out in a green and mountainous countryside.
I ride my skateboard to the school from where I live, because I live on top of a mountain and I have good momentum. I effortlessly and quickly glide down grassy slopes and trodden dith paths created by students and campus police. At the top of a slope, however, I lose the skateboard, which tumbles down into a security car and explodes. I'd forgotten about the forbidden explosive device attached to it. Rather than get into trouble, I walk as if I'm not the guilty one. The remains of the car transform into a jet-powered, sea-faring vessel, which takes off into the air to patrol the area. It takes my skateboard, too, which is undamaged.
I join a group of people headed to the school. We're all new. The school is hard to get to, so an old man and an old woman are showing us the way. They are two of the oldest faculty of the school, the Illuminated Ones, whose scientific knowledge is so great that it is indistinguishable from magic. They lead us through mountain passes and valleys of flowers. Walking. It's far, but somehow fast, and not tiring.
We come to a rock face, a dead end. I start to walk toward it, to touch it, because I know there must be an entrance here. The old man yells at me, "Stop! That's the easy way! It is perilous! Never take it!" He waves his staff and another portion of the wall vanishes, next to where I was standing. We enter.
Inside is like a mine shaft. There's no light, so we all carry lanterns. The illusion of antiquity is broken by big steel security doors and other modern pieces of equipment lying about, as if carelessly left in a dorm hallway. It's about this time I start to think this is a stupid movie, because I can't see anything, and we're just spending all our time getting to the action. And why is this school so hard to get to, anyway? What's the point of going to it if you risk death just by getting to class? And I'm part-time!
I flash my lantern down a side corridor and see my skateboard, which means the rent-a-cops must be near. I go to retrieve it at the behest of one of the other new students. When I return, everybody is gone, except for a crazy old guy who was stalking us. I see into his mind, and immediately know the secret of passing through this place, but I also get a blurry image that he once killed one of the Illuminated Ones. I leave him and rejoin the others, but our guides are gone.
A disembodied voice says we must find the rest of the way ourselves, but we're in a room with no doors. Suddenly, a door opens and shuts again, vanishes. There's another one, so I run into it and hold the door open. As I'm doing so, another elevator opens up in another wall, so I shout for someone else to grab that one. Three more open up. I tell everyone that each person needs to grab one, and then at the same time, we'll invoke the same command. I look behind myself and see that there's another elevator behind me, inside my own, and another within that one. The remaining two people--one of whom is a hammerhead shark flying through the air--occupy those.
On the count of three, I release my door. As it shuts, my room sways back like a pendulum. I say the command, but nobody else does. My room swings back and forth, and finally everybody else says it, but they're too late. I'm pissed at their incompetence. We're trapped. A voice tells me that the only way now is to invoke Jesus Christ. The notion is preposterous and I refuse.
Next thing I know, I'm in a limousine with several other people. We're all dead, being chaperoned to a house for dead people. I'm pissed. AA is sitting in front of me. She seems to know more than I do. I ask if we'll continue to age, and she says no. I ask if we'll be able to learn new things, and she says no. This sucks! At least I'll always look good, though.
The place is like a big ski lodge. I look for faces I know, and I see CL from AXE packing up some stuff. She says she's heading out because she goes to school part-time. I ask what the point is, how she can learn anything if she's dead, and she just smiles and shrugs. Something isn't right.
I go downstairs into a labyrinthine basement that's full of bedrooms, reminiscient of both my old church and the AXE house. At the end of one corridor, I find a hidden bedroom, and inside is an open window. With much difficulty, I squeeze through it to the outside, and fly away.
I fly over fields and mountains, back to where I started, and find the crazy guy. He's reading a book. "This is the only thing that keeps me sane," he says. "This book, written by the first Illuminated One, now dead. The others..." He dismissively waves his hand at first one mountain and then another, as if those were their creations, "...they are nothing. But this..." His hands contort into an impossible configuration, but I understand he means to suggest that this first Illuminated One understood time and space like nobody else before or after, and that nobody understands his creations.
I find the entrance to the school, and open the door to the so-called easy and perilous path. I instantly end up in a study. I'm also a child again. I sit down with pen and paper and start to draw something shaped like a crown. A female Illuminated One--the guide from before, but much younger--is astonished to see me. "Is that you?" she asks, then looks my drawing with horror and asks, "Why are you drawing that?!?" I put my head on the table and cry, "What else am I supposed to draw? That's how things are!" She consoles me and says, "A lot has changed since you left." I look around and point at objects. I say, "These things, they're all the same! I don't get it! They're all the same!" I cry uncontrollably, because I'm dead and unable to learn more about anything. The woman tells me, "Crying is not what you're to do." I stop crying, and think about how unfair it is--that I'm forever unable to understand my own creation.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Conflict is born
Everything is the same. Every person, place, and thing is contained in a single, dimensionless point floating in the void. There is no conflict; only serenity.
Something changes, and suddenly there is space, time, people, places, and things--separate entities fractured from the whole. Nobody remembers when they were one and the same and everything was good. I want to roll everything back together and make it whole again, but each fragment now has its own identity that wants to persist for its own sake.
Conflict is born.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
In a house. Slabs of putty chasing me. Shoot them with shotgun. They start dripping from my hand. I have a fungus infection on my finger. Can't close doors to keep the putty out; they can go under, and the doors don't latch anyway. Kitchen is small and scary. Nice day outside the window. Kids swingset and toy horse. Try to wash fungus off first with water and then with soap, but no good. Open all the appliances and drawers but find nothing useful. I'm told by a spectral future presence I need to wash a picture from the wall in the kitchen sink after all the windows get taped shut.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
I'm in a house with a female companion. Clear plastic hang on the walls. A little girl with horrible grimace sits in a wheelchair on the other side of the plastic. Scares the shit out of us. A closer look reveals it's just a doll, but still very scary.
We set up a camera on video mode on a live girl who we think will go crazy. I think we're trying to do a re-enactment of an earlier event. We talk to her and I aggravate her a little on purpose to see how the re-enactment goes. She gets out a knife and casually comes at me, but I take it. She gets out another sharp object and I try to keep it away from me. An older man comes in and keeps giving her sharp objects. All very casual and frightening. We run away before anything bad happens. I hold the camera ahead of me to get video of them chasing us out.
We come to another big dark house with open courtyard. An older man comes out of nowhere and tries to hit me, but misses and vanishes again.
Necks Would Snap
I'm in Jakarta with RR, who is at the wheel. I demand to drive, since it's nighttime and she hasn't driven in so long. I make a bootleg turn and drive to an estate in the country where my supposed family is. Sure enough, many people are there having a picnic. I've never seen any of them, but they're supposedly my family. They hold a lottery-style draft. Every time someone's name is called, that person is subdued. Ropes are tied to their necks and then attached to large rocks. We all go to a large wall of jagged boulders. On the other side is a deep ravine. The unlucky ones are forced to toss their rocks over the boulders to whip themselves over and into the ravine. Either the fall would kill them, or their necks would snap.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Brilliance, Ego, and Something Else
I'm watching friends go into a hotel. I see a big wave behind it and want to take a picture. Then I realize it's a real wave and turn to run, but there is already another wave closing in behind me. Cops are Everywhere. I go to a cop car and grab on. I say I wish I had my camera. The cop says I'm stupid. I say I'm joking. The wave hits us and we "sink", as the car doesn't float. My hand is trapped in the window, but I manage to retrieve it.
I run to a flimsy tree, climb up, and hang down on a flimsy branch that then extends onto a wall. Some kid says he can go up there too, but it won't matter. He does. We run along on top of the wall as the waves get higher.
We find a way into a building as waves crash into it. I see Kevin going downstairs and tell him about the flood. He can barely walk; he's hurt. He leaves the door open that leads outside from the staircase. I run to shut it before waves crash in and flood the stairs. He barely stays ahead of the flooding water in the building.
We climb higher to the roof, which is barely big enough for ten people. One person backs up suddenly and almost knocks me off the building. I throw myself to the floor to stop from falling over, then stand up and brace myself against a concrete block. Nothing much to grab onto. We're 100 stories up but waves hit us anyway.
A crazy man screams "This building and everyone in it belongs to me! They belong to me! Me!" He bloats a little then disappears, reappearing at the bottom of the sea. I catch a view from outside the skyscraper that shows the rest of the world is fine, while the building is cloaked in glommy black water. The water thrashes up and down it like an ocean of its own.
Suddenly, I appear at a bar with a girl and a guy. The crazy guy is behind the counter. To his disbelief, we defeat his dark magic with science and anti-magic. Everything goes back to normal. We are commended for our brilliance (the guy), our ego (me), and something else (the girl).
Friday, December 02, 2005
The Mute's Symphony
I'm a contestant on a talent show. I hate everyone there. My competition cheats because he knows other people on the show. After the show there is a banquet. An old guy says he can get me in with an ID. I ask him if I look that young and get pissed at him. He threatens me. I tell him to fuck off.
I see a beautiful nerd girl using a photocopier to write a paper in a dark musty basement. There are two old pianos with large keys. She asks what I'm there for and I say it's because of her. I sit down and start to play a beautiful piece on the piano. After a moment I get perturbed and tell her to join me. I take the high end, she takes the low end. The music is awesome. Then she gets up and gets out a violin. I become her to play it, and again it's the most beautiful piece of music I've ever heard, moving me to tears. The piano sounds morph into sounds of something being scraped on concrete, but it still sounds great.
Mom picks me up and takes me home. We take a girl from the show home with us, who takes shotgun and squishes me into the back seat. She entertains my mom and I look at some pictures she brought. She tells a story about some genius who can no longer talk. I hear a buzzsaw and rush out to find it. I end up in an auditorium. From my right, I hear the type of sound only a mute could make, over and over, rhythmically. To my left I see SG holding something to her jaw. There's a train whistle, and strings enter the rhythm, followed by plucked instruments. A symphony started by a mute.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Then There's Nothing
I've just escaped from a massive corporate epicenter, an evil media juggernaught. It should be peaceful nighttime, but outside on the streets there is chaos. Police, emergency vehicles, rioters, news and even construction crews. Some there to do their job, others there to plunder and cause mayhem.
I choose my moment carefully. A corrupt corporate man I always hated is stealing a tank-like vehicle. He has the attention of the police. I jump onto another vehicle--which is out of control--and slip past everyone and into the building.
Armed with a sword, I make my way though the lower bowels of the complex. I see two people--a girl and a guy--floating around the base of a staircase. I run over and offer to cut them in half to make it easier. Memories of my escape invade me, memories of when I was cleaved. The girl, floating and holding onto the stairs above her, consents. "Okay, but I've never done this before." She moves back and forth in the air. "Keep still," I say. My first strike is weak, right on her abdomen, barely breaking the skin. The guy moves in to interfere, but I tell him to back off, I've got it. I hack again and saw my way through her body with the implement that was not meant to saw. She cringes and lets out a few yelps. Just a strand is keeping her together now. I run the sword through her again, but one piece of her will not come undone. A long strand is tearing up her side and into her shoulder. I try to hold her two halves apart while I cut at it with my sword. Eventually she comes free. The guy wants my sword, just a little while. I don't trust him. I run along.
At the back of the building, children are running outside as if going to wait at the bus stop. My sword is now a mere knife. I run through the sea of children to get to another entrance to the building.
Once inside, I dive beneath the floor into a sea of goo. Gadgets, weapons, junk can all be found here, lost or cast away from the world above. I find some blasters, capable ones at that, and resurface into the lobby.
Only a few employees remain in the building. It's supposed to be demolished by the construction crews outside in about thirty seconds, but apparently there's work that even now is so important that they have to cut it to the last second. One, a woman I trust, comes down the stairs. She sees me, knows my intention, and calls the attack.
I leap to the top of the building instantly. I am now a woman. The woman from below catches up. "You don't have time," she says. "He's been stomping." A powerful man, somewhere further above, using his powers to bring the place down. It's not just a building, it's a mountain, extending for miles further than I can see. She calls the shot. I'm hit by a thousand energy beams. I drop to the ground in smoke.
But I have a blaster, which means I am defiant; the closer to death I am, the more powerful I become. That was my plan all along. I rise up and fire at the mountain, this eden of mass media. A blue light infects it at the base and slowly consumes it as I hold the trigger. They fire at me but it doesn't matter now. Their objective will be complete in one second, but somehow the ticker doesn't move. My energy engulfs everything and then there's nothing.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
My Hero Woman
I'm on a dropship with three people. We land on an island. One of us goes out for a drink with a friend who is on the enemy side and learns there are many more enemies here than we thought.
With our newfound information, we locate the underground enemy base. It has three entances, the easiest of which is through their medical supply depot. We know that we can find a profiler there, stashed away for us by one of our moles.
I obtain the portable profiler. As I'm scrolling through enemy profiles, I find one that describes me and has a blank message for me to fill in. I'm confused. Perhaps it's not really me.
Later, I'm descending an escalator with another guy. I wonder if he's the guy from the profile. He suddenly asks if I remember our purpose. He really doesn't know. Neither do I. He mentions Acitomyphentriphosphate. I ask, "Where does the Acito go?" None of my business. I figure he's lying and just doesn't know.
We meet up with a man missing two fingers. He's the main bad guy. I help them pack up a truck. I joke about ChemE waste products to try not go give away my interest in his waste.
Suddenly, there's an earthquake, and rocks spill through a window. I crawl out of a newly formed cack into daylight. The supply truck is outside already, so I steal it. I also suddenly twenty years younger; only a kid.
My dad is driving the truck with me over an ocean road. One lane each way over water for miles. A devilfish springs up in the middle of the road. I fumble for my camera but don't get a good picture; we're way past it. I don't have many photos left so I go through and delete some. I note a picture of children hugging by a tree.
We approach a roadside service building. Traffic stops. Helicopters close in. Bullets fly everywhere. I bail from the truck and duck behind behind a wall. Bullets come at me from both sides. The devilfish reappears and causes enough confusion among the enemy that I'm able to run and escape. My mom calls my name to give me my bag over a thin railing to the other side of the highway. I yell to never call my name, then take the bag and run. Many pedestrians move to let me by, and I worry someone will push me into the water.
I make it to a townhouse. A note on the fridge--written by me--says I like white cars with long seats. An old Jeep pulls up below, a man and woman in it. I go down. The Jeep is just one long seat and a steering wheel. The seat drops back for people to sleep on. It's awesome. The woman gets back in and drives us away. The man gives me a packed lunch. Nobody chases us. I want to bawl my eyeballs out but I hold it back.
The man picks up a porn mag and the woman chews him out. Says she doesn't want him impressing me and having me growing up like him. He puts it down.
We drive into the country. A huge black cloud rages past us. When it clears, we see a huge ugly castle in the middle of nowhere. A McDonalds hotel. I say I've been there. We go inside for ice water. An enemy agent is there looking for us. The soundtrack ends on a single note as I pan to my hero woman.