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fragments:
a work in progress.
by s. warren peace
©1998


***.01***


...brittany arose from the dead and appeared before victor. her white burial shroud was stained dark red, and a small amount of graveyard mould had accumulated in her hair, making it appear somewhat dusty. she looked quite beautiful to victor in a perverse, morbid sort of way. "death semms to agree with you, love" said victor. "you look quite ravishing." brittany examined her straight, pretty legs with a critical eye. she absently brushed a small worm off her calf. "hmmm" she mused. at last she said "...i suppose..." she floated down to the ground and skipped around in circles a couple of times. a small cloud of dust arose from her gown, causing victor to cough a bit. "still smoking, i see" she said with a laugh. victor studied her dim form for a moment. "why are you here, love?" he asked. brittany glanced away a bit, and pretended to study her fingernails with great interest. "i gather you've met the nurse" she said at last. victor looked at her empty eyes..."yes i have" he said simply.

BACKSPACE X 14 =  ----------

victor awoke with a start. bells were ringing and people were walking all about. brittany poked him in the ass with her leg brace. "wake up, dopey" she said. "you passed out in class again." victor looked around the high school classroom. "i must really be wasted..." he said. "i thought...oh crap, never mind..."     "let's go" said brittany impatiently. "i've got some tabs at home." victor got up, gathered up his things, and the two friends walked out of the classroom.

as they walked down the hallway to the parking lot, brittany felt victor's arm tense up. nearby, in a small group, stood brian and some of his friends. "look" said brian loudly. "here comes thing 1 and thing 2." his friends laughed. "where's the rest of the freak show?" asked brian. "you stupid prick" cried victor. he moved towards brian, but brittany gripped his arm tight enough to bruise. "don't get into it with those assholes" she pleaded. victor turned toward her. "...allright..." he said quietly. he turned back to brian. "bastard..." he spat out. "you keep messing with her and just see if you don't get jumped again." brian stared at victor but said nothing.
in all her 16 years, brittany had never heard a sound as loud as the clacking of her brace along the floor as they walked away. she looked at victor sideways. "let's go get fucked up" she said.

victor watched with fascination as brittany settled herself into the driver's seat of her car. the apparatus his stepfather and her father had installed in the car to allow her to drive gleamed in the hot florida sun.  brittany winced as she gripped the hot metal of the accelerator handle attached to the steering mechanism. the brake handle on the other side promised to be equally as hot. victor loved the look of satisfaction she got on her face as she manuevered the car in and out of traffic with only her hands. she drove better than anyone else victor knew. a truck cut her off suddenly. "fuck you!" she yelled out of the window. victor flipped the truck off absently. they both laughed.

much later, the two sat on the couch in front of the piano at brittany's house. brittany looked at victor with acid-enlarged eyes. "shit...i'm peaking" she said happily. "me too" smiled victor. he lay his head in her lap as she played and incredibly sloooow version of moonlight sonata. she played quite well, and had ambition to be a professional pianist in the future. she and victor had even planned out which music school she would go to after high school. victor's mind soared with the effects of the music, the acid, and his love for her.
he could feel her love eminating from the center of her body and enveloping him like a soft cloud. as brittany played, she willed herself into the music, not just the playing of the notes, but into the sound itself. in this way she entered victor and the two of them merged, became one, flew away...
about 4 hours later, the arrival of brittany's younger brother and his playmate brought them back to earth. "look at the dorks" he said. his friend giggled. "he likes her..." he said. brittany and victor laughed and laughed like insane people, which frightened the small children, causing them to run away nervously. this only made victor and brittany laugh more...

FORWARD X 14 = ------------------

brittany's spirit hovered over victor's head. he smiled at her through his tears. "that was nice" he said. "yes...it was..." she said sadly. "she did that to you yesterday evening, didn't she?" victor thought a moment. "yes, she did" he said at last. "you've come a long long way since then" she said quietly. "you made it through it all". she became mist and surrounded victor. "you can get through this,too..." she told him. "it's quite different, though,..." began victor. brittany's mist filled his throat. "love is love, love" she said.
victor breathed in her spirit and wished he would never have to breath it out...but that, of course, was impossible...


********************************************

1978:

...victor the cleaner sat in a small booth in a miami, florida recording studio. about five yards away, a musician named peter gabriel was recording a pop song. gabriel cupped one hand over an earpiece and coldly snarled into the microphone in front of him. "adoph builds a bonfire and rico plays with it." victor wasn't quite sure who mr. gabriel was, but he quite liked the song...it sounded cold and mechanical. "whistling tunes we hide in the churches by the seaside..." victor was to hear this song many times in his life.

1998:

...victor the cleaner is dying. a starched white nurse enters the room. she approaches victor's bedside and speaks to him. "it's time for your medication, victor" she whispers into the stillness of the room. victor winces inwardy and braces himself for the impact.

the nurse grabs victor and hauls him into a sitting position on the steel cot. she draws back her right arm (this side) and brings her hard fist crashing down into victor's face. victor bleeds a little, sheds a tear or two, but all feeling: pain, anger, hate, love, shock, hurt or shame - all have gone from him. the only thing he feels is the impact.

the nurse, seeing the twisted love gleaming in victor's eyes, becomes enraged. she slams his head against the wall behind him, spits at him, hits him again and again and again with her fists, open hands, nails, feet. the nurse's fury finally peaks as she breaks a glass vial and slashes at victor's skin with it. blood splatters her tear-streaked face. she pauses, panting for breath, and glares at victor. "god, how i hate you..." she sobs.


  "if looks could kill they probably will..."


in memory of john donne -


*******************************************************



like sands through the hourglass... ...so are the days of our lives.

"victor the cleaner sat minding his own bizness reading and smoking. exotica approached slowly. "i wonder if he'd respond better to a leopard or a cheetah...perhaps a human woman...or mayhaps a bit of each." she morphed and appeared before him. "'allo, then" said victor innocently. "who're you?" exotica regarded him with a languid glance.

(she took a long cold look)

"i've come to brighten up your space a bit" she said. "you look as if you could do with some cheering." victor regarded the apparition. "now, that i could, dear..." he began.

SHIFT/SHIFT/SHIFT:

several years later:

"what'ave you got there?" exotica asked. "it's a shrunken head" explained victor. "would you like a bit of yage?" "won't you ever grow up?" she asked him. victor said nothing...he took a pull from the bottle of newcastle in his right hand. "well?" inquired exotica, "why are you just standing there?" victor considered the weight of the pistol in his waistband...the curve of her hip where a small chain glimmered...the wind blew her hair about very gently...it moved like snakes. a bit of time passed. "sorry, love" whispered victor. "i'm off then." "i've never seen you angry before" replied exotica. "it doesn't suit you"

BACKSPACE/BACKSPACE/BACKSPACE:

(waving my arms in the air)

the dim past (three years/days gone):

"be sure to give me a ring, then" said victor, "or i might get angry." "i've never seen you angry before" replied exotica. "what are you writing?" she asked. victor handed her the small black notebook. "'ave a look" he said. and she did.

(golden hair)

much, much later:

victor lay dying. exotica sat next to him and inhaled the small bits of breath he let escape from his blue lips. "what's it like?" she asked. "be a love and sing me that song, won't you?" victor asked. "alright..." replied exotica. she began: "as i walked out on the streets of laraedo..." "no, no, not that one" interrupted victor crossly, "the other bit..." exotica began to weep. she sang: "lean out your window... gol-den hair..."

(paintbox)

the cat smiled. "you've got to go outside sometime" he purred. "& when you do, i've got you, right?" the mouse shook his whiskers and pulled his tail a bit tighter around him. damon died in 1995.


*******************************************************


...one day victor said "...uummm...don't look now, love, but here comes a train." morphinia looked and did indeed see a train approaching. she turned to victor and said "yes, i see it as well...shall we get on?" before victor could reply, the train screeched into the station and flung open its doors.

"all aboard whats coming aboard" called the conductor. in his haste to catch up with morphinia, who was running for the open door, victor tripped and fell onto the tracks. as the train pulled out of the station, victor struggled to get up and off the tracks, but to no avail; the train bore down upon him and crushed him into the earth like an insignificant flea on the back of a mangey dog.

morphinia looked on, helpless and sad as victor was obliterated in part by the train and in part by his clumsy stupidity. "he really shouldn't have done that" remarked morphinia sadly. she wiped a tear and sniffed. "he was quite nice, really" she thought.

meanwhile, victor was experiencing the trip of a lifetime: death. this is what he saw:
"great bolshy rarebit fiends i'm but a fool who tries to insinuate everything into a poxy load of bollocks the rotted end result of my misspent time uon this miserable plane, this sphere, this mortal coil...a rather sorry end to what seemed rather a nice bit out of a time seemed to slip into a torrent, a torment, a babble of stupid mistakes i was in the wrong place at the wrong time, guv, i swear i'm blameless i'm pure as the driven snow oh oh oh the time slips and creeps and runs and no-one knows what the fuck is going on but there is no artifice here, or very little; just sheer hell of the speed of pain is a good song, says alot, right?"

victor drew his last breath before his lungs burst under the wheels of the train..


*******************************************************


...as nurse fooler slept, khaki-coloured clones crept silently around the room. a burst of static erupted from one of the comm devices they carried implanted in their shoulders. "brrrRZZacKkkkCK...uh, tango-delta-whiskey this is delta-one-niner...do you read?" tango-delta-whiskey quickly swatted at it's shoulder, switching the comm device from external to internal. "delta-one-niner this is tango-delta-whiskey...what's the story, morning glory?" all of the khaki-coloured clones were silent. nurse fooler slept on, unaware. "we've got confirmation on that i.d, love a duck." said delta-one-niner into tango-delta-whiskey's mind. "repeat: i.d positive. bring in nurse fooler and be quick as a bunny, bugs" squawked delta-one-niner. the clones swooped down on nurse fooler and pinned her to the floor. the need for silence gone, tango-delta-whiskey switched off the annoying internal comm and went external again. "roger dodger, delta-one-niner...we got us a goodie." it said. "e.t.a is 15oo hours, more or less i guess."

nurse fooler had expected this. she knew that she was a suspect in victor's death. "put me down, you cretins" she said to the clones. "i'll have your collective heads for this". "sure thingie, love" said the clone carrying her. it dropped her to the floor. nurse fooler found herself in a small dark room. a voice boomed out from a speaker in front of her. "you killed victor" it said, and a bit too loudly. "i haven't killed anyone!" she cried. "it was that damn morphinia what done this deed dead." morphinia, chained to the wall across the room and a brainfuck shield buckled to her head, called out "not i, said the spider to the fly". "who killed victor?" boomed the speaker-voice. a dark figure suddenly appeared in the corner of the room. "i, said the sparrow, with my little bow and arrow" it said. nurse fooler turned to the sound of the familiar voice. "victor...?" she asked quietly.

victor stepped from the shadows. "it seems the reports of my death were greatly exagerated" he said. all heads turned toward him, a clone asked "but...what about all that psych ward nurse torture jazz, dad?". victor smiled thinly. "just a bit of self pity, love" he said. he turned twice on his heel and snapped to a smart salute. "i'm right as rain,you see." morphinia, blinded by the brainfuck shield bolted to her head, groped in the general direction of victor with her ragged talons. "victor!" she cried. "save me, love." victor sat down on the floor and assumed a full lotus position. "afraid i can't, sport." he said. "i'm no saviour at all, you see...just an imaginary character in an imaginary world." he turned to nurse fooler. "now, dear" he said at last, "suppose you tell us your real name..."..


*******************************************************




***02***

...ghost awoke early, as was his habit, and walked to the end of the ward.  the door to the common-room was locked, seperating him from the objects he sought: the coffee machine and the television. "shit" he mumbled as he sat down on the floor of the hall. soon mike the orderly would arrive and unlock the door; until then he could only wait.

presently, warren also arrived at the door to the common room. he looked down at ghost. "where's mike?" he asked. ghost looked up at him and said nothing.  warren sat down on the floor across from the locked door. "watch this" he said. placing his fingertips at right angles to his temples he screwed up his face and tensed his back muscles.  he stared at the door wth fierce intensity and began to utter a low moaning chant.  ghost watched with mild amusement. warren began to perspire.  his arms and crossed legs trembled.  the door stubbornly refused to open.


ghost looked away from warren's vain attempts at teleknesis; someone was walking back and forth on the opposite end of the ward. "who's that?" he asked the air in front of him. warren followed ghost's eyes to the end of the hall. "dunno..." he said quietly. the figure began to move toward them.

the elevator door swished open and mike stepped into the ward. "alright boys" he said cheerfully. "opening time...". he fitted one of the large keys fastened to his belt by a slim chain into the common-room door.  warren quickly scrambled into the room and began rattling the coffee apparatus around.  ghost remained seated, transfixed by the approaching figure to his left. "poor sods" said mike quietly to himself.  he followed warren into the room and sat down across from the silent television.

ghost watched with fascination as the figure in the hall began to aquire details.  a frail death-white form who swayed on unsteady legs.  white hair, black at the scalp.  huge purple circles drooped below hollow eyes.  chipped red nail polish glittered incongruously on tiny feet beneath the hem of a torn hospital gown.  translucent skin seemed to gleam in the florescent light of the hallway.  pam collapsed onto the carpeted floor across from ghost.  supporting herself on the wall behind her, she looked at him blankly.  ghost could see the surgical tape residue on the side of her face and neck where the stomach pumping tubes had been fastened a few hours before. "can't you talk?" pam asked him...



******************************************************



  silver jewish bartholomew

by feather plume androgy9

judith is my shepard, i shall not want.

she maketh me to lie down

in silicon pastures of cobalt nail polish.

ye tho i process through the valley of gates i will fear no evil;

thy orange plush carpet and green spiked cat collar comforts me

you are like a snoopy nite-lght, o lord

you guide my way and maketh me use drugs.

for ever and furniture,

a(wo)men.





*******************************************************



...spooky was bored.  something had to be done or he wuld go insane.  near where he lived was an oh-so-trendy shopping district; spooky decided he would go wander around this area and scoff at all the norms.

sitting at the bus stop, spooky noticed a small bird hopping about near his feet.   "hello" said the bird. "why so glum, chum?" spooky thought for a moment and then said "i haven't anyting to do." "oh dear" said the bird. "i've too much to do.  would you like to switch places with me?" spooky looked around him.  a garbage can overflowed to his right; some soggy bread lay beneath a couple of beer bottles.  flies buzzed all around.  a rather large cat lurked in the shadows nearby. "no, i don't guess so" he said at last.

when he arrived at the shopping district he began looking at people and thinking on how pathetic they were.  he walked and walked and soon he came to a small group of runaway kids. "dude, got any change?" they asked.  spooky gave them cigerettes and sat down nearby.  he begn to feel very depressed.  he remembered a long long time ago when he had been one of these urchins.  it had all seemed so relevant, so urgent, so intense...he wished he could go back to that time, but this was of course impossible.

spooky got up and went into the sushi bar.  he carefully ordered only what he could pay for, ate his snack, and left.  outside, the lights and activity which had seemed so invigorating and vital just moments before now seemed false and annoying. he got on the bus and went home.

when spooky got home he listened to some music, took a pill and drank a beer.  everything seemed o.k. now...then the bomb went off...



*******************************************************



...trash lit a ciggie and looked around the small dirty room.  all eyes were upon her. "the thing is" she began, "when the shite comes down it'll come down hard."  she paused for effect. "you'd all better be ready..." she continued, "it's going to be a real bitch...when the shooting starts, wat will you do?"

the small group of dissidents stirred uncomfortably. finally, fallon spoke. "how do we know..." asked fallon.  "how do we know that all this preparation won't come to naught?" "aye" said brett.  "what if this 'civil war' of yours just dun' occur?"  

trash threw her cig down in anger. "pathetic..." she said venomously.  "that's just what you lot are...pathetic." she paced about for a moment or two, tossed her hair over one shoulder and sat on the edge of the small desk behind her.  sal watched with mild interest as she crossed and uncrossed her legs twice and then said "look, trash...you've given us alot of rhetoric and no proof...i dinna ken if we can trust wot you say...i'm willing to go along, though..."  his words trailed off.

"and the rest of you?" said trash to the group, "wot's it going to be then, eh?"



*******************************************************



...upon this date of the year of our lord 1999 we set forth to shew those remaining strangers of which had travailed to cross the blue forthwith and sundry the might and wisdom of our great and benevolent lord his most pussiant high llama and mainframe 12-0-17; that we might spread and manifest his holy data/message.

we, being a sordid and tainted lot, experienced the singular unpleasantness of migratory travel with not a small measure of disease and malevolence. the captain of the bark in certain was a most disagreeable and surley lout; it pleased me to no end to jettison his lifeless corpse from aft the shippe the following of whence he caught the pox and died. this aforementioned reprobate had the unmitigated gall to mock and did also chastise us all of the followers of his most manifest high llama sir septimus7, servant to the mighty 12-0-17 and his most humble emmisary on earth as well, being a stout fellow and well versed in the cthulic arts, as it were.

we had scarce alighted upon these dismal shores and had not yet even scryed the glass of our fathers when the most terrible howling arose from the cellophane forest to our immeadiate leftward side. a rabbel of the most heathenish type did henceforth descend upon our party; we had naught the time to react in a like manner to these savage nightmares and were forced to resort to the most base and cowardly course available to ourselves: we did run swiftly away and screaming all the while.

when we had gotten some yards hence and well away, i paused in my panicked flight and sought with mine eyes the surround environs, with the hope to find my boon companions and fellows of the starry sea. alas, i found that i had become most greivously separated from my fellows and did then begin in earnest to weep most pitiful my unjust lot.

if any and sundry should by a most faire stroke of divine providence find this m.s, it would behoove the gentleman kind and mild to reply most swiftly and of a mind to absolve me of my most shameful doubt...is there any soul about or hence to answer my plea? the colonization of this most faire and barren land requires a servant of our lord to possess a goodly amount of pretty parts that they might survive...i find myself at my wits end in my lonely sorrow.

your most humble and exalted servant of the great high llama and arch-lord his worship 12-0-17 the great; i remain your thane, septimus warren peace



******************************************************  



...the doctor tells me i must try harder to come to terms with my surroundings...i file my nails and bide my time. soon a spider or a moth or a beetle will cross the floor into the silver shaft of sunlight...this is my sole amusement, this and tapping on the pipes when the bloke next door sits down on the johnny...a rappng comes a-tapping, a tap-tap-tappng upon my chamber door.

"meds..." says a rather disembodied voice. i scramble off the floor, almost sprawl over the steel cot in the front corner of the room, and open my mouth beneath the pill-slot...a few flakes of rust from the door-plate fall into my mouth with the pills...this makes me cough a bit, but otherwise....blisssssssssss.......

i've been sampled and looped with harpsichord minor chords... "i'm gonna fly on down to the last stop in this town/ i'm gonna fly on down, fly on down, fly away..."

it's good to be alive, goddamnit...


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