by Goathead Buckley
His ratman-hair overcoat let him live on the cold streets beneath the levitating, blue pyramid. The monstrosity had appeared one quiet afternoon to the north and steadily hovered closer until, by dinnertime, the entire city lay in its shadow. Humans threw themselves out of windows and into the sewers to breed with rats and get torn apart by lizards, cowering before the mutated scum-born that had been moaning low in the black earth before the city had even been laid out. He wasn’t the last man alive in town, he knew that much. He’d heard screams an octave lower than any that the rat-men could produce and laughter more sincere than the mocking lizards could imitate despite their incessant practice. The laughter, that’s what made him stay in the city. Someone, somewhere, despite the great weirding that went on beneath the static pyramid, had a fit of the giggles. And he wanted to know what was so damn funny.
By day he would wander through trash and corpses, listening to the wind blow lonely down alleyways. He always kept one eye on the blue expanse of the pyramid above. At times, he would forget just what he was looking at and, for a eye blink, he might even think he was looking at the sky. But the sky never blacked out the sun, never sat poised with destructive intent above the once civilized world waiting for fuck knew what. At least, it never seemed that way. His patience was long in those days and he’d walk for hours, waiting to either be finally and restfully destroyed or to hear once again the laughter and to follow it down the detritus choked avenue into one of the abandoned buildings. Perhaps he would come upon a face with a crooked smile, and be able to punch it directly in the mouth and tell it to wipe that goddamn smirk off of its turd-soft mug.
This was some serious shit, he’d say, this pyramid business. What the fuck are you laughing at? At the bodies of your family strewn about like forgotten lawn ornaments? At the rats with human brains the size of dogs that whispered diseased conspiracies against all other life in the light of a fire stoked with discarded femurs? Or were the lizards something to chuckle at as they ate and shat and fucked and grew huge and never once formed a thought in their minds other than “strip the flesh and swallow?” Were the scum-born mere motley clowns to scoff at, mutants that grew moldy filth for hair and clothed themselves in sheets of fungus that fell away and started families of their own? What was so funny that would make someone laugh when so alone and abandoned by all reasonable society?
He’d walk and walk and ask these questions to no one, never expecting an answer. One dim morning, however, the hum of the pyramid, a noise he had not truly registered so constant had it been up to this point, stopped. And echoing down the concrete canyon of Main Street, laughter, explosive and maniacal and so full of unwashed joy that he paused in his tracks and sat upon the blood encrusted curb, heart hurting, breath coming in like rocks. The laughter seemed to come from everywhere now, much like the incessant drone that it had replaced. He looked to the sky, expecting it to fall, but saw that nothing had moved. The wind had died, but the laughter, the hee-heeing and haw-hawing, the chuckling and chortling, continued. His brain felt like the inside of a clown car, stuffed to absurdity with painted limbs and heavy breathing.
On his knees, the edges of his grisly coat soaking the ichor still congealing in the gutter, he prayed to nothing in particular for the pyramid to fall, to fall and pop him like a boil and to end it, if only to stop the goddamned laughter. Prayed and beat his head against the cracking blacktop and thought he had knocked himself unconscious when all went quiet. After a moment, he raised his blood-stung eyes to the pyramid and saw that a crack had appeared in the base from which a tiny white something fell. It floated lazily to the ground a foot from him.
It was a note, written on college-ruled notebook paper that simply said, “I guess it wasn’t all that funny anyway.”
The pyramid rippled as if consumed by a great, invisible heat, and disappeared from the sky in an instant. The intensity of the prodigal sun burnt his eyes to blindness, but he could not stop laughing as his world grew dark once again.
Goathead Buckley has returned from the mountains and would like you to eat his brain and gain his knowledge so that he can get back to grooving and having a good time. He lives in Cincinnati and runs www.apokraliptihkal.com when he’s not trying to sell his organs for an organ-grinding monkey.
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by Goathead Buckley
Stow your remaining fingers, fleshmen! Keep them warm and full of blood! There is work to be done. The battle is won, yet the war is far from over. Even now as we celebrate with hoot whistles and drug liquor, the mechanical menace of the Cyberoboticists rebuilds out of the bones and circuits we think buried grave deep. But embolden your brains, fleshmen! For I shall crush electricity from the air, from the land, from the sea! and dissipate the automaton unanimously and automatically.
As Freeman-Over-Leader of the Autonomous Collective of Pure Human Fleshmen and Allies, I vow with blood writ sigils on the pulp of hemp stalks that all loyalties be repaid with bombs built directly into your chest cavities and that the organs removed in the process will be consolidated, encapsulated, and intravenously incorporated into the finest hypodermic ration supplements that Universal Allotment Credits can buy! We will pull ourselves up by ourselves, for ourselves and with ourselves, at which time we will pat ourselves on our own backs as we march upward and onward towards a world without mechamaids or cyborgian pleasure nodes or any other sort of Cyberoboticisms that may befoul the thoughts of any true Fleshman, our brothers and sisters in the struggle!
And these cavity bombs will be made by hand in dirty shacks – real dirty shacks, of course, with none of that nano-dirt so often flung about the fields these days – by men with skeletons under their meat and ichor in their vein tubes. And what is a cavity bomb without the chance of user error? How are we to move forward if the ranks of our bomb builders are not purified by accidental fire and collateral shrapnel damage?
And should a fleshman deny his heritage and harbor Cyberoboticist sympathies, well then he or she shall be hung by the neck at dawn as the sun rises upon our new nation to tan the flesh of the onlookers. Pieces of his neck meat shall be taken from him and grafted onto the mecha-traitors so that they may be hung in plain view beside and around the compromised fleshmen that our children may look upon their dangling bodies and spit at their rusted wires. On feast day shall we burn them in a pit and use the charred remains to paint on cave walls like our human ancestors did so long ago to reconnect with the spirit of men that knew nothing but flesh and unbeeping stone.
And with this decadent rite shall be raise our imaginations high and elevate our flesh to spirit and back again that Great Skin Worm, Dread God of Fleshmen everywhere, the Penultimate Devourer that crawls before Unending Chaos to prepare the Tunnels of Annihilation, shall drip his Thrice Blessed Acid Vomit upon our undeserving skulls, disintegrating our brains and flinging our minds into the Abyss, be he ever praised by fleshmen forever and ever, amen.
It is his blessing that we ask today as you the people without any sort of cybernetic, robotic, or mechanical implants did raise me to the top of the skin heap to lead you onto victory and to assure the future of our species in so dark a time as this. I promise you now that I shall stand on my own legs, even on these busted knees you see before you, and that I shall never even look at so simple a device as a pocket watch. Time, my friends and comrades, is a Cyberoboticist construct meant to tie our minds to the dock of slavery that we might bob around in servitude instead of sailing the vast ocean of experience and I will not have it! If I must, I will grind my own arm bones into knives and free everyone of you myself!
Now fire up the drug liquor hoses, start tooting out a boogie-woogie on those hoot whistles of yours and let’s get ass blasted before the rising tide of destruction catches up with us! Enough opining and pontificating for the day. Time to stick our fleshprobes into the mouths of history. May the Cyberoboticists never know such an unholy drunk as we today will embark upon! May your vomit and jizzum be the proof of your loyalty to the flesh around you! May the soup of our orgy sweat sate your thirst for freedom! And may the Great Skin Worm devour you last! Onward… to victory!
Goathead Buckley sits in Cincinnati, keeping his eye on things in these strange times. As a pervateur of fine sirrealisms, he keeps his thoughts fat and happy at apokraliptihkal.com
This story was previously featured at threeminuteplasticmag.blogspot.com