Get it out of My Head
The song loops around and begins again. I didn’t realize it was still there hovering in the background. Worse, I still can’t tell if it’s coming from me or to me. All I know is that, if I hear one more time, “that there’s a-time to change,” I’m, I’m going to smash every single window on this bus. The black things outside, the obsidian souls have started to abate from the bus. They weren’t able to rock it all the way over and so they are starting to move on to things that they can flip and smash. Maybe, they didn’t want to flip it. Maybe they just wanted to get on it. Take a ride. We were at a platform after all and the doors never opened. How many of you would be pissed off? Many of the windows have greasy grey streaks of grime or sloughed skin or whatever, and hand prints smeared across them. I succumbed to the dreaded realization that I’ve got no destination. Charon S. won’t let me off, or tell me what the hell is going on.
My fucking eyes won’t open. Or, all the lights are out. It’s black as pitch in here can’t see a thing. I hear something, sounds like it’s bouncing, echoing. “What do you want from this, us. What do you want us to be?” No, I can’t see, I can’t open my eyes. It hurts. Reaching up, groping at them there are thick threads, wet… “I don’t know. I like you. I like you a lot, but I don’t want to name it or put a label on it. That shit always screws it up. It creates a pressure that I don’t think we need.” Fuck! Ow! “So, what are we to you then?” Pinching and plucking at the threads trying to get them off, pull them out but they are slick. “These questions are so cliché. Can’t we just be fun? I just want to enjoy you and what we have together.” Who the fuck did this to me, I’m gonna kill someone. “That’s fine, but how can I enjoy what we have if we don’t even know what we have?” Laughing. Horrible grating laughter weals on the darkness. “Ugh, you’re no fun. The mystery and the joy of discovery are what is fun.” Stop laughing and fuckin help me!“Okay, when do we get to discover then?” Darkness diminishes in shades. My eyelids flutter, stretching out the disuse and open. Probing my face with my fingers I find no trace of the stitching, or sores. No blood. Nothing at all.
He never really got over that conversation. It made him so angry for so long. But he never gave up on me. He never left. “She acts like summer and talks like rain...” Ugh. Even the universe mocks me. My life, my love is so interconnected to the art and music I liked. They are both light putting a frame around me, defining me. I tried so hard to turn it off. But who can live without any kind of art? You can’t live without light. In the same way I couldn’t live without him. Loneliness. There is a massive hole inside of me. I can feel the air blowing icily through it every time I think of him.
Obsidian souls line the sidewalk as the bus glides by. They are waving at the bus, almost as if trying to flag it down. The driver kisses her teeth at them and spits at the floor. I wonder what that’s all about. One thing I miss about him was that he never looked down on anyone. Didn’t matter how much money they had, how they dressed, or what colour they were. He never cared, it didn’t even matter how horrible they were to him. He’d say something to the assholes, ever the up-stander and never the bystander. But that was it. It ended when the situation did. No drama. No grudges. The energy changes outside, amps up. Something is happening up ahead causing the lines to bunch into groups. A shiver runs through the things. They’re no longer just standing there waving for the bus but scrambling for it; some dive into the street and are crushed beneath the wheels spraying strange coloured ichor all over the sidewalk and spattering the others. None seem to notice as they fight one another or run spastically and without direction. They’re panicked, but why? The sky darkened causing the streetlights to fill the air with their green demonglow. A few of the creatures are able to crimp their fingers onto the aluminum trim surrounding windows dragging for a while before they finally let go spinning through the gravel into the gutters.Their obsidian skin ripped to bloody tatters, some completely flayed, leaking that horrid ichor. Now there is an evil luminosity to it. Many of them with limbs broken - bent at horribly impossible angles.
The bus speakers crackle to life, static fills the shell of the bus followed by that old crushing gravel tone,“This is not your fate.”
“Huh?” I can’t quite believe Charon S. is speaking to me right now. I’m actually being communicated with. Then came another realization that I’m really not in control at all. I’m lost and I have lost control over my life. I always believed in free-will. But this bus ride has done a lot to illuminate things for me. Which is odd, because I’ve always hated the boundaries that bind a person. Only now, these boundaries are liberating. For so long, I’ve been on this bus not knowing a thing, confined to my own confusion and misunderstanding. Where the fuck am I? And, where the fuck am I going? I had completely gone mad with the spotlight on me, surrounded by the darkness of my choosing. No longer, not in the bloodlight, or the demonglow, the real darkness I didn’t choose things are becoming a lot more clear.
“All will be made clear in due course.” Abrades the speakers.
Why now? Why, all of a sudden? The limp, obsidian corpses, soul corpses? in the street were set upon by the others that walked on all fours like crabs. They rolled them into piles. What were they doing? Across the horizon, breaking it like a crab leg, a mad vision - a new species approached. They were much taller, thinner; smooth like polished stone, marbled - red and white. The red streaks like flowing bolts of lightning rippling across their white flesh. They almost looked like Turkish onyx. Equipped like a heavily armed SWAT team. They were very organized in their march. Extremely intimidating. The shadow creatures scattered everywhere. Running blindly, madly, head first into lampposts and buildings. They went for the sides of the bus and the bumpers. Anything to escape their would be captors. This must have been what was log jamming the lines, and sending the creatures into a frenzy. The marbled SWAT team launched nets, wrapping the obsidian souls trying to run from them and sending them sprawling to the dirt. They were like an I.C.E. squad rounding up foreigners and anyone else that seemed like they may not belong. This accounted for everyone on the sidewalk. Fish in a barrel, souls in a ring. I saw a net land on its intended target and light up electric blue in large arc streamers from one cross rope to another. Instantly sending the creature into violent convulsions, twisting and contorting. Smoke wafted off its charred flesh while it split and flaked like ash. The smell clawed its way into the bus. It was sickly sweet and cloying. I gagged and retched. While outside of the bus electrified nets where grilling any shadow thing not strong or quick enough to hide or escape.
The bus glided through the mess of rent ichor and flesh. The smell reached a peak that refused to be ignored. It was so pungent and thick you had to swallow it. It took a while to notice buildings started getting taller and the creatures outside more and more frantic as they were rounded up, slammed into the sides of them, thrown onto the ground before their limbs were either ripped off or bound depending on how much fight they had in them. More I.C.E. teams showed up and began scouring the place for anything hiding. They used plastic flex cuffs that must have been electrified too. I saw a couple I.C.E. members with little remotes press a button on them and laugh as they creatures on the ground convulsed. It hurt some fundamental part of me. I remember thinking, what is the point? Why the carnage? They’re already subdued. What could I do?
I looked away trying to avoid the scenes of violence and immediately became disoriented. They sky had broken open to a black window. It reminded me of an IBM running Microsoft DOS. Various shades of black and green - pixelated images - bleeding onto the ground, filling my entire field of vision. Little jagged edged square pieces sliding up and down, left and right as if the landscape was shifting and rearranging. I wondered how long that had been going on for.Had I been so consumed in the things around me that I’d been missing it all along? We entered the shadow of one of the tallest buildings I’d ever seen. It took some of the brunt away from my eyes and help ballast my reeling mind trying to make sense of the images it was receiving. Until, down the sides of the buildings ran the obsidian spider creatures. Leaping and skittering to the writhing masses below. As they moved they navigated the shifting bricks which like the sky seemed to be pixels creating the reality of the buildings. Bricks slid left and right like those sliding tile puzzles. I followed the spider things down along with the movements of the bricks. I.C.E. teams were shoving the obsidian souls into the gaps made by the moving bricks and then they’d seal up around them absorbing their bodies into the structure of the building. In some places their faces and appendages protruded from the walls of all the buildings around us, forming living gargoyles. It’s Dantescan. There are faces in the trees. Limbs in the branches. The Wood of Suicides. The ICE team are Harpies; torturing the souls by breaking off branches. Limbs, bricks; stuffing them into the buildings in the first place and then breaking them apart again, rearranging them. Panic surges like adrenaline. I scream. I feel spiders crawling across my brain. Scratching the invisible itch, gives no relief.I have to be dreaming. This is a nightmare. This is a nightmare. This is a nightmare. This is a nightmare. I couldn’t stop myself from repeating this mantra. Then the voice…
“That is not your fate.”
But, I can’t get it out of my head.