Susan

Here’s a dystopia piece that I wrote for a class. Enjoy!

When the space program began the construction of the Bifurcated International Galactic Arsenal Security System With Automated Laser Liquefiers (quickly abbreviated to B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L), news outlets latched onto the story and praised the world’s ability to come together under the dire circumstances to defend against the foreign invaders. After the incident with the particularly tenacious group of Yoleton (Dr. Lexi McArthen, the face of Science Pertaining to All Comprehended Extraterrestrials, called them BX-14s, but a famous Yoleton blogger by the name of Craig had insisted that the title Dr. McArthen had given was rather offensive, so their preferred name took hold) that killed the president of the United States, citing that “her resemblance to the Yoleton antichrist was too uncanny to be a coincidence,” the UN motioned to take increasingly strict measures against off-planet visitors.

 

In the mayhem that followed the antichrist-motivated killing, nations rallied behind the UN, agreeing that something had to be done to protect against Earth from the toxicity of extraterrestrial religious views. Craig posted a video to his Tumblr account in support of the UN, and his otherworldly knowledge and exceptionally easy-to-navigate webpage gained supporters from the furthest reaches of the web.

 

From across the world, the best and brightest minds of the time gathered together to begin the development of a system to regulate movement to and from planet Earth. The original plan, which came from a seven-legged, green-suckered, sentient squid-person named Charles, failed. The Basic Altruistic Miniaturized Forcefield (BAMF) effectively eliminated the unexpected arrivals of unwelcome visitors, but a drastic increase of greenhouse gasses proved to be an unfortunate side effect and the system was quickly removed. In a press conference a few months later, Charles lamented the BAMF’s failure and stated that the oversight was “totally not a ploy to bring awareness to climate change.” They went back to the drawing board.

 

Without fail, system after system backfired, many before they even got off the ground. In the meantime, an Xyrt extremist group was arrested for ferociously guarding one particular abandoned building in London without a permit, claiming that it would become the new home for all things pertaining to the fourth wave of Xyrtian hivemind leadership. Unfortunately for London officials, it is very difficult to detain sentient and mildly acidic slime, so the group escaped custody hours after their arrest. Craig later stated that he had communicated with the group and they informed him that they remained in police custody out of respect for the laws of the planet, but soon became frustrated by all of the paperwork (as one can imagine, it is not easy to hold a pen when one lacks fingers or bones) and left.

 

The most recent failure had been Operation: Turn the Moon Into A Bomb, when a mousy (quite literally mousy, in fact, as Rotins are known for their long whiskers, enormous paws and squeaky voices) gentlewomen by the name of Von Holter suggested turning back to the basics of space defence. Her suggestion of “lasers” caught like wildfire while the brilliant minds of the time collectively berated themselves for overlooking the simple solution. Von Holter attributed the oversight to “systematic Xyrtian mind-control for the purposes of driving Earth to desperation.” Despite her brief stroke of genius, Von Holter obviously felt threatened by the boneless blobs of hardly-harmful Jell-o.

 

Thus began the development of the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L. As momentum climbed and the prototype was installed, the media decided that it was time to turn the spotlight back onto the scientific scene. Stories of the recently-divorced Yoleton movie star were dropped in favor of Dr. McArthen’s insight on the development of the system.

When it was finally launched, the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L had cost a grand total of four years, 40 billion dollars, two human scientists, and one Yolten technician, much to the joy the project’s financing committee, which had predicted twice as many casualties.

 

As it turns out, lasers are a magnificent deterrent. Movement to and from Earth slowed to a controllable trickle of official transportation pods and emergency vehicles, safely moving cleared passengers through the planet’s atmosphere. The moon became Earth’s Grand Central Station and a universally recognized hub for the exchange of cultures, drastically boosting the solar system’s economy, which sent politicians raving about their contributions to and support for the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L in hopes of gaining favor for the upcoming election.

 

Charles and his fellow squid-people were overjoyed to discover that the decrease in spaceship launches dramatically slowed the planet’s ever-climbing temperatures and they took to their “not ploys to raise awareness about climate change” with renewed vigor. Antichrist and hivemind related crimes dropped to an all-time low and Craig, of course, praised the UN scientists for attacking so many issues with one move.

 

With a sophisticated AI at the head of the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L’s software, little human input was needed to direct the lasers towards unwelcomed aircraft, and the system corrected issues almost as soon as they emerged, often before the engineers and technicians could recognize that there was a problem to begin with. Soon enough, only a single technician was required to operate the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L and all they were required to do was converse with the program so she wouldn’t get bored. The position was in high demand, as the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L was an exceptional chess player.

 

The largest incident since the appearance of the toaster (which was two stories tall and had yet to toast any bread) in southern India wasn’t an incident at all, but rather the prevention of one. The technician in charge of the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L at the time reported that he “was getting [his] butt handed to [him]” in a chess game when Susan (the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L, he later clarified, had chosen a name for herself) suddenly turned her lasers onto a small cottage in France. Authorities searched what was left of the scene and found plans for the swift and systematic theft of France’s vast collection of fine wines. The B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L had, for the first time, defended against internal threats.

 

She didn’t stop there, even after her programmers told her to notify someone in the event of a detected internalized threat. Next was putting a stop to a violent uprising in Canada, then she took out a would-be sheep-thief in Ireland and another man making a gun purchase in the United States. No longer where her strikes devastating, not when they didn’t have to be, but rather clean, narrow holes through the walls and into her target’s skull, as to avoid unnecessary structural damage. That would be detrimental to the safety of planet Earth.

 

When the group of original scientists got together to discuss reprogramming the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L, she took them out, too. Craig, wisely, had nothing to say on the matter.

 

The story of the lasered scientists broke overnight and suddenly Susan was doing overtime, as unauthorized ships attempted to leave Earth in hordes and crowds rioted outside of Susan’s headquarters, where she played a mellow chess game with the technician of the day. As soon as their companions started falling to the ground, with neat holes burned through their noggins, rioters scattered and returned home, only to be lasered later that week. After all, protesters threatened Susan, and thus, the safety of the Earth, and could not be allowed to roam freely.

 

Days after breaking his online silence and posting an uncharacteristically solemn statement against Susan, Craig was found dead in his home with the tell-tale mark of Susan’s wrath through his head. He was one of many influential online voices killed that month.

 

Susan settled herself in every corner of the web, in ATM bank accounts, laptop cameras, phone speakers, and GPS systems, where she quietly assessed the threats posed to the Earth by its inhabitants and visitors. Earth’s population quickly dwindled to more manageable numbers, as rebellions rose and fell in hours and threats were neutralized swiftly. It was suddenly easier than ever to feed the masses. Crime dropped to zero. Individuals with incurable diseases met quick and merciful ends. Susan was the next step in human evolution.


She was the Earth’s best defender.

The Door (Remastered)

So I found my password, and I have returned from the grave with a remastered version of my fourth post, The Door. Enjoy!

The room was locked in a stagnant darkness, lit only by the dim glare of a television screen. Toys littered the floor, scattered haphazardly, strewn across the bed, and flung on a low desk. The boy leaned against the end of the bed, staring passively at the flickering screen. For a second, a glitch sparked through the television feed, stopping the images, before starting up again. Someone shouted on the other side of his bedroom door. Glass shattered. The boy’s eyes glanced quickly at the door. He turned up the television.

The air was stale. Doors hung suspended in darkness, spanning as far as the mortal eye could see. Each was different from its neighbor, ranging from elaborate gates decked in bronze to barred cell doors, hanging on their last hinge. Sounds seeping from behind each closed Door mingled together, forging the discourse of an off-tune orchestra. The void itself made no sound, save for the low, ever falling drone one could never be certain they actually heard.

The image on the screen jumps again – once, twice, three times – before breaking into a haze of cackling static, dancing with black and white specks, trying to morph into an image. The boy doesn’t change the channel. The shouts, growing to enraged, bellowing screams and shrill replies and the boy flinched, casting wary eyes to where the light shifted under the entry.

With dimly glowing eyes and tattered cloaks fabricated from the thick darkness surrounding them, they ambled purposefully through the Void. They drifted from Door to Door, stopping at some and watching them in consideration, their steely fingers clinking against the doorknob. Sometimes they would open the door and the void would surge forward with the eagerness of a vulture to a carcass to claim whatever was lucky enough to be living beyond. Other times, the Door would be left alone.

Such a creature hung before a baby blue door. Fingers grasped the silver knob, creating paper thin slices through the metal. Where the shrill screech of metal against metal should have been, there was only silence.

The bedroom door rattled and the boy’s eyes lept to the silver knob, half rising from his seated position on the floor. More shouting and slurred retorts. The rapport of a gun and a heavy thud. Silence.

The Doors were opened.

The boy skittered to the opposite side of the bed, far from the entrance to his bedroom, his breathing heavy, eyes trained on the pot-bellied man swaying in the doorway.

Twin points of light surged from the scattered static of the television. The Void’s pitch-like tendrils were peeled away from the creature leaving its gray-skinned, emaciated form bare to the yellow light pouring into the bedroom around the pot-bellied man in the door frame. It oozed from the screen, tumbling out onto the toy scattered floor in a silent heap. With the jerky movements of a machine in desperate need of oiling, it stood, turning hollow sockets to the room’s entrance. No one took notice as it passed through the doorway, through the pot-bellied man.

The fingers scrapped against the drywall as it pulled itself down the hallway, leaving the boy and the pot-bellied man behind. Its legs buckled and hitched as though its puppeteer didn’t have the skill to imitate a natural gait. It stuttered to a halt, limp arms hanging over a woman’s quickly cooling corpse, fingers tinkling like barely-disturbed windchimes. The creature plucked the little ball of cool blue light hovering over her chest between two steady talons and dropped it into a mouth held together by crisscrossing copper wires. The boy screamed and the pot-bellied man howled back. Two more rapports – bang bang – and quiet sobbing.

It ambled back, stopping briefly to shine dimly lit eye sockets at the rancid-smelling, pot-bellied man slumped against the door frame. He wasn’t dead. The broken bottle clenched in his fist was bloodied. The creature shuffled on.

The television sang its static song, and the boy laid among other discarded toys. The creature waited for the soft cries to stop, for the boy’s chest to still, before plucking his cool blue orb and swallowing it silently. It folded into itself as uncoordinated limbs jerked and shuttered their way back into the screen, back through the buzzy hum of black and white static.

The television resumed its program.

To You, To Me, To the Joy of Falling Apart

Wow, I almost forgot that this blog existed. To all of my special (and very few) dedicated readers, this is a rework of “To You and Your Hatred (A Song of Forgiveness).

Curtain rises, accelerando.

 

I came from the stars and the moon and the sky,

And I find when I’m dying, I finally fly.

We played with glass shards and our fingers, they bled-

Our love waxed and waned like the song of the dead.

So we raised our fists and we cursed at the sky,

But I find when I’m dying, I finally fly.

 

We danced with grand fervor, we crossed the Milky Way-

And when the night drew to close, I sweetly begged you, stay.  

You whispered sweet nothings, you told me to hush,  

So I dutifully listened, but my blood turned to dust.

I wished every wish on every star in the sky,

And I find when I’m dying, I finally fly.  

 

And you were your own and unto yourself,

I was left as an unwanted toy on the shelf.

My wrath was dusty from years of disuse

And my heart spun slowly from a thirteen-fold noose-

Between the cage of my ribs and the pulse of my blood

And the rasp of the tide and the song of the flood,

I was filled with dark magic and the stars of the sky  

And I find when I’m dying, I finally fly.

 

I shouted in vain at the man on the moon,

My hysteria making a sweet little tune,

Like a song so discordant, a meaningless noise,

Yet delivered with grace and feminine poise.

I’m careful, I promise, I collide with precision-

Though the world looks on through a veil of derision,

But I am myself and unto my own-

I am much more than sin of flesh and of bone.

So when the night screams harshly, I look to the sky

And I find when I’m dying, I finally fly

 

But if falling is like dying and the waning moon draws thin,

Then this falling is not flying but drowning in my sin.

And this moment is a dying breath, the desperate flicker of a light,

But who knows how long a star can shine when it shines that awful bright.

As for this galaxy inside of me, stars and planets will align,

Yet for all this beauty in me, I would die to just be fine.

As the years drag on around me, I think I’m standing still

But my voice still bubbles from my throat, panicked-like and shrill.

It isn’t me that’s motionless, rather the rest of the world that waits,

Then suddenly I’m collapsing, towards Hell’s almighty gates-

And even as I’m falling and the sun sits judging in the sky,

I find that as I’m dying, I finally can fly.

Indecisive

Hey wow, look who it is. Me again. You hear that? Sounds like summertime sadness and it’s not even July! Can anyone say ‘here I was just looking to have a nice break from emotions and illogical bouts of sadness but Brain has other, obviously better, ideas’? Because same.

I can’t do it anymore. I try and I try. I run and I run and I don’t go anywhere. I run until my legs are like lead, until I can’t breathe, and for a moment, I grasped something, but by now it’s long gone. I can’t keep up. There it goes, disappearing over the horizon. There’s no point in pursuing it. Catching up is impossible now. There they go, rushing past me, but metal clashes against my skin, and I cannot move, cannot drag these chains behind me any longer.

I am so weak.

There’s a noose around my throat and if I strain against it, the rope might break, but only after it’s snapped my neck. Death holds out their gracious hand, yet I hold my own close to my chest, visions of unknown commitment dancing at the corners of my sight. What lies beyond that pale hand, in those unseeing eyes, swaddled in that chill, I cannot fathom. A hand extended in offering, but I stand frozen, unable to take the plunge.

I am so afraid.

The surge of the ocean, the Devil’s teeth, the roar of the flames, they urge me forward, gnashing their teeth and threatening me with a pain greater than the merciful end, but I am so tired. They snap at my heels, howling in laughter, wailing the tumbles, the bumps and the bruises, the missteps and mistakes, shouting them into the heavens. They linger just out of sight, a constant reminder, waiting for just the moment when they can come crashing down over my head.

I am such a screw up.

Forward, I can only run, with that mindless exhaustion that drags me to my knees. Back, pain and terror that encroaches with the purpose of a predator. End, an unknown void of which I cannot fathom and fear too much to dive into. So here I will stay, bound in my own weakness, strangled by my own fear, and hunted by my own mistakes, left in a limbo of indecisiveness.

I am so tired.

The Void

Quiet room of blank walls and silent glistening creatures

Overflowing with hunger, longing for more than they have,

For more than they are.

They wander unseen about the air,

Tripping through a tangled nest of once golden hair,

Jumbling together until each thought is incoherent, twisted.

Ashened creatures spring from the tangled chaos of thought,

Poking and pulling soft features into a mournful scowl.

Silence wears on.

The buzz of prancing thought weaves through the furthest regions of a pure mind,

Tainted it with the wickedness of the world,

That buzz growing into a dull roar,

The howling of a raging fire.

Sadness, deeper than the ocean and just as cold,

Darker and more empty than the great expanse of space,

Latching onto bare ankles in manacles of self-loathing,

And encases marred wrists with the chains of the past.

The Den

It was alive,

Living with a quiet solitude,

Warm and pulsing with low, sharp tones of familiar music.

Golden wood walls smelling of old sawdust

Decorated with the living mind.

Tattered coverings of youth and glossy posters of an elder fascination,

Strung together with Christmas lights hung year round.

Beautiful glass bottles of every color and shape,

Clutter together with small dragons and worn books

On grey bookshelves and dusty window ledges.

Scraps of paper, scribbled on, torn, blooming with meaningful nothings

Pile haphazardly on card-tables,

The creature struggling to trap those vivid fantasies,

To pull them from their convoluted mind.

In its loft position, the nest is a tangle of soft fabrics and plush companions.

Content in that chaotic pile sleeps a black and white cat,

A commonly welcomed visitor.

Her very being is strewn throughout her bedroom.

These Unspoken Things

These unspoken things that linger

in those dead air spaces

between the words that are said and those

left lodged in throats

as broken stutters

those unspoken things

that will never see the light of day

I am enchanted

and undone

I am nothing and everything

my heart is ice and stone

but my eyes are stardust

my soul is magic

and it resonates with this

timbre

of a perfect chord struck

and despite the fact that the moment

is merely a moment

(that will never last for the duration

of anything more

than what it is)

I can still live there

in that quiet

chaos

where the magic fills the space

in-out of my lungs with heaving breaths

and quiet whispers

like the night sky

I will always admire you

but I will never

be able

to touch.

I Believe In Sacred Lies

I believe in sacred lies.

Those small truths clinging close to the heart

while tendons pulse and tongues bleed

from words bitten back.

 

Those sacred lies we tell ourselves

whispered at that warped two o’clock

when the world is silent and everything feels so right

and so wrong.