Sometimes, forgetting, I remember:
I see/hear/know, as like
Nothing else -- terrible
In my freedom -- flying
Where even birds cannot go.
Sometimes, forgetting, I remember:
Falling downward, fist pistons,
Crackling through atomics, I
Can split whole worlds asunder.
Sometimes, forgetting, I remember:
Carrying, too fast for breath,
Screams unheard beyond sound.
Sometimes, forgetting, I remember.
And they seem so small when they die.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
If I hadn't listened to Jack, none of it would have happened. There'd have been no demon, I'd never have lost my soul, he'd probably be alive somewhere bitching about how boring his life was, how he wanted something to happen. I think most people who have interesting lives spend their time wishing it wasn't, you know? Me, I'd rather be ---
right, right. What happened. All of that. Mind if I smoke? Hah! That was so good that .. you aren't laughing. Well, you will. This doesn't count as a real confession, you know. I've watch Nightcourt, and Judge Judy, and the one gay transsexual hermaphrodite judge with 3 nipples then had on Jerry Springer once. Or maybe it was Oprah during ratings week.
Anyway, Jack figured out how to summon up demons, you know? They used to do it all the time, back in the day. So why not know? He figured it had something to do with electricity and bioelectric energy or maybe something to do with not enough straight sex in the world anymore since the homosexuals had begun to corrupt the world with show tunes. Jack was kind of weird, you know? But it was the kind of weird that gets somewhere, sometimes.
He'd probably have been a genius, in another age. An Alvin Einstein, you know? .. Chipmunks? what? Look, officer, I'm trying to explain things and you're being stupid. So. Like, Jack discovered how to summon up a demon. It's actually pretty easy. You just have to want to. But most people aren't good at really wanting anything. My ex, Julie, she used to read those self help books and man, you don't want to know the shit they put her through. Religion is, like, guilt, you know? With different flavours, but the self help stuff is just wallowing in how crappy we are and there's even books about the advantages of a painful childhood, dude! Sorry, officer.
But, yeah. I did it. Figures some people can, you know? I was addicted to Evercrack, Pac Man, and lately this cool new game I found where you get a racket, right? And you have a ball tied to it and you bounce it and try and keep it on the -- oh, you've heard of it? But not Everquest? Geeze. So, the demon was -- I dunno.
It wasn't that big. It said its size depended on the maker and -- why are you smirking? You think it wasn't real, do you? It was two feet tall, and it was wide, and thin, and deep and - words don't get it. It was like a poem, you know, or syndicated TV shows. It just *was*. See, I'd sold my soul. I didn't even know I had one, but apparently you have to use energy, and I didn't have enough magical juice, so it got my soul.
I wasn't sure what it wanted it for. I mean, I feel the same without it. It get going on about a guaranteed trip to hell, after ranting about me using it as a coat rack; they don't have them, so I guess it's important to them, like how women don't have d -- uh. Never mind. Just a joke. Old joke. Uhm. Could your partner stop staring at me, sir? Thanks.
I guess she's going to keep growling?
Ah, right! Right! So, it wanted my soul, and had it, but I wanted it to do something terrible to my ex. Worse than her losing me, I mean. And the demon did so, and said it would get another price for it. That's why you found her spread out over six miles; she kept saying she wanted to be noticed, and -- uhm, now you're growling too. Geeze. Okay, okay! No need to get physical here! It wanted another price for that, being almost as greedy as Uncle Sam, and the standard contract was my first born. Son or daughter, but he said no to both.
What? Julie was uglier than a family of hillbillies. Even I knew that; I married her because ugly people don't leave you. They never run off, they're really grateful to you and -- well, they took after her. But, you know, without her -- ah, right. No hand gestures? Fine. So the demon wanted something else, but it didn't like my apartment, and apparently they invented cell phones and take pride in voice messaging, so I said I had a wii.
The demon didn't even know what that was, so I explained. And showed. And I guess it was during level 32 that the neighbours showed up. He'd been playing Ryu and -- okay, a martial arts thing, and he tore them apart. Hey! I didn't know he would, okay? At least it wasn't Grand Theft Auto. I, like, probably saved the city, you know!
So he died at level 42. The controllers not being made for claws and all, and I promised unlimited games when he gets back as my price. So, you see, I can't go to jail for stuff the demon did, because I owe him several hours of games and if he shows and I can't, he's likely be get mad all over the place. Look, it's not my fault the demon thought I was some kind of loser: shows how much demons know!
Plus, you know, if I win I could get my soul back. Go to heaven. What? That's what souls are for. God forgives everything, cuz God loves us. We just can't forgive god, you know? But if we don't have a soul, we go right to hell, so I need a game controller, some beer and -- hey, wait a minute? Where do you think you're going? I was telling the truth!
I was -- what, of course I'd swear on my mother's grave. What do you want me to say about the bit -- your partner hit me again? I demand my lawyer? You can't just leave me in here! I demand a game controller and pizza and --
but he could kill everyone? Please? Come back? At least with an atari?
They were going to kill him. Jerem knew this with a certainty that stretched back centuries, the knowledge his the ancestors whispering methods of fighting, of evasion, but it did not matter.
"I did not eat the brain," he told the judge of these city people trapped between walls. "I found the child dying, aided him into his next life, and ate his body. Yes. I was hungry: eating is what we do when we are hungry - is this different in cities?"
Anger met his questions, but Jerem ignored them. The city-folk fought with words, none wishing to sully themselves in a duel (and they would lose, Jerem knew, unless they sent their past: many of the ancestors whose knowledge was also his could kill with ease). So he fund words, speaking past the certainty of his death -- so many had died, this way!
Jerem knew he should have wondered at his hesitation, asked the ancestors: but he had got lost in the storm, and the boy seemed a gift from Those Who Wait; the gods of his people, living or dead. He let the judge's words and anger wash over him, offering up no apology to their rudeness.
He only wished he could ask them to not harm his brain, to give his head to his people, when the next one came through -- but he dared not given them a need of his to use against him, not this easily. He would not harm the People for something this slight, even if his voice was lost to all who would come next.
"I am sorry," he whispered to the ancestors. Tell my son I am sorry I will not be able to watch him grow, that I will not be able to advise him, to speak with him in the sacred world after we are dead and both men. I ask that he learns from my lesson, and it told to never act from instinct."
"Plead?" he said, catching the voice of the judge. "I am not innocent of what you call a crime, and you will have me dead in any event. I offer you no plea, because it cannot matter. To make words not matter is extremely rude, you know."
They didn't understand, but he hadn't expected them to.
Death was exactly like the ancestors had said it was, and also entirely unlike.
It was very cold, and very dark. He waited for the Network to make a connection, to join the voices.
And he waited.