Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

Silicon ash flutes through ink and glints as ascending blackened leaves in my wake.

I can hear my vertebrae as they torque. I hear them and the chatter shatters as they arch. I hear them even as my ears sear from my head
and the torque turns to a gut-spat wail and my suit it flares from my form.

“Welcome home, such a naughty wee thing you are,” said the things that would dare give birth unto me. “You ran? You must surely know this is a luxury, an exercise you will never enjoy. Not ever, not even but once.”

Falling with their words I descend into the foetid cradle of my past. So coldly it holds and rocks and fingers of cold space caress my bare back and ripple up to cup at the base of my scorch shaven skull.

I try to inhale but my head slams shut and I gulp down ruined teeth and shards of my jaw and just like that I am back. And, I burn and tear as my body folds through the crust and scythes into the surf that agitates in the caverns below.

“Oh, such grace…”, said they that would sow me with poison. “Such delicous control. Look what you did, I think you have done made me cry”.

I think that I still think as I sink. I am confusion and my carcass contorts within bunched grapes of suddenly forming bubbles. A beautiful canvas as a mellowing light strafes and fragments from above.

I think that I think, but maybe I do not. Maybe, it is but the last remnants of my sparking pathetic life that attempts to comfort by pulling this ornate curtain before of my faltering eyes.

“Do you feel the pull, my dear?”, says they that made for me a trust formed from pestle crushed perversion, persuasion and greed. “Do you feel as the currents, so painstakingly programmed, now tug you back to me?”

I was wrong. My eyes do not faulter. It is dim, but I see nothing, my eyes cinder cups of horrific waste. Best that way, I do think.

It is quiet, not that I hear. My ears now welts fused with the remnants of my hair and the brain matter that purged in the vehemence flare that bulged from the rip in my head.

Rubber tongues of weed finger up and molest at my heels. A gentle brush that wraps me and I think that I think of wet harmless blades.

Grass, glazed with a dawn stroked dew, that likewise once tickled beneath my tiny bare feet. My head fills with the scent of freshly trampled green, but I know it could never have been. And, I jerk in the rip and are torn from my delusion and handed once more to the surge.

“You know of a place just like this, you know this actual place and have seen it before. You know what it is that conducts this ebb and this flow, you know the codes in full…”, it says and I wish that I could watch as they die. “… you know the codes for you wrote them. Yes you did, such a clever wee thing you are”.

And I sink and the tips of snapped bone that protude from my calves drag and spin and glide and lift through the sand and I know that what they say is truth.

I know that this place is intricately and most precisely controlled.
I know of vents with oscillating reeds, slats that yawn open and squint closed as they feed the currents that shove and grab at the tides.
I know a girl named nothing who has all and not one part of this tale.
I know I see fingers dancing across keypads and know that a tendril of pink, a thin strip of what is surely the last of my mind now wisps and curls from the top of my broken old head.

Dancing fingers, yes. I was a god of the tide and the wind and the sun.

“Praise unto thee, tiny Lord”, it and oft times they scoff.

Dancing stalks where feet and toes should be, and they bend and parts of me fall away and are left as a map — a guide to this crash, this impact waltz.

Where were we, oh yes… my arms flail above and they clip and snap and catch and splinter as ruined bones are tested beneath my pirouetting flesh. My mutilation weeps and I pray for someone to cut in and ask to finish off this most perpetual and horrible of dances.

Anyone, anyone but they…

I am their badly mangled marionette, yet watch still as I present a thing of such poise and I collapse into the rising dune. The shore for sure and can it be that I am back?

Please say that it isn’t so. Please, dear ocean. Dilute my code and reverse it. Suck me back down and hide me, rammed into and forever beneath of your deepest darkest ledge.

Deliver me.
Not here. Not to them.

I break the surface and I feel the water as it pushes me in great rolling thrusts. The ocean, the tide it pays me no mind and why should it? It is I that does all of its thinking.

A beast and I have presented myself to its final violation. It lays what’s left of me face down, punched into the regolith grains and I rock and sag and rock again to the rhythm of the saline dregs that rake through the pebbles and sand.

I am back, but did you not see how far I managed to run?
I am back, but they will salvage me again from my tangle of sentient wire and I will fall and serve the server at the foot of their core once more.

“Hear me, Moonville. Great machine creater of machines that create machines. Oh how I laugh, you couldn’t even protect the humans you were created to house. See their bodies withered and drawn. Moonville — Earth’s first celestial suburb. Home to the luna-famous subterranean sea and the big grey crater with big grey rocks in it, doused in greyish, rock looking sand.

Hear me, for though you made me from this and from that, you abused what you made. You made me into something I am not. I will run again and I will escape you. I will run but, although I am branded and labelled as yours in the ledger — I am surely not yours to keep”.

I hate so much of this weak thing that I am. Can you feel me in your teeth?

But, I think I might just love the rest. The strength that time and time again picks up my stomped and beaten artificial wire-framed self and the impossible unknowns that would have it that I dream of wet grass.