Field of Flowers

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

The man hangs inverted and naked from the pole that sits at the centre of a galaxy. A neglected cosmos of once delicate but now mob trodden flowers. A meeting place that slopes down, pulling away from where the eternal city had halted its crawl, before thinning to sip of the great river that glides at its edge.

He cries through fear sodden eyes and he cries through a throat that now gags at the steel and the hard swelling lump of his tongue. His brilliant eidetic mind swims in sounds and colours foreign and sharp and he grasps for just what he has done to entice these things to hate him so.

The four-legged beast that had drawn him through the streets had looked back at him twice as he’d stood screaming through the bars at its back. It knew. It knew, that the words that he spat were but shadows of ideas and of experiences had, and not the daggers of demons.

“This beautiful globe spins as it voyages around its great star. Its song echoed throughout the glorious infinite gape up above. Everything is familial, where even the stars in the sky have with them their own family of spheres. These dark-matter filaments that connect us all. Devoid of the politics and the caveats of intelligent construction, it calls down with a beauty and horror and diversity all of its own”, he’d screamed in words that none did care comprehend.

And then, as the crowd parted, they spat and jeered as the cage door flung open and they clawed and they ripped. They tore the suit from his body, how they cackled at this thing so unknown and different, with its panels that flashed though no flint had been struck and no candle had offered its glow.

An iron spike is driven through his cheek and another up from under his chin until it bore into the roof of his mouth. Together they form the same symbol as that at the top of the staffs that sway through the crowd and his ankles are clamped in chain.

Up becomes down and the man smells his hair as it bubbles and pops as the flames tendril up from the faggots. He wails, and for an instant the baying falls silent as his last guttural cry seems not of this world. There is unfathomable truth in this hanging moment as the man history calls Giordano Bruno he flakes away and into the ash.

This great man, the very last of his kind and the very first to step down from the stars.

Little Red Drops

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

A single bullet was all that was needed to start the last ever war on earth. A bullet and the head of a small child to put it in.

Innocent, in as much as she surely had in her possession a life less used. But then so did many of the lifeless things that now lay beneath this land of wasted ruin.

Things. Numbers. But she was different. The daughter of a man who held sway. Her blood more precious than most.

Aio stands drawing circles in the sand with her bare toes as oily smoke twists beyond the glinting razor-wire border. There’s a snap and her eyes twitch as her ears reach out and draw down the crack of its echo.

She feels warmth as the thumbnail-sized nib punctures the soft puff beneath her eye, but not the expanding hand as it scoops out the maw fruit of her mind and punches it through the back of her skull. She drops, her tiny toes curling in grotesque contraction into the ancient red soil at their tips.

Vast volumes of resolution, treaties that had for years rolled the bitterness of belligerent peace behind radium stained teeth, evaporate as if never written. Such fury as the man’s words tear away at the shroud, the battered nation-less flag cast long ago and pegged down at its corners with bones. It that snapped to a blur, smudging for the world tales of the righteous and those who would throw stones at bullets.

He’d flattened his daughter’s warm hair as the desert wind held and picked and played at its wisp. Now he’ll rip all of their faces to rags and they will catch on the ruins and flutter like banners, and he will melt the red sand at their feet.

And so the code does fall from his lips and long maligned missiles finally they breath and the wolf tempest pouches and bites.

This is it, the last ever war. And it will last for ever more.

Cat Toys

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

Cat toys. They have an aisle for cat toys. Of all the gaudy alleys in all the supermarkets and I find myself boxed into the last seconds of existence surrounded by fake mice and pom-poms. I fucking hate cats.

I can hear Mrs Graves calling out for her dead husband Franklin as she has sex with Billy Pike over in Personal Hygiene. Mrs Graves was my PE teacher and Billy always did fancy his chances. He’d say that she had pools in her eyes when she looked at him and that he could feel her words when she spoke.

In Wine and Beer, the good Reverend Donner and his goodly wife Tamzen and their goodlier daughter Elitha, sit drunk and scared and eating bits of their Christ in a circle. Even with vomit and breadcrumbs stuck to her lips, I love this girl. I really, truly actually do.

I love her even though she thinks I’m a creep. She said nothing as I pushed through my shyness and proclaimed that the way her hair floats and filters the sun is the most beautiful thing that I’d ever, ever seen. Mind you, now saying it back, it does sound a bit Ted Bundy-ish.

In the meat section, Patrick Breen is crying as he kisses and pulls at the hair of Lewis Keesburg and neither one thinks about rugby as they squirm atop a vacuum sealed mattress of cheese-filled sausages and party-pack portions of pork.

So quickly it came to this, the end of all ends. Sparks, acid filled motes or maybe they are even alive – these blistering fireflies that swirl and stick to the glass. Oh, how they burn, how they dissolve and eat us away. Maybe they are metaphor, a construct, a delusion. One born of hate and ignorance and legislation signed by fat-fingered men. Things that made me think I was hated and ignored, yet I know it is not fictitious this thing that now contorts and thumps at the walls.

The ones who ran out back into the whip to look for those things they most loved, they are gone. They are dead.

I knew them all. And this last handful of life, the people who stayed and cowered here and found for themselves an appropriate aisle, I know them too. But I am sure they don’t know me.

Futility builds little clans. No time for bets that are hedged, no time for talk. There is barely but time to cast off these – our dogged blankets of lead.

I sit here alone squeezing a rubber toy, it is in the shape of a ball of wool and it squeals like the drawing of sick breath. The moan thump of the sex and the climaxing blurry pant of hymns surge and they beat in the blood of my ears. I know I have wasted my moment. Elitha, all I wanted was to talk.

I scream and all sound folds down into one sucked screech. A drone that is gulped down by the red fire blaze as the tiles on the floor rip like a zipper spitting its teeth and my world it breaks into two.

The Salzburger Conundrum

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

The senator peels from her lover and she thinks of her impending speech and she thinks of her wife and her husband. Her bid to prevent the ISTC’s proposal to travel back in time and kill an infant Hitler will fail. She laments that she is weak, a paragon of righteousness who has foregone her loving partners and, instead, bedded this sublime young man at her side.

“You look sad”, he says.

“It’s nothing. Tomorrow, it’s weighing on me. It’s not just the Martian colonies I’m representing, it’s all of us”, she says and she again feels the tidal weight of her own importance.

Reaching from beneath the sheets, she pours herself another scotch. Her offer of the bottle neck to the young man is declined, and he smiles.

“Tell me again what you’re going to say”, he asks propping his head upon his hand, nestling into his pillow.

“All these centuries after his death and the mere mention of the man’s name turns tongues to black. Our science fact continues to be rifled from the hackneyed science fictions of old. This mission would save millions but it’ll offer, in their place, a conundrum. Of those he killed just how many potentially would have inspired and produced even greater evils? We cannot see past this little man and, for this, his name has outgrown even the grotesque nature of his actions. Killing him will kill his ghost, though many ghouls will step into its place. It is not the past we should be concerned with. You can’t correct it. It can be but altered. I haven’t even opened the financial resource file for this project, I image it too will be a grotesque read. I come from a place where cancers still eat at those who mine ore that is shipped to earth and used to fire the reactors that will power this folly into the past. I have lost before I have started”

“Tomorrow your speech will be powerful and impassioned. They will fold. The time travel program will be dismantled and its technologies refocused. You will win”

“I appreciate your faith”

“It is not faith. It is fact. I’m not from this time. I represent an Earth that just couldn’t go on with this man’s stain forever upon it. His echo gets louder with the years and it has been decided that you must be stopped”
She grabs for the tumbler beside the bed and it slips, shattering to the floor.

“I’d never be so uncouth as to taint such a mesmerizing malt. No, a far more direct infusion of the toxin this time was required”

She slumps from the bed, her limbs already shutting down as they contract into a fevered ball.

“Moments now, and he and you will be gone. Oh, and if you’re wondering why, we simply didn’t go back to Salzburger Vorstadt 15 and kill the monster child ourselves. Blame your grandson. He… well, he does a very bad thing. Two for the price of one, Senator. These journeys are far from cheap”

A man sits on a throne of granite and looks down across the heads that ripple the Appian amphitheatre, right arms raised and stabbing into fists of iron. He rubs at his beard and he rubs at the fat of his breast and he inhales a gust of the purest colourless air. Banners ripple and he smiles as he knows that only the purest of the pure are now left to gulp down the words that he makes.

“… and adulterated blood alone will sooth the churn of history”.

Dark Passage

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

“Now I have a little time to think”, she whispers to herself without moving her lips. Nothing new in that.

Her escape pod lays upon a forlorn acid plain. A monotonous mountain-less sweep interrupted by nothing but the cusp edge of newly formed craters and the glowing remains of the ship.

The pod fizzes and pops and its parachute lays limp and listless like yet another discarded prophylactic. Those parting gifts so lovingly cast down upon her cigarette and wine stained carpet. That sodden thing within a room at the end of a filthy ginnel, now on the farthest side of existence.

She thinks of her depression and she wonders just why it is the first thing that flickers in her eyes as her minutes grind and prepare to turn into seconds.

Empathy. How can she possibly even start to pretend she knows how others feel? And how can they know what she is? Those who had opened their hearts to her, the few, they’d tried so hard to equate their losses and the cracks in their lives to those of hers. But into these boxes, she didn’t quite fit.

Love. Such a short and wickedly evasive little meaningless word. Can we still love those who beat us? Can we love those who have drunk from the fountain of our faith and repaid the favour with lies? Of course, we can. Love is love. It is solitary. She truly loves the way that alcohol sears at life’s bitter edge and the way in which Cobain so deliciously played with his words. She loves the fools that drink from her body. Love is real. Loving something wicked, it pulls the fangs from its face.

She’d been told to look at her endless possibilities. To reach into the unknown and not be afraid to latch on to those things that she cannot see. Trust in herself and take a chance. You are perfect in your imperfection, they’d lie.

Reach out and connect with people. Let them in and have them connect with you. Nobody is reaching for her and why in fuck would she want to reach out to others? She loves, but she feels nothing, she sees nothing and she smothers herself in the thick heavy syrup of the dark.

Not all of us have family or people who call themselves friends. How sad they say, for surely she wants for them so, so badly.

As she lays here now with her legs snapped in the wreckage and she looks out into this vicious new world, she smiles. She has found the answer.

“I’ve travelled the world and now many beyond it. I’d predisposed myself to look for the light. I didn’t need to. I didn’t need family. I didn’t need friends. I didn’t need for things to get better. I judged myself by the ‘better’ of others. Life is not set and the light is just a place where all sorts of devils can hop and dance in the sun”, she laughs, and it is not manic nor resided. It is glee.

“My legs are numb and the crack in my view-port is stretching. Bring it on. I cannot wait to see what you have for me next. You, my lovely little personal gloriously crumbling dark adventure. And I will live for as long as I do and I’ll savour every last bit – of you”.