Be and Bo Versus the Nazis

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

Be and Bo waste in their room. Their skin is mottled and even the air has taken on the musky taint of peeling rot. Actually, it’s not so much a room as it is a cell, yet it’s the only home they’ve ever known.

Their mother is a large monitor that dominates an entire wall and she too is dead or, at least, she is in the last throes of life as her dulled pixels float and hang and fail to ignite.

“They’re all dead. The planet is smiling, finally it’s rid of its scourge”, says Be through lips that have cracked into opposing rows of gaping fleshy furrows.

“I want a tomato sandwich”, mumbles Bo, absently wondering if the consumption of scabbing skin holds any nutritional benefit whatsoever.

Eighteen years ago, two very special newborns are snatched from their very special parents. Parents who are subsequently poisoned, and when this didn’t have the desired effect, then shot as they flayed and screamed in words foreign and strange and doggedly refused to die.

It took more than a few bullets but die they eventually did and two little girls are sent to an island and raised in a box with a screen.

“Fucking Nazis!”, snaps Bo and she remembers the jackboot nannies who slid gruel through a slot, never seen adherents to a new and freshly half-baked Reich.

All hail to the glutton king. The self-styled father of all who swallowed whole this final of all ages. This wonderful time where the excruciating pain of bigotry had finally reached its untenable zenith. A time where the planet had, not completely but with greatly improved purpose, overcome and embraced its differences and pushed aside its divisions and hates.

“What a fucking dick!”

Yet a brilliant dick, as the mad quite often are. A man of science who with a twitch of his mind could’ve sealed the deal on this centuries’ sought peace. But, instead, he created a weapon. A goose-stepping phalanx of orbiting obscenity. A gentle blue beam that swept the globe entire, rows of upper-atmospheric harvesters scooping our crust and all that cowered below with a ray that targeted not tanks, not artillery – but race.

With such relish he programmed his big throbbing guns, primed with the DNA sequences that he believed defined the specific genetic trace that he collectively blamed for everything corrupt and deviant and evil and…

… a brilliant man, not a good nor a smart one. For as he pushed the button with the quivering warm certainty of his hate, he instantly vaporized a large juicy slice of himself.

His folly was streamed live as he wanted all to see as he shook the world in his hands. Be and Bo watched as he ceased to exist and they watched as the weapons continued to recalibrate, cycling through and deleting life, slice by gossamer slice… until not a one single wet slippery cell of humanity remained.

But that was weeks ago…

The monitor spits and one last volley of code is beamed from above and the cell door whines as it opens.

Mankind had its chance and so very nearly got there. But now the machines hand over the keys. It will be the very special Be and Bo, whose genetic strand heritage loops up and into the stars, it is they who now hold this rock.

“Thought it’d be bigger”, says Bo as she steps into the gentle pinch of the sun.

“What is a tomato?”, says Be as she sways for the very first time to the lulling fold of the sea.

Fork

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

“You are going to sleep with me”, said my wife as she stepped out of the future and spoke to a man who wasn’t me.

“You’re so strange”, smiles the man as he touches her fingers and pushes the hair from her eyes.

“First you will cup my breast and pin me against the wall in the bathroom of the hospital in which your mother lays dying. You will tongue my lips and I’ll contract the pathogen black rot of your lies. And I will carry their stain and I will pass it on down to my children.”

“That’s rather dramatic. I think I told you she was sick, but how did you know she’s dying? Doesn’t matter, Look, I’ve only known you a few months but I can see you’re sad. I’ve seen you with him. Your boyfriend. I see you walking together and it’s as if you’re strangers. You deserve better.”

“I forgot about my husband and my children, I forgot as I lay down with you. I escaped with you, though you took me nowhere and together we lied to them all.”

“Married? You’re not married, are you? And if you have children then you’ve kept them very quite. Do you have them locked up in a box?”, smiles the man who isn’t me.

“My children are my life”

“If this is the future you see for us, then, I have to say I would never lie to you. You are so full of potential. Maybe, you need someone who really cares to tell you sometimes, is all.”

“The day I told him about us was the day I tore him in two. But he stayed with me. For years and years and years, he stayed. He loved me best he could but the drip, drip, drip sticky filth of what we did just never stopped”

“There’s no need for this. All I want is to have a little fun. You’re over-thinking.”

“Will you smile at your wife tonight when you still have the stink of my sweat on your skin? Will you feel shame as tomorrow you sit at your table with your son and you look over his shoulder at the couch where you pushed me down and pulled at my hair?”, said my wife as she remembered the last moments of my life. When I looked at her and she knew that old age had robbed me of every thought but that still I saw just what she’d done.

“I love my wife. But I love you, too”

“You won’t and you don’t have to believe me, but I came back. I lived a long life with this chaos we wrought. And you, well, you went on with your wife and your children and you lied for yourself the most splendid of lives.”

“You’re fucking sick”

“When he died I broke and I fell and when I got up I was young again and back here at this fork in the road. I thought it was a chance to repair what I did but it isn’t. Things are not as they were. I am not married and my children they do not yet exist. It is you with the family now.”

I walk up to my wife, my girlfriend, as she sits in the Cafè with a man who isn’t me. I smile and I shake his hand firmly and I hope that he smells the cooling beads of his wife’s sweet sweat as it drifts to him down from my skin.

Pieces of Grace

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

One day the body of a beautiful naked woman appeared. She was dead or, at least, it can be said she had not the animation of life. And her body contorted as it floated and wove through the air as if it were caught of the very tip of a coddling breeze.

She was so fantastically beautiful that, at first, many thought she not real. Something this perfect, something this sexual had to be a construct. A thing made by man.

Her body first appeared in the desert. This, of course, emboldened the religious as they surmised that she must surely be heaven-sent. A broken and lost angel and they pondered and they fought over just what her message might be.

But then, as the curve of her breasts and the mound of her sex was giggled at by children, as her nudity consumed the minds of the masses, as she appeared on t-shirts and as she became the silent spokeswoman for a car insurance company and as her image was redacted and then banned from billboards, the barest mention of her became well, it became quite suddenly obscene.

But still her gentle ballet traversed the globe entire, the folded back tips of her toes did drag through the sand and the flay of her long limbs conducted the snow. She closed down major highways and curled gracefully through the driving rain, on and on and on and into the years.

Sometimes she’d elevate high up into the air and then spin and drift and plunge down into the sea. It is here, away from eyes that can only think to judge and condemn beneath the waves, alongside creatures and plants that moved as she, it is here, she revealed just what it was that she was.

Scientists were the first to cut her. Initially, it was solitary strands of her hair that were plucked and the tiniest of cellular samples ripped away from her core. And then came the collectors, the hoarders, those hungry for souvenirs and soon her beautiful hair became hacked right down to the scalp.

They shot her. Nobody knows who. But it’s thought it was kids that put that tiny singed hole in her chest and the huge smoking cavern in her back.

People had bored of her dance, they wanted more. They wanted revelation but it never came. So they picked and they prodded at her seams till she broke. And she did.

Sometimes pieces of her come up at auction. There’s a guy in Hong Kong that owns a near completely intact left leg. They’re really sought after and there’s even talk now of gathering them all up and trying to piece her back together. They can do that sort of thing, I’m told.

And maybe then we’ll know, maybe then we’ll know just what it was she was for.

Manifest

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

No all-powerful deity would ever admit to this wretched rock being of its hand. What God would lay claim to its deformities and corruptions. To its cancers, to the ripe budding evil that blooms within our cells and the tumours we’ve named: Persecution, Rape and War.

No, sorry, there is no benevolent father. No light riven thing to listen as we bleat and whimper about just how unfair is our lot. There is no God. But there is something next.

I know this, for I have seen it.

They’re called operations but this sortie was anything but. Bullets make for such lousy surgeons. I can’t even remember what it was called. Operation Dismembered Carcass, perhaps.

So, anyway, I held in my hands the pathway to peace. Now melted down and forged into a very, very large gun. Really it was huge and well, anyway, my… my unit it rounds onto Omar Mukhtar Street and I see her, gently whipping keffiyeh slung at her neck. She approaches and before I’ve time to raise my very, very large weapon there is a click…

Paper… Rock… Improvised Incendiary Device…

I look into the eyes of the invader. He is a good man. I look at his weapon as it stirs and I know he is just like me. He wants to be somewhere else… No, no he doesn’t, he wants to be here, only back safe in his house with his family. My eternal home… but where is it?

Where, when the land is now ash?

He… we… vaporize into a wet thud of pulverized viscera and my essence it mixes with his. And as our ruined and gutted husks slap down upon the street as dirtied clothes cast to the floor…
…we… taste each other in the sticky pink mist… and as it settles… it outlines a form.

We see it. We see the moaning white phosphorus pits of its eyes and its scream is a Qassam that falls in the night. It is manifest obstinate wet oily hate and it looks right through us… it looks right through us and it… smiles.

Excision

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

I killed something inside myself last week. It had been slowly killing me for years so, I have to say, it came as somewhat a relief.

I’d been contemplating it for some time. But the gumption to actually follow through wasn’t easy, you know? I’d always retract when the inevitability of its demise tap, tap, a tap tapped at my mind.

I looked into every aspect of its life, I took stock. I stalked its routines, passing judgement on every detail. Where even the scent I inhaled, as I stood in its bathroom and popped the lid of its favourite shampoo became proof positive of the wanton beast that it was.

It’s strange, but this desire to kill it seemed like it was an actual thing. A misshapen cog maybe, catching and clicking in my head. It got loudest when I was at the gym. I was so sure others could hear it too. So I would run, my legs churning so as the swelling blood in my ears out-thumped my brain’s loathsome and incessant taunt.

I couldn’t escape it even as I sat in the Bar Red Cafe and licked at my cappuccino and smiled out through my beautiful friends, and into the ruddy specks of dust that whip from the crags of this exquisite soundless world… tap, tap a tap tap.

I think, maybe, I am the most beautiful thing in this colony. I really do. I have it all, and a Gucci bag to carry it home in.

I graduated from college at the end of last year with honours but I shouldn’t have wasted my time, I have money. I think I should be a model. I look after myself. I catch the sun, not the real one, it’s far too dim to bronze my tight skin just perfectly so. Sorry, enough of my blessed, doomed, wasted, poor little rich kid lament. I just wanted the noise to stop.

I found hacking myself to pieces really was as difficult as it sounds. But I am very handy with a blade. I can hone that edge like those swords in the films that slice through candles without inducing so much as a flicker.

I stabbed it and left it for a day, you know, to let the blood congeal. That was one very long first night, I tell you, death is such a cold thing to have in your bed.

But I worked all of the next day, dividing it into manageable sections. Firstly, I’d tested my blade by running it along and scything the fine hair on my arm. Then the fiddly bit, shearing the meat from its host. I cut up the pieces as small as I could, cubed them, I guess, you would say.

I’m no expert when it comes to anatomy, so it would have been helpful to know just how best to dig. Stay in school kids. It was so deep and a fair amount of hack and slash ensued, but I got there.

I admit that, in the end, I was more than a little proud of my neatly stacked pounds of flesh. Then, I flushed the lot, not all at once mind, away and down to dissolve in the subterranean shit n’ piss sea.

And that was about it. I killed it, I think. And now all that is left is me.