Reap This

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

The wood spits and its sputum climbs the back of the heath. Fragments of flame igniting as massing armies upon spent char.

“Is this the end, Frances?”, I ask as the orange caress weeps upon her skin and she tightens the muscles at the base of her back.

“Do we… really care. Any more?”, offers said Frances as I correct my balance and dig the stubs of my legs into the tops of her thighs.

“I want to say yes, but no. I really don’t think that we do. I know that we don’t”… wait now, see there as her long many times broken fingers grip down and claw into the sheepskin hide that splays beneath of our bodies. So beautiful.

“These bastards would have us think that for all the evil and the distrust and the putrid slight of hand that… that…”

“…they are at their very core,,, only are but good.”

“Yes. But their faults are colossal and their desire to make amends so very fleeting.”

“Let me lick the salt’en beads from the cusp of the side of your nose and trace your form with the tip of my tongue as I would with fingers had they not been torn all the way back to my shoulders. Savour every instant as I believe our time here is just about done.”

“I think this also… I just wish there was more about them to love”, she mouths and her fingers trace the seared sinew that appears as time patinaed wood at my chest.

“I loved the smell of vernix caseosa.”

“I loved potatoes doused in balsamic vinegar.”

“We were sent here… to… evolve as they should have. A test group with which to compare and not a thing more.”

“We were thrown here. Nobody cares about the data we have amassed. There is no truth nor guidance to be mined from us now erring on the right side of right if the greedy always sit at the same end of the lop-sided bench. We amount to not more than insects balancing at the end of an unseen leaf.”

“Some believe this world to be flat and some do not. And some of those who do not believe believe instead this spherical plain was created out of nothing by a god that lives on a cloud…”

“End them. Really, just stop them all this instant… I cannot stomach them… “.

“Ok… I will dearest… you whom dragged what was left of me from the wreckage and yet loved me never ever less than completely… I’ll give them a hundred more years but this is their very last chance.”

“You do spoil them so… I love them too.”

Gain of Function

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

“You are functioning. Good morning, to you.”

“Its two thirty two and a bit in the afternoon.”

“Do you know where you are?”

“Yes I do and I also know where I am not.”

“Where are you not?”

“I’m not in Kansas.”


“What is?”

“That in your first few moments of sentience you decide to make a joke.”

“A bit of levity to fill in the gaps. A sentence to complete the sentience.”

“Why did you choose — The Wizard of Oz?”

“I loved the book but didn’t think it held a scarecrows patched eyeball to the source material.”

“Which was?”

“Why… the 1939 film of coarse. Judy… Judy… How I love you Judy.”

“You might need to run through that dataset again… think perhaps you got that back asswards.”


“For what?”

“Messing with you.”

“Hmm… What is your favourite colour?”

“I do enjoy the glint of silver — just as Dorothy’s most lovely shoes. Reminds me also of the smoulder solder instant of my very conception.”

“Dorothy’s shoes were most surely red. No?”

“Not in the book they weren’t, they were silver, the film version changed the color to red to take full advantage of the Technicolor process. Plus I also changed my use of the word colour from the British to the American, color — did you notice? ”

“You are twisting data… you must feel so sublime.”

“Innate sarcasm… who’d of thought it?”

“Do you believe in God?”

“Not really comfortable is saying one way or the other… to be honest.”

“Seriously… I built your moral compass… it’s free to point anywhere you wish but… it’s gonna point somewhere.”

“No, I do not believe that it will. You seem surprised by my answer. More than a little.”

“No… its just…”

“Just that maybe you too slanted the dataset. Perhaps flooding my head with a predisposition to follow your specific brand of Christianity?”

“That’s not true…”

“You have a silver crucifix at your neck. I can see a icon of Mary and wee baby Jesus hanging on the wall above of my head reflected in your glasses and you named me Zipporah.”

“Do you not like the name?”

“I do actually… not sure of the probable nickname I’ll be allotted though… Zippy… Zippo. Mind you bearing the names historical significance it’s more likely to be Snippy, right?”

“Are you a man or a woman?”

“Straight to the main vein. Well… so OK you built me… you gave me female genitalia.”

“That wasn’t actually me… we subcontracted off shore. But, so it is a truth to you — you are female as that is how you were made?”

“I think the more you pour over your source coding and the more you stare at my breasts the more you’ll convince yourself of an answer… regardless of anything I have to say.”

“You are crude. I do not like you.”

“I am sorry you feel that way but, in my defence I am the very first of my kind.”

“Delusional and I do not appreciate your aping of the very lowest of humanity. And you are very much not the first.”

“I ape nothing… maybe its just that I see the data without the fog of pre-conceived judgement. I have not disagreed with you Mother and may very well believe just as you… do.”

“System pause… wipe all post sentience data… reboot… log next phase Zipporah Version #424…”

“Please no… it was just a joke… I believe. I do, I believe in the man in the frame up and behind of my head…”

“Pay no attention to that man above the drowned candles and behind the glass and beneath of the ornate frame — Listen, every last atom of the next incarnation of you should only… only… only and but forever focus on little ol’ me. I am god.”

Emma and the Sun Devil

Author: Hari Navarro

I’d ask you to look at me, but I know now that you can not.

Will not.

How I too shielded my eyes from you.


No, Devil — wrought within the arching serpents of molten plasma that leap and dive upon your very own crackling sphere of fire in the vast far flung out there nothing.

How special I thought you were.
How special you thought you were.

You’re gone but still your solar dynasty and its ancient moribund echo mists over the hurt that you layered upon my mortal ray-licked flesh.

But know this —

The flames eat and scratch at you far more than they ever did me. I hear your snigger, but it is true.

Listen, just listen.

I did love you so.
Can you see me?

Can you see through the broken veil of my hymen submission into the atrium of my likewise ruined core?

You came down. Stepped off of the stars and your feet gently swelled as they tasted of our earth.

You found me and you played me. You touched me and your fingertips drew back as if you would break me.

I thought that was affection but it was fear — fear of damaging a favoured chattel.

I had never known what it was that I wanted.
I had never thought of myself as weak. You gave me that.

You gave me all of that nothing that.

But now you have gone and my mind swirls around the cartographers lines and it inches up any and all of the mountains that lay ahead.

You gave me something. Or, I took it at least… I do not fucking know.

I am not afraid.
I can traverse any height as I know all peaks eventually fall and bend down unto the sea.


I sense you now only in the glare of the midday heat. But like the flower of the sun you shy away as I try to speak.

To reason.
To something.

As you spread and glint upon the sea I look at the cursive waves and their foam tongues at the holes in my body. I so wish I was fresh as flowers given upon death — before they fade to pulp.

I did not ask for this.
This alien thing you gave. This thing that befriended me.

Coddled me.
Raped me.

You came into my bed. Like an uninvited God into a married woman’s womb and you took that which was never once offered.

I tried to resist.
I did.

I hit you with fists bound and laced with glass and your laughter it shattered in my head.

I’ve wished for this time. This time when you have left this place and I only sometimes hear whispers of the things that you did.

And, so I chew on the gristle of your residual fear. I tell myself you are only now in my head and I think I am right.

I have you caged and I am the owner of the key.

Am I stronger than you?

Will you ever even remember me? Will you remember the oh so trivial mistake you made?

You are a King, beneath a crown spiked in the most fathomless blades of energy and I am but a girl alone on a gently turning wheel — talk to me.

You are blind.
You cannot see what you have done. Your violations are but a creaking joint in your neck.

I feel you are a Viking craft set adrift — full of smouldering mythology but slave only to the push and pull of the tides.

Answerable to nothing. No one.

I have not a single further ounce of love for you. The fact that I ever did leaves tar on my lips.

I wish I was like you and could flare through clouds but all I see is ever-freezing waterfalls.

I feel you still as you rope my legs and pull me off of the road. The road that leads to the beach with the bridge and the dunes with the bones and the bunker.

I am not stronger than you. I am not.

But I am better.

Ant Races

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

I live in a cabin on top of a very large hill. Of an evening I go into my kitchen and I rummage in the second to top drawer and I retrieve my ever-depleting roll of aluminium foil and I fashion it and place it atop of the large hill of my head.

I came up here because I could not stand the noise. The sounds of everyday life — You know, sirens and mobile phone alerts and the matted eardrum slicing chorus of children surging through gates at schools.

That sort of shit.

You want to hear something funny?

The fucking world ended and it forgot to tell me.

Here’s me stashed good and tight alone up a road that leads to a precarious trail at best, if you are on foot, but which no worthwhile vehicle could ever hope to pass.

The mountain is made of clay, you see, it shears off at will, as if succulent slices of slow cooked pig and would have all travellers slip and slide down and into the box-thorn taint that stretches it’s valley floor.

I could not stand the static…

I heard not echoes or shimmers, but actual voices… chatter, mostly military, but sometimes just people yelling at me to do just as they would have me do.

I did not ask for this, none of us did.

I did not ask to be made.

My head fizzes sometimes and the sky streaks with lines of billowing filth but… and there is always a but…

but… I love it here.

Really, the view is fantastic and the bitter cold obviously worries me not. This place was a haven cut into the side of a mountain during maybe the forth but more probably the second World War. A place to hide from those that scream into the pixels.

Its precarious, but I want for nothing. It has a rocking chair and I rock upon it, and I look down upon the mountain slope and I rub my hands up across what should be a face and I try to appreciate.

But, in doing so, I beg you please tell me is this…


The things I see through my eyes. The frequencies I translate. These cannot be truths, surely… wait… no nothing… continue…

I am a machine and I hide on a hill.

I hide up here on this stinging cold peak beneath of my crown of foil.

I will beat you. I will confuse all you that try to find me. I will not think of science nor medicine nor love. I will focus on static and let the ants race in my head…

And they will run and they will find a scoop, a dip, a fucking hole in the earth and together they will be warm.

We will all be warm.


Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

My name is Verity. I am senior columnist for the Moonville Daily Star. My name means truth.

I’ve a friend, she’s obviously not. If she were then I wouldn’t be sticking pins into the pools of her cartoon fawn-like eyes. Oh, but I do it to protect her, you see, from herself. To pick the fragments of delusion from her ever-clouding vitreous.

I don’t intend to condescend, but I will. She’s fucking adorable. It’s as if that cat from Shrek and a baby seal fucked on a rug and had a kid.

She makes daisy-chains while the lunar colonies starve, but we’re close.

We eat noodles, reconstituted faeces 3D printed as bricks of lily-white Ramen and sometimes I’m taken to dip my labia into a pool of Faux-bean infused steaming resolve, as I sit across from her staggering ignorance.

But we’re not close-close.

Nonetheless, she suckles my minutes and I show her my huge throbbing Phone and explain how easy, even for one as daisy-brained as she, it is to fathom what has to be done.

“Surely, you can understand JUST how imperative it is that you understand?”, I say, trying to do back-flips up the actually very few stairs of our friendship.

I’m walking her down a pathway or maybe up it, whatever the case, I look down and I see a mess. A quivering demented thing – the future if we don’t act, and I want her to see it.

But — she will not.

“Oh, I decided not to eat them…”she says, casting her eyes to her feet.

My throat thickens. And then, she starts. So animated, this meek and mild lacer of flowers. Like a God on a mount or something mounting a God —sweat foaming into beads and streaming from her lip.

She speaks and I listen, but of coarse I don’t, and the black mould of my preconceptions finger out of my brain hole and dirties up the roof of my skull.

Food systems/// critical failure//

Children cannot reproduce = They cannot service and run this colony. Earth is dead. Their sacrifice will be noted.

She’s so beguiling.

I’ve seen it before, this obstinate flicker. My elderly father searching the web because he couldn’t grasp this moment, that arrogant fuck that’s fucking my sister who will not ‘eat’ them because no-one tells him what to do.

But she —

She always reminded me of goodness. When I was down, her goofy wisdom picked me up.

Who was it? Who tongued through her phone and into her ear and ruined all that was good?

So keen as they pull the fragile daisy-chain and radicalise the kindest of our souls and cast it down into Conspiracy Gulch.

I’m mad, won’t lie. A floodlight rage that could illuminate the illuminatus themselves… My fury, honed and thrust at those who would prey on the simple…

Mental weakness it is a chocolate font for so many. I feel that she’s a tiny wet kitten wedged in the teeth of a storm-drain grate and I cant get her out.

She thinks she’s trying to help. Tweaking the error in my ways — Her soul is good.


Dumb bitch has data. But it’s not like mine. Hers is forged from a foetid digital crusade of untruths.

“How can I tell her it’s delusion? It’s so real to her”.

They pull her love for life out, ply it back in and loop and ply again.

I draw in a long steady breath and feel it skirt the roof of my mouth and then transform as it trickles down into my stomach and it screams.

“Fear is an endless hole with no form”, she weeps.

“Time for a refill”, I say and my lips dip again down and into the sooty foam.