Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer
The man thought, and his ideas sieved through his orange stalked teeth and rode upon and into the shit swept place that was his brain.
“If this is the end then it’s pretty bloody pathetic”, said this man.
“If this is the end then I would want people to know that I love unspoken questions cast and fired down upon my skin”, said the woman as she paced in a room that used to be a place were wonderful types of bread were baked and sold.
“I also have really special things to say… I fondle down into my hardness and it spits out upon the harder sand and I watch as it folds and dribbles down into the grains. And the heat it curls into the bottom of my eyes and it calls itself stupid names… tell me things to say?”, said the man as he looked up and his eyes rolled and his teeth bit at the tips of his tongue whipped lip.
“What are you looking up at, I feel nothing”
said the woman as she too tongues the hair from her face.
“I see the bloody truth…. I see the veins in the frozen cracks at the edge fence that molests my pathetic life. Years ago two strangers paved the path… so many years ago in Whanganui… my great-grandparents, on a piece of land in the shape of a perfect triangle, next to a railway line and the meat works you will find the portal… I shit you not, the pathway to those you have lost is caught in the grapevines that line the corrugated iron fence that once held this so, so special place intact.
Go there now… contact me I can send you the address… from what I know the original homestead had been pulled down and a prefabricated shed has been put in its place.
The other world is not far beneath the soil…
The other world is full of all those things we have forgotten.
The other world is where my dead people live.
The other world is a place that confuses me and makes me vomit into my hand.
The other world is a fabric of thought and thorn-lined fact.
The other world is this one that we live in right now.
Smile… smile, as you present this thing that you think that you are.
Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer
Once upon a moonstruck hour, a newborn baby was stolen. Snatched from the cold place upon which she lay swaddled and still and stashed with leather hands beneath the wet warmth of an old man’s beading oilskin poncho.
Pools of shed torrent on the hospital floor the only trace of his ever being there at all. Sole evidence that this poor wee soul hadn’t been taken by some malevolent supernatural entity. Proof, scant as it was, that this horror was surely the work of a very much human flavour of fiend.
The fact that said child was already dead did not ease in the least the pain of parents already slumped beneath the heft of this most abject and distilling loss. Time heals all they say but with no body to lay beneath the inscription time only agitates…
Time pulls the stitches apart.
This was no random act of perversion, as twenty other lifeless babies were likewise denied the chance to eternally rest that very same night. Blessed be those early hours in which unripe and all but rotting fruits were so purposefully plucked and claimed.
Years later, I had chance to meet the operative charged with gleaning my remains from that slab drawer onto which I had been so lovingly laid. He was old and smiled as he showed me the crook of his trigger finger, its tendons long ago slashed into the most ready and perfect of stances. He was a lovely man, but hard. The deep plunge of his eyes screaming with the spark that only manifests in the knowledge that it was he whom held sway over who lives and who it is that does not.
“I’d never felt it. Not before you…”, the elder had muttered massaging at the swell of his knuckles. “Never felt the weight of existence. But, as I scooped you up and my grasp pulled against your barely formed sinew and it shifted and lolled within your shroud, I felt… no, I tasted… death. The living death, that which coils inside when hearts do stop. I knew it existed, its eradication is what we’re for. But I’d never felt it so magnificently radiant. Until you.”
I was chosen for my potential aesthetic and a genetic anomaly that allowed me to be resuscitated, of a fashion, and brought back into this realm of the living. My ancestry leaked into the data-stream so, as close as might be possible, it could be determined that I’d blossom into a beauty that transcended even the word itself. Our looks are a bullet you see, one of many that we employ in the entrapment of dark souls that require putting to final and unequivocal rest.
The theoretical aspect of my training ended today as the Teacher instructed Tau to lay down upon the gurney that had been wheeled beneath the room’s huge chalkboard.
She spoke, and her words were wet upon the air and from where I sat I could just see the shimmers as they ran down bare legs to the contraction and fidget of Tau’s nervously grasping toes.
I was transfixed and yet, my hearing did wander. I took in the others as their chairs creaked in unison and every one of us tightened and sought to reign in the inflamed swell that gripped within of our skin.
“Rho Kestrel, make your way to the front of the class. Today we lay waste to your purity. Today you will all sample your raison d’être. Praise be to be taught.”
The Teacher carefully unbuttons Rho’s kestrel-crested uniform and we all stifle a collective giggle as it momentarily catches and then drops over the jut of my classmate’s strikingly excited self to the floor.
Tau moves on the gurney and I move too as for the very first time I see private things other than my own. I wish I could say that my vivid imagination had prepared me for it, but I can barely swallow as awkwardly positioned flesh seeks to find its rhythm.
“Tau please encapsulate Rho and feel as this procurement radiates. Do you sense how you illicit responses from each other? If not, as the term progresses, there’ll be ample opportunity to uncover just where the weaponising of your gender leads. And now… pause and… withdraw.”
“Who noticed the beading liquid that appeared at the beginning of the lesson? This is a clear pre-ejaculate, also known as Cowper’s fluid. It functions as a lubricant and an acid neutraliser. The receptacle is normally acidic, so its deposit before full emission can change the internal environment and promote survival of the emitted discharge, which is not an issue you’ll need to bother with. This fluid also acts as a lubricant during interaction, which will help in the retrieval and destruction of the target’s soul residue. Eta Kestrel! Your attention, perhaps? There will, I assure you, be a test!”
I’m not a good student. I struggle with mathematics, numerals fly on the page like flurries of black ash above the driven snow and languages are just plain foreign. But this I can feel as it connects and stumbles and gropes through every little last cell of my being.
“You’ll become elite in ending those so smugly believing themselves exempt from final judgement. Olisbokollikes — look it up! You’ll find even a well-placed snack can afford you the access you require to take out your target.”
If befuddled frowns could be heard then the classroom’s collective confusion would’ve blown out every one of the ornate archer’s windows that slit the walls of this our mountaintop lair.
All hail the almighty loaf!
I know about dirty stuff… I do, I do.
The Teachers words blur as do my eyes and I listen to her breath as it twists into me and, in turn, swirls into the thud that pulses down and thumps on the chair between my legs.
The moment suspends and elongates and my shoulders drop forward and my head whips back and I can smell them all. Every last one of this world’s trapped and stranded lost and dirty fouled pneuma.
“Praise be — to be me,” I sigh into a broadening smile. “Praise now that I know, most exactly, what it is that I am for.”
Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer
“Above as under, I am eternity.”
It is irrefutable fact that each day you all, without exception, unwittingly amble through the exact moment of your eventual demise. That unassuming second into which those you leave behind will, hopefully, look and take pause to remember all that you once and forever were.
“I can see inside you. It is fascinating. To peer down and through and beneath ripped flesh and behold were souls they cowered.”
It has been many months now since the sky ripped and through its vulgar slit did birth down upon us this most protracted and bawling end. So many months that I have hidden in the crypt beneath of what was once my church, so impatiently I awaited the silence.
That’s not entirely true – that tiny stone chapel, that faith corral was never mine. I never wanted for my majesty to be so confined. I am, though, in awe of how beautifully it was designed to aid and abet the conditioning of minds.
“Blind faith… your name is Faith, right? Especially funny, on account of that you also now have no eyes.”
Today, as I finally emerged back into the world, I saw my little church for what it most certainly always was. But an empty room with an impractically high ceiling and pretty windows adorned with fragmented liars that change and spin the light into dust filled flutes — spears, so taken as they were to prod and to judge and condemn.
I had listened as with hooked fingers the celestial sickness took hold and rammed itself again and again into your minds. I listened as you beat on the door and I heard as your ruined words pleaded to God and then unto me for salvation.
“God, how much proof did you need of this fakery? All that suffering. All that random disaster. How many bullets and bombs wrapped in the spittle of scripture needed to be cast? I mean, it was obvious to me and I’m a bloody priest for god’s sake.”
I listened and fidgeted as the boxes I’d propped jarred and the cans of food clinked and the bottles of water squeaked in their plastic bandages and I waited and I cried out for you to stop. So impatient. I just wanted to get on with it, you know? Domination should not wait for anyone. I just wanted you all to end.
“There is a smell that lingers, trapped beneath the skin and above the flesh even long after the rot of death. It fills me now, and I wonder who it is that agitates at the very tip of my tongue.”
I didn’t know at first, though I did suspect. I don’t think I am a god. Just maybe an entity that can never die. I know that much. I know I am here forever.
“Sorry, I’m changing and I don’t know what I am saying out loud and what I’m saying inside of my head. And I don’t really care, to be honest. The blood of Christ is upon me and I feel its warmth as it snakes across my flesh.”
I feel stupid and needlessly self-concious as I stand here naked in this supermarket aisle with the new day’s rays contracting the wet sheen atop of my skin. You look stupid too, as you kneel at my feet and fear shimmers across the dried lakes of your upturned eyes and your lovely lips peel back from teeth clenched so tightly they might crack.
My body is drenched in red wine though I did not partake in the barest sip. Not sure why. Probably should have, I guess.
“Would you like some? Share a glass to numb the impending pain. You know, I think that not only do we pass through the exact moment of our deaths but some may also, perchance, pass through the exact place, the exact location in which they will draw upon the very last of the air that they will ever, ever breathe. I used to watch you when you worked here. You used to smile. You should smile, they look good on you.”
And so it is I find myself here in this your most special moment, this end of all that you will ever be, the end of all you will know, and I feel myself trapped. Held tightly, bound within the ever bloating and constricting last seconds of your existence. I am frightened and I look upon the deflated ooze of your beautiful eyes as they leak from the holes in your head and I am numb.
I really don’t know how long I have been standing here. Long enough for the night to have been folded and put away many times over, I think. And now, as the sun runs its fingers across the ruined selves and the desiccated corpses, I think it has too done this more than just the once.
I think I have been here a while. I cannot have awoken just today as I thought. My blood is still and it has forgotten to pump and I wait for my legs to shake and fall away. I think, I have been here more than a while.
“I’ve been noticing little things. I’ve fallen in love with worn edges, the swirling scratches where countless midnight cleaners had buffed and polished the floor. I have been coming here since I was a kid. I’d steal button mushrooms from the grocery section and munch on them raw as my mother pondered on the soothing caress of her secret juniper friend. The bolts in the silent air-conditioner above my head are weeping like a rusting Madonna. There is a cardboard woman hanging from the ceiling and her eyes are as vivid as the oil on a master’s palette and her cleavage is bound and brown and calling. I think she is selling peas.”
So, I’ve been thinking that, maybe, I must be wrong and that a God does exist. How else could I have been spared and then so cruelly punished in this purgatorial never ending end of days?
I am a priest and I am a wolf. I’m sure that many will align comparison between my predatory conduct as the former with the obvious steely eyed stealth hunting impulses of the latter.
“I have as many names as I have faces and was never really sure as to which me was the real me.”
I squint out through the dust-caked sliding doors and into the simmering waste and I am mistress of all I behold.
“I was right, I am going to live forever. I think I have been here a while.”
Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer
I have been in this asylum for so long that its corridors have become my arteries and its rooms my veins. I really feel more than a little lost, and my gums are covered with a grainy film. I don’t know why I stopped here.
I don’t know why I was stopped here.
Why I got so used to this thing I became.
I became this thing because I was used, why?
It glosses in crooked layers upon the old school steel chair at my back and it begs to fall in clumps from the walls of this stoic hall as I sit. Go ahead fold room, surge in if it is your fuckin’ will. No, it’s just colour and nothing more… but then, its tint hums and it sparks and I reach for invisible things.
What was in that cocktail that you mixed with your thumb as you passed it on to me? Your kiss upon lips whose callouses warn aginst your whisper.
I laugh and I swallow and I taste something I ate from you yesterday.
My glass glints, so smug as it offers your depravity up and spills it down and over my hunched and blistered flesh. I want to breathe but there is only but dust, the ruin of woody things that once were.
Remember trees? They were huge browny greeny yellowly creatures made of books.
Roots remember things because they are always digging into the past.
I rub my sin into the mound and I wonder why I love your laugh. It’s a bit raspy, maybe that’s the hook? But there must be more than that, or maybe I just listen to simple things.
I know it’s not me and I know you give it no mind but what is this thing that prods you to rapture? The planet is ceasing. The planet is nothing more than a sand-strewn canvas and just look at our finger jabbed art. Watch how very soon all trace of us will disappear as the page it is turned.
You think I flood myself with fashion but I’m only swimming to find the thinnest of lingerie. You stole in the night and wear all that I was. You took me away from the dribbles that stream at my thigh.
I ram oily rags and used pads into my pillow and I sleep upon the smell of my very best blood. But in the morning I awake and I find my crooked self naked and tonguing the floor and oh how I know I am real.
I drink milk alone on my kitchen floor and I talk to the cold, cold tiles as they bite and play with the pores of my lazy ass. And I sing exactly like Chris Cornell.
Sometimes when I stagger I reach out and grasp at things that are not there. Not you but sometimes your clothes, that jacket that both you and I wore.
I think I belong here but that you do not.
I will paint my thick lips purple and rake scars across of my face, I will put out my eyes to escape you.
I immersed in a surge that is pushing me on. A current that pulls me gently away from the rock upon which you stand.
My tongue in your mouth meant nothing more than beats in a second. We have been together far, far too long.
I know of a place, an island on a distant planet I saw for sale on the screen. It has three houses and a jetty and paths and tall trees and it is drenched in places upon which you can press my body.
We are so slow as we move. I don’t think I’ll be able to hear you there.
And time ebbs and it pulls and plastic bottles and fantastical sea creatures dance and they dance again and they die. And, still I am here.
This planet is exceptional… for who else would have gathered in my ruined self? But as my body lays erect and obscene on the sandbank and the acid tide breaks and eats at the shells… I think maybe I need a grappa.
Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer
This is where we end.
Tucked so neatly under the aftermath.
I stare at my now long dead cat as its fur fuses and its stench fills the sill upon which it lays. I see its flesh sag and melt and my mind shifts to the meat in my moribund fridge. I think maybe it is time to have sex, but my flesh is also limp and I can feel as the life at my groin curdles and dies in the shimmer.
Hai rotto il cazzo.
Looking up I can tell you, I can paint for you how it looks. You want to know, right? Then allow me to regale you of this portrait, this abomination we all so clumsily wrought.
The sky is wet and dripping.
The smeared bowl above, after all we have done to it, is done.
It is done and it hangs and it weeps like napalm tears through the cherub puff of newborn cheeks.
It is done and it purges down upon every last one of us; all of the refuse, all that we infused for so very, very long up and into its veins.
It seemed to happen so fast, although of course it did not. This bitch brew had been fermenting for years. But then, on a staggeringly hot Sunday morning last winter it all just — broke.
The weather congealed. Lightning forgot its thunder as rain tumbled as bawling fangs from an acid-loosened jaw. And a black wind did lick all with a most putrid and sticky caress.
There was someone I paid to love me once. I wonder if they are still working? Might even get in for free, being as its the end of days and all.
Genesis was her name, though surely it wasn’t. I think her name was Ane — I don’t know why, I just do.
I remember Ane’s tears as they gathered in the gutter beneath the deep green pools of her eyes as she came. And, the welts as they swam shimmering below the glow of the sweat that glazed and dribbled from the arch of her stomach. Or do I?
I have lesions of my own now, legions of lesions and if we were together again oh, how we would compare. What fun!
I wonder if she remembers me? I wonder… if she managed to find whatever it was she was looking for. Everyone’s looking for something. I just hope that Ane beat this bitch, that she gouged out its eyes and beat this bitch to pulp.
Sorry, this is a bit embarrassing… but that’s the end. Of everything, everything that is or will ever be — for us, that is. Not sure how I know, but I do.
All that is left is the bit where my heart gives out and I fall to the floor and curl into a foetal ball like my poor dead cat. I didn’t think I even owned a cat, but maybe my husband did… yeah, maybe it was his.
Anyway, all this is of little importance. What is important is what comes next. What follows as our dick-headed reign finally succumbs to the storm.
Che tadd arriva nu cazz in cap.
There are two heavily pregnant corpses laying in a cave. Simultaneously their blackened flesh begins to shudder and undulate and bulge and rent. The cave fills with cries of the type of fear that accompanies the swallowing of first breath and life again returns to the plain.
The creatures that slide forth are not infants but rather grown adults and the ruin of their womb-caskets fall away as they claw out and scratch at the stone.
Their wet naked forms inch ever closer until, at last, they meet and outstretched fingers sweep together and interlock and they smile.
“So nice to meet you”, they say at once as a new kind of heat kicks within the furnace that ignites in the pit of their chests.
And so again it begins…