The Silence & The Howl | Part 17

§.17


They descended the stairs as thunder ranged beyond the ambit of the creaking tumbledown. Lyla wanted to watch a movie. Inquiries concerning the cinematic acumen of all present were made, with Andy judged most-knowledgeable, they settled into the massive, tattered and musty couch as their host plopped in a old VHS titled ‘Fractured Mirror.’ The story revolved around a down-on-his luck writer, well past his prime, whose wife had cheated on him with his publicist. The film charted his slow and painful mental deterioration and eventual self-reformation through murderer. Purity through violence.

As the writer bludgeoned his former lover to death with a shovel, Bluebird recoil and buried her head in Harmon’s chest.

“Too much for you?”

“Its my head. You know how sensitive I am with this kind of stuff.”

Lyla was prone to headaches and enjoyed playing up the fact. Harmon had long-induced she thought it cute and quirky. It proved, more often than not, merely affected and annoying.

He said nothing.

“Damn.” Muttered Marla, here eyes wide, fixed to the screen.

Andy chortled and downed some of his beer. After the murder scene the protagonist looked directly into the camera as an eerie cue played. Cut to black. Credits.

“Whadidya think?” Andy inquired, lighting up a cigarette.

“I thought it was really good.” Marla affirmed with a smile, stroking Andy’s arm and squeaking a, “You’ve such good taste in movies, babe.”

Andy smiled and turned to his others guests expectantly.

“Well whats the verdict?”

“I didn’t really care for it. I didn’t think it was going to be so violent.”

Andy rolled his eyes then looked to Harmon whose faraway eyes were fixed upon a small insect on the ceiling.

“She got what she deserved.”

“But they were in love!” Lyla protested.

“‘Were’ is the operative word.”

She looked up into his face and was greeted only with impassivity and resolve. She slowly shifted off of him and asked Andy if he would mind sparing one of his tall boys. He happily obliged and shortly the two trekked off to acquired some beers from the old, magenta fridge, leaving Marla and Harmon to their own devices.

Marla played with her softly jangling bracelets a moment an then leaned towards Harmon inquisitively.

“How long you two been together?”

“Since high school.”

“Oh! That’s wonderful. I didn’t take relationships seriously then.”

“Few do.”

“Yeah. Hey, I’m sorry I yelled at you earlier. Was having a bad day.”

“Its no trouble at all.”

She smiled, “Were you serious?”

“About?”

“About the movie. I mean, you think she deserved what she got?”

“Yes.”

“Yeah. I don’t disagree. I used to date this guy named Tanner. Hot, wealthy – comparatively speaking – nice car. Seemed perfect.”

“But there was a snag.”

“Yeah.”

“He cheated on you.”

“Yup. He said he was sorry. That he was drunk, that he didn’t know what he was doing. He was a terrible liar. But even still I forgave him. Not two months later he’d left his phone lying on the counter of my kitchen – it rings and I check the messages. Some bitch asking what she should wear for him tonight.”

She shook her head and took a swig of beer and tapped out her half smoked menthol in the peach can Andy used as a makeshift ashtray.

“That’s unfortunate. What’d you do?”

“I told him to explain. I was ready to forgive him again. If he was honest.”

“Given you’re here, with Andy, I’m assuming he wasn’t.”

“Nope. Told me – get this – she was a ‘business associate’ and that’s why she was asking him what to wear. I told him business associates don’t tend to refer to each other as ‘babe’ and ‘darling’ – he didn’t have anything to say to that so I told him to leave. And that was that.”

“But now you’ve met Andy.”

“But now I’ve met Andy.”

She smiled widely and leaned back in her chair and took a puff of her cigarette. Shortly thereafter, Andy and Lyla returned from the kitchen bearing a six pack and a bag of off-brand nachos. They watched another film about a evil AI in a far-flung future where everyone used floppy disks and then decided to hit the sack. Andy implored Lyla to stay the night and then headed upstairs with Marla. When they were completely out of earshot, Lyla turned to Harmon dourly.

“Did you mean what you said?”

“Bout?”

“Bout her ‘getting what she deserves.’

“Yeah.”

“How can you say that?”

“Can say it because I believe it.”

*

Todeskopftanz

Error
This video doesn’t exist

Beton brut industrial.

All music created by Kaiter Enless.

The Tunneler’s Vision, Prt.1

The tunneler stood upon the rough-worn and carpeted floor of his ramshackle home, gazing about in contemplative dismay. How ugly was the construct that he called, “Home.” It a ugly thing with floors of warped wood and fluffy shag carpeting, dotted with chip crumbs and dirt specks and wine stains and dog hair – how he hated dogs. All across the ostentatiously papered walls were abstract paintings he had bought to impress his artistically minded friends – the tunneler knew not their meanings nor even if they possessed any at all. The ceiling was soft cream plaster, cracked and water bogged, little, smelly droplets plip-plopping down the far left corner of the living room.

And the furniture! It was everywhere, three couches upon each of which sat four or more pillows, then a arm chair, then a bean bag, then a stool he had planned to sell and forgotten, remembered and given up upon. Adjacent the couches, in the far right corner of the room, opposite the water leak, stood a large bright yellow wooden entertainment stand connected to his work desk upon which lay his computer surrounded by a whirring, messy conglomerate of wires and soda bottles and paper clips and pencils and their subsequent alcahest. Beside the computer, upon the floor, was a hideous fern, which his former girlfriend had insisted he maintain to bring some, “Color and character,” to his tumble down abode.

Clutter. Filth. Disorder.

The Tunneler hated it all.

He checked his ornate, gear-borne wrist watch and quickly put on his coat and exited his apartment. Late for work. He caught the bus and paid his way, the familiar clinking of coin on copper and the churning hiss-whirl of machinery putting his frenzied, fevered mind momentarily at ease. He sat in the back, he always sat in the back, the morning paper half-unfurled in his calloused and rough worn hands and his keen neon-blue eyes scanning the contents languorously.

New Shopping mall to be constructed. Historic Brutalist town hall to be torn down and replaced with environmentally friendly windmill generators. Immigrant rape scandal continues. Mayor calls for more international trade deregulation. Chrysanthemum killer still on the loose.

He dropped the paper in his lap with a heavy sigh and looked around, the faces on the bus were faraway, absorbed in their digital devices, machine as master of man when it should be the other way around. Their drone-like stupor disturbed him profoundly. It was something to be smashed, to be obliterated, like the evil magic of some shamanic blood cult.

He extended his hand towards a pretty middle aged blonde with too much make-up.

“You read the paper?”

She rolled her eyes in disgusted and turned around, burying her face in her digital device, some lap-top-turned-phone. He averted his gaze to the high, frail, winding spires mixed with fast blurring spatterings of smaller, neoclassical structures – they were the worst. Neither of the past nor present, a abortion of syncretism. Characterless facades. Ostentatious manses and hotels and tenements and strip malls without identity. They were of the world but of no particular part of it, like the foreign faces that hunkered about the bus, eyes glinting in the dull, blue light of LCD screens.

He’d see it all razed to the ground.