“Hold.” Calapan said, as they had named her, the real head of Calapan Mining industries.
Not in mimicry of the orginisations name, but in holding her clothed arm to the sky, where a taskling clung to her leg, and looked down at the sulphur soil near his feet, and realised that the exit shadow she had created was not black, but clementine upon the ground, she was just, their leader. Moisture collected in their circuits juicing their wires with funk problems and the polluted rain between their holding hands. Some with a curtain of material across half their skulls that stopped none of the rain and their autonomous hands linked in their huddled coral upon a mud hill over looking a rubbish dump that they would soon face, and the rain spattered over their worn-over limbs and gathered in their banged out groins that had no shape of genitalia or need to look away from the concluding city.
Already the dice clouds boom like red moons beyond the magnetic horizon. And there with us is the hope that new workers clinging in gale to the thighs of familiars are not their fathers or mothers-but their kin! In the dust of the metal hubs where the workers know how to bow- and the small ‘taskers’ are doomed to be used as scrap if not functional. But no matter. The rust soared and dribbled down like sweat as the wind said, and as the dump trucks say, and as the ground said.
Nighter looked over to his sister who clung to their mother’s thigh.
“Why is the shadow that colour?” He asked by clacking his spike hand on his father’s leg.
“Oh I dunno,” His sister ‘Smirky’ replied.
“Is it cold?” He asked next.
“The fleshes always talk about that.”
The dirt wind blew against their collective bodies, like a thumb high up on the mound, as the sound of motors and motors came from behind.
“Hold.” Calapan said again, as her mate crunched her hand in his, then released it, showing her the shape he had made of it. It was a gift in the blue soils of the outer city mine complex.
The crunched shape of her fingers twisted into the form of a dog. Her three fingers turned into her small finger, which he had bent into a spiked tongue, so it looked like a dog shape smelling, or perhaps, kissing a flower. Calapan held her clothed limb high in the air, and slowly rotated her old head towards her old Ballius. Nodding her half covered CLPN.891 printed face at his, before the scoop of the dump trunk sent them down into the molasses pool of acid. A mile below the mud cliff.
Jobe rushed home that night. He couldn’t remember if he’d sighed the correct safety protocols into his trucks console or not. He’d just blurted the shut off words out all at once, without even caring to reverse the truck from the edge. He’d hit it several times in the end, as the error message
And he’d jumped out from the five meters above the ground where he’d been sitting instead of stepping down, and held his workers hat over his eyes as he walked out through the entry gates, lifting a hand instead of wording good bye to security.
“Jobey, What in God’s name is wrong with you now?” His wife asked him after five minutes of thumping at the door.
“You forget the code again? Don’t worry; it’s just a door, Jesus- us uz.” She said stuttering at the end of her sentence.
The stewed sea growths smelt good in their shaking home.
They smothered Jobe’s face with a million wrong sensations of what good food smelt like – of course, Cally knew nothing of what smelt good or bad.
“Food ready?” He asked her, dropping his hat on the floor and a weeping and a laughing.
“What’s? Ss?” Cal asked, turning her head back on her shoulders like a contortionists dream.
“It’s ok, just another pile of workers gone.” He said laughing.
“Is that funny?” Cally asked, letting her head droop to the side like a sadder dream, as her limbs continued to stir the pot in their one roomed home behind her.
-Sure.” Jobe said.
Smiling as he kicked the door shut and moved nearer her. He touched her face and kissed her, as her limbs continued to work by them selves in front.
He said, as she smiled back from the kiss, and then turned her head back one eighty to the pot.
She stirred it with two limbs in a counter clock-wise figure of ∞ motion, each limb passing over the other.
“How far down did they have to go to find those guy’s then?” Jobe asked his wife, nodding down at the pot and taking condiments out from the cupboard beside her.
“Re-ask.” She said in a low civil tone.
“Oh.” Jobe said, laughing, and then feeling bad for making fun of his wife’s cooking.
“Ooooohh shit. Where erm…” He laid an arm over Cally’s shoulder and sprinkled a small amount of salt into the pot.
A liquid implement shot out from her solar plexus, hardening upon reaction to the humid air, which soon caught each and every particle of salt, and held it in a small metallic ball, where a hole opened in its side that sprayed the salt back into Jobe’s face.
This made Jobe spit his beer out and remove his arm from hanging on Cal-
“No more salt.” Cal said in a different tone.
“Ohhh fuck you!” Jobe said itching the whole body over with laughter and forgetting the day.
“You bitch!” He said next, before taking out the fold away table behind their old methane stove, and opening it.
“Hovering at, four point five, five, two, one, thousand metres below sea level. Love.” Cally said, after analysing the previous question, and scooping a ladle of departed sea growth out from the pot, and placing it in a bowl, then another, and placing them on their table.
“K.” Jobe said smiling, as Cally sat down facing him in the small room.
He lit a couple of candles in the middle.
“History. History.” Cal said in her high pitched voice, a few times.
Her eyes rolled back in her head as she used the tone. Showing the red parts of someone else’s eyes.
“Haha. The history of what? This?” Jobe said looking into his bowl, and poking it’s inners with his spoon.
Cal looked at him straight across the small table. It was like the way a cat looks at a bird. Hungry. Or satiated. Or just working things out.
“History.” She said again, leaving her arms hanging by her side, the parts of her body uncovered by skin concealed her size eight black silicone dress.
“K,” Jobe said thinking for a second…
“Hey did they give you any shit down at the market again? Man, you gotta tell me if they did, you’ve as much right-“
And there were specks of blood below her chin where someone had tried to remove her power cell again.
And a little blood surrounded the orifice in the middle of her dress where her liquid tool had shot out, like an iguanas tongue, either crippling permanently, or just warning off the dumb stranger.
“No. City. Seven. Laws. Broken.
Legislation eight, eight, four, used.”
Jobe looked down at the bowl and smiled.
A fragment of the sea creature’s body still juiced from its dull white self, as its skin fermented in the steaming soup Cal had made.
“K.” Jobe said sipping from his spoon and wincing, but smiling at the end, knowing that his wife relayed the matrix of his expressions with what she read outside.
“These guy’s,” Jobe said before picking up the bowl and drinking it hungrily, slapping the unstable table and giving a thumbs up as it ran down his work uniform and throat.
Fuck I’m hungry!
“These guys used to be up on the surface you know…” Jobe said.
“Haha- Oh on the err, on the ground, on the ground! You see this- this-“ Jobe said taking a piece of the dead flesh from his bowl and waggling it down his throat.
“They used to be on the ground. All of these, these…” He thought for a moment.
“People. What we’re eating used to be a people, people of the planet, just like you and me-“
“I am not-“ Cal said sending out her chest augmentation and cleaning her neck of blood, where she’d noticed Jobe had been staring.
“Awww now, DON’T GIVE ME THAT! You’re as real as any of it – doon’t give me that! – I-”
Cally said again in a deeper tone before beginning to eat too. Reminding him it was time for dinner, and not time to shout.
“Sorry hun. Well, yeah, all of these things were us once. About I dunno- ten thousand years back. And there were tribes! And there were ways that the people of those tribes,” Jobe said before drinking more of his soup, “Had of preparing for war, ‘revenge-wars’. What they did was- the elder of the tribes used to bow down before the person seeking revenge-“
“No history found relating to this article.” Call said quietly, continuing to sip.
“I know I know. Ok ok… But the elder would bow down before the tribesman that was seeking revenge, and he’d tie the hair of the person to be avenged around his dick, and then stand up, and then ask the warrior to untie the hair from his dick and smell it. I know it sounds fucked up. But we didn’t have all the ideas we have now back then. And visa-versa.This linked the warrior to the fallen tribesman he was about to avenge. It would anchor his libido to only one thing. And pour all of the thoughts he had into one. Of what he was about to do. All of him.
“Transmutation of sensory cognition.” Cal said, spreading a smile that fixed on her face, as she untied a black band around her wrist and tied back her long black hair.
“Ohhh, VVERRRRYYYY funny! Yeah yeah yeah!” Jobe said laughing, unable to stop.
“Humour?” Cally said, just happy that her hair would not go into her food.
“Sure Momma! Fucking piles of it! Dwarf stars licking our fucking eyeballs with it- you know what’s going on don’t you? You just fuck with me don’t you? Jesus christ I love you!” He continued, beginning to choke a little, before starting to breathe again.
“And sure, that thing you said. Loads of transmu- stuff. Loads of slipping and sliding around like this stuff,” Jobe said looking into his bowl again and picking out the lumps of flesh from the bottom. Until he looked at the last piece in his spoon.
“But they kept on doing it. Each time a new tribe and time came along. They kept on finding a way to fire up the troops. A way to siphon what everyone has, to some degree. Into one.
Wars. Fires. Songs.
They used to make the women dance the night before the crops had to be re-sewn
they used to dance where the work was to be done
and then roll themselves in the soil
where the work men would have to go the next day
placing their scents and bodies in the planes, taking the ache away
Re-directing that shit!
So that all the buzzing men and women and all the buzz flying creatures would be able to do what had to be done,
without the left over energy causing any more trouble
Call moved her head from side to side as Jobe spoke, keeping a fix on his eyes, that made him continue. Like a snake charmer does. Hypnotized by her own snake.
“And in the mornings all the juice was gone, and they’d have loosened up, and the tribesmen were ready to work without so much junk in their minds.
It worked out so well that each generation did it.
They kept on enduring a performance that could change the energy from one way to another, controlling it, as dance laid upon the fields, and scent rituals helped them focus. And so it went on. You know?”
“Perpetual re-birth via transferent procedures to cull carnality.” Cal said.
One of her contact lenses fell off exposing her completely white eye.
She immediately leant down to the floor to reach for it as Jobe stood up and knocked the table aside, grabbing her arm. His grasp did nothing. It was like a babe trying to stop a piston, or something oblivious, eating.
Cal realised he was reaching for her and stopped, allowing him to make her stand.
“Ah, don’t worry about that. We’re not outside.” He said smiling, pulling her close.
“Sure, something like that.” He said still amused, and she looked at him with one eye exposed.
“But these things, from- five, err…”
“Four point five, five, two, one, thousand meters below sea level. Love.” Cal said.
“Yeah… They kept on doing it…
They realised that we all need a break from it. And that there are simple ways of doing it. Like making a man focus on a death smell. Like kicking a ball, and having the planet cheer as it passes through the air, all of that – energy – transferred into the ball, like all the damn colours of the planets King’s and Queens marching on quiet ground, bands playing, dances flowing – bored troops making their prisoners lay in naked flesh pyramids when unsatisfied, instead of being human, and not mistreating them-“
“The Hamid Naish scandal. Sullimae. Two thousand, and forty, eight.” Cal said as Jobe kissed her, and their small metal room shook under the weight of the sea.
The noise subsided, as the electronic suspension rooting their aqua block re-adjusted to a fishing sub thundering by, that hunted a family of whale beside them.
“What are you thinking?” Jobe asked Cal as he felt around the back of her dress, and felt the sway of their sub-level home. As they held each other in silence.
“CLPN.891: ‘Calaplan’. Mercury Lather, wife of CLPN.501: Mercury Siphoner: ‘Ballius’ – DEAD.”
CLPN.8700: ‘Smirky’. Taskling, son of Calapan and Ballius – DEAD.”
CLPN.8701: ‘Nighter’. Taskling, daughter of-“ Cal said as if reading from the wall.
“Ok ok, Christ, I’m sorry.” Jobe said sitting down on their bed, as Cal stopped the obituary.
“History… Please love” Cal said whispering, gently removed from her husband. And moving over to the cooker slash fridge slash washing unit of their home.
“And over time, it just kept on happening like that…
None of the energy was used, it was just siphoned into rituals that stopped everyone from going mad, thanks-” Jobe said taking a drink and clinking it with Cal’s.
“They tossed that ridiculous ball all over the place, shat bones and missiles all over the sky, and ways came along to witnessing it comfortably, on a flat screen, in a game, to enjoy it, to make it moorish, to taste it, to taste it so badly that the ritual was more than you, transferred from blood to stone like a canned fish or released fish spitting at it, unable to split, because it’s just a god damned fucking ritual, it’s just a transference! It’s not our love! It’s not the way of our cells when sentient and loving! Ahhh the god belching amoebas have it good, and that’s how they treat us, like dump trucks shifting workers off a cliff, like carnival animals unwashed if they’re not fucking swimming like smiling lepers and hallowed saints, so even the dance itself was a joke, and the rituals! Just like the first rituals! Of some poor dusty guy tying hair to another guys dick continuing, calming and heating the poor fuckers into oblivion, but at least calm enough to act normally.”
-Subdue.” Cal said rubbing Jobe’s back.
She didn’t touch her drink, but clanked it with Jobe’s when he gestured for it.
“And oh ohh my Caal – And – oo OOnnllyy for youu.” Jobe said making himself howl again, but more peacefully.
“But it didn’t work you see?” Jobe said pointing at the round window that looked out into the sea, where their block of flats was built into.
I.” Cal said taking Jobe’s medication out from a compartment in her thigh, and injecting him kindly.
She moved his body onto his bed like he weighed no more than a feather’s ghost, and got in with him too.
“buh buh hut-they KEPT-ON doing it…” Jobe said, as Cal pushed her hide into him and placed his inebriated arms around her, and blinking, turning the lights off.
MADE A WHORE!…” Jobe moaned as the meds kicked in.
“You see… They kept on doing it, and the more the energy was transformed by ritual, from the pulse, where it…
Liked to be, and liked to be heard, we gave it…
The damn colours… Of games… Never! Just letting
We, became, what we…
As Call uploaded what her husband said, and the hours passed, and he slept, she got back up from the bed later.
She stood on the metallic floor bare foot, and twisted her neck around lucidly, analysing, and making little of it.
She walked over to the window and leant on it.
Watching the cascading highways of gaped open diving subs that would catch what ever they ate the next night calmed her.
There was an easy way that she counted calmness, as the lights lining the passing subs engaged with the sea, like off coloured fingers within the sea, and the high sensitivity lab tool built into her chest pressed upon the window spreading upon it, letting her sense what was outside.
There was another burping. Gut sound in the shadows wet, behind her. Maybe the melody of a sub devouring a large spawn of sealings, which she dismissed.
And then she began-
“Hey hun, what are you doing?” Jobe asked leaning up in bed.
Cal’s head turned back to him, leaning down to the ground whilst her torso still faced the window, going over the measurements of drugs she’d giving him.
“Hey, I’m sorry, I think the meal disagreed with me, I puked up in the bed, sorry… What are you doing?” Jobe said, picking up a dirty cloth from the floor, wiping his lips and chest.
Cal stayed confused. Her head watching her husband from the ground.
“Myyy – naaaaaiiighett – Dance. Myyyhhii NIght dance dance. Hiiiymmm”
Cal replied, hollow and straight, gradually beginning to lift her head fro the floor via her loose neck. Back to her shoulders gentle. From it’s lop sided position on the floor.
“Huh? Can I watch?” Jobe said rubbing his face.
She said lowering her knees to the ground, where before they touched the floor, she stuck one leg out still balancing on one foot, and moved it in a large arc in front of her, once to the right, and then once back.
“Watch” Cal said, in a tone that Jobe hadn’t heard before.
He looked down at his feet and saw a line of small toy like dolls placed on the ground.
“What are th-“
Cal stopped him from taking by raising herself one foot from the ground, knee still bent, and supported by only one foot, whilst the other was held out horizontal, as she placed a hand in front of Jobe’s lips, in perfect balance.
“We must tell them what we know of them. To let them pass easier. Into the light. Or dark.” Cal said, settling back down to her knees, as Jobe also knelt down beside her.
He looked at the family of dolls created from things like hair, her own, her heavy, flawless, black hair. Collected from her own scalp, and rubber, the small rotting bones, perhaps from the meals they had had together. Other things in the unlight of the dim floor level. But faces etched into each one of the four. Two larger dolls. And two smaller ones clinging to their legs.
“Christ no…” Jobe said looking at Cal.
“You know got this from me don’t you? It’s just crap it’s just what I talk about after work it’s-“
As I say good bye to whom you have slain during the day, and show my respect to them.
Jobe listened to what his wife said.
He had a million different ways of trying to explain why he thought it was madness. And such things didn’t make sense in a flat block flowing below the depths of the sea, where hybrid mammals tried to out swim swimming machines, and the only way up was by self ejaculation through an upfeed pipe to the surface everyday, and you were showered in anti-fungicides, no, there was definitely a little room, for his wife’s ideas about night. Dances.
It was all there was. Jobe thought looking up to the cone ceiling, and the intricacy of filth lining it, wondering how many nights he had just slept whilst his wife had carried out her rituals, void of him
and while he still had breath in him there were no gods apart from her
and the dolls she had made so carefully
he felt the urge to punch through the metal walls,
not only the garish ships chasing the unknowing sea life
but the point at which they release each other
and to be the many thumb blocks
of homes that were built down into the oceans depth, and to be that hand,
and to know something of the vigor-reason
that Calapan screamed
to her kin,
The reason that the workers acted in this way, probably
from the engineers
as his dump truck
off the mound.
Like bursting fleas shot into the night Jobe bled as he looked at Calapan’s face. Now, just a bunch of hairs and rubber, not the new worker held together by shock resistant screws as love occurred between drones, yet another joke of the engineers, yet another way to pass the day
There were the schematics of their make-up
and the image of Calapan holding her fist high to the five moons
where she had already worn out her limb
past where it was cost-effective to fix
Jobe felt his wife’s heat beside him
it contained his need to start howling again, as they were also the limbs falling from the ledge
the molasses pit of growth accepting
Lilies accepted into dusk ponds
minerals taken gracefully from the sun
gathering again in diamond flocks within mines
just a grace required, to respect them, and let the acid accept them,
to hammer them through the pulse of connection, to their names, Calapan!
Jobe screamed, the unvoiced word of leadership among the constant clamour!
The name that means you shall be able to melt gently
and that the chimeras’ shall cluster and pull away, from the nose of hunt ships
and evade them, clinging to the homes that dive also into their homes
Ballius! Jobe heard
By the side of his ever working mate
who turns to his face back to hers
where the dunes shower up with nothing but hours,
and she in turn, is able to turn her face into his
as if twin conjoined faces dance away from the landscape
and lay within each
As all heads are half covered in cloth, and no matter, the tasklings fly!
like tasklings fly… Making eternity turn and run
into vigour having met no gates in their time
that would explain such haste
But understand that within the tempest,
that they are at home,
where the legs of their kin
“CAL.” Jobe screamed as he was sure that their metal home was dividing itself, and the gliding anchors had finally collapsed.
“I CAN’T/////” He said. Opening his eyes.
“You can.” Cal said emotionless, with her own eyes till closed.
“Like this.” She said as the small leak from her chest opened, and sent out a fluxive hand that picked up the dolls, holding them on a bed of liquid gas.
Jobe did as his wife said.
And took the doll that reminded him of Ballius, with the taskling ‘Nighter’ attached to its thigh.
The hair that wove around Ballius body was Jobe’s own. But it smelt of Cal where she had carefully woven the figurines together, and also the newer, repelling smell, of what they’d eaten earlier.
He placed it back down and turned towards Cal as she also placed her doll on the floor.
When Cal would smile it always hung like someone had just carved it into clay, and mostly, he dismissed it, but he felt the lift tube outside the door shaking, and shaking himself too, as they rose to their feet and quickly began to gather their belongings, even finding a place in their bags for the small hair dolls.
“It has only taken. Nine years, eight months, ten days, and-“
“Yeah yeah yeah, to find vigour, to pray on my knees with you to a bunch of dolls.”
“Humour?” Cally said.
Cal looked at his wife, and tried to hold it in for what seemed a long while in the swaying room, and then took a big suck in ready to shatter the entire network with laughter. But she moved quicker than he could see, as the energy plumed in his heart, ready to take him over, and she placed a finger on his lips, that made him halt, and he looked back at her.
“See?” She said.
Winking her one white eye, at him.