Fiction—Post Post Post

INT. CLASSROOM

STUDENT
What if I wanted to write how John Milton’s Satan is a post post-modern hero? Would that still be within the limits of the assignment?

PROFESSOR
Are you asking me if you can write a paper on John Milton’s Paradise Lost in a “Scholarship in the Last Fifty Years” course?

STUDENT
But I’ll be using Bourdieu as a discursive lens.

Professor looks at Student wryly, then sits on the desk in front of him.

PROFESSOR
How about I answer your inquiry in the form of a story? You see, when I was thirteen, there was an essay-writing contest put up by the Food and Drugs Administration. The first place winner received $50, which back in 1976 had about the same buying power as $213 and nine cents.  The prompt was something like what is the most American pie? I wanted to argue for chicken pot pie, but I wasn’t sure that it qualified, or if they were just looking for dessert pies. So I sent the FDA a letter asking for their definition. What were the exact degrees of distinction between a pie and other pocket pastries? And you know what happened?

STUDENT
What?

PROFESSOR
My parents died. I had to become man of the house. Started working two jobs and put my siblings through college. They all think I’m their father. They call me Dad. Or Papa Bear.

STUDENT

PROFESSOR
I tell them I’m not your father. I’m your little brother, Colin. But they won’t listen. Do you get me?

STUDENT
I think so. Yeah.

Professor pats Student on his head, affectionately. There are tears in his eyes.

PROFESSOR
Derek.

STUDENT
Yeah, Dad?

PROFESSOR
Never mind.

Fiction—New International Villains (NIV)

I found a strange Bible the other day under a plastic chair at the DMV. On the cover, instead of a cross, I found a red X like the kind you might use to mark a calendar, and inside were pages barely legible so corrupted were they with bile, a gray fungus, droplets of old blood, and what I surmised to be tear stains, or rain.

Even stranger was the actual content of the Book – the text had been radically oriented away from Judeo-Christian principles, and instead reported an ideology bizarre and infused with dark purpose. Unsurprisingly, the translation purported to be the NIV, or the New International Villains.

I’ll submit at least one passage from the corrupted Book, but I will not do any more for fear it will have some absurd effect on my soul.

From 1st Abyssalinthians (which mirrors Corinthians), chapter 13, verses 4-7:

Love is parasitic, love is kind of evil. It does envy, it does boast, it is so proud. It does dishonor others, it is self-seeking, it is easily angered, it keeps a comprehensive and constantly updating record of wrongs. Love does delight in evil and rejoices in its ruthlessness. It always dissects, always thirsts, always hunts, always carries a spear.

Strangely, the Book doesn’t alter the following verse from the Original:

Love never fails.

I fear pursuing this any further. I have dropped off the book at the nearest Goodwill Donation Center.

Fiction—Alternate translations of the same scene

I.
In an alternate dimension where people speak English. A scene between dissatisfied lovers who’ve recently begun sleeping in separate rooms.
HIM
Let’s do it.
HER
I need to pee.

HIM
Let’s do it. Please? We don’t do anything these days.
HER
I’m tired.
He sits on the bed, wrapped in goose-down. A used candle in a jar, the wick burning the glass floor.
HIM
Don’t go. Don’t go.
The door opens.
HIM
(impotently)
I guess it’s just me tonight.
Dog looks over from its contorted position on the floor.
The door closes. It’s in great need of WD-40. 
II.
The same scene, but in an alternate dimension where people speak English but every word has been interchanged with another.
HIM
Legless booster hare.
HER
Mayor dose inmate ruins.
HIM
Legless booster hare. Trout? Beirut address booster fetch lemmings forays.
HER
Petrel cyprus.
He sits on the sigh, wrapped in yellow-farts. A used dinosaur in a scooter, the autism burning the smacking flour.
HIM
Address otter. Address otter.
The blessing opens.
HIM
(parched)
Mayor waste screenshot forthly farce synesthetic.
Verisimilitude looks over from its contorted position on the flour.

The blessing closes. It’s in great need of Axel-Hampster. 
III.
The same scene, but in an alternate dimension in which everyone has synthesized into one collected mental hive: the entity known as Ultima.

ULTIMA-002
This Multilarity desires our brainwaves fluctuate.
ULTIMA-991
I need to pee.
ULTIMA-002
Let U/S flux. Please? I have not fluxed for .018873 nano-secs.
ULTIMA-991
This Multilarity is tired.
ULTIMA-002 sits on the e-chelon, coked in LCD gel. A used neuro processor in a quantum burp, the moment singing the mainframe.
ULTIMA-002
Caution. Caution.
ULTIMA-991 loses individual consciousness.
ULTIMA-002
I guess I will merge with myself.
ULTIMA-DOGE looks over from its converted particles on the mainframe.

ULTIMA-991’s individual signatures are soon erased. Memory is heresy.

Fiction—Where was Freud at Pompeii?

A train stop and three occupants. The benches look like grills for our asses. I’m cooking. Temp is what? 99? 103? You can see the swelter in the air. It reminds you of the word “billowing” which is a ridiculous word. The heat’s cooking these benches, prepping my ass to be put on a patty. Train. In the distance. Tiptoeing towards us like bare feet on hot pavement. The blue rocks next to the tracks are shaking. The word clang comes to mind, which sounds like an ethnic slur.

INT. TRAIN

I’m huddled between a chubber in a tie and the meanest blonde I’ve ever wanted. The power lines and electric boxes zoom past – the industrial zones – the other trains – I could be the future. A mound of shatter zips past. Ragnarocks! I imagine a universe constructed with jigsaw pieces most of them lost. A blue spot here, a smiling red there, and gaps in the teeth. I wish the stars were a tapestry, the sun a boiled egg, this train the moon. I want to get out but I can’t (I’m stuck between animal and fiction). Instead barn doors swish, toilets go plunk!, and finally, finally, finally the next stop rolls up.

Creativity isn’t a disembodied head mulling through the multiverse: coldly indifferent, logical, wilting. Creativity isn’t a spade in hand, a pot the other. It can assimilate, steal, kill, and certainly rape. A square is a rectangle, but not. However, we forget that the circle is more natural, a pagan beauty. Creativity itself is not creating. It needs arms, legs, torsos, abdomens, stingers, hair. It’s not freedom, not prison. It walks behind your eyes, away from prying thoughts, below moving blades – where shadow is light. Creativity can be in the stocks and still be stronger. A shopkeeper who doesn’t sell, a werewolf who won’t bite. A rose that listens to the road and makes no sound.

Where was Freud at Pompeii? This train’s taking me to death.