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David Sprehe

END

Molten sea. Black crust pieces float close together bumping and shifting atop the liquid fire. The pieces stretch in endless procession toward the distance. Sky is solid, lumpy pink and cut with trenches. I am here with my dog. A yellow retriever dog. His name is CHRIST. We hop from crust piece to crust piece. CHRIST barks at purple spark bats dancing around the lumpy pink sky surface. Fortunately, CHRIST’s suit is on silent. Spark bats eat sounds. We hardly make any noise because of the dampeners. Almost sentient circuitry. I think of them as a set above pets.

SHIT. Christ turned off his mute system. How? Why? Stupid dog!

I strike his helmet with my lance, a totally cool technological device I honestly do not understand. This strike gives him a seizure and I feel like an asshole. Luckily we are in the middle of a large chunk of floating crust. CHRIST’s suit is special designed to take care of him. He has had seizures ever since he ate rat poison. I light up the lance device, so hooked into my mind it does things before I know it and leap straight up. 

Bats are taken down. 

Absorbed into antennas. 

Lightning appears from the pink living sky. Soon I’m arched. The light is seemingly alive, plantlike. Crawls like root tendrils uncomfortably quickly to my body. CHRIST bites my boot and dangles there. Light webs over me like a cocoon. CHRIST gets it too. My body crumples somewhere all the way and I am sucked in a tight gooey space kicking and screaming. I claw at the wall. CHRIST goes nuts crawls up me. The walls attack back with little sprouted pink irritant wiggle arms. 

I laugh because they tickle me. 

I poke the wall as hard as I can and push harder. CHRIST is biting around it like a vicious beast. I got to punch him several times because he bit me. Finally, we tear a slit through and roll out dissolving into ink suspended in tight wall capsule where my endings rooted. The roots had spread and covered the entirety of the capsule’s surface and grew outward. The living wall shifts where cradles me. Numb tingle worms slither through my body. The tingle worms turn soggy and bleed into my roots. New worms birth from eggs feels like balls of warm oil bursting over my skin. Growing bursting over me bursting growing all over me. Warm glow numb tingle cycle never ending. Over time gravity stretched the roots of upper body. I could lean forward and look around. I was in a long hallway. The walls were living tissue. 

I cannot tell if it was all my roots. 

Or something else’s. 

After a longer period of time I was able to stretch the roots further to where I could sit and dangle my legs off the side of the wall capsule’s base. Soon I stood on my own and touched the living tissue floor. I snapped my roots, then shriveled and nearly dry, but still thick with meat. Tasted good. Very good. I ate a few pieces more and broke the rest of the dying roots into sections intending to eat later. I cut my pointed fingernails into the pink living floor tissue intending to make a satchel, but the pink living tissue actually tastes ok, so I ate several more root sticks and grabbed two fistfuls to take with. Walked the hallway for what felt an eternity gnawing on root stick and stopping periodically to take a runny spatter shit. I noted, nibbling on pink living floor to quiet my stomach, that this was my shit stain. It was hardly present, a slight discoloration, but I could tell I was walking in a circle. 

“Damn,” I said and laid back against the living pink wall. I pulled petals from a small yellow flower in my hand and flicked the petals at the opposite wall. But they floated in a breeze which carried them off a ways into the grass. Tired, I chose to remain lying against a tree. There was sunlight blue sky clouds and tall grass swaying. There was a creek close by, I could feel it. Bugs crawled over my brown skin. Some even crawled in my long straight black hair. I rolled onto my hands and knees bugs so many bugs over me. Bugs crawled in my mouth and my nose and ears. Bugs crawled in my pee hole. Thickest they swarmed at my ass. Heavy shifting masses crawled into my butthole. I couldn’t even shit them, they would simply flow deeper clumped and fluid at the same time. I coughed until I puked. Cut a slit in my stomach. Black goop slopped out. I pulled out everything guts and all and cleaned it real good. Most of the bugs died after this, curling up in defeat. But those that didn’t and I reached an agreement in that they will animate me and I’ll let them live. Empty of guts, a hollow shell of flesh and skin and bone and crawling with bugs, I started off. I needed to find CHRIST. 

/// 

CHRIST this time was a chicken. A man in a chicken suit at work a chicken in a man suit off hours. Didn’t matter. He was his own man chicken owning a chain of very successful Cluck-Cluck electronic liquor stores. Yes, CHRIST was the one in the sexy Chicka-Cluck-Cluck suit on the late-night commercials. CHRIST was no coward. He knew who to pay and when. He kicked back on his couch and lit a cigarette. 

“What’s the plan, man?” he said into his handheld computer. 

JoJo Bunny picked her nose. “I’m not a man.”

“Hmph,” CHRIST said. 

“The plan is as follows. I am pregnant. Look here,” she gestures to her belly and it bursts open. Several electric blue fish creatures wiggle from her spinal cord. The fish stare at CHRIST flipping their heads back and forth. CHRIST’s tongue slithers forth and forks. The nubs wiggle and greet the fish then hang up and start sending video chat requests to everybody in the pocket computer contact lists. 

///

This place is familiar to me and because of that I am apprehensive because I have never seen anything like it before. Houses. A street. I am in a neighborhood. I was once alive and now am alive again. But not all is stable. Even my basic feeling balks at the sight of these inhabitants. All of their tongues have branched into bushes and remain outside the face always wiggling their nubs at a pocket computer. I approach a small one and capture it. I escape to the woods and rip the tongue out of the face. The bugs feast on the tongue then turn to the body and harvest it for my own resources. I look at the pocket computer. The pocket computer is on a video link with two other tongue bushes. The tongue bushes wiggle grotesquely. I close the application and demand most recent news. I look at the news and see an advertisement. The advertisement is for Cluck-Cluck liquor stores. On it is a sexy chicken. I know this chicken. This chicken touches a deep part of my soul.   

///   

“The tongues have formed a hive mind,” CHRIST said. “They communicate by wiggling in front of the pocket computer camera.” 

“How were you cured?” I asked.

CHRIST shrugged. “I just wanted to be is all.”

“Took your time with it,” I said.

“Blow off,” CHRIST said, “how am I supposed to know what I know when I know everything?”

“What is this place?” I pulled a book from CHRIST’s bookshelf. The Phenomenon of Man, Teilhard de Chardin. I flipped through the pages and then put it on the coffee table because I did not understand how to read it. I looked at CHRIST and waited for his answer. 

“Beats me,” CHRIST said. He took a sip of canned beer and rubbed his forehead with the hand which also held a cigarette. “I felt like I’ve been here my whole life until this tongue garbage.”

I nodded. “This is not the place.”

“What do we do?” 

I shrugged. “Destroy it, I suppose. Or kill ourselves.”

“I feel like we should kill ourselves. But because of that. Because of this. Let’s do option one.”

“It does feel wrong,” I said. “Which means we certainly don’t do it that often.”

“Yeah!” CHRIST said getting up. He was happy and excited. “I don’t remember ever doing it. We gotta do it once. It’d be bad not too.”

Since the bugs had ate of the tongue directly they had deduced and could reproduce the patterns by which the tongues communicated. By keeping in contact with them through the pocket computer we were able to mask our true whereabouts. The bugs also established communications with other species of insect and was able to convert them into a hive with I at the center. This hive grew exponentially quickly and I felt myself melting like ice in springtime light. DESTROY OFFPLANET UNITE I projected what these meant to me into the accepting coding atmosphere developing as the hive grew. 

I turned to CHRIST. “I know what to do.”

“Where do you want me, chief?” CHRIST said.

He was swarmed with cockroaches and he tripped on the coffee table and fell over. I knelt beside him. I leaned in close and bit the side of his lips. CHRIST screamed. I ate his cheek and rubbed my fingers along his teeth letting my bug babies find something to eat. I consumed CHRIST in his entirety. 

///

Rain water. Upon me. Like a puddle. Puddle in a field of green sprouted wheat. Giant pigs trample upon the shoots. The pigs are proud and have great tusks. Upon the pigs are friendly insects who clean the pig and maintain its systems. Among the pigs there is a leader called King Philip. King Philip crumbles as if made of stone. These pig flesh rocks tumble into puddles. The vibrations make me whole. It appears I am the planet Earth’s moon Moon. Every particle of the Earth’s moon Moon was highly advanced technology waiting to be imprinted with personality. It had lain unused for trillions of years. I en-unfolded and found myself among the star systems. Whole galaxies spiraled toward and collided along my body like warm water sloshing in glass milk bottle. I was endless slithering things and rotting fruit. I managed to move my limbs and swim dragging all else behind me taking it into my body so I grew larger. I stretched so long my top point thinned until it was unit. All else followed slowly behind me colliding and merging with unit, condensing to unit size. When all was in unit unit quivered popped and popped again. END.

///

David Sprehe types in soilus.