Chapter 10 - The Harpsichordist
The fingers of the creature stretched from out of the shadows. They were longer than a man’s and swollen at the joints. Its creamy gray skin stretched with a rubbery shine where the knuckles bulged.
In the moonlight, in a small and empty country, I sat with my lantern in hand as more of this beast became known to me. My khakis drenched in sooty sweat. Amber and ruby bottles casting their glows on the chirping tall grasses and waters of life. From clay brick dust, from weathered tent canvas, he emerged.
From the fog came his knee, and thigh atop it like war. Red slashes of lust and the battered metal plates of campaigns, tapestries and songs. His chiffon robes wilted away from his muscles.
This night changed me. While everyone else was sweating malaria through their skulls and sucking on damp washrags, I was making notes in my journal, cooking up the future. Bioengineering, transmitters, and ciphered tones, hairs as thick and beautiful as steel cable, my body was glowing with judgment upon it.
He slipped me a drug. In a half hour’s time, I left my body. I left my city. The taste of the floor was sour and burnt when I woke up on my chest. It was dawn. The air was like terror and tragedy. I was alone. He made me feel like he was watching me, like I was supremely exposed and not just to him, but to all. I had a conversation with him, this specter. I asked what he had done to this place, and to me. Silence.
I sat at the edge of my cot and waited for night. Pain grew in the walls of my chest. I was slurping on air, nauseated by my efforts at survival. A thought protruded on a screen that floated from the mass of forest: Destroy Yourself.
I stared and struggled with the paralyzing boom of this vision. Finally, I stood, my right leg fire and mush from infection, I hobbled to the washbasin. My hands felt it. My hands entered it. They left me.
Her body pushed on the fabric of the towering screen. It felt her soft masses, her extraterrestrial shoulders and pelvis, the fluids of her legs, and it engaged her, described her to me. The word on her lips was rescue and it was written in deep savagery.
She pushed through the crowds to get to me. Halos of sound throbbed on me, erupting from the heavy handfuls of my brain anatomy. I slipped from this earth briefly and came back, clinging to sweat and purple night of drinks, magnetic tape, and surveillance posts.
Through fossil records and layered decomposition, we held tight. Her thick mucus hardening over my stiff embouchure. We sang for the end. When we separated, I heard her laughter, wild and evil, as she tore through the streets. Every house barricaded against her arrival. The men inside gagged and shackled by their mates. The night burned and the places were trashed. The furniture was cast down and broken into pieces. Documents curled and floated away, carried by the glowing rims of ash.
I sat at a long oaken table, lamps, parapetto, wine decanters, and poison arrows. My skin was glistening with germs, growing raw in the moonless night, and rhythmically gripping as I rode through the sky.
At last, we kissed and she hung up the telephone.
Written by Brando
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