Category: Episode 15


Episode 15

Hear ye! Hear ye!  Y’all are about to get going on the craziest ride.  Episode 15 is a series of dreams driven around the idea of hidden treasures.  The writers each have thier own ideas of what that could mean and then I get to string them together in one big night terror for you to enjoy.  If this is your first time at this rodeo please note that the stories are meant to be read in order for effect.  You can go back and read them out of order too, whatever floats yer boat, but do give them a try in order.  They are short!!  I am pleased to have back in the ringCheryl Ann Gardner,  Zack Kopp, Luis C. Berriozabal, Jay Passer, Josh Olsen and Shawn Misener.  I am totally thrilled to have IBAS newcomers Robert Lyons and David Haase.  Enjoy your brain on word drugs!!

There was this diner I liked to go to. A real greasy spoon if you feel the academic need to pigeonhole its culinary style. I liked it there, but I ain’t no sweat lodge expert or nothing. I just liked the way it smelled most days and the way the brittle red vinyl stuck to your skin when you were wearing short pants. It was a typical person’s joint, except during the summer heat … and when the moon was full. Last week, the moon was the biggest it had been in years. In the booth next to me, worn out shoes and broken teeth were discussing Rachmaninov and the merits of romanticism and structural ingenuity in Russian classical music while a drone wiped up the spit and blood that had collected on every surface around them. Then there was this slovenly waitress. I called her Tuesday cause that seemed to be the only day she worked. She had huge breasts with light red peach fuzz all over them, and she covered them with divisive little bits of flare. She often burned the coffee, but I didn’t mind. In every bitter cup there lay at the bottom — like the grit in Juan Valdez’s soiled underpants — her dreams of the Jamaican coastline.  She was no sommelier, but she could sure pour a cup of joe, and her eyes, she had the eyes of divine retribution. She told me once that I didn’t need the fake iodide … and ya know what, she was no naked bicycle ride with Ghandi, but I believed her.

They called him Old Greenshoe because his shoes were so decrepit and decomposed after years of homelessness sleeping in the heating ducts of towering buildings or sprawled under some bushes in one of the many town parks. He was the ancient, bearded archetypical Father of them All. The Very First One, they called him. And striplings new to the homeless way cut their teeth on fables about the Old Greenshoe. There was a lot more to being a good bum than just being broke. When Greenshoe crawled out from behind the dumpster that afternoon, picking the bits of discarded leftover fast food from his choppers, he grinned slightly and let out a gurgle, farting as he went. “Ha ha!” he chuckled. His merry life. Then he saw her. A woman in a wedding gown with a shovel digging a hole in the pile of ash behind the chinese restaurant at the far end of the alley. There seemed no obvious reason for this, and Greenshoe wondered why, and who she was, and what for. Buried treasure? Concealing a secret last-minute abortion? Burying a rival for the groom’s hand? Well, times was funny. After a whole life spent trying to fit in, he didn’t dare ask. It was just one of those many strange things he often noticed and wondered about. The word “green” recently having come to mean “environmentally conscious”, he’d recently attempted a comeback, prancing out into the main street, cuffs flapping. Only to be pelted with rocks, running off down an alley, children laughing at him.

The velvet summer sky hovers above the forgotten suburban street light, the orange glow lighting the car like a blazing chariot from the inner depths of hell; hitting the sharp curves at seventy, side streets calling our name, just whispering all the depraved pleasures the night has yet to offe rin our half deaf ringing ears. Now up to seventy five, feeling the wind sweep us away; the whirlwind coming through the sunroof. Strategic highs and hungover lows; Cody is a surgeon while high at the wheel, guiding our scorching fireball of a hornet like a scalpel through this sleepy plastic surgery city.

Dubstep takes us away, floating, to the frowning moon; the roars and barbaric yawps of the bass traveling through the busted and crackling speakers in the back: blown out. Our hearts beating and mending to the persistent WOP WOP and vibrating bass drops, holding us tight through the shiny synthesizers in the starless dynamo of the machinery of night. Leaving our mark on these dissolute streets, and hellish radiance of light, but with enough drugs, you just might be able to make out the stars burning above our track of LSD leaking from our finger tips and eyeballs bleeding THC with absolute mercy, the constellations just mapping our strange and obscene journey to nowhere with liquor burning away inside of our stomachs, filling us with the courage of a roaming lion: invincible.

Garret shoots out of the sun roof like a rocket, holding his head to the side of the car, his hair soaring through the air in freedom as he pukes his slimy green guts out on the grimy patchy street: bread crumbs, a salute to the lonely and lost streets cloaked under a starless sky. Cody, pushing down heavy on the peddle, up to eighty, running, but not sure what from. Running from these neon glowing mutant gardens and tactically cut lawns that suck the soul from our drug glazed eyes to grow. The taste of vicodin brings my tongue to a numb mute,and all I can remember is that somehow this drug crazed flight from the unknown or inevitable, this electronic sneered mating call, is a mayday from doomed souls cast away from utopia, doomed because they could no longer tolerate the paths ahead forged by stronger and more delusional men. The storm is afoot, and there is no escaping it now; drive hard and pierce the veil. Survive and tell the tale, or die and truly live.

Sam wore a white wedding dress, tennis shoes, and a pink knit cap.  He talked at a frenetic rate stopping only to take a swallow and a giant breath.  Sam did not want to discuss anything that had to do with mental illness.  The first words out of his mouth was always, “I am a US Marshall with the federal government and you are under investigation.”  He would walk away from anyone who questioned his delusions.   Sam was missing two of his front teeth.  He said that was where the microchips were implanted by the Russian counter espionage group, who had successfully kidnapped him and brainwashed him on his 30th birthday.  Sam pulled out the teeth with a pair of pliers 3 weeks prior to his 33th birthday.  He came across a memo that had been left by a rogue Russian spy telling him what had been done to him.  Sam never had face to face contact with the rogue Russian spy.  However, he would hear his voice often and act out on the commands of the rogue Russian spy.   Sam became convinced he was being set up again. He tried to come into the US Marshall’s offices.  But he was turned away each time.  A few times he was evaluated and held for several days against his will at psychiatric hospitals.  This time Sam was held for over a month.  He had every single employee in the hospital under investigation.  He told the doctor it would not be a bad idea if he was targeted for termination.

They were clever.  They discovered the wind, and requisitioned an airplane. Twins.  No, triplets, but the extra one was sold on the black market at a very young age.  I heard the buyers were strictly alien.  I mean, quite extraterrestrial.  But that’s absurd.  So-and-so, they’re well enough off, high on the hog if you catch my drift.  Rock star plush, own their own bowling alley.  They don’t even bother to shop for the BMW, his-and-hers expressly delivered just in time for the holidays. You heard about the private zoo? Exclusive.  More like a resort.  For purposes of ‘experimentation’, of course. Since everything comes around, you know, that goes around.  With a sublime combination of savvy and luck, they may live to see the day, ripe old age and such, that ol’ #3 will find his way back, for a reunion of sorts, of genetic design.  Candles and cake albeit, telemetry, telepathy, a tight beer gut to go with the ill-fitting striped blazer.

If the automatic flush does not work, please flush manually before reporting the toilet out of order – Thank you

How many times had the janitor been summoned?

How many times had he been unnecessarily forced, by the terms of his employment, to confront someone else’s shit?

How many times had he bent down and simply flushed?

And within a city where the rate of illiteracy was nearly 50%, was the shit that much more foul because it was academic shit?

Scholar shit?

Tenured shit?

Poet shit?

What did the poet’s shit smell like?

What did it look like?

Did it float?

Was it one solid mass…or loose?

Was there blood or mucus or semen in it?

Bubblegum?

A penny?

I would have liked to imagine the janitor as a tragic, working class hero who cleaned shit by day and drank red wine and read Celine by night, but within a city where the rate of unemployment was 33%, the poor were too numerous to romanticize.

There’s a wall on the beach.  It doesn’t connect to anything.  No intersecting walls, floor, or ceiling.  Seems normal enough.  Just a bit of wall about ten feet long and fuzzy on both ends.  There’s art hung there.  Still life of fruit.  Three of them in ornate, bronze frames.  A pear, an orange, and a neon green apple.  Completely unremarkable.

Listening closely, the sound of the waves.  Much closer to my heels than expected.  In fact, right up there, tickling the rubber sole of my sandal.  And loud as shit.

Then it’s all underwater in every direction.  No more wall or beach.  Just blue, lit up by something other than the sun.  I’m completely flipped out, panicking, dying, until it’s just the beach again, and the wall.  This time it isn’t fruit, it’s cartoon crabs.  I laugh because they look so damned stupid.

Now it becomes absolutely imperative that I get behind the wall.  Impossible, since the fuzzy edge stays just exactly out of my reach as I walk along the wall and reach for the edge.  And the paintings keep repeating.  I wonder if there’s away back to the fruit, that seemed like a more safe world.  Just keep walking, knuckles against brushing the edges of the frames.

Cal-Buford could smell applecolors, and soon looking down on a solitary cabin halfway up Mt. Helicon. Smoke curled up from a rickety chimney, he knew they’d found source. Pegasus lightly touched down, Cal-Buford dismounted. He approached portal, stealthlike as an epileptic Hoplite in plate armor. The door jamb was rotsoft and silent when he tapped.

She was petite, calflength dark hair shone and moved like black leopard’s eyes. A breeze brought taste of fresh applesauce t’ nose and he’d liked demanding a stir her pot. Standing at the cast iron stove bareback, latflexed and pearhipped to C-B, she s(h)immer’d, “I’ve been expecting you.” She swiveled toward him, her smile arpeggiated breezeteased hair, as if twelve strings of lute. Sirenstrums raked C-B’s primal cortex as he folded his knees into the woodplank floor. Of heroic effort, he raised his head to speak.