…And as the stars howled, they finally sang
FERRICK SMILED, showing his teeth to the universe. There were no more angles, there was only fire. And the factory was made from dance, the dance of silhouette madness, as he howled into the night sky for his mate, and she replied back, beyond all time…
The windows of the office were all broken, and even though they were rimmed with gold teeth, the wind cut through them every now and then, blowing inside, reminding the half living inside of songs older than the sun. Ferrick was sitting in a dusty room full of psychopaths, other worlders, people who spoke with grunts, and other types of professional human, or, “Remembricants”, as we will come to know them.
Domino flecked cheeks were bright with lie, quick with twitch, and away with cause. “You’re like one of those who loves all the songs aren’t you?” The hiring clerk said. Ferrick replied by tapping out the first few bars of a song he’d composed for his ex-wife on the desk infront of him.
“It’s not that I love all songs, it’s just that I can see all of their different graces, saddles and harps, fields and cities. All when I was much younger, perhaps born stubborn, I danced in my cot, I remember that, I danced holding the wood in my hands, and that… Maybe the laughter downstairs, was magic, because my family were so wild, and then I sold the music, and buried myself in the A-Z hymns of all the artists in dusty record shops… The floor was metal. There was no dust. But walking along that floor, early in the morning, and then late at night, after the furious search for music refilled the shop with spirit, it was dark, and, we poured out and into the street, ready to live it.”
“I see.” The clerk said, smiling inside his teeth and looking up from the papers on his desk. Behind the new registrar, the room sang the truth of what the hiring clerk was thinking, and Ferrick was unsure about whether or not he’d passed the interview.
There was already a woman in her late forties sculpting hand-cuffs, documents, and other miscellaneous items on her lap to show her own abilities. Sat right beside her, there was another applicant who seemed to have the ability to mould copies of future forms of humanity from his tear ducts, or at least that’s what Ferrick guessed they were, as they disappeared and rolled down his cheeks, assimilated and changed again into more solid pink looking terracotta men and women on the floor, by a better versed remembricant sat beside him, who couldn’t create anything of his own, no, his gift was in creating the bio-mechanis which filled the weeping man’s clay people with dance. Whether or not they had agreed on this arrangement before applying for the job, Ferrick did not know.
“There’s a lot of people looking for this job in here Mr Sîyan, I’m afraid you’re going to have to do better than a few bars of a… Dead man’s song – hehm, hm hm hm!”
The clerk knew his own humour. His own disgusting brand of laughter. Ferrick made eye contact and agreed, yes, he would have to do better. Not to respect the tepid jokes that the hiring clerk made about death, or the money to be made from manipulating its use, but for the old deserts, and the milk coloured blue stench that humiliated the air inside, as if the last of the Sun’s rays shone with one more joke for the planet’s seas, and also Pluto’s mirth! So vapid and passing in the room, but yet breathable, tight, insignificant, and making him sweat.
Ferrick looked at the floor where his feet were, back up to the hiring clerk, then back down again. His gift was the cruellest one, but also, perhaps the most light hearted. Below his chair a circle of blue appeared, cross-hatching with infinite numbers and undecipherable equations, where, he immediately dropped down and out of sight.
Outside of the interviewing room, all was frozen, as Ferrick drifted towards the window, back first, and into departing city. He watched his own body inside the room, and missed it not, and laughed aloud, as he turned in the dirty updraughts, and laughed. Laughed so heavily and silently, as if that was the reason for life. He looked down as his body cap-sized in the same motion, and dived down within the layers of the cities architecture. Levels below level of shattering cement and gust, more speeding light weaving between taxiing vehicles than metropolis, baritone atmosphere to a spirit full of movement.
Time is a cook, the partnership has many rats where light bounces off their teeth. Glowing steady, novae steady, without rope unless you dance with me. Our arms are antennae, calling down a mist we do not know, swiping away the snow of moorless roads, the scent of your cosmos, my life, your animal, our spectre. All of our limbs have one lung, and thus, we have no question. There are tears below rocky silhouettes piercing the sea, where divers must go, always go, to see the liver-fish, to see the ugly fish, but those whom know no hook, and when it comes, can only laugh at the metal they swim around.
Time began to remember itself. Technology and science began to remember spirit, and that, they were synonymous below the paling moon and dusken cries of all animal denizen unfree from form. And like a boon made of chaos, Ferrick dove and dove down until all the windows were just notes in a vernacular made from the wind’s peace.
His soul settled infront of one of the many encyclopedic eyes of the pollution ridden windows of the city, where the hiring clerk clapped his hands inside, burped, drank, and watched a dancing holo-girl.
“She had black hair, with blue tips.” Ferrick said, regaining conciousness, and looking back at the clerk.
“Ok, we’re done here… You’ll hear from us soon.” The clerk said, swallowing, and looking away from him.
Ferrick was happy with the reply. He nodded and said nothing more, he stood up and left, keeping his eyes from reviewing the other people waiting in the room. But tiny, tiny, tiny footsteps were following him out… A whole bunch of them.
“Ollatoe! Ollatoe! Hey! Get back here…”
And Ferrick knew that the tear-duct man and the bio-mechanis man were loosing control of their miniature army of terracotta people. Best not to look around. He thought to himself, breathing out, and continuing through the automatic doors.
He hit the street and ducked below an on-coming courier jet even though it was flying more than a hundred meters above his head. He stopped, and looked into a window near the remembricant hiring block where he had just been. He didn’t know if he looked good or bad. What looked good was that half of his skull was splashed with a kevlar-like mask, as if the Phantom of the O had gone off and mated with an ink maker that had poured tar on half of his face. His right eye was fine, and that side of his face, but the rest of his face was covered by blue midnight.
A shop assistant was busy stripping one of the mannequins in the window. But the mannequin didn’t like it, and fought with the assistant, trying to pull her bra away from the lass taking it. This made Ferrick not know whether to cover his mouth and laugh, or to walk on.
He walked on.
The rest of the uncircling walk home was good. Ferrick went the long way, having nothing else better to do. Soon, he began to depart from the megaplex rush of overloading adverti-data, as the high metal fences, lining off the old ground-roads, no more used, ended, and also, made him feel more settled. The sky as always. Knew nothing but orange molasses stars mixed within shadow moon and effortless jet liners. The walk back from the hiring building was his normal routine. It reminded him not to be hungry or to deplete his energy so much that he went insane and died easier than a ghost. He was beyond the last lights of the hub-centre, where nothing but filth moved, where the ground was now flattened, and spread out into all directions. And the universe brought Ferrick pain, always, up into a mauve bird’s gut flying over head, which, was also kin.
Feathers electric night gusto.
All of the flock arrowed with an array of all calling horizons.
Bloom and bloom until the blooming is assailed by your limbs saying drop me now, because I will not drop you, you dusty old hunk of meat and bone, we’re here to teach the apocalypse its last steps, and, by the over head projections of faux ideas, our music entwines, where all lungs breathe one lung, and all hearts are made of space, thy rapid space of graceful twist, thy flowing bones of perspired midnight, beyond a gale made made of silence, and within a vigour lit by orchids, so made from the individual lips of dance, that all stasis is torn from the deck, and there are no organs which do not loosen in the gallows, the gallows are made of skin, and this life is made of what moxie escapes them, purchasing the hills with light, bayoneting the rabid sigh of deceitful space by harps inside clams of eyeless rigour! Both tested and tested not, by the sights beyond light!
And of course there were still memories. Memories and present weave both silk and bone.
And these, were no different to the unused sports stadium to Ferrick’s left, where, denizens had long since forgotten the final wars and trust of body over projectional recreation, inside a room made of pre-planned images. His mask itched. It always did. And there were some nights like this, where he would walk past the old stadium, be approached by outskirter thieves, defend himself, kill, and run, where, he longed not to be here anymore, and his lungs beat home with the baritone of evolution.
It wasn’t the trouble on the pathways home that bothered Ferrick, or the fact that he couldn’t afford to travel by Directi-Tubes back to his shack, it was just that, he knew, felt, and could see every single mugger that attacked him, still… It was part of his genetics that he could move quicker, and call upon shadows that struck with his fists, but, as the shadows came, and helped his aim, they stained his limbs as well. Now, and he got away with it by wearing gloves, and a head-band to cover his forehead where he used that as well, there were marks that he couldn’t remove. ‘Out, damn’d spot!’ and the spot is spreading across your body, with every day, and every encounter.
And there was a fantasy among the low, that, if you kill, that was it. Perhaps it was just that he didn’t wash enough, or, maybe he saw their names across his body, where the dust and calligraphy met, and, he saw more lives in the mirror than he wished.
But meeting the graffiti of his home in good heart, as all remembricants must, so says their lore, Ferrick walked towards the yellow lights of the entrance to his flat block. It shot down mainly, from above the double bust doors, in all dispersed angles, like a million drunk fire-flies made of starry illumination flying against the darkness.
Ferrick’s friends were near-by. Leesha was slapping a suit in the face telling him he was a loser and really going at it down an alley. Ha. Good lass, Ferrick thought to himself.
“Hey Leesha.” Ferrick said looking over, lifting his arm up.
“Oh hey Ferri, you cool?”
“Aye all cool, you keep on going!”
“Shut the hell up” – SLAP –
“See you Leesh.”
“For sure Ferri.”
Ferrick kicked in the doors as always and lit a cheap off-world smoke as he scanned his wrist on a panel beside the elevator doors. And thought about going to see Leesha as he went up in the single person shoot. He lived up on the 361st floor, Leesha near the 2,091st or so. Not tonight. She had enough on maybe. Leesha was a remembricant too. She had the ability to give birth to several of herself every day. Quite literally. Life and death in a rosy charge made of movement. Ferrick imagined himself a hero in the vertical thrust of the elevator cell going up. Yes. Each day, Leesha gave birth to several of herself, screaming, blood spewing… But, she must have been at least forty, and was used to it. Each child lasted only a day. And she made money from each one on the streets near the block. No-one had seen the original Leesha in years.
And it was ok to stare blithely through the cold window of the elevator tubes, and out. You had to be careful what you were wiping your cuff on, but, as one hundred became two hundred, you fly up just like an angel made of dust. The flaming furore of exploding buildings in the distance lined the perfect blanket of slobbering night, and eager working ships, who were once diving monks, cats, dogs, novae alive in the tongue of time, now burning across each other in trails, leaving grids of lightning paths before you can see them, and the rupturing water of the Thames by Waterloo, so furiously silent in its poisoned vermilion, low and low amphitheatre to all whom pray and raise fiery light in its mooding twists. Ferrick slammed his hands on the elevator window as it opened behind him, and walked out.
There was time enough in the halls for him to walk back to his shack. He looked from left to right before stepping out. And up and down the walls, corridors, gods, wood, and long battered doors were the stretched flesh of life, praying that they were asleep inside Ahab’s cabin, and not the property of mortal sweat.
There was no one to call, and Ferrick tapped his knuckles on the odd wall as he walked along the corridor home. There was no-one madder than he, for, a remembricant has tasted all madness, and, decided that he is mad enough to live. He let himself into his own place, and howled, howled, with laughter to see that his small flat had been broken into.
This was clear by the fact that the wall to wall windows looking out from his place were smashed in the middle, like a body sized comet had crashed through, and, his sofa was upturned, where they had departed through the patio window. They’d left the art work painted on the walls. Left the many chandeliers built into the roof behind protective glass. And taken: Zero. There was just, nothing to take from men like Ferrick, there was no equipment, and his worth was his mind and body. They’d maybe looked at the painting equipment in the corner of the room, below the wide window, but again, found nothing worth more than a few thousand credits.
The walls were bare and had their paintings etched into them, like linoleum caricatures of the sky-line beyond his flat.
Sudden bursts of the earlier interview came and went, and, Ferrick wondered if he was insane. Yet. It was a pleasant night to be insane, he felt, as he walked through the broken hole in his patio doors, to smoke with the night on his balcony, as, it would soon be morning, and, it was enough. And, he stared with his one eye looking up, wondering about the job application, chuckling with the night’s cargo, knowing that all actions are cadavers, below the pulsating moon, within the penumbra shade.
…And as the stars howled, they finally sang