Hitting The Road | Four | Chris Kelso

07-MASH(Border)
 
 
When I stuck my head as far out the window as it’s possible to do without falling, I could see the dilapidated parts of the sand strewn redneck enclosure. Beyond Middletown, in the distance were more red neck shotgun shacks and housing projects. The place where sirens provided the soundtrack and sisters and brothers fucked like flies. These creatures had migrated South, to the corner of the Crimson Sphere scientists deemed uninhabitable. I knew I had to get the fuck out of there…

****

You know, I panicked when I heard God wasn’t real? Like I panicked when rumours Santa Clause wasn’t real started to spread. It’s disappointing. Cos God and Santa Claus have that in common don’t they? They’re both beacons of hope for young kids. To help them make sense of the big, scary world bursting into life around them. And, it got me thinking. I started thinking – well if all the things that were designed to give my life hope and meaning are made up then all hope must be fake. You know? Maybe life isn’t supposed to make any sense. I shook the negative attitude away. I had to focus, for once in my life focus!

****

In my breast pocket there was a crushed up ball of paper. It read –

WHEN I FIRST REVEAL MYSELF

PLAN A

  • Walk onstage naked
  • Introduce myself as the elephant boy
  • Take a brief bow and smile to the audience
  • Take a moment to revel in the deafening applause then raise both palms in the air to bring silence
  • Tell a few racist jokes that got good responses in online chat forums
  • Give a unique rendition of Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want to more echoing applause
  • Start spitting out teeth into a pint glass
  • Bow then gracefully leave the stage, blowing little kisses to the front rowers and dribbling blood all down myself.

I guessed this must belong to the ugly kid. How the hell did it wind up in the front pocket of my spacesuit?

My mind wanders to my recently deceased crew. Our pilot Pierre was a pretty educated guy, French too. He said he got his chemistry degree from Lincoln University in Nebraska and he used to work in one of those electroplating factories before being drafted in as expedition pilot. When I first met Pierre he lived in an apartment in Gramercy Park but he moved to somewhere in Connecticut once he could afford it.

His neighbours were nice folks, clandestine chemists funded by intergalactic drug lords, but still nice folks.

Pierre became something of a confidante out here in space. I told him I hated my penis and he told me that maybe I was confused and should think about a sex change. He suggested this thing called a Burdizzo, which is like a big veterinary clamp designed to self-castrate. It’s normally used on goats to break blood vessels and crush the gonads. He said it was a bloodless procedure but I’d have to drink a shit load more mountain beer to reach that kind of bravery.

I once looked up this way of unsexing myself on the ships intra-nector. It looked real easy and wouldn’t hurt for much longer than a day. This unlicensed Vietnamese surgeon from Detroit said he had a technique that meant you’d be able to read a magazine while he performed the operation and you wouldn’t even know when he was done. He said he halved the price if you let him keep your testicles in his refrigerator. Apparently the worst I’d feel is a hot pain in my stomach that gives way to intense relief, or so the Detroit based Vietnamese surgeon claimed! I hate my dick. I hate it more now that it’ll never get used.

****

Outside, I saw an alien boy out on the pavement clutching at his own throat, coughing and wheezing. He collapsed to his knees and puked up a load of blood. When he lifts up his head, both eyes are bloodshot and his skin is the colour of a rapeseed field. I crawled over to him, trying to remain unseen. He looked up at me, pleading for something. I figure the smog hanging in the air is doing this to the boy. He couldn’t get a clean breath. Then he dropped his skull to the pavement with a loud bash. He was dead. The fog didn’t seem to have had any effect on me. Further down the road I observed the devastation of, what must’ve been a nuclear attack on the heart of the town. There were no creatures on the desert streets at this time so I could roam freely. I climbed into a discarded shopping trolley and wheeled my way towards the high street.

There were only four stores I came across – a supermarket, a grocery store, a pharmacy and a 24 hour liquor shop. The windows were smashed open and I figured the creatures must’ve been looting the stores in panic. I saw a whole crate of mountain beer in a six pack. I picked up one of the crushed cans and the taste of alcohol hit me in the brain so quick it was actually a little embarrassing. While I loved the beer, my body never did have the capacity to consume large amounts of it. It weighed heavy in my kidney after only the first can. I feel my liver shrink with each gulp but cannot stop for the life of me. I pulled myself over the storefront casement, over the sharp teeth of broken glass around the edges and entered the shop. I could see bodies everywhere – a female cashier slumped over her cash register. I saw a middle aged creature wearing a shawl and noticed blood drying on her chin. Down the wine aisle there was a pathway of shards from all the dropped bottles. The smell was something I’d never encountered before. It was notable, the different sediments all swimming together in a huge soup. Fruit and a sort of pine smell filled the atmosphere. Down the cereal aisle a shopping cart full of Captain Crunch rolled by as if nudged by a ghost. I decided to try and find the video game section (this place was so humanised, it had to have an arcade). I could steal what I want now after all. This place was in chaos. A stack of corn tins, once a neat pyramid now a mess scattered all over the linoleum floor. I saw the sickly yellow smog coming in through the smashed window. I’d be lying if I told you I felt bad about this situation. These hideous monsters deserved to die, and if I found the ugly kid who spooked Jerry, I’d kill him myself. I had an urge welling inside me, an urge to live as a wild, unthinking animal does, roaming the land and taking what I wanted. A shot of static emerged from the Tannoy. It startled me. Then a voice shot out like a kid with a megaphone, a familiar voice.

– Billy…what-you-doing?

– What?

– You better-get to work.

– Get to work on what?

– Repopulating-the-planet-of course…

I looked around but couldn’t see where the voice was coming from. Then I saw the silhouette moving in a room with MANAGERS OFFICE printed on the door. I roll on over and shake the doorknob until it cracks open. When I look up there’s nothing there. Typical, I thought.

I was looking over a female body lying supine on the supermarket floor. I leaned down to the woman. She was maybe 30 or something, middle aged looking for her species. She had a work shirt on, a blue one. The woman seemed as if she may have once been important whilst she walked amongst the living. I knelt closer and unbuttoned her shirt. My hand was trembling. My wrist ceased to ache. It’s like the voice kept telling me – do as I say. What he said was that I need to repopulate. I was only being obedient.

I got four buttons down and her brassiere started to show. I couldn’t control that kind of arousal – it was an experience I’d dreamt of – seeing a woman’s breasts. I couldn’t kindle arousal though. It’s something I could never quite achieve. The two fleshy mounds crammed into her white bra taunted me even as putrefied flesh. I still didn’t feel like I could ever have her. I began unclipping the bra with great difficulty. Eventually it sprung free and there they were – two C sized female tits complete with nipples like giant egg yolk. She was not as large as I would’ve preferred but she was nice, nicer than Martha or one of the other creatures on this godforsaken planet. Almost without thinking I unbuckled my cords, still inside the trolley cart, and removed my lifeless penis. It sent a shiver up my back exposing myself in this way. In public! Suddenly, a miracle – I’m hard. I rubbed myself against her breasts and had to clench tightly to avoid prematurely ejaculating. I knelt, gazing romantically at the dead female creature. Then I realised I was going to have to go “down there”. I kind of knew how this whole process worked.

I put my cock in her vagina and make a thrusting motion. She was wearing a multi coloured business skirt and as I rolled it down over her legs I felt so close to climaxing there and then I had to stop and catch a breath. Her underwear was large like a diaper but I started removing these without spending too much time scrutinising. Now I was faced with a real myth from my dreams. It’d never been something I found great to look at in pornography. In reality it was just as raw, like a scarlet wound. The woman was clean shaven which I didn’t really like. I remember Jerry saying something about an alien’s vagina, it felt different somehow – in a good way. I had nothing much to compare it to.

I’d built this moment up too much in my head. I began thinking I couldn’t go through with it. I ventured a finger towards the fissure but I couldn’t get in. I just bounced back against her parched lips. She was so dry and seized up that I couldn’t get inside her. Frustrated and emasculated, I decided to masturbate onto one of her four breasts – certain this will be enough to get my seed in circulation and help repopulate the town.

This kind of power lifted me to a state I’d never been to before. I felt like F. Scott Fitzgerald after he’d written Gatsby. My head swam in this of power.

Outside there was a television lying in the middle of the street. An old episode of M.A.S.H was on. I couldn’t believe this show had gotten universal broadcasting. I sat down to watch. It was the one where Colonel Flagg came across a wounded bombardier who believed he was Jesus Christ. It’s a good episode but my attention was soon grabbed away by a distant grumbling. I could hear a land vehicle moving closer.

Away from the town I could make out an orange Matterhorn peak surrounded by a banner of the fog. I was compelled to head towards it. I figured maybe the desert stopped beyond the mountain range. I brought the focus back to finding cover. I ducked behind a trashcan-like-cylinder as the rumbling vehicle rolled down the dusty street. It looked like an armoured tank or something with a turret and camouflage body. Suddenly the vehicle brakes and becomes motionless. There was a metallic clatter like a toolbox falling down a spiral staircase, then a door lifted up at the side as if from nowhere. A figure emerged wearing a biohazard suit. Two dark eyes gave dominance over every other available feature. He seemed sinister, and it was most definitely a ‘he’. A heavy breath like Darth Vader steamed up inside the helmet.

– No sign of the detainee.

He pulled out a government gadget and started scanning it through the poison fog surrounding him.

– No sign of life on the meter. Not for miles.

He put the reader back into his belt and climbed back on board the tank. They roll off down the street towards the Matterhorn. I wondered if I’m the detainee they were searching for? What if I was the first successful specimen to survive this holocaust? Looking back, I kind of regret not showing my face. Surely the man in the suit would’ve embraced me like a hero before screaming back to his fellow scientists – IT’S HIM, WE FOUND HIM, THANK GOD! – They’d explain that the scientists responsible for the breakthrough were unfortunately killed by the smog and their research notes along with them. In the interview room they’d explain my significance and the advanced technology of the cryo-bank. They’d say that eugenically my intellect alone was worth reproducing and that my genitals were a close second. In the interview room I’d be sat face to face with a wise old Nobel laureate who’d ask me trivial questions about how I felt and feign an interest in my external decay. Course, he’d ruin this affable façade by asking for detailed prognosis of the side effects of my existence. With a cold, sterile scientific stare he’d wait.

There was a dog-like creature lying motionless and twisted on the pavement. My teeth felt loose in the gum and I spat a wad of bloody sputum onto the pavement. There were three teeth in there. My finger nails had begun to peel off too. I started thinking maybe the fog was having an effect.

I hopped back into my trolley and got moving. I wandered towards the mountain peak. The smog lingering in thick waves above my head finally thinned out. The tank left behind deep tire tracks on the tarmac and after noting where they lead off to, I made a conscious decision to head off the opposite direction.

 
 
 
 

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