Some Kind of Monster What if aliens stole my wife? A story finally to relate to The instructors say write what you know but the stuff they tell you to write about. I don’t know— Talk about alien like last week’s: what if a guy woke up one day to discover a surprising tattoo behind his knee what the hell, I pathed to my buddy Stan what the hell The last time I saw real ink was on the left breast of a Ceres 9 hooker called Perrysh and trust me that was not half as surprising as what she did with a dill pickle and ping-pong bat. And Stan pathed back haha ping pong bat. You’re not meant to path you can get in trouble You sign an agreement not to path it’s unfair on the instructors they say Unfair my ass I say Unfair is that Carrlson Ronn wealthiest scribe in Underworld is in my apartment sitting at a hologrammatic desk and twinkling his fake eyes at me in my apartment I say like I'm a some horny co-ed. And his watch twinkles look— and sparkles and a prism of light escapes and floats and I flinch like it’s glass but it’s not just a piece of hologram shard of Ronn His image entire but from a different angle hounded and haunted Oh Class, forget the tattoo story, Says Ronn: think What if aliens stole my life —I mean my wife. How does that sound? Fifteen minutes starting now The hologram breaking up under the weight of its own self-importance. Fifteen minutes, I pathed to Stan Give me fifteen years— my name on the screen— Lucas Hanes 10 Demerit points Irvinowa Community College Code of Conduct Agreement Violation 21c: The student agrees to refrain At all times From any form of psychic telepathy (‘PATHING) with other students. Correspondence through official channels only and must not contain any gratuitous... Shit— The most I could get now was a C after losing 30 D-points for pathing. damn you Stan —not even a friend not a real one just someone I’d thrown in with online damn Lia too and the last damn fifteen years she just had to go Terraside I told her Baby, I said What about the worms? They’ll get you sure as cheese is Chuck E. And if the worms don’t get you The Martians will sell you into human slavery Liar, she screamed. They belong here this planet was once theirs too— Yeah baby we were all humans once but my shit was once Steak Diane. That was so long ago it doesn’t matter Look what they are —what? they’ve evolved into winged monsters who wash down their heavy metals with a good dose of CO2 they don’t want us up there, darlin What do you think we’re hiding down here for? Oh come with me Luke Show me the sky We’ll duck up just once bribe the guards take a peep and pop back down Luke? That’s all she wanted It wasn’t much Not much at all But the sky? I said like some kind of jerk I’ll show you the sky I flicked on the Sensodome it rolled on out above us, the November night sharp as stone hard as ice You could feel the cold and the emptiness was real an effect pretty close to the real thing and there the big dipper Venus and there the moon, Eye of god And I said can you feel it tears at the back of my eyeballs pricking It isn’t real, she said so softly What if it’s gone? the real thing, she said so softly maybe she was just thinking it I held her off for a while a matter of months took her to all the vacation spots place of interest humanity had built for itself beneath the earth Canyon Royale and Blackwater Transnational Park New Venice underground city of rivers I ate up my savings and all my vacation time plus my entire portfolio of Frequent Porter Points. all gone One night I woke up to a cold draught that filled the apartment and spread with a liquid quicksilver life across the bed The door was open not the Access Node but the front door that door unopened since the day we moved in no one opened the front door no need Everything came and went the same way via Ethereal 5000 or through the Access Node if you physically needed to be somewhere. No one opened the front door there was only one way it lead and that was up And no one went up any more But Lia did She went out the door and started walking actually walking up and up and didn’t stop she got to the dock and stowed aboard a ship bound for the surface I don’t want to think How she got through She blew her savings to bribe the border patrol or worse I don’t want to think about it. What that did to her And it did But she survived— I know that much because I follow her on MyFace She’s still beautiful even after what the worms did to her face she lives in one of those Megasperes the Martians built for themselves on the surface waiting for carbonic acids to fill the air enough at least for them to breathe. Won’t be long now and it’ll be curtains for us humanity devolving into some kind of monster See Lia? she’s the one with that big Martian fighter He beat Big Foot at the Globals last year He’s a big mother wingspan of twelve feet more the guy who stole my wife my life. My night What if he woke up one day to discover a surprising tattoo behind his knee?
J.S. Breukelaar’s fiction and poetry has appeared in Fantasy Magazine, New Dead Families, Opium Magazine, Retort Magazine, Dogzplot, LegumeMan Free Press, Le Zaparogue, Antpodean Scifi, and others. Her story Lion Man is in the forthcoming anthology, Women Writing the Weird (Dog Horn Press, October 2011). Her collection of poetry and fiction, Ink, comes out in July 2011. She is a regular contributor toThe Nervous Breakdown. You can also find her at www.thelivingsuitcase.com.