2006/09/25

Camel

A short sketch, created as a warm-up exercise for learning German diction. I believe there is a story–tho I forget the author–called "Bolivia," which makes no reference whatsoever to that country. Enjoy.
Woke up desolated in a hothouse. Fern tugging at my lashes, fingers in a cactus, showes full of loam, look: condensation on the walls and spiderwebs. Must be the sevenh month, September. Fat handlecrank on the door. A sign: Do Not Enter Research Area. Window in the door shows rows of tables under flourescent gasflame blue copperflame green lightning intermittent bulbs. Sweat warm in here, hungry, no comestibles conveniently toumescent in a hydroponic drip-drop. Clang! the handle; again Clang! and crunching on fallen leaves the portal clears. Nobody's swept, somethings amiss then.

Smelled like your standard orverworked servomotor: ozone. Overoxygenated room staggering through a flickering drunk test sends its white-blue-white-green-blue-white central aisle under where your feet would be if you weren't listening to that sixty-cycle buzz and wondering what sort of plant leaves reddish sap behind. Sixty-cycle-buzz plus a click-click our lungs are failing jibber from the tubes in their metal sockets hanging from the grillwork on the underside of aluminum ceiling panels. Farside doorframe filled. No airlock, see, it was just a security door with the silver-C handle and the bolt shot across and back by the key hungdown in a breaker box at lefthand, with well-greased turnpins, and whispered as cool corridor conditioned breathstuff sucks in over a sweating forearm.

It's dark and uniform and lit with LED runners da-dashingaway on the left, qu-comming on the right, headlight tinted, lonely, ominous. One creased receipt for diphenhydramine and something–surgical masks?– twenty feet away. Not dusty, nothing's been dusty, except your left shouder in Amanensis spores and Helianthus pollen. Well better if there's no draft and the contented steel panel clicks its tongue to a readying stillness, left out, right back, curving away with terrible acoustics absorbing even footsteps into elephantine lubdub shudds.

Past submarine ports fast and unsqueking against all effort and it turned out welded. Past a window into an interior space, unlit, maybe deskgarten, maybe gurneys, too quiet without meterspaced whooshing echoes punctuating as splash ripples do a drop into a bowl the white conditioning apparatus which doesn't move air noise. Better errant than begrabt, better du ciel than terrestris. Interiori Purgatorio ipsi, quam dimidium huic, mei factus ero oblivisci tum ego quandocumque? Gunmettle and Airforce Blue bolted down placard "COMMONS." It opened easily enough.

Lead pipes for a ballustrade, a plasticine running ledge, blasts of Sol-yellow breaking over a great open indoor bazaar, a crowd in flowing cotton draped over frames like fashion models, a hot dusty trembling billow of Fair Week, a grumbling of gabble, and above perched as though nothing more natural and sane could be concived to replace in in the place of honor a great clear pane displaying magnificently a ruddy terrifying endlessness of swollen stars. The stars were easily recognized by the boiling, malevolent light that signalled their final spiteful hate for every form of life. What they could not abandon they would destroy.

The question had slipped casually up through an overworked spinal column, seeping through the cerebellum, flowing around the parietal lobe, ducking the thalamus, and rested, snug and molting in the corpus colosum, and now it gouged and bit and clawed its way into the frintal lobes and refused to go away. The obvious question, now that it displays itself, sloughing the bandersnatch skin of oneiroamnesia. Answers charged forward from the future, but could never have been going to arrive before they would have been able to leave, and apoplexy set in.
Hey, not evey science fiction author can come up with a word like 'oneiroamnesia', okay?

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