stay tuned for a temporary flash preview
of my latest foray beyond flash fiction '33 1/3rd rpm'
(2,467 words)
© 2017
by Shaun Lawton

Behold the Scope

A hard-drive sits in a pile of rust 
mistaken for the dunes of a desert 
over the horizon of a long poisoned place
half buried in the red sandy grains blending 
into one another like the curves of sleeping 
women being erased by the constant winds.  

The dunes shift and grow as the wind blows 
off the grains by the millions in a fine spray 
of dust gradually disappearing into the distance 
only to swallow up the sinking Sun in a wavering 
unfocused miasma of pungent slag. 

The Cloud does not whir, silently it does not stir
quietly it is churned without even the shadow 
of a sound, around and round it slowly grows
as more and more files continue to upload
forcing it to grow and grow and grow.

The Cloud does not know that it knows everything 
we want to remember, so it forgets its there just as 
surely as we disregard we're awake.  Asleep in our dream
we close our eyes, so when we open them back up 
while awake we're still really sleep walking without 
knowing it. The trick is the next time we find ourselves 
having suddenly dropped or fallen while lying reposed 
on our beds, that is the precise instant in which it is most 
necessary to willfully stand up from the bed and open our eyes
(this for the last time) before we resume our natural sleep cycle 
uninterrupted by the parasite dreams competing with 
each other to feed on our electrostatic energies. 

You see, this world you observe outside of our warped car 
windshields and polarized sunglasses and disposable contact 
lenses, this growing complex organism of chaotically ordered 
arrangements that we call life, that we visualize so clearly 
from behind our corneas and through the pin-hole cameras 
of our eyes, processing sensual information to our brains, 
arranged in patterns that mirror pairs of galactic superclusters
despite appearing as a single realm or continuum through which 
we may step, so carefully one foot at a time, in such a measured 
and resolute manner, across the most steadfast bedrock stage 
of planetary solitude, may in reality (insofar as how the value 
of that word relates to our comprehension of what it is supposed 
to represent) be not so much the singularity we imagine it to be 
suspended in a likewise manner amid the scattered bodies of the stars
but more of an entangled miring of criss-crossed and knotted clusters 
of multiverses competing to perform their song which results 
as a symphonic overture seamlessly blended together into 
what appears to us as the singularity of our world.  

The inimitable presence of a superconductor remains 
at large suspended in the very atoms we breathe.  

When we articulate our belief systems with our 
human voices we are adding nothing more than 
chimes to the backdrop of this overture.  

When we procreate and raise children who grow 
tall and kind and wise we are adding instrumental 
prowess to the orchestral pit in constant turmoil 
at the quantum level of creation.  Mountains heave 
upward through oceans from shifting tectonic plates 
while oxygen facilitates the growth of a fungal hide 
upon the planet's crust which the Earth itself 
must scratch away the itch fertilized by lightning 
strikes and pulverized asteroid mist adrift 
with dandelion spores and bee pollen. 

The key to seeing the bee as it really exists 
in our world is to see that it's not from this world.  

The corner stone of under standing out in the field 
of real knowledge is to remain ignorant.  

Usable information is static at best and passed
 from hand to mouth and lips to ear for years.  

The words are seldom remembered but the actions 
they engender are copied almost forever.  

The most colorful birds or the feathers 
of dinosaurs are not of this earth but another.  

The sky seeps in from afar as well siphoned 
intentionally to keep us under its spell. 

 The skin of the sky is like the lid on an eye 
that is sleeping in its own unmade bed.  

The spores of the pine tree are as alien as any
thing piped in from the mysterious Outside. 

For all we know, serpents and cats originate 
from an ancient process called the Chimera Divided. 

 Its attempt to contribute to our compound reality
may have refracted into the two separate species. 

This planet any planet all planets like our Sun 
This star any star all stars like this galaxy

Any galaxy.  All galaxies.  Like any super
cluster, galaxy, star, planet, plutino, centaur

Asteroid, moon, comet, or meteorite, this Earth 
remains the exact and precise divine center.

The Time of Anarchia

  It is a time of frustration amid conquest, a time for killing bees in order to keep our lawns tidy and clean. A time when citizenship means tainting one's innocence with the complicity of mass suicide. A time when all one can do is wink and think "That's the problem though, isn't it? Thinking about it in the first place,"  a time that is forever escaping us through the collective screen of our forgetfulness, a time to be echoed through the void after its own echoing, a time currently being lost to us all at an accelerating rate we are fundamentally incapable of keeping up with,  a time bound to leave its imprint as yet another layer of electromagnetic radiation which woven into helps define the remainder of creation, in other words a time like any other to come or go before it, a time whose arena becomes the stage of our actions and their consequences here during this primordial moment we managed to capture for ourselves by our very definition, the solitary champions of existence, wallowing in this, the time of our lives, a time of shedding more than skin after we strip our clothes, a time of flensing and dismounting from our sure footed steeds, our bodies we have ridden this time wave upon wave our entire lives from the moment we were conceived, to our Mothers we have continued to occupy and further this time, a time of treasured visions behind the eyes of a dragon, a time of sapphires and tiger pupils held in locked regard, a time of regalia and innocence devoured wholly as in the instance of the anaconda preying upon the star-nosed mole, a time of rapture like any other and of a pain so unique and intense it blurs away altogether among the suturing numbness of the stars, a time to remember who we are and forget who we've become; the universal solvent performs its work on everyone, once upon a time when personality was exterminated in favor of efficiency and convenience, when fear of the dark was bred out along with the heart, where automated drones did not so much as spill a single teardrop over the prospect of the extinction of the bees, where gray skies unleashed radioactive rain upon a new continent of plastic, Anarchia, home for the formerly homeless and disenfranchised splinters of humanity, a time when oceanic travel was outlawed by every nation on Earth and pirates once again roamed the seas, naturally; it was a time for starting over and beginning new stories. 

The Hidden Visitor

Once while I was hiking deep in the Ozark mountains near Eden Falls cave, I spotted an insect that has yet to be classified by entomologists.

The reason for that, is because unlike a dragonfly, this black beauty doesn't have wings affixed to its thorax. The body itself is connected by a hinge which effectively renders it invisible to the naked eye, upon taking flight. It doesn't have a pair of wings; it is a pair of wings. It's about two inches long and deadly as a diamond.

I spotted it lazing upon a fallen log amid a small grove of birch trees alongside the footpath I was following. As I approached nearer, I noticed the weird insect, which resembled a black walking stick at first. I thought it was odd that the grove was completely silent. Suddenly it opened a cobalt blue membrane underneath it just a fraction of a centimeter. I immediately recognized that as a natural warning.

I halted in my tracks and held my breath, so as not to disturb even the air with my intruding presence. I examined the insect's poise and marveled over the deep luminescent aquamarine color which blazed at me from the narrowest slit. I interpreted the message as stating "You may pass through my woodlot, but be warned. This is my domain, and I may exact retribution if you fail to respect it."

I carefully exhaled my pent up breath, bowed my head, then took extreme care to step silently and quickly through the birch trees, ducking so as not to brush against any branches or leaves, as quietly as possible without disturbing a thing.

This miniature hymenoptera had folded it's cobalt membrane shut and allowed me to pass on further up the trail. Half an hour later, when my friend dared to approach the very same grove, he did not fare with half such luck. I sprinted back down the trail in order to warn him to proceed as carefully as I had, to no avail.

I watched as the air before his face crackled with static energy just seconds before he was struck from out of the blue and stung beside his left eye. Immediately afterward the predatory insect vanished as quickly as it had attacked. By the next morning my friend's eyelid had sealed shut and swollen up to the size of an orange.

Later that night, while we camped out among the sprawling constellations of our galaxy, I noticed a strange sight high above the rising sparks of our campfire. All the stars were shimmering with different colors, and right there in one small cluster, I recognized that exact same shade of ultramarine cobalt blue, flickering and twinkling in the deep night sky.

I thought about my small dragon insect friend. I knew then that no entomologist could ever classify such a creature without its permission. Today, I don't wonder where it came from so much as I consider how it was capable of surviving the cold vacuum of space during its migration here.