The Maker’s workbench is dusted with a special compound of his own devising. A face-mask must be worn at all times during the course of his operations. The compound itself is non toxic, but it is imperative that disturbances, even those of the breath, are kept to a minimum until the appropriate time. Over the years he has become extremely adept at this, carrying out each of the required movements his craft demands in the momentary stillness between the beating of his heart.
It is said that following the creation of the universe, and before primitive man first walked upright upon the earth, the great monolith appeared floating in the sky. Towering thousands of feet high, its three enormous interlocking structures, similar to the links of a chain, were pale in colour and etched with intricate carvings. From as far as the eye could see, it dominated the heavens.
Let me introduce myself. Once upon a time, I was a star. Literally. I shone for billions of years in the theatre of infinity. Being a star is not all it’s cracked up to be. Towards the end, I rarely got to see any of my closest friends. They would orbit me from afar, but it was quite clear that my fiery temperament kept them at a safe distance.
I am very old and soon I will die. When, I do not know. Nor does it bother me that my time in this world is short. I see it as a blessing, for I know certain things are eternal. Although I am a simple man, I have glimpsed the infinite. This I keep secret as people see me as a gibbering old fool at the best of times.
For simplicity, FLUID MASK™ can be considered both information containment system and signal scrambler. The use of FLUID MASK™ can be employed in both sentient and non sentient entities, however, for the purpose of this high level description, we will be outlining the application of FLUID MASK™ as it relates to human, or semi-human subjects.
When Beetle Spray came on the market, I was nine years old. I was so excited I cried. Mum took me to the shops and I queued as patiently as a nine-year-old, in tears of excitement can. I paid for my two cans of Beetle Spray – I had already heard from the highest authority on such matters; the playground, that you needed two cans in order to make them fight – and ran home as fast as I could, pausing only whenever mum called for me not to go too far ahead without her.
Indigo Joy was a hummingbird. A proper little flutter-flurry. All day long she danced in hazy wing beats; an almost invisible shimmer captured in the glisten of lazy sunrays.
The other birds in the garden loved Indigo Joy. They laughed as she flit this way and that and cheered whenever she paused midflight, hovering just in front of a flower and extending her long slender bill to suckle nectar from deep within its petals.
I meet her in a bar. She’s heavily pregnant and chugging gin like no tomorrow. I tell her to slow down, she tells me to fuck off. I laugh and we get talking. I ask when she is due. She tells me that it isn’t normal and I wouldn’t understand. There’s something in the way she speaks, not quite a dismissive tone. I guess it’s an invitation to press the matter, so I do. She points to her bellybutton and tells me how it captures the moon’s reflection. I laugh. I mean, some crazy pregnant girl telling me how her belly somehow reflects the moon? She sighs and looks me square in the eye. A moment’s hesitation and she hands me a key. She tells me to walk with her as she heads for the door.
Emily missing. My sister. For weeks I had edited her last moments; five minutes cast in celluloid. The final frames of our home movie. She waved at the camera as she went for ice-cream alone. It haunts my soul even now. I have seen that movie a thousand times.
See the Chevy approach, spewing toxic clouds of carbon cum-hum. Check the girl behind the wheel; one big red love-hive of hair-buzz.
The doorman of the Club Alfalfa steps aside at a show of hands and a password.
‘You dancin’ tonight?’ he asks.