December 3rd, 4th, 5th, & 6th, 2010

"dreaming as the last bastion of good hope"

The thing was dead.

The brain of the thing, the silent thing, the metal, boxy, quiet figure of hot gold, sat clean and vibrating in wiry aluminum grips in the inside dark of the thing's head, hung firmly in place by tight, bright, dangling supports of thin metal. Accompanied within by a peculiarly sweet smell, like oranges, citrus, the brain of the thing on the inside of that thing's head twinkled with the microscopic and slow flashes of liquid, living glows, soft, mixed lights running in slow rivers as it dreamed warmly.

Better would be to say that the thing was not alive - animated, but not officially among the living; thinking, careful, aware of the world around it through synthetic endings of electric touch, but not of spontaneous life, not from the loins of humankind, but from instead its tables, from the categories of science that smash together to produce wildly imaginative ideas that end up thinking on their own.

Warm dreams. Dreams of flashing air and pumped stuff. The pleasant and screeching sounds from within a mind within a head within a box that produce heated light behind the things eyes. Animals. Bright, neon creatures - or, better, animations that dance in exotic leaps by fires in the dark. Wide open spaces and illusory landscapes that blow out time like a candle, leaving the thing alone in that world as a thing present. Spaces that stretch out and never stop expanding. A figure that twinkles in the lights of the dreams and observes.

A flicker, a twitch, the slow-rolling and tiny roars of enclosed motors brought to whirs, and the thing comes to life, giving rise to gold body and colored wire that lurches forward and up and out with a punch. Directives stream in ticker tapes that line the special kind of invisible in the air in front of it. Unknown servos make the arms and legs to move in fluid, jerky movements that betray the grace of the followed dream. Thick steams gush from vents with the sound of choking or puking, and the thing is gone in the violent display of hurried, directed action, the calm, singular voice of the dream swept for a time into the insignificant floats of nothing behind the something.


"9:32pm, McDonald's, Boston"

The large man stands in line in a sport jacket smelling strongly like after shave, his jacket frayed in random places to suggest some amount of calm time. He jiggles a wallet out of the back pocket of his worn, loose slacks and thumbs it open with a soft clap. He parts the middle and whispers out a few bills. All ones. Counting them twice, carefully, he stops for a breath of a moment that most would miss to do the worried math.

Is there enough?


"Sun and Lake"

All that is offered by the sun is left to spread in the early hour of the evening like milk across ripples of water.



The dust of the day rose up in puffs of vapor sand as the new river bolted from the gapped recesses where dynamite punched through mountainside. The clear cold of the west river pushed the sand into piles of slick mud and tore away layers of sediment to reveal the gleaming yellow of everything Rupert had bet his life and family on. He reached down, grabbed at the rusted buckle of his screening pan, and dismounted with tears in his eyes.


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