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"If You're Bored Of the Planet Earth" [Bottled Whispers |Engage Time Machine |Channeled Spirits|Magick Mirror]
Jack Babalon

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It's Just A God Damn Job [Dec. 23rd, 2016|01:03 am]
Jack Babalon
Countless were the shit jobs we had to do in the Navy but none more tiresome than having to muster for Tentacle Duty. This was when the more expendable members of the crew were dutifully issued axes and told to hack away at the Giant Hentai Squids of the North Atlantic that were attempting to mate with the ship.

What a fucking chore that was let me tell you.

You'd be there chopping away at some great rape-beast from the deep, cigarette clenched in side of scowl, sleep deprived after pulling a 12-4 watch,weird green blood splattered all over your face and knowing you got three more years of this shit before your happy ass is a civilian again.Of course some of us found it more... cathartic than others and few are the times I'd run into some old salt at a bar who'd ask me how many Tentacle Duty Shifts I pulled.

Thirteen I always answer and we get to talking and drinking and inevitably we both get this faraway look in our eyes. Imagining writhing and freshly decapitated tentacles flopping on the deck of the fantail, the stray bursts of gun fire, the smell of dying Hentai Squid (like a dumpster behind Long John Silvers where a orchid garden has inexplicably grown), the screams of those unlucky shipmates hoisted up and dragged to the bottom...

... it could've been me or any of my buddies (but never a fucking zero naturally as they were too busy watching from the bridge with the Old Man).

Still... you don't join the Navy to NOT fight Giant Hentai Squids do you?

There will be Hentai

Terminus: Recent Travels [Dec. 14th, 2016|01:29 am]
Jack Babalon

Avondale After the Rain

Ghosts Circling Your Playground 2

The Pain at the End of the Rainbow

Idle Musings

Hungry Ghosts

The Lost Ruins of Glenwood

Ask the Dusk

Last Train to Terminus

7 Problems Only Introverts Will Understand When They're Rounded Up By the Alt-Reich into Camps [Dec. 3rd, 2016|12:59 am]
Jack Babalon
7 Problems Only Introverts Will Understand When They're Rounded Up By the Alt-Right and Herded Into Cultural Reeducation Camps

1. Fellow prisoners in the Breitbart Reeducation Camps see you on your own and believing you're lonely try to start a conversation not understanding you need some alone time.

2. After lights out when you lay in your rack, staring at the ceiling remembering how much you enjoyed reading before being forced at gunpoint to memorize passages of the Bible, the Art of the Deal, and Atlas Shrugged.

3. When the camp guard is an extrovert and won't shut up about how not all camp guards are racist but just ensuring the ethno-purity of the American Dream to put food on the table.

4. That awkward feeling as they drag one of your cellmates away and they plead with you to find a way of telling their family they loved them but you can't even.

5. Not having anything to say when you meet an online friend who's been rounded up in the cultural purges and now has been assigned to your Work Unit.

6. Wanting to join in discussions about escaping the camp but you don't know how to talk to people after years of filtering all communications solely through text and social media.

7. Finding in the day-to-day routine a fellow introvert like yourself. Your eyes meet in the Camp Mess Hall over slabs of uninspected processed meat and one-on-one you can finally have a real conversation. In time you confess that you were rounded up for blogging criticisms of the Alt-Reich while they will tell you they were rounded up for loving a member of the same sex. They will tell you that they weren't as strong as their partner was who went out swinging when that knock came at the door for the two of them. You will feel bad when you confess that you were caught at the Wall trying to escape into Mexico with a forged ID from the E-Underground Railroad. Your new friend will tell you that it was all right. Not everyone can be brave but yet over the weeks to come you will never know a braver soul. One unrepentant in the face of enhanced waterboard conversion therapy techniques, unyielding in the brutality of the guards who sublimate homoerotic rage into daily beatings, proof that the ultimate defiance is to be yourself in the face of terror or torture. On the night before the morning your friend was hauled away for the last time, how they snuck into your rack to hold you as you sobbed uncontrollably, how they kissed you, not as a lover, not as a final hook-up, but as a human being who stripped of everything else offers their kiss because they can never take that one tiny act away. Later, they hold you tight and you pass out before dawn knowing when you wake you'll never see them again and now... now being an introvert all you can do is scream silently through your tears even as world through its cruelty and beauty refuses to let you forget that you will never truly be alone.

7 Problems Only...

Confessions of a Fuck-Up Artist [Nov. 30th, 2016|12:35 am]
Jack Babalon
This city has a way of telling you things when it thinks you're not listening.

Riding the bus home from work. It's getting on 7 o'clock and everyone's got their casket face on to mask the exhaustion. Glazed eyes peer into handheld screens or headlines or bibles or out the window towards that invisible horizon demarcating where their future's been truncated and fenced in with a paycheck. All except these two graying dude sitting across from me, who, judging by the fluorescent green reflective vests, hardhats, and beaten-up work boots, must be like some kind of construction workers or something. They're deep in a conversation that's accompanied by sad shakes of head and punctuated by bursts of whooping laughter. I got my headphones on but the Spotify paused, bobbing my head to some imaginary beat while soaking their words up Sub Rosa.

The one on the right is explaining to the other with the body language of a stand up comedian about how folks out there in the Heartland got it rough. He talks about small towns ravaged when the offices got outsourced and the factories went automated. He talks about folks out there jonseing so hard for Oxycotin that they've taken up heroin as a suitable replacement. He talks about their children returning home from the War with nothing but the bottle or the barrel of a gun in the mouth for help. He talks with eyes looking past me at a great promise abandoned in a distant land and sums up these points with an exasperated shrug saying - "What'd you expect them folks to do?"

His friend on the left weighs this insight in silence for the length of a red light on Memorial Avenue before twisting half his face in a dismissive snarl counters - "Fuck them folks out in the Midwest."

The guy on the right laughs and removes his helmet to wipe away at non-existent sweat before asking - "Why's that now?"

"What I'm supposed to feel bad for them? Because all of a sudden THEY can't find work and THEY got a drug problem in their communities and THEY come home from the war messed up in the head that they get a special pass? They get to Seig Heil on camera while talking about being the victims of 'Reverse Racism' while calling us thugs when we demand police stop killing us in the streets?"

"Fuck that," he continues switching that snarl from one side of flat face to the other, "folks in the city been dealing with poverty and drugs and coming home from the same wars as them and what were we told when we asked for a little help but that it was our own damn fault for being in the world we were born in."

The other guy fiddles with the hardhat in his lap intermittently nodding and shaking his head but otherwise saying nothing.

"But when THEY get a taste of what we've been going through here in the city these last fifty years, when THEY get to know firsthand what being broke and angry and helpless feels like, what do they do?," the man pauses dramatically here tipping his own hardhat back on his head, "break out the white sheets and blame anyone who don't look like them. Then they start talking all this bullshit about 'White Pride' even while going on about how they're just as much the victim of racism if not more so. Shit, THEY wanna talk about White Pride but what do THEY ever really make but enemies out of the rest of us?"

And the other guy just keeps shaking his head and tells his friend that he isn't lying before reaching up tug on the cord signaling that theirs was the next stop. The bus slows and shudders to a stop. The doors hiss open and the two guys get up as if reemerging from suspended animation before exiting. The doors hiss closed and the bus rumbles back along the route.

"What do they make but enemies?" I repeat to myself but no one seems to hear me much less have heard them. I un-pause the Spotify and thoughts looping with beats wait for my stop to roll up.

link1 Summoned|Invoke

Confessions of a Fuck-Up Artist [Nov. 23rd, 2016|02:37 am]
Jack Babalon
Night hasn't fallen upon Memorial Drive not but five minutes when already there's sirens ahead. Two squad cars at the parking lot of this abandoned art gallery (one scheduled to be rebranded as an artisanal Suicide Shop selling handcrafted nooses knitted by local artists and fair-trade cyanide capsules in vegan friendly gel capsules). Scope the scene as follows. An old man in a beige dress under a tattered hawks jacket is playing air guitar with a prosthetic arm at two cops trying to coax him into coming with them. Across the street, in their white karate-pajamas, stand a couple of students in front of a dojo snapping shots off their phones. And here I come, walking east, fresh from a dusk jaunt in the cemetery, ear-goggles set to Dark Ambient Drone, the last of my post-work, pre-MARTA buzz dwindles with the last day's light all dead rose red and bruise indigo along the western sky now framing my approaching silhouette.

Mace is whipped out by one of the cops but the jokes on him as a sudden gust of wind blasts pepper spray straight into the other officer's face. With the quickness I whip out my phone, open the music app, switch soundtracks from ambient-dread to banjo shenanigans, and observe. The maced cop is stumbling around with hands rubbing blinded eyes. The other cop is hovering over him and trying to apologize. The homeless man in the dress with the prosthetic arm takes off in a sprint of age defying velocity. Across the street the Karate students dutifully upload and post the ensuing antics. Paused to watch the commotion I don't notice the #21 I need to catch until it roars by with me not but a few strides shy of the bus stop.

Fuck it... where do I have to be but tomorrow eventually?

Switch soundtracks from Bluegrass Knee Slap to Goth Trip Hop. Tear Garden & Massive Attack & Wumpscut & Oh What An Old Man Am I. Keep walking, I got 30 minutes to kill until the next 21 rolls by and that's assuming the damn thing hasn't broken down or been hijacked or inexplicably burst into flames or some combo of all three... again. It takes me little more than five minutes to come up on the derelict milk factory. It's chain-linked off and next on the chopping block to be demolished and replaced with a slab of identical condo to the ones up the hill. Passing by it I can't help but spy a hole in that chain-link fence and before this portal I freeze.

Rewind back some twelve years.

Through a similar hole in a different chain-link fence we step through. I'm with Jacquelyn "Jackie" Boots and together we're on an expedition. I've been coming here to snap photos of the Terminus decay, graffiti hieroglyphics, remnants of a world forgotten serving as shelter to taggers, junkies, homeless. These photos I posted on my LiveJournal account which were occasionally joined with weird ghost stories or tales of wino ghouls and metromancers. Jackie Boots had sent me a message via LJ that she wanted me to hook her up, play tour guide the next time I went on urban photo safari, do her a square from one 'Jack' to another. At the time I had just been dumped for the third and final time Ella Baker. I was past the weeping drunk while listening to the Pogue's stage and now deep into the Frank from Blue Velvet screaming - "I'll Fuck Anything That Moves" - stage. So here I am playing a combat booted Virgil to her Lady Dante. I won't describe her, as she no doubt reads these confessions, save that like all of us of pledged to the Scene she dressed for an apocalypse much more interesting than the sad dystopia these years have unfolded since.

It was late afternoon, early winter, light golden light, attenuated yet illuminating dust particles in rays cracking through the ruins. We snapped pictures of Graffiti Tulpas and Grimoire Tags, me with a Nikon my folks got me for Christmas, she with a professional number with wide lens. We kicked around the shattered loading bays, investigated a pile of broken water pistols, took not of the stack of porno mags mixed in with decade old issues of the New Yorker. Then we both hear a noise. A crunch of a distant step that failed its stealth check. I told Jackie Boots we should evac. Jackie Boots said 'Fuck that' and taking me by the hand led me deeper into the abandoned milk factory. She took me to this room that must've once been an office judging by the gutted filing cabinets and broken swivel chair. Giant blue aerosol skulls floated on the cracked walls and glowed in the light coming through a ravaged window. We walked, hand-in-hand still, to the window. My heart was pounding - not just at the implications of her touch but what I was sure where footsteps following me. She tells me to relax... that I'm a tough guy, right? In my tough guy boots who does a tough guy dance at all the shows and surely I can take anyone who might come up on us looking for drama and surely if I were feeling brave I would take her right here, right now...

... and with the terror of diving sight unseen from a burning cliff into what you hope will prove to be the ocean I kiss her as if she'll be the only kiss that I'll ever know again. Hands slide under her unzipped black bomber with hands gliding over breasts - don't stop. Her nails raking from back of fresh-shaved scalped to goose-pimpled neck - don't stop. Her other hand clutching the camera and snapping pictures at us blind Dry grind of pressed hips as my hands slide down from her breasts to around a plump ass pulling her closer - don't stop. Footsteps on broken glass just outside the office - and she pushes me away, grinning mad as the prophet grins before the burning of empires. She unbuckles a spiked belt, unbuttons black camo fatigues, slides them down along with skull panties down to the knees, lets me spin her 180 and bend her over out the window. Palm spit slapped on the damage that is mine to give and it is more than one pair of eyes that I feel drilled into my back.

Slip, miss, shift of stances, hands braced on shoulders and slowly the knife finds the wound.

Jackie is gripping the ledge of the woman, groaning theatrically with each thrust for the benefit of me or our invisible audience or the ghosts she claimed to have seen psychically floating about. Thankfully I had masturbated an hour before meeting up with her to keep me from trying anything stupid and it kept me going longer than I normally could boast/apologize for. But there was something about those stage roars she was giving that was driving me wild. She had this whole Bene Gesserit Voice Control thing she did that completely overwrought the urge to give into firing the Grave Motion Gun. When she said faster that was what she got. When she said not yet invisible fingers Tantra pinched at the root of the driving Chakra denying me release until otherwise said.

And the light dwindled and the collective panting of shadows could be heard from outside the office and her death fluttered around mine and NOW she ordered and now she got as I pulled out while yanking up the back of her jacket to fire across a flaming seven sided star tattooed at the base of her spine and she growled as I laughed while those who watched groaned unseen.

We didn't say a word to each other after that. Just small kisses and smiles. She took me by the hand again, led me out, past our witnesses crouched in shadows, and back through the slice in the chain-link fence before walking her to her car while swearing that I won't tell anyone because her boyfriend doesn't mind her fooling around so long as it's with women and because said boyfriend is friends with some DJs roommate basic etiquette demands my silence. I agree, feeling used and aroused at my being used and writing her poetry in my head even as she reapplies her lipstick. She apologizes again that she can't give me a ride back as you never know who might see us or get the wrong idea.

That's me... a good time and the wrong idea all at once.

I made my way back to the hole in the fence. From there took it's picture and without shame used it later that night as a visual prop to help me sleep.

I stand here now before the same hole and through it I can see the shadow of someone up there in the old milk factory staring back down at me. It points west and I turn around just in time to see the bus lumbering up the hill. I race over a few yards to the bus stop. I board and immediately recognize the old man in the dress already seated by the driver. He gives a wave of the prosthetic arm. I wave back. Take my seat. Open a book and try to forget the adventures of the man I pretended to be.
link1 Summoned|Invoke

Ticket to Hide [Nov. 15th, 2016|11:53 pm]
Jack Babalon
Brand new Prius wrapped around a downtown statue of some dreary old Confederate colonel. Smoke billows from a crumbled hood, headlights flicker, satellite radio pop song drones under a blaring horn competing against the 90s techno beat of a car alarm for attention. Driver's side door opens spilling out a designer suited man in one of those rubber horse masks. He reeks of kale and gasoline, clutches a bottle of Grey Goose while sobbing from beneath the horse mask. Radio, horn, and car alarm continue their cacophony. A homeless women pushing a shopping cart full of graveyard flowers and discarded televisions stops in front of the man, the statue, the car on the verge of flames.

'Do you mind?,' the woman mouths at the man with hands clasped to ears.

The man reaches into a immaculate sports jacket pocket, withdraws a black plastic key chain, aims it at the Prius, clicks a button and shuts down the commotion with a robot bird chirp. He turns to the woman and tosses her the keys. The woman looks at him, looks at the keys, looks at the Prius, and watches the black smoke rise up towards the starless gray night. The man takes a swig off the Goose forgetting to lift his mask which sends a cascade of chi-chi vodka dribbling off the mask's rubber snout. The man shrugs and tosses the woman the bottle. The woman catches the bottle while simultaneously dropping the keys into her cart. She downs the last of the Goose, nods appreciatively, and plucks a graveyard flower into the empty bottle before tossing it back at the horse masked man. Satisfied that a fair trade had been conducted she rattles her cart down the road. The man in the horse mask stumbles around the statue's base, he reads the verdigris and brass plaque detailing how this old fuck fought valiantly at this battle or that. He looks up at the towering colonel, an easy twelve feet high, studies the stone glare set contemptuously towards the city at which he aims his saber ordering an invisible army to raze it to the ground.

Beneath the colonel's furious gaze the man in the horse mask whips out his dick and proceeds to deliver a solid 90 second piss against the base of the statue all while, literally, whistling Dixie. Not once, in piss or whistle, does he cease sobbing. When he's done he gives it a shake, a tuck, and a zip before walking away in a direction that cannot be anything but random.

The airbag of the Prius pops and the car explodes into flames.

The man in the horse mask stops, pulls out his phone, holds it up at an angle, turns on the camera, flashes a peace sign and takes a selfie before the burning Prius and the statue. He thumbs and flicks through apps and posts the picture on the FaceBook page of his local congressman. Distant call of sirens approaching. The man takes a corner, walks two blocks, and finds a sheltered bus stop with an empty bench. He takes a seat, realizes he's still holding his phone, he pops open a different app, and muffled by the mask speaks into it.

'Okay Siri, when was the exact moment we all decided to say "Fuck it!" and hop our asses on the Shit Slide to Hell like a virgin hopping on their first whore? I mean at what point did we decide that having the biggest gun in town meant we should aim it at our own heads while kicking in strangers doors to see if they'll dare us to squeeze that biggest trigger? What time was it, Siri, what time was it when we set the clocks back an hour to Fucked O'Clock and showed up late to our job interview with the Future with blood on our hands for a resume? Tell me where this all fucking going, Siri, because I'm scared and I'm angry and I'm running out of options and the sirens are getting closer and no one knows what to do except scream... help me, Siri, for Christ's sake help me..."

Then there is nothing but the sobbing of a man in a horse mask against the closing sirens before at last the phone answers - 'The next bus is now arriving.'

The man in the horse mask looks up and there it is, the #23 to Brokeville Gardens lumbering to a stop. The man in the horse mask stands, walks into through the doors that hiss open at his approach, he hands the driver the Goose bottle with the graveyard flower in it, pulls out his wallet, pulls out the only bill he's got - an ATM crisp $100 - and taking back the bottle hands it to the driver. The driver nods, tucks the Benjamin in wallet, pulls closed the doors, and drives off as the sirens flare by the #23.

The man takes a seat and promptly passes out just as the bus passes the flaming Pirus wrapped around the colonel.

... 000000000002
link2 Summoned|Invoke

Confessions of a Fuck-Up Artist [Oct. 12th, 2016|12:43 am]
Jack Babalon

Night swim at the Y after a fuck you of a day.

It started with me running late for work and cramming myself into an AM Uber to the office. The ride's going smooth enough, traffic thick but manageable, and it looks like I'm gonna make it on time despite oversleeping. But then my driver gets this call (ringtone *unidentified animal screaming hysterically*). In the course of what turns out to be an increasingly heated conversation my driver starts clocking kamikaze velocities up 285. I can't make out what he's saying as I'm too busy contemplating the collisions and jackknifed trucks in our wake. He barks what sounds to be Klingon into the phone and then throws it out the window. He drives steadily onward for a moment of awkward silence then grabs another phone from the glove box (where a pistol's rubber-gripped handle sits visibly between folded maps and fast food napkins). He texts a quick message one handed while informing me that we'll be making a quick detour. Before I can protest or plead for my life he zips into the emergency lane cranking up the volume on some teenage pop diva anthem.

Fifteen minutes later, right, and I'm at the parking lot of this shithole apartment complex with a backseat view of my driver bouncing I don't want to know who's head off the front window. It's mesmerizing really. The face hammers into a squished scream, gets peeled back, and thrown back into the impressively shatter proof glass. The process repeats itself numerous times until two gold teeth break off that squished scream. Only then does my driver hit the brakes on pulling a Gallagher with this guy's skull. He scoops up the gold teeth, gives them an appreciative weigh of the palms, pockets them, and bag of trash tosses this poor asshole to the curb.

With the demands of whatever unknown vendetta that drove us here now met, my driver hops back into the car as if he just came back from getting a pack of cigarettes. Offering no explanation for what just transpired he peels out of the parking lot. After a second stop at a nearby QuickTrip where my driver refueled himself with some sort of shake I didn't arrive at, so much as was flung into, the curb of the office some forty minutes later than expected only to crash land into a 1st class ass-chewing from the boss.

Though lacking the dire immediacy of my morning commute the day from there piled up into one big shit sandwich minus the bread, mayo, and chips.

But none of that matters now. It's eight hours after the fact and my mood's enhanced by an after work joint smoked through Oakland Cemetery before catching the #21 down Memorial to melt into an evening swim.

Step out of the men's locker after a shower and the Y's pool area always reminds me of the Nav. Maybe because it's about the size of a small hangar, one big enough to land a Seahawk in with space for a refueling team to greet it. Maybe it's the walls painted Spartan gray and diplomatic blue - the opposite colors employed by the fast food joints that makes coming here necessary. Maybe it's the cold efficiency of the whole layout. Check it out. There's a steam room where you can sweat your balls off with mute silhouettes. Then you got this sauna of bubbling human soup to boil the stress out of your muscles in. It's got one of those rooms lit with a red bulb, where it's hot but not steam room hot, but packed shoulder-to-shoulder with old men with nothing on except gold chains and towels if you're lucky. The main attraction however is the vast pool, with four competition long lap lanes with two side pools attached - a shallow one for the kids to splash around in and another for water aerobics - each separated by a jutting extension of the royal blue checker tiled deck. Crisscrossing the lanes from above dangle yellow and blue pennants. Above them khaki painted steel girders where mushroom shaped cameras spider crouch watching. On the other side of the pool from where you exit the shower rooms is a triptych of floor to ceiling high windows. Through them the last muddied violets and burnt oranges of the dusk sink beneath the shadowy pines under which flow the black waters of a creek along kudzu shores.

With back to this view slouched in a white lifeguard chair, a young man taps away at his phone.

Outside of the lifeguard and myself the only other people in the pool area is Thursday night meeting of the Aqua-Fu Clan over at the aerobics pool. There's five of them, each heavily tattooed, each in their third trimester, and each performing a series of synchronized martial-arts moves. All of them wear black swimsuits save their leader in the front who wears an immaculate white one piece. There's a deadly elegance in their Aqua-Fu, as if they're each ballroom dancing with an invisible partner that they occasionally punch in the throat. Flashes of the squished face against the windshield pop from memory across the eyes.

Gold teeth snap out of the gums and roll down the window before the wipers catch them.

Choke the shudder, shake off the wince, be here now.

Tunnel the focus into the lane, exhale the damage, pinch the absence of breath with gut, hold it until it can't be held no more, and spring off the deck inhaling deeply. In giddy punk-rock defiance of the no-diving sign ("I'm not gonna let the Man tell me how to swim, man!"), I slice into cold water to torpedo fire as far up the lane as these smoker's lungs will carry me. From there I burst out of the water to swim as if trying to catch a boat I've fallen off of. When I get to other end of the lap I kick off and freestyle it hard to the other end. Sure I pack a lot of fat around the muscle, but so does an Orca, and it's one of the last things you want to fuck within the water. I dive back under - run silent, run deep.

Remember the folks taking me to see that movie when I was a kid. Orca - the Killer Whale. It was love at first sight when I saw the movie's poster. It was on the back of all the Marvel comics this one month. It featured this Gaiju sized panda-whale bursting from dark waters with a whaleboat shattered against its back into a spray of flotsam. One of the whalers, cast into the air after the panda-whale's strike, had a harpoon raised ready to thrust cold iron with dying breath at the white Yang of an eye against the beasts Yin black hood. In the horizon of this carnage is a seaside town flame consumed with smoke trailing off the destroyed docks. But through it all the Panda Whale's got its jaws open as if in the middle of saying - "You see what you get, land monkeys? You see what you get when you allow man's hubris to awaken the primordial rage of the sleeping depths? You get mother-fucking death by Orca bitches!"

Well that was that. I, along with every other kid in my class, just had to see Orca the Killer Whale or be shunned as one of those not-in-the-know. The begging of the parental units went into overdrive from the moment I got home from school after it being all any of my friends could talk about. Mildly curious themselves and my having managed to stay off the Shit List for a full week straight got me at the premiere opening night in a rough neighborhood in Brooklyn where dad could smoke a joint in the theater with impunity. I bounced and squirmed through the ticket line, the concession stand, and the trailers. Then there was the Paramount mountain logo against the screen and then... nothing. To this day I have no memory of what happened in that film except some dude was talking a lot and after a few minutes of this instead of world destruction by Panda-Whale. I passed the hell on out. The folk's woke me for some scene of a whale jumping out of the water in front of some flames or some shit but it was too late... I fell back asleep immediately.

I come up with a gasp and hurl myself backwards Free Willie style gulping in another lungful of air before lunging back underwater. The chlorine's fresh and stings the eyes so I swim with eyes shut, doing spirals as I simulate angel aerial combat through the aerial killing fields of Milton's Paradise Lost. I can feel the oxygen reserves burning quick but I pull back the reins on the instinct to come up for air. I sweep my arms and propel myself with a kick grinding through the underwater burn blind to see how far, how long this old man's body can go.

Survey says... not long at all.

Visions of planes diving with wings ablaze as the bullet riddled canopy fires off and with a muffled explosion the pilot ejects from the cock pit up, up, and..
... the surface of the waters bursts as I launch out of their depth like a trident missile only to instantly collide into what with my eyes still closed assumed was a screaming beach ball.

Springing back to my feet and adjusting to reality it hits me that I've veered off course from the lanes to surface in the Aqua-Fu Clan's dreaded Hydro-Dojo. Oh and also that I've just now head-butted their Sifu in the gut apparently.

Don't let the weight of their pregnancy fool you. Don't let the prohibitive drag of the water lull you into complacency either. For in the time it takes me to stuff as many apologies into a breath as humanly possible they already had me circled. Mama Sifu stands facing me with hands patting down the curve of her belly as if inspecting it for any cracks. She's got chestnut hair pulled into a pony tail, black rimmed goggles from which magnified eyes blink in disbelief, and across her chest a tattoo of a skeleton in a polka dot dress and bow who sits on top of an hour glass from which splay fiery wings. I look closer at the skull and see it has a gold tooth that seems to sparkle off the water dripping down Mama Sifu's skin. I'm so transfixed on the tattoo that by the time I register that the rest of the Clan are moon-hopping in on me two of them have already seized me grabbing a wrist apiece.

Alright, playtime's over I figure, and while I am loathe to use my caveman's physique on a pregnant lady or two, I raise up my arms to give a Herculean flex in order to break free. I grunt, I growl, free weight enhanced biceps and pecs and triceps strain until finally... I give up. The students of Aqua-Fu are imbued with an Amazonian strength beyond my own.

Switch to Plan B. I beg, threat, cajole for them to let go of me already only to get dead eye fish stares from them for my efforts. So I start hollering at the teen lifeguard but the kid just sits there in his special chair phone focused the whole time. Finally, though I've often been too proud to ponder doing so before, I turn to a higher power - shouting towards the ceiling-cameras to save me. From above the cameras swivel and turn to point in every direction of the pool area where I and the hostile Aqua-Fu Amazon Moms are occupying.

Mama Sifu gives a little near zero gravity hop and lands gracefully in what I can't help but notice is the optimal distance for working over a guy who's got his arms Amazon locked.

I stop screaming and catching my breath accept the situation with a sad shake of the head.

"What are you?," Mama Sifu asks with monotone authority.

"Sorry," I answer truthfully and get a slap from one of the Aqua-Fu cadets standing beside their master.

"What are you?," Mama Sifu repeats the question with no affectation of any emotion or region.

"I am totally 100% repentant as fuck over here and I apologize sincerely for any impertinence..."

Another slap from the other student not binding my arms.

"What are you?," Mama Sifu repeats as if asking for the first time.

"Someone who picked the wrong pool that's for sure..."

Slaps four and five arrive one right after another from Bad Cop - Worse Cop.

"What are you?"

"A writer, a lover, a son, a sailor, who's worked from fleet to office, street to stage while having seen more shit go down than all of you and those you carry will ever know."

The next slap comes backhanded from Mama Sifu personally, it hits hard enough to fire a black flash bulb across the eyes and leave what feels like one bitch of a bruise rising out of the numb.

"What are you?"

There's a moment when an ordinary dream of recycled memories and locally filtered archetypes is about to shift into a full-on nightmare. You discover an apprehension dripping somewhere in the back of your head. You strain your ear but can't find the source of it anywhere. The longer you listen the faster and louder drip. Frantic it is only too late that you realize the sound you hear is your own heart racing in terror at what the mind hasn't comprehended yet. My being awake makes this nightmare no different save that it is one from which there shall be no rousing. If I'm going to get out of here I better...

The next smack comes with iron fingers that whip into the ear and floods it with a tinnitus drone.

Swaying to the telegraphic beat set by the pain instinct kicks in and I buckle at the knees in my captors grip plunging under the chest high waters. As they readjust their balance for the 240 pounds of man-orca that just went dead in their arms, I spring out of the collapse far enough to head butt Mama Sifu right in the nose. In the resulting shock I manage to pump enough adrenalin to shake one of the Amazon gripping my right arm to splash a wave into the two who were working me over's faces, and grab the wrist of one of the remaining hands binding me. I peel it off and clear to submerge again to run silent, run deep my ass to safety.

I throw my arms up for the dive when the woman who had my right moon-hops in front of me, her lovely snarl inches from my gasp, and she delivers a point-blank karate punch to the sternum.

You wouldn't think 240 pounds of man-orca could fly backwards but my entire backside slapping hard water would prove otherwise. The airs knocked out of me. Can't think. Just glugging as much air as fast as possible my wrists are grabbed again and I'm forced thrust upward back on to my feet.

It's the two women who were slapping me around that have my wrists and the two that had me bound that flank Mama Sifu who eyes me fierce while wiping the blood from her nose.

Huffing like I was chain-smoking through a climb up Stone Mountain the laughter comes. Not like the laughter of jokes. Not like the laughter of good times. Not even the liberating and haunted laughter of true madness. No this is the laughter that follows the orgasm that kept the blade from the vein plunged in a toilet ready to flush.

"That's what I am," I answer Mama Sifu between the giggles and tears.

My captors give a twist of my arms in directions not meant to be reached by the non triple jointed and the other two students wind up wooden plank shattering knuckles until Mama Sifu raises a finger. The ladies relinquish their Aqua-Fu Grips and Brick-Busting punches.

"Yes," Mama Sifu says raising her arms outwards as if receiving benediction from the watching spiders above, "that is exactly what you are. A beast at an altar beyond its understanding, barking hollow threats at those that dwell above from the invisible food-chain."

Bounded shrug, small shake of head, and what else is there to say except - "I don't get it."

"It is not for the beast to understand... to beg and to bleed is all that's left to know."

"You're fuckin' crazy, lady, you know that right?" I brace up for a kick to her gut and freeze up when reckoning the baby she's carrying. Some things are bigger than instinct and must be surrendered to unless another breath is bought at the cost of that which can never be regained.

"Living in mute terror, living in hidden anger, living in the past as the flesh fattens and stumbles into the dwindling years... this horror makes of bedlam a paradise and from its clutches we will see you liberated."

These words trigger a signal in her flanking adepts and simultaneously they both grab a fistful of her immaculate white one piece and tear it away from her body with impossible ease. They discard the tattered swimsuit so that it floats there between us, a second shed from something that's risen from the depths of waters clearly marked - "Here there be monsters".

Whatever the hell it is I was gonna say at this point has evaporated in my throat into a gasp.

Mama Sifu takes one of those walking on the moon steps towards me, her torso bobs out of the surface and I can see two Eye of Horus's have been tattooed around the nipples of heavy breasts before they submerge again leaving me staring at the little skeleton girl sitting on the winged hourglass. She's up close, I can feel the tautness of her belly press against my own. Her mole-women goggles swollen with a stare of alien intention and from her busted up nose blood trickles around a rapturous smile, drip down the chin, and splatter on the skull of the little skeleton girl.

A hand rises out and reaches out to brush an unshaven cheek before wrapping fingers around the back of my head. She then rises up on her toes while pulling me down into a kiss that I cannot even pretend to resist.

It's been weeks since I've been kissed but I melt into it as if it's been years. For a part of me knows on a strictly cellular level that I'm not just kissing one woman but all the wo/men I've ever kissed and should've kissed and never kissed except in grunted visions of wish. In this kiss one hand holds me by the back of the head and the other serpent slips beneath the band of my navy blue swim trunks. Beneath a touch well beyond the clumsy grope I administer to sleep instead of scream on the Internet all night what was shriveled with fear hardens in resolve to spit in the laugh of death.

She pulls away from the kiss and smiles - I notice for the first time the silver tooth. The hand behind my head slides down grab me by the jaw as if about to Alas herself of some Poor Yorick or another. She locks my eyes on her magnified gaze. With a lick of my lip I taste her blood as a velvet firm grip piston slides with a languor as sweet as it is agonizing. Then the disciples join on. The student binding me on the right begins kissing along my shoulder and the one on the left sinks baby vampire bites into the neck. Meanwhile the two flanking Mama Sifu do the same - with the one on her right not just kissing but reaching beneath the water to delicately work fingers along her mistress's sex even as the one stationed on her sinister side pinched a nipple between black fingernails. Had I been flogging this horse myself it would've been dead on contact but she knows how to coax and repel the Kundalini. Under the caress of her student I can see the first micro-tremors heralding a grander oblivion and within her grip I'm allowed only to approach as far as she allows. I'm silent, savoring the small splashes of water around us, the sound of suckling bites, the undulating groans rising to echo around the pool, faster the strokes along my cock as I'm driven beyond the need to breathe, and there's a little fireball building up inside a pocket sized dragon that strains at the shackles of its caves ready to roar and there's a twist of excruciating delight contorting around her face that ruptures into the roar of those predatory goddesses waiting outside the campfire glow.

I glance down to catch a glimpse of the little girl skeleton tattoo which now seems to have a cello tucked between her on the hourglass and completely animated plays a song only I can hear.

It's too much and no amount of tantric prestidigitation can stop what needs to come so the first spurt of dragon-fire erupts...
... just as she releases her grip from around my cock and uses her other hand to dunk my head under water.

I flail with orgasmic sputters and fighting back the urge to gulp as I burnt up all my oxygen as she burnt me out of orbit into climax. I feel the others join in and press down against my shoulder as I struggle to break back into the air. Fear, panic, and as I glug back a lungful of pool consciousness dwindles to an ember until the panic-pain recedes around the darkness and as the last drops of cum fire all I can see is a spark.

A golden spark hovering out there where no light should reach and as it approaches me (or perhaps as I float towards it) so that as it grows closer I can see now that it's one of the gold teeth slammed out of that dude. Around the tooth the world radiates back into existence as throbbing blurs of gray and blue and shadow black sharpen. Focus. The gold tooth is dangling from a gold chain wrapped around the hairy stump of a neck from which my Uber driver this morning is staring back down at me soaking wet yet with his sunglasses still on somehow. I'm supine on cold tiles at the edge of the pool and my driver, donned in only a speedo and jewelry, is straddled over me delivering a steady series of slaps to the chops to stir me fully awake. I go to breathe but end up coughing up chlorinated pool water and phlegm. When I finally do start inhaling oxygen again I realize that my savior isn't getting off me.

"What happened?" I ask glancing over to the see the pool is completely empty while the lifeguard remains slouched in his chair tapping obliviously on his mobile device.

"You're alive," my driver answers with an accent cinematically appropriate, "that's what happened. What else is there to know of the past save that is over and not everyone made it? What's next though? That's the question you need to ask yourself. Do you lose the grudge, the extra pounds, the pack a day and an ounce a month habit and start taking responsibility for your blessings as well as for your failures? "

Maybe because he saved my life, maybe because I'm in shock, but instead of saying nothing or thanking him or vowing a better man I answer - "Probably not, no."

At this my driver nods with bemused dignity giving an avuncular pat of the cheek - "Then in that case maybe stop beating yourself up about it so much, huh?"

With that he rises off of me, adjusts his speedo, turns around, and without looking back exits the pool area.

I continue to lay there staring up at the drop ceiling beyond the beige rafters camera mounted with remote eyes staring down at me. A long silence then with a shriek of the whistle the lifeguard announces the pool is now closed.
link1 Summoned|Invoke

Terminus: Idle Wanderings [Sep. 7th, 2016|01:41 am]
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link1 Summoned|Invoke

My only weakness is a list of crime, my only weakness is... well never mind, never mind [Oct. 15th, 2015|11:40 pm]
Jack Babalon
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How I Met Your Mother: [Oct. 14th, 2015|11:37 pm]
Jack Babalon

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