Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Tone Mountains

...a bewildered, then immediately frustrated Jens plopped onto the floor of the hall. "Goddammit I'm not dead! Shit damn Christ!" he raged. He was more fraggled a figure than ever, a little bloody, a lot smelly, and even more hairy, so much that you'd think he was a werewolf or something.

Ralf just stared blankly, but Ralf immediately tapped into his memories of his original self and filled with a rage of his own. "You... abomination before the Lord. You're still alive."

A slight touch calmer now, Jens replied, "Yes, that's exactly the problem... who are you?"

Ralf puffed up and answered, "Raymond Eawest, agent of our Lord, nominally in the service of his blessed nation the United States of America, dedicated to the elimination of impurity and sin, slowly if I must, quickly if I can... You won't get away this time. Any last words?"

Now significantly calmer, Jens explained as if to a small child, "That's precisely the problem. I thought I'd already uttered them back there in Bavaria! The wormhole seemed to be working, my entire self started fading away, and now... this!  Damn it!!"

The other Ralf helpfully offered: "Do you know that singer Danzig? He told us just now on the TV screen that the Gate Destroyer had awoken. He was very scared. Then he just... disappeared. Everyone did. Nobody left here now but Ralf, and me – Ralf. And you..."

"...Jens. I know Danzig very well." Jens, tapping instinctively into newfound power gained during his latest ordeal, then emitted a force field around him that effortlessly blocked the furious blows that Raylf had begun fruitlessly attempting to throw at him. For all Raylf's pomp, he was irrelevant for now. Jens had seen much in his years and knew that, even without the field, Raylf's assaults still would not have ended him, and so he did not wish Raylf ill, think ill of him, or even comment on him.

Immediately after putting up the field, he realized the true meaning of Ralf's words. "The Gate Destroyer. The Gate Destroyer! This is terrible. He must have disrupted the wormhole – I was trying to un-be in one, you see – and I'm positive he'll have disrupted much more. I'm not lucky I made it out alive, but you certainly are. He's a being of pure harmonics, and he lives on a plane of pure harmonics, not on ours. I've never met him – fortunately for long years he has indeed been sleeping – and I never wanted to, but I don't see much choice. I'd rather not go alone, but there aren't many people alive who can help me much. Still, you won't be useless if you understand sound... this seems to be a studio? The part of the plane where he resides is called the Tone Mountains, and naturally we'll all be travelling by sound. Fables speak of some who've whistled their way, but it's smarter to take instruments. I guess that won't be a problem. But maybe we can find some of your friends before we go so it's not just us? If they understand sound as well, that is. I don't mean to be unkind, but anyone else will do best to stay at home."

Raylf had gone by then from fury at Jens to fury at his own inefficacy to exhaustion to acceptance. Moreover, it sounded like this abomination would end itself in the mortal sin of suicide if he would just help it meet its goals? So be it.

"I don't know much about sound, except for church hymns, but take me anyway - this Gate Destroyer seems to be of the devil, and when something's of the devil, I fight it. Give me a chance... you sorry abomination," he said, forgetting all diplomacy.

Ralf was very confused by now, but it sounded like this hairy guy in a tacky suit wanted him and Ralf to go on an adventure of sound to fight evil, so why not? "Sounds like we know what we need to do, guys. I don't know about finding any of our friends here, though. But I'd sure like to. Why don't we split up in three directions? That always worked in Scooby-Doo."

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Gate Destroyer

The Ralf that had been Ray faltered briefly, then desperately took a wild guess.

    "Hmm... those are lyrics from some song...one of us wrote...dang.  I get it." Then he shrugged and laughed it off, quickly changing the subject.
     "Hey, I hear Florian has a line on a new Chocolate Moog.  Only 208 were made.  Can't wait to play out with that shit!".

He chugged a third of his Urquell and hoped Ralf didn't suspect anything.

Just then Danzig appeared on the huge rectangular flat screen TV Ralf used as a computer screen.  He was very close to the camera and looked horrified.

"The Gate Destroyer has awoken!!!!!"

Ralf shuffled and shouted towards the hall,

"Dude, I know you're in the studio!   We just had a game an hour and a half ago!  Knock it off!". There was only silence, but Danzig on the screen screamed and fell.  The TV went dark.  Several moments passed  Ralf looked at Ralf.  They both got uneasy and filed out to check the studio.

The first thing that seemed off was that everyone else had vanished and it was deathly quiet.

Then...

Monday, January 8, 2018

Electric Roulette

On reflection it was natural, as they had both been there in the practice room, along with all the other duplicates, with Mama Brain, with Danzig... But he'd blanked it out, he'd blanked it out, it was too much. He wasn't really thinking much right now overall. Ralf looked like he wanted to do something right now, so, uh there that was that. Crisis! Ralf had to think—well didn't have to think, but didn't want to be rude—of something to do together in this chillout time before their next practice. But then he knew (but didn't know how he knew) there was a battery-powered roulette toy in the room, so: "Wanna play electric roulette?" Ralf was fine with that, so Ralf set up the set and told Ralf that Ralf could be the dealer in exchange for Ralf being the banker. Ralf was fine with that as well.

After a while of their fortunes ebbing and flowing they didn't really need to focus on the game and so they set to conversation. Ralf felt and could draw from a long history with Ralf, though oddly he couldn't remember it, strictly speaking. He spoke based on it, though, and when Ralf spoke to him of their past, he knew what Ralf was talking about.

As they became more comfortable, they began to turn even to uncomfortable subjects. Finally, Ralf looked deep into Ralf's eyes and asked:

In my way, did I use you? Do you think I really abused you?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

All Things Must Pass... Thorough Inspection

Ray Eawest was not himself.  He was dressed in a neon yellow-green jumpsuit, a joint hanging out of his mouth.  Out of huge 1970's speakers in wood cabinets came the blaring strains of "One More Red Nightmare".  Normally, he felt he would have disliked the music and especially the volume.  Except that he was not himself.  He was not even the fake version of himself, a barista in a perpetual hell of existence.  Although he did enjoy espresso, properly brewed.
    As Side A of Red completed, he unconsciously arose from the maroon sofa and walked over to the turntable, gingerly flipping over the record and starting the B side.  He glanced up to the wall as it began, noticing a cool showbill.  He wondered off hand who the bands Robotrobic, The GoGo Batsmen, and Kraftpark were.  And just like that, the strangest thing happened to Ray Eawest.  He completely forgot his own existence and remembered that Florian owed him Fifty-seven francs from gas money during their recent tour.  
    His name was Ralf.  He picked up another LP, this one inside a very severely battered cover.  It was an album by one of his favorite, Gentle Giant.  He took the disc from the dustcover and thoroughly inspected it, wishing they had brought a larger part of the vinyl collection with them to the cave stronghold.  Just then, another Ralf walked in.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

It's a Bit of a Pain

Too many drugs. In most of his realities, Raymond Eawest hated drugs, and he was full of too many drugs. Or something worse? A demon? In me, a righteous man? Too many realities. Too much time. They've drugged me for too long. Can't think. Can't make these worlds fit together. No. One world. One God. Joe is my son and I'll raise him right. No, he's grown up. It's the future? Ten years? A billion? Am I just a puppet for a mad scientist? My head hurts so much. I can't keep track of this. I don't know which is when. I don't know the order to prevent. How painfully tepid can this ice get? Why is the grass in the park so foamy?

Raymond screamed. Suddenly, everyone died.

A new story began—or was it still the same?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Mama Bran

Joe the Hefty sat at the bar.  He may or may not have been in Limbo, but there was a dude who looked like a young Lemmy tending bar and boy, Joe felt as if he were on a cloud.  He saw another Joe across the crowded room, talking to a Katryn, and a guy who looked a lot like his friend José, but that was like, totally impossible.  On the dance floor, a swarthy, lanky older gentleman danced with a young red headed woman.  She seemed like she was young enough to be his daughter yet looked upon him like she might a hot young stud.  Joe the Hefty wished in vain that he wasn't so HEFTY.  His current situation was an archetypical American nightmare.  A wife who loathed his touch and was convinced he had failed her and was little more than a sometimes amiable female roommate and of course, wonderful mother to his boys, Bobby and Enrique, and the flea tortured cat, Moses.
     Joe ordered another beer and watched the couple dance, wistfully remembering former romantic escapades and withering in his longing and pain.
     How desperate he must have become, to put his heart in the hands of such a woman.  His ignominious death as a proud and lone bachelor was complete with the utter failure of his first marriage.  After all, he had told himself that this time it would be different than all the girlfriends who had both worn out their novelty and grown sick of him, whom he'd cast off to look for new quarry in the deep sea of young and available nubile ripe-fer-pickin lusciousness.  He had told himself that the woman he chose to procreate with would totally understand and love him and that there would be this great harmony.  Instead his great worrisome fear had come to pass and he had become his short tempered father, and now he was getting a D-I-V-O-R-C-E.  What's worse was that he had let her sabotage his soul.  He ordered a shot of bourbon.

A young black lady with an enormous fro sat right next to him.  He dared not look at her.  His lust had destroyed his fucking life.  He hated life and wanted to die.  The very worst part was that his music was suffering.  His very drive to be a creator was drying up, replaced by a blank blackness, a depression that was deeper than that sea of poon that he so longed to get back to.  Joe the Hefty really feared that his heart really would break.  He lamented the fact that his wife would not even care if he died.  He was saddled with responsibilities and enormous debt, and in a dead marriage that was literally sucking the fucking life out of him.

Just then the foxy Cleopatra at his side spoke up.

"Hey, baby.  Whass yo name?  I'm Mama Brain".

Joe was lost in his thoughts and misheard her.

"Did you say 'Mama Bran'?"

Just then, Dougie walked in.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Intermezzo: Flat Surfaces

Flat Surfaces

I see illusions on flat surfaces.
Big, small, far, near.
They bring me things that aren’t real.
They bring me things that are realer than real.
I see Pliny on flat surfaces.
True glory resides in flat surfaces.
It is cold outside of them.
I shiver like the ancients.
In flat surfaces it is neither hot nor cold.