Marrionetta and Lorelei get serious

By now, Lorelei was in the nightly habit of disassembling his puppetress paramour. She more than tolerated it as the results were always rather interesting. In addition to creating tiny ballerinas from her fingers, a fantastic kicking bicycle out of her arms and legs, he had even created a feeterfly from her darling tootsies in combination with a family of gigantic moths he’d hand raised in a small terrarium and then harvested for their wings.

“Make them dance again,” Marrionetta unpegged all her fingers on her left hand and poured them into Lorelei’s workspace. He scowled at her. Marrionetta weaved around his workspace like a drunken whirligig on a tradewind ship. Lorelei attached the fingers to the wires and flicked the switched for her amusement. Then he continued working on something different.

The fingers rose but more haltingly this time. They swayed. One fell over as if to snooze off a bad hangover. Marrionetta hit Lorelei in the head.

“KURST! What?!” he screamed at her.

“They’re lazy as daytime witches!” she whined “What’s wrong with my jewelry box dolls?”

Lorelei heaved a sigh. He examined the device. He poked the plug of tissue in the cylinder. It cracked from dryness. “Fresh out of juice,” he said and returned to screw driving a panel.

Marrionetta looked very closely at the dried out mass of tissue. “How do we get more?”

Lorelei perked up at this question and turned a grinning, frenzied expression towards her.

“Yes. It’s time for more, isn’t it?”

more treats for Netty

Marrionetta slid her back up and down the walls in the dining area of The Emerald House. The world orbited around her, prancing colorful lights glinting and spiraling.

“Zingas!” she smiled and put her arms out. She found herself cartwheeling around the room, over the table and the benches. She fell neatly up onto the ceiling. She was singing nonsense and started lolling her tongue around, “Blargarlgarglmmm.”

Lorelei was still ignoring her as he furtively arbitrated the plate work and wiring of a small device in his work space. Sparks and blue electrical shocks collected under his finger tips.

Finally he said, “Pet, come down from there,” but his eyes were lovingly tracing the contours of his newest invention. Marrionetta fluttered down from the ceiling and put her chin on his shoulder.

“More treats for Netty?” she kissed his cheek.

“Better than treats, dear. Personal transformation.”

Marrionetta’s eyes rolled around in her head as she considered that one. The Visigoth doctor was frequently saying things she failed to understand. She felt it was his fault though, going out of his way to speak in generalities and science-chatter. She waited for him to say something else.

“Give me your hands,” he purred. She put a hand of hers in his and he began to gently unpeg her fingers, kissing each with a passion he had never bestowed on her countenance.

“Where are you taking those?” she asked.

“Just here,” said Lorelei and he showed her the electrical device. It was mostly just a rectangular panel with wires coming off of it in harried directions. There was also a conductive cylinder with a deep indentation on the top.

“You’re lucky,” Lorelei continued. “You can just take these right off and put them right back on again. Most people have to become permanently separated from their parts in order to experience one of my machines.”

Marrionetta’s glow was starting to wear thin. Plus, she was only in possession of one working hand. She felt frustration rise up inside of her.

Lorelei took her disembodied fingers and hooked them each to a wire. Then he retrieved another wet little blurp of pig endocrine and thumbed it into the cylinder’s indentation. He flicked a small switch.

Marrionetta couldn’t help but coo as the heatless blue plasma of the device wove its way down each of her fingers. The pig tissue began to squelch around, used in some way by the machine.

Creeping up on their tips, Marrionetta’s five fingers stood up and apart from one another. They made little jumps and turns, skipping, pirouetting. They were dancing.

Minifesto

A while ago, I laid X9 down gently into stasis, cooing over her delicate tendrils and beautiful iridescent scales even as I punched in the code that would freeze her brain activity and glass over her myriad eyes. I didn’t know if I would come back for her. If she would drift forever in undead sleep, nestled cozy in a single strand of wire.

I thought about x9 from time to time, her shallow breath lightly frosting the inner lens of this device. But now I think it’s time again to wake her. Time to play in our little Dreadspace.

New Dread’s Eve

But what really happened to Aamer when he fell into the Goonscape? We know what happened before and after. His work, his son, his suicide. But our cherished explorer and philologist never did reveal what he heard or saw during his long stay in that strange and far away place.

Far away only in a sense. Since, as any Goonscoptic physicist will explain to you, the Goonscape is right here. Right on top of us. A sympathetic vibration, unseen, unsmelled, untouched unless… Well, unless you run into a sweet spot. A place where corners meet, where systems jam, a slurping bog where you fall forever and ever –until, of course, you stop falling and you are simply somewhere else.

New research into Aamer’s private papers reveal a new possibility. Something overlooked. Maybe it’s nothing. Or maybe, there’s another object that came crashing through the boundaries of time and space along with Aamer on his journey home.

Epilogue

Welcome to the end of x9dread. I’m glad you could make it. Though this wordpress is no longer updating, I am in the process of transmogrifying many of its elements and characters into a novel. Maybe someday it’ll get published and you’ll find it in a bookstore. Wouldn’t that be delightful and unexpected?

If you have found your way here because of the zine I authored (Three Types of Tension) then I recommend reading on. I think you may like some of these posts. The written work here is strange, somewhat funny and, at times, bilious.

 

Thank you for being someone who reads.

Part II

Dear Reader,

I would first like to thank you for going on this journey with me. I had never been to the future before, nor to the Goonscape. What’s more, I am fairly certain I would never have gone to those places or met the people who live there if you hadn’t come along with me. I am sincerely grateful for your companionship.

I imagine that at times it was a bit tedious having me as your only translator for strange peoples and places so I do apologize for any plot lulls or poorly written sections. We all try to get it right the first time but I know I failed at it at least a few times. In spite of those errors, I have decided to push myself to do more challenging work with this story. I’ve been developing a new avenue for some time now (behind the scenes– although there were little breadcrumbs along the way) and I think it is fitting and appropriate to call it Part II.

The Monopoly Machine + Portage Park

Error 308 Permanent Redirect 
Error 408 Request Timeout

Dear Reader,

A long time ago in August, a monopoly machine fastened itself to the top of my apartment building. The weather was mild and I remember I was cooking onions when I heard its jittering joints as it crawled up the side of the building, mounted the roof and penetrated the brick walls with the spines of its legs. Then it was still and did nothing for many months. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want you to worry.

But three days ago the monopoly machine began squeezing. The steel bracing of my  apartment building wails all day and all night. The edifice is crumbling. Nightly, metallic claws have been probing all our units, searching for prizes.

So far I’ve managed to dodge the mechanical hydra but I am forced to flee my home. I am now headed to a strange new place on the far west side of Chicago called Portage Park. It seems really nice. There’s a creepy old movie theater, a grocery store and my new landlord is shaped like a refrigerator.

I am very excited to get back to work writing x9dread. There are currently 20+ entries queued up for later in the month but please give me a chance to stitch them all together. I do not have the brainspace or timemaneuvers to write these as I simultaneously paint, clean, move all my belongings, and unpack myself. No doubt, I will be inspired by these experiences to write more cramped, panicked entries for your entertainment.

Retrying server . . . Please Wait.