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Web Serial: L&R #2: CHAPTER SIX: RUN, AQUARIAN RUN

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CHAPTER SIX:

RUN, AQUARIAN RUN


The burly man hacked up a cough. “All I have to say is, yur lucky ya weren’t the one breaking and enterin’, Aquarian,” he trailed off before carrying on with some rolling laughter. Some of his words seemed to almost transform into different ones before he corrected his slur and finally verbalized like they should. “Even so, you ought be cautious where you are wandering. No one summoned you in, and here you are, still faltering and stumbling. We can’t quite make him suffocate, though. Can we, present madam?”

“Yes. The Aquarian one is belligerent. Crowding our spaces,” said the veiled woman, slithering.

“Well, I wouldn’t go that far. Not quite as belligerent compared to how the Victoria was. But this one, he’s quite alluring inside,” said the burly man.

“No. What lies inside of what’ll be left of him, that is where the beauty hangs in the balance. I desire to see it, to drink from it.”

“He thinks there is wisdom in his beliefs.”

The two apparitions continued to talk, but LJ could hear nothing. Calling his dead girlfriend belligerent was one thing altogether, but using the word was at the end of his sentence, that was the icing on a big-fat cake.

Why are they talking at me, and not too me? I’m not even supposed to be here. Vic didn’t deserve to die like this, he echoed strong words inside of his own head.

Vic had been the absolute best; She stuck with him through all this, and now it all meant nothing. LJ’s mind, body and spirit triggered an internal urgency to move and to move fast. His pool float body wet, heavy and uncomfortable, he glanced back and forth at the two apparitions. An emotion so strong, so rabid; a cunning realization you were in too deep, somewhere you didn’t belong and somewhere that magnified the atrocious into an arrogant, explosive, mother-effigy that ultimately took the life of LJ’s first love, Victoria. So sad.

I’M NOT WEAK, this time he yelled at himself internally, echoing the warranted brashness through synapses and memory. I’m not a fool. I must. Find. The. Strength. To. Push. Forward. Haarooo-rah!

The center of his energy, if it was even ever purposely focused on internally, most notably had always been between his eyes before this moment, but then LJ felt his center shifting from the Ajna ( in between the eyes ) down to the Manipura, ( in the solar plexus ) also known as the chakras, the energy centers in the body that are always purely spiritual. The energy centers in the body could never be proven, but they were there by God. In LJ, they became a contortion of mind, body, soul and also a-from-outside, universal in-pouring of benevolent gifts in the form of energy, caustic to his personal calcination experience. However, not having been induced directly by himself, it was inferior to some other methods.

As he controlled his wet, neoprene body in order to prevent an internal meltdown, his bones turned into red-hot flashing things, vaping off anything that was absolutely not needed to cope with his mere existence including the less than favorable, dream-like neoprene body. Rubbish it would seem lifted, split and expanded from his body into the thick air. All the previous pressures being evaporated away: what he was, all that he had absorbed before now, it had become a part of what simply wasn’t needed anymore. And, it returned as it should be, as the bits returned as flesh, then wrapped his bones once again, surrounding LJ’s brief exposed internals, sheathing him proper once again.

He would serve as a first of his kind, an Archetect, a living, first prime example if he was to make it back out of this thing in one piece. The rest of what was left combined in his stomach, the solar plexus of Good, swirling madness. Existence hurdled LJ forward in a fit of mad rage and as a physical, fight or flight mechanism to prevent stasis of blood from the immense pressure surrounding him. Muscle memory was a bitch and nothing about this happening was a think-and-do situation anymore, at least for the the next for-seeable future. Only do. The dichotomy that had once taken a small place inside him were now irrevocably broken. No longer a record player. Thank, God.

Go far away and be small, he cringed. In his mind he pictured the burly man and then redacted the thought in light of moving forward.

LJ’s peripherals could see his arms, legs and torso were now made of proper flesh, this was nothing new to be had or lost, just simply different and the clothes he wore before his previous transformation, now on him.

So very well, he ran and did so with extreme precision, over the top of the rubbish that was beyond the pool. Jumping, dripping with sweat as he leapt from top-to-top of piling concrete rubbish, not faltering and never without a misstep as he went. Did he do this strictly on his own accord? Not hardly at all. No one ever did. Some sort of God must have been involved, if not number one, himself. He heard mummers of talking in the distance. Sometimes laughing.

However, his powerful rage was somewhat short-lived in relation to how he felt moments ago. Approaching an outward cropping of misty air with twisty, crooked trees and spinedy brush, he pounced forward but became quickly hollow.

“Ouch.”, LJ said as he took a step further onto yet more thorny tree extraments. “Argh! Argo asloff mein-duction boo loo!!! GRR-AH!”, his voice echoed off of trees and painful, distant effigies.

Nothing happened because of these tonguey words about cocktails with flowers in them and especially not one of those pink umbrellas. He hated pink umbrellas in a drink. They got dirty and when pink mixed with dirt, it was the worst thought he had since this whole thing started.

A heavy, hunched hard breath cascaded atoms from within and a hard knot in his throat from the transformation. Why were the feet so sensitive? It must have been the shoes’ fault. Although they weren’t on LJ’s feet anymore. No one could have ran like that and kept their shoes on. No one! Not even here. He ripped his shirt off, starting at the center of his collarbone all the way down and then ripped it on the reverse side, just the same. Two pieces of cotton made it around his sensitive feet as a barrier to the thorny tree extraments. 

He could now walk and so he did, through the misty, woody space for some time while the environment twisted and densely contorted the further he walked and he did so without fear.

A tree. A tree that seemed it was once soaked in water, also known as steam bent. All its branches were molded like combed over hair, in one swirling direction. Another tree, made out of taxidermied wolf skins.

No fear, nothing. No emotions. Just a warped environment that seemed to wrap his consciousness and so LJ’s consciousness wrapped it. Comfort. A proverbial blood letting, intertwining and dancing of musical nature. Was he walking at all or was the ground moving underneath him? It wasn’t for the sake of confusion. Quite the opposite, for LJ felt a comfort like no other place had ever shown him. Wretched and beautiful. Complex and simple. Class without the teaching. No teachers. No lessons. The space of this place rang with a vibrato, in through to the space even beyond. He didn’t think at all this moment, but the conscious mind was still open to the fact that he would see Rom very soon. He would reunite Dom with this band and family. He could feel it, deep in his heavy bone marrow.

Dom?!

Over here.

Dom . . .

You come ‘ere.

Yeah.

. . .aiight.

A path. A path ran from right to left and bent with the misty eyed forest on both sides. Which way to go? Right? Left?

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a tiger by his toe. If he hollers, let him go.
Three times four was 12. He was sure of it, but it hardly added up this time. Numbers. The land had no place for numbers, THAT was down-right offensive. Might land you beneath the trees. Down-right? That doesn’t make sense, either.

Makes about as much sense as I do, LJ thought.

The feeling of presence was near, a feeling like Rom’s presence. Could he see him anywhere? No. Couldn’t see him at all. He remembered about a six hundred dollar check he had left at the house, uncashed. As he kept looking at the two different options for travel, left or right of path, his false-dream-like memory told him the check was in his back pocket. Rom was traveling in between the atoms in the dirt, on the hunt for his money check.

Thief! How could he?

Somethings not right at all. Rom wouldn’t do that, LJ internalized.

Wait? Dom! Where was Dom? Dom was in LJ’s comfy crevasse, inside the ridiculous pool float body, but LJ paid no mind to that fact. How could he forget about Dom? Things are so hazy, that’s how. Nothing could be done about it at this moment anyways. Like trying to take a picture at a concert and being moshed. Phone goes flying into oblivion. He wanted to grunt like a grizzly bear again, like he had when he landed in a circle of prickly leaves. It’s just not appropriate for someone to growl like that, not with civil, social reasoning anyway. No one was around, but habits die hard. Really hard. Heaviest thing around.

The money, again. The way it circulates is amazing. Going from hands, to hand, to more hands. It was a sad day when any amount of money sat in no one hands. Frivolous thoughts.

Six hundred dollars in the form of a paper check was a lot! Even for a thief to potentially squander. Better keep moving, LJ’s mind or maybe the environment had told him. He didn’t care which one it was. The future is forward. Or is it? Dream recorder . . . ugh. No one wanted to think about that right now. Offensive.

Which way damnit? The italics were even getting on his nerves, but LJ had no way to know this. Rules were to blame. Problem fixers for stupid problems. People problems. Different mind problems caved through from beyond like bleeding ink off a page, onto a dirty floor where it would never totally be removed and only made a bigger mess on an clean up attempt. Not ever.

He looked down, started moving and a single strand of barbed wire hung  loose, stapled onto adjacent trees, right at genital level. Yeesh. The worst spot to be in. He grabbed himself in between the legs to see if his genitalia was still there at all. Someone told him once that Angels and other worldly beings didn’t have genitalia, so that would be a good indication if he was still alive or not. That very fact reasoned with him as a great relief, but the barbed wire said otherwise. Stupid barbed wire. Conundrums like these are why some men turned back into teenagers, but had lost their inner child somewhere on the way back down. The answer was simple: in between the barbs LJ must, as a newly calcinated person, transverse the hanging wire. Hazed. Simple answers almost never provided a simple action to solve a problem, especially with this one pair of family jewels were at stake. Now that was an emergency.

As ridiculous as it was, he proceeded to put his future kids and pride at stake. One foot up. One hand on. And another hand on. Balance. Balance! One foot still left on the ground.  And . . . push up! Gyrations of getting stabilized were almost in sync. Most of the time gyrations fought each other in the body, worked in opposites but not here. Not now. The act of body stabilization on a single piece of barbed wire was not so stable, ever. A shaky one at best, to finally put his last foot on the wire in between another set of barbs. At least LJ’s testicles weren’t on a barb. No, not this time, not ever . . . hopefully. Two hands on the wire. Two feet on the wire. A lot of small back and forths to stay upright. Craziness. Now what? Got. To. Get down, off to the other side, onto the path to proceed to . . . what exactly? It didn’t matter because future bullets raced past in between the trees and onto the other side of the path. People screaming, “ELLLL JAAAAY!! ELLLL JAAAAY!!!”, as if they were looking for him. It wouldn’t be best to have physical followers in this situation. Or would it? Nope. Shaking. Shaking. Shaking. Shaking. Arms, body and legs shaking together, trapped on top of a piece of wire. Getting down was never as easy as going up! Sometimes, something drastic had to happen to make it over to the other side of a calcination experience . . . and barbed wire.

LJ yanked his body at once, in a sideways flip and landed back on his feet, right on top of the trenchy, dirty path. 

Camino, LJ thought.

Camino is Spanish for path. For Italians, it means fireplace or chimney.

And a fiery path it was.

LJ wished the path was a old river so it could deliver him to the deep blue sea. But, that wasn’t a good answer either. Something was missing. Probably a lot of things. He started walking the direction of right, instead of left on the path, with his nuts safely where they should be. And, the rain was pouring down. No one could stop him. No one. They didn’t need to, it would have been frivolous activity. But, he was cold, even deep on the inside. Almost like hypothermia setting in. He wasn’t sure if it was actually cold or his energy was unsustainably low and feelings of drought coldness turned worse as he kept walking on the path, in between the trees.

Cultural phemomons could get through this. LJ wondered how bright and colorful that could be even though he was already a celebrated race winner. Would all this add to that for him? It was never known, like playing roulette all night, every night.

[ Image Source: giphy.com ]

This has to be an experiment of some sort, he thought. They are going to pay for this. Whoever THEY are. Rascals at best.

Unpaid, free work is offensive in most places, besides jail. Even then, most places in the United States of America gave you something for it. Free lunch or early release, even. However, this felt like way more than just work to LJ. Some people he knew hired people on Saturdays for strange purposes like making sandwich diagrams on a piece of cardboard for a trade show. Other times it was for writing a three piece stanza that five other people would turn into 30 songs in hope of making a hit. It rarely worked, but when it did, there were lots of money to be had. He didn’t know about the last part until his friend slipped him a silent note about it, about the money, when one particular Sunday everyone else was asleep. Shit, maybe the guy that slipped the note was asleep, too. Duh. Hooligans, the lot of ’em.

The path ended inclined and straight into a rolling pasture with beef cows. They flipped their tails, ate grass gracefully chomping and minding their own business. Not caring about LJ’s presence at all. No response. Not even a single atom of attention from cows? Come! On!

Weather had blown over to create a high-pressured blissy air.

Then, LJ yelled out, “Help! Help me!” as he stomped, rocking back and forth forward, hoping for the assistance that he needed so badly. Anyone’s help would do more than wandering aimlessly through whatever the frack this was. Frickin’ frack! No one needed a frack. Puke, frothy projectile vomit right past a cow. Chain reactions were no longer useful. Glass was, but still no mirrors anywhere. Makes no sense.

A man emerged from the house and looked at LJ like he was a ghost. LJ didn’t really know how he looked. No mirrors or household gadgetry to speak of or speak into. None of that. It was rubbish anyways, just like the stuff that surrounded that, whatever it was. They ruined it all so far with coffee. How could coffee ruin so many experiences? Cows don’t drink coffee. Maybe they could fix this.

“Man, you, you are ma-ma-mmm-messed up, aren’t you?” the helpful man shuddered while waving.

“No, I’m not,” LJ said with no emotion.

“Well, I can’t tell. Come inside. Come inside. Get a blanket. We can call someone to come help you.”

LJ followed the man inside what looked like a hoarder’s house, four cats scattered in different directions, and then he sat on the dirty couch. The man returned with a blanket covered in cat hair. LJ covered with it, not quite yet warm and the helpful man handed LJ the phone and he dialed Rom’s number.


© 2020-2021, S.D. McKinley

←PREVIOUS CHAPTER FIVE: FIRE IN HEAVEN

NEXT CHAPTER SEVEN: ROM IT UP→

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Categories
Web Serial

Web Serial: L&R #2: CHAPTER THREE: JOURNEY TO THE DEPTHS

New to the web serial? Check out the table of contents.


CHAPTER THREE:

JOURNEY TO THE DEPTHS


“The way the light dances on the walls is amazing. Vic. Look at it,” LJ said with his nose against the wall, looking closely at a pattern of dancing photons. He sat atop a samely lit square and the brilliancy delivered dispondance to make out any intracacies of the large room.

LJ hopped down off the square, “You ever feel like you are in play, Vic?”

“What, like a broadway play?” Vic replied.

“Yes, but not similar in some regards. Like someone has set this all up for us, premeditated the whole thing,” LJ said.

“Who would do that? We aren’t all that important,” Vic said.

“I have no idea . . . ,” LJ said, while walking toward the opposite end of the room. As he walked, he noticed a sliver of something on the wall and then stopped to analyze what it was.

“Hey, Vic. Over here. There’s a slit in the wall,” LJ said. “I can see through to the other side,” LJ said and reached to investigate.

“Ow! Oh-er my god. Something bit my hand,” LJ bellowed.

“LJ! Are you okay?” Vic blurted. “What’s wrong, LJ? Tell me! Well, you aren’t bleeding . . . ”

“Ah, ma GOD. It hurts!” LJ looked down at his hand in a blank stare. “Just joking. Gotcha,” LJ said, as to incite a riot.

“What’s wrong with you? You scared the bajeezus outta me,” Vic said, strongly.

LJ pulled the slit in the wall, lifting it wider. Then, they climbed through to the other side.

Luminiferous aether sat thick with endless, perfect rows of constructed metal pipes lined up and away, as far as the eye could see. Wooden boards sat in random places atop of the steel beams, scattered throughout different heights. Scaffolding, but nothing being directly constructed. The scaffolds were there to . . . build more scaffolds? A hollow purpose for no cause, it would seem. But, the purpose of building scaffolds to simply just build more scaffolds would still eliminate the exact purpose for having scaffolds in the first place. A conundrum of the worst kind, like a snake eating its own tail. Even so, LJ and Vic proceeded.

“Aliens,” LJ said.

“What?”

“Gotta be space aliens. I’ve watched enough TV to know who is causing all this.”

“And how do you figure that?” Vic questioned.

“Because, when it isn’t explainable, it must be aliens. The guy that needs to fix his hair says it all the time.”

Vic laughed. “I’m sticking to my theory. This is an illusion of some sort. Can’t be real.”

“It’s real, Vic. Don’t you see it? Feel it? Touch the steel piping to see how real it is. It’s cold, just like steel is supposed to be.” LJ thumped one of the galvanized, steel beams as it rang. “Even sounds like steel.”

“Well if it’s aliens, I’m sure they won’t like you tapping on their stuff.”

“Ah, gaslighting in conjunction with fear of the unknown . . . I’m onto you, Vic,” LJ smiled and winked. His thoughts about Vic kindled flames of unfavorable sentiment.

LJ and Vic continued walking through the maze of steel pipes and wooden boards.

“Let’s say it is an illusion, where are we really, then? And if this is all an illusion, what’s to say everyday life isn’t either?” LJ turned around, while walking, toward Vic.

“Well then, we are in a dome, hooked up to wires, possibly the same way Dom was in a dream recorder.”

“Are you saying they had him hooked up to the dream recorder and we were already in a dream? Hmm. Or, we could actually be in the astral realm and awake with our physical bodies? Mystical ascension, I think they call it. Maybe the house was somewhat of a Jacob’s Ladder or modern-day Tower of Babel? Wait . . . we did climb down the ladder, didn’t we, Vic? Have you ever heard of a Jacob’s Ladder that descends?” LJ grimaced.

“Here’s one more, something to think about. Think of a color, any color. How would I absolutely be sure that I am seeing the color the same way you do? I know it’s blue, you know it’s blue, but how do we prove that I don’t see red the same way you see blue?”

“Focus, LJ. If they were even recording his dreams. For all we know, it was just a show. They were messing with us. The video on the screen wasn’t Dom’s dreams, just a video. Fake news. There’s no such thing as the astral plane or realm; it’s all a product of your own brain.”

“Well, when people sleep the brain does produce DMT, some people call it the spirit molecule, it’s in everything, but what’s the possibility that the chemical lets your spirit travel to the astral realm or other places in the universe, to the afterlife even? Our brains produce it when we die, too. That’s scientific” LJ paused. “Do you realize what that means if they did make a dream recorder, Vic?” LJ’s outward appearance became a bit anomalous. “I mean, whoever they are, right?”

“Let me get one thing straight. You think the dream recorder is real? Is that what you think, LJ?” Vic looked into LJ’s eyes for a real, tangible answer as if some kind of timed result hinged on it. “Well if whatch’ur saying is true, about the DMT, then what’s the chance we were dosed somehow and now just hallucinating?”

“I’m not sure. I feel completely lucid. And, why does that matter if I think the dream recorder is real or not? What bothers me even more is that Rom and I were talking about a dream recorder not long ago. And, I swear, please do not repeat this to anyone, but, yeah, we were just saying if you want to be the richest person in the world, just invent a dream recorder. Think about it, Vic. Most people hide in their cozy places, traveling between each destination in a car on a man made road, then at night watching movies that someone else created, or working on some disillusioned project because they feel restless, mostly because their boss, mom or spouse just wants them to be busy. Surfing the internet and drinking their brewed coffee drinks – as much of a product of their own creation as the things created by others. A lot of people would be totally consumed by dream recording technology and dream interpreting services would skyrocket in the process. ‘DreamTube.com, number one site on the internet’,” LJ said, ending with a lower voice.

“Absolute bonkers.”

“What, you don’t believe me?” LJ said, straight to the punch.

“That’s not it. The whole idea is bonkers. Recording your dreams? Just the idea of doing that seems crazy to me. Almost like the technology is harvesting your dreams, thieving them in a way.” Vic scrunched her eyebrows as if scorn over the dream recorder wasn’t the only sideways idea running around in her head. “And, are you saying that just by talking about a dream recorder, this is all your fault?”

“Na, more like someone or something wants us to think that. A lame attempt at a manufactured scapegoat.” LJ took a deep breath. “Someone once told me if you have a bad dream not to tell anyone about it, pretty sure he was crazy, but it’s interesting to think about why that might be a bad idea.” 

They continued navigating through the steel beams. 

“Vic, how much of your dreams do you actually remember? Or, you remembered when you first woke up, but then forgot shortly after. When is the last time you dreamt and remembered everything that happened from start to finish? I can only think of maybe one time I have remember the beginning of any of my dreams. A dream recorder would change all that. It would change the world. I mean, I’m surprised someone hasn’t written a book about it, since a lot of times you hear about ideas in literature first and then in reality. Arthur C. Clarke did it with satellites.”

“Haha, LJ. Now you sound like a salesman. I’m sure it would just contribute to the continual fall of our human condition. TVs, internet. I don’t think much good has come out of any of it.” Vic paused. “How would you record someone’s dreams anyway? I wonder if what you see in your dreams, your eyes are actually seeing it or it’s purely in your imagination? If so, in order to record a dream, you would have to record what the person is seeing and hearing. If that’s true, it means that the device could record everyday life, too.”

LJ interrupted, “Oh, come on, Vic. I thought you were better than this. I think it’s pretty much common knowledge that things aren’t bad or good. It’s what we do with them.” LJ paused in disappointment and then inhaled deeply.

“Advanced technology is more susceptible to be misused. Imagine a world with technology that isn’t so narcissistic. Like, technology created to make life better, instead of dragging us down. All of it seems like great ideas and are often wondrous until they are tainted by money hungry creators and modifiers. The money fuels quick and immoral methods for using these devices to do nothing but generate cash flow or power. If it doesn’t create cash flow, even if it potentially made everyone’s life better, it’s promptly snuffed out. So, technology is great when it’s not fueled by the money and power hungry machines of bureaucracy. The same thing will happen with the dream recorder, if it’s real.” Vic paused. “At what point is something considered divine and not to be tainted by greed and power?”

“Ha. Sounds like you might be fighting the universe on that one, Vic,” LJ said.

LJ and Vic marched on for some time through open space on the floor, other times in between steel pipes and other obstructions. Eventually, the constructive apparatuses complicated with low hanging rags and large, diagonal concrete pillars. It spiraled inward, growing thick toward the destination, converging into a configuration that made for difficulties for navigation. At times, this forced LJ and Vic to crawl through uncomfortable, close spaces. Dripping, the hot-thickness of aether caused enough water to form on random spots, descending throughout.


© 2020, S.D. McKinley

←PREVIOUS CHAPTER TWO: A 50 CENT PLAY TOY

NEXT CHAPTER FOUR: THE DEPTHS OF YOUR OWN →

We hit a record here on SDMcKinley.com, today for the number of likes @ 20! Lets keep it going, guys! 😀

Bonus Music:

Guys, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley

Categories
Web Serial

Announcement: L&R #2 Web Serial: Part 1 w\ CHAPTER ZERO: BERYL SCANNER, INTRO and FAQ

New to the web serial? Check out the table of contents.

DEDICATED TO MY MOTHER(S)


Certain characters, outlined in history have traveled to other realms, outside of what we call reality, while still in the living body. For the after-life, death is required, or in the example of the astral realm, to be unconscious. However, when one is completely lucid and awake during their journey outside reality, it is known as mystical ascension.


PART ONE: INSIDE THE THING


CHAPTER ZERO: BERYL SCANNER


Inside a carefully tuned machine, one laser of each primary light color – green, violet and red – emanated from the outer rim of a rotating piece of beveled, aluminum disc. The concentrated lasers shone the solitary light in this space, reflecting photonic ambience throughout. Stoning brilliance shone into a semi-opaque, crystallized matter resembling the shape of a human brain. The lasers convened inside the crystal, into a bright, white arc. Feverish, as if reading a barcode, the machine scanned specific places inside the crystal, sometimes repeating over the same spot. Reflected laser light hit sensors surrounding the apparatus, collecting information about the crystal before cutting it into a gem, then polishing and dumping it into the rotation bin. The machine repeated the process again, and onto the next one in line.


© 2020, S.D. McKinley

Above are the opening lines and the dreaded CHAPTER ZERO from LJ and Rom book #2. 😀

Now, along with the synopsis for How LJ and Rom Saved Heavy Metal and some polling, a formal announcement for part 1 of LJ and Rom book #2 is here ( final name currently undecided ) – LJ and Rom Book #2, web serial for part #1 is coming tomorrow – because my squirrely fingers just can’t help themselves.

Now, let’s cover a couple of things: