Air Cancer

It hovered above the pub. It was dark green and misty. Impenetrable. There were small, winged creatures buzzing in and out of it. Thousands of them. It was late summer. People stood around and looked. They were stupefied by the presence of the mist. The men urinated through their three-quarter length trousers onto their flip-flops. The women screeched and snorted at the men. One woman said ‘man-flu’ and the others fell about. One, smaller woman laughed so much she defecated. A small, round replica of herself in shit fell from her shorts and rolled down an open drain. The drain gobbled it up with a pronounced ‘gulp’. The smell of old beer and death snaked from the drain. A family of rats lived down there. They waited. A single, urine coloured lightening bolt leapt from the mist. It hit a man as he climbed out of his seat waving a twenty pound note. The bolt burnt a hole in the note and connected with the mans belly button. His stomach began to swell. A tentacle grew from his three-quarter lengths. A tail. The mans face buckled and a green olive slime drained from his nose. In the slime were small, pip-sized eggs inside which tiny, insect larvae were already hatching. A large rat ripped through the mans colon and, as his body fell, scurried down the drain. The black insects hatched and joined the others in the sky. The cloud of mist grew larger. Those that could speak said they could detect a sound like a heartbeat coming from its core .
When it grew to the size of the town they sent in the fighter jets. All were lost. The television broadcasts soon followed. The government blamed other, so-called ‘rogue states’ for the ‘disturbance’. And the entity doubled in size. A targeted exchange of military hardware between bickering nations ensued. We told that our sense of ‘Britishness’ was under attack. When the leaders began to realise that the threat did not come from another nation, they decided that the phenomenon was of extra-terrestrial origin. And the world now focussed all its hatred out into space. Orbiting the Earth, a ribbon of the mist grew a thin tentacle. The tentacle penetrated the atmosphere and connected with the mass below.
Citizens took to the streets and ransacked government offices. They set fire to small businesses and homes.
Diplomatic relations deteriorated and the ‘air-cancer’, as some were now calling it, covered one-third of the Earth’s surface.
The price and regularity of air travel has been dramatically altered. No plane can fly through the air-cancer. Imported goods are now out of reach to all but the most wealthy.
Now there are people alive who know only of a world infected with this plague. And no one knows how to stop it.
Perhaps the world has to accept it as part of a new paradigm.
Today I saw a group of tourists posing for a photo. “Make sure you get the air-cancer in the background!” one of them said.
And I watched as the thing grew like a cloud of green ink in water as the flashes went off.

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8 thoughts on “Air Cancer

    • Thanks.
      You’re compliments are very, VERY welcome. Especially after today. Don’t ask Fox, don’t ask. But…what timing.
      Suffice is it to say that chemical and psychic pollution levels in the air ratcheted up so high as to induce dizziness, short-term memory loss, heart palpitations, cluster headaches, dryness of mouth, tingling shoes, disorientation, constipation, euphoria, diarrhea, toothache, throbbing temples, twitching eyes, deep vein thrombosis, depression, malnutrition and the sniffles.
      Not to mention a small tentacle of mist worming its way into me chest and mucking about with me innards.
      I tell you, it’s been a toss up between writing and running screaming for the hills of Abruzzi.
      Oh, by the way, I was well gutted that Back to the Future was not on this year. I just fancied watching that opening sequence with all the clockwork, breakfast making gadgetry; kind of like that old board game ‘Mousetrap’ that somehow seemed really clever when I was a kid.
      Anywaybloodyhell.

      Stay sharp Fox.

  1. I got bought mousetrap in my 2nd year of uni. The damp of student digs rotted it while it was under the bed. Now I’m not sayin that’s a profound metaphor for the death of our childhood ideals or owt…

    It’s funny some of that Mash Up Myself has little kernels that are a bit too much like stuff in my novel written for my Wolfgang character (I feel you would like him, he’s croaking crazy). Do you ever feel like you don’t actually write stuff, it writes itself? And it comes from the debris of your experience, which is probably quite similar to the experience of others in small ways.

    Have you seen my other blog
    http://beesmakehoneycc.wordpress.com/about/
    ?
    Wondered if you fancied writing something for it, about trying to be a writer or an artist or sommat. It’s still in the building stages at the mo (clunky as f), but hopefully the new year will give me time to grow it.
    Bests&pixie dust

    • Watcha,

      I think it can be valuable to work in crap jobs for a while. Allows us to justify our own horror at it. Though overstaying your welcome (2 years MAX) can cost too much soul. Like what I imagine an abusive relationship to be like. I mean, how many times does a person need to be clobbered (physically/mentally/spiritually(?)) to know that its wrong? Then there’s the danger of becoming accustomed to bad treatment. Soon it becomes normal, expectations are lowered and life takes a nose dive without us even noticing. And all for the buck. Hmm, a sadist for coin? Questionable behaviour, deeply questionable behaviour.

      Hang on, I need a cuppa and a fag and a Prozac after writing that.

      Of course, there is the added danger of becoming the sort of person who works in a crap job just to write about it later. I’ve been unfortunate enough too have met a couple of these inverted-snobs before. Now Fox, what I am about to tell you is the truth and nothing but the troof so help me Gawd, okay? I was at a spoken word gig a few years back and was chatting away to one of the performers. He said, honestly, that he started working for Royal Mail after reading Bukowski’s ‘Post Office’. He said that the experience brought him (a middle-class Londoner with choices) closer to the ‘real world’ and ‘real people’. I could have lamped him; the pretentious (beep) but that would have been wrong…

      Now close your mouth, you’ll catch flies.

      No probs on writing for your blog, of course. Much of my own blog stuff, though, (you’ll perhaps be unsurprised to hear) is barely edited. The mere thought fills me with horror at the moment. However, I published something a while ago that might be suitable.

      See what you think. I can contact them to get it re-published or whatever. Otherwise I can you a ‘fresh from the ovens of hell’ new piece. Your choice. I only give you the option because, at the moment, my writing is RAW, RAW, RAAAAW!

      (Cough)

      Nice one Fox,

      MJ

      P.S. Out of curiosity, I just re-read that piece I sent you the link to and decided that it definitely needs a re-vamp if it’s going to be used again. They say never go back and perhaps ‘they’ are right. I thought it was shite. See, publishing it did nothing but encourage me!

  2. where you sent it? not recieved owt…
    the funny thing is, i do really enjoy being a bartender, but i’ve done it a long time. and yeah the bukowski thing reminds me of this guy off my course, who was loaded & used to make 16mm films cos he could afford to, but he was like a jarvis cocker cliche, wanting to live like a commoner.

    i’m happy with raw stuff.

  3. Wotcha?
    Oh that, funny enough i randomly clicked on that the other day. I like the style of it a lot, but if you did fancy writing sommat new I would like that. It’s good to have original material, but I can see how it fits well with what BMH is about. I’m undecided. I’m indescive. My upstairs neighbours are playing terrible music very loud, the urge to bang on the ceiling with a broom & so become utterly ridiculous in my petty rage, is not helping rational descision-making.
    They really mix the music up aswell to f**k with my head. If it was all one genre I could adjust to it, it becomes like traffic or whatever. But who mixes happy hardcore with U2 and Kylie? They play songs from 10 years ago that I had cut out of my fragile battered memory. They played Aqua one night. I have headphones in blasting my ‘Doom’ playlist into my head (don’t wanna disturb the blokes downstairs who are dead nice), but I can still hear their shit.
    So um, sommat new if you have any ideas, but if not I’d be happy with that. And if you happen to own a crossbow that could take out a sub-woofer please send it. I’m just saying that because I love the word sub-woofer, I’m gonna name my next dog that.
    I will stay dry in humour, but I cannot promise to stay out of the rain.

    Fight the war, f**k the norm etc. over & owt
    Foxx

    • From here,

      I’d be happier writing something fresh and stinky for ya, to tell the truth. Glad you agree on fresh, if not stinky (?).
      Oh, when do you need the thing by? How many words etc.? Go on, pile even more pressure onto my dainty shoulders (smile).
      I moved a few months back. Got a great apartment by the sea all to myself. But also got a noisy neighbour into the bargain. Can test the soul of the most patient philanthropist. A quick word to the offending neighbour sorted everything out though. There’s a lot to be said for diplomacy.
      A mate of mine used to love Euro Disco. And he’d play it late into the night, sending me into a strange, pastel-coloured, plasticine lands occupied by the weird puppets a la that Euro Trash program from the 90’s. Not a good place to be.
      Sometimes, depending on my mood (not saying I’m moody, though I obviously am (smile)) it’s not so bad to hear other people around you. Kind of imbues a sense of community…nah, bollocks…what am I on about?
      Aqua? That’s below the belt I reckon. A ‘tune’ dragged screeching from the bowels of hell, to be sure. If you’ve exhausted the diplomatic route and are straining at the gates of all out sonic warfare, I might have a little something for you: go to YouTube and type in ‘Alchemists of Sound’. A little New Years gift. Your neighbours will be talking about you for years.
      Speaking of aqua…
      Rain here too. Sea whipped up like grey artex. I challenge you to write a shittier simile.
      You might as well reply to my email; now that I’m ’employed’ by you and all…

      To here,

      maxwell.jay@gmail.com

      Nice one Foxxy,

      MJ

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