Hel, or the ‘G’ Button

Hel just text me.

“Save me, Russ. Save…me.”

I ignored the tedious, digital, mega-gig bastard. Things to do, you know? I’d just lit an incense stick and was watching the city grow. The UFO’s zipping between buildings, grabbing what they could while the portal remained open. Intergalactic scavengers, that’s all they are. And who would have thought, after all this time, that all they were after was lager, cigs and porn? Believe me, I ‘wanted to believe’ too. But, it seems, we aren’t the only colossal disappointment the galaxy has to offer. In fact, next to these almond eyed freaks, we’re almost palatable. Never thought I’d hear myself thinking that…must be something in the incense.

When I was a baby, I mean a kid, I mean naïve, I mean stupid, I mean a young man led by his dick, I ended up, with some woman, in Singapore. We, that is the woman and I, were staying on a high floor of a very good hotel. We had a room on the sixty somethingth storey. You could see right out over this tropical city. Clouds, the size of whole islands, would rumble across drenching everything. You could: watch the people, like ants, running from the storm: watch the ground change from matte to gloss in one, tremendous sweep. And yet it happened everyday, like clockwork. At the time I remember wondering whether we are so gripped by our needs, obligations and preoccupations that, even when we know what’s ahead, still we test our luck. And maybe, just maybe, that’s why we are extraordinary…

…damned incense.

Today, a building with a sixtieth floor wouldn’t seem that remarkable. It would appear, in this dense megapolis, a mere pimple. It’s ridiculous. And yet, like the storm, we saw it coming.

I’m dying. I know it. My doctors know it. My wife knew it (she left post-diagnosis). I sit here drinking well made cocktails. Retirement complexes are like a long haul flights; they feed ya, water ya, dim the lights and lull you to sleep by bombarding your senses with titillating nothingness.

Sitting here in my cheap, fold out chair looking out at the rusty air with its faint strip of blue before giving up to space, the universe and whatever else, I watch the blue neon headlights of the pimped UFO’s taken on long joy-rides by the wired retired.

I’m happy to watch. And to wait.

The light show and my balcony. The timbre of my pulse carrying cocktail to grey matter. My pet mouse, Miki, at my feet, nibbling the dried flesh off a cuttlefish. Curious creature.

As for Hel, he’s probably sat in his room worrying about me, which is really his way of making sure he’s okay. I wrote him. He’s my monster. And he’s a bore. If he were here, which is impossible, he’d just stare at me and blink anxiously. All fake though. That bastard doesn’t have a caring bone in his body. He’s just a tiresome projection of pixellated neurosis.

Another two UFO’s, probably each welded down the middle, have just crashed about, oooh, three miles away. A halo around a white ball of light, sparks cascading off it, followed by a limp smoky, dead octopus with growing tentacles. Those poor fuckers on the ground.

Been years since I’ve been brave enough to press the ‘G’ button in the lift.

Or stupid enough, truth be told.


Special Bomb

We watched UFO’s together, the indigenous ones and I. They were triangular and buzzed with red and blue neon. I felt my face. I was one of their kind and I was not. The reservation was quiet. The uniformed men were gone. They had cut a deal, these white skinned men in suits, with the other men in the red and blue neon. The white men took one of our women at a certain stage of pregnancy and stole the baby inside her and gave it to the people in the UFO to do with as they liked.
And, over the years, our numbers have dwindled.
I think about my brothers and sisters that have died. I think about my wife and child.
I think about the bomb and wish I’d never learnt of its exsistence.
It’s a ‘special’ kind of bomb. Like a cosmic firework of brilliant blood light. It kills everything that moves and leaves no trace of its detonation save for a collection of amber clouds above the point of impact.
I don’t know why, but I tell my wife and child that they will be okay. I insist on them accompanying me to watch it go off.
So we drive to the site in my Ute.
‘It’ll be like bonfire night,’ I tell them.
I feel the bond between us and sense that my wife knows that, if it’s going to happen, we should be together.
We watch the rocket fizzing its way towards its target, a modest residential area on the outskirts of the base, its tail burning like hell.
Behind the wire fence we watch in the dusk; the eucalyptus, delicious on the breeze.
The trees are flashed into silouhette as the bomb detonates into the inevitable mushroom cloud.
The child is is jumping up and down and clapping and shouting for joy.
My wife looks at me with tears in her eyes.
‘Another, another,’ cries the child.