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10pm is the time my life begins each night, and 6am is the time I die.
I have spawned. I wonder aimlessly into the pumping shed of industrial blood, a pollutant house of petroleum. I act like I’m not giddy with excitement as the sun dies behind me. The previous slave greets me as I take over, his name is John or Jim or Dave. He lets the last dregs of his engine drip all over me, he slowly stabs me in the neck, and the whole time he smiles an anxious grin. That grin wants a friend accept but I am definitely his enemy. He hacks away at my body and soul as I stand there nodding and blinking and nodding and blinking in time with his bull#. Finally he stops for a moment to refuel, I take this opportunity.
“Jim” I say,
“What? No, my name is Owen” he is so awkward.
“Jim” I know he isn’t Jim, “You have just worked an eight hour shift... Today while others are landing million dollar bonuses on the stock market or deciding which shade of canary yellow would match their yacht interior with their Sperry’s, you have been feeding termites their addiction of petrol and Reese’s Peanut-Buttercups for a wage that can only buy you nothing. What in your right mind convinced you that speaking to me would be a good idea? You hate me. You look at my drawn in face and coal coated eyes and die a little each time.”
“No, I-” I cut off his lips. I am Mendenhall.
“Yes! The complete disregard for my own personal appearance is of great annoyance to you. If we hadn’t had to cross paths right now you would’ve gladly pretended not to see me. Is society’s unspoken rule of polite exchanges with colleges holding you to ransom Jim? Is it?”
Jim is thumper; he is caught in the headlights. His mouth twitches before he rushes past me and walks quickly to his necessity wagon. I make my way to the throne; I sit upon my chair of fulfilment and stare blankly into the ant farm.
After assembling packets of poison and preservatives in their rows I gaze across the forecourt to see a female approaching. She staggers to the shutter; little does she know I never lock the door. The kingdom is mine but the peasants can view its interior, perhaps someone will put me out of their misery. Until that day I am the ruler of the kingdom. The station is mine.
The wench wanders through the door after I signal for her to do so. She has obeyed me; I may go mad with power. Her drunken smile meets my expressionless face, she stares as I stare, and I manage to break down her jaw before she asks for a packet of oxygen. Clearly she is hanging; of course tobacco will loosen the noose and save her life. I watch her leave and open the cigarettes, she lights one up, puffing on the wonder stick. She is dependent on the nicotine to ease the stress that it has caused. As she inhales the economy she transforms into a Lehman brother, her disregard for the impending doom around her simply confirms my sighting. I watch the death stick linger in her mouth, it slowly excretes its’ toxins and burns like embers in the forest. I imagine the destruction that would ensue if a single ash flake touched a perfect spot. Alas, the zombified female staggers off back through the depths; I see the firefly of cancer flutter distantly.
By now I’ve watched the minions stroll in and out of the royal kingdom, I begin to despise them. My hopeless stare of emptiness simply reflects their inner self; I am the coc aine cola covered mirror of broken dreams and corporate identities, they dared not look. I have accepted my fate as one of many different yet identical bacteria’s in the cess-pool of the gargoyle zoo. I embrace the diabolical content of this fiction that we call earth, perhaps I’m Aoi, but it’s not funny, I’m not laughing, man, I’m just dying slowly each day like the rest of you.
I take the mop and slide it across the floor, the stench of bleach rises through my nostrils and descends down the back of my throat. It is the Bear Grylls of the olfactic world, unnecessarily scaling another inanimate object, in this case my trachea.
As I stare at my reflection in the shiny tiles a foot slides across it, a filthy foot followed by a body. A monstrous body, no father or mother; he was genetically forged out of oxymetholone and anavar. His name is Syntholosees, he has a withering female companion named Polysiloxanne; she is chained to his side. Polysiloxanne is the lost rat, distant memories of her sweet sewer linger as she realises that her present reality is far worse than anything she’d previously left behind. This is why the grass is always yellow and dying. She is a genetic cyborg, half human, half silicone. Syntholosees however, is neither cyborg nor sewer rat, he is a beast. Rage and vanity rule his world.
He is a regular. As he enters the kingdom it becomes the pit of turmoil that it once was before my rule, I despise him. He sees through me, I am Dr. Jack Griffin.
After collecting his usual feast of hydrogenation he approaches my throne, it suddenly becomes a simple chair behind a counter; I’m melting. His Rubik’s cube head grins at me. He is immune to my powers, for his self acceptance and awareness of his own personal falseness makes him realer than corruption. Syntholosees could destroy my world at any moment, if only he cared.
I speak only to inform the roaches that they owe me money in exchange for the goods that I’m allowing them to take. I notice my hand starts to bleed as I frantically clutch at any straw that I can find. Syntholosees gives me a stare that penetrates my pituitary gland; he drains me of '___' before giving mercy. As soon as the tank disappears over the horizon I shakily lock the door and return to my chair and counter. I am Mohammed Ali’s single weakness.
It hits dead on 3 o’clock, I feel the need to rearrange all the Gatorade awkwardly, not too crazy, nothing psychotic; I just take the most popular flavour and put every bottle to the back. Someone’s going to commit mass murder over this.
I finish my carbonated chaos. A group of teenage morons enter; they reek of Abercrombie, Ivy League and all things consumable. The only fruit they know is Blackberry and Apple, the only book they know contains their own frowning face and the only space they’re invading is mine.
Most of them giggle and stumble into each other, the females are worst. Both genders congregate together in a small pack staring through the refrigerator window, steaming it up like an orgy in a cab. I move from the sandwiches to the throne, I sit there, watching, I stare, I stare till my eyes eject themselves from their kamikaze vessel. I see one of the parasites - perhaps his name is Ed Hardy, it seems to be emblazoned across his chest - he grasps the handle to the refrigerator door. He opens it. Touch the Gatorade. I #ing dare you, take a bottle. He did as I told him, he reaches for orange, but he wants berry, berry would cure all of his drunken problems, berry would stop his scum father indulging in his polycarbonate secretary while his foetal Foamex mother plays the unhappy cut out, her smile as empty as JFK’s cranium.
In the process of his drunken quivering paws climbing through the labyrinth of bottles, Ed manages to destroy the carbonated empire of awkwardness. Gatorade orange rains from the skies. The vapour pressure of my blood equals the environmental pressure around me, I am in hell. Inside my head a thousand drums crash and bang, St. Anger beats through my ears and into my soul. I am rage. I stand up and stare at the pathogenic crowd of the congregated, they don’t even notice, high pitched laughter guffawing and giggles fill the room. By now I could send the number 4449 into warp speed with my Cochlea alone.
I reach for the bat underneath the counter, Jim or Dave must’ve left it there for so called protection, presumably from himself.
I stare at the torrent of bile that is bathing in the glory of ruining my anti-social assembly. I could call the cops on them, but I’m no Robert Pickton.
I contemplate my next move carefully, this is the perfect chance I’ve been waiting for, time to break free from the shackles that will forever hold me to rational thinking. If only I were a serious serial killer, not just a minor one. I mean I’ve never murdered someone per say, but I’ve watched a few exteriors wither and die in my presence. But if I were a serious serial killer - or perhaps just a maniac - my murderous manifesto of spontaneous teenage assassination would go like this.
First I would take the bat in my hand, the firm familiar grasp of power, I would leave the throne with urgency, I can see it in my minds eye; as I power walk toward the crowd I shout something like “Hey!” or “You think this is funny!?” or maybe an amalgamation of the two. That would have me running in the ranks of the egotistical submarines that drown in their own airlocks, the “men” we know as “tough guys”, so sickening.
I approach the crowd with my shoulders arched, I’m a lion about to maim a whole pack of zebra. I approach the whores first, say nothing, smash. A cheekbone is pounded into dust; a mandible is dilapidated beyond all recognition. I have fed the bat of power into the face of intoxication and promiscuity. I do this three times, three whores drop, teeth are scattered, blood is seeping and screams are roaring throughout the kingdom, I am Goliath or perhaps Cuchulain.
Two male zebra leap upon me but naturally I smite them with a few deathly blows. Three remaining crossing horses are cowering, crying and sniffling, no courage about them, where is the brashness you used to destroy the Gatorade society now? The soma must be wearing off.
I approach them, slowly, very slowly so that they can’t anticipate my next move; I am Emmanuel Lasker and I may be a genius.
One of the remaining beta males gains an ounce of courage, he starts screaming and ranting and bubbling as he attempts to strike me. Futile. I duck and dig the bat into his intestines; he drops as any oxygen he’d stolen is dumped into the ocean.
I move forward but only before turning my back on the quivering mice, I flog three dead horses, why not? My attention is then turned back to the mice, one looks so scared he’d probably trade places with his own mother, he is at least twice my 140lb frame of sticks and bubble wrap; if he had the batteries he could’ve ended this at the first strike.
I take the tram into the city on this guy. His “friend”, Ed, goddamn Ed... remember Ed? He is the so called conqueror of Gatorarcadia. I had left him till last - on purpose of course - partly because he had fled to hide in the corner at the start of the show. His body is athletic yet his heart so frail, I take out the legs, he recognises me for a moment; he looks at me almost as if I’m his father.
As he lays there I simply let him go, the room is filled with harrowing death that will scar him deeper than any physical wound ever could. The scar of his murdered friends hurts, the scar of his broken scapula irritates, but the scar of his failure to intervene or act bleeds as it were a fresh incision.
I am a minor serial killer though, in reality, I simply watch, tight lipped and seething. The zebra live to waste another day; they trot out of the kingdom without even tasting its fruits. They came, they sabotaged; they won.
As my life draws ever closer to the impending doom of day time television and insufferable advertising, I can’t help but reflect upon myself. The dictator. The Castro of a lonely gas station. The perception of perfection is a lie. The rejection of imperfection is closer to the truth, but still a taller tale than Jack and that beanstalk.
Thoughts of despair and disillusion start to creep through my mind. I refuse to believe them. I try not to listen like a 13 year old burying his face in his pillow as he hears his mother doing the same. But I just can’t shake them off. The thoughts are realer and more intrusive than CCTV in a urinal.
Perhaps, maybe - just maybe - my outlook on society is that of infinite negativity dying in a bar of half empty glasses. Perhaps my pathogenic view of the citizens I encounter is exactly what makes me as bad as them. Maybe my silent protest of disgust and criticism - surfaced only by my own distasteful satisfaction of making others feel awkward – makes me no more a hero than the termites, perhaps even more cowardly. Is it my behaviour that fuels their constant disapproval and rejection, in turn creating my resentment? Am I my own enemy?
The smoking gun revolves slowly as the last cold bullet casing spins in a downward direction. But no, I quickly blow the smoke from my pistol. Dance upon the Sun with me, for this cannot be true. Sure, I’m no activist; on the contrary, my protests are far more cunning. Terrorism is immeasurable, and silence can fill a room.