Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Turn Off The Machines

The lunar-tick, who had so far suffered bravely the slings and arrows of poisonous spite and vitriolic slander, took his base metallic contraptions (or contrapunctions as he so sagely called them) and fed them into the crunching, gaping hole-mouths of the dastardly and dreaded infernal type machines. Marrrrrgghhh, splarrrrggggh, griiiinnnnnnd they went, those infernal type machines, as they chewed away at the lunar-tick’s once-beloved and specially made contrapunctions (or contraptions as his friends so wisely called them). And all the while, as the gnashing and jawing was going on, the lunar-tick stood there, like an immobile mute whistler, catching, in a small glass phial, the tears that trickled from his eyes and flowed slowly down his large expanse of chubby red face.

The lunar-tick, after witnessing the devourance of his last contrapunction decided, finally, that he would no longer simply stand idly by while infernal type machines and similar fucking nasty things came along to bite and suck away at the pathetic last shreds and shards of his pathetic, tiny life. No sir, the lunar-tick said to himself, no sir and no way. Which was strangely prescient because, at that very moment, an infernal type machine clattered into view and squealed out for the lunar-tick to fetch him, in strict order, the following items:

Ralph clouds.
Seratine gas.
Noose ladles.
Far scapes.
Carry towns.
Either breads.
Loping cigs.
Fancy styles.
Bluff reds.

After barking out his squeaky orders, the infernal type machine (which was, in fact, a screwdown battery-operated Twisting Grater Mk.3), settled down for a short nap, imagining – for he had no reason to think otherwise – that the lunar-tick would soon be about the business of collating his (the infernal type machine’s) list of unreasonable, yet predictably typical, demands. But, of course, this was not, in fact, the case. Because the lunar-tick, now heavily resolved to follow through with his earlier resolve, was quickly crafting an ingenious gun-like weapon which, when fired, would render the infernal type machine – plus all other infernal type machines (and variants of) within a radius of ten miles – completely powerless.

The infernal type machine lived by his own standards of relativity and whatnot. So his short nap was, in fact, a very long nap indeed. In terms relating to us – the likes of me and you – the infernal type machine had been asleep for almost twenty-seven years. In terms relating to the lunar-tick (and all the people he knew), the infernal type machine had been asleep for a mere eight years. Not as long, but certainly long enough for the lunar-tick to fashion the strange and powerful gun of which we first heard about only a few seconds ago.

As the infernal type machine woke he also yawned - a long and stretching yawn that, due once again to the shift in relativity and relation etc., lasted, in the lunar-tick’s terms, three months, allowing him (the lunar-tick) plenty of time to fire the gun and render the infernal type machine – and all the other similar machines within a ten-mile radius – completely and utterly helpless. Ha ha.


Blogger Molly Bloom said...

This piece is like the sharpest knife you will ever own slashing the page and ripping out the sinews of language from a papery, crepe-like vein.

You use images of consumption that literally swallow you whole and then spit you out again after all the 'gnashing' and 'jawing'. Quite frightening and fascinating at the same time. Reminds me of the machine from 'Metropolis' - roaring and shouting from behind the tiny, sweat-covered worker as the clock 'ticks' behind in duree (the list stops but the language forces itself back from its distant realm). Machines can be stopped by no-one except the squeaky voiced operator.

I don't know where the angry words come from, spewing from the cogs, nuts and bolts like jetsam.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Shannon said...

A marvellous creation, the lunar-tick. And I love the time shift - the three months to aim and fire is hilarious, like the lunar tick's little triumphant 'ha ha'. Here's a strange thing: couldn't you just see the opening paragraph, and those dastardly machines, as a scene from Calvin and Hobbes? Who do they end up being? His mum? His dad? His teacher?

Maybe it's because the language is so new and fresh, imaginative.

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