This is another piece I was working on that I think could become something. It’s unedited. I think it might make a good short story.
“What are you in for?”
“You don’t wanna know,” answered Larry to the strange man in the cell across from him.
Larry’s head was bent low. He looked dejected and filled with a heaviness that was familiar to all his cellmates. They all knew the look. They too had gone through the sad realization that it was not every invention that would be met with the sound of roaring applause from their peers. They’d screwed up and they were doing time for their infraction.
“Come on man, tell us!” cried another cellmate two cells over. His mirror was dusty and dark. Larry wondered how he could see down the hall with it. His hands were equally as dusty and dingy, dried out like a prune rolled in dirt.
“What’s you’re name, guy?” asked Larry.
“You’re the Ignatious, who invented the biodegradable car?”
“I would be him.”
“It is such an honor to meet you. You are lauded as one of the greats in the culture. It was so sad to learn of your demise. How could you know that your tires would not degrade? It was a minor error on your part, not deserving of this hell hole.”
“Thank you good man. And what is your name?”
“Larry. Larry Livingstone.”
“Mr. Livingstone, pleased to make your acquaintance. Not to worry. I only have six months left on my time. I’ll be out and about in no time. I will hence be more discerning in how I unfold my theories to ensure I do not blunder in such a way again.”
“It was a mere slip dear sir,” Larry responded.
“Yes, but a slip that cost me two years in prison. Why are you here?”
“I invented an item that assists the populace with cleaning their teeth. I call it, a teeth-scrubber.”
“Well, the first few on the market degraded as they should have. But there was some slight mistake with the chemical structure and a few would not degrade. What made it worse, was that it was happening primarily with the children’s teeth-scrubbers. So I’m sure you can imagine the outrage that came from the parents.”
“Oh my,” said Francois.
“Yes. It escalated to a flood of letters to my institution. Children were said to wake up screaming in terror because the items would not degrade. They would see the items, now invincible against nature, chasing them endlessly. It was a nightmare for everyone involved. But the children. I didn’t mean the children any harm. They are so innocent. To think they were forced to imagine a world where things did not degrade and would live on forever upon the earth to haunt them for all eternity.”
Larry began to cry. A few of the men shed tears with him, remembering their own misadventures. There was a hush that came over them. Larry looked at his teeth-scrubber in near disgust.
I grew black wings today. I spread them wide and flew beyond Mars. I pushed my wings to flap through thick dark space around Jupiter and beyond. I then stopped to dance on the rings of Saturn. Before I knew it, Pluto became a tiny dot behind me, disappearing as I flew toward a cluster of lights. Up ahead was another galaxy filled with colors that did not exist on Earth, colors that did not need light to be seen, colors without names. The colors were filled with grandeur and life; I knew instinctively that naming them would doom them to my limited idea of them, it would take them far from their meaning and mutability. So I let them exist, nameless and free, allowed to be whatever they wanted to be. The many colors grew their own wings and could fly.
As I flew away from the colors, I could sense them communicating with me. They told me telepathically that colors were sentient, could feel and reproduce–yes, they gave birth to new colors. They said there were several planets where colors lived and breathed and had infant colors born black; they ran around spreading joy to everyone and everything. The infant colors grew into colors with their own unique DNA, variations of the colors on Earth, along with colors never experienced on Earth. Every once in a while, a group of adolescent colors explored other worlds to give species the experience of them. Some species could see them, others could not. Their ability to see colors depended on the bodies they incarnated in and whether the body was equipped to see the colors, and/or the spiritual level attained by the species. The colors, regardless, spoke of their experiences in different realms and what their presence did for each species. They gave themselves to others through love and a desire to explore the essence of other beings. These beings in turn, without knowing, gave something to the colors. What the colors received, they used to create new colors.
I listened and allowed them to share their history with me. I’d never heard anything like it and never imagined there could be planets where colors, as sentient beings, existed. But there I was, leaving their world and receiving the gift of their words as I flew away, far off into their galaxy and into new unimaginable adventures.
This is the beginning of an idea I believe I can flesh out and do something interesting with. I was thinking about consumerism, commercialism, capitalism, usury, and the poor economic state of this country. I haven’t done any editing, so…
The Elec-Trick Company
The line was long. The people were fat. They each looked like humps in a little plump caterpillar, moving through the line, colorful with multiple legs. They writhed and squirmed, seeming to be filled with gas. Their faces looked hungry. They each looked around the foreign space, seeking a morsel, or two. But there was no morsel to be had unless they’d taken to eating people. From the looks of them, eating people was probably their secret past time.
We inched forward, their eyes on us, the anomalies in the room. Slim. Astute. Clean. Nothing sold in Wal-Mart touched our bodies. The caterpillar parts, however, wore even pajamas to pay their bills. Was it because their lights were already turned off and they wanted to be dressed the part as soon as the lights came on? Plop down to watch TV. Order pizza. Scratch ass. Fart. Leave scraps in box on floor. Scream at kids. Fall asleep on couch. Wake up and head to bedroom. Turn on TV. Recall that the living room TV was still on. Good. Maybe will go down to kitchen to grab another bite to eat and can catch something interesting. Lost. American Idol. The commercial said 40 was the new 30, so indulge yourself in chocolate. Mouths open and another 100 pounds piles on. The bedroom TV blazes on. Late night talk shows and sex. The flashing on the wall as sleep takes over. While in slumber a string of commercials talk about restless leg syndrome and eating more pork, the other white meat. Morning comes and the fat caterpillar part changes its shirt but leaves on the pajama pants; it doesn’t know why it now has a strange craving for pork. Will grab some right after paying the damned bill. “Why’d they cut off my lights in the first place?” it thinks. “I was only five days late.”
They keep looking. Their parts moving almost in unison to the front desk where separated caterpillar parts sit collecting green paper. Caterpillars like green leafy looking things. They work for the lie bearers, the people who took what nature offers for free and made it into an empire. The caterpillars don’t have time to think about why they are on the line. They are too busy being caterpillars, moving along in little shuffles, into a destiny with no substance or form.
“Hello, sir,” the separated caterpillar chirps half pleasantly.
“Fine,” I lie. It’s what you’re supposed to do? Right? Tell the caterpillars what they want to hear so they don’t begin to twist and bend out of shape, losing their form.