On the Third Day, Boulder (barrier)

VI.iv.

— Four.

Milo lifts himself drowsily off of Cleopatrannie, who has turned into a fallen pillar of popcorn. Looking for grounding or sympathy, he scans the heads of fellow passengers, immobile mannequins disinterested in him, all tilted upward to watch the in-flight movie struggling to play over the background engine drone. The film seems to be a black-and-white classroom documentary of the atomic age called Bikini Radio throwing well-worn images of the mushroom burgeon of a stationary mega-hurricane spewing gamma radiation helter skelter since it is trapped in time and space and cannot spin. Her popcorn remains begin to char and his phone goes off in his pocket as a disembodied flight attendant reminds him that he must turn off all electronics, as the captain, stowed safely away in the cockpit, has demonstrated through the illumination of the corresponding symbol.

He quickly jabs his hand into his left pocket to retrieve the urgently vibrating phone but returns with only a folded pale blue scrap of paper that reads:

I am rarely myself in dreams

Photo by Mikel Parera on Unsplash

He turns it over to reveal a glowing sunset. [Hee-haw! brays Rorshack to Boom-Boom, you idiot, it’s clearly a sunrise!] The plane begins to rock in the thrall of turbulence as he steps onto unsteady plaster feet. The screen is just a luminous glow of white light, and it is painful to look at, so he shields his brow, slowly slogging against the plane’s falling altitude towards the door to the cockpit, proudly displaying the same airline logo from his paper. His progress stalled, he holds up the paper to connect the two images, and he is suddenly standing inside the cockpit watching the rapid descent of the aircraft towards the shores of a sprawling industrial compound.

The pilot and co-pilot are slumped over the controls, headless and asleep. He tries illucidly to rouse one of them, but to no avail, as their corpses and skeletons have decomposed to worm-meal. On a black ridged pliable tube, a complicated oxygen mask drops from the ceiling. Milo reaches out and pulls it to cover his nose and mouth, aggressively swallowing the onrush of air — he hadn’t realized how parched for oxygen he was.

Young Milo’s body jerked once on the MRI platform, and he could hear the technician distantly punctuate the dense fabric of remote perception with a concerned, “Oh!”

Cleopatrannie grabs Milo from behind by his shoulder and semi-engorged cock. “Fancy meeting you here. Pick up the phone.”

But he cannot feel his phone vibrating while she’s administering such pleasure and biting his neck. It takes all of his mental focus to keep the fogging mask affixed to his face. The cockpit radio squawks indecipherably on and off as the plane yaws against air currents on its descent.

Smitten in the throes of sexual desire, he thrusts his pelvis back and forth more and more aggressively to generate friction against her ghostly grip when she suddenly vanishes. In letting go, he collapses into the dashboard, his tumescence lodging into a socket under the instrumentation, which suddenly dispatches the snow in the radio signal from Mission Control.

…ays the camera, I repeat, I am always the camera, I repeat…

You won’t find me where I fall
We may all begin aquatic
But we leave through the fire for our homes
— Son Lux, Aquatic

Milo was steering the yoke as the jet pursued its nosedive. He was unfamiliar with the controls and fractional turns of the stick created drastic rolls, blurring his vision of the vast icy ocean churning in anticipation miles beneath. As their plummet amplified, Phantomannie returned, succulently nibbling his right ear in whispers: “Did you missss me?”

— Please talk to the handyman, Candy Cannie.

But he welcomed her insights into all things sensual; what could be more sensual than to extend your human dimensions to the scale of a luxury liner, to inhabit the entire plane, fill out its wings and tails with your own imagination of self? To feel the warming winds whip against your frigid metallic skin as they pass the armor of heat and friction you build up like perspiration, to bask in the spritz as you pass through a cloud field, or the dread in your head and skeleton as you topple.

He instinctively followed her dicta, as she tugged and twisted him, so did he command the helm. She yanked him, veinous and swollen, markedly upwards in lurches, followed by a short drift of relaxation to glide the prevailing wind strata before he pulls up again on the shaft, fighting the intense pressure holding the cone low.

Surf streaks atop the ocean were coming into focus as the cockpit’s metal frame shuddered threateningly. They could see the barbed fencing surrounding the abandoned facility that was clearly never prepared for aircraft invasion. (Begging the question of exactly who they’d planned to keep out of this remote island compound, miniature toy soldiers?) She didn’t adjust her mechanical pulse, so neither did he. Speculating upon the comparative ranking preferences of deaths does not make it any more attractive to die.

“Now comes the big finale, soldier,” she soothed him, “get your pecker up, and I’ll kiss you on the other side.” He squinted desperately as he physically tore the drive shaft from the floor of the plane and its wing struck the earth.

We have already rued the passing of so many departed precious tomorrows, lost and incinerated hopeless in the spectacular fireworks of causality.

And likewise, these seen things, these understood things, these things that have been, even those only born on the backs of book spines and bore in the minds of men, these are your most precious algorithms, do not let anyone or anything take them from you.

“3”

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