On the Third Day, Boulder (barrier)

VI.ii. The Roasting Spit: Things Heat Up

— ‘(ow-t)’

Things Heat Up

[Milo, stop!] Phantasmannie threw up her loose straps in alarm. [Stop hitting the casing!] One of her spirit filament tentacles loops around SuperMilo’s surprise right and counterforces him to pause.

[But I was almost through it.]

[I know, you were doing a bang-up job, but that’s not safe. That’s not how we’re going to get through this.]

Photo by Ivan Bandura on Unsplash

[Donkey’s on the other side of this thing!]

[But there’s nothing connecting us to him. This is all enclosed. We’re the ones on the inside.] — [I don’t see how that changes things. I need to break through to the outside, same difference either way.] — [I’m not being clear. There’s a way things are getting to the outside where Donkey ended up, but it’s not by brute mechanical force.] — [What do you mean by mechanical force?] — [Uh… mechanical force?] — [Right.] — [] — [Oh, I meant, right; what’s mechanical force?] — [Oooooh. I see, when you were asking about how to get through… never mind, anyway. So we can’t just hulk-smash our way out of here.] — [I’m not an expert, but… I’m pretty sure… I’m really quite sure that thing was about to break. The walls were.] — [No, you’re right, they are breakable, but… you would not want to be breaking those. That would be a bad scene. Very bad.] — [How bad?] — [Like: it’s protecting us from them and it’s protecting them from us, too, bad.] — [So how do we get through then?] — [Well, not looking like this, for one!]

Phantasmannie gestured etherial-tentacly at Milo’s body, which currently looked like a Saturday morning cartoon Harlem Globetrotter with a caricature of Milo’s face looking quite similar to a boardwalk sketch artist he’d had done with his mother last summer. He’ll keep it for some time into his adulthood; it reminds him of carefree days scampering around the hood to the perennially disrepaired swing sets and carousels between the projects, and bittersweet recollections of his mother before the incident. It was also grueling to be forced to remember her in the times when she was just a mom, because those memories too become infected and corrupted, boiling in acid around the frame, because they were too innocent, too naive, too stupid to know any better. And with a lot of love and a lot of money for help and therapy he will reach a point in his adult emotional life where his prime concern will be lay to rest, to put away, his childish things, and this image becomes, for all intents and purposes, only a memory.

[This body can’t go through, Milo, but we can get to the other side.] — [And now, you’ve most certainly lost me!] — [That’s the point!] — [] — [I apologize for getting over-excited there, but you don’t know how close you are.] Milo hears the theme song to Gilligan’s Island kick in. [Very funny.] — [Oh shit, you can hear that?] — [Of course I can, I’m conjoined with your consciousness. That’s how you’re hearing any of this. Or we are, for that matter.] — [I guess I just hadn’t thought about it in that way exactly.] — [I understand.] — [Okay, what if I think about something while we’re connected, can you understand that?] — [Only little murmurs in most cases, that’s something you’ll get better at. Meditation would help, I don’t know if you ever get into it or not…] — [Can you just go through all of my memories?] — [No! How the hell would I even get at them? They’re encrypted to you. If you want to bring them up to share, then that’s up to you, and that’s so easy, even Gilligan could do it!] Phantasmannie nods a bobbing head and makes a twinkling sound. [Oh my God, that’s so cool.] — [It’s really rudimentary technology, I find it extremely difficult to work in these things, they’re so archaic and clunky, you feel like you’re stumbling around in the dark so much it’s almost like being alone…] — [I just had this thought while you were… I was thinking that, doing this, that we might be losing precious time, with Donkey still on the other side of this contraption, or penitentiary, or living thunder dome, or wherever the hell we are.] — [All of this is taking less time than either of us will ever know, but that shouldn’t excuse tardiness. Remind me where we were.] — [We were talking about mechanical force. And how it’s bad. Racism. Capitalism. Trump, boo-hiss!] — [That’s certainly one legitimate interpretation, but a surprising one coming from someone of such humble and material upbringing…] — [I learned from the best?] — [Don’t mock my didactic nature.] — [Please, about mechanical force.] — [Right! So I’m talking about a different scale, a different order of magnitude, away from your old friends the Newtonian forces, And gravity isn’t playing this hand, so we’re going to have to hang ten like the sun shines, surf’s up, dude!]

— []

— [Electromagnetic force. We’re going to have to perform a simple linear transform to convert you from this hot mess into your heat pattern.]

— []

— [So, I’m already not…] — [Howthefuckisthat in any way simple?] — [So… I’m already an energy footprint, and you’re mostly that at the moment. I just meant we don’t need to shoot for some complicated cohesion, like I am at the moment,] Phantasmannie shoots out a tendril and waves at Milo’s caricature. [we’ll opt for just a mimic or heat image of your self, since you’re still attached to your bio, it just makes it a little trickier.] — [So, after all this, you’re just a figment of my imagination?!] — [No. No-o?] Milo has a vague image of the girl who was going to make him sleep for a long, long time to protect him from the dangerous procedure…[Oh, I think I see what you mean. So, maybe? I was artefacted into existence, so I certainly could have moderate amounts of biogenetic influence from her; I had opened this port for experience, and ISIS may have co-incidenced us for that very reason. But in any case, I’m here to help, because this seems important, and I’d really like to see you succeed on this mission. Now, let’s make like wave and ride our way through here.] — [So, I need help with that.]

— [Absolutely. I want you to picture being real close to a campfire] — [I have a fireplace in my new house, dad starts it up every Christmas!] — [That’s perfect, just be yourself, be your age, be around the Christmas fire.] — [Okay. My old man is there, and mama is there, they’re happy, I think.] — [Get up close to the fire, Milo, sit down cross-legged and lean forward, put your elbows on your knees. Eyes closed so that you can feel the radiance at the top of your cheeks but not yet on the tip of your nose. Feel where there’s weight to the strength of the warmth that pulls you towards it. Do not move your face, but move your imagination of your face towards the embracing warmth in front of you — Slowly, move the center of your thinking from the middle of your head towards your heated cheeks, until all of you your senses and ideas are being experienced in the flush of your sinus flesh. Now go to the end of your nose, travel the entire packet of your understanding through your nostrils until you arrive at the cavitous opening, let yourself digest your precariousness, spinning and twirling at the end of the cranial rope, spinning from the center of your nose, from the center of you…



Milo can’t open his eyes to see, nor open his mouth to speak, but he is snapped to alertness, unsure where he is, or what surrounds him, Phantasmannie’s voice is welcome comfort.

[Don’t try and open your eyes, just keep holding your thinking self together, I’m right behind you, touching you, I’m moving my body in waves. Can you feel it Milo?] — [I can feel it. It feels good.] — [Just keep up with me, let yourself swim and flow like I’m doing.] — [It feels really good.] — [It does, doesn’t it. Less talk.] — []

— []

— [] — []

— [Oh god, what do you call this?] — [Shh.]

— [] — []

— [] — [] — []

— [] — [] — [[Oh god. That was amazing.] — [Incredible. I’m… speechless.] — [I wouldn’t know how to do that again if I tried.] — [I know.] — [Yeah. Was it like that your first time as well?] — [Hmm? That was my first time.] — [Then how did you know how… to…] — [Instinct would probably be the best answer. I mean, I’ve done some similar things, but, just not like that.] — [What did we do? Mechanical force-wise.] Milo manages to convey a wink. — [Remember before when you asked if I had access to all of your memories? Well, to be transparent, now I can.] — [Why do I still feel like I’m vibrating, is that normal?] — [There’s no exact science to normal, we’re all encrypted at that level. What does it feel like?] — [It’s like thoughts are getting fuzzed by a fast jiggle, electric jiggle, a soft buzzsaw chewing my ideas like a stump. They’re close in-distance, not exactly tripping in unison sidestep. Kerfuffle yum brands pogo taters.] — [Milo, can you focus? Can you stay with me?] — [Conflagration of mortal wounds bend lightwise from the blistering mewl of one life-s’tar…] — [Milo, I don’t want to have to drive into your memories, please, come toward my voice, … ] — []

— [Milo, breath, we’re almost there.]

— [] — [Milo, baby. I need you now. Can you feel that?]

— [] — []

— [] — [Milo, baby. I need you now. Can you feel that?]

— [

] — [I said, “Milo, baby, I need you now. Can you feel that?”]

— [I feel this aching vibration whipping through me. It makes it hard to think. To process things right. Something’s wrong with my head — is that normal?] — [It’s normal that you don’t want to stay focused on me. Okay? So that’s why we want to stay coherent, you don’t have to talk if you just want to move like I’m moving.] — [That’s nice, that helps a little bit. Thank you so much, that feels so much better. Thank you. I love you.] — [Shh. Just stay with me.] — [] — [] —

] — []

[Are those snowflakes melting on your finger? — [

Ice Harvest
Field Mice
Pluck Necks
Declare gRhythm

Furthermore, my friend. I would have a word with you.] — [Why stop there?] — [Is that a copper ring leaving green mildew on your finger?] — [Speak to me like a dinosaur, tiger.] — [Rawr!] — [Rawr!] — [RRaawwrr!]



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