Night Bugs

Due to a window left open too late, night bugs are clumsily orbiting the naked lightbulbs above me. I cup my hands around one dazed moth and throw it out the window but as far as I can tell it only tumbles to the ground. The rest I can hear relentlessly bashing against the hot globes which I haven’t turned off because I’m addicted to comforting warm brightness.

They haven’t evolved for this, for millions of years they navigated by the moon and they are yet to adjust to the relatively recent intrusion of artificial light into their world. I wonder if they will have time to accustom to our modern lightscape or if we will run out of the required resources to keep the cold, deep blue-blacks of nighttime at bay, making this but a brief and violent blip in the history of winged insects.

One green beetle is crawling across the landscape of pillows and ornamental cushions chosen by my mother in eggshell blues to match her curtains; it’s the kind of beetle that lets off an offensive odour when threatened, yet surprisingly I detect no smell. Soon the green beetle stands at the summit of one of the cushion mountains and I decide to take a photo of it with my phone’s camera. While viewing the bug on the screen, I get the vaguely disquieting sense that it is studying me as much as I am studying it but I soon decide it is only disoriented as it slowly rotates on the spot for far too long. I feel gratitude towards it for letting me document it and so I gently wrap it in some toilet paper and take it downstairs where I release it on to a flax plant and hope that it will be okay.

I go back upstairs to finish writing this and while I am doing so, a big, stunned mosquito falls onto my arm. I slap it and it bounces down onto the ground, dead. I contemplate the fact that I would make a terrible God because omnipotence only makes me feel guilty.

bug2

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The Vlogger

“I don’t go out anymore” she tells the camera “I’ve watched way too many people die.”

She adjusts the camera which she has sitting on a small, tabletop tripod. For a moment the autofocus shifts to a painted landscape hanging on the wall behind her, then back to her face.

“The last time I stepped outside was four years ago. I’d been holed up in my apartment for months and the claustrophobia was really getting to me, so I convinced myself I was being paranoid. I was walking to the library when a middle-aged businessman in a crappy Kmart suit passed by. We made brief, meaningless eye contact, then he stepped onto the road and was hit by a truck.”

A ginger coloured tomcat meanders on to screen, close to the camera and out of focus. She picks the cat up, holds him in her arms and strokes him while he purrs loudly.

“I didn’t feel shock when it happened, only the vaguely nauseated boredom that comes from desensitisation. He’d been crushed from the belly button down, smeared across the hot summer asphalt in violent reds, rusty browns, hints of buttercup yellow and bluish purple. He was still alive and had a look on his face like a stupid animal, it reminded me of a daddy long legs spider whose abdomen has been crushed under merciless Reeboks but who continues to attempt to walk, despite being glued to the ground by its own guts.

Some people ran to him and when a blonde, young woman knelt down to speak to him and take his hand, he must have seen the look on her face because his eyes filled with horror and he started screaming. He died before the ambulance arrived.”

She reaches for something offscreen, a book which she displays to the camera.

”Self-help for fuckwits. Yeah I continued to the library and checked this book out but I knew I wouldn’t be back. I don’t go out anymore because every time I do, I see somebody die. I don’t know why it happens, I don’t know if I cause it or if fate is a sick pervert who wants a witness but I just don’t go out anymore.”

As she leans in towards the camera, the cat jumps off her lap.

”I’m not sure why I’m posting this to YouTube, everyone will probably think I’m crazy but I guess I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced anything like this… Please let me know if you have, in a twisted way, I think it’d be comforting to know I’m not alone.”

She turns the camera off.

The comments on her video read:

”nice tits”

“wtf lol I’m in the weird part of the Internet again” and

“Incredible! The prices are unbeatable at onlineshoesforsale.website and it has the biggest range in the United Kingdom!”

Dust

Flickering candlelight illuminates silicone tits, shaved cunts, oversized cocks and beautiful faces bespattered with thick cum. The only sound is the gentle buzzing of a bullet vibrator, her orgasm is mute as the sound of her own voice is too jarring in this almost absolute silence.

Approximately five months after they all disappeared, she took refuge in an abandoned adult department store on the main highway connecting Melbourne to Sydney. This made practical sense as it was situated between a Chemist Warehouse and a 24 Hour Gym, so she was able to survive on old protein powders and vitamin supplements. She slept in the office of the sex store on an old mattress, wrapped in faux mink blankets which she scavenged from Kmart before it collapsed.

She plastered the walls with photos from porn magazines. These had provided her only company for a very long time now and so all her notions and memories of the flesh and actuality of humanity were replaced by these remnants of sexual ideals. Now when she tries to recall the faces of loved ones, she can only see platinum blondes with heaving breasts or the hairless abs of gay porn stars.

In an attempt to pass the endless time and cope with the suffocating boredom, she masturbates. There is a good supply of batteries and a huge variety of vibrators for her to choose from and perhaps this is the real reason she chose to take refuge here; in this dream world full of pleasing shapes and bright colours, these objects of escapism and pleasure are the antithesis of what lays outside, the opposite of the barren landscape where the sunlight is a hazy silver through the smog and everything is coated in that grey, omnipresent dust. Sometimes it rains but the water tastes like ash and the dust turns to mud.

Night and day are entirely devoid of the sounds indicative of life, no cars, no birds, no skittering feet or buzzing flies. There is nothing but the hollow wind, the unconscious creaking of old architecture and sometimes, a sudden and violently loud crashing from crumbling plaster and collapsing steel as buildings no longer maintained have begun to deteriorate.

There was a time she was convinced that she could hear music, too faint to pick out the tune, like a radio that was very far away. She spent what she estimated to be a year, judging by the passing of the seasons, searching for the source of this sound. Every single day, she would explore the empty, used car lots, discount grocery stores, TABs and dusty McDonald’s but the sound never got closer, it always existed just on the periphery of her perception so that it began to feel like psychological torture.

One day, in an abandoned retirement home, she found the body of a cat. Shaking violently, she stared at the corpse in shock; it had been a very long time since she had seen evidence of any other living creature. She had seen no people, plants or animals for years, had never once found any bodies, bones or remains of the life forms she was sure once existed in abundance. The only indication that life had once prevailed were the cold artefacts, the photos, buildings, objects and the powdered meal supplements she survived on.

Yet here was this dead cat, utterly emaciated with a thin trickle of blood coming from its mouth. Tentatively, she placed her hand on the corpse and her ears began to ring. The cadaver still contained traces of heat, whispers of a recently ended life which sent a burning, intolerable pain throughout her body. And so she ran. After that, she ceased her searching and believed the music to never have existed.

She doesn’t venture out far anymore. The grey dust falls thickly over everything now, the highway is covered in a blanket of the dust so thick that it goes up to her thighs in some spots and when she walks, clouds of the stuff are stirred up so that she chokes and coughs relentlessly, her throat burns and her eyes weep. Day by day, the sun seems further away, the difference between night and day is becoming indistinct.

Atrophied and weakening, she struggles to keep down the protein shakes and only drinks them every other day because, years old at this point, they are lumpy, flavourless and as colourless as the dust. Her skin is ashen and withered like a woman four times her age.

She still masturbates, though her orgasm is mechanical, sexless and she hardly notices when it happens. Sometimes she still imagines she can hear music but she can no longer conceive of why that might be significant. Idly, in a mental fog that grows thicker as every day passes, she wonders what will expire first, the vibrators, the batteries or her.

Her

Her skin looks as if it is stretched taut across her frame but when you touch it, it is almost too soft, as if under the thin layer of epidermis, she is made entirely of spreadable cream cheese. She smells a little like bubblegum and a lot like bleach.

Your touch causes her eyes to flutter open and they are green marbles, her mouth widens into a grin made entirely of teeth. Now she looks like she is laughing maniacally but no sound escapes her body apart from the wet, sucking sound of her hand disappearing into her cunt. Thick, fluorescent orange fluid seeps down her thighs and if you looked closely, you would observe the liquid is populated with water beetles and mosquito larvae.

Now you hear a noise like a thick bolt of cotton being slowly torn in two. This is the sound of her ripping herself open; starting from her crimson cunt she tears her skin along her centre in a perfect line right up to her scalp.

Then, gripping at the middle of her torso, she pulls herself open like a jacket which she steps out of and allows to fall unceremoniously to the ground. She is now muscle, sinew and veins, the colours are all pinks, purples and that fluorescent orange. She glistens in the clear, cold autumn sunlight.

Her exposed insides are as sticky as tree sap and a light breeze soon causes her to be decorated in brown leaves, old feathers and dead insects. She is no longer laughing, instead she seems calm and disinterested, an animal that knows you’re not a threat and therefore has no concern for you. She is rubbing her clit and staring into the distance.