Previously on Darklight: on the way to the moon with a bird, a human fell asleep. Through the magic of the mind, he travelled to a rainy reality. After meeting an obsessive future version of himself, he climbed through a broken television set into another dimension. Or wherever. Episode one is here.
Floral avenues bloom in different seasons—
in spring, in winter, on lost days.
Beyond the TV portal, the reception of reality was poor:
analogue strata of land and sea and sky
drifted by beneath me and above me.
As I watched, they sheared and shredded,
Time and space were stretched too taut,
thinning out like cling wrap,
until the rhythm of the Ibid Bird,
a staccato pecking at my head,
We’ve arrived, the Bird declared,
At Lunar Central Station, Platform Number Five.
I disembarked and looked around,
hoping for a little moon-grown magic.
Sparkling rows of holiday lights were strung between
the spheres of enormous Van de Graaff generators;
discrete horn speakers blared a Muzak mambo;
and grey-on-grey confetti fell like cinders
from ducts beneath the rooftop arch,
dry, and curiously comforting.
A friendly turnstile guard gave me a wave.
Her uniform was military, with an insignia on her cap
—an enigmatic snowflake—and a futuristic weapon
was holstered on her hip.
She pulled it out, and aimed it at my head.
We’re not fond of earthlings here.
Your species is perilously erratic.
You’ll listen to anyone who’ll tell you
how to play the game of living.
Their solemn promises trump correctness,
even though the deck of cards is infinite.
Instead of boring paperwork,
talk to me about yourself.
My decision whether to vaporize you or not
will depend on a whimsical set of metrics.
Her weapon charged with a high-pitched whine,
and my words tumbled out in a babble.
I call myself Terry. My mother named me
Terrestrial Smith, and I thought to never be
who I became. A life may be wasted,
I learned through introspection,
She looked me up and down. Surely you can do better.
With paper beneath my pen, I renounced all action,
chose to write of an author, who wrote
of floral avenues, of Selena and the moon,
but his first and only sentence confounded him,
and so it was with the writer of whom he wrote,
She yawned, and turned a dial on her weapon.
I wondered if it had a “delicates” setting.
- Transplantation of a favourite character from The Plague (Albert Camus, 1947, Gallimard),
- Muzak, a trademark of MUZAK LLC, and Mambo No. 5 (Lou Bega).
Still from a video work in progress, Avenues, which is flight testing with ALISA, adaptive layered image synthesis and automation.