Sunday, March 8, 2009

Two Flash Fiction Pieces by J.A. Tyler

Two Flash Fiction Pieces
by J.A. Tyler

winter. night. (eleven)

winter. night. and i'm not sure that they are ever going to burn these again. i get a new page every new day and the old one is picked up gently from the typewriter and a gray suited and lifeless man with a dark mask pretends to or does read it and then carries it away to a place where i think the leftover monkeys are all poised on stools of some variety and are sitting chain smoking extra long marlboros and watching old reruns of old television shows and then they bring my latest page in and read it aloud to all the monkeys and they laugh and laugh and laugh in their chimp like laughing way and then go back to smoking and watching old reruns of old television shows that have no meaning anymore.

or maybe these pages are in stacks in a giant room filled with billowing and random paper that is half burning and half wilting and reading itself out loud to the endless graying sky and the bars on the windows of a place like this. a place that no one should or would or could ever know. a place where my children jimmy and mikey and bradley are wondering where i am. and my wife who made pancakes in the morning and smothered them in strawberry syrup and who by now could be part of the windless plains that were keeping me up during sleep yesterday and wouldn't let me go like long manicured nails holding my wrists until they bled.

and maybe others are typing this thing too:

winter. night. winter. night. winter. night.

but i've listened in this winter in this night and i don't hear any other fingers clicking on any other keys on any other cells in this place that is like hell because i've been born but died when i starting writing:

winter. night. winter. night. winter. night.

the things i hear when i try to close my eyes and hear nothing sound nothing like fingers on keys in cells in this place. instead it sounds like screaming. like panic. like losing battles and arms being torn from raw and tired sockets. like trash burning. like clothes burning. like the screams of people inside those clothes that are burning. the sound of teeth being removed with metal tools and blood. the sound of eyes being plucked from faces likes ripe grapes on vines. the sound of lips weathered and cracked and trying to beg. the sounds of weeping. the sounds of sadness. the sounds of loneliness.

but no one seems to be typing like i am typing in this room that is concrete and metal. in this room that has no heat and no comfort. in this room where i push my shit out through the crack beneath the door. the crack beneath the door where i hear hard clicking gray suited boots arriving. the crack beneath the door where they slide the food that is an oat mush and a thin bowl of water and the crack that i try to piss through when i have the energy and the crack where i lay down next to and place my lips next to and suck my next breath through because the air inside these walls is sometimes enough to make you want to stop living like i do so often.

winter. night.

i have to keep typing that because when i was born and living with that wife who was strawberries and those kids who were jimmy and mikey and bradley those were the words that killed me. and for so many days and months and years they burned those words right in front my me in their gray lifeless suits and their dark masks and their pale attitudes. and so now i have to keep writing it. until it is done again. and i am born again. and can die again again again.


winter. night. (twelve)

winter. night. and if they have stopped burning the pages then i will push and tell like i have to because that is who i am or what i am and nothing can get in the way of being who you are or what your are even like it was or has been in those rooms that are purple and green and yellow and red and orange and black and blue and white. Even there. those rooms.

Green rooms have television screens in them that stay dull gray until the time is come to let them scream and be turbulent again. and the screens are everywhere and in corners and all at once different sizes and different places on the walls. and there is a chair in the middle that is like a chair for a doctor or a dentist but these people are just little kids wrapped in gray suits issued by a faceless man and they wear dark masks to hide their tears and their crying because when they do these things to these people like they did and do to me i'm sure they hear in the back of their little kid heads their own mothers lost to the windless plains crying to them be good be good be good but then that is drown by the sounds of another voice coming through tiny pieces of their ears or in their gray masks and that voice twice as loud as the voice of their mothers says don't be good be god be god be god.

in a green room pinned to the chair with belts and buckles and lashes and splints i felt the blood in my body center in my body and the room was cold and i didn't know what was next. i was as always here in the solitude of my own unknowing and that was a room before even the green room which was the first room that they took me into. so there were televisions on walls and the floors and the ceiling and everything in between was green and pale like a children's room made to induce monsters and give labor to an innocent growing brain.

and the men came in lifeless and slow and there were more of them than i'd seen before in one place in this place though not outside. outside of this place before i'd written:

winter. night.

i had seen hordes of them like bees in nests pushing people and things from places and holes to the center of other places where disposal was better and then they'd pummel the people with blunt objects that they all kept hand ready on slick black belts and they'd work and work until everything was quiet and the center was a knapsack of bones and skin and freckles ripped from faces and then laid in the dirt for stray dogs to sniff and lick and eat in the sunny heated plains of windless no longer there cities and towns.

but in the green rooms they were quiet and keep there blunt objects sheathed in their shiny black belts because they'd wheeled in a tray on a cart that was rattling already with the clink and clank of silver sheen tools meant to pry into him while he lay strapped and buckled to a chair meant for doctors or dentists but being used then and there for little kids with scrambled brains and dark masks and gray suits and crying eyes that they ignored because of a voice ten times too loud running pin pricks into them of be go be god be god.

and then it was black and colder and the gray suits were lit with a mock light that was only residual from the screens that began his home movies in slow motion or triple speed and became more and more splattered with blood as the green room went on. because they asked questions in between over a loudspeaker somewhere that he couldn't see and even though he answered there weren't any right or good or real answers so they used tools and instruments to pick apart his face my face while his strawberry wife and three blue eyed blonde hair kids went slow or too fast back and forth across the green room from screen to screen to screen and he cried and bled:

winter. night. winter. night. winter. night. winter. night.

Author bio:

J. A. Tyler is the author of THE GIRL IN THE BLACK SWEATER (Trainwreck Press), EVERYONE IN THIS IS EITHER DYING OR WILL DIE OR IS THINKING OF DEATH (Achilles Chapbook Series), SAMSARA (Paperhero Press), & SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE (Ghost Road Press). He is also founding editor of MUD LUSCIOUS and ML PRESS. Visit JA Tyler for more.

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