Tag Archives: writer

Image Society part 3

Lisa stopped, turned to find where the voice was coming from. She met eyes with him, and felt time had stopped and continued again. She almost felt the sloth smile creep back to the corners of her lips, soon her upper lip exposed the lower ends of her upper teeth. “I guess?” Lisa said slowly.“These fakers, right?” he said to her. 

“What do you mean?” Lisa said, only to be cut off by this stranger.

“Don’t tell me you’re one of them,” he offered her a glass of wine, still full, and she wondered if he had even drank from it. 

“And you’re not?”she grabbed the wine glass regardless, brought it to her nose to smell it, swirled it, but didn’t drink it just yet. She didn’t want to look out of place. Most people in this party couldn’t drink anyway, so although she would love a glass of alcohol right about now she had to keep up appearances.

“I am what I am,” he told Lisa, almost insulted by her insinuation.

Lisa still fidgeted but tried her best not to show it. She still wanted to get out of this party now. She came for the food, for the wine, but now she had enough, and then he came along.

“Am I a faker, then?” She asked but instantly regretted the question.

“I thought you were supposed to be overseas?”

“Says who?” Lisa asked aloud, this had caught her off-guard. Did she check her social feeds before she came here? Was there something she had missed out? She had to remain cool, she couldn’t let slip her own deception. “I’m right here, aren’t I?” She had to take a mental note to check her social feeds when she got home.

“Says Lisa Wang.” The creases of his eyes were smug, confident. It deserved a punch. Lisa wondered if she punched him how his skin muscles might look like. She had heard of skin fibres and muscle being customised. There was even a sub fetish of half-faces, exposed motors and flesh and muscles, and Lisa even considered running within those circles if her looks would one day wear out. These fetishists would pay broken faces a healthy sum of money to have sex with them. 

When asked, some might claim they had begun to hate the artifice and found the imperfections welcoming. There were even rumours of some of the extremely rich paying good money for time with the faceless; the faceless whore would strip and so would the rich client, stripping away his face, then his ears, then his hair. Sometimes, he would strip his skin away too. 

Where in the old days one might find lingerie and boxers strewn along the bedroom floor, these days the rich fetishists would have their fake body parts littering the floor instead, skin plates, faces, body suits laying on carpet like mounted snake skin, and if one did the research one would find that most of the fetishists were women who did it with female proles, and dick jobs need not apply. 

The virus was slightly kinder to women, their genitalia and pleasure zones still intact. In the old days men would sleep with someone and leave them by dawn and never know their names, these days women slept with other women and paid well never to know their faces, because everyone was faceless.

That smugness in his face never truly left, but he did try to steer the conversation back into less antagonistic territory. “You wanna get out of here?”

“What?”

“You paid your donation, right?” 

Lisa hesitated, and gave a half-convincing “Yeah.”

He was too excited to notice it anyway. 

“Don’t I get your name at least?”

“Han. Chang Han. Now will you go already?”

“Alright, alright,” Lisa put her glasses and when she raised her head again she saw Han’s hand outstretched, waiting for her fingers to mingle with his. She did, and then asked where they were going to go?

“My place,” he said. “We can search for Lisa Wang. I’m tired of Chang Han, Harrison Peters and God knows who else I’ve been.”

Lisa couldn’t help but giggle a failed stifle. “Anyway, I don’t think you’re one hundred percent caught up in Lisa Wang news.”

Han lead her out, hands and fingers still intertwined. “Catch me up on her when we reach my place.”

Soon they were in his electric car. “You know what?” Han said. He waited for her to turn his way, to wait for his next say. “I didn’t pay for no donation.”

“Me neither,” Lisa giggled as the engine started. 

She tried to glimpse herself via reflections formed by dark surfaces, to see if her seams were visible. She wondered even as far as guessing again if he was a natural or a dick job, since he implied he was from the streets just like she was. Once, when she first began being other skins, she felt guilty that she was enjoying the high life while others of her kind suffered, panhandling, stealing food off scraps in garbage heaps, but now she felt, fuck it, tonight she was going to enjoy being Lisa Wang on Lisa Wang’s behalf.

Han caught her more than once checking herself out, finally spotting her and said, “I do that sometimes, too.” He made a signal to turn left, and after Lisa stopped checking herself out, she noticed something else.

The roads were barren, save for a few cars she could count, and change, with her fingers. In the larger world, she realised, rich were just a small percentage in this wide world, the same way a phone or a ring fit in the hand in degrees large and small but fit nevertheless, but when thrown intothe sea, the phone or the ring were insignificant things that got swallowed in the tide, by the infinite hunger of the infinite sea. Were the rich at all that significant in the larger scheme of things? Were they just pebbles to be taken in by the rolling in of the ocean onto the shore, pebbles that overstated their self-worth?

The car turned into a neighbourhood where faceless proles begged for loose change, some even approaching their car as it slowed down. Lisa knew this neigbourhood because she recognised the graffiti, the stink of it, it even permeated into the car, that mix of weed and sewer stink and the occasional exhaust that came from old stolen cars.

“You know any of them?” Lisa asked Han.

Han took a quick peek at the faceless one approaching their car, and almost immediately said, “No. This wasn’t my neighbourhood.”

Lisa leaned back, knowing if she were afraid like the rich were if the faceless homeless came to her, she wasn’t one of them. She did not flinch, but she wished now she was never part of the homeless. She wanted now to be Lisa Wang forever, affiliations be damned.

They stepped out the car, and a homeless, faceless one walked toward them, but with just a wave of his hand the faceless man walked away, as if his hand repelled the faceless man, or maybe Han was lying when he said he didn’t know them at all. That motion and that reaction seemed to her like acknowledgment and partial subservience. She didn’t want to probe him any further.

They went into the elevator which rode up to the 12th floor, the highest floor there was on this building, but once they entered his apartment everything seemed so minimal, steel and glass and glow of lamps, an emptiness only the rich could afford, empty, except for the row of short stands that held replacement faces, a lineup of Chang Hans, ready to replace the old face. 

As Lisa walked along this row of faces she also noticed the wall, lined with pictures that felt like a museum, documenting the fall of mankind as it were, shots of the original victims of the virus, faces slowly losing their resolution, their integrity, the faces of loved ones first losing an ear, nose, eyelids, eyes, finally just walking smooth heads with a couple teeth remaining.

“History buff,” Lisa said nervously.

“Reminds me of what we survived, huh?” Han said as he poured her a blue liquid concoction. “The streets are littered with filth, homeless, they reek of vape and weed and stink of shit. We are all thats left of the old world.” He hands her the glass and she takes it slowly, fakes a fake smile, turns away, pensive, thinking about something.

“Look,” Han cut the ice, “I didn’t mean to be so grim. I rarely have guests here, is all.”

“No it’s just, my parents, you know? Even my little brother. I remember how they were when they were, you know? Normal. This shit doesn’t leave you I guess. I mean, you know what life can be like when we’re on the streets, but there’s so many of them you get numb to it. But to see this, it hits hard, you know?” A tear drips out the corner of her eye, and she wished she could take her face off right about now, because she wanted the tear to be unencumbered by the lines of this false face.

“Hey, hey,” Han said. He motioned toward her and pat her shoulder. “It’s all right, just left it out, its good just to let it out, let it all out, you’ll feel better.”

Lisa didn’t know if he meant what she thought he meant, but she felt next his finger against her neck, to where the release switch was. Her fingers joined his and both of them pressed the switch together. A mechanical hiss. Soon her face fell to the floor. He removed his face too with that same mechanical hiss.

“Han’s not my real name,” Han told her.

The faceless Lisa felt Han’s artificial face, then felt the rough features of his real face before her. “Lisa’s not my real name, either.”

She removed her face right then. “Where did they make yours?”

“According to the trademark and QR code here, it says China,” Han told her. “This face, it isn’t mine, anyways.”

“Just like our names.” Lisa rubbed her fingers along his head, a head without ears, without hair, nose or eyes. Just a mouth, slanted at an odd angle. 

Soon his voice gave way, without the external voice chip at the bottom of his mask not making contact with his neck anymore he began to start slurring.

“Jusss…laik…ourrrrr….namessshhh….” Han mimicked her words. The rest of his speaking was a series of slurs. 

“So, where did you get your faishhh from?” Lisa said. 

“Heroin overdosshhh. How about’choo?

“Shooweeee shide jumper.”

“I been Han Chang for a year now.”

“Six months.”

Amateur.”

Both of them laughed, got closer and embraced one another.

“You ever wonder, when or if ever they might find ussssh out?”

“All the time.”

Image Society 

Parties like these were dim, high ceilings with chandeliers, the scent of burning candles filling the partygoers’ synthetic nostrils.
The candlelight served to hide their seams. Some had seams in their arms, necks, and some, though not at this party, had seams in their faces.
The partygoers wore long sleeves and turtlenecks, all the better to hide the seams of their mostly synthetic skins, and for those less fortunate ones, to hide the real skin that lay beneath the fake skin.
Servomotors attached to microfibre muscles beneath motioned eyes and crinkled noses and eyebrows. The more advanced motors equaled a better smile, and at this shindig, everyone’s smiles were electric and dazzling, paid for with the best skin and muscle money could buy.
In a more ancient time the words surgery or Kardashian might come to mind, but those words held little meaning in this new age.
The attendees held wine glasses but many did not drink of it. In the old days the trick to catering was to slightly over-cater drinks and food, but now the trick was to under-cater tremendously; most of these attendees would not drink or eat. Holding plates and glasses had become a social ritual but eating and imbibing had become unnecessary, as the virus had spread not only into their skins but also for many into their stomachs as well.
For those who could not eat, there was a discreet room at any one of these parties where they were giving intravenous drips, but some paid the nurses who attended to these drips extra to pour the drips into wine glasses.
As the party wore on and the attendees talked and socialised what they had in perceived social graces they lacked in empathy. Driving to tonight’s particular fundraiser was a particular challenge, as tonight’s party was labelled as a fundraiser to find a cure for the image virus, and the proletariat were clamoured outside, some banging hard against cars, some leaping against the mansion’s gates, only to be thrown off by a jolt of the fence’s electricity, those ugly proles with one eye and one tooth and one nostril, determined, willing to be shocked again and again by that fence, while robot guards held them off with long metal poles through the grates.
Inside the mansion, this commotion was quickly forgotten. Inside the safety of multiple walls built at suspicious angles, lined with ostentatious columns, people forgot about the pain of the outside world, about their own pain.
Lisa Wang, not her real name, maybe, she can’t remember, has been a common sight at many of these parties. She said hello to many of the same people, though she had never given a cent to any of these fundraisers, and her credibility in her own self was just as cheap. She knew she was not really a Lisa Wang, but that had been her name for almost a year. The year before that, she was Tilda Swan, and the year before Tilda, she was Anniki M’Bosa. She was every color and creed she needed to be, she was everyone but to herself she was no one. 
Some of these rich people with the fake faces she knew from her time as Tilda or as Anniki, but Lisa Wang had fit the bill just fine. When she first took on the persona of Lisa Wang, there were rumors that Lisa Wang had overdosed and fell off the cliff of some seaside resort, but she had to fend off those rumors, rumors that had actual truth to them. Tilda Swan had stolen Lisa Wang’s parts from the corpse that washed ashore at dawn, and Tilda Swan knew an opportunity when it arose. Tilda’s parts were beginning to give way anyway, and she had no money to maintain them. As dawn turned to morning, Tilda Swan was no more. 
Long live Lisa Wang. 

The Machine Boy book trailer is out!

Hi everybody my trailer for my book is on YouTube now.

Hand made, so to speak, with iMovie and my own drawings.

It was made with bits of real hard work so you know it’s gonna be sincere and good.

Hope you enjoy it 😇

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tNk1_ya5cdo&feature=em-upload_owner&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DtNk1_ya5cdo%26feature%3Dem-upload_owner

Number Valley

I just came up with a dark nursery rhyme called Number Valley. Enjoy 🙂

Welcome to Number Valley,

Where the crews come in twos,

Where the trees come in threes,

Where the paws come in fours,

Bee hives come in fives…

And don’t forget the sickness of the sixes,

Or Lord Craven who lives at number seven,

Look straight or you’ll miss avenue eight,

Where that family of nine just bought a house down on ten.

But don’t go to number one, unless you like children’s meat well done.

When the cops come’a askin’ ’bout missin’ kids, the folks at the valley don’t say none.

‘cos they is too busy havin’ fun.

Eve of Yesterday

I’m gonna be posting the story the Eve of Yesterday art is from in little bits. Here is the first bit….

1

GRAHAM’S GARDEN

Graham Thomas wrote this haiku when he was observing a particular phenomenon that was happening in his lab:

The yesterday room

where petals fall in reverse

time moves backward here

His garden in the lab was now a room of hanging petals, slowly rising in the air and back to the stems from which they fell. Graham stood amongst those petals as they hung around him. He swatted the petals away but they always returned to their swirl, back to their points of origin.

From the ground where the dead petals fell browned and cracked and dry they rose slowly back in the air, the color and moisture in their tiny veins filling in gradient parts, where the floor of the garden held shades of grey and brown while the upper parts where they hovered around Graham were filled with the colours of their original state.

Graham planted his feet firmly in the centre of the garden, where from his waist up shades of the flowers his wife once tended spread out into different colours. He liked to see the colours as they separated. He breathed in the air, swearing but having no scientific basis that the air was fresher, that the air too somehow went back in time as well…