Aerial Fragment: ‘mist’



Ghost Codes 015

Dixie. Living artefact of the haunted tower blocks, collector of sparks. Magpie. Extractor of the original (still famous) blood song.

Breeder of glowbugs. Lo-fi alchemist. Transformer of lives once lost, broken, ghosted, now mixed down into a vapour groove.

Mapper of the dawn mist, curator of fragments. Inventor of the vampyrophone, the sleep trap, and other such homemade devices.

Dixie. Searcher of wasteland and canal-beds where the digital trash resides. Salvager of discards. Queen of the unofficial channels.

Maker of the track “Last Cry of the Mouth Ever Fading.” The one with the echo of a scream, the final traces of a murder victim.

Dixie Magus. Expert patcher of the wounded. Retuner of all hybrid demoflesh for the next age. Saviour of burnt-out angels.

[:REMIX:]



20111021 by temp_user9





Ghost Codes 019

A noise. Break turned to see a group of people climbing onto the roof. The fog catchers.

They attended to their nets. Three people, working by torchlight, checking the gauze for captures.

Break walked over to watch them. They ignored him completely, set on their task, scouring the surface of the nets for images.

Something flared in a torch beam. A shape of lighter colour, sparkling where the mist particles rested. It looked to be of human form.

Break stepped closer: a face, a woman’s face, her body, her hands moving on the net’s surface. The image was fleeting, illusive.

The crew spoke in low voices, excited at their find. Break turned to them, saying, “She’s mine. I’ll pay what you want”. They smiled.

But it was her. The singer. He knew it was. The wounded ghost made visible. Spots of red marked the face as it shimmered on the net.



20111118 by temp_user9





Ghost Codes 020

Two nights later, he took possession of the icon pod. It cost most of the wages Dixie had given him, but Break had no choice.

He snapped open the lid and released the mist. There it floated in the dark room, the singer’s image illuminated: gold, electric blue.

A few seconds of footage torn from a promo video, caught in endless repeat. The red speckles on her face a remnant of special FX.

Break played Dixie’s track. The apparition moved in time to the rhythm. He could not stop looking at her.

He didn’t know her name, didn’t recognise her face. Somebody from before he was born, before memory. Lost in the archives until now.

Somebody damaged, the victim of a bad manager or a crazed fan or a cruel lover. Or someone who had taken a knife to her own flesh.

But she had sought Break out, in both image and sound. And here in this room, this city, with his help a kind of life was being made.

He stepped into the mist, his body sparking at the points of contact. It was all he could do.

The track played on. The woman sang. The ghost of fog and light danced. And danced. And danced. And danced. And danced. And danced…

[: REMIX/CODA :]

END



20111128 by temp_user9





The Fog Catchers 001

The fog rolls in, the fog rolls out.

Twelve storeys, here we go. A little scared. The lift to the seventh floor, then the stairs. Dad’s puffing for air. Gotta be careful.

Onto the roof. The other tower blocks surrounding us, trails of mist still lingering. My first time up here. Dawn light. Cold.

The other crews already at work. They have these super shiny nets stretched from post to post, all finely stitched, tightly meshed.

But our net is old and a bit tatty. Got more than a few holes in it. I keep mending them, they keep on breaking. No matter.

I step closer. Never actually seen it in action. Just a bit of cloth before, back in the flat. But now I’m all eyes, really I am.

Reach out. Slowly. Make contact. The surface is warm! Images tremble under my fingers. Oh God. I feel like I’m touching ghosts.



20111227 by temp_user9





The Fog Catchers 009

Seven days later I’m waiting here, alone. It’s three in the morning. Darkness. No moon. And not yet dawn. The fog hasn’t arrived yet.

They say to never be up on the roof, not when the fog rolls in. All the crews say that, all the old guys. No fog on the skin.

It’s meant to be dangerous, unhealthy. Makes you crazy. So many stories, rumours. But here I am. Waiting. Waiting for the mist…

We did some searching, but the last week has brought nothing good, re the code. Only a few purchasers to follow, leading to dead ends.

I see it now, the fog. Grey curls, tendrils, black mass at the centre. It’s gathering at the estate’s edge. Creeping onwards.

I’ll bet it’s not another crew, stealing images. It can’t be. Freelancers, probably. Maybe selling onto somebody rich.

But why? The question remains.

I don’t care. They stole from us. They hurt us. Whatever they want, I want it too. I want it before them. So I’m here. I’m waiting…

The fog approaches. A cloud of lost forms. Almost alive, sparkling with colours, flashes of light. Here it comes!



20120308 by temp_user9





The Fog Catchers 010

Caught in swirls, in dampness, fingers, skin prickles. Face wet, eyes closed, body at first welcoming the touch of the mist.

Now cold, so cold, ice-tooth grip on neck and around both wrists, something pulling at me. Eyes still shut tight, can’t see, can’t…

Whisper of breath against me, mist talking, murmuring… stop, STOP! Open eyes and see roof-edge beckon, step back, focus. Hold still.

Fog all around, quiet now, clutching, clammy, thicker than I imagined, grey, purple, and darker shapes within it, dancing, moving slow.

Formless, writhing. Strange thin black figures elongated, weaving from mist a shape… of man, a man approaching me. I turn. Run…

RUN! Stumble, shiver, slam, SLAM right into clutching mesh, the net stretching, then pulling up tight at the limits, the poles holding.

My face pressed against gauze, a mask of tiny squares and cold-hot touch, the shape close now so CLOSE! now as I turn, struggling…

The man is there. His face, oh his face is written all over by code that moves along his cheeks and brow and lips in endless sequence.

Symbols scrolling across his eyes as he stares at me, and I glimpse the cipher of night of love of death, of dreaming, of falling…



20120324 by temp_user9





The Fog Catchers 011

He stands before me. Just looking at me.

CODE FACE. The mist-bound man who does not speak, not in words, but only in numbers as they travel across his skin.

Numbers, letters, mathematical signs: glowing, known, unknown, and moving across his hands as well, as he holds them out to me.

CODE FACE. A stranger who takes me by the hand and dances with me. Dances! Me. Imagine. Rooftop waltzing in the fog, in the dark.

And his face is the only brightness. I am drawn to the patterns there, as they unfurl in golden lines.

CODE FACE. He’s not alone. Others with him. I never really see them, only glimpse fellow shapes, two or three more, it’s hard to tell.

They go about their own business, whatever it might be, and I am so pleased to be a part of what they’re doing. I have a role to play.

CODE FACE. My partner. Here we are, on the top of the world: I am the dancer who dances with the dancer as he leans in close to…

Whisper. To whisper secrets. To speak at last in words. And his breath on my skin, so gentle, I can hardly feel it. He’s barely alive.



20120424 by temp_user9