Aerial Fragment: ‘night’



Ghost Codes 004

Break pops a rhythm tab: pure feverzoom. No clocks, no maps. Only the taste of Dusk on his tongue, waiting for the night to roll in.

Bumps into Candy, standing by the X-Ray Parlour. Misty eyes, neon lip-gloss, electric hair frazzle worked off a battery in her pocket.

She looks a charm, so corporeal it hurts. “Just checking out my veins,” she says, “Making sure I’m clean, you know? Still alive.”

“Candy, you wanna catch a bite?” A plastic sheet slides out the parlour slot showing her lungs and heart and other organs. No shadows.

Candy blows a kiss and leaves. Break stands there frozen: he sure would like to own that X-Ray for a night or two. Total bliss-freak!

Down at his feet old transparency plates lie discarded. All he needs is to earn some credit, get himself reprogrammed, street style.

Maybe then the Real-Life Human Girls would love him. I mean, what’s a young, well-dressed, Synthetik Angel supposed to do these days?



20110909 by temp_user9





Ghost Codes 007

Dixie opened her eyes. Lying awake she could hear the old songs moaning from the aerials of the long-shutdown pirate stations.

She got up, walked to the window. Sparkles of light flickered around the tower block. Phantom broadcasts, unknown frequencies.

Fragments of digital code: a word or two of lyrics, the stroke of a fingertip on metal string, human breath in curled brass tubes.

Moments of music cast adrift. Something had roused them this night: the darkness buzzed with flecks of data, many more than usual.

Dixie came alive watching them. Her eyes glittered, her fingers danced. Tomorrow she would go out early and catch some ghosts.



20110909 by temp_user9





Ghost Codes 018

For the next few nights Break could not sleep properly. Dreams would lull him, only to drag him back awake. The dead singer whispered, always on the edge of hearing.

He could take no more. He left his room and went up to the roof of the block. All was dark, the streets empty. He felt the ghosts as tingles on his skin.

Was this his true calling, to be a guide for Dixie, nothing more than a compass? A waste of his gifts, surely, but what else could he do?

In dreams he caressed the neonglow air with glittering feathers, taking flight across the Haze Towns. Joining with his brethren…

Renegade angels working the night sky, buzzing with fire at their wingtips, all the scattered songs theirs for the taking.

Break opened his eyes. He felt he could step off from the building’s lip and ride the updrafts, floating easy with arms outstretched.

Was he dreaming now? His feet moved closer to the edge.



20111110 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 005

My mum died two and a half years ago. It was the night the screens went dark, and the satellites fell from the sky.

Vision burn of memory. No escape. Dad’s drinking getting worse, fuelled by black moods. Some mornings I couldn’t wake him.

So I’d go up to the roof alone, work the nets, hanging out with the other crews. I’d even do the image peeling myself. Best I could.

I remember the dreams he used to tell, when we first started off catching fog, of netting a famous image-ghost one day…

…Maybe a full scene from some old video, a good five minutes of Lady Diana or Madonna or Brando, names that meant nothing to me.

But dad talking crazy of selling the ghost on for big money, enough for us to start a new life, a proper life. Whatever that might mean.

A week passed by since Jake’s warning. No trouble. I started to forget about it. And then, one sunrise I climbed up to the roof…

And there was our net, the Mystical World Crew net. I felt sick. It was torn, slashed all over, rent in two right down the middle.



20120130 by temp_user9





The Fog Catchers 007

Dear anybody. Summer here. And my birthday. 16 now. Jake’s helping me with the fog catching. And transferrals. And selling, and so on.

I guess we’re a “thing”. That is, we’ve had some “moments”. But nothing serious. Not yet. Not sure what I want to happen.

Fog in, fog out. Yeah, you know. The night leaving visions on a wounded net, criss-crossed by stitches. Getting by, making good.

Oh. Oh God, I don’t know what to say, or do… something terrible has happened. It’s dad. He’s…

Well. Here I am. Hospital. My father’s in ward 6. Cracked ribs, bruised all over. He was lucky. That’s what the doctor said. Lucky.

The flat was broken into. Two guys. They went on at dad, shouting at him, demanding, threatening. He was drunk, of course, and…

And they beat him up. And then they trashed the place. Everything just thrown around, scattered. A couple of images taken.

Just that. Images. And not even pictures: but words, fragments of text, messages from the past. Why? Why are they doing this?

Leave us alone! That’s all. That’s all I’m asking. Whoever you are. Just… just leave us alone.



20120208 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