Aerial Fragment: ‘pain’



Ghost Codes 013

Break of day in Sparkletown. Low mist, pale sunlight. The two friends walked along. The trap was closed and bound, held between them.

They rode the elevator up to Dixie’s floor. Break said, “I’m not sure about this. I saw things. This is no ordinary ghost.”

Dixie nodded. No ordinary ghost, no ordinary song. She felt ill at ease. Cold, shivery from fear. But this was too good a chance.

They walked into the flat. Dixie said, “Let’s get started.” She clicked open the locks on the trap. Instruments glowed around her.

Break closed his eyes. His circuits were still buzzing from the vision he had picked up, from the moment of spectral contact.

He could see it still, in flashes of light: the singer’s face creased in pain. Her mouth, screaming. Her two hands covered in blood.



20111010 by temp_user9





Ghost Codes 014

They worked through the day on the new track. Break manned the grain web, Dixie worked the Dali engine, needle tip glistening.

They sprinkled sleeping powder on the ghost to keep it docile whilst they bled the plasma away. The vampyrophone collected the output.

Break caressed the machine’s skin. Sparks hit him with radiance. Once more, he heard the singer crying out in pain, but softer now…

He said, “This is bad blues, Dixie. It’s a chance recording. The woman being attacked or killed, mid song. Or something. Maybe.”

Dixie was too busy seeking out a melody path, stretching the lyrical scraps, squeezing homemade beats from a plastic tube. Like goo.

By 5pm the track was done, conjured into being, sealed in wax. They listened to it in silence, sitting back, getting distance.

Dixie had cut the scream just so, leaving only a breath, indrawn. That moment of loss, repeating. Break felt his heart stop each time.



20111017 by temp_user9





The Fog Catchers 008

Up on the roof. The other crews carrying on around me. And all over Sparkletown, I knew that fog catchers worked their own nets.

But only our crew had been targeted: the only net damaged, the only flat broken into, the only one with images stolen. Why us?

Or should I ask: Why me? Was it to do with my supposed talent? Had I drawn certain images towards the net? Valuable images?

They’d first appeared about nine weeks ago. Letters, numbers. Entire symbol chains. All in the same typeface, all making little sense.

But I knew what it was. I could remember people working on this same language, when I was younger. It was code. Computer code.

I thought nothing of it. Sold some on as decoration, stored others. It just didn’t seem that important. Code was a relic. Useless.

And yet the fogware had floated in. Not every day; just now and again, without pattern. Maybe a dozen examples. And only to our net.

I thought of my father, back in the flat, still in pain. Anger flooded me. I had to find out why these fragments were so important.

I had to find that code for myself, if I could. Piece it together, and try to decipher it. What secrets did it hold? What treasure?



20120220 by temp_user9