Aerial Fragment: ‘singer’



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





Ghost Codes 017

Drops of rainwater. Hiss of acid on metal. Globules of sound. Murmurs, whirrs, sudden freak-out guitar in a five second burst.

Dixie working the X-Ray plates, extracting the mix from a skull and a sickened heart. Spell of rhythm. People stepping to the floor.

Noise magic. A kiss of lips, magnified. Ticking clocks, food sizzle, static, jazz bass flecks and splinters forming undercurrent pull.

Now the drop in the mix where the singer’s scream once lived, a slow fade of echoes. Repeat. A few dancers moving in response…

Slowly swaying, slowly rising to fall in time with music box fragments, whispers, radar clicks; the beat coalescing. Crowd swell.

Dixie adding body music: breath, vein flow, brain activity. The missing scream coming round again. This time the dancers move as one.

And there stands Break at the centre, at the hot crush-heart liquid blood-river chaotic centre of it all, feeling himself pulled aloft.

[: REMIX :]



20111101 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 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