Aerial Fragment: ‘song’



Ghost Codes 009

Grey light. Fading moon. Dixie on slow walkabout, Break at her side. Other collectors were seen, working the streets. Let them be.

Break started to tremble. His skin was picking up traces, buzzing with sparks: evidence of spirit activity, serious measure.

He led Dixie to Hive 7, the worst of the blocks. Off limits. Unsafe. Stories of demon songs haunting the rooms. A passageway beckoned.

Dixie moved closer, alone. Into darkness. Silence. And then the crackle of melody, sparklenotes fluttering in minor key colours.

Listen now: held by rusty guitar strings, a woman’s voice. Old, pitched low, a black moan. Murder ballad style. Dixie shivered.

She set the ghost trap and waited. The spirit flickered, sighed in darkness. Icy, blue, fevered: something touched at Dixie’s face.

 

[:REMIX:]



20110917 by temp_user9





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





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 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