Digital Ischemia



Filed under: Glen Tosied — Teepwriter @ 15:29

Blink waits in his lair for hours.  Venom’s eventual shuffling approach disturbs him.  He resents the intrusion on his contemplations.  And she dares to read him quite accurately: she calls ahead to lessen the impact.
“I’ve brought your half-egg!”
The hours were apparently mere minutes.
“Again, still you provide us with fundamental food and shelter.  What am I doing?”
“Are you having an existential crisis?”
“Seriously, yes.  What am I doing?!”
“It’s only been four days,” she pacifies, pulling up and settling down.  He’s astonished.  She pushes on, “what was your dream last night?”
He unconsciously accepts the premise, relishing another pass at the sensations and emotions.
“My road home was blocked, carefully, deliberately, with logs stacked horizontally and saplings wedged vertically.  I crashed my car into the barricade and knocked some of it over.”
“How did you feel?”
“Mortified!  I jumped out and tried to repair the damage.”
“Why was the road blocked?”
“A house further along was on fire.  I stopped to watch, aware that I was mesmerised.  I saw the flames engulf the house but I was more concerned about the towering trees: huge flames were swirling through them.”
“How did you feel about the house?”
“I didn’t know who lived there.  It was too far gone.  It was the trees that were at that tipping point, but I was still unable to do anything.  What is it?”
She nods slowly.
“You’re burning down the house.  That route is blocked now.  There was more?  Where are you forging a new path?”  She’s entranced but lucid.
He’s unnerved and leans away, involuntarily nodding.  The next scene of his dream replays for him: hacking through an overgrown, disused coastal path, between water and eroding bank.  Finding the gap in the headland and seeing the building frame beyond.
She continues as if no time has passed, “It’s just a mental adjustment.”  She glances to the egg in her fist.
His self-indulgence relinquishes attention to his conscience.
“How do I help with Merrill?”
She emits a ‘hm’ that encourages further detail.
“She’s becoming more spiteful than stroppy.  I know it’s a response to a stressful situation.  I can handle it, but I’m concerned about Sticks.  The only reason she’d prefer to spend time with me is the alternative is worse.”
“Very astute.”
Momentarily he enjoys the gratification.  She didn’t answer the question.

Pitiful silence around the dining box, about not saying things that may stuff you up in future.  About despairing of circumstances.  About frantically thinking, thinking of possible solutions to any of a myriad tiny problems.  About the adventures of the inhabitants of mushroom world.
Sticks freezes first, then one by one the others cease moving.  The faint, rising sound of approaching strides heralds an arrival.
Merrill launches to vertical.
Venom bites, “Still!  Silent!”  Blink stares at Venom.  Sticks gazes at mushroom world, trying to integrate the encroaching thumping and swishing.  Venom creeps toward the door, pauses to triangulate the incoming signal.  She yanks the door open.  Framed against the now noxious green sky, stumbling in interrupted approach: a camouflaged, well-kept 50s, male form.
He barks, “Merrill?!”
Merrill squeaks, “Derg!”
Venom’s tension dissipates like a sigh as she stands aside to let the pair re-acquaint.  Blink and Sticks watch warily.
Merrill demands furiously from Derg, “What the fuck took you so long?”
“Shut up.”  He swats at her, only partly in jest.  She flicks her head away to smirk.  Blink follows this dynamic with fascination.
And then there were five.

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