May Hilton-Sanjurjo - No Country for Nerds
“Remember… Only YOU can prevent forest fires.”
Hands through the window, the shades thrown off their mount, bending and snapping haphazardly as the aimless appendages continue to swipe through the window. Banging at the door, one, two, four, no, more. May tries to shake the man awake, but Darrell lies still, blissfully unaware of the cohort of would be home-intruders at the very gates of their sanctuary. “Darrell! FUCK you! WAKE! UP! Dude this is NOT the time to be nodding!” He gives no indication of either noticing or caring. CRASH! The front door splinters off its hinges as the impetuous shuffling makes its way towards the bedroom. Grabbing Darrell’s .357 revolver, she raises it to eye level, preparing for the very worst. One, two, four, no, more cross the threshold into the bedroom through the open door, closing the gap, ever moving, ever shuffling, arms outstretched, mouths hanging open, faces decomposing. The door, the wall, the window, the pistol, the trigger, its face, an opening. Almost a single movement, almost an insurmountable task, she takes aim at the man wearing a polo shirt clawing through the window. Front, rear, trigger, squeeze, BANG! The force of the round snaps its head back at an impossible angle as the body drops to the ground. An opening. Just enough time to steal away into the night. Without Darrell. The napkin weighs heavy in her pocket as she slinks off, away from her home, away from her family.Cornered in an alleyway, the horde approaches. Clutched in her hands is a glass bottle filled with a composite of melted soap shavings and gasoline. Rubber-banded to the side of the bottle are two windproof matches. She only need light them and throw the bottle and it will shatter on the ground, spilling white hot homemade napalm onto the ground and the surrounding legs. The bottle sails through the air, careening, tumbling, falling, shattering. A great woosh, like that of a pilot burner being started after letting it sit, and the horde bursts into flames, staggering slowly, more slowly in her direction as they being to fall at her feet. One by one, they crumple onto the ground, conglomerating into a corpulent conflagration of burning clothing and hair. It is done.
Late Summer, 1999: May Hilton-Sanjurjo Will Have Her Revenge On St. Bernard's Hill
?: So.. what inspired you? To write on this.. cataclysm? Do you know anyone from Kentucky?
D: Mm, nah, I guess it kinda just.. came to me?
*A bold faced lie*
?: Mh. Seems like you already have a decent grasp on the mindset of this character. Anyways, continue.
Good fires burn only as bright as you let them, but the best fires will thrive, propagate, spread themselves throughout, an artist’s brush painting a thick layer of ash onto the grass. The narrow corridors of St. Bernard’s streets provide yet ample room for the blazes in the streets. BANG! BANG! One after another. They flinch as the bullets hit their mark, the grand conflagration marching tirelessly down the street in pursuit, the lead only fueling their putrid patrol. Blues and reds flicker and rotate beaming color into the night, the forlorn wail of abandoned emergency vehicles only barely audible over the shuffles and groans of the hundreds of fallen. Interspersed in oranges, crimsons, and gangrene black, the night wears on. Strips and stores give way to terraces and homes, still glowing in the absence of their owners, their kitchen lights a twilight’s last gleaming. Step after step, her ears still ringing from the cacophony of the summer night, as the sun peaks just over the horizon, the cerulean dawn encroaching on picturesque suburbia, May stumbles through the front door, collapsing onto the couch. The people have come out to town, and we can’t expect the emergency services to do all the work. Matches lit, pistols primed, teeth gritted, may the most tenacious survive.
Weary legs and wary eyes,
The eerie men may tarry not,
Though lead and brass will stain the grass.
Oh weary legs, please carry on.
Early Autumn, 1999: Heavy Rain
?: Well, what next? Where does she end up?
D: There’s a lotta walking, iunno, kinda extraneous but you gon wanna hear this next part I wrote.
?: Shoot. I’m all ears.
Pitter patter. Blanket disarray in a world of entropy. Every drop for itself. The first to the ground wins some untold prize. Smashed against the ground, life, the price of greatness.
A gray morning for a state in doldrums, Kentucky’s autumn never felt so… liberating. Perhaps it is the lack of structure, the last vestiges of such rigidity abandoned and infested by equally as bellicose but all the more straightforward forms of life, taxmen and deputies alike in some joint operation to consume flesh.
But none of that matters here. Rain slides off the window as May slides into the trailer’s booth seat, a cold cup of coffee presumably from three nights ago and conspicuously not smelling of flesh rot. The smooth soothing texture and its coarse bitterness in confluence to create something not all that terrible for once. The storm wears on and the coffee remains cold, but oh so luxurious, oh so familiar.
Early Autumn, 1999:
?: So you say there are.. two ways? The way of.. the world? And the way of man?
D: Nature, well, da world in this story’s a mean place. Everything dey do to make themselves feel better’s fighting da world.
?: Not quite sure I follow..
D: Aite, whaddabout tattoos? We all like tattoos. It don’t not seem outta place?
Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. From her comfortable position at the table, the buzzing of the tattoo gun, the burning of the needle does all it can to disturb her. A lapse in judgement, perhaps a dare gone wrong, a night of revelry years ago emblazoned above her knee, only to be covered up years later. May watches the artist go to work, more fascinated with the intertwining concentric design emerging than on the discomfort brought on by the tattoo pen. “Dis is suppose to hurt?”, she blurts. “Shh, shhh, let me focus”, the artist responds. The pen moves in continuous strokes, tracing and etching. Lines, curves, circles, webs. Hands, table, cocaine, transaction concluded, the memories, or lack thereof, of one night many years ago buried under newly inked cobwebs.
Order in entropy, normalcy in in aberration, even in cataclysm can one find antechambers in which the last glimmers of civilization reside. Art for drugs, in a crude recalculation of the principles of civil money laundering, yet in the false self, there exists a trace of the true self.
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