The Complex building, from afar but with feet firmly on the ground, looked like some bird, crouched in its nest, surrounded by girders and chicken wire perhaps, and laying.
Now then, what damned bird?
From the air it made out like something not at all birdlike, rather more like some mystic grouping ‘Legion Of The Archangel Michael’ kind of thing, in the uncropped green grassland and the hoppers of sand, like dunes, like a Moon, like a Set broadcast from a Spielbergian Bucovian Iron Guardist mess-up - a digitised routinised weird-scape circa Condeanu 1930.
‘Fascist Memorabilia,’ mutters the pilot. The plane glides on, over and out. The sky is blue.
A yellow road winds up the slight incline where you might find some Canny working out golf-course requirements, investment plans and the architecture of Greens and Ways, some discreet purchasing agreement hatching in a long away, back off backroom in the banking con-fraternity of Lobe & Lobe, Shopkeepers turned Protocolics Of Zion. (And so to an Aside: this whole damned story is riddled with distasteful ironies and just blank straight nastiness.)
A yellow road through the fields up the gentle swipe of undulations where the lark, back since the DDT spraying stopped ten years ago, warbles pleasantries. This is a delight. This thought passes through the synapse brain-map of Mota, a kind of Spagetti-Junction tripled up weaveworld of Thought and Feeling and just damned straight Thereness . Mota is peddling her bicycle and through her zute fresh shades she downloads stuff, as she braces her thighs against the incline, stuff that’s fresh and unpicked as the sweet grass.
It is well past ten in the morning. She has never flown over the place. She has no idea how it looks from overhead. She sees the building from a flat plane. She sees it from across a valley. She first sees it over five miles going. There is nothing so steep that she cannot see that kind of distance in these parts although the sun is bright, flashing up in her glass eyes, the visors plunging in and out of light and then dark. It is summer and she is sweating.
A voice from out of the long grass. The sweet long grass. She stops her parambulation and hicks her leg over her bike bar and sets foot on the terra firma. She looks around, her face steel and hard, feeling insecure and so not wanting to indicate any emotion except a big freeze. Inside there are sparks of i. confusion
v annoyance &
vi so on...
The figure in the field comes up out of the grass as if out of some great ocean, a myth. And the face stares at her and she stares back and she thinks ‘Oh God,’ straight out into her First Region which is the Only Region at this time. So the stranger in the field says he is Reichmann and then there is a moment and she is thinking ‘Oh my God Oh My God Oh My God ‘ because Reichmann, Reichmann is the name, is the only name, is like the Jesus name. Though this guy’s a Sikh or something, or Hindu, Muslim, some Indian Sub Continent Type. She thinks And. With a frown. And was Reichmann? What? And What was Reichmann? She asks herself and truly can’t say one way or the other. And she can’t say if she’s disappointed or anything.
Reichmann built the Complex building that stands all shimmering and weird five miles away. Reichmann brought the Alien Mind into the Human Domain. Reichmann built the Dolls and placed the Alien Mind into the Dolls and the Dolls were alive because of the Alien Mind and so on. So the legends and myths, let alone the real Troubles, all the Headlines and Conspiracy Nodes, every Zine Wink and on Line Faction worth any old salt, the new technologies and so forth, Reichmann started the ball rolling, he was The One, the Progenitor, The Catastrophe Point, Mr Zero.
‘Oh My God Oh My God Oh My Fucking God...’
A breeze lifted up from West to East, a gentle thing. If the golf course was ever to be located here then the windfactor would be no problem. There would be no difficulties in the light of it. The flies, however, they might be a tad of a worry. You could hear them in the grass. Their low hum gave the whole scene just a touch of the electrics, like it had been booted up just for precisely her. A kind of Virtual tone. But she kept her eyes on the figure and put such fantasies aside.
‘From here what does she look like?’ said the stranger who now looked away from her and stared over at the Complex building. She obeyed the force of that look and stared over at it too with just a blank Overwhelm Feel in her and Nought else. Blank. Overwhelm.
A black, soot - covered book, something tight and mysterious, a dense volume, some Modernist gem... pen, India ink and watercolour on paper and brown envelope as the sun passes over, quick and shaky, through thin wispy water cloud...black chalk on a white cliff, a drawing, some primitive, erotic scrawl, a soldier and a girl, a violin and a girl, a poet and a gun, an engine and its guide, a woman giant in an armchair, ferociously hunched over it... the piss house down the back yard, black and red bricks and exploding shadows and light, a dense foliage of human beings, a dead crowd, birds flocking at some terrible event, a cliff with iron water drenching it in slow, terrible groans, a mouth caught in the act, ribs of teeth or just a rack of bone, a carcass bloat in some fierce Serengetti ...
There were some things, always some things which come and they overwhelm you. She thought this out, literal as that. She actually thought those exact words, that statement, that proposition. She could have worked out the truth positions within it.
‘There were some things, always some things which come and they overwhelm you.’ So. She nodded in the ebby backwash of the thought.
So what happened next was simple and beautiful. Their naked bodies complimented each other as they lay in the grass and also seemed to curiously fit with all that green. From ground level they were a Gora/badmash Twin-back Fish. From the air they looked like a dupatta of earth and moonlight muslin spread out in the Technicolour green.
‘Dirty fellow, murdabad ....’ frowned the pilot, his jet too high for the eye to see from below, his jet changing its course at the beck and call of his outraged hand and heart.
She lies out after they have made love and thinks of a song sung only in the deep of the night. She thinks of owls, she thinks of fruit and lilac soaps. She takes a furtive glance at the now sleeping figure folded out next to her. His naked back glistens as if with honeyed dew. She sees his walnut genitals lying docile between his hard, tubular legs and she smiles swiftly and secretly.
A breeze flutters across the fields, coming their way from the building five miles hence. Her bicycle is strewn in a broken arrangement casting a jerky shadow over the close ground like a gasp. She thinks of the reputation of Reichmann, of his disgrace, of his loss of face after the disasters and violence following hard on the heels of his reckless experiments. He had been accused of violating every human right. Of violating everything decent and human. He had been accused of being a scoundrel, a reprobate, a monster. She shivered. She was no longer in awe and wonder. She was no longer in Overwhelm. She was feeling a sudden, abrupt and shocking astonishment. It came as if from nowhere. From across the grasslands, in with the breeze.
‘Reichmann?’ she whispered , suddenly wanting to rouse him and get everything out into the open. She had not thought out what she was going to say. She had not the words ready and in place. So she repeated the name: ‘Reichmann?’
He rolled over so that he exposed all his nakedness, so beautiful only minutes before during their love-making, now shrivelled, laughable and disgusting. His eyes were wide with terror, his lips were fat with it.
‘Reichmann? What are you saying to me? Why are you calling me that ? He was a bastard. A fucking criminal. A shit of scum,’ he said, his face rancid with anger. In confusion she sat up so that he too was only able to see her nakedness.
‘You told me your name was Reichmann. That you were Reichmann,’ she stammered. And she folded her arms across her breasts, feeling that he shouldn’t be looking any more, that everything was changed, the circumstances quite altered and no peeping any more, no looks of that nature at all.
‘I am called Jallianwala B____,’ he said simply enough. He felt he had kissed something chemically bitter, some print - out which he wanted to spit away. He made his excuses.
‘I have a hatred of all you white women. I just want to fuck each one and all of you because you are the cunts of Halakat, of death.’ His face was gleeful as he stood up and walked away through the fields, his back to the Complex building and all its weird myths, legends, magnetisms, dragging his clothes behind him like a corpse.
Then out off the blue yonder the black jet like this with the sun behind it so invisible and the breeze picking up a bit and the missile evaporating the world, dust blowing up out of the crator and ‘OHFUCKOGODOHGODOHFUCK’
she, covered in the goosebumps of sand and dirt which come scattering down like seed, stares in a catatonic whimper at the Complex which from above is a Pigeon In Its Nest, With Eggs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carter Boyle is twenty seven and lives in New York. He writes short stories and does computer art. He has a sexy grrl who thinks he’s adorable. This keeps him going through the bad times. He has been published by 3am before and has on-line dealings with Angharad Myfanwy Catherwood and Carter Boyle, two other 3am short story writers.