“We can take control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature, such as self-preservation.” – Memorandum from CIA mind control project, January 1952
The furious rattling of tin bells pulled him from his slumber; the little hammer struck against them in quick succession; so quick that each piercing crescendo of sound seemed to blend into one shrill, droning wail.
His hand flicked out reflexively before he had opened his eyes, shutting out the sound.
He had nothing to wake up for, and yet every night he wound the clock, and every morning it rang at eleven. But he never rose at that time. He was a creature of habit and routine; that was –he reasoned- the only tether of logic that bound him to the realms of sensibility.
Each morning, as that shrill wail rang out -echoing off the chip paper walls of his shoebox bedroom- he felt for a split second that he might be late for work. Relief would wash over him in waves when he remembered that he had not worked in years. His brief stint as a clerk at a post office had ended many years ago due to his illness, just as he had lost his place at Stanford University years before that. Continue reading →
I looked down at the town below us. The wind atop the hill was bitter, numbing my face and hands and freezing the rest of my body down to the bone. Pecklow was an old mining town founded upon a series of hills which jutted out of the tumultuous rivers below; a mountainous island upon which only the hardiest weeds grew. The name of the town had originally meant Low Peak, but had become bastardised and corrupted over time. The bridge joining Pecklow to the mainland was an old industrial revolution era bridge of riveted iron, which once had a train track running across it from the days when Pecklow was mined for its rich coal reserves beneath the earth. Continue reading →
The flame dances in the wind, like a liquid wisp, suspended in blue over the ground, swaying vertiginously, back and forth, beckoning me to follow it. I paw at the window lightly, convinced now that the flame is real, and not some off-shot reflection on the pane.
The light casts meandering shadows among the grass of the garden. Without scorching the blades, the flame hovers in a circular motion, as if it has a will of its own. Stopping in place, doubling in size, then shrinking once more, and shooting off up to the top of the garden and dissipating into the blackness of the night. Continue reading →
The smell of citrus on the breeze was the only thing I liked about Attard Psychiatric Hospital. In the summer, the redolence of the flower gardens swept like a river through the cracks in the old Victorian building, flooding the yard with the bittersweet smell of lemon, and the rich flora from the gardens of San Anton Palace. Continue reading →
I pull up to Aaron’s house and find him waiting on the lawn. His tie is loose and his wrinkled shirt has been hastily tucked into his trousers. I open the door and he clumsily lumbers himself into the passenger’s seat. Continue reading →
“There is only one truth, and that truth is beauty. There are no ethics within nature, only pragmatism -that which functions to best serve the collective- everything, man or beast, is given an equal chance, but nature itself provides a strainer. That which is without function falls through the strainer, and loses the evolutionary arms race.”
The doctor’s eyes lit up as he read aloud the pages of his diary. The sedate body on the table looked dead already. The life had faded from his face, leaving in its wake dark sunken eyes, sallow cheeks, and a set of pale, cracked lips. Continue reading →
I remember the night I left the nursing home. From my seat on the porch I looked out across the garden; there was a lunar eclipse that night, so I’d timed my break to coincide with the cosmic event. The grass on the lawn was in dire need of mowing; the saplings that had been planted a few years ago had become withered and skeletal. We’d had a gardener at one point, but budget cuts left him redundant, and the edges of the garden had become somewhat wild looking. The trees surrounding the garden had grown out significantly. The branches reaching out through the wire of the fences they disguised; twisting and warping the wires as if they were trying to escape the confines of the garden. At one point, the garden boasted an eclectic mixture of beautiful flowers; scattered clusters of Anemone, which blossomed in scarlet, crimson, and white; complimented by blue Harebells and purple Columbines. In the spring, the Common Rue would bloom with light blue leaves, and Nasturtium grew around the edges of the garden near the trees. The central feature, a large green Willow tree cast its branches wide, hanging down like a protective shroud. Continue reading →
The drive back is rapid, but well executed. Randian seems to keep the accelerator down for the entire journey, despite this, the car remains glued to the road, hugging the corners tightly without losing speed or skidding. Brass spends the entire journey concentrating sharply on the road ahead, keeping his eye out for cameras and police cars, occasionally pointing out a road to avoid. Randian seems to predict which roads would lead to one of Brass’ party balloons, and his route was entirely devoid of cameras. Continue reading →
I slap my arm thrice and press the needle into my exposed vein. The prick is jagged, not as sharp as it should be, but fuck knows how many times it’s been used. I press the plunger slowly, exhaling deeply.
Indy looks across at me, tipping back his bowler hat.
“What are you staring at you fat fuck?” I spit.
“You don’t need to do that shit man.” He says, fiddling with his cufflinks.
I tip my head back, laughing raucously.
“It keeps me warm.” I snigger, “And I’m not here to fuck rats and cobwebs am I?” Continue reading →