This is a strangely buoyant post.
Flipping through a Popular Science magazine i was nudged to grab this morning I came to an image that made me stop short and bust out into the sheepish, most proudest, goofy, childlike grin that has ever spread itself across my face.
i found this:
Above is Bertha, the world’s largest tunnel-boring machine. Here’s a link to the story.
Below is an excerpt from EXODUS, book one of thegrievechronicles, by Angel Brynner[me]. Page 47 if you have it lol. I’m posting it because What i saw as i was writing this at the start of a century has up and been made. In Japan, of course. & re-assembled here. In Seattle.
Seeing this imagery in my head a long time ago, obsessed with capturing it, changed my life. To see something built that looks Like what i was set free by in the story-where the story first became a full-on force that was going to rough-ride over anything else not as of god to me as it…built…an image that effectively launched a trilogy,as i’m researching for the second trilogy…is just a really cool way to start a day.
I hope you enjoy reading it.
(Warning:it’s a visually vivid, yet kinda dark chapter.)
she opened her eyes.
a glimmer appeared at the edge of a landscape of over-sized gravel dunes, the aftermath of the destruction necessary to clear out old foundations prior to building anew. a panicky heat was in the air as the glimmer moved towards the holocaust that always made up her horizon line.
wandering past the dunes under raw skies had made her teeth feel as if she was chewing on aluminum, making the sudden flatness around her both the Light of Artyo’s blessing and her curse.
the last ember of light inside of her trembled under the cycle of chills and fever she had become used to after so long out in the desert. she was so overwhelmed by the symptoms that she didn’t notice anything ahead of her until the screams and moans snapped her out of her inner diagnostic. she stopped short of slamming into a sudden out-cropping of steel, craning her head up in bewilderment.
the Light of Artyo stared up into the karmic wheel of NYC life, an enormous Ferris wheel fashioned out of half- crushed subway cars that now creaked and clanged so loudly that she had to cover her ears. A metallic green sky bellowed out behind it, old subway cars fanned out from the center of the universal torture device. graffiti-tagged and keyed up at heights she couldn’t even focus her eyes up to, the wheel hovered above scores of discarded train compartments and dried bones. one at a time, mechanical arms descended from the clouds, ripping out rusty train cars full of screaming people from one direction, seamlessly fitting another less weathered train car in from the opposite side as the first plummeted to the rocky earth below.
all the wagons were chock full of spirits who had paid their way onto them, yelling the unintelligible things that used to shoot out from the eyes of true New Yorkers on the dreariest of days. it was a hostile pitch that was their divine right, bestowed upon surviving that first year, a pitch systematically destroyed by finding out that the races they’d spent their lives thinking they had to run had amounted to nothing but self-desecration in the end.
the sounds of the wails of despair and the rickety whirl of the machinery blended together like the music of the spheres diffusing through her bleached blond curls seeping into her sun-stroked head.
sporadically, souls with no more regrets to give to the machine crawled through broken windows and took majestic swan dives in the direction of the ground as low-flying clouds swung by. the Light of Artyo leapt with each jump a courageous spirit took, felt herself hurtling with hope to the parched gravelly ground she was already weighed down to. each attempt at escape made the air around her shake, somehow tricking her legs into feeling a little bit stronger, encouraging her to walk on a few steps more.
as she continued, “away from” being the clearest concept of direction she had, out of the corner of her eyes she saw the dry-rotted squalor of the remnants of old schoolmates and once fundamental friendships as they lay in utter waste, bleached of all life harshly for attempting to heal sores across her spirit that she’d never been able to admit she suffered from. petrified people resembled driftwood.
Her inability to make due with things that had been done had ruined many a soul’s faith in friendship and the healing powers of a god most had long since lost faith in anyway. soon she had gotten so far past the wheel that it was only a faint flower of steel on the lower horizon line. it was then that she knelt and said a small prayer of forgiveness for all that she had done to others and all that had been done to her. her knees cracked as her face turned down, eyes closed in avoidance of a swoon. her sun-burnt fingertips drew circles in the sand to steady herself.
it was the cool breeze that danced against her eyelids when she turned her face back up to the greenish gunmetal sky that made her aware of the sudden scenery change.
she woke up singing songs to herself off-key, lyrics to submerge ricocheting across her lymphatic system as the Light of Artyo found herself on the street she had grown up on. lost in specks of dirt on her skin, she headed the fifteen houses down the block from her childhood home to what had become her father’s house. to bathe.
no one was home. Tammy, the husky she had grown up with, licked her fingers as she hopped the gate and let herself in through the back. the dogs her dad used to raise bounced around, playfully nipping at her hips as she patted them on their passed-over heads and let herself in through the sliding door off the deck.
running her bath, she happily settled into the bubble-filled tub, yawning as she cleaned herself. tired, she wrapped herself up in a white fluffy bathrobe as the water in the once pristine tub drained away, leaving an oily coating of black gunk along the sides of the tub. she shuffled into the master bedroom and fell asleep curled up near the top of her father’s bed.
she awoke to the crazed scream of the soul of her father, his finger rammed close to her face. her father was naked except for a pair of fuchsia high heels. “what the hell are you doing here?!?!” he bellowed. “what did you do with it!?!?”
“what are you talking about?!” she yelled back, confused, trying to place where she was.
“My painting- you just came here-and just shoved it in the closet!!!”
“what are you talking about?!” she yelled again, trying to peer past his accusing fingertips and flailing limbs into a walk-in closet full of clothes.
“this!!!” he screamed, diving into the closet and yanking out his half of the family portrait they had all posed for when she was almost four years old. she heard me whisper to her to stay calm, to not get caught up in the vortex of anger. he started to scream even louder as she took a deep breath. “you had girls here! had them in my bed!! i will swear on the stand to it!!” he screamed at her, contorting up over her, possessed.
“what the fuck?!-” she screamed back, bewildered.
“you deserved it- you liked it! you had to! i didn’t have to protect you! what did you want me to do? hit my own sister? make her stop?! you’re not worth it! I told you that you weren’t worth it!!i didn’t stop your mom from kicking your ass, so why would i stop my sister from making you lick hers?!?! ” her father ranted, throwing women’s clothes around the room.
“stop it-” the Light of Artyo whispered to herself, “wake me up-” she pleaded softly. but she had already cleaned herself. the soul of her father towered over her like some crazed demon.
“why didn’t you just become a dyke?!!? trying to come back and pin this on me -you ruined my life!!! you liar- you liar-you brought girls here!! and i will swear to it too! fuck you- trying to destroy me with your TRUTH-fuck you! you’re so selfish!! only thought of- you- how you felt- fuck you!!”
the Light of Artyo recoiled against the headboard, afraid to breathe in. the embers inside of her began to glow brighter against her will. “what do you want?!” his soul screamed at his oldest child. ” more hush money? so you’ll shut up-is that what you’re here for?! here! take it-take it all !!!”
the soul of her father yanked his wallet out from under the far end of the bed, causing a hidden stash of transvestite magazines to scatter across the floor. the Light of Artyo scrambled to the other side of the bed and cowered at the top of it as he began to throw bloodied hundred dollar bills at her, then grabbed a pair of pants off the floor and started ramming his hands in to the pockets, pulling out handful after handful of golden coins, sticky with blood, tossing them at her, pelting the bed with them. the blood fell away as the coins cut through the air in slow motion, spinning off of one another as if salt through thick soup. the light from the Light of Artyo danced across the surfaces of the self-cleaning coins, making the moment too lucid to bear as what she was witnessing slammed into her bones.
“you’ve gone crazy!” she screeched. “from all your mindfuckthewomen shit-” the little embers inside of the Light of Artyo became more compact, burning even brighter in her belly as his insane ranting pulled the last of all the passive-aggressive toxins out of her skin, seeping through the once pristine robe.
“shut up!” he screamed, attempting to lunge at her, his legs not moving.
“you sat there and drove yourself insane for not protecting me-” she panted. “each time I tried to go to anyone for help-you told them I was a liar-YOU Lied!!” she dragged her hands across herself and smeared the gunk that had risen up across the walls over his bed, where it morphed into letters, quoting his own condemnation against his kids.
“They will be DESTROYED without ME here!!” spread across the wall like it was written in tar tinged with blood.
“You fucking DYKE!” the soul of her father screamed, bewildered by being rooted to the floor by her words, by her fighting back. ” you were just a spoiled, lazy, shiftless fuck- just like your mama said you were-you thumb-sucking cunt! You know what they say about girls who suck their thumbs, right?!” he hissed then whimpered from his spot near the foot of the bed.
“Yeah I do! because your pot-headed ass decided to start telling me that little tidbit-drilling it into me when I was Five- you may as well have made me do it to you After I’d told you what your sister was doing to me.” The Light of Artyo growled absently.
She looked around the destroyed room that had become the cellblock for her father’s soul. “i’m calling mother,” she whispered wearily. the Light of Artyo calmly told her mother all that was going on across the static-filled connection as he ranted in the background.
“yeah- call your mama- she knows you’re a- you’re a liar! LIAR!!” her father collapsed on the foot of the bed naked, flaccid penis dangling.
she slid the phone to him and inched away before breaking into a run once she passed the doorjamb of the bedroom, refusing to look back at the hell he had fashioned for himself. she could hear her mother placating her ex-husband over the phone in hopes of squeezing him for more money for shoes to feed her habit.
she slammed open the front door and pulled herself out of it, instantly hobbled as soon as the fresh air hit. tracking bloodied footprints down towards the street, trying to scream, her voice stolen from her by all that had just bled out of her at refusing to be broken again. her feet were suddenly covered with the dirty bloodied bandages of a comfort child whose feet were forcibly not allowed to grow, coated with the dried-out sores of a spirit that kept putting one foot in front of the other anyway, no matter what, having walked it out until every circle closed, until she could wash off the most corrosive taint where it truly could have been initially checked, but never was. in her own father’s tub.
“help me-” tumbled out in a hoarse whisper as the Light of Artyo crumpled to the concrete and began to die out.
her lashes danced against the rough stones she landed face-first on, their cracks overgrown with green grass that blood from her cut-off nose soaked into as this sliver of herself slept into the shock of escaping through death.