The Ghost Dreams
Wild poodles terrorizing the forests, cows wandering, and horses running. In dense jungle, an orangutan builds a hanging nest, stillness in its habitat.
Corn becomes overgrown to the edges of rivers and down hills and into the branches of trees. Meanwhile, other fields remain barren and the brown dirt is caustic in the sun.
Cemeteries washed into the walls of glaciers. Skeletons are frozen in arctic ice with rats, foxes, owls, bears, petrified splintered trunks, and gnarled knots of roots.
In a hidden cove, four men prepare a body on a bed. One man at the end washes the corpse’s feet as they cast it into the fire.
Buried in the forest, advanced monkeys affix a corpse to a wooden cross.
They exchanged stones for fruit then place the stones on the eyes of fish that have died on shore.
Hear a voice carried in the wind. Vulture wing flaps. Animals in the air eating aluminum. Wind cursing open space.
Monkey’s primal fear of a devil with claws and wings and fire breath.
Vines and buds grow out of the skin of slow moving dirt creatures. Insects swarm around them, biting. One behemoth is covered in arrows. The unsnapped staffs feature old and worn feathers.
480,000 miles away from Earth. The seconds stretched on and on and with a growing feeling of fear he watched the hand track slowly around the clock face.
“They don’t answer…”
The Ghost dreams
The man approached us, there were feces dripping down his leg.
“Go, look at his wounds.”
Two medical staff knelt before him and began inspecting him for wounds as he stood there. A strange veneration of toxicity radiation off of him, like a corona of sweat and filth.
“Toss him-“ He cut off. Adjusted his thoughts. He said something no one heard.
The Sergeant pulled a black rubber doll from his pocket.
“Call ‘em in,” He said to the figurine.
A swarm of bees gathered around the Worm-Gear System.
“We ain’t goin nowhere with these bastards in our bonnet.” The ship was so close to earth they could smell it.
The Sergeant watches a man carry a hive down the hall, bees hovering around the raw hive.
“With that thing out of here we can make good time.”
Lumber split, rations gathered, linens sewn, and plastic samples were collected in mesh nets.
Stones that heal themselves. The rocks were carved with axe marks and immediately the grey skin grew back.
“Astonishing.” The lead medic said. The Sergeant had the rocks taken in.
“At least we killed off roaches, rats, and chickens living here.” Fromm said to the other medic. The staff had arrived two decades ago and time has flown by in a few hours.
A doctor places his hand under the horns and lifts. Staff insert tubes into the flattened face. It’s beard stinking of sour fruit.
The whole staff stare shocked at the creature on their bed. Time has passed in a matter of a second. Enough for years in a hospital.
“We’ll have to remove its leg.”
“I want the hoof.” The Sergeant said. After removal, he gifted it to Fromm.
Packs of wolves roam the neighborhoods keeping old ladies locked in their homes. Fromm drove the streets loathing the rest of the medics for their fear of the wolves.
Candles were lit for blood-lizard sacrifices. The president is due anyways.
“However, keep up the act.”
The crippled old man surrounded by shattered glass. That afternoon, they go swimming with the sharks as planned. The Sergeant and the rest of the staff guard the crippled king as he is lowered into the water. Fromm waits with other staff treading water. Minutes later, the presidents remains are interred in the hen house.
“According to the Worm-Gear System the planet will be a giant crater by nightfall. Our presence seems to be speeding up the process.” Fromm explains to the Sergeant. The military vet looks at the clock and then the cadaver being cleaned on a steel table.
“All the team’s families have been sent away. They’ve been tested.”
The Sergeant didn’t respond so Fromm continued. “Since I have abandoned my post I remain alone here. The rest of the staff will return on the next Transplantation to the Isoplastic Bank. The skeletons basically had beards when I arrived. I couldn’t find it amusing like the rest. I’m content with going back to my old job casting Iron Rings.”
“You amuse me, Fromm. And assist. Your arguments are pointless. We were a cancer in this planet before we abandoned her. Now we come back to finish the job. To our horror she seems to want out. The death drive of an entire earth.”
Fromm was smiling.
“I’m. Of course, we, sir. No, I agree, I just, I can’t believe you find me amusing and secondly that you agree with me on the planet. Why did we come here? The Worm-Gear System was your brainchild. I wrote papers on you in school.”
“It’s a palindrome. Time. It reaches a point of finiteness then mirrors back again.”
“Is that where the songs come in?”
“Yes. The Worm-Gear seems so absurd because it is, in reverse we will live as kings in golden ecstasy. The rapture will mirror our Fall.”
“Shouldn’t it be symmetrical, equally shitty only from right to left?”
“The Ghost is closer than ever, the animals are one with us.”
“I am not ready for the darkness again, day in day out.”
“Stay here with me, and we will wait for the time reversal. The Worm predicts it will happen before bedtime.”
“What are you doing with the goat man?”
“Sending him back. They could use a surprise.”
“You’re welcome by the way. If you are throwing around edible arrangements I like the peachapalooza.”
“I’m not exactly throwing them around. I’ll be conserving my edible arrangements considering how many more of our colleagues will be demised by morning. Why didn’t we join them in spirit?”
“I set it all up in the Worm-Gear. Ask your fairy godmother.”
“We’ve attended three or four funerals this week.”
“We should observe … understanding? is our … horror. a man with his …” The priest mumbles on.
“He’s not sick enough” The Sergeant says.
“They’ve all been down in this darkness too long. I’m heading to the invisible castle.”
“That’s how life started, lightning striking the water.”
“I heard there were birds flying out of the president.”
“How do you know?” The Sergeant pulls the black rubber doll from his pocket. “The satyr is hobbling through the ship’s woods.”
“A light with wings descended and told me about the time traveling to earth. The mermaids are just another animal.” The Sergeant said showing off a taxidermy fish half, shocking the staff.
“The serpent-bearer then the archer.”
Following the constellations the staff lead the herd through the woods. With the scent of satyr blood they hunt down the little monster. The maniacal laughs cut into the absolute darkness of the ship’s nocturnal biometrics.
Among the babies was the satyr. Asleep in the corner.
“We used to be able to do dissections out in the field.” The Sergeant said. To the black rubber doll, “the hyena eats the witch. I’m bringing it in.”
Sean Cazzell is an artist residing in the Pacific Northwest. He creates tales about the strange and aberrant journey through the existential universe. His work has featured in K'in and Abstract: Contemporary Expressions.