Vibrant Night - Chapter 16

Chapter 16

Syll opened up the waffle maker, its brand name, 'Experimental.'  The appliance's insides were covered in reflective surfaces and it acted like a giant vacuum.  Strips of Syll's bandages and strands of her dark hair pulled forward with the force of the waffle-maker.  Dave was behind her in the throes of an automated yell, still tied up with webbing.  The technacle watched with validated fear as his graphs were to become battered batter.  The hardened arachnid guffawed with inhuman laughter, even as the endless ink was pulled from its book-eyes like opaque webbing entering compressed air.

The spider raised a front leg of brick to crush the woman and would have, but she remained standing-- almost under the arachnid's head with the point of the vacuum in her grasp.  The creature's leg began cracking along with the head, and the body followed in a fast-evolving crumble of old bricks and unmarked graves.  As the fearful form was being decimated it continued laughing, causing Syll's arms and hands to tremble at its loud and frightful voice.

The arachnid fell into a ruin of clay and stone rubble.  Syll jumped back instinctively, though the debris of the spider was sucked through the air into the waffle maker.  She then promptly closed the contraption which then steamed from the sides.  Dave commented on Syll's reaction, "Best to keep that closed, as fear seldom dies so easily."

From a distant corner the brown and blueish-purple llama still sang.  He took some steps forward with a bobbing head, "La di da di daa.."

Syll placed the abnormal appliance down on the ground and looked at the technacle lying on the floor.  She remained stationary, her eyes changed to a polished black similar to Dave's own lenses.  Dave tumbled around, unable to do anything but propel himself into chairs and desks.  In his bound struggle, Dave knocked one monitor over, which had already been on the edge of the table from the waffle maker's suction; BUT IT WAS STILL A FLAT SCREEN, DAMN!

Dave's robotic voice turned full volume, "Aren't you going to help me?"

A grandfather clock fell through the hole in the ceiling where the arachnid had pummeled through.  A nearby metal sphere from high above cast an illusion of some quaint, far-away place out in the night.  The grandfather clock shattered violently in front of the illusion with large splinters of wood and glass going everywhere.

Afterwards, it seemed that the busted timepiece's pendulum continued, mimicking computer mouses hanging from tables.  Monitors flickered on and off, their cables unscrewed, loosened, and wobbled just so.  Most of the lights around the room followed in flickers.  The clasps of the waffle iron released and a couple handfuls of small spiders poured out around the cement in a disorganized crawl.

Syll reacted to all this chaos by moving back nearer to the doorway she came from.

"Dum di da di doo!" The llama sang.

"Its okay.  I believe that means we 'got' it." Dave stated.

Syll did not move.

The technacle was not enthused with his lack of freedom, "We Asians have to stick together.  So would you please untie me?"

"How do you mean?" Syll asked, thinking Dave a liar.

"I was made in China." The technacle replied, unable to get his mechanical arms through the webbing.

Syll hesitated.. "Uh.. okay.."

She made her way to the technacle past multiple holograms, one giving show to the molecular level of an eyeball, while another moving-picture was the feed of a camera on a fighting caravan inside the outside.  With great struggle, Syll began pulling off one fragment at a time of each thick strand of webbing.

"Hmm.. do you lift weights?" Dave asked.

"A little." Syll smiled slightly, but it was short-lived and mostly feigned.

"If your able to rip off the webbing of a stone spider, maybe you should lift less often.  Its considered--"

"Maybe I should leave you here." Syll glared.

Dave was silent for a moment save the mechanical buzzing of his base, "Awkward."

Eventually Syll was able to pull enough webbing off for Dave to do the rest.  While the technacle untangled himself with a free mechanical arm, Syll went and fixed the layout of equipment on all of the desks where electronics, books, and other geeky curiosities had shifted towards an edge, or fallen to the blocky, steel floor.

When all was not said, and done, Dave hovered in front of the spherical illusion and sectioned reflection of the vast room they were in; a holographic cat remained in the middle of this complex image, scared stiff and now laying on its back.. still chanting, "I'm real.. I'm real.."

"Over here Syll.  There is an elevator.. though its not exactly safe by human standards."

The grandfather clock rebuilt itself over a period of minutes and went rocketing back up through the torn-up gap of cavern ceiling where it came from.  And the downcast illusion in front of Dave had copied the image of the clock from its entrance as though it was ticking outside on a Winter night with the lights of some country home far off behind it.

"Oh good, that was one mess I didn't want to have to clean up." Dave said, having hovered to the side of the room's illusion to seek graphing-view of the self-repairing sound.

A dozen new wooden clocks of different sizes came raining down into the room, busting apart all over the floor; though a couple timepieces first broke as they hit the high-floating spheres.  All of the clocks only featured the number twelve, with plastic, wood, and glass twelves either spinning, popping out, or portrayed as shaped holes.

Syll jumped, covering her head and moving forward in a weave as the weighted clocks fell around her.  A miniaturized clock, though still quite large, hit the woman on the side of the head.  She passed out, drops of blood cascading down the black of her head.

Dave bowed his uppermost point in apprehension at the incident; meanwhile, a medieval-looking swordsman's scream rang out from the downcast, spherical camera feeds of a ravaging, flying caravan.

The technacle hovered over, his base tilted forward as it did when he was at fairly high speed.  He picked up Syll who was unconscious, "Not all tentacles are rapists, silly woman.  I have graphs and Japanese comics on the subject."

The technacle took her into the elevator which was a kind of steel-cage rhombus, a faulty, three-dimensional rectangle that liked to collapse on anyone over three-feet tall.  To the left wall of the lift was an empty, retractable bookcase with a missing middle shelf.  An animal under three-feet tall was in the right corner of the elevator manning lowered controls, the critter had the body of a small monkey, clothed like a fancy, hotel employee, and the head of a badger-- an elevator chauffeur with a socialite name-tag reading, "Hello, my name is 'Bob.'"

The chauffeur had a disgruntled look, "Going up?  Because your certainly not going down."

"Yes.  Going up.  As you know, I am not--"

"I know, I know.. you are not properly outfitted to fly all the way up there yourself.  And you have graphs on the subject."


"Whose the broad?"

"A fellow Oriental."

"Right.." Bob commented snidely. "With a synthesized Mid-Western accent?"

"I had no idea you'd gone racist."

"I've met coffee makers that made less generalizations than you, Dave." The chauffeur pressed a black button with a golden 'G.'  He looked off into the space with a cold narration from under his wet snout, "Going up."

The folding elevator must've rose hundreds of feet high in a cable climb.  In the backdrop below, the steel pyramid-like fortress showed its enormous size.  The melodic llama rotated his scraggly head in a circle while his shape and muffled melody faded from the moving compartment.  Dave rested his metal base upon the tidy floor while keeping the roof raised.

As they neared the ceiling Syll awoke groggily.  A double-door hatch, with a middle permanently opened for the cables, swung open automatically to let the rhombus elevator through into the well-lighted disarray of Null-Mart.

The elevator denizens arrived to see an ordinary road with a centered, yellow dashed-line in the middle of the store.  Light bulbs above somehow exchanged half-eaten casseroles and munched on main-courses, often with bent tin-foil covers.  Aisles were plotted loosely around the pavement but never over it, except one aisle which had been torn in half and moved.  Four large sinkholes surrounded the road, five counting the hole centered in the cement.

By an aisle selling pack-mules that could run, was a scraggly-looking fellow holding a shotgun, buff with some fat addition, his hair a kind of puff, but not conditioned.  He cocked the firearm and shot it at the ceiling, "Everybody out!"

Also standing on the road was a thinner man dressed like a coffee-house hipster with glasses.  He was a programmer (of some sort) and community coordinator (of summed sort).  A pile of clocks slowly grew from the aisle-way closest to the malevolent individual.  The man held a medium-sized clock above his head and laughed maniacally with strands of hair dangling in front of his glasses.

Odis, Victor, and a cart piled higher than ever with cheese were to the side of the road.  Odis and Victor had looks of terror on their faces, while Odis's head was still covered with swimming goggles.  Victor spoke softly and urgently to Odis, "He's recycling animations.  But that's the extent of his recycling program.  We are dealing with a dangerous, clock throwing man."

The man threw the clock he was holding down into the sinkhole in the road, "I'll throw clocks, then they'll respawn.  I'll throw clocks into people's heads!"

Bob eyed the small, blood-soaked part of Syll's head.  The badger-monkey pulled out a slightly oversized toothpick and started picking at his pointy teeth, "Clearly he's tried."

The man with the shotgun fired off another round, "Listen you fools, we gotta get our asses outta here now!  This whole place is coming down."

"Well, not for two or three more hours.  I have graphs on the subject." Dave retorted from the elevator.

"Oh please." Bob retaliated with rolling eyes, his hand fidgeting in the act of plaque removal.  The badger-monkey jumped with fright as a plastic wall clock was thrown at Dave and bounced off of his metal base.

"How rude." Dave said.

Odis cupped his hand over his mouth as to speak in Victor's ear, "I think I could steal his shoes.."

"Vic?" Syll said from the elevator floor, noticing the cane and cart while holding her head.

"Syllable!" Victor rushed over to her. "What happened to your head?"

Bob threw his toothpick into Null-Mart space, "I don't mean to be impolite, but could you all get the hell out of my elevator?"

"I'll be going back down." Dave said.

Syll and Victor left the elevator.  Syll looked at the blood on her hand and then up at Victor, "I was hit by a clock, I think I might need more bandages."

Bob hit a button and entered a straight-postured, formal trance, "Going down."

The lift hatch opened, the elevator descended, and the hatched closed once more.

As Bob's act was happening, the clock-thrower went to go pick up a sundial from the jutting clock pile-- but a light fixture dropped a glass container which splattered cheesy potato wedges all over the malicious man's head.  The clock-throwing programmer halted, cringing, and screamed from the heat of the delicious side dish.

There was a slight squeaking accompanied by the sound of wheels from the front side of the store.  Emerging from one of the aisles was a chicken egg with a drawn, yet animated face, its mouth cracked open at the middle, and its yolk like a tongue.  The egg had a black marker hanging from its side and behind it was a wooden crate of soda, labeled, "Eggola Cola."

The others watched the Eggola in disbelief as it made one-inch jumps and quirky, high-pitch squeaks almost in tone with the wheels of the heavy pallet; a block of soda pop dragging inexplicably from the ovular ovoid 's invisible pull on a lowered, paint-chipped handle.

Ignoring the Eggola, the man with the shotgun held the hollowed end of a spare shotgun shell to his ear.  He stood deeply attentive.  Then, the odd philanthropist dropped the shell and raised his arms in commotion, "OH MY GOD, THEY'RE GOING TO BLOW UP THE OCEAN!"

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