...BtR regained the moral high ground along with his feet. It was a fact that the doss needed food. It was instant myth when anyone claimed they were going out to bring some back. BJ became an instant legend as he headed for the door. One of the floor-bods twitched in his general direction and it was almost like communication, just for a moment.
The street-critics across the way who see him climbing up to gutter level, donít. No-one wants to see another chip-head with a well developed case of John Doe toe. Even the local organists ignore his wasted vitals as he glides past their alley. Those who donít see him know heís on the way to the morgue. It is only the number of thefts and break-ins on the way that is in question. If he bumped you in the street you would count your money then walk away. Caring less, would be an effort.
This is mostly normal. The living dead are part of any modern society, filling vital consumer niches in the corporate ecology. But it is broad daylight and nocturnal BtR is creating eddies of unease in the grazing lunch time herds. This is the normal of a bat in the midday sun.
BtR knows in his mind that upsetting the sheep could summon the shepherd. Stops to think but doesnít think to stop. Some new program is running his walking. This too is as new as the scenery through which he coasts. Unease assails him. He starts to think about stopping but canít. His mind has been kidnapped, his body the felon.
A wide open mouth filters the gritty city air, whale-like. But the scream-song he wants the world to hear is space sharing inside his skull. A loud and frightening flat-mate in a one bedroom dos. BtR closes his mouth and evicts the maddening echo with stern silence.
BtR bops. His step jazzed to the wild samba his heart xylophones on his ribs. Under BtRís street-tone house coat his flesh is the boniest deep-sea-fish pale doing itsí spastic best to return, pelagic. Mind imitating body, BtR feels drowned in air - just one more raw flesh morsel in a sea of lunchtime sushi; BtR swims on.
A few million weightless particles pierce corneal flesh. Through an unresponsive lens they twist. The poorly focused image inverts to be projected on a blood stained retinal wall. There, rods and cones, probably the most relaxed cells in the body of BtR, effortlessly do what they do. Raw data floods back through fat-lined pipes and spills into a skull. Waves of sparking contact spread out through the survivors of BtRís daily neurocide. Deep in the mushy greyness information gains context. A memory is triggered.
The boy-child high fives his smooth cool-skinned twin. Background, a scene of domestic not-quite-bliss. The walls are too close by far, their construction too far past, their state far gone, too. A couple, shapeless, grey, spin together. Like the walls they are crumbling prematurely, well on the way back to the dust from which they were made. His head is against the mirror, pushing, but his brother pushes back, just as weak, and each remains.
Out on the street someonen is trying to get his attention. A passing madman waves from a corporate mirrored window. BtR reacquaints with BtR. Nothing shiny has shown him any self in a while. The gaunt maniken stares back, apparently equally shocked. Itís not a good look, but it suits the mood here near the end of time. BtR is just more grief in the graveyard. A diseased flower amongst the giant, windowed tombstones. Gay obituaries written in glowing neon.
A successful assault on a sandwhiching suit furnishes
allows unease to escalate to outright alarm and masked dreadÖ
NOTES: Thinks about the chip he slotted last night realises it is still running, tries to stop it-jammed, tries to take it out-canít, eject it-jammed, tries other controls and eventually turns the volume way-up and hears static with ghost whispers in it
Realises he is headed somewhere definite, can use his arms so he grabs a news-fax off one guy, a pen off of another and writes his plea for helpÖ