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 Posting a reply to post #3423

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3423 No.3423
Bitter flavors of fine viscus slurry, old gasoline and oil ran by his tongue and filled his mouth with dour sensation. Darkness was all he knew, all he could taste, all he could feel, all he could hear, all he could remember. It's all he'd ever sensed, locked within the deprivation of the earth and buried beneath a veritable sea of metal. Metal that called to him. Metal he could feel. Not tonight. Not while fire burned in the lungs and twitchy, uncooperative muscles followed an unfamiliar drive to flee. To escape. To do anything to leave. The dark mud, the viscosity of snot, gave way above as he extended his arms up and out of the earth into not-earth, clenching and unclenching narrow spindly digits into the mysterious freedom of his longing. Stubborn grass clumped among the sparse dirt, dragged down into the muck with him.

The earth resisted, winding around his narrow legs and pulling him back downwards every time he tried to extend itself, greedily clinging to his outer surface. But he was tenacious and though hysterical in his ignorance, patient. Awareness spread symmetrically, introducing him to limbs on his other side and soon both arms were treading in the mud, desperate for a foothold or a solid surface to grasp in their weak grip. Tingling, hot sensations of unfamiliar energy drifted about his burial chamber like amniotic fluids.

Tectonic tremors, so alien and unrecorded for this land's geography, caused the land to grunt and agonizingly moan. His body traversed the sea of mud, narrow toes and the heel of a foot finally found solid surface. Soon, his literal stepping stone as his virgin steel skull disturbed tranquility in the small lake of mud, his eyes caked with opaque, earthly pigment. Smeared garbage and fossil fuel obscured his vision to the alien landscape, though did introduce him to more graspable surfaces. Unusual structures with large, reflective grills that twinkled beautifully every time the light lit up the dreary black sky.

Air and noise escaped his throat for the very first time, chest depressing as fiery gasses were expunged from his mouth and nose. Terrible, baleful colors of fire that caused water saturated, nearby dirt to dry and crack on the surface of the slurry filled pit. Greens, violets and teal lights vomiting up between breaths as he drew in the atmosphere for the first time in his life. Ribs expanding, raising his buoyancy if only by the most minuscule amounts. Beating, tumultuous rain threatened to shake his frame to pieces as the mess washed away and he could see the land of his birth for the very first time.

His bed of creation had begun to harden once more, the unnatural viscosity hardening every inch his loathsome body abandoned it. Both weak, newborn arms grasped hold of the nearest solid surface overhanging his primordial crib; something his inexperienced mind could not define. Though he could see his own arms and body shared the same reflective glow every time the lightning cracked.. immediately feeling kinship with whatever this object was. Is. Hoisting himself up from shoulders to waist from the mud, laying over the hood of the half submerged Peterbilt rig. He could feel the mud's suction at his thighs and the soles of his feet, finally drying enough beneath him to reject any efforts to return.

His arm extended, stretching forwards and grasping the far end of the dented, dis-repaired hood and dragged himself the rest of the way out from the soup. A feeling of exhaustion had overtaken his body, cut off from the tarry sea of which he'd emerged.

Amazing sounds filled his now free, unfiltered ears as cleansing rain beat down on his dirty body and scoured it of earth. Among the unfamiliar sounds, his own sighing voice filled his ears. The sensation of embers on his skin that had been an epidermal bonfire danced across his flesh, shakily turning over to gaze up at the night sky for the first time. Small red bulbs re-purposed for visual organs gazed up into the night sky, pacified by the booming thunder and the interesting shapes of rainclouds above, laced so beautifully with ribbons of lightning. Feint clatter and heft of wound snowchains clicked in his ears, weighing down his wrists and forearms against his chest and belly.

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Dawn of the day after.

Fog and light had precipitated with the density of ethereal fabric, hanging over the landscape and obscuring the sky like a blanket of the finest, most pristine cotton. The stubborn rays could not be negated completely, fueled by so large and omnipresent. Visibility was low, but brightness bounced and reflected through the all consuming wetness to cast an eerie ephemeral illumination on everything material. Despite otherworldly veil of mist and the feint white noise of drizzle, things woke up and left their shelters for the day ahead.

The birds called, the insects twittered with their natural songs, and the roar of diesel powered yellow buses occasionally rolled up and down the street across from the junk yard. Long, loud bodies coming in and out of fogged obscurity like grumbling maggots. Loaded from entrance to exit with the hopes of families, the anxiety of the young and the angst of the tweens. Almost totally filled, but not completely. One seat, in the way back, lacked its familiar occupier.

Crystal prisms stretching across obtuse shapes of cobwebs in the tall weeds and hip high grass did little to impede the body of a truant. His torn jeans were no resistance for warm water held on the blades stretched high in front of him, quickly soaking through the pre-ripped denim to cool against his skin. Pre-shredded for the convenience of your brand label counter-culture youth, dark colored to match the equally dark blue long sleeved shirt and discount brand leather duster. A gift from mom. Slung over his shoulder in true rebel fashion, an L.L. Bean bookbag that made him seem more packmule than disgruntled freshman. Vitamin D deficient skin repelled the weak traces of sunlight struggling desperately to penetrate the nimbus covering the ground, doubling as a safety reflector for every overly bright LED headlight that came roaring down the road. Like the one steadily approaching just then.

"GET the FUCK to SCHOOL, you stupid kid!" Roared the quickly passing voice of a stranger, as his even louder truck sped across the main road and quickly out of sight. The closest thing to an empathetic gesture or sage advice young Sid Halifax had acknowledged in weeks. Like all things that challenged his refracted image of the world, the words soon echoed free of thought and their intentions lost in lieu of the disrespectful delivery. Just another loud, obnoxious drunk on his way to his blue collar slave wage in a nihilistic paradise, anyway. Ah, the histrionics of youth.

A look and feeling of familiarity warmed his cockles, if only for a moment, as Sid gazed upon the head tall height of the iron post fance and the safety wire running across the grounds of the junk yard, long forgotten and unattended to by its lazy caretaker. The usual opening in the metal strips opened like a rust encrusted veil to a sultan's harem. A duck, a firm nudge from the shoulder to bypass the vertical rip in the gate, and he was inside the rectangular, barb wire fence enclosed sanctuary. His heavy backpack jangled with the sound of cheap aluminum pins depicting pop goth icons, pretentious taunts and a variety of warped smiley faced stickers.

This was his studio. The trash, his paint. The dirt, his canvas. All around were the things of which he preoccupied his time. None of which, any marketable value. Vague lifeform shaped objects lay scattered across the fields of mud and endless automotive vehicles, stripped of many useful parts and left with the aroma of soil, oil and unsavory chemical contamination. Enormous puddles stood like moats around pseudo-skeletal creatures, their reflections to animals only their artist could place for certain. Everything that lay inanimate in this battlefield of structure and decay was his for remodeling, as per a questionable arrangement with the owner of the property.

A short walk later, he came to the mouth of it- the domicile a select few knew as The Cave. Marked by the overturned pile of assorted flatbed trucks, pushed and nudged side by side to form a long cavernous pocket with the overturned beds. Covered by countless tarps, buried at the undercarriage and suspension until only the axles and wheels stuck out. The entrance, a flowing blue canvas covering an elevated stairway, held in place by rocks and leading down into the dark, crypt-like foyer. Painstakingly dug out during a summer of purloined contraband and premarital debauchery- a summer he missed invitation to by one season, as a late bloomer. Oh well, there's always next year.

Bone dry, which was surprising given the sheer volume of rain that fell the night before. Sid trundled down the sandy makeshift steps and surveyed the barren, lonely expanse. Old televisions, a plastic sensor mat, aged consoles and assorted controllers lay scattered by the nest of cords across the far wall, across from an ancient couch sutured with duct tape and impregnated with the stench of ancient cannabis. Home sweet away from home. Sid's body collapsed boneless onto the expanse of bruised upholstery, sprawling out with a sigh. One arm and rib propped up against the worn wooden plane of the arm rest, feet crossed and mind secure to meditate on creation. Or nap from a night spent doing all but resting.

Sid woke with a start an indeterminate amount of time later. The light coming in from the shallow cracks of dirt around each upturned truck's coach was being obstructed at the pace of each footstep. Concern began to rise as he got up off the warm safety of the couch, ears becoming sensitive in the way only a school skipping youth's can. He could feel them, though they were very slight; vibrations of something bipedal wandering past his refuge. The footfalls were not familiar, the pattern of sound to dirt unrecognizable.. certainly not Hurb. The legs were too long and the touch down too uneven to be a classmate, either. Sid hustled over towards the dark corner of the room on his tip toes, shuffling his heavy bookbag beneath the blanket sprawled sofa and crawling towards the phony dog-bed; a towel before canine food and water dishes to adults, a submerged cooler with a cubby space for an unlucky boy that needs to hide.

Sid crawled into the old box, bending up like a fetus to fit the limited space. Holding up the corner of the makeshift locker, his eyes peered out in the direction of his unseen interloper, ears working overtime. Listening for his name, for signs of motivation or reason. Maybe whoever it was would get a phone call, or speak into a walkie-talkie. Whoever it was, they were undoubtedly alone.

Perhaps a confused homeless person? The more he thoughts about it, the more his heart started to race at the possibilities. His only tether to rationality the slow, rhythmic pacing as whoever it was skulked up one side of the large scrap yard to the other. Minutes dragged on with the subtle click of his watch, until...


Sid's heart practically burst into his throat, ducking down as the light aluminum cooler door thudded down above him. Frantically, he slapslapslapped at the cheap button on his digital watch to silence its obnoxiously loud ringing. 12:00 in the afternoon, and all was not well. The static of silence extended like an aura as everything from skin to ears tried to pinpoint the position of the foreign presence once again. The formerly slow paced, clueless wandering had started again, moving faster. The vaguely metallic click of sturdy boots against rough scrap yard rock betraying every foot of whoever's trek.

The figure had picked up on the noise, by the sounds. Not well, but it had heard the ringing from -somewhere- in the vicinity. Somewhere close. And by the sounds of the way it hustled up and down the junkyard, always to return to the unusual outcropping of axles, tires and truck coaches piled like a cairn, it was painstakingly trying trial by error to find it.

Sid could hear it, over his head. The wiggle of the capriciously balanced flatbeds overhead as the heavy unknown person climbed up onto the thin layer of dirt and soil piled on top of the waterproof canvas. The weight of the visitor was unnerving, clearly at least the size of a full grown man. Not even the righteous fatasses from school, he recalled, could make splashes of sound and distribute weight in the undercarriage like this. His eyes darted back and forth, from east to west to north to south as he gazed at the corners of the crudely dug shelter. The Cave was a code nightmare, and this kind of load was just never supposed to walk across it. He could feel it, dirt escaping where vertical wall outcrop met the surface of the cabs and rear doors of the trucks.

Worse. It was crawling in the direction where the one, and only entrance were set. And Sid suddenly really had to piss.

Sid silently cursed the functions of his watch, tightening his hands to fists and lowering the box top to only the smallest of cracks, a suspicious eye pointed at the rocky stairwell. There's no way to miss the big blue tarp door, he thought. Lord, why did they forget to camouflage the DOOR?! Subconsciously, he fantasized about kicking the senior architect in the face, over and over as he heard the rattle of canvas as wind ripped passed it, and felt the inquisitive tilt of a truck as the occupant perching on top leaned over, to peer at the elevated dirt marking the entrance. Oh lord, did he leave footprints!? Shit. Shit. Shit.

The blue illumination gave way to untainted white as the afternoon sun and still prolific fog drifted down from the top of the stairs, cascading the dank Cave with light and the odor of moisture. Try as he might, Sid was incapable of being both camouflaged and able of seeing the figure as it stood in the steep foyer, gazing into the domicile.. and going no further. Sid heard the sound of gasses leave lungs through nostrils in a sigh, a wash of warm relief cascading down his back and soothing his throbbing heart. Whoever had discovered the hideout seemed uninterested in entering, uninvited. A renewed hope welled through Sid's spirit. The sound of the footfalls as they scuffed into wet, soggy dirt and mud and propelled his interloper in the opposite direction of the door echoed through the shelter. He couldn't see him leave, but he could hear those footfalls get further and further away.

The guys were going to have to be careful here from now on, Sid thought. Paradise lost. Crawling out from the submerged hideyhole, unbunching and stretching his back for the first time in half an hour, Sid suddenly felt much less at home. It were as though a foreign heat had stripped the well polished layer of homey paint from his favorite sanctuary. What if it really were a homeless man? Sid thought. What if this place became a squatter hangout? What if the coke heads decided to try and take and sell the communal collection of their suburbanite electronics, and generator? This was terrible! A hideout was one thing. Sid was suddenly very uneasy, drawing his blackberry as though it were the six chambered instrument of law and notifying everyone of significance. Danger here. Loot and abandon.

Sid tiptoed to the couch, reacquiring and shoulder slinging his 'precious' bag. This place had officially become unsafe. Kory was going to have to haul the big ole truck up here, like the first time. Staying low, staying outside of the path of the light, Sid approached the big blue tarp that acted as the door. Bending forwards some, peeking between the shredded threads of the canvas to surmise if his guest was still there, he was relieved to see nothing. No shape, no presence.. not even the smell of urine, unfamiliar BO or garbage. Very carefully, he huddled against the right wall and pulled the curtain aside, cautiously emerging and inspecting the scrap yard through the milky fog. Suddenly feeling naked.. realizing that, for the first time, he was without a way to properly defend himself.

It took him a few seconds to properly analyze and determine his prospects for armament. Lacking anything that wasn't as dangerously tetanus inducing to himself as an enemy, he happened upon a rusted out frame of an old four-door.. The clutch, broken off with the handle mostly intact, lay on the seat like a golden opportunity. An adequate shiv, with a round grenade shaped head to hold. With the sharp, narrow point on the other end, it would make an excellent thrusting or stabbing tool. He eagerly snatched it up, clutching it tightly and feeling far more confident as he turned and started a controlled speed-walk towards the rip in the fence.

Footsteps. More than his own. Sid's blood ran cold almost instantaneously as he heard sparse vegetation and mud crush under body weight much greater than his own. The familiar footfalls of a grown man, sleepy but consistent. Worse, he couldn't tell the exact direction it were coming from. Prickles danced up his vertebra, sending fine hairs to points and setting the knuckles of his right hand to become white dots between pressured skins full of blood, the reassuring ridges across the metal biting into his palm. Halting, head turning, he tried to make out a silhouette from any direction. Only to find none.

Sid tore into a run in the direction he knew, by the layout of the yard, was towards the gate. The sounds of alien feet moving could be heard again, no further away than they'd been when he started to flee. Maybe even closer. A biting pain rippled in his thigh, unfortunately sacrificing coordination in his brief surge of adrenalin to unintentionally prick himself in the leg with the sharpened improvised schiv. He was whimpering now, and watching the ground- the only way he could tell where he was going. And it was then that his brain, so time dilated by chemical stimulant, pieced something together.. The foot prints leading to the gate were too narrow and deep in the sand soaked dirt to've been made by any human foot. They resembled something more akin to stilts. A dark, monolithic presence suddenly found itself between Sid and the exit.


Sid ran headlong into it, whatever it was. Momentum swallowed by the sudden stop, face cut and bleeding by his own impact as he fell backwards with a vision blinding thud. Eyes squeezed shut, just laying there and hoping that the deliriousness abated as he waited for it- anything. A motorcycle truancy officer with a rant for him. Hurb, the scrap man. Even his own father, he could deal with right now. Just please, Sid begged, don't be a homeless predator. Eyes wide open, perception still screwy as the vitreous humor stopped spinning. The humanoid silhouette began to focus... and then he saw it clearly, for the first time.

The figure before him was kneeling, but even so the long limbs and tall spine made him easily 5'10. The exterior had the appearance of virgin steel, just beginning to oxidize from exposure to the hellacious moisture and air. Purely naked and skeletal, the bones had the appearance of the suspension of a vehicle that had been re-purposed into the armature of a humanoid statue. Ribs and sternum were.. clever, perhaps a little less tarnished than the rest of his bones. Attached to the spine were the bent around lanes of a chromed big rig grill, unnaturally shaped into ribs and seemingly welded tight in front as a sternum. No seams. Cradled within the ribs were unfamiliar motors, wires and hoses running down, up and every which way to the limbs.

Sid shook his head vigorously, observing this kneeling art piece with a sense of interrupting wonderment as he contemplated the statue. It wasn't his work, he were certain of that. A sudden, profound curiosity and appreciation took the place of fear, as he forgot what he'd been fleeing from. Peering through the ribcage, he observed the way what passed for the digestive system amounted to the enclosed internals of a combustion engine. Someone had even seen fit to parallel the stomach with a fittingly shaped (and sized) gas tank. Up the throat and leading to the face, he made out the chrome pipe of a big rig horn. And that's when he examined the skull.

It was a fitting homage to the human skeleton, all stripped of meat and distinguishing features. The zygomatic processes were flanked to all sides by the broken red of reflector lights, exposing old fashioned incandescent bulbs in a terrible parody for eyes. The nasal concha was rather typical.. as was the material the skull seemed to be fashioned from. Diamond plate metal. Cheap and maleable. Upper and lower mandibles; what passed for teeth seemed to be a symmetrical placement of nails and bolts, for shredding and crushing. Smaller nails fused closed together mimicked the shapes of cutting teeth, larger nail tips sticking down and up from what passed for the jaw giving an upstanding likeness of everything from incisors, to canines to molars. The effort was surpising, since even with all that, the tongue hung down through the hole in the bottom of the mandible like a loose leather strap.

And then it blinked. Thin, membranous sheets of aluminum foil fell down like curtains and then retracted, and Sid once again felt the rush of delirious fear. He screamed! bursting to his feet and strafing around the unnatural armature as it creakily adjusted stance to follow the screaming youth with its gaze. It did not pursue, merely stood watching. A blank, curious look on its face as the ends of its snow chain manacles swung and clacked against the ground. As if in response, in tribute, perhaps in attempt to connume, the thing brought in a great breath through its nostrils, fans in its ribcage starting to revolve greatly. The sheer volume of the creature's return-fire scream carried for half a mile, a big rig horn focused and fired from its throat. Sid vanished into the afternoon fog, pants stained with everything from dew, to oil to urine. Horrified and at the same time mystified by what he saw, what he felt, he raced for home as swift as his legs would carry him.

Fuck, how did I forget to reply to this.

This is interesting stuff, to be sure, but there's no real story-its a few vignettes of Ford's life. This could be a cool story if you wrap it in a firmer structure-perhaps he is remembering his questionable origins while escaping a Pentex interrogation lab?

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