Flashing 12:00


Peter Schmideg

Inside...flashing 12:00!

Blind to physical environment, yet somehow comfortable...comforting, feminine presence I can sense.

Internal clock...12:00, flashing on and off, on and off. Shift, modification...

...gauge parameters...compass, limit.

Murky boundary, area at fringe of reasoning facilities; surely meant to dabble with such limited functions as...as she's left. Yes, used to possess far greater capacity; now only inkling.

I...I can remember mathematics, appreciate sublime power. Cognitive ability denuded, bumping against symbolic wall representing emotion; flashing 12:00, negating time, internal clock turning in on itself, forcing energy backwards...imploding cataclysm!

Coming into focus...image in dark space. Immense shadowwings, extension of darkness. Gargantuan ebony robot birdman, Mechanical Death Angel. Emerald eyes, golden teeth, silver fingernails.

Also, slithering gray presence blinking in and out of visibility, Larika, Electric Snakemother. Thin red sliver emitting sparks, her tongue; weird little pink eyes, gleaming.

Flashing 12:00...simmering; piece of skull siphoned off, draining soul.

Mechanical Death Angel examines Larika, lost in her...what? Beauty? No.

She's scarcely beautiful.

Compelled, haunted. Larika imprinting her...spirit.

Reject her - no! Inflamed...cruelty, divine cruelty!

Mechanical Death Angel takes flight, soaring into darkness, fleeing -

Larika after him!... Gasping, breaking down; hallucination...abstract overview, whole mess.

Want to be free of her...or part of me does.

Oh, how I wish I could puke, expel her! Nauseous, really need to barf. Can't, can't; stuck...static.... Flashing 12:00...dreamstate.

What has she done to me? Where am I?

Terrified...going along.

Used to be someone else, now lying here...here? Bed. Now...now can feel it...my own skin...skin.

Listen. Pumping, sucking, pumping, sucking...breathe heavily. Tinkling. Sniff. Disgusting. Eyes shut...flashing 12:00.

Enmeshed...Larika overtaking him.

Relent, surrender...turn, hover....

Dangling in void - then pinioned against it! Shiny black body giving off heat.

Lips move...taste wetness; slop tongue around.

Click teeth together, clear throat...grunt.

"Doctor Zeemo, he's coming around." Female voice, sensual.

Gripping me, huge hand enveloping shoulder - exhale sharply - softens hold.

"Don't open your eyes." Male voice, authoritative. Hand releases me. "Trust us. You have no choice. Try and pretend you're...alone. Naturally, it's difficult."

Naturally...naturally. Say something.

"Wh-what's going on?" Own male voice, plaintive...shrill.

"Please trust us." Authoritative male voice...Doctor Zeemo. "Allow us to convey you back."

"Back where? What do you mean?"

Eyelids aflutter - his hand quickly on shoulder.

"No!" Doctor Zeemo. "Your mind must wander freely. Above all, keep your eyes closed. Simply let it happen."

He releases me.

Woman's touch...soft hand rubbing shoulder.

Emotion surges.

Her other hand on chest...tinkling, jewelry. She's leaning close. Distinct scent...perfume.


Breath on face. Female voice whispers:

"Brother Jerome Roostah, welcome back to the fold."

Her fingers...sharp nails against skin.

I'm wearing loose-fitting garment; she unbuttons top portion, hand frosty on chest, gently murmuring, "Just a tad further you must travel inside yourself...before we can embrace you."

No longer touching me; her voice firmer, taking possession:

"Let go. When the mind snaps passion comes."

Must...must accept her - no, them...their power; feel them feeling me feel fear.

Cotton blanket covers me.

Pull out hands, grope - grasp woolen garment...Doctor Zeemo; Princess Veronica...cool lace.

Love...love her.

Try opening eyes - her hand around eyelids!

Mechanical Death Angel - hopeless! - trapped in head.

Flames sear...Larika's tongue, static charge.

Jolt of pain shoots through me.

Emerald eyes blink, mouth opens; Electric Snakemother slides in between golden teeth.


She evaporates.

Princess Veronica inside me, probing depths, clearing mess...kernel of love...quenching; promises refuge. Princess Veronica, that's what she calls herself. Vague recollection...where, how we met...seethes.

Light falls softly, amber glow.

Doctor Zeemo, older man, dark blue woolen robe, glowering brown eyes. Two men in clown costumes. Brother Jonas Mecklepuss, rail thin; eggshell blue costume, yellow circle on chest; long, slightly chewed carrot nose; shoulder-length green hair streaming down from beneath white harlequin hat. Brother Sheldon Goldenmoose, roly-poly clown; bright red costume with gold stars, glittering; sparkling scarlet Christmas tree decoration nose; wild purple fright wig. Both their faces painted stark white, but while Brother Jonas Mecklepuss has pathetic grimace stenciled on in black, Brother Sheldon Goldenmoose has insane smile garishly painted in red.

Amber sheen brighter, brighter - white light! - glitch out...flashing 12:00!...

Elegant lady in black lace gown, silver bracelets tinkling; long flowing blond hair, intense hazel eyes. Princess Veronica isn't young, but still very beautiful. Amorous aroma...her scent.

Love her, love her because through her I'm...special.

Violet radiance spinning, turning in on itself...hypnotic. Throbbing noise splitting cranium!

Pain...pain ceases.

Princess Veronica languidly ogles me. Something has snapped...inside.

"One of us...one of us...one of us," chant Brothers Jonas Mecklepuss and Sheldon Goldenmoose, their voices monotonous, spooky.

Princess Veronica glares.


"Brother Jerome Roostah," she declares, "we encountered a technical difficulty. Always drawn by your uneasiness, I meant to tweak it. Doctor Zeemo overrode the blockage."

Internal clock indicating 9:41 AM, linear time such comfort zone.

Princess Veronica's eyes ravish mine!

Brother Jerome Roostah, member of Princess Veronica's Clown Troupe.

Takes me in her arms tenderly. She's wonderful, although limited. We help her unfold, her empathic talents carry us over.

Doctor Zeemo conducts initiation ceremonies, plus any additional tinkering. He loves her, as do rest of us....

Sweet kiss on cheek, drawing on her. Her eyes...translucent.

Mirrored - liquid electric fusion! - seeing myself reflected in those eyes!

Splintering! I...I'm splintering!...

Wearing red rooster outfit, feathers shining under stark lights; nervous, jittery, waddling in place on huge chicken feet; bald human head poking out of costume, veins popping in neck.

Princess Veronica, shimmering presence, floating around me...heartbeat in head, hers.

Focus, tighten up; souls grafted together via wetlink filament transmitters, merging through her; anything she taps shared out.

With Brother Jonas Mecklepuss brings forth pathos; heartbreaking, evoking deadly charm. Brother Sheldon Goldenmoose, smarmy, gluttonous; painted smile ripples guiltily, evilly.

At other end of tunnel, psychedelically juiced audience - transduced...eyes lens, tactile...burning!

Downloaded clowndoll...splintered, every clowndoll of me unique, each me. They can play with me, even hurt me...with their eyes!

© 1987 Peter Schmideg

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