Games With Animals

This is the father (Grimbald Ptalmus S.) reading to his children.

The regiment banners burned bright in cold light. The southern armies bound their fasces with barium chloride and ignited the green terror and cried a rebel yell. From the east, the marauders flung pastes of lithium carbonate high on their masts. The quiet crawl of the northern masquerade was well-to-do and wore flame retardant gear. Their head boy was baked into his costume and coated with incandescence of iron and lampblack. They shot him from a canon and he exploded golden light over the battlefield. This report was gathered by the witness as she skirted the great canyon to the west. She led her prized photographer through the rubble of war and asked the combatants if they might reflect on their strategies and progress for the folks at home.

Sarge said,”Ma’am, we are confident this corridor will be secured by daybreak. We got counter cells packed in like fags in the state pen. Don’t worry your pretty head none. The dogs will be home sure as god intends.”

Up a ways was Charlie Company. The off-duty boys were letting the paint and makeup crust off their skin and fatigues, still becoming acclimated to the climate. The raping girls were getting themselves dolled and ready for the next day’s cycle. Colette shot a numbing gel into her parts. She was sloppy but well admired for her prowess. She had slaughtered a gook commander back in the previous war.

A battalion of fellows who wore their beards like silk Croat cravats came marching along. They died their beards a bloody red and ornamented them with prayers of devotion written on rolled papers of rice. The papers peppered their hair like a dirty ass being celebrated at a rustic wedding on parade. Spent fireworks were laid at their feet by cheering lads shouting hymns of good soldier fortunes as they took to the fight. Their beards wrapped around their necks and they held their arms out front, hands ready to strangle their enemies. Smoke filled the air, billowing from the pipes the fellows and lads held loose in their lips.

Grimbald. Stillreading. A little slower. A little quieter. The children were falling asleep and in between lines he kissed the tops of their heads until everything he read was just a figment.

“Head boy! Get me that goddamned head boy now!” the fluffy lieutenant barked. The masquerade’s head boy was still toiling through the maze of traps making his way to give his account. When blasted up into the sky, his mission was to deploy himself from his shell and sail as a kite slowly over the battlefield while working a coated steel image capture drum with a wind crank. That is to say, an air blown crank that spun the drum, recording a rolling account of the incident on a slick inner surface. Lit up by his exploded costume, the field was animated through a small shutter which captured the light and imprinted it inside for as long as the head boy could remain flighted in the golden light. Now, gathering in the strings of his kite type suit, he handed the drum to his superior. The fluff scanned the cylinder onto transparent film and loaded it into an old projector box. The lieutenant stuck his mustached face through an opening to view the scene. “They’re tunneling.” said the head boy. That’s when the ground began to rumble.

The sea ships were themselves dredging their course and mining the spoils. A tubular root sucked up the grainy crop under their cold light and the metals shined in their eyes like girls who like shine, staring through glass shops wanting things and using love to get at it. The seamen ran their fingers through each other’s hair, grabbing at gnawed saliva wet pencils tucked behind ears, stimulating their calculating abilities, to fill their manifest, to hack through the meat of men to get at it. Sometimes their hearts pitter-pattered when a leaf of gold flake flitter-fluttered in the air and they played games pushing and drafting the air, blowing the flake gently.

The Rebs discarded the clothes they had because excess fabric was bad in a hole. The men got naked so that their bodies could do their duty. Through the hole began the tunnel and the bodies of the southern men corkscrewed through and passed the soil along their bodies to one another to pass it out the hole in back. They snaked. They sneaked. Their sweat passed in the soil and the back man could smell and taste the man in front. Down there the sounds from above were muffled like having ears in the water and the men with a taste for man kept memorized how to equip themselves once they breached the lines. A few furlongs more. When they break the earth the naked men will steal weapons from and kill the men with clothes.

The photographer and the lady had together collected these images and stories so the feelings they shared became mired in intimacy. Their concern was not the longevity of love and partnership but only the presentation of their bodies together in danger. Most kids pass infections. These two might get decapitated because as they ran through the rubble they still mostly thought of each other, unbathed, fearful and excited.


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