Stories

Glass Brain – Noise Weaver

It was trying. The fish. Creeping and crawling.

It was scraping its hardened fins, coated with a thick layer of liquid metal and acid to the rusted insides of the pipe. Its intoxicated brain cells and half-eaten eye sockets thirsted for a drop of light.

It was squirming its naked, glistening body, sucking the waste through its hung open mouth and leaving a trail of falling and decaying scales behind itself.

It showed skin not ever so suggestively.

It warped reality each time it flapped its chewed-up tail.

The toxic, dirty water was hugging its wrinkled face and blind eyes like a thousand, deadly, cold severed hands.

It was trying. The fish. Drinking waste and blood. Trying and crawling. Trying and crawling for a drop of clear, cleansing water.

Its still, expressionless, dead eyes didn’t widen when it saw the blueish-yellow bright light of the opening. The only sign of acknowledgement it showed was to swim faster towards the exit. Fast, mechanical and efficient, like a fish. As if there wasn’t any sugar-coating needed. Anything else to complement the sweet taste of a probable tomorrow that wasn’t so probable just a minute ago. As if a tomorrow, a single, extra day wouldn’t actually do anything to benefit its already algorithm-infested and mechanical existence. The algorithm, the nature’s algorithm, only ordered it to live. And it was obeying that order just now. No matter how content the fish was with living in its malformed form or how much it wanted to die off, it had to live.

So, it swam forward. With triumphant cry of hope or victory. Not a single sign of happiness or joy. It was only to leave, to live.

And it did leave. Dead. In pieces. It flied gloriously through the air into the bloody, brownish water of lake while disintegrating and dissolving. The frail and brittle bones that gripped its pink flesh were shining under the hot, unfiltered rays of sun. Its scales showed off all artificial shades of a sickly rainbow. Its mind slowly shut down as the wiring became loose and blood leaked. And it dropped into the stagnant body of water with an awkward plop, amidst a thousand other dead fishes, floating around it.


“I was not used to watching myself being alive. Every time I saw myself in the mirror, being alive, while I was washing my face on the bathroom sink, seeing those bloodshot but nevertheless alive eyes watching me with some negative energy that I cannot describe… it felt surreal. Like those eyes were supposed to look at me like how a fish’s eyes would look at you. Dead, lifeless, cold.

“I cannot explain why. But seeing myself alive was not believable or acceptable to me. Or maybe I should say it didn’t feel normal. It felt like they had to be dead, with its pupils widened out of focus, looking at some sort of horizon while I was-

“Yes. That’s why I want to be called a fish. That’s the reason. Yes.”


Najaf was standing there, over the sewer pipe, watching the fish falling lifelessly into water, with a muffled (dead) splash. Limp and dead. He didn’t blink. The scenery aside, the smell made him sick.

His friends stood behind him, not talking. None of them talked. One of them was tugging his shirt and another was pulling that one, begging to get away from this mess. Their expressions were filled and twisted with disgust.

Najaf thought to himself, this whole place makes me sick.

He stood up and followed them.

The air was hung still from the gallows that was the sky.

They walked in the corpse-cold heat of the noon as the sun directly shone down on their steaming heads. Dark, burnt skins and shaved heads, they shone like mirages under the heat-bent light. And in it, they flickered and jumped through optical realities.

Najaf hated the heat that their bodies exude. And not the actual heat that you can feel with your skin. He hated the heat that guaranteed their existence. This is no place for humans. He preferred solitude much more to the presence of these hallow, shelled spirits.

He stayed behind and watched the three specters walk in front of him as hints of a dead breeze molested his face. Departure came soon and it didn’t feel much different. And where they walked away, he collapsed.

I can feel the tingle of ants dancing their way up to my body, possibly going into every cavity of my shameful form. Only one hole I’m afraid of them entering. They can eat my eyes away and infest my ears with their eggs for all I care. The dead of summer triumphs over my pulsating heart. Ants invade me. Ants infest me. I am frozen in my place, flickering. What am I to become? A house for ants, or will I morph into one with ants? They melt me in their vomit and I’ll freeze in my place in the cold of the night to come. The sound of their rattling, mechanical legs will be deafening. Algorithms of nature will devour me. Their shattering clangs and their piercing chatter all bleed into one, unified static noise; A peace made of chaos.

به‌سان ملحفه‌ای بر گوش‌های عریان و باکره‌ام. دستان سرد سکوت و ملودی بر صورتم کشیده. مشت گندیده و گهیده زمین در دهانم. تنفرِ ورزیده. مورچه‌ها در گوش‌های من لانه می‌کنند. طوفان گرمای تابستان مرا در خود گم می‌کند.

The path to home was a steep hill, unpaved and uneven. Najaf kicked his shoes into gravel and dirt while climbing the harsh slope. His house sat at the top of the hill, lonely while gazing at the unending horizon of the mountainous desert. And its black spire punctured the sky. A two-story dumpster of congealed-blood-red bricks. It was collapsing on its bent knees and foundation. Even the power poles feeding electricity into its mouth were unsure and half-decomposed.

He knew his father was sitting inside on his moldy couch, watching TV and chugging down the illegal whisky his friend delivered to him each week. The stench of his sweat plagued the aura of the house like a toxic cloud.

As agonizing the walk to the house was, it was part of a distant past once he stepped on the porch and pushed the door to open with a quiet creak.

The spiders said hello.


Brains are not transparent. Brains, like all other organs of the human body, are pink, fleshy, and opaque. But for the sake of conversation, if we assume that you can somehow make them transparent like glass, then you can see under its physical veil what charms it hides. Witness how neurons and veins root their way through the brain like a bloodthirsty tree, assuming its control like a puppet. Like an invisible parasite. And the best part is that when the brain’s flesh is turned to glass, you can see all the details in its most natural and untouched way – if a glass brain could be called natural, that is, but still let’s suppose so for the sake of argument – without having to crush, hack or mutilate the brain itself. But when I saw all of this while her brain was blasted to pieces and chunks of it flew through the air in front of me, while the vessels were so pressurized that they popped and blood spewed all over the lens, that was when I hated myself the most then. As to why I was… why I am sitting here watching all this sick shit?

But truly, have you ever had shame for who you are? I know what I do, what I think and what I crave isn’t lovely. It’s not humane. It’s my monstrous, sadistic, selfish desires gone loose but still half-chained by my cowardice. A dreamer’s desperate dream, counter-balanced with a dash of altruism. An undesirable in-between. I would be just fine with being a heartless bastard who kills for the sake of giving birth to his perverted fantasies, as I’m also content with being a faint-hearted dud who doesn’t even dare to take the life of a machine. And yet, here I am. Both and neither.

Blood dripped on the rough concrete with a cold sound.

I missed it.

He decided to rewind.

“NOOO! NOT THE GUN!”

The shrill sound of the womanly scream drilled into his ear. It was satisfying. He wanted the scream to infest him. To lay eggs in him. He wanted the anomaly of the machinery to lay eggs inside of his brain.

“Don’t… Don’t shoot… Pleas-”

SUDDEN PULSATION INSIDE OF THE COLD BIO-CHAMBER. PRESSURIZED. DE-PRESSURRRIZED. FILTH CAPSULE OF LEAD. BANG.

He paused the video. The bullet is suspended hot out of the barrel in the right side of her skull. He examined the scene with a euphoric rush and care. I gazed at the flash that was the suspended .44 caliber magnum round, crushing the eye socket of the poor girl. The blood and chunks of meat were ready to be affixed to the wall as soon as he hit play. I’m ready to hit play, but I’m entranced in her expression that’s stuck between some state of fear, shock, sadness and dead. I… I…

SYMPHONIC! The quality is shit and the frame rate low, but the charm and beauty is still present. It was too cold. It’s too cold. Maybe the cold was coming from the screen. Maybe the cold is coming from the window. I… I… he… he… closed the window with an instinctive reflex. He went to throw up.


The stillness of the marsh was getting to him. His nose was itching from the bacteria and decomposition. The stillness of the marsh was emptying him, just like how he emptied the bottle of water over the marsh. Finally, marsh will engulf them with their insides.

The electric pole buzzed and crackled from the distance. Blackouts. He wasn’t sure if it was the pole’s fault or the electric company. He didn’t care enough about it. But there was someone who did. His good-for-nothing dad.

One day, he’s going to electrocute himself trying to fix the pole. Any day…

There came furious bangs of someone tapping on the wooden shutter of the window. He pretended he could not hear it, until something hit him in the back of the head. Something heavy and stiff.

I’ll fucking kill you.

His father stood by the window in his sweaty top with a fuse box in one hand and a knife in the other, gesturing, “Go buy a fuse or I’ll fucking kill ya.”

I wonder. If I don’t go will he really kill me? Will he cut my head off like a chicken? I doubt that he has it in himself. I’m sure he’ll try, but he’s just a flimsy old man with brain damage. Maybe if I don’t go and we end up fighting, I’ll finally kill him myself and end this dumb dream.

He got up, threw the bottle into the pound and started walking down the hill. The supermarket was about ten, fifteen minutes away on foot. The sky, plain, blue, breezy, and nausea infused. Sky was blue, the village emitted a green/yellow. The color of a rusted, fading faith.

May death come for him, or may death come for me? I can feel the pain of the scorpion that stung me in my sleep last night. I feel like I’m hung, tangled between life and death. Was I always like this?


“His car was infested with mechanical micro-bots. As soon as he closed the trunk on me, I could feel the itch. I could feel them crawling all over my body and under my skin, penetrating me and my holes. I thought I’d be left there, half-eaten and dead and decomposed, encased in chitin-made micro-robots, encased in a systematic, metallic machine. Coated in the piss, sap, whatever they discharge from their bodies. Encased in their whispers hushed to the point of non-existence. Melting in their mouth acids. Until my eyes were full of placid pits of violent tar and bitumen regurgitated by demons chained to misery. Eyes that see nothing for there is only the darkness that wells up from inside. A great viscous cloud smothering hope, a blanket woven from the dung of the old ones. Their disease the tapestry of all that is futile. Her gaze burning holes in the veil that protects the chosen. Her breathe a plague that unleashes the frozen wolves, blind. Their tongues paint your heart with scorpions. Their pestilence an invitation to the only one that matters for she is the presence that is all that is un-named. For it is Her, The unbegotten Mistress of the eternal hunger. Dwell forever in her great unholy stomach where the damned befoul themselves in the glory of her fecund and bloody history. Worship in the torment of a million wasted lives. Bathe in the horror that the blood of time carries with the plague. And befoul yourself with worship, for she hates you eternally with the ferocious lust that binds all that inhabit the wasted and forgotten. The blissful loathing of you is now all that remains. Alone, forgotten, and Damned.”[1]

And I must scream and I must scream and I must scream in my coffin.


The thought of it made him shiver.

He found himself in front of the decrepit supermarket. The steel sliding door was dirty and rusted and its glass was cloudy and filthy. The shutter was left half-open.

As he walked inside, a thick layer of dust immediately surrounded him and clogged his nose. The shop was always dark, probably because the shopkeeper didn’t bother with the bills. He was sure the juices and milk in the fridge were rotten to dust and nothingness inside of their ancient pocket. He never bought them from this guy anyway.

“How much?”

That sound rippled through the air and unclogged Najaf’s ear. He jolted, looking at the other person in the supermarket that he quite didn’t recognize. He was not of this village. He wore an oversized jacket with black shades and knit caps, some cheap, Adidas-knockoff black pants with white stripes and a pair of ridiculously shiny boots.

He turned to look at Najaf as he entered and turn around as soon as he saw a hint of his face. With a nervous demeanor he asked the shopkeeper again, “how much?”

The old man tapped the calculator’s buttons with swift finger movements and wrote “25 Tomans” on a piece of paper.

The stranger looked at the paper quizzically and after realizing that was the price of his stuff, reached to his wallet tensely, put the money on the counter while whispering, “he- here you go,” and dashed out with a bag of eggs, oil, bread, and a packet of cigarettes at hand.

The shopkeeper snapped in front of Najaf’s face.

He saw the shopkeeper’s expectant face that was gradually turning annoyed, as if to say, “will you buy something already or should I kick you out?”

He bought the fuse and dashed out.

The sun was setting.

That talking chameleon. He talked. Who was he?

His mind raced as everything surrendered to the solemnity for the rest of night.


And now, a poem. For you, dear sister.

 

The cheeks of summer are soft because they're rotten

A strand of hair stands infested with infernal bees

The bricks of earth's flesh stand still

While a symphony of blood-sucking mosquitos

Dance in the dead summer breeze in tandem

Eye of summer in the sky, hollow and carved out

Harmony of colorful flowers with their feet in

The fiber and fabric of summer's flesh

Parasite of a butterfly effect in its stomach

A kiss on the soft cheek of a wild summer


Night came like thundering noise waves, crushing any shred of light and brightness on its way. Nightly winds stormed and annihilated the still air, making fun of time’s turbulent indecisiveness. Night passed like a phase. Like a surge of unbeing, a shroud of unseeing, purging the hours away for the new, freshly unused seconds to make way.

Najaf woke up early. He didn’t mean to. He couldn’t fall sleep. His whole body ached and his eyes sizzled each time he closed its lids shut. The difference of the pressure inside and outside his skull might seriously make my head explode.

He took a cold shower to wake himself up, dressed and left.

Outside, the light and dark chased and fought like wolf and sheep.

He kept his head down, eyes to the ground, and stuffed his hands inside of his pants’ pockets, walking the dry road quietly in the midst of the depressed cacophony that was the day. The morning fresh breeze was disgusting, rotten and humid. It was warm and murky. It was dead. Dim shadows of demons dancing in his peripherals, playing tricks on his drowsy head.

It’s been a couple of weeks since the day he saw the man in the supermarket, and ever since that he’d been on lookout for him. He didn’t live in this village, Najaf found out. Rather, only on Sundays he walks to the village and goes to the abandoned tampon factory outside the village with a suitcase and toolbox. Around the afternoon he walked to the supermarket to buy food, goes back to the factory and leaves in the evening.

So, that’s where he was headed. The tampon factory.

There’s a truth hidden in that guy’s presence that I must unravel, said the truth seeker.

He walked the gravelly road through the meadows, ignoring the village. This meadow. This whole dying meadow that housed thousands of dead bodies under its rigid dirt. And the buckwheat and grass in it sprouted from their blood. And their blood gave color to the shining red apples of its apple trees. The endlessness of it was decorated with intestines hanging from the sky, and a huge crane in the sky moved hanging bodies like homeless words from one place to another. Constantly changing, they failed to give any meaning, and in turn, they all turned to noise. All combinations and permutations were just a meaningless game leading to nothing. All the meaninglessness resulted in more meaninglessness. And the crane pulled the sun up higher and higher and higher and higher and higher and higher and higher and higher and higher and higher and-

The factory peaked into existence. Bare and naked. Rusted, dusty iron. About what you’re picturing in your head right now. He coughed. The sweat dropped on dry dirt. Nothing happened.

He sat for the factory, mindlessly. Cluelessly. Something engulfed him. He opened the rusty doors and snuck in. Found a hole inside and tucked in. His heavy soul left a trail behind him like a snail.

And then, what did he do? He sat. And waited.


“Doom is a joke. It’s just that we’re not laughing because we’re not the ones who’re supposed to.”


The door opened. He could hear it. The damp footsteps echoing through the thick air. Something sharp. Sound of metal being dragged across the floor. Dull sounds of a cold suitcase falling on its face. A zipper opening. Miscellaneous sounds. A power drill. A rope tightening. A set of tools being laid unto a desk. Water splashing.

“Haaaaah! Huff, huff…”

A land fish gasping for breath.

“Where am I… what the fuck…”

A fish with long, brown hair stranded across her face. A chubby face. A face that he had seen on videos before. This fish… did not have dead eyes. Or mechanical ones. Her eyes were vibrant with an innocent fear, or perhaps poisoned with. She shed tears so pure and salty. Her lips vibrated so sensually. A scene. A scene.

Something gripped Najaf. His heart. And his dick. Something gripped it and stretched it so far that it was about to tear his pants.

When he looked up there was a camera set up in front of the fish.

“What… oh god…”

She squirmed in the chair she was tied to. Kicked the ground with her tail. The man kept the chair fixed with his hand.

“What are you doing to me? What are you… lemme go! Lemme go, you sick fuck!”

He took out the gun. The fish stopped screaming. There was a pulse of excitement in Najaf’s pants.

“Don’t kill me…”

She begged. She did not plead. Like a silent, depressed beg.

YOuDIeNxw.

The cry of the gun was loud. The cry of her pain was the next loud thing as soon as the bang settled. Blood dripped on the ground. The moon fish sang a high-pitched melody of grief as it twisted back and forth and sprayed tears and sweat and blood around itself.

What the gun shattered was not the bone inside the knee, it was the innocence.

The eyes were narrow and hateful.

Another shot. Another cry of pain was emitted from her.

The man kicked the chair and the fish to the ground. He took the camera and filmed himself kicking the fish dry out of breath while she screamed in agony and pain. The metal platings of the fish started to bend. Her face gradually became disproportioned. The joints disjointed. The wiring, the cogs, it all slowly fell apart.

“I… I hope you burn in fire.”

And then, there was a gunshot.

I wish I was her.

Najaf came.

The man grabbed and dragged the girl by the ankle, grabbed her by the armpits, lifted her and put her on the chair while her entrapped soul left a red trail behind her like a snail.

The man whispered, “SHxUlDbBUYCIGArETTESs,” and left the dead girl alone.

Najaf walked out, slowly, because he was afraid what was between his legs might fall down on the ground. He walked, slowly, to the dead girl that was sitting on that chair, looking at the roof. He walked to her and kneeled, hugged her cold legs not sexually, rested his chin on her cold knee, and cried.

What happened? Why didn’t you save me?

“I’m sorry…”

You saved me last time. You came in like a hero and beat the shit out of dad, and then sent him to hell. But what did you do this time? You jacked off while he was killing me. Did you enjoy it? Was it worth it?

“I’m sorry…”

Apologizing won’t bring me back to life now, will it?

“I’ll take you home. I’ll make it up to you. You don’t have to stay dead…”

The corpse did not talk back. Its eyes were as cold and emotionless as a fish.

Najaf slid his hands under its tail and nestled the other hand behind the back, and then lifted. The fish was cold and smelled like sea and death. The cold of its body was getting to him like a parasite.

“I’m taking you home now. You don’t have to be cold anymore. All of earth’s heat is concentrated in our village,” he chuckled.

And they left the hell-place together.


If I apologize a lot, like, a really real lot, like ten hundred thousand times, will you come back?


The sun was setting. The birds were singing. The field was full of bright, freshly blossomed tulips, shining and just awakened from a century long sleep. And the smell and the cold of the fish he was carrying didn’t go away.

And the walls started to close in. The curtains dropped and the walls closed in for the Najaf to cry on.


[1] Sunn O))) – Báthory Erzsébet