“Part vampire, part warrior,
Carnivore and voyeur
Stare at the transmittal.
Sing to the death rattle.”
Vicarious – Tool
A woman fell on the cracked sidewalk and chanced a glance behind her. The two shaded figures were gaining. With a sharp cry, she clawed to her feet again and fled. An ATM machine stood silent, waiting for customer to insert card. Her silhouette grazed over the glass lens of the camera. She turned a corner into the alleyway. The two figures gave close pursuit. Out of sight, her scream was cut short.
A man stood outside his house gazing up at the sky at the darkened hulks roaring overhead. His wife stood at the door halted by his harsh words. Great bellies seemed to drift overhead before the bay doors opened. He registered as a slight orange and red blip on the monitor screen before the blast.
A girl lay on her stomach over her bed, grinning into her webcam. Accented murmurs filtered from the screen. She smiled coyly before unbuttoning her blouse. The elderly woman next door was slowly mottling as her Pekinese caught and jerked strips of flesh. On the counter, her overly simplified cell phone rang. The gas stove never lit. The web camera image dissolved into a fit of static when the duplex exploded.
A business woman stepped onto the elevator downtown and selected a lower floor. She popped open her clutch to extract her lipstick, her eyes climbing towards the ceiling where the camera blinked, comforting her. She swallowed the lipstick and bit into her lip as the cable snapped and the car plunged ten stories into the garage. The doors bulged but wouldn't open.
Up in the sky, an old building stood defiant against the winds, swirling through broken glass to catch old scraps of paper and rustle tattered drapes. Curling wallpaper flaked to the moldy carpet. One room remained unaffected by time. A great bank of curved monitors, stacked artfully to form one solid wall of hundreds of changing images, and an eye to the world. Yellowed New World Order posters clung to the walls. Graphs of human violence in various locations of the globe highlighted with circled lettering.
Still seated, though it’d been long ago that his legs had last been strong, a man slumped in an overstuffed office chair. Every so often he moaned softly, gaping his toothless mouth. His grey tongue snaked out to flick dust off his lips.
Hordes of cockroaches and rats scurried along and over abandoned desks, skittering over the CRT monitors, three of which had ceased function. The figure jerked in his seat, shaking his fingers gently over the arms of his chair. Wires danced from his fingertips, and his eyes shifted under his sealed eyelids.
On the top left monitor, gunfire, sending a body to the ground.
His mouth pulled upwards in the semblance of a smile.