Archive for blood

The Pattern

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , on June 29, 2012 by javedbabar

Terry tumbled while climbing Mt Negra. Jen had told him not to climb it. “My dad was a mountaineer,” she’d said. “I know how fit you should be; how much training you need; how you should never climb alone.” He’d hoped that she wouldn’t go on about it but she had. “It’s great you want to do something special for your thirtieth birthday. If you‘d have thought of it last year, and we were well prepared, I’d say, ‘Woo! Let’s go there!’ But you thought of it last week. It’s stupid. It’s ridiculous! There’s no way I’m climbing that mountain, and neither should you.”

He’d said, “I told you already, babe. I’m going.”

“Well I’m not going to hang around, knowing you’re going to kill yourself. I’m pregnant. I don’t want the stress. I’m going to the city to visit my parents.”

He’d only made it half way up before he slipped on gravel and rolled down thirty feet. Thank God it was only that. If he’d fallen on the dark ledge further up, he would most likely have ended up as a corpse in the river. He’d suffered only aching bones and heavy bruising.

His bones needed hot baths, yet the bruising called for cold packs. Which would be better overall? He went for the full bath treatment, with classical music, mineral salts, and candles – like he’d seen Jen do. He should have told her about his accident, she’d have come back running, he knew; but it was his own stupid fault; let her enjoy getting spoiled by her folks.

Terry emerged from the bath and noticed that his veins were visible, like they are after vigorous exercise, but more so. The veins stayed raised all night. His skin looked like the underside of a gnarly blue leaf. Maybe his bath was too hot. Jen had told him often to cool down the water. He should listen to her more. It was hard to take her seriously though, like when she was talking about “bad energies”.

“What are those?” he’d asked her.

“Evil spirits and black curses,” she’d said. She should be more rational; they didn’t live in a fairy tale.

Next morning he seemed more tired than usual. He woke up late and wandered straight into the shower. When he emerged, the raised veins were still there. The shower was quicker and cooler than the bath, yet had caused the same effect, or had the veins never gone down?

He put on his glasses and looked himself over. The veins were raised all over his body. He looked like a rolled net, or a very old cheese. They could be map contours, or crazy etching. He was reminded of his visit to a surgical museum where he’d seen a baby’s corpse, its blood vessels were filled with red plastic, and all of the flesh removed. It was a curious exhibit, showing the flow of life but also its stagnation.

Terry’s blood vessels branched outwards from his heart as if reaching for life. But unlike the baby, all of them were blue. There was only used blood returning from everywhere; none of it being oxygenated, rejuvenated. The dark mountain at the end of the valley had coloured his blood and claimed him for her own. Was he now filled with bad energies?

Silva Sanguinara

Posted in Lucerne Village, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , on May 2, 2012 by javedbabar

The Zoological Society of Lucerne had done a good job, taking the unused park near the centre of the Village and transforming it into a tropical garden. They had walled in heat and humidity, and also hoped to wall in crowds.

The purpose of the Core Enhancement Scheme was to make the downtown area more attractive. The Village had been creeping towards the Highway, and there was a danger that within ten years Lucerne’s vibrant centre would become deserted and its commercial district would be a highway strip mall. This was of great concern to Lucerne’s citizens, but not enough to stop them spending all day in the highway coffee shop.

Something needed to be done, and the Botanical Garden hit the Bull’s-eye. Individuals, couples, and families flocked there. They loved its colours and warmth. Insects were attracted by the moist forest, and they in turn drew birds.

Whenever Danny walked through the Botanical Garden he felt like he was in a fairy tale. Fresh green papaya and banana trees made his eyes smile. Sweet smells of miro-Tahiti flowers brightened his nose. Spiders spun webs which held jewels of dew in sunshine. Flashing blue and green hummingbirds whirred around his head. Did they think it was a source of nectar? It was only a matter of time before one hovered beside his ear and poked its long beak in. The garden seemed a painting by Henri Rousseau; the only thing missing was a dusky beauty from his brighter period, or a stealthy tiger from his darker phase.

A man in a green suit approached him. As he drew near, The Gardener tipped his top hat and said, “Good morning, Danny. It’s a beautiful day.”

“It sure is,” said Danny. “Every day here seems like paradise.”

“We do our best,” said The Gardener, smiling. “We do our best.” He turned off the main path onto a side trail.

This was the great joy of the Botanical Garden – there were almost as many trails as days of the year. You could try a different way daily. Danny turned off the main path and came to a patch of stunted palms with hairy fringes, and fine white fabric wrapped about their tops. They looked as if they were wearing tall fat turbans set with bright jewels, which upon closer inspection proved to be red and green information tags. The red ones said Silva Sanguinarus, and the green ones said, Silva Sanguinara. They must be males and females of the same species, thought Danny, but they seemed more dead than alive.

Some children ran along the same trail as Danny and were surprised to find him there. One said, “Mister, we play hide and seek here. Is that okay?” He said go ahead and headed back to the main path. He heard loud counting, then squeals of laughter and the inevitable shouting and crying.

Danny saw The Gardener in the distance and set off down a trail towards him. He was tending giant cacti – spiny phallic monsters with lush pink flowers that attracted wasp hordes. They didn’t seem to sting him though.

“Where do Silva Sanguinarus come from?” said Danny.

“Don’t be sexist,” said The Gardener. “They wouldn’t come from anywhere at all if it wasn’t for Silva Sanguinara. Males and females must travel together or they won’t grow.”

Danny didn’t like his smart remark. The Gardener continued, “I’m just teasing. They are a recent addition to the collection from Polynesia. They are very delicate when replanted so we cover their tops with cheesecloth. It protects their hearts.”

“Their hearts?” said Danny. “Trees have hearts?”

The Gardener smiled as he heard the children screaming, and said, “Have you never eaten artichoke hearts or palm hearts? A plant has a heart. It’s the centre of its consciousness.  If it is damaged, the plant dies.”

“What about in winter? How do they survive? Does the cloth protect their hearts?”

“We hope so. That’s the intention. But the Silva Sanguinarus and Sanguinara are a bit different. They bloom in winter with huge crimson flowers. They are a vital part of the Core Enhancement. Many people in Lucerne suffer from Seasonal Disaffective Disorder and the number of suicides is climbing. We hope that people taking winter walks will be cheered up by seeing the flowers and feel brighter inside.”

“That’s great,” said Danny. “I feel quite down in winter. I’ll make sure I come to visit.” He left the garden whistling, and walked home carrying spoors of Silva Sanguinarus and Sanguinara on his shoe soles. They had been released by the trees when he’d entered the side trail. Their hearts missed the iron-rich red soil of their homeland, and hoped that this weak human would kill himself violently this winter, and soak their spoors with blood. And then the Village, scared by another death, would plant even more of them to cheer people up. This had proved a fine method of propagation. They were evolving.

Bloody Tree

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village, Unknown with tags , , , on February 12, 2012 by javedbabar

“Lovely day,” said Mavis, sniffing the air and casting a glance at her fat neighbour.

“Yes it is, indeed,” said Lucy, also sniffing.

“How long since you hatched?” said Mavis.

Lucy thought for a moment, and said, “I’m twelve – God I feel so old! Look at those young ones having fun. Where do they get their energy from?”

“We were just the same,” said Mavis, but thought, maybe you were a little less so, my chubby friend; or maybe you’re carrying more eggs than me; I’d like to know, but we’ve only just met.

“You’ve got nice long legs,” said Lucy. “Does it run in your family?” She didn’t wait for an answer and continued. “My family is chunky; we have sturdy legs. That makes take off and landing easier, but sometimes walking on water is awkward; especially in my state.”

Mavis felt mean now. She decided she would be nice to her neighbour, and said, “I started feeling whiney a couple of nights back; surprisingly soon after my last batch of eggs. It was Saturday night so I would have gone out anyway, but was now a girl with a mission…”

“I know what you’re saying, Sister!”

“I have to say, I did feel old though. There were all these young lads flying around in circles, showing off, and full of juice. For a moment I lost my nerve. What would they see in an old girl like me – bigger and harder-bodied? But I know they have a fetish for older females these days. They call us MILF’s…”

Lucy interrupted, “Mosquitoes I’d like to F…” They both burst out laughing, their wings vibrating with a little whine. “Don’t you start that now,” said Lucy. “You’ll have one on your back again before you know it – double dipping!”

“I might not mind if someone did,” said Mavis. “What did I get on Saturday night? Ten seconds of glory? You’d think after all that wing-beating and whining, they’d do better than that!”

“They never have in my long lifetime, Sister!”

The trees in the forest were thick with their sisters; boys tumbled about in swarms. Mavis looked across at Mt. Alba; what a beautiful place, she thought, but something inside her knew that it wasn’t a good place to live; much too high and cold. She laid her last batch of eggs in a lovely, swampy area across the river. She’d started off laying them singly, jerking on the water, and once she’d got a rhythm going, then forming them into rafts. She’d waited to check the eggs were settled, and then flown away. She’d never see her eggs become wrigglers, or tumblers, or emerge as adults; but she’d love them all the same.

Mavis and Lucy had already detected the presence of prey – through smell and heat sensing – but were waiting till dusk, their feeding time. While Mavis was musing, Lucy had been scanning for a full blood meal. “Look down there,” she said. “That looks juicy.”

“Which one?” said Mavis. She saw two different preys: a fat white one and a thin black one, both laid out across the edge of a pool of flat water. How inviting, she thought: a place to feed, and a place to lay eggs, so close together. Rather than answering though, Lucy shouted, “Whoa! Watch out!”

An iridescent shimmer tore right past them into the crowd of males, which scattered immediately; but the dragonfly then hunted them individually till he’d had his fill. This seemed unfair as they lived only half as long as girls anyway. Mavis and Lucy returned their attention to the prey below. It wasn’t moving, just lying naked, sweating, smelling, beside the pool of flat water. “Well, we shouldn’t wait around all day,” said Mavis. “It’s getting dusky. Time to move in.”

“Ok sister,” said Lucy. “Shall I lead the warrior ritual?” Mavis nodded, her proboscis waving in the air. “O Great Liquid Mother, we thank you for this day. Bless our noble sisterhood which hunts life and creates life, and will continue until we die.” They beat their wings, making a light whining. “Grant us one drop of holy blood, which shall feed hundreds of new lives.”

They flew off together. Mavis headed instinctively for the fat white prey and Lucy for the thin black prey. Lucy flies beautifully for a heavier girl, thought Mavis; she has more weight, but also more strength. Look how she twirls and jives, working with the slightest breeze, like a swirling snowflake. But Lucy suddenly disappeared. Where did she go? She must have found a sweet spot. Hee! Hee!

Mavis homed in on her prey. She had species memory of feeding on these creatures since the beginning; and on many beasts that they herded; there had been a time of luxury; of fatted bellies; of excess. Mavis felt a swishing sensation. Her prey was suddenly on its feet, and was moving quicker than she was. Her final memory was the shock of slamming against something where there had been nothing before.

The naked humans jumped up without warning, brandishing large circular pans. In this world destroyed by radiation and disease, the only animals that flourished were insects, which grew to ten or more times their previous size. They provided vital sustenance for survivors still inhabiting the ruined homes of the Lucerne Valley, who regularly lay naked, sweating, smelling, to attract clouds of giant mosquitoes, and then caught them in steel pans. They mashed and roasted them into protein-rich burgers. There would be a poolside barbecue tonight, even though the old pool now stank and was being farmed for mosquito larvae.