Apocalyptic Noir By: Bruno Masse 2009 Bruno Masse, aka Raven, is a radical author and anarchist hailing from the bleak shores of Montreal. Better known for

his research on radical environmentalism and otherwise known as ‘Canada’s darkest viagra online author’, Masse has published several novels, plays and poetry collections alongside visual artist Samuel O’Breham Rondeau. www.daemonflower.com *** “You out your mind, boy?” said Bossman Ron across the steel-grated door to the pawnshop. He was aiming a .44 lever-action shotgun in my general direction. Wouldn’t have kept insisting down the barrel of a gun better fitted for drill mining, but as chance would have it, most of my job was inventory, and so I knew we didn’t stock any shells for that fucking thing. Ron’s sun-streaked

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face was contorted in some atrocious expression, muscles knotted around his mouth in a twisted pout. “I’s down you right where you stand!”, he insisted. “It’s buying levitra online canada me, man, Jesus, calm the fuck down will you?” But Bossman didn’t recon. His demented stare just pierced through me. I could tell he was seeing someone, rather something else there altogether. He flinched. “Is you alright, but is you, really?” Spastic squints leering at me – an unnerving gesture. “Well, I’m late, am-I? Ain’t that a fucken clue?” Please, you fucking idiot, please help me. At which he seemed to relax a bit, left ear twitching – possible sign of relapse. Some hoarse chuckle escaped his throat, a painful attempt at laughter. “Eh, you always some little pissant, boy. I can tell you not a case o’crazies like them others fuckos around back, crackin’ around, tryin’ t’steal all my shit.” “Hell no,” I sighed with relief, “now please lemme in. Fucken

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insane out here.” With that, Ron unlocked the door and closed it quick behind me. The place had a rancid smell, old sweat and deep-fry. The merch had been clunked all over the counters, mitts and baseballs and bootleg VCDs. Pornmag collections and game cartridges. Ice-skates and jackknives. “D’ya hear it, boyo, this fucking rapture?” He went to the rear window, looking out suspiciously, then picked up an opened can of pop and drained it. I breathed a sigh of relief. “I don’t get it, man. They talked about terrorist attacks. Some loonie fuck in a suit told me it was aliens, man. Fucking aliens!” I thought about sitting but it just seemed safer to stand. “That’s a good one”, jeered Ron, snorting in amusement. “Yea, green goblins yon just kookin’ in yer noggin, I’d be fucking damned. Nah –” viagra he got dead serious then, “it’s the government, boy, high-up central-state spooks just pulling strings, they’ve got it all under raps but I’ve cracked their code, ye know. I see how they move.” “Come on, man,” just more non-sense, “that’s even crazier shit right there. I mean, who…” “Not who, you twat, they!” The Bossman’s arms started flaying about as he tried to explain, and all the while I kept eyeing that veering shotgun, just going over the details in my head making sure the thing couldn’t possibly be loaded. “A shiny fail-safe plan, boy, means they’ve voted all this Mary-Joseph crap cause some other pencil-pushing shit didn’t pan out. They planted the Semtex. Hardwire. A bang and is all down, boy. They pumped the VX in the subways. Whole transportation fucked. A clean mil dead. They built the virus, jerked it off on some bumhole. Rabid sick. They coded that fucken self-morph fuck worm that shut down the grid. Mah own till’s fucken kablunk, dear sir boy. And then, then…” some mad look in his eyes, I swear, “they gave all this heat to these fanatic freaks and went ahead and gave iphone spy software ‘em names, names, boy! A whole fucking grocery list with a blank fuck check and some live fuck rounds. They –” “What, what…” What!? “You’re saying all these things are going on, right now?” Holy shit, the man was worse than I thought. “A plan B, boy, ain’t not a plan sumycin C. I see how they move. Ain’t not pretty like me. That how it is, and is how it stays, boy. Grannies prayin’ to the Baby Jesus now. Me, I’m goin’ down with

mah ship, see?” He bade me http://viagracanadian-online.com/ look around his palace of trash. “But that’s… I mean, this is just too goddamn big. Remember that saying? It’s gotta be false info, Boss. Or at least part of it. Fabrication.” Ron didn’t believe me. “Those aren’t not assumptions, boy. Just think, who else has the manpower and the tech to pull that kinda hail and brimstone clusterfuck? And why would they tell us to lock-in? Fucking mongrels, don’t they know it’s the fastest way to die?” I was dumb struck. This was a fucking nightmare. Couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t find the way. I – “Oy, now, settle down, boy.” Ron was patting me on the back. His breath stank of cheese crisps and caramel. “We’s not lettin’ you get in the harm’s way, won’t we? You just visualize, ok? Now, I’m be back proper before you know, right? Ain’t nothing be scared.” “What?” I nearly chocked. “You said you were staying! You know, sinking with the ship and all?” “Aye, I’ll be doing that down-a-sinking,

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thank you so much kind sir, just now that yer here I’s has some errands to run, you know?” This couldn’t be real. “What the fuck!? You’re going back out?” Errands. Fuck no. That lying sack of pus was going after his ex-wife, for sure. Now that his precious store lay inside relative margins of safety,

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spy on a cell phone with just the number other priorities came to http://pharmacycanadian-onlinein.com/ mind. Old scores to settle. New muscled arguments. Poor woman. Hoped he wouldn’t find her. “Boy,” he started. Holy shit, there we go. “you are late as usual for your night shift at this here establishment, and I am the sole owning proprietor of this fucking establishment, and since you here work for me as acting counter-boy, you will stop that un-business-like mouthing-off and help me find ammo for this, my risk facilitator. Or you would prefer I fired your whiny ass in the literary meaning sense of the term, back out to the alley and the scum filth lyin’ there?” Motherfucker. My heart skipped a beat. I was trembling with rage. Now that’s a boss for you, never forget the rank of command, right? Fuckwit. But anger wouldn’t do. Fear followed in. He was gonna leave me here. Fastest way to die, he said. Right. “Sure, Ron, out you go, in I stay. But I know for a fact we don’t stock shells for that. Best leave it here, take the 9mm and go.” His face lit up like a Christmas tree. Everything was going Ron today. Chances are she was already dead. But Bossman here geriatric pharmacy canada didn’t spare the expanse, oh no, he was a man of principle. “Ok, I leave. You take this,” he handed the shotgun over. “Don’t worry also, blackouts keep hitting them sectors at random. Just make sure nobody gets in, ok now?” And as howls of anguish rose into the night, so did Bossman Ron set out on the big town. On the counter was a bottle of Wild Turkey. My stomach turned. *** I’d barricaded myself inside the store room. Pushed a huge metal stockshelf against the door and ground down against the wall with a teetering flashlight. I feasted on frozen burritos and iced tea. Arms around my knees. Shivering all over. Hugging myself for warmth. Pupils dilated. Pulse erratic. A textbook panic attack. Breathe in, breathe out. You’re gonna be fine. You’re gonna be ok. What would you say to me now, Lily? You know, I could actually sense it then, I could feel it all over. The blood, the smoke, the revolution. The frailty, the power. As the walls tumble down so all things come within reach. Just like I could reach you, back then, when you were close and you buried your lips against my neck. When you held me. That surreal sensation of lust and belonging, of kinship and right. The

vast array of heights I didn’t even conceive until they were mine. And then utterly gone. I could feel it. Red circles burning the world. But I couldn’t understand. Breathe in, breathe out. So what, Lily? If everything is connected, like you buy discount viagra said, and we’re all just domino pieces, through death hymns or circles or what fucking ever, what was my place, then? How did I fit in to your charade of push and shove and hide and seek? Why couldn’t you love me? Because I’m falling, Lily, I’m falling like the piece you said I was, and before I hit rock bottom I’m gonna shove something else real fucken hard, but I’d like to know before I do, just who the fuck pushed the first piece and why. Odds are I’m going under soon, and I don’t want to die ignorant. You’re gonna be ok. You’re

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gonna be fine. Come back to me, Lily. You said we’d be together, at the end of it all, we laughed about it but you meant every word, I know you did. We knew the perfect spot to just lie there and wait for it, watch it all, savor the whole fucken fiasco: Primus Imperium Tower, highest in the city. Ninety-four glorious stories up, home of the fine http://buyessay-onlinein.com/ fleur of industrial society. But you left. Then bodies were piling up all around, hundreds and thousands and millions. Every hour someone tried to break in the shop and I could hear the chains and the lock and the steel and the repeated assaults on that metal contraption. Out there ringed machine gun rattle, explosions of varying caliber. Civil war was just a cuter word for shitstorm. One night you told me chaos was not to be feared, but embraced. That in anyway it could only bring back what lay dormant inside us, even though we thought new situations were rising, these were just the release of clenched potential. Eventually, through the destruction and the

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retrovir dosage confusion that must logically follow edifices of slavery, our very origins would reactivate. And there was beauty in that, you argued. We could finally become what we were. “It’ll snow black on the day of the end,” you’d say, “as iphone spy ashes of the old world rise up to the skies and spread down, evenly upon the earth. And as death leads to mourning, so will suffering fade to revelry, and those who survive http://iphonespyapponline.com/ must inherently know such bliss as was before symbols bound us to exist as mediate beings – indirect animals.” Only words, Lily. Meanwhile I lay on the broken tiles of the store room and braced myself for the worse. Images kept crawling up my mind, insistent. I would never be rid of that. And with me the world had changed at last. The Red Circle Hymn was here. Everyone must take up verse and sing. And as I pondered the death of Civilization, my eyes started to close, heavy with fatigue. Thoughts drifted aimlessly, from meaning to nothingness, purpose to peace. But before my gaze finally shut, through blurred veils of slumber did flickering light reveal a faded yellow cardboard box tucked under the lower shelf of the last storage unit, all crumbled and covered in dust. It spelled .44 sabot slugs in faded black print. *** White noise woke me shortly before noon. The pawnshop TVs chanting random snow screech in sync. I went out the storeroom, shotgun blazing, safety off, fully loaded. A futile gesture. There was no one out there, just a slant of pale light creeping through turquoise blinds. The locks held tight. In a whirl I packed everything I could, more junk food, soda cans, lighters, the bottle of bourbon do my essay for money and a pair of sunglasses. There was no cash in the register: Bossman Ron had retired. Felt ill. Too much sugar, not enough sleep. The smell blowing in the air vent was difficult to describe, let alone inhale. Hastened off and out. When I got to the street the landscape had taken a turn for the worse. It unraveled before my weary eyes, this wounded scenery bathed in sunrays, a portrait of luminous agony. Cars wrecked into trucks, trucks wrecked into walls. Blood spattered upon concrete. Myriad small fires simmering against broken metal, shrunk from the night’s mayhem. Pavement cracked like mirrors. Rancid fumes blew from the sewers. People ran aloof, looking over their shoulders, some snarling like beasts, some whimpering to themselves, dragging their feet. Errand suits and coveralls and pajamas and uniforms. They all went in opposite directions, there and back again, lost and afraid. And I walked amongst them. Red circles shone on every surface, spray-painted on the walls and lampposts and mailboxes. Etched into plastic, carved into wood, lathed with ink. A dusty wind carried twirls of white square papers, same round figure, same crimson hue. And overhead, beyond the canopy of towers, antennas and skyscrapers flew hordes of pigeon in eddies, and every now and then one fell down completely, knifing through deep heaven blue to crash upon the ground. Metropolis was now stage to tragedy. Alarms ringed out dissonant. Burning barricades blocked the main arteries. Doorways boarded up. Empty bullet casings tinkering underfoot. Here and there, bodies lay scattered across the macadam, no few of them in uniform – disarmed, evidently. Shadows fell from high windows. Dying screams snuffled by cries of anguish. And with them, the smell, the death-stench, quailing into nostrils with the midday heat and the spread of rotting fluids. And I couldn’t help but smile, somehow, wandering through the chaos and the rubble. Didn’t

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think it would end like this. Screams and smoke and weeping babies. Funny way to go, for a place like this. I kept to the alleys, steered clear of the subway. If Bossman was right, there were infected and fanatics and neural-ill roaming about, the

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entire Net was dissolved and not one place – virtual, material or symbolic – was spared from change. Silent, tired, lone – I made my lowly way in a world undone. I was headed for the perfect spot, our spot, you know, the one we talked about, all the way up on the Imperium rooftop. I knew you’d be there, Lily, waiting for me at last. Then we could see it all unfurl, together. You always said security would fry us the second we stepped foot, but I had my doubts, cause when it started I bet they really wouldn’t give a fuck who popped up, if it was me or Lincoln or Chairman Mao. These rent-a-cops had wives and cars and children and shit. After all, I was just a nobody, right? Wrong. My insignificance didn’t weigh in the matter. Should have known. When I broke through the courtyard and climbed over the iron crowd control barrage, piles of rotting diseased simply lay there, sprawled out every which way. Swarms of flies feasting on the disemboweled. Must have been a hundred corpses out there. The way they went, seemed like they were storming the tower, looking for shelter. Or vengeance. Slowly I tread the soiled cell phone spy app asphalt, trekking through this morbid hurdle. The stairs were thick with dead. I climbed the flight of polished granite and walked through the ivory columns of the Imperium tower. The modified glass doors had been shattered, shards of crystal grey lining the entryway. From the looks of it, security had sallied forth, held their ground for some time and were either overwhelmed or beat in retreat. Strategic or forced. Couldn’t tell. The lobby interior had been ransacked. White leather couches overturned, sculptures thrown down, walls riddled with bullet holes. Baked blood on persian rug. The main fountain, adorned with the statue of Jupiter, spouted pink water over floating corpses. I heard the mechanism too late. Rotating hydraulics. When I looked up it was there, slightly over the reception desk: an automated gun turret. Security cameras would have every angle on me now. Biometrics scanning my bone structure for the most plausible file match. Would they find any? A metallic hiss filled the rank atmosphere. “Hold it, sonny!” But there was something wrong with the sound. It was broken, modulated by analog imbalance. Coms must have been damaged. “This is SecChief Osmond. You are trespassing over private property.” Fuck. “Vacate the premises at once. In compliance with order 503-B of the Public Security Protocol, the use of lethal deterrents has been authorized to ensure the protection of key personnel.” The turret was pointed straight in my direction. A single side-LED gleamed yellow. But it was flickering. The failing voice continued. A tone that hinted on weariness or perhaps even compassion ringed out the filters. “These are live rounds, son. Get out now.” Something didn’t add up. Wasn’t like mercs to

talk first. Least, not when public relations were not an issue. Must have been a reason. Gotta get to Lily, I thought. Buy some time. “Tell me, Osmond,” I yelled out to whatever mics were planted in the place, “how many men you got up there? I’m thinking your crew got kinda thin when they realized there was no payday next week, eh?” A moment of silence ensued. Then blunt distorted underruns popped up from the speakers. The voice came back, this time definitely concerned. “Listen, kiddo. Can’t let you in. You might be compromised. Help is on it’s way, when they come we’ll do

whatever we can to help you and your family, ok? But we can’t take the risk right now. Please, just run off. I’m sorry.” I stepped a foot to my right. The turret took http://viagra7pharmacy-online.com/buy-zyrtec-online.html a whole second to catch up. The LED was bleeping out increasingly. SecChief became insistent. “Please, son, leave while you still can.” Suddenly the LED turned bright red. I lunged myself out of the way and straight toward the reception desk. Then the round-barreled machine gun opened fire, arching out behind me, sending splashes of water into the air, followed by spurts of congealed blood and wrecked pieces of tile. I jumped over the reception desk and into the turret’s blind spot. The machine started moving frantically, wincing left and right, hydraulics failing, response broken. Now on the other side I could see half a dozen security screens, all streaked with static. They showed room images, hallways, even side streets, and flipped away at random. I tried navigating the board but the input was offline. For a second there I swore I could see a large conference room where at least twenty suits were hauled up, checking their phones, looking out the windows. Executives in perfect health. Then all the screens tilted at levaquin website once and there shone a single red circle, right in the fucking middle. That’s it. The worm must have eaten through. Surveillance was down. I was almost there, Lily. Almost by your side. Would you wait for me, I wondered. Oh, Lily, please wait for me. Put two and two together and realized the motherfuckers were holed up somewhere waiting for evac. Could be no different. Help wasn’t coming on foot, that much was fairly fucking obvious. Now with the weapons system all monkeyshit they’d take action soon, make for the roof and wait for the choppers on location. But that was our spot, Lily. I don’t know how you got up there but once viagra they’d found out they’d shoot first and thank God later, then you’d be making it down a hell of a lot faster than you came up. Alright. I’m coming, Lily. I’m coming. To be contd. *** micronase Design and layout by Samuel O’Breham Rondeau Cover photography by Gaurakisora Tucker Contact: gaurki@yahoo.com Backcover photography by Max Potega Contact: www.binaryexhibit.com Special thanks to Karlsie & everyone at Subversify Magazine Read part I here Read part III here

5 thoughts on “The Red Circle Hymn, Part II”

  1. I find it very enticing the way you step into fast action scenes while still retaining a literary perspective. It’s a skill most writers find challenging, as the literary often decomposes with the action and the highly active delivery rarely reflects the literary. It’s a careful balance that builds the author’s reputation and tradition of style. Again, well done. The exciting conclusion will be in Friday’s issue of Subversify. I just know our readers are holding their breath, waiting to see the conclusion.

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