Fast Food Fiction
Volume 1, Issue 4
© Larry Michael Garmon Swain
All Rights Reserved
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Cheerio, Cherry Lips, Cheerio
Nothing is inevitable. We have choices. Choices determine the results of our lives. We can choose this thing; or, we can choose that thing.
Choices, however, have consequences.
It’s the consequences of our choices that are inevitable.
And the inevitable consequence of Hamish choosing to put sriracha on his haggis is what lead him to the gents loo at the Five Nations Celtic Bar and his encounter with Shaune Titor, who was just exiting one of the crappers, zipping up his trousers and buckling his belt.
“Oy! Ye fright’n’d me. Diddn’t know anyone was ‘ere wi’ me,” Titor said, a slight smile on his face.
Hamish answered with an O’Rourke into the first available urinal. “Gawd. Oh, my gawd,” Hamish retched out between vomits.
“Ye a’right ther’ matey?”
Looking down into the urine stained urinal only gave cause for Hamish to dry heave two more times. He then went to the nearest sink, turned on the cold water, and began splashing water into his mouth, spitting it out to cleanse himself of the taste and the smell of his own vomit.
Titor went to the sink next to Hamish and began to wash his hands. “I ‘ad the same reaction when I ‘ad some pickles with uncooked ham in Edenborough a’weel ago. Not a pretty sight then, eh.”
Hamish propped himself up by placing his hands on both sides of the dirty sink edges and looked at his grayish reflection in the mirror above the sink. “Never mix two cultures, me mum always said.”
Titor laughed. “Aye.” He walked to the towel dispenser, pulled down a couple sheets of brown paper towels, ripped them at the dispenser’s teeth, and began drying his hands. “Me mum usta say the universal tendency is toward disorder, disorganization, disintegration, and chaos.”
Hamish moved his eyes so he could see Titor in the mirror’s reflection. Titor was still at the towel dispenser, rubbing his hands with the thin brown paper.
“It be ‘er way of ‘plaining the fractious anti-social ones, eh. D’ya’think?”
Hamish jerked the obsolete .45 from under his shirt and spun towards Titor, but the Continuum official was already gone. Hamish fired anyway into the empty space by the towel dispenser as Continuum officers could make it appear they were gone when, in reality, they were actually present. But, the towel dispenser had been blown to smithereens by the .45’s bullets, and, when no body thumped to the filthy-urine-and-feces stained loo floor, Hamish knew the temporal agent had zapped himself elsewhere.
The question for Hamish was, Which elsewhere?
As he exited the Five Nations Celtic Bar, sunshine stabbed Hamish’s eyes like arrows. He thrust his solar-rid glasses on his face, and the street came into focus, more in clarity and in tonal hue. Today was a particular solar day: the climatologist on the AdTVid had said today would be a reckoning day. Hamish smirked at the double meaning of “reckoning day.” Earth had slowly over the past century been killing its eight billion species because of all the 19th and 20th Century bullshit industrialization at the hue-and-cry of progress.
What progress is gained when you kill off that which sustains you?
“We have reached ‘maximum value’”, a wise man had said at the end of the 21st Century; but, no one listened, no one bothered, no gave a rat’s fuzzy ass care because everyone was too concerned with their social media presence to be concerned with the immediate presence that the real environment in which they lived was dying.
The ready and easy fix, of course, was to transfer the billions of hearts and minds into virtual realities, to feed the universal ego and let humanity live in a digital fantasy embedded in an enormous organic computer complex embedded safe and secure within the most desolate and far-reaching place on earth, rather than exist on the God-given dust and ashes that had given them birth thousands upon thousands of years ago.
Hamish was the last flesh-kin of his kind, as was Titor. One of several thousand flesh-and-blood humans who inhabited the dying earth while billions of others were merely stored googolabits of digital soul memories in the vast computer system that sat cooly, ran silently, was protected from the ultraviolet rays that bombarded the earth, and spanned the length and breadth of the Marinas Trench, the final repository of the whole of Humanity’s 300 thousand years of history, art, science, and spirit.
Titor was one of the Fifth, those who were out to destroy Digimanity, and Hamish was assigned to stop him.
“Me mum usta say the universal tendency is toward disorder, disorganization, disintegration, and chaos.”
While the great minds of the 20th and early 21st Centuries were concerned with the enviable entropy of the universe, the Fifth was fixed on the moral, ethical, and spiritual entropy of the Human Souls who were giving themselves up to ephemeral and digital cloud realities measured by ones and zeroes—the neobling of self-worth and measure.
“Humanity has persevered through endurance,” the great founder and god of the Marianas Trench project had said in 2034. “Life on Earth is unpleasant, difficult, barbaric. It is time for Humanity to become more Human than Human is. It is time for Humanity to become the Gods we were all meant to be.”
But, insane Fifth dust and dirt dwellers like Titor wanted Humanity to return to the barbaric and primal mores of the little-more-than-ape Humans that had occupied the filthy and nocent planet since the first Homo Sapiens walked upright.
Hamish turned to his right and walked down the middle of the broad empty street in the city once known as Bigaple. He thought of the safe, secure, digital life he had left behind in the Trench, of his wife, and of his daughter, both still living a full care-free and digital happiness in the Trench. If Titor succeeded, they would be killed. “Do it for the sake of Humanity,” the directors had said when they approached him about becoming a skinner. “Wouldn’t you kill 100 skins to save the whole of Humanity?” the directer had said to him.
It was Hamish’s choice to become a skinner; but, choices have consequences.
The last memory he had of his little Elise was her pouty cherry lips saying “Ba-ba, Da.”
To Hell with Humanity, Hamish thought. I’ll find you, you son-of-bitch. You’ll not kill my daughter.
Those who submitted words that inspired this tale:
Janet McNally Pickles
Joyce Williams Ready
Makc Powers Continuum
June Caruthers Sunshine
Jameson Payne Fellhauer Fractious
Vicky Malone Kennedy Entrophy
Karen Glover Endurance
Dolly Stepp Ham
Sandra Soli Sriracha
Winona Bennett Cross Haggis
Melissa Missy Peak Bullen Obsolete
Thank you! LMG Swain