Even Amidst the Carnage of a Flying Saucer’s Spontaneous Appearance...

• August 2012

...It May Be Found

Teal light so so teal from that old bat-flecked streetlamp down the street shining into the window of the abandoned white stone-and-wood house well abandoned except for on the bed where Salvinia Miguel de Cervantes and the nameless man she has found since the world ended are lying down almost chest to chest, you may have experienced a jolt there at my informing you the world has ended and in fact the simple explanation is that there are many worlds not even including the thousands of universes outside our own but simply the worlds within ourselves and even outside for each of us is a complete world accessible perhaps to none but ourselves a statement that if true should be impossible to proclaim but some truths may simply seem impossible, zounds, and anyhow for Salvinia Miguel de Cervantes and the few other residents of the distant Caribbean island of São Carlos who are still alive those self-worlds have been wrenched apart like an only child from the harbor of her mother’s arms or like a beer bottle shattering in slowwwwwwwwwwwww motion and if you are wondering how Salvinia Miguel de Cervantes has ended up where she is, you must first understand that one Sunday but two days from when I began this piece of breathless concentration the distant Caribbean island of São Carlos was unceremoniously visited by a tourist no one had expected to see, a colossal coconut-yellow flying saucer shaped precisely like a Belle Epoque dinner plate, its body glittering in the afternoon dullness by three rings of amber green and blue lights like those you see on airport runways, now believe me the sky was simply empty at first except for some gray clouds peppering a sky as blue as Mega Man’s armor and then all of a sudden a UFO appears hovering above the sea in the harbor in the capital city and hover it did for much of the afternoon and by this point a few people had begun to evacuate into the impregnable walls of churches and to relatives’ homes in the mountains and to the vast limestone caves normally reserved for fruit bats and tourists and onto the white yachts and dinghies painted every color of the rainbow heading out to sea to escape, a great quantity of these excursions spurred on by the stentorian ravings of a mad emigrant from Alabama who somehow acquired a yellow megaphone and began to shout out theories The Bermuda Triangle extends as far as the Azores I always knew extraterrestrial life forms were involved but no one listened the fools everyone evacuate by boat and do not trust your compass head for the nearest island or Europe if possible and all be prepared for the return of our Lizard King while another man this one a zealot from Fatima in Portugal his eyes wide and red his gaunt face juddering claimed that the UFO was nothing less than Jesus Christ’s chariot for His Second Coming and its flashing lights were the eyes John of Patmos described in such profusion in Heaven through his extraordinary visions even though the rest of the day’s events had not gone according to John’s prophecies Do not flee my people but stay and pray for your salvation before this vision of incomprehensible glory and so some did for a while until it got too hot and sticky but most of the islanders decided in fact to go to town from wherever they were and watch the flying saucer up close and take endless cell phone pictures while the police rallied together the local defense force and tried to create a wall of soldiers in front of the civilians in case something happened but it was too late since the silent hovering aircraft had already been the impetus to create Carnival many months in advance since women had brought their red grills to cook chicken and breadfruit while people were flooding into the hotel bars to buy overpriced beer and soon amidst the smoke from the grills the Carnival trucks themselves arrived with their skyscraper speakers and music began to blast and the soldiers started snapping their fingers and nodding their heads as they stood patrol for many of these people were emigrants from the other islands and knew how to put on a damn good fete, nonetheless, nothing happened until the sun began to sink, making the UFO’s metal gleam like liquid, and an icy drizzle sent the women with processed hair running for cover, but this was when the flying saucer sprang into action or more accurately two hatches opened one on the left and one on the right of the aircraft and out of each snaked a long gray metallic tube with a terrible claw at the end and then a chamber opened below the flying saucer in the center of the rings of flashing lights and out came two nets nothing very original as far as UFO designs go but quite effective for capturing and massacring people which was precisely what began to happen what the shit is that those things look like arms shit run run grab her run run no time just run oye move the fuck out my way the long arms with claws on the sides of the flying saucer zoomed into the crowd and began snatching human beings amidst all the screams and who was not snatched was sliced in two or three or seven and then from the rings of lights came a searing ray of orange that turned all it touched into smoldering black powder and within two hours the island was a disaster of flames and dried blood how absurd how utterly ridiculous and I would well agree except that this particular line of unmanned aircraft is a well-known interworldly menace created many decades ago in the universe of Xcea by a clan of ruthless robotic engineers and no one knows why it chose São Carlos in this universe if there was any choice involved at all or why this absurd device almost worthy of the Trojans’ horse has since disappeared, to the sorrow and fury of news reporters for news thrives on distanced violence to exist, all they have are images of a smoking island hardly anyone had heard of and you bet people are sending their help by making endless Facebook groups that proclaim their virtual pity for a day, anyway ahem no one knows if the flying saucer will return but who we must return to is Salvinia Miguel de Cervantes, who was one of the few to have escaped on one of the whale-watching ships this one heading to St. Kitts, surely this was a monster the white boat had never expected to see even if Ahab had been at its wheel the ship was flooded with people like slaves packed into a hold and Salvinia had barely even made it on because of the rush of people piling into the already-chockablock boats, she had been dragging her little girl Simonetta with her by the wrist so hard that the girl had started to cry to banshee-wail and these tears may well have helped her cut through the throng and get onto the boat, what surprising courtesy one sometimes sees, and now here she is in St. Kitts in a room with a man she just met the night before, the evening she arrived he must have taken pity on her fatigued cheeks amidst all the chaos of the people suddenly arriving in the harbor for she had truly been about to drop down flat on her face Excuse me ma’am do you need some assistance she would have ordered away a creature with so beggarly an exterior except that his eyes were poor in a different way and perhaps she was simply too exhausted but one thing led to another and soon people were even evacuating St. Kitts in their fear of the UFO turning on them next soon perhaps all the world would evacuate to elsewhere though all runners must eventually run into the insurmountable, but this man was too poor to flee, he in fact had only a tiny shack with shower curtains covering his windows and a powdery asbestos roof, but he took Salvinia and Simonetta there for the night gave them a sad and grateful dinner of day-old penny bread with cheddar and some Kool-Aid and then a cup of beer for Salvinia and himself he asked no questions but only said I just happy you and your little girl still alive her English was not so great because she had come from a Portuguese-and-some-Spanish-speaking home but she understood enough of what he said and nodded with a smile, he was the color of old coconut husk his hair a small garden of gray and white curls and his face was weathered by difficulty but she felt good anyway just by the way he smiled, never would she have imagined herself in a house alone with a man well since she’d had Simonetta anyway but how life changes she was almost forgetting the UFO already from the newness of her surroundings or perhaps she was just too shocked anyhow the first night he slept on the floor and she and her girl together and now tonight after she has slept in and helped him wash his clothes in the pipe and had a dinner of corned beef he is inside her, while Simonetta sleeps on the rocking chair because she has never done so before Look Mommy it’s so ancient can I try it out and before you know it she was fast asleep, It’s a magical chair from Nevis the man had told her, and Salvinia let the man into his own bed with her not sure why she was doing it she still hadn’t even asked him his name knew next to nothing about him and she had left her husband four months ago yet here she was she knew he wanted her before she even felt his erection in the bed and she let him inside her But no further we can’t wake up Simonetta and he chuckled It’s a miracle I even got it up so they stayed their bodies wrapped like strange gifts in the teal light from that bat-peppered streetlamp Old Faithful he called it because it has never gone out since I’ve been alive unlike all the others in this cheap street after a while he could no longer sustain it and she chuckled because he left her of his body’s unintentional accord, she swallowed, drew his arm over her, kissed his hand, and lay with her eyes closed against his chest because that was all she needed right now nothing more, she would see what happened in her world tomorrow but for now there was nothing else and if she was obliterated right this moment by some terror from the unknown, Well, it wouldn’t be so very bad, she mused, not so bad at all, of course she really wanted to fall asleep because she knew the longer she stayed awake the closer she would be to realizing the magnitude of the outer-space empty densities around her, that she had not stopped running even as she lay silent in a bed, perhaps we are always running even in our emptiest dreams, and as she thought of these things and the man she had left and Simonetta she kept expecting Old Faithful’s electric flow to stop as the UFO reappeared with its silent inexplicable bloodlust but nothing happened even as her heart thudded thudded thudded, the teal light illumed the man’s eyes too because he could not sleep either, and then she smiled again briefly and closed her eyes and vowed not to sleep, in fact, so as to hold onto this strange and beautiful moment as long as she could, let herself drift through that teal sea until she became a mermaid, then Simonetta was suddenly at her bedside tapping her elbow Oh shit but the girl only asked with trembling eyes if she could scoot in because she had had a bad dream about the thing in the sky and she felt cold and damp, Salvinia stared at her for a moment, the man had already turned onto his back with downcast eyes and then Salvinia said Of course, come right in, the girl slid right in between them, her body flecked by the teal, Are you still scared, her mother said fingering her daughter’s braids, No, Simonetta said, well, yes, a little, Let me see if I have any cocoa sticks, the man said getting out of bed but Simonetta said No, stay, I feel better like this, and Salvinia and the man looked at each other, and then they lay back down and smiled, the world outside rasping with an old wind and the cries of insect bats and filled with that strange and lovely light for as long as the night would last, perhaps there are hundreds of Salvinias waking up in hundreds of undisturbed São Carloses in hundreds of universes right now, by all the gods, what worldliness, and yet, even if just one Salvinia and one Simonetta and one nameless Kittian are laying in such a poor triangle on a hard bed bathed in teal as we have here, well, I’d say that that’s all that’s all, for now.

 

Jonathan Bellot holds an MFA in fiction from Florida State University, where he is currently also pursuing a PhD in creative writing. His work has appeared in the New Humanism, Transnational Literature, BIM: Arts for the Twenty-First Century, Belletrist Coterie, Domnitjen Magazine, and Black Lantern Publishing.