Spore Our Troops

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I must obligatorily state that this story does not reflect my own attitudes towards love or nature, etc. I don’t fancy plants. This was written as a spoken word piece, designed to make the audience experience uncomfortable sensations.

Performance costume based on the story may be produced by the talented ANNA GIBB who requested something cosmic, western and mutant. The brief I gave myself was 50 Shades of Grey meets Swamp Thing. Why not kill two birds with one stone and write my first pieces of science fiction and erotica as one?

Try reading this yourself in silly voices and refrain from any urgent onanism until the end.

And please, for the love of Lovecraft – don’t read this, Mum.

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 SPORE OUR TROOPS

The dame that broke Private Woodrow Quizlak’s heart was both a delicate flower and literal specimen of plantlife.

Our tragic protagonist was stationed on Tropius-Xorn, a lustrous viridian marble bobbing on the outer rim. It was a planet pimpled with velvet summits of diverse botany which tagged it as a highly desirable site for the oxygen harvest. The insectoid natives defended their hemisphere vigilantly from the generic invading imperial forces, but many noble exoskeletons were swatted in the forest’s desecration. The forces were being recalled so that the de-terraforming could commence and the remaining troops were granted shore leave.

Woody was a simple, farm boy with a love for nature. Raised by a nurturing father in his isolated farmstead on Ugget IV, he grew up drawing stickmen in the dirt, watching the techno-organic bamboo jolt up at dawn and the pelican seeds pirouette downwards at dusk. The crops died along with Pa, so Woody decided to enlist. A fresh start, see the world, find something or someone to die for. He was a honest man, caught up in a mad mess.

War is hell. No place for either the jaded or the green. He was in the shit, he saw some shit. He got shat on. His buddies got shat on worse. Real worse. Real deep shit. Entrenched in faecal catastrophe never again to smell the sweet stench of cosmic freedom. Good men died in that shit, a generation of lost boys claimed by the quagmire. Somehow though, Private Quizlak got lucky.

Woody sat at the bar with the remaining survivors of his battalion as they intoxicated themselves with lofty banter. They counted their exotic spoils and spoke of how engorged their respective testicles had become during their time away.

“Can’t wait to spill my sack over those gorgeous eggs the missus has got waitin’ back home.” said private Nemosus from Atilan 7.

“My gal’s a cyborg, reason I signed up was for the RAM upgrade, if you know what I mean yuck yuck yuck end statement” said Battlebot Jason. Like leaving a movie theatre, the men return to their bodies and readjust to the harsh starlight. Woodrow had said nothing since white flags went up.

“So Quizlak, you must have a bird back on land thinking of you, solider?” inquired Sgt. Eddie “the Cockateal” Crackers, brow dripping with tonic and cheeks blazing like the fires of hades.

“Well sure, there’s this one dame all over my dreams.” he gushed.

“You been on them telepathic sexlines, son? That shit will warp your mind, and it’s goddam expensive.”

“No Sarge, ain’t nothin’ like that.” He reached inside his shirt produced a capsule from his chest cavity like a humanoid pez dispenser. Inside was a drawing of his love, pieced together from these perverse fever dreams.

Nemosus spluttered cigar smoke from his pseudo-gills and in glitch, Jason’s monitor made an archaic “XD” face. Sarge’s feathers ruffled.

“Son, you see that that’s a goddam tree, right? I mean it’s scientifically illustrated and all, but you realise what this war’s about, right? Besides the point, a plant can’t love you back.” Woody ignored his commanding officer, flattening the paper slowly with his thumbs.

“Man that’s twisted” said Captain “Twiggy” Cortenza, a man who’s judgement is normally reserved based on his own eccentric tastes. Nemosus raised a fishy eyebrow “didn’t clock you for a tree-hugger, Quizlak you got jungle fever”

A mocking ruckus erupted which lead to Woody raising his voice for perhaps the first time.

“I’ll batter you poisson, you got ocean madness”

“THEHELLYOUJUSTSAY?” was the private’s bellowing retort, fin slapping the table over. Glasses smashed and ashtrays unearthed.

Twiggy rose, “Hey man, war’s over.”

“Get lost, ya goddam racist arborphile” the amphibious soldier growled under his breath, which was erupting from the blowhole on top of his head.

“Cuss you guys.” Woody stepped over a puddle of vomit the rough proportions of a chess board, trenched out the bar and into the bog.

“Yo,” Jason broke the silence (or what would be a silence beneath his system’s ambient hum) “My search engine says that that plant in his drawing is the genus Lady of the Vally. You think we ought to stop him end statement?”

“No” said Sergeant Cockateal “We’ve lost enough goddam kids to this war, but if he’s havin’ the dreams… spores are already on his brain and he’s not comin’ back. Let’s get off this goddam rock while we can. Buddah, help us.”

So why did he want to go back that bloodstained woodland? Had war burned the innocence from his veins? Had obeying insane orders severed him from his own freewill? With so much violence in his recent history, Woody needed to dispel the overbalance and acquire a fresh delusion. He needed love in his life, he had found no one to die for, except a conflicting mutant environment.

Each morning the forest had grown closer to the military base, but the saplings formed at a point, the leaves reached and pressed themselves solely against the window adjacent to Woody’s bed. Each morning he would wake from dreamscapes of leafy hammocks rocking him safely, to the sound of a gentle wind massaging leaves over distant gunfire. His local carnage was obscured in those waking moments by a personal garden. He was infatuated with his dreamland and might have carved hearts in bark if not for his admiration for flora.

It was this slumbering trail that Woody followed into the swamplands. He was jittery, but defiance had strengthened his resolve. She was calling him. He approached a grove where the Lady of the Vally snoozed on a mattress made of moss. He twiddled his digits and gripped his facial cilia anxiously in his teeth. The vines met at the centre of the clearing and with each approaching topsoil footprint, they began to twist into shape. Flexing and feeling, winding and responding. Roots dragging, muscles tightening, weaving itself into a feminine figure, unfurled on a swing. Petals peeled open to reveal dewy lips and lavender irises. She spoke in smells, pheromones that caressed Woody’s bruised cortex.

“Yes?” she flapped her leafy tongue.

“Uh, hello ma’am, I been thinking’ on you fer a while now, I brought you these” our infantryman hypnotically raised a stiff elbow and brandished a fistful of lilies.

“You present me… with genitals?”

“Oh gosh, I’m so sorry-” he stammered “I didn’t think-”

“I adore a man of brutal honesty.”

A frail yet assertive tendril felt its way around an earlobe, and then entered Woody’s waxy cove. The bombastic tinnitus inside his head fell still. He took in a large gulp of precious oxygen, which dizzied him. Her tendrils writhed beneath skin like snowed-under centipedes. She lifted him on celadon strings and as marionette dandelions, they danced.

Just be clear – interspecies relationships are to be celebrated in the new McUniversal order, but physiology is so diverse across the Kentucky nebula. One creature’s civil union is another’s cooking pot, for the lines between sexual partner and predator are poorly defined within extreme dimorphism. But who are we to judge? For shame on our cynical hearts. Surely the distinction between parasitic and symbiotic love lies in the will. Perhaps the manufactured consent of the weak willed stems from our modern desire for submission, to be delivered from ourselves. To be part of something grander than our atomic mass. What is love but the ego’s white flag?

Her humid breath carried a docile sweetness. “Come to Mother Earth, my soldier.”

“Mah Goddess, mah Temptress, mah Gardener.” In sight of her incomprehensible anatomy he emitted an ambiguous “Fuck me.”

The pheromones had clouded a once rational nucleus. To an outside observer the affair began with our Woody sticking his manhood into a tree stump and licking the sap from armpit branches. But to his overwhelmed senses he was locked in passionate embrace with a sublime forest deity that soothed his battle-bludgeoned spirit. His uniform was torn away by sentient adhesive pads as the skin beneath wept under a purging of thrashing thorns. To our eyes, it was all about as sensual as staggering repeatedly face-first into a freshly-cut hedge. But in a storm of red and green he was entwined in Venus’s flytrap

Woodrow had felt pulverised by military routine, becoming a disposable commodity, an expendable. Like a potted plant behind a closed window, barred from rooting. Before he had dreamt of flowers opening from his chest cavity each season for nobody but Tropian Crunking flies to splatter themselves against the glass. But the leaves had reached out to him and wove themselves into the foundations of his mind, luring him from bloodshed into emerald light. Dodging lasers and climbing from innumerable potential graves, exhuming his body each morning and burying it each night. After the war, he sought only to rest under Gaia’s design.

Suspicious receptors folded backwards, each shimmering stamen oscillating independently, fine hairs crawled into his every pore. As he thrusted helplessly she stretched her toes up to the sunlight, scraping her celluloid nails against the sky. As the Lady reached out for apparent climax, her grappling vines lifted her higher, and higher to the top of the canopy, whilst pushing her mate deeper into her land. He did not struggle. He did not protest. He fell slowly headfirst into warmth and darkness, hearing the cries of distant lovers, atoms scattered in the soil. Met by invisible hands and “I-told-you-so”s, their history now part of his own. Over the gloam, he was enveloped in undergrowth. Unbirthed to the world’s womb, pushed down into heaven.

He was Earth’s male angler fish. Bacterial and inferior, they throw themselves to the queen, fusing their bodies and corroding their minds in voluntary symbiosis. The fish will rot away, leaving their genitals behind, providing the comparatively gargantuan female with fertility fountains and granting her esca a glow that cuts through the lightless abyss. Meanwhile little lifeless remains flap through the waters like the ambassadorial flags of a Cadillac, only representing nations of contently castrated servitude.

In his dying post-orgasmic depression Woody remembered Pa using household analogies to explain photosynthesis, as a paintbrush lay idle in a glass of juice, drinking up the world.

In the next Proto-Fall Woodrow Quizlak’s bodily moisture fed the canopy, urging tentative fingertips to cling onto their leaves this season.

In the second Winter the energy gained from his burning lungs provided the plant with a thicker bark, shielding its limbs from the impulsive bites of land piranhas.

In the quasi-solace his powdered bones promoted a ring of rancid fungi which incubated the plant from minibeasts.

In the classified nuclear season, the wrinkles of the Quizlak brain finally unravelled and borrowed deep, meeting each individual root with a cerebral kiss.

In the Monsoon, his phallus flaked and withered into the soil, ensuring its fertility.

And in the ill-distinguished and brief season of Sol, the soldier’s compost heart provided the plant with opulent buds which, once our Romeo’s remains had faded, would bloom to entice new lovers.

With each host devoured, the plant grew in strength and she bore bittersweet fruit from sanguine orchids. Within the next cycle, the family tree had obliterated all harvesting machinery and had sapped the life force of all militant oppressors. Tropius-Xorn returned to a prehistoric state of eden. A floating green utopia built on the ashes of modern man.

You must not pity old Woody for he is now one with nature, liberated through decomposition. In that dying singularity, he was certain that his last feeling was love.

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About theocleary
This is where my stupid words go. http://whimsybox.tumblr.com/

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