The Dancing Multitude

Magic young things stalk the yale streets like Olympus, doing their doomed bests to break the silent structures that form struggle itself. They adventure into the temptation of their freedom and power and then get high and %@&@.

There was a building named Phaedra. It stood on elm street hunched over its left side, protecting where it was injured by a thunderbolt two decades before, when people were still free to walk the streets.

This miraculous bundle of sticks had a coat of arms and a hero. Many different creatures and gods and men lived in Phaedra, from one year to the next and they were as different from each other as waves and particles. They all had in common a fierce love and defense of their hero. The defender and the icon of the house of Phaedra was sphinx.

She was a beautiful woman with a lion’s main of hair. Always she had a beautiful face, so intoxicating was her beauty, men would follow her about without speaking, sometimes in a great trail through the streets. But the form of her body she could shift back and forth from woman to lion and back again.

Their came a day when Phaedra’s Lion was greatly disturbed for the deep and subtle reasons that are so often incomprehensible to the mortals walking around below her high room on the street. And as she trembled in her anguish and her rage the bedrock of the city began to vibrate and dance.

Deep below a brothel at the corner of Howe and Crown a great worm was roosting. The dark juices of personal violence dripped down through the steam vents and drains of the buildings 14 rooms, each with 14 girls, that were 14 years each. And what was once a discarded tourist pet from Batswana had steeped and refined itself in the steaming sewer swamps beneath the brothel building. New bacteria had found it, and grown in it, and evolved, and it grew with them. The chromosomes of the worm were slightly changed, and small change gave way to great change, so much that now that the worm has become a new species. Through a small sepal hole at one end it gavis birth to, every day, a male. These were perhaps as big as your hand, and slithered through their acid mucous all across the walls and body of the giant festering mother.

When suddenly the ground began to shake, the great worm, so large that it coiled and stretched a block but still pressed flush against the tunnel sides, was cut and hurt by the sharp and cracking walls. In its torment it screamed, and writhed, but in its writhing only made its pain the worse, and so screamed more. The screech that issued forth would have town a mind from sanity if any had been close enough to hear and the girls and men in the tilting shack seemed to mark the screech with a pause and grimace each, their hearts were quaking. And though there was no human mind to disassemble, even for the small male worms this sound was much to much to bear and down they fled, along all the rounded tunnel walls, away from their mother wife and home and all they knew, out down the darkening tunnel.

Down Howe, then twisting right onto edgewood they fled the noise. And then the tunnel turned again now beneath Lynnwood, and rose coming closer to the surface of the street it traced. Here the road was old. The little worms, with there acid mucus, weakened the more than they could take. Dust began to fall but soon the acid had eaten enough load bearing concrete and great asfault chunks were simply falling away from the decrepit road down into the tunnel below. Some worms were crushed by the falling bricks and stone. There were many though that waited for the first fall of some of the tunnel to cease. And as they waited more and more male worms arrived behind until they were pilled up and squirming three inches deep along every surface of the round tunnel wall. But still blind and scared of light, they avoided the cracks and holes leading to the light world above, and pressed on down the tunnel, now more like one great living insulation that an assembly of creatures. They passed on slowly in a great thick mass until they reach a place in the tunnel that did not have the few weak spots it had a half block before, but the whole tunnel was less robust. The acid of their skin leaked through cracks in all directions, weakening the foundation all at once. And then the tunnel shook.

On either side of lynnwood two great houses stood opposing. They were great houses in the stature of the erection, but also in the character and lineage of the communities that dwelt there. At this moment each porch was filled with its family. There was seven of eight of them, with their legs and arms draped coquettishly over three great easy chair, all smoking cigarettes, drinking and eating white wine and white chocolate. They liked to talk about marx and misogyny, and take drugs.

Across the street the same number stood around on their stoop and punched each other and drank beer and talked about caps, a drinking game, and sleeping with girls. They didn’t pay a jot of attention to the others across the street. Tomrob took a big knock of brew and flexed his wrist. Then he said “I’ll show you some caps. In fact, I’ll give you a free lesson and all you have to do is dome me up under the table next time I play.” And then the street that divided the bohemian 37/39 Lynnwood from the formalist 40/42 Lynnwood collapsed into itself in an enormous crash boom that shook the flatware in its drawer and the dust rose three stories and clogged and shut down every air conditioner on the block.

First there was silence. Next there was a small war.

It was at once in all their minds. The great collapse at their feet shocked them to their feet and scared every one. They felt frail and impotent to have seen the street collapse before them, without warning or recourse for themselves. And for all they knew their homes and lives were still only a few moments away from crumbling into the sewer. And being people that are born in history they inherited from their pre agrarian ancestors pride and outrage and a certain out-group suspicion.

They all stood and suddenly the air was so full of their shouting and name calling it muted the ambulance siren just a block away.

Their mutual wrath grew with exponential ferocity. Behavior and Attitude built back and forth upon one another in a degenerative arms race until they became to the other the evilest of antagonists. Their creaming echoed back and forth in a great whirling and rising funnel of sound waves, crossing and magnifying each other like lenses. One from the hipster porch fed his rage into his fingers and arms and he stretched his hands around the base of an old lazy boy that had stood on the porch for a decade and roaring he threw the chair thirty feet in the air to come crashing down in the middle of the open pit of a street.

Now a line of cars is backed up around where Lynwood met elm, where the road was to broken for traffic. Each with a passionate frustration and anger in their small voice, they built together with honking horns and created a din like never before. Now each of the small armies had mans stations. THey hung from their precarious Victorian roofs hurling wrenches and trash and, even there at the end, a tennis ball bomb through windows across the street. The chaos made such a din, unfolding so thickly up to the clouds and down the high tower of Phaedra, where the sphinx sat thinking.

Disturbed from her meditations she roared through her woman mouth but a lion’s roar echoed forth. Now a her lion self she beat her wings and rose from the open tower eye. He hovered high above the scene and looked down on the destruction to her sweet beloved Lynwood street. The ancient eccentric buildings she had always been steward of we cracked now, a bowling ball stuck lodged in the brick facade of 37/39 and 38/40 had a small fire raging in the upstairs kitchen. And the sphinx looked down into their eyes and saw that while they certainly had fear for her, they had nothing but fear for each other and that they were lost. She flapped he great powerful wings and rose higher into the sky and in the first moments of her weightlessness at the top of her arch through the air all was silenced, then her wings caught her as she began to fall and flung her even high and she let out a great shivering roar.

Mostly above the pitch of all the people could hear here violent perturbation echoed out through the air and out across the city and down till it came to the great mother worm, where it vibrated deep into her sentient flesh and she writhed with instant fervor. Her thick skin billowed as she pressed and writhed down the tunnel. She squinched with such inhuman speed down the tunnel, turning the first bend, like a great mudslide faster than the quickest car, and turning the second bend, when finally she came to Lynwood she screamed and broke the surface of the street. She stretched he long compressed body and growing rapidly with space soon filled with her writhing grey flesh all of corridor of lynwood between the two roes of old houses.

She came down the corridor of the street, squinching against the bricking walls of the houses front facades, destroying all life and cars and things in the street leaving behind an empty scraped lifeless street. At the end of its strength, fat and relieved after all the destruction the great mother worm laid down and died at the intersection of Lynwood and elm at the foot of Phaedra.

It body quickly decomposed, falling away into the rock and earth, and from the center of it burst forth a whole great sack full of new males. The exploded forth and spread away from the site of their mothers death and went wriggling in all the radiant direction around lynwood. And they found patched of stone or wood or earth and the buried down into the surface, where with their last ounce of life they each planted a single seed.

Then in the ensuing hours as the sun clocked a few degrees across the sky such a sight was there to see. From each seed rose from the ground a fully grown man or woman, dressed and posed, like rising cobs of corn fast-forwarded to a few moments. The many people all crested the surface of the soil at the same time and dusted the soil from their cuffs. They all looked around at each other. They saw the wealth of style and form and accoutrement they each one was to all the others, and then they all looked up together at the still rising sun.


The End

0 comments about this story Feed