Another Story of the Myth of Eve
by Willie Smith
part 1 of 2
The story you are about to read is obscene. Not in intent, but due to the human endeavor the story explores — war, the most abysmal of all obscenities. The author is deeply ashamed of being human. “Another Story of the Myth of Eve” is a humble attempt to celebrate this horror.
It was during one of those Electronic Dark Ages between two of the wars. None of the gadgets was functioning good. Neither was grammar. People were getting their rumps roasted for dinner. Becoming of their own jokes butts. Antecedents and unintentional puns flying everywhere like spunk in a whorehouse. Invective stripped of meaning, adjectives gunked-up with compressed computer terminology, nouns just cardboard boxes you dump shit in.
Betty came out in the kitchen and layed two eggs in the skillet. Pushed a few modules into the “Fire” mode. Sat back to wait for it to be time to eat. A thought got caught inside her ear, she couldn’t shake it, couldn’t scratch it out. The eggs sputtered. The thought went something like this: sported a head of death, trailed a body of genitals. Suggested a sperm under a microscope or a giant comet at dawn. Thought said, “Thought I told you to pay attention to what you’re doing, you dumb slut,” in the voice of her husband. “The eggs are burning! Think I let you hang around the house all day so you can burn my eggs?”
Betty snapped the controls into the “High Priority Low” mode. Bailed the skittering eggs out microseconds before they would have wiped out on a collision course with a couple trillion too many hot angry photons. She stared down at the slithering eyes and felt herself like a dangling participle. By the time she got her hand out of her blouse, the morning was over, the eggs cold; her husband dead these twelve years from leukemia. Disgusting disease. Horrible bastard.
She threw the dead eggs into the incinerator. Threw the knife switch into the “Racial Hate & Fear” mode; the eggs cast two more fetid votes for entropy. When she turned around, there stood her Bill looking worse than a billion dollars, and he had been in the grave for over twelve years, so he smelled almost as bad as that much of the folding gathered together. Frightened, Betty kicked off the burglar alarm.
His throat quivering with greed to talk, Bill tried to speak and was emitting halitosis, when one of his eyes jiggled out; ran down the side of his nose in a rivulet of grease. The alarm had failed to go off, shorted by mouse-eaten insulation. A last canine fell out of Bill’s mouth. Clattered to the parquet.
Then Bill Junior, their twelve-year-old son, tooled in in his self-propelled incubator. He had been all day at the electronic super high school and he wanted his afternoon snack that instant. Betty excused herself as best she could. The rag of Bill’s tongue lolled out. Licked where lips used to be. That was the gesture, Betty had learned from long hard years spent with Bill, that meant, “Go ahead and do it, dammit! Interrupt me when I’m talking anytime you damn please, you damn dumb slut!”
Now, Betty had caused Bill’s death. He had caught leukemia from having had aboriginal sex with her. She had lured him one afternoon a little over twelve years and nine months ago to insert his penis into her vagina and therein ejaculate his semen, which should, of course, have found its way into a proper 98.6 test tube. That’s why they kept the kid in an incubator, because the whole thing had been so unnatural.
It was all but medically proven in this particular Electronic Dark Age that penile contact with vaginal juice resulted in immediate cancer. Presumably, the ensuing pregnancy would also be a tumor. There was even a rumor that Bill Junior had been born dead and the object in the incubator was merely a computer designed to pacify the traumatized mother. None of his teachers at school bought this. Bill Junior bitched and cursed too much to be anything other than what he obviously was: a monster created in a moment of fiendish lust.
The last practitioners of aboriginal sex had been stamped out a little before the last Big One, WW XXXIX. But Betty had been allowed to live. She was considered a harmless curiosity — a cannibal wandering through Golden Gate Park or an Eskimo showing up on the shores of the Orinoco. There was no explanation, no understanding it, no excuse for it. 153 months ago, Betty went ahead and did it. Her husband, of course, subsequently got what he deserved.
She reached out; fixed a tube of spinach to the intake on the glass panel of Bill Junior’s incubator. His lips clamped around the nipple inside, and once again relative peace descended on the kitchen as the sun set through smog and a jet boomed overhead. Betty’s dead husband used the stub of his wrist to wipe the eye off his nose. Rats had years ago gotten the hand. Betty wavered, feeling like a misapplied periphrastic. She didn’t belong. She was lost in space and time, forgot where her mind was, looking at the kid in that damn electronic box and there her dead Bill a gory mess. She unscrewed the empty spinach tube. Handed it to a robot, who wheeled over and dropped the sucked-out tube into the incinerator.
The kid broke out his electric guitar module. Began blaring out his larval soul from his self-propelled cell. The music was all electronically produced; sounded like a pingpong festival inside a chime factory. Betty was proud of the kid’s musical bent, was careful never to discourage his inclination. Everybody else hated Bill Junior’s playing.
He billed himself as Junior Bill from Oakland and played for free down at the local instant coffee. The stuff he played there he called Oscillator Bop. It was his best stuff: vicious thought, ugly emotion, rotten nagging beat — the whole formula. But it bombed like a formation of warheads. Sometimes somebody would screw a tube of instant into his panel, taking pity on the poor freak making all that noise. But usually it was just sneers and kicks, and sometimes he collected traces of deadly spit on his panel.
But the kid never gave up. It wasn’t dedication. It was outright common spite. You’d think the little shit was prick enough without having to take up in addition the electric guitar module.
Junior Bill’s lyrics were senseless and inane — generated by transformational structure programmed into the instrument. The music likewise burped out. Junior Bill actually didn’t have to put any feeling or effort whatsoever into his music. But he did anyway. That was what really made people hate him. The way he put self-expression into it was to slide the module in and out of his mouth like a vertical harmonica while it synthesized bastardized pings, pangs, whangs, bangs. Lots of people down at the instant coffee secretly wanted to kill Junior Bill. But publicly they tolerated the boxed-in self-propelled nerd; apart from occasional spit assaults. You were supposed to pity abominations. Nobody ever came out and actually said somebody someday should put out Junior Bill’s lights.
Again Betty’s dead husband tried to speak. The effort cost him a mandible plus the sides of his nose, leaving his septum exposed like an edge-on cracker looking atcha. Betty knew he had to tell her something. Similar to — in real life — when he was going to fart or a belch was coming up on him. And then Betty found herself hypnotized by a tickle unravelling inside her head. It spread like a hybrid between “listen” and “hear.” She didn’t listen, per se, but she sorta heard the following unfold onionlike just the hitherside of her nether ear. She took it to be her deliquescing husband’s last ditch at bridging the gap into communication.
“Betty, why did you trash those eggs? You know that’s the only thing I love: reconstituted eggs microwaved in margibutt electrolyte. If I could make my bit-off hand into a fist I’d knock your neurotic ass good and goddamn dead to hell. Look, you dumb slut, don’t you know why in the death rattle I’ve come back? Can’t you smell the funk?”
At this the corpse’s earlobes exploded, as if mashed by garlic presses. Spattered through the closed atmosphere of the tight little modernistic kitchen. Quirk in the chemistry of putrefaction. Besmeared the walls. Made a mess of the refrigerator and its robots.
Betty was mortified. She wished for a moment that the kid would shut up. Still the racket quickened. Betty’s nerves felt like fried twentyfive dollar words splitting apart into contradictory syllables. She simmered — a statue of coal and uranium eager to gobble a fly. The kid started to screech and bend his notes inhumanly. He was hungry again. Betty screwed some stew into his panel. Stuff in the tube of stew would be good for Junior, she knew. She winced as the withered hot-house twelve-year-old sucked the contents past the glass, through the nipple, into the module of his mouth. The kid had set his musical interests aside, as there was suddenly food around. Although the kid remained indifferent to life, he loved food.
Finally her Bill got out a real word. Resembled a whisper of silk dragged by a team of ants across a petri dish of carborundum. “Receipt!” Bill wheezed as his cheekbones collapsed like fractured eggs and the yoke of his remaining eye fell down through his melting yap. “Receipt!” he repeated with gargling insistence, before his dripping face and skull ineluctably clogged his windpipe. In order to finish the sentence, he reverted to the less-faulty medium of telepathy:
“I need the receipt for my Bill!”
Betty couldn’t believe her ears. She had a robot motor up and swab out both auricular canals. She shook her head violently, then blew her nose into a polyester hanky descended by remote control from the electrified fluorescent ceiling. Another robot was motoring the wet polyester over to the incinerator when again the angry voice concussed the jelly between her ears, “Dammit! I want the damn receipt for my damn Bill. Hasn’t it come yet? The boy turned twelve last week!”
Copyright © 2005 by Willie Smith