The Monsters Out of Space

Maybe our memories are getting worse. Maybe the creatures have been here all along and we never noticed. Maybe it’s the drugs, muddling everything up. Christ, we’ve got drugs to dull the pain, drugs to make you feel good, drugs that make the sex better. But we’ve got no drugs to help us remember. None. What he hell is that?

Whatever. Point is, you’ve gotta to write this down so that somebody remembers.

Why you? Well, I’m a piss poor writer for one. Cars are my thing. Engines, fuel pumps, brake pads, interior wiring, air fresheners – you name it. But I’m way off topic here. What Im sayin is, writing is a shitty job but somebody’s gotta do it. Hey, why you looking at me like that? Fine.

Alright, alright, let’s get started.

So the first I remember they were just little things. Dark and mysterious, but kind of cute. Little fuzzy shadows hanging around the corner of city blocks. People used to toss coins into them – PLOP! they’d go. Others would take photos beside them. Singularities, the eggheads called them, or singies for short. They became this ironic symbol for the city. Black holes in a black hole, know what I mean? And nobody seemed to mind.

But why not? I mean, who tosses coins into living, breathing a spatio-temporal anomalies? Who thinks having a cosmic horror hanging around is a good idea? Maybe those guys at Hopkins, but hell if I know. Bunch of weirdos. You’re laughing now, but it’s not funny. Comon, dude. Focus.

So next came the merchandising. I don’t remember where that started, but all of a sudden you had singularity t-shirts, singularity mugs, singularity key-chains, and singularity postcards. Singularity beers, bagels, comics and backpacks and beer coozies and lunch boxes. They even got their own goddamned billboard. “Welcome to Baltimore – the city that sings!” Hah hah hah.

The thing is, they were growing. Every coin they were fed, every photo that was taken, every word whispered into them – they fed the things. Out from their bellies grew little whisps and tendrils, tiny ears and tails and other shit. They got cuter. Somehow they knew what people wanted. It’s like they borrowed somebody’s computer and realized, hey! these people sure loves cats, and puppies, and baby elephants, and pandas. They got into our heads. Like a drug, you know. See that – that’s a theme for your article there. I know a thing or two about stories, even if I don’t write ‘em.

Anyway, soon the damned things were like cars, only more useless. They were everywhere, part of the cityscape, and people loved them even more. What harm did the singies do? They made cute little noises: gorples and glurples and bleeps and meeps. Blech, so cute it makes me sick. I’m mean really sick, like, like hot coals in my gut.

But hey, people have to spend time and money on things they loved, don’t they? That’s how capitalism keeps going. It’s how you and I stay in business, right? People don’t need cars or gossip rags. Huh? Whadaya mean you don’t like that moniker? People call me grease monkey, but hey, I don’t care. Point is, they don’t have singies in DC or New York yet, do they? Not that you know of, right? Not that you remember? Uh huh. No, I won’t stop tapping my head with this thing. I want to make an impression here, dude.

But yeah, you know most of the rest, don’t you? Clubs were formed that met at the singies. Laws were changed for them. Poems were written. Drinks named after them. The city became a cult, basically. Christ. Classic Baltimore, I guess.

But the damned things kept growing. Vacant lots filled up; empty store fronts got taken over. And all the while those little blobs just blinked their giant pupils and waggled their dusky little tails. Before long, a sizable portion of the local economy was dedicated to them. Baltimore was already a dying town, you know? Real terminal like. Depressing. Now it’s even worse.

What? Why not move somewhere else? Jesus, man. Not everybody can just up and move to somewhere without spatio-temporal anomalies. You think this city is rich? Look, let’s just get on with this. The point is. These things suck. Literally.

Well, OK. Fine. Black holes don’t suck. I’m not some professor here. Still. Look at the big one downtown. Where’s the aquarium now? Damned singy took it’s place. Yeah, that’s the one. The One, so to speak. Tentacles the size of tractor trailers. Mouth like a pit. We’re still tossing money into it. Here it is, destroying local businesses and landmarks and shit, sucking up time and energy that should go into other things, corrupting the youth and shit, and people still love it.

Well I’ve had enough. Yes, yes this is a gun. Sure, maybe it does make me seem like a nut bringing this to the interview, but you can’t be too careful. You never been to Baltimore before or what? You might be one of these cultists yourself. What cultists? Jesus, have you been listening or what?

Yes, yes, I know that’s not the preferred term. Yes, yes. Guns can’t help. But can they hurt?

The point is, man, we need to take this city back. What? Of course it’s loaded! Hey, who are you calling? Your editor, alright alright. Good. Get this thing printed.

Now where was I. So the things are everywhere now and nobody even remembers how they got here or where they started. What dark wizard summoned them from the drunken dephts of his PhD. And we’re stuck with them. But not forever. Guys like me are taking a stand.

No, I won’t calm down. Hey man, hands off. They’re not harmless. Don’t you get it? These things are taking over and the government’s letting it happen. People all turnin into cultists. Blinded by money. So I say, overthrow both of ‘em.

Whoooaaaah. Who called the cops? What is this crap? Hey! Hands off.

You can’t silence me! Not like this. They’re monsters for Christ’s sake. Aw, look. OK officer. I’ll put it down. But bear with me. Both of you. Hey! I put the gun down. All I’m doing is bringing awareness, you know. All I’m doing is


© Ryan Walraven 2015

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