Navigating the Maze / Sanjay Bheenuck

…Now we come to the essential, the flag of St George flutters heroically atop the top. The rain is purely horizontal and a dog lolls beside our feet. We sit watching lightening through the open way. She lights up and casts partially to the void. Others traverse the winding paths, lost in the game of all things. It is found that we are illuminated briefly.

—I mean, hah— don’t they know nothing means anything? The others are long gone.

—Look-look! pointing to void, once again bone white.

…And I was looking! Looking onto the wretched surface from floor thirteen…dead…passed a body on the street today…

…He struggled, limping and fencebound and traversing the fading hours. For midwinter, midday it was-one of the many lost of Europe’s East, sloped rigidly and faltered, gra(sping) to the dim day-hitting the pavement and ridding his form of all animating force. An organic element of street furniture twitching a meter and meaning fathomable to none. Peaked he was, on the latest configuration of unregulated Chinese chemists’-spice(of which must flow) mabbie…maybe not-whatever it was, how many people will pass? Is he dead? Or alive? Who will be the one to not express indifference? All they do is walk on as the hours close ever in…

…Another time a fire raged below—still an electrical fault of the particular brand, allegedly they were bursting into flame all over the city which moaned to the distance—still they did nothing. The thing pyred into the fleeting hours, flames burning away the minutes of our lives—melting elements and charring chassis, leaving skeletal remains. Plastic, metal, wire and debt pooled to the pavement and no soul sought to heroism, or to question whether an occupant be inside…

…Another time the same fault spread to a house upon the same street. In blinding days it succumbed to the same fate—still indifference. A home with all its memories and all its comforts—one hundred and twenty nine went up in Landan Commodius Vicus— winding orange flame. Still indifference, they walked on, uncaring and unconcerned until the one true human—an outsider— showed herself, an aureole appeared atop her crown, she became marked with the insignia of victory. For the rest of us? Hah—the same wretched indifference, the same horrid disregard flows through all our fallen veins.

But what possibility is there to overcome? Answer me!

…A row emerged over the contents of an open van—the drunken wanderer pushed on, the defender of the contents threatened the wanderer with a kitchen knife, stainless. Some unseen rails drove his anger and so he thrust the cheap blade into the wanderer’s gut. There he fell to the cold pavement and bled out into the rain (slightly diagonal) —Still! They walked past, trapped in the wheel of mundanity which cycles the dim mind. Nothing, indifference. Still I did nothing! Simply watched, a wretch in my tower! He scrambled against the wall until finally a true human emerged. A nurse I think, on his way home. But—he uhh…died I think? Grasping the hero’s arm by the stacked boxes.

Total value of the contents of the van:

£125.32

Then! Next! Lu cuntu nun metti tempo.

A certain O-D collapse near the Kwikfit garage—a little wide of my domain alas—but see it I could! Instant rigour mortis—certain death—and the ambling shoppers—nothing of course. Disregard, indifference.

—Are you okay? To a cold and grey form where open eyes rolled back into the motionless head on titled neck. Tongue swollen and lolling as the pupper at our feets.

—No…I’m dead see…and by the Kwikfit garage of all places…replace my soul like a tyre…

…Then they pass on the risen wind of the motorway—fading the hours into the waning smog— indifferent to all. On comes the fine mist and the rolling night—over the endless low houses and the dominating smokestacks of defunct industry. And the traffic is thick and everyone must own a vehicle thus stipulates the advertising and it seems to cease moving..children gather hooded and untouchable booming forth divine light from laser pens to vanquish the mile long serpent of cars. Some human is struck in the eye and swerves from their way—then (are not our lives a glistening chain of consequence? Hmmm—) this wayward metal creature clears over another human being, wobbling down the street on a cheap Chinese bicycle. They are processed like recovered meat under the wheels of the car. The street is painted with their interior, they protest impatiently with staccato toots. Some run—some gather round…but many, most—-walk on to the objective of their night and battle their draining time. In cumulation indifference won the dog day yet again. Perhaps I should…

—Hey, you listening?

—I’m listening.

—Don’t give me that pessimist shit, I..hey hear that?

[Crack] —The lightening whips the earth, spanking it hard…naughty naughty oblate spheroid! The dog awakens and stands alert, looking for the invisible culprit. The rain is perhaps, slightly less than vertical now. Wufwufwhosdat?

…We can see the triumphant flag of St. George fluttering above the castle courtyard. A faint echo of chivalric song still reverberates troubadour centred. The others are returning through the maze and sheets of rain. They’ve finally found their way, bless em.

—Ahh apt…in a maze? Smoke rises from the tangle somewhere.

—Yo, lifes’s a maze motherfucker. But ahhhh?

—Musta gone in lookin’ for something?

—For the hidden centre mate.

—This it?

—Who’s to say…got this tower though, but it’s not open.

…Then on halloween they shot fireworks from mopeds. Immolating strangers for…

What?

 

—Maaate I was lost for half an hour in that thing!

—Ohh yeah? I crack open a can of cheap larger, own brand. Well we all got lost, that’s why we’re staying here for now.

…Have you seen a burn treatment? I mean…

…Then there’s acid—acid attacks now—mostly on delivery drivers…riders. The one I saw…and the guys face white with peeled flesh and cooking and they tried to rinse the corrosion from his form. Screaming like a child as the guy from the takeaway ran out with bottle of water. One true human.

Total cost of delivery box

£28.32

—The uhh…haha…price of a life?

—Let’s uhh….take acid not throw acid… 🙂

[crack]

—Clamber abroad boyos! Motherfuc…’gainst all odds she’d jimmied the tower open. Her lithe form able to clamber the window unbarred and medieval. So in we go, escaping the rain (uhh not horizontal or vertical now…but uhh somewhere in the endless and imperceptible rotational plane where in some invisible centre evil resides.) The others joining too, dry and safe now, towered in the centre maze. Clambering the winding steps, to the peak, to the fluttering ideogram of a national saint. To heaven.

—No need to thank me, I just saved your little tush…no biggie. Sssh and I won’t say I followed your behind up those historic steps. The doggie trots behind us, wanting to be part of this. Wufwufwerewego?

…At the train station, rush hour, a girl stepped weirdly from the train, snapping her ankle at a right angle of pythagorean accuracy. She screeched and clutched the wound, but alas, oh shame…all other commuters simply stepped over her…but they were so busy weren’t they and all she did was curl into a foetal shell and shudder, crying and rocking, holding her ruined limb. Still as by now you must suspect, what was it the—-blast…we! All did?

…Umm…was it nothing sir?…Yes, yes it was nothing…for we were all too busy.

—So your point is that it just keeps going never stops, nothing can stop it, cos we be terrible wee beasties all of us?

—More or less

—Hey! this all reminds me of uhh [click] uhh…fuckme dat book…uhh 266?

—2666!

—Where all those Mexican hookers get killed.

—Yeah…like it just goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on…you think it’s gonna stop but the killing doesn’t stop just goes on and on and on and on and on.

—It never stops.

—An ever spinning wheel.

—Commoduis Vicus

—Wut?

…It’s like those killings in America, god…the secret of the world must be hidden in them. A child goes mucker (look it up! I’m not your fucking dissertation supervisor.) and wipes out a whole schoolful of (lets face it) his peers. Then they give their thoughts and prayers, then some whacked out kiddo kills everyone again, then thoughts and prayers, then some kiddliewink kills all the other little un’s again and there’s thoughts and prayers and so forth and so on and all the small things…imagine them now, weeping in the dark, never having tasted the sweetness on the very threshold of the sweet life they shared not, torn from the breast, the black day swept off and plunged in bitter death. But never action…so afeared of so powerful a few that action is prohibited. And yet all those years ago, in that poetical age those two did speak:

—-What is this mad and shameful weakness? Stand up and fight!…

—Now you can dominate your mysterious and incomprehensible spirit. You can see its other side. Act as you must Act. I myself Am never without Action. Rise up.

…There was the tower’s peaks, St George drenched in rain, there we leant upon the railing and surveyed all our kingdom, seeing the maze through which we had come and the faint lights of the town and the darkness of the valley and deeper darkness of the river. She placed a little kiss on my cheek and kicked the wall, the others and dog were coming soon. And we saw some passing light in the ocean of darkness which was certainly either:

  1. A car, coming late from the city.
  2. A weeping angel: of which weeps for mankind.

There came the waggy dug and me best buds, who too leant and gazed from the peak. Atop the tower she grasped my palm and momentarily engaged a mocking dance. The single light came toward, bisecting a straight line and so we awaited.

…All’s a wild ride alright…ever seen…as I did that one time a lone person set upon by a mob or gang, with no chance of survival. Strung up in the street and begging for life?…A man falls to his knees, marred in his own blood and subject to communal justice…or and this one man…it was a cricket trip a bus full of kids and they hung the driver in the street a little show for their beaming face…hell blot black…those poor souls saw…

—See there? SEE she says, crying, we are bathed in radiance. Something is winding a path through the maze, blazing its geometric turns like the arteries of some inconceivable colossus. Her lip is possibly trembling.

…Heig ho….Heig ho…once again…there are these gold mines in Vietnam right, kids are forced to bear the headean gloom and oft—loose their lives. Only the kiddos are small enough to squeeze in, the little souls sacrifice their little souls for gold… for an inanimate nothing they had died, metal over blood. The tyranny of gold will carry through all history. Auri sacra fames! Auri sacra fames! Why not invest in the human spirit I say! They must dig through day and night, long is their work and hard…but the great horror is still to come, for slaves they are and if they fail to seek a seam then they are sealed in the crude construction until the cessation of their mortality, sealed in the first and final tomb. Auri sacra fames! Auri sacra fames!

…The light took to the air and scattered closer. I took to thinking option b was way more likely than option a. Residual golden rays sustained upon the deciduous geometry.

—Das not bad, you wanna hear bad…people are bad.

—Enlighten mois

—I was 16 and had this boyfriend right…gah to be young…young and in love! A young girl in love! So he was so sweet and was everything I wanted…everything television told me I wanted from a gentlemen and I was swooned to shit with his smooches and fuckings. Mum knew men she did and warned my off the dreaded powers of first love, but like all kids I didn’t listen I didn’t. Yiss he gave me all the associated visual and audio cues associated with romance and I slurped them up like a coelacanth grubbing detritus from the floor of the abyss. For I was officially GF’d pretty quick and soon he’s doing real well at work and got this promotion and was moving to London and asked me to come with him and live in his fancy new flat in Islington and I was blushing and saying yes, yes! Well listen here matey…listen up good and hard, when I got there he was nowhere to been seen, then I got a text telling me to stay with one of his friends for a while. Well, so I did I was between a cock and a hard place, me own Odyssean wanderings. Welp…this dude seemed nice, but it was weird cos it was like this big house and there were a bunch of other girls there, real quiet…real pale and I knew wiv me wimmin’s intuition that something was wrong. Shock…I was right, all the doors to this dungeon were locked…I was Rapunzeled in for sure. Turns out he’d swiped me from my mum and had literally sold me to a brothel, a sorta rotational place that moves every few weeks. Where I was…and your innocent little coconut isn’t gonna believe this—but it’s true…was a “breaking house”…they’d send in guy after guy all week until the girls were broken mentally and physically…zombified little dears who’d fuck without rhyme or reason. Mate…in one day they sent in one hundred and six guys and they ruined my little body forever, not to mention how fucked up me little ‘ead is. Now I can’t have kids, probs never cum again, oh and i’m locked out of emotional reactions forever…yay…:( sad face. Dis was someone who I loved…haha…who I loved! AMORES: ARS POETICA

—Shi-people are bad…huh…anyone kno…?

—Fucked if I know…read Vollman’s chunk-arse tome on it…

—Who, what?

—Forevs…and on and on and on and on and on

—What do you…?

—There is a girl, walking down a long street,

…And the doors are closed man…closed to the whipping night and the rain and the dog comes in and I see why she’s gazing to the void as what else could anyone do? There comes smoke and the blasted and ever binding prison of the past. So there emerges through the door graffiti of the vitruvian man grasping a bunch of dicks and we both sigh as the way is closed, sealing the maze of life. The dug pants and follows us fools…a hand is held to my own. And yeah the little endless houses and the light and lines and the smog and the people and the open country is closed off but we can still hear the hammering heaven and hard rain and all that…

 

Sanjay Bheenuck is a writer from the UK, you can find his short stories scattered here and there. He’s currently writing a novel about fly-tipping.

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