Note: I was published in a poetry book by Saul Williams years ago. The title of the poem is Girl Band, and I decided to write a four-part flash fic piece from each stanza.
Little maiden blue, burqa blessed,
she holds monstrous stories told
in the spaces of her lyre; infantile,
how her voice is muffled by the cloth
It didn’t surprise her fans that tickets to her shows sell out in ten minutes or less. She liked choosing small venues – this time a considerably-sized lounge – and a place where protesters would not be an issue.
The fear in her mind left years ago when she escaped the terrorist camps, so she had her dark gray tour bus park in front of the lounge and the few protesters that had made it outside on that cold December night. The shouting were a cacophony of Arabic, Urdu, Farsi while the police shouted in English. She remained silent, her mouth hidden beneath a black burqa adorned with a bronze grille. Her blue eyeliner gave the looks she made at her opponents the more menacing while she walked inside the lounge.
The techs set up the stage quickly – all that was needed was a rug to cover the stage’s wooden flooring, a comfortable and stylish seat, and a table at the proper height for her instrument. She had been using a three-foot tall lyre, gilded and Sumerian designed for the better part of a decade.
The red and purple stage lights came down on stage, and she came in, draped in a long, light blue burqa with a golden mesh. It looked as if she was floating towards her lyre. She sat down on the seat and pulled her arms out from under the burqa. Both her arms, covered in full-sleeve tattoos, depicted images of the bloodshed she witnessed at home, like a dark tapestry of sorrow and violence. She plucked at the strings with her right hand, whose arm had images of AK-47s and beheaded infidels.
“We born from the earth leave buckets of blood,” she sang, her voice the exquisite mix of the child and pixie, “my clit is gone…”
She commenced with her left hand, the one with an arm draped with buildings in ruin and explosions. The complexity of the melody was beautiful, making her lyrics and odd juxtaposition.
“I’ve run thousands of miles in the woods and the mud, but my clit is gone…”
The crowd could not make it if she was in pain or or if she was detached as she sang. There was a whimsy in her movement, swaying her head side to side and tapping her feet in black leather boots that seemed impossible to think she could be enjoying singing what was coming out of her mouth.
“My family is under the sand with the rest of the town,
The killers blessed my neck with knives, and I lied down… now my clit is gone.”
Her die-hard fans soaked into every word – some knew the lyrics and whispered it to friends and lovers. Others in the crowd simply walked out in discomfort or repulsion.
The song ended with a complex arpeggio. Afterwards, she spoke softly on the microphone.
“Thank you that was the easiest song on the set list. Let’s continue.’
With that, she removed her burqa, revealing an Afghani woman wearing a Rancid t-shirt and ripped jeans. The scars on her face mapped her life’s pain, but she maintained a genuine smile as she moved onto the next transgression.
I wasn’t planning on going to the Black Hole Disco, but having forty percent DNA of dance music makes a person weak for opportunities such as those. In the spirit of “fuck it why not,” I bought a ticket from a junkie days prior and made my way to the 8th Palace.
It was near midnight, and people of all sexes and genders stood outside, smoking. Women wore black shirts with ragged multicolored sigil, denoting their favorite band or god, who knows. Men wore light-colored tank-tops and caps. They all looked equally disaffected.
I passed through the sliding glass doors, into a hallway of shops that were completely locked down. Before I passed the particle-screen security gates leading to the shut-down escalators, I noticed that the floor above me was shaking from a thumping bass.
The Palace used to be a family restaurant and gateway for immigrants looking for cheap breakfast. It shut down two years ago and is still remains a gateway, to an extent. The floors still have their red carpets and foreign decorations, but at the far left is the Black Hole rig. Four speakers strategically placed, two turntables, a sound mixer and two laptops, one connected to an empty metallic ring over the dance floor.
There were two blackouts before the main event came on stage. Each time the ring hummed when it shouldn’t have in the middle of a deep house cut, or in the staccato of a trap jam. I slipped into the crowd and stared at how the pulsing lights from behind the stage bounced from the wallpaper. Such an odd juxtaposition, but I love it.
And then, the dark princess came. Everyone expected the first songs playing were to be her well-known harsh industrial-electro cuts, but she surprised us. She switched heavily between deep bass, southern underground rap, and then to 90s pop anthems. It was interesting, seeing this pallid, black-haired woman playing this kind of set, but we all wanted more of it regardless. Out of nowhere, in our drug-and-euphoria giddiness, she pressed a button on the second laptop and then jumped over the rig on on top of the crowd. She used a party-goer’s hand for balance, and walked to the center on a path made by the hands of others.
This was when I finally learned why it was called the Black Hole Disco. There was another blackout, but the music kept playing. The ring above us burst with a blue light, and I felt a slight pull coming from its direction. My instincts from years of illegal rave escapes kicked in and I ran away as I heard the screams from behind. It took only the length of one song, the DJ’s own from her recent album, for the crowd to get sucked into the dance-singularity. I’m confident those ravers will never be seen again.
I stumbled out of 8th Palace, and in the few minutes I had run from the chaos I found it was now the morning two days later, thanks to time dilation. I could have been sucked into the beyond of wherever that ring took the DJ and the crowd. I should have been on my knees, traumatized. But I did not. I walked for blocks and blocks of damp post-rain city, enjoying the warmth, smiling. Hoping I get another chance to cheat death, someday.
To Whom/What It May Concern:
I am applying for the position of Lead Torturer in your Destruction League Headquarters. I have attached my resume and accompanying media for your review.
I am going to have to put some of the photos enclosed into perspective. First off, I want you to know that despite the amount of blood in the first four photos, I am very well organized and neat individual. I cleaned that room up in less than twenty minutes and held another subject in there within the hour. I have a turnover rate of 15 victims per day, which I believe meets your postings requirement of 10 VPD. I am also a trained surgeon with 6+ years in hostile organ removal.
My equipment needs are very minimal, as I like to work with my own tools. I hold the patents to seven devices, many of them designed for victims with higher pain thresholds and are well within Good Torture Practices.
I have included a video with some of my freelance work. As you can see, the subject was able to clearly speak while being bored in twelve different locations by mini-drills (one of my creations). The meat hooks were specially designed by me to inflict the maximum amount of pain while reducing the tear on the skin.
I am highly motivated and willing to work in any environment, and I am also incredibly independent. I normally work out a a refrigerated eighteen-wheeler, but I can accommodate to working in a more permanent environment. Supervision under one of the senior partners is preferred. If I am handed off to middle management I will not hesitate in flaying them.
My references will be more than enough to help you make your consideration. Due to the nature of my work, most of these people know me by different names. The Crimson Death Squad knew me as Evisceraptor, while the Morgue Group put “Flay Master” on all my checks. Most places will know who you are talking about if you mention Percy, though.
I hope to hear from you soon.