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take the moon
Feb 13, 2011

by sebmojo
fresh from my psych ward room where people prolly think im talking to myself, here is recording of the winner of last week (i think, didn't check too hard), twittering machines by flerp. partly to test my laptops recording software (its bad).

short and sweet which helps.

if anyone can guide me to more td experimentalism in the same vein, id appreciate it

im trying


take the moon
Feb 13, 2011

by sebmojo
in with salad days by minor threat

take the moon
Feb 13, 2011

by sebmojo

2347 words



“Don’t run,” the voice of Huitzilopochtli says, as the beam of red light scorches the tree bark behind me. I need to. The sound of the tree splitting sound like the bones of the ocelot you hunt, shorn from skin and broken after death. “Fight.”

But the truth is the toyaouh freeze my blood. They’re gods themselves. They kill everything. I’ve seen my tribe, my family, vanish in mists of smoke and dust.

I am no warrior, though I hear the god of war’s voice. It fights my thoughts. It will not leave me.

Only you, tall and strong, comforted me when Huitzilopochtli began to speak.

You told me to run. You were hit by light for me. You were smoke like the rest of our tribe.

My feet beat the dirt like the ocelot. I know I am not as fast. The toyaouh doesn’t need to catch me. It only needs to get close enough to hit me with its light. Then I will join you in whatever waits beyond.

You and Rahui were the only ones left. Now I cling to life while you have passed.

I don’t know this jungle. Every tree, every moss covered stone, is new to me. My first time setting foot here, and fear has driven me. I have explored with my brother, but never this far from my home. The toyaouh have driven us out, across brush and valley.

That’s why I am caught at a cliff face. It stretches up, ridged and pockmarked. I hear the sound of rushing water. A waterfall beyond it. I picture, without wanting to, the foam of water falling over water, rainbows of light where they meet.

At that moment it doesn’t matter. All that matters is the cliff, trapping me with the toyaouh.

I can’t steel myself for death. Tears run down my eyes as I think of eternity. The toyaouh looms over me, eyes gleaming the red of its llight.

Then I see an arm snake around the toyaouhp’s neck. Hear the sawing of obsidian against the toyaouh sinew. They have gray sinew, holding together the metal plates. I could never get that close. But Rahui has climbed on its back, fearless, and is working with his macuahuitl. His hands have always gripped the wood like it was light as a feather.

The toyaouh slumps over, its knees slamming into the dirt with a sound that echoes off the stone face and buzzes in my ears. Then it topples over, and I can see Rahui sprawled over its back, hand arm clear, other arm still clutching the macuahuitl.

“You kept pace with me,” I say, watching the sparks dance. “You always were faster.”

“Braver, too,” Rahui says. Huitzilopochtli jeers.


We make camp. Rahui holds me as we remember you. We have no one now, no one to tell us stories of our father, to cook our meat, to teach Rahui how to hunt.

“Now I must teach you,” Rahui says.

The setting sun is the eye of Xolotl. He is the god of death, bringer of loss and sorrow..

They said, before they were smoke, that Xolotl gave the toyaouh their soldiers. The soldiers came from hell itself, dormant under the earth until the toyaouh dug them up.

The true toyaouh came from beyond the waves. It was said they speak in tongues we can never understand. Only Xolotl would give them their army. Their dark envoys, soldiers from the underworld.

Huitzilopochtli speaks in my sleep. I dream of the seventh heaven, home of not just Huizolophocli, but his dark family. Huizophocli holds a serpent in his right hand. It bites at me. Its fangs are black with poison. I feel death, smell the acrid smoke of my family. I feel it flowing through my veins, my blood stringing me like a puppet.

I wake up and look for you, to comfort me, to make Huitzilopochtli go away. Instead I just see Rahui, asleep.

I am sitting still, letting him sleep, when the toyaouh attack again.

I hear the sound of them walking, that slow, heavy rainfall, and the brush crushed down.

Rahui blinks, sits up, moving with the slow of sleep.

I see the beams of light, splitting the earth. They take Rahui. He vanishes into dust. I scream. There is no one left.

“Fight,” Huitzilopochtli says. I listen. A toyahou looms over me, dark shadow by Xolot’s sunset.

I scramble, pick a stone, throw it. It smacks the metal plate and falls. Then the eye of the toyaouh is on me, and I am gone too.


I wake to sunlight. My wrists, dark brown, wear a bracelet of whitened skin. My flesh is whitened in other places. My knees, my thighs. They all hurt. I cannot stay calm. Is this death?

“You’re not with me yet,” Huitzilopochtli says. It is true, I think. Huitzilopochtli is the sun. It cannot shine on me after death.

Huitzilopochtl is watching me as I stand here, my body singed. It is the toyaouh’s light that has taken me here.

My feet rest on bright grass. I look up. I look up and see Rahui.

Rahui is not all I see. I stare up at the toyaouh. The true toyaouh. There are so many of them.

They rest on stone seats, ringing me, a wide circle. They sit row upon row, some so high they almost touch Huitzilopochtli. I can see their heads and necks. Their skin is lighter than mine.

Their eyes are holding on us, like we are ocelot ourselves.

Somehow, I know, you are watching me too.

There is a macuahuitl by my feet, its wood bronzed by the sun.

“I have one too,” Rahui shouts. I can see it in his hand, half the length of his arm.

“Kill,” Huitzilopochtli says.

I pick the macuahuitl up.

Rahui moves closer to me. His legs are like the toyaouh soldiers', thick, footfalls slow. His moves betray his intentions, clear as glass.

“KIll,” Huitzilopochtli says. Run, my thoughts say. I shut my eyes. Too many voices. I think of you. Have you already known my death? Do the heavenly know all things?

Would you kill for Huitzilopochtli's voice?

I want you in heaven.

Rahui hugs me close. I see over his shoulder, and my heart stills.

I see you caged in the space under the archway. Your cage is dull copper. I see you by the deep brown of your arms. I can see the shine from sweat. Your fingers are clutching the bars close to you, as if for warmth.

I see the your muscle, your height under shadows cast.

When you vanish, you know that you are between life and death. It scares you. Coward, I think, for both of us.

Rahui still holds me. “The voice is the toyaouh’s,” he says. “I hear it. Not our gods.They want us to kill. I am trying not to listen.” His macuahuitl has found the small of my back. I find his with mine.

We stand there, waiting. I know heaven will come to the one who waits longest.

“Kill,” the toyaouh say, and I dig in.

take the moon
Feb 13, 2011

by sebmojo
hosed up its actually 1247 words. sorry!

take the moon
Feb 13, 2011

by sebmojo
thanks for the crit

took the liberty of recording fire-gilding because it was Short and i liked it

godspeed goons

take the moon
Feb 13, 2011

by sebmojo
thats a cool experimental post

e: in i guess

take the moon fucked around with this message at 04:58 on Feb 14, 2018

take the moon
Feb 13, 2011

by sebmojo
i was wondering too but i hedged my bets

take the moon
Feb 13, 2011

by sebmojo

apophenium posted:

Nice crit, thanks.

take the moon
Feb 13, 2011

by sebmojo
I'm Kin
998 words

i see shadows behind the glass walls but my cousin says they’re mirages. shapes that move behind the red and ochre, split and jagged, tattered. no bones, no ridges or shoulder blades or joints. just black. they’re gone at the arches and gates, back again at the glass on the other side.

we live in the city with Geometria looming over the rises, his chest muscled, head haloed. he stands over the high rises, halo breaking in rainbows through the textures of diamonds.

my cousin thinks they’re mirages. he’s a detective, working for the city bureau. they’ve found bodies. maybe i grieve for them. maybe i can’t stop my mind, but my cousin can stop his. that’s why he’s a detective.

the bodies are ripped apart. i go with my cousin to the new scene. see the blood, the sinew torn, the white shards dusting the cobbled ground. the bureau chief is there, smoking, an ember tube, mermaid scales.

my cousin fingers his slide gun. i put on my opaque glasses, hanging on a necklace. the shadows behind the glass go with everything. it all vanishes, the glass light refracting through, blinding me.

“There’s some paper here,” my cousin says. his voice is thick timbred. the bureau chief’s is more nasal. “Try and break me,” he says. but i don’t want to break him. i don’t want to break anyone.

“I’ll be back,” my cousin says. “I need to guide my cousin home. She’s blinded herself again.” i hear someone spit.

home is high up in the rises, the carven holes and edges in stone. he takes me there.

there is no glass in our room, all for me. when I’m sure i won’t see the shadows, i take my glasses off. “Be good,” my cousin says. he leaves. i stare at the stripes at my shirt, watch them spin around and around my arm.

he’s back in two hours. he talks over the case with me. i listen, intent, trying not to break him. i have to not break anyone. people don’t break when you listen..

“I saw his consort. wanted to know when he left. She had this fancy headdress, and a red and black robe, all bound up at the waist. She had these lines on her eyes, like blood streaks. That’s what I remember. She says he left her at nine, which means we found the body half an hour after it happened. I’m going to,” he drops his voice, “talk to Geometria. He can tell me where the person is that was at this place around this time.”

i know talking to Geometria is bad. i tell him this.

“Yeah,” he says. “Risky. But I need to. It’s my job to figure this out. I won’t make a habit of it. This one, though—he dared me to catch him.”

dare to listen. i listen to him more, the words flowing through me. they reach the spaces between my cells, coarse, gritty. itch in places i can’t scratch. i can only feel the words. i can’t feel my skin. i reach up to my face, run my palm over it, can’t feel my eyes.

“I have to go again,” he says, the words sudden. a blind forest, what’s inside. i stand, watching him as he slips his shoes on. bow to him, a small tilt of my head. he reaches out, ruffles my hair, and leaves me, alone again. alone, but safe, away from the glass.

far away...

I’m kin to her. Kin means you talk to each other. I don’t like the sound of my voice, but people like to be talked to. If no one talked to you, you’d break. My tongue scrapes the roof of my mouth when I talk. I feel each ridge, bump and crease.

I am walking through the hall. For a moment I’m lost inside a dream. Then I emerge on the open plateau, the ridge that juts from the high rise wall, floor translucent, the glass of nothing.

I take a zeppelin to Geometria’s head. It hovers in fits and bursts, dipping and rising, lit against the glass and stone, each lattice like the edges of someone’s nails.

Geometria awaits. By his right eye, tower width itself, then circling his head, slow, steadier now in the halo’s warmth. I stop by his ear. I could fly through his ear canal to his brain. What would happen?

I shout what I need to know. Each ask takes me a little closer to the answer I need. With Geometria you need to be slow. You feel his mind working on each thought. You can feel it inside your mind when he answers. Each sentence rattles the balloon, the helium drift singing my face.

He tells me where the killer is, the street, the footsteps taken.

I fly my zeppelin down. Drift it slow through the rises. Spool a rope from the cabin, lock it, and begin to climb down. Feel its tautness bristling against the whorls of my grip, feel the wind whipping through my hair.

When I reach the bottom I tumble down the rest of the way, landing in a hard roll in the killer’s alley, the neon lights reflecting in the glass.

The killer is waiting for me. Standing aloof like no one's watching. I see her eyes first. Green eyes, bleeding green tears. They drip down her face, glowing. I can see wires where her skin doesn’t cover. An android, a shelled being, no bones.

She stands still, her reflections like statues on both sides of her.

I shoot her with the slide gun, watching her halve, break, fragment in fizzy lines. It’s not enough. I move to her, grind her blurred pieces underneath my shoes. See the contrast of black over gray.

Blacks and grays in the stained glass of the city. All around me. I hear Geometria’s voice pulsing inside my mind. I see the shadows behind the glass walls.

take the moon
Feb 13, 2011

by sebmojo
in, flash

take the moon
Feb 13, 2011

by sebmojo
The Garden
1353 words

The girl rolls Mose a lighter. She’s away and he’s eating the fire, searing himself with memory.

She hit at a weird angle, had a long face, hair strands wisping past her ears. He sees her wake collapse, leaves the plateau crowd behind, all the tears he could ever cry dying against starlight.

He’s alone when he comes back to the plateau. People watch the fire eating, not the coma after. He’s left with the lighter and the memory. He carries them both as he makes his way to the leylines bound to the haven. He nods in and out of sleep as the earth moves him. He unsews dirt with touch, resewn behind him, and he wonders how many leylines he’ll cross before he stops feeling like all the other floaters are watching. It changes each time.

They say all floaters only care about themselves. In a fire-eater’s head, fresh from the stars, riding the leylines doesn’t bind you, but drive you apart, based on what cross-hatch of dirt you’re standing on.

Do the floaters know when the last of them step off this leyline, leaving him alone, that he’s a handful of handpresses away from the haven? Do they think about it? He doesn’t know how most floaters live. He knows only that they’re fine with only knowing artifex skies until days’ end.

When he finds himself with the other fire eaters, trying to forge messages in spit and cough, he doesn’t feel home. He feels lost, like this place is not for them, like it was made for people who want to make.


“Finished my study,” Matha says, eyeing her nurse’s black dress. She flicks her blue lined wrist, resets Matha’s hand terminal. Her nurse is maybe old enough to have seen the cities sink into the plateau. Matha quells her respect. Right now, no one deserves it.

She isn’t into the imagined. She believes what she sees. This terminal, attuned to the heartbeat of the fire eater she’s left behind, is science, darker than Prometha’s burnt eyes but brighter than his teeth in effect. She will always be far as possible from the fire eater she just helped. It’s the least the Tectonic Sect can do.

“He’s in the haven,” her nurse says with gentle tongue. Matha resists the urge to roll her eyes to the stars the fire eaters think they see.

She tells her nurse her memory, gangly kid, pale skin and green eyes, more deets added to the tracking file. Now there’s nothing between her and Prometha.

Prometha is the first fire-eater, the only worth watching. She wishes she knew what the Sect sees in the others. She walks through its steel halls to the crypt.

The other girls are gathered around him, tight against each other. They’re humming, a harmonic that would collapse the room if it wasn’t plated. Matha pushes her way in, ignoring sharp stares. She deserves to see this.

Prometha’s last draft of air is wet, his scorched eyes pleading in miosis, frozen as needlepoints.


The older fire-eaters can’t sleep. In time the fire flickers away circadian rhythms remnants not vanished with the starlight. Mose wants to sleep, but doesn’t want to wake up. He gets up and drifts to where the older eaters are holding council.

They turn to him with hooded eyes over thick beards, under tattered caps. He talks before his humility can crush him.

“I want to stop eating fire out on the plateau,” he says. “Why doesn’t the Sect let us eat alone? Why do we have to live naked?”

Laughter strings itself along their lips. One speaks. “Why do you think, boy?”

“I think it’s because the floaters like watching. They need us to feel better about their fake stars.” Mose feels for the lighter, finds it. “They look at me like I’m earth myself.”

The speaker turns to the man on his right. “See, Astley? This is why we bore.”

Astley smiles. “Another for the garden.”

Moses crushes the lighter against his leg. “You dug out yourselves? What did you find?”

“Something eaters like you should see.”


Matha gives in. She finds her nurse, asks again.

“How? I’ve been working for your Sect as long as I remember. Why can’t I know how you bring Prometha back to life?”

Her nurse holds up a hand. “Do you like walking the plateau, child?”

Matha shudders. “I hate it. My feet knead with every step. Shape something that doesn’t deserve shape.”

Her nurse nods. “You’d rather walk on chrome.”


“Once you walk only chrome,” her nurse says, “your veins will thicken like mine.”

She thinks about that riding the leyline. It’s obvious which floaters are fire eaters. It’s the way they always try to hide their eyes, look anywhere but other floaters. When you’re comfy with the artifex stars, your eyes drift weightless. Only presence makes your eyes opaque, look down at yourself because you can’t see anything anyway.

She checks her hand terminal, freezes. The kid she helped’s slipped close. She doesn’t get it. She doesn’t know any leylines where he is. She moves to the far wall, presses through, a leyline going the other way. The kid’s heartbeat stays where it is. She gets miles further, steps off onto a part of the plateau she’s never been, where the artifex stars are darker, the light washed out.


Cyan light refracts from pulsing crystals walling the cavern in. Moses stands between ribs arcing over him like albino rainbows. The bones sprawl through the cavern like God’s hand has scattered them.

“Things that fed on light died here,” Astley says, sewing the wall shut. “If you eat here I’ll sit with your body. Make sure you come back to it.”

Mose pushes down fear. The lighter’s flame shimmers, mixes in ripples with the crystal light. He swallows, feels it wrench him, sees Astley cradling his body, lit pale like he’s going to fade away.

He travels radians, finds Prometha with the starlight. Prometha sits lotus godhead, eyes in life blackened backlit now by novas. His voice thrums with energy. Mose listens, beyond thought of his own.

I was gened the moment the cities sunk. I was born with their stars, their light and air, more real than both. The need for fire seeded in me. I searched for need I wasn’t born with. I found it right before death. Last breaths are sweeter than any flame.

Something chars Mose. He cries out, knows he has a voice again, is angry. He looks up. Astley holds the lighter an inch from his skin. Astley’s eyes are blue with the crystal light, ancient as the bones the two rest with.

“You pulled me away-” Mose says, then gets it. “Once you’re that far gone...”

Astley nods. “What others see doesn’t matter to you.”


Under this low-rent artifex sky, Matha has no energy. She has to breathe harder to get the same air.

She hurls her terminal at the earth. It imprints, lies still, screen facing. It still shows the same spatial beat.

She thinks about her life. How her nurse told her young how she could help the whole plateau. No, that wasn’t what got her. What got her was being told she could watch someone die the same death, again and again.

The important stuff, that you’ll need to give some scrawny fire eater his fix and make sure that the closed loop world you share doesn’t get ideas, was laced between words like dress linen. Her nurse did not leave out words to be kind.

Something her nurse said resonates, still, like the blip on the sunken terminal. One day your veins will thicken like mine.

She unlaces her shoes, pulls her socks off, roots herself. The earth under her feet is cool and moist. With her back straight, she can feel herself a pillar stretching from loam to artifex, coaxing light and air out with soft touches. She’ll stay this way for as long as it takes that kid to get back to the haven.

It takes her a while to check again.

take the moon
Feb 13, 2011

by sebmojo

get the crit

take the moon
Feb 13, 2011

by sebmojo


take the moon
Feb 13, 2011

by sebmojo
1200 words

Mao’s psyop song player headphones catch in the frame as she tumbles out onto the fire escape, ripping it away from her, leaving it inside. She doesn’t need the personal psyche esteem raising lyrics now. She needs to get out of here.

Her drone roomba went crazy when she couldn’t return its feelings, whipping around the room fast enough to break skin and bone. Mahalia never had this problem, but only because she’s always said “yes” when asked if she loved it. Psyop songs give her enough self esteem to do that without making her feel pathetic. The songs never worked that well for Mao.

Love frequencies might not be the only way to power something that sanitizes your whole flat with sweeps of theta energy, but the landlords got deep with the powers that be, pushed so they’re built that way, so they don’t suck up flat energy. At this point the landlords can’t be stopped.

She crashes into the railing, shoulder flaring, neck feeling whip lashed. She gets up, shuts the window, descends to Mahalia’s three flights down.

She knocks. Mahalia ambles over, one earbud in, opens it, stands aside as Mao enters. “I love you,” Mahalia calls over her shoulder at her drone.

“It didn’t ask,” Mao says.

“Empathy,” Mahalia says. “Maybe you should try it.” Mahalia listens to psyop songs every day, feels the need to spread the energy in a room wide radius.

“That’s why the psychic heart attack will kill me, right?” Mao says. “Because I don’t empathize with drones?”

Mahalia says something, but Mao digs out her phone to order chrono-sushi. She doesn’t like it, though it’s from the future, fresher than fresh. She likes the on-hold music, so different from the psyop songs she’s heard as long as she remembers.

In the future music is fetuses scraping womb walls, taped by pilled nano audio receivers. It carves her hollow, space to be filled with a wiser her, not reliant on sugar-sweet lyrics. She listens to it now, waits for a human voice. “Two moebius rolls,” she says when she gets one. She flips her phone closed, heads for Mahalia’s tap.

She fills a glass with tap water. In the future all fluorine is gone. Fluoride is needed to stop advanced tooth decay. Her back still turned, she hears Mahalia step aside, knows a vortex of time shifted atoms has coalesced and someone is stepping through onto Mahalia’s calligraphic carpet. She turns to hand the water over, goes blank.

Sushi is en-route to her face.

It’s over fast. She’s wiping the stuff away from her eyes, rice clumps falling, perfect symmetry lost, as the kid grabs Mahalia and pulls her through the vortex.

Mao looks at Mahalia’s drone, buzzing above the carpet, waiting for commands. She thinks about the blood price, leaves the sushi where it is, smeared across calligraphy lines like spilled ink.


The muta-allergies are hyperendemic. Everyone’s infected. Mao can almost feel the weight of germs as she walks. She needs a new drone to fight the one that’s lost it in her flat.

The store is full of new models. She reads between sale pitch lines to discern that they’re all needy. The sales clerk reads her face.

“Perhaps this spellbot will interest you,” he says, calling it with a whistle. “It uses arcane magicks instead of theta rays to clean. A little pricey, though.”

She thinks about it. If what she gets loses, her old drone will be even more ticked. Even if both are destroyed, she’ll have nothing to sanitize her after the trip outside. The muta-allergies could kill her before the heart attack does. Magick could be the edge she needs.

She buys the spellbot, tells it to follow her and sets off home, hoping she chose right. Maybe there is no choice. Everything’s set in stone, from the bot showdown, to the heart attack, to this timeline’s causal path to the defluorinated future. She feels it all press down on her, each problem bruising like her shoulder bruised, like a hail of falling angels.

She has to pass the Hall of Dead Roombas to get to her flat. The shell piles are kept around to send a message. These drones died because you all failed them. The real horror here, though, is landlord run-ins.

Her landlord hangs here because death makes him feel at home. He’s leaning against shells, smoking, mocking his own rules, because landlords have reached that higher moral plane. He grins at her, sawtooth. “A new roomba? How much did that set you?”

She fumes. “You’ll know when my income comes in and you work your percentage.”

His tone evens. “Whatever you’re up to, you should get set for your heart attack. I don’t want to lose you.”

“We lost Mahalia,” she says. “A chrono-sushi kid grabbed her. I don’t know why.” His eyes flicker as he crushes the smoke. Does he?

He waves her on. She thinks if her spellbot wins, she’s gonna sanitize twice.


“Get ready,” she tells it outside her flat. She unlocks the door, backs up, throws her shoulder into it, rolls inside as the spellbot flies in overhead.

Her old drone fires theta rays, but her spellbot is faster. It dodges around at almost sonic speed, hits weird angles, and Mao, from the floor, gets that it’s bounced around in a pentagram.

Her old drone falls to the bare wood, cracks like a womb scrape sample, lies still.

A psychic attack, she thinks. It froze the love frequency like the psychic will freeze my heart.

“Do you love me?” it asks, voice pillow soft. She thinks. The psyop song player rests by the window. She picks it up, grasps the spellbot, fixes the headphones to it, presses play. The lyric is a whisper she strains to hear.

~Your charisma is like daylight~

Was that meant for her? Or was it about her spellbot’s strange presence? As her spellbot sanitizes her, killing 99.999 percent of her microorganisms, she feels those fallen angels ascend, beating their wings, thrumming a song God can’t resist.


The psychic wrenched her brainwaves to summon her to the witch district. They’re in a booth cut off from light except one glowing candle.

The psychic peers from a black cloak, a wizened face casing eyes the colour of diamonds. “Your heart is dark to the touch.”

“Get it over with,” Mao says.

She feels each ventricle freeze. She dies, her brain releasing endorphins, sees the void, between the entropic rhythms of lost atoms.

She comes back gasping, tries to slow her breath. Her throat gulps fast as the drone battle.

“The psyop song?” she says when she can.

“Accept your state,” the psychic says, like she’s deaf.

Mao can’t. She thinks about Mahalia, about the chrono-sushi kid and the landlords. They’ve got us caught up, she thinks, powerless.

Her spellbot hovers outside. She re-leashes it to the player, focuses. The psychic started Mao’s heart as easily as stopping it.

“Can your resurrect your kind?” she says, her feelings hope concentrate.

The spellbot hovers up, down. The Hall of Dead Roombas it is. Her dark heart still beats. Soon she’ll have an army.

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