The Selector asked me if I believed in a God. I shook my head peering at the legendary man, notorious for denying entry through the gates he guarded. Attempting to look straight faced, I wondered if I had concealed my true colours well. I knew his piercing technology could sense deception like an owl spots the twitch of a shivering vole.
I had endured the queue for thirty-six mind numbing hours. Luckily, I had been stuck between Barry, whose personality I could only liken to steaming piss, and Helga, who was like one of those cold days when the spiteful wind blew the beating rain straight into my face, regardless of my efforts to twist and turn.
The queue snaked behind me across a baron and unforgiving land. Looking back, silhouettes of slum villages spread across the horizon; one of which I had begrudgingly called home. Of course, my anarchic village was certainly preferable to living under the deranged plutocrats in The Mole Mound, or being brainwashed by the fanatics in A.I City.
Earlier on, in a desperate attempt to alleviate what I had considered as awkwardness, I had asked Helga which village she came from. She had cordially replied with tumbleweed and a howling wind peppered in saliva. Consequently, I made a new evaluation of the awkwardness between us. I should have known better. Never ask a villager where they’re from or what they do. Nobody was ever from anywhere, nobody ever did anything.
On the other side of the Selector’s wall, shuttle after shuttle launched a lucky few into the enchanting wormhole that majestically swirled above. Deep tremors rumbled through the old and tired earth beneath our feet. The ground was a little precarious nowadays with all the underground tunnelling. This accounted for my perpetual nervousness and crab like walk.
Our era was known as ‘The Last Days of Sky’. But really, it was the dawn of ‘The Mole People’. There was nothing I hated more than a fucking mole, conservative and unimaginative shite mongers. Soon their tunnel vision would turn to darkness. They had majorly contributed to our surface temperature becoming so hot it could fry your feet clean off. I was violently compelled to fire my monkey ass into a mysterious wormhole, rather than bury myself with those obtuse little bastards.
I had proudly made it to line up with the ‘liberal creatives’. The ‘cream of civilisation’. Amongst us, there were those destined to conquer the stars. Or at least use them to power their dreams. Some of the guys in the queue were so creative that they had ingeniously made slits in their trousers where their balls could hang out. One particularly advanced gentlemen had enlarged his balls with steroids to an astonishing size. Apparently, it was the best way to deal with the unbearable climate. Although there was no actual scientific evidence to support this, it was all the rage, albeit mainly in the fetish scene. Hands downs, Billy Big Ballocks was obviously the most creative person in the queue and exceedingly advanced.
Every hopeful in line had submitted to the black drone dress code that the Selector had apparently demanded. We were all eager to conform to the non-conformist tribe within. We were the cult’s noobs, ever so keen to bend over and spread our arses for some hardcore liberal indoctrination.
The Liberals had become so liberal their core policy was the inverse of fascism. They weren’t so much into killing off outsiders, more ‘selecting’ those they deemed worthy to survive. The sentiment was pretty similar, but in the Liberals minds they were morally superior to the Moles. In my mind they certainly had better taste in music. And for me, that was enough.
As I had progressed forward in line, the unease of the crowd had become increasingly hard to bare. The suspense made it impossible for anyone to properly collect their thoughts. We were all desperate to relieve ourselves with the knowledge that we could escape our troubles and enter another world. Most remained silent in fear of attracting the unwanted attention of the Selector or his minions. Small voices would whisper nervously, except for Barry, who for blood nor money wouldn’t shut up about the conspiracies that he courageously highlighted on his shitty blog. According to Barry, the wormhole transported us straight to A.I City. I asked Barry why he bothered to queue up. He basically told me, it was his destiny to confirm he was right. Him being such a relentless turd, I assumed he meant to be right about everything.
Looking through the queue, I could see shaky hands vaporising their preferred drug as we slowly shuffled forward in hope of redemption. I was itchy for some mind funk myself, but I was in a delicate, self-induced state of chemical disequilibrium. This was for a reason I couldn’t possibly divulge until far later in my story.
It was imperative to maintain unfazed, despite the gargantuan cathedral of cosmic wonder that towered before us. If you failed to emit the right energy you would not pass judgement, you would not pass through the great gate. To most, other than Barry, entry was the promise of a utopian oasis of wonder. Rejection was death or darkness. The verdict was dealt by an unwavering hand. I watched an army of plebs stiffen to zombies and plod miserably away, wishing Barry would be next.
No believers were permitted past the Selector. This ticket beyond the stars was rightly reserved for the ‘right sort’. Mistakes had been made here that didn’t want repeating up there. Believers were considered part of the problem. Those whose brains had crystallised were not malleable enough to contribute to the cultural river bursting in the new world.
What the Selector would never know is that I had seen God, me being immortal and all. My bestowed super power, to be average for ever, was my USP rarely worth mentioning. God, or more accurately, the “Games Master” had entered the virtual reality I was occupying. I could never really be sure I had ever lived in any reality that wasn’t virtual. I had certainly skipped through a fair few realities… She had come at me fast. I had quickly licked her snake eye and scratched at her languid tentacles, in awe of her colossal cuttlefish beauty. Her intensity had forced shrill shards of terrible screams from deep within my convulsing gut. After a momentary flush of embarrassment, a cannon full of projectile asylum grade laughter followed. I was a wild hyena, red eyed and frothing, in a lunatic frenzy to end all lunatics. Her image stains the fabric of my scorched and frayed soul. Bits of me are forever lost to cinder.
Visions of her still pain me like the relentless desert sun does a feeble, pale and naked body. Which was basically my body. I wasn’t blessed with the most practical complexion considering the barbaric climate I had to contend with. Out of my countless reincarnations I almost always seemed to get a pasty ginger’s body. I was hardly ever black. I loved being black. Almost as much as I loved being a woman. Multiple orgasms, screaming during sex and winning an argument without a thread of reason were all perks that I found hard to beat. Being rich and good looking was pretty good too. But that was a frustratingly infrequent occurrence for me. It wasn’t even in line with what you might assume would be reasonably probabilistic. If there is anything worse than being sinfully ugly, it’s being born a thousand different shades of butt ugly in a row.
Now it was my turn, I was finally faced with The Selector, but he was being unusually indecisive with me. For reasons beyond my comprehension, Helga had been admitted entry within minutes. The Selector had asked her if she spoke German. Helga responded with a high pitched and horrific squawk that she manage to extend for eight and a half minutes. During this time I ground my molars to a third of their original size.
I eyed the Selector up and down. He was a beast of a manbot. He had drenched himself in black robes, as if he was swimming in the blood of gothic fashion. His synthesised flesh was pierced with chic bling cast from super-elements. Barbed wire animated tattoos crawled up his thick neck like poison ivy strangling a great oak. He could smell fear, trap a closed mind into revealing itself, catch a whispering motive, scan a body for its infections. His aura was as morbid as the viscous dark seas of sludge that circled our shattered lands. He wore a look that suggested he thought he could stare down a rapidly approaching asteroid. I was beginning to get a little aroused. Past his statuesque demeanour, I knew he was a pussy cat with a severe case of Cruella de Vil syndrome. He was the archetype of the typically untypical citizen of a society so willing to be inclusive of the bizarre that it sacrificed the boring. Only ‘creative’ clouds may rise to the heavens. Most of us on the wrong side of the wall were doomed to be victims of ‘The Great Cull’.
This story was inspired by the Jonny Element Album ‘Jouhatsu’: https://soundcloud.com/jonnyelement