Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bay of Trips

The following excerpt is from Bay of Trips by Ben Shakey. It will be published by Doc Ellis Press in June 2009.


“I was sent here on mission” thought Ethan.

He stood in the hotel room and tried desperately to recall what it was. What was the mission? He needed to complete the mission. Around him the walls began to pulse and throb with each of his heart beats. The room was dark now and the light it’s way in from the hallway and under the door. The light was heavy tangible light and it rolled across the carpet making it ripple like the waves of water across a shallow beach.

What was the mission?

The wall began to pulse to a new rhythm. From out on the street a Cuban band began to play. The carpet began to roll in larger whitecaping waves as the musical storm grew more violent. The music grew into balls of musical light, floating around the room like cinders and sparks from a camp fire.

Ethan open the shutter doors of the window and looked out to see the band. A crowd stood in the courtyard and on stage shouting at all of them was Jesus Christ. He was dressed in green khaki and his face wore a long holy beard. He screamed in some ancient language but Ethan could understand what he was saying. “LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and Ethan remember the mission.”

What was the mission? Ethan thought hard and he remembered his mission in the past. Encoding messages from the Japs during the war. Getting that Korean to talk. And then the assignations in Guatemala. The civil war and the piles of bodies.

Just thinking about Guatemala suddenly filled him with a sadness deeper than he ever felt before. It was like being swallowed by a great black dog. The band started playing a salsa funeral march and the musical orbs turned black.

Looking from the window Ethan saw that it was not Jesus in the speaking to crowd, but Judas. He gabbered in his strange language but Ethan understood. “LOV, LOVE, LOVE, also Ethan has done some terrible, evil things but maybe this mission can redeem him.”

Ethan threw himself on the bed. He screamed out “What is the mission?”

“What is the mission?” a voice from the sky said

“Are you God?” asked Ethan

“No, I am your partner Bishop.” Said the voice

“Bishop?” Ethan asked “My partner.”

“We are in the CIA. Our mission is the fire this gun under the bed at the man, Fidel Castro, standing in the courtyard.”

“CASTRO!” Ethan shouted the name “NO!I can’t kill anyone anymore” He pulled the gun from under the bed and was ready to throw it from the window.

“We are not killing anyone. We are to poison Castro with LSD and make him go crazy in public.
We were going to shoot that psychedelic dart at him and we got it all over our hands when we were loading it. If you are feeling bit off that’s why.”

“Is that when you died” asked Ethan

“I never died. I’m in the bathroom”

“Then come out.” Demanded Ethan

“I can’t. Something bad will happen if I do. I can’t explain it. I need to be in here. I will suffocate in any other room. It’s like when someone dive too deep underwater and they get the bends. Thats what will happen when I leave this room.”

“Do you think this is the drugs talking?” asked Ethan

“Don’t judge me. I heard you shouting about Judas and Guatemala. We need you to pull the trigger on that gun and make Fidel go crazy”

Ethan picked up the rifle and moved to the window. Out in the courtyard Santa Claus was dressed in Khaki and giving speech in Spanish.

Ethan lined up the sight.

The carpet began to roll and reel like a swaying ship. Ethan tried to keep the target on site.
He pulled the trigger.

Standing in crowd, clapping for Fidel Castro’s denouncement of capitalist imperialism, Raul Diaz felt an shapr sting in the back of his neck.

Twenty minutes later, his clothes were strangling him and stripped naked to dance to the salsa band.

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