Pure Slush

flash ... without the wank

Under the Big Black Box

<  Creatures

by Vanessa Weibler Paris  Blink and He's Gone  >

 

Today’s the day they lift the big black box.  It’s been sold out for years.  Here in the hot dry field, the ticket holders crowd together and wait.

Security is tight.  They’re saying one guard for every five people. 

There: A man in a tailored suit.  Light merino, tight weave, good drape.  Lapels that roll, not crease.  Hair in place, shiny shoes repelling the clouds of dust. This man bought his ticket with money he earned.  That’s right: earned.

The high-wattage fence hums quietly and beeps a warning when someone steps too close. An old lady’s Pomeranian jumps from her purse and runs right into it, face-first, buzzing and screeching and sizzling.

There: Reporter from a big-three network, jeans and Members Only jacket, sound-biting into his cell phone.

There: The high-end hooker who fucked her way into a ticket, wobbling on plastic heels and licking lipstick off her teeth. (Was she worth it?  He’s still wondering, a thousand miles away.) 

What’s under the big black box?  It’s what we’ve all been waiting for.  The real deal.  The end of the debate.  The proof, the told-you-so, the right to burn the others’ books.

Security is clumping now, flinging people from a writhing pile. All the brawlers get tossed; doesn’t matter who started it or why.

There: a woman who forged a ticket and got in with fake ID.  She’s blinking and twitching, waiting to be found out.

There: a famous scientist in a Thomas Dolby t-shirt, monotone-spouting on evolution to anyone who’ll listen.

There: that crooked-nose movie star who beat his wife and got away with it and then everyone forgot.  Not O.J., the other one.  Not that one, the other one.

What’s under the big black box?  They’ve closed the main gate.  If you’re late, you’re out.  The hours and minutes and seconds count down in red on the oversized LED scoreboard, lines shifting and flipping like a matchstick puzzle.

Some get bored enough to talk.  A yawn and a stretch and a Geez, this is taking forever, eh?  How was your flight?  Hot enough for ya? 

Outside the gates, bookies book and money’s laid.  Jesus is in, Holy Spirit’s out. Five Pillars never stood a chance.  Things are 50-50 for the Big G. At least half the Commandments are kaput.  (Which ones? Wait, I have to be specific?

Suit Guy gropes the high-end hooker.  Who cares if it’s televised; his wife won’t be watching.  Wouldn’t care.

Another fight breaks out. Heads smash the fence, an ambulance pulls around.  Oh, God; people start complaining.  I mean, really.  Is this going to delay things?  We’re tired of waiting.  We’re tired of wondering. 

We just need to know what’s under the big black box. 

Then we’ll know how to act. What to do. How to live. 

 

published 2 November 2011