RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Monday, June 27

45s on 33 – #72: “El Contrabando del Paso”

The Space Espanol kicked off again, reverberating through the tunnels, but also my skull (tunnels as bass, my head as tweeter). Rey-Rey and me must’ve had the same thought, because he struck first with, “Yo, Time, why don’t you take us on a run while the music’s playing? We don’t have to get nothing, just show us what it’s like.”

Railroad Time hollered out again, “You sure we don’t need nothing, Woodie? Seems weird the Space Espanol keeps playin’.” Woodie yelled back that they were still good, no worries for another month at least.

“Maybe the music keeps playing because you’re supposed to take us,” suggested Rey-Rey.

Railroad Time laughed his old man of middle-aged years laugh. “Alright, we can run out. Ain’t takin’ nothing though, just going for looks.”

The three of us got up and Railroad Time led the way with his red-green gaze to the appropriate tunnel exit for entering Dillwyn where he and the runaways normally stole supplies. The Space Espanol got louder on the high end as we got closer, meaning the cavernous bass remained at the same level but inside my head, the notes were more piercing, in an almost slightly unpleasant way, yet still entirely bearable. The actual exit was just a half-dollar sized point of light, pelvis height, but having gone in and out various tunnels, I knew most of them were just circular openings like wombs of various dilation, but with immense elasticity.

We were about to go through when I grabbed Railroad Time’s work thick arm. “Will you be a wolf? Show us how you wolf it up.”

“What for? We ain’t stealin’ nothing.”

“So I can see, so I can try to figure out if I got bird in me or not.”

“How’m I gonna tell y’all what to do then?”

“Well, if we’re not stealing anything, Rey-Rey and me can just promise to follow you the whole time. It’s not like we want to get lost in another realm.”

Railroad Time said, “Fuck it.” I expected him to spasm and have some horror movie special effect-style metamorphosis, but all he did was sit down and close his eyes, and start deep focused breaths. After a six-pack or so, he asked, “Can y’all stand behind me? I can feel y’all lookin’ too hard.” So Rey-Rey and I moved behind him. I could still tell his breathing was very deep, very intent, and there wasn’t any real visual metamorphosis, just all of a sudden I realized he was a wolf. I think Rey-Rey might’ve realized this a step ahead of me, because he went, “Wow” again right before I was conscious what was just a man was now a wolf.

Railroad Time in wolf form jumped through the light hole, and Rey-Rey and me followed. It looked just like the Dillwyn I mostly knew, us coming out near the playground back behind the elementary school. The convenience store I knew from my time had a different name, but the McDonalds was still there, just older and grubbier looking. What was a Family Dollar in my realm was now a grocery store, looked to be operated as a small food outlet branch of a larger store from my time, who I won’t mention by corporate name because I’m not sure of this, but it had the same blue stylings and smiley face dropping prices bullshit.

Route 15 there is fairly busy, and traffic appeared normal, so I was a little hesitant about crossing so easily. But the Space Espanol was still playing in my head, just soft and soothing, like elevator music almost. I hadn’t noticed the piercing effect going down and the bass disappearing consciously until we got to the road and the sounds of the cars took over my attention. The reason for this was it was not constant, nor was their movement. There were glitches, where the sound and visual appearance of the vehicles would bounce back twenty feet. It seemed to happen with a regularity, but it was disturbing to me and Rey-Rey nonetheless, because we were used to time being smooth, even in the tunnels. But Railroad Time in wolf form led us across the street to the grocery store outlet, and he walked to the front door entrance, looked back at us – his gaze still red and green, oddly exactly like his human peer, down to the eyeball – and led us through, where we stood a couple feet inside.
The same physical glitch kept happening, and the cashier closest to us turned upon seeing us, glitched back, turned to see us again, and this kept on. He said, “What’re…” then glitched, “What’re you do…” and so on until after about five minutes, he had asked us “What’re you doing?” and others turned to look, and eventually one lady screamed. In real time, all of that would’ve taken about five seconds, but with the glitches it dragged out dramatically. I can see why it would be easy to grab and go with whatever one needed in that distorted confusion.

Suddenly the Space Espanol bass kicked back in. Immediately, Railroad Time turned back out the exit door, Rey-Rey and me following. He was a decent gait, not speeding but no leisurely, and we crossed back through traffic back towards the playground we’d come through the portal at. The piercing nature of the high end of the Space Espanol gradually got more pronounced. At the bottom end of the tunnel of the playground slide, there was a dark hole floating, half-dollar size.

Railroad Time was a man again, without me noticing when, or how, and he said, “So that’s what it’s like when we go. When the music gets louder, it’s winding down, which means real time is winding back up, so it’s best to get the fuck on out. It’s still got twenty minutes of wind-up probably, but the longer you wait, the louder it gets, which can give you a headache. And we ain’t actually takin’ nothing, so I figured we oughta just get back.” And he turned and climbed up the sliding board back into the time tunnels beneath Buckingham County. Rey-Rey followed him, and I looked around for a quick second at this world I completely recognized but was also not my own at all, and then climbed up too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My spirit is lifted to hear your tales of time travel!