Martyr Cycle Engine

“After Altamira,” by Aladdin Collar, 2017

Ryan cracks the butt end of a branch across my eye; my swollen brow takes on the bearing of the good Shelly’s Frankenstein: A Modern Prometheus, and, wearing the horror proudly, I endure. I told Ryan that his god was a lie, and he stood up for his beliefs. Each unto the other, hero and monster are we.

Dali noted that ‘after Altamira, all is decadence,’ but, so many millennia later, he still spent a hundred hours rendering Jesus Christ’s martyrdom on the hypercube. In spite of the artist’s keen vision, I cannot fathom the relationship of those lines and shaded planes to their dimensional analogs; a brutal assault on my capacity to interpret. Dali doesn’t understand it either, he’s just copied these shapes that he’s seen in a book. Twelve lines become a cube; eight cubes become an eldritch ecclesiasticism of a bygone atomic age. Now the last true dynasty of mutant Nazi militants have harnessed its power, and only Steve Rogers can save us; $26 billion at the box office, but they still figure out how to take a loss. The Captain’s a good guy, and I like him – but I do not trust him. How can you trust a monotheist?

Ryan is a good guy too, and he will take his shots where he can get them, playing Pierce-Brosnan’s-007-and-Friends by the Herring Run tributary next to Overlook Park. He is fully unaware of the occult origins of that particular secret agent; he and his accomplices are uninitiated in the Enochian mysteries of John Dee, a true destiny manifest overs these waters they protect. Or, maybe that’s just a suburban legend?

Hiding in brush, I am become their dweller on the threshold. Like that hack Shelly’s King of Kings, Ryan begs the mighty, and nothing besides remains. When I reveal myself as the villain all along, he does not spare the rod, and with his brothers, sisters, by-blood and in-arms, he does not allow me to be spoiled. He leads his flock to pasteurization, to pacification by any means necessary. The Weest One’s t-shirt begs the question; What Would Jesus Do?

After he’s thrashed me, I look like hell; and so I am, my countenance a testament to Ryan’s power. When his mother sees me, when she sees what her child has done, she makes me watch him take his punishment. She transforms into a tesseract, and upon her lap, her little king is crucified for my sins.

Story by Aladdin Collar, for “Where the Wild Thinks Are,” 2017.