Monday, May 5, 2014


©Ernest Hogan 2014

He didn't have to touch me. My bandaged head already hurt like hell. I screamed at the sight the gleaming pliers.

"Okay," I said, "what would like to talk about?"

"Very good, darling," the blonde said, squeezing my hand. "What were you delivering to Brunhoff?"

"Brunhoff? Oh, you mean Doc Burnout. I don't know," I said, which the brought the chrome pliers closer to my face. "It was a sealed-package, no-questions-asked deal! Honest!  I'd swear on an autographed copy of Neuromancer!"

They did a quick exchange in what didn't sound like German or Japanese.

He let the pliers hover in front of my eyes, and asked, "Then what about Project Brainboost, and the Krell chip?"

"Nothing. Nada. Please believe me. I do know some things -- like local business opportunities in high-speed delivery via bike."

She stroked my arm, and asked, "Were you involved in Burnout's experiments?"

"What experiments? He just piddles around with all kinds of incomprehensible stuff.  Like every other computer geek who thinks he's a cyberpunk."

Again they conferred in the unknown language.

He put the pliers away. My throbbing head was relieved.

Letting go of my arm, she said, "Then we made a good choice.  You are a perfect subject for our little experiment."

"Experiment?" I repeated, flashing on horror movies and/or me as human guinea pig turned monster.  Would my girlfriend be repulsed or turned on?

"You see," he said. "We've had to perform some surgery on you. Most of it reconstructive, because of your . . . accident, but we also implanted . . ."

The limo was then rammed from behind. The impact cranked my pain up to max. Then there was some rapid-fire horn-honking, with the booming of a rap backbeat.

The driver rolled down the partition from the passenger area and his window with a couple of keystrokes on his NASA control panel dashboard.

Beside us was a red, battle-scared Cadillac Seville full of homeboys all wearing red bandanas.  Then one riding shotgun had his head out the rolled-down window, said, "We like your bullet-holes!  Like some more?" and pulled out a .357 Magnum, took aim and . . .

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