Friday, January 10, 2014

The Outer Limits

Episode Nineteen

Exiting the woods at high speed; an earthworm mounted on a curlicue, Atom’s little legs pivot the Company bicycle’s pedals like alternating 7’s and L’s.
Fields pass in a corn-yellow blur but do little to blot out the memory of his Tenets transgression.

Private Property
Keep out
Says the sign attached to the tubular steel and wire gate that prohibits access to the path ahead.
Atom can find no lock other than a wire hoop to prohibit the opening of the gate.
Lifting the hoop from the gatepost he opens the gate and hop-pedals through, closing the gate behind him as all good citizens should.

It seems, thinks Atom, that Private Property is a rather beautiful place; beautiful but empty of any human presence.
Birds flock and from somewhere in the distance, dogs bark.
Atom pedals on, a fences to his left and right and a line of trees in the far distance.

A magpie swoops before him making a horrible claackking sound; Atom ducks as it turns to swoop close in front of him.
“Get off my land!” it cries as it dive-bombs again and again.
“Stop harassing me!” shouts Atom, in distress, “can we talk about this?”.
“Sorry,” says the Magpie, “I’m merely acting on my genetic code.”
Atom stops and puts both feet on the ground as the Magpie lands on the adjacent fence.
“I mean,” it says, “what choice do I have? I’m a territorial creature and you’re encroaching. I apologise to you, but my limits are set.”
“Set by whom?”
“By the big blue sky/by the fact that I am what I am; I dunno.”
“Who am I then?”
“You? You are a strange looking human on a bicycle.”
“A Company bicycle I would have you know.”
The Magpie flaps to catch its balance as the barbed-wire flexes in response to some unseen shift; some relaxation of tension in the fence; he tilts his head to look at Atom through one black eye.
“What exactly are you doing?”
“Me? I’m…erm... exercising my freedom”
“Oh dear dear dear. The best advice I can give, little man, is for you to turn around and go back the way you came.”
“You don’t wanna go down there” says the Magpie, pointing its beak in the direction where the fences that border the track converge on the green tree horizon.
“Why not?”
“Cos you’re not supposed to you lump of stupid humanness,” the Magpie clacks its beak together in a sharp rococo that points back at the gate and its attached sign, “it’s verboten you numbskull”
“I don’t understand” says Atom and pushes off toward the timberline.
“You think I like this?” The Magpie is now most certainly irate, “Flying around warning every bipedal ground-hugging fuck-nut who thinks he can escape from reality?”
Wings flap and feathers fly but Magpie remains on the fence.
“You’re gonna regret this!” his claackking cries bounce off Atom’s retreating form.

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