The legendary tale of Space-Chap

Graphic Jenny Kwan

Written by: Andy Fidel, Jocelyn Beaudet, Milos Kovacevic and Saturn De Los Angeles

“Tally-ho gents!” the Englishman’s voice boomed in the auditorium.

Graphic Jenny Kwan

Our hero of the hour, the one and only Space-Chap, puffed on his electronic pipe as the murmurs of the audience died out.

The delightful gentleman twirled his moustache, adjusted his brown tweed jacket and cleared his throat. Amazingly enough, Victorian fashion had not gone out of style in the year 3000 like many predicted in the great hipster revolution of 2020. But this event was not about style, nor the proclamation of enjoyment before popularity. Rather, this was good ole fashioned storytime with some chums.

Today’s tale is of the greatest adventure that Space-Chap had ever undergone: meeting the evil space-god, whose name none dare speak.

“Now if you would please insert the spinal whirlygig into your interface sockets, we can begin this great tale once-anew, yes?” Space-Chap told the crowd.

The neural transmitters and nano-machines of the memory-imaging machine (trademarked to none other than Space-Chap himself) would give the audience an extrasensory experience, in order that they might  relive every moment of the chap’s delightful adventure.

Of course, the audience began hooking up the device to the tiny hole drilled into the back of their necks.

“If there are no questions then?” Chap asked, walking towards the enormous contraption on the side of the stage.

“I have one!” a tiny, impish man from the back of the crowd exclaimed. Our hero met his gaze quizzically, but said nothing.

“What is the name of this beast whose name you refuse to reveal?”

“Well, I dare not say, sir. The very pronunciation would curl your hairs before they fall out of your head, your eyes would melt. Each syllable of its evil name would doom another generation of your kin, and I warn you good sir, it’s name is endless, like the darkest recesses of the universe folded upon themselves into a single being,” Chap said, his eyes staring off into space.

“So you don’t know its name then?” the impish man asked.

“I didn’t feel the need to ask. We weren’t exactly out at a dinner party, exchanging pleasantries over tea, crumpets.”

All the chums collectively leaned back in their chairs. The spinal whirlygigs began to heat up as images of a boy holding a rocket launcher appeared in their minds’ eye. This was rapidly intercut with moments of static.

“Don’t you move,” said a boy’s voice. “Or I’ll shoot.”

Meanwhile, space-chap continued to tap his way across the stage. Making frequent clicking noises with his tongue. A smile creased the old man’s face like a rotten apple when his cane hit the contraption. He opened the safety latch — Click — and held a finger over the red button.

“I mean it,” said the boy. “I will shoot.”

The helmet was far too big for the boy. He had to tilt his head back to see from underneath. And the leather straps were too tight. Pinched his chin whenever he took aim. The boy shut his left eye, listening to the war outside his home. The splatter of machine guns and the rumble of tanks that made pebbles dance and the ground tremble under his feet. Right eye fixed on his opponent: the large chalk drawing on the kitchen wall. A tall, lanky beast with a large appetite for trees.

Ka-Poosh! Ka-Poosh! Ka-Poosh!

He puffed his cheeks out and blew air through his fish-lips at every dull click. A light chuckle caught his attention. The boy’s mother shook her head as she passed him and headed straight for the faucet on the wall. She plunged her hands under the water, scrubbed and said “Who you shooting at, Chap?”

Red water and a pair of teeth slipped into the sewer grate.

“The evil space-god.”

The evil space-god was oozing out from its little cocoon it had nurtured from the tonnes of industrial waste it had been eating. They were accumulated from an extinct artificial garbage island in the middle of the ocean that used to exist centuries ago. Those machine guns and heavy artillery were leftover armour from a bygone Fourth Millenium war that was dumped on to that smelly isle.

Carrying a venomous, phosphorous-coloured and dangerously hot acidic substance from its dozen of voluptuous disgustingly morphed tentacles that complemented its scary physique, the vicious monster went on a marathon spewing a gallon’s worth of this substance on its desired target — the young, rebellious, handsome lad.

“Mom, don’t look, let’s run!” the boy hollered, drenched from all of the cleaning sludge that was left undone.

“What the hell are you trying to do? Don’t be a reckless jerk! We need to dig ourselves out of here,” argued the mother, who was exerting her last inkling of energy left.

In a desperate and unnecessary move, the boy latched away from his mom’s hand and pulled out a really strange looking ancient plastic toy instrument from his bag.

It was a magenta-coloured keyboard guitar, keytar for short. Adorned with enamel-coloured hearts decorated all over, it was one of those odd fusion instruments from the modern Renaissance of the 1980’s. He played a disgusting teeth-seething melody that he learned when he was in elementary, reminiscent of autotune-infested music sung by the fallen western pop divas of the early 2030’s.

Irritating as one would expect it to sound, the chords coming from the keytar was emitting this supersonic power. Something that was 80 and a half millihertz strong. Something that the space-god, who had a penchant for really distasteful music, had a fond weakness for.

All those generations listening to his mom’s ancient and uncool vinyl records were beginning to pay off.

“Take that, you stinking piece of crap!” he exclaimed in an odd moment of euphoria equivalent to a musical orgasm, except he was having a ball killing that beast.

The space-god began to melt away, something that no one was expecting to happen.

The impish man frowned inwardly, initiating cascades of ripples on the projection screens that were his eyelids. Something was odd. He attempted to banish the sights, to no avail. The images refused to vacate his neural pathways, refused to give way to the locals.

“No, this isn’t right at all,” he said, recoiling.

He had partaken of reminiscences enough to know this choppiness, this disjointed static, narration was a roll of forged, flat consciousness. Had he experienced a single odor, a single texture through the young protagonist’s hands? If this was story-time, its teller was a mute.

To add to his umbrage was the image of the keytar, that shameful vocation of his in the theatre days before he had reinvented himself as a gentleman. The spinal whirligig, not content with being a fraudulent contraption, was actively co-opting of his own memories, pushing him Persian rugs woven with tawdry threads. Could the others see what he saw, or did they all hear a distinct song tailored exclusively for them by the false minstrel whispering inside their head?

“Trumpery! Trumpery I say!” he yelled, reaching backwards to clear his neural port. But his arms did not obey, tied as they were. Violently he shook his head until the thing fell out and the show’s curtains rose to no applause.

And what a site to find oneself in! The rumbling, interpreted as tanks, was actually the humming of an enormous contraption on the stage, next to Space-Chap.

Too late, he felt something dislodge and slip by the pocket fabric, leaving a lightness about his heart. And then, like sperm racing to the egg, the chain-tailed ovals embedded themselves one after another in the gigantic magnet, from each and every one of the crowd, all but him still sedated and constrained by the armchair cuffs.

“Fraud!” he bellowed, regretting his naiveté. The brave, illustrious Space-Chap? No! Rather, a travelling charlatan with an eye for the pinnacle of Victorian masculinity: pocket watches.

“Why, Space-Chap? Why have you done this to us?”

“My good man,” said the caned shape, smoking his pipe. “They say time is money, and I expect a good return for putting on a show. But if you must truly know, I will tell you!”

And he began:

“It’s simple, gents. There always was an evil, nameless space-god. He feasts not on the souls of the young, the minds of the bright, or the complicated four dimensions of Euclidian geometry. Rather, it feeds on time, quite literally !” Space-Chap chuckled at his own cleverness.

The tiny impish man, who once defiantly demanded to know the space-god’s name, was still unsatisfied with this conclusion.

“That’s absurd!” he croaked with the vocal range of a nail scraping a chalkboard. “If all an elder god would require to thrive is the eating of clocks, why would he employ such an uncivilized ruse?! You are lying to us good sir!”

The fraudulent Space-Chap considered this statement, squinting with growing ire at the man that had seen through his ruse from the start. Silence permeated the room like a thick fog, as the stunned (and restrained) audience awaited a rebuttal from the chap in front. Gripped by the notion that they would finally understand the reason for the insanity of his story, the perplexed and odd behaviour, the utterly gauche notion of feeding clocks to a monster.

And then, Space-Chap uttered the words that explained it all, as his eyes bulged out of his skull, revealing slinky-like springs.

“I totally did it for the lulz!” he laughed maniacally, before exploding into a pile of gears, bolts and steam.


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