Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Rules of Atlantis by Jeff T. Kane

I take the small, round casset receiver from Soddy's hand and switch it on.

A beam shoots out and wraps around the wall of the palace.

I see him on the wall.

The way he looks.

The way Poseidon would look if he was a shark.

His black eyes are Kraken suckers attached to my heart.

He drains my love.

Everything about him removes the rickiness from my world.

His long blonde hair, his fins, his jaws, his red gold armor.

His voice as he sings, "Kill war."

"Who is that?" I say.

"It's Allan Chazin & the Coolers," says Soddy.

"I could focus my love on him," I say.

"You're not supposed to," says Soddy," not in Atlantis."


I stare out the glasshole of the Chazer and watch as the blue wall of sea turns to white foam and bright sunshine.

I see the red wall of Poseidopolis.

The Chazer manner says, "Poseidopolis Harbor here."

The manner bangs the small gong that dangles over his steering wheels and lets loose the rope holding the door up.

The door falls.

I walk over it and look around for Steff but I don't see him or his blue chainmengele in the parking lot.

I look at the sea and it looks so clear I can't see a reflection, only the mud at the bottom, and two sharks in Chaz City Bottlenosers armor, tearing a roped Felo apart.

Roping Felos loses its chaze under water.

It mats their black & white fur down with water.

Makes them small.

"What's your witchiness Shliemann?"

I stare at the river and ignore Witchenstein.

The muscles tighten in the back of my neck.

I know a voice that shrill and nasal could not be anyone's but hers, with her pointy nose and pointy black helmet.

Of all the abominations...

I can't jump in the river so I turn around.

"Witchenstein right? Chaze to see you."

I shake Witchenstein's clammy green hand before she hugs me.

She smiles with her slimy green eyes and twisted lips.

She shows off her fuzzy green fangs with strands of ropy black hair sticking out between them.

"You on break?"

"No," says Witchenstein, "Cronos School doesn't have breaks, I'm ricking school for a few days."

I can't blame her for ricking out on Cronos School because from what I'd seen the other creatures there were worse than Witchenstein.

"Was anything supposed to meet you here?" says Witchenstein.

"Steff Cayce," I say, "he drives a chainmengele."

"I saw him," says Witchenstein.


"It wasn't today," says Witchenstein.

Witchenstein once claimed Allan Chazin himself had created her in a lab from two metros of slime.

Witchenstein always lies.

She walks next to me as I search through the rows of mengeles and look through their glassholes.

Witchenstein stares into the glasshole of a yellow two-door mengele that has oddly patterned cloths on its fuel bubbles.

Witchenstein's crooked mouth is wet, she smacks her bent lips, and I focus my eyes through the glasshole.

Witchenstein's not interested in the mengele, she's watching two sharks fondle each other's rickers in the backseat.

"Get a good look Witchenstein?" I say.

Witchenstein gives me this ugly look that I fear is a smile and says, "We weren't all raised in the temple of Poseidon."

"I wasn't raised-"

My head falls forward so fast it feels like my chin stabs my throat and I gag on some jellyfish I had at breakfast.

"You hang out with rickers all of a sudden."

I rub my head and turn to see Steff standing behind me with a bloody chain in his hand.

"You're late Felo."

Witchenstein's green skin looks flushed like she wants to fiddle with Steff's ricker at first sight.

Steff's eyes are swirled circles; he must have gotten some Krake and dropped it already.

Steff pulls a vial from the Felo skin satchel strapped to the side of his gray armor.

"The first Chazin wins the war, " say Steff as he hands me the vial.

I unscrew the blue cap off the vial and swoosh the Krake around; its tinge is dark purple.

I tear a blade of grass from the ground, dip the tip of it into the Krake, and pull it out.

I screw the cap back on the vial and hand it to Steff.

"Pure," I say.

"Triple tapped," says Steff.

Kraken got meaner and purer every time you tapped their glands but triple tapped Krakens were the purest.

I blow on the blade of grass until I'm sure it is dry and roll it into a ball I pop it in my mouth and chew.

I feel a tickling in my rickers.

"You came through," I say.

"My mengeles out back," Steff says.

We start walking and when we come upon Steff's purple four-door chainmengele.

"You wanna hit Kalliste first?" says Steff as he slips into the driver seat.

"What about Surtsey?" I say as I get in next to him and slam the door shut.

"Surtsey and Surtsur got shut down cause some Cronos schoolers busted in and tore kids up."

"Rick!" says Witchenstein, "I didn't know that."

"Why would you?" I say.

"I think you got some rick stuck to your foot," says Steff as he sneers at Witchenstein.

"She's chaze," I say, "don't worry about it."

"Chaze?" says Steff as he pulls the Krake vial out again, "Since when are Cronos schoolers chaze? This will chaze her."

Kalliste looks the same, same posters of Allan Chazin and Meggy Troya, same types of people dancing, probably high on the same Krake.

I notice a small creature with round ears and a button nose and greenish gray fur, with a circular Atlantis blade in place of his left paw and a platinus cassetrix player installed in his belly.

I wonder if this might or might not be Braddy Ruxpo the first of Atlantis's ultimate weapons of destruction before the destructrix, before the Chazin generation.

Then I feel Witchenstein's slimy hand slip under my armor.

She squeezes my bare shoulder so I walk towards the creature and start dancing.

"Excuse me?" he says in a tinny voice.

"Braddy Ruxpo?" I say.

"Yes that is me," he says.

"You want some Krake," I say.

"It will help reset my cassetrix," he says with a grin.

I wave Steff over.

He already knows what's going on because he gives me a look and says, "We don't have any grass in here."

"We can go outside," I say.

He takes the vial out and swishes the Krake around.

"If you're gonna give it away to all these Cronos schoolers," he says, "Then you're gonna give me half the platinus it cost."

"He's not a Cronos schooler," I say even though Steff owed me the Krake and he never pays for rick.

"Deal with it," I say.

"Whatever," he says.

I follow Braddy and Steff out the door.

I see Witchenstein pushing her way through the crowd and sliming everyone.

I walk faster.

Witchenstein catches me.

"You ever date people from the Cronos School?"

She's hot from the Krake, like she's melting.

She drips slime and licks her lips.

Her pointy black helmet looks too big on her and it tilts to the side.

"What?" I say, "We're going to Mideo," even though Mideo is probably closed, and before she asks me anything else I usher her out the door.

Allan Chazin throttles his harpsichord.

He shakes his long blonde bangs until they fall over his eyes, and obscure his sensitive, good looks.

He bends towards the voicethrower and whispers, "Kill War."

The Coolers kick in with their porcelain bells and chainwheels and the whole crowd starts to chant the lyrics, "Kill war, kill death, kill hate, kill Felos."

"This is chazed out," says Soddy.

I see Critias Crantor, the biggest creature at Cronos School.

Critias looks at Soddy and kicks him in the rickers.

I feel drops splatter my face.

Soddy passes out on the dance floor with a puddle of blood pouring out his rickers.

Critias stands there and laughs to himself and points at Soddy.

I glare at Critias.

He is soaked in bright light now.

I hear Allan Chazin.

"Violence is not chaze."

Allan Chazin mans the light beam.

He's the source of Critias's glow.

Critias laughs until a dozen sharks filter through the crowd and surround him.

The sharks latch onto Critias with their fins and drag him towards Kalliste's ivory exit doors in the back.

"It's too crowded at Mideo to be kraked out."

"Yeah, what's the point," says Witchenstein.

"Your nose is the point," says Steff.

"We could watch cassetrix," says Braddy.

Steff says, "Whatever," and turns the chainmengele around.

He pulls through the corridor and back around the bend and soon I see the bright white wall of the fourth zone.

The palaces in the fourth zone are all in different shades of beige and their walls spiral into four concentric circles.

"Number fourteen," says Braddy, "over there."

Steff pulls up front and we walk into Braddy's cluttered center room.

Steff picks up a blue headband that says "Kent's Mengeles" on it in green letters and I know it has to be old because Kent didn't design mengeles anymore.

Braddy points his Atlantis blade at Steff and says, "Don't touch that, it's a mind controller."

"Are you ricking me," says Steff as he slips the headband on over his gray hair.

Steff looks at me, I feel an ache in my arms, and my left hand moves down to the front skirt of my armor and pulls it up.

My right hand grabs my rickers and starts to fondle them.

"Stop it," says Witchenstein and she smacks the headband off Steff's head.

Steff turns bright red and says, "Tell this Cronos schooler to stop ricking around Shliemann."

My arms still hurt and I push Steff against a row of scrolls.
He falls into them.

"Watch it rickers," says Braddy.

I watch Steff get up from the floor and as he does, he slips the blue headband under his armor.

Braddy doesn't seem to notice and he waves his paw across a shelf full of dusty cassetrix.

I scan them.

All Allan Chazins.

I pull one out I'd never heard of called "A Reversal Of Valor" and read the description on the back: "a surreal alternate history in which Allan Chazin portrays himself in a version of the second Chazin war in which he betrays Atlantis and joins the Felos to destroy the city of Poseidopolis."

"His best work," says Braddy Ruxpo and I watch as the cassetrix player in his belly slides open.

I place the cassetrix into Braddy and watch the casset beams shoot from his eyes and project an image around the wall of the room in a circle broken only at the doorway.

The cassetrix opens with Allan Chazin standing before the gate to the fourth zone of Poseidopolis speaking with Cronos the king of Atlantis, played by Meggy Grady Troya, in all his black haired glory.

"You must let us join the battle Allan," says Cronos.

"You will join the battle Cronos," says Allan Chazin as he chops his silver axe through the bars of the gate and Cronos falls apart in two pieces, "You'll join it in pieces."

Braddy gathers up a pile of scrolls between his furry arms and drops them on the floor.

I see that he has uncovered a chaze lounger and go to sit on it.

Witchenstein sits down next to me.

I focus on the casset beam.

As the cassetrix goes on Allan Chazin consistently outdoes himself as an evil version of himself, a person who hates Atlantis, loves dolphins, hates krake, can't play an instrument.

It was everything the true Allan Chazin despised.

Steff rummages through a copper box with the year 874 engraved in it.

Steff pulls a strange device out of the box and says, "Futurix? What's a Futurix?"

"Just because you gave me krake doesn't mean you can dig through all my stuff," says Braddy without turning his head or interrupting the casset beam.

His anger seems to affect the sound quality though because I can see Meggy Troya's lips move but I can't hear any words.

Steff shakes the futurix around and I see a blurry zigzag light beam shoot out from it about twenty metros wide.

The futurix beam cuts through the casset beam, splits Allan Chazin into two diagonal halves for a metrino before the futurix beam becomes solid and black.

The casset beam bounces back into Braddy's eyes.

He collapses.

This small yellow dot appears in the center of the blackness and slowly grows until I can see that it's a small device with a square glasshole in it and a long silver rod extending from it.

The glasshole on it has strange people behind it and I see a girl in soft blue armor throw a pot of water all over this ugly green skinned lady who looks strikingly similar to Witchenstein.

"I'm melting, I'm melting," says the Witchenstein lady and Steff grabs the yellow device and pulls it from the blackness and the people behind the small square glasshole disappear.

"Sony?" says Steff when he looks at the device.

"Its from the future you ricker," says Braddy.

"They have the same letters in the future?" says Steff.

"I don't know just stop ricking with my stuff," says Braddy.

"This Sony thing's not working now," says Steff.

Braddy grabs the futurix from Steff and turns the black beam off.

"Future things don't work outside the futurix beam," says Braddy.

"This is boring," says Steff, "I might check out Club Felo."

"Go," I say, "I wanna watch this cassetrix."

"Yeah," says Witchenstein, "we can walk home from here, my lab is in the fifth zone."

"I can't stay with you," I say.

"It's chaze," says Steff, "I'll stay but can we reset this cassetrix at least?"

Steff sits on the floor by my feet and Braddy opens his eyes and restarts the cassetrix.

I feel Witchenstein tap the back of my hand.

"What?" I say.

Witchenstein gives me big Kraken eyes and says, "Here I made it for you from my sliminess," and hands me a small green sculpture that looks like Allan Chazin wearing an eyepatch like in "A Reversal of Valor".

I eye the figure carefully between my two fingers but its greasy and almost slips.

Witchenstein's odd talent impresses me.

The figure is quite accurate.

"Thank you," I say.

"What?" says Steff.

He puts his hand behind him and snatches the figure from me.

He smushes it around in his fingers.

"Sticky," he says.

"Sorry about that," says Witchenstein, "It's not done drying."

Steff takes the figure and puts it on the floor next to his foot; he squashes it with his gold foot armor.

"Hey," says Steff, "didn't that ugly, melting lady on the Sony thing look just like Witchenstein?"

Club Felo looks like a Felo's head.

The eyes are actually big glassholes behind which lay balconies that overlook the floor of the club.

Club Felo is all right for one thing as far as I'm concerned: Felo abasers.

Felo abasers are small, golden, two tiered tables on wheels and on top of each of these tables, a live Felo is mounted by its four paws with hot liquid orichalc.

Some Felos die during the mounting process purely from the shock of pain as the orichalc works its way through the fur and claws and melts the bones of their paws into the gold.

The ones that live roll perpetually back and forth across the slanted rotating floor until they starve or some Club Felo dancer gets kraked and snaps their head off.

Steff runs his finger back and forth across a Felo's back and pulled on its tail making it scream, "Meyahrl."

He slips the mind-control headband on.

Braddy Ruxpo gives him a dirty look but goes back to dancing with Witchenstein.

She's kraked out because she turns to me and says in her raspy lisp that a Felo had never attacked her because they found her sliminess repulsive.

"Nobody gets attacked by Felos anymore," I said, "not since Allan Chazin created the destructrix."

"They don't even approach me," she said.

"They don't approach anyone," I said.

"Even the ones on the abasers..."

I slip into the crowd to leave Witchenstein's ricked high to its own pit of sliminess.

I didn't want Witchenstein to ruin my own high but just the idea that it could be ruined ruined it and for some reason I think of Soddy Donnelly.

Then I know the reason.

He used to spit on Witchenstein.

I find Steff with the Felo abasers and stand here and watch him trade dirty looks with Braddy over the ricky Kent's Mengeles mind-control band.

"Why are you wearing that?" I say.

"I'm just chazed out my friend," says Steff with his Allan Chazin smile, "isn't that Neith Dropides?"

I look at the guy dancing by himself; he's short and fat.

He's dressed in worn out armor.

The armor is painted with black and white pigments in a crudely lain out Felo fur pattern.

His hair is white streaked with black and it flops over his ears.

His nose is big and crooked and I say, "Yeah I think it is Neith Dropides."

"Hey Neith," says Steff and Neith notices him and comes right over.

"Y'know," says Neith in his deeply nasal voice.

"I know," says Steff, "I know," and he sees me and winks at me.

"Y'know my ex girlfriend from second zone y'know?" says Neith.

"I'm from fourth zone," says Steff.

"Second zoners kind of get ricked out by the other zones y'know," says Neith.

"I thought you were from the Cronos zone," says Steff.

"Cronos School," says Neith, "not zone."

I'm reminded of the time a couple of years back when Neith was telling us some ricky method of fondling a girl's rickers.

"You bend your finger out like a hook see and you feel around y'know the bend for something, that's kind of like a button y'know," said Neith.

He held his two dirty yellow fingers out in a curl that resembled a Felo claw.

"I made my girlfriend squirt six feet across the room," said Neith.

"Girls don't squirt," said Steff.

"Shliemann are you chaze?" says Steff.

Sometimes with Krake I get lost in memories, now I see Steff laughing and his mind control headband glows bright as yellow.

Neith Dropides stands behind a Felo abaser with his armor removed and his ricker is as stiff as the orichalc pillar that the laws of Poseidon are inscribed upon.

Neith presses his ricker against the Felo's rickhole and as he exerts more force the Felo howls, "Meowharl, meowharl."

The shiny skin around the head of Neith's ricker gets tighter and stretched to the brink as he just keeps pushing it harder and harder against the unyielding rickhole.

He pushes with a sudden thrust that causes smoke to spew from Steff's head band, the elastic flesh of the Felo's rickhole snaps along with the skin of Neith's ricker which peels down from the head like the skin of a sharkfruit.

"Something terrible happened," said Mr. Samarian, "something we can't hide from."

There is no sound, but I see Allan Chazin, my favorite singer, my favorite actor, I got all my armor made of red gold just to be like him, I'm an expert on the second Chazin war, and I visit the collapsed part of the fifth wall everyday.

There is no sound but Soddy Donnelly swears he can read Allan Chazin's lips through the cassetrix projection and that he is definitely singing "Warbreaker".

A glittery axe splits Allan Chazin into two halves.

My throat gets tight.

"What is this Mr. Samarian?"

"I'm sorry Shliemann," he says.

But it's a joke.

"I'm sorry Shliemann," says Soddy Donnelly, "I'm sorry."

The cassetrix respools.

I watch Allan Chazin and its not "Warbreaker" he's singing, it's "Love's War".

I close my eyes and try to hear his voice.

I won't cry until I hear his voice.

Steff looks cozy passed out in the fur that lines the floor of Braddy's center room and I hope to join him soon as I'm so kraked.

Witchenstein insisted that we take Neith to the temple of Poseidon to be healed but Steff refused and dosed her with some more krake to shut her up.

We left Club Felo and decided to crash at Braddy's place except for Witchenstein who should probably walk home.

I pick up a casset and notice Witchenstein stretched out and looking much too comfortable on Braddy's chaze lounger.

I can barely keep my eyes open but I read the blurry letters on the cassetrix labeled "Chazin's Way", the description on the back says it's about "this guy named Jackie who gets blackmailed by these dolphins into murdering Allan Chazin but Allan turns it around on them by hunting the dolphins and murdering them systematically."

This cassetrix looks like the chazest cassetrix ever and I'd stay awake for it if Witchenstein wasn't here to ruin it.

It's a struggle at this moment not to throttle her slimy green neck or something else and I look at the round Atlantis blade on Braddy's left arm.

"Can I play Chazin's Way?"

"After this," says Braddy as casset beams shoot from his eyes, "It takes a few metros."

I sit on the edge of the chaze lounger and watch the casset beam as a series of odd letters flash by and I feel Witchenstein's warm breathe on my neck and her moist lips touch my shoulder and send a tingle down my back.

"I've focused my love on you Shliemann."

"You're just kraked," I say as I jump off the chaze lounger.

"Maybe you should do some more," I say as I pull the vial out from Steff's armor.

I see Allan Chazin all around me on the walls, I hear him singing "Love's War", and it's cut off, split.

"Chaze," says Braddy, "it's the assassination."

I close my eyes.

"Are you chaze?" says Witchenstein.

I think of this random speech that Allan Chazin made in "A Reversal of Valor" about the king of the Felos and imagine myself speaking to all the filthy Felos about Allan Chazin in that same manner.

"Sharks are not their deaths," I say, "People might be, a Felo might claw them up and that's all they'll ever be, some person who got clawed up. Not Allan Chazin, all that matters is how he lived."

Witchenstein claps.

I unscrew the vial of krake and throw it all over her ugly, crooked face.

Green slime runs down from her head.

Her disgusting mouth collapses in on itself.

Witchenstein splashes on the floor.

She's an oily, green puddle of slime.


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