Gone Lawn
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Gone Lawn 1
Autumn, 2010

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New Works

Tantra Bensko

Breaking the Seal

#Report Readout att: Subjects Discovering Project
Underground:Implantation Adjustment
As recorded from the brain of Kundra, Atlanta, Georgia, Earth, Hybrid Helicopter zone 13.#

The thundering sound is happening again under me, down deep in the earth, and it makes me want to save the world. I want to tell people about it before it's too late— if I can avoid repercussions. The housemate who always has nightmares when they are blasting down there is yelling himself out of his sleep in another room.
Or, in "a" room. I guess you can't exactly call what I live in a room, considering it is a porch. But sure, it could be called a room. I have been using that word all these months. It's sure more of a room than I'm used to having, anyway. I'm starting to feel that there's something about being targeted for knowing too much the government military complex doesn't want us to know, and telling too much that leaves a person on the other side of rooms, of walls, and normal living situations more often than not. How many stories have I read about in my research about others who have had their lives disrupted because of their exposes? Here I am in my mid thirties living like someone just starting out in her career, though I've been teaching all this time. Feeling the rumble, hearing the blast below the ground makes me feel a little unearthed once again. What are they DOING down there?
As if I didn't know.
If only Vlad hadn't gone exploring the day he showed up so pale and shaking afterwards, late for our date, his hair wet with sweat. I mean, I'm always all for learning the truth. Telling people about it. But…he didn't like to talk about what he saw to anyone, and I almost wish we hadn't told anyone at all about the strange holding pens, the huge hidden military style concentration camp style landscape with barbed wire and guards that he described to me. It was next to the Detention Center, the Police Academy, the Transitional House. Was it FEMA getting ready to put people away who questioned the control of the government? Come up with some excuse like terrorism or some plague that meant we were all supposed to get vaccinated against?
I think telling Vic about the underground blasting and tunneling sound was the biggest mistake, since he's at the very heart of the alternative culture in our city. Everyone dangerous comes to him. He's just GOT be watched and then they can learn what's going on with all us trouble makers.
I won't think about the details of what Vlad saw. Talking about it always brings the unmarked black helicopters and my housemates are getting tired of having them go so close over the house.
But Kerry Thornley understands. He has been stalked much more than I have because he has damn mind control handlers, poor guy. Even though I wanted to move here because of him, I didn't know at the time how watched he was, how controlled. I should have read his books about it before moving in, I guess. Still, much as I'm fascinated by learning as much about the documentation of this MKUltra type control, I would have probably moved in anyway. He needs all the friends he can get, since people so often don't understand what is really going on in the world, and would rather just see people who know as being paranoid. If only people read more. It's bizarre that the average college graduate never opens a book at all.
It was amazing the way I met Kerry all those months before and I wanted to move to Atlanta to spend more time with him. Then, when my van broke down here, and I met Erwol and within the day had moved into this porch. And THEN found out that Kerry lived in the shack out back. Was that a beautiful synchronicity? Or was that fucking set up? His handlers may well have set us up over this spot by the installation over the underground blasting together for a purpose.
Man, I'm feeling so bad, I really think it made Vlad and me sick to go close to the microwave towers across the road. That tachycardia we both got then was bad, and so was the nausea, our balance issues, pressure in our heads, and the way Vlad's vision got fractured afterwards for days.. At least, it seems like it was the effects of that, but who knows what really did it. It's almost like being radiated. I wish this nausea would go away, my eyes stop their swelling, get over the redness. But I guess I'm glad we saw the hole that had been dug and the entry way covered up. The signs letting us know something was going on hidden in that forest. At least he didn't take me all the way into the forest to show me the installation, with the barbed wire, the guards, the signs.
How could no one else be noticing? Maybe they think the blasting is just coming from the building of the tunnels underneath, but that's a different part of Atlanta. This really seems more like it just has to be for one of those secret underground bases that are getting more and more popular all over the country. The kind where the military and the aliens have been spotted together, over and over.
Is that the helicopters again? I find myself hardly noticing anymore. Ah, just a plane this time, thank goodness. They MUST be stationed really close, in huge numbers. People are catching on to the role of the unmarked helis, seeing more TV shows about them, reading the books, the articles, but it still makes me feel strange to be looking for them when so many other people have no idea how invasive they are. I'm glad now that I took advantage of all those free psychological profile tests and came out fine.
Ah, there they are. I knew if I stopped for the silence to kick in, thought about them, they'd hear my thoughts again and come to let me know they heard me. Time to get into high gear again. Ok.
I'm getting tired of getting out the magical papers. But there they are, spread on the floor. What will I do with them today? What might work better than last time to make myself invisible to them, hide my thoughts? Ok, later…Once I have thoughts that are not hidden in the whiteness I'll think again like a normal person.
Does that mean they heard me or not? That red light they sent down toward me? It's only the, what, fourth time they did that? I think maybe my magical papers didn't work this time. I can't talk about the magic ritual papers, either. Or even think about the details of how to use them. That's the only hope I have left. It almost feels crazy. I've never had the sense of being crazy before, but this is just forcing me into desperate measures to try to avoid them listening in. It's like paranoia. But not.
I don't like to keep secrets, and Vlad and I have been telling maybe too many people about the things we saw. We want to get some real attention to the facility so activists will be prepared. The blasting and the entrance to the tunnel near the installation. And the black helicopters. I think that's why they keep following us. They don't want attention.
I don't know if they bugged the phones, and that's why they send the helis over us when we talk about it that way. Because they send them over when we talk about it in person too. So, we could be bugged. But when they do it when we think about them, that's what scares me. So I can just give hints about the magic papers I drew out, the secrets of hiding from them, but no details. It's all I have. That, and Vlad. And it makes me scared to think I may not have him much longer. Because I know. That's their style. And that's the thought I most want to hide from them. Because I don't want to give them any ideas. But I can't hide it. I'm scared.
I love him so much even though he doesn't use that word to me. His body is so slender, so carefully drawn with such minute details of delicate musculature. That flat, flat stomach, achingly concave. That black hair that comes over his right eye so sexily, that is cut with such precision, over his ears, poofing just a little in the back, near the top of his head. He's perfect. If only he looked at me just a little more, and less with me, at nature. Sometimes I think he loves all kinds of plants more than he loves me. Loves to take care of them, grow them, cook with them, smoke them, give them to people, study about them. I still want to go running through the woods with him like we do, and have him then look at me a little longer, straight into my eyes. Why I feel that way, I don't know, since it's just such a beautiful thing that we have. He never seems to have any interest in any other women, does he, even though we have an open relationship. How long was it he said it had been before he'd dated anyone at all before me? Six years? How could anyone be like that? I can't imagine how many men I've dated in those years. I used to love to count up the number of men. It felt like an accomplishment. It was a wonderful memory. But now that so many lately have been taken from me by whoever doesn't want us to get too powerful together magically, to expose them, to fight against them, I don't want to think about it. Will I ever be allowed to have someone I really love, someone I can make powerful magic with, and not be robbed of him?
Now I just try to forget about it each time and throw myself into the next relationship so hard that it creates a fantasy reality. A reality in which I am a normal person, and the world is normal. I never thought of it quite like that before, but that's what I do, isn't it? The true fantasy literature out there pretends that life is a normal place, that the secret government is leaving people alone, that there is no surveillance, that we are not being implanted, manipulated by mind control waves, owned by the corporations who own the media and the politicians and the wars, and are themselves owned by beings from another race than ours. The true fantasy is that we are in control, that our future can go on normally without having to revolt against them to avoid being put in concentration camps and forced to have vaccines with computer chips in them. That's the fantasy realm—that we are independent and free and everything is just peachy.
I try to hide from myself, from the truth, from the pattern, inside a secret room, a porch of reality, with the guys I love. Look only at each other, not around us, pretend THEY aren't there, and think each time, the magic of believing and denial will make them go away.
But at the same time, I love it that Vlad and all the others, like ol' Vic, are willing to look around them, face truth, talk about the harsh reality with me. And that breaks the seal. Everything breaks the seal.
I'm ready to forget about it. To just go into the fantasy that all will be OK. To sleep. Maybe I'll have good dreams. Good night world. Damn, it's impossible to sleep with all those sirens. I've never heard so many. Seems like fire trucks, ambulances, police, everything all at once. OK, sleep, sleep, Kundra.


    The Dream is not a dream, is it? They are taking Vlad and doing something horrible to his eyes. Is it men from the NSA? Is it aliens? Are they working together? Oh my God! They're taking out his eye and putting something else in instead. It looks like something mechanical. Not human. No, stop! I'll fight you to the death! Can't you feel the energy I'm throwing on you? You'll have to go through me to get to him! I'm not getting off him no matter what you do! I can hold on tight because I love him! He's a beautiful man! He doesn't deserve this! You fuckers! You motherfuckers! Stop! Stop! Stop!
The Dream wakes up shaking.
I'm sicker than I have been for a long time. It feels a lot like the radiation feeling, but also like I've been beaten up. I don't think I could stand up if I wanted to. I think if I did, I'd probably throw up anyway. How did I get so worn out just from a dream?
But that wasn't a dream, was it? There was something about that. I know I wasn't there, was I, though? But still. I know something happened to Vlad. They changed him. Fuckers. Goddamn.
What's that? I haven't heard so many helicopters in long time. It sounds like it must be twenty or thirty all going over. There MUST be a base right near here. It Can't just be because of me.
Well, hello Valentine's Day.
I wonder if he will tell me he loves me today. If we'll do anything special for it. He'll probably feel like that's too predictable. Too commercial. I can hear where he's coming from. But still, if it was something wacky. Surreal.
But I'll just try not to get too attached to it. He hasn't missed many days calling yet in all these months, so it shouldn't be too long before I find out. I'll just go back to sleep, try to recuperate from whatever I dreamed last night…………………………………… ……….
And sleep didn't pay off, did it? The whole day went by trying to ignore, to forget, to not care. And still, nothing. Maybe tomorrow.
It's Vlad on the phone. I love that voice. Almost feminine. So musical. Sea otterish. His voice plays with mine the way it always does, but….well, not really. It's more hesitant. Almost afraid, or cold. Or distant. What is that tone of voice? I haven't heard it before with him.
"So, did you do anything special yesterday?" I don't want to use the word Valentines. Act like I care. Like it meant anything to me. Gotta play it right. Not be a smarmy female.
"Yesterday was really weird." And then silence.
"How do you mean? What happened?"
"Well, it was a noisy day, anyway, sirens all day."
"Wow, even all the way over there!
"And, you know those "space ship" sounds we hear sometimes outside my door? Well, I heard them a couple nights ago."
"Really? That sound is so Bizarre! It's like super loud bees or something. I can't believe how loud it gets. Wait, that was when I had a dream. Was it close to bedtime?"
"Yeah, it was right before I went to bed. But I woke up later and got up. I was sleeping on the couch you know, but Dave was watching some stupid porn movies with some of his buddies. They were getting drunk. I usually would never have any interest in it at all, but I started having thoughts I normally wouldn't ever have." Again, silence. What? But I should let him have his privacy. Maybe he'll tell me later.
"And I got drunk, which I'm not really into either. Coors!" Yuck! "And… I started smoking cigarettes again."
"No way! You were so excited about the taste of food. It made catering so much better for you. You had so much more real energy. I can't believe after quitting so long ago you'd go back. I didn't think you were even tempted. Did you keep smoking?
"Yes, I did. I know it's been a long time since I smoked, but it was like jumping right into the height of being a chain smoker. And not only that.I ate about two pounds of sugar."
"What? You just ate—plain sugar? I thought you'd given up sweets. What got into you do you think?"
"I don't know. I was making Valentine candy for catering and I just couldn't stop eating it. I know I'll regret it. But I'm eating more candy still. I never thought I'd want any anymore, ever. I don't really feel like myself."
It's happening. They got to him somehow. That dream was real. They changed him. "Did you notice anything else?"
"Well, yeah. Ever since that evening, I have been hearing phrases in my head. Men's voices wanting me to narc on my friends. Inform on them and work for the N.S.A. About how good it would be for me, all the benefits I would get, how much money I would make."
"Holy Moley! Fuck a duck! What do you think happened?"
"I don't know. I feel sort of like Dave or something. My thoughts just have been sort of—I don't know. Depraved? The things I've been imagining doing."
"What about your right eye? Do you notice anything different about it?"
"I'm feeling along the ridge, like where that weird bump is that we both have under our left eyesbrow ridgy things. I have one now on my right one. It hurts, come to think of it. I don't know if I feel like coming by for awhile. The back of my head hurts, and my jaw, and right at the base of my neck. But, I don't know, Kundra. It's more than that. I've been thinking about it. It's like—I've been switched off. I don't know right now why I'd want to go see you. I know it sounds strange."
Ok. Time to just deal. Deal. Deal, deal. Get out the magic cards for invisible thoughts.

* * *

Taking the bus into Little Five Points to talk with someone about it had seemed like a good plan. Talking with Vic about it seemed like the best thing to do. I kind of wish I'd called him first, at this point. But I know what would have happened. The helicopters would have come by. They would have heard us talk about it on the phone. I just want some privacy.
So, privacy I've got now, big time, lying in Vic's entrance. I wonder if people going by on the street can see into the little window and tell there is anyone in his entrance. If they do, they'll think I'm a drunk passed out here. Tee hee. Should be interesting if someone opens the door to check on me, make sure I'm not hassling him. Oh no, I'm not crazy. I'm not drunk. I just don't want the helicopters to come over. My phone is bugged. I'd be surprised if his wasn't too, considering what a trouble maker he is, and all the folks he knows.
I just want to talk to him about implants. What would they do with me? I should have at least brought enough money not to be arrested for being a vagrant. And my I.D.. I hope he shows up before too long. And I hope he doesn't have a heart attack if he opens the door and sees something curled up in his entrance. Can't go to sleep. Can't go to sleep. Gotta be ready to respond right away. Gotta keep my hair in place to look normal. But, Jeez, what's it been so far? Three hours curled up in this space? If it were big enough to at least stretch out in, that wouldn't be so bad. If he never comes home, I'm going to be pretty stiff by morning. Man. I need to pee already. I wonder if I should sneak out in the bushes.
That light on the sidewalk is so bright. That would really make the neighbors worry if they saw me peeing. And here it is just at the time when the police are hassling him for his involvement in the community. Try to make improvements and see if you don't get yourself killed. They'd probably find some way to arrest Him.
"Holy Mother in Law! You get out of here right now! Now!"
"It's Kundra, Vic! I'm sorry!" That's some pretty heavy breathing he's doing. I hope he's going to be OK. Out through pursed lips, Vic. Don't die. Don't die now. I've never seen him so red. "Want me to help you sit down? Can you answer me?"
"I thought you were Cotton Mouth for sure. You just looked like a black bundle. Just let me catch my breath." That's some pretty hardcore breathing. He really needs to lose some weight. But then, he IS sixty five.
"Have they been leaving you alone in the last couple days?"
"Nothing since I saw you last. The cops have been sitting outside, and circling around. People have been coming to the door in all kinds of pretenses. But nothing from Cotton Mouth. I'll tell you more when I can catch my breath. Just tell me now what's up. Did you just need a place to sleep tonight?"
"Well, I do now, cause the last bus already left."
"Come on in, Kundra. Do you want some tea? Give me a hug, girl."
"Mmm, thanks, Vic."
"What's up?"
"Well, to get to the crux of the matter— I came here to tell you about the last thing that happened on my end. I didn't want anyone to hear it. You know what I mean. I think someone implanted Vlad. I don't know, maybe the N.S.A.. Maybe aliens. If there's a difference. I don't understand how it happened that I was there. Maybe in some other dimension. But I tried to fight them off in a dream. Maybe I was just tuned in to what was happening. But he really changed suddenly. All kinds of vices I guess you'd call them. And hearing voices in his head about joining the N.S.A.. He heard the space ship sound that evening. There were tons of black helis at my place. And now he has another one of those hard bumps over his other eye."
"So, you haven't met anyone who has those other than me, and you, and that crazy guy who said he was sent on a mission to destroy you, right?" I don't blame Vic for checking out his eye ridge.
"You don't have a new one, do you?"
"No. Do you?" No. But I dreamed that night about Vlad getting his eye switched into something like, I don't know. A camera? Something electronic. It was really spooky. Some Valentine's Day. I don't know if I can take this stuff any more."
"Join the club….Wait. Do you hear that?…."
"Big surprise, eh? Bet me five bucks it's black?"
"Hey! Your eyes! Holy Mother in Law! Your eyes!"
"What? I don't feel anything? What are you looking at?"
"I don't know how to describe it. It…"
"Wait a minute…..That was a really loud one. It must have been passing right over the house. Like with maybe couple feet clearance. Well, the whole area around your eyes got blue, and faceted. Stuck out from your face. It's hard to explain. Like you had wrap around sunglasses, that area. And like they were sticking way out, blue, and had facets, like little fly eyes or something. I've never seen anything like that in my life. That was bizarre."
"Wow. I wonder if you could see it cause you have the implant too. They must have wanted you to see it cause we were talking about it. To scare us or something. Man. I really hoped it was just a calcium deposit or something. I was really holding out on that one. God, that makes me feel weird. Now I don't even Want Vlad to look at me in the eyes any more. Now, I know it's real. I mean, that's some sort of proof, isn't it? Or…something. God, maybe it really could just a back up of lymph. It really could. But to have to even wonder about it at all is just not a fair context to be living in, Vic. I want another hug."
"Boy, am I glad you came by."
"Ha. Sorry about that, Vic. Probably just what you needed after all you've been through lately, eh?"
"I don't know. Free entertainment. I'll never forget that. Your eyes look normal, now, though. Want some hot tea?"
"Sure. Invisibilitea….Sorry. I'll get it. I don't think you need to stand up just yet. Sorry I scared you. I guess you just never expect someone to be inside the door when you open it, do you?"
"Or inside your mind. Or your love. Or inside your eye."
"Vic, what if those things are cameras? I don't even want to look at myself in the mirror. Much less you, or anyone I care about. What if everyone we're trying to help is being led to Them? What if they're watching the whole alternative Little Five Points crowd through us so they know who to put in the camp when we start making a fuss? What if we're being read, like a newspaper, about all the secrets our friends tell us? What if we're the enemy?"

Tantra Bensko teaches experimental writing online through her own Academy, and UCLA Extension Writing Program, and WritersCollege. She is the author of Watching the Windows Sleep, published by Naissance Press, and Tantric Metaportals. She has over 100 creative writing publications, and is the inventor of the Lucid Fiction genre. She has an MFA from Iowa. Tantra is also a visual artist, and inventor of Lucid Play. As well as her personal writing site (above), she maintains a website called Experimental Writing. Tantra also writes: "She is happy Gone Lawn is bold enough to publish this story."