Back on Trnovska ulica, in his dead mother’s house, behind the door and the cage, which was supposed to keep out not only thieves and drunks and drunk neighbours looking for sex, but also Professors of Dark Light [as long as they didn’t have the power to conjure up a key].
But maybe this one did.
Maybe he had an ultimo key, like the one in Krvic Draclo.
Maybe he wasn’t a he.
Maybe he wasn’t a she either.
Maybe it was two thirds she and one tenth he and the rest of it something else, some gender that even gender enthusiasts would run in terror from.
Sila didn’t know, and
as soon as he sat down on his old couch, and stared at the TV he hadn’t watched in seven years, and the collection of Petr Grenzic films his mum had adored [minus the three he’d sold] he realised two things, one, he didn’t care and two, that sitting down was for giver uppers and always had been and there was a whole city out there, a small, parochial one granted, but still a city and who knew what the people were doing out there this late at night.
Sleeping on water fountains?
Carving doors into trees?
Even better, who knew what else was out there that wasn’t people
Like the Professors, he or she or it, of Dark Light
hiding in cabinets
just like the dream demon had told him all those years ago.
Green Demon Vision Quest [Insert]
In his cocoon of safety, quite young, Green Lord of The Green Castle playing on the 18 inch screen, Sila picked at dry skin on his fingers and almost didn’t notice when the ceiling started to vibrate
shift green and
unproven, undisguised, a face of mist appeared
told him his fingers would always be that way, as would his brain, his inner brain, the bit behind the ID
but in order to quell things a little
let me lay out my hypnotism background, adjust to triangle hands, get you into bed, cut the VR parts, edit the most recurrent of your flaws, swirl around your cock stem
now forget about the sad count, when you reach him
he has control of every aspect
waver a little
patch right in
see the way my particles congregate
the James Duval bath scene in your head
his beautiful lips
your dick at his front door with sunflowers
strident when it has to be
puzzled and sincere
no bully scene
more than man enough
see that tissue box, there’s a dagger adjacent, green shade, pick it up, pick it up and absorb the glamour of process, of our mission
The Professor of Dark Light
at some point you’re gonna catch them in a cabinet, larping, and at that point you’re gonna stab them and when that’s done you’re gonna reach something no human’s ever reached, not even Tom Hulce, something ablative and downhill and definitely not a postcard of the Helix Nebula, trust me.
Clean yourself off
Take a sedative
Sila got tired of staring at the wall of his ex-living room and turned to the blank TV screen instead, but it was small and square and way too old to sell, so he got up and walked upstairs, counting the curbs along the way.
One, two, four…
Thirteen stairs, all covered in newspaper, not by the police, by his mum before she died cos if she didn’t do that then he might come back and walk her imaginary fibreglass all through the house.
Mad bitch, muttered Sila, as if she were still downstairs, hovering over the cold tap.
Noise from outside, a singing dog, then a squeal as something booted it in the head.
In Bucharest, they fed them strips of beef.
Here, cranial trauma.
Sila went into his mum’s old room and paused next to the bed. He bent a little to sit down, but couldn’t follow through.
The window was showing his favourite film from when he was a kid – Ljubljana nightscape, snowy street, castle on a hill in the distance. Blankly nostalgic, he got up and stared at it, painting on his own plot: a ripped Daniel Wu immigrating to Slovenia, having no prospects, forced to stand by the entrance to Tivoli Park and either mug people or ask for change, or ask for sex if they weren’t too fierce-looking then when he had some cash he would
he would what?
Buy a camera?
A ticket back to Hong Kong?
There was no one in the real window movie and Daniel Wu’s face was too wispy to keep solid in his brain so he walked out of the room and into his own one.
Jezus, it was almost exactly the same, she’d clearly never tidied anything.
There was his Spike Spiegel figure on the bedside table.
Ubik and Babel-17 on the shelf.
The line of VHS with foreign actresses naked, Women in Love, My Beautiful Laundrette, Stranger By The Lake, Holy Mountain, Total Recall, Basil the Great Mouse Detective, The Cool Surface with Teri Hatcher’s tits spilling out.
He picked up the last one and pulled back all the sex scenes, all his teenage frustration and thought, that director, what the fuck was he doing? How hard was it to shoot tits and sex at the same time? The French managed it, so did the Koreans, the Tibetans, the Mexicans. The Danish would’ve put the root of Robert Patrick’s dick in there. Or had him walking around post-fuck, the whole thing swinging.
Sila put the video down and sat on the bed, saying the word for video in Romanian. It wasn’t much use, there were no Romanians nearby, but he knew he’d go there eventually, he had to. Where else would a professor hide if not the land of Vlad?
if he could get in
if he was more than upper beginner in Farsi
if he could hack opium fumes.
A scratching noise.
On the window outside, a branch asking to be let in.
He tried to put his face onto the pillow, but there was too much dust. He lifted it back up and checked the drawer in the bedside table. She’d probably thrown it out, but then again, if his room was still like this, maybe she hadn’t.
He was right to doubt. The notebook was there, exactly where he’d left it, open on the page where the Dizzy character called his mum a mad bitch.
He took the notepad back downstairs and read the part with the madness, thinking he’d probably find it too harsh now he was in his late twenties and the target was dead.
[Extract from short story ‘The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy’ based on the old NES game + written by Sila when he was 16]
There are many things I do or can do that will contaminate things and even after all these years I still don’t understood any of them.
How can turning on a tap ruin the washing?
It doesn’t make sense.
Fucking mad bitch.
What am I still doing here?
No one deserves to live like this.
For fuck’s sake
Can’t even watch TV without that witch coming in and screaming at us.
Can’t visit Dad without being hosed down outside and left in a bathtub for four hours.
And she can’t cope?
What the fuck am I still doing here? I shout, lashing out hard, and the plant takes it on the jaw, no sound, cos it’s limp and dead and I killed it and it can wash its hands as much as it likes cos I’m getting out of this place.
He lowered the notepad as far as his lap and thought, yup, I was right, it is too harsh, but that’s okay, time capsules are only ever harsh or beautiful, and that’s exactly what it was like, apart from the treetop village and egg people avatars.
‘… … … … … … …’ he said to the wall in old Slovene. ‘Still got time.’
The notepad went onto the floor, the computer returned and the search for cabinets continued.
A lot had changed since he’d been gone, though Metelkova was still running strong. There were a lot of new places that were weird enough to have cabinets, cabinets which maybe possibly could contain the Professor, even though deep down he knew the demon was probably in Romania.
He tried to say the demon is probably in Romania in Romanian, but fell short with the word probably.
‘Cabinet, cabinet, cabinet…’ He clicked on different sites and pages and then zoomed out to a view of the city from the castle.
Ah, the castle…hadn’t he been there already?
Didn’t seem like it.
Would it really have a cabinet? Wasn’t it just a commercial set with a themed café?
Ah, but that was during the day, what about at night?
He lost himself in the window for a few minutes and when he came back there were images of Drakon Dubrvnic’s penis on the screen. It was the scene from Vzglavnik knjiga where he takes pills and dies in a very relaxing way, with his dick out, the Czech girl somewhere else, the supermarket probably…
Sila clicked on the search bar, typed Czech outdoor sex, switched to the videos tab and loaded up the first one that had a site name he recognised.
It took a while to fill enough of the bar to be tolerable [bad neighbour wi-fi], so he quickly went to the teaching sites and renewed his ad for Croatia, Austria and the Czech Republic.
The last student he’d got was a month ago, but that was in Hungary, which didn’t much like foreigners far as he could tell.
These new countries would be better.
Well, maybe not Croatia, but Austria and Czech, definitely. All he had to do was keep his price quite low, offer one month special deals and, Gods willing, he’d get enough to keep this thing going.
If not, there was always the jewellery.
He logged out of the teaching site and switched tabs back to the porn. The bar was three quarters full, on a thirty four minute video, it would probably do.
He leaned back, pulled his jacket and shirt off, unzipped and pressed play.
The video started drab, two Algerian-looking guys walking around Prague asking women to come to a park, and all the women said no until one blonde said yes and then the action skipped forward, to a clearing in either a park or a forest, and one of the Algerians was getting sucked off by the blonde, who was already down to her knickers, in Prague, in winter, was it winter, wouldn’t there be snow if it was, maybe it was summer or spring, and the other guy, the other Algerian, he was filming the sucking while at the same time shaking and talking fast, maybe editing it later too as there was no hanging around, no long takes, probably about forty seconds of sucking then straight to the guy fucking the blonde against a park bench and apparently it was out in the open, but there weren’t any people walking by, and the Algerian kept going and going and going and Sila tried to focus on the woman at first as that’s what he’d started with, but her body looked bland, he didn’t know why, whereas the Algerian, the Algerian looked tanned, dedicated, strangely rhythmic, kind of like Amir but not as decent-looking.
Sila switched to the wall, keeping his hand on his dick.
Where was Amir now?
Still in Germany?
There were noises from nearby, from the video. The cameraman said something in Czech, probably ‘people coming, people coming’, which made the Algerian laugh and continue and the blonde didn’t seem to care much either.
Sila clicked off the video and looked at the window, which was dark and branchless, then went back to the search bar, where he typed in Amir Aziz and waited for those familiar Innsbruck 2002 photos to load.
It was three in the morning before Sila managed to pull himself away from the computer, and three fifteen before he dredged up the energy to think about getting out of the house and up to the castle.
‘It’s a half hour walk,’ he said to himself. ‘Get up there, scan a bit, get back, get out of here.’
He grabbed his Slovene-Romanian dictionary, slid it into the outside pocket of his jacket, padded the inside for the green knife, put on some gloves then glanced out of the living room window. It looked dark outside, very dark, but that was normal
and not scary at all
why would it be?
There weren’t enough criminals in Ljubljana to bother him
especially not at the castle
not at this time of night
you’d have more chance of running into a bear or Mia Sara or an Algerian porn star
than something that could do you damage.
‘Off I go then,’ he said in Romanian, not checking the dictionary to see if it was accurate.