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Raymond F ed erm an

BlazeVO X [b ooks] Buffalo, NY

Copyright 2009 by Raymond Fede rman All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without the authors permission, except for quotations in reviews. Book design by Geoffrey Gatza Cover Art: Imagine by Terri Katz Kasimov First Edition ISBN: 9781935402589 Library of Congress Control Number 2009907313 This edition is presented In conjunction with Replenishment Press and Pat Lawrence : bedfordnovel.com/replenishment.html BlazeVOX [books] 303 Bedford Ave Buffalo, NY 14216 Editor@blazevox.org

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Yesterday I bought a new tape recorder and today I recorded a story on my new recorder yes when I am alone I often talk to myself aloud this is the story I recorded I call it THE CARCASSES I am sitting in my study -- that's how the story I recorded begins -- I am sitting in my study in San Diego California -- close to the sun -- where I moved ten years ago to be with myself and finish my work -I am sitting in my study looking out of the window at the splendid view before me -- incredible -- the valley -- the mountains -- the trees -- the sky -- the clouds -- the birds in the sky beautiful -- Im working on my new novel The Twofold Vibration I just wrote this sentence But the persistence of the twofold vibration suggests that in this old abode all is not yet quite for the best and I look up and there before me the incredible view -- and I think -- when

you die all this disappears gets extinguished nothing more to see -- it's like plunging into a big black hole -- everything becomes dark -- but then it occurs to me that to say that -- to even think that -implies the possibility of an after -- of some kind of existence after you die -- could I have been wrong all my life -- no I'm not going to fall into that metapata-physical joke -- no magic trick -- no divine intervention -- I am human -- I am conscious of being human and alive -- after that who cares but lets imagine for a moment that you are dead -- so here you are among all the empty carcasses -- yes that's what this story is called -- the carcasses -- here they are -- the old ones that have been around the zone of carcasses for a long time -- the new ones that have just arrived -- human and animal all piled up on top of one another waiting for their turn to be transmuted -- transmutation does not happen all at once -- does not happen instantly the moment you become a carcass -- carcasses are not reincarnated the moment they become carcasses -- there is a waiting period -- a kind of incubation -- so here you


are waiting your turn -- no magic trick as I said -- just that you have to wait for the authorities to decide -yes let's call them that -- the authorities -- nobody knows who they are -- but they are the ones who decide when it's your turn to be transmuted -- they call you -- hey you over there come here -- and they tell you were sending you back -- back to wherever you came from -- doesn't have to be the planet Earth -- carcasses come from all sorts of places in the universe -- the place where the carcasses are piled is a separate zone in the great void of the universe - nobody knows where it is -- but it's like a huge department store -- a bit like Walmart and there carcasses of all sizes all types all shapes all forms all colors -- most of them in bad condition -- wait for the authorities to tel them they are going to be transmuted -- one cannot argue with the authorities - you have to accept their decision -- and so your turn comes and you are told that you are going back as an insect -- yes -- as a fly -- imagine yourself now living the life of fly -- ok it's a short life -- but still -what is your main purpose in life -- your raison d'tre


to buzz around -- to bug the shit out of the other species -- buzz around the eyes of cows who smack you with their tails -- or buzz around humans -leaving you shit on window panes or T.V. screens -but one day you land on the arm or the top of the head of a human and bang -- he slaps you with his hand and crushes you -- splashes you -- and you're dead what kind of a life was that -- so here you are again among the carcasses -- oh you're already back the other carcasses sneer at you -- I mean those who are there still waiting their turn to be transmuted -- and again you wait to be sen back -well this time your turn comes quickly -- no reasons given -- you come back as a flower -- a lovely red rose in the suburban backyard of some nouveau riche on the coast of California -- and you're proud because you know you're beautiful and you smell good -- the ladies who come to play bridge look at you and say -- oh what a beautiful rose -- but then one day the lady of the house tells the maid to go get flowers from the garden to put on the dinning room table -- so here comes the maid with her


clippers or whatever she uses to cut you off -- then she sticks you in a vase with some water from the sink -- but soon the water starts smelling foul and it's unbearable -- and you begin to whither and the lady of the house says to the maid -- get rid of that dead flower -- and the maid throws you in the garbage and empties the smelly water in the sink -- and here you are back among the carcasses -- what kind of life was that -- now you wait again -- this time a very long time -- maybe a couple of centuries -- even more -- time does not exist in the carcass zone -- so you really dont know how long you waited but finally the authorities call you and tell you that you are needed among the lions of Africa -- there is a shortage of virile male lions on the planet Earth -and they are sending you back to be a lion in Kenya -- so here you are in the African jungle -- with three sexy lionesses and a bunch of little cubs -- and it's a good life -- especially since every fifteen minutes this has been carefully observed by lion observers and even photographed -- one of the lionesses comes over and licks you begging for a little


humping -- so you rise from your dreamy slumber -hump the lioness -- and then go back to the shade of the trees where you were dreaming of another life -its a good life --- plenty to eat -- the lionesses see to that -- lots of gazelle meat -- and it's fun to play with the little cubs -- but one day a bunch of humans of different colors come into the jungle -- the black ones are half naked and dance around and dont seem to give a damn about you -- the white ones wear funny colonial helmets and have rifles --- but they are not here to make a carcass out of you -they want to capture you -- and they do it with a big net -- then they stick you in a box and ship you to what they call the civilized world lucky for you they don't put you in the Buffalo zoo where you would have to spend the rest of your temporary earthly life in a cage wallowing in your own shit -- and with no sexy lionesses to hump because now -- for lack of exercise in the wilderness -- you're incapable of getting it up yes -- lucky for you they put you in the magnificent San Diego zoo -- and build for you what they call a natural environment of course its


fake -- this is California -- there is nothing natural about this environment they put you in -- its pure Hollywood decor you know that -- you know it's fake -- but you pretend it's really nice just to make the humans feel good and happy so that they don't send you to the Buffalo zoo -- but you're bored in this phoney Walt Disney decor -- most of the time you sleep -- or pretend to be asleep -- especially when they bring the little brats to look at you in fear -they would like you to look mean and act ferocious -so a human pokes you in the ass with a long stick so you can roar -- what kind of a life is that -- okay they bring you these big chunks of meat -- beef -- but one day they give you a piece of meat that comes from a sick cow and you die -- you die of the mad cow disease -- and you're back among the carcasses -- well I wont go into all the possible animal or human or even vegetable forms you could come back as -- imagine yourself as a radish -- what kind of a life would that be -- or an artichoke -- okay a tree -- a big majestic tree -- that would be okay for a while -- but then all the other trees around you


become jealous because you're taller -- or because your trunk is bigger than theirs -- or your leaves greener -- then one day some humans come with a big saw and cut you down to pieces and burn you -what kind of a life was that -- and here you are back in the carcass zone -- while waiting for your turn to come again you think -- I know that carcasses are not supposed to be able to think -- they are nothing but for the convenience of this fable let's just say that they are capable of bursts of cogitation so you cogitate -- why cant I have a voice in the decision of what I will become next -- why can't I make up my own ... my own ... -- well I was going to say mind -- but carcasses have no mind why can I have a little something to say about my next transmutation -- and since you were a writer once upon a time in a previous transmutation -- you compose a very stylish message addressed to the authorities asking if maybe it isn't time for the carcasses to have a voice in the process of their transmutation -- this stirs up things among the carcasses -- there are discussions -- debates --


arguments polls votes and all sorts of things like that -- and finally the authorities give up and agree - so now when the time comes for a carcass to be transmuted -- the carcass in question must appear in front of the authorities to discuss what it would like to become in her next transmutation -- it's a complex and lengthy process but eventually a joint decision is made -- and you become what you really wanted to become for instance me -- I often said that if I were to be transmuted I would want to come back as a roman gladiator -- like Spartacus so that I could lead a revolt against the roman emperor -- or come back as a musketeer -- like Dartagnan or as a French lover -- like Le Marquis de Sade or -- or - or -- as -- as -- you see its not easy to decide yourself what you want to come back as -- this is why I think the best thing to do here -- I mean here in this fable -- is to let the potential readers decide themselves what they would like to come back as -and if this fable is ever published -- let's say in the New Yorker -- then I would insist that the last page of the story be a blank page where the readers could


write what they want to be in their next life -- of course someday the way science is making progress -- carcasses may be able to come back as objects -- imagine coming back as a stove or an electric razor -- or a toilet seat what kind of a life would that be or better yet -- come back as a golf club -- that wouldnt be too bad it might even be an interesting life -- to be transmuted as a brand new Taylor Made Titanium 680 driver with a graphite shaft -- not a bad life -- well at least until the golfer decides that you're driving him crazy with the way you slice the ball and buys a new carcass reincarnated as a King Cobra 560 driver with an anti-slice shaft -- and throws the Taylor Made into the garbage -- imagine what kind of a life that would be -- by the time I finished recording this story it was dark outside my window and the splendid view had vanished into the night I turn off the recorder light a cigarette and go back to work on my novel


THE CARCASS #1 The other day I was in my study as I am every day except on Sunday when I watch football games on TV I was doing nothing absolutely nothing nothing was coming to me that day not a single sentence not even a couple of words that would make me smile and make me say well here is a nice beginning for a bit of writing but nothing not a single word -- for instance a word like the one that launched my novel To Whom it May Concern -- the word Listen the word that broke the silence and got the story going but that day total void in my head so to pass the time I look out of the window at the splendid view and count the birds flying in the sky it is an incredible view Im not going to describe it again if you are interested take a look at the preceding chapter in fact looking at this splendid view makes me want to revisit what I had written about the carcasses in that first chapter


and while reading a thought comes to me or rather a sentence in the form of a question how did the first human react when confronted with death I mean the first who was conscious of being human well thats not exactly the sentence that came -- it was shorter in fact it came to me in French quelle gueule il a d avoir le premier tre humain devant la mort lets say that he was a Homo Sapiens what grimace came to his face when for the first time he saw another dead Homo lets say that he was the first one to confront death because the one who died was no conscious that he was dead he was merely on his way to becoming a carcass and so the one who looked at the homo who had just tumbled into the zone of carcasses was the first to become conscious of death are you still with me this is not easy to explain because Im talking about the first carcass the first one to arrive in the carcass zone there is no precedent Im talking about carcass #1 the original carcass -- its not easy to work ones way out of the deadly labyrinth of carcasses to put it in simpler terms when the first


Homo Sapiens saw another Homo Sapiens die he realized in his narrow skull that the other was no longer alive by other I mean the dead guy it is of course possible that the first Homo to be conscious of death was not a Homo Sapiens but a Homo Erectus there is no way to know there are no records in whatever form of the word that this Homo grumbled when he saw his fellow Homo become a carcass but maybe it was not a male but a female who first uttered the word death when she saw another female tumble into the great cunt of the universe on her way to the zone of carcasses whatever the case it was that first Homo Erectus yes it must have been a Homo Erectus rather than a Homo Sapiens --male or female -- who invented the word death well not that word -- not the English word nor the French word -- mort nor any other word spoken on planet Earth he or she let a sound or a series of sounds come out of their vocal cords which were still brand new that sort of meant well look here the bastard is dead or the bitch is dead please excuse those profane


words but it has been proven that all the Homo Erectus and most of the Homo Sapiens were illegitimate well thats what I was wondering how did that first Homo male or female -- reacted when he or she confronted for the first time a dead Homo when he or she saw another like them tumble into the zone of carcasses to receive from the authorities the number One since that dead Homo was the first carcass to arrive in the zone -- the first human of course in that prehistoric period there was no numerical system no numbers no mathematics there was nothing everything needed to be invented which is what the generations of Homos that followed through the ages did as best they could invent a way to number themselves and things so to speak but the first thinking Homo who saw a dead Homo must have said aloud I am sure shit the bastard is dead well he didnt say it like that he said it in some kind of prehistoric grunt and as he shouted those words he suddenly felt deep inside the hollow of his undernourished guts a huge pain a pain much more painful than the pain he had felt


when he cracked his rib cage to rise from a quadruped posture to a biped position -- when he became fully erected the pain he felt in the hollow of his stomach when he invented the word death came from his realization that he too could easily tumble into the zone of carcasses it was a silent pain a pain he could not utter but he understood in his narrow underdeveloped skull that he too could become a carcass like his fellow Homo from that moment on in prehistory that poor Homo spent the rest of his miserable existence with this pain inside of him to which one day -- or more likely during the night in the darkness of the cave he gave the name fear ah yes the fear of death I once wrote a little poem about that Im going to put it here for the sake of future generations It is not death we fear It is the fear of death


no one knows how many times a carcass can be transmuted -- probably hundred times -- maybe even more until it is totally exhausted puise the French would say as it is said of a book that goes out of print and become totally useless still it must be terrible to come back to life in whatever form and live each time with the fear of death inside ones guts I am addressing here only the human species one would have to ask the same question for other living creatures whether or not they are conscious of death for instance do little gold fishes also have the fear of death in the hollow of their narrow biddy stomachs it would certainly be interesting to know if they too feel that pain or if they dont give a damn about it and keep hoping that in their next transmutation they might come back as a human being man or woman though I am sure that most gold fishes would prefer to come back as a woman with gorgeous thighs in fact thats what all the carcasses in the zone hope -- to come back as humans because there is a rumor circulating in the zone of carcasses since time immemorial that humans


do not fear death that is why they enjoy killing one another but of course thats a false rumor anyway thats what I was thinking the other day while admiring the splendid view out of the window of my study when I was doing nothing nothing but hoping for a sentence to come just a few words so that I could go on with this fable


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