вівторок, 30 квітня 2019 р.

Yrik Max Valentonis - ThE BUgMAn


Yrik-Max Valentonis wanders through the urban landscape seeking out fairy circles. He makes puppets so other people can see his imaginary friends. He steals apples to justify his philosophy. He is Baba Yaga's favorite grandson.

His comics and writings have appeared in magazines, e-zines, and the anthologies: Sinbad and the Winds of Destiny”, "Zombie Nation: St. Pete", "Animal Blessings", and "Divided Again".
He has M.F.A. in Poetry and Prose from the Naropa University and a B.A. in English and American Literature from the University of South Florida.




***

ThE BUgMAn 

The ThursDay:

            Where are you? There was screaming. You remember hearing the screams. It was dark, you couldn't see. You can't move! You're trapped, tied down! Are you a hostage, been kidnapped? You scream for help. You hear other people scream. Is this a death camp, part of the inquisition? You scream in fear this time.

            You're out of breath. Throat sore, ears ringing. Eyes dart around.

            Things look familiar. Have you been here before? Is this deja vu? Maybe it's some alternative universe. You must have slipped through some kind of quantum barrier, they say that often causes memory loss. How do you know this? Where did these words come from? Do you speak the same language as they do? Of course, everyone speaks English. Even aliens. That could be it, aliens have taken you!!

            Don't jump to conclusions. You must be careful. Can't give away any secrets when they come to torture you.

            The room looks generic. A dresser, two doors, a chair and a small table. The table!!! On the table is your Gob! That is definitely your gob! Gob will know what has happened. Those fools forgot to tie down Gob. But you can't speak out loud, they might hear. Good thing Gob is telepathic!!

            Gob doesn't respond. Gob was drugged!! No wonder they didn't tie Gob down.

            The door opens. In steps Sally. Sally is trying to rescue you. You start to talk.

            "Shhh. Calm down. It's OK. Stop squirming."

            You're untied. Free!!

            You try to find out what's going on.

            "I have to go finish my rounds. Just relax."

            Yes. She has to help the other prisoners. She leaves. The S.P.A.C.E. patrol must be on the way. You go to the dresser. In the bottom drawer is your costume. When the S.P.A.C.E. patrol gets here you want to be recognizable. You get Gob and put gob in the special pocket - can't forget your trusty side-kick.

            You know your mission. Go to the control center and destroy their plasma ray and teleportation device!

            Right before you enter the hallway, you turn on your invisibility field. There are people coming and going, you dodge by them, you recognize some of the other agents. They almost can see you, special invisibility sensing training. You make it to the control center. There are three clones managing the machines. There is a big sign next to the window.

            ThE BUgMAn Is cOMIng tO EAt yOU Up!!!!! FrIdAy!!

            Today is THuRSday. You must prepare, go to the secret workshop and create a new-super-spectacu-mega-weapon. One of the other clones sneaks up behind you! You're captured!!!! The clone stabs you with the mind-numbing-clone-cerebellum-serum-gun. You're doomed!! They take you to a reprogramming lab.

            “How are you feeling today, Davey? Do you have anything you want to share with the group?” They are trying to trick you into giving away secrets. You will not compromise your mission, there are other agents counting on you.

            “Nothing. No. No dreams. Quiet as a Gob. The machines won't crawl around. Bugs crawl. Bug. Ma. Bugman?”

            “Yes, Davey the Bugman is coming to spray tomorrow.” So tomorrow you die. The Bugman will spray death and you die. Your mission failed. They talk. They all speak in code. Machine code. Bug clicking sounds.

            They take you to the factory. They force you to make things. To give away secret technology. Usually you smash the technology after you make it. That makes them mad – then the clone stabs you with the mind-numbing-clone-cerebellum-serum-gun and they take you away. You need to be ready, today will be different, you will keep your super powerful technology and use it against them. Just like you did when you made Gob, your side-kick.

            "Davey? What do you want to make with the paper mache?"

            "B.. Bu.. Bug?"

            "Oh. Well, how about ... a bug mask?"  No!!! No bugs! Bugs Bad. Mask make you become bug. Become bug! Become bugMan. Bugman. Bugs don't hurt Bugs. Bugs scared of Man. Become BUgMAn!!!!

            "Y.. Ye.. YES!"

            Bugs have armor. Need armor. Shells like turtles. Mutant? No. Thick. Thick armor. Like sweater Gams gave. Brown green thick scratchy. Icky looking. Like bugs. Claws. Bugs have claws. Sharp like scissors. Yes. Scissors. In Art room. With Mask.

            You put on your new improved costume!!! You have a new secret identity! "ThE BUgMAn!!!!!"

            Gob likes it. Gob tells you that you should sleep. You both need to be ready for the battle tomorrow. You go to your special top-secret-agent-safe-base, where the clones keep their costumes.


The FriDay:

            The door opens. The evil-BugMan-clone-agent has a large-super-spray-death-ray aimed right at you.

            Gob jumps, doing a side-kick's side-kick, smashing in the evil-BugMan-clone-agent's face. The large-super-spray-death-ray fires. You duck. Gob has been knocked out by the evil-BugMan-clone-agent. You use your new-super-spectacu-mega-weapon. The evil-BugMan-clone-agent is dead. You take his large-super-spray-death-ray and help Gob back into your special pocket.

            You turn invisible and sneak out of the evil clone alien factory death base.

            The BugMobile is right outside. You hop in and leave. You must get back to the S.P.A.C.E. secret-base. You don't remember where it is. The clones must have erased your memory. But you know there are other secret agents out there. You just have to find one.


The SaturDay:

            Somewhere in town there is a TV set on. It is three A.M.. There is someone still awake. The BugMan is riding by. The BugMan sees the blue ghostly flickering of the TV through the window.

            It flicks its code at him. If he stops to decipher the code, he will be captured. he knows this.

            Red light. That means stop. The car stops.

            They've trapped him - he freezes.

            Memories- firing into his brain.

            On. Off. On. Off. On. Off.

            Just like that. Memories

            On: MOTHER is screaming. i did something bAd. very BAD. i try to talk. MOTHER Hits me. :Off

            On: strapped to a table. DOCTOR puts metal on my head. :Off.

            On: next to dumpster. boys come. have paper bag. Laughing. say Mean things. Hurt me. won't stop. :Off.

            Green. Green. Green.
            Go.
            Green. Go.
            Green. Green. Green.

            Go.

            And he does.

            The BugMan will NOT eat ME! I Eat Him!

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