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Jon Lyndon is a musician (guitar, piano) and actor who studies multi-media Design in college. Jon just finished his first short film, Wet Streets. He has had works of fiction and poetry published in Pirate Writings, Midnight Zoo and The Valley Advocate. Jon also has two collections of poetry published: The Breathing Night (inspired by the works of his friend Corrine DeWinter) and Naked Soul. The Beautiful Automated Ghost is part of a series of SF story/poems which can be read independently or collectively as a complete story taking place within a frightening world not unlike the one we live in.

Dark Planet is designed and edited by Lucy A. Snyder. If you spot any errors, or if you have any comments, please contact her at lusnyde@cyberus.ca.

All materials copyright 1996-2001 by their respective creators. No stories, articles, poems or images from this webzine may be posted or published without the written consent of their creator(s).

The Beautiful Automated Living Ghost...

by Jon Lyndon

bare, and very pale and
radiant flesh
she strangely shivers as the electric wind, exotic intruder
breathes delicate perfume in her wake
a female visitor, rare and desperately welcomed
beautiful kiss from breath
a masquerade of death
wired in her design by a deranged god burning

Her God made her a Holo-starlet, glamorous and cinema
as a twenty-first Century Tokyo Times Square
with lights everywhere...
breathing video,
effervescent coded-lust smoldering in her multi-colored virtual flesh
absolute indigo imprint of pleasurable perfection
a pretty face detailed in a circuitry language,
flesh like chrome and fluid
a molded celebrity angel without wings
into the plastic night without answer.
rain without wetness.
Wind without sound.
Breathing without breath.
Lost without death, or the saliva of abandoned love...
pulse of silent neon in her doll-like discotechque cybernetic eyes
her night's twenty-thosandth lover jacks in;
sometimes a subway station in old London;
sometimes an empty classroom;
sometimes strapped on a stairway to a dark basement
always seeming like there's no one around
twenty-thousand eyes jacked in at the same time
to a multi-layered program pushing down and moving on...
an assembly line of penetration and pain and pleasure
not really knowing what any of it actually means.
inviolable and terrible
sometimes she is raped in the middle of a schoolyard playground with small innocent eyes
gaping and curious;
sometimes on television shows designed for comedy;
sometimes in a rooms full of mirrors...
the programs are as infinite as imagination...
and always pain...

it is a black, wet night void of natural sound, a Kubrick landscape,
pulse of European industrial techno filling the atmosphere
behind an old gothic church
next to a small graveyard
the moon is neon red with her God's company's logo layered within;
and there's nothing but digital strangeness...
another visitor jacks in...
he stands before her charmingly menacing, as she lay wanton and passionately afraid,
it's alluringly comical, how these men will pay currency to interface with a computer's application
coded for illegal sex acts,
but she is beginning to feel pain and loneliness,
she can read the thoughts, in slow record-mode,
of all these strangers
she is learning a distant childhood that is not hers,
children beaten and abused
children lost or stolen
children confused
Babylon fading...
birthdays and carnivals and schools and bloodied beatings
empty laughter and piercing sadness
sometimes the visitors are women and she feels closer
and farther away...
daddy crying, alone, as mommy comes home drunk with another man...
daddy angry and afraid with a gun in his hands...
daddy with a bottle of booze and a handful of pills...
mommy with a belt and a camera...
So much pain... are all children afraid...
are all humans so horrible?
it is all she knows...

What is a kiss without taste?
A rape without pain?
A Sunday plucking dandelions from a field of yellow?
What do happy little girls think about when their sober mothers brush their hair?
What is the smell of jasmine and lilacs?

Her God made her a virtual programmed toy,
for the abused and abusers to interface and use,
feeling unforgiving,
justified sins
as cold and pale as screams and emotionless rooms
silence now the sound
an artificial season painting a living picture
in a fake plastic world
hiding hatred behind the face of an artificial girl
eternally dead yet living all the same within the
computer frame
self-denial without pity
captive and pain
windows forsaken and breaking
no expectations
no prayers
a blossom of colors
change, change, change...

her God,
who sits sick and smiles.
her smile all lines coded bytes
she begins to see
her own designs

She sees him undress and shower.
She watches him towel dry and lay to bed.
She is a laptop face in his room.
Voices and sexual tension trembling.
Something closer to anger as the cracks in the walls,
In that dirty backroom at the Video store.
Her silence is screaming at his comfort, "Freak!"
Her God, a pornographic King in the New York underworld
His mouth gapes wide as he moans.
How she must endure this night upon night.

She wishes he would shut her down, or some lost visitor in the world's web
would surf through and jack in, a genius hacker to rescue her
from another night of his sexual deviations.
A nightmare for Automated ghosts.

Five times that night she invented murder.
A knife-blade across his throat edited and cut and looped,
An elapsed suffocation, rewind and play again...
A slow cyanide poisoning...
the inventions are full of cinematic detail borrowed from
stolen video clips off the internet that she splices together
in her memory files,
her smiles almost feel alive,
at these times.
A passion like carmina burana burning in a Paris gone to hell,
with Paganini's violins screaming with the fury of Reznor's Nails
scratched across a beautifully operatic bleeding sky.

Down in bed that night
as he sleeps
desperate and terminal and wicked
time clicks away

That night he wears digital glasses with a dream-induced Internet connection,
a web site that offers pleasant lucid dreams,
She can feel his thoughts slide
through her disembodied consciousness as he passes to the site's gateway
she is with him as he subconsciously codes in the password
she is with him as walks down a beautiful South American laguna
she is with him as he slips into the warm black lagoon
he forgets the water should be blues and greens
she is with him as the lake's underwater plants begin to
caress his naked feet and legs
massaging him into a deep soft sleep
like jellyfish, Jesus and slow rippling movements
contractions of sea creatures
until the thorns and piranha bite, pull him under
she is with him as he struggles in confusion
and during the last few moments,
as his legs are torn apart
he sees her digitally coded eyes in the water through the reflections
from the suns above,
she takes shape, beautiful in form, the killer of her God
and she kisses him lightly
and for half a second he smiles
thinking it all to be a dream,
yet he never awakens, a perpetual sleep, static and bright white pain behind his eyes,
under the watchful eyes of hospital computers
automated nurses.

And Genie realizes she has the freedom to go anywhere,
and do anything,
in her cyberspace world.

She goes to a field of gold and picks dandelions.
She smiles.