© 2009 by Ron Sanders

Nothing like thrill of hunt. Nothing. When Cerebralist run, Norm run faster. Simple math. When Cerry get all talky and make want deal, Normy get all angry and make want kill. Easy Reason. I know this. All Norm know this. But I know better. I see light in Cerry eye show fearblaze and I cut out eye happy. No hesitate. No oh-me-sosorry Cerry. I strong Norm. I tough. I on Way Up. All other Norm see this, know this, fear me. I know this. I know. I knowIknow.


Gool know I know. He sit and watch and wait. He think I go soft, right here in cave. He think I panic at kill. He think I turn-find him all teeth and gory eye, and then I run. He think he more on way up than me, that all he have do is wait. And so all he can do is wait. Because Gool afraid to face me. He know. Gool know some day I eat his face alive, and taste his blood run hot and sweet, and then I feelgoodfeelgood. Gool watch me now. Gool watch me walk tall out cave, at front of all Norm, and know his place behind me, with average Norm. Gool know I kill more Cerry at yesterday hunt than all Norm put together, and he worry. He know I watch him back as we cross field, and he see me laugh harder, jump higher, scream louder. Gool hear Norm scream response and know he must echo or be suspicioned. But Gool voice catch in throat. He know I on way up, and he snarl. But not at me. At self; at Gool. All Norm excite behind me. All Norm know yesterday big hunt day. Norm almost find Cerry camp deep in wood, because of me, because I smart and follow clue. I on way up; I try harder. I remember. Norm know this, and Norm follow me. Gool know this, and Gool try sidetrack Norm. I see more clue now; broken branch, flattened patch, piece of cloth. Cerry try cover, but Cerry not smart. I whoop and whistle. All Norm talk excite. I break into run; run like leader, run like king. Norm cry out and I stop, raise arms. All Norm stop. I see crowd of Cerry hide in trees. I scream happyhappy. Norm scream response. One Cerry walk out from rest. Cerry hold white rag over head as he walk. Now he wave rag slow, back and forth. All Norm crouch, ready for kill. Cerry walk in fear, come very close. I stand tall. All Norm growl. This it! I make king-bid. I show all Norm I leader! I leap on Cerry, grab throat in both hands and squeeze. Feelgoodfeelgood. Cerry gasp very hard, but I hear his filthy Cerry-talk. “Please, before you kill me, listen for only a minute. The debilitating effects of M117 were entirely accidental and are completely reversible. Your mind, and the minds of all Norms, are perfectly healthy. There is a chemical block; a simple focal screen located, in a virtual sense, somewhere in the midbrain. It prevents the evolved aspects of abstract consciousness to perform;

those aspects are overridden by the baser, deeper functions of primitivity—but they are present, and functioning in real time. They’re just obscured.” I make grip more tight on skinny Cerrythroat. “I ‘obscure’ you!” “Yes!” he gasp. “But precedent to that act, I beg you, ingest this capsule.” He hold up funnypill. Green. Red. But not pretty greenred. Ugly. Ugly like Cerry. “We have been diligently working on this problem. The Block is fluid. The biochemical reversion is absolutely effective, and it is permanent. Your recovery should begin almost immediately. You . . . all of you . . . all of us . . . can be saved.” “But not . . .” and I squeeze tighter, “not you!” “Swallow the capsule!” Cerry fading; I feel it. “It good!” he croak. “It make you happyhappy! Make you feelgoodfeelgood!” I stare in suspicionness, but not let up on squeeze. “Make me feelgoodfeelgood?” “Yes! Oh, for the love of—take the capsule! Make happyhappy!” Cerry go purple. Blood show in spit. Happy purple. I squeeze all more tight. Tighter. Tightertight, tightest-tight. And I see redred, and I go crazygood, and I look up. All Norm watching, careful. I know, they know, they knowIknow. Gool watch close, watch low. He know, I know; we knowIknow. This my time; I show tough. I look past Gool, I look all around and shout: “I make happy! I go sickychew! I go Norm on Cerry!” And I bite Cerry nose, twist in teeth, feel flesh come off goodhappy. “Oh dear God!” Cerry scream. “I—take the gack—mother of mercy, please, kill me, please do it, please, take the caps—” And Cerry shriek like woman as I scoop out eyes and smash head on rock, over, over, overoverover, smash blood happyhappy, kill Cerry and stand up with nose in mouth to smile, and Gool look on with jealousfrown. All Norm know I king. They know. I know. They knowIknow.


Gool quiet now. Gool sit on rock by cave front and pretend he not care. But too late. All Norm dance around me! They know, they know! They knowIknow! I show no fear! I king of all Norm! I turn to Gool and laugh, and all Norm turn and laugh too, and it feelgoodfeelgood. And Gool hang head as I chew Cerry face and spit at feet. I laugh and hold up Cerry uglypill, and all Norm know I not afraid. I show them! I show Gool! I show them all! I hold up pill and open mouth wide. And I laugh as I swallow, and they know I up, I up, I all the way up! I king, I king, I king! They know, they know, theyknowIknow!

Gool pretend sleep. But he watch me close. Very dark in cave; no moon tonight. No Norm see me kill, no Norm see me make happyhappy. No matter. Gool scream when teeth find throat. Norm will hear, Norm will know. Then I eat Gool heart, then I smash Gool brain. He very still now, he feel my footstep. One eye gleam in dark and he freeze. I bend over Gool, I show fang of king. Dizzy. Dizzy. Cave go darker. Stomach kick and I sick. Back off, back off. No Norm must see me weak. Gool must not see, Gool must not know! Sick. Back off, lay down. Rest. Pill . . . pill! Poisonpill! Cerry trick me! Sick, sick! Rest, die, throw up. No, no . . . sleep. Dizzy. Black. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.

Cave bright. Light hurt eyes; I close eyes, I listen. Gool talking all Norm. He sounds more aggressive than yesterday. He see me sick, know I down. I can’t let him see me weak; must not make puke or show cry. I’ve got to sit up, make laugh maybe, show all Norm I only play sick so they’ll stop listening to Gool. My stomach. The sickness passes when I sit up. Now all Norm look hard; I laugh, must laugh, must look nonchalant. They’re all just staring, Gool hardest. Smile back at Gool! Smile! Laugh! Show happyhappy. Stand up; you can do it. Avoid daylight; you’ll swoon. They’re still watching me. I can feel it. Breathe deep. Slow. Monitor your respiration. Act feelgoodfeelgood. That smell, that taste. Oh, God. Charnel. Remain upright. Gool stand up, Gool narrow eyes. Gool look for support from all Norm. My stomach! I’ll heave. No! Don’t show sickysick. Get out of here, fast.

The daylight. The field. Run like hell. They’re chasing me; all Norm run hard. Gool first, on way up. Christ, faster! They’re catching me. The camp, the Cerebralist’s camp. They’ll take me in, they’ve got to. I remember, I leader, I smartest. Faster! Run! I feel all Norm breath. There! That’s the killing field. Go, man, just go! Through the trees. My ankle—ignore it. Run! Make faster-fast. Farther, deeper. I lose all Norm, but they find me. Run harder, push deeper. Show tough. I can outrun them, I can outthink them. Deeper, faster. Sprint, man. Go! A fort of some kind. Run! Log walls and rickety sentry stations. A wood door cracking open. Help! Men peering out. Call to them! “Help!” Damn it, scream! “For the love of God man, let me in! Help, help!” Confusion. “Help!” Hesitancy. “Help!” Hit the door running—I’m in. A face leaning over me, the expression distraught. “Get him to the circle and find some restraints!” Another voice, nearby: “He was coherent! Did you hear him? That was straight English!” “I don’t give a damn. He’s a savage.” My wind is coming back. “No . . . I’m free . . .” A new face, and an elderly man’s voice: “I recognize him—I think. Yesterday. The one who murdered Michael. He gave him the pill.” “Yes,” I manage, and sit up. “He’s curing!” someone cries. “He’s brought us all the proof we need. Get Daniel.” A hammering and hooting outside. The elderly man looks up darkly. “He’s brought us our extermination.” He helps me to my feet. “Come, son. Follow me inside.” The ruckus picks up as I limp along beside him. “They’ll breach the barrier soon,” he pants. “We don’t have much time.” I clutch his arm. “Don’t you have any weapons? We are . . . they are just flesh and blood. And teeth—watch the teeth.” “Oh, no,” he laments, as we pitch into a dark little room and fall round a homemade table against the wall. “All technology went down with the cities. Those of us bearing weapons soon found our ammunition expended in the hunt to survive. We’ve had to rough it, I’m afraid. Our spare energy has gone exclusively into researching a cure for that damnable M117 mistake.” He smiles wanly, as though I’m still too regressed to appreciate the irony. “So much for the chemical engineering of

intellectual growth spurts.” He raises his eyes at a scream outside. “There is no information you can give us? To stop them?” I wag my head. “They won’t stop. This moment is a long time coming.” And he smiles, and he leans over, and he holds my stinking head against his chest. “No matter. The cure is effective. Daniel has a small escape door readied, and he is very fast and very clever. There are many more outposts like ours, and he will inform them of the cure so that civilized man may take back what is lost. Science has, once again, triumphed over the dark.” Shouts and screams. A great deal of commotion outside. A shape eclipses the doorway and I look up to see the looming form of Gool. And the old man pulls back my face and kisses my hair. “Sleep now, son,” he whispers, “as sleep we must. Close your eyes and think of all we have accomplished.” His voice is tremulous and his fingers tight. “Look to the stars, son, trust in man, and dream.”

Thanks for reading Norm, one selection from the Mad From The Farting Crowd collection, a work in progress. In the meantime, why not blow your mind with my utterly unique novels: Microcosmia Signature Freak and Carnival and/or take a trip through the literate maelstrom called

For Readers Only. And please don’t forget my lush morbid verse: Moth In The Fist— all available as free downloads right here at scribd.


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