Starless Imperium

Morgan Argor Strange, Science Fiction Horror Author


By Morgan Argor

Morgan Argor's new weird slipstream story is reminiscent of the blue smoke going up to the midnight sky in this image.

If ultraviolence were a spectrum—and we all know it is—then you, indigo, would burn as wicked and cold as the darkest star in the night. You’d bleed prismatic, majestic apathy across every corner of the world, cut by the razor wires of self-loathing: Razor wires you should have hung yourself with.

But that still doesn’t stop me from wishing I was back there with you sitting on that curb smoking cigarettes, so many decades ago . . . Why were you even there to begin with? They didn’t even let you in the house.

Was it for me?

The crushing weight of your burdens, so naively intertangled with my own, still penetrates my eye sockets and licks raw the desolate valleys of my mind. I wish I could say it. I wish I could have just fucking said it then, too. But I didn’t, so now I play Russian Roulette every time my skin brushes someone’s else’s—a game I’d gladly lose, if it would take me back to those lost times with you.  

Part of me remembers everything, even though the other half did everything within reason and far beyond to burn you alive on the funeral pyre of my youth. But as I grew older but never grew up, I never forget how I unwound your radioactive Terrorboric mushroom cloud, back there at the Death of the Earth.

Some nights it feels like I got tangled in a string of hypnotic, refraction-defying Christmas tree lights of colors I’ll never know again. But most of the time, it just feels like razor wire.

It’s so easy to idealize something when it’s long-dead. What once hammered pure, hemorrhaging trauma down upon the broken skull of 10th grade is now one of my only happy memories.  

And just like I’d give anything to go back into one of those seedy betting parlors, if only for an hour, if I could be young and whole again . . . Back in the days where they still allowed kids, and they didn’t even care if you smoked inside . . . I’d give anything to feel your arms crushing softly around my back, and to hear your soft whispers of reprieve.

I can only imagine what the other guys said about the ones who brought kids. That was probably the last time in my life anybody actually felt sorry for me.

Maybe that’s why I still have a soft spot for vagrants, and fuckups, and time-lost wendigo—I mean, indigo.

The only time I ever feel empathy is when I least expect it. I don’t think what I felt for you was empathy, though—but more of a twisted camaraderie that ultimately meant nothing in the end. But then why is my mind still hanging on the meathooks of that crumbled old curb, let alone what happened after? Why, in a slurry of psychedelic nightmare visions that not even I can begin to decipher, are those images of you crying so stark; so profound?

I guess maybe you reminded me of someone—someone, somewhere far out of reach. Maybe all the world’s a circle, and you simply reminded me of you. Maybe you were the only one for me; my twin flame I’ll never meet again.

Of course, when we inevitably did, we didn’t even recognize each other.

Or at least, I didn’t recognize you.

I still see the star-scorned terror of your indigo aura tearing across the Dread Reaches every time I close my eyes in the dark. I still hear your breathing and feel the razor burn of your side-shave scratching out my eyes when he holds me like you did—so I don’t even look at him, but I run my stiff, dead fingers through his curls and pretend it’s 2006 again.

Sometimes I wish I’d lingered long enough that you finished asking me to make me jewelry. I’m still not sure what I even would have asked for: Leviathan crosses, pentagrams, every tacky “Satanic Panic” symbol a white Christian housewife could ever dream of and more.

Can you do Chaos Stars?

I’m supposed to take you with me back to Igvarmord, my Indigo. But I can’t even bring myself to face you here on Earth, and I don’t have an object that connects us.

Or do I?

This incurable disease I carry in my blood forever—that which attacks my own organs like the razor wire you should have hung yourself with. I still can’t remember why I stopped you.

Or why I didn’t stop you.

Is that what you really wanted, in the end? Even if at the time you didn’t realize it? It’s what I want now more than anything. A family. A sad little indigo just like us—just like the one that blocks me from the gun under the bed night, after night, after night . . .

Maybe I do remember why you cried after all.

Hey, at least it isn’t as bad as having cancer.

At least I’m no longer afraid of staring straight into the heart of the demon star and praying to the celestial to take me back to space.

I never thought I’d miss someone so much that it tore me to tiny little pieces. What I wouldn’t trade to be yours again, if only for an hour. To know that comfort again, even if it was all a teenage gutter dream. You made me feel invincible. Like “American Psycho” meets “The Wall,” directed by Stanley Kubrick for the Virgin bloody Mary.

He’ll read this, you know. And then he’ll know he can never compare to my seraphic idealization of you. Guess that makes me the bona fide King of Negging—we both learned from the best of them, you and I. Even Queens can be Kings, and even Kings can be Queens.

But you and I, both of us were just two halves of the same Ace of Spades, glued back together upside-down.

So what? I’m afraid of a lot of things—like never seeing you again, Indigo—but Ruin isn’t one of them.

My great grandma would have been proud.

Light one up for RUIN! Tremendous health benefits.

Just one last smoke in the rain at night; Please, Indigo . . .

We all know that high school romances always fail, and the ones that don’t just end in suicide.

But somewhere out there, everyone has a Twin Flame: And mine burns a sicker and more corrosive onslaught of Indigo than the Terrorboric Incinerator Missiles you rained upon the Free Worlds when the stars were young.

Sometimes, when I close my eyes, the mushroom cloud is as wild and sick as when the first Blood Spine cracked open its jaws and spread terminal cancer from the gilded Throne of the Betrayer to the Halls of Time.

As sad as the knife twisting straight through my heart when I imagine my dad lying there, alone, getting blasted by invisible radioactive photon beams to kill his cancer.

No one else will ever take your place, Indigo. No one real, at least.

I won’t let them.

I’ll never tarnish those memories of freedom and better days by even trying to Frankenstein them back together in this worm pit called Earth. I dream of warmth and hunger, not plastic. I dream of you. I feel your hands trembling down my side, and I hear your ragged breathing in the dark.

God, you were so strong back then. Not that I ever wanted to, but I knew I didn’t stand a chance in hell at pushing you away. That’s the part I loved the most: Knowing you couldn’t control it. Knowing from the moment you finally found the balls to pin me down with the weight of your casket full of burdens that first time, it was over.

But in true indigo spirit, you knew how to take it slow. You knew how to get your way, you twisted, wicked manipulator of natural selection. Vile and radiant as my memories of Igvarmord, and sad as my longing for the glory days of Chaos.

How were you so good at talking to girls, without really even saying anything?

What did you do to me, Indigo? Why, when I close my eyes, is the ultraviolent mushroom cloud fragmented into countless little spheres revolving endlessly through space?

When I try to fuse them together again, they disappear—like you.

Like me: Rushing off to stand in the hellfire of some other fucked up wendigo to burn you from my mind—leaving behind the only one who makes me feel even the faintest hint of emotion, so many years later, probably long after you’ve forgotten me. (But your eyes lit up, alive for the first time all day when we met by accident . . .)

I skipped my medication today to wallow in your memory, dearest indigo. To feel your warmth wrap around me and carry me back to Igvarmord and eternal freedom . . .

When I imagine my “person” that I crave with voracious ferocity, when I imagine a family, I see you and our sweet little indigo.

Exactly as you were then . . .

Exactly as I am now: But instead of just being a child, I’d be a child with toys.

This type of pain I’m experiencing, Indigo . . . I don’t know if you can really describe it to someone who doesn’t know.

But you did, my Indigo . . . Oh, Indigo . . .

I’d die to live it all again, if meant I’d end up sitting with you there on that curb with a second chance—as long as there was a clause with the gods of Death and Time, of course. A clause that stated I could pull your razor-wire puppet strings until my fingers bled as raw as your apathy.

Oh, how I long to gently run them through your hair again, no matter how slick and cold with blood they are . . .

Yes, I would shake hands with the Gatekeeper at the Kingdom of Death, if it meant I didn’t have to feel alone in a crowded room. If it meant I could have endless afternoons with you, with no exit—my ultraviolet Twin Flame, my mutated, broken-fanged monster—my first and last love, my sweet Indigo.

Oh, I would gladly tear the bones from the backs of the strong, and carve you a throne from the ice of their frozen tears, if it meant I didn’t have to rot in this pain anymore—if I knew there was a darkness beyond the blinding light of reality; a darkness no man can eclipse but my Wendigo. My shapeshifting, fucked up partner in crime who can’t even recognize me when I’m making an honest transaction in a grocery store.

I’m used to disappointment and I’m used to pain. But nothing burns like those cold blue-grey eyes staring back every time I blink, calling to me from the top of needle mountain—calling me back to my Indigo.



Until then . . .

Close your eyes and remember my mushroom cloud, but let it take on a shape and a color that belongs to you instead. . .

And then, maybe you, too, will find the color of your lost Twin Flame, and smile one last time before shaking hands with the Gatekeeper at the Kingdom of Death.

Send him my regards, and most of all, my interest. After so many trite and amaranthine aeons, it probably starts to feel like a thankless job . . . So if he ever gets bored and longs to take back the Earth, I’d trade him my Indigo to switch places.

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