“It’s all horror and madness.”
– The Marquis of Venus
I was disgruntled and at the same time full of horror. I was deathly afraid of my lover in this World milieu of love killings. People said, if you really love someone, you should kill them. And women killed as many as men did. It was lovicide. Here on Earth in the year 2152 A.D. the population was down to 7 million from all of the murders. And murder wasn’t illegal, so some murdered many and were serial killers in essence. People wondered why there wasn’t a big war or plague or something to kill even more off, since that is what the regime seemed to be supporting; death!
Like many others I was paranoid. And I never went to sleep in the same hotel room as my lovers.
Indeed, these were desperate times, and many were desperate for love and succour.
There was no reward for murder, it was just something people liked to do. And all murderers felt they were heroes. It was widely believed that killing was a thrill, especially to shoot them while they were awake and hear their last words. A heroin overdose was the weapon of choice for would-be murderers.
Finally, my time had come, my lover had pointed a gun at me and told me I was about to die; and as I bled to death, I reflected, it was a mad World of horror.
No Police on Venus
I wondered why there was no police here on Venus. It was anarchy and gangs ruled. Everyone I met here was an asshole. It was a World of nightmares for me and I was constantly worried I’d be killed. I built my own fortified tunnel. And none could pass my gates unless I allowed them to. I dreamed of being murdered in thousands of ways by different people.
Finally, a girl convinced me to let her in; she said, “She wanted to love me.”
But sure enough, she was a murderer too and she brought back corpses to my tunnel for us to eat. It was cannibalism sure, but we were hungry.
Then one day she turned on me and murdered me; I wondered if I would be good eating.
The Cruelty of Virtual Reality
I wondered why Virtual Reality (VR) was so cruel and violent. It was as if people had a grudge against society and other people. Most VR involved battle and plague and one could die in the VR quite easily. And this was irrevocable death. When in VR, you appeared as a hologram while your real body was in a state of dreams/sleep. But if you died in VR your body quickly decomposed and was removed by cleaning robots.
I was afraid to go to VR, and die like a dog, but most people were in it and admittedly life was dull and boring outside of VR. But better to be bored than dead, I reflected.
I had a nice lover now, and life was sublime, but one night she sent me to VR while I was sleeping, and I soon died there in the middle of a battle.
The Happiest Place in the Universe
I heard it through the grapevine that the electors of Venus 21, were going to make me mayor. Frankly, I was surprised. The electors were 12 in number and generally rich and progressive. I too, was a total progressive and I wanted to turn Venus 21 into a hub of manufacturing and production. Like air cars that could stand the crushing Venusian barometric pressure and luxury goods for the many rich of Venus. And steel and strong glass for building. It was the year 2161 and millions and millions lived on Venus. I was also progressive socially. I wanted to force everyone to be happy. We’d use neo lie detectors and determine if they were really happy and if not, they needed to see a shrink. If that didn’t work, they’d be sent to Rehab and have genetic therapy to change their brains. I aimed to make Venus 21 the happiest place in the universe. People would come from far and wide in order to be happy. And we would have every luxury for the people including android sex dolls and new drugs.
So, I became mayor. But many people were unhappy and didn’t want their brains changed. “The horrors,” they said. I said, “Well then we’ll just hypnotise you to change your mindset through benevolent post-hypnotic suggestion.” This, they were willing to do at first, but as time went on, many were still unhappy, and I was afraid the discontent would spread so I forced them all into brain therapy.
I said to the girl, “What’s that noise?” She said, “It sounds like a man dragging an axe over the floor!” I said, “You are just trying to frighten me. And you are doing a good job of it.” She said, “But of course you are here to protect me.” We opened the doors to the other rooms in the building we were in and found there was no one here. “We are haunted,” I said “For all the questionable things we’ve done like killing my grandfather for his money. We both heard what appeared to be a man dragging an axe in our house at separate times.” She said, “It couldn’t be an aural hallucination, since we both hear it.” It was hard to get a good sleep in with the noise. We were nervous wrecks. Finally, we moved to a new house, but the noises continued, and we both ardently wished that we could bring grandfather back to life. So, we pooled our money and cloned him. Then the noises only got worse and finally, we both overdosed and died.
World of Matricide and Patricide
I thought to myself, this World is a real horror. Every girl was required to have at least twins every year and the children were bred for patricide and matricide. It was really quite scary.
And the powers that we believed in, the new generation of killers.
The leaders themselves were all in their twenties and had no time for old fogies.
I was one of the last of the old generation to die, my kids seemed to have some respect for me as a former famous author. But finally, one of my sons stabbed me to death, and as I lay dying, “I begged him to spare his mother.” He told me, “All old-fashioned people had to die. They are a vexation to youthful spirits.”
Spies in the Head
I wanted, a more equitable society. But all I got was harassment by the spies. The spies poisoned my lovers against me and so too my friends.
I told them, “They could f—k right off.” Then they somehow got into my head and forced me to kowtow to the powers that be. “Just be glad we haven’t killed you,” they said.
But they had made me miserable and lonely. I was afraid to seek out new lovers as they too would get the head treatment.
Finally, I killed myself.
The Horror of the New American Empire
I said, “It sounds like state-sponsored terrorism, with the USA sending battle troops into chaotic World situations and killing many civilians. The President wanted a new American Empire and wanted to take over the governments of many sovereign states. And many governments welcomed the chance to join the USA… But they realized quickly that Americans were taking over their economy and most people in their respective countries were wage slaves. There seemed to be no end to the abuse in this World. And many wage slaves were abused by their masters. Some cried out it was a horrific World, but the World media didn’t cover it.”
Reprogramming the Love Androids
I fornicated with the androids of Neptune’s Moon Triton. But it was a dangerous game. If you didn’t please the android lovers, they’d try to kill you. Initially, the androids were peaceable and non-violent, but a woman named Wilma, reigned here for a while and reprogrammed them. So, if one was going to love an android, it had better be good. And you had to really like the love dolls. Not just use them for sex.
I prided myself on being a consummate lover, but then one love doll wanted violent sex and I gave it to her, but she suddenly grabbed my throat and was very strong and I died. Such were the horrors of Space. Of course, the punishment for murder was genetic therapy in Rehab., but she was bored of her brain anyway.
Murder on Mercury
I felt that I had done my share for the people of Mercury. I had been mayor of the largest of four colonies for six years and had presided over a quintupling of the population to 10,100. It was a rich colony as we had a lot of metals and solar power. And tourists came here to see the wildlife. It was the year 2106 and we had Mercurian djinnis and leprechauns and centaurs and nymphs etc. etc. All the wildlife were powered by solar power and were types of androids. The djinnies in particular were popular for granting wishes, but they would twist the wish around and give you bad nightmarish scenarios. For example, if you wished to be famous you might find yourself the most famous latrine cleaner in the Universe. And if you met a leprechaun you would be in for trickery and shenanigans. Nymphs meanwhile wanted to love you and centaurs liked to party and so on and so forth…
I had the Planet buzzing with tourists, but my successor blew it and cheated all the tourists and blamed it on me. So, tourists came hunting for me and finally, one of them murdered me. What a waste! I figured as I lay dying.
One Way Ticket to Paradise
To me, this World was a horror story. Everyone in this World was gay and/or androgynous. I wondered how the Supercomputer could have sent me here. I didn’t belong. The computer said, “Don’t those androgynous babes turn you on?” I said, “No, not at all.”
Then the Supercomputer sent me to a World of pretty flowers. And I met a nymph here. The nymph said, “She knew all about me and wanted to love me!” So, I went for it and it was sensuous and great. But then she said, “I had to stay with her forever.” I said, “It’s a big wide World out there…” She said, “No, coming here was a one-way ticket. You can never leave.” I spoke into the air, “Computer!” But there was no response. It had never failed to respond to me before.
The nymph spoke and said, “I am your perfect lover…” And I wondered if this was some kind of test? I sulked alone for a few days. Then I decided to love the nymph again. And after a few days she did seem to be a real soul mate. But I told her, “I was a futuristic writer.” And she said, “Your future begins and ends here with me.”
So, I refused to love her and went off sulking again. I kept shouting in the air, “Computer!” After a few weeks, it was obvious that I was stuck here. So, I took my own life.
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the brightest of all?” I asked. ”The Supercomputer” mirror said, “It is a scientist who lives in deep space, 3 years journey.” I asked, “What could he/she teach me?” The mirror said, “This man had a new physics, which allowed Spacecraft to fly faster by a factor of 8. And he is surrounded by a number of super genius women. You’ve never had a super genius woman!” It said. I said, “How can I increase my intelligence to match him?” It said, ”It’s a bridge too far; you would go insane if you improved your mind to that degree. But this scientist can handle more and more intelligence.” And I asked the mirror, “How can I get a super genius woman?” “You are not bright enough,” it said.
So, I shattered the mirror with my fist and cut my jugular vein on the broken glass and died.
Dancing to Earth’s Tune
So, I said to the girl, “We had to dance to the tune of the Earth’s Supreme leadership.” Which meant we had to give all our profits back to the government except for 10%. Still even at 10%, Space real estate was valuable and profitable. And we made a good living here on Venus. The air pressure here was a problem but we lived underground and controlled the tunnels in various areas.
Many were obsessed with the concept of loving on Venus and many famous celebrities had come here to live in the tunnels and caverns.
Some even wanted to build skyscrapers despite the enormous air pressure, which was now doable. So, we finally built domed cities on Venus but there was a horrific aspect to it: most people here were mad and dangerously unstable. And would murder others at the drop of a hat.
She, my former lover, personally was kept in a cage, by her current lover and people thought she was a sexy girl and would wank off on her. It was bad surrealism, I thought. And I wished I could have saved her from her chains.
Wild Women Rodeo
In this rodeo, lightweight men rode on the backs of strong women and aimed to lasso “wild women”. The wild women were captured in the new jungle of Venus and some couldn’t even speak.
Venus was now terraformed in the year 2195. After their first and only rodeo, the wild women were auctioned off to the highest bidder. I bought some of the really wild ones, but they were really dangerous. One hit me with a lamp while I was sleeping, another stabbed me with a small knife. But I survived.
And the wild women were really good in bed, even those who were virgins. They had boundless, crazy energy and it was difficult to keep up with them.
I had a harem of 25 of these wild women and loved every one of them hard. But finally, they were bored and all of them broke into my bedroom and suffocated me with a piece of debris.
I was singing the blues on Jupiter’s Moon, Io. I lived in colony #3, “Galileo’s Romance.” But the women here demanded, 50% of your wealth up front as a precondition to love. And they enjoyed dumping men and breaking their hearts.
My fortune was now only 1/32nd of what it had been and my former lovers were living high. It was a bad vibe.
And women controlled the government and men had to work jobs that were chosen for them. But they were not paid for their work and inevitably their bank accounts were zero. And then they’d be trapped on Galileo’s Romance forever. Few got out while they still could, most told themselves, they would eventually find love here. Most of the women were extremely attractive and fiendishly clever. And men fell slavishly in love with them.
Men dreamed of being kept in cages by the women here. And no one believed in romance, just sex.
But in my case, I had high ratings so many women wanted to love me, and they wore me out.
However, then one woman was dissatisfied with me and had me executed. I figured no one would care.
Marooned on Planetoid X
I was having trouble connecting with female holograms, living on Planetoid X. No girl wanted to come here neither human nor hologram. My job on the Planetoid was to oversee the power system and I was an engineer. It was a well-paying job, but I had signed a twenty-year contract and had to work alone most of the day and there were no available women here. I gradually fell into a depression. I tried to hook up with holos on Earth net and had at least some love. But it wasn’t the same as a real woman. And wanted to die, so I hung myself.
Turned into a Toad
I’d been changed by the government into a toad. I still had my mind, but, I was horny for female toads. And I liked just sitting beside an attractive female. Then one day I caught the attention of a human Princess. And finally, she kissed me and got warts as a result, so she then hunted me down and killed me.
I was wondering aloud, “Why everyone on this Moon, Mirabel, orbiting Uranus, was so serious?” They said they were busy doing science and building up machines to make living here Utopia. Busy as bees.
I told the bees, “the whole idea of Utopia is to live pleasurably, and they were working double-shifts in their engineering and science.”
So, I started a business for clever tourists to come here and do new, illicit drugs, far stronger than heroin. And we were all spaced out in Lotus Land. The drugs wreaked havoc with our liver and kidneys, but we just got new stem cell organs. We had amazing dreams on the drugs (which stimulated the imagination), and wrote the dreams down and sold them for big bucks. We were all talented dreamers who enjoyed the thrill of Space.
But then suddenly the scientists arrested us and trialed us for “Illicit hedonism.” They found us guilty and the punishment was brain surgery to make us just like the busy bees. “The horrors,” I said.
Murder in Space
I opined that people these days tended to suffocate their lovers with attention. Of course, on this Moon of Uranus, Puck, it was a very small Moon and all 50 of us had cabin fever. There was simply nothing else to do besides romance your lover. Most of us here were monogamous. But 10 were bisexual and loved one another loosely.
Then one day we had our first murder, and we had a meeting about it and decided to punish the murderer with brain surgery. Some of our robots could do brain alteration. We were all saddened it had come to this.
That year we had 12 murders and 16 guilty murderers. We gave them all brain alteration, and told Earth we wanted out. But Earth was busy with wars and plague and told us we were on our own.
I figured Space would be a horror for any colony and when we communicated with other Space colonies, we learned they had severe problems with suicide and murder, especially the former. We had no suicides here, for some reason. I guess the reason was it was a good place.
I’d been thinking, what if we could create a World with no memories? One would be educated of course, and remember that, but upon reaching 18, one would not remember their experiences. This was good in that it eliminated bad experiences; and in this cruel World, most experiences were negative. I created this city/World on Moon Ganymede, orbiting Jupiter. And everyone seemed to be happy. But UN scholars decried my new city and said it was a crime against humanity to make a virtue out of forgetting. I said, “It’s just like being a heavy drinker on Earth and forgetting the previous night.”
And so finally, they arrested me and reformatted my brain and deported the colonists back to Earth.
I jokingly referred to our leader as “Bozo,” but she didn’t like it when she heard about it. So, she used her power as mayor of New Detroit on the Moon, to arrest me and torture me in her dungeon. The horrors. When I was finally released ten years later, my back was broken, and I was doubled over and could hardly walk. The former mayor had been indicted on charges of crimes against humanity including 12 people she tortured. The doctors told us victims that we needed a new body and that they would like to remove some of the horrific memories in our brains. But I wanted to remember every moment and finally, I gunned down the ex-mayor while she was coming out of her trial. Then I was charged with murder and sent to the infamous Luna prison where I was raped and even poisoned. The horrors.
Cursed Fate of a Superhuman
I said to all who cared to listen, “That I was a superhuman created in the lab.” People believed me given the current World milieu and wanted to share my wisdom. But I told them, it is not a free service, they had to pay for consultation. This aggravated many who said I was greedy and a disgrace to the human race. So finally, a mob attacked me and hung me, and I died.
The Disappearance of Radicals
I voiced my opinion, “Life was, and always had been, a struggle to survive.” The girl said, “For the royalty, life has largely been a giant panacea.” But I said, “Now we are all living like royalty, except we lack power.” She answered, “To actually want power is to be crazy.” I said, “I beg to differ, power is something everyone strives towards. Everyone wants promotions in their job and new lovers and children to control and love.”
She replied, “It’s all madness!”
And she told me, “She used to be a radical like me, but government agents had altered her thinking and I seem to be right, but she couldn’t go there and follow me.”
I said, “I am not surprised. The government doesn’t like radical thinkers and many who seemed to have good ideas disappeared from the radar.”
And I said, “They’ll no doubt come for me one day. The horrors.”
Tom Ball has published novels, novellas, short stories and flash in “Green Wall,” “Down in the Dirt magazine,” “Defenestrationism,” “Exterminating Angel“ “Conceit Magazine and its imprints” “Gargoyle Magazine,” “Spillwords.com,” “PBW magazine,” “Fleas on the Dog Online,” “Sparrow’s Trumpet,” “TRSFR/ Sip Cup,” “Poetry Pacific,” “Planisphere Quarterly,” “The Local Train Magazine,” “Alternate Route,” “Lone Star Magazine,” “postcardshorts” and others. Tom is currently a senior editor at “FLEAS ON THE DOG.”