Sleep terrorists deploy noise. The automobile is the terrorist’s cannon for shooting heavy artillery in waves, ground-based transmissions of sonar combat. Make and model of vehicle are irrelevant, as is color and scenery of crime. Picture a red light. He is there, idle, riding low to the ground. But to say you can see his trespass in color by the light of night is prevarication, folly of sprite American lap dogs undisturbed. Grade-A sleep terrorists (GASTs) are essentially motile, anathema of happy lap dogs. GASTs may come in cartons of four; more frequently, however, the terrorist boasts solo like a stomping rooster, ready to start others’ days at night with booms.
The Doppler Effect cahootes with the terrorist. Do not be duped: The Doppler is not the anchorwoman on location at the beach during hurricane Camille, standing by to show and warn. Rather, it is the Secretary of Offense, budgeting artillery equitably and fanning the fare. It is futile to target The Doppler, even with roaming thoughts of retribution. At the end of his circuit, the grade-A sleep terrorist parks at the bar and attaches his posterior to a receptor. The bar may have aligned itself already with its likenesses in strip formation to produce the armada of woe, the commune of bass. Whether independent or in family assembly, the bar is a grade-B sleep terrorist and the stationary second home base or barn of grade-A. Here, hardy glasses of the deep amber barley fluids and these glasses’ inaudible twinkly tinklings inspire him. He knows that what he can not hear is there, and that in his vehicular rounds he helps shatter clear song. “Cheers,” the smug terrorist says unto the din and hubbub, satisfied that the din and hubbub are both too busy to listen. His eyes are swollen slits in the smoke.
The band in the back rocks a bleary-eyed gentleperson out of her warm mattress stack and she calls cops to complain. Two cops rush in with a gust of cold sweat, panting white. But common cops can’t deprive the sleep terrorists of their basic necessities the way those terrorists can the complainers theirs. The cops console her as though her flannel nightgown means nothing. “This is my computer desk,” she explains, pointing, “where tomorrow I will be forced to think. I am not a mover or a shaker and I do not wish to be moved or shaken.”
The cops do not see. The stout one fiddles with the radio at his belt because the signal is breaking up. Over and out. They do not see because she does not say: Sleep mode of person dangles like a thin icicle, a temporary crystal of dim chill, moonlit spectrum of dream. Sleep mode of PC hides the screensaver, recurrent astronaut dream of person. The terrorist is driven to wreck rods and conical suspension, to murder the sleep person with her very own dangling mode. The terrorist hates the PC because it saves its screensaver, thereby reminding the person of how things might be. They might rightly be if she could take a caesura, if taking one would count for something.
Stacy Rollins received her M.A. in Creative Writing from Florida State University in 2003 and is the author of two books. There are large deposits of poetry and prose poetry on her hard drive that appear to belong to her, as well. Her most recent work appears in Atticus Review. She enjoys planting and trimming paronomasia mazes and getting lost in them, stubbing portmanteaus, dealing in Tarot spreads and magic spellings, unplugging the circuitous, creating visual art, singing, and grating her lemony zest for life in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where she lives with her boyfriend of eight years.
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