Tired and jet-lagged, with my suitcase resting on my leg, I waited for Amon26 to arrive. He still hadn’t told me his real name, but I knew what he looked like from photos on his website. A goth, basically.
I stared into every car that drove up, hoping to see in the driving seat a pale face with dark eye make-up. I wondered how I would address him when he arrived. I hoped he wouldn’t expect me to say the numbers in his name.
Half an hour passed when a tall, thin young man dressed mostly in black stepped out of an old brown and battered car and walked over to me. “Amon26”, he said and shook my hand. “You must be voorface”.
We drove for a long time, Amon26 playing industrial music at a high volume. The sun was going down and I slept for much of the journey.
The car stopped and the music was off. We were in front of a white suburban house. It was dark outside. We were here.
“I’m glad you got some sleep” said Amon26, “because we have some work to do”.
He went to the car boot and pulled out my suitcase and carried it through the front door of the house. I followed him upstairs. The house was what I imagined a normal American suburban home looked like; photos on the walls, large rooms, a framed cross-stitch saying “GOD BLESS THIS HOUSE”.
He chucked my suitcase into one of the upstairs bedrooms. “That’s your room” he said, brushing past me, “but we have to go to my room now. We should get started”. We went into his room, the walls were painted bright red. The ceiling was black. Amon26 reached into his pocket and pulled out some twigs. “Do you have any string?” he asked. I said I hadn’t, but I was suddenly aware of something in my mouth. I felt inside and slowly pulled out a long piece of string that was covered in my saliva. I handed it to Amon26. “Good” he muttered, and started tying up the twigs with the wet string. When he was done he pulled out a large carving knife that was stuck in the wall and began to stab the bundle of twigs. It started to bleed heavily. He let the blood fill his hands until some of it dripped out onto the floor, then he rubbed the blood onto his face and then onto mine.
We were in the woods and the sky was red. My face felt sticky. I looked around and saw Amon26 burning the bundle of twigs. There was a large, old fashioned synthesizer set up behind him, black wires trailing out of it. A naked girl was playing slow spooky notes on it. “What is this?” I asked. Neither of them replied. I noticed a mangy white goat was tied to a nearby tree. The girl started singing in a low voice.
When she stopped I asked Amon26 if I could interview him. He agreed.
voorface: Do you like ice cream?
Amon26: Yes, yes I do.
I looked past Amon26 to the dilapidated ruin of the old house behind him. The girl had left her synth and was collecting scraps of paper blowing about the foundations of the building.
voorface: How tall are you?
Amon26 (not smiling): 6′ 2”, 7 feet in heels
voorface: Is code real?
Amon26: Only her cipher knows for sure.
I had asked the question on a whim. Is it the girl? I felt wrong.
voorface (smiling): What colour is Thursday?
Amon26 (smiling): A neutral earth-tone. Casual colors aren’t until Friday.
voorface: Are you a cat person or a dog person?
The goat bleated.
Amon26: Depends, are they fried or baked?
voorface: If blood tastes of iron, does that mean it is made of metal?
A cluster of branches lined up to spell out an answer, but I couldn’t read it. I looked at the brand logo on my shoe and found I couldn’t read that either – it was like the letters had grown into each other.
voorface: What is your favourite hair colour?
I tried to think of serious questions, but I could hear myself laughing.
voorface: What do you think abut the crisis of capitalism?
Amon26: Why did you design this game?
voorface: Dream therapy.
I didn’t say that.
voorface: What is your star sign?
voorface: What is your blood type?
Amon26: Metallic, almost iron-y
He sat down. The girl had glued the last of the papers onto a half ruined angle of the house. I noticed she had also glued some of the notes down on the synthesizer. This explained the tremendous drone.
voorface: Why are you laughing?
I said this without thinking. Amon26 was burying his legs in a pile of leaves.
voorface: What do you keep in your fridge?
Amon26: Lots and lots of plastic. And D batteries.
voorface: What is that circle flashing red in the sky?
Amon26: I don’t know but if I were you I’d trust the promises it makes.
He said it like a joke, but the sight of the circle flashing black and red in the sky seemed to be full of meaning. Looking at it felt like seeing a deep drone.
voorface: How do red pixels become blood?
He paused as if he was thinking, then stood up and said nothing. The girl was gone.
voorface: Are we dead?
Amon26: Not us. Not us.
A huge, flashing red ball hung in the sky which was now black. We were sullen and silent. It was obvious that the interview was over. The shadows became longer and the giant red circle was strobing rapidly. I didn’t want to look at it, but even if I closed my eyes it flickered on my eyelids. I felt like I was staring at it, getting closer. I was standing up and in the air feeling the woods get smaller at my feet, then everything was flashing red and black so fast that both colours were happening at the same time. I was aware of my body going into it and I didn’t feel myself anymore.
I woke up cold and wet in the forest clearing. The sky was grey and a dead fire was smoking. I was alone.