We have a Love the Placenta! contest winner!
S.T. Cartledge has won with a fantastic mashup of Placenta of Love and Inception, with nods to Constance Ann Fitzgerald’s Trashland a Go-Go and Vince Kramer’s Gigantic Death Worm.
Part 1 of S.T. Cartledge’s”Plaception”appeared at Bizarro Central.
Continue the mesmerizing saga of Captain Carl and his love, Juliet, below.
The Dream Sequence
Juliet held tight on to Captain Carl’s arm as he brought her to the Inception ride.
“This is so exciting!” she said. “How come we’ve never been on this ride before?”
Captain Carl shrugged and brushed Juliet’s hair over her ear. “I didn’t know about it until t’day,” he said.
“A ride full of dreams. Oh… Carl, it sounds amazing.” She wrapped her arms around him and kissed him. “I love you,” she said, with a giggle.
Captain Carl wrapped his arms around her waist. “Aye, and I love yeh too. Yeh mean the world t’ me.”
“Hey Carl,” she said.
“Do you think we can go to a dream world populated with our children?”
“Aye, maybe we can, love. Maybe we can.”
Robo-Cobb stood outside the entrance waiting for the lovers, walking down Hollywood Avenue, hand in hand, poor Juliet looking so happy and oblivious to Captain Carl’s plans.
“Alright Carl, step this way. Welcome, Juliet, so lovely to meet you. I am Robo-Cobb, the ride’s operator and master dreamweaver. The others are plugged in and ready to begin.”
The one named Slappy had blue skin and no hair and no eyes. He was sitting next to Zampanó 2.0 and Bubsy, an orange furry robo that looked like a mutant cat with too many big green eyes and razor sharp teeth. Captain Carl took a seat next to Zampanó 2.0, and Juliet sat next to him. Robo-Cobb sat on the end beside Juliet. At the flick of a switch, the dream machine started humming and the six of them entered Slappy’s dream in level one.
In the dark and the cold of night, the six creatures stepped out onto the road and they came to a collective understanding that this land was a dead land. Up ahead there was a man and a boy pushing a shopping cart down the road. The man was old and tired and the boy was thin and young and tired and each footstep dragged a little heavier than the last.
Robo-Cobb turned to Slappy with a menace in his eyes and pulled him aside and said, “this is the wrong dream. You were supposed to do the happy, no children dream. This is sad, and that” he pointed at the haggard boy, “is a child. You have ruined everything!”
“Get away from me,” Slappy said, and pushed Robo-Cobb away.
They turned around and the father and son were gone.
Juliet ran up the road. “Where did they go?” She asked Carl. “Come, help me find them.”
Captain Carl followed her to the place they saw the man and boy last, and they followed the tracks from the shopping cart off the road through the snow into the forest of tangled branches.
Captain Carl felt the cold metal barrel of a gun pressing into the back of his head.
“What do you want with us?” The man asked, taking deep, painful breaths.
“Nothin’,” Captain Carl said. “We’re travellers, and we mean yeh no harm.”
“I’ve heard that before,” the man said. “Were you going to steal our supplies? Kill us and eat us? Rape the boy? Tell me or I’ll blow your fucking brains out!”
“We don’t want nothin’ t’ do with yeh. We just saw yeh there, and then yeh were gone. If yeh don’t mind we’ll best be gettin’ out of here. Things t’ do. People t’ see.”
“Wait,” Juliet said. “I know you. You’re that guy… Viggo, ah… what was it? Viggo Mortensen. That’s it!”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, lady. If you’re not following us, then you’d best be on your way.”
Captain Carl and Juliet regrouped with the others, who had pulled over to the side of the road and started plugging in to their portable dream machine. Everyone except Slappy was plugged in, as he would control this dream while they entered level two.
Robo-Cobb grabbed Bubsy by the back of her neck and said, “don’t fuck this one up.”
“Mrow,” she said, and blinked her nine green eyes back at him.
Robo-Cobb checked everyone was plugged in and he flipped the switch.
Everything was flashing lights and throbbing music and yarn. The group of five were lined up outside a nightclub called “the Birdcage.” Everyone in the line were cats, and they scratched against the furry wall of the side of the club. A cat in front of them made sick on the sidewalk and the bouncer came down to kick him out of the line.
“You five,” he said. “Come through.” The bouncer was a big black thing with tusks and big orange nipples.
The inside of the club smelled of cat piss and week-old fermented milk. Inside cages, bird-women danced for the cat-men who leapt and tried to stick their paws through the cage, and licked themselves and drank fermented milk from saucers on the furry floor. The music was a happy hardcore nyan-cat endless loop. Lasers flashed all about the club and the cats leapt up on the walls, trying to catch them. Robo-Cobb glared at Bubsy before she disappeared onto the crowded dance floor, and he brought Captain Carl, Juliet, and Zampanó 2.0 to the bar for drinks. The barmaid was a skimpy Sphinx-kitten with dark eye-liner and golden tassels. She served up four saucers of milk, which they tried to lap up politely, before they saw that everyone else was either shoving their face into it or pouring it down their furry throats. They drank the saucers before commandeering a stall in the bathroom to set up level three. The lights were dim and blue, and the floor and walls and toilets were all covered in fur and cat piss, and there were four of them in the one stall, plugging in, and Robo-Cobb nodded at Zampanó 2.0 and flicked the switch.
They were back on Venus and Zampanó 2.0 was human. He was in his workshop surrounded by automatons and the bits and pieces of robos he was working on. From the other room, a baby cried. It whined a sonic plea for attention, and Juliet answered its call. She came back with the robo-baby in her arms, face gushing as much as a robo can gush, and her eyes stared into the baby’s big blue glowing, humming robo eyes, and she stared up at Captain Carl and smiled. Then she hiccuped, then staggered and fell over. On the way down, the baby smacked its head on the workshop bench and its whine turned into a mutated growl. Juliet had a massive scrape down her face and her cheek was busted up pretty bad. She took one look at the crumpled heap that was the baby and she started sobbing.
“Shh, honey,” Captain Carl said. “It’ll be okay. It’s just a dream. It’s just a dream.” He stroked her arm and kissed her cheek then walked over to Robo-Cobb. “We’re gonna stop this now. Pull us out.”
“No,” Robo-Cobb said. “She’s too emotionally unstable. If we wake her up now, there’s no telling what might happen.”
“Shit,” Captain Carl said. “We’ve got t’ do something. I don’t give a shit what happens so long as yeh get us out of this mess. Yeh’ll do it now or I’ll dismantle yer hard drive when we get back!”
“Alright, alright!” Robo-Cobb said. “I can probably fix everything if I take her one more level deep.”
“Great. What are we waiting for? Do it.” Captain Carl threw his arms into the air and paced around the workshop.
“The only thing is, ah, how to put this,” Robo-Cobb rubbed his palms. “You’ll need to stay here with Zampanó. Otherwise it’ll get too unstable. If it’s just me and Juliet I can fix her up just right.” He winked and patted Captain Carl on the shoulder.
Captain Carl watched Robo-Cobb plug himself and Juliet into the dream machine, flip the switch, and sink into a deep sleep.
“Do yeh think he can help her?” Captain Carl asked Zampanó.
“I don’t know, maybe.” Zampanó worked on piecing together his robos and automatons.
“We never should have done this,” Captain Carl said.
“It’ll be fine, Carl. It’ll be fine.”
The adventure isn’t over! Read the rest of S.T. Cartledge’s fantastic “Plaception” in Part 3.