Excerpt: GoreView (Reptil)

Another excerpt from the GoreView series, from the Prequel. Critiques welcome.

There are two kinds of consumers in the world. One has a dainty constitution and sigh cute phrases like “oh my!” and “isn’t that awful”. The other is wickedly perverse; they opened the flood gates to hell early in life and constantly need more disgusting things to stimulate their jaded senses.

Gibon Fen served the latter. They were his masses, his viewers, his flock.

The word to describe Gibon Fen was… sufficient. He was sufficiently handsome, sufficiently competent, and sufficiently moral. His hair was a medium brown; he was of medium build, his eyes a non-committed hazel. He was so adept at sufficiency that any attempt at excellence often ended in catastrophe. So when he inherited a Pulitzer-winning newspaper from his uncle, he ran it into bankruptcy. He fired his best writers and editors, or they threw their resignations at his face.

War correspondent Philip Kent folded his resignation letter into a paper airplane and threw it through the double doors of Gibon’s office, and then turned on his heel with his middle finger in the air screaming, “You snatched failure from the jaws of success, frat boy! Go fuck yourself.”

Determined to prove Philip Kent wrong – Philip was a particular thorn on his side, who treated Gibon like shit from the day the newspaper was signed into his ownership – the paper’s assets were reinvested into a new venture.

Cellus were a new type of sunglasses that merged cellphones, computers, television and social media. Worn on the eyes, the lenses could be screens or partially transparent when using map views. Within a year, people could ping any person they met on the street and discretely see their public profiles pop up on their screens. No more trying to wrack your brain to remember someone’s name! Afterwards, you could rate every person you interacted with – one to five stars – so employers could now determine someone’s amiability, which was particularly helpful for those who worked in service industries.

Gibon jumped on the bandwagon and offered the one thing people wanted and needed… but no one wanted to muddy their hands with. It was something people looked for on their lenses, but couldn’t find. Not on the new Cellu networks, at least. It was an arena that Gibon was more than happy to inhabit. Shamelessly, he named his endeavor GoreView.

It had one singular purpose – to post the raw footage of sex, of gore, of blood and all the dark spaces of humanity.

“It’s reality,” Gibon once said at a cocktail party, “It’s the first amendment, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. It’s humanity, uncensored. It’s not packaged, and glossed over like some Hollywood thriller. The world needs this.”

Then he sipped his champagne, took Reptil from his pocket, squeezed the droplet over each eye and enjoyed the sensation of this drug as it took him on his journey. The drug made you feel like you were drifting on the melody of Pink Floyd. You could see sound and smell color. It was like pissing yourself when you lay naked in the snow – the warmth it sent through the body far outweighed the shame and stink of its reality. The slightest touch turned into a rough caress, and the most benign and boring orgasm could turn into a seismic, life altering experience.

He knew everyone and no one at these cocktail parties which took place in the top floor suites of grand hotels. These parties were Gatsby-esque in their decadence, and to be the host was to show off incredible amounts of wealth. The attendants were too rich to tax and everyone was a friend of a friend from boarding school or the child of his father’s colleague. The entrepreneur in the corner came up with invention after invention that were barely profitable and often bled their trust funds dry. There were also the writers whose mundane prose about how they weren’t loved enough as children, choking on their silver spoons. One could network at these parties, or they could simply take part in the deviance that only the rich could afford.

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