An Alternate History

III. All Your Base Are Belong to Us

So I waited until “You’re So Vain” started playing. After the crafty, minimalist intro finished up, I dialed my brother's phone number on the landline sitting in the middle of the living room. This time the phone rang three times before my brother’s disembodied voice came on the line. Here is what happened after that, I mean, this is what Albino’s voice said to me from across a century:

“Okay motherfucker, listen up. You're only gonna get one chance at this, so if you need to take a bong hit or jerk off first, go ahead and I’ll wait. Oprima the number one when you’re done with that shit.”

Since I was fresh out of weed and hadn’t even thought about sex since the before time, when actual human beings ran the country, I immediately touched the button marked one. Albino’s voice continued. “After this phone call is done, you need to procure a disposable shaver that you have used and cut yourself with on occassion. In addition to that, you need to procure a condor claw, or at least a very high resolution picture, like 300 dpi bruv, of a condor claw. Oprima one to signal that you understand and want to continue.”

I only sorta knew what the fuck he was talking about but I went ahead and grabbed the phone while I pawed the plastic button marked one.

“This is magic dude. Don’t forget that. Listen carefully to the song I told you about, listen to it repeatedly for the rest of this diurnal period. When Carly gets to the line that goes ‘You’re where you should be all the time’, memorize that, write it down or some shit. Then, when you get the razor and the claw, put on the record, put on the song again, sometime in the morning is preferable, less interference from the government when the sun is just climbing up into the sky. Anywho, When Carly sings about where you should be all the time, sing along. And don’t just mouth the motherfucking lyrics either, put some heart into it. Oh, and be holding the razor in your left hand and the claw in the right while your arms are outstretched just like Jesus on the cross, sabes?

We’ll talk more when you get here. Be seeing you. Just then his voice halted and within microseconds was replaced with the intro music to Zero Wing, a video game we both fancied, circa 1989. That creeped me out just a little and I hung up with the intention of finding the objects I needed to rejoin my brother in some future world.




Rudolfo Carrillo

Rudolfo Carrillo is a writer/artist living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Carrillo holds a BFA  from the University of New Mexico and is currently a graduate student in the UNM English Department. His art work has appeared at 6o6 Gallery, Raw Space, and the ASA Gallery; his literary work has been featured in Typo Mag, On Barcelona, and Maverick Magazine; his work as a journalist has appeared in many regional publications. Carrillo was the news/music editor at Weekly Alibi – where he wrote as August March. Rudolfo recommends the New Mexico Black Leadership Council.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Thursday, May 30, 2024 - 22:22