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  ...presents...                   Clockwork
                                                         by Obscure Images

                      >>> a cDc publication.......1991 <<<
                        -cDc- CULT OF THE DEAD COW -cDc-

     The rain was falling in an erratic pattern, as if it were confused.  It
was that kind of day.  The waterlogged clouds were dark gray, and so was the
day.  She looked out from the glass door for a moment before leaving the warm
house.  "Oh shit, I'm going to be late again," she thought.  On further
reflection she found that since she was late every day, she was right on time.
Logic like that just can't be beat.  Fortunately the walk wasn't very long, a
good thing since the portfolio on her shoulder was as heavy as hell, and it
kept digging into her shoulder.

     The classroom was already full when she walked in.  The teacher ignored
her as she dripped across the room.  He had tried to make an example out of her
at the beginning of the semester, but it seemed to make her worse, so he gave
up.  She found her usual table in the back of the room empty, fancy that.
Greetings were exchanged with the people sitting around her as she began to
unwrap herself.  First went the big green army surplus coat.  It was severely
ugly, but it was wool and kept her warm.  After owning it for several days she
bonded with it, and was thoroughly in love with it.  The next thing to go was
the big furry wool scarf, once again aesthetically unpleasant at first glance,
but it too grew on her.  She took off her hat and shook the long brown hair
free for a moment, but quickly tied it back in a ponytail.  The hat, which to
her friends looked like a train conductor hat, was placed back on top of her
head, toot toot.

     To the people, her friends, who were sitting around where she was
performing her biweekly ritual she looked sort of like a robot, but not quite.
The thing is that she would take off the coat and scarf and do the hair/hat
thing and then sit down and wait for the question.  It was always asked by
someone, it was part of the ritual, the day wouldn't be right if it was
neglected.  The ritual progressed.

     "Hey Rebecca, how's your day going?" asked Dave, putting the wheels into

     "Really shitty, actually.  I slept through my English exam, and I am way
behind in all of my other classes."

     The ritual, in the orthodox form, was complete.  The robot metaphor seemed
on the surface to be quite astounding.  It was almost the same response to the
same question every time.  It was only on very rare occasions that the mask
slipped, a smile formed on her pale white face, and everything wasn't shit.  It
never lasted very long though.  Something about the way she was made the good
times so much better.  It was the thing that kept her friends from abandoning
all hope for her.  Weathering the periods between the good times was the hard
part, even the strongest rock will get worn down by the sea.  Along the years,
several rocks were eroded away, much to her dismay.

     Worlds seemed to build themselves up and then crash down around her.  A
game of cosmic cruelty, it seemed to her, a celestial clown holding a carrot in
front of her and yanking it away just as her hand closed.  Things always seem
to look different when you are outside looking in.

     The class passed by, idle chatter and ritual complaints filled the air
while the students worked on their projects.  The time seemed to slow down to a
stop, each minute grinding away in an improbably long amount of time.  Rebecca
didn't care, she was working, it kept her away.  It was only after she stepped
back and looked down at the work on her desk did the wheels drive forward
again.  The work was shit, it wasn't a surprise to her, she assumed it would
turn out badly all along.  The others were saying that it looked great, they
were all just lying to protect her feelings.  There was no time to do it again,
so it would have to do.

     The teacher dismissed the students, and the room was suddenly active with
the rush of people scurrying to pack up and leave, to get back to the dorms
before they stopped serving dinner.  Rebecca packed a bit more slowly than the
others, there was no need to beat a clock back to her apartment because the
food would wait.  She didn't feel like eating anyway; the constant nausea put
an end to her appetite.  On the way out, one of her friends, a rather dopey
looking overweight longhair stopped in her way and asked her if she wanted to
do something that evening.  She told him that she'd really like to, but she had
an incredible amount of work to get done, and she wasn't feeling well.  He
looked disappointed, but mumbled some sort of feigned jovial remark and
shuffled away, big heavy shoes thumping down the hallway.

     It wasn't a lie, not really anyway.  She really did have a lot of work to
do, and she really wasn't feeling very well.  It was just another part of the
ritual.  The worst part about it was that at one point in time they were very
close friends, with a fairly strong emotional bond.  There was something to be
said about him at any rate, he never seemed to give up trying.  She couldn't
really decide at the moment whether or not it was an appealing trait.

     She trudged back to her room in the boarding house, throwing her
belongings to the ground as she walked into the room.  She paused to remove the
jacket, scarf, and hat before flopping down on the mattress she slept on.  A
battle raged on inside of her mind, one side fighting to get her to do all of
the work that she had to do, the other fighting to get her to forget about the
work and sleep.  This time the side of sleep won the battle, so she took off
her clothes and climbed under the blankets and went back to the land of sleep.

     Several hours later, she woke up feeling hungry for the first time that
day.  After dressing and brushing out her hair a bit she wandered into the
basement, where the kitchen was, and cooked something to eat.  Bill was down in
the living room watching something on the television while he drank his cheap
beer.  By the end of the evening there would be 24 half-full cans of beer
sitting around on the floor.  When Rebecca walked in with her supper, there
were only 2 cans on the floor, so Bill was still coherent.  They talked while
she ate and he tossed her a beer, which she happily drank while they chattered.
The time went by quickly and before long there were quite a few cans on the
floor as well as 5 or 6 empty ones on the table by Rebecca.

     She wasn't too drunk.  It was more of a heavy buzz though she hadn't had a
drink for a while so her tolerance was rock bottom.  She wasn't drunk enough,
however, to forget that she had work to do, yet she was drunk enough not to be
able to do it.  She gathered her stuff from the kitchen and made it back up the
stairs to her room where she lay back down on the bed and played a tape in the
box next to the bed.  The tape faded out as she fell asleep again.

     The morning kicked her in the stomach with a steel-toed boot.  She barely
had time to get to the bathroom before coughing up a stream of vomit.  She was
still half asleep as her stomach twisted itself up through her mouth.  It was
another morning time ritual, unpleasant but unremarkable as well.  When the
heaving stopped, she picked herself up off of the floor, went back to her room,
and came back with her toiletries.  After brushing her teeth, she showered.

     The day was officially started.  Rebecca sat down at her desk, not feeling
much like having breakfast, and began to work on the neglected homework.  By
the time the work was done, it was time to go to one of her classes.  She
debated to see if she really wanted to go to the class, but since she'd missed
the last one she had better go.  Before leaving her room she dressed for the
outside: a plaid flannel shirt over the t-shirt she was wearing, a red doughnut
thing to hold her hair back in a ponytail, a bright polyester print skirt over
the black long underwear, the girl-style combat boots, and then as she left,
with her school bag clenched momentarily in her teeth, she put on the old coat
and hat.

     "Another dismal day outside, but then again everyday is dismal here,"
Rebecca thinks as she wanders across campus to where her class is.  As she
passes through the quad someone says "nice hat" to her.  She replies, "Fuck
you."  The rest of the walk is uneventful, and she made it to the class just in

     The girl that she sat next to in the class was someone that Rebecca
usually tried to avoid.  She was the kind of girl that belonged to a sorority
and took business classes.  Her hair was tied back in a ponytail, except for
the bangs, which were hairsprayed straight up, like a wall of hair.  This was
the kind of girl who was in college, but nobody was quite sure as to how they
got there.  As far as most of the male population of the school was concerned,
these girls were easy fucks, so they might as well be around.  Most of the male
population of the school were especially hard up for sex.  In any case, the
presence of Rebecca around one of these vapid young women was somewhat akin to
holding a match to their wall of hair.  Some people never seem to learn when to
mind their own business and this girl was one of them.  To her, everyone's
business was her business.

     "Excuse me, are you feeling all right?" asked the girl to Rebecca's right

     "What?" asked Rebecca, feeling a sinking sensation in her stomach

     "Are you feeling ok?  You just look, you know, really pale."

     "I'm feeling fine, why don't you mind your own business."

     "Well geeze, I'm so-rry," she replied with an offended look.

     "I really hate assholes like her," thought Rebecca as her mind drifted
away from the teacher at the front of the class.  Instead her mind focused on
the piece of paper she'd been using to take notes on.  Before long she found
herself drawing intricate little designs in a strange spidery style.  By the
time the teacher finished talking, most of the page was covered with the
designs along with various words and letters which were drawn in the same sort
of style.  She ripped the page out of the notebook and crumpled the paper up.
The class ended and she packed her things up into her bag and went to another

     The next class was much the same as the class before.  Rebecca turned in
her homework and then sat down towards the back of the class.  The darkness
began to creep into her mind.  The robot wanted out.  She couldn't be there any
longer; she abrupty picked up her belongings and left the classroom, tears
beginning to form in her eyes.  The gloomy walk home was made worse by the
chemicals in her brain.  People turned into faceless puppets, the scenery
became distorted with everything at weird angles.  The thoughts ripped through
her mind, she had to be home.  She walked faster with every step, breaking into
a run in a few seconds.  Her home was within sight, but it didn't seem to help.
The robot was malfunctioning.

     The landscape pulled back around her until she reached her room.  Once
inside, she lay down on her bed and curled into a ball, hoping to ride through
the storm.  Eventually she was exhausted from the panic and fell asleep, into
safety.  The morning came quickly and the robot was working again, at least for
the time being.  She got up from bed, threw up in the bathroom, took a shower,
and went off to another day's worth of classes.
  _   _   ____________________________________________________________________
/((___))\|Demon Roach Undrgrnd.806/794-4362|NIHILISM..............517/546-0585|
 [ x x ] |Paisley Pasture......916/673-8412|Ripco II..............312/528-5020|
  \   /  |Tequila Willy's GSC..209/526-3194|The Works.............617/861-8976|
  (' ')  |Lunatic Labs.........213/655-0691|Condemned Reality.....618/397-7702|
   (U)   |====================================================================|
  .ooM   |Copr. 1991 cDc communications by Obscure Images        07/20/91-#171|
\_______/|All Rights Pissed Away.                            FIVE YEARS of cDc|