3 min

Twilight of the gods

“My blood is boiling!” Juu-Cee shouted from beside his new, peach-moss ceramic laser oven.

Jayzon, who was trying in vain to remember the exact order of the alphabet, sulked in a bitter, meth-fogged silence at the other end of the house. Must Juu-Cee always interrupt? And what came after letter H?

Juu-Cee hollered again. At 69, he was developing a harsh, sandpaper and crude oil timbre in his voice. Too many dance floor whoo-whoo’s to count (if Juu-Cee could count above 15 without becoming violently irrational). “I said, my blood is boiling!”

“Well, take it off the stove!” Jayzon snapped. “And bring me some when it cools.”

Juu-Cee took the saucepan off the laser ring and poured the steamy red blood into a tall fibreglass beaker. He added a yellowy gold powder and stirred. “Should I put it in the hypercold?” he asked.

Jayzon ignored him; he’d made it all the way to the letter L, and was appropriately in a world all his own.

Juu-Cee paced the pressed-eggshell floor of the nurishpit, wondering if he should deep-purge again at 11, just before he slipped into his thong. At six feet and five inches, Juu-Cee weighed an unforgivable, pendulous 103 pounds.

He knew New Year’s was coming. All the Netshops had silvery head cones and hypoallergenic fibre noise tubes for sale on their seasonal clickstalls, and going out for a theme-waitered dinner suddenly cost twice as many unicredits. So why, why did he let himself go?

Juu-Cee remembered his prime: 97 pounds, 4 ounces, 0.006 body fat ratio…

…the UniFYCatZion 2008 Victory All VIP MegaPass FortiSSSima Party (Barcelona Site), co-produced by the AlTARR Boys and Spiny Cornea Productions, a Silver and Grey Ball event, with DJ Dixie Cup and DJ Tuna Tin…

…everyone in steel and bullet Lycra flywing briefs, everyone transparently healthy, everyone a boy forever and forever, everyone forgetting anything useful or newsworthy or necessary or even the difference between good and bad… the world on the head of a pin…

…all for me… me….

“Is it ready yet?” Jayzon interrupted, with a scholarly lift of his eyebrow tattoo.

“Stream me, I’m getting changed in an hour.”

Juu-Cee spiked a vein plug with the warm, doctored blood, shook out the congealed fatty gel on the top, and streamed his 72-year-old partner with hot plasma.

Jayzon twitched, flexed his feet and hands to make sure the hot blood was evenly distributed, and watched with satisfaction as his skin quickly tightened over his pointy bones.

Careful not to let the clot-spasms bruise his legs, Jayzon slowly made his way to the negative ion flatbed in the shareroom and waited for the scalding pain in his chest to pass. It was worth it.

Juu-Cee topped up the vein plug for himself, doubling the amount Jayzon had injected.

Tonight, he told himself, I’m going no-skin, I’m presenting subepidermal tight. This New Year’s, I’m going down to bone – because I’m Juu-Cee. The Juu-Cee. I’ve got people who depend on me, leaderless people who need all the love I can sync.

And, he reminded himself without bitterness, only joy, I’ve got to shrink into a thong and string top originally designed for a nine-year-old girl.

The boiled blood zipped up Juu-Cee’s arm and into his defenseless heart. The top of his head felt flinty and his vision spotted over with magenta clouds.

By the time he slid next to Jayzon on the flatbed, his skin crackled in the folds of his thighs and pressed hard against his face like a hot wind. For the first time in Juu-Cee’s life, it was easier to think than breath.

“You’re all star,” Juu-Cee whispered to his lover, in satisfying accompaniment to the pling, pling of his constricting neck muscles. “Full register VIP.”

“Q, R… R, R,” Jayzon breathed.

“Don’t stop believing,” Juu-Cee muttered, and fell asleep.

Jayzon lost consciousness minutes later, at the letter S, and stirred only once, with the slightest catch in his breath, sometime before midnight. Sometime just before he died.

When their bodies were discovered a week later, Juu-Cee had shrunk an entire foot and a half. His skin was pearly clear and hard as enamel.

Everybody who was invited came to Jayzon and Juu-Cee’s double bill, Goodbye Energy Transformation pre-party. The dress code was bean curd white and mature violet. The DJ played retro-samba-mezmer and some old UK teen pop.

Before their bodies were lowered into the bio-mulch, some sentimental friends tossed in their thongs and walked home naked, as bare as pills, in the humid January breeze.

One of the boys, apparently heartbroken, thought he saw Juu-Cee’s face in a carbon vapour. But he couldn’t trust his memory.