They’re Coming

The city stretched like a scabrous centipede, its neon lights pulsing like infected ganglia. Bill Lee, face etched with a roadmap of past addictions, weaved through the throng, his trench coat flapping like a tattered wing. Reality, a flimsy scrim, threatened to tear at any moment, revealing the writhing chaos beneath.

A cockroach scuttled across a pile of rotting fruit, its antennae twitching like Morse code from a forgotten dimension. A booming voice, amplified by a flickering storefront TV, hawked the latest mutant strain of psychoactive gum. Bill snorted, a dry rasp escaping his throat. The air itself crackled with unseen energies, a Burroughs cut-up nightmare brought to life.

Down a fetid alley, a dented payphone chirped like a trapped cricket. Bill answered, the voice on the other end a garbled mess of static and whispers. “They’re coming,” it rasped. “The Word is spreading, the flesh melting, the boys with their cut-ups and folding machines…” The line went dead.

Bill hung up, a hollow feeling gnawing at his gut. The machine was churning, reality fragmenting into a kaleidoscope of possibilities. A talking dog with a bowler hat strutted by, barking pronouncements on the nature of language. A man in a business suit argued with a sentient traffic cone over the meaning of life.

Suddenly, the sky bled crimson. A monstrous, insectoid ship descended, its chitinous hull buzzing with a malevolent hum. Bill felt a cold certainty. The lines were blurring, the controls slipping. The word had become flesh, and the flesh, hungry. He grinned, a feral glint in his eye. Welcome, he thought, to the Naked Lunch.


The city stretched like a chrome centipede, its buildings pulsating with unseen neon. Street signs shimmered with word-viruses, their messages dissolving into gibberish under the relentless drone of elevated trains. A shadow, long and skeletal, detached itself from a doorway and slunk towards me, its face a roadmap of forgotten addictions. Its eyes, twin pools of oily black, held a universe of desperation.

In my hand, a cigarette glowed like a dying ember. Smoke curled, morphing into insectoid shapes that darted into the fetid air. Reality, a flimsy curtain, threatened to tear at the seams. Sounds – car horns, distant sirens, the rhythmic clatter of a beggar’s cup – became a cacophony orchestrated by some unseen, deranged conductor.

A voice, hoarse and scratchy, rasped in my ear, “You got the red stuff, man? Anything to chase the horrors away.” I stared at the coins in my palm, each one a dull, tarnished eye reflecting the city’s madness. The world dissolved into a kaleidoscope of fragmented faces, flickering neon, and the endless, metallic groan of the metropolis. Was I the shadow or the one being followed? The line blurred, dissolving into the putrid soup of existence.


Big Louie

Certainly. Here’s a Burroughs-esque expansion, laced with his signature dark humor and fragmented reality:

The city stretched, a writhing metal centipede under a bruised sky. Neon signs bled garish messages, hieroglyphics for the soulless. In a fetid alley, two figures, shadows more than men, conducted a transaction. Fingers like yellowed worms exchanged a crumpled bill for a glassine envelope sweating with oily promise.

One figure, Bug Eyes Louie, his face a topographical map of past addictions, popped a dented lighter. The flame, a skeletal hand reaching, danced across the foil boat. The other, a nameless junkie with eyes like burnt pinholes, inhaled the acrid smoke, a hungry ghost gulping ectoplasm.

The world dissolved. Reality, a flimsy curtain, ripped open revealing the Interzone, a chaotic dimension pulsing with psychic static. Naked Lunchrooms materialized, chrome and linoleum nightmares where roach-sized waiters scurried with syringes full of oblivion. Talking typewriters spewed nonsensical manifestos, and sentient tapeworms slithered through the air, whispering sweet nothings of addiction.

Louie, transformed into a giant talking centipede, harangued the junkie, his voice a rusty buzzsaw. “You can’t escape the Word, man! It’s everywhere, Burroughs in your veins, Kerouac crawling on your skin!” The junkie, now a Brion Gysin collage of mismatched body parts, whimpered, a nonsensical prayer escaping his fragmented lips.

Suddenly, a booming voice, a shotgun blast of sound, echoed through the Interzone. “Cut the act! This is a message for the squares, the dupes!” It was the Old Man, a William S. Burroughs archetype, his eyes glowing with a radioactive intensity. “They think they control you with their money, their jobs, their happy pills! But the revolution is coming, a revolution of the bugs, the freaks, the ones who see reality for what it truly is – a chaotic, beautiful mess!”

The scene dissolved into a kaleidoscope of fragmented images – a typewriter carriage morphing into a roach, a hypodermic needle dripping with liquid language. Finally, silence. The alley reappeared, grimy and unchanged. The two figures were gone, only the crumpled envelope a testament to their descent into the Burroughsian abyss.