Aphelion Issue 277, Volume 26
October 2022
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Alternate Scene

by S. T. Eleu

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

at the back of a San Francisco bus
(alone and scorned)
carves out his own universe

   with a leather jacket and dog collar rage
      insolence: spiked and studded
   with an orange mohawk rage
      a rebel's yell within rebellion's hell
    with a punk music rage
       guitars that scream, "I hate You™"
    with a middle finger rage
        synched with an antiestablishment lyric
           screw you!

volume is this youth's weapon

across from the Punk
(less and less able to connect with Spock)
asks him to stop the noise

   that damn noise
   distracting an admiral's ability
   to plan a mission

   that double damn noise
   denying his attempt
   to reclaim a friendship

at Kirk's left
(more and more stymied by his humanity)
leans over and applies a Vulcan nerve pinch
that pauses rage's playlist

   the noisic stops
   all passengers applaud
   save for one

Alternate Scene: Passenger #18
in the row seat to the right of Kirk
(in full new wave regalia: Boy George meets Hawaii)
turns and asks

   did you like totally just kill that dude?

assures the concerned citizen
that his friend applied an ancient yoga technique
used to subdue only the most raffish

   please forgive my friend
   he's working some things out

   but his issues have issues
   that have issues

raises an eyebrow

Passenger #18
sighs in relief
and engages Kirk in a conversation
about The Filthy Fifteen

(music cue: We're Not Gonna Take It
plays on a boombox held by Metalhead #1 outside of bus
now stopped at traffic light

Metalhead #1 looks at passengers in bus
and hails them with a hand-horns sign: 🤘

Spock responds with a Vulcan salute: 🖖
to Metalhead #1's mirth
who turns up the volume and totally rocks out
. . . . . . . . . . . .: music cue - fade out)

asks Passenger 18 if the Filthy Fifteen was a sequel
to a favorite film of his, The Dirty Dozen

corrects him and recaps
Earth's history of oppressing youth movements
and the struggles its citizens had faced
combatting the evils of censorship


   really, you reviewed that for your Memory Test?


   naturally, I am half/

covers Spock's mouth
and looks back at Passenger #18
with the 80's guilt of

Bill Buckner, Ollie North, Tipper Gore
shoulder pads, acid wash denim

Passenger #18
turns back around and retorts
under breath

   that space cadet's half something al-right
    like totally half baked
   for sure

then slumps back and falls
into a deep, deep sleep
after feeling a slight pinch at the base of the neck

a small ionized charge
having cascaded up through neurons
and disrupting, temporarily, higher brain function

and, perhaps, eliminating a memory
or two

© 2022 S. T. Eleu

Raised in Vegas then exiled to Chicago, S. T. Eleu (they, them) has been a musician, teacher, and consummate Vulcan. Autism is their default universe, and though sparsely populated, is a glorious place to escape to, write in, and display an impressive collection of action figures.

Find more by S. T. Eleu in the Author Index.

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