…it would tell you a lot of stories.
Tag: short story
…it would tell you a lot of stories.
The third time I see Tox hacking a body is during my first kiss.
His name is Nathan Skree. Not the boy I was about to kiss. The man Tox was murdering. I’m sitting outside the University, in an area we like to call the Smoke pit. I had my first cigarette here. It was midnight after the party.
“I think I like you Sam,” the boy in front of me says. He reaches for my hand and smiles.
There’s a figure behind him. Once again, like a shattered piece of glass. But this time it’s different. Shadows creep around him, as if terrified to take a step closer. A halo of light illuminates his actions. Tox is at it again. This is his past. This isn’t Tox now.
“Ex..cuse me?” I reply, my mind teetering on the edge of realisation. I’m hearing voices now. And smells – smoke. The boy in front of me, the one that eventually kisses me, still doesn’t realise. I feel sorry for him afterward. He goes off – talking about how much he adores for me. That he knew I was special ever since he realised my affinity for Stephen King novels. I don’t know what the fuck that means. Tox has my complete attention.
He can’t be more than fifteen years older than me. Mid thirties perhaps. His left arm, covered in blood, glints in the misty moonlight. It’s made of chrome and steel and cables. Kinetics, for a time, were allowed to walk around with such contraptions exposed. For a time. Eventually, when people started using them for bar room brawls, and for beating their wives, and for murdering their children, something had to be done. They were replaced. A few held onto the technology – many got rid of them out of fear.
I know it’s the Chains again. It’s all over the news. Business men and celebrities and housewives. Children and fathers and nomads. All over the world. Links. Spiritual bonds that defy all explanation. And me? Well, like with many others, mine’s with a serial killer. Nice.
The boy in front of me edges closer. He’s breathing heavily. I don’t know what to do. Tox is saying something to this Nathan. Whispering in his ear. It is then that I realise that the forms are changing. Like a passing storm, Tox is no longer there. By the time the boy kisses me, I have to close my eyes. I hope when I open them, he’ll be back again.
I open my eyes. Tox is sitting there, next to a bench. He’s dressed in prison overalls – dark blue with an electronic tag over his right arm. This is the now. Tox at this exact moment. He’s smoking a cigarette.
I can smell it. I don’t know why I couldn’t care less about this boy. Maybe I just like the idea that he’s watching me.
I was writing a poem when I saw him hack the body a part.
It was the second time. The first time I saw him I was in class. It must have been a week prior. I had drifted of into a frivolous daydream during history class. Mr.Hanikus was writing something on the tronic-board. There was a black bird outside, cawing. At first I didn’t know what to do. I let it envelop me completely.
The window before me was frosted. The figure, shattered in light, was tearing the corpse a part limb by limb behind it. No blood. Sounds. Dynamos and motors. Everything became still; a humming void of nothing behind my eyes. I found my hands clasped around my hair when I awoke. Dust and decay had clawed its way into my nostrils. Maybe others have felt the same as me. It happens just like that. Thoughts. Feelings. The pouring of another soul into yours.
The Chain event. I don’t exactly know when it happened. Probably at a time when everything and everyone seemed most connected. We liked to think of ourselves that way before it happened. Linked. By cables and computers and our ‘smart’ pocketed devices. Thousands of miles in one electronic nano-second. There must have come a point when the Universe had gotten sick of it. It wanted to shake things up. Toss us into the wild. To see if we could survive, if the only thing we were connected to, was each other.
But it didn’t happen that way. We slowly began to feel, see and experience the worse of us. Connections to people we could neither relate to nor understand. People that defied explanation. That defied logical sense. Bad people.
I feel Tox for the second time in my room. He’s tearing a part another body. I taste sweat on my own lips. It isn’t mine. My eyes search for something that isn’t there. I’m seeing his memories – I know it. He tears the flesh from a man in a black suit. His jaw snaps and breaks across his fingers like a chicken bone.Tox’s arm is metallic- a cannon of twisted chrome. He’s obviously a Kinetic. One of those things.
By the time he’s finished I know he has stopped trying to remember. He can feel me too. That I know. I envision him sitting up, wherever he is, and trying to remember me. It’s difficult for me to remember his face. There’s too much haze. I don’t think he can see mine.
But he knows my name. Samantha. I heard him speak it once in a dream.