February 10, 2012 § 4 Comments
Prompt: Write about what you did yesterday from the perspective of the demon sitting on your shoulder.
His shoulders slant sightly, and his eyebrows knit together, whenever he feels me on him. It’s disturbing, though at least he’s ignorant to what that means. From his shoulder I can see his thoughts, feel his pulse, hear the temptations of his heart. And whisper things.
The day’s passed slowly so far, nothing for me to whisper on – though he’s felt me on him all day and so he’s in one of his deceptive moods. I felt temptations thick on him like a coat of plaster on his skin as the day goes on, he ignores them, but texts a friend.
They share waffles and a secret together, swapping curiosities like currency. There is a stoned man who listens only to her stomach, a homeless zombie-professor sitting in a cafe, and a man in the subway straight out of Jurassic park. They plot. He ignores me because they got waffles together, and she is his friend, neither of which are valid reasons.
I hiss, spit, bite at his ear. He winces, hiding it in a smile and shrugging at the most inane of comments. They talk about comics, and a fanfiction, and Harley Quinn, they update each other’s lives and add commentary to the past. They pretend to be gods, still he doesn’t listen. He ignores me like an ascetic. When she keeps a secret from him she giggles at the pain, at the squirming of his soul and self, as his own impossible curiosity burns – I make a decision.
The leap isn’t so very far, the journey seems worth it. He chooses cruel friends, often crueler than his enemies. I jump, they turn, hugging as if to make it easier and snapping away at the last second. I fumble, miss by inches, fall.
The ground stinks of waffles and dirty shoes.
February 8, 2011 § 1 Comment
Imagine that the act of recording (writing, taking a picture) has real effects on the subjects who are recorded. Tell the tale of one such recorded subject.
Tara’s story can be found here.
The people of Bataan had many names for him. Archivist, the Book Man, High Reader, Watcher of Mists, etc. Each grew more formulaic than the last.
His name was Kylisis and he read and he wrote. He rarely left his study and was found always in dull mismatched arrangements of grey and green and brown.
He found a phrase to describe himself in the records that he loved. He was a “tweed man” more professorial than anything.
On a planet of artists, holographers and musicians Kylisis took the time to record in stark detail the happenings of the world. He did not embellish, lie or cover up. He reinforced the facts around him with a word.
Kylisis remembered a fact some scientists had jotted down and joked about a fistful of centuries ago. He’d found it buried in the libraries of Bataan, ancient shipwrecks of a long dead Empire.
The mirror-theory of reverse causality, the concept that recording an event influenced it inversely.
So though he did not embellish, but re-enforce, he tried when he could to word things for the better more strongly than for the worse.
He recorded each day and hour meticulously, sometimes by his hand and sometimes with a hundred programs he declared as Gamlins.
They spoke the truth and observed without intent and such forceful will sometimes they finished before events unfolded. Never were they lies.
Kylisis recorded for 9,547 days from the moment he discovered the theory to the moment he discovered his impending death.
As Cardovan, his doctor, put it “All those words are getting to your brain, you think too much Kyl.”
The abscess in his brain was inoperable without considerable risk to his cognitive abilities.
And that was when Kylisis told a lie, a fib, a meandering.
He wrote of a hope, an abstract perhaps that the abscess might simply fade away.
Three weeks later, his schedule day of demise, he woke feeling considerably more wholesome. And he wrote this as well, telling it to Cardovan who stood in disbelief.
This process begat itself several times as the abscess returned, subsided and returned. At last, with an inkling of connection Kylisis supposed to write of a cure.
Fifteen hours on the minute later, Dr. Cardovan called. The good doctor was flushed out with excitement for his friend. “A cure.”
And then Kylisis swallowed. He trembled.
Cardovan was the man who found the body, going to deliver pills that would save his life.
Cardovan cried for a friend, and examined the Archivist’s computer. He thought the gamlins might just know what happened. But they weren’t found in the code, virtual cages scattered and erased.
Opening up a tablet viewer, he saw the words of a friend and grew confused.
“The heart of a man who might be tempted stopped. And Cardovan was the man who found my body. Delivering pills that would save my life.”