NaNoWriMo: I’ve Got Blisters On Me Fingers! Day 3!

Posted: November 3, 2011 in National Novel Writing Month, sci fi
Tags: , , , ,

Here’s today’s excerpt. I am beginning to grasp the horrible, terrifying implications of all this. This… this story grows and changes shape daily. I have no idea what will happen from day to day. All of this that I wrote, and more, has come as a great surprise to me. I’m scared. Hold me.

One day, Rodger appeared.

 His face was the same as it was all those years ago, but now the white silks became robes of black, his straw hat a powdered wig.

 “You’ve come to judge me, then?” Candace asked. Her home was a library, floor to ceiling with books, scrolls, films. Some she had written herself under pseudonyms, some she had inspired. Most, she pulled out to read and to learn what her people thought, what they dreamed. For the most part, she was pleased.

 “You’ve made pets of these folk,” Rodger noted. It was not an accusation; merely, a statement of fact.

 “I guide them,” Candace corrected. “I learn from them.”

 “You have grown them into a slightly more agreeable version of the Cantons. What you have learned from them, any one of Us could have told you. There’s nothing new here.”

 “You see only the surfaces, my dear.” Candace smiled. “Is this a true physical form you have, or a mere arrangement of light and shadow?”

 “I see no difference.”

 “Exactly.” She crossed to a table, to a bowl of fruit. Round, purple, about the size of a fist. She tossed one to Rodger. “Try it,” she suggested.

 Rodger looked at it as though he were holding the very definition of defilement. “You mean, put this … this thing in my mouth? Bite it and chew it?”

 “And, let the juices dribble down your chin. Taste it: feel the firm flesh yielding to the pressure of your teeth. The texture of it on your tongue. The smell of it in your nostrils. It’s wondrous.”

Rodger made a face, tossed the disgusting thing back to Candace. She chuckled, then made a show of taking a huge, mouth-filling bite.

 “Ugh,” Rodger shuddered. “You have grown vile,” he said.

 “And you have grown lifeless.” At least, that’s what she was meaning to say. Through a mouthful of the fruit, what she said was actually more like: “Umb bew hub grobe libess.” Candace crossed over to him, chomping loudly in his ear. A sudden impulse struck her; an impish fancy. She kissed his earlobe.

 “Ah!” Rodger jumped. His hand went to his be-soiled ear. Candace laughed, nearly choking on the fruit.

 “So, hedonism is what you have learned from these people?” Rodger rubbed his ear and looked hurt. “It hardly seems worth it.”

 “And, yet,” Candace replied with a grin, “you felt that kiss. You have some level of physicality, after all, don’t you?”

Rodger glared at her. “There has been some interest in seeing this bizarre experiment of yours to its conclusion. I can’t fathom it, personally. Ultimately, however, it’s not my decision.” He turned to leave. “You mistake the robes of a barrister for those of a magistrate,” he concluded. Vanished.

One night, Candace found she couldn’t sleep. She had grown accustomed to the idea of sleep, if not the actual act. It still gave her the heebie jeebies to know that every day, pretty much without fail, her body would uncontrollably drift into a strange unconsciousness. That the day’s events would flit past the view screen of her mind, that shapes unbidden and thoughts unknown would appear, and that she would come to with bad breath and drool on her pillow. But this night, sleep wouldn’t come. She rolled around in her bed, tossed like a boat on a rough sea.

A Thought.

 Insistent, undeniable. It crept around the edges of her consciousness, tantalizingly just out of reach, yet daring her, taunting her to be grasped. Slowly, horrifically, like some obscene flower, it blossomed.

 Red.

Horizontal stripes.

 What? Who is saying that?

Greenish-yellow, only.

At that, Candace’s blood ran cold. The feeling was intense, intoxicating. She felt a temptation to let it overpower her, overwhelm all her other thoughts.

Fear?

Panic? She forced herself to suppress it. With great difficulty, she put the fear down.

 Red. Growing, exponentially.

 Something … new … is coming. She sensed that a terrible, awesome intelligence was in the process of becoming. Out there, somewhere in the Universe. Someplace we’ve forgotten, or we’ve never seen.

But, how can that be?

Was that why I chose not to Die, with the rest? Did I somehow sense this? So many questions.

 Rhythmic, undulating, synchronizing. Others, no more. Selves, One.

One.

One.

One.

Soon, None.

That stopped Candace’s heart in it’s tracks. None, she mused. “None,” she whispered. She was captivated by a vision: Every star, every where, gone black, cold. Spacetime itself, unraveling like threads, and then the threads themselves dissipating, dissolving, spreading out into nothingness. Void. Empty, cold, eternal.

And whatever was causing it was out there in the Universe, somewhere hidden. Hidden! Impossible! And yet she knew it to be true. She would have to stop it. How? She didn’t know where it was. She didn’t know! Panic threatened, seduced, once again. This is a thing Humanity has never known, never experience, never accounted for!

 Can … can this thing be reasoned with?

Red.

Horizontal Stripe.

One.

Soon, None.

None, Never. Not.

None.

 Why?

 Red.

One.

Soon, None.

words and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.

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