The eyes aren’t the portal to the soul. The eyebrows are.
Shave them off and you’ll know. You’ll see the stares; you’ll feel how people slowly alter their path when you come closer. They do that even when you’re far away, when they can’t yet see what might be wrong with you. They just know that there is something very wrong.
Like Martina in 7th grade. She was a ginger; soulless. So it was okay that we bullied her. You can’t hurt someone doesn’t have a soul. She was a person to be pushed, not touched.
It was fun to push her into the lockers. She never fought back; she just accepted it as her fate to be squeezed between lockers and the bodies of bigger girls and sometimes boys. Nobody moved away when she came. Nobody played by the rules when she was there – to move aside, make space to allow each other to pass. All just walked straight and Martina had to find a way; to squeeze to the side, between elbows and lockers, hoping that they didn’t attempt to connect.
It wasn’t us that ripped her hair out. She did that herself. Sitting in that seat, on the right side of class, close to the exit, she pushed her right hand deep into her curls. Then she pulled and twisted her arm, but her head stayed in place, unmoving except for the occasional twitch. She pulled the hand out with full force, holding a tuft that disappeared in her bag. She never looked back. She knew we were all staring.
No matter what lies you’re feeding yourself. It’s just a chemical and neural process. Something you can’t fight. Love is not a lie, but it is not much more than a very special kind of addiction.
An addiction you can manufacture.
Show niceness and attention. Laugh and flirt. Then withdraw. That’s what I did to you.
It’s a very simple effect, primed in our brains from times immemorial – we all need to get the best possible partner. But the best possible partner is too good for us and so he – or she – will try to get away, he will roam more and look for his best possible partner.
So the one that chases you is unattractive. The one that keeps you on edge; the one that tortures you with confusion and grows an eternal insecurity in you – that’s the one you love.
And I smile, because if the most correct thing in the world looks wrong the only thing you can do is to smile.
Bessie runs further, straight ahead into the fields, as if she is hunting something.
I shout her name, but, really, I don’t care.
Bessie is somewhere in the wet mud, but I can only look up, at the wrong Orion.
Orion has seven stars. Three in a line diagonally from the horizon and a very vivid square of four stars is arranged around those three, locking those three into an imaginary square.
But Bessie runs somewhere in the mud and all I can look at is the wrong Orion, the Orion with four stars in the center. And the fourth star, every time I raise my head against the cold, looks wrong. Continue reading →
My friends, I really hope you get this. I hope that this is all just some sort of bout of insanity, but if not, if something happens to me or if you don’t hear from me by tomorrow, I want you to go to the police and show them this email. Tell them that they were wrong. And please, if you can, forward this email to as many people as possible.
This is not a joke; at least I really think it isn’t. I’m not pranking you; I swear to everything I hold dear that this is not a prank. If you get this email I thought about calling you, but I hope that this is all over in the morning. I hope that this is just something special about this night. And if it is, please forget about it or make fun of me; I don’t even care.
I’m sitting in the Walker’s joint near the motorway, the one that’s open all night and busy all night, because the last thing I want to be is back on the street. Continue reading →
Your character is the only person left in the world who practices his/her trade. After they’re gone, the trade/skill/job/profession will be no more.
The Last One
Wrinkly fingers brushed over the cold wood of the desk. He pulled the hand back to his face and blew the dust from the pale skin. His account was too empty for the repair; he would have to clean the apartment himself.
He sighed, sat straight and pressed the button. The camera and projector jumped to life. He moved the keyboard and controller each to their place.
A moment later the face appeared. Claire. A happy face with a tired expression.