And Still Tales From The Machine, or, Hope Or An Exercise In Futility


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She knew his prison. The smoothness of it's high, mirrored walls. The absence of a ceiling, just walls that reached into a black nothingness. The whispers of a doorway to freedom lingering just around the next corner. All of these details were like the intimacies of an old lover. She had built this labyrinth, this maze, had polished every fragment of memory that formed the foundations. When she awoke, be it morning or midnight, she could see him. His intelligent eyes flickering just as she remembered, the palm of his left hand lightly guiding him along the walls, turn after turn. She would call out to him, reassure him that she was watching. But if he heard, he never acknowledged, his gaze always unflinching on the path before him. He was as diligent as always, often he'd walk for weeks with a tangible resolve. But it couldn't always be that way, and there were days when he would tear at his flesh, break his body against the glass, to let his blood mark his existence, to leave some trace of himself. Should he pass by that marker again, the madness would abate. Or perhaps not. Sometimes sanity exists in the not-knowing of things. Walking in circles without the realisation of such, is just walking, but to pass by the same spot, convinced that the outcome should have been otherwise, is that not the very definition of madness? Jocelyn would hold his hand, his warm fingers resting in her palm like a dying bird. She'd lean toward his ear, to be heard over the hiss and click of the machines, and she'd hum to him softly. Listen, my love. Patience, my love. You'll find it, my love. Return to me, my love. Sometimes she'd find him gazing at his reflection, tracing the contours of his face as if it were a stranger's. And in a way, it was. Every mirrored surface spat back an image of him, imperceptibly altered, increments summing to a whole that was truly another person. And Jocelyn feared that one day, she too would look upon a stranger. But this prison is not his, it never was and never will be. Eric died minutes after the impact flung his enervated body across the tarmac. Every future word unborn, every thought decimated, unmade. His flesh had cast him out, forgotten him on a cellular level. Blinked him out of existence like a grain of sand. This labyrinth belongs to Jocelyn, her only cellmate a husk in a hospital bed.


1 Responses to “And Still Tales From The Machine, or, Hope Or An Exercise In Futility”

  1. Anonymous kyknoord 

    A most compelling hiss and click, my friend.

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