Mannequin: Chapter 1.2 – “Demise”

The thing about the world is that it is only as big as you make it.

Flip to a random page in the papers and you’re bound to see stories of devastation, of loss, of tragedy.  Stories of catastrophic natural disasters, borderline famous people unexpectedly dying, and yet another tragic high school massacre are all par for the course these days.  We mourn, we pity, and then we move on.  We think that the chances of that happening to us are so slim, we might as well burn a few dollars on lottery tickets instead.  Out of the billions of people on the planet, we believe that only the events and lives that hold any significance are the ones that we personally experience.

When I first moved in, I used to lay awake at night listening to the ambulance sirens wail their warbling cry, announcing to anyone who cared to listen that yet another precious human life was on the brink of demise.  On nights when I was feeling particularly despondent, I would sit in a corner of the Lee Barker emergency room and watch the procession of dying people pass me by.  Sometimes loved ones would hurry in after them, faces scrunched in anxiety and fear.  More often than not, they didn’t.  We all die alone in the end.

Blood.  Where was it coming from?  I could almost feel the cloyingly rusty, coppery scent of it filling my nose.

Something wet and sticky beneath me.  Did I knock over a glass of juice when I was startled?  No matter, it’s comfortingly warm.

The scarlet is quite striking in the grayness before dawn.  Startlingly bright, really.  I think I’ll just rest my eyes for a bit and enjoy that image.  Besides, the tile doesn’t seem quite so cold anymore now that I’ve pressed my cheek against it for a while.

QOTE:

Your world is as big as you make it
I know, for I used to abide
In the narrowest nest in a corner
My wings pressing close to my side

But I sighted the distant horizon
Where the sky-line encircled the sea
And I throbbed with a burning desire
To travel this immensity.

I battered the cordons around me
And cradled my wings on the breeze
Then soared to the uttermost reaches
With rapture, with power, with ease!

- Georgia Douglas Johnson, “Your World,” Share My World



Mannequin: Chapter 1.1 – “Ceiling”

It all started on the day I died.

I woke up that morning to the wail of sirens, as I had for the last six months.  Lee Barker Memorial, the oldest functioning hospital in the state, spanned three city blocks and serviced tens of thousands of patients annually within its weathered granite walls.  A relic of grandeur in a city that had been dancing on the edge of disrepair for decades, the hospital stood as a testament to human perseverance and ingenuity.  The hospital processed hundreds of cases every day, from an infant’s stubbed toe to a construction worker’s severed arm to the occasional case of lymphangiomatosis or Antley-Bixler Syndrome.

It also happened to be a stone’s throw away from my kitchen window.

I groaned, sat up in bed, and promptly slammed my head on the low ceiling of my “bedroom.”  After six months of living in the cheapest studio apartment I could find, I still couldn’t remember that falling out of bed was actually preferable to suffering a minor concussion every morning.

Twenty years ago, the building was a story taller.  Sometime between now and then, someone thought it would be a good idea to have a romantic, candlelit dinner involving massage oil, incense, and liberal amounts of petroleum jelly.  This had the predictable result of ensuring that the inhabitants were blissfully unaware when a gentle breeze tipped over an ill-placed candle.  Rumor has it that the offenders survived only because they were able to greasily wiggle  through a stuck window onto the fire escape.

At any rate, the landlord decided it would be cheaper to erect a new roof instead of rebuild an entire collapsed floor.  The result was an odd, slanted number that started out even and tapered gradually to become a wall.  Take a cross-section of my apartment, and you wind up with half of an isosceles trapezoid.  My bed is wedged at the point where the ceiling meets the floor, not due to choice, but because it would double as the centerpiece of the apartment anywhere else.

I groaned again for good measure, and shuffled blearily across the cold tile floor in search for nourishment.

I was halfway through a stale croissant when my world shattered.


Mannequin: Prologue – “Something Missing”

She was nearly complete.

I couldn’t remember when I had stopped referring to her as “it.”  When had she so completely enthralled me, thwarting my senses and sensibility alike?  I had been so careful.  When had she become more than an object, more than a mere sum of her parts?  When had she become my masterpiece?

Looking back, it was all but inevitable.  I knew full well how abominable my task might become when I first started on her.  Perhaps if I had not kept her hidden for so many years, those closest to me would have had a chance to save me, before she had consumed what remained of my sanity.

It was too late for that, now.  I could not be redeemed.  I did not want to be redeemed.

And yet, looking at her now, lying there with a glow that only my gentle, caressing hands could give her, I felt something missing.  Something gone, or something that never was.  One last shred kept her from true perfection.

Eyes.  She needed eyes.  Eyes full of passion, full of intelligence.  Eyes as deep as the ocean and as clear as the night sky.  I needed eyes to give her life.

I felt a slow smile creep across my face.  Eyes.  I knew exactly where to find them.


Swine Journal 2

Tuesday, May 5

Been feeling… tingly… for the past couple of days.  It feels like when my leg falls asleep, except it’s under my skin.  Having a hard time focusing on things, as my eyes also seem to be constantly vibrating.  Seems to be completely internal though; the objects I touch and hold don’t seem to shake at all.  I’m not shivering from cold, either.  I’m just… tingly.

It’s definitely an odd sensation, but it isn’t really unpleasant.  As a matter of fact, I’ve felt more alive in the past few days than I have in years!  I feel like a live wire, ready to snap in an instant.  Guess it’s a good thing I ordered my immune system to be stronger.


Swine Journal 1

Thursday, April 30.

Didn’t think.  Had a bacon and ham sandwich for lunch today.  Feel fine for now, but you never know.  They say you can get infected just by being in the same room as one of the little buggers.  And now, there’s a piece of them in me.  It’s probably nothing.  Probably.


Dull

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work an d no play makes jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jaack a dul lboy.  All work an no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

All work and

No play makes

Jack a dull boy.

All

work and

no play makes

Jack a dull boy.

All work and no

play makes

Jack a

dull

boy.

All

work

and

no

play

makes

Jack

a

dull

boy.

Boy dull a Jack makes play no and work all.

A all and boy dull Jack makes no play work.

Jack makes all a dull boy and work no play.


Benches: Chapter 1.3 – “The End”

“I’ll have to call you back later, some creep on a bench is staring at me.”

Fin.

 

Stalking


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