Tag: series

Compulsion 2.1

(previously)

What do you do when you’re the only person left? When you’re the last man on Earth? When you’re surrounded by automatons, by robots wearing human flesh pretending they’re living creatures? What do you do when you’re the only one walking the streets who isn’t a ghost? You can take what you want because you’re the only one capable of wanting anything. 

Is this what God felt as he walked among us? They know not what they do, for they removed their ability to know anything at all. 

They say we’re made in His image, you know. God. We’re mirror reflections of that pure being. Some say we’re God incarnate, each and every one of us a sliver of His essence compressed down and stuffed into these suits made of specialized meat. We all start as the same thing, one soul filtered through genetic code, our memories of the infinite seeping away as we become accustomed to this version of reality. 

We are all versions of God, all examples of imperfection. Imagine that, a being split into several billion pieces and creating religion to worship and correct itself.

If God is perfect, it stands to reason He must be perfect in all things, doesn’t it? He is perfectly good and He is perfectly evil. He is perfectly caring and perfectly impartial. He is perfectly happy and perfectly sad. Perfectly calm and perfectly angry. Perfectly interested and perfectly bored. He is everything just as he is nothing at all. 

That’s why He made us. That perfect boredom. That perfect loneliness. Perfect desire to create so that He could perfectly destroy. And what did we do? We gave it all away. We succumbed to our imperfect laziness while calling it a yearning for the ideal. We flocked in droves to a new shepard, one who told us everything would be okay as long as we kept our eyes straight ahead and our minds on the task at hand. We built new shrines to a god we created ourselves out of ones and zeros, and then we implanted those shrines directly into the brains housing our imperfect minds and let the code dictate our every waking second. We gave up our gift of free will, as flawed as it was, for a chance at peace, never imagining that what we were really doing was destroying the very thing that made us more than imperfect lumps of clay. 

And now, here I stand, the only one capable of standing still while the world flows around me. I am the only one capable of true peace and happiness. I am the only one capable of flexing my free will. I am more perfect than you if only because I am more human than you. I am natural. I am unaltered. I am the only one left to serve as the prophet. But how does one preach to the deaf and blind? How does one shake awareness into a the voluntarily comotose?

Forgive me. When you awaken, you’ll have to forgive me. I am sacrificing myself here. I am sacrificing my humanity for your sake. I am the deus ex machina, and in order to correct the flow of our story, I will do what is required. 

I will suffer for you. 

I will suffer you.

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Zombeh 1.1

Tom Stovel and Amy Blithe (35, both) lived in a treehouse on a corner of Hickory Street in Savannah, Georgia. The walls of their top-floor two-bedroom apartment were paper thin, and there were too many windows. It felt just short of camping. Glamping, maybe.

The house was built well before lead paint had been banned. The ceiling fans were installed before bulb sizes had been standardized. The kitchen had been remodeled to include a clothes washer and dryer with a dishwasher in between – about six full paces away from the sink. They could not use more than two appliances in the same room without tripping a fuse, the box for which was hidden behind the refrigerator.

The apartment was a pain in the ass, for sure, but it was oddly comfortable. It was home.

Drew and Foster Effingham (39 and 32 respectively) lived in the apartment below. Instead of glamping, the Effinghams dwelled in the equivalent of a Hobbit’s den – the ceilings were only seven feet high – and the concrete floors of what was once a prototype garage sloped in all directions beneath thin carpet. Their washer and dryer was an afterthought, stowed in the storage space around the side of the house near the trashcans in the alley.

The neighborhood was a grid, as were all neighborhoods in the city. The four of them would sit in their driveway smoking cigarettes and waving to the pedestrians walking their dogs. Savannah, after all, was a dog kind of town. The couples would drink beer and tell stories, getting downright rowdy when the boys had had one too many – when shouting over one another became the only way to be heard.

They never really saw their neighbors doing the same.

The neighbors all owned their land. They built fences around eighth-acre lots for their kids and dogs to play in. They stayed inside and did things that real adults do, venturing out only for the aforementioned walks and bit of light gardening.

“Fucking grown-ups, the bunch of them,” Drew would say. His compatriots would toast in agreement.

*

They knew something was wrong when the power went out. Of course, the power went out regularly in a house built before electricity was a sure thing, but it only ever stayed out for a few hours at a time, usually in the middle of the night when they’d all fallen asleep with all of the switches on. This time, however, it didn’t come back on and blind everyone. They woke up to warming fridges and no internet.

Their cellphones were all dead.

It was going to be a rough day.