Monday, 17 September 2018

End


The car engine purred with powerful ease, the 420bhp, 6 cylinder engine resting, eager to actually move forward and drive. Samson, calmly sending an email from his phone, assured himself that all affairs were resolved. Up to date, ready, feeling a small amount of calm, he returned the phone to its flight mode and placed it within the small holder to the side of the stereo arrangement.


The burden of his affairs, his day to day life, now resolved, he knew that he had a few brief minutes before someone, somehow, managed to place further weight upon his tired mind. He looked at his watch, focusing onto the small numbers displaying his heart rate. Seventy-two beats per minute. He wouldn't actually wish to state that he was relaxed but, looking within, he was. Usually he’d feel that his heart was screaming, begging, wishing for him to relax but this was the world that he lived within. The darkness, the shear black void, often threatened to overcome his sanity.

The calm moved forward, sifting through the sadness, calm removing his emotions to create that emotionless void within. He’d been thinking, for the longest time, of ways to possibly resolve his issues, to truly escape the life that he lived within. He was an intelligent man, a thinking man, but no matter what or where his mind envisioned, it all came down to one sentence that defined his very issue. He could not deny this situation, as it rested upon everyone within his life being better off without him. It was a startling revelation, a nexus where all ideals and issues met.

Closing his eyes, for a few brief moments, he exhaled and again felt the calm within him. He was sorry, had felt those feelings, but the decision had been made. He’d ensured that certain aspects of his life were taken care of, the family, the youngsters, with no excuses being afforded to him, or them.  He’d side stepped the idea of leaving notes, letters, words to offer a certain level of peace or comfort. This moment, the next few moments, would be a simple exercise that could be explained by anyone.

He did want to stay, he didn't want to miss their faces, their memories and even kisses but that wasn't enough. He’d tried to talk, tried to involve others but the thoughts within his heart, mind and soul, were far, far too heavy. This moment, truly, was the only moment he had left.

Leaning slightly to his left he pushed the button to activate the auto-tracking feature of the car. Rotating the dial, menus moving forward, he found the setting that monitored the car’s speed and deactivated the feature. His mind cleared of all thoughts, the steady clarity of feeling and thinking ‘nothing’, eased him, clarified his intentions, no longer allowing the darkness into his mind. For the longest time he’d felt the weight of the world upon his shoulders and now, right now, that burden seemed to no longer exist.

With ease he shifted the car into drive, engaging the PDK gearbox. He’d picked this road, specifically this road, due to having a straight line to the end with no risk of hurting another person. Pressing his foot onto the peddle he felt the smooth acceleration as he reached over ninety miles per hour in nine seconds. His heartbeat, while relaxed, seemed to ease that little bit further than he’d known for the longest of times. He felt the world fade away, the silence surrounding him, as the road’s end appeared in the distance. Ahead he could see the thick slab of concrete.

Sparks of thought started to invade his mind, the clarity descending once again into the darkness of his thoughts. He wanted to stay, he wanted to be a part of something, but that despair, the desperation of being trapped within his own life, just kept on pushing him further and further away from everything he loved. He wanted to love, he wanted to feel, but to feel anything other than sadness seemed to be so far, far away.

Within the blink of an eye he asked himself one question. He knew that he had a hundred reasons to leave this world, all etched within his thoughts, constantly beating him to the ground, but all he needed was one reason, one solitary rescue from the weight that he held. He needed that one thought that ensured he lived. He asked himself, “Do I have anything worth living for?” and in that one moment he could see the smiles on his children’s faces. He could hear their laughter, feel their embrace and understand the warmth that they provided. Snapping back to the present, the millisecond it took to press the break peddle, he knew that it wouldn't save him from the collision.

He realised that if he hit the concrete head on, despite the four-piston mono-bloc aluminium fixed callipers straining to slow the car, he’d instantly die. With all his strength he violently jerked the steering wheel to the left and, instantly, back to the right. The rear end swung and, thankfully, the car hit the block sideways sending it spinning into the air.

As the air bags hit him from various angles the world seemed to pause. The car kept on spinning, his nose breaking the moment the bag struck his face, one hand pressing against the driver’s door and the other floating in mid-air. The pause quickly ended as the car hit the ground, thankfully coming to rest upside down. For a brief moment his ears stung, the crash and noise deafening him.

Pressed against the seat belt, upside down, blood dripping from his nose, he opened his eyes and quickly gathered his senses. He wiggled his toes, then fingers, thankful that he wasn't in a serious state. He felt nothing, no pain, no emotion, just the eagerness to drag himself from the car. Moving his arm, placing his hand onto the ceiling, he pressed the seat belt ejector and gently lowered himself onto the inner roof. Blinking a few times, holding his broken nose, the pain started to appear from various parts of his body. He knew that he’d have seat belt cuts but, right now, that wasn't important. He pressed the door handle, which wouldn't open. He reached across to the other door which, to his fear, also wouldn't open. He didn't want to panic, not in this second, especially as he could smell petrol fumes.

His last option, being better than no option, would be the rear window. Glancing to the rear, he looked to his side and removed his phone from the holder and started to crawl towards the rear of the car. The window had broken, more or less no glass remaining, which made sliding through the reasonably thin exit acceptable. He didn't really care as long as he escaped. On his stomach, the pain starting to increase, he dragged himself onto the thin grass and carried on for a few metres.

Finally resting, breathing heavily, the stress managing to crack through his resolve, he placed his head against the ground and closed his eyes. He knew, he damn well knew, that things had to change. He alone owned sole responsibility for his own existence. He knew that he was trapped, trapped within his life, his circumstance, his very way of living, but that didn't mean that he should simply do what he intended to do.

As he removed the flight mode on his phone, realising that he could change, he dialled the emergency services and vowed to himself, vowed to everyone and everything, that he would simply make a change. He would seek rescue, he would talk, he would take action to rectify the many, many, dark, weighted, horrendous thoughts within his mind. All he had to do, even once, was to live. To breath. To enjoy. To see the beauty of life and what could actually become of his life. Despite the pain, despite the possibility of having a broken leg, as well as a nose, he smiled and then, from nowhere, he started to sob.

Finally, after all this time, he wanted to live. He wanted to carry on.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Touch


The warm air exhaled itself through the open French window, refreshing the room, enabling the current events to continue. She’d sat on the chair for at least three minutes, waiting, her heart wanting to beat faster, yet she felt so very, very calm. She could hear him, doing whatever he was doing, over in the other corner of the room. She heard the sound of a zip opening, probably from his travel bag, then silence. Cold, comforting, annoying silence.


She enjoyed this, all of it, the temptation, the wanton feelings, losing herself to her ever breathing, heart beating, satisfaction. To many this wouldn't even be a consideration but to her, especially to her, it was something she desired each and every single solitary day. She cared not for drama, the ever expanding destruction of another’s pointless issues, as life was for enjoyment. For feeling. For needing, craving and much, much more.

At first all of this seemed a bit strange but, thankfully, she soon caught up to the way that things could be. The side glances, the knowing, the realisation that life could be… more. Much more. Pleasure could be everything. Every thought, ever moment, if you had the imagination, the capability to realise something else existed. She knew that her emotions were directly linked to her very senses, that every single inch of her beautiful body, could be motivated to feel.

She wiggled her nose, just a little, as she wouldn't want the blindfold to move. Arms by her side, wearing the ever so small dress that he’d sent her, still waiting, allowing her mind to drift. She had a few things to do, tomorrow, running through the list but, just then, she felt his fingertips touch the side of her leg. Her heartbeat spiked, her body tensing for a mild second, before all of her thoughts turned to his touch.

Slowly, but not that slow, he moved his finger tips up the side of her legs. Her breathing changed, knowing that this wouldn't stop until… until he decided it would stop. As his touch reached the bottom of her dress he paused, one hand vanishing from her skin, until they both moved and she felt the safety scissors cutting into her outfit. Bit by bit, loosening, as each cut sent a sound to her mind. A few seconds passed, as he motioned with his hand in hers, for her to stand.

As she stood her dress fell away from her, exposing her, once again to his touch. He started, again, at her ankles. Running his touch, his soft smooth touch, up the side of her legs. As he reached her waist his touch moved around to her back, moving upwards, the feelings sending so many thoughts into her mind. As he moved she could feel his calm, soft, breath against her lips. He was right there, right in front of her. She dared herself to kiss him, to taste him, but that would spoil the game and that simply wouldn't do.

As he reached the back of her neck he stopped, moving his touch down and around, just under her breasts, staying away from the places she really wanted him to touch. But, as she knew, temptation, desire, wonder and want often didn't, shouldn't, just be about the places everyone wanted. She was a woman and every single part of her deserved attention. As his touch once again vanished, her mind relaxed a little, her legs starting to feel the moment, as did the rest of her.

A second vanished and she again felt his touch upon her skin. He was behind her, hands again starting at her legs, touching, feeling, the tips of those fingers feeling so tempting. Right now he could do anything to her, she wouldn't care, she didn't want to care, as feeling seemed to be all that she wanted. Far too much life, far too much drama, fading away due to this very moment. As his hands again reached her chest she felt his lips press against the back of her neck, kissing, making her want him even more. She felt his lips move to the side of her neck, her head falling backwards to rest against his shoulder, finally giving in.

She raised her arm, to place it against the side of his head, enjoying every second as, finally, he encompassed her breasts within his soft hands.  She turned, taking his lips onto hers, kissing deeply and as passionately as she could find. He’d been doing this to her for the last few weeks, teasing her, tempting her, but this second was the time to feel. Touching was beautiful, deeply moving, but right now, it was time to feel everything that he had.

Flower


“I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire life!” said Harold, as he removed his hands from the gloves attached to the glass box. Removing his glasses, coughing a few times, he looked grim while expressing everything needed to be said in one look. The people gathered within the small room, all silent, seemingly waiting for Harold to continue which, thankfully, he did,
“As a botanist I can state that this flower, this plant, is no different from any other garden variety. But, as you’re all aware, there’s one difference. The pollen has been altered.”



A few people, looking confused, probably from only just being invited to such a meeting, looked at each other around the room. Eventually, someone looking important, finally spoke, “If you could explain the process please Doctor?” To which Harold nodded, putting his glasses back on, only to tilt his head forward to look over the rims.
“A large part of the population are allergic to pollen, due to their immune system trying to help their cells. This causes inflammation, causing tears, sinus issues as well as throat. The respiratory system can also have a difficult time as can skin, gastrointestinal system, resulting in headaches, fatigue and irritability. This can be through the very air or even food,” Harold paused, taking a small breath from throwing forward so many words, “…but in this case, it somehow forces the body to lose nerve sensitivity, nerve impulses and commands. A total paralysis of your body from the toes and fingers moving forward to motor control and finally your brain. This is a living sentence, for people afflicted, as you’re very much alive but unable to move. At all. You’re trapped within your very body waiting to die.”


As Harold finished speaking the seriousness finally appeared upon all of their faces, catching up to current events, understanding but not quite knowing what to do next. “Is there a cure?” said someone at the back of the room.
“I’m afraid not. It’s already in the air, spreading. All lab subjects, bar one, succumbed to the condition within four days. How many cases are we looking at, so far?” Harold looked from face to face, searching for the person that knew, as another random individual opened a folder to finally answer,
“So far there has been 4,000 cases, all described as a natural cause death, with 80 confirmed people being kept alive in our hospitals!”


More silence descended over the room, again burdened with a situation that was far from ordinary. Harold, taking in the information, quickly arrived at a conclusion, “Same area?”
“Over a 200 mile radius”
“Then it’s far too late. Pollen can travel as far as 22 miles away from the source. Unknown for GM crops, which is a possible source for this.”
“Is there anything we can do?” another voice exclaimed.
“Lock yourself into a sealed and filtered room as soon as possible. Drive a car with a pollen filter and especially wear pollen filtering headgear!” stated Harold with a wry sarcasm.


Nodding to each person that looked his way, he turned and walked towards the door. As he opened the door to leave, another person spoke with confusion, “Where are you going?” Harold, amused, looked over to the group, replied,
“I’m going home to kiss my backside goodbye. We all thought that we’d go out in a large nuclear fireball but whomever created this is one crazy, sadistic, son of a bitch. There’s no escaping this one… unless you’re lucky enough to be that one lab rat that managed to escape a living death!  Goodnight to all of you!”


As the door closed behind him, Harold reached into his satchel, pulling out a pollen mask. His plan had worked and soon, very soon, the entire world would reset and they could start again. All from a beautiful flower.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Space


The door slid open with such smooth grace that any person would hardly even know that it was there. No noise, not even a blinking light, as it was set to do one solitary task. Open. Stepping through the airlock and walking forward three metres, placing the white bag onto the cold metallic floor, the man quickly surveyed the interior. He’d seen the diagrams, with the many wires hidden behind the various panels and seals, but it still required a few seconds of concentration.


Glancing through the port window he placed his hand onto the glass, if he could call it glass, as he’d studied the exact specifications of such items. Quadruple-glazed, layers of transparent aluminium ceramic composite glass, as well as three 25mm-thick pressure panels. He could place a grenade against the glass and it would hardly even notice. The rest of the structure, on the other hand, wouldn't fair as well.

He could feel the cold, despite the heating and sun bellowing heat from 93.7 million miles away. Removing his hand, leaning over to his bag as he knelt, he started to recall how this space vessel came to exist. We’d discovered a new method of travel, a new energy unlike anything known before, which was shrouded within a secrecy that no-one could fathom let alone realistically care about. We were explorers, ready, waiting, no matter the cost.

He removed a small black metallic type box, the size of a brick, from the bag and pressed a selection of buttons as the display blinked into life.  His mind, still racing, recalling, remembering that his own Father gave his life to test the acceleration of the first prototype. 1 million miles in 12 minutes. 12 minutes after the start his Father was dead, virtually compressed into the rear of the cabin. Emotions aside, he’d learnt to live with these thoughts many years previous, as a child, although they still haunted him to this day. You could learn to accept things, even move on, but if your mind’s subconscious decided otherwise there wasn't much you could do.

Placing the black box, to his side, he removed two more and once again pressed the buttons. All three, now sitting next to each other on the floor, blinked in unison. There was no going back, no way to relent, but that was okay as this was his life’s work. His Father died to bring them here and he was going to die to take them back. He could walk onto a shuttle, return to the planet below, but today was not going to be one of those days. A captain of a ship would die along with his vessel and if he was committing 2,000 people to death, then he’d damn well join them.

He thought about the people, on-board, all laughing, excited, realising that they were about to become history, the historic event never undertaken by man, woman, or child. On any other day, if there were a way to change things, he’d join them on their grand adventure to the stars. After all, as they knew, there were planets out there fit for life.

He grabbed two of the black boxes, placing one to the other side of the five metre by 6 metre air-lock. Walking to the rear of the room he placed the second just above the control panel. He turned and looked at the third box as the inner air-lock door opened. With lightning speed he reached behind his back, grabbed the gun, bringing it to head height as his knees flexed and his eyes targeted. The woman, who had just realised what was happening, placed a hand onto her stun stick. She fell forward as the solid metallic dart ripped into her knee cap, throwing blood forward as well as backwards from either side of her knee. She’d scream but it wouldn't do much good as the air-lock door closed behind her. Grasping her knee, eyes shut, the suit compressed just above the wound, cutting off blood flow, injecting pain killers and allowing her to once again open her eyes.

“We’ve come so far, haven’t we,” he said as she steadied herself, “One moment incredible physical pain and then, nothing at all.” He put the gun back into the rear holster and walked over to the last remaining black box. She didn’t know what to say, her mind racing at a thousand miles an hour, filled with fear, questions, worry and, of course, wondering what he was doing. He placed the last remaining box into the very middle of the room. Finally finished, relaxed, accepting what came next, he walked over to the woman, sat down next to her, folded his legs and smiled.

She looked into his eyes, finding it odd that he didn’t look crazy or delusional. He actually looked kind, even sensitive, a kind of warmth not often found. She pushed her fear aside, “Are they…”
“Bombs?” he interrupted, “Yes, yes they are!”
Her mind collapsed with the realisation. Her children were on this space ship. Her very reason for living, for being.
“I have children here… please!” she proclaimed with as much emotion as she could feel. As she spoke, her leg starting to pulse with the returning pain, her eyes welled, and tears started to slowly fall.


He knew about life, they both did, the cruel nature of things amongst the pure beauty of it all. He would let them live, he’d let them all live, if he could, but that wouldn’t happen. He’d planned for over a year, which meant that the only chances he’d have was, unfortunately, this single solitary moment. He looked down, taking in her pain, knowing how it could feel, “I’m so sorry. What’s your name?”
“Robin.”
“Robin. That’s a beautiful name. What’s your children’s names?”
“Sarah and Oliver.” She replied starting to shake as the shock crept over her.
He nodded, looking at his heads-up display that was being sent from his contact lens. 25 seconds remaining before the bombs would rip away the secondary main air-lock which, in turn, would cause a chain reaction of decompression that would rip away the rear vent seals, causing three internal safety doors to buckle, cave, then completely destroy everything. The section they sat in, right now, was one of the safest areas of the ship for that very reason but, as with many plans, the right tin opener would open any tin.


He leaned forward, placing his forehead against hers, her tears still falling to the ground. “Before we go I want to tell you why I‘m doing this. Please believe me when I say that if there were any other way, I’d take it and spare everyone but there isn’t.” Her crying slowed as she listened, wanting there to be a chance of rescue, of recompense for what was happening, to which he continued.
“You see, this ship is unlike any ship ever created and may never, ever, be created again. We found something, something so unique that it might be a once in a lifetime discovery. We found a power that could cross a galaxy in days, thrust us into safety away from a single solitary point of failure. But there was a catch. With great power there is always a cost. Kings lose their minds, become corrupted. Egos flail or wise men become fools. The engine in this ship needs fuel!”

He moved his head backwards, smiled, as she looked inquisitively through her fear and pain, waiting for the answer. Five seconds remained…

“The power source of this ship is human souls and that’s why it has to stop!”

As her mouth fell open, the realisation for all of the security, the ship’s cargo manifest, the disappearing people, all became clear. The counter reached its last second and in that last moment he leant forward, his own fear taking hold, as they both wrapped their arms around each other.