Waiting.Short Story.

I went out last night, it was completely unplanned, which made it quite fun. I went to the cinema to see Dark Shadows, which was really dissapointing, really Tim Burton, what happened to you? I didn’t care for the characters at all, I mostly bored throughout the film. It was all very sad and dissapointing.

I’m not really hung over today, just kinda lazy. I’ve been binging on TV shows too, watching through Dead Like Me at the moment. I’ve started watching Game of Thrones too, got through most of the first season in like 2 evenings. Its kind of addictive.

Anyway, on with the show!

———————————————————————————-

Waiting

My life, like everyone else’s, was a collection. A collection of what if’s, of should have’s and if only’s. What if I asked her out? What if I had gone? I should have kissed her. A great big complex bundle of regrets and a life that was never lived. My life was like that too. My brain a collection of mental stops and breaks that kept me in line, that made sure I behaved a certain way, that stopped me from doing anything too drastic, too dangerous, too fun. I lived like that for just over thirty years of my life. I lived like everyone else. Then it changed.

There was no grand epiphany, no near death experience, no disease or terminal illness. It changed over night. I don’t know how, or why, but I am grateful. I have theories as to what happened, mostly as I lost a few days during the transition. It was probably the CIA or the FBI or one of the many acronyms that are supposedly ruling the world. I don’t know who it was, but I owe them my gratitude. It most likely is some sort of experiment, maybe I got an accidental dose and they never realised it. That wouldn’t surprise me. Before, everything seemed so important, every little detail in my life was so huge that I never stopped to notice anyone else. And that’s how we all behave. We never stop to think that out there there are several billion people going through what we are, their lives a never-ending struggle against the things that seem so important to them. Things like, “Where is the next meal coming from?“, and “What Brandy said to Jenny about me that bitch“, had equal importance in two peoples lives. Mistakes happen, far more frequently than you would think. After all, we’re only human, stupid, stupid humans who are so easily distracted by the mundane day to day events. I may sound condescending, but I am not. I am thankful for it. I was once like that, and now that I’m not, I rely on others being like that. We wrap ourselves in the obscure, the mundane because to do otherwise would be to cease functioning. What’s the point in existing if we are nothing more that motes of dust in time and space? Our lives less than a second, our impact non existent. Everything dies and everything is forgotten. Perhaps it was this realisation that changed me. Maybe it caused some break in something fundamental, some mental support beam that keeps us all vaguely balanced. What impact can my actions have? What lasting ramifications? None. No matter how big the stone, the ripples will stop eventually. How many dictators have there been throughout time, how many mass exterminations, how many do we know about? How many do we remember? We float along through life, doing what we’re supposed to, never acknowledging that we could die any second.

Of course, that isn’t to say there are no others who are aware of this, because there are. These are all things most people will have thought of at some stage in their lives, but they reject it, push it away. Knowing it’s true but letting it recede somewhere deep in the back of their minds. Others may throw themselves into trying to improve the world, others to destroy it. I’m sure something else must have changed me. Something vital and fundamental. I still have the ability to empathise with people, I understand their emotions, I have felt them, but I no longer care. I don’t view people as the teeming, writhing masses, I don’t put myself above them, how can I? After all, I am one of them. I have no desire to rule or crush or destroy. I do what I do to survive, but I do not go out of my way to harm someone. If, during the course of my job, blood needs to be spilled, that is fine. I have no qualms about that, but I do not needlessly slaughter those who get in my way. At least, that’s what I like to believe. I know that sometimes I enjoy it, I try not to, but it can be difficult. I have assassinated people, never anyone big or important, just stupid stuff. Make it look like a suicide and so on, people cashing on in insurance. You would be surprised how often it happens. There is a rush, when you pull the trigger, plunge the knife. I still remember my first. After the change. He lay there, in pain, waiting for death, and in that moment, I became his god. So I heeded his prayers to me, his prayers for it to stop, for salvation, and I answered him. I leaned over and slit his neck. There was a brief flare of life in his eyes, a profound look of gratitude spread over his face as the blood flooded from his neck and down his body. His eyes darkened finally and he was gone. He accepted my gift, my gracious gift of death. I controlled it all. Life and death. I chose who could live and who could die. I could choose anything, whether to be vengeful or merciful, to be cruel or kind. But no matter which I chose, they would still know me and they would fear me. I don’t know who he was or what he did. I just knew I was being paid for a job. That’s all it was, a job, one I could do well.

You might think I’m a monster, that I’m inhumane, that I’m damaged. Maybe I am, or maybe I’m the next stage in human evolution. The stripping away of everything non essential. I’m good at blending in. People don’t notice me. I have friends and family, people who think I’m still the warm and loving person I once was. They didn’t see the change, they refuse to see it. Just like you refuse to see it in those around you, in yourself. We all have the capacity for darkness. You might ignore it, but it’s always there, just waiting for the moment when you snap, when whatever blocks you have created disappear. Just waiting for its chance.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
This entry was posted in Drama, Horror, Short Stories, Suspense, Thriller and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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