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This contest will be you creating a short story

Max of 7,000 words

and no specific kind of story.

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More of a concept than a complete story

 

 

Some people say a sound takes them places, a memory, a event, a past love they remember when they hear a certain song.

But what if when you heard a sound you were literally taken somewhere else?, transported, through time and space, against your will?

Well that’s me. My whole life.
Never in one place for long, cause when I hear that sound, that long deep thrum, like a distant wave of thunder, I’ll switch, into the unknown.

There are others like me, I’ve met them from time to time, some relish the chance to escape, others are in agony from being torn from their family against their will

Me? I’ve always been a drifter of sorts, never really calling anywhere home
I studied, I lived, but I never chose somewhere to settle

I’ve looked for answers, but one thing I’ve had to do is learn to fight, fast.
Cause just after a switch they will come. And they won’t rest.

********

I look down from the top of the building, my hand on the sheath of my blade at my side, ready to draw it and strike in an instant, the world is slowly starting to shake, a low hum fades into the distance, I’ve just switched. They will be here soon.

I find a ladder at the side of the building and climb down, my boots sending a faint *tump tump* through the air as I descend. 

One of them appears above me and I slide down the ladder, drawing my blade from it’s sheath
it jumps down, screams and them lunges at me, it’s shadowy black claws nearly scraping my face, I swiftly swing my blade upwards and through the monsters arm, it howls and rushes at me but I duck to the side and stab my blade into it’s chest, it evaporates into a wisp of smoke

Them from what I have found out, are other switchers like me, who have died somewhere in the time shifts. They turn into monsters and hunt the rest of us, wanting us to achieve the same fate as them. Stopping us from our goal of one day switching back to our original timeline.
Us Switchers don’t know much about our condition, but we learnt that much.
You see, when a them dies, they leave behind a notebook, and well, that notebook contains a summary of their life and everything they have learned. 
One of the previous switchers was smart enough to somehow set up a interdimensional internet connection and start a page where we can all share our information. 


 

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I can neither move nor speak. All I can do is stare as the seconds tick away. My mind feels clouded. I can't think straight. Tick, tock. Can I be forgiven for all the sins I committed? Tick, tock. I wonder if they still hold a grudge against me. Tick, tock. Why aren't I scared? Tick.

The gun goes off, and I find myself falling.

Nothing happens. I am not breathing, but I am still alive.

The blood gushing out is dark, darker than I expected.

I wonder if this is what it feels like to be dead.

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It’s been almost seven years since humans had jobs. Now each and every position is taken by robots, AI, the humanoid machines that walk and talk like us but are clearly not of the same making.  They work day in and day out for no pay, while us humans have fallen into lives of monotony and boredom. It was once thought that receiving a monthly cash balance would be enough for humanity since no one really wants to work, do they? Everyone would rather mull about, doing whatever they please as long as they have a means of survival, right? Wrong. At least for me … I hate this tedious, boring lifestyle that I have fallen into. When I was little I dreamt of working, making my way in life with my own two hands and my own intellect, but now … now all I do is wait for the designated sum of money to turn up in my electronic chip. I hate this. Life no longer has any meaning and every day is so torturously the same. I wake up and check my cash balance, hoping to see my monthly allowance there, because even though everyone is meant to get the same amount, no matter what, some of us are chosen to have ‘proctors’ which, I’m pretty positive, is illegal. Why is it illegal? Because these ‘proctors’ use their high standing in the government to black mail us into doing whatever deeds they wish. It’s often times used on the younger ones since they don’t know how to escape the wily deceptions that the observes push upon them … I can, reluctantly and with great pain, say that I too fall victim to such schemes, but you can’t blame me! These observers have all the power, all the control and they can use it in whatever way they desire. There is no way to escape them, even though I have heard talk of it amongst the older crowd … I know though that those are just rumours, it’s only true for those older than us because their ‘services’ are no longer … desired. There’s no way for a younger person to escape an observes black mail, it’s just not possible. We have no power here and our cries for justice go unheard because the government is run by these ‘proctors’ and their friends, they all get to revel in their sick perverted desires as they call on anyone they wish to sate their hungers. It’s a wicked world full of hate and lust. No one works so they all sate their own desires just to gain what little pleasure they can from this pointless existence. I hate this. Everything is so utterly disgusting … what has the world come to? Why does no one stop this?

 

Today I got a call … the voice was familiar and haunting because I’ve heard it before, many times before. It’s the voice of my Proctor, my observer, my watcher, whatever they call themselves, I don’t even care anymore. It’s become expected, their call. Now I just answer it with a monotones tone and an uncaring demeanour, I mean, what else can I do? I have tried fighting it, I have tried … I did, I really did, but there’s nothing you can do when your only income and chance of survival depends on how well you keep your mouth shut and do as your told, bending over backwards at their every command, jumping at each word. They often times make me grovel on the ground or beg like a dog, when in truth the only thing I wish to do is watch their blood seep from their veins and coat their wicked flesh … So, once again I took out my ear piece and sat in my room, head in my hands as I tried to clear my mind and escape from my body before that demon arrived. I could hear them coming, their boots sounding down the hall as they neared my room and slid their pass card into the lock of my door … oh how easy they could come in and how easy they could leave, I on the other hand wasn’t so lucky. I had to stay where I was, sitting on the bed, my eyes unfocused due to the fact that I had slowly but surely caved in on myself. The walls of my mind seemed to collapse, encompassing my every thought, my every move, my every feeling … I felt nothing, I thought nothing, I was numb and that was for the best. However, feeling nothing does not mean I couldn’t hear or see and even though my vision was unfocused and blurry I could still see the silhouette of my tormentor, I could still hear their cruel voice in my ear … they whispered their wicked words and spat their venom, enjoying every second of my suffering.  Oh, have you ever felt as if your whole world was nothing but one big nightmare? Have you felt your soul leave your body because the pain is too insufferable? Have you ever bitten your tongue just to keep from screaming because even if someone was there to hear you, they wouldn’t care, they wouldn’t help … they couldn’t help, because they too were suffering the same way? Have you ever felt the pure, unadulterated desire to strangle the last breath of air from one’s lungs? Have you ever had dreams so vivid you awoke feelings as if they were real and you had truly stripped the flesh from another’s bones? Have you ever felt your mouth water at the thought of another’s cruel demise? Have you ever closed your eyes and seen the cruelest, vilest, most malicious and heinous acts committed, but instead of turning away with fear and terror, watched on with desire and joy, wishing, oh, wishing that it was true? If you have not yet embraced the deepest, darkest recesses of your own human mind then you won’t understand … you will most likely read these words with horror and disgust, wondering how another human could ever think such things, or dream such things. You’re probably wondering if I would truly execute my thoughts in reality or if they are just subconscious thoughts that creep into my mind and have no place in the real world … well, I’m afraid you may find yourself filled with terror at what I have to say, but bare in mind, I have accepted the darkness inside me and I have embraced it. I am not scared of myself or my thoughts, because this is who I am, this is how I feel and I will not let them push me down any longer, I will not let them wrap their claws around my throat as they loom over me, their wicked eyes tracing over me as if they have a right to do so … no. No I say! I have a right to feel this way, to think this way! What they have done is unforgivable! It is much worse than anything I would ever do to another human being! So don’t you dare look at me with disgust in your eyes! Don’t you dare think you’re better than me! All of us have a dark side, all of us have a breaking point and each one of us, at some point, realizes that humanity is not good, it’s not pure and it’s not beautiful or righteous. Humanity is vile and disgusting; it’s full of cruel people with wicked desires and insatiable thirsts that drive them to become such depraved monsters … Humanity is full of darkness and whether or not we accept it doesn’t change that fact. I alone seem to have accepted my darkness. I alone seem to have realized that my breaking point has long been passed and I have been living in a broken world for years now … I alone will stand, no longer willing to grovel at their feet, whimpering and begging, crying like a child. No. No, I say! I’ve had enough! If these vile creatures wish to sate their thirsts then they can look elsewhere! I am done being their pawn, their toy; their victim … Enough is enough.

 

At seventeen years old I am much thinner than I should be. My bones stick out and my eyes are sunken in … encased in the dark circles that seem to convey my torment. There is no joy in my eyes, no childish wonder and no peace; there isn’t even a single drop of hope in my entire body. I am a ghost, a skeleton, a mere shadow of who I used to be … my dreams are no longer within reach, my hands no longer even grasp at them because I know there’s no purpose, no reason and no way I could ever reach them. Now, as I siton the bed, my body trembling and quaking, I realize my one dream has come true: My dream of murder. There, on the floor, lies the body of my tormentor … their eyes open in horror, mouth agape in a scream that no one will warrant as serious, for I have screamed a million times and never has anyone so much as walked by my door. Staring down at them I can see their neck is covered in the crimson liquid that smells of copper and poison but their soul has not yet left their body, no, they are alive still and at my mercy. Oh how I have waited for this day … every moment, every second, every breath and every pain has led me here. I now stand above them, my clothes torn but my pride intact. For once I am not ashamed, I am not cowering and I am not scared … I am the proctor now and my word is law.

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T

Name: The eyes are the window to the soul

Every day I watch from my window the people outside as they hurry to work. Every night I watch from my window the people outside as they hurry to sin. The couple living one yard across from mine fight constantly and every night I watch as the husband leaves home; slamming the door and cursing wildly. 

I think to myself quite often, for I wish I could myself step outside, "What is the point of this routine? Why must people be so unhappy?". At night I do not sleep, my hands shake and my teeth rattle, my eyes dilate and I convulse; my life is terrible, though when conscious I am, I do not feel depressed. I yearn to feel the breeze upon my face, to with my toes touch the grass, to feel the kiss and touch of another human being. I want to be held, I want to be taken, I want to experience everything in life, yet it is this very covetousness, this very hope that keeps me invested in living. It fuels my soul to go on, it is my saving grace. 

Another night, another pleasure, that is how it goes for my neighbor's husband. I watch from my window as he in his car tears an unknown woman's clothes off her body; his eyes wild, in each hand rests a different breast. He does this almost every night though with a different woman each time and yet every time afterward he gets out of the car and he cry's, I do not understand him. I would kill to have a woman, a man, an animal, anything all to myself, for I have never felt the touch of another living thing. I have never been comforted, I have never felt the feeling of ecstasy I so often see him feel. 

If I am lucky sometimes he forgets to draw the curtain to the window of his own house, Into his life then have I a deeper look; I am lucky, for tonight is one of those nights. I can see he is stressed, he fiddles with a small black object and holds it to his head. This is something I have not seen before; I lean forward, my cheeks pressing firmly against the cold rain-drenched window-pane, my eyes wide and my heart fluttering. What will happen? I watch as he pulls on it a trigger, blood splatters across his room and a scream follows almost immediately. Who could be screaming? His wife is not home, suddenly I realize I am the one screaming, I look down at my hands, they are shaking uncontrollably, I give in and collapse onto the floor. 

The sun shines upon my face, I awake slowly as my eyes flutter and adjust. What happened last night, what was that? why would he kill himself, he had freedom, pure and untainted free will; he had what I have always wanted and yet.... I realize now, it has all become clear to me; we humans are inherently covetous, no matter what goals we achieve, no matter what prizes we are awarded, no matter what lives we live, we will always crave more. I am already damned, damned to live the same life as those I have watched through my window for countless days. Happiness seems to be something we cannot obtain, for the happiness we crave does not exist. 

I rise from off the floor, my head and bones ache. All I have ever done is wish for more, I see now that if I were to obtain what I so lust for, I would only lust for more; I have seen not a better example of a human being, I have seen not a contented man nor a satisfied woman. It must be the same way for everyone, for everyone I have witnessed lives a life mirrored not after their own personal conviction but rather that of everyone they have come in contact with. I will now do what I know to do, I will do what I have seen done, I will do what it is to be done when one cannot go on anymore. What I have always wished for, it would only pain me more; in mind and in heart I am a whore, for my entire life has been filled with a single emotion. An emotion of lust, an emotion that awakened in me even my most unholy cravings; I have not lead a meaningful existence, although do not let it be said that any other human being has either... 

I grab the knife from the cupboard, I refuse myself even the idea of stepping outside; for If I were to do so I would most certainly lose my resolve to end my life. I go up to my room and stand in the same spot I have stood for the last twenty-six years, in front of my window. Today is no different aside from the absence of my neighbor's husband. Its sad really, despite having watched these people for the past Twenty-six years I do not even know a single one of their names. I press the knife against my throat, close my eyes and I take my final breath, a long and deep breath, a breath of relaxation or is it... Contentment? 

-The end. 

 

Edited by SAO LILDOOP
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