The clock ticks, it does- slowly, and yet too fast.
She sits, watching as the useless hands shift in abrupt, small movements. Twelve o’ clock to one o’ clock to three o’ clock to two, because nothing ever makes sense.
She looks down at the mass of flesh attached to her- five lumps attached to a ball, and bites.
The skin. The skin is too thick. No good. She bites again.
The skin tastes like sweat and salt. Pain. Why is there pain?
Again. The mass of flesh turns red, and then leaks red- like a bouquet of blooming, withering roses for your mother.
She takes a mouthful, the red juices dripping onto her skirt.
It tastes raw, but it is too much of a bother to cook such things.
Another bite tastes surprisingly sweet- like butter cookies, or victory.
She devours the thing slowly, savouring every bit like the finest of meals.
The remains hang off the stump of her hand-coated in bloody saliva and crushed hopes.
In the end it is all gone- worn away like a shoe, or a psyche.
And the clock just keeps on ticking.
A short story originally intended to be published in a school magazine.
The chameleon had always fascinated her –an unknowing master of disguise, as it crept; slowly over her skin- this one was a juvenile, with a sort of spark in its eyes that gave it the illusion of intelligence, of emotion. She wished she could create illusions, like it did- then maybe she could at least pretend she knew how to feel.
She had a name, once, she was sure- but now she only had a title, and a title could never replace a name. Titles were power, and strength- but names meant a home, parents- someone who could hurt and love. She had lost those a long, long while ago. Names were for things that were alive.
Her title was The Dark Rose, and she was the Queen’s favourite pianist- always was, always will be (never changing, never alive). The Queen, though- she had a name. First name Carol and without a last name- but a lone first name was certainly better than no name at all. Under the synthetic robes of her futuristic kingdom, there was a person.
Even the chameleon that now lay comfortably in the crook of her muscled arm had a name- Marie, something simple, yet beautiful. The other musicians all had names, too. The White Dove was Thomas, Conquista was Clementine, and The Blood Flower was Avery . . . but, The Dark Rose? The Dark Rose was nobody.
This was what she contemplated, as she sat on the windowsill closest to the East, gazing outside as filtered rays of pale artificial sunshine shone down from above, from the roof of their perfect, man made city.
That day, there was going to be an evening show at the Queen’s preferred greenhouse- where most spectators were flowers and vines and whoever that resided within her Majesty’s glass palace. She was going to play the Ballad of The Flying Birds- a song from the old humanity, when the world was big, and not contained within a transparent capsule. The song was hard to describe- it was warm fireplaces, and soft feathers and endless wheat fields- but it all turned to ash in her hands all the same.
They called it melancholic; she called it empty- but emotional detachment was the trend of the modern age, so the Queen could never quite complain.
Something was different that day.
Continue reading “Adagio to Allegro”