Tuesday, 21 August 2012
SILHOUETTES - Fifth instalment
SILHOUETTES - Fifth instalment - Chapters ten and eleven.
For more information on this novel, click Here. Next instalment coming next week.
Dave touched his chip, searching for an answer, the barmaid put a drink in front of him and asked for money. The stranger flickered in front of him, looking slightly alarmed, and impatient, his aura fiery red and glowing, and finally recognition came and the scenario from last night came into focus. He fingered the chip off.
'Ben, is it?' he said. He was in control again. Ben and the blonde, Debbie, the one he'd seen at the park this morning, arguing over his state of inebriation. It was in the Scotia Bar last night.
'Yeah, that's right,' Ben also, it seemed, began to remember the scene. 'You said you were going to fry my brain. You said you were an alien and you had the technology!'
'Hmm, forget that,' said Dave, 'I was a bit pissed myself,' he lied. He should really stop with the alien crap, it wasn't fun anymore. His body had fucked him over again. In reality, his mind was in a maze, with the chip his body was given limited focus and manipulation while it had control, to mask his communications to Homeland. When it wasn't in control, it was passive, but still active in the background, it made him seem absent minded, or distracted, at times, forgetful of people or places at other times. At least now he could stop phoning home, though the chip was there for life. Hopefully they would sort out the bugs and improve it as time went by. 'Let me buy you a drink,' he said, 'as an apology.'
Ben accepted the drink, and they both returned to Dave's table at the window. The Herald was lying open at the crossword, half done.
'Bit heavy, that rag,' said Ben, 'full of big words where little words would do.'
'That's my link to home,' said Dave, he realised he could tell Ben anything, thinking fun time again. He would either accept what he said, or think he was nuts, and it didn't really matter what.
'Your old man the editor, or something?'
'Look here,' said Dave, and opened the paper at page four. He squared four columns with a pen, a piece about the missing student in the news. He circled one word on each line, seemingly at random, then passed the page in Ben's direction. 'Read from bottom to top, right to left,' he instructed.
'Police, be, insisted, university, weeks, crime, insider, blonde, link,' Ben read the words aloud. 'Doesn't appear to make much sense!'
'It's a warning from home, they are subliminally broadcast, and subsequently, and unwittingly, printed, to remind us not to get complacent on a tour of duty.'
Hmm, thought, Ben, this guy is nuts, for real. He accepted the wind up though, for a laugh.
'I know it doesn't make much sense to you, obviously you're not one of us. In my own tongue it makes sense, without translation it is meaningless.'
'So,' Ben was beginning to wish he had drank up and left, 'what does it say when translated?'
'In my own tongue, it means, “Beware of strangers bearing gifts.”'
'And in what language would that be?' asked Ben.
The flat was ground floor, so Simon always had to beware of either casual passers-by gazing in, or worse, the enemy's subtle surveillance. The curtains were almost always kept closed except in the living room which he rarely used. The two bedrooms had Venetian blinds always shut, and heavy curtains closed over them. In the spare bedroom, Suzi lay naked on the bed. It had taken a full day to drain her, gut her and cleanse her inside and out with the embalming fluids he'd stolen from the undertaker's office in Springburn. The insides had been carefully cut into little pieces, blended, bit by bit, and poured into large empty coffee tins he'd been buying and storing for precisely this purpose. He'd already dumped five in the river, at different locations, seven more to do, and he noticed, as he inspected Suzi, pale now, almost a translucent white, though he was pleased with his work, she was still oozing fluids at places, and the smell was still quite noticeable in here. He lifted the body, now so light and fragile, out of rigor, it seemed, and mopped these wet patches from the incontinence sheet she was lying on. Good buy, that, he thought, remembering the price.
When the body was clean again, he selected the Stanley knife and carefully make a cut just below the throat, placed the electronics for the doll's speaker under the opened flesh and positioned it as he could. There was no bleeding now, the blood had congealed in the flesh, and the flesh was like cutting leather. He removed it again, made a few corrections to the cut, replaced the circuitry, including the battery box, and happy with the result, he fed the wires up the inside of the throat, with difficulty and precision, to the mouth.
The speaker wasn't great, he would replace it, he thought, but it would do for now, Suzi was research and development, a prototype, his first real experiment. Suzi Two would come before long. He pried the mouth open, pulled the two speakers wires from the throat into view and slid the connections on the ends onto the spade connectors on the speaker. He tucked it into the mouth out of sight, and happy with the result, he found the doll's box and re-read the instructions for use. If his calculations were correct, he should be able to press the throat and get sound. He did so.
'Baby wants to play,' came a metallic gurgle from Suzi's mouth. 'Baby wants to play.'
Simon smiled, it was a whiny thin voice, but it worked. He reached for a threaded needle to stitch up the gash in the throat.
Next instalment coming soon...
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