A serialised novel
I thought I’d share some of the music that has, in some form, inspired the story so far, or, at least, has resonances with it. My suggestion is that you listen to the music either while reading or after reading this week’s episode. I hope it will add a little to the experience!
No Trains To Heaven – Be-Bop Deluxe
.... Man, I’d never seen anything like this shit before… just an amazingly shiny and bright oval, slightly stretched towards the front drop of water… “After you,” she says, waving me in… no forward motion, no turning, no movement, nada, not a thing. It’s only my eyes that are telling me we’re moving… she tells me not to worry, that we’ll be there soon and yes, there will be plenty to eat… man it’s crazy… I have such a strong sense of ‘food’ – of all that it could be – but here’s the crazy thing… I can’t actually tell myself what that food could be! It’s like being out in the street earlier… O’Donnel tells me “Shem, when you leave the capsule you will see things that will be very new to you. I do not know how much of it will make sense to you. Perhaps some. Perhaps none. All I’m asking is that you trust me Shem.” … what was waiting for me outside the capsule? I wasn’t sure I wanted to know now. But there was warmth in O’Donnel’s voice. “Shem, are you there?”
So, another room, right? Sheesh. Ok, so this one’s pretty slick, not like the last one, but it’s still just a room right? Worse still, just like the last one I don’t even know how I came to be here. I mean, sure, I remember getting out of that weird thing that Felicity brought me in and then…well, then I guess I started really freaking out, you know?
Then…nothing…nada…and I open my eyes and here I am in this room. Like it’s pretty smooth and pretty big. All white plastic by the looks, and a long, low window which I haven’t looked out of yet. I’m not sure I want to. I mean, my head’s pretty tender at the moment, you know? Man that was some weird shit up there. ‘Up there’? Hey , don’t ask me, like I don’t know why but it just feels like ‘up there’ and not ‘over there’ ok? Sheesh.
At least this place has some pretty fancy bits and pieces. Like it’s got at least three chairs, one long sofa type thing and a few lamps and lights around the place. Problem is they’re all, well, white. Pretty hard to tell them apart. And that’s kinda weird. I can’t put my finger on it -ha, nothing new there, right? – but something’s missing.
Anyways, O’Donnel did warn me, right? I guess he was trying to say ‘There’s gonna be some weird shit coming your way Shem, you better be ready.’ I thought I was, of course, like a schmuck, because, of course, I had no idea what that shit would actually look like! Ever the optimist, that’s me. ‘Sure, sure, everything will be fine, I’m sure, I’ll cope of course I will , don’t worry about me.’ And all the time I have absolutely no idea that some fucking steam train is heading down the tracks towards me and I’m just tied to that line, going ‘It’ll all be fine!’ Sheesh, what a schmuck. A dyed in the wool stupid son-of-a -bitch-schmuck.
So I get out of the capsule, for a moment my mind is taken up with just how soft and gentle Felicity’s hand feels in mine and then it begins. How do I describe it to you? Impossible. How do you describe the impossible? Ok, I’ll try, but man, you really had to be there. Or rather, here, right, inside my head. Can you even begin to imagine what it would be like if you could connect with hundreds, even thousands of other people’s brains?
See, how am I gonna explain this? I step out of the capsule, Felicity’s hand in mine and I begin to feel her hand. I mean, really feel her hand. Just like when I came out of the building ahead of O’Donnel. It was kinda nice for the first couple of seconds. Then it began to spread. I was feeling, no…sensing her arms, her shoulders, her whole body until finally I’m seeing trough her eyes, hearing with her ears. Man. Like, it’s in no way the same as seeing yourself in the mirror, right? But there I am, looking at me, getting out of the capsule, my hand in what I can only describe as now also my hand, while my head is beginning to fill up with Felicity’s thoughts and feelings.
Ok, so it’s more the feelings, now I sit here and think about it. Yeah. Just the sensations. I couldn’t tell you what she thought as she looked at me. But I can describe the way her hair was being tugged by a gentle breeze coming from somewhere – I could feel the hair on her scalp move – the way her eyes contracted slightly in the light of the hangar or wherever the hell we were. I can tell you exactly what she was smelling and the impact of her toes against her shoes as she stepped out onto the floor.
Then it starts to spread. Now I’m seeing things, hearing things, feeling sensations from who the hell knows where – or from who, come to think of it. Like, what do you want me to do, try and list them all? Sheesh. Man it was incredible! Awful and really freaky but…yeah…incredible. It’s like I’m filling up on sounds and nerve tingling experiences and every second getter stronger and richer and more inside of me than just a second-hand thing. There’s a breeze blowing across my face, I’m cold, I’m too hot, I’m hearing the crunch of gravel, the slide of silk, a breath from someone near me, the sparkle of green in a forest somewhere, the running river, I’m in a shower, in a noisy street, the dark, the lights turn on, off, I’m stumbling, falling, grazing my knee, tasting coffee, food, sugar and sour, coughing, laughing…on and on it came, right into me.
Except this time I can’t shake it away. This time it grows and grows, each sensation struggling to rise to the surface, to be stronger than the others, to be the one that is mine. Don’t ask me what I was doing all this time, what Felicity was doing. Did she notice? I don’t know. I couldn’t do anything except let this tide flood my body. At least, until I heard the screaming.
Don’t ask me why it came last. It began below all the others. You know? Like when you know a car is coming before you actually hear it? Or a train or something like that. You feel that sound but it’s all mixed in with everything else but you know it’s not the same as everything else, right? As it gets near it starts to pull itself away from all the other sounds, tearing and ripping, mingling at the edges but getting louder and closer. This scream was like a deep, deep, wailing. It came from somewhere down in my guts and slowly strangled out every other sound and sensation. It tore at my head like… Huh. I was going to say animal but that’s not it. No way. Human. It was definitely human; rising behind but coming from all the other sensations, this was from them. The people I was connected to. It reached right up from my boots and began to circle my mind, suffocating me and deafening me all at the same time. I remember gasping for my breath and hitting the floor and that’s it.
Then I wake up here and all is back to normal. If you can call a freak like me normal! Shit. What a mess. What is happening to me? Who are those people and what-the-fuck are they doing inside my body? Sheesh. The only thing that’s keeping me from totally losing it is the hope that O’Donnel or Felicity have some answers for me. They sure walk and talk like they do. I hope to god they have.
So here I sit, another room and another set of paper and a pencil – white, of course. Everyone seems to think I should write this stuff down, so I do, just don’t ask me to explain it all, right? But at least it’s quiet now. At least the only sensations are the one coming from me, from my body. That’s something. And the screaming has stopped. But you know what? It occurs to me that that is what’s missing from this room.
I never noticed it in the other room, probably too busy with Harry, god rest his soul; but I think this one is the same. There’s a nothingness here. I mean, yeah, right, there are things in here – like I said, a lamp, lights, window, seats and a sofa. But nothing that has any feeling connected to it. No pictures. No photographs. Ha, yeah, no colour. Nothing that might belong to someone, you know what I mean? Nothing that says ‘this is me, this is what I like, this is…yeah…this is how I feel.’
Anyways, I’ve just taken a little tour – avoiding the window, I’m not ready for any more surprises right now. And something is telling me there are plenty more on their way, right? Thing is, it’s made me think about the other room. And the cupboard. And the drawer. I reach into my pocket and scrabble around. Yeah, it’s still there. I hold the scrap of paper in my hand and unfurl it carefully.
“Don’t let her in…” Could that have been Felicity? Or who? Not O’Donnel, surely.
I’m looking around the room kinda half hoping that there will be another cupboard, with another drawer and another part of the message. Nada. So what to do? I sit on the sofa, which turns out to be pretty hard on the ass, if you know what I mean. Someone will show up. Don’t ask me how I know, but I just do, right? Someone will come through that door and the whole thing will kick off again. I’m just hoping that this time, whoever it is, that they’ve got some answers for me.
So what do I do? I just sit and wait for it all to happen, like the dumb schmuck I am.
Dear reader – do you have a suggestion for the next chapter? Perhaps a plot idea? Or maybe you just want to tell me to stop! Whatever, drop me a comment! You may find it used in the next chapter!
‘Til next time,
- The Room (rattledrum.wordpress.com)
- The Room #8 (rattledrum.wordpress.com)
- The Room #9 (rattledrum.wordpress.com)
- The Room #10 (rattledrum.wordpress.com)