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Least I Could Do

A comic strip that I really enjoy is Least I Could Do. Most of the time, this is a funny story about a group of friends. The story is centered around one womanizing guy with a really different take on reality. The main character doesn’t even have a box to think in, he is way out there. The comic is entertaining and I have been following it for years.

This week is a little bit different.

Right now, the strip is doing a feature on great people. This strip is the one that started the week. For anyone who doesn’t follow the link, it is the comic telling you that it wants to redefine celebrity by pointing the spot light on people who are real heroes in the world. The message is simple; you are watching people who are trying to stretch their time in the spot light rather than looking around and being inspired by those who are making a difference in the world. After you look around, follow the example. Don’t worry about who is marrying who or who is buying what or who is sleeping with what. Instead, change something for the better.

My favorite quote, the one that got me to start writing is, “Do what you always do, get what you always get.” These guys did something different in an attempt to get their fans to do something different.

I think LICD is on to something. This is a good idea and posting about it seemed like a good way to support it. Consider the message.

This week’s story is one that I have submitted to a couple of contests but it didn’t make it. I like it, but I think I will share it rather than continuing to submit it around. I hope you enjoy it.

L. E. White

New Age

Jeremy leaned back, using the wall to hold him up as he tried to focus on his breathing.

Or his heartbeat.

Or on the way his knees were shaking.

He tried to focus on something, anything, as long as it wasn’t the voice.

“Are you ok?”

He jumped and shrieked at hearing yet another voice and squeezed his eyes shut. He refused to look around and find that nobody was there.

Again.

He smacked the side of his own head, just above the left ear where the node had been implanted while mumbling, “Not there,” over and over. For a week, he had been tapping or smacking the antenna that wrapped around his ear and allowed the node to connect to the net. The tech’s and diag’s and code monkeys had all examined the logs and outputs. They told him it was his imagination. One old man mentioned a feedback loop but the younger designers had declared that impossible. The technology was not the problem.

They had said Jeremy should go get a chem to help.

Like a chem was going to stop the voice. It would just knock him out so that he couldn’t hear it until he woke up again.

“Stop hitting yourself. You’re leaking.”

Jeremy opened his eyes and looked into a pair of brown ones. The tall, chocolate man had an expression between disgust and concern, though Jeremy could not tell to which side it fell. He followed the man’s gaze, to see the red on his hand.

“And now you see me,” the voice whispered. It was hidden inside of white noise from static that was not supposed to be in the signal. It had been keeping him awake, talking about how he would die and making him sick if he tried to eat. It was always there.

“Stop talking.”

“I was just checking you,” Mr. Chocolate said. The words had a deep baritone tone that Jeremy would have enjoyed imagining again if it weren’t for the sickening whisper through the white noise blur that followed up with, “And you can’t stop me from keeping tabs on you.”

“Leave me alone.”

“Fine.” Rumbled, real and alive.

“But I will just come back later.” Hissed, horrible and terrifying.

“No.” Jeremy lunged at the man. His fingers curling around the fellows neck while thumbs ground into the wind pipe of the good Samaritan. “No more. No more. No More!”

The noise of dying drowned out the electronic whine. Listening to the guy choke and gasp in his hands brought Jeremy the first reprieve from the voice in almost a month.

When the body went limp, there was a sound of bubbles popping and then silence.

He looked around before raising one hand to cup around his ear. He waited, shallow, rapid breathing beginning to make him light headed, for something else to be said. Jeremy looked at the body and sat down. He mumbled “All I wanted was quiet,” as he gripped his head in his hands and began to rock.

The street was still. Nothing moved. No breeze rustled papers. There was only silence until the sirens. “Woot, Whoop. Woot, Whoop.”

There, in the sound, in the waves generated by small electric speakers, Jeremy could hear it again.

“We have you now. Move you into a cage and talk to you all day. All day Jeremy.”

“No!”

There was no threats yelled. When Jeremy charged over the top of the fresh corpse to get to the officers they both raised their weapons. A storm of metal punched holes through his chest and left him lying on the ground. He was leaking so much more now.

He gasped his last, crying and choking on blood as he heard one final hiss.

“You will never be free.”

***

A space below a window seal held the truth. A tiny man stood upside down on the bottom of the ledge. A flash of darkness that one of the officers dismissed as an insect shot out of Jeremy’s cooling ear and landed beside the tiny man. Shadow withered and twisted until a second dark little man stood beside the first.

“I’ll be damned. You did it.”

“I told you it would work.”

“But how did you get past the iron?”

The second turned to the first, “I told you, they have no iron. They live in a world dominated by silicon and gold. The Iron Age is over.”

“He had no iron?”

“None. Clothes held together with elastic and gadgets of plastic to help face the world. His shoes didn’t even tie.”

The watcher turned to his companion. “We must tell the rest.”

“We shall tell them all and a new age, The Age of the Fae, shall rise from the blood of man and his technology.”

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  1. January 29, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Great twist! Didn’t see it coming at all! 🙂

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