Monday, February 27, 2006
Matthew entered the shadow studio, as it was called. He stood in the silent chamber, taking in the apparatus and the convex projection screen. The lights dimmed and he counted the seconds of silence while the hum of transistors and electrified circuits cut in as a steady, subliminal vibration. All the preparations had paid off. Soon he would be able to carry out his plan. His mind drifted through bits and pieces of the interview with the psychologist who'd certified his suitability for the procedure. Not everyone was allowed into the room...
"Tell me again about these voices you've been hearing," the psychologist’s voice stated unemotionally, eyes staring through the wire-rimmed glasses at Matthew.
"---It's when no one else is around. They call to me --- beaconing me --- as if they were around the corner, or in the next room. But when I go in, they've moved on --- and when I hear them again their condescension only builds." Matthew spoke like a man hounded, and the sensors on his fingers and pasted to his head confirmed the emotion.
"And these voices, do they ever tell you to do anything?"
"Yes. Yes, at night. It begins as insinuations, 'That girl next door would like someone to...' Then the demands become more direct, first as questions, 'Why don't you visit her and---' Then commands, 'Go to her now and---' And loud, very loud, sexual things, you understand --- I press my hands to my ears and fall to the floor, but they scream at me, many voices at once, an entire crowd, and won't let up." At this point he buried his face in his hands and began to cry, his frame shaking with emotion. It was a passionate performance and sustained throughout a film may even have sufficed for an Oscar nomination. The psychologist, though no connoisseur of acting, liked what he saw.
"I think I can certify your insanity," he told Matthew. "We shall begin the procedure in half an hour."
Matthew smiled inwardly. Those weeks of intense meditation and practice with his homemade lie-detector had put him in a position to claim anything he wanted, and have it officially approved as truth. Suddenly, light appeared behind the now rippling membrane. It was a weak, colorless glow at first, strengthening finally into a thick hue of green like one might expect in the illuminated brine of a fathomless ocean. It was his soul, his soul that formed out of the green ether as a dense, dark shadow. He reached out to it, to touch it, to embrace it, the ultimate embrace of oneself, which had been his intention all along. Had he been insane, the procedure would have extracted the pathological segments of his being and left them to dissolve into dust, to be vacuumed away and sealed in a specimen tube for scientific reference. But now the complete soul presented itself intact, stood before him in his reach. His hand felt drawn towards the real reflection but as his fingertips grasped, the soul turned away. His soul, too, had had intentions. It wanted out, out of dull, normal Matthew. A moment later it vanished entirely, and Matthew stood alone, a mere shell of his former self.
Important announcement: The new blog discussed in the comments of the previous post has been launched with a premier story by Viruswitch: anothergalaxy.blogspot.com.
All story contributions have been reposted at indeterminacies.blogspot.com.