A gentle rant and some flash fiction: The City is a Drum

This post is so far untitled. It’s 1:30 AM, and I must be awake early tomorrow, and it is during times like these that a part of me acts rationally, in quite a despicable way.

This divergent voice argues not to sleep, that the painful morning will come soon after sleeping- and thus must be delayed, at all costs, right here, right now.

My future self shakes his fatigued fist at me- damn you past-self, stop procrastinating and get to bed! Save the night whilst you still can! But what does he know.

In this in-between mood I feel an urge to write some kind of story. A piece of flash fiction perhaps- I’m so close to dreaming, and I have such strange dreams. It’s a real blessing, like some kind of free subscription someone else signed me up for. On that note I will in fact turn a dream, that has never quite left me, into a story.

And I shall write it all in bolded text because I feel that dreams ought to be in bold, before they fade to white.

Flash Fiction: The City is a Drum

Inside the taxi I held on to the door handle, my fingers digging into the rubber that yielded, ever so slightly, as we careened to the left again. In response we all swung the other way, but we held on and none of us complained. If anything we wished he could drive faster.

Max turned to me and said, “He’s coming for me again.” And I did not bother to lie, and tell him otherwise. I was not being hunted, and I was afraid I would be hunted, and so my friend Max could be the bait, to avoid being hunted. 

On the highway we streamed past sad lights, smeared reds and whites seen through rain patterns that remained on our windshield and windows, though outside the night sky was clear, as if there had been a storm, once, however I could not recall it. Then Max released his seat belt and gazed outside the back window, and screamed like a child with an adult’s voice.

This meant he was coming for us, so I sat still, and Max ducked down in front of his seat, curled up in the shaking vehicle. “Don’t worry Max, he can’t get us here.” I said, and was proven wrong immediately, when a black leather gloved hand passed through the ceiling of our speeding taxi, as if it were water, even causing ripples in the roof, right in front of my face, the hand open, clenching at the air, and I sat back in my seat, pressed against the back, thinking- No no no, not this side of the car, Max is on the other side of the car.

And we almost all rolled sideways as the driver took a sharp turn, crossing lanes on this never ending highway.  He could not evade the hunter whose hand came again, to my left, closing on nothing like the claws from those stuffed-toy machines. And again in front of me, withdrawing back up, invisible above the opaque roof it passed so easily. I was screaming like Max now. Then I looked at Max, and his head moved downwards, as I was lifted upwards, by the scruff of my dress-shirt by the hand that took me out of the ceiling of the cab, which I passed through like water. 

I caught a glimpse of that terrible Guy Fawkes mask as he pulled me up. He was above me, flying, towards the clouds with his wide-brimmed hat on. The shirt held me like a sling as we went above the dark highway, the streaming cars, the tiny  taxi. Elevating upwards, we seemed illuminated by the distant spot lights of the city. White light on a dark, upside-down cloudy stage.

We stopped in mid-air. Me, in his death grip, him, calmly static far above the road. He was so tall, and I could not see any part of his face, no skin, with all that black, and that terrible Guy Fawkes mask- he was not human. He was something shaped like a human and if I struggled I would fall, and what does he want anyway. I was trapped in mid-air. I finally found the words, to plead, and I started with “Wh-wh-why-why-me…” and he interrupted me with that bass voice shaking in my stomach:

“THE CITY IS AN INSTRUMENT.” 

I tried to ask “What do you want from me? Why are you doing this?” Instead I said

“Uh. Ah. Ah.”

And he continued with that voice, “AND THIS IS HOW YOU PLAY IT.” and he turned me upside down like a child might a toy, and he flung me down towards the black road and the growing stream of carlights and I dove towards the concrete and the rising vehicles the air rushing past my ears till I SMASHED MY BRAINS INTO 

A night, or early morning, in my bed, waking. I froze then, eyes barely open.

I saw what looked like several people staring down at me in my bed, their silhouettes vaguely humanoid. One wore a wide brimmed and his face looked like familiar mask, and I heard them say “He’s waking up, give him some more.” and my last thought was- holy fucking shit please don’t notice that I heard you say that, and then I passed out and woke up for real.

Turned on all the damn lights and wrote out the dream because I was terrified.

I will be posting the next part of The Sixth tomorrow- finally broken through a sort of block on the thing. Ronel and Eric and then a short story competition and an attempt to pan for Writer’s Gold, and a sharp observation by the class on not having enough vampires.

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