Well, it has only been a week since I proclaimed I would stop posting random crap on my blog.
To commemorate this event, here is some random fiction I wrote today. It has been subjected to the most cursory of editing. Essentially I wrote the story once, without stopping, then rewrote it as I typed it up. Other than that I have changed nothing. I do not plan to continue it at any point in time. I am just being honest. I feel like this makes the story stronger. Deal with it in any way you feel appropriate.
A Change of Heart (Working Title)
By E. W. Morrow
Word Count: 776
Aaron’s hand trembled as he made the necessary marks above yet another door. The plasma cutter shook as the final line was gouged above the lintel. He’d lost count of the number of buildings he’d inscribed that night. Something about the relative finality of the act made it hard to track the number of times it had happened. Relative. That’s all anything was anymore. Relatively necessary. Relatively evil. Relatively good. Come dawn these buildings would be rubble, their slender brick facades reduced to nothing more smoldering ash and agonizing memories, their inhabitants gone from this world, gone to live with their own terrible, heathen gods, hopefully in a world entirely removed from the sight of pure, Christ fearing men. Their gods’ had lost. His god had won. That was all that mattered, no matter how relative to the truth.
A cold, desperate scream echoed down the street. The stark, crowded brick buildings, huddled so close together at the city’s core, and the narrow cobbled street created a sort of canyon that magnified the cry, each echo louder, more painful than the last. Aaron glanced to his right. There, across a dusty, weed choked garden crammed between brick and cobble, he saw one of Bravo Squad jam the butt of his gun into the emaciated face of one of the slum’s more lucid inhabitants. Aaron, heart pounding from the burst of adrenaline, was all too aware of the figure’s swollen stomach, a stark contrast to its skeletal frame. He managed to take in the impression of dark, olive skin and long, jet black hair moving in a confused blur before a second member of Bravo Squad stepped forward and dowsed the gangrel figure in a tidal wave of flaming liquid.
Anguished cries and the sickly smell of burnt flesh mingled and danced in Aaron’s brain until sight, sound and smell ceased to have individual meaning. Anger and sadness screamed at him from opposite sides of the abyss that had suddenly become reality. The waring emotions shifted and ground against one another, repulsion becoming attraction and back again, over and over, until eventually the two were inseparable and a new thought was born.
Hatred. Glistening and pure and screaming like a newborn babe. Aaron drew the fledgling thought close to his bosom and everything changed. Everything shifted, relative to the adolescent hatred swelling inside him.
There were no gods. There was no truth, relative or otherwise. There was only belief, and pain, and anger, and heartache, and everything else that belief birthed unto the world.
Aaron was so completely absorbed in his own visions of a brand new world that he failed to notice the crimson lights flickering across his helmet’s display. By the time he realized something was amiss, his suit’s auxiliary containment systems had begun the terminal shutdown of all major ambulatory systems. The supple dermis of the suit suddenly went rigid, forming a hard exoskeleton that Aaron could only thrash against impotently. Two faceless members of Charlie Squad, suddenly divorced from the digital identifiers that had previously danced across his vision, each grabbed him by an arm. A moment later the world blurred and Aaron heard a crunch and saw the splintered remains of a rotten, wooden door flying across his vision. He sailed effortlessly through the air and landed horizontally in the den of dissidents he had only moments before marked for destruction.
At the edges of his field of vision, Aaron became aware of two things. First, at the bottom of his vision, from the direction he had so recently been thrown, he became aware of the sudden, terrible advance of of cleansing fire. Already it was licking at his feet, melting the rubber on the soles of his shoes. But, even though this was the more terrifying and immediate concern, he found he was unable to give it the attention it deserved.
From somewhere above him, deep within the squalid hive of malcontents and villains he had been taught to despise from boyhood, there came a soothing, wonderful music. Full of joy and peace, it washed over him, canceled out the pain of the fire consuming him from the bottom up. As the flames leaped higher and higher over his helpless form, Aaron saw the dark, foreign shapes of his lifelong enemy drifting into place beside him. Heedless of the flames, men, women and even children, all desperately thin and wasted, lay down beside him, weaving their limbs together in a solemn tapestry of humanity and love, with Aaron at the center. They continued to sing even as the flames devoured their flesh and the roof caved in on top of them.