3 December 2009

The Message

Staring at the small laptop keyboard in front of him, he desperately tried to remember what the hell he had decided to write.  Nothing came.  His mind was a blank and yet crowded with thoughts.  He looked out of the carriage window across the dark city for inspiration as it sped by. Rivulets of the streaming rain dancing across the glass like tiny twisting transparent serpents, refracted orange street lights skipping through them, illuminating their innards like hair thin ribbons of fast moving lava… no fire. 

Fire… yes it was something to do with fire.  His hands slowly drifted back onto the keys and he let the words pour out of him.  It was always like this once he'd found his trigger, a constant stream of ideas or actions.  His fingers danced, tap, tap, tapping out his meaning and message. Scoring the blank white screen with his thoughts made real.

Fire, conflagration, a torrent of destruction, perhaps the very manifestation of mother nature's anger and spite and vengeance all rolled into one.  A chemical reaction so alive and uncontrollable that most people go their entire lives without understanding or even thinking about how it functions.  Fire.

He rested his fingers a moment and scanned the other passengers around him.  Were his writings being surreptitiously monitored?  Were his very thoughts being read?  It didn't matter, nobody would say or do anything, he'd ridden this train before, during the planning stage.  Now, sitting in the same seat as before, in the same carriage with laptop before him capturing his thoughts and sending them home, nobody cared… but that would change.

The train began to slow and a soulless and detached female voice announced the approach of the next stop.  A number of people started to gather their belongings, folding newspapers, pulling on coats and departing once the train had stopped.  Only then to be replaced with others carrying out the same actions but all of them in reverse. The train moved on.

He checked his watch, a cheap plastic piece of crap that one of his brothers had handed to him the night before.  

3 minutes.
No sense in wasting something more expensive he thought with a tiny ironic smile.  He returned his gaze to the laptop. It too was a poor quality device, he was however amazed that it worked at all, considering what had been done to it and what it contained underneath its silvery black skin.  He checked his watch again.

2 minutes. 
The time seemed to be ticking away faster than he'd have liked, he did not want to leave things undone, so he returned his attention to his writing.
He finished the letter to his wife and hit send.  He watched with patience as the wifi connection light strobed sending his words through the air, he wondered if she would cry when she read them, he felt certain she would.  He just hoped what he had written would sooth her heart a little, maybe even make her proud of him one last time.
The words "Message Sent" appeared in the corner of the screen.  How perfect he thought… message sent, how appropriate for he now considered himself the messenger.

He looked at his watch one last time.
30 seconds.
Reaching out he closed the lid on the laptop and then sat back and closed his eyes too in the same slow, deliberate manner.  There was an almost irresistible urge to suddenly stand up and shout at the top of his lungs, to shock those around him, to make them realize what they had called down upon themselves, to scream at them, to let them know they had been judged and that were all lacking… but the urge subsided and he realized it was pointless, it made no difference if they knew or not, they were guilty and they were about to be punished for their heresy.

He'd lost count of the remaining time, there could only be a few seconds left before the device inside the laptop's case detonated, blasting a massive hole in the carriage and no doubt tripping the entire train from its rails, sending his divine message to the world in a ball of cleansing fire, shattered glass and twisted metal… just as his brothers would be doing very soon themselves.  He realized that in just a few moments he would be with them again, he smiled a deep and satisfied smile and wondered if any of them would feel the fire…

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