Friday, November 6, 2009

I Worry

"When did this one keel over?"
"Sometime around 11 this morning, I guess. I got the call an hour ago anyway for him."
"They go faster and faster each year, you know?"
"Yeah, I know."

The two figures closed the eyes of the deceased lying on the floor, the blue haze already taking over his corneas, seeing but not seeing, and covered his body with a black cloth. The kind of black that seemed to suck the light out of the room.

"Did this one have family? I hate it when they don't. They really start to smell sometimes. And that one guy that just kept swelling and swelling with all the bacteria reproducing inside of him until he bur..."
"You don't have to remind me about that one. I was there, too. Remember? We both watched it happen."
"I know, it was just... well, it was just awful. And his cats were there to..."
"I said don't remind me. Just because we do this every day, and have been doing it every day for the past few thousand centuries, doesn't mean I've gotten used to it. Let it lie."
"Alright, alright, alright. I just hate waiting is all for people to find them. I hate watching the body decay."
"You know we have to do this. You know what happens if we don't."
"Yeah, I know."

The shorter of the two figures let out a sigh as he (we'll just say "he: for the sake of understanding, but both were quite androgynous) said this last sentence, plopping to the ground. He let his finger circle the corpse's outstretched fingers, tracing the hand outline.

"What was he reaching for?"
"The remote control. He was having a heart attack and still wanted to change the channel."
"That seems consistent with their species, though, doesn't it? They want to ignore as much as possible. Because if you ignore it, it goes away, in their minds."
"They are a fascinating subculture, really."

The taller leaned against the wall, crossing his arms in front of his chest. The shorter stared up at him.

"Do you know what his crime was?"
"We never do."
"Yeah, but sometimes I would like to know why we kill them and then make sure they stay dead and trap the souls."
"It's not for us to ask questions. That's for the big guys upstairs. And down."
"Yeah. I feel sorry for them, though. They don't even know what is going on. They don't even know why they die."
"They expect it now. It's gone on too long now for them to believe that they are actually immortal. Or god-like, or however they put things like that. That there is no reason for the soul to part from the body."
"What do you think they would do if they found out?"
"All hell, excuse the phrase, would break loose. They'd be angry. They'd want revenge. But they'll never know."
"Yeah, I guess. Sometimes I just worry they'll figure out its us."

The two figures lapsed into silence, the shorter allowing his wings to stretch out behind him.

They had a long time to wait.

2 comments:

allisonwonder said...

I'm in. I want more. "Did this one have family? I hate it when they don't." That's when you had me for sure. Are they death angels? At first I wondered if they might be cockroaches, or other things that eat corpses (er - do cockroaches eat corpses?). I loved the tension you built by never saying who/what your characters are...but the scene was compelling enough that I had to eavesdrop. Don't tell me who they are. That is - tell me, but not in response to this comment! Keep writing.

Lenina Crowne said...

More to come my darling. Check later on today.