MADNESS IN SPACE

It was just past midnight, though just past midnight could have easily been three in the afternoon from my window seat. Up there, in space, there were no real indicators of time. Our on-board clock had run out of batteries, and our watches were dead or off the preset time we had agreed to, as watches are wont to do. For all we really knew, it was in fact three o’clock. But as a crew we had decided that it was midnight, so that was the time I was sticking to.

The crew had composed of myself, James, Raymond, and Tanya. James had gotten caught up back in the Mars raid, which had just left Ray, Tany, and me. It was now down to just me. All the lights had gone out, and we were free flying through the nothingness, at a few thousand miles per hour. Tany’s body was off in the freezer. She had gotten locked in, and Ray hadn’t found her before it was too late. Ray’s body was down in cargo hold. He’d been out of his suit when the room destabilized and the air was wrenched from his lungs. At least, that’s what the records would show, and that would be my story if I ever made it home.

We had run low on food and water. Our hasty escape meant we couldn’t power up to full speed before power was shut off, and the trip would like take nearly four times the length we had expected. We had enough supply for three to make the trip at normal speed, plus a little for safety, but not enough for three people to make it going this slow. Plus, greedy Ray had decided to snipe the extra food barrels on the trip out. But with the extra food I had now, I would just barely get there, though I might have to go a few days without food. Tany knew that would be the case too, but she and Ray had been too close to each other to actually make a move. So I had.

In another hour, Ray’s body would spoil though, and I wasn’t going to take any chances on running out of food early. Not with all this good meat here. But I wasn’t quite ready to move yet. The twinkling light of the stars, like ten million glaring eyes, looked too beautiful to leave unseen. I wonder if, to them, we were just a star floating along out here too. So I sat there, looking out into the stars for a while, wondering how this madness had come to pass.

——

 

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SPEECHLESS

I awoke in the middle of the night with my throat burning. The pins in at the back of my throat were nearly as uncomfortable as the hot breath that exhumed from my mouth. It tasted like a corpse. I rose and found my way to the sink, splashed some water on my face. I cupped my hand beneath the running water, and used it as a makeshift glass. The soft, cool sips of water provided a short respite from the fire in my throat, but it was quickly overwhelmed. Exasperated, I opened my mouth to chastise my image in the mirror, but as I finished drawing a breath in, I found myself unable to speak. It was as if the words had been caught behind the layer of spikes, each word popping like a balloon before it could fly from my mouth.

Panic welled up inside my throat. My eyes bulged as I struggled to articulate the slightest of noises. I turned away from the mirror to look at the bathtub. This must be a dream, I thought, Or rather, a nightmare. I gagged on the unseen forces. My hands trembled, and my chest heaved. My vision blurred. The strength of my body failed, and I tumbled to the floor.

When I awoke again, the room was still dark. I had been returned to my bed, though my memory of this was gone. My throat no longer burned, yet I still could not speak. It was as if the heat had consumed my power to speak. The room was eerily silent. I rose, and the once creaky floor of the room bore no noise. I flicked the light of the bathroom on. Strange. Who turned out the light? The words echoed in the cavern of my mind. I turned the water on, then froze as I realized I could not hear the water running. I flicked the light switch back and forth. There was no noise. I felt the heaving setting in again.

My ears began to burn. I looked in the mirror and saw them turning crimson, like the color my boss turned the more he yelled. I turned to the bath, and threw the water on. A silent rush flooded out, filling the tub. I thrust my head under the stream of water, not bothering to wait for it to fill. As with the sips of water I took earlier, it provided a brief moment of freedom, but eventually even the water could not contain the pain. In a rage, my body whirled about wildly. I had been overcome by instinct—the instinct to free oneself from pain. I saw my image in the mirror. My ears had grown redder than I could have possibly imagined. I turned to the towel rack by the toilet, and tore it from the wall. My eyes filled with rage at my own image, and I swung the towel rack at it. The mirror splintered, cracks lining it’s being, before exploding into hundreds of thousands of pieces. It was all in silence. I felt my body growing weak again, like before. I scampered toward my bed, ignoring the glass on the floor as it dug into my feet, but just as I reached the doorway to the room, my legs dissolved from under me. I pulled at the rug with my hands, inching my way toward the bed, but they, too, grew weak. My vision turned weary again, and I was out.

Again I awoke in darkness. It was so black I could not see even the sheets before me. I rose, and stumbled again toward the bathroom, feeling the walls for assistance. As I found the doorway, it crossed my mind that the glass was likely still on the floor. I turned away from the bathroom, and instead felt my way to the door to the rest of my home. I found the doorknob, but found the door inoperable. I was trapped. I tried to control myself. Why was it so dark? My eyes should have adjusted by now. I paused. I was afraid. They had taken my voice, they had taken my hearing, were they now, too, about to take my sight? I walked to the lamp that stood by my bedside, and hesitantly felt for the chain. I pulled the chain, no doubt flooding the room with light. But my vision remained dark. I felt for the light bulb. Were the electricity out, it would remain cool. I placed my hand on it, and found it warm. My heart sunk. Why is this happening to me? I thought. Tears fell from my face, and I brushed them away. I crawled into my bed, awaiting the pain that I had come to know so well, but instead, I merely felt myself lose my strength again, and my consciousness faded.

——

 

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THE JOURNAL OF GREGOR

Journal Entry #249

Hello again. Today’s been a lovely day. I spent the morning with flowers and some bees, then, at noon I was returned to my living space. At supper I was brought a book-a rare treasure in this place nowadays. Until next time.

– Gregor

 

Journal Entry #250

Hello again. Today’s been a lovely day. I spent the morning walking on the moon, then took a trip through the stars till about half past three. By evening I was nearly to Jupiter. I was returned to my living space for supper, which was served on a cool metal tray. Until next time.

– Gregor

 

Journal Entry #251

Hello again. I was kept inside all day today. It wasn’t especially fun. Until next time.

– Gregor

 

Journal Entry #252

Hello again. They said they would be moving me shortly. Today I went to the hills to check out the view of the beach. I miss the warmth of the sun. The living space is small and lonesome, despite my exceptional ability to exist in it. Until next time.

– Gregor

 

Journal Entry #253

Hello again. Today I am quite busy packing. Until next time.

– Gregor

 

Journal Entry #260

Hello again. I’ve missed you so much. They left you at the other place. I’ve been writing on the walls in the meantime. And I’ve made a friend. His name is Pillow man. Pillow man is a lonely guy. I love to snuggle my head up against him. We got in a fight the other day though, and I torn a piece of his skin off. He’s not made like you or me either. He’s really soft inside. Did you make any friends? I saw a couple underlines in some of the early pages in you. No, you’re right, of course those were from me. How silly. Until next time.

– Gregor

 

Journal Entry #261

Hello again. Today I felt the soothing water of the showers again. They said I smelled like a pig, but I’ve never really seen a pig so I don’t know what they meant. I do feel different now though. Like a snake after shedding it’s old skin. But I’m quite tired now. Until next time.

– Gregor

 

Journal Entry #262

Stephen w@$ here.

 

Journal Entry #263

HOW DARE THEY TOUCH YOU. YOU WHORE. I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN. THERE WILL BE NO NEXT TIME.

– Gregor

 

Journal Entry #264

Hello again. I’m sorry for yesterday. I know it wasn’t your fault. They took it by force from you. I should have been more careful. I’ll make it right though. Don’t worry. They’ll never think about touching you again. Until next time.

 

Journal Entry #265

Hello again. It’s been done. Don’t worry about him anymore. He won’t hurt you again. I’m afraid though, because they said this was the last straw. And warden said it. He’s usually so nice to me. I love you. Until next time.

– Gregor

 

Editor’s Note:

The journal ends here.

——

 

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