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This is just a teaser of a short story I wrote about a year ago; the very opening. Will post the rest in segments (if I pluck up the courage to share it with the world…). Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

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THE RING OF FIRE

At that moment he existed in terms of a billion cells surging in instants, forming the outline of his physical body. He was feeling the blood thumping against the globular whites damming his skull, and his ears were ringing…as a telephone would in the old days. The kind you had to twist round to dial a number, and when somebody called you, the ringing would fill the entire house, searing through your head, setting you pulse on fire, until you were propelled to the machine and – just when you couldn’t take it anymore and your eyes hurt – you picked it up in anticipation.

Hellooo?! – she said, mocking him, her tone inflecting appropriately. I didn’t realise you were that stupid.

He was aware of the way her face contorted in mockery, and the sound waves as they reached one complete oscillation through one unit of Time. But he couldn’t decode any of this. It was all white noise.

Meanwhile, the woman was flailing her arms about like a windmill, orans-like, and her bracelets chinkled and shimmered together as a wind-chime. The spectacle distracted him.

‘Sorry’.

He blubbered it; it shot out of his mouth without warning. He didn’t know what to do, but he was relieved. Out of the myriads of words he could have possibly spouted, ‘sorry’ was often received more favourably (he found).

She was taken aback and her eyebrows perked up in a flicker of surprise. Just for a split second, he thought he had done something wrong (again). Then the corners of her mouth drooped down somewhat hyperbolically, only to transfuse – midway – into the lovechild of a grimace and a smile.

Well…okay then – he heard as the nonchalant shrug of her shoulders defined her collar bones, framing her sequined shirt. Thanks, I guess.

She was gone in a whish of spangled auburn hair. Thomas was left in the company of Dante, immortalised as he was in sticky papier-mâché, missing a nose. He realised now that his fingers had glued themselves inextricably to the big table too, and he slowly twisted the laurelled head 360 degrees before he heard the satisfying smack of independence.

 

[TO BE CONTINUED]

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