Cold, inbittered, the good doctor
ran his hands over the icy metallic railling, constructed perpendicular to the concrete steps leading away from his practice. A decadent song of warm tea and stale cigarette smoke cornered his senses, leaving him helpless
to their inundation. Tonight was his birthday, and he wore a lilting rose on the lapel of his chocolate-colored suit. His tie strung around his ears tightly, pressing his spectacles uncomfortably to his face.
He had seen the cardpaper cauldrons, their fires burning with magnamity and venom, the trembling arm of the society crockpot--and with his own eyes, he had tasted it.
His breath burnt the air just thinking of it, now the fire in his chest, waiting to consume he and his cold, snowy forest.
This will melt, he thought, this will melt and I will then believe. In these streets, I will consume all, I can only feed the fire now.
And so he walked. His thin features casting shadows along the quaint buildings around him--one, a pawn shop with a worn accordian in its window. He felt a prescence to this building, the red brickstone felt as if to pull him towards, consuming him.
Stepping inside, the dust lifted with each step, the floorboards sending sighs out. In front of him, a child sat in a wicker chair. A dunce cap sat on his head, but his eyes glew in confidence. A tremble shot through the good doctor's body, and he remembered a moment from his past.
I will not mutter revolutionary thoughts in class, under my breath, cursing the teacher as a tyrant. I will not wander through the halls, holding my pencil as a knife, hunting for republicans. I will not threaten to move away to Alaska to live in an igloo. I will not mutter revolutionary thoughts in class, under my breath, cursing the teacher as a tyrant.
And so on, as the memory goes, and so on and on and also and also. But inside the pawn shop, the doctor felt nothing but his cold hands, the rest of his body having disconnected from the situation, the darkness around him changing into some amorphous thing, that when titlted by his eyes, changed forms.
Today was his birthday. The doctor was now seventy-seven years old. He despised his wrists most of all, flabby and wrinkled, slopped off his bony wrists. Always kept them covered, long sleeves. Let his fingers do the pointing. The talking to.
The boy turned around, considering him. The schematics to his thoughts I am unable to reconcile, he thought. This boy is a very special being, from some point in my past, and yet--something is wrong with him.
"Boy! Speak," the doctor broke the silence. But nothing came. "You've lost your voice, then?" And still more silence. The boy continued to stare. A look of recognition perhaps touched his face, for a moment, it drew curves and sent light shooting from his mouth, light that reflected to the doctor's eyes, stunning him.
Then the boy is running, full force, at the good doctor. There is no time to block, the boy pressed his legs onto the dusty floorboards, which moan and push equally on his feet, allowing a menacing leap from which the boy lands firmly on the old man's chest, sending him down.
The top of the boy's lungs were like an iceberg poking out of the water, the forward trajectory of the doctor's life a boat headed for collision. The boy began screaming: "You motherfucker, look what you've done to your fucking life? I was supposed to be a part of this. I was supposed to guide you and you were supposed to find the right path, and look at this now. You tremble at the sight of me, but you still don't quite get it. Remember when you wanted to affect the world? When you would have even killed a man with your own hands if it meant another's freedom!"
"I.. I..." he stammered. "I.. don't remember you."
"That's what's the matter."
"I don't believe in you."
The boy grabbed the old man's collar with one hand, his tie with the other. "You will remember. You will believe." The old man held his breath, did not struggle. He felt so cold, no warmth coming to him at all. This was not what he expected. But it was what he knew. He had forseen this all, many times, at night, dancing on his eye slits.
"I don't like your life. I don't think you made the right decisions. I -- you would have been happier on another path. You had your chance, you had my chance, and you made the wrong choices. All the wrong choices, and you will die now, at the hand of yourself, your core self, who will take revenge on you because of your wrong choices."
"I don't want to die," the doctor said. "I'm sorry."
"Sorry is not enough, it is never enough, and if it were than I wouldn't need to be here."
The wooden planks beneath them dissolved; they both fell into darkness. As they fell their bodies molded together, reunionizing, and they continued to fall, down down down down down down down down down.
Darkness, and then white lettering in the middle of reality:
And so on and so on, and also and also.
An original, clamy disposition for Everything Quests: Scary Stories