The Way I See It
Wake up the Voice whispered to him.
It surrounded his consciousness and enveloped him in a blanket of bliss. The Voice was lovely, almost melodic in its demands. It never failed to calm him, to soothe him. It caressed him, created shivers up and down his spine as if a feather was being run lightly down one's arms. It traced patterns and circles upon his being almost imperceptibly.
The Voice made him feel safe.
Of course, I know better…
…but in his world, the Voice strummed on the strings of his ignorance, his innocence.
He let the sound wash over him for a bit longer, enjoying the way his heart beat steady to the Voice, creating a stream of what could only be described as floating on Cloud Nine. His whole body positively hummed with energy, so faint that it could only be perceived by the most sensitive ears.
A bit cliché I know, but there really is no other way to explain it.
There is no Cloud Nine.
But you knew that.
But this felt…nice.
Now the Voice turned to screeching and took on a harsh grating tone, the previous melody reduced to a disjoint jumble of cacophony. Demanding. Reflexively, he tightened the grip of his fingers on his sheets, clenching his fists hard enough to leave little crescent moon shaped marks on the inside of his palms.
Waking him up would have stopped his suffering.
Sensing me would have made it worse.
So I chose to let him be.
He willed himself to wake up, almost frantically in a desperate panic rising each minute, as the Voice began beating against the inside of his head, making it pound with a ferocity. The throbbing felt caged and longed to be released.
There was an anticipation of something about to be shattered. Broken. Finished.
It didn't come.
But that was not what I was here to see.
I don't find the idea of destroying as interesting as humans do.
It makes my line of work tedious, to say the least.
He struggled to open his eyes, but they were more determined to remain closed. And he noticed with alarm that he could see down to the smallest blood vessels in the insides of his eyelids. And he wondered whether blood was supposed to look blue enough to be purple, almost black.
It wasn't a good sign.
His eyes flew open and a low guttural roar tore itself from deep within him. A remainder of what once consumed his being.
I can still remember far enough back, further than he could, and I can recall the savagery and destruction that dominated his race.
And I can tell you one thing.
It's much worse nowadays.
Within a millisecond of him waking up, viridium had been injected directly into his bloodstream. The viridium fluid stored in the hypothalamus gland of the brain penetrated each of his brain cells, allowing him to see past his irrational fear. The viridium's purpose was to calm him down, and sedate him. He could think clearly now and saw that the Voice was trying to help him.
No, not help, destr—of course, it wanted to help him.
Just a silly little fear.
I could see otherwise.
Unfortunately, I had no way of conveying this information to him.
Feeling lucid for the first time in the past ten minutes, he reached for his glasses.
A slight sting caused him to glance down at his right hand. In the place where his palm was pressed up against the frame of his glasses there was a fast reddening mark. Confusedly, he searched his memory for when that had happened, but he couldn't recall. He pushed at the boundary of his mind, urgently trying to go beyond what limited knowledge he had access to.
It amuses me how humans know something is impossible, yet still try.
He hit a wall.
Not literally, not in that sort of sense, but the force was enough to send his mind reeling.
Oh yes, yesterday he was digging…he must have held the handle too tightly, forming the marks where his fingernails dug into his palms.
I love how humans choose to believe what they want instead of what they know is true.
Ignorance is, indeed, bliss.
He scanned through his day in his mind with computer-like efficiency.
I could see it in his face, the fast almost inhuman flickering of his eyes.
Back and forth.
In fact, it was better than computer-like efficiency.
Those machines had died out years ago.
Now, the information was imprinted directly onto their craniums. Everything they would need to know for life…and so much less they did not want to know. But that was locked away. His whole life, his whole purpose was laid out for him from the day he took his first glimpse of this world.
Notice I did not say born.
That will become important later on.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
I followed him out the door.
He ran his thumb over the weapon holstered at his left side. Unusual, for there were so few people left that were left-handed today. That distinction was reserved for special people. The familiar gesture helped him relax and focus on what must be done. His fingers knew every ridge of his weapon, and he thought it was a thing of beauty.
That isn't the way I see it.
The picture in his mind became clear.
And his target seemed to almost materialize in front of him.
As if it was waiting for him.
He cocked the gun and pointed it.
Staring down the barrel was a blonde and blue-eyed little girl, on the verge of tears. No more than six, the sight of a weapon had scared her mute.
The movies got it all wrong.
Fear doesn't make people scream.
Instead, it robs them of their voice, makes them so silent the echo of nothing is deafening in their ears. So quiet, yet so loud; it drowns out any screams that you could possibly make.
That isn't the only thing humans got wrong.
And I cradled her in my arms, but I couldn't comfort her for long.
That was only the first ten minutes of his day.
Nothing else to do but follow.
Disclaimer: The stories posted thus far have been written by Aboxcafe's writing contest winners. ;)