Congratulations Mr Foote on your 50th story published by Literally Stories.
The New Springfield 7.62×51mm sniper, SO, with Inversion Camera Scope has perfect balance, elegantly carved walnut stocks, precision parts, outstanding reliability, and incredible accuracy. It fits hands, shoulder, face, and eyes like an extension of the body. It’s an exceptionally fine tool for killing people at long range.
You’ll surely think me mad at the story I’m about to tell. But believe me friends, this is no story.
It began with them getting Rachel. I don’t know how they did it – or who or what they are – but they did. She’s gone now, to god only knows where. My beloved, sweet, innocent Rachel. The love of my life. Stolen, taken from me, and replaced.
I realised something unusual had happened as soon as I entered the lab: dead cotton rats littered the floors of many of the cages. I hadn’t expected fatalities so early. The team had only given them the flu virus the day before and we thought it would be a few days before they developed symptoms. The powers that be had told us the virus came from South East Asia but that could mean a lot of things. It might be a natural mutation, or it might be of Chinese Government manufacture. It made little difference to us, our job was to assess it not trace it, and epidemiologists use cotton rats because they’re a good model for studying human influenza.
A thousand little Benjies constantly talk in my head. A thousand little creatures speaking, some in subdued almost suppressed and some in apprehensive yet hollow tones, somewhere in my head. They all talk, all of them, together, simultaneously. Shut up, shut up, shut up. They keep repeating those words. Like parrots on cocaine, they keep repeating those words. Blah, Blah, Blah. Tickets please, sir. I was sitting, and the clock went one, then two, then three, then she came picked me up and then we were here and I was sitting again but we were moving. And we are moving, and they are moving, and those are moving, and maybe it was a bicycle and not a bike. Maybe we’re not moving at all, and it’s just my head horsing around. I have liquid memories and container moods, the latter follows shape and the former follows suit. I press my eyes against my palms, and I melt right through. They won’t let me forget. These bastards won’t let me forget.
“I see her always as she was then, lit with lucent yellow from a jagged tear in the eternal cloud cover, eyes locked with mine, mutely but unmistakably saying farewell.”
This is the first sentence of the novel ‘Farewell Persephone’ by my uncle Marcus Carradine. Below the title he inserted a quotation:
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold
The Second Coming
William Butler Yeats
I found the manuscript of ‘Persephone’ in my uncle’s house three weeks after he died. ‘Manuscript’ is a literal term in this instance; Marcus despised word processors and wrote his book in longhand. He used to tell me that the movements of his hand and arm made the creative juices flow. Literary composition was a physical thing. He said, too, that his aim was to ‘possess the world and make it gravid.’
Our second Rerun has been suggested by another wonderful, supportive, regular contributor – Leila Allison. Here is what she had to say:
I was wondering this week if I should offer my seat to older people when I am on the bus? What if they are younger and fitter than me but just don’t look it? Granted that might be difficult due to my white beard, fucked side, bags under my eyes, limp and general scowling.