Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Crushes, pt. 3, 4, and 5

I was originally planning on this story taking up five entries, but that was before I got really bored in class and finished it sooner than I expected. So I'm posting it all here, most of it below a page break. I'll get back to being funny(-ish) next post. Promise. 

Illustration by B. Thornburg

                “What the hell was that?!” Ashley yelled at his approaching twin. Sarah simply shrugged then continued on his way towards the windows. Ashley turned to follow alongside him. “I know you’re new here but that’s just not how things work.”
                Sarah turned calmly to his twin. “Why not?” he asked in a flat voice. He waited a moment, then sensing Ashley would continue to be speechless, turned once again, finishing his walk to the railing.
                Ashley remained where he was, fuming into space. He balled his fists, walked to the card table, and sat heavily.
                “Screw you, that’s why,” he said angrily into the table.
                For the rest of the day Sarah stood in the front of Mick’s mind. He watched as the two giants ate together, and occasionally spoke aloud to influence their conversation. Even after the two went their separate ways, Sarah stayed near the front of Mick’s mind, back leaning against the railing. Watching the card game continue as it had for countless rounds before, he finally spoke up.
                “Allison,” Sarah yelled, not moving. “What was it like when you got here?”
                “Well,” Allison said tiredly, “I would say lonely but I didn’t know there could be others. I mostly liked the attention I got as the only one here.”
                “How long were you here?” Sarah asked, not moving.
                “Uh, in Mick’s years? Going on five,” Allison answered. The others gazed reverently at their oldest resident. They had all heard it before, of course, but they didn’t tire of listening. Even the eternal game had quit.
                “So all of you have been here ever since?” Sarah asked the rest of his twins.
                “Well yes, we have, but there have been others that came and went,” Christine spoke up. “They just get too tired and walk back there,” he said gesturing to the back wall, shrouded in darkness.
                “Look, Sarah,” Allison said, getting up, “I know this must be confusing for you…”
                “I can’t imagine what it was like to be first,” Sarah interrupted. Allison smiled, walking to sit next to his newest twin.
                “Yes, yes. New feelings for Mick and all that,” Allison said, sitting down with a sigh. “But you have to understand that no one has ever done what you did today.”
                Around the twins, whispers kicked up. Allison some said. Sarah said others. Sarah looked around, puzzled and a little put off. Out the windows it had gotten dark, and Mick was lying in bed. The whispers continued, and Allison smiled, bemused at Sarah’s reaction.
                “They do that whenever we gather up here. Especially when he’s in a quiet place.”
                “What’s happening?” Sarah asked, still off ease. The whispers were still arguing, and their intensity was picking up.
                “He’s comparing us. It’s nothing to be afraid of,” Allison remained where he was, and the rest of the twins turned to Sarah.
                “Come on back, “Ashley said. “Allison gets to stay up there whenever Mick compares two of us.”
                “Why?” Sarah asked, not moving either, but glancing back and forth between the table and Allison.
                “Because that’s the way it’s always been,” Allison said calmly, as if explaining a concept to a child for the first time. “I always get to stay up here. Then eventually I’ll get bored of being at the front of his mind, and leave to go back to playing cards.”
                “Well you can go play cards now, because I’m not moving,” Sarah said defiantly. The table broke out into conversations. Allison was surprised, although he did not look angry.
                “Look dude,” Emily yelled. “As the last before you, I know where you’re coming from but get back here. It’s just how things go.”
                “No, wait,” Allison said. He put a hand up to the table’s protest, but his eyes never left Sarah’s. “Maybe it is time I sit this one out. I’m just wearin’ down, guys.” Allison got up, and made his way back to the table.
                “Sarah,” a whisper echoed louder than before and it was done. All light was cut out of the room as Mick closed his eyes and went to sleep.


                The next morning, light flooded into the room as the windows reopened. Sarah had taken an extra chair at the card table over the night, and watched this occurrence with interest. Outside the window, a phone showed Sarah’s name, the text that had woken Mick up. Intrigued, the twin walked to the rail for a closer look. Mick typed a quick response then went about his morning, and Sarah took his now usual seat at the front of Mick’s mind.
                The other twins hardly noticed. Now that light was back in the room, the game could begin again. Ashley dealt without looking up, and guessed the coming day would be one of Sarah staring out the window while the others sat and talked. It wasn’t until play was set to begin that Emily noticed something peculiar.
                “Where’s Hannah?” he asked, looking around the table. The sixth twin, and oldest after Allison, was nowhere to be found.
                “I guess he must have gone in the night,” Allison said reasonably before continuing, “He hadn’t said anything for a couple days. It was coming on his time to go and Sarah’s appearance pushed him over the edge.”
                In the front by the window, Sarah looked worriedly to the rest. “I didn’t mean to send him away!” he said, panicking.
                “Calm down, buddy. We don’t blame you,” Ashley said. “It usually doesn’t get over six in here for very long. It’s why we chose to play hearts.”
                Sarah relaxed and turned to look out on the day. Mick had made quite a bit of progress towards the Union, his destination, on his way to meet with Sarah. They had decided that a Saturday would provide a quieter union, while still offering enough of the appearance of a public place. When Mick arrived, the newest twin was pleased to see his counterpart outside the door.
                “She’s so pretty,” Sarah whispered to the windows, holding his hands on the rail. “Pretty,” the whispers echoed.
                “Hey Sarah,” the voice boomed. “What are you doing out here in the cold?”
                “The union is closed,” outside Sarah said. “We could just go back to your place and chill.”
                Much to inside Sarah’s delight, his counterpart walked towards the windows, and began walking alongside once Mick turned, heading back the way he had come.
                Sarah remained at the windows, watching and listening to the pair’s journey back to Mick’s room. He barely registered the figure walking up the sidewalk towards the couple, and did not recognize who it was till Mick spoke aloud.
                “Oh, hey Emily,” the voice boomed in an awkward tone. The twins at the table looked at the window, and then shifted their attention to the corresponding twin. Inside Emily stood up and walked to the front as outside Emily responded. She stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, prompting a conversation.
                Now inside Sarah had company at the rail. His twin gazed out, not saying anything. The whispers to compare the two started as Mick’s booming voice made conversation. Sarah looked at his twin.
                “Dude, get out of here,” he said. “This is my time.”
                Emily responded, his eyes not moving from the window. “I’m not going anywhere while she’s around.”
                Outside, Mick continued to talk to Emily, having not yet introduced Sarah. Emily detailed her plans for the weekend.
                “Yeah me and my boyfriend are going home later,” Emily said. One word echoed around the room. Boyfriend.
                Sarah turned to his twin. “You hear that? You’re done here.”
                “I’m still not going anywhere.” Still not looking from the window.
                The newest twin decided that he had had enough and grabbed Emily by his t-shirt. Sarah dragged the twin back to the card table, pushed him back down when he tried getting up, and made his way back to the front.
                “Sarah.” The whispers said. Sarah stood at front of the room proudly, hands on the rail, as Mick turned to the counterpoint outside.
                “Where are my manners?” the voice boomed. “This is Sarah, my special lady. Sarah, this is Emily, a girl from high school.” The girls said hello, then Mick’s booming voice continued, emanating from everywhere, “Well we’ve got to go, so I’ll see you later.” The couple disengaged from Emily and continued on their way.
                Sarah rejoiced at the window as his counterpart, still walking alongside, said “So I’m your special lady now?”
                The voice radiated from all around the twins, “Yeah I hope you don’t mind, but I’m not changing even if you don’t… so get used to it.”
                The couple’s hands linked as the twin with “Emily” on his shirt walked slowly to the blackness in the back of the room, and the whispers kicked up one more “Sarah.” before quieting. 

The End





He may not have invented the internet, but he perfected it,
Mick Dickinson

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