Lies and Numbers

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Prologue for a story I started writing. But I think it does better on it's own.

Submitted: January 12, 2008

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Submitted: January 12, 2008

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The cars passed in a blur of lights. She didn’t take notice of any particular vehicle, they all blended into a single object, like a train with blinding lights on every car. They were all moving, she was standing still. Everything moved, even the world shifted beneath her, forcing her into the future. Into the unknown. She despised that she had no choice, no say in the matter. The world would not listen to her pleas. And why should it? She was but one small, insignificant thread in the quilt of life, nothing of importance.

The cigarette in her hand burnt her fingers, letting her know it was time to throw it out, which she did with regret. She considered lighting another immediately, if only to have something to occupy her attention, but she knew she had precious few to spare. She leaned her head back on the cold metal of the bench, breathing out with a puff of steam. It looked like smoke, she would have to pretend for awhile. Which had never been a problem for her, pretending was one of the few things she had ever been good at. She had pretended her whole life, why stop now?

She watched the stoplight nearby, observing the pattern of changing colors. 2 minutes green, 30 seconds yellow, 2 minutes red. 5 minutes green, 30 seconds yellow, 3 minutes red. She knew her calculations were correct, numbers were something she could never mess up. Numbers were predictable, they were her haven. And she knew how pathetic it was, that she always deduced the things in her life to cold, hard math. But math was the only thing she knew that could only have one answer, only one correct ending, no matter what path you took to get there. It was like herself. She was only ever meant for one thing, for one purpose; she was the most complicated equation she’d ever encountered.

She closed her eyes, letting the darkness slip over her. Things were simpler in the dark, she could better understand what was going on around her. She didn’t know when things started to make more sense when she couldn’t see them, and she knew how twisted it was. The smells and sounds placed themselves, and she wasn’t distracted by all the sights. The sights were what would confuse you, what would deceive you. It was one of the many things she’d learned on her own.

A shift in the air told her someone had taken a seat beside her, but she chose not to acknowledge him. For it was a him, and he smelled of spices and paper, an odd combination. She occupied herself, forming a picture in her mind. He was tall, dark haired, bright eyed. He probably had high cheek bones, making him look innocent and kind. She imagined him in a full suit, a clip on graphic tie, probably even a name tag.

She could also smell the man coming up slowly behind them. She knew his intentions, she could solve him as easily as an addition problem. The smell of alcohol, and urine, and metal, grew stronger as he approached. It overpowered even the scent of the exhaust fumes from the traffic.

She opened her eyes at the last moment, turning to watch the events play out. She barely caught the movement, the dirty man was fast; a rusty blade slid smoothly into the fabric of the dark suit. The man beside her didn’t even cry out, only a choked gasp escaped his open lips. He turned his head and locked eyes with her, and she actually watched the light fade from his blue eyes. He started to slump forward, but his murderer caught his shoulder and pulled him back up, looking around to see if his actions were noticed.

She was already crossing the street, not bothering to look back. It was a grim satisfaction, that she still had her senses about her. They could take away everything else, make her into a nothing. They had done that quite well. But they could never take away what was within her, she would always be herself, and that was something in itself.


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