The Chair

Maybe, sixteen year old Thomas Gilder thought when his heart slowed down enough for him to think clearly, if I just relax and close my eyes I can figure how I got here and how I can get out because if I got into this I can get out too- that’s logical, or science or something like that right?

His hands, were clammy and sweaty and cold and they grasped the smooth arms of the chair with less force then he realized because he was very close to passing out. He bit his lips to keep from calling for his Mother. She’d be so disappointed in him if she knew where he was. He could not- would not do that to her. He would not call for her like he did when he was a little kid waking up terrified from a nightmare.

At least not right now.

Thomas turned his head and looked at the little window with the pale blue curtain drawn across it that was to his left

and he wondered why the room was painted pale green and why it didn’t really match the curtains in the window and why

he was sitting in this electric chair and how long it was going to be before the Executioner realized he was here .

Thomas looked up at the clock and watched the second hand crawl from one number to the next- not that he could read the clock. Most kids his age can’t but it gave him something to think about and when his thoughts got back on the Tommy Gilder train he made himself remember the walk down here, the instructions, and the RULES.

Maybe that was the key. If he could remember the short walk that brought him here maybe he could avoid the long walk ahead.

What ever he came up with, he had to snap himself out of this nightmare before the face appeared in the little window and saw him.

It was all over for him at that point, wasn’t it? Or maybe it really ended for him when he decided to heck with it and decided to not follow the RULES.

Thomas wasn’t bad kid, well- he knew if he had made a few better life choices he wouldn’t be here waiting for that curtain to be moved to the side and for Hell to rain down on him.

There had to be something he could do, maybe say he was sorry and that he’d never screw off and he’d promise on a stack of bibles to follow THE RULES but before he could put his thoughts into order and choose one of those flimsy options his out of control brain had come up with, the curtain in the small window opened and then the face of the Executioner appeared and it was indeed the face of his doom and a painful molten rain of words did indeed fall down upon him.

” Son of a bitch! Take your kid to work day. What can go wrong they said. You only work for the State. None of the dumbasses that nagged me to do this asked me what I do for the state.”

She took a breath which meant she was nowhere near finished yelling.

“What did I tell you about wandering off? This isn’t  a playground. I work here. I told you what the RULES were. So tell me. How the Hell did you get in there?

Chin to his chest, Thomas held up his Mothers keycard.

” Forget asking me for the car or for the password to WiFi at home which I am changing and NEVER going to give you. Forget ever hoping that I will forget this stunt. Get over to the door NOW.”

Thomas got up from the electric chair, he bowed his head and he walked slowly to the door.

When the door opened and he saw the Executioner- (or as she was known at home ” Mom” ) standing there with how miserable his fate was going to be written all over hear face, he knew his punishment would indeed be a fate worse then death.

Solitary Soul

Ellen Telfer sits on a bench, the same bench at the train station on King Street every single day of the week.

She is there  when it is raining she is there when it is unseasonably hot or cold. She is there when the first train pulls in and she is there when the last train leaves in the evening.

No matter how crowded the platform gets or how many people wish she would move so they could have the bench to themselves – Ellen stays seated. This bench is her place and she holds it with her silence which is as steely and formidable as the locomotives that roar by every half hour.

The morning commuters and the evening commuters, the security guards and the station agents have gotten so used to seeing Ellen Telfer that sometimes they don’t notice her at all.

Now you see her, now you don’t and now you see her again looking right through you.

 

It was two days before Halloween when a new commuter joined the 1513.

Mary Morse was not like her fellow passengers.

She didn’t have a phone, she smiled at you not through you and she spent her commute either reading an actual book or staring at all the faces she wanted to stare at that were sitting around her because everyone for the most part spent the train ride staring into their hands.

It was like she was the last person in the world and she could walk into any house or building and try on clothes or go through drawers or sit on the furniture because nobody was there to stop her.

There was nobody left to care.

 

On Halloween Mary Morse swung off the train and hopped onto the platform and she ended up right in front of Ellen Telfer who was planted on her bench.

Mary stood there staring at Ellen until she saw stars and was able to take some air into her lungs so that she could yell but her body decided it needed that air and she remained silent.

Ellen Telfer, the lady on the bench was not alive and Mary Morse didn’t understand why she was the only one on that platform to notice there was corpse with it’s melting face and the bugs and flies flying and crawling all around her and the crows sitting above her and flapping their wings and chatting excitedly- “look!” they seemed to be saying, ” Someone down there sees it too!”

” At last!” The Murder of Crows replied.

Mary Morse was trapped in that crowed, she was  in danger of being swept away by a tidal wave of humanity shoving it’s way through the King Street Station with their eyes focused inward and their heads bowed down mechanically following a path carved into their brains, etched in their DNA,  each person wired into their own reality- lost in their very own Universe, obliviously  falling through Space on their own.

Mary Morse got her footing back and she pushed her way up the stairs and she fought to way to the street above and when she was topside she did yell and she screamed but it didn’t matter to anyone around her.

No matter how loud she yelled, nobody heard her.

Not a single solitary soul.