The Iron in Irony
Chapter 1: A New Beginning
"Listening to a story and the message that it sent; then describe what that message meant to you."
That is what she said to me, or maybe it was merely the howl of the wind, brushing its cold shoulders against mine as though it was trying to defy magnitude.
But the forces unseen were pulling it away like two positive ends of a magnet. Afterall, opposites may indeed attract eachother, but they still co-exist on the same solid permanent side-by-side, just like you and I were always side-by-side. "Defy logic; that is what I urge you to do." Those were the last words I said to her.
I tell you, that funeral was the saddest one I've been to, and let me tell you, I've been to plenty. But on that day, there was a black cloud in the sky. It didn't totally cover the sky, but it blocked out the sun, and there was only one solitary cloud. you didn't see a drop of rain that day, but the ground was still wet with tears. I took one last look at her, and suddenly, a small gap opened up in the clouds, which let a little sunlight pass through. Her hair was glistening in the sunlight, and sure enough, she never looked more beautiful. Why is it every time I see her, she just gets more and more beautiful, I wondered to myself. I also think I should start smoking cigarettes, but I know that's not what you would want, baby. Meanwhile, my hands are shaking as I reach for my lighter. "I'm sorry babe, but hey, I'll be with you soon, I promise."
Chapter 2: An Average Day for an Unaverage Psychopath
"What the hell is a processor?" I wondered, as I lost myself in a gaze as I was looking through some electronic store. Twelve thousand megabites, hard-drive (is that one word or two, I wondered). This shit might as well be written in a foreign language! When did spying on someone lose its edge, I thought. No matter, I have to make sure the job goes as planned this time, or I'm done for. I can't go out like that, I won't.
"Hey there, can I help you out with anything?'
The sound of someone's voice suddenly awoke me from my daydream. It was the store manager.
"Are you having trouble finding something?" he asked.
This guy was about as geeky as they come. He was giving me one of those looks. I tell you if looks could kill, this one would do it. In his eyes, I seen quiet insanity and a genius with a wandering mind. He seemed like the type of person that would have an interesting story to tell. So I asked him how his had been. He just gave me an empty, blank stare in return. Then he said the most amazing thing, and he started off with an indeed interesting story, just as I foretold.....
Chapter 3: Larry's Electronic Store
"Hi, my name is Larry; may I help you sir?"
This rough-looking guy suddenly comes into my electronic store. At first, I am excited to see the door open because there hasn't seen any business all day long. But this guy doesn't seem the computer type of guy; he couldn't be much smarter than an ape, I bet. He sure is ugly too, I thought to myself.
"Hey there, can I help you with anything?"
"Are you having trouble finding something?"
"I don't know," he finally replies.
"I don't know much, I got amnesia a few months ago. The only name I can remember after that is the name of a woman I met awhile back. But she's dead now," he said.
To be honest, I didn't expect a detailed story. Not from this guy. But maybe he was at wits end. It sure seemed that way as he started talking to himself quietly. He was drunk, and his speech was slurred. He seemed like the type of guy who was looking for a purpose in life. He seemed as though he had been through constant struggle, an endless voyage. I couldn't help but to feel pity and a bit of compassion for him.
He started speaking again, but I could not understand him. It was getting close to closing time as well, and I have to be getting home soon so I can make dinner for my daughter, as well as finish my latest project in my laboratory.
"Can I get something for you sir? It's nearly closing time," I said.
"Do you have batteries for a wristwatch?" he asked.
"No, I'm sorry, we do computer work here," I replied.
Not long after that, he scuffled out of the door muttering some nonsense, and I quickly closed my shop and left for home.
Chapter 4: Larry's life, Larry's wife
Icame home at approximately 7:00 PM, as usual, right on time. My wife offers me something to eat when I came in the door, but I've got to get to that project in my laboratory. So I didn't pay any attention to her. This is important stuff, and she just doesn't understand that. At least she is home and seems to have already prepared something for our daughter, Mindy to eat, so that is good. I need the extra time. Without a moment to spare, I sped into my laboratory where I could concentrate alone.
(Meanwhile, back at the dinner table)
"Why does Dad shut me out of his life, Mom?" Mindy asked.
"I don't know," replied her mother, Betty. "I don't really understand some of the things that have been going on, but your father is changing."
They both hear the doorbell ring.
"Who is it?" Betty says while opening the door.
"It's me, Olivia, your old friend from high school!"
"Hey Mindy, how would you like to go for a road trip and get some ice cream?" Betty asked.
"You bet your bottom dollar I do," Mindy replied.
We all got in my 2019 500 GT Cobra Mustang Turbo. In other words, it wasn't that long of a trip, it was more like riding on a roller coaster. We stopped at the store and got some Ben and Jerry's and dug in. It was so good. I don't care how much they would charge me for that ice cream, I would pay it! While Mindy was eating her ice cream, I pulled Betty to the side to talk to her.
"What the hell is going on with you?" I asked her.
"Please," is all Betty could mutter. She looked so defeated,scared,alone,pathetic,depressed, I think you get my drift.
"You know, Betty, you really shouldn't bottle up your emotions like this. Let's talk about it. I want to help you," I told her.
"My husband barely even looks at me anymore," Betty said.
"He's married to his work, isn't he?" I asked.
Betty started crying.
"There, there, don't cry," I said while hugging her closely.
You just need a night out on the town, just me and you. After we get home, and Mindy goes to bed tonight, we could go out to the club and have some fun and releive some stress by throwing back a few margaritas and tequila shots! Betty smiled interestingly, and that's when I knew we were in for a great night.
(Meanwhile, back at Larry's laboratory)
"I have done it! It is a success. Finally, the greatest innovation of all time is complete! With this new series of nanobot technology, it will be possible to restore dead muscle tissue back to life by computing the exact DNA structure for that muscle tissue onto that particular nanobot. Who knows, it could cure cancer, aids, maybe even bring someone back to life who is walking the edges of death!"
Chapter 5: A Psychopath's Diagnosis
(Meanwhile at a downtown psychologist's office)
"Okay, let's try this. I want you to look at these ink blots, and tell me what you see. Here is the first one."
"It looks like a damn ink stain on a piece of paper, Doc," I say.
"Try to look at it as a certain person or object," he says.
I blur my eyes, and all I can see is her face.
"I don't see anything, Doc," I tell him.
The doctor looks at me hopelessly or a moment and then puts his forehead into the palm of his let hand. He taps his pen against his desk as though he is thinking deeply. I don't understand what he wants from me.
"You're spacing out again," he assures me. "I think I'm going to prescribe you some medicine."
With that, he started writing some babble down on a piece of paper, and he reaches out his hand and told me to take it to the local pharmacist. Then he asked me if I would let him buy me a drink. I was shocked. Why is it I always attract the crazy crowd? Maybe he wanted to help me. Hell, I don't know, but it wasn't long after that I found myself sitting on a round barstool downing a glass of scotch. I think this is going to be a great night afterall.
Chapter 6: Memories
"How long has it been my dear?" I asked myself.
"Paul, help me!"
"Is that you my dear?" I shouted. Then I thought to myself, "Paul, so that's my name. I remember now."
Suddenly, what sounded like an echo inside of a cave, "Do you remember the good times?" Then the voice reverberated itself again in a series of other shorter more silenced echoes. "Nancy!" I yelled. The sound of my voice seemed to echo as well. Maybe I'm just having hearing loss at my old age, or am I going senile? Hell, I don't know.
All I know is that when I remember you, I can almost see you there. You start to get undressed, and you tip toe into bed. What a woman you are. You're everything I love in a woman. Your skin is as smoothe as satin. It feels like I am rustling my hands through a bed of feathers as I stroke down your spine with the back of my fingertips. You buy only the good lingerie from Victoria's Secret instead of just wedging a damn piece of string between your buttcheeks. No, my dear. You have class. You walk with me hand-in-hand with your cheek slightly turned towards me. You always keep an eye out for me, but you still manage to look ahead at the same time. Now, that's a sign of true intelligence. A true princess. I feel as though I am joined at the hips with you, and as we become one being, one entity, I start to think...maybe I have become the real 'Nancy'.
I'm not so sure if this is a good feeling.
Suddenly, I am awakened by someone shoving me on the shoulder.
"Hey man, are you alright?"
It was my doctor. I guess I passed out at the bar.
"I remember my name now," I told him, "it's Paul."
"Well that's great, Paul," he said.
"What time is it?" I asked.
"It's time to get some ladies!" he said.
Now I know this is going to be a great night for sure.
"I spot some good-looking ones over there!" He said.
He started talking to them, and they were all over him as fast as he could say, "Psychiatrist." I guess it's true you can get just about any girl when you got the money. Then he introduced me to them as well.
"Hey this is my buddy, Paul," he said.
"Hello, my name is Olivia," the shorter one said. "And this is my friend, Betty," she continued. The other one looked at me and waved. She looked me up and down. Maybe she's crazy too. I tell you; it's always the crazy ones.
Chapter 7: Cheers for the Good Times
"Cheers! Another round of beers over here!"
We had been at the bar for hours already. I couldn't even see straight. I sipped the last drop of scotch in my glass and licked my lips in satisfaction. It seemed to go down my throat like a quart oil does in an engine of an automobile. Just added fuel to the fire, is what it did. I felt like a a burning furnance, and someone was putting coal at my base, and the fires raged for hours.
"You're sweating," Betty said to me suddenly. She then began to reach inside her purse, and she pulled out a tissue to wipe my forehead with. "Is it hot in here, or is it just you?" She asked me before tilting her head slightly to the side, and then raied her eyebrow confidently.
I suddenly felt an urge that started at my toes and worked its way upwards to my brain and went back down again. It was a primal instinctive feeling. Then, before I knew it, I found myself renting a motel room for the night. My doctor went home with the other woman, so I have Betty all to myself. It's not Nancy, but I have to let go. I have to, right? Why am I asking myself questions quietly? She lies on the bed, and her stomach was so soft when I took my fingertips and began rubbing around her navel. I gave her a kiss right below her bosom and started giving her additional kisses all the way down her stomach until I reached her navel once again. I looked up at her and bit my lip in anticipation, and she bit her lip too. She placed her right hand behind her head underneathe her hair. I don't really need to tell you what we did next; I was never one to kiss and tell anyways. When I woke up the next day, it was already mid-day, and Betty was long gone. The crazy bitch; I can't believe I overslept. I should have been the one to skip out on her, dammit. Oh well, fuck it, time to get some more sleep.
Chapter 8: Larry is Suspicious
"My wife was gone all night again last night," I told my psychiatrist. "She barely speaks to me anymore, and she constantly comes up with all these obvious lies," I continued.
My shrink just wrote on his paper, then he adjusted his glasses and looked up at me. "Where do you think she goes all night?" He asked me.
"I truly cannot tell you for sure," I confessed.
"Do you think she is cheating on you?" he asked.
To tell you the truth, I was really hoping he would not have asked me that question because I am fearful of it actually being true. But I have grown quite suspicious of her over the last few weeks. "Yes," I finally told him.
"Is there a certain bar or club that she might frequent?" he asked.
"There's that one downtown on Third Street," I said.
"Oh that one. I go there all the time, but then again, who doesn't? In fact, I was going there tonight. We should meet up there after your session is over. Will that make you feel better?" He continued.
"Yeah I guess it would be nice to get out of the house," I told him.
Chapter 9: Paul's Drinking Party
Here I find myself again in the same small town bar as last night, drowning my problems and sorrows with scotch alone. Even though I have a little drinking party tonight with ,", I figured I would start the night early with my favorite drink on the rocks.
The hours slip by like they always do, and suddenly, my psychiatrist comes in at the same exact time as he did with me last night. Only this time, he is accompanied by another man. Strangely, the man is familiar to me, but I'm not exactly sure where I know him from.
"Hey Doc," I proclaim aloud.
"What's going on, Paul?" he said.
"Not much," I answer.
"This is my friend, Larry," he continued.
"Hello Larry, my name is Paul," I said as I shook his hand.
"Hey Paul," he said quietly.
"You look familiar to me," I told him.
"You look familiar too. Wait, you were in my computer shop just last week," he told me.
"Oh, hey,yeah! What a small world!" I said.
"Oh,wow,good,you two already know eachother." the doctor said.
"Hey, I'm having a small drinking party tonight later at my house. You both should come." I tell them.
"Alright! Sounds fun!" The doctor said.
Larry looked down and remained quiet for a moment.
"Come on Larry; what's the matter?" I asked.
"Well I want to, but I'm not sure if my wife would appreciate it very much if I stayed out all night," he said.
"Oh come now Larry, didn't you say that your wife has been out all night herself the past few nights?" The doctor said.
"Yeah, I guess you're right about that, Doc. Besides that, if she did come home she would most likely think that I am in my laboratory again," Larry said.
....a few hours later at Pauls house....
"Wow, I don't think I've ever been this drunk," Larry hiccuped.
"Me either," the doctor proclaimed.
"You are both a bunch of pansies," I said as I slammed another glass of scotch down my throat. "You all having fun?" I continued dazily.
"You bet your ass!" Everyone yelled.
A few more hours of drinking and yelling went by, and before I knew it, everyone had passed out. "Well, I guess I should join them in slumber land," I said to myself as I finished the fifth of scotch..
Chapter 10: Drunken Larry Awakens
"Ugh, my head hurts," I say to myself as I rise from the floor. I wonder how long I was out.
I don't know where it is, but I decide to roam around. I walk down a few hallways before passing a bedroom on the left, followed by the bathroom that I was searching for on the right.
After finishing my personal business, I wash my hands and exit the bathroom and continue back down the hallway. As I do, this time I spot something with my periphal vision as I pass the bedroom.
I look with amazement at this beautifully decorated urn in the corner of Paul's bedroom. I begin to slowly walk towards it.
"It's huge," I say to myself. I look inside and see nothing but dust. This must be the cremated remains of a beloved one! What luck! These days, it's rare for anyone to be cremated, what with so many superstitious and religious people who consider the flames to be a representation of hellfire. This is exactly what I need for my experiment! With this, I will inally have the DNA structure that I need to make a clone using my nanotechnology. "Let's see if Paul had any ziploc bags," I say to myself. "Surely he won't notice a few missing grams of dust. Besides, when my experiment is a success, he will thank me for bringing his loved one back to life." I run to the kitchen with excitement, and as I go from drawer to drawer, and from cabinet to cabinet, I finally come across some ziploc bags. Then I quickly rush back to the bedroom.
"I must be careful though because I'm still tipsy," I think to myself.
I scoop up some dust with a large kitchen spoon I got from the kitchen because I don't want to get any skin particles in the bag. It could very well disrupt the DNA strand cloning process. As I go for another scoop, I find myself disorientated, and I stub my toe and trip over myself. I try to catch myself, but it's too late. As I watch crash onto the wooden floor beneathe, and when I hear the shattering glass,my heart drops to my stomach.
"There's no way that Paul will not notice this! I have got to get out of hhere!"
I take the dust that I already collected, and I run out the door as fast as I can before anyone wakes up. It sure is a good thing that Paul doesn't know where I live.
"Surely though, he will thank me when I bring his beloved one back to life," I assured myself.
Chapter 11: Paul is Furious
I wake up with a major headache. I look around the room dazily. My living room is scattered with beer bottles and shot glasses. I wonder what time it is. "How long have I been passed out?" I wonder. I rub my eyes while yawning and shift my body to the other side. I don't really want to get up. I know I should clean up, but I have a serious hangover from last night. Everyone else is still passed out. Wait a second. No, I'm mistaken there is one person missing. That guy, Larry, the one I met last night, not that I'm surprised really. He didn't drink that much.
I continue to lay on my couch and rest my eyes for a few more hours, and soon enough, the other guests begin to shift around. No one can hold their alcohol like I can, I swear. I wait until they awake, then I get up myself. I begin to clean up and ask them to pick up their beer bottles. Then one by one, they head out the door.
Now it's time for me to get some more shut eye. I head towards my bedroom. I walk through my bedroom doorway with sleep in my eye. I stop in my tracks with disbelief. I rub my eyes to make sure I'm not seeing things, then look again. My jaw drops to the floor. Not one person came this direction after I woke up. I close my eyes and tell myself this can't really be happening. I'm just imagining things. But when I open my eyes again, I still see my urn broken on the floor, and I see dust from the urn strewn all around it. My face begins to redden with anger. I feel my adrenaline pulsating through my veins.
"It must have been that Larry guy," I tell myself. That would explain why he didn't stick around. My mind becomes enraged with fury. My heart is racing. Too bad for him I know where he works!
I throw on my long leather jacket to keep myself protected from the morning cold. I put my shoes on, and then I head out the door. He will regret the day that he screwed around with me. That urn was all I had left of Nancy.
When I arrive at the place I first met Larry, I light up a cigarette and stand outside the window contemplating what I'm going to do. The store is closed, luckily for him, and it won't open for a few more hours. I never was a patient person. I look around the street for a rock or brick or something I could take out my frustration with. Everything is a blur during my rage, but I could still see a rather large rock a few feet away. I throw the rock at the window with all my rage attached to it. His window shatters in just as many pieces as my urn did, and for a moment, I am satisfied.
"That was for breaking my urn," I say aloud. Then I make my way through the broken glass, and I look around at his computer equipment. I smile an evil smile, a vengeful smile.
"And this is for every gram of dust that you spilled on my floor," I say as I lift the computers and equipment from the tables. As soon as I hurl the last computer in the air, and as soon as my vengeance is satisfied, I start to hear the distant cry of sirens. For the first few seconds they seem miles away because all I could think about is my accomplished task. And I smile, even though I know what's coming because justice has been already brought to the guilty.
"Freeze, we have you surrounded!" I hear the policemen shout. I still can't control my smile as I lift my hands into the air. Nothing can ruin this day, for the day is mine, and I have won. With my cigarette still in my mouth, I take one last puff before I spit it onto the floor. Then they proceed to lead me out of the building in handcuffs.
"You're under arrest for breaking and entering, anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law." Of course, I didn't say anything. I just smile, a vengeful smile, a satisfied smile.
Chapter 12: A High Price to Pay
It wasn't long after my arrest that I found myself in a cold and unwelcoming place where the benches you sit on are made of steel tubes and the tubes are parallel to eachother. Immediately after entering the booking area of the local county jail, I saw holding cells with no windows, not even in the doors themselves. I asked to use the restroom inside one cell, and after permission I went in and there was no sound, nothing. There was just the constant drip, drip, drip of the sink which was located right above the toilet seat. The toilet seat had no cover, and there was no door or wall for one's privacy, despite the fact there were three beds inside the kitchen sized room. I tell you one thing, I wouldn't even put a dog in here.
I finish using the restroom, and they tell me what I can bond out for. Not that it matters. I have no family or friends that would spend the $1,500 that it would take to bail me out. Nancy was all I had, so here I must stay and await my trial. After receiving a dark, grey blanket with holes in it from the laundry room and force me to remove my clothing and place it in a small locker. Then they secure it with a lock. After strip searching me down to my boxers, they tell me to pick out an orange shirt and pants that would fit me. I get a shirt and pants that say 'County Jail' on them and a small tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush. I also get a hand towel, sheet, and pillowcase. Then I take all these things, and the officer directs me to my cell. He locks me inside, and everyone in the cell turns their heads towards me. Some of them introduce themselves as though they were in a day camp.
"I'm Paul," I tell them
After picking out an empty spot to sleep, I put my sheets on top of the ever so thin foam matress. Then I cover the foam pillow covered with a hard plastic coating with my pillow case. I lay my head down on it and realize it offers little comfort. At least there is a television up here, and you can see a little light come through the barred window in the hallway. I suppose the windowless holding cells are for the real big troublemakers. We are fed microwave dinners three times a day, which with a lack of a better word, taste like shit. The first night, I am unable to get to sleep. The same is true for my second and third night, But after a few more days, it got easier, and I am able to catch a few short naps. After a wekk, I am getting used to it, although I feel as though I'm going insane. I constntly feel like bashing my head against the wall. In here, days feel like weeks, and weeks feel like months. Time goes by slowly, but emphatically, and every day seems like a minute longer than the one before it. And through all this time, I know that my trial and sentencing is still yet to come.
Chapter 13: A 'Lucky' Break
I looked around, and the lights were dim. I suddenly felt a strange sensation that I had not felt since childhood. There was no fire, but shadows were dancing, and for the first time in a long time I was afraid. I giant mass began to manifest out of the smaller shadows. It began doing so slowly at first, then suddenly came racing towards me. It stood right in front of me. This figure was tall and was wearing a black hood around his head, and I could not see his face. He also wore a black cape and since he was so tall, I presumed the figure was male. My presumption was proven correct when he pointed his finger towards me and began to speak to me in a deep voice.
"I am Death," he said.
It was undoubtedly the grim reaper, the angel of death himself. I suddenly sat up, drenched in hot sweat, I looked around the room and all the other prisoners, and they were fast asleep. I then realized I had just awoken from a nightmare. But it was so real, I swear I seen him as clear as day.
(Meanwhile, back at Larry's laboratory)
"At long last, I have broken the barriers of quantum physics!" Larry boasted to himself. "Open your eyes, my dear," he continued.
Suddenly, I feel abruptly shaken from what seemed like a forever sleep. Only this state of euphoria is unlike anything I have ever felt before.
"Can you hear me?"
There's that voice again. It keeps calling to me from a distance. What is this sensation? I sense the taste of blood. It's a predatory sense. I suddenly feel overwhelmed with a desire to go downtown to the steakhouse and order a steak served rare. It would be a meal that would befit a queen.
"Where am I?" I wonder.
"You're in my laboratory."
Am I wondering outloud? It's that voice again. Where is it coming from?
"Is that you, Paul?" I ask outloud.
"No, my name is Larry, but do you remember Paul?"
"Yes of course, strangely, that's one of the few things I clearly remember," I say.
"Do you remember your name?" Larry asks.
"Yes, it's Nancy," I tell him.
Suddenly, it feels as though my body is being raised, and I feel a primordial liquid oozing down my entire body.
"You are alive, now!" Larry proclaimed.
"I'm.....alive?" I asked hesitantly.
"Yes, I am afriad you have been dead for some time now, but I have brought you back to life for the sake of science!" Larry said.
"Here, dry yourself off and then get dressed. I have some clothing ready for you," he continued.
I grabbed the towel from his hand dried myself off and got dressed. I stare longingly at my palms and rotate them ninety degrees back and forth. I have never felt so powerful and vigorous. I feel great!
"This is awesome," I say.
"I must agree with you; this is awesome. Look at you, I can hardly believe it actually worked." Larry told me.
"You mentioned Paul. Do you know where he is?" I asked.
"Well, he is in jail, awaiting bond from what I hear," Larry said.
Oh damn, Paul is in jail awaiting bond, and here I am with no money. I must get him out. I think to myself as my eyes search the room. Then, I suddenly spot some sort of display case off in the corner. I see something shiny inside of it, and it looks like the barrel of a gun.
"He must keep that gun cabinet in here in case a robber ever finds this laboratory," I think to myself.
Larry begins ranting, and he turns his back to me as though he is lecturing me. This is my chance! I make my way to the cabinet as silently as I can and attempt to open it, but it's locked, so I bash the glass with my fist. It breaks with one blow. I quickly grab a shotgun I find inside, and with bloody hands, I raise it in Larry's direction. He turns around with an astonished look on his face. he just stands there frozen with fear. I let out a satisfied breath of air. This must be the way a spider feels when it finally catches something in its web.
"No, please don't," Larry muttered.
"You have a debit or credit card on you?" I ask him.
"Yes, why?" Larry asked.
"Because I am going to bail Paul out of jail, so give me your withdrawal number, and in addition, hand over your card so that I can withdraw the money needed to bail him out. Give them to me now, or I swear, I'll shoot you where you stand!" I tell him.
"Ok, ok, here just calm down," he tells me.
He takes out a pen and writes a series of numbers on apiece of paper and then reaches in his back pocket, pulls out his wallet, and throws his card down on the ground and places the piece of paper close by it.
You'd better have enough in the bank," I tell him.
"Of course, I have my own business. How else do you think I could afford this laboratory and all these machines and computers?" Larry says.
"Shut up, I'm not interested in your personal life!" I tell him.
"Please don't do this to me. I have created you, therefore, I am like your god," Larry says.
"A god you say?" I say. "Well then, just like god, you have created the devil, and I am here to bring hell onto earth." I continue.
"Why must you do this; have you no soul?" Larry asked me.
"Ha! You may have given me this body, but no one could duplicate a soul," I tell him.
To me, the sound of the trigger is like the sound of paintbrushes stroking a canvas to an artist. It's beautiful. The splatter of blood against the wall is abstract, in a sense. And as the sound of his brain splatters against the wall, it is as a bowl of spaghetti being thrown against the wall. The bits of brain are like noodles that crumble to the floor. I throw the gun down on the floor and wash my hands of my blood. After wiping them with a towel, I take his wallet and search it for any money. There's a few twenties and a fifty dollar bill. After putting it in my pocket, I lean down to get Larry's card and the piece of paper, and I head out of the laboratory.
(A few hours later, at the county jail)
Suddenly, I hear the sheriff yell my name and begin to rattle his keys and open the door. "Hey, Paul," he said.
"What is it?" I ask.
"You've made bail, so follow me," he said.
"Wow, what a lucky break," I think to myself. I wonder who bailed me out? With every step I make towards my freedom, I feel heavier. It's as though time has stopped for this one residual moment. I can't hardly wait until I get out, and I can't wait to find out who bailed me out either. Walking down the stairs feels like an eternity. When I finally reach the bottom of the stairs, I peer around the corner and am brought once again, to the booking area. It doesn't take them long to release me from the handcuffs. Then I get dressed back into my normal clothes, and the sheriff sends me out the door. I peer outside for the first time in a long time and the brightness of the sun blinds me for a moment. Then I see a familiar figure in the blurry distance. It appears to me like an angel. Am I imagining things? No, it can't be her. I close my eyes for a moment, and open them again. My jaw feels like it has an anchor as it falls to the ground and I stand there in disbelief and amazement.
Chapter 14: Just Like Old Times
"Never miss a thing," Nancy said to me with a sarcastic smirk on her face.
"How could I not miss you?" I think to myself. I want to say it aloud, but I was speechless. How is it possible that she is standing right in front of me.
"What's wrong, dear?" Nancy asks me.
A tear found its way down my cheek. I had not shed a single tear since the day Nancy died. "Nothing, nothing at all," I managed to mutter. "I am just so happy to see you," I continued.
"I'm baby to see you too, baby," Nancy tells me. She began to slowly walk towards me, and she put her arms around me. Then she leans in for a kiss. Her lips were a comforting bliss that I had almost forgotten. I hadn't felt that spark from anyone else. After reminiscing for another fifteen minutes we take a cab to my place.
I was so tired that when I hit that soft mattress, I knew it wouldn't be long until I fell asleep. Nancy curled up next to me and put her arm around my chest. For the first time in a long time, I am lying next to a woman without having intercourse. But I feel more comfort than I have ever felt before.
"It's so nice sleeping in my own bed," I tell her.
"Yeah, I bet those jail beds aren't very comfortable," Nancy said. She then began rubbing my chest gently with her fingertip.
"This feels like a dream," I tell her.
"In that case, I hope you never wake up," She tells me.
I feel my eyes getting heavier, and my eyelids begin to close. I feel the muscles of my face cringe as I actually manage to smile.
Chapter 15: Searching for a Killer
"Quite a mess we've got here, eh Chief?"
"That would be an understatement, my good man."
"I heard that the feds are going to be taking over the case. Is that true Chief?"
"Yeah, they'll be lead by Special Agent Stone. We no longer have jurisdiction here."
"Why do the feds got their noses sniffing around this case?"
"I can't really say. I don't even know the full details, it's highly classified. Just a fair warning, they say this Agent Stone is a real hard ass. They call him 'tough as stone' so I would just keep my mouth shut if I were you."
Suddenly, a loud thud of a door is heard throughout the area.
"Clear the perimeter," a loud voice beckons. "Who's in charge here?"
"I am in charge of the local police task group," the chief says.
"Not anymore you're not. Get your men out of here. As of now,this area is off limits," Agent Stone proclaimed.
For the next few hours, there was an extremely careful investigation headed by Special Agent Henry Stone whose reputation proceeded him. Under his careful eye, every last detail was looked into, from the extremely classified illegal human cloning process used in Larry's laboratory to the bloody footprints left by a confused robotic humanoid. The blueprints for the design of such a cyborg were kept under tight security, and immediately covered up by the highest ranking members of the government. Since cloning human DNA was illegalized in the last century. There was no question what had to be done. The government had no choice but to remove all traces of this creation, and anyone involved with this creation had to be kept quiet, just like in any other high class government conspiracies or cover-ups. This knowledge could not leak out to the public. But there was one problem, the problem was the design itself. Since Nancy's creation was made possible by millions of microscopic quantum mechanics, which attach themselves to each one of her blood cells, it would make it difficult, if not impossible to destroy her. And even though she may not be fully aware of this ability, it would only take one bullet to the chest to make her aware. This was because, in the blueprint, it shows that the nanotechnology present in her body can reproduce skin tissue, as well as reproduce themselves. The only way to destroy the cyborg would be to destroy all the robots at one time. They discover in the blueprint however, that a tiny switch was installed in the back of Nancy's head, probably for emergency safety reasons. When the switch is open, a panel is visable beneathe the skin. From the panel, you must type in the immediate shutdown code for an ultimate disposal of all internal machines. All this was made clear from investigating the blueprint, and they came up with a code word for this case. Properly named, Project Nancy.
Chapter 16: A Killer Instinct
"Hey Paul, I think I shall go out for a bit,", I said.
"Ok, Nancy, would you mind picking up a few groceries and some beer while you are out?" Paul relpied.
"Not at all," I said as I picked up my purse and headed out the door.
There still should be a little left on Larry's credit card, I told myself. But I just don't know what I'm going to do after that. I guess I'll worry about that when the time comes. I would get a job, but how? Who would hire me? I don't even have a real identity. I am not even sure of who I am. The wind blows against my hair as I walk down the sidewalk. I feel as though someone is watching me, but I turn around and no one is there. I drape my coat more tightly against myself to protect my body from the frigid breeze. When I arrive at the grocery store, I try my best to hurry through the aisles and pick up what I need. My intuition tells me that I should pace myself, but I really do not want to end up carrying a bunch of bags all the way back. Besides, I should really save what little money I have left for things I really need. I proceed to the checkout with the few things I grabbed off the shelf and braced myself for the walk back home. Immediately as I left, I got that feeling that I was being watched again. Only this time, I felt threatened. It felt like a primal instinct. I turned and looked down a dark, empty alleyway. I thought I had seen a shadow.
"Is someone there?" I shouted.
I felt a deep anger overcome me. I had not felt this way since the day at the laboratory. I felt like an animal again. I smelled blood in the air. Like a shark to a wounded sea lion, I began circling my prey. Suddenly, I hear footsteps getting closer behind me. Before I could react, I felt my shoulder being tugged, and my arm felt as though it was being pulled from its socket. It was a man, a tall, broad shouldered man, and he had ahold of my purse. I felt even more enraged. I began to chase after him. The adrenaline poured through my body. I felt like I could run forever. I felt like a cheetah chasin down an antelope. Surprisingly, I caught up to him quickly. And even though he was twice my size, I tackled him to the ground. I proceeded to punch him in the face, and he began bleeding from the nose. He back handed me and reached for his coat pocket. When I turned back around with my fist in the air, he had a gun in his hand. He pulled the trigger before I could grab it, then I looked down at my chest and it was bleeding. My jaw dropped to the floor, and my hands covered my wound in astonishment. Strangely, though, I had a smile on my face. I did not even feel anything.
"Am I really even alive?" I wondered aloud.
I began walking towards a pay phone. I could only think of one person to call for help. Paul would do anything for me. But before I could even reach the phone, I looked down at my wound and saw that I wasn't bleeding anymore. There wasn't even a scratch on me.
"How is this possible?" I asked myself "What the fuck am I? Am I...immortal?
Chapter 17: The Whisper
"Hey, come pick me up!" I told Paul over the phone, all while assuring him that I was alright.
Of course, he said, he would be right on his way. I felt that menacing feeling drag me down into a spiraling pit of darkness that I've tried so hard to fight off. But it's always there; my eye has been keener than I ever remembered it to be. I'm feeling as though I don't have control over my body. It just reacts on its own. I am always aware of one hundred percent of available peripheral vision. Now, that creep has my wallet. This is so frustrating. How am I going to get any more money? But deep down, I knew what I had to do. It was that killer instinct once again calling. Valentine's Day is just around the corner, but there is no feeling of remorse; all that matters is survival.
Paul finally arrives in his car. He picks me up and gives me a big hug. I squeezed his hips gently with my left hand. Simutaneously, I was also patting him on the back of the shoulder lightly. I then began whispering in his ear.
"Come closer so that you can hear my voice more clearly," I say to him
He reaches closer, and I embrace him. I have my hand over the back of his head.
"Let's go rob a bank, me and you," I whisper.
I already had got myself two pistols from the pawn shop as a back up plan. I gave one of the pistols to Paul and told him to keep it where no one will find it and to use it only when necassary. He promised he would. My eyes glared down the road as he drove. I felt as though I was riding a Harley. Luckily, I went down to the leather shop beforehand, so I'm definitly dressed for the occasion.
Chapter 18: The Change
"You know, it's impossible to say no to you," I say to her.
She looks up at me with a sarcastic smirk on her face, and she was wearing tight leather clothing. I start feeling like a real bad-ass; just like I did the time I busted into Larry's workshop. But in comparison to this feeling, it was like getting your hand caught in the cookie jar. Quite honestly, I don't think I've ever been so turned on. A fire was bellowing in our souls, and we felt the weight of our sins, and I could tell she was having a blast. I had my windows rolled down, and we were listening to 90's rock. I really don't know how I kept my shirt on. I started pulling at my collar as if I'm feeling uncomfortable.
"What's wrong, honey?" She says.
"It's nothing; forget about it," I say.
"You're not going to chicken out on me, are you Paul?"
"Defy logic, that is what I urge you to do," I tell her.
She looks up at me with that smirk on her face again.
I look down at the petal, and I begin increasing speed. When we finally arrived at the bank, it was such a power trip. It was like molding clay in the palm of my hand, but like everything else it too must reach an end. It didn't take long for FBI agents to come barging through the door. Next thing I know, I turn around, and I was being tazed with a tazer gun. I quickly blacked out, but when I awoke from my slumber, I heard a voice. He introduced himself as Agent Stone of the FBI. He first asked me what my relation to Nancy was. He shook his head after I responded.
"Paul, let me ask you one very simple question," he said, and then paused for a moment. "Do you know what Nancy is really capable of?" He continued.
"It does seem as though she has changed," I assure him.
Chapter 19: Regret
After finishing my brief conversation with Mr. Stone, I dropped my head towards the tiled floor below me. I felt ashamed, I felt regret. I was wrong to feel the way I did. What I did was wrong. What have I become besides a monster? The same kind of monster that I would imagine as a child. There were children at the bank I robbed. Mothers were just going home after picking their children up from daycare. Fathers were just going to work. i have become what I have always feared as a child. The very same thing I despised is flowing through my veins at this very moment. I imagine Nancy's face as I close my eyes, and she is smiling. It is a genuine smile, and the look in her eyes are different than they have been lately. But then, Mr. Stone interrupted my daydream.
"Paul, I need to tell you something," he said to me.
"What is it?" I ask him.
"It's about Nancy, well, you see there is something you do not realize," he continued.
I began feeling a lump in my throat, and as I swallowed, it sank to the pt of my stomach which intensified as he began explaining everything that has happened, from Larry's laboratory to his death. Mr. Stone tells me everything.
"So that's why Nancy seems different than before," I whispered to myself.
Mr. Stone turned his back towards me and placed his hands clasped together behind him. After looking upwards towards the ceiling, he cleared his throat and began speaking to me again.
"There's something now that I would like to ask of you," he said.
"What's that?" I ask.
"I have an important issue that requires your assistance, and I would like to make you an offer for your help," he continued.
Chapter 20: The Offer
"Here is my offer," Agent stone said to me. "We were not able to capture Nancy. In fact we lost an entire S.W.A.T team getting you here. Her machinery is evolving. This machinery is so advanced that it adapts and changes at a rate that is estimated to be around one thousand times faster than any human. But we know of one weakness that is located on the back of her head. There is a switch on the back of her head. When the switch is turned on, a cybernetic panel comes from beneath a coating of cybernetic skin attached by robotics. When the panel is visible, it is possible to shut down the machinery inside of Nancy. But I will not lie to you, Paul, doing so will kill her. The human part of her is being kept alive by machinery. But if we don't do something, she could destroy all of mankind. We couldn't even get close to her. But you can, she trusts you, so here is my offer. I need you to shut her down, Paul. You are the only one who get close enough to her to do it. I will even give you your gun back and drop all charges, so what do you say?"
Suddenly, it got so quiet you could hear a pin drop. The only sound was the steady tick-tock from the clock on the wall. My eyes felt like they weighed as much as bowling balls. My neck could not support the weight of my head either, and I began to slump into the chair where I was sitting. My face collapsed towards the table, but at the last second, I turned my face sideways. There was a steady stream of tears coming down my face, and I looked out the window and saw myself, my tears glistened in the sunlight. Then everything went numb. I could no longer see the sunlight. I could no longer feel my eyes. I could no longer hear the steady tick-tock from the clock on the wall. I could no longer hear a pin drop. Time had stood still, and yet, I was still moving. I raised my hands towards my face, and rubbed my fingers across my cheeks, I realized this was real. I am not imagining any of this. Nancy, what have you become? I want you back, no I want the old you back. Please, I don't want both of us to be monsters.
Chapter 21: Monsters
While I was busy daydreaming how Nancy had turned into a monster, I was also thinking about the fact that I also felt as though I was a monster. Maybe we are just two lonely monsters hellbent on desruction. This is what I was thinking as Mr. Stone let me out of confinement. With my gun hidden under my belt, I walked down the long alleyway. It began raining slightly, so I took the hood of my jacket and pulled it over the back of my head. I started heading back home. When I finally arrived at my place, I stepped through the door after kicking the water off of my boots at the doorstep. I got something to eat, mainly because the food that they give you at the holding cell really isn't even worth eating. I still had beer in the fridge. Perhaps there is a god afterall, and this god had blessed me with this bottle. It trickles down my throat so smoothly as I let out a giant sigh of satisfaction. I was so worn out from everything that I began nodding off. I dozed off for a couple hours, and when I woke up, I decided to turn on the television.
Chapter 22: Special News Bulletin
"Good morning, and thanks for turning in to channel 22 news. This is Melissa Robins reporting live at the White House. A violent bank robbery took place Monday, and even though the FBI has stated they could not comment on anything at this time, there are reports by local police that there are some wounded and some possible fatalities. But what alarms most people is the secrecy behind it. I'll take you now to Tina MAtthews who is live at the scene."
"Thanks, Melissa. As you can see to my right here, there are several FBI agents, and they won't let me get any closer than this. The entire block is sealed off. None of them have any comments at this time except that there were possible several injuries and that the families needed to be notified before they released any information to the public. Back to you, Melissa."
As I watched the television, I relaxed and sat back in my chair. I put my hands behind my head and remembered all the good times Nancy and I had. I wonder what you are doing, Nancy. Are you enjoying our celebrity status? The whole world is talking about the bank robbery. You know, all I wanted was for you o be happy, so I just hope you are happy, wherever you are. I wonder if you are watching this bullshit. Soon people will start coming up with a bunch of crazy conspiracy theories, just like they did with nine eleven. And as I wandered into my very own imagination, I had a flashback.
Chapter 23: A Revelational Flashback
"Listening to a story and the message that it sent; then describe what that message meant to you."
That i what she said to me, or maybe it was merely the howl of the wind brushing its cold shoulders against mine as though it was trying to defy magnitude.
But the forces unseen were pulling it away like two positive ends of a magnet. Afterall, opposites may indeed attract each other, but they still co-exist on the same solid permanent side-by-side, just like you and I were always side-by-side.
"Defy logic; that is what I urge you to do." Those were the last words I said to her.
I still can't figure out why you get more and more beautiful everytime that I see you.
I also think that I should put a bullet in my head, but I know that's not what you would want, baby. Meanwhile my hands are shaking as I reach for my gun. "I'm sorry babe, but hey, I'll be with you soon."
That's a promise.