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I Didn`t Know Where Thoughts Went

by  Ian Smith 100

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2006
Word Count: 533
Summary: A short trawl with this nightmarish bit of speculative sci-fi.

I woke on a hard bed. I felt round my mouth with my tongue. I felt my gums and cheeks. They were dry. Theyíd been dry for a long time. I rolled against the safety rail. I opened my eyes. I was in a glass and steel corridor in a building full of TVs. The TV high above my bed was pounding out something unholy. It screamed for attention.

ďWill someone switch it off, please?Ē

No one came to switch it off. I smelled cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke wasnít right inside a building. The trouble was I didnít know what was right any more. I didnít know why I was in a building surrounded by cropped lawns, traffic, and controlled disorder.

Filth hung off the walls. It just needed a lick of paint. I tried to stand, and made it to my feet because I wanted to cover the filth. I walked towards the noise of the traffic. Maybe it was carbon monoxide in my veins making me forget. They said carbon monoxide was a good way to go. I held the curtain and pulled, but it crumbled in my hand like papyrus.

I had to do something to make sure the paint covered the filth and dried properly. I stirred the tin. I covered the filth, the intricate woodwork, the condensation, and the mould. Plaster crumbled under the brush. I finished. I poured the rest of the paint down the sink. I drank from the tap. I needed water. I tasted paint coming out of the tap. I'd polluted my own drinking water. I spat paint into a wet towel, and rubbed my tongue till the taste went.

I saw filth on the curtains. I brushed mould off the curtains. A north facing room was bad. I needed a larger window. There was no way of letting moisture out. Cockroaches scratched under the bed. The light shade grew lichen. I swept a spiderís web, and smeared it across the shade. I cleaned the light shade with paint from the tap. It made no difference to the light situation. I needed to see.

The towel over the radiator was still wet. It wasnít my fault it was still wet, when I was drying out. The building trapped moisture. Someone needed to push the tiny window wide open. I was at the window again, that cliff edge, tilting, sliding, the bottle rack of prescription drugs coming towards me.

ďOpen the window, please.Ē

But the window shut itself in the breeze. I never heard it shut, like I never knew when I slept, or where I was. I woke in a corridor, in a room, in a building full of people like myself. I thought I knew my name, but I didnít.

I leaned back on the wet pillow. It was another fresh start. I didnít remember being put back to bed. I didnít know what time it was. I needed something to relax me because Iíd had a day of it, a week of it, a year of it, a lifetime of it. I stroked the stubble. I stroked the hole in my face. Dehydration sucked my thoughts. I didnít know where thoughts went.