No one figured out how it arrived, and we’re not sure how long it stayed inactive, watching with hungry eyes before making a move.
I assume I had to be one of the first, and if I didn’t know any better, I’d lament over the fact that I could have ended it all before it started. But I see now that no one person could have stopped it. Nothing could have stopped it.
Won’t you join me?
The sharpest memory I can recall has me half-awake staring at the bathroom door.
I remember Mother handing me a gun, gleaming silver in Sunday light, telling me to finish this while we can. I looked up at Eddie, just standing there, and shrugged. He shook his head.
My mom left, disgruntled. I never saw her after that.
And I still haven’t figured out where she got the gun.
I remember staring at the locked, white door and imagining what it was holding back. The dripping was steady, and the smell was seeping into everything. It was still encased in bone and thawing. They never told me how it ended up in that bathroom, bound. I doubt a bullet would have ended anything.
I looked at Eddie, still standing in the middle of the room. His palms were forward, waiting for instruction. His eyes were pleading for us to leave.
I fell back asleep and dreamt about my college days, of doing homework on a Sunday, instead of this.
I was sleeping right next to the doomsday machine.
Do you remember the time I watched my best friend die?
We ended up in an office building; this was when only a few knew. Right after we met Mars. Apparently, the host had taken a higher-up executive position and was moving around funds to accommodate every agent out there.
It was apparent the moment we walked in.
His secretary just stared at us, kept shaking her head, and nodding at Quincy.
I think that’s what his name was.
I pointed the gun at her face and she started crying. We walked in.
Now, let’s make this clear: when Prometheus is using a body, instead of turning it inside out, there’s only one way to tell, and it’s the speech. There are no contractions, no use of slang, and it only describes what it’s doing instead of talking upon itself.
“Well hello how are you all doing,” it said with robotic pause, “I am greeting you.”
A great big smile.
I looked down the line we formed in that wide, bright office:
Tyler, the first one to tell me,
Steven, the one who kept us moving,
Lara, the one who could only move forward,
Mars, who brought us together,
and Eddie, whom we left in the hallway.
I don’t know why we even tried. At Mars’ suggestion, we tried to negotiate a mutual benefaction – effective immediately. When that didn’t work, and believe me, it did not, we demonstrated what would happen if Prometheus didn’t leave.
Metal just bounces off this stuff, though.
And we ran and ran and ran down the hallways, not looking back.
But I did turn my head, and saw Eddie, palms on his mouth, elbows pointing straight up, being broken in half from the inside. His upper half was covered in a torrent of red veins and varicose muck. A red garbage bag, tightly wound, scooping your guts out in one fell swoop.
I kept running.
In the park, where we were the only ones who knew what was going on,
watching children just playing with the stuff,
Or at the party, when he kept coming back,
I kept running.
And it’s funny, when I was lying on the bed, half awake, I could see through the door. I watched the husk of bone and gore hanging there, dripping, melting, not yet pulsing; I saw the muck covering the walls.
Even then, if only for a few hours, I knew.