Book launch: 4 September 2013 (sold out)
Samples pages from my self-published book, looking at the crossing-over of the human consciousness into a machine environment.
The relationships of the characters within that environment are key to portraying how and why a situation may arise where there is a need for them to leave their ‘normal’ existence behind. Their stories are told as fragments of memories, which the machine tries to comprehend, by rationalising the words into functional definitions. This is a story with two halves, the machine and the human, and so the book outcome is also set in two halves, joined centrally, to reflect the joining of the consciousness and the system.
Memory Tank “Charlie” Last Hearing
BANG. A simple sound that rang and rang, vibrating my senses. I can almost hear its’ echo; BANG, BAng, bang, fading out, over and again. I love the moment, and close my eyes as I hear its voice.
A moment of triumph, a perfect moment of triumph.
The metal gun in my hand grows heavy. I look at it, a dark death machine. I picture myself dropping it and running as fast and as far as I can. But I don’t. I stand over her lifeless body and laugh. A big hearty laugh that echoes out, over and again.
Then the room changes, the walls close in and start to spin. Slowly at first, then faster and faster, dancing as the sound blurs away to nothing. I hear nothing, a sure sign that my moment is lost.
I bend down for a closer inspection. Studying each limb as they rest on the floor. I put my ear to her chest, and wait. Not a single sigh or wheeze or choking cough. No more nightmares, or demands. I laugh again, an involuntary reaction, but no echo is made from the sound.
The room is bigger, too big. The dark death machine is not satisfied. I feel my hand twitch around it.
Memory Tank “Serena” Last Sight
I looked to my left and he was standing there, staring at me.
His feet planted securely on the ground, rooted within the long grasses, just back from the river’s edge. I couldn’t see his eyes, as a shadow fell over his brow, but I knew he wasn’t blinking. A never-ending stare that asked me to return, willing me to him. I would have gone too, if I hadn’t looked to my right.
She was standing there, a good strong hand holding the iron railing at the edge of the quay, waving with the other arm from front to back, beckoning me to her. I could see her features more clearly, as the wind tugged her sun streaked hair away from her unsmiling face.
I could have been there for a minute, or I could have been there for an hour, it didn’t matter. A swift tide ran between them. I stared from one to the other, knowing that I could not win.
I hadn’t the nerve to choose, so I looked down instead. To my feet, wedged apart within the wooden sides of the boat, as the lapping water rose.
I didn’t have a choice, it seemed like the only option. An inviting song.
All I needed to do was to dip my toe into the cold flow.
Memory Tank “Andrea” Last Touch
I ran away from home, for two whole days, and one long night. I had toyed with the idea for some time, of whether I should fight or flee, fight or flee. And I wonder what would have happened if I had stayed.
I systematically packed a bag, I went carefully through each room, picking up items, considering their worth, and replacing them exactly where I’d found them. I devised a rule according to an item’s meaning, its size and weight and of course it’s future use.
I walked out of the house that day with a packet of biscuits, a toothbrush and a towel. I did not take the toothpaste, it seemed too personal. The objects were just a reminder of the home I could not stand.
But there was one thing I hadn’t thought about at all, in fleeing; that the fear wouldn’t end. It was always there, stagnating. I saw him everywhere, the slightest movement or sound and I’d picture his angry face. I wandered the night, looking behind me constantly. It was too much.
So I returned, cheating myself. Replacing the biscuits, the toothbrush and towel, and finally relaxing, as I faced the fight.
Memory Tank “Olivia” Last Taste
My face was squashed against the glass as the lights flickered on and off. I could see a little more each time I blinked, wishing to focus fully but never quite getting there. A faint noise of people seemed to buzz around me, and I licked my lips as one of the sweetest scents I had ever experienced reached me.
A citrus smile broke across my face and overwhelmed my throbbing head. I hadn’t expected it, but the flavour ran down my throat as I tried to sit up.
It was like the time we ran through the orange groves trying to catch the sun before it dipped out of sight. The evening air dense with the scent and my lungs crying out as you pulled me faster than my legs would naturally run. Exhilarating and exhausting all at once, like I could fly or fall at any moment.
The flavour drips into my stomach and I feel the bloating push against my clothes, trying to burst out.
I flicker my eyes open, wider this time, and realise I am still squashed against the glass. I can still taste those oranges, even though my lips are dry.
Memory Tank “Damien” Last Smell
The rotting flesh of a dolphin, with its extremities eaten away and its carcass festering in the sun, casting a toxic scent on the wind. A lovely way to enjoy a day at the beach. I stayed as long as the others could stand it. They didn’t understand the lure. The putrid lure.
There was something so alive in breathing in the dead. A heady mix of nausea that shouted in every pore that we are just made of juices, and this will be our destiny too. And I have outlived this one rotting life, here, I’ve won the game and beaten odds, this time.
They don’t understand my fascination. I could have danced for joy and skipped a circle around that stinking heap of meat.
They think there’s something wrong with me, and that’s ok. I think there’s something wrong with them.
I can hardly breathe as they pull my arm to follow them, the happy healthy folk. But I’m not following their path. The worms and sand flies are half way to finding me, the others just don’t know it yet.
I worry then, that I should worry more, about medicines and procedures and beating the odds. But I beat that dolphin, that rotting stinking heap of meat. I’m a winner, for now.
Memory Tank “Jonathan” Last Dream
She was so beautiful. I could see her face as I drew closer, even her eyes were smiling. And she was smiling at me. I started to feel nervous, what would I say, should I say something? I may not get another chance. This is it, my moment. A split second of decision, and I can feel my heart beating.
In a split second, I tripped.