This is a random story I wrote one night. Kinda futuresque, I guess. Wouldn’t mind some feedback.


They were coming. I skidded to a halt, and, took a sharp right, hoping to lose my pursuers amongst the complex maze of ruined Paris. An old sign said ‘Rue de Liberte’. Excellent. Freedom Street, as rendered in the common tongue. A fitting place for a final stand. The men swept onto either side of the street. They were dressed purely in black, and had large wolf-like hounds salivating next to them.  I pulled out a pager. The message was composed already. It was a missive from the Queen to Dorothea Mackellar, a senior spy. I pressed send even as the bullets ripped into my body.


Silence. For who knows how long. Then voices. “Still creeps me out when she does that”. A different voice “I think she’s fine. Nothing different this time”. And then a more authoritative voice “I just hope she has some answers.”  I opened my eyes, and saw a white clinical lab, as understanding flooded through me. That was the worst part. It wasn’t helping the government. It was not knowing that you aren’t going to die, and then having to feel all the emotions when you die in the memory. I dropped Sarah Watson’s gloves, and sighed.


Bu before I could recover properly, I was pushed into a sitting positions, and the authoritative voice asked concisely “Who was the message sent to?”. Hating myself, I answered. “Dorothea Mackellar. She’s one of the Queen’s.” The voice said nothing, and I heard to sound of leaving footsteps, and knew that wherever Dorothea was, she would soon be dead.


No-one really knows why I can feel people’s memories from their clothing. I never liked it, and when I was a child, it would happen sporadically, leaving me terrified. When the Government found out, I was taken, and nurtured into a weapon. Countless Queen’s Operatives had been assassinated on my watch. I had no control. Except on one little thing. The machines they had rigged me up with told them if I was lying, as I had found to my detriment. But on the other hand, I only had to answer their questions. No elaboration, no initiative in helping my captors. So I didn’t tell them what was in the missive that was sent. I didn’t tell them that the Queen knew about me. I didn’t tell them that they were coming for me.


Three more memory intrusions passed, each spanning between 3 days and 3 weeks length, but taking place in an instant in the present.. Two dead rebels, and eight compromised safe houses. It was highly unpleasant, especially when I was reliving the last moments of a women who killed herself by throwing herself into a meat grinder. But I endured, waiting for something, anything, to happen.


One day the authoritative voice returned, personally bringing my newest assignment. I couldn’t see his face, but saw his hands, mottled blue with veins, as he pressed a boot into my hands. “That’s all we have left of him.” I gulped, and reluctantly delved my mind through the shoe…


It was midday. The sun was shining bright and strong against my back. I entered the mall, assaulted by the cold air. I stopped and sat on a bench. I had no other way. The itinerary of the President had to be sent to the Queen’s agents, or they would lose a valuable opportunity. Wireless Internet Communication was blocked. In-person delivery was ludicrous. All that was left was the post. I walked into the post office, through the metal detectors. The plastic explosive on my chest did not raise the alarm. I waited until the workers were distracted, and then stealthily walked into the processing centre. It was huge, but I knew where I was going. I walked to the far end of the hall, where the mail was kept for delivery. I entered, and slid the envelope into the mounds of mail waiting. Everything had been checked by the censors, so there was no reason to check it again, no reason for anyone other than the recipient to open that envelope. I walked out, but a clerk saw me, and shouted. I ran towards him, but –


I opened my eyes, and took a deep breath, only to wish I hadn’t. The air was full of acrid smoke, and there was a fire burning in my peripheral visions. Shaking, I saw that the boot had been knocked out of my hand, and was lying on the ground. I stood up, and saw that the place was coming down. The booms in the difference were obviously bombs, as I had felt their impacts in previous memories. As I took stock of my surroundings, someone grabbed my hand. I was a sallow man with drooping eyelids, the rest of his face concealed by a scarf to protect him from the smoke. The hand that grabbed mine was the same that had given me the boot – mottled blue with veins.


I pushed as hard as I could, and the man slammed into the wall. But he wouldn’t relinquish his grip. I tried a different tactic, and pulled him towards one of the fires, and with a twist, dropped him in it. This time he let go, as he threw off his suit jacket and scarf and tried to beat the fire from his clothes. I considered attacking him, but I was more interested in survival, rather than vengeance. I grabbed the singed scarf, and wrapped it around my mouth to protect from the smoke. After what could have been minutes, or days, I came to find a van, with a rugged old man standing next to it, screaming at me to come, hurry up, we needed to escape.


It took two days for my recuperation from my burns. But after that, someone walked in. The rugged man walked in, flanked by two guards. He was holding the ruined scarf. “Whose was this?”, he asked gruffly. I took the scarf from him, and smiled. “Let’s find out.”


I walked down the metal staircase. People got out of my way, as they should. I reached my office, just one of the floors on the building. “Sorry, sir” muttered young assistants as they got out of my way. My secretary stood up as I passed. “Welcome, Mr. President.”




Sameer Sharma


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