‘What?’ – A Story from the Unsolvable Universe

Posted on September 8, 2011

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“What?” the cashier said, leaning in over the counter slightly.

“The number five,” Coy said. The cashier let out a laugh.

“Sorry, one more time.”

“The number five.”

The cashier nodded, smiling. He punched the keys on the cash register and said, “Alright, four ninety-five.”

Coy paid him cash. The cashier gave him his change.

“Alright, your order will be up in a few.”

Coy sat down at a table not far from the counter. The restraunt was empty and quiet. Empty and quiet. That was all too familiar to him. The cashier brought his food on a black tray. He looked down at Coy and said, “Enjoy.”

“Thank you.”

The cashier’s smile faded. “What?”

“Thank you.”

The cashier leaned in a little. “I’m sorry, what?”

Thank you.”

“I still can’t hear you.”

Coy was getting frustrated. “I said thanks.”

“What?” The cashier leaned in a little closer and cupped his hand around his ear. “I can’t hear you.”

“Why can’t you hear me?!” Coy shouted.

“You’ll have to speak up.”

Coy stared at him in disbelief.

“Are you deaf?”

The cashier didn’t respond. He was still leaning forward, his hand cupped behind his ear, but he didn’t budge. Someone started laughing from behind Coy. He turned around. A man dressed rugged black atire sat a few tables away, looking at him. He smiled big, and then took a sip of his drink. He belched, and then said, “Frustrating, isn’t it?”

Coy didn’t say anything. The man stood and walked to his table and sat down.

“No one can hear you, and in more ways than one.”

The man pointed to Coy’s arm, which was covered in scars. Suddenly the scars ripped open and blood poured from them, and they spoke. “Help me,” they said in whiney voices.

Coy screamed and fell back out of his chair. The man laughed. His scars kept chanting ‘Help me’.

“Make it stop!” Coy shouted in panic.

The man laughed. “Now you speak loud and clear. Why couldn’t you do that before?”

“I don’t know! Make it stop!”

“Make it stop, make it stop,” the scars chanted. Coy screamed. “Make it stop, make it stop,” they chanted. The man kept laughing.

“Make it stop, make it stop.”

The man slammed his fist on the table. “Silence!”

The scars hushed. Then they started whispering inaudible things to each other. The man stood and snapped his fingers. The cashier, as well as the whole restaraunt disappeared, replaced by infinite white.

“You remember this place, Coy.”

Coy nodded, wiping away a tear.

“You can’t escape me, or this place. Your mind may help you run and hide, but this is my domain. I will always find you.”

Coy pulled his knees to chest and shouted, “No!”

A freight train appeared and hit the man at full speed. Blood splattered everywhere. The train carried on indefinitely, with car after car passing by.

“Good try, Coy,” the man said from behind Coy.

“But not even an infinite train can keep me away for long.”

The man had his hands at his waist as he stared down at Coy. He sighed. Suddenly there was a rumbling beneath his feet. He looked down. A brick wall shot out from the floor a few inches in front of him. It rose up fifteen feet.

“Dammit Coy.”

“Shut up!” Coy shouted from the other side. The wall vanished, as did the train. Coy stood a few feet away from the man.

“I know what this place is! I can control what happens here!”

“No!” the man shouted back even louder. “You can’t!” The man started growing taller. “I control what goes on here!” He grew taller and wider, and his voice rumbled like thunder. “This is my domain!”

The man was now a giant. Coy was only up to his knee cap in height. The giant man snapped his fingers, and everything shook.

Everyone Coy had ever known surrouned him; friends, former friends, enemies, acquaintances, teachers, counselors, his family. They crowded around him and chanted, “We can’t hear you” over and over again. They all had fiendish smiles. Coy’s scars started chanting as well. “Make it stop, make it stop.”

Coy screamed. “Stop it!”

The crowd was silenced. Then they, along with his scars, chanted a new word. “What?”

Amongst the incessant chanting, Coy heard something else. Whispering. It was loud and clear despite everything going on.

 

“All your life…

 

…no one could understand..

 

just what you were all about..

 

no one…

 

…could hear you..

 

your pain…

 

…your throughts

 

you were nothing..

 

..so you ended it

 

a final cry for help..

 

..but even then, even in this place

 

no one can hear you..

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Posted in: Stories