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Monday, May 21, 2018

Microstory 846: Shelter

I have a special ability, but I am no superhero. I have an innate sense of life and death. Everywhere around me, plants, insects, and animals are dying, and I can feel it all. I can also feel life around me, but it’s not very fulfilling. I’ve tried to sequester myself from people, because humans feel the worst when they die, but there’s even more death in the wilderness, so that didn’t work. There’s really nowhere I can go where I’ll be absolutely alone, unless I travel to some place so barren, that even I won’t survive. Which I considered actually doing every single day I wake up. I’ve worked with a few therapists, but they all just want to figure out why I think I have these abilities, and whether there’s anything I can do to break free from this delusion. Not one of them has believed in what I can do, even the ones who’ve seemed like they do. They were really just using a tactic to make me feel at ease, so I’ll come to the so called truth on my own. The only help I’ve gotten is from spiritual practices, like meditation. You would think I don’t need to be any more aware of my surroundings than I already am, but it helps me focus my energies on what I’m doing, and ignore all this death. Still, there are good days and bad. Tonight is really bad. I’m walking past an animal shelter at night; one of those places that specializes in temporary placement for exotic animals that are illegal to keep in this area. I get a rush of new life, which is the absolute best feeling in the world. I’ve tried hanging around maternity wards to exploit this sensation, but I make people as uncomfortable as you would imagine, so I can’t do it too often. Right now I’m sensing an animal being born, but it must be some kind of primate, because it feels pretty human-like. I sit on the nearest park bench, and enjoy the respite. Unfortunately, I start to feel impending death too, which is quickly evidenced by the sounds of gunshots. I hide behind a dumpster until I can tell that everyone who was going to die already has, and the survivors have left.

I break into the shelter as well to find a horrific scene. But it doesn’t bother me much, because it’s not anywhere near as disturbing as living through it every day. Two men are lying dead on the floor, one with a gun, and the other in a white lab coat. I take a guess that the former came in here after hours, looking for some extracurricular medical attention, but he wasn’t able to get it before his enemies discovered his location, and finished the job. Like I said, when you have such an intimate relationship with death itself, the aftermath is a relief, so these dead bodies mean nothing to me. Sadly, however, the animals were caught in the crossfire, including a sugar glider, and a monkey. I can still feel life from that cage, and realize it’s the baby that had recently been born. It was his mother that was killed, and as young and confused as he is, he’s noticeably distraught. Instinct takes over, and I open the cage. The baby monkey immediately jumps into my arms, and climbs up to hold onto my neck. I hear police sirens, so I get out of there right quick, taking the frightened animal with me. He proceeds to hold onto me literally all day, even while I take a nap on the couch. It’s a good thing my condition already doesn’t lend itself to having a roommate, or I would have some splainin to do. He won’t even let go of me when I have to go out and find food for him, so I put on a sweater in the middle of July, and try to not look too awkward. My route takes me past a hospital, because there’s less foot traffic down this alleyway. I would normally avoid it, because hospitals are pretty well known for all their deaths, but I’m not having any issues. I should feel some residual death as I’m walking right by the basement mortuary, but I feel absolutely nothing. For the first time in my life, I concentrate and try to reach out to the myriad bug deaths all around me, but nothing is there. I don’t sense other people around me either, which normally manifests as this constant hum in the back of my neck when I’m close enough to a crowd. My God, it’s this monkey. He’s blocking the signals, or something. I have to find a way to keep him my entire life.

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