Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Microstory 1707: Ram

I hear a knock on the door, but I don’t get up. I can’t, I’m too out of it. They knock again, and announce themselves as the police. I would be grateful for their arrival if I didn’t know that the door is attached to something with a string. I don’t remember what the other end of the string is attached to, though. I just know it’s bad. They give me one more warning before deciding that I’m up to no good, and they’ll have to force their way in. On the monitor, I see two more officers appear with a large red object. They swing it back, and strike it against the door. I try to scream for them to stop, but they don’t hear. It’s not their fault. I don’t think I can get enough sound to come out of my body. I feel like I’ve been screaming this whole time, and nothing has happened. What did those guys give me, and how can I possibly power through its effects? The battering ram strikes the door again. The noise rings in my ears. I try to reach up to rub them, but my hands just end up falling off, and floating up into the air. I’m pretty sure that’s not actually happening, but it might as well be, because I still have no control over them. As far as I can tell, they’re not even mine anymore. Perhaps they were never really mine, but God’s. He was the one who put me on this Earth, and gave me this life. He decided who my parents were, and how I was raised. He chose the skills I would grow up having, which would inevitably lead me down this path. I’ve always disliked believing in such a God, as it shifts all blame away from people. If they are not responsible for their own actions, what right does anyone have to punish them? We should all be punishing God, shouldn’t we? The ram strikes a third time. A crack appears, but that’s about it, and I may even be imagining that. I can’t trust anything I see, or anything I think. Strike four.

I didn’t think someone could get more than three strikes, but there’s a strong possibility that we’re not playing baseball. When I was a boy, my neighbor down the street would take me to games. It took me a long time to realize how strange that was. He never did anything to me, mind you, but my mother didn’t know that. I don’t remember them ever talking to each other for an extended period of time, so she could get to know who he—what the hell was that sound? Is someone at the door? I look over, but don’t think that’s a door, because it’s all bulging and splintery. Doors are meant to be straight and flat. People are yelling on the other side. They sound pretty mad if you ask me, but I don’t know why, since everything is so okay. Sure, there’s a splodey thing attached to that door, but as long as they don’t open it, we should all be totally fine. They hit the door a sixth time, or was it seven? The bottom of it falls into the room, still partially attached to the top, which is staying surprisingly strong. A gigantic rat the size of a man scratches and punches at the door in order to break it off completely. He crawls in and scurries right towards me, then holds a gun to my chest. “Tom,” I say to the big rat. He doesn’t know what I’m talking about, probably because rats don’t speak English. “Rom,” I repeat. He shakes his head and argues, “ram.” He points back to the red thing they used to get through the door. It’s sitting on the threshold, right under another floating hand, which is trying to unlock the door. I shake my head. That’s not what I wanted to say. This isn’t about Tom, or rom, or the ram, or the bomb. Oh wait, no, it is about the bomb. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell them. “Bomb.” The rat’s four eyes widen as he looks back at the door, and traces the string with his eyes. He’s too late, the door opens.

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