DAVID AYERS’ DEVICE

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David Ayers’ finger hovered over the button.

It had been there so long he was aware of the pulse within, the tendons creaking with each and every twitch.

He had come here with a purpose: to end it all with a small movement of an index. The house, the job, the mortgage, the boss, the wife, the kids, that little yap-yap dog next door…

…all of it.

Gone.

Just a simple press of the button and he could leave this life behind. No one telling him what to do, where to be, how to act. No one demanding his time…

One inch.

That’s all the distance that remained between him and his blessed departure from this world.

One inch…maybe less now.

Could he do it? He had obligations he would be leaving behind, breaking promises, maybe letting a few people down…

Half an inch.

The escape from this harsh reality was so close…

The device his finger hovered over housed wires and electrodes, circuit-boards and infra-red sensors…incredible power was contained within.

Unlimited worlds could be traveled to, as time and space didn’t matter to the device…he could go anywhere.

He’d tested it a few times before, so he knew it worked. In fact, he’d even calibrated it to take him to his favorite world of all.

Another reality so beautiful he could forget about this one…for a while…

Forever…?

No, he knew that much.

While the device would take his mind to another reality, unfortunately his physical body had to remain in this one. A trapped, empty vessel awaiting his return.

The little yap-yap dog barked outside.

David’s free hand unconsciously went to his left ankle. That stupid, little bastard took a chunk out of him this morning.

He’d been taking out the over-flowing trash his wife had nagged him about for days and that flea-bag came out of nowhere…

The quick bandaging made him late for work.

He got yelled at for that.

Right before Lenny from accounting called saying the system crashed and they lost his information. He would have to be re-entered into the system.

Again.

“Apologize all you want, Lenny, but another two weeks without a paycheck ain’t easy with the mortgage and a few mouths to feed.”

Lenny. What kind of grown-ass man goes by Lenny? Not Leonard, not Leo, but Lenny. Douche.

A quarter of an inch.

He was so close to ending this. A little further and he could leave it all behind.

He looked at the clock on the wall.

A quarter of six.

A quarter of an inch.

The wife would be home soon and any chances of leaping realities would be put on hold.

It was now or never.

He dropped his finger to the button, felt its welcoming texture, and–

His cell rang.

Work.

Hitting dismiss he returned to the button. No hesitation this time.

He pressed it.

A warm, inviting, blue glow washed over him.

Enveloped him.

He began to see things that weren’t there moments before…

…and hear new sounds slowly replace the little yap-yap dog next door.

David Ayers set down the TV remote and entered his alternate reality…

…for a while.

 

The House at the End of Cherry Street

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The house at the end of Cherry Street was beautiful once, before the games.

Boasting thick, high walls with windows near the top. Set far back from the street, upon a slow, rolling green hill. The topiary was trimmed into delightful little creatures, which would change with each passing season. The only downfall of living in the area was the ivy, a constant battle for the walls. It was still beautiful in a way, crawling in it’s organic method over the cracks and crevices in the brick. The owners held gorgeous parties that would sprawl on the lawn, little tents with naked bulbs strung about and between. At night they would dim so the moon could compensate, allowing the stars to join the festivities.

Now the house is abandoned, unattended.

Forgotten.

The topiary grew together in a tangle of branches, walling off the lower portion of the house. The ivy took hold of every inch, creating natural shutters for the windows.

It was perfect…

The thick walls blocked any sound. The high windows ensured no escape. The overgrown topiary and ivy hid the events from prying, curious eyes.

Passers-by unaware of the horror within.

Strangers waking, trapped. Lies to instill distrust and place blame. Natural dangers from the decay in the house, and purposeful traps placed to harm.

Alliances formed.

Words passed in anger.

Then someone found a weapon…

Those who disagreed were the first to go. Former alliances were strained and broken.

More weapons discovered.

Every man for himself, and so it spiraled downward.

In the end there stood one, blade in hand, surrounded by the bodies of people she didn’t know two days before yesterday.

In another room, in another building, in another city even, men in overpriced suits smoked their cubans, and drank their scotch.

They watched a bank of monitors. A room on each, contrast in black and white.

The center focused upon the woman, clearly the victor.

Money exchanged hands with both grumbles and laughter, while promises were made of future victories.

The house at the end of Cherry Street was beautiful once, before the games.

So this is happening…

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After much hemming and hawing and excuses and delays, I’ve finally given in to starting a blog for my short stories (Read: My wife finally convinced me to stop being a wuss about it).

This is mostly for additional motivation to write, but also a way for me to get some of my work out there. Hopefully you’ll like what you read, come back for more stories, and maybe share it with your friends if you feel so led.

I’m not sure how often I’ll post new stories (because life and work can get in the way sometimes), but I’ll try to keep it fairly regular.

Thanks for stopping by,

-GSJ-