By Tipp Hex
Pleasure and pain became polarizing points of light in Richard Tomey’s darkness. With nothing else to do, he focused upon them, concentrating his mind on those soft touchs, the slaps and the punches; they illuminated his life as much as the voices. And those voices were everywhere.
“Why bother locking the door Tony, he ain’t going nowhere is he?”
This voice was familiar to Richard Tomey. It was called ‘Steve’
“Yeah, like we follow regs, right?”
This other voice was ‘Tony’
Tony wiped his mouth, savouring the taste and giving his friend a knowing smile.
“You can have a piece of him tomorrow night.”
“Yeah, I might at that, although,” Steve paused as they sauntered down the bleak white corridor, “number six looks just as tempting.”
“You fucking pervert,” Tony said, leering back at his friend after looking through the spy-hole of number six, one of ten identical secure doors, “even for me, that one’s too young!”
The two orderlies laughed and made for the secure exit. Which vanished. Then the floor melted, became liquid and the sky fell through the ceiling, not blue and inviting but belching orange flame that licked around their bodies. Shapes and daemons from nightmares reached out and consumed them in time-dilated agony. Time became, for Steve and Tony, infinite and instant.
Richard thought, and having thought, decided that in this reality he would change his dream, this excistance. It was just a matter of perception. He decided he really didn’t like what Steve and Tony did. It hurt. And, as his point of reference was fluid, after all, his reality depended on his point of view, he could change things.
Richard stepped out, free of the darkness; he had reached into their minds and seen their dreams, their deeds, and he had changed them. The noises that Tony and Steve were now creating in his head were interesting and extreme but, after a while or perhaps an instant, he tired of playing and changed his reality, and theirs, to something else again. Their dreams, their pain, abruptly ceased.
Richard moved on. Another perspective. Another voice, a voice he recognised as Jones, was speaking. But Jones wasn’t speaking to Richard Tomey.
“Simms, this is morally wrong.”
Simms lit his cigar with slow insolence; it no longer mattered if Jones felt offended by the smoke.
“Morals,” Simms muttered. “Morals are just an illusion, of no significance in the greater sense of life. The truth is we are nothing more than animals – in the end we all survive however we can, even you. Morals and conscience are simply a luxury applicable only to easier times.”
“You have no soul, Simms.”
“I’m glad you appreciate that, Jones.”
“It’s still wrong.”
Simms waved his cigar dismissively. “Your views on that are… inconsequential.”
“Not while I’m director of this facility.”
Simms sucked on his cigar. “My point exactly.”
“He’s too dangerous, you can’t control him.”
Sims shrugged. “Maybe termination is best in any case. ”
Jones laughed. “I hope for your sake he’s not listening to you right now, you don’t really believe it was co-incidence that those two orderlies died of a simultaneous brain haemorrhage do you?”
But Simms wasn’t listening. He was staring in shocked surprise at Jones, his eyes rolling up into his head as he started to convulse, his cigar falling from his gaping mouth leaving a trail of ash down his immaculate Savile Row suite. The room became swamped with a sickening stench as his bowels opened.
Jones jumped back from his desk and the horror before him. He knew exactly what was happening.
“Richard! Stop! No! Don’t do this!”
But Simms was already dead.
Dr Jones walked to the ward where Richard was supposedly safely locked away. Sitting on the side the bed, he watched a very still, very dangerious child, breath. He spoke his thoughts and worries to the fifteen-year-old, deaf and blind, comatose boy.
Richard rarely replied, but when he did, it was often at length, his thought-words stumbling out in an incoherent stream, and at other times, in rich abstract form. Whatever he said, whatever he meant, was a matter of interpretation.
It was Dr Jones who had achieved communication, such as it was, and had realised the boy’s true abilities. It was then that the Services had become interested, and developed him further, especially when they had found Richard could travel. Could interact in some unknown way far from his physical self. Dr Jones had been the one guiding him, teaching him.
And now Richard was beginning to reach out, test his power. Dr Jones could feel a cold fear seep slowly into his heart. A voice was in his head.
"Jones,’ it said, "let’s play."