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Authors > Dreams of a Nobody by Sean Thompson (Feb. 3, 2014) Here's a sample and a link. Let me know what you think.

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message 1: by Sean (new)

Sean Thompson (stchrisjr) | 16 comments “Counting Stars”

♪ Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,
Knees and Toes
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,
Knees and Toes
And Eyes and Ears and Mouth and Nose
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes! ♪

I’ve seen just a few too many yesterdays to get away with liking that song today, but I was never too old to be embarrassed singing and dancing. The smiles on my siblings’ faces made sure of that. It’s amazing how the simplest things can make kids the happiest they’ve ever been. We squeezed hours of fun out of that song, somehow, even when it started to feel like a workout routine toe touch after toe touch. (How do kids have so much energy?) It gave me a chance to forget about what I was taking a break from, but more importantly, my siblings love it, and I love them; so I danced like no one was watching, no matter who was watching. Another of my childish mistakes. After what I saw yesterday, now I don’t sing. Now I don’t dance. Now those are somethings on a long list of any and everythings “my handlers” took away from me. Why are the simplest things the source of my greatest complications?

I watched them stab a man—some random guy who stopped to dance with us one day, and only one day—once, twice, repeatedly, in tune to the damn song. (Aah, the joys of childhood.) They had a childlike exuberance that I’ll never be able to match again. I wanted to save him; you have to believe that I did, but his bulging eyes were watching me. I froze. Couldn’t even move to wipe the splatters of blood from my face. Thankfully, they didn’t sing an extended version, but I think I was more appreciative of that fact than the victim. He died somewhere between his eyes and ears and mouth and nose.

Before he did, he gargled blood for breath fresh enough to kiss his hairy ass goodbye. I watched his blood bubble and froth and wash out his desperate attempts to scream for help we both knew I couldn’t give. He reached out to me, who can’t be reached. He sought protection from me, who seeks protection. He made the mistakes, not me. So why did I share in the disappointment that flickered in his “light bulbs” before they were screwed out of the sockets? What was I supposed to do for him? All I can do now is ask questions.

My handlers tell me I concern myself with those trivial whos, whats and whys of murder in order to feign humanity and resist the soulless killer nesting in my heart. Guess I don’t offer much to the contrary. I don’t cry anymore. I don’t show them shock or horror. There’s only a silent recognition that those people are casualties until I change the world or my circumstances, whichever improbability happens first. Maybe they’re right. I already shrug off “Rinse and Spit’s” death by telling myself his wasn’t as gruesome as the others’.

I heard one woman scream until she didn’t. Don’t know what made her start. Don’t know what made her stop. They dumped her body next to me in my sleep, and I welcomed the warmth leaving her body, snuggled up real close. I thought she was some kind soul helping me warm up after my endurance training (torture) in freezing temperatures. I screamed until I couldn’t when I woke up to the truth.

There was also the time I smelled the fear of a pair that begged me for their lives like I was the one threatening them. I was blindfolded, gagged and handcuffed. Why did they think I’d harm them? I never found out. The air would soon reek of piss, feces, and then bleach. Someone else wiped their lives away, but their deaths left stains on my conscience. I should’ve done something to save them.

Though I never did see those others killed, I saw enough not to look away from the stabbing, because I had already imagined myself doing far worse to everyone else. You see a murder every now and again, and you develop a tolerance. What difference does it make if you imagined it? I wish I was telling the truth, but I’m still a lightweight. Each time brings me new horrors, new sorrows and new nightmares to bottle up inside. Truth is there’s no such thing as a tolerance for murder, no matter how many times you see it, but you knew that already. There’s only pain, and that doesn’t bode well for me or the people that I meet.

Those that I’ve met so far died simply because they asked me a simple question: What do you want to be when you grow up? I knew the unspoken rule against stuff like that, we all did. You’re tortured for your first offense, and if you’re lucky enough to survive that, and dumb enough to ask again, you’re killed. Still, I didn’t force people to swallow their words, even when I saw that they didn’t like how they tasted. You see, selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is sending others to die so that one can continue to wish. I should’ve let their lives alone, but I needed them (anybody, really) to share in the fantasy that I can change my reality. I needed to believe that I’m more human than what I’m being molded to be. Now I’m not so sure what to think of myself. The person I am already was inhuman enough to let others ask what I want to be. I didn’t even bother to learn their names.

So, what do I want to be when I grow up? Why did these people lose their lives? This’ll kill you; and part of me is glad those people died before they heard the answer. I want to be a superhero. The powers. The ridiculous costume. The archenemy. The whole deal. I wanted to be born exceptional for the sake of doing good, but as I’ve learned, good depends on those in charge. It doesn’t matter what I end up doing. I know that I’ll be a supervillain in the eyes of many. In any case, I’m joking about the whole superhero thing; laughing to keep from crying. The real answer—I don’t know—isn’t much better. Do I want to be a police officer fair to all people? A teacher who actually gets to teach? Alive? None of those seems to stick. Just dreams, really; flights of fancy. I can’t think up any creative ideas, because several creative ideas are thought up to discourage that.

The rest of me wishes there was a nobler reason for their deaths. These people dreamed that I can be whoever or whatever I dream to be. They gave their lives for the sake of my imagination. It is the only flower I can lay at their graves, even though it proved more weed-like and killed them many times over. I hope that a real superhero will be able to plant hardy geraniums or some other cover crop on their graves to protect them from me in the afterlife.

We were all being foolish, and I guess I still am. The hope that I can choose the direction my life takes helps me cling to it, but who am I kidding?

The king already chose my path, and that’s as good as destiny. I’ll be his chief assassin and cut a way forward to his vision of peace: him as the world’s only leader. The others are weak, or as he puts things: “When the shepherds are weak, the wolves will shit wool,” he says. “To make matters worse, some of those idiot shepherds and sheep make things easy for those wolves by letting wolves in wolves’ clothing pull the wool over their eyes. Fortunately, for those who can be saved, Amos, you so graciously volunteered your future to the task of slaughtering wolves, shepherds and sheeple.”

Why me, you might ask. He says I’m “special.” More so than I could ever know, and it’s because I’m special that I can give my life, and whatever I could’ve made of it, to save billions. No, the world isn’t in imminent danger—the king won’t let it come to that—but he feels that it needs improving. All I have to do to help improve it is take a few hundred or a few thousand lives. I pray you can forgive me in the afterlife if you’re one of the few hundred or thousand. If you can’t, we can settle up when I come to join you.


message 2: by ThaOverComer (new)

ThaOverComer | 4 comments Wow! I did not expect to be sucked into this....but I was. This usually isn't my choice genre, howere, this was just enough to pique my interest. Thanks for sharing.

message 3: by Sean (new)

Sean Thompson (stchrisjr) | 16 comments Thanks for reading! I hope it was enough to spur a purchase, and if not, at least enough to mention it to others.

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