Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2019/01/20

Having dealt with the problem of Michelle’s murder, and added a stack of names to the list of those I’d killed, it was time for me to rest, and recover. You might wonder where my home would be, or where a safe place would be.

I’m an Armor. We don’t exist. We have no homes.

A few years earlier, I’d found a cave in the mountains. One that wasn’t on any map. An unknown cave. It was away from everything. Away from electricity, roads, stores, towns, gas stations. It was in the mountains, hidden.

I figured someone would eventually find it, and when they did, I’d never set foot near it again. We all do what we must to survive. And for an Armor to sleep, to physically rest, is a dangerous thing. If an armor is ever identified, they are hunted down, and killed, by the Armor Corps. Secrecy is everything for us. Without it, we can’t exist.

It took six days of hiking, but I reached my hidden cave, and pulled aside the covering I’d placed over it’s entrance. Once inside, I pulled the covering back into place, making the cave entrance virtually invisible. Someone would have to fall into it to find it.

The armors night vision painted the interior of my cave in shades of green. I walked the rocks I’d placed inside to make a small trail into the back of the cave. There was nothing inside. No bed. No food. No water. Nothing.

Everything was outside, in the mountains. A stream I could use for water was a mile and a half to the north. The trees, and brush provided all the food I would need.

I pulled off the armor. Something that was always terrifying. Without it, I was vulnerable. I could trip, and fall, and break bones, or slice an arm open, of have a concussion. That would be easy to do in the dark.

Predatory animals, bugs, mice, ticks, everything I never had to worry about inside the armor, was a reality outside the armor. But, the only way to heal me, the only way for me to rest, and let the bruises fade, and watch the rings under my eyes, where I hadn’t slept in days, fade away, was to leave the armor.

I wouldn’t put it on for a week. I’d sleep on the cold stone floor of the cave, just my clothing, and a sleeping bag. I’d search for food, and visit the stream for water, without the armor. That was the medical requirement. Leave the armor, and let my body feel the air, the hot, the cold, the wind, the weather. Let my body breathe.

It was something we all did. We all had to. The first armors hadn’t, and they’d all died. They’d made mistakes, and got themselves killed, or identified. They’d learned we were all human, not supermen. And humans need sleep. Armor 5 had gone on a killing spree, when he’d lost his mind, and become trapped in some nightmare none of us understood. We’d had to stop him.

Armor 9 was the first to leave the armor, and rest. And it worked. He’s still there. Working. Doing what we do. He hasn’t found his end yet. If he’d stayed in the armor, he’d have died years ago.

All the simple things, all the senses, got locked away in the armor. And we’d learned it drives us insane. Slowly. Steadily. Relentlessly. We’d learned, a human being has to use their senses. Touch, vision, smell, taste. In the armor, you didn’t feel the rain. And funny as it sounds, you have to feel the rain.

So, I’d found a cave. In the middle of nowhere. And I lived there for a week at a time, every few months, as I remembered what it felt like to feel the air flow between my fingers, or the sunlight shine on my face. As I remembered why I became an Armor. Why I became Armor 17.

It was so easy to forget. I fought, we all fought, against the tides of darkness and violence, so others, normal people, people we wished we could be, could live, could feel the sun, and the wind, and the rain, and the heat of the summer, and cold of the winter. And the touch of another.

We couldn’t forget that. We could never forget that.

It’s why my hands shake, I know. Why they’re always moving. Because. They’re always seeking someone. That someone they can touch.

That someone I would never know, and could never touch.

We don’t exist, you know.

We don’t exist.

769 words
@mysoulstears


It’s week 90 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. Saw the cave, and knew Armor 17 would show up. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

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#ThursThreads Week 341 : Why Does It Matter?

On that third day, the town woke to the local news being flooded with a note. There were no voices, only a note. And one picture. Of Michelle, before she was murdered.

To those who ask, “Why does it matter?” Would you think differently if she was your daughter? Your sister? Your parent? The person you love? Would it matter if it was your best friend?

The truth is, you say murdering people not like you doesn’t matter. But in the past few weeks, you’ve seen, and experienced, what it means when those around you, someone you know, someone you care for, someone you love, is shot dead before your eyes.

It’s murder, isn’t it. It’s not about “us and them”. It’s not about, “good and evil”, or “Christian and heathen.” It’s about people. Remember that. Always.

I’ll be watching. If things change for the better. I won’t be back. If they don’t, this will happen again. And again. And again. If necessary, I can do this until everyone is dead.

There, I ended the note. There was no need to say more. I knew this was only the beginning. After all, I’d answered violence with violence. And violence breeds. Those who hated Michelle, and other transgender people? Their hatred had grown. To them, this had become a war. They would respond accordingly.

I shrugged. “Bring it, people. After all. I am the violence.”

234 Words
@mysoulstears


And, it’s over. Turns out, this is the last part of the Armor 17 story. It’s Week 341 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

#ThursThreads Week 339 : You’re Not Even My Type

Three days after they found Jimmy’s body, the police found a vocal recording at their station. I’d made it just for them.

“The law is the law. It applies to all people. You didn’t follow the law when Michelle was murdered. Because you didn’t like Michelle. Thus, I didn’t follow the law, and removed people I didn’t like. Karma. Justice. Murder. Call it what you will. Remember. Violence breeds violence. And if violence continues here, it will draw me back.”

“I will be watching. Pray to your gods I don’t have to return. Stop the violence, and I will stay away.”

I left a picture of Michelle from before she was murdered, and another from after. I wanted them to know I was watching. I wanted them to know, if the violence they condoned continued, I’d be back.

“Ah, Michelle,” I mumbled as I watched the police force come to terms with my warning to them, “You’re not even my type, you know. But. You were human. And what happened was wrong. I hope now, you’re soul may find some peace.”

In three days, I had another warning to make. In the meantime, I could finally rest.

197 Words
@mysoulstears


Only 2 parts left in this Armor 17 story. It’s Week 339 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

#ThursThreads Week 335 : But They Sure Don’t Seem To Like Me

On Friday morning, Jimmy woke up, and like he always did, checked the news. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very happy with what he saw.

His friends Bobby, Tim, and Eddie, all made the morning news, but not for good reasons.

Bobby was found, naked, face up, in the middle of the road. No one could figure out how the staked that ran through his arms and legs, and held him to the pavement, had been hammered into place. A note was attached to a nail hammered into his head, “One down. Three to go.”

They found Tim at a hotel, in a room, naked, and face up on the bed, tied down, with a rope around his neck that had kept him from breathing. A rather disturbed woman sat in the corner, crying, and screaming, “It was all black. No face. No eyes. Nothing. Just black.” A note on the rope around Tim’s neck said, “Two down. Two left.”

Eddie’s body was at the counter at the entrance to the police station, with a metal pipe that ran through him, and pinned him to that counter. The officer at the counter was in shock, and kept mumbling, “It said this makes three. And Jimmy’s next.”

The note attached to the pipe that killed Eddie read, “Jimmy. I’ve met your friends. But they sure don’t seem to like me.”

Pastor Greg called the Sheriff. They picked up Jimmy, and took him to a safe house, as if that could stop me.

249 Words
@mysoulstears


Getting closer to the end of this Armor 17 story. Only 4 parts left. It’s Week 333 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

#ThursThreads Week 329 : Just Do What They Say

Jimmy wasn’t the only person involved, just the leader. Like always, Jimmy had followers. Bobby, Tim, and Eddie. Whatever Jimmy said, whatever Jimmy did, that’s what those three said and did.

I put together a list of names. All women. All with one thing in common. All raped by one of the four. All drugged by one of the four. I e-mailed the list to Eddie, to Pastor Greg, and to the Sheriff’s office.

Tim and Bobby had hard times on their computers, and televisions, because they’d suddenly start playing women’s voices, “No. No. No.” and showing videos of men not listening as they stripped them, and did what they wanted.

Then there was the day Tim woke up naked, tied to his sofa, wondering what had happened. When Bobby found his desk at work covered in books about how to trick women into sex, how to get all the sex you wanted. When Eddie found pictures of the bruises he’d left on too many necks, where he’d resorted to force.

And the billboard outside the Walmart with the picture of the four of them, and Pastor Greg saying, “You want to be safe? Just do what they say.”

The sheriff called the FBI, and the State Police. “I need help.”

They hung up on him.

Pastor Greg stood, looking at the door to his office, where a black shape had stood, and told him, “Violence breeds violence. They’ve hurt enough people. They should have been stopped years ago.”

249 Words
@mysoulstears


Getting closer to the end of this Armor 17 story. At most, 5 parts left. It’s Week 329 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

#ThursThreads Week 326 : Just Let It Flow

“Well, Pastor Greg. You have a rather nasty brother, don’t you.” It was true. His brother was part of Crew 38, and new Harry very well. “Little Jimmy has a gun fetish, doesn’t he?” I left a note to Pastor Greg trapped to his TV screen, “Little Jimmy did a bad thing.”

Crew 38 got word from Harry of a transgender thing people wanted gone. They gave Jimmy the job. “Kill it.”

Jimmy had. He’d gathered a few of his friends, and told them what they were going to do. “We’re going to take back our world. One step at a time. We’ll be safer when it’s gone.”

The idiots had taken pictures with their phones, and had them in a photo album at the Crew 38 single wide trailer in one of the trailer parks outside of town. The entire gang was disturbed to find all those pictures spread out on the kitchen counter one night, and a computer printed note that said, “I know who you are.”

Jimmy called Pastor Greg every time another note turned up. “I wonder when I’ll kill you.” “Was it fun to use a knife?” “I’ll cut off your fingers. One at a time. While you watch.” “Was it fun to watch the blood? To just let it flow?” “Tell the others, I’m coming for them.”

Pastor Greg called the sheriff. They moved Jimmy to a safe house. Jimmy still got notes. Tapped to the TV screen. “It’s almost time. It’s almost time.”

247 Words
@mysoulstears


Getting closer to the end of this Armor 17 story. Maybe 6 parts left. It’s Week 326 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

#ThursThreads Week 324 : And When Will That Be?

On the fourth day, the messages on the internet changed. The pictures of Michelle’s mutilated body showed up again. But the message tied to them was different. “Dear, Michelle. I know who did this to you. I know who took your life from you.” There were several pictures of Michelle, walking in the sunshine, at a botanical garden, with roses everywhere. She was smiling, and happy. “I know who took this from you.” Pictures of her in line with a friend, buying movie tickets, and laughing. “I know who stole your life from you.”

Then, the sheriff’s voice spoke, “I said, lay low for now. Stay out of sight. I’ll take care of it.”

A muffled voice answered, “I’ll talk with the boys. See what they can stir up. Stop the guy.”

“But…”

“Would be a shame if Janie knew about you and Shelly.”

There was silence for a moment, then the sheriff’s voice, “Try not to kill anybody. OK.”

“No promises. We’ll take care of this.”

Then the text changed to say, “Oh, sheriff… I think Janie knows about Shelly now…”

Lastly, there was a picture of a house, in a good neighborhood, with a big tree in the front yard, and roses along the porch. Beneath that was a timer counting down from eight hours. Beneath that the text asked, “Almost time for more trouble. And when will that be? When time runs out.”

It was almost time to give Michelle the justice she deserved.

247 Words
@mysoulstears


Getting closer to the end of this Armor 17 story. Wonder what I should do with it when the draft is finished. I think of something, I suppose. Anyway. It’s Week 324 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.