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.

#AtoZ2016 : S Is For Senses

I wonder sometimes
If I’m the only one who does.
I don’t think I am.
But I wonder.
Is it something social people do?
Or is it something people like me do?

I know we all have senses.
Taste,
Touch,
Sight,
Smell,
Hearing.
But I know too,
We all have them in different ways.
Different levels.

Like the blind.
Their sense of sight is damaged,
If not totally gone.

Or the deaf,
Who maybe can hear some,
And maybe not.

I know we all have senses.
And I know,
What my senses tell me
Is not what yours tell you.

So I wonder, sometimes.
As I sit, alone,
And feel.

As I feel the different temperatures
In the air around me.
The different air currents.
My sense of touch tells me of them.
When I stop.
When I pay attention.
I can feel so much.

I can close my eyes,
Touch my fingertips,
And feel the texture
Of my fingerprints.

I can even sit quietly,
And if I pay attention,
I can feel other things.
Like the rhythm
Of my pulse.
The texture of the clothing I wear.

I wonder,
Is that something others do?

There are times I sit,
On the sand at the beach,
Or on the ground,
In a park,
Or a nature preserve.
And I listen.

And I wonder,
Do others listen?
And if they do,
What do they hear?

Do they hear the sounds
Of the ocean’s waves,
Of the gulls, and terns,
The calls of an osprey?

Do they hear anything at all.
Or nothing.
Is everything they hear
Drowned out,
Washed away,
By life.
By stress.
By the things they do.

Do they ever see the way
The sunlight strikes the waves?
The translucent color of the water,
As it just starts to break.
The flash of light,
Sometimes ribbons,
Sometimes diamonds,
On the faces of the waves.

Do they see the ocean’s spray.
The sand moving along the beach
As the wind blows,
The footprints of the birds.

Or do they see nothing.
Save for a splash of color.
An opportunity to take a picture.
A moment to pause,
To take a breath,
And then return to the real world.
The world in which they work.

Music touches me.
The sounds of music resonate,
Echo,
Play endlessly,
Within my head,
My mind,
My heart,
My soul.

I cover my ears
And I can hear the endless ringing,
The electronic scream
That’s always there.
That never goes away.
From my damaged hearing.

But I can always hear
So much more.

I can always hear
The music that moves me.
That touches me.
That reaches past everything.

Until all the noise falls away.
All the responsibilities.
The work I do.
All of it falls away.

And I feel the music
Touch my soul.

And I wonder.
Does this happen to others?
Do they feel this too?

Or have the lost touch
With their body’s senses?
Have they become numb,
So that even music
Cannot reach them anymore?

Sometimes, I wonder,
Is that how senses work
For other people?
Is that normal?
Is that how people are?

Or are they like me?
Do they feel,
Hear,
Touch,
Smell,
See,
Like I do?

And is it my senses
That tell me I’m alive?

Perhaps I’ll never know.
Perhaps I’m not supposed to know.
Perhaps no one is supposed to know
How someone else’s senses work.

I only know for certain,
I would not be who I am
Without my senses.

They are a part of me.


It’s April 23rd, and I’m a still one day behind on the A to Z Challenge for 2016. I expect to catch up on Tomorrow. Only 7 more letters to write stories for this month.

Please, go explore the A to Z Challenge, and the sites of others who are participating in this adventure.