THE LOSS

I have a new post on Hijacked Amygdala.

hijacked amygdala

Chris R-0868 Image by Mark Renney

Despite the lack of evidence, Carter was utterly convinced he was missing a body part, that he had lost something, a piece of himself. He couldn’t stop checking and wherever he might be he would hold his hands up in front of his face and count off the fingers. Or was it a bit of his ear or part of his nose? Or was there a hole in his forehead or in his side or was it a toe? No matter that he always rediscovered he was complete, that nothing had gone astray, he didn’t feel reassured. But he had no scars nor wounds. All of him was in its place and working properly.
Carter decided that if he could pinpoint exactly when and where it had happened he would be able to move beyond it and stop obsessing. He had been suffering from this strange…

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THE ERASER #4

Chris R-0136 Image by Christine Renney

It is not the Eraser’s job to make accusations, to point the finger as it were. But it is the duty of each and every citizen to be vigilant and able to recognise subversive behaviour. To be able to tell when it is happening right there in front of their faces. In the houses just across the street or that room at the back of a public house or in a unit on an industrial estate.
Those who conspire against the System are devious and they hide in plain sight, making leaflets and pamphlets, distributing their lies. And most people are unaware or they choose not to believe, not to see it.
The people had become complacent over the years and this made Tanner angry. It seemed to him that they had reached a certain level of acceptance, not of the Subversives of course but of their material. It had been a constant for so long and, as soon as the System had removed a particular pamphlet or magazine, another would emerge. There were differences of course but they were subtle and really nothing changed. The Subversives’ message, their falsities, remained.

CARRION

Christine and I have a new post on Hijacked Amygdala.

hijacked amygdala

Chris R-0080 Image by Christine Renney

As the man walks he is reassured by the line of traffic on his right, by its constancy. He doesn’t look directly at it but instead focuses on the road ahead and it is a blur and harmless, a childish scrawl of smudged crayon.
The man has become fascinated by the things he finds alongside the road – fast food cartons and cans of course but also other discarded items. Perhaps objects would be a better description, even artefacts. Most are useless and many are unrecognisable; pieces, puzzles in hard plastic and now not-so shiny metal.
Carrion. This is how the man refers to the debris. In his head it is always the carrion, because the birds, the crows, swoop down and peck at it. But it isn’t.
Up ahead the man spots a blown out tyre and he steps from the grass bank onto the…

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THE ERASER #3

Chris R-0903 Image by Christine Renney

There were others. Other Erasers and occasionally their paths crossed. Tanner always attempted to keep his distance and this hadn’t proved so difficult because each worked alone, forbidden from sharing information or collaborating even when their cases were connected and the names linked.
Tanner had always accepted this and never questioned its validity. In fact, it seemed right to him that just one Eraser be responsible for extracting a life, for changing that history and the covering of the tracks. It was respectful, he felt, and dignified. Although he wouldn’t ever have told anyone, Tanner believed that even rebels and dissidents deserved that.

Tanner is the oldest of the Erasers, the last of the ‘Old Guard’. When he is around the younger men sense his disapproval and yet they don’t hold back and talk openly about their cases. Tanner is shocked by this and also at how fiercely ambitious they are.
They moan about how antiquated the job has become and how they could be so much more effective if only they were allowed to work as a team.
‘There is still a place for the foot sloggers,’ they say, as they glance across at Tanner, ‘but we need our own offices, our own archives even.’
For them the job is simply a step up onto a ladder and one that they intend to climb. Tanner has often thought about reporting them to those above but the system is, of course, evolving, and these young men aren’t rebels. No, they are a part of its future.