fragments, Non classé, prose, writing

Zeitgeist

He just stormed in all of a sudden. We were all taken aback, none of us were expecting to see him at that moment. You’ve got to understand that, entrances like that are always a surprise. And even more so, when the man in question is supposed to be dead.
“Where were you?” he yelled at us.
None of us could utter a single word, not even a phoneme. Nothing. For a long while it was just blank stares, eyes wide open and brains trying to process as quickly as possible. He was pacing up and down the room now, looking as angry as ever. There was something wrong about him, something unhinged. The whole scene was, to be honest, quite scary.
“That’s impossible. You standing here.” I finally said.
“Damn right it is. I’m standing here. I’m standing here. I am standing here.”
“B-b-b but we saw you. I mean your … corpse. We saw it. All of us.”
“I AM STANDING HERE.”
He grabbed a glass from the table and smashed it on the ground. The noise was excruciating. It felt as if the whole world had broken down to pieces at once.
“SEE? I’M STANDING HERE.” he yelled.
Linda broke down in tears. It was fear mostly, I think. None of us really knew what to do. There was a part of me that wanted, really wanted, to hug him. Not just because I’d missed him, but also because, well, it was sort of an unusual thing happening in front of us. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, or drunk, or a scientifically well-crafted mixture of the two. That has been proven to happen at times, but I digress.
“Now tell me,” he said speaking in a lower voice again, “where were you?”
“When?” Jim and I answered at the same time.
“WHEN?! YOU HAVE THE GUTS TO ASK ME WHEN?!”
Once again he started pacing up and down, up and down, up and down. In hindsight, I understand it was to calm himself down. We really were in a hell of a lot of trouble that night.
“Where were you all that time? When I was there lying on that frozen table, while they were doing THIS TO ME?!”
He ripped his shirt off and revealed the horror. The marks left on his body by the autopsy were terrifying; a chill ran down my spine, something cold, deadly cold, fell upon the room. He moved closer to us, coming in front of Linda. She was sobbing now. He stuck his hand out but she didn’t move an inch. I was less than a feet away, and yet I felt so remote, removed from everything, totally phased out from the world before me. He grabbed her hand and placed it on his chest; I still can hear her crying with horror. Somehow, she was touching a deadman’s body. Or a not so deadman. A zombie of sorts. Even now, I don’t know how to call it. And I think sometimes, some things are better left unnamed.
“You feel that?” he asked.
She didn’t answer. Even with her best intentions, she was in no condition to utter a single word.
“YOU FEEL IT?” he yelled.
She nearly fainted, shocked.
“Feel what?” I asked.
“Come here, give me your hand.”
I did as I was told. I think at that moment, all my strength, or what was left of it anyhow was devoted not to throw up. I was nauseous and frightened, each of those eight steps I took to move near him was the hardest fight of my life. He took my hand, almost ripping it off, and placed it over his chest. I was now the one touching a deadman’s body. What a weird evening it all turned out to be.
“You feel it?” he asked again.
“What is there to feel?”
“Exactly.”
“What does that mean?”
He didn’t answer, his grip on my wrist tightened. I think I was about to piss myself.
“What is there to feel?!” I risked again.
Silence.
“Nothing.”
For the first time since he had stepped inside, stormed back into our lives, or into life itself depending on your perspectives, he grinned. And that grin, was nothing like you have ever seen.

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