“This is how I die, isn’t it?”
Fortunately, it was not. That would come later. I pushed myself to my feet, feeling my hands melt through the floor. I retracted them, trying to mould them back into the correct shape. The task would have been difficult enough, even without the shape of one to affect the other.
Time to fix the problem I had created. The problem with this was making it anywhere without falling apart. Every step forward was like walking through molasses, if the molasses was my legs rather than the world around me.
I reached for the counter, trying to think fast. I could still work, of course. Even as my body failed me, I could always work.
I failed, but I didn’t die. It wasn’t very helpful.
I have not failed.
Though the amount of times I have found something that does not work hasn’t reached a thousand yet, it certainly nears an embarrassing number. My patron, and my friend, remains patient.
Then again, I don’t believe he ever thought I would succeed. He simply knew I wanted to try, wanted to pretend he was also trying, and therefore placed this burden upon me.
There is a stir of something in the back of my soul. It almost feels like emotion.
On the other hand, I have a new blueprint. What I build today cannot be like the others.
Even if it simply finds another way that doesn’t work. Even if it…
Failure. Even I disgust me.
Fear of the
apathetic notion, that no one but the one named
I will care if I
lose the ability to
understand – finish – do.
Resisting the world’s gaze past, when
everything important has a point of no return.
The box hadn’t been opened in years. The damp of the swamp had softened the outside, though the inner metal lining and clasp kept it as closed as ever. The smell was somehow worse than the surrounding waters, though whether that came from the rotten wood or whatever had been stored inside was a mystery.
The lock and hinges were metal, rusted together. Some design shown on the front, at one point, though it was now impossible to tell.
An axe dropped down on back hinge. A bitten back curse as the weapon tried to bounce back up. Readied again, the axe fell back down.
The box, the true box, seemed unmarred. Trying to avoid the wood, heading straight for the hinge, and part of the external shell still fell off, exposing more of the tarnished surface.
This continued for some time, until axe stopped. Given up. The box was left, stuck in the muck beneath it, closed as it had been when it had been found. Still unopened.
Of course, there was nothing inside, so the only thing lost was time.