F3: Colours Move
I made it to Friday, and managed four pieces of flash fiction over the course of the week. Not quite five but it’s a decent showing. You’ll have to imagine me saying that sardonically and throwing pointed looks at some of my fellow flash slacktioneers.
Today’s story is fairly lightweight, I’m afraid, as I’m a bit idea’d out after a busy week and managing to fling myself off my bike yesterday (thus, I feel like I’ve been beaten up… by tarmac).
The title is shamelessly stolen from the excellent Fuck Buttons.
The itch begins behind his eyes as it always does. Gerard moves through his usual rituals in preparation of the transition. He blinks repeatedly to moisten his eyes and pinches the bridge of his nose. He shuffles his feet at the same time, shaking each leg in turn to limber up the muscles. None of it has any effect on his retinal webs or the neural spike, but the habits are comforting and soothe the sensations that even after two years do not feel familiar.
He hears a voice telling him that the system is ready for integration. The words sound like they come from his left, but intellectually Gerard knows that the room is silent apart from the humming of electricity and computer fans. He stops blinking and reaches out his arms, turning the limbs this way and that to stretch his muscles.
The room around him smells sterile, with only the faintest intruding scent of burning ozone and hot organoplastics. Small moulded bubbles containing cameras are dotted every few metres on the walls. There are no windows or screens anywhere, just a door and smooth walls and power cables. The cables run around the sides of the room and into the equipment in front of Gerard. The ground beneath his bare feet is painted red, leading up to the base of the same shrine-like device.
He drops his arms, feeling the thin fabric of his tabard brushing against his skin, and walks forward. With each step he feels the waves crashing against and inside his skull. He closes his eyes momentarily and sees colours flare kaleidoscopically. The pulse and hiss of the data is overwhelming. With his eyes shut he can feel his fingertips tracing waves in the satin fabric of raw information.
He is standing inside the frame of the datashrine now. Smooth metal appendages, coated in rubber, grasp his limbs and trunk and position him carefully and delicately. Now he is spreadeagled like the Vetruvian Man, and he relaxes his muscles knowing that the shrine will hold his body in place while he works.
Initiating, he hears the voice say, and then the datanet flares into life. Gerard’s last bodily sensation before he shifts into dataconsciousness is of his lips turning upwards, because as always the colours are beautiful.