The Wires

The wires around his wrists cut into his skin, kept him awake, and glowed at night. Raccoon was still out in the hills, watching him and the others probably on an old iPad taken from one of the original species. He could just see Raccoon now, tracing the trails left by the little green dots on the screen and tapping with her chipped fingernails on the cracked console. Marty’d been wearing a heavy, lead helmet and a lead neck brace but he could still feel her tracking him and he was sure it was through the wires.

When he got to the stream he disrobed and pushed off into the cold water. It tasted metallic. The wires on his wrists were still glowing, even underwater. He tried to swim deep down and drown himself but each time he tried he floated right back up and popped out, sputtering, into the daylight.

Why didn’t you follow me? It was Scout. He saw her reflection in the water but her actual body was invisible. You could have still made it. He dunked down and tried to reach the bottom. Again, up, and coughing out the dirty water. Scout was gone but there was a white dog on shore sniffing around where he’d left his clothes. The dog bit into the cotton and dragged the pieces off. Hey! Marty shouted. HEY!

By the time he got to shore the dog was gone and there were only a few torn scraps left of his garments. He sat in the gravelly mud and scanned up and down the beach. There was one of the abandoned turrets at one end and he strode off in that direction, stark naked.

The turret was mossy stone, with the barrel of its gun aimed out over the water at the memory of enemy armadas that used to come down from Hedden. Marty pulled a rusty metal ring attached to the turret door and it swung open. There was a rush of cold smoke. Marty stepped inside but immediately the wrist wires heated to the point of burning and he shouted, RACCOON! RACCOON! Take your damn wires! But no one was in there and the door slammed shut behind him.

From outside the turret banging and scratching could be heard. The white dog walked by and sniffed the slit under the door. Finally the noise quieted down.


When it was night Raccoon came down from he hills in her Jeep. She jumped out and took an M-16 from the Jeep’s rear storage compartment. She leaned her shoulder against the wooden door. You ready, Marty? He was quiet. Ready?

She unclipped a small plastic box from her belt. She slid open its cover and pressed a red button. There was a shout from inside the turret. Then Raccoon kicked the door in. When the smoke cleared there was Marty, naked, standing still and looking at her with piercing red eyes. Wrists glowing. She aimed the M-16 at his stomach. You coming? The white dog was back and looked in at Marty.

With some karate he knocked the gun out of her hand. But the white dog leapt and tore through his supple neck. After an ugly struggle Marty lay on the floor bleeding and the dog limped away. Raccoon had her gun again and aimed it down at Marty’s temple. You coming, Marty?

She had to shoot him though in the end and she hoisted his corpse into the back of her jeep. The white dog pulled itself up into the seat beside her, licking at its wounds.

As Raccoon drove back up the hill, Marty’s eyes popped open. The electric current spiked from the wire on his wrists and he convulsed. He sat bolt upright. Raccoon looked back and their eyes locked. Marty asked: What would you like, Master?




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