July 5, 2009

forpete'ssake pt. 2/6

"It's like you said," Toby repeated. "You won't get anywhere just staring at it."

Cass chewed the inside of his cheek. He had been talking about this for weeks. Toby listened diligently, if only because he had no other choice. They were confined to the same living quarters. Neither of them left ever. They talked about leaving. A lot. They talked about what it would be like. If it would be better. Better enough to bother. All they knew was that leaving meant never coming back. They couldn't even conceptualize a return, it was so big an undertaking. The bowl was all they knew.

It wasn't that they didn't like each other. They didn't have all that much in common, but they enjoyed each other's company well enough. They were polite and shared the space. By the time Cass had moved in, Toby had already reliquished the idea of personal space. He was far too old to squabble over mere inches.

"I don't know," Cass repeated. "I mean, what are you gonna do?"
"I'm gonna eat your food and take over your castle," Toby retorted.

"Hah, okay Toby. I hereby bestow upon you the lease to my castle," Cass chuckled.
This was the very day Cass told Toby he was heading out. He wasn't really all that concerned with what Toby would do. Toby was self sufficient. Toby didn't need or want anything it seemed. He was perfectly content to float around all day in the same circles, watching the light bend at the appropriate intervals of the day. Toby loved just existing. Cass did not know love, he only knew that he wanted to.

"Now's a good a time as any other," Toby sighed to himself. They both peered out the glass.

Cass said nothing. He felt it before he had formed a proper opinion about it. He felt it from the tip of his head into the depth of his belly. It shook his whole body, this kind of kinetic sensation. Before he knew it he was doing it. An epileptic spurt like whiplash and he was in the air. Broken the surface. He gulped from the shock. It was so cold. Colder than he expected. He couldn't see anything properly, just the cold light that blinded him. And it was loud. There were sharp vibrations everywhere, rushing at him like furious pinpricks. His body felt awkard and he didn't know what to do with it. This new world seemed to grab hold of him and he could go nowhere of his own accord or will.

Cass suddenly missed his castle. He missed Toby. He missed the warmth and the current. This wasn't right. This was no place he wanted to live. He knew only that he couldn't go back. He would die here. He never said goodbye to Toby. He was sure Toby was watching, unable to comfort him, unwilling to follow.

Toby shut his eyes before Cass lept. He saw it in his eyes before he did it. He had always told Cass, you just have to do it and before you know it, you're doing it. That's how you do something you are afraid to try. You just have to jump.

He felt a bit of remorse and quickly forgot it and looked in the other direction. It was quiet now. And it would remain quiet for as long as Toby could stand. The current slowed to a standstill. With enough gentle goading, it only took a few days for Cass to hop the bowl. The problem with Cass is that he would summon all the courage from the stories Toby would tell him about what awaited him outside the bowl, but he would always forget about it soon enough. Toby was patient. He was use to repeating himself.

Toby drifted to the castle and tucked himself neatly in a lightless crevice.
I AM GOING TO DIE ALONE, quickly marquee'd through his mind.
He smiled to himself and listened to the dense hush that pressed into every part of his body.

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