Day 195 – Starless – Part 1

I’m really tired, but I quite liked this story/idea once I thought of it (about paragraph three) and thought it would be better if I extended it.

Word count: 858

War was a way of life by now in the Palatial System. Generations had been lost in space in decade long skirmishes and battles. Men abandoned their wives, children and their homes to the barren black skies, many to never return again. For centuries the war with the neighbouring system was considered normal. It was rarely discussed in politics, media shows or over a morning coffee. It was as habitual as brushing teeth or putting on socks.
The Penderan people were a long way from being described as blood thirsty. Before discovering the stars, they had lived a quiet and peaceful life. War had torn them away from their cultures and traditional practices and they now lived in a modern, plastic world of emotionlessness. No one cried when a loved one died. No one questioned the war, when it would end or why it was happening. There were no protestors and no one who refused to fight. On the other side, no one volunteered either. Letters were received in the post detailing when service would start and three months after their husband’s left, their wives would receive a marriage revocation form so that their husbands could legally be declared dead after a minimum period of one year of service in active war. This allowed women to marry multiple times, and indeed it was very common for a woman to rattle through up to fifteen men in her adult life. Children grew up knowing different fathers on a temporary basis and it was quite acceptable.
Charlie had had five already. At the age of twenty-five, he no longer regarded any of them as his father. He had two younger siblings, both born to different fathers each. His mum was a socialite at an elitist bar in the capital, Dagranda. They were a wealthy family due to his mum’s unique skill in harnessing the right victims to become her husbands.
Charlie was often described by his friends and family as being slightly abnormal. Cristina, Charlie’s mum, had dragged him to the doctors from an early age to see if they were able to diagnose him. Though the doctors were unable to discover anything specific, from the age of ten he had been handed out pills after pills after pills in the hope that they would be able to stablise his cranial activity and to calm down the more serious aspects of his mental disability. As such, there were less tantrums and outrageous outburst of emotion than there were when he was younger. During the times his body was unreactive the drugs, which usually coincided with the lunar activity of a nearby satellite, he would become maddeningly over-emotional, flaring up over anything and becoming deeply passionate about the world around him.
Today, however, was a dull day. For an hour now he had been sitting at his manager’s empty desk watching the executive toy spin round and round. He was not really thinking, more contemplating whilst riding the gentle highway of thoughts in his head. At first he had thought of what he had eaten that day and how he had not liked it that much. He had been pleased that he had not yet complained about it. Second he thought of his mother and when the invite to her wedding was. Then his thoughts drifted to his youngest brother whose first day at Big School was today and he wondered how he was feeling. Charlie stopped himself, however, when the manager came in.
The manager returned him a strange look, as if suspicious. He then took a seat on the opposite side of the desk and took some papers out of the top drawer.
“Charlie, you are well.”
“I am, and you too.”
The conversation began awkwardly, as neither knew how to breach the subject. Charlie’s manager, Belfrick, sighed and puts his palms together.
“The incident, last week.”
Charlie gulped and remembered.
“Now I know your prescription ran out, but I would feel incompetent as a manager if I did not ask the questions, but do you feel that your attacks are becoming a danger to those around you?”
Charlie shook his head profusely, though he knew that shouting at the microwave when it was not working was not normal and borderline psychotic. If someone had not have been there, he might have hit the inanimate object, perhaps even thrown something at it. He had been quite emotional that day, but he had run out of pills – he was not able to help it.
“You’ve been here for a little over a year now, and I really like you, Charlie, I really do. I think you’re a good team player and most of the time we have no issues with you. But lately we have found your attacks are happening more frequently, and would like to get the doctor’s opinion on the strength of the tablets that you take. We don’t want to fire you, Charlie, we just want to help you.”
“I’m sorry. I will go back to the doctor. You know what I am like. Please don’t fire me, no one else would hire a disabled like me….”

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~ by S.G. Mark on April 19, 2012.

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