Leonard C Suskin's musings on writing, parenthood, and the wonderful world of commercial AV.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Nightmare Fuel Day 23 - The Canny Ones
This is an odd one.
Again, I wandered away from the prompt - pretty far. I started with the image, came to a story, started to write it and the scene I saw in my head at the start just wouldn't fit. So I'll leave you with what came of this, and let you think of how you see it.
We once knew ourselves. We once knew where we were.
All of the things that make us who we are - our sorrows, our anger, our canniness and a thousand thousand other things - all of those thousand thousand things once lived within us. Within the balance of humours in our veins, behind the shell of our misshapen skulls, within the chambers of our beating hearts.
Sometimes one of us was too canny or too sorrowful or too angry. The sorrowful ones would sit alone and weep, the angry ones would rage and bluster. The canny ones, they were the worst of all. They'd pick at the weave of the very world, threatening to unravel just a thread. They were unpleasant or dangerous or just unhappy, the too-canny ones or too-sorrowful or too-angry ones.
So we'd fix them.
So I'd fix them.
I am, truth be told, too canny by far. Cursed to see the world as a network of levers, balances, of puzzles. Cursed to restlessness, to discontent. It is, I suppose, quite OK on balance. It is acceptable because in my madness I can where people are wrong. Where the bile pushes too hard against the chambers of their stomach, where the blood flows too hot within the chambers of their heart. So, with ice flame, with knives and needles, I fix them.
I could fix you. Right now with the knife. Right here, that spot in the back of your head where the extra spirit is building up. You can feel it, can't you? Pressing all the way through to your eyeballs, making you see terrible things. That's why they brought you to me. Because you see things that aren't there, because you see things that give you ill dreams.
I can fix you with this chisel and this knife and this little bonesaw.
I can fix you, but I won't.
I'm getting old, my hands tremble. Not much, just a little. No amount of bleeding or purging or trepanning will fix that. I'm simply worn out.
But you... you're too canny and a touch mad. You can learn.