Time for an original fiction bit. Enjoy.
“So, you’re off?” I asked her, standing behind her and resisting the urge to touch her shoulder.
“We’ve been over this,” she said, and I could feel her lip curl as she spoke.
I just wanted to know where she was going. It didn’t feel like a huge question to want an answer to, not really. Still. I took a deep breath and tried to let it go. Tried to let her go. No, that was bullshit, I had let her go months before, she held no power over me, no big emotional ties, nothing critical. I just wanted to know, because of the box.
“You could just tell me, and be on your way.”
“I’m on my way, regardless,” she said with a slight laugh, her back still toward me, “just leave it alone and let things be what they are.”
“You know why I can’t,” I tried to explain, “and you know why you shouldn’t. But you… you just don’t give a fuck, do you? You couldn’t care if the whole…”
“Don’t you…” she said, her voice rising as she finally turned to face me, her face flush with anger now, “don’t you even fucking dare to try and play that card with me. Me! Who the fuck do you think you…”
“Oh please,” my own anger, long held down bubbled upwards in response to her own, as it always had, “do continue. Tell me how I shouldn’t dare cross your path or show you what your selfish bullshit actions will cost the rest of us, or any of it. Explain to me, darling, why I should let you get away with this happy as a clam in shit.”
“Pig,” she shook her head, “in shit. Not a clam in shit, what the hell is a clam in… look, whatever! I’m taking the case and I’m out of here.”
“It isn’t yours to take,” I said, forcing myself to calm down.
“I invented it!”
“You gave it to the world.”
“The world can fuck itself!”
“Which it will, if I let you leave.”
I took several deep breaths, each slower than the one before, and tried to center myself. Sharon watched me for a second and then turned away again, climbing up into the cockpit of her small Cessna plane. She shoved the box behind her seat and reached for the handle to yank the cockpit closed around her.
I leapt at her, forcing my torso in under the closing plexiglass, or whatever the hell it was, and scrabbled for the box. She clawed at me, then hit at my face. I ignored her as best I could.The box had to be shared, not squandered.
She fought hard and I found myself having to fight back against her directly. A fist to the face. A nose bent sideways sharply. An eye blackened. These were the crimes committed by both of us upon the flesh of the other. I wrestled the box clear of the plane and, tucking it under my arm, ran like hell.
Outside it was snowing again and I sat down, uncaring. I removed the feelings from myself and simply wiped blood from my nose. Setting the box down carefully in front of myself, I worked the hinge and opened it. The soft gold light spilled out into the world. The Buddha’s essence spilled out, starting to edge its way across the globe. We had done it. We had crafted peace.
I set the box down and picked up the gun. I was capable of violence, and even in the face of peace could not put it down. I knew that now. I fought to defend it, fought harder to bring it back to share with the world but the key is that I fought when my path should have been cleaner.
I pulled the trigger, the last violent urge in a world that was about to be cleansed of violence for good. Whether it wanted to be or not. That would be our legacy.
I wondered where she thought she could have gone.