Short Story: Galactic Confessionary

Welcome to Galactic Confessionary – where for a small fee you can unload all your secrets, judgment not included in the price.

maxresdefault2-696x392Magnus read the sign on the door with ambivalence, he didn’t know what he was doing, he hated places like this, but then who else could he talk to about something this…he searched for the right word – delicate. Yes the situation was delicate. On his home planet of Ganzar, he would be detained for the knowledge he held, but here on Hoxcer, a planet that courted it lawlessness he was fine. He could share this secret that had been haunting him for weeks and could very well haunt him forever.

Magnus stepped into the booth.

“Welcome,” an appealing feminine sounding voice said in the universal language, “please feel free to begin whenever you are ready, you have purchased thirty minutes, it starts now.”

Magnus nodded, even though he knew she couldn’t see.

He took a deep breath and nothing came out, he was a little surprised to find himself nervous, he knew that the Galactic confessionary was played on the radio waves, and despite his disguise and paying in jewels that were untraceable he hesitated.

“Don’t worry,” the voice said softly, “there is no judgment here but the one you pay for.” It was said almost kindly that he almost believed her.

“Sure.” Magnus said slowly.

Then as if suddenly made conscious of the time he began speaking.

“My wife, my ex,” he shook his head, “she’s not my ex she’s my late wife, my late wife.” He took a deep breath.

“My wife was having an affair, I suspected, strongly suspected, so I had her followed, nothing, I put bugs around the house, still nothing, I took leave from work, and I still couldn’t catch her, she was good, very careful.” He said with a small smile, even in death he was still drawn to her ingenuity and cunning.

“Two solid weeks and nothing. I had to go back to work, going half-crazy thinking there was something wrong with me, I was too paranoid, too mistrusting but I’m a –” he stopped mid-sentence, almost revealing what plane he was from, he took a deep breath, “basically, my instincts are never wrong.”

“Never?” The voice said in surprise.

Magnus started at the voice, so altered from the cool indifference she had previously spoken with before.

“Never.” Magnus said with confidence, and he waited a moment trying to edge closer to the partition to see the face that belonged to the voice, but a kind of haze had been put on her so she seemed to shift and move.

“So, as I was saying, my instincts are never wrong, I knew she was cheating I just didn’t know how. Last week, I was on my way to a friend in another galaxy but I’d forgotten my compass, I went back, and I witnessed her murder. Or rather her death. The distinction is very important because on my home planet; murder is punishable by murder the only exceptions are proven cases of self-defence, sanctioned revenge and proven cases of genuine accidents.” Magnus paused.

“Her lover, a Santarian, a true teleporter, hence why I never caught her, is to be murdered for her death, because he was found with her. He pleads innocent, no one believes him because no one was there, except me. I saw the whole thing, and he is right, it was an accident. She tripped and fell he didn’t push her. And a better man than me would come forward as a witness.”

“But you’re not a better man.” The voice said.

“No judgment.” He said calmly.

“Sorry, do go on.”

Magnus gave her a look.

“The Earthlings call it karma, who am I to get in the way of it.”

“If it was truly karmic justice, then you would not have witnessed it, providing him with a means to escape his sentence of certain death.” The voice said gently.

“Well you’re just full of judgment aren’t you?” Magnus said with a small smile.

“My apologies, if you want I can charge you extra.” It was said coolly, but Magnus could almost detect a smile.

“Then tell me what to do.”

“I don’t need to because you already know.”

Magnus nodded and made to leave, just as she whispered.

“Goodbye, Ganzarian.” She paused and switched to Gandour. “For a race that is thought of as the proudest in the galaxy you seem almost decent.”

“Coming from you, who I suspect is an Angel or at least a half-breed; that might be the nicest compliment I’ve ever had.” Magnus said before he walked out.

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Short Story: The Longest Bus Ride

I opens my eyes, I’m not awake, but this isn’t sleep. I’m drowsy but my mind is focused. A jolt of electricity rushes through my body. The pain is powerful; like a whispered secret in my ear. I control the trembling by concentrating on the noises washing over me. The whispers and the silence. The movements and the stillness. Another jolt, the pain wants my attention. I focus for a moment, and really try to feel. Should I be alarmed that I knows this much pain? But it’s like music, da dum da dum da dum, with every pump of my heart, fresh pain. I marvel at the body’s ability to endure so much, it’s like war and I have not yet learnt how to lose. I suck in a breath. My moment of weakness has cost me as someone turns to look.

Concern? Fear? Suspicion?

I wants to explain; I opens his mouth, then closes it again.

More attention from the stranger.

A splash of water on my trembling hands. I forgot about the tears.

I jolt in my seat as the bus stops, my eyes flutter momentarily and I almost lose control of the reins. The stranger gets up and with one last look leaves me.

I’d feel relived but all my body knows is the pain, all my feelings and all my mind. The whole world is pain.

The pulsing in my head blurs my vision for a few moments and my body stops taking in oxygen as panic seeps through vulnerable thoughts.

My stop is fast approaching and I prepare my body for what I’m about to do, but obedience will not be had and the pain ups the stakes.

It’s my stop, my eyes strain as I gazes at the open doors slowly closing.

I lurch out of my seat, my ears pick up alarm from the other commuters but all I know is the exit. I stumble but I do not fall.

Slowly I’m made aware that the bus is not moving despite my presence on the pavement. I’m being looked at but I have no time for them.

I’m single minded in my need to get home. Every step is absorbed by my body.

Stopping never occurs to me.

Something more important is demanding my attention and that’s time. I can feel the countdown scarping against my bones. The beat is obnoxious in my eardrums.

I’m through the front door.

Alarmed voices and softly spoken words. I’m at the centre of the calmest storm.

My body wants to give in and I’m tempted but peace will not be found at home.

The wait almost breaks me but I endure another ride on a different type of bus.

I’m lying still; the screams are so loud but I can’t open my mouth to voice them. The pain doesn’t no defeat but nor do I.

The Hospital is close but I know the pain is in my lifeblood, my very DNA, my sickle cell anemia.