This has been arthousefootball, now signing off.
It was over; he’d been spotted. “Weaker men have outlived darker fates,” they said in his ear, over guns and sirens and shouts in other tongues. He didn’t like the assumptions woven into their words. He ran.
This is the pose that they’d put on the back of his novel. He’d buy more typewriters and drink wines from war-torn countries, and when he pretended to work, everyone would believe it.
With the wind in his hair and only air beneath his feet, he couldn’t help but feel like a god. They let him have his moment, and looked away as he crashed.
Someone in a brightly-lit room pressed brightly-colored buttons, tapping red-green-green-white-blue to have him raise his arms and embrace the world. He could hear a faint whirring (quick breaths in and out) and the pump of pistons (two-step heartbeats). He saw the colors, he felt the breeze with his fingertips: this, of all moments, was his moment of sentience.
In the quiet hours of the night, each of them had said they found it stupid. But when that bouquet flew into the air, they leapt for it, individualism fusing into a cloud of taut skin and rigid fingers. They all wanted to be next, and suddenly, they were all aware of it.
He’d been set a simple task: butcher the guy and put him in the trunk. No killing, no burying — the cleanest role he could have. But when he looked in the mirror and saw the red shout out to him, he wasn’t sure what was worse: the possibility that it was his blood, or the possibility that it wasn’t.