[Thin Line, 608 words, Genre: Experimental]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
Fionn had just moved into a new apartment. Through his wanderings about the world he had just come to the age of thirty. Those were a lot of years that he had lived, and among those years he had done many things. Through his twenties, he had become a silent hero. Though in his conversations with others, he was still fixated upon the mistakes of his youth. The confusion and mess that his mind had become after transforming from a teenage delinquent into a fully grown adult was questionable. False memories took on a role within the equation, he had also been diagnosed with schizophrenia, which resulted in the absence of a fully calculating mind.
In the absence of friends, for they had abandoned him because of his mind that was always caught up on self-berating and destructive conversations. But in the end, that’s all they were. Conversations. And those conversations had begun to annoy his previous circle of friends. Fionn, though, was unassuming for he would make conversation on absurd and abstract subjects, concerning evil acts and deeds, in the enlightenment of the fact that boredom was the only true evil in the world.
So when he found accommodation in a block of flats, he began conversing with his neighbour. His neighbour was a friendly enough type. Who went by the name of Galvin. Galvin worked as a hotel clerk by night and volunteered as a firefighter with the local country fire authority. They were outside having a cigarette as they shared the common trait of an addiction to nicotine.
Fionn hadn’t dropped the habit of talking about non-existent evil deeds. So when Galvin mentioned the fact that he was a fire fighter, Fionn went back to a memory from his high school days. An incident in which he had left the gas on in the home economics room before school holidays had let out. Then, as a consequence, over the holiday period the school had burnt down. Now, unbeknownst to Fionn, he wasn’t actually responsible for the incident. The incident was the plan of the teaching faculty attempting to pull an insurance scam after they had applied for funding and not received it. But in Fionn’s memories, his false memories, he was directly responsible for the event. He was an idiot for doing so, but an idiot will do what an idiot will do.
A week later Galvin went to his local Monday night meeting with the CFA. Galvin talked about what Fionn had told him with his local firefighting buddies. And the response Galvin received from the other firefighters was, “Poison him.”
“Excuse me?” was all Galvin could manage.
“Offer him a cup of coffee, slip some poison in it and that’s the end of that loser.”
Galvin thought about it. And after minimal consideration obliged the suggestion.
A week later Galvin asked Fionn for a cigarette. Fionn obliged and Galvin, in some sort of trade, offered to make Fionn a cup of coffee. Fionn accepted. Outside they talked for a period of five minutes about the weather and other events in the local news. Galvin thanked Fionn once again for the cigarette and went on, venturing into the day, continuing his activities.
Fionn went back inside his home and felt faint in the head. He gave no consideration to his slipping consciousness and settled onto the couch, thinking that he needed to take a nap as the poison worked its way throughout his body.
Fionn closed his eyes and saw the back of his eyelids. All he saw was black and at the centre of his vision, a thin line that emanated with light.