The Electrochemical Shadow Knows
[Hello, lovely followers! JS here. Below you’ll find the first 300 words of the story I’ve got in the latest Aoife’s Kiss, from Sam’s Dot Publishing. It’s called “The Electrochemical Shadow Knows,” and is sort of a cyberpunk fever dream…more of a nightmare. If you like it, there’s a link to buy the mag at the bottom. TW: the opening to this story involves some brutality against a female character, to the tune of the cold open of an episode of Law & Order.]
I haven’t had a death like this one in a long time. It’s a shame to ruin such a nice night with it, too. One minute, I’m walking to my apartment in warm summer rain—the kind that smells like fresh concrete—and then the next I’m being murdered again. If it was the usual I wouldn’t even mention it, but this one seems personal.
In this one I have long hair, and I’m a girl. I don’t think I know this girl, even though this is my neighborhood. I’m—She’s being drowned in a tub of water. He’s grabbed her by the hair. No, stop…please stop…please don’t…no don’t please…no, don’t get lost in it. I can’t get lost in this death. It’s too late for her. I have to remember. I can almost make out his face in the water.
I’m trying not to fall to my knees. I don’t want to make a scene. Do you know what it’s like, though, to be drowned? You expect to thrash and squirm and make movements and try to fight. She can’t fight, though. Our lungs are full of water. We’re running on instinct now, our body is flattened out and we’re trying to float. But we can’t float, because this is a bathtub and someone—who is it?—is pressing us down into the water.
It’s over. God, it’s finally over. I’m back on the street. The few people outside right now are not looking at me, so I guess I didn’t scream. The tears came, though. Still human.
Quinn’s green eyes started it all, with the way they made me trust her. Well, that and her masters in neural engineering. “Don’t be a tool, Ned. This chip’ll blow your mind.”
Mind = blown.
Want to read more? Go get yourself a copy of Aoife’s Kiss.