Open Heart Palpitation (XX)

His lifeless arm drifted towards the floor, the weight of the orb easily overpowering the functionless musculature and bone.  The tool had fallen from his grasp, and his fingers had lifted from their restrictive position upon  the rings of the sphere, yet the shiny circles remained motionless.  His arm pivoted backward at the elbow, and shortly afterwards, the knuckles at the back of his hand cracked against the hard floor.

His fingers, recently curled like those of a piano player, flattened against the floor as the orb rolled from his palm.

Tristan’s husk lay sprawled out on the bathroom floor, unmoving, and spiritless.

The small, metallic, globe, rolled along the floor.  Its motion a clear contrast to the deathly stillness of the shell, lifelessly occupying the cool floor.

Several heavy seconds passed.  The orb continued to roll, and Tristan did not move.

A clang of metal against stone rang out, as the orb made contact with the wall under the counter.

A long count, of twenty and two, passed, where there was no motion seen, no sound heard, and no smell acquirable from the air;  there was no sensory stimuli at all.

Then, in the tiny, shiny, brass sphere, at the center of the rings, a pale blue light, faintly flickered.

The innermost orbit of the metallic rings began to shimmy, back and forth.  Then, they very, very, slowly, began to rotate.

Tristan’s fingers twitched, and began to make rapid, minute, gripping motions.  After several seconds of spasmodic trembling,  he spontaneously clenched his fists, and maintained the white-knuckled tension.

The blue light, at the center or the curious object, ceased its flickering, and began to project a continuous glow.  The strange surface of the large-marble sized core, began to cycle through its enigmatic alterations.

Seemingly controlled by phantom energy, Tristan’s arm raised, at the elbow, then slammed backwards onto the floor, smashing his knuckles into the hard surface.

A flare of pale turquoise shot out from the core at the center of the ringed object.  The middle rings trembled, then shifted, at first languidly, then more rapidly, into their unpredictable, circling motion.

The outermost rings remained stuck, impeded by the floor.

When the middle ring launched into motion, Tristan felt a jolt of energy shoot through his upper body.  His eyes shot open, and he felt a powerful surge of vitality flow through his upper body.

His lower body, was completely numb, and useless.

Tristan hauled himself, hand over hand, towards the pulsing, gyrating orb, stuck against the wall.

He maneuvered his body, lifeless legs and all, under the counter, so that his hip was inches from the sphere.  His head, and neck, were bent downwards, to fit into the cramped space.

His left hand found the slightly raised panel of flesh, stuck on the protruding key, and in the cramped space, he pressed his fingers into the raw fibrous muscle, and shifting his shoulder awkwardly against the lower wall, pulled the chunk of flesh open.

His right hand found the key, and twisted it back and forth in its keyhole housing.  When he heard the satisfactory sound of release, instead of engagement, he tugged on the key, pulling the metal door open, parallel to the patch of flesh.

With the recess in his chest now exposed, Tristan removed his fingers from the key.  The metal panel stayed open, and Tristan reached for the orb on the floor.

His fingers pinched the north, and south poles of the miniature globe; when he lifted the orb, the previously unmoving, due to touching the floor, outer rings, slowly began to rotate.

Tristan did not wait for the outer rings to reach full rotational speed, moving the orb towards his chest as soon as he plucked it from the floor.

He did not need to see his reflection, to know exactly where to place the orb.  His motions were guided by a curious magnetism that guided the sphere towards its housing within his chest.  As it drew closer, Tristan felt a rising  flush of energy, that began as heat on his skin, and rose to a blood-pumping, invigorating, burn throughout his entire body.

Tristan released his fingers as soon as the orb clicked into place.  His right hand, again, found the key, and he pushed the metal door into his chest, covering the whirring, glowing, curiosity.

What followed, was a quick twist of his wrist, a satisfying clink of an engaging lock, and a relieved sigh.

Tristan tucked the key into his right front pocket, and pressed the liberated panel of flesh down to meet the other, severed fibers beneath the skin, in his chest.

With the orb now secure within him, Tristan’s energy level was rising.  He was quite sure that his legs would now work properly.  He could feel the strength in them as he flexed his powerful quadriceps.

In a curiously reckless, though exceedingly cocksure maneuver, Tristan performed a sideways roll to move himself from under the counter.  When he completed his swift, and dexterous roll, he was on his knees, facing the mirror. He brought his left leg up, and planted his foot.  He pressed off of this support, bringing his right leg forward, planting that foot, and propelling his body upwards.

Once vertical, Tristan regarded himself in the mirror.  The crippled, broken, helpless creature, of recent memory, was quickly recoiling in the presence of the resurgent, powerful, beast.

Tristan stared at the crimson lines on his chest.  The flesh joined perfectly but for the post surgical remnants.  He knew that the scarlet C would heal eventually, leaving raised, pink and peach colored tissue, that he had, not so long ago, parted with his knife.

He knew what he had done.  He vividly recalled, all of his deliberate motions.  He could feel the lingering, sickly symptoms of anguish.  Deep waves of melancholy, and emptiness rushed over him.   Stabs of pain assaulted his body, at the same time that he felt a welling of power in his musculature.  He had done this before, and felt these feeling in the past; these were not unfamiliar reactions.

He just couldn’t figure out why he had done this again.  Tristan couldn’t recall the source of all of his distress.  He had no memory of the catalyst for his drastic feelings and behaviors.

Whatever had, once again, forced him to these measures, was gone.

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