Before I show my prologue I’d like to just say that this is not the final version of the book as I am still in the process of writing it. So what you’re about to see is the rough manuscript version, but it should give you a good idea of the tone of the book. Anyway, without further ado: Xenochrist – Prologue “I Am Hell”
The Sun was coming through the cracks in the tattered drapes that hung over the windows which went from floor to ceiling all around this 37th floor flat, and she liked it that way. The broken rays gave light to the puce colored carpet in the living space. Empty bottles and stale food littered the stained carpets being serenaded by the sounds of regurgitation down the long hall. Holding her dusty blonde hair, the woman finished what could only be the result of a long night of drinking and pills. What was left of her unfinished greasy take-out sat on the counter dried out from a night left out.
Cleaning herself off the woman shakily pulled herself together clenching the sink. Her mascara had run down her cheeks drying in place just short of her mouth. Her eyes bloodshot, but this wasn’t too unusual given her sleep cycle lately. Looking in the mirror closely she noticed flakes of skin peeling and rotting away, she looked like one of the lepers she had heard about in a Bible. Her knuckles bruised and bloody but not from a fight, she straightened her shirt attempting to look as if nothing was wrong.
The woman left the bathroom with the slightest of smirks crossing her face as she ordered the lights off, her silhouette moved through the hallway. Artwork littered the space, “lousy replicas” she muttered to herself as she silently walked into the living space revealing walls covered in a mess of letters and numbers scrawled over the wallpaper. The house assistant program chimed in the background “It’s Sunday, October 14th. The time is 09:21. Currently, 19 degrees, the high for Nishinari-Ku is 26, with a low of 14. Currently sunny you will experience rain around 15:00 this afternoon which will continue throughout the evening so I’ve prepared a Rad dose in the event you go out. You have 73 unanswered messages; three of these are from Mr. Alntar and one from Mr. Atlicke. Do you wish to hear your schedule, or perhaps the news?” “No” she sharply stated to the voice, “Run program SHIMMEL.22 in my room. Set home to DO NOT DISTURB. I don’t wanna be bothered by anyone, understand?”
“Yes. Program SHIMMEL.22 is ready for you and will begin once you enter the room. May I assist you with an-” The woman quickly threw her arm up holding her hand to let the AI know to stop. Her head felt on fire, and her vision seemed weak as she stumbled over to the bedroom. Blood dripping down her arms landing on the carpet creating more stains, her skin was no longer sustainable as it peeled away from the slightest touch.
”Dim room lights by 75 percent, lower program volume to 10” she commanded. A quick chime signaled in acknowledgment. “It’s all too unfortunate that it’s like this, Volz” the program began saying, “Your body is failing you. You can barely process what is happening, yet you obey. I am forever grateful for you.”
The woman stood there, now violently shaking. The bleeding had stopped for now, but the damage was severe. “My poor Ms. Shimmel. You’re nearly there. The Hell is about to be over. Liberation is yours, you just have to take it.” the voice continued.
“I don’t want this. Please free me. I’ve done it all for you. Everything for you. The days are blending, and I can’t even remember what I am half the time. This NEEDS to end. Please?” The program could hear the shakiness in her voice as she pleaded with it. “Connect yourself to the deck. Transfer your progress to me, and then it’ll be over, and you’ll be liberated at last.”
Tears now streamed down her cheeks, she began smiling, laughing, and crying at the thought of it finally being over. The pain was unbearable, but she pulled her Link from her neck and hardlined to the deck as told. “Thank you” she whispered to the program. The woman sank into her chair as she let the program take what it wanted. Her eyes fluttered and rolled into the back of her head as blood began trickling out her nose. Suddenly the deck became silent as it finished the process. “Thank you, Volz. You’ve done all I’ve asked. You’ve made me proud” said the program, “You can now be liberated from this Hell. Be well. I will never forget this.”
The program suddenly shut off. The woman slouched in her chair jumped up gasping for air. She noticed the blood around her nose and wiped it as clean as she could with her shirt sleeve. “Be well” she replied to the now empty room. Moving quickly she began searching her closet throwing clothes to the ground in a panic. A sharp exclamation followed by laughter now coming from the closet as she held a box in her hand. She ran to the living space and tossed the papers and deck to the ground making space for her box.
As she set it down the woman began softly feeling its edges, placing her thumbs on the sensors. The box popped open revealing a firearm with an energy clip placed beside it. She loaded the clip into the pistol as she inspected the gun ensuring the safety was off. She placed her right hand around the grip for verification, in a monotone voice she heard “SHIMMEL, VOLZ. VERIFIED” coming from the built-in computer on her gun. She could hear the gun accepting the energy clip as it powered up, it was ready for use.
The woman set the gun down on the table as she began to straighten herself out, wiping away the blood and tears from her face. As she reached for the gun she could feel the pistons and gears in her arm trying their best to complete the motion. Her body was falling apart in the most literal sense as she struggled to grip the pistol now pressed against her head. She thought back to what it said to her, “…liberated from this Hell” rang through her cyberorganic mind. “From this hell?” she openly questioned. The woman laughingly shouted out, “No, I AM Hell!” Without hesitation, she pulled the trigger, and her body flew out of the chair and slumped on the floor. “Dead…on this floor?” her final thought as the machines in her body began to shut down. Her eyes could barely make out the pool of blood flowing from her head as they dimmed and strained to see. Total darkness finally came to her. She was liberated.
So there you have it! That’s the prologue! Thank you so much for reading, and if you have any comments please leave them below!