How Do You Handle Your Darkest Memories?
Humans are made up of small pieces of knowledge, echoes of past experiences and fragments of old memories, all of which we routinely secure in tightly closed boxes and file away in the darkened corners of our mind. What happens when these confined remnants escape from their compartments and bleed into the others creates an unimaginable psychological nightmare.
Reflect on the past in “Compartmental” by Jay Caselberg, featured in EQUILIBRIUM OVERTURNED: THE HEART OF DARKNESS AWAITS, available now at your favorite bookseller.
Experience “Compartmental” by Jay Caselberg
She had the sort of face that would shatter if you dropped it, all fine bone china and translucent skin. Adam sat across the compartment from her, watching. Her lips, almost overfull, were glossed pale pink, and he wondered if perhaps she’d invested in collagen treatments. They were almost a little too ripe. She glanced across at him, briefly meeting his eyes and he looked away quickly, nervous that she might have caught him staring.
Adam played the game quite frequently, sitting on trains and in buses, watching, assessing and categorising his fellow travellers. It was sad really, he guessed, but then he hadn’t yet found love, or at least he thought he hadn’t. Of course, there had been a succession of relationships, the statements of commitment and devotion. But somehow they had always faded, the shiny gloss gradually tarnishing over time. Now, he was more often comfortable observing with the passion of his critical eye.
He looked back at the woman—What was she? Late twenties, early thirties?—studying the fine blonde hair, the high cheekbones and the ice-chip eyes. He imagined sitting next to her, looking right into those eyes, getting lost in the soullessness as he gazed through her fleshly windows.
The whole soul thing was a myth anyway, wasn’t it? At least he hoped so.
The train pulled into a stop and she got to her feet, pulling the blue coat with its fake fur ruff about herself, preparing for the weather outside. A short denim skirt and a white fluffy sweater completed the ensemble. Dammit, he hadn’t noticed before; she was wearing pink suede boots. Oh, and there was a pink plastic purse to go with them.
Adam barely suppressed the shake of his head as she stepped from the carriage and out onto the platform. He tracked the pink boots quick-stepping as she walked. A moment later the train pulled away, and his eyes were drawn to the platform’s edge, tracing the hard boundaries, watching the empty spaces where the boots had trodden in their passage from sight.
Something flickered in the edges of his peripheral vision, and Adam frowned. It was something fleeting, something almost there in the corners of the opposite window. But no, it was gone. Perhaps it had been nothing more than an illusion provoked by the motion of the train. Or maybe he’d just imagined it. He turned his attention back to the other occupants of the carriage.
He spared less than a heartbeat for the old man muttering to himself, greasy brown coat pulled high about his neck. The old man clutched a dirty handkerchief to his face and coughed, then wiped the cloth back and forth across his mouth. Adam looked away, slightly disgusted. A woman at the other end clutched a large, green shopping bag on her lap, arms wrapped around it as if it might escape. He watched her for a couple of seconds, waiting until she nervously met his gaze, and then he looked away.
Adam sensed rather than saw the flicker this time. The knowledge of it crept up the back of his neck, cold fingers a breath away from actually touching his skin. He shivered and turned quickly to look at the smudged glass behind him, hoping to…he didn’t know what he was hoping. Of course, there was nothing there. He turned back to focus on the woman with the shopping bag, but the feeling of company stayed with him and he had to force himself not to look again.
“What do you want?” he whispered under his breath.
“I want what you want, Adam,” a voice seemed to say in the back of his head.
He shot a look at the old man, at the woman with the shopping bag, wondering if they’d heard. But they were oblivious.
The train pulled into the next station and Adam pushed himself to his feet. Five quick steps and he was out of the compartment and on the platform.
More About EQUILIBRIUM OVERTURNED
EQUILIBRIUM OVERTURNED is a fourteen-story volume of dark fiction spanning the genres of horror, science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction. From the discovery of dangerous alien civilizations, to demonic incursions from beyond the event horizon, to some truly shocking revelations about what President Andrew Jackson actually knew about the wild West, they’re all included in this thrilling volume that is already a bestseller.
In EQUILIBRIUM OVERTURNED you will explore a wide range of diverse subjects covered in the tales of approaching evil. Themes run the gamut from stories of dystopian future societies, post-apocalyptic survival adventures, horrifying visions of dangerous new worlds and allegorical fantasies that will drive a nail through the heart of humanity.
Get your copy of EQUILIBRIUM OVERTURNED today from your favorite bookseller including:
PAPERBACK: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | TOWER
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