Subcutaneous Magazine Issue 1 - Page 45

Terrell remembered women. Oh, he had a lot of women. They loved Terrell. They loved the money he threw around, the things he could buy. Terrell was always loaded. Terrell remembered the drugs. Buying and selling. He was a good businessman. He never sampled his merchandise. If he took drugs, they were drugs purchased for that purpose. Never ever taken from his stock. He had a lot of stock. Terrell remembered friends. He had a lot of those. Everyone liked Terrell. He had that golden personality, that ability to charm. The life of every party. The first person people came to for a good time. The first person they came to when they needed help, too. Terrell remembered blood on his hands. He remembered the knife, so slick that his hand slid down the handle and along the blade. He remembered the pain as his palm was sliced open. He remembered moving his hand back to the handle and the plunging the blade into that punk again. And again. And again. Terrell’s memories slid through his head in a kaleidoscopic cascade, always shifting from one memory to the next, never staying anywhere too long. Only the programming remained a constant. Only the programming stayed with him. He continued digging. “How many people’s up there?” Terrell remembered asking one of the guys in the white coats. “How many you do this to?” “Oh, I guess there are about a hundred or so now,” answered the lab tech. “I don’t know for sure. But you don’t need to worry. You won’t be alone up there. That’s one of the benefits of this. Even if you never see any of the others, you’ll never feel loneliness.” “Ain’t gonna feel nothin, am I?” “Well, no, I guess not.” Terrell’s shovel clanged against another rock. He reached down to see if it contained anything valuable. No, no metal here. But something. Something different. Something from a memory. Terrell was still in school. There was a field trip. They had taken his class to a museum. Terrell remembered the dinosaurs. Great giant models of the monsters moving about in the vast entrance. He remembered following the teacher on into the further recesses of the museum. There were bones. Huge dinosaur bones. And small bones, too. Little skeletons, left over from time gone by. Fossils, his teacher explained. The remains of life from a long time ago. Terrell remembered being fascinated by the fossils. He couldn’t really wrap his mind around the concept of millions of years but he did understand that it was a long time. And somehow these fossils had made it through, lasted all those years. Terrell was standing in a hole on Mars with a fossil in his hands. There was just enough of who he had once been to be intrigued by this. It wasn’t a very big fossil. And it appeared to have seven legs. Or arms. Or something. And there was the head. Nothing like anything he had ever seen on Earth. Long snout, horns every which way. But this was just rock. Not metal. Not something to take back to the station. Not something to send back to Earth. Terrell continued to dig.