The camp is emptying now, the massive expanses seem bare, and the functioning of the camp is at a quarter mast. But war does not touch us here, and the last of the children are hardcore. They continue with the microcosmic system of the camp, they continue the little dramas of rich adolescence but more condensed now. More focused, more serious; to fill up the void. Each person assumes more definitely their role, the archetypes are measured into one person instead of groups. There are tough cool girls, and their disdainful lofty chatter accents, talking about this ship or that gossip, there are not many boys left. One night the girls are pow-wowing in a room about this and that; serious girl dramas. They need this catharsis to exercise the little stresses of their lives.
“Hes taking her groundside? They’re leaving?”
“How’re they gonna pay their freight?”
There is a small girl with pigtails who is the most chattery, but not strong like the others. She has a hole in her image, a bit too extreme. She has begun searching in her own mindless way, her conscious adheres to the dramatic routine but underneath there has been seeded an ignored primal in-cling that cannot surface.
“Most certainly” Yaps the chatty one
“Say, maybe she makes screens – maybe she turns tricks”
“Would you turn tricks for an Aceo 0TT5?”
“Most Certainly” she yaps again
“An Aceo Otter with a white powder interior? How many tricks would you turn for that?”
“About a thousand, I guess” She picks up a doll lying beside her on the bed.
The girl with the pigtails is now chatting and chirping aimlessly
“Most certainly most certainly. I need, I need, I …”
The other girls can feel she is leaving the confines of their structured interactions.
“Whats her drama?”
“She’s gone external”
They laugh. “Excuse me ma’am, this pressure is not appreciated by the other staff.”
“I need I need I need I need”
Whats her defect?”
“What do you need mam? More wetnaps? Tea will be served when we bring along the cart in 20 min lol” “IneedIneedineedineedineedineedineedineedineedineedineedineedineedineedineedineed inedinedinedinedinedinedinedined ideideideideideideideide ididididididididididididi dddddddddddddd ”
She is frantic. Her crying sobs are compulsively rhythmic. No words, just sound. She is cracking and the sobs and moans become a steady low cry. The girls are watching but not understanding, mouths melting open in growing horror .
“What is wrong with her?”
“God, shes so weird, what is she doing?!”
She is paralyzed solid, and her cries are just a steady droning hum.
The girls are already closed to her, each one feels it could be contagious and has already mentally removed her from the group, they always suspected there was something different about her.
She is now a small frozen body staring in their midst, emitting a low painful droning buzz.
“That’s so gross put her outside.”
From in the dorm hallway, the door to the room opens, and a disgusted hand drops something out onto a pile of discarded laundry outside the doorway. The girl has become a small reddish brown cockroach. It bounces off the pile of clothes and clicks open it’s carapace to buzz into loopy flight down the carpeted expanse of hallway.
Simultaneously, shut in his room leaning against the door, our protagonist is staring at a jar he has in his hands. In the jar are four reddish brown insects, waving their antennae and tread-milling their segmented feet against the slippery inner walls of the glass. When he looks down it has all burst open. In him, or in the fabric of reality. Out in the stratosphere, there is a line of bugs as far as the eye can see, hundreds of thousands of them, a migration into the Centre, milling about, flying walking crawling waving their antennae.
I’ve grown a lot since then. I still get that feeling sometimes – chaos creeping in around the edges, reality merging with unreality. When I moved back to the surface everything changed, and that time seems more like a 3d I once watched, or a story I perhaps wrote myself based on a dream. Earth Surface is so different, so much more real. There is so much war – We feel it even though where I stay now we don’t live inside it.