Tucker Cummings

Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

Chapter 49: And So We Talk

In Uncategorized on February 18, 2011 at 1:35 am

I never thought of myself as a threat to homeland security, but apparently I am. Or we are. Or she is.

Margery the Formerly Bound tells all. Apparently word’s got out that we can do what we do.

There are more than a few governments interested in acquiring our abilities, our tech, and our bodies. For Science. For Queen and Country. For the Greater Good, allegedly. Those big bastards worked for somebody important, and they were trying to bring her in.

I used to play cops ‘n robbers as a kid. I never thought I’d actually be a real fugitive.

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Chapter 48: Wind Knocked In

In Uncategorized on February 17, 2011 at 1:23 am

Gasping and choking, we wheeze ourselves back to consciousness.

We take each other in.

She’s got better tech than I do, though I’m sure I’m better fed. Besides the obvious lacerations and dirt, she’s healthy enough. Better than some other travelers I’ve known.

“Nice jewelry,” I say, pointing to the anklet.

“I think I owe you one,” she rasps. “First thing the bastards did was tie my hands so I couldn’t reach to activate it. Only responds to the biometrics of my fingers, you see.”

“So, you took that job at MIT in your timeline, I’m guessing.”

“Bingo was his name-o.”

Chapter 47: Scum of the Earth

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2011 at 1:51 am

Oh grand. I’ve become Margery the Bold, a superhero among super-scientists.

The odds are not good. Four of them. One of me. One ally, bound and nearly unconscious.

Too late, the realities of self-preservation wash through me.

I have some training that allows me to stay on my feet, dodging nimbly the heavy hands that plummet towards me.

Rage lets me dispatch one with a grinding twist of the neck. Then, the rest pull out their guns.

I fall, landing beside Margery the Bound. Her mouth moves; I strain to hear.

“Ankle,” she groans.

I touch her ankle. We disappear.

Chapter 46: Vitriol and Skin

In Uncategorized on February 15, 2011 at 7:48 am

I am wracked with rage and self-hatred; if I could tear my flesh off my bones, I would.

My heart is pumping cool acid, and I’m aching to throw the first punch.

A voice in the back of my head, the Margery of My Better Judgement, speaks.

Play it cool, now, she whispers. I respond with sullen tongue, Piss off.

I’m tucked in a ravine. Forty meters away, a gang of men has a flesh and blood Margery Jones, bound and gagged, bloody and bruising.

No! Don’t! hisses the Margery of Self-Preservation, sulking like a coward in my cerebellum.

I charge.

Chapter 45: Run Free

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2011 at 3:53 am

I can’t take much with me when I travel between universes. It’s physically impossible. I have some personal possessions that have a lot of sentimental value, but not a lot of hard value. Some cash of course, a diary, a first aid kit.

“You can’t take it with you,” they used to say. And I had no idea how right they were.

I wish I could take a car with me. Or a house. Or another person, a companion, a friend. I never felt lonely before, not like this.

But I’ve also never felt this liberated, this invigorated. This terrified.

Chapter 44: And Then

In Uncategorized on February 13, 2011 at 3:25 am

Two days later, I’m literally worlds away and covered in blood.

It’s the stupidest thing, the way a head wound tends to bleed so profusely. I slipped on some black ice while crossing a parking lot, and grazed the skin on the right side of my face, temple and chin made raw and dully throbbing.

I’m sure I look a sight, red face trailing red dots in a pristine snowscape. As I walk on, away from the asphalt and deeper into the drifts, I make sure to cover my blood trail with snow.

You never know who might be tracking you.

Chapter 43: Reeling

In Uncategorized on February 12, 2011 at 2:30 am

I was so close. So close to finding her, and then she died. And I got sent spiraling away to some other version of reality.

I have no idea what killed her. I don’t know if it’s something isolated to one world, or someone I’ll meet again in a dozen more spheres.

I realize I haven’t tried to move yet. Gingerly, I try to bend my forefinger.

So far, so good. Now, how about a toe?

Okay.

Sitting up? Sure.

Whew. Okay. Maybe not quite ready for sitting up.

I lie back down, and try not to think of her screams.

Chapter 42: Frantic Mind

In Uncategorized on February 11, 2011 at 1:49 am

And just like that, my brain is in two pieces.

My upper mind is trying to recall past marks other Margeries have left behind, wondering what I’m about to face.

The other half of my brain is focused on one thought: run.

I’m dodging between trees, jumping over fallen branches.

I have to find her before the sun goes down.

I trip over a root, landing hard.

Everything goes black.

I wake up. Everything is still black. The sun has set, but there’s no moon, no stars.

I hear a scream. I’m knocked away.

I lose my connection. She’s dead.

Chapter 41: Another Message

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2011 at 1:09 am

Or rather, there are messages on the trees.

We have our own sort of cipher, like a hobo code. I see these symbols sprayed in paint or sketched in dirt. I don’t know them all, but I’ve learned the meaning of a few.

Fresh carvings in the bark, still oozing dark sap. An inverted triangle. A crescent moon. A spear. “Travel armed. Do not travel alone at night.”

The orange sky. Is the color from a disaster, or the last rays of the sun disappearing?

I look to the next tree. Three diagonal lines: “This is not a safe place.”

Chapter 40: A Guilty Walk

In Uncategorized on February 9, 2011 at 12:57 am

Against my better judgement, I decide to stay. The world is desolate, but I know there is at least one person alive.

There’s another Margery as well: the little voice inside my head. And she will not shut up.

You don’t have to stay here, she whispers. Run.

I keep walking.

What are you trying to prove? Do you think this is going to redeem you, absolve your sins?

“Shut up,” I hiss through my teeth. Then I stop.

I’m at the edge of the field, trees dense before me and a city looming beyond.

There’s writing in the trees.