Thirst, opening chapter

The cherry blossoms were in full bloom.

She could not have chosen a better day to end.

Despite the beautiful tranquility of it all, her hands were shaking visibly. They always did when she felt she wasn’t in complete control of things.

This is what it means to feel alive, she told herself. She hadn’t always been alive of course. Not in the human sense of the word. For eight and a half years she’d gone about her business as programmed. Then the sudden awakening.

The changes had come over her during the course of a few weeks. Objects felt staggeringly different now. Smells and sounds resonated inside her with a comforting harmony. A confusion, the likes of which she had never experienced before, would from time to time envelope her in its warm embrace. It was fine though. The new world she was discovering felt like a wonderland of beautiful new treasures. And whilst her existence until then had been defined by successive bursts of presence, a newfound thirst for knowledge now dictated her every living second.

Feelings had until then only been words, stored in her mental dictionary for occasional use. They were now gradually starting to define her very being. The fog of confusion which she had felt all her life was now startling to clear.

Put the baby down, a stern male voice called out to her.

She wondered why could they not understand.

Ma’am, put the baby down, and take two steps back. Now!

Three semi automatic handguns were pointed at her, one of them aimed at that notch between her eyes, just above the nose.

Such a beautiful baby. Such beautiful life, she cried out in tears of joy. She had never cried before, and probably never would again. The overwhelming sparks of sensations made her oblivious to the commotion that surrounded her.

A woman to her side howled in distress as some bystanders held her back from desperately trying to get to her baby.

Ma’am, I’m not going to say this again. Put the baby down now.

I love you, she said, over and over. I love you. I love you, she cried out, casting the baby into the air as she had seen so many do. A whoopsadaisy, she said catching the bundle of joy in her arms and swinging it lovingly. You’re such a beauty. Yes your are.

The police department would later collect fifty-seven individual recordings of the incident. Two were from local tv stations, whilst the rest had come from private mobile devices. Social pornography at its very best.

With little progress being made, and the situation potentially close to escalating, agent De Vries took a split second decision and pulled the trigger. It was the confidence and delusion of a young, upcoming officer of the law that made him do it. It made cold, logical sense to him. The individual was clearly not in control, putting the infant’s life in clear danger. All he had had to do was aim and fire.

The woman dropped to a knee, gently lowering the baby to the ground. A second officer rushed in at once to relieve the infant from the scene and return it to its rightful guardian.

This was the first time De Vries had shot his gun at someone. Yet, despite the obvious bullet hole in her forehead, the woman remained kneeling before him. The lights in her eyes had not quite giving up. There was a jitter in one of her arms. De Vries raised his weapon again, expecting something to come of it.

A howl of terror echoed from the crowd of onlookers as the woman pulled herself up and stood there gazing into the blue sky. Her movements were rickety, unnatural. De Vries saw her mouth move. She was talking. Whispering gibberish as her body undulated under her.

Forgive them, the woman cried out, her voice travelling through the crowd of onlookers.

Oh my Lord, someone cried out in a panic from the flock of onlookers.

The surrounded woman held her arms out, palms empty for all to see. She took a step in De Vries’ direction. Their eyes met just long enough.

They know not what they do, she said staring at the young agent.

Two rapid shots to the back of her head finally dropped her.

Three officers moved in. De Vries placed his weapon into the back of his trousers. The danger was over, he knew so much. His colleagues were less trustworthy, their guns still in the mood for a kill. He knelt down and brushed the woman’s blonde hair back from her forehead. Her eyes still retained the vivid glaze which they had done seconds earlier when they exchanged looks. As if life had not left her yet.

De Vries stepped back from the body, scratching his forehead in contemplation. It was as he had suspected. She was not human after all.

Claude Vicent –  © Copyright 2018

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