The Hat Trick “Rising Din”

a serial story written by the Creative Writing Club.

 

Blemy raised his head and looked around, dazed from the length and intensity of his sobs.

What should I do now? he wondered. I can’t go on with my life. I just murdered my best friend. He had heard about what happened to murderers. But he had never imagined himself as one of them. Well, there was nothing else to do. He had killed, and he had to face the consequences. That was all there was to it.

He stood up, ignoring the hat that had fallen off when he curled up. For a single moment, he hesitated. Then he took a deep breath and walked calmly to the ship’s security office, where he turned himself in to the shocked security guards.

I need my daughter. I need my revenge. And I shall have it.

Tel strode down the ship corridor, enjoying a smoothie he had purchased upstairs. A pair of guards racing by in the other direction interrupted him in the middle of a long, satisfied slurp. “Got some crazy witch up on deck two! Looks like she blew up a room!” one of them yelled as he buttoned on his coat. “And right after Blemy killed the doctor too! What the devil is happening here today?” Tel turned to look interestedly at them, then continued on his way, slurping his smoothie. Nothing else interrupted his walk, but he noticed that a small girl had stolen an engineer’s cap and was wearing it around. Oh well. Someone else’s problem.

The man on the medical table thrashed and screamed while crew members scurried around. The second in command, Bir, stood over him. “We don’t know what to do! It’s some sort of magical side effect, but his friend is just staring at the wall and whispering about rabbits, so we have no idea what!” Bir ran his hand through his hair. “Doc would know. Damn it Blemy, how could you?”

The crew members could only watch helplessly as the screams turned to whimpers, and then stopped altogether. Bir took off his hat and bowed his head, then left the room, shutting the door carefully behind him. “That’s the third preventable death in the last day. And right after losing Doc. It’s like we’re cursed. These accidents are getting out of hand,” he remarked to no one in particular, and strode away to inform the captain.

A man holding an empty jumbo smoothie cup with a sad face turned at his words to look curiously after him, then shrugged and continued on his way.

—What is this? Where am I?—

—I need to find my daughter. I need—

—Why? Why did this happen? I was just showing off my new magic trick, and now—

—Machinery accident? That’s not fair! I’m an expert navigator! It shouldn’t be like this! I need to finish my book—

—Get revenge—

—Say goodbye to my girlfriend—

—WHAT IS HAPPENING?

“I said, where did you get that hat?” Glinda said in the slow, frustrated tone of someone who has just had to repeat something at least twice.

“Oh, this? My daughter found it, and so I took it and now I’m wearing it,” Jack stuttered.

“And you put it on? It might have lice,” she scolded with the immediate reaction honed through years of having to look out for those less capable than herself.

What was this woman saying? Why was she scolding him? Why, this was his wife, Glinda! Why was he calling her ‘this woman’? How could he have not recognized her?

“What’s wrong now?” she asked, with some alarm. “You look absolutely horrified. Lice aren’t all that bad, there are potions and—”

“I, uh, have to go—” Jack stuttered as he turned and ran away. He wasn’t thinking clearly. There were too many thoughts to keep straight. They filled his head, threatening to drown out his own. I just want it to stop! Make them all stop! In desperation, Jack hit his head against the wall in the hallway. The desperation swelled within him. He kept hitting his head, harder and harder. The force of the blow dislodged the hat and knocked it to the floor. Oh God, what am I doing? he thought in sudden realization and panic. But it was far too late. He slid to the floor. The hat lay beside him, a new voice entering the silent cacophony.

 

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