The Seceret of the Red Stone by Sydney Addae
What if you were held hostage by your own mind and saw the most horrific crimes perpetrated against man by his worst enemy, man. As a witness, with a front row seat of such infamy, what would you do with the sights or visions that invariably was happening somewhere in the world at that very moment. Taking it to another level, what if your mind rebelled and wouldn’t allow you to keep the putrid sights captive, demanding the vile deeds be made public. How does one survive the telling?
Welcome to Austin Gray’s world. He hates seeing the violence, the helplessness of the victims and the pain he faces when he doesn’t release the words, describing what he’d seen. Since he uses a box to talk, he types the sightings online for anyone to see.
It’s the only way he can have peace. At least until the next one.
It wasn’t the heat of the infamous Southern Pines summer nights that woke me. Nor the insistent clang of pots or pans. I’d grown accustomed to Ma’s insomnia. She cooked at all hours to soothe her nerves. No, this drive to get up was something new. More like a shove from the inside.
The urge to move my sore body from its toasty resting spot pummeled me. As I scratched the scarred skin between my neck and shoulder, I placed my right foot on the hardwood floor. The left followed more slowly. The bones were still knitting from the car accident and I had no interest in having them reset because I fell.
Slow was good.
My eyes adjusted to this new position and, keeping that mantra in mind, I sat still on the edge of my bed to get my bearings. It took a moment to bring everything in focus. The desire to go online surprised me. As I waited for the laptop to boot up, I hoped this wasn’t the beginning of another series of nightmares. Violence in video games was cool, expected even. That should be the end of it. My sleep should be safe, free from the horrors of life.
The login screen appeared. Scooting over, I sat in the ergonomic chair Ma bought six months ago as a bribe to get me active again. It felt good against my back as I settled, wondering what to do next. My fingers flew over the keyboard. Good to see they still worked.
Looking at the screen, I recognized a familiar chat room; I hadn’t visited it since the accident. Closing my eyes, I breathed through the pain of loss that filled me every time I remembered the day our car ran off the road and hit a tree.
A beep pulled my attention back to the screen. The clock at the bottom read a little after midnight and the room was full of lively chatters. Scrolling down, I suppressed a yawn, read the inventive names of the active participants, answered a few shout outs, and decided to leave. I’d just turned eighteen and some of the suggestions in this room had my face on fire. A new person sent a shout out.
I froze. I’m not sure why, but immediately I asked for a private chat. Thankfully, she agreed.
Austingray<hi, where are u?
Rosiered< a little restaurant in France. Why?
A sliver of fear unfurled in my stomach, rising, taking my breath with it. She was lying. Pain slashed at my lacerated throat. I couldn’t speak much over a whisper, but words bubbled from my gut. I tried to infuse the urgency I sensed to her.
Austingray<no, you’re not; you’re in a room in San Francisco. You need to leave. Now!
Angry that she still sat, I started typing another message. The movement brought a pounding pain inside my skull. It grew stronger every second, blurring my vision. Looking up, I watched her twist in the paisley-covered chair before she refocused on the laptop.
Damn, I can see her. How? My cam sat in an unopened box on the floor. The knowledge hit me. I stared at the words on the screen. The accident had done more than ruin my body; it had screwed with my brain. I knew where she was, that she was a short blonde with brown eyes, and petite build.
I saw her look around, biting her lips, and then start to type again.
“No, no, no, don’t type,” I yelled, the noise ripped painfully from my few remaining vocal chords sounded like a screeching tire. “Get out.” Of course, she couldn’t see or hear me. I was weirding out.
Rosiered<where r u?”
Austingray<Run! They’re coming!
As she leaned forward to read my text, the door burst open. Two burly men strode in, snatched her up while placing a cloth over her mouth, and backed out.
The blond male changed course, walked forward, and read the screen. His eyes widened as he looked around. His lips twisted as he picked up the laptop and smashed it. I felt a curious relief when he disappeared and the visual faded.