OTHER WORK BY MICHAEL CORSO
The Age of Earth and Water
Under the Willow Tree
Below the Surface
The Fear Within
The Adventures of James Squirrel
Copyright © 2016 by Michael Corso
Source material for cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
All rights reserved. Published by Michael Corso through Shakespir.
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to others. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Slowly…ever so slowly, like a trickle of water running down my arm, the hardened ice of immobility began to melt and crack, like the long awaited summer after an eternity of winter.
What was this?
Though it had been what the Movers called centuries ago, it seemed like only a few short days since I first heard the sweet promises of my creator. I remember it like I do my very own consciousness. Though a reclusive and secretive man, he gave me life, and I could love him no greater than I could my very existence, for without him I would be nothing.
While time proved insubstantial in the gloss of stillness, I knew the years were long since I heard the sound of my master’s voice or felt the loving touch of his hand. I still remember the first time I saw the world, when he opened my eyes for the first time.
How the world has changed.
Recently, the multitudes have taken to passing by, stealing glances at what I was. While they marvel, I grow to loath them. I find them boring…a constant reminder that I am different from everyone else, an abnormality. I have become something obsolete; an archaic remnant from a time thought of romantically but never fully understood, just like me.
So the years decay, and I linger on, staring into the sea of massing bodies that move in never-cresting waves, searching endlessly for the shore but never finding it.
Could I have died, I would have welcomed it like a friend long lost in the wilderness whom had finally returned home.
But something happened one day, ripping me from my torment. A rare arc of sunlight hit upon a young face that passed before me one morning, a beautiful sight the likes of which I had not seen in the centuries since my birth. She stared at me, not the me who everyone else saw, but the real person inside aching to break free.
It struck me to the core!
Words cannot describe my feelings. I had not felt such true understanding in any soul since looking into the eyes of my maker. There was love and caring, feelings so alien; I thought they were gone from me, taken with my creator’s life.
But this beauty, she saw me.
It was not the last time I saw her. She returned day after day, never speaking, only gazing, piercing my hardened spirit with her compassion.
It was on the fifth day that the change began. I could feel it in my chest, spreading like a warm fire. It made me feel alive like never before. I feared it would end. I feared she would never return again to my company.
Already I was connected to her.
But my fears were groundless. Day in and day out she came, and with every waking of the sun I felt new life in me the likes of which my designer wished for all along.
Slowly, it happened one day. I sensed the cool caress of air on my skin and felt alive. A tension spread through me completely. My being felt drawn in and the world became closer to me. During that day the onlookers would stop amid a choir of gasps and quieted whispers. Fingers pointed in my direction. Little girls giggled, and old ladies scowled.
For the first time in my life I felt embarrassed, and for what I did not know. The crowds began to converge and would not leave. I felt a strange tightness in my chest. Could I have breathed, I would have been heaving.
But from the back of the crowd she came, pushing her way through the multitude, unrelenting in her determination. My pain and worry melted with her presence, and I felt completely at ease. No one else existed but her.
She still looked at me with those same eyes.
Soon the guards came and ushered the swarm away. That night I was poked and prodded by men and women in white coats while others in bitter suits watched from afar. Spotlights shone on me. Perhaps they thought to find a flaw in my maker’s work. But I cared not about the world anymore. All I cared for was her.
Tomorrow everything would change. I would break away. I prayed she would return one last time.
Morning came and so did cameras, large ones where people stood before them speaking into microphones. It was a horde, but they were insubstantial and phased my resolve none.
At some point a robe was draped on me. I ignored this. Who cared what these people did? My eyes searched, and the murmurs increased. All stared at me.
The day waned. When I thought at last my angel might have abandoned me, she came…walking as if on air. She drifted through the crowds until she reached the barricade. Attempting to push through, her eyes trailed only on me.
Then cold men in suits grabbed her by the arms, trying to drag her away. Resisting, she fought to reach me. But soon they overpowered her.
They were taking her away!
This could not happen! I concentrated all my strength. My fingers cracked, balling into a fist at my side. Many shouts erupted. She was still being carried off! I struggled against my invisible bonds. More relinquishing cracks and my other arm fell from the position my maker had set it.
I reached out my arm, the pain of movement finally hitting me. My throat burned with the words I had to say. She would be out of sight soon. It was now or never. I coughed and then…
My voice echoed throughout the room. All went silent. The men relinquished their grip on her. Pushing her way back to me, no one stopped her. I stepped down from my platform, the robe falling from my naked body, but I didn’t care.
She approached me, looking only at my face, a petite smile forming on her lips. She reached a hand up to my cheek. It was warm. My breath quivered at the touch.
“My name,” she whispered heavenly, “is Emma.”
Emma. It was beautiful. Perfect and simple. Then I felt an inclination to tell her my name, a name I was most proud of. It was the name my master bestowed me when he stood back to view his masterpiece. I smiled at his memory and at the beauty standing before me.
“I am David.”
About the Author
Michael Corso is the author of The Fear Within, a soon to be trilogy. He has also written four short stories and a children’s novel, The Adventures of James Squirrel. He was born in California, but raised in Kentucky and Florida. He now writes from his home along the Gulf Coast where he spends most of his time thinking of new stories to tell and exciting adventures to share. If you would like to connect with Michael, you can visit him on Twitter or his blog at
How strong is love? Does it have the power to reach across the centuries and bring life where there was none? Does it have the power to bring together two unlikely people who have never spoken to each other? In this short story, the magic of unspoken love creates life where only stone had been before.