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Got Soul? A Short Story

GOT SOUL?

 

Copyright © 2015 by Stellan Galt

 

All rights reserved. No part of this story may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission from the author.

GOT SOUL?

 

I am sitting here, writing this, because I have a story to tell. These are not the words of a lunatic, but of a highly educated scientist. Whether you believe what I am about to tell you is possible or not doesn’t matter. Just remember that you read it. Because when this technology gets out, it’s going to change everything. This is your warning.

 

The soul is not just a battery source for living things. The soul is a living thing. It merely uses the body as a vessel to survive. A common misconception of the soul is that it can’t survive without that vessel. Many people think that a soul is a way for you to survive your death, and continue on into some kind of afterlife. That is certainly not the case. A soul can live forever as long as it has a body. It floats from one vessel to another. When a person dies, its soul leaves, and it has to find another body that does not yet have a soul. A soulless body that has never be occupied by a soul is called a fetus, while a body that once had a soul but no longer does, is called a corpse. Get it?

I had woken up unusually early the morning I first found out the true extent of the soul with somewhat of an epiphany. It had not come from a dream, that I can remember, but it might have been induced by one. It’s not often that I remember my dreams, but when I do, it always blows my mind how I could conjured up such a madhouse of thoughts.

I will never forget that day. I’ll never forget the way that thing was coming at me. I mean, it was a hand, but I call it a thing because . . . well, it wasn’t attached to anything. No body. Nothing. It was just a hand, and it was moving. Running on its fingers like a spider. At the part where it had been severed, it was gushing blood into the air like a whale hole spewing water. Let me tell you, I almost shit myself when that thing hopped onto its ring and middle finger and started leaping in long strides, as if it were a person doing hurdles.

And then . . .

You know what? I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I? Let me start from the beginning, and then I’ll tell the story in order. Make no mistake, what you have just read was by no means the end of this warning.

The end, as you will find out, hasn’t happened yet.

I’ll spare you the long detailed years of research I had to conduct in order to get to where I was on that day. Not because I don’t want to bore you. No, because I don’t want anyone to duplicate my work, or in a misguided attempt, my mistakes. I hope that anyone who might discover my technology will approach this whole soul thing with high caution, like I said at the beginning. But the wisest words I can give you are: don’t dare try this at all.

I’m probably an idiot for what I’m going to do once I finish telling my story, but the way I see it, it’s my only chance… given my current situation. Anyway, I’ve probably warned you enough, so let’s continue.

Inventors like me are cursed with a crippling handicap; the inability to give up. There is no treatment or cure for this disease. Men with this conduction suffer one of two fates: success or madness. It was this inability that led me to do what I had done in the barn that night.

My years of studying the nature of souls led me to what I believe to be a subsequent step – trapping souls. The basic idea was to put a living, breathing thing inside a humid glass tube filled with mist that was produced by the machine I created. Along with the falling water droplet, my machine also dispersed a steady current of electricity, which bounced around inside. The current, in theory, would stop the heart and separate the soul from the body, while the humidity trapped the soul inside. It is a Latin American belief that leaving a glass of water out will trap a soul, purify it, and then send it to Heaven. So if a body is coated in water, then it should become unsuitable for the soul without the soul actually leaving. In other words, I make the body uninhabitable for the soul, but I also turn the body into a cage that keeps the soul from escaping. This is the essential premise behind the trapping of souls—and it’s all you need to know.

I’m not going to go into any more detail about how the process of trapping a soul works, for reasons I’ve already gone over. You probably wouldn’t even understand it, to be completely honest with you. I will tell you, however, that it was incredibly hard to pull off because the soul kind of runs on an alternate plane of existence, and for a reason I’m not a hundred percent sure of, electrified H2O is the only thing that has any effect on it.

I had just brewed some tea, and I was going to take my soul trapping machine on its first real test run using a crow I had trapped in a cage the morning before. I placed it on the table next to some spare parts from past inventions of mine, including some I had used a few years back when building a time machine. And just a heads up, time travel, as it turns out, is kind of impossible, and things hadn’t ended to pretty when I tried to travel into the future; but that is another story entirely. Building a soul trapping machine takes a lot of expensive parts, so it was a good thing I never threw anything out.

Anyway, after flicking the switch, everything seemed to be running smoothly. The sexy blue bolts rippled behind the glass, coiling through the mist, hissing and whistling. The moving parts, though graceful in motion, were loud and aggravating. The cacophony, to my colorful and scientific imagination, sounded as if two washing machines were making rough passionate love during an earthquake.

With one hand covering my ear, I turned off the machine and grabbed the bird from its cage, and then I tore open the glass door and shoved the bird inside before quickly shutting it. Then, taking one last sip of my warm tea, I flipped the on switch once again.

At once, the crow began to levitate to the center of the glass tube, spinning around as the blue bolts roasted its feathers off its body one by one, and before I knew it, the bird was dead. Its neck contorted to one side, its wings drooped from the rest of it, and patches of pink skin bled through its black coating.

I turned the machine off, the bird plummeted down, slapping the mettle flooring of the machine with a doughy-wet thud, and I anxiously peered through the transparent-pink glass. I then waited. Waited for the soul to try to escape, and dearly hoped that it wouldn’t, because if it did, all my work would be for nothing and I honestly wouldn’t know how to start over. Luckily, though, it did work, and I knew that it did work the second the dead-birds body snapped stiff. The bird, which was now just a pile of feathers and pink patches, began to arch its whole body until its spine snapped—this happened in a single, swift, violent action, allowing more of its feathers to flake off. It no longer looked like a crow, but looked like some weird concoction some evil scientists could conjure up.

I’m not sure why, but I moved back a little. Not for a second did I take my eyes off the creature. The parts of its skin that were visible began to writhe, and ripple, as if it were made of some kind of thick liquid that was reacting to a vibration. The soul was… freaking out, for a lack of better terminology.

You know how sometimes when a pregnant mother’s stomach ripples, and you can see the imprint of a baby foot on her side? That was how it looked all over the bird’s body; only the “kicks” were coming fast, violent, and each one sent a jolt so strong that the crow began to flop around.

All of the sudden, it stopped, and when it did, the crow’s wings started to go off like fireworks, and up it went. Ricocheting off the glass in hollow thuds; falling down again, and then rocketing up.

“Holy fuck!” I screamed aloud, horrified, but oddly delighted.

The next day was the morning I was telling you about. The morning that the hand was running right for me. Dammit, that hand… I can’t seem shed its bony image from my mind.

I only got three hours of sleep that night because I was so astonishingly anxious about what I was planning on doing that day. I knew it was going to be groundbreaking. The kind of thing that would be on the news for weeks; on the cover of every magazine by every major publisher; the talk of every goddamn town. Most importantly, though, it would lead to more research, and possibly lead to answers to some of life’s important questions. Although I still carry this belief with me after years have gone by, I really don’t care about any of those things anymore. I’m going to use my technology for my own selfish gain now.

I had fallen asleep in my bed, hugging my portable heater, and an array of philosophy books about death and the soul scattered all across the small bed I was on. I had put that bed in there months before because I often found myself staying out in the barn, not wanting to go inside because I was too engrossed in my work.

The dead crow was back in its cage, and it was flopping around, pecking at its own skin. I watched that thing, flabbergasted, for most of the night. It was truly insane that a dead creature could move. Of course, though, it did not have a functioning brain anymore. The brain was dead. I’m sure it could not see either. Souls don’t have eyes, but I believe that they may have some kind of other sensory receptors that we humans would not be able to understand, and I’m not going to pretend I do.

The only thing it could do was shove the body back and forth, like a cat would do inside a plastic bag.

I’m not going to try to convince you that what I did next was a good thing, or even a human thing, but I never said I was a good person, did I?

What I did do next, as you might think, was wrong. At the time, though, I thought it was the next step. It was the only way, and to be honest, I was just itching to do it. Itching. I needed to know more about this. It’s true what they say: Curiosity does kill. But in this case, as you will see, it wasn’t a cat.

I still don’t know if I think it was wrong, to be honest. But I do know that if I had never done it, I wouldn’t be here today, and… well, you’ll find out why I’m excited about that.

So after my morning tea, which I made in my kitchen, I grabbed my Jeep keys and took a ride into town. It was some cold place under a railroad bridge where all the homeless people would hang out where I stopped my Jeep, and all of the men (a few sickly looking women too) wearing mittens and blankets like capes, gazed at me. I stepped out, rubbing my hands together, and shouted out across all of them; my voice echoed across the graffiti covered walls. “Who here would like to make five hundred dollars,” is what I had said. Technically it wasn’t a lie because I never said I was going to give them the money, I just asked if they would like to make the money.

A few of them started towards me, but surprisingly, the majority of them seemed disinterested. There was an older black man, and a white man about the same age, both nodding with half smiles. The white man spoke, and he sounded Irish. “What will you have us do?” His voice was low, and weak.

“Just test something out,” I said in an equally low tone. “But I only need one of you.”

“Well which one of us?” the black man asked.

“Whoever is cheaper.” I grinned.

“I’ll do it for three hundred,” the black man bargained, not really even knowing what the job was.

“I’ll do it for one hundred.”

“Sold,” I said pointing at the Irish man and started back for my Jeep. He followed.

“Well hold on just a minute,” the black man called, but I was already getting in.

The Irishman was draped in a blanket when we came into the barn. I didn’t blame him; it was freezing. But I asked him to take it off. His shirt too. He complied.

“Do you have anything I can eat?” he asked.

“Uh, I have sandwich stuff inside. Can you wait until we’re done?”

“How long is this going to take, mister?”

“Not long at all.”

He nodded, and followed me to my machine; he was eyeing both me and it. Then he turned when he heard the cage rattling from behind him on the table. I had placed a sheet over it, though, so he wasn’t able to see the hideous creature inside. But he did ask, “What’s that?”

“Can’t say,” I said, and opened the glass door on the soul trapper.

“Why not?” His voice was uneasy.

“It would freak you out.”

He wasn’t sure what to say at that, I could tell, but he watched the cage anxiously.

“Come on. Step inside of here,” I said, gesturing for him to enter the contraption.

Now he really looked unsure of the whole situation. I had to remind myself that he was desperate, not stupid, and that there was a difference.

He looked at me questioningly for a moment. “I don’t think I want to,” he said, shaking his head, and turning to glance at the barn door I had locked behind us. “I— I think I want to go.”

“It’s far too late for that, my friend.” I knew that if I let him go he might tell on me. Yes, like a second grader; he would whine to the authorities. “There was a loony man tryin’ to get me to go inside this glass container! HE MADE ME TAKE OFF MY CLOTHES!” he would say, and then a black and white cruiser would be pulling up on my property; the homeless man would be in the back eating a sandwich, cuddled in a warm blanket, and I would be arrested for trying to kidnap a man (maybe even imprisoned for attempted murder). Of course I would claim that he was just an old man who’s been out on the streets a little too long, and lost more than a few of his marbles, and that might end that. But why the hell would I go through all of that trouble when I could have just hit the guy with a wrench and stuff him in myself?

Yes, that is what I did.

He started for the door in a quick hurry when he seen me grab for the wrench, but he slammed into the barn door unable to escape, and I came up behind him. When the metal met bone it made a hollow thud sound. I never really hit someone that hard before. I never really hit anyone at all, really. But I guess that’s what passion does to a man, right? Once your head is in the game, and you’ve got your heart set on something, there is not a thing in this world that could ever get in your way; and if it does, you’ll die fighting before you give up.

I gave the machine a test run, like I do every time, and then proceeded to drag the homeless man’s unconscious body to the machine, open it, and kick at him until he was stuffed completely in. I ran my finger through my hair, because it was disheveled in my face from my moment of uncharacteristic violence.

I looked inside at the old man, and for a moment I almost had this whispering sense of morality flicker up inside me like Chinese fireworks. But that totally died when I hit the switch.

In the midst of the shadowy mist—and the raging electricity pulsating inside with such magical movements—the old homeless man began to rise from his unconscious slump as if he were Criss Angel performing a levitation illusion. Except this was no illusion.

As the man was being cooked alive, his eyes and mouth were illuminated with bright blue light as if he were some kind of jack-o-lantern. He wasn’t spinning like the crow had, and that was because he weighed more than two hundred times what the bird did. He was, however, just as dead when I shut the machine off, and watched him fall back into his lifeless doll-like pose, propped up slightly on the back of the glass cylinder.

The moment was mesmerizing.

I waited, not long, but it felt long. I waited for the soul to start its whole freak-out-routine… and it did, let me tell you.

It started with his arms. They lifted up slowly at first, as if being worked by a puppet master, ever so carefully; but out of nowhere they started trembling everywhere like loose helicopter blades. For a second, as I watched his arms violently flop, it reminded me of those inflatable floppy men (air dancers, I think they’re called) that you sometimes see outside of businesses to catch your attention.

His legs started doing some kind of twitching too, but not as fast or aimless as the arms.

That was just the beginning.

Its eyes fell into the back of his head, turning them bloodshot and pupil-less. Foamy saliva exploded from the mouth, and his head began to forcefully rock forward and back, each time slamming into the back of the glass. This grew into something else when the man, which was no longer really a man, but some kind of creature, tensed up; all the muscles in the body imploded together is such a disgusting way, that I grimaced, but only for a moment, because that was when its whole body came lashing forward, right in front of me. Its skull literally shattered with the glass, sending shards of bloody red fragments into my face.

Now that… I did not expect, I must admit. I had done my research, but I just wasn’t expecting the soul to have so much control over the body. I should have known, though, I suppose. The crow had been more than I expected. It was a goddamn feather storm in there. That crow was bouncing off the glass so hard, my soul trapper machine had momentarily turned into a pinball machine. If the soul could do that much with just a little bird, I should have expected that it would be ten times stronger with a human body.

So, there I was, plunging to my back; the homeless man’s dead body lunging at me, blood flushing down its distorted and fried face.

I screamed louder than I care to admit.

The way it fell on me was more terrifying than anything. Have you ever heard the phrase “hit the ground running?” Well, he hit the ground (or in this case, me) flopping. Really flopping. Not like a fish does when it’s removed from the water, but it was better comparable to if you took a thin silk bag, and filled it with fireworks. Like the crow, its skin was rippling, and I felt it do just that while it was on top of my body. You never forget something like that. Like how you never forget the sound of a single fingernail slowly screeching down a chalkboard.

I kicked at it, and struck it with open hands trying to get it off of me. I remember feeling my heart knock my chest into the ground while I was trying to crawl away from that tornado of spasms.

I did get away, but it would come for me again. Every now and then it would get to its feet, partially, but collapse back to the floor. Sometimes getting in weird positions, as if it were playing a game of twister, all while tossing itself into the barn walls, rolling on my tables and desk, and seemingly flying through the air, clashing into stuff until the body was so bloody and bruised that I could no longer process the image of a human being.

I was moving around just as much as it was, trying to escape from its conniption, when I managed to reach my axe. It was a big axe, too. Hanging there on the wall. Its faded blue metal blade wasn’t as sharp as it had once been, but it would surely do the trick.

And it sure did. Yessiree Bob, it worked like a charm!

The dancing corpse flopped right up at me, and then… BAM! I put a gash right in its side, and then brought the axe down meeting its neck, and I was surprised how easily it was tamed. The blows seemed to calm it down. When I threw that axe down again, it was laying there on the barn floor, only slightly jerking, and its head burst off like a bottle rocket. I swear it unhinged from his spine easier than the cap off a Coke bottle, and that got me real amped up, let me tell you!

I shouted, and flicked my hair back again.

I’ll spare you the real bloody details, and the wicked sounds it made while that axe tore into his arms, legs, and the rest of the corps, because I think you’re all filled in at this point.

I think you know where we are now, but just in case you forgot (I sure as hell didn’t), I’ll remind you.

After I got the thing into as many pieces as possible, some of the parts started to move again, and that was when I realized (in the momentary excitement and butchery) that I had committed a major no-no. That hand I told you about at the beginning of this story… yeah, now you know where it came from.

It was running right for me, and it did jump. Oh-fucking-boy, did it jump! IT LEAPED! Holy cow, man. I had no time to react. No time at all. One moment, I was standing there, and the next moment the thing was latched onto my face, no weaker than the jaws of a shark, and I was hurtling back into the barn doors. Despite the lock, the doors busted right open. Wood chips going everywhere. The pain in my back was horrendous. It’s not like in the movies. Believe that, because when I went through those doors, it was at high speeds. It’s a miracle that my neck hadn’t snapped backwards when that hand slammed into me. Wooden doors like that don’t just break when somebody slams into them. If they do, though, whoever it was that slammed into them can be sure that they’re going to be spending a long time in the hospital. And I did, because I snapped my spin.

I screamed in pure agony.

The hand tore away at my skin like a rat. A big nasty rat. I felt it rip away at the flesh in my cheeks, and dig its extremities into my eyes. If there is one thing I regret from that day, it’s not clipping the homeless man’s finger nails before I put him in there.

Well, that brings me to the present day. Here I am, back in my barn, in my wheelchair. I left the hospital almost a year ago, now, and I haven’t wasted a single day. I’ve been working on the next big thing. It’s going to change my life, and the lives of many others, forever. Could bad things come of it? Sure, but I’m evil, so why do I care? I’m warning people. That’s what I’m doing right now. My obligation is over.

I’m starting to get real anxious now, so I’m going to hurry the rest of this up.

I haven’t wasted a single moment since leaving the hospital. Missteps or not, I couldn’t leave things unfinished. So I began modifying my machine. Now it doesn’t trap souls. It switches them. Switches the soul from one body to another. It also does it without completely destroying the bodies like before. I won’t go into grave detail about how the whole process works, because I’m going to write a manual on it very soon. Once I’m in my new body, I’m going to hire a team of scientists, share my knowledge, and then we’re going to take all of this to the next step. At this point, I’m just hungry to see what I can achieve now that my mistakes are all out of the way.

So, before me are two glass cylinders. One of them is empty, because it’s the one I’m going to be getting in. The second one has a live person in it. I had to give him a little something to knock him out. He is a tall, rich man. I plan on having a lot of fun in his body once I switch our souls.

He won’t have much of a good time in my body. It’s totally wrecked, and plus I’m going to shoot this body in the head after the switch. I can’t have him telling anyone about what I’ve done, can I?

After I switch bodies I’m going to continue my research. I’ll have access to more money, so I can take my work as far as it goes.

Time to go. Hope you enjoyed my story. The body associated with these crimes? Long gone, by the time you read this. And the soul?

Hell, I might be someone you know…

 


Got Soul? A Short Story

This is the story of an evil scientist who has done something no man has ever even imagined they could. Spending years working at a chemistry lab, selling stolen equipment and chemicals to people who would pay him a high price, this evil scientist slowly became more and more evil, and so he became the perfect person to discover the existence of something people have wondered about four hundreds--even thousands--of years, because once the knowledge was acquired, it would take someone who wasn’t afraid to do what needed to be done in the name of science. What was this discovery? The Soul.

  • Author: Stellan Galt
  • Published: 2015-12-29 03:50:07
  • Words: 4487
Got Soul? A Short Story Got Soul? A Short Story