Maxi Amassing Reds

“I can hear them, Dad,” Maxi said, holding her head and frowning under the pressure of a growing cacophony. In her mind was a crowd of men speaking loudly and boldly—she tried to pick up the sounds, the statements, and uttering them created a salad of words, like “space hole domain wrench stiles flew summer siding Monday.” Gregory listened as he drove, raced to the hospital, tried to calm her down. It was fascinating though, and he listened through his fear and trembling, maybe even morbidly—coherency was something exciting, when words came together just so and seemed to come from something intelligent. “Amassing reds in studied finding of the first red Brahmin.” She shouldn’t know to speak like that, he was convinced, despite what the doctors had told him—any time he had a new doctor in ER, or if he called an Ambulance, a similar line recurred—these are echoes of what’s already in her head. Gregory stopped reluctantly at the red light and looked to Maxi. Her eyes were beginning to roll back—she was having a seizure. He should have kept her at home, put her on a mattress, a pillow under her head and stood by. But he was angry, furious—the medication they said would change things was not working; he had allowed himself to hope and it was all for naught. He found himself crying, he breathed slow and deep and gripped the wheel, forcing back the tears with great effort. There was a horrible whoop as every last bit of air was forced out of Maxi’s lungs, her body stiffened in the seat and her arms came up, flexing and curling into her body. She shook and rocked—nobody noticed. The light changed and Gregory floored it, indicating after the intersection and overtaking the car beside him. It wasn’t just voices. Lights, a sense of dread—she would often whimper and cast her eyes about her as though the very walls of her world were going to flip inwards like a trap and harm her, change her. In a sense that was what was happening—a paradigm shift for anyone else—an elaborate or shambolic library of hidden forms of things bleeding through suddenly to the surface; a wild, spuming picture show shooting colour and strange angles, symbols and lights, all attaching themselves naturally to the mundane and expected objects of inference and being suddenly true in their place, like a word passed over ad infinitum, only to be revisited once more and found to be completely different; the sentence, her life and everything meaning something entirely supernatural. “Hold on, baby,” Gregory shouted, crying, “we’re almost there!”


Thanks for checking out my short story.

Did I tell you I wrote a novel? You can read it here for free, or get it for your e-reader on iBooks, Amazon or Kobo. Or you can just say you read the book, and donate five bucks down below. Go on.

Gabriel Muoio


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