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    A phonograph played too loud

    by , 01-21-2015 at 09:56 PM (395 Views)
    A concerned-looking woman and a businesslike man are checking in on a man who's recently been dug up from a grave - not his original one; someone else had decided to lock him up for a while. They'd been able to find him and retrieve him, but he'd needed some time to recover. The man he's staying with stops them at the door and says, "I don't know if he's ready for this yet." The businesslike man says something to the effect of "ready or not" and comes inside anyway. It's very pleasant inside - an open plan, wood paneling, lots of plants, dim lights with a slightly orange tint. There's a phonograph playing an old string quartet at a ridiculously loud volume. This is a modern setting, so the phonograph and the choice of music indicate the man who'd been buried is trying to calm himself down by turning to things from his past. The volume, as if he's trying to drown something out, implies it's not going well.

    The man who'd tried to stop them at the door backs up so he's sort of standing guard in front of the door to the bedroom, but before the guests can force the issue, the man who'd been buried comes out on his own. Superficially looking completely recovered, friendly and open, neatly and formally dressed as usual - though as a disembodied observer, my first thought on seeing him was along the lines of, Was my hair really that short? What was wrong with me? Anyway, though he seems composed, he gives me the impression that it's just an act - that he's trying too hard to be his usual self.

    The guests are surprised, wary, to see him seemingly doing so well, and he explains to them that so often when he's gone into the ground, he'd miss out on years, decades, centuries, and he'd expected the same thing to happen again. "Tonight I am an immortal," he says, by which he means the experience of having 'died' and returned without having missed anything, with his old life and identity still in place, "and I intend to remain that way. So I've had to squash some of my plans." The implication is that he'd spent his time buried coming up with revenge fantasies - but since it turns out he's only missed a few days, he's not going to destroy the identity and life he's constructed here just to carry that out.

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