Numbers

A kingdom awaits. A kingdom stands.

The lone renegade wanders endlessly through the empty violet streets. Traffic lights flicker, neon signs buzz, as he steps slowly, with a sad beat of his feet softly pounding the ground.

There are no remnants of other life. The road is clean and wet with a rain that has fallen long ago, but never dried.

Static screeches in his eyes. He sees another, one other, a boy. Eyes a colour he hasn’t seen for ages. The boy waits for him at the long end of the road, where it meets a dumb hillside and slants smoothly.

Dead electric blue numbers develop along the boring brown building walls, in random patterns. They are cracked and illuminate at a great speed and follow the renegade.

The beautiful renegade, a cloud ready to implode wanders on, not oblivious but accustomed to the appearing numbers. He is following the boy.

He is nearly there. There is an echoing feeling of distance reverberating off the hollowness of his kingdom.

The bad renegade needs mending.

His soft hood is not threatened by wind. Wind does not blow. He does not allow it. His complexion is complete. It does not change. His head is down. He breathes steadily. His face is but a black shadow. But until..

The boy is an intruder. He does not belong. His belief is misplaced. He deserves to be punished. He was warned. ‘Beware the broken.’

The renegade lets loose his fist. His finger tips brush the polished brick pavement of the hindmost building. He feels nothing with his dented sense. The numbers shock at the close touch, pulsating harshly, but still silent as the emptiness that they act as counterpoint to.

There they bump. The two do not touch physically but bump elements. It is a bold idea. Two kings stood in front the other. Their bodies face but their heads are stooped. Neither move.

The boy awaits. The boy’s hands are cold, his body is stiff, he smells the old petrichor. The renegade does not.

Two kings bouncing power. It’s a subtle bargain, it’s a number.

“I feel numb”, breathes the renegade. The male planets are not far from each other. The boy picks up the whisper.

The scratches on the renegades waist itch beneath his clothing. Only but for a moment.

He moves closer.

The boy then glides over to the renegade, for this is no human boy. This is a shadow of a boy with no features – only an outline, and a black cesspool of undetermined body. Burning white eyes.

They stop directly in front of one another. The boy returns. His bare feet patter to the floor. He is blood and bone again. He is grateful but ever fearful.

Now, the renegade looks at him. Those eyes… They see the boy. They allow the boy. But they hold no promise. They betray the boy. They burn the boy. They burst the boy.

The renegade’s lips preform again. In his dull, doped voice, he speaks again.

“I feel numb.

I feel numb.

I feel numb in this kingdom.

I feel numb, make me better.”

The renegade reaches out to the boys lips. He can barely feel them but there is a touch. The renegade frowns. His eyes turn red.

You better make me better.

You better make me better.

You better make me better.

You better make me better.

You better make me better.

You better make me better.”

The boy accepts the energy sizzling from the renegade, he breathes the sparkling snatches down into his lungs, and breathes them back out, turned from blue to white and the Renegade is thrown back. Mix-matched numbers flicker through his eyes, counting to infinity but in no order. They increase in speed and the boy can smell the friction of connection as the renegade faces the empty sky, his body agape. There comes a low murmur from the streets. The murmur picks up into a mumble, a mumble into a groan, a groan into a shout, a shout into a yell and a yell into a whistle and the whistle SCREAMS and the Renegade pushes his hands through his face as he vibrates relentlessly and then the renegade throws his hands down in an outright power burst, and the noise quits and numbers are sent slashing over the surface of everything as they redo and disintegrate and redintegrate.

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