Monday, December 19, 2011

The Great Game 1 - Lavie Tidhar

"He caught up with the boy as the boy was turning away from the canal, down a narrow soi. People passed them both but the observer ignored them, his attention trained on the boy. He caught up with him in the shadow of a doorway and put his hand on the boy’s shoulder.

The boy began to formulate a question, began to turn around, but never got a chance to complete either action. The observer slid what could have been a very narrow, very sharp blade – but wasn’t, not quite – into the soft area at the back of the boy’s head.

The blade went through skin and fat and bone, piercing the brain stem and the hippocampus and reaching deep into the brain. The boy emitted a sigh, a minute exhalation of air, perhaps in surprise, perhaps in pain. His legs buckled underneath him. The observer, now participant, gently caught him so that he didn’t fall but, rather, was gently lowered to the ground.

The whole thing only took a moment. When it was done the observer withdrew the thing that was not quite a blade, but functioned as one, which was as much a part of him as his skeleton or the cells that made up his skin. His skeleton was not entirely human and his brain not at all, and he was currently experiencing some new sensations, one of which was bewilderment and another being anger, neither of which had troubled him before. "

4 out of 5