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Space Cadet Benjamin - Short Story


The rain came down from the inky sky and bounced off of the plastic sheeting. It sounded like a percussion section in an orchestra gone mad. Benjamin liked the discordant music of the storm. The percussion of the rain was as random as his thoughts that followed no logic or reason as they rapidly jumped and hopped through his mind.

Benjamin laughed and stood on the step trying to dance to the incessant beat of the rain, but there was no pattern to the rhythm or for that matter, to the thoughts that kept firing up in his head. 

"Stop it!" he yelled. "Go away!"

He put both hands over his ears trying to push the noise in his head away.

"Oh, Benjamin, that won't stop us. Join us. Let go and become one with us!"

"Nooooooo! I don't want you. I reject you!" he shouted as he shook his head. "Find someone else. Just leave me be!" 

"We don't want anyone else, Benjamin. We like it here. After all, you did invite us."

"Go back to hell where you came from, bastards!"

"Oh stop it. Don't be so dramatic. We didn't come from hell. We were always here. You just chose to, how do I put this? You chose to loosen the lock!"

"No, I didn't. You are some hellish figment of my imagination that just won't go away."

"Hellish figment? My, my. Do you hear that, friends? We have been promoted!"

"That's not at all funny. None of this is amusing. I haven't had a good night's sleep in weeks 'cause you keep yapping. All the time. Nonsense over and over! Can't you all just shut the hell up?!"

"It's not in our nature. You started the ball rolling, Benjamin, experimenting with all those lovely drugs. hmmmhmmm…and what combinations! In your quest for that ultimate high, that heightened journey to La La Land and Space Cadetsville, Voila! You opened that door in your mind that now has broken hinges. We can't go quietly away, dear boy and as a bonus prize for your neuron blasting ingenuity, we're here for the long run!"

Benjamin paced back and forth on the step. His eyes were opened, but he comprehended nothing around him. The discordant rhythm of the rain no longer lessened the cacophony from within. He started to scream, over and over. Maybe it was instinct urging him to scream away the demons that had stolen his life from within or, perhaps, Benjamin had finally stepped over the barrier that separates the sane from the insane.

"Welcome home, Space Cadet Benjamin. It took you long enough! We think you'll love it here. Come, let me introduce you to some of your new friends…"


Copyright ©2002 Mary Ellen F.