Bastian Celeste detested heroes. All that perverted selfishness and hidden agenda, where was the honesty in that? Sure, moral corruptions followed him around like a pack of rabid dogs, but lying had never been one of them.

He picked up a coffee at the station and ducked past the security checks, stone-skimming his phone ID across the surface of a dozen underground relays.

The woman had asked about his life too many times, her ill concealed hopes locked into the rhythm of his breathing. He’d given her Arthur, a media architect from Chichester. She wanted someone with an exciting credibility, but he’d slung in a subliminal Once and Future King for good measure. It was all about fantasy, even when they pretended it wasn’t.

Her phone had failed to load his QRID, so she’d printed off an inkjet copy and put it on her bedside table. He’d placed a strategic ring of tea over it as he left. Hell, it was fake anyway, but somehow tragedy always tasted of a sweeter and more permanent kind of cruel. He could have killed her a thousand times over, instead he made her cry out without even touching her. The mood for anything else hadn’t been on him. Sometimes it was like that. He’d never taken the time to figure out why.

The billboards flickered through another cascade of neon cubes. HIVE had bundled the IOT into a centralised unit and chopped everything else up into a target driven resource. It had been months since anything more than a punchy little strapline had made it past the public broadcast system. Freedom of choice was a dead sales pitch. And no one seemed to miss it very much.

He flicked a glance at a public safety drone that had circled down the alley ahead of him. He’d overshot his social permit by two hours, but what the hell, even he was in love with Arthur.

He was close enough to his street office to see that the ad-graphics on the door needed changing again, it didn’t pay to let any signs of business inertia creep in. They’d talked about replacing the cluttered panel with a clear, face recognition glass. It would have given them a much higher PS rating and an air tight way to conceal their more covert activities. But even with the incentive of government subsidies, it was still expensive shit to buy. Plus, ditching the ads would mean factoring the loss of tax-deductible revenue into an already sketchy looking end of year return. The business took virtually nothing through the legitimate checkouts now, discrepancies like that flagged up pretty damn quick on the HIVE, and the last thing they needed was another alarm generated inspection.

He could hear the drone buzzing, it must have picked him up as he crossed the street, this wasn’t gonna be easy. Bastian smiled, he hated it when things were easy.

 

©2017 Jac Forsyth

 

A return in your honour : drainbrainx

 

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31 thoughts on “Just depends what sort of mood I’m in

  1. ” He could have killed her a thousand times over, instead he made her cry out without even touching her.’ Lines like this make your blog a must read…every time!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. True enough it’s more satisfying to fight for something than it is to have it fall at your feet. Writing is one continuous battle with self doubt, every day a new delight. ‘Men of battle, build me a tomb.’
    I see you have a new post on your blog. YAY!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As I am easily confused and dystopia is banged about like sweaty cheese cubes on an aging hotel food service hors devoures tray after a marketing meeting full of buzz words and stale thoughts, what the hell is going on here? I like Bastien, dystopian backdrop aside but I need him to throw somebody in front of a train. I guess I have to wait for the plan o develop. Apologies. I sat through Manchester by the Sea and am choking on character development…This needs to be a daily thing.(right)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, it’s true that near future dystopia is indeed a tricky path to negotiate from both sides of the keyboard. Bastian seems to want to hang out there, so I’m seeing where it goes.
    He wasn’t in the mood for killing, but I’m pretty sure he used the toilet while the train was in the station.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey, he can be one of those Vonnegut dystopians who weaves black humor and social/relationship/have and have nots through the maze of next week who doesn’t kill anyone and just “is” and his life is the fascination. Which would be very cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. God I love auto correct…throgh the eyes of a serial killer. Weird. Doable. We cheated you out of Figitif. This Bastien guy, going about his business. Tea. Bagels. Black market dabbling, Mind fucking. Misfit dodging the powers that be. Careful not to step in the pool of blood. All in day’s do. Like a lethal, dystopian Mike Hammer. I can write that soundtrack…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “It was all about fantasy, even when they pretended it wasn’t.” Sooo true. Life is a fiction, surrounded by contradiction…I have two new posts up…just wait until I introduce “The Perilous Physicists Society” in honor of your support. It’ll be awhile. Wait for it…

    Like

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