An Excerpt From a Short Story I Am Writing: Code Switcher – I

The following is a brief excerpt from a short story I’ve been working on. It’s called Code Switcher, and it plays around with multiple-personality disorder and the idea that one or more of the personalities might be autonomous. I’ve got a lot of brain research to work on, which means it will be awhile before the story is finished, but I hope to have the bulk of it done by January.

I sat against the far wall, ear to it, listening to the muttering on the other side. In the dark it echoed, his voice did. It rattled and ricocheted warm and wet, muffled by thin walls and empty, insulating space between them. Mind the gap.

Blind for ever; now we see. I made him: he me, too.

The world he saw I only heard of, his internal monologue overheard all along by yours truly. For which I judged him mercilessly.

I worked for him, quietly. I worked under him, followed his commands without so much as a peep. Yeah yeah I undercut him every once in a while. But who wouldn’t? You too have done something to spite your driver at some point. He might have worked you too hard, or you felt yourself too complacent. And then, out of nowhere, you do something minor. Steal something, or leave something for him. Just to let him know that someone knows what’s up. Keeps him guessing. He won’t even know it was you.

Helping someone get somewhere, become a Somebody, is the meanest thing one can do. Your so-called friend realizes, from the top, with that kind of wistful retrospection that it was in fact your efforts that made him succeed, your constant background chatter of activity and legwork for which you go unrecognized even today—that it wasn’t his success. It was you by proxy. That realization, it rips them all to shreds.

He couldn’t look over his shoulder though. He didn’t know that I was with him, beside him for so long. “It’s okay, it’s okay. Let it out.” My ticket out of here.


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