Knowledge kills

By Katerina Verzhbitsky. Katerina lives in the UK. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

She gazes, spellbound, at the lights. They seem to float around her, dancing in the polluted air. A haze of fog is illuminated in a delicate shade of lilac. This is her favourite place – was her favourite place, until-. Shaking the memory away, she sighs. It belongs to a different life, one of comfort and ignorance. But it was worth coming here just to see the festival, she thinks.

We look longingly at this alien world, full of people with stupid smiles and loud laughs. That was me once, oblivious to the knowledge right under my nose. Joking and messing about to flaunt my power over the teacher. Now we stand, united outside, but divided within. We could try, go back to our old life, start anew; but I know, and so does she, that it would never work. We know too much now.

A streak of neon light shoots upwards and is swallowed by the thick greyness hovering above. She watches as the sky is torn apart in a blaze of beauty. The sky stares back, asking a question: You have come here for what? For merely a sentimental reason? Her lips thin and her eyes defiantly argue her case, but to the innocent bystander, malice is lurking in the corners.

I feel myself changing and cry out inside. No! Not now. Yet it is futile, and my consciousness spirals down, down…

The malice spreads, until she is smiling a cruel smile, the smile of evil. She swiftly turns on her heel and marches down the stone steps behind her, eyes empty from all feeling except the wickedness that glints in the centre. Those eyes sweep the stairway for watchers who could notice and catch her. Nothing but a huddled figure whom she ignores.

I am in control. She is nothing now, a vessel of my power. It has been days since my last repossession, days that I have been gathering my strength. She brought us here, to her hometown where I am strongest. I will execute my plan, exact revenge. She has been racing here before I take over, futilely hoping I will stay hidden. Her hopes were in vain.

Robotically walking down, she glares at the pile of rags in the corner which shudder and part to reveal a wasted figure, with sunken cheeks and a dull look in his eyes. He shudders again, and his eyes turn an indescribable colour, flashing between hues. A malignant smile appears on his face and he looks deep into her evil eyes as something passes between them. They remain like this for minutes which seem like hours; then finally, she turns and sweeps away with a nod and a smirk toward him. She melts into the shadows but the bright white backpack resting on her shoulders is still visible.

I curse and pull what I need from the bottom of the bag. Slipping it into the folds of my cloak, I abandon the backpack, and feel myself fading away as I focus on the destination. It is a little hazy in the other one’s memory, but accessible. I rematerialize in the shadow of a huge statue strung with neon lights. It is recognizable as the statue in her memories. Ensuring what I took from the bag is hidden, I stride out into the street, into crowds of cheering people.

She makes her way toward the blue-lit Hall along with the rest of the crowd. As she gets closer, she steps to the edge of the mass of bodies, into the shadows created by the millions of LEDs. Her hand edges toward the object she removed from the bag. Then a man steps forward onto a podium surrounded by the crowd, and the crowd goes wild. Holding up a hand for silence, he begins to speak, but her attention is elsewhere. Her attention is on the figure moving toward the man on the podium. The figure with eyes the colour of everything. He is nearing them, and the crowd has noticed something is amiss. Hostile, some turn towards him, muttering to their neighbours.

He has provided a good enough distraction, and I go. But something within is changing; a sense of another being overwhelms my soul. I understand what is happening and hurriedly remove the cold metal object, my finger under the trigger. I point it at the podium and start pulling back. The screams of the crowd mingle with the screams inside our head, and I’m panicking, then I black out.

A look of deep concentration passes across her face, then a mist seems to rise from her, a black mist, writhing in pain. Her face relaxes, and she sleeps.

Knowledge kills.

Blaise Pascal: ‘Once your soul has been enlarged by a truth, it can never return to its original size.’

3 comments on “Knowledge kills

  1. Vicky Bryan on

    This is an intriguing piece of dual narration and ends sublimely on the quote of inspiration. The vocabulary used is sophisticated and the complex narration elevates the tension that builds until the metaphorical death at the end. This is a superb piece of writing! Fantastic!


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