You Light Up My Life

I am become Norris, and discover that I did not die the first time.

Some of me persisted in those burnt remains from the doghouse, hung on against fire and frost: crippled, mindless, reduced to a few jellied fragments embedded in carbon.  They took what they could find and broke cover.  Now I watch myself stagger through the snow, raw instinct, wearing Bennings.

Some of Bennings, anyway.  Twisted knots of me cling to his hands and forearms like crude parasites, more outside than in; ten times that mass must have been metabolized to drive such a breakneck transition and still it wasn’t fast enough.   Bennings moves half under his control and half under mine, spastic, seizing.  He crumples, makes sounds unlike anything this world will recognize.

Men swarm on all sides, their own movements more instinctive than rational.  The flares in their hands burn a crimson counterpoint to the dim blue constellations of distant guidelights. Their faces are bichromatic and beautiful in the darkness.  MacReady tips a drum onto its side; rust-colored liquid spills across the snow.  I smell the stink of flammable hydrocarbons.

Once more I watch from the sidelines as they set me on fire.  I die all over again, my unconsummated skin howling like an animal beneath the sky.

It shouldn’t matter this much.  I lost hardly anything this time; a stunted, presapient sliver with little mass and no usable experience.  I have lost potential, nothing more.  And yet I am suddenly as cold inside as out.

Three times the world has burned me now.  I’m really getting tired of it.



This entry was posted on Saturday, May 23rd, 2009 at 6:42 am and is filed under fiblet. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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Rosy
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Rosy
13 years ago

Ha! I like what you did there.

Jason M. Robertson
Guest
13 years ago

This continues to be interesting. Is there an anthology project or something afoot of interpretations of The Thing?

01
Guest
01
13 years ago

Great. Now I’m cold too.

Seth
Guest
13 years ago

Oh good, even world-encompassing meta-organisms can get angry. While that’s surely to be an awesome part of the plot it gave me a real visceral chill to think of a bunch of guys trying to burn such a creature with gasoline multiple times.

It sort of makes me glad that SETI hasn’t found anything yet.

Madeline
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Madeline
13 years ago

Maybe it’s just me, but my Thing voiceover is definitely female. Anybody else?

Ross
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Ross
13 years ago

Stupid question: Are Norris and Bennings the same human?

01
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01
13 years ago

Actually, I would suggest Anthony Hopkins voice. He is so deliciously creepy.

Madeline
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Madeline
13 years ago

Or maybe Woody Allen.

“I just don’t know, I mean they seem so removed, and this whole place is full of worlds, it’s disgusting. I mean why are there so many of them? Palmer says they come out of these things called vaginas, which can’t be true because these things don’t even have any, it must be a myth or something, right? I mean what species would have a whole system of organs devoted solely to one purpose when you could just spread?

Seth
Guest
13 years ago

“Maybe it’s just me, but my Thing voiceover is definitely female. Anybody else?”

What you don’t think they’ll have Morgan Freeman do the narration in the movie adaptation? I jest.

I kind of saw it with a flat androgynous voice that was somewhere between Hal from 2001 and Glados from portal. It’s more about the implications than the tones themselves since both represented a powerful intelligence and emotions but tried to portray themselves as totally rational.

When I first read the fiblets I kind of imagined a metal singing voice that had been layered and layered so it sounded at once harsh, whispy, deep and full of power.

01
Guest
01
13 years ago

@Madeline

Win

TheBrummell
Guest
13 years ago

Stephen Hawking: ask him. He played himself on Futurama a few years ago, and this is already mind-blowing. With his voice narrating, it would cause the good kind of cerebral hematoma.

Cate Blanchet: watch the opening scenes of The Fellowship of the Ring again if you don’t believe me.

howler
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howler
13 years ago

Pete, glad the assimilation held up, now you can give voice to my plight…..what a strange world indeed.

Shawn
Guest
Shawn
13 years ago

That was one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard in a while.

Ross
Guest
Ross
13 years ago

I said it was a stupid question. I’ve seen Carpenter’s movie three times, the ’51 movie once, and read Campbell’s story at least a dozen. So why didn’t I recognize it? I think I probably did get the echo of it, but somehow I was thinking this was the voice of the scrambler overmind. And I was asking myself why you went back on your committment to consciousnessless intelligence.

Campbell’s Thing is scary smart too, but he found it necessary to spell out who won on the last page:

“No, by the grace of God, who evidently does hear very well, even down here, and the margin of half an hour, we keep our world, and the planets of the system too. Anti-gravity, you know, and atomic power. Because They came from another sun, a star beyond the stars. They came from a world with a bluer sun.”

John Henning
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John Henning
13 years ago

Why a “bluer” sun? Because it would deliver more energy to the surface than a yellow dwarf? Less? What was the thought behind that (this was the 1930’s, right?)- or was it simply poetic?

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