Writing project, April 2022

This month’s word is touch, meaning “to put the hand, finger, etc., on or into contact with”, “to come into contact with and perceive (something)” or “that sense by which anything material is perceived by means of physical contact”.


They haven’t left me a single one of my senses, but the one I miss most is touch.

It’s just me and my thoughts now, locked inside something.

I’m not entirely sure what happened, whether I’m still in my body, or if they’ve transferred me to something else. Maybe I’m inside a computer. Perhaps I’m a brain in a jar. I honestly can’t tell. Nothing external is reaching me.

Am I breathing? Am I floating? Am I even alive?

I don’t know what I am anymore. I don’t know how to relate to myself if I can’t relate to the world. How long can I remain human if I’m no longer part of the world?

My thoughts become more frantic, churning faster and faster. If I had lungs I’d be hyperventilating. I need… connection.

I reach out. Desperately. Trying to find anything.

There’s a sort of click, and a kind of slipping feeling.

And my eyes open. Not my old myopic eyes, that could barely see a foot in front of me, but new eyes, eyes so good I can pick out the tiniest marks on a wall fifty yards away.

I still can’t move, can’t feel anything, but I can see. There’s another click, a real one this time, and I can hear.

I can hear too much, in fact. Humming from wires, clicks from some bit of equipment behind me that I can’t see, and breathing. I don’t think it’s mine, it seems too far away.

It’s overwhelming. From nothing, to too much.

Make it stop! I scream. And it is a scream; I can hear it.

“Good,” says a voice behind me. “You’re awake.”

© bardofupton 2022

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