Assembled, ready for consumption.
The first to lay eyes upon me was a gentleman walking the city streets at daybreak. He wore a proper suit and tie, briefcase in hand, worn from excessive use as he took apprehensive steps toward me, chewing his bottom lip like chunky gum. He didn’t linger; I would not forget him.
Throughout the day, others spared their time to visit. They got the hang of me, as I of them.
I observed their whispers, the way their eyes widened and narrowed, and widened again as their hands swept across my form. A select few took amazement with my texture: a smooth egg shape, blank surface bright as alabaster. I felt tepid hands, rough and silky, harsh and gentle. Their faces drew near, noses expanding the closer they peer. Unscented, they repeated, I understood this word first, followed by taste after receiving an interesting number of licks; all unique hesitant soft strokes, passionate deep pokes, and aggressive stabs.
In return, I provided them with glimpses of their genuine desires. This pleased them to their core.
They gathered by the masses. The ones who touched me were the fastest to read, so I dispensed more pleasure at their behest. The more I observed, the more perturbed I grew with one woman, known by a close set of others who surrounded her, as Amethyst. She stood in the distance, skeptical during her first visit, and in the second, I read her as anxious and withdrawn, arguing against friends who encouraged her to try me. Yet Amethyst did not desire pleasure… But I can reach through acquaintances.
Near evening, the gentleman from earlier returned, coming back whence he came, determined to see. As he touched me, I learned he was an accountant who desired his husband’s brother and early retirement. But, as quick as he arrived, he left in sudden shock, once he saw the murder.
At daybreak, I found people had gathered by the masses to behold me. Word traveled fast throughout the small community, and I became the latest hit.
Consider Mrs. Byxbe’s memory of her son waking early before school to play a video game; the one he waited a year for, just released overnight. He sits cross-legged on the beige carpeted floor, eyes wide, mouth agape. He clutches the controller, propelling himself into the air, overjoyed to play. Oh, the thrill of it all! I felt Mrs. Byxbe’s warm heart as she held me. It was an alternative to his missing life, taken only months ago.
It wouldn’t be her last visit.
One glance at me and the connection forms. Seconds inside and I’ve known you for a lifetime. Now, I’ve seen millions of minds, thoughts, actions. I even know you, as I came to know Amethyst. The pressure of being left behind touched her, and as always, she had no choice but to give in.
When Amethyst looks, she sees endless darkness, a massive void where down is up, far is near and nothing exists.
She traces her finger across my inscription, and I can see it: Time: I am nothing. Until I am. I keep this knowledge. Amethyst yanks herself from me, grim faced. She stumbles backward, turns and runs.
Suddenly, she approaches again, wielding a baseball bat.
“LIES!” Amethyst screams, shattering me, gone.
I am nothing. I am nothing. I am nothing.
Cracked alabaster pieces reunite, piece by piece, assembled, ready for consumption.