A slow keening spread out across the landscape like a nuclear blast, slow at first and then enveloping everything in its wake. It was several moments before he realized that the noise was silent but within his own head. He looked around, deafened by the cacophony, at the faces of the people on the street who passed him by, undeterred, unnoticing.

He was, at last, invisible.

He had the urge to tear his clothing from his skin, but he knew that it would not have been enough. Had he stripped down, naked, he would have wanted to keep going, tearing flesh from sinews, muscle from bone, holding his veins and arteries in his fingers like so much spaghetti.

He had the urge to run rushing through the crowds, slapping people, grabbing them by the shoulders and pulling them in towards him, but he knew that it would not have been enough. Had he done so, he would have wanted to consume them as well, to bring their souls into his, their eyes and mouths and fingers into his own, until nobody existed at all.

And so, resisting the urges to destroy, to wake the madding mass of flesh that poured past him, he sat still, quiet, dense, disappearing yet more, disappearing by another degree. Until he was nothing but a shadow against the oil-stained pavement.

— ptkh, 07/04/10

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