“Ever the Question” – Friday Fiction by Carlos Vicenty

 

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“One day,” Morris Fay said to himself, “I’m going to throw you into the blender!” Morris gave his best death stare towards his wrist watch which lay on his desk.

A voice squeaked up from seemingly nowhere, “Try it, bud. You’ll get it ten-fold!”

A tiny light glimmered from the watch’s glass and grew, forming into an elegant shape. The light faded and left a woman on the other side of Morris’ desk, hunched over and matching his stare. Her turquoise eyes could not hold the annoyance that Morris’ held. The rubber sphinx at the corner of Morris’ desk rumbled and decided to speak its own mind as well.

“Children will be children, I suppose. But you should put all of that energy into making progress with work,” rumbled the soft-spoken sphinx.

It glimmered at first, and then the rubber rippled on the surface, as if it were skin. Light emerged and took form at the side of the desk, next to the sphinx.

        Morris sighed between these two figures. In front of him stood an elegant woman adorned in a soft, clockwork-designed dress, gear earrings, and a spring-like hairpin to hold back her long, brunette hair from covering her lightly pale face. To Morris’ side stood a proud, young man with sullen eyes that radiated with a hazel glow. He was dressed in ancient Egyptian wardrobe, but his truly distinguishable feature was his cat-like façade. Eyes with slit pupils, feet akin to cat paws, nails shaped like claws, and pointed ears on the top of his head, protruding from his black hair and partly hidden by his headdress.

        Sitting by and rubbing his temples was not enough to make Morris’ migraine relax. “It really is too early in the morning for you both to be bugging me. Get lost. I have work to do.

The woman stood up in a huff, crossing her arms. “Well, excuse me, Mr. I’m always so busy and important! The nerve.” She scoffed and crossed the room towards the bookcase by the door, pretending to be interested by all of the titles.

“Listen, Invicta, if you can just sit around quietly and let me work, then feel free to stay.” Morris looked up from the desk expecting a look of agreement but instead was met with another gaze. This time it held that annoyance it missed before.

“I told you to stop calling me that. It’s not my name,” the woman complained.

The sphinx spoke up again, fixing his eyes on Morris without being bothered to turn his head, “She does have a point, Fay. And you are not being very clever.”

Morris sighed again, “It was the most feminine-sounding brand I could think of. Sue me. What do you want me to call you? Gucci?”

The woman rolled her eyes and paced around the room a bit before she stopped in front of the desk and slammed her hands down. “I got it,” she exclaimed, “you can call me Alyssa!” She kept rolling the name around in her head, proud of her originality.

“Alyssa is my daughter’s name. You just stole it from her after you saw her picture on my desk. Pick a different one,” Morris pleaded.

“Alyssa it is, then!” The woman pranced around the office, still proud of her brilliant thoughts.

        As Morris picked his pen up to start his work he felt another gaze upon him. He turned his head slightly to the right and his eyes were met with a hazel glow. “Do you have to be this close?”

The sphinx demanded, “I want a name too. Something original and suiting my royal upbringing.”

Morris closed his eyes, “Yeah, sure. Understandable. But do you have to be less than an inch away from my face?”

The sphinx hopped off the desk and assumed his usual stance; a poised look he thought always suited him. After thinking for a few moments, the sphinx spoke up again, “I believe I have got it, a name that suits one such as I. You may call me… Khafra.”

Morris was left in surprise over the almost normal choice. “What made you pick that?”

The sphinx, Khafra, brushed his shoulders a bit and stood proudly as he answered, “Khafra is an Egyptian pharaoh whose image is believed to be used for the Great Sphinx of Giza. Honestly, it is only natural such a name befits me, Fay. But out of curiosity, what name would you have come up with?”

Morris picked his pen back up and begun filling out his forms again, “I was just going to call you Sphinxy. But Khafra is a fine name as well.” The room was filled with an awkward silence for a few moments, only accompanied by Alyssa’s proud humming softly by the bookcase.

        A few hours passed and Morris Fay placed the last few files in the out box on his desk. Proud of his work, he leaned back on his leather chair and took a few moments to relax a bit. Once he closed his eyes however, Morris felt malicious gazes bearing down on him. Slightly opening one eye, he saw the duo hunched over on the other side of his desk, staring him down.

Morris gave his usual sigh as the two asked in unison, “Are you done? Can we go out now?” Their question was only met with an annoyed look from Morris however, so naturally the two asked louder. “Please? Please? Please? Please?”

In all of his tired glory, Morris buried his face into his hands and answered, “Ten minutes! In ten minutes, I’m on break. Just wait until then!” Alyssa and Khafra both looked at each other with triumphant smirks and went back to walking around the office.

“You know, I don’t really understand why it has to be me.” Alyssa and Khafra looked over towards Morris the second he said this. Exchanging glances for a few moments in silence, they tried their best to rationalize it. Something that Morris had trouble doing since his surreal sights began.

Alyssa spoke up, “We don’t really understand why either, Morris. You just have a natural gift, I suppose.” She glanced back over at Khafra as Morris rested his head on the desk.

Khafra spoke up this time, “There really is not always a logical explanation for everything that goes on in our world. There are some things that you must simply accept into your life. This is one of them.”

Morris’ eyes opened and stared towards the door on the other side of his office as he tried to think. “It’s been almost a week of this. You two were the first, but you weren’t the only ones.”

Alyssa and Khafra both nodded slightly and Khafra spoke again, “Of course. We are not the only ones like us. There are countless more. Everyday objects to normal people, but with souls of our very own. Souls that never once belonged to a human. Souls that have been ours and always will be ours.”

The two leaned against the walls as Morris stood up and looked towards the clock. “I know that, but… I still don’t understand why I can see and talk to souls like you. And why now of all times?”

Alyssa cleared her throat and spoke up again, “Like we said, we don’t know either. But you can see us, you can talk to us, you can treat us like people. To the rest of the world, we’re no better than ghosts. Lost souls bound to objects and doomed to remain out of touch to the world around us.” She glanced down to the floor, leaving Morris as confused as ever.

He remembered the very first reason the two gave to him at the start of the week. “Alyssa, you explained it best. Why do you souls exist again?”

Her eyes sparkled up a bit as she smirked, “Because when you love something with all of your heart, you can give it life. A soul.”

Morris looked back up towards the clock, “So you two had really loving owners, right? I wonder if those original owners can see you too.”

Khafra looked up at the clock with Morris, “Time to go?”

Morris gave a nod and made his way to his desk. He grabbed his jacket, watch, and the sphinx. He then pressed a button on the phone to get his secretary on the intercom. “I’m on break, so make sure you take down any messages for me.” He made his way to Alyssa and Khafra, who were waiting by the door.

“Another question to answer another day,” he thought.

 

(Note – The image (which you probably recognize) is a Salvatore Dali detail from another wordpress blog: http://julieluongo.wordpress.com/2007/09/13/and-happy-new-3rd-millennium-dog-killers/ – Ed.)

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