CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Word Count: 714
"Everything passes. Nobody gets anything for keeps. And that's how we've got to live." Haruki Murakami.
Time would move on, time had already moved on, and he didn’t have them anymore, they weren’t allowed to exist in his daily life, because they didn’t exist. He could spread his arms wide and scream to the heavens, vengeful words, awful words full of hatred and twisted, metallic, evil, and, it would change nothing. There was nothing he could do to bring them back. They were gone forever, and it was, in one way or another, partially his fault. He could have protected them, or, he could have died with them, and not lived through all the pain he had endured.
Time would pass. He knew, that the eventuality was, when they had been alive, that each of them would die, one day, in the future. They would die of old age or physical negligence, but mostly of old age and bodily exhaustion. They were meant to have died as wise, old beings, their lives fulfilled to the best of their ability, with much to share, and many important things done during their living years. They shouldn’t have been slain like poached animals, like poor hunted vermin and game. He wanted to scream, he desperately wanted to scream, to do something, to move quickly and let out all his rage, but he just rested his hands in his head, suddenly tired, the news on the television creating subtle echoes in his empty lounge room.
Conrad Ecklie, he, Conrad Julius Ecklie, was a different man now, a changed man, someone who, would never, see the light again the way he had once seen it. The lights, the people, who had filled his life with so much happiness, each person special and shining in their own way, were all dead, all gone beyond his help or saving. He sat on a cursed couch, in a cursed room, inside a cursed house, a house that had seen its fair share of murders, and felt empty, but heavy, pained, but hollow and unmoving.
It didn’t stop, though, no, the pain would never, ever, stop completely. He was serving a life sentenced, ordered by invisible, unseen, ignored hands, to continually think about it, every spare waking moment of the day that wasn’t occupied by something else, some other activity. He couldn’t run away, he couldn’t escape, he was doomed, bound, to think about death, denial, pain, murder, tragedy and upheaval, for as long as he lived, for as long as his brain kept alive. He had once thought of turning to substances to numb the pain, the echoing doubts, the hurt and bad thoughts, but he knew, nothing even strongly fogging to the brain, could take away his specific knowledge.
That was how he would live. He would let time pass by him, he would work hard and notice its passing because it was an important act. Time would pass, he would lose his last remaining link to his family, because nothing lasted forever, and he especially, never got to keep anything really, personally important, for very long. His job was the only thing that could not be damaged, because it wasn’t a living thing, it was dependent on him, and even that would end someday, when he got too old, too decrepit and of too little value to the crime lab. Time passed by him, he lost things, and that was how he would live. That was how he would live, always and forever.
Echoes of tragedy and pain, violence and accidents stung the room like scurrying, menacing fire ants, so he turned off the TV, finished his nightly business, read his book, and went to bed. He would repeat himself over and over, stick to his schedule, and keep going, keep continuing, until death greeted him with welcoming, open, comforting arms. That was how he would live, he would live in pain, he would live in memory, he would work to live, he would live a good but distant life. Those things, those ways of being, of acting, they were how he would live. He was destined to them, through forces he had never been able to control, but still bitterly wished he could. That was how it always would be, and there was nothing he could do about it, except get on with his life.