Inktober: Week 2

As NaNoWriMo gets underway, I’ve finally completed my Inktober work! So I’ll be releasing the rest of these shorts whilst I work on (hopefully) something approaching a cohesive novella for December. Stick with me, I’m trying!

NATION – a concept

Wandering is a kind of peace, to be sure. An open world, full of people to know and to love and to miss in fond memories when others’ cadence, others’ smiles capture one’s attention. Wandering is a practice of solitude.

But even the nomad came from somewhere – a land which called them mine. A land where the slant of noses and the colour of eyes was a mirror. Even the nomad, in solitude, was once a native, in plurality. And sometimes, when the nomad lays down their head to sleep in a place which almost feels like home, they can hear the whisper of their origin, asking when they’ll come home?

DISGUISE – a comfort

His body felt heavy. Not in the way a body does when you eat too much then struggle to move, but in the way that you do when you’ve been outside of yourself for too long and you must relearn what it’s like within flesh. He lifted his arm, or thought he did, because when he relaxed his muscles there was to tell-tale dull thud of meat hitting concrete. And he was, as far as he could tell, lying on a concrete floor.

Remember that you are youtself. You are simply… also somebody else.

Right. Himself. As he remembered to know that he existed, this body he had taken began to obey instruction. Breathe in – cough and wretch, because the lungs have forgotten the rhythm of staying alive. Stretch the toes, then work the ankles… work your way through the joints. The process is long. Longer if you try to be a hero and get up too soon.

A hero he was not. Just a soldier who’d signed up to do some terrible things in service of a glorious end. Much like… whoever he’d landed up in. As the body which used to belong to somebody else gave over control to his mind, he rose from his incredibly uncomfortable position on the floor. Why couldn’t he land when the host was sitting down? Or sleeping on a bed? Why always this kind of undignified entrance… this time apparently after a long night of alcoholic over-indulgence.

His head was killing him, but still he moved through the empty apartment to find a bathroom. Flicking the lights on he regarded his newest disguise. Nothing to write home about, which was good, but disappointing. People liked attractive people, they gave them liberties. But they also remembered them.

Never snatch the pretty ones.

Well, he’d certainly followed that rule. Familiarising himself with his identity for the foreseeable future, the snatcher idly wondered what it would be like to be back in his own body again. Would his limbs remember the way of him? Would he smile like he used to? Or would he carry the tics and habits of his disguises back into himself and remain a stranger until he died?

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