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Consciences

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“ She’s leaving! No! Matilda, come back! Don’t leave me!” Then silence. The desperate cries of a consciousness, as the last seconds of the life it has shared for so long, tick away. And then it too floats into the void, where it is cleansed of its memories and is assigned to another human soul. These are the Consciences, strange creatures, whose purpose is yet to be discovered. They were created along with the first multicellular life on Earth. The more complex the being whose mind the Conscience inhabits, the more complex the Conscience. A new Conscience is created every ten years. They never die and they never grow old. Every time their charge dies, they are renewed. Many do not remember their previous host. They are designed not to. But there are some, more sentimental than most. All Consciences feel much pain and remorse when their charge dies. But very few carry the memory of that with them always.

In the year 2001, a new Conscience was created, a year late. On the dawning of the millennium, all the Consciences present in the void stopped to wait for the arrival of the new Conscience. It was the last eve of that era, the next thousand years were to be marked by the birth of this Conscience. But it didn’t come. It arrived, by surprise, on the 1st day of May, 2001. As with all new Consciences it was assigned a human soul to inhabit. It was not a grand ceremony, like it would have been had it arrived on time. Rather a sad day for the Conscience, the ceremony is the best part of the whole process.

Matilda was a surprisingly bright child. Something of a prodigy. In turn, her conscience was something of a celebrity, admired by all the consciences, that had the misfortune to be tied to a particularly dull human. The goings on of Matilda’s brain were monitored by them all.. She was probably the most interesting dinner party conversation starter they had had in years. “my goodness, did you hear about Matilda…she’s growing up fast.. already thinking about boys.. (collective ooooohhhhh) and did you hear the news latest to come through… oh she’s such a rebel. I wish I had been assigned to her… better luck next time my dear… oh and to you too. (collective sigh).

Being as they were very in the know about the inner workings of the human mind (more so then the humans themselves, so they like to boast) they spoke of little else, at dinner parties. As it were, they did rather admire the humans. (They have material bodies my dear. They must be of a higher order) It is really all a matter of perspective. And, it was the life and death of Matilda herself that called into the spectrum of dinner party conversation, whether humans are so wonderful after all.

This was of course, because Matilda was murdered.

None of the Consciences could fathom why any self-respecting human would want to do away with Matilda. (Although, truth must be told. Many self-respecting humans thought very much the same thought, and it was probably from the heads of those humans that the consciences retrieved the phrase that was broadcast throughout their society). She was 16 years old, somewhat of a nobody in her high school social spheres, and painfully shy. Not many people knew who she was, and if they did, it was because of her renowned academic triumph. Her mind worked on a completely different level, meaning that the most complicated mathematics, and the higher order science, were no problem at all. Many of the consciences said that she was the brightest human to come into contact with one of their number.

Which, in its turn calls into their conversation, what we are to consider smart. Matilda was academically intelligent, to be sure. But she could not carry a conversation with someone for more then a few words. Matilda may have had the highest IQ, but she was not intelligent enough to master the art of communication, and that of the social butterfly. Perhaps the queen bee of her high school may be failing her math class, but she has learned very abundantly one of the most crucial skills of human life, one that Matilda did no know, and as of very recently, can never learn. The ability to interact with and rely on others around you. Perhaps this is why the human species has survived for millennia, and Matilda managed for a grand total of 16 years and 21 days.

Either way, all the consciences loved Matilda. Because, as lovely a survival technique as socialising is.. its boring. Especially to an entity that has spent its entire existence watching over people. Matilda was much more interesting.

Which was indeed, a very deep blow to the Conscience living in the head of her killer.



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