— Read the previous paragraph —
it’s not easy now to bring some order to the memories, but maybe was
G., or J., maybe P.? Who knows?
We need to find the only one who knows how is possible to find a black soul when searching for a white one. Anxious thoughts mixed with memories, images hidden among numbers and handshakes. It’s unbelievable how people we meet everyday can disappear without leaving almost anything to our palette. We can paint in our memory advertisements or women we saw for few intense minutes, and still it’s difficult to recollect the name of the doctor we shook the hands everyday for years.
An invisible memory, now
A doctor, particularly, was always there at the hospital. One of those folks that seems born already old. A grandpa without wrinkles, with hairs always combed and the eyebrows thick as he was a Maine coon cat. A funny man, always ready to say a new joke, but an invisible entity now in S.’s memory. All he can remember is a white fluffy round figure, almost always on his back. No, name, no identity, no address. However he needs to do something, that man would be the only one having any information. As the man in charge in the hospital at the time, he has to know the answer which haunts S.
Where’s his father soul?
The empty room, the hands open and ready for the extraction. Then, a cold wind passes through the room. A small whirlwind, enough to give chills. Then a bulb explodes and the table seems trembling, moving a bit. No, this isn’t the white soul we expected, is a black soul and we don’t need the palette to understand it. The only action allowed is to close it inside the device.
A black soul
And then, few minutes later, everything was finished. S., seated on the ground, cried as he’d never imagine he would cry, not even in the worst nightmares. He was crying as a plumber finally repaired the valves behind his eyes. Years of tears dropped from that foggy clouds that are the eyes of a sad man.
Where’s my father’s soul?
Right now, there’s only one way to discover where the soul is, which is going to the only place in which the memory never slip away. This will be the office in which every person is recorded, piled over in an archive.
The Suicide Office
In the dim light sit on the stairs, Bu is eating his cheese sandwich barely illuminated by the electric sun. The secret ingredient of the sandwich is the same giving all the blood colour: a small dried tomato. Bu doesn’t look up when this shoes pass close to him hurrying upstairs to his boss in the Suicide Office.
If it wasn’t for the arrows, the corridors would be the same here. On the right or left hand side in every floor an arrow says
First floor- Office of lost dead, Subsection Arts control, Plants and Forestry control
No logics needed, every office is planned to be in a random place. As a crazy farmer who wants to make potatoes from a banana tree. Probably this is the real aim of bureaucracy, its ultimate purpose. Let something which would be easier if just left to chance into a chaos between lines, lines and round stamps. So here we are at the last step, where a sign screams
Second Floor- Section interventions for extractions on minors, Homicides Office
No, we still are not there. We need to know something new, and homicides are never really discovered. It’s all about motive, proofs and conjectures. And to say the truth, there are not so many homicides here. Why someone has to kill someone else? No one really care about even its own life. They fear about pain, that’s true. But if we all could just die a piece at the time, without suffering, that’d be perfect.
Third floor- Suicide office, House instalment plans, Amnesty for infringement of building regulations
Here we are, at last.
The office is the opposite of what we could expect from a Suicide Office, a black and white room. The contrary, it’s an electric blue wall painted place, with yellow chairs and bright colours in every corner. How comes, a Suicide Office so coloured? Yes, they follow the same pattern used for tobacco control. In the end cigarettes bring a big revenue to the State, so we don’t want really to stop it, do we? As for lotteries, for instance. On one hand we like to show the use of cigarettes, as the amazing life awaiting for us if we’re going to win a lottery, but in the other hand we write
If you smoke, you and your family are going to die. Bad
The business of suicide
Following this logics, it’s necessary to remind how- in theory- suicide is wrong. Doing so, most of the time they just put some colours on the armchairs and doors, so critics cannot say that the State is taking real money from it. The reality is that the State is taking real money from it. For any non- authorised suicide, the law provides for the closest relatives a period in prison or confiscation of assets. It goes without saying, everyone follows the procedure. A simple letter addressed to the Suicide Office Deputy Chief, read and approved by the subordinate.
Only in the case of a proved high standard soul, and to avoid it would get wasted and transmuted into a frog, the candidate must be called as soon as possible.
The Deputy Chief
S., I suppose
Please, take a seat, then
I’m here about any information you can give to me regarding a doctor which worked at the Yellow Hospital. We’re speaking about fifteen years ago, at least
No sweat, I promise. We have the most complete database
Thanks for your cooperation, it’s much appreciated
Please, not a big deal really. Just if you can take this paper and give to Bu, our best archivist. I can already fix an appointment, in three weeks.
Three weeks? Sorry, but I really need that name, you cannot fix an appointment before?
I’m really sorry, that’s all I can do for you. So, we’ll see in three weeks, then?
Yes, sure, sign me in. Thanks for your time, see you soon
The steps are running through the stairs, nervous, I feel we’re going to stumble. Something is wrong for sure. One shoe is not laced up, the coffee flask was never refilled in the last two days. The feet seem to have lost the natural self- confidence, ready to trip over something at every step.
A small crack is visible now between the brick of this human. A crack which is an open wound, and an open question that doesn’t seem to leave his brain
Where’s my father’s soul?
— Next week “That boy” —
This story will be published once per week only, with all rights reserved for the story and its translations by Flyingstories.org and in the person of Daniele Frau.
All the graphics are handmade and designed with different techniques by Gabriele Manca, DMQ productions, who reserves all rights.
All English articles published in Souls (alive) proofread by Elisabeth Corcoran