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The Wire Man

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The Wire Man ran across the wires, looking for naughty little children whose souls he would steal. Countless wires danced from his arms where his hands should have been. His face was bloody, his body was bent, and his irises shone a bright white. He unbent himself to the strange call that alerted him to his next victim and ran like the wind propelled him.

He came to his destination after hours of running. He saw what he was searching for, a little boy with hair the color of the night sky. Sitting at home with nothing to do, the boy was writing (or drawing) on a piece of paper. The Wire Man’s cracked mouth distorted into a painful-looking smile. He climbed over the fence with a cautious gait. His wire-hands carried him over the fence and onto the backyard. Then he waited under the boy’s window. He heard the scratch of pencil on paper stop, and he stifled his curiosity. If the child could see him, taking the child would be more difficult.

When he heard the noise resume, he slowly climbed up into the window and gazed upon the boy whose soul he would steal. The boy was writing a story, and though the Wire Man could technically read the letters, the words did not register in his mind, for he thought better in pictures. He watched the boy for twenty minutes and the boy did not notice, for the Wire Man stood still like a statue, and his irises looked like stars. He only needed to stop once he heard the right car, and so he threw himself backwards, over the fence and back into the shadows.

The boy noticed this movement, and he was frightened for a mere second. Then he was curious, and so he scanned the outside, only to see his parents’ car and nothing else of interest. He was happy that they had come back, but he didn’t express this, because he was that kind of person. He probably hadn’t even realized that he had missed them while they were gone. He was that kind of person.

The Wire Man waited for him. He watched the boy as he worked on his laptop, read a book, and finally went to sleep at twelve. The boy was still awake at twelve-thirty, wondering if it was because of his choice of cotton-polyester pajamas, when he heard the ominous sound of the window opening.

The man coming into the room did not interest the Wire Man. The Wire Man wanted innocence, and this man’s soul was black and vile. It was trying to keep terrible things under wraps, trying not to let the man be haunted by his actions. It was rationalizing his actions even at that moment, for the man was desperate and needed money. The man went through the house, stealing valuables from the shelves. The boy was too frightened to move, but his hand went to his phone. Something fell, and the crash alerted the man to the fact that someone was moving. He went up the stairs and found the boy out of bed, the phone out of reach, and the perfect opportunity to steal more valuables in his hands. The Wire Man knew that he would most likely take it. After all, the boy had been destined to die on this day.

The Wire Man still waited, with the stillness of a statue, the stillness of the boy lying in bed. He waited for an hour or so, then climbed into the window of the room to watch the boy as he slept, and to efficiently steal the boy’s soul once he was sure the boy was dead. Eventually, he heard the sound of the angels, a faint whisper that rang through his head, and he knew then that the boy had died. He wasted no time. He thrust his wire-hands deep into the boy, and he pulled out its struggling soul with the panache of a great chef. Joyous, he ingested it and ran quickly over the town sidewalks, knowing that the angels would come for him. The angels always flew after him in pursuit of the soul, but they could not win.

“Halt!” cried one. “The messengers of the almighty Lord command you, filthy satanic beast, to unhand the soul of the boy!”

But the words of the angel had no effect on the Wire Man. Despite the fact that the angels had wings, and he did not, he managed to evade them easily. He ran. He ran until he found electric wires, and there, his wire-hands wound around their wire brethren, and he was pulled to the level of the angels.

“Our path is righteous and true, and you shall fail and be cast back into the fiery pit,” crowed the same talkative angel. The others sang its words with trills and mordents, and they circled him menacingly. The Wire Man could not speak so beautifully, and so he haltingly said, “Electricity…”, repeating the word as the angels' circle closed in around him.

They were creatures of air and light, goodness and holiness. He was the opposite, not a demon, but an abomination of wires and flesh, an earthly automaton given life. And this was not their domain, but his. The wires that he stood on coiled around the angels, and electricity coursed through them. They writhed, but they could not free themselves. The wires entered their bodies, and through them, the angels heard the wild laughter of the Wire Man, laughter his corpselike form could not replicate.

“You fools! Do you think that I am beyond God? Do you think that I am more powerful than God? He cannot strike me down.” The words might have sounded proud out of context, but his voice dripped with resignation.

“You do not know your Lord. I defy him. I defy his order. I defied his vision. I had no life, but he gave me life. He causes men and women to suffer. He causes them to hate. He makes them forget his words, or not know his words, and so He damns them to the fiery pit. I am the being of machinery and magic. I can do miracles. I can send them up to heaven. He allows me to send them to heaven.”

The wires were beginning to smoke, and he knew that he had little time. He retracted the wires and regurgitated the soul. The angels snatched it and took it to the Place of Judgment, where they would have sent it to hell, for having disobeyed the orders of the Lord. Having touched the skin of a pig, having worn cotton-polyester pajamas.

But the Wire Man had kept those parts of the boy in him, and so yet another soul would make it to heaven. He did not know where this “evil” went. He did not knew and he did not care. He perched upon the wires, hunched and broken-looking, waiting for news of another naughty child whose soul he could steal.