Pridgeon's Struggles

Pridgeon wants to challenge the very limits of science and is ready to break every the rule to get what he wants. But he's playing with what it means to be human, and he might need some help.

Sweat trickled down his forehead, his hands trembled and his legs shook against his weight. His eyes remained fixed on a row of dials and gauges, noting the slightest change with immense accuracy. The mind wandered and dreamed of the time when he would be successful and he would finally be able to attain his goal. He snapped back into reality as the sky outside erupted with crackles of electricity.

His mouth opened a crack in anticipation, awaiting that fateful moment. His heart was slow, barely audible and barely beating. His tear tore through his carnal desperation and his fingernails dug, bleeding, into his pale skin. The man heard his shoes clack against the stone floor as he walked away from the operating table and towards the window. Edmund Pridgeon surveyed civilisation outside, watching intently the little ants scurry away from the coming storm.

He had always admired such a view, loving the opportunity to look down upon the city that had created him. The houses were huddled together, trying to protect each other. He enjoyed the sensation of isolation that his view provided - it was him against the world and he knew he could cope. The dark clouds gathered with tragic intent. He allowed himself a brief smile - this was his moment.

Edmund returned to the operating table and secured the connections. He had completed the calculations days ago and had simply to wait for the right conditions that were manifesting overhead. His hands came together and he hesitated. For an instant, he questioned himself but as soon as the doubt appeared, it was gone. Pridgeon backed away to his controls, ready.

The thunder echoed through the room. The lightning lit everything up, exploding throughout the laboratory with a painful thrust. Although it was focused on the table, a tendril reached out to knock Pridgeon from his feet. He fell into a hard wall, his back rough and broken. Before his eyes shut, he saw the body on the operating table jolt and shake.

~~~~~

He awoke to a dry head and dusty mouth. His body was bruised and bones teased against each other as he tried to move. Pridgeon was on his feet as quickly as he could manage, striding confidently over to the operating table. As he moved, he regained an orderly state to his hair and maintained a polite posture.

But the body wasn't moving.

There was no pulse, there was no life. There were burn marks all over the body - she was now damaged goods. His hand brushed against hers, as smooth as sand. He couldn't give up. He held her hand tightly. The savage blood burned through his veins; he would try again.

His eyes watched the empty sky impatiently. Pridgeon felt his fist smash through the window pane, scraping at his knuckles. The cold air caught in the cuts, stinging. He dismissed any concerns, letting the minimal pain wash over his empty heart. His arms lashed out at the window again, pushing it partly away from the wall and exposing his laboratory to the winds of outside. The city no longer amazed him but annoyed and aggravated. He could see the warmth and happiness of others.

"Come at me!" He screamed from the bottom of his soul. "Come on! Face me!"

But the night sky offered him nothing in response: no wrathful avenger or patient forgiver, only the meaningless murmurings of a drunk passer-by. Pridgeon growled through his primal rage, letting it escape into the world. "Science has betrayed me."

The man fell to a slump, sat astride broken glass and discarded equipment. His body ached as his felt the remains of the shock. A chorus of disgust and failure played through his mind and he picked shards of glass from his hand.

A voice like ancient music, sad and dark, filled the room. "Let me help."

The End

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