Richard Rodriguez





        As the swirling mist gradually cleared, only to reveal darkness, Maurice

was indignant.

“What is going on here? Why are the lights off?” 

Maurice felt more than he knew, that his thoughts never became verbalized. 

“What the …Why can’t I speak…?”  

“Oh it must be the after-effects of the anesthesia, it will clear soon”, he reasoned 

to himself, 

“but those bumbling doctors are going to have a lot to answer for, I didn’t pay

to be treated like a lab experiment.”

At that moment, Maurice noticed that he was moving, he knew that it was under

his own accord, but for the life of him, he could not discern how. The movement

was not his familiar gait; instead, it was a fluid swiftness that was totally alien to


“What’s going on…? “ he thought to himself

Though he could not see anything, Maurice knew that he was walking, if walking

was the correct term for his movements, for he instinctively felt that he could

move much faster if he wanted to.

“What’s happening?”   He tried to call out “Doctor…Doctor…? Nurse… where 

the blazes are you….?” Fear rising inside him as his thoughts again remained unvocalized

.“Why can’t I speak? I hear my thoughts, why can’t I speak t?” 

Maurice went to touch his mouth when he realized with horror that he had no hands.

His blood ran cold with fear. 

“Wha… What’s going on? Why can’t I feel anything…no wait I can feel the 

surface that I am on.” 

Maurice thought it odd that he would describe the floor he was walking on as a

surface. After all, why not just call it a floor? ‘And why can’t I feel any… 

“Oh my goodness” 

 Maurice thought with shame, that he was not wearing any clothes. Though the thought disturbed him;

it also bemused him at the same time. He could just 

imagine what the news papers would print if they found out that the “king Of 

Retail” was caught running around in his “birthday suit”.

With that thought behind him, Maurice started taking to his present situation

with the same gusto that enabled him to build his fortune while at the same time 

destroying and ruining so many lives along the way, he smiled his predatory 

smile at that thought, as he took to exploring his surroundings.

“Hey this isn’t so bad; I can’t remember the last time that I felt this great”.

As Maurice was traveling along, he started realizing that although it was dark, he

could still sense his way around objects, though he could not explain how. 

“What did those doctors do to me I move quicker than before, there 

Is no difference between darkness and light. I am…”


The one word command echoed violently throughout

his head with an intensity that threatened to

shake his over taxed sanity.

“What…who… who are you?” Maurice stammered 

“YOU MUST COME NOW!” The unknown voice continued

Maurice was totally shaken, he sensed rather than saw the others

“Where do you want me to go?” Maurice asked 


“Now see here …  “ just then Maurice was struck by a perplexing thought 

“wait a minute, how are we talking… you and I” 

The question was moot, Maurice seemed to know that the words spoken were through some

sort of l telepathy with whoever was speaking in his head. 

Maurice’s instincts screamed for him to follow the voice, but his old arrogance 

surfaced like a diver needing air and overrode any thoughts of him following the 

Voices instruction

“Listen here, I don’t follow orders I give them understand?” He said arrogantly


The voice repeated with less intensity than before, the command 

echoed, as if the owner of the voice was moving further and further away.


less intensive,… and then silence.

Maurice was getting nervous again, but his bravado face was still showing. 

“Now see here, where are you? I demand that you answer me… you hear me? I

demand that you answer me now”

Maurice was rewarded with silence.


Maurice tried one more time. 

“Oh well, good riddance to bad trash I always say.” 

voice dripping arrogance

All of a sudden a tremendous noise assailed Maurice’s senses,

Maurice tried to scream. 

“My god what is that noise” 

but some deep instinct inside him told him that it was footfalls on tile floors. 

Maurice’s bravado was fleeing quickly as he  immediately started heading away 

from the sounds, when another much louder noise assailed his sense.


With that, a blinding light, with the intensity of a million-watt bulb,

 overloaded all of Maurice’s senses. The pain was indescribable. Maurice

quickened his paces, all shred of bravado now gone, fear being his only fuel.


Maurice scurried blindly, until he was engulfed by a shadow. Maurice froze, he

tried to look up. 

“What the…” 

That was the last thought that Maurice ever had, for the next instant the was a 

loud resounding


“Darn Roaches.” 

The janitor stooped down with a tissue and wiped up the carcass

from his shoe. 

“Guess I’ll get pest control over here again…” he said

      And in room twenty-two in the private section of Saint Joe’s hospital, 

Dr. Allen was shaking his head

“I just don’t know what could have caused him to have a massive coronary, he came

out of the surgery fine … why didn’t he wake up? Guess that’s for the 

coroner to answer. Nurse have him taken down stairs.”

“Yes, doctor… and sir “

“Yes nurse”

“ it wasn’t your fault, besides, he lead a full life, he was rich, and after all he was

“The King 0f Retail.”

“Yeah, I guess your right.” The doctor replied

Dr. Allen left the room still shaking his head…

    The following day in a shaded pool of water in Onondaga Lake Park hundreds 

of mosquito’s larva were hatching,… and for one particular larva;

the swirling mist gradually cleared, only to reveal darkness…






All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Richard Rodriguez.
Published on on 06/04/2005.


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