The Twelve Story House Part VI: Glitched Out
“I can get out of here in ten minutes,” said Ed.
He walked through the kitchen, a white Apple Computer wire stretching from his ear to the phone he kept tucked into his shorts pockets.
“Can’t wait,” he said into the mic attached to the wire.
He stopped to look in a long, dusty mirror: There he was…tanner than he expected. He arched his eyebrows to make his grin appear more devilish. “You know, I’ve been thinking,” he said. He nodded and couldn’t help it, he had to laugh out loud. “About all the different things I want to do up on you…” He laughed again when he heard his boyfriend’s response.
Ed’s grin expanded about as wide as it would go without looking insane as he moved away from the mirror. “I know…I want it to be dirty…In my...” He was about to enter the computer room when he once again stopped short.
“The Hell?” He narrowed his eyes. His attention fixed on his thumb, which was glitching in and out, becoming permeable, dipping in and out of the phone’s surface.
“No, not you….No, shut up. I heard what you said, shut up…I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say shut up, Reggie….I know, it’s just…I heard what you said, shut up...I’m sorry, my thumb is glitched the fuck out, I’ve got to go, let’s talk about this later.”
Ed walked up to the dusty mirror. He pressed the glitching part of his thumb against the surface and it passed right into the glass.
He blinked. He bit his lip. He wiggled the thumb—it was still in the mirror.
“Is anyone else here?” he asked, his voice reverberating through the Twelve-Story House.
Ed looked at his reflection and found himself upset by how pale he suddenly appeared in the face of this glitching thumb situation and all it implied for the next twenty or so minutes of his Ed Body’s life. He moved to wipe the dust from the mirror and saw that his other, previously non-glitching hand was now glitching in and out as well, so hard that he couldn’t get his fingers to settle on any dust or anything else. Ed took a deep breath and tried to work out some of the doom-filled paralysis that he felt coming on because he knew it wouldn’t be of use, that is, if what he thought was happening with the Little Eds in his body was actually starting to happen. Ed looked up as close as he could to his glitching thumb. He looked at his other hand, at his other thumb. He looked closer into the surface of the thumb, squinting as hard as he could, but it was, of course, no use: he couldn’t see the Little Eds in his Ed Body. He had no idea what those guys were doing.
A single tear passed down Ed’s cheek. He looked up to the mirror. He looked down to the glitching. He looked at his hands: both glitching so fast you couldn’t see them.
Ed grimaced as the glitching in his thumb suddenly stopped. The thumb was normal again, re-solidified; hairline fractures spidered out running along until the mirror shattered. Ed yanked back the thumb, blood sprayed everywhere.
“Little Eds!” he yelled into his thumb, “Are you giving up or not? Are you Little Eds or Little Deads?? I say you’re Little Eds! Let’s do this! Keep going, do not slow down, GIVE IT ALL YOU’VE GOT!!”
He ran the thumb under the faucet but the blood wouldn’t stop spraying from the tip. “We can do this, guys! Keep going! I believe in all a y’all!” Ed tried to wrap a rag around the thumb but when the rag material made contact with his skin, it passed right through it: the thumb was, again, glitching, becoming translucent.
“Fuck my life.”
Ed ran to the sixth-floor computer room. The blood had stopped spraying but everything was fading.
An XY graph appeared on the computer monitor. Ed looked at it and nodded, tracing his finger down along a line showing a drop in the number Little Eds in the Sixth Floor Ed Body over time. When Ed’s finger hit the bottom of the graph, it fell straight into and through the surface of the computer monitor. His phone rang and he tried to answer it but only knocked it down to the floor, which, in turn, triggered the Accept Call button.
Ed leaned down. “Hello?” he said with more than a hint of aggravation filling his voice.
“…Hey…” It was hardly audible but Ed could make out the voice.
“Oh, it’s you, Reggie…look, is anything weird happening with your Little Reggies right now, man?”
“…Yeah…Yeah, Ed, sure as shit is. It’s fucked up is what.”
“So it’s really happening? The transition.”
“Yeah, I think so, Ed.”
Ed looked around the Sixth Floor home to his Ed Body.
“Do you want to come over here, Reggie? Come on.”
“Hello? Reggie? Are you there? …What’s wrong with you? Just come over here to my part of Six...Reggie? Are you there?”
“…Yeah, I’m here, Ed…”
“So like I said you’re welcome to come over here to my place if you don’t have anywhere else to go and, you know, if you want to be with someone else while all this shit happens with your Reggie body. Look, it’s happening to my Ed Body now so I understand if you’re embarrassed about the way you look but it’s really nothing to be concerned over. Anyway, look, please come. Please. Just do it.”
“…I dunno, Ed, I’m feeling fucked.”
Ed took a deep breath and concentrated on funneling energy through the third eye in the middle of his forehead to the third eye in the middle of Reggie’s forehead.
“Look,” he said, “I’m sorry for saying shut up before. I was freaking out…”
Again, no response.
“Hello? Are you still there? Reggie?”
“…Okay,” said Reggie.
“Okay, what does that mean ‘okay’?”
“...Okay, I’m gonna come over to your place right now, okay? I love you, you bastard.” Reggie ended the call but before he did he said, “And don’t be gettin’ all Little Jessica on my ass before my ass makes it out there.”
Ed flopped down on his bed and closed his eyes. His body began to glitch in and out and he slowly passed through into the surface of the bed.
Ed opened his eyes again and allowed anxiety to pass through the third eye in the middle of his forehead.
When Reggie passed through Ed’s door, he didn’t say a word, he just observed Ed meditating and fading to nothing.
Reggie cleared his throat.
Ed turned and smiled. “As you can see, I’m pretty far gone, Reggie, my love. But can we do it one more time, can’t we? Let’s fuck as hard as we’ve ever fucked.”
Reggie said, “I think we have time if we hurry.”
“Well, what are you waiting for? Get nude and all up on this!”
Reggie smiled. “Before we do get down and nasty I just want to say I’m glad we’re here, Ed, performing this ritual now--you becoming a Little Jessica and me becoming a Little Joanne. It’s kind of sweet that we’re doing it together right now is all I’m trying to say.”
“I feel that way, too, now come on and get that dick in here, Joanne!”
Reggie moved toward Ed’s bed and on the very first step, he fell through the floor because it was glitching in and out. He tried to lift himself up but his body was completely glitching in and out and he couldn’t move, if anything Reggie was sinking further into the floor, which was itself glitched, fading into invisibility.
Ed said, “Reggie, give me your hand! I’ll pull you up!”
Reggie reached out as far as he could and wiggled his glitching fingers, doing whatever it took to get that extra little centimeter of glitched out fingertip out to Ed’s even more glitched out grip. “I can’t do it, Ed! It’s useless! The Little Reggies are done! They don’t give a shit anymore! They are done!”
“You can do it, Reggie! Reach! Reach as far as you can! We’ve got to fuck one more time! I need that Reggie dick!”
Reggie gave it one last try but he was only sinking deeper into the floor, fading further away. “Ed, it doesn’t matter, we’re both glitched out!”
Ed looked around to see that Reggie was, in fact, correct: the room had completely dissolved and they were both floating into nothing. Reggie tried to say something to Ed but Ed couldn’t make it out.
“I can’t hear you!” said Ed.
Reggie laughed and before he disappeared he transmitted an image from his third eye to Ed’s third eye but, as Ed knew, he wouldn’t be able to make it out until the Eighth Floor, the Jessica Body Floor when third eye imagery evolves.
Ed’s brain was the last part of the Ed Body to begin glitching in and out. And when that went, Ed lost consciousness and regressed to the point that his final thoughts were the first prayer on Floor Two: “Just as the letter that forms the word is not the word and the word that forms the sentence is not the sentence and the sentence that forms the story is not the story, so too my body is not the Twelve-Story House.”
And he repeated the prayer before joining the Fourth Floor (the Jessica-Joanne floor) and his new body (the Jessica body).