Space L Clottey

Chapter One — Let the quotes be like lyrics

And at the back of the classroom, far enough from the teacher so as to not be heard, by her, a voice rang out softly. Over and over, round and round.

“Don’t know if I’m elated or gassy, but I’m somewhere in that zone!”

“Don’t know if I’m elated or gassy, but I’m somewhere in that zone!”

“Don’t know if I’m elated or gassy, but I’m somewhere in that zone!”

Heye sang to himself.

Not well, mind you.

​ He sat, his hands tapping idly against his neds as his eyes aimed upwards, his eyes darting up idly at the ceiling. Clearly not paying attention, but the teacher paid him no mind.

​ It wasn’t that he found maths with Ms Fink particularly boring, but neither did he find it particularly interesting. Besides, why bother, when there was something so much more fun?

​ “Don’t know if I’m elated or gassy, but I’m somewhere in that zone!

​ “Heye…” said the voice of the person sitting next to him. Well, Heye wasn’t sure whether he could quite call Wes his friend, but they were certainly at least friendly. Though Wes was making a lot more of an effort to give the impression of paying attention by continuing to look forward at the teacher while he spoke to Heye, a hint of a somewhat uneasy impression was still visible; the crease just below his right eye signalling discomfort wasn’t difficult to make out.

​ Well, for most people.

​ Wes spoke, “what are you doing?”

​ “It’s from Frozen. It’s a quote. He, you like that Frozen reference? Yeah well, I made it up. You really are your father’s child, think for yourself, don’t be a sheep.

​ Wes’s expression didn’t flinch. “I’m guessing from the tragic lack of context that that was a quote too?”

​ “Yeah, I heard you the first time, you don’t need to keep saying it over and over.

​ Wes turned to Heye and cocked an eyebrow, the silent question of “Was that a quote too?” very clear.

​ “That’s me!

​ Wes simply stared at him, watching his partners face light up at the apparent invitation for explanation.

​ “The first was indeed from Frozen, from the song For The First Time In Forever, the second two were from Rick and Morty, and the last was from the intro sequence to the new Disney channel show, The Ghost and Molly McGee.”

​ Wes blinked. “And you just had these all, ready to go, inside your head?”

​ “That’s me!

​ “Look, Heye, don’t you think it could be a bit… distracting?… to the people in front of us? To hear you say the same thing over and over?”

​ Heye appeared to ponder this. “If they were annoyed they could just tell m—”

​ But he was interrupted by the click of a door behind Ms Fink, who had clearly gone to get a stapler or some, and the rotation of the two seated in front of them.

​ “Look Heye could you maybe say stuff a tiny bit less?”

​ “Yeah, it’s getting a little…”

​ “What, you think I need a little cha-a-ange? You think I need a little cha-a-ange. You think I need a little ch—

​ “They’re trying to tell you to shut the fuck up.” The air became thin as thirty sharp breaths were drawn, the familiar harsh words echoing through the room.

​ A beat.

​ “No, Jacob, you’re telling me to shut the fuck up. And you hate everything anyway.”

​ But Jacob didn’t retaliate. He seemed to roll his eyes before Heye even finished his sentence. Heck, barely before he started it. As if the act of him saying anything at all was enough to bug him, as if the contents of his speech were already known…

​ To Heye’s relief, the door clicked back open then, Ms Fink ambling back in holding a selection of gluesticks. And not a second too soon.

​ Heye’s head swiftly arced downwards over the worksheet, as though having a good look through the worksheet he’d read nothing of so far, thirty minutes into the class. But he still didn’t read it. It was too blurry.

​ He tried to stop it, the rising heat behind his eyes. His eyes darted to Jacob, who looked like he had already forgotten the encounter. But it looped in Heye’s mind, as audio tended to do.

​ “Heye…?” whispered Wes.

Let the quotes be like lyrics, looping and looping.

They’re trying to tell you to shut the fuck up. They’re trying to tell you to shut the fuck up. They’re trying to tell you to shut the fuck up.

​ The sheet of paper got blurrier, the world got quieter.

​ The worst part was, it wasn’t even the embarrasement. It wasn’t even the humiliation, it wasn’t even the ease at which he’d been spoken to like a peace of dirt. It was that Jacob didn’t remotely get it. Wes didn’t get it. Their brains didn’t work like his did.

​ He was alone.

​ It wasn’t even something that he could claim was bad about the world. That everyone else was insane, or had terrible lives. Quoting things, saying the same thing over and over again, was just FUN, the most fun thing, and he had never found another person that remotely got it.

​ It was like he was trapped, but still had nowhere to go.

​ And with that word his brain drudged up the familiar quote, and his mouth began to mumble it in the maths class for the billionth time.

​ “For one trillion years I’ve been trapped inside my own decaying dimension, waiting for a new universe to call my own.

​ “Uh…” muttered Wes.

​ But one time wasn’t enough. Blinking the tears out of his eyes, Heye’s lips parted and he said again:

​ “For one trillion years I’ve been trapped inside my own decaying dimension, waiting for a new universe to call my own.

​ “Heye!”

​ The boy felt his chair rock backwards, as if Wes was about to tip it.

​ Heye’s head flung up, his face tingling as it did as it did., “Jesus Wes! It’s as if you’ve never heard anyone say anything before!”

​ If Heye had been paying attention, he’d have noticed Wes’s total lack of facial expression as he spoke. Whatever was bugging him was clearly beyond the boy’s quotes.

​ He’d have also noticed, as his head swooped through the air, that the tingling was more of a resistance, akin to moving a fist through water.

​ He’d have noticed his own hair arcing upwards on his neck.

​ But Heye did notice one thing, as he opened his mouth to speak to the quote again.

​ “For one trillion years—” the usual mental choir that accompanied him as he spoke, the one really no louder or detailed than any other mental voice, was boosted. Like someone was playing the episode right next to him. He once again swooshed his head through the electronic field forming, looking around for any speaker.

​ No, the actual voice of the demon Bill Cipher from Disney’s Gravity Falls was actually coming through his his head… no, almost out of his mouth as he spoke!

​ Though his investment in the class was already supremely low, he now stopped caring altogether, almost stopped seeing them really. Barely registering the looks on discomfort on their faces as he tested out this new incredible phenomemon, outright shouting, being matched by the original voice coming out of his own—

​ “FOR ONE TRILLION YEARS I’VE BEEN TRAPPED—”

​ His chair was wobbling beneath him

​ “INSIDE MY OWN DECAYING DIMENSION. WAITING FOR A NEW—

​ A leg gave way

​ “UNIVERSE TO CALL MY OWN—”

​ A deafening crack blasted through the room, originating from just below him. Heye’s neck snapped downwards, just in time to see the back of his chair tip through a spiralling blue disk, and he went tumbling through.