I have the right to be forgotten
rating: +27+x

Mr. Young, please put the weapon down. You have more to live for than this.





No response.




Baltimore PD crisis negotiator Andrea Wagner stood upright against the wind, facing a local mom & pop restaurant, and the man standing within it. Seconds passed, and Andrea cautiously brought the microphone to her mouth again, and began her breathing exercises.

OK, best course of action at this poi

BANG

Anthony Young woke up still standing, stark naked save a steel collar attached to his neck. He continued to look ahead at the wall of steel chains in front of him as his left hand quickly balled into a fist that vaguely pointed towards his chin. He stared, unmoving, as the police rushed through the chains and into the store.



Anthony began to process his surroundings.
The city began to process his death.
The universe began to tug at his collar.
The chain ran taut from the collar to his corpse, and Anthony buckled to the ground. He didn't feel it, as he did not have nerves to feel with, and he did not feel emotion, as he had no brain to feel with. And yet, lying down on what would have been the cold linoleum floor, Mr. Young thought. His thoughts strayed to what lay ahead: The sky, the future, and the afterlife.

Anthony noticed that behind and above the police and EMTs, the chain curtains pointed towards the drop ceiling, and beyond that, they must point towards the air. Anthony thought about what was above the ceiling. He thought about what could exist in the sky to make the chains rise. Anthony wondered if he'd lie there forever.

Anthony thought on this topic for some time. After a few weeks, he suddenly realized he could stand. And so he did. He stood up, turned around, and looked underneath his feet at the spot where he died. There was a queue of perhaps twenty people intersecting his patch of linoleum. Anthony would have cared, had he had either the capacity to or had not seen the queue progress over and over again.

Anthony thought about why he was capable of doing anything, let alone wonder, if he had no emotions. After all, curiosity was an emotion, so why did he stand up? Anthony eventually settled on the explanation that if he could think, the state of his corporeality didn't matter, since the universe didn't bother being consistent. On that note, Anthony turned towards the doors and tried to exit.

He walked in place for a month before his chain loosened enough to leave. Standing below the open air, Anthony was able to see what lay above.

538 people were visible, waiting in the air at varying heights, all facing the sun and all near motionless save for a slow, steady slackening of their respective chain. Rarely, one might be privileged to see some poor or lucky soul simply disappear into the air. Occasionally, someone would lurch up or be torn back.

It was an altogether oddly calming sight. One that reminded Anthony of home, and all of the emotions those memories bring. Emotions? This shouldn't be possible; Anthony had no brain, why was he so happy when he looked towards the sky? Why did he want to reach the sky?

His eyes darted to and from each hanging body, trying to find an explanation, some cause for this inconsistency in an already inconsistent set of rules, though he found none. He looked around him, having thought that perhaps the source of his emotions was at eye level. Instead, he lost the joy and bemusement he had but a few moments ago.

And so Anthony stared up towards the sky as he began to walk towards the cemetery, stopping only to realize that he's made more progress in thirty seconds than in the past two months. Nevertheless, Anthony continued to where he knew he would find a chunk of stone engraved with his name.

He eventually did find his grave, though it was far more… generic than he thought it would be. It looked distinctly regulated, a vertical rectangular stone bearing no features but his name, date of birth, and date of death. It almost stood out among the mass of immensely varying tombstones and crosses, though it never quite managed that.

A woman approached Anthony from the east, an expression of quiet solitude painted onto her face, and a bouquet of various flowers held in her right hand. She crouched down to read one of the older graves, a granite slab in the form of a melted candle. Alexander O'Reilly, she whispered with a solemn smile, as she placed a lily on the grass.

And on another plot of land, somewhere near Sheridan, a chain lurched back towards the earth.

Margaret Tiller, mother of five. The woman choked out. Hey, I bet you're happy you don't have to deal with that anymore, huh? The woman chuckled, having placed a young rose on the lip of the marble, and likewise having ripped Margaret from the heavens.

And when the girl bearing flowers reached Anthony's grave, he wasn't around to see what she did, for his chain had tightened, and Anthony was dragged toward the store where he had taken his own life.

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