Dee and Dum by @JadeKerrion #NaNoWriMo


Dee and Dum

Written by Jade Kerrion


NaNo Excerpt

Dum stared down at his sneakered feet as they pounded rhythmically on the pavement. The combination of the sound and impact entwined through his spirit, matching the beat of the music in his head. He sang along silently, always perfectly in pitch. Sometimes, he changed the words to match his mood, but the beat remained, primal and eternal.

His heartbeat was steady, no longer fluttering like a terrified animal in a cage. The run had helped, certainly, but the music had helped more. His stride was fast. It came easily, as effortlessly as the soaring harmonics. His heartbeat had slowed to match cadence of the beat in the music. His life was grounded once again in the song, in reality.

He relaxed into a smile. How did people live without music?

Miserably, judging by all the faces around him, etched in lines of worry. Voices spiked with frustration and snapped with anger. So much unhappiness coiled within them, all easily abated with a song. He knew that much.

Music wasn’t an escape. It was reality, the only reality he cared to know. If only Dee understood that and stopped yanking the ear pods from his ears. Her actions, though, hardly mattered anymore. He heard the music inside, pounding through his head, echoing through his chest. He controlled the music—the beat, the harmonies—and selected each song to speak what he could not say.

My music, my voice.

Dum crossed Suitland Parkway, the border between Barry Farms and Anacostia. His pace slowed. The Anacostia Metro station, several hundred feet off Suitland Parkway, swarmed with people scrambling to and from Anacostia, taking advantage of the fact that it was still light. Safety was an illusion, but illusions held up better in the light of day. In the early onset of dusk, the graffiti-covered walls were more art than territorial markers.

Dum flipped his mental soundtrack. The music settled into melodic undertones, quiet and contemplative. On his iPod, the music switched, echoing the song in his head. Slipping like water over a pebbled riverbed, he navigated the crowd in front of the Metro station. An elderly woman, face set in haggard lines, brushed rudely past him, and the psychic resonance slammed like a fist into his stomach. Dum jolted, teeth gritted as he braced against its impact. He glanced over his shoulder, but the woman had vanished into the crowd.

A pity. He had just the song for her—a beat and a tune to lure the flicker of a happy memory and tease a smile back to her lips. No matter. Dum shrugged and kept going; drifting in the cheery warmth of his world to music only he could hear. He slowed only when he reached the entrance of the free clinic. The music responded to him, its pulse somber. Inhaling deeply, he pushed the door open and stepped in.

The receptionist behind the desk scowled at him. He had a tune for her too, though she’d need more than just a tune to sweeten her mood. He slouched down in a chair, content to wait until the last patient was dismissed. Minutes later however, the door of Danyael’s office opened, and a patient walked out. Danyael caught a glimpse of him and beckoned him over. Damn it, he was in trouble now. Pissing Danyael off was the last thing he wanted to do; the alpha empath didn’t need more headaches in his life. Fixing a nonchalant expression on his face, he sauntered over to Danyael and stepped into his office.

Author Bio

Jade Kerrion unites cutting-edge science and bioethics with fast-paced action in her award-winning Double Helix series. Drawing rave reviews for its originality and vision, and described as “a breakout piece of science fiction,” Perfection Unleashed, and its sequels, Perfect Betrayal and Perfect Weapon, are available in print and e-book through Amazon and other major retailers.