The pirates would kiss Hayden, and sometimes they would cut off a hank of hair - 'as a reminder of yer kisses, me lad' - and one of them even cut off a piece of his earlobe.This particular pirate was Bill McGregor, and he was the one Hayden feared the most. Bill McGregor was the worst of them - and at night when everyone else was asleep, Bill McGregor would come looking for Hayden, his step slow and hollow on the planks of the deck, his voice a deep whisper.Boy,' he would murmur. 'where are you, boy?'After Bill McGregor cut off the piece of Hayden's earlobe, he decided that he wanted more. Every time he caught Hayden, he would cut a small piece off of him. The skin of an elbow, the tip of a finger, a piece of his lip. He would grip the squirming Hayden and cut a piece off of him, and then Bill McGregor would eat the piece of flesh.
I’ve always felt personally and emotionally closer to the searchers, rather than to the finders…to those who don’t get answers, as opposed to those who do. For me, the experience of epiclitus is closely related to the experience of the uncanny, but also to the experience of complex and problematic emotions, like yearning, and awe, and psychic unease, which are of particular interest to me. That precipice of endless uncertainty, of the impenetrable—those are the moments that I’ve always loved in literature, as well as the moments that have haunted me in life.
There are little wisps of jelly in a living brain. Deagle knows this well: neurons, transmitting signals - and the soul, so to speak, is somewhere in those flashes. He heard once on a science program that the spindle cell - present in humans, whales, some apes, elephants - may be at the heart of what we call our "selves."What we recognize in the mirror - that thread we follow through time that we call "me"? It's just a diatom, a paramecium, a bit of ganglia that branches and shudders assertively. A brief brain orgasm, like lightning.In short, it's all chemicals. You can regiment it easily enough: fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, escitalopram, citalopram - the brain can be washed clean, and you can reset yourself, Ctrl+Alt+Del. You don't have to be a prisoner of your memories and emotions.
The baby's large eyes settled on him, and though this has been one of his happiest nights in his whole life, it made him melancholy. He had read somewhere that babies are instinctively drawn to faces, that they will fixate even on drawings or abstract, facelike shapes, and round objects with markings that might resemble eye-mouth-nose. It was information that struck him as terribly sad, terribly lonely - to imagine the infants of the world scoping the blurry atmosphere above them for faces the way primitive people scrutinized the stars for patterns, the way castaways stare at the moon, the blinking of a satellite. It made him sad to think of the baby gathering information - a mind, a soul, slowly solidifying around these impressions, coming to understand cause and effect, coming out of a blank or fog into reality. Into a reality. The true terror, Jonah thought, the true mystery of life was not that we are all going to die, but that we were all born, that we were all once little babies like this, unknowing and slowly reeling in the world, gathering it loop by loop like a ball of string. The true terror was that we once didn't exist and then, through no fault of our own, we had to.