28 Far Cries, by Marc Nash

28 Far Cries, by Marc Nash

Here is the fourth in a series of five flash fictions from Marc Nash. “Geiger Countering” comes from his collection, 28 Far Cries, which your can pick up here (UK version) or here (US version).

Geiger Countering

by Marc Nash


With our mutual leaden marital cores, affection was stopped up by my blockish shields, while it merely passed through yours like gamma rays.


We are each charged with containing the neuroses and blind spots of our partner, it being rare that we both share the same agitators. But such were the reciprocal irritations that more and more were classified as neuroses and blind spots, until it reached the critical mass of every single word out of our mouth, or every single one of our actions being deemed as being beyond containment. We were both balls of seething fissile material.


In respect of cleaving together in a fusion that makes us more powerful, we manage to effect a fission that only serves to cleave us apart and bleed away any supposedly enriched energies. We were both left depleted.


Each live radioactive substance will naturally decay and transform into another element, which if isotopic will in turn decay further, until finally a stable, inert element is rendered. My spouse and I have hit our inert basal states and yet I cannot say we went through the transmutations into other constitutions along the way. Spontaneous half-life decay takes eons to occur. We achieved a rapid acceleration of the process.


It has been pointed out to me that smashing the atom in order to release the pent up energy of rage is a particularly destructive practice. And yet it was one we were both content to pursue.


In order for a chain reaction to be unleashed, we both had to stockpile an impressive and intricate battery of sleights, grudges and other grievances. We conducted our own arms race to mutually assured destruction with barely a bat of an eyelid in the direction of the concept of deterrent.


We made the grade in one phase of the fission process. Parts of our material corpus divided and split off. Eczema, weight loss, hair loss, hearing loss, incontinence, ulcers, thrush, hives and a host of other dermatological rashes afflicted us. Although perhaps some of these could be viewed as a gaining rather than a reduction. In a quantitative rather than a qualitative way of course.


Though long decommissioned from one another, we remain contaminated with one another’s toxic waste, rendering us useless for future generative power.

Two half-lives do not make a whole.

Copyright (c) Marc Nash 2014

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