Saturday, March 28, 2009
The phenomenon, later called The Blurring, was first noticed by truckers and ranchers off on the horizon of those big, square states in the middle: Nebraska, Wyoming, the Dakotas, and later in Idaho, parts of Colorado, Texas and so on. Off on the horizon it looked like the gray, streaky haze of rain reaching down from the sky. For the first few weeks no one gave it much thought until it was noticed that, in places not necessarily known for a lot of rain, there always seemed to be a storm off in the distance. And always, it would seem, in the distance.
Ultimately it was discover – not explained, as there really is no explanation - that the phenomenon was not rain but a sort of unraveling of areas of the world that were uninhabited. Scientists have neither explanation nor even theories; as far as anyone can tell it is simply a result of subjective reality. That is to say: in that there’s no one there to contemplate these places, to hold them in active memory as it were, they simply have started to fade. Again, there’s no logic, no scientific reason or even leading theories as to how this could happen or, since the world has of course been vacant of human minds for nearly its entire history, why it would start happening now.
And still, from a distance, it looks vaguely like rain.
And things they seem, have become stranger still. In an effort to extricate myself from this most peculiar of situations, I had become aware of another in a like predicament.
At first I thought him a warden of this place and thus held my distance lest I be discovered. I followed him to one, final door, a door which, as it happened, did indeed leave the bizarre and meandering shop only to deposit one into an out of doors that was stranger still. No sooner were we outside then my supposed captor took steps to obfuscate himself among this unexpected landscape. Still, his trail did lead me to the base of what seemed a magnificent and naturally occurring throne made of a moss-covered, decaying log. It was here that I discovered the journal, which he had hastily hidden but moments earlier.
Were this place not queer enough reading the journal has left me quite ill-at ease as I realized that I am both the discovered and originator of said book. This is indeed my journal, meaning, that I have in-fact been following myself through this place, or, more accurately, another version of myself.
It was at this point that my thoughts returned to the letter that had lured me to this place, and on this quest, to begin with. There were, it did say, clues to be discovered and travelers –stranded it would suggest- to be rescued. It did then occur to me that I had stumbled upon the first of the clues and travelers to be found in this place and that indeed they were one and the same. Further, that they were none other than me. Or rather the “other” me whose progress I had shadowed. However, if I were to rescue him I would first need to discover his whereabouts and convince him that the two of us would do well to work together.
Then I was distracted from my revere by a sudden realization: The tree stump throne, as I had named it, which, from afar seemed nothing more than a decaying stump while my fancy formed it into the likeness of a throne, now indeed seemed much more of an intentional construct. It was as if my fancy had changed it from a trick of the eye to a throne, albeit one of stump and moss, but a throne fit for some forest lord nonetheless.
(To be continued)
Bout three years ago we started hearin’ about a new designer drug called Damnation. Thing is, all it did was cause a euphoric sensation and left the user feeling guilt-free, energized, happy, productive and, I’m told, allowed for some really great sex. With all the other shit on the street Damnation really wasn’t high priority if you get me.
Then people started dieing. Not overdosing or anything like that mind you, but homicides. We don’t get a lot of that up here in Seattle, so, it didn’t take a lot to show up on radar if you get me. I only have a few minutes here so I’ll cut to the frickin’ chase. You see, when this started happenin’ we also stated hearin’ more and more from the star-gazin’ crystal-lovin’ hocus pocus types too. You know, the X-Files, Buffy world’s bein’ overrun by spooks types if you get me.
Eventually we tracked the whole thing back to this Damnation drug. Some supernatural/shrink consultant explained it as being a drug that tore down all inhibitions and concerns with, you know, morals, ethics and all that. Basically it dissolved the soul and left the body just fine. And better yet, the pushers were from hell. Course we all agreed that was a load of crap. Still, suddenly we had just a load of sociopaths runnin’ around poppin’ people left and right. Seems like every third person and his aunt Emma had decided to become a serial killer. Oh lucky us.
We finally tracked the bastards down and sure enough, demons.
Sooooo, okey dokie says I. Not being one to poo poo anyone’s theories I in fact rather liked the idea of phenomenon and even supernatural creatures resulting from the collective sub consciousness of the human race. How about nasty, little black creatures spawned from such emotions as greed, jealousy, bigotry and rage. Or, conversely, lovely faerie-like creatures resulting from love, kindness, hope and charity.
So remember, the next time you lose your cool in traffic, make a racial slur or horde money when a family goes without, maybe, just maybe a set of little, black eyes open somewhere far away and teeth, sharp and hungry drip with the spittle of human corruption.
I can’t say I really know what they are - demons of some sort - whispering, grinning with stark white teeth and ash black faces more of a smoky abstraction than a thing of skin and bone, but they’re evil. They want to change everything, to shred the very fabric of what we hold to be true, chaos, darkness and fear. But I can stop them, I can hold them off, I can keep writing and writing and defining the world, cataloging this reality as it is right now, I can keep it all going, I can hold them at bay. A war’s broken out over seas somewhere, no, no it hasn’t, I won’t let it! The White House is repealing the Constitution, NO, no I won’t let that happen. I’ll write an article saying it was all a big mistake and everything’s fine; I’ll save it all, I’ll protect us all as long as I can keep writing we’re safe.
Wait, what was that beep? My battery! I’m nearly out of power, NO, if I stop writing…
What Flesher didn’t know was why he knew so much of the future and so little of the present. This place, this time seemed so primitive to him and so alien. Not alien in an otherworldly sense of the word, as, this was his Earth. The world was as he knew it, as he remembered it, but of an earlier time. How then, he wondered, had he come to be here, some 30 years before his birth. There was no such thing as time travel either in this time or in his. Had he somehow come detached from the time continuum or perhaps his consciousness found a way, intentionally or otherwise, to travel back in time? If so, why, and how and how would he return?
What Flesher didn’t know, and never would, was that in fact time travel did exist, or more accurately, once existed. It was a reality of his time, the latter part of the 21st century before he was sent back to the year 2029 to prevent one Dr. Albert Kemmelman from laying the groundwork for such an abomination against reality. In 2032 Kemmelman was to, or would have, or did in one reality, publish his research titled “A Dissertation on Time Slippage” that in turn sparked the first practical research into time travel. Once such travel was made possible by the most brilliant and well meaning of scientific minds the world was thrown into chaos. The paradox of changing the past was inevitable and seemingly irreversible. Until that is, agent Aaron Flesher was sent back to see that this atrocity was never started in the first place. Mr. Flesher succeeded in his mission of “negotiating timeline paradigm” and, for the time anyhow, the development of time travel was never begun.
He sat and remembered a future reality, a time familiar yet distant from which he was stranded with no possible explanation.
Even those who stood outside protesting capital punishment had to admit it was indeed a beautiful execution.
In 2017 the United States finally gave up on the notion of executions having any value as a deterrent and admitted that they were a way for society to act on a deep-seated, passive aggressive, need to extract revenge on a faceless enemy that was guilty of everything from crime to traffic congestion, political corruption, unemployment, and any and all other woes of mankind. Once this was out of the way the government realized that the ancient Romans were certainly on to something and that, not only could the unwashed massed be easily detracted by these executions but there was in fact money to be made.
Much akin to the tradition of the prisoner requesting a last meal, he could now request –even design- his or her own execution. Of course many lacked the imagination to come up with anything particularly marketable and so were appointed “execution consultants”. Some however requested spectacular crowd pleasers that became media events delivered into the homes of the nation by all of the major networks.
Such was the case on June 30th, 2033 as one Reginald Follsworth ended his life with such grandeur as to shame the greatest of Vegas acts. A small, silver tear shaped craft shot skyward as a thousand white doves flew to freedom as on the ground the five hundred voices of the Tabernacle Choir sang hallelujah and white tigers roared. Reaching its zenith the craft fired off streamers of metallic ribbons, fireworks and glass globes that floated gently earthward reflecting the noonday sun. Then, the metallic craft exploded in brilliant flames of orange and purple, leaving a trail of sparkling green dust that floated off in the Pacific breeze.
Ratings were at an all time high.