Sunday, January 29, 2012

"Under The Skin"

The doctors say that writing this out will be good for me. It will help me, they said. It won't. I know it won't. It won't stop it, the nightmares. It won't get them out from under my skin, as they squirm about. Focus. I need to focus.

It began with my uncle. He was a reclusive man, but fond of family. He lived out in the woods and had a deep regard for nature. Though regard is probably the wrong word, considering the way he collected and stored it. His house was filled with all of nature's bounty. Flora and fauna lined the walls and shelves as personal trophies of his. Perhaps the largest of these was the collection of insects he showed off in his living area. Though if he heard you say they were insects or bugs he would likely correct you and call them arthropods. He had thousands of the things, and treated them like treasure, from beetles and ants, to spiders and butterflies. He was proud of his collection and made sure everyone knew it. The crown jewel of his collection was an abnormal Papilio antimachus, otherwise known as a Giant African Swallowtail butterfly. With a wingspan of 23 centimetres, it was truly magnificent. It didn't change my hate towards bugs however.

It was a few years ago when the event happened, I was staying at my uncle's house as my parents began a long and messy divorce. Whilst I was there, I helped him with his hobby of ‘collecting nature'. Although I wasn't overly pleased by this, instead preferring to do my own thing, I helped him anyway. With no television or radio to pass the time, it was something to do. So I helped out, collecting various plants and helping catch animals in the surrounding woods. The only thing I refused to help with was the bugs. I hate bugs. My uncle was fine with this, as they were his prized possessions after all.

I can feel them again. Crawling. Moving under the flesh.

Need to tell this. Need to finish. It started so simply. One morning my Uncle was having breakfast, and squashed a spider that was skirting across the table. Just a common garden spider, he said. It was nothing special. Over the day I noticed small changes. The bugs on display appeared to have moved around, and some had gone missing. I avoided talking about it so I didn't make Uncle angry, and so I didn't have to deal with the bugs. Day passed to no accord, and then night fell. It was late that night I heard the muffled screams. I rushed to find him sitting in the living area, covered in bugs. Every single bug in his collection had come to life, and had begun to swarm him. The light from the fireplace shone off their carapace's, turning them into strange, hellish creatures. They were crawling through his mouth, ears, eye sockets, and any other orifice. Those that couldn't get in through those ways began to burrow through his skin. As they did this, I noticed one of the creatures sat perched upon his head, the crown jewel of his collection, and a domineering presence above the other arthropods. The Giant African Swallowtail beat its wings, and then proceeded to burrow through my Uncle's skull. The sound of flesh tearing and bone cracking filled the room. I couldn't run, or scream. I could only stand and watch. Soon, all the bugs had entered his brutalised body, and fear finally took a hold of me. I ran away.

It was only after I got out and found help that I realised they had also burrowed into me. When authorities arrived, they found nothing there. No sign of my Uncle or the bugs. I began to slowly deteriorate, and soon after that I was sent off to the institute, where I currently reside. One time I tried to get them out of my left arm, ripping and tearing until I began to pull out muscle instead. Never be able to use it again they said. But they're still there. I can feel them crawling. I need to get them out. Get them out. Get out. Get out. Get them out.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Laughter Is The Best Medicine"

I do not remember when, exactly, I first saw that man. I don't remember the day or the season or the year. I do remember that, as soon as I saw him, his image was burned into my brain, and my heart beat hard and fast in my chest, and I felt something like fingers dancing across my spine.

My apartment was on the third floor, and when I looked out my window, I saw him standing in the street with a young woman. I did not get a good look at his face, at first, for he was distant and wearing a black hood. I know that he held the woman in his arms, and I know that she struggled to escape. I saw her mouth open as if she were screaming, but I heard no sound.

And then her head moved, swiftly, unnaturally, to the side, and she went limp. And he let her body fall to the ground and he looked up at my window. His face was pure white, and I could just make out impossibly long red lips, twisted into a smile. I closed my curtains, and I hid under the covers of my bed, and I tried to pretend that I had never seen anything.

The next morning I found a note taped to my apartment door. There was an address written on it, along with a message. Short. Simple.

"I know that you saw."

I crumpled the paper and threw it away.

This happened for the next three days. Every morning a new note. Every morning the same message. Every morning the same address.

Finally, I decided to go there.

It was a house that had been foreclosed and abandoned. I tried the doorknob, and it opened easily. I stepped inside, and I saw him.

He was at the top of the stairs, wearing the same black hoodie and the same clown-like mask. Completely white except for those smiling red lips. But not that I could see it clearly, I also saw a green zig-zag across the top, as if the simulate hair, and down the right side of the mask was a purple stripe.

He beckoned I follow him, and stepped away into an open door.

I hesitated for a moment, and without realizing, I began to climb the stairs. It was if my feet were moving on their own.

I stepped through the door, and I was in hell.

All around me there was stone. Stone walls. Stone floor. Hanging from the stone ceiling, suspended on strings like some macabre imitations of marionettes were corpses, rotting and decaying and dead. Except for their eyes. No. Those eyes still lived, and they watched.

They watched as I made my way to the chair in the center of the room and sat in it. They watched as I peered about the shadows, and noticed a great statue-like figure just beyond the reach of the light. It seemed feminine in shape, and though I could not see its face, I could feel its gaze upon me.

And then the masked man was beside me, and I asked me if I had seen anything strange recently. I told him I had. I told him the truth. I did not want to lie to this man. I could not lie to this man.

He seemed surprised at my honesty, and he turned to look at the figure in the shadows. For a moment, all was still, and then he nodded. He reached into his pocket, and for an instant, I thought he would pull out a knife or a gun, but instead he pulled out a spoon.

He told me that he didn't trust what my mouth said, and then he laughed as if he'd just told an outrageously funny joke. Before the echoes of his laugh had even died down, he was whispering in my ear, telling me that he needed to consult the source.

And then his spoon flew against my face. Every instinct in my body screamed at me to move, and my body tried to flinch, but it could not. I could not even scream as the spoon entered the space between socket and eye, and dug. I heard a pop as half my vision vanished, and I found myself laughing at the almost comical absurdity of the sound.

I laughed as the man held my eye in his bare hands. He put on a great show of questioning my eye and slowly realizing that eyes can't talk, and this too I laughed at.

The corpses hanging around me began to shake, and some part of me recognized that they too were laughing. I laughed with them. I laughed as I felt myself rise from my seat and walk toward the figure in the darkness. I laughed as strings descended from above me and began to wrap themselves around me.

I laughed as they pulled me up into the air.

I laughed until my breath left me and I couldn't laugh anymore.


Alison would always joke that her old age was getting to her, despite the fact that she was only twenty-four years old. She would forget the small, everyday things that normal people would usually forget. Things like where she put her keys, whether or not she turned the stove off, and her library books. She happened to forget them a lot.

Her boss was always scolding her for being late to work. That excuse is getting old, is what he told her.

It wasn't her boss that scolded her, but her family as well. She forgot that there was supposed to be a family gathering. She was tasked with bringing some of the food, and helping to set up. She didn't show up. Her family was understandably furious with her.

Old age, she said, must be getting at me.

They told her to stop making up excuses and to actually take responsibility for her own actions. Besides, how can anyone forget something as big as a family gathering?

She had that problem since adolescence. Her grades were in the gutter because she constantly forgot that she even had homework. She was always told to stop being lazy and do the work.

She lost some friends due to forgetting important events that they were supposed to do together. She grew up isolated because of her forgetfulness.

The apartment that she lived in currently was not the one she moved into after leaving the security of her parents' house. Oh no, the original burned down. She forgot to turn off the stove. Many people were injured, a few died.

She would never, could never forget that fire.

Out of all the things Alison forgot, she wished that she could forget her sin. But that would never happen. She would always remember the people that died due to her carelessness.


Yet, despite the fact that Alison was used to her poor memory, she found that it was getting progressively worse each and every day. Things that she could normally remember, like her childhood, she found that she could no longer remember. The hole in her childhood was growing bigger and bigger everyday. One day she remembered her first day of kindergarten and the very next day she forgot it. Yet she remembered remembering her first day, just not the actual memory.

She was invited to another family gathering. This time, it was just her parents and her sister. Four people total.

Holes. Her life was filled with holes. Where she was at a certain point of time, what she did. She had no clue. She couldn't remember.

She could feel something painful in her throat as she walked up the steps to her parents house.

Sometimes, she would briefly forget who her family members were. It scared her, but then she remembered them.

Her head was hurting an awful lot as she struggle to keep her throat from hurting. She must keep a calm appearance.

The headache did not cease as she reached out to open the door. She spotted an old man besides the house across the streets. He was watching her through those sunglasses. For a while, she briefly forgot why she was there and was about to turn back but something inside told her not to. She turned back to the house and opened the door.

She could not remember why she was at that house in the first place.

Just like how she couldn't remember how all that blood got on her hands or who those people were. She wondered who the the two women were and immediately felt sorry for them but she didn't know them. Nor did she know who that man was, although his face was bashed in so she'll never figure that out. She just couldn't remember how they died nor who they were.

There were three of them. That's all she knew.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Time is a constant.

Time cannot be stopped, controlled or altered in any manner; no matter how hard we try. Because time is exactly what it chooses to be when it chooses to be.

Time is patient.

Time erodes all.

Time always wins.

As I sit here with this diary and pen in hand, I know exactly what I want to write about. I want to describe feeling.

I want to describe the feel of that cool summer breeze on my skin, the feeling of the wind lightly blowing through my hair, the feeling of my leg lightly brushing against the grains of sand beneath me and the almost still water of the sea lightly lapping up against my feet, the feeling of my girlfriend’s head resting against my shoulder as she enjoys the peace.

But I can't.

Maybe I could describe what I hear?

I could describe the sound of the waves lightly sweeping over the shore, the sound of this pen scribbling against the paper, the sound of the city life behind me, cars travelling alongside the beach, people laughing and joking as they enjoy the parties, the sound of her lightly breathing as she almost slumbers off to sleep.

I can't describe that either.

Maybe I could describe sights?

Like the sight of the moon high in the night sky; full and shining down upon me, the sight of the sea looking almost pitch black when compared to the glittering of the sky, the sight of the yellow colour of the sand looking dulled over by the darkness of night, the sight of her long red hair slightly masking her eyes as the back of it lightly flows in the wind.

Even that I can't describe,

I can't describe it because it's the past now.

It's been and gone.

I could talk about what I hope to happen next. I could talk about how I hope to stay here a little longer and then retreat back to our hotel room. To lay there besides the woman I love and watch her fall asleep. Or perhaps just stay here and watch the sun come up?

I can't talk about what I expect...because it will never come.

The past has been eroded away.

The future isn't coming.

I can talk about the present though.

I can talk about how I feel nothing, because there is nothing. There is no cool feeling to my skin, there is no wind sweeping through my hair, there is no feeling of sand rubbing against me, nor is there any feeling of water or my girlfriend.

I can talk about how I hear nothing. There are no sounds of waves to be heard, no sound of the city life, there is not even the sound of this pen scribbling away and the papers turning…my girlfriend is silent.

I can talk about how I see nothing around me. The blackness of the sea is not the sea at all…but a vast void waiting to engulf me. The sand beneath me is grey and lifeless, as though the colour has been drained from it. My girlfriend's hair is not within eye sight because she isn’t either.

There is no ground but the patch of lifeless grey...remains...that I sit upon.

Remains of a world swallowed by darkness. No...saying world is an understatement.

The sky above, there isn't a single star or even the moon there. One by one they twinkled out as I sat there and watched everything fade away around me. My girlfriend never noticed; her eyes were shut the entire time.

While I continued to write away...that compulsion to write even as one is being devoured.

Devour is the wrong term. Eroded works better.

Time is a constant.

Time can not be stopped, controlled or altered in any manner; no matter how hard we try. Because time is exactly what it chooses to be when it chooses to be.

Time is patient.

Time erodes all.

Time always wins.

This is the end of time. The end of everything

The quiet claims us all.

i dont want to g

Saturday, January 14, 2012


a dramatization presented by the Just Shoot The Panda players


The Smiling Man
Proxy Candidate One
Proxy Candidate Two
A Bouquet

Directed by Allan Smithee

Scene: A dorm/house/apartment

Smiley: Hey there!
Smiley: Lots of things. Anyway, I was wondering, is your spouse/child/best friend/beloved pet at home? I have this spare bouquet just kinda lying around.
Proxy One: A bouquet?
Smiley: Yeah, it's kind of my thing. Sort of a "torture you soon" gift. Are they around?
Proxy One: Oh God no please don't give that to them I'll do anything?
Smiley: Well, okay. Go here, and do this murder/kidnapping/pyramid scheme/ice cream social
Proxy One: And then what?
Smiley: Just, you know, chill out.
Proxy One: ...anything else.
Smiley: Oh, you know, just LOOK INTO MY MOTHERFUCKING EYES

Scene II: A school/business/back alley

Smiley: Isn't it lovely!? Say, I was in the neighborhood, thought I'd drop this bouquet off for your significant other/life partner/mistress. Is he/she/it/hir around? I have a busy schedule of heart removal and gardening ahead of me.
Proxy Two: Oh no, please, don't give them that...
Smiley: You twisted my arm! The bouquet stays with me...I just need a small favor. There's this guy, doing this murder/kidnapping/dog and pony show/petting zoo. I need you to go kill them.
Proxy Two: What?! I can't--
Smiley: Oh, hey, I suddenly find my not-hands putting this bouquet on this desk. I wonder how that happened.
Proxy Two: Okay! Okay! So...I just kill the guy? And my significant other/life partner is fine?
Smiley: Sure*, let's go with that. Also, LOOK INTO MY MOTHERFUCKING EYES

Scene Three:

Proxy Two--dead
Proxy One: Man, that ice cream social sure was easy. Except for this guy trying to kill me.
Smiley: Hi again!
Proxy One: Oh God!
Smiley: Huh. You lived. I guess I owe Archie twenty bucks.
Proxy One: What...what's going on?! You sent that person to kill me?!
Smiley: Yep!
Proxy: But why?! I did what you told me to! See?!
Smiley: Yeah, I don't really care about that anymore. I never really did, to be honest. So anyway, I need you to go to this town/city/village. There'll be this guy. You need to kill them, now.
Proxy: But, wait...did you tell this guy to just stand there and wait, too?
Smiley: Oh no, s/he knows you're coming.
Proxy: But...why? What does this even accomplish? Is there even a point to this?
Smiley: Of course, silly. It makes me smile.


Starring Penny Balisong as the Smiling Man
Tara Tillinghast as Proxy One
Chelsea Balisong as Proxy Two

and introducing Jeanette "This is Stupid" Cotton as the bouquet.

Friday, January 13, 2012

"Smoking Break"

The white cylinder soared through the air.

Thin, white, veined. A hand bearing long, jagged fingernails snatched the cellulose cylinder from its trajectory. Another hand flicked a small sheet of paper onto the table. Brown flakes soon covered the paper, clumped together in a line down its length. The cylinder landed at the end. Two flicks of a hand, and the paper had become a cylinder itself, enveloping the cellulose cylinder within it. A flame burst into radiance suddenly, and rested on one end of the new cylinder.

The man raised the cigarette to his mouth, and inhaled.

A look of bliss crossed his face, followed by one of relaxation. Grey plumes of smoke burst from his mouth and wafted on the breeze.

"Thank you," he said to the man opposite.

"We all have our vices, sir," said the man he’d asked, his greasy hair limp and dangling. He smiled slightly, revealing a mouth full of rotten teeth. He drummed his fingers on the table top.

"I’m quite… aware," replied the smoker. He inhaled again, burning away at more of the rolled cigarette. His bloodshot eyes simply stared at his opposition, who simply smiled back. "Yours is… sugars, obviously. Don’t you ever visit the dentist?"

The man chuckled. "Don’t you ever go to a rehab clinic, so’s that they can look at this little… habit of yours?" He gestured at the cigarette, grinning. He pointed at the tin of tobacco flakes that lay open on the table.

"Doctors, eh? What’ll they tell me? That it’ll kill me, so I should stop? Hah!" The smoker jammed the rolled cigarette into his mouth and inhaled angrily. The smoked item was half-gone by now. "Time’ll kill me, but I don’t stop counting the minutes."

As if on cue, the clock on the white wall gave a single note. The man with the rotten teeth grinned, and leaned over. "Yanno, sir, it would’ve been half a day without a fag if you’d just held it in a little longer."

"Shut up, I know," snarled the smoker. A tower of furious smoke escaped his mouth. He stuck the cylinder into his mouth again, and inhaled deeply. "I don’t care. I’m not stopping."

"Oh, I know, sir, but that don’t mean I can’t try. This is what I do for a livin’, sir; for me, see, this is the show that never ends. People wanna get better, but they don’t wanna do it the hard way, see?"

"This is the hard way."

"Oh, you may think it is, sir, you may think it is, but it ain’t."

The smoker sighed; more grey tendrils blew in front of his eyes. He lifted the cigarette to his mouth, inhaled – felt heat rising in his fingers. His eyes opened wide, and he threw the cigarette to the floor. The fires flickered out in moments.

"Now, sir, are you ready to try again?" The man with the rotten teeth grinned, and he pushed a glass of water towards the smoker opposite, who placed a hand on it before pouring it down his throat.

Tick, tock.

The smoker’s eyes flickered around the room. It had been… two hours. No, the clock said two minutes. He looked at the man opposite with bloodshot eyes, and started counting the minutes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"William Wright"

In the corner of my eye, people shiver.

I look away from the computer screen, but Karen-- sorry, Carpe Diem-- at the desk next to mine is merely droning on in her phoned meeting. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened for a good few weeks, nothing at all like what happened at the beginning of December, when the specimen broke out of its casing and escaped into the vents. That was a peculiar day, to say the least. FT-PASSACAGLIA was in the heads of near-every member of the Customer Support Team.

Yeah, there's nothing quite like calling up Customer Service and hearing nothing but mad screams about flying cheese blocks biting people's heads off.

But that incident was weeks ago; Fossil Security East secured FT-PASSACAGLIA by the end of a few days, and everyone's moved on with their lives. Boatshoe, who used to be a few cubicles away from me, resigned because of the traumas his mind revisited when FT-PASSACAGLIA got into his head, and we got customers calling to complain about "terrible service" for a week or so, but that's all that became of that.

So what in the hell am I seeing?

I decided to go ask Doctor Cloud what I might be experiencing.

"Well, William," I should mention my name's not actually William. My name's Stewart Grime, but the Genera provided me with the codename 'William Wright.' "I can't say for sure what's going in inside your head unless you're suggesting I perform Op-Salad on you." The Genera loves codenames; "Operation: Brain Salad Surgery" is the designated name for, well, brain surgery. Which, surprisingly, happens about once a week in this branch alone. Naturally, I wasn't going to have my head opened up for the eldritch equivalent of a stomachache, so I explained what was going on in my head:

"If a person ever enters the edge of my field of vision, they will always, without fail, appear to be shivering rapidly."

"It's not just your eyesight fading?"

"This only happens with humans, and only at the edge of my vision."

At this, the doctor let out a sound of stumped interest. "Maybe PASSACAGLIA's still hanging around in your eyes; maybe there's still some...PASSACAGLIA-dust that got caught in your eyes from the earlier incident?"

I hadn't considered this, actually. "Maybe. ..but wait, wouldn't I feel said PASSACAGLIA-dust? And I mean, this problem has only just started happening."

"I honestly don't know what to tell you," he concluded, throwing his gloved hands into the air. "All I can suggest is an Op-Salad, or you can just rough it out and let me know if any more symptoms occur." I decided to do the latter.

On the way home from work, I kept hearing laughter. As I lay my head down to sleep that night, I swore the ceiling looked to be of a different texture. The next day, I let Doctor Cloud know about these new symptoms. He turned to his computer and typed the symptoms into whatever program the Genera issued him with.

"I'm not getting anything. I was thinking maybe it was a Fossil, but no, unless it's an undocumented one. The closest thing I can think of is PASSACAGLIA. I'm sorry, William; I can't treat what I don't know." He saw the worry in my face, and suggested I take the day off. He even wrote me a letter of excused absence.

Working at the Genera isn't necessarily a tiring job, but we take mental health very seriously here. We research some of the world's most dangerous phenomena, and a lot of the Fossils wear away at our sanity anyway, so the higher-ups want us to be as focused and sane as we can be. That, and I work in Customer Support; dealing with complaints and reports all the time wears away at your sanity arguably faster than even the worst Fossil could. So naturally, I took excused absence.

On the way home this time, suddenly both humans and all forms of technology became blurry in the corners of my eyes. At home that night, my clocks suddenly began ticking down from "23:49." Twenty-three hours until.. something. I went straight to work the next day, bringing my clock with me.

Doctor Cloud turned white. He muttered something about "new symptoms" under his breath, but when I asked him to repeat himself, he said it was "Nothing." And then he turned to his computer and typed something long, asking me to wait outside his office for a little while.

To an outsider, a Topography Genera Center looks very much like your average white-collar office building. All you really see is average people typing at computers and using fancy bluetooth headsets. That's because someone came up with a brilliant idea: Place the offices at the front of the building so random people and new recruits think we're just all about reports and numbers. So we do that, and it really works; we don't want your common Tom, Dick, and Harry to step into our buildings and instantly see the crazy technology, wards filled with what look like zombies and people with strings in their skin, or the brain surgery theaters. …or the Fossil Experimentation chambers. When Doctor Cloud told me the higher-ups wanted me to report to Fossil Experimentation immediately, I, of course, had.. a lot of fears about this. But orders are orders.

In order to get to Fossil Experimentation, one must pass through a series of security checkpoints that often remind me of those spy films where the agent has to input several passwords into several terminals, do fingerprint scans, get guard escorts, and open so many doors. All this is, of course, absolutely necessary; we really don't want many people stepping into our research chambers. On any other day, I would have felt rather unaffected by these several complicated checkpoints, but today was different. Today, I could vividly hear endless screaming past all tangible noises. Today, every security guard appeared to be uncontrollably shivering. Today, every clock I saw was counting down. Fifteen hours left.

After all the security checkpoints was a hall spanning, I am told, one entire kilometre. The purpose of this hall is to provide some distance in case a Fossil escapes. Yeah, Fossils escape; it's hardly a very pleasant mental image, and it's exacerbated when you realize most Fossils can cover a kilometre within a fraction of a second. All it really did for me today was give me plenty of time to let my mind wander. Every human has an ocean inside, and every human has a tiny little drainpipe at the bottom of his or her ocean. When all the water has fallen down the drain, so too shall that person's mind. Well, I pictured, my drainpipe just got wedged open a couple hundred metres.

Eventually, I reached the Fossil Experimentation's front desk. I told Camilla I was sent here, and she checked the records before joyfully directing me to chamber H-07. The people working at Fossil Experimentation are odd; they're all always cheerful and happy, and none of us in the white-collar front of the facility can ever pinpoint why. As for the chamber naming system, it's fairly straightforward: the letter is the initial for the Fossil-Type, and the number is which chamber it is. However, I didn't know what Fossil-Type "H" was.

I passed through the dark-blue arches marking entrance to a Fossil wing, duly noting the name on the sign nearby: Fossil-Type HOMUNCULI. I may work for an organization that focuses on Fossils, but they don't exactly teach you every single term; everything's on a need-to-know basis, and I was just a customer support consultant. Whatever FT-HOMUNCULI was, I didn't know. But I was about to find out, and I knew I wasn't going to cheer at the answer.

Chamber H-07 was well-lit and empty like Camilla's smile. As I stepped into the white room, the door behind me slammed shut and the voice of a higher-up boomed into my ears despite the lack of any visible speakers on any wall.

"Dictate," the voice signaled. This was not directed to me, I gathered, but to a worker near him that was, from the sounds of it, transcribing his words onto an official document.

"Test designation: FTH07344. Test date: January 11, 2012. Test subject: Homo sapiens sapiens, a human male from Topography Genera Center East branch. Codename 'William Wright.'"

A slot opened on the far wall, and out of it was lowered an Apple computer.

The voice continued, this time directed at me, "Subject, you are to approach the computer." Having no alternative, I hesitatingly stepped towards it.

"Subject, you are to touch the computer with your right index finger only." I did so, feeling nothing of note.

"Subject, you are to touch the computer with your left index finger only." I did this as well, and nothing happened.

"Subject, you are to carefully lift the computer with both hands." This, I did slowly. I felt a bit of pain in my lower back, but that's all.

The slot in the wall opened once more, this time lowering a small pair of earphones.

"Subject, you are to carefully insert the left speaker into your left ear." After I put it in, the speaker began playing some strange static. I said I heard static, and the voice advised me to quickly leave the chamber.

Outside the chamber was a Genera Health Officer ready to see to me. He touched the outside of the speaker inserted in my ear and asked how it felt. "Loud."

"I'm gonna carefully remove the earphone from your ear, okay?" I saw no problem with this.

After he removed it, I screamed. My eardrum came out with the speaker, though this wasn't the scary part. I could still hear the Hellish laughter in my left ear.

The Genera Health Officer wrote something down on his clipboard and then led me down to a dark room with bars on the door. I was told to step into the cell, whereupon the door was firmly locked and guarded by heavily-armed men.

I could hear silence in my right ear and persistent laughter in my left. As time passed, I began to hear the higher-ups discussing the test results in my left ear.

"Test summary: Subject made contact with one (1) Apple-brand computer and had one (1) left earphone speaker inserted into his left ear.

"Test results: Computer provoked no change. Earphone began to fuse itself with subject's anatomy, subject claimed speaker played static upon fusion despite lack of source.

"Test conclusions: Definitive evidence of HOMUNCULI manifestation within test subject."

I heard a second voice-- Doctor Cloud, "What do you suggest?"

"Subject has been designated CRIMSON until further notice and placed in the subject detaining chamber. Immediate euthanasia recommended."

"..we can't save him?"

"HOMUNCULI presence has already reached subject's brain. The infection is fatal at this point."

Silence, the most silence of pauses I'd heard in my life, even with the endless laughter. Then finally, "I'll do it."

When Doctor Cloud arrived to mercy-kill me, I laughed along with my audience and began to shiver.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Before Mary went to Doctor Beakman she had been afraid her crippling anxiety would only respond to powerful drugs. The gently smiling, almost grandfatherly, doctor listened to her patiently as she explained how the fear and worry ate at her every day, how some days she was too afraid to go outside because she may have to interact with strangers and how difficult it had been just to come see him today. Whenever she faltered he would gently encourage her to continue without seeming to put any pressure on her. When she was done talking he briefly reviewed his notes and told her that he didn't think she would need anything too powerful. As a matter of fact he suggested she try a homeopathic medicine of his own making, an extract of Salmacis he called it. He said that when the anxiety got to be too much for her she should take a small dose and watch a relaxation video that he provided. He even included an audio CD of relaxing sounds free with the video. He also advised that she continue to see him twice a week for the time being for hypnotherapy.

Within two months she no longer needed her twice weekly appointments and only needed her medicine or the video during extremely stressful periods. That summer for example. It was a stressful time for everyone with so many children from the neighborhood disappearing. When the bodies of the missing children were found in Mary's basement that fall she was unable to explain how they came to be there. She had no memory of killing them. Police tested her medicine to determine if it could have caused her to have a psychotic break and discovered that inside the vial was nothing but water. When Doctor Beakman was contacted about this he replied that he had slowly been weening Mary off the medicine and that at this point she was only taking a placebo.

If they had checked the video and the CD perhaps they would have found the subliminal footage of children being tortured and killed or the subliminal audio that simply said over and over "Do it, Mary." Or the last subliminal frame of the video, where Doctor Beakman can be seen shaking hands with a man in a dark robe and a beaked mask.