Tuesday, February 28, 2012


In his hands, he holds a book. The book contains our lives.

If you open the book, if you flip through its pages, you will find those who are trapped in stories, bound by words. They struggle to break free from the archetypes around them and, in the process, they conform to what they always were. They are stewards and musicians, poets and policemen, those who are trapped and those who seek freedom, assassins and agents, those who forget and those who are forgotten, faceless bastards and free thinkers and those who don't give a fuck.

Their stories are numerous and their lives are reflections of our own. Or, perhaps, we are reflections of them. They have shown us stories of hope and despair, of life and death, of loneliness and love and longing.

If you open the book, perhaps you will see all these, perhaps you could run your finger across the words of their lives and perhaps somehow, in some way, you could communicate with them, commend them on their bravery in the face of adversity, in the face of fear.

Perhaps, however, you would not find those pages filled with words. Perhaps you would only find a blank page, a book of blank pages. Blank pages just waiting for you to fill them up.

In his hands, he holds a book. The book contains our lives.

"The Dark Room"

The room is dark. Of course it is, it's a dark room, a room where film is developed. If there was any light in here, it would ruin all the images.

Still, you are uneasy as you walk into the dark room. Perhaps it's just that it's not like natural darkness, but rather an artificial red darkness. It makes everything seem like it's splashed in blood. But you have to be in this room - it's part of your class, part of your assignment. You had to build a camera out of a box and you did. And now you have to develop the pictures you took.

You put your pictures into the tray of chemicals and you wait for them to develop. You try not to look at the walls, not to look at the shadows. There are so many.

For some reason, however, the only thing you can think of is a line from Discworld. You read those books to relax, but in this room, the line just comes to you: "Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it."

The picture is slowly developing. You can see it now. There are the trees and the buildings, but what's that? It looks like there's a dark smudge in the middle.

The smudge grows larger and larger and you realize it isn't a smudge at all. It's a shadow.

You hurry over to the lightswitch and you go to turn it on, when you realize that it's already on. The light has been on this entire time, but the room is still dark.

And as the dark envelopes you, you realize that it was always there, waiting for you.

"Visions of a Dream Half-Remembered"

You can't remember your dreams. Every time you wake up, they are gone like they were never there at all.

But you remember your nightmares. Those times when you wake up in a cold sweat and you have trouble remembering where you are, who you are, because the nightmare is still with you, is still in your mind, is still your reality.

And sometimes, when that happens, you think you can still see it - your dreams - bleeding around the edges of the world, of everywhere you look. It's shining silver lines at first that appear and you think it's just because you've rubbed your eyes so much, but then they don't go away. And then they become rips and tears and you can see through the world and into your dreams.

If this ever happens, just close your eyes and try to go back to sleep. If you don't, if you look through those tears, if you look into your dreams while awake, you never know what might happen.

Perhaps there's a good reason why you don't remember your dreams.

"Beyond The Mirror"

Don't look beyond the mirror. You won't like what you see.

If you do, please remember this: she can only hurt you if you let her. Don't listen to her lies, even if it's the truth. Don't just stand there as she tells you how you are worthless, how you are broken and ugly and unloved.

Don't listen to her sweet voice as she tells you that she can love you, that she can make you beautiful and make you shine with such light.

Don't trust a word she says. Don't take her hand. Don't give in. She will take you and she will change you and you will become what's on the other side of the mirror. She will take you to her desert garden and she will make you into her own image, a cold, unfeeling temptress. A snake in the garden.

So don't look beyond the mirror. You won't like what you see.


It's playtime. She's waiting for you. She's sitting down at a cracked plastic table with dirty plastic teacups. It's tea time, Mr. Nobody. Time for tea. She pours you a glass of imaginary tea and you take a sip. It's the sweetest thing you've ever tasted. You request more, but she shakes her head. Tea time is over. No more tea.

It's time for the swings. She sits on the swings and you push her gently. Back and forth, back and forth. You notice the chainlink holding up the swing is rusted and cracked, barely able to hold together. You push her again and as she swings forward, the chain cracks. You rush forward to try and catch her, but she's already on the ground. She landed on her feet. She looks up at you and shakes her head. Swing time is over. No more swinging.

It's time for the slide. She climbs up the ladder and you follow. The rungs of the ladder feel oily and slick. The slide itself looks old and dangerous. Without hesitation, she slides down and jumps up at the bottom. Then she motions for you to follow. You hesitate only for a second, then go feet forward down the slide. It feels like it stretches on for miles and your stomach flips more than once as the grey sky above you becomes just a blur of motion until you suddenly stop. Uneasily, you get to your feet and look to her. She shakes her head. Slide time is over. No more sliding.

One by one, she takes you with her on the monkey bars, the jungle gym, the merry-go-round, and more. Each one looks dilapidated and disused, old and rusted and ruined by time. But you know the truth: all of this is just how she likes it.

Because it's playtime. And playtime is never over.

"What They Don't Know"

What they don't know can't hurt them, you think. It's better to keep it a secret, to keep it safe within your heart. Don't let anyone know. Lock it up and throw away the key.

"Mommy," your daughter says, "can I have a dog? Please?"

You tell her that owning a dog is a big responsibility and that you don't think she's ready for that yet. She looks sad and says, "But I saw one today and it looked so cute and it was so fluffy and nice and its fur was so black..."

And you stop. You look at your daughter with an expression of pure terror. "Mommy?" she asks. "What's wrong?"

What they don't know can't hurt them, you think. But it can hurt you. It can bite and rip and tear and maim and kill you.

Can you tell them? Can you tell your children your secret? If there is a hope in Hell to escape the Hound?

No. You can see it across the street now, waiting for you. If you looked through the memories of the last week, the past month, the past year, perhaps you could remember seeing it before, seeing it just out of the corner of your eye, just out of sight. It's waiting for you and no secrets you tell will stop it.

"C'mon," you grip your daughter's hand and you remember when you first laid eyes on her in that hospital and you knew you had to have her, had to take her. "I changed my mind," you say, "you can totally get a puppy."

Your daughter's face lights up with a huge grin as she says, "Really? You mean it?"

"Of course," you say. "Would I lie to you?"

What they don't know can't hurt them, you think. What they don't know.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"A Little Spot of Sunshine"

It was a lovely place, why would you think otherwise?
A little spot of sunshine, where all was nice and bright
See the ancient crimson earth, tilled by villagers when they rise
Smiles and warmest greetings here and there all day and night

"Look, mister, over there, do you see the children play?"
Cheeriest little souls, you said, so graceful when they run
"Yes, of course I do," you heard a voice clear as the day
Strange bunch, these country folks, but who are you to ruin their fun?

And there, just by the woods, do you see the gleaming lake?
Dark and calm in wait, watching the day goes from afar
Stay off the water, they said, for it always longs to take
All things made by man that the wind has yet to mar

Farms, inns and beaten tracks, these give rise to strangest tales
But why should it matter? It still is lovely when they greet
At times bit too strange, too mechanical and pale
Yet when the shadows creep, who else would you rather meet?

Would've been nice, of course, if they’d just refrained
From snatching you, sleeping well in bed
And dragging you as the black skies rained
To that lake of ink now in your head.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Take The Sausage Roll And Run"

I went up against The Wooden Girl, and suddenly I was being chased by every Fear ever. The EAT got a kid and a dog. So I called the police, and the policeman on the phone said 'I'll be there in 3... 2... 1...' and kicked the door down. He wrestled with the slender man until The Archangle showed up with a shotgun and a calculus book and killed him, and as The Archangle turned on me, I quietly said 'Fear is the square-root of all evil.' And then a skeleton popped out. And then I asked who the skeleton was and he said 'I am you!' and then you were dead because skeleton is you.

Monday, February 20, 2012

"Red Right Hand"

He said his name was Jack. He had been playing poker for a few hours and steadilying losing chips. He wore one red glove over his right hand. He explained it to us while sipping on his Mai Tai. Apparently, he used to work in a factory and there had been an accident with one of the machines and his hand had been crushed, he said.

"The others pitied me at first," he said. "But then we all got used to it. They even started joking around about it. They called me the Handyman or Jack Handy or, the one I liked the best, Jack the Hand. By then, there use to poke and prod it and sometimes, they would even put out their cigarettes on it, 'cause I didn't even feel anything."

Nobody told him to be quiet. He was losing money, so as far as the other players were concerned, he could talk all night long.

It was around two in the morning when one of the other players, a regular called Philby, shivered and said, "It's so cold in here. You guys always have the air conditioning turned up so much, it's freezing." None of the other players complained, so I figured that he was just being ornery because he didn't have a winning hand.

"I know about the cold, believe me," Jack said with a smile. "My old buddies at the factory-"

"I don't care about your buddies," Philby said. "I just wish it wasn't so cold in here."

And then Jack did something. He raised his right hand and snapped his fingers.

"I thought you couldn't use it?" Philby said. "You a liar?"

"Oh, I didn't lie," Jack said. "I never lie. I just said it didn't feel anything, I didn't say I couldn't use it. Anyway, looks like I've lost enough here, don't you think? I should get going." The others grumbled, but that didn't stop Jack from downing the rest of his drink and leaving through the double doors.

As the minutes passed, the room grew steadily hotter. The players started to sweat. Philby wiped his forehead with his sleeve and removed his jacket. "What's wrong with your AC? This some new trick you guys trying out?"

I shrugged. I was just the dealer, I didn't know anything about how the casino air conditioning worked. But as the hour dragged on, it became increasingly apparent that not only was it not working, but the heaters were on, too.

"Turn them damn things off," Philby said and the other players agreed with him, their grumbles making me nervous.

I walked to the door to open it, but it wouldn't budge. I pushed again, but still it didn't move.

"What's the hold up?" Philby came forward. "Here, let me give it a try." He pushed against it and pretty soon, everyone was lined up trying to open the door, like it was the sword in the stone. None of them could move it. "It's locked," he said.

"Can't be," I said. "It's an internal door. They don't have locks."

And yet it did seem to be locked. Someone must have put something in front of it. The players started bringing out their cellphones, each one trying to call either the police or the casino itself to complain.

None of them worked. No signal inside the casino.

The casino phone wasn't working. It had been broken since last week and nobody had fixed it yet.

And so we waited. We waited for someone to open the door, for someone to realize we were in here. But it was a big casino. There were lots of poker rooms, lots of players. And it was so hot. The heat kept rising and rising.

Philby went first. He just collapsed. Then the other players, one by one by one. Until it was only me.

I weakly pushed against the door opened and begged to be let out. "Please," I said.

The door opened and I felt a cool rush of air. "Thank you, God," I said.

"I prefer Jack."

I looked at him and remembered the snap of his fingers, the way he had waited until Philby made his wish and then left. "Who are you?"

Jack smiled. "They called me Jack the Hand," he said as he adjusted his glove. "But I have many names."

He lifted me up with his right hand and it felt strange, like it wasn't a hand under there, but something else. "I just came back to see my handywork," he said. "And to say sayanora." He waved his hand at the dead players. "Sayanora!" And then he swept out of the room, like it was just a show, like the curtain would come down and the dead bodies would come back to life. Like nothing we did mattered.

And I realized: we didn't matter. Not to Jack the Hand.

God help us all.


You are being chased. Hounded. You are running as fast as you can, but the thing that is chasing you is right on your tail. You can never stop, never slow down. You are being hunted.

You don't know why. Why you are being targeted by this thing. This beast. Its red eyes just looked at you and you ran. You can feel its hot breath on your neck every time you slow down.

You don't know what to do except run. You don't know if you can kill it or hurt it. You closed the door on it and it just leaped through, like it was made of smoke. Like it wasn't real at all. But you can feel its claws on your arm. Those were real.

You don't know why it's after you. But then you remember being young and going fox hunting with your father. Did the fox know what was happening? Did the fox know why it was being chased? No. It just ran.

It's right behind you. Don't look now. Don't turn your head. Keep running.

You can never stop, never slow down.

You are the fox. All you can do is run.

"By Any Means"

I hated Chris.

I hated him with all my heart, for stealing Jess away from me. She was cheating with him, I knew it. I confronted them. I walked out on her in disgust, and I never forgave him for stealing the love of my life away from me. What’s worse is, I saw him every day in the office, his smug fucking face taking sly glances at me. It was unbearable, I just wanted to plant my fist square in his self-righteous mug.

I started drinking. Hell, at the time it was the only way I could cope with the grief, bottle after bottle after bottle, slugged down in seedy bars all across the city.

That was where I met the dealer. He was an old dude, wore a leather duster, sly, ratty face. Used to play cards down the back of one of my old haunts, taking suckers for money in games of blackjack, or whatever the hell he used to play. I considered myself too wise for his silly card gimmicks. Was probably rigged anyway.

He came up to me one night, handed me a bottle of cheap booze, and asked me what was on my mind. I was in a bad place, and nobody else in the damn pub wanted to hear, so of course I spilled out the whole story to the guy.

He talked to me about it, sipped from his flask a bit then offered me some. I declined.

Then he says that this Chris guy, there might be a way of… Making my problem disappear, if you get me, he says. No questions asked. I ask how he can do it.

By any means, he replies, leaning in towards me at the bar.

I say, hell, if he can do it, sure. Make Chris go away. It was part booze talking, part hatred and part me that agreed.

The guy extended his hand to me, and he shook it. “The deal is done,” He said. The guy had a real vice of a handshake; he had a firm grip on him, I thought.

I didn’t think too much of it the next morning, I was well under with a killer hangover.

I didn’t notice the news until two days later.

Six people had been torn apart, mutilated and butchered in their own homes. The victims were linked, in that they were all of the same family. Christopher Walton was among them; he had been murdered while visiting his mother and nine-year old sister, who were found eviscerated along with him.

I guess I got my wish.

By any means necessary.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"An Outside Perspective"

J███████ S████████, 16 September 2011

Title: Rain Falls Under the Ceiling
Author: Aldridge Atcheson
Date: October – December 1848
Source: N/A. Nineteenth Century Unpublished Short Literary Works of Choice. Salisbury: N/A, 1962. Print.

“Rain Falls Under the Ceiling”, an obscure English poem recorded in the collection “Nineteenth Century Unpublished Short Literary Works of Choice”, deals with the themes of loss and abandonment, specifically of entire lives and memories. The poem tells the story of a man, namely the narrator, who wakes up in a London flat in the middle of a rainy day. Unable to remember “whatever or whomever [wills] that [he] be [there]”, the man wanders the streets and looks for familiar things that may lead him back to his past life, of which he has “no trace thicker than the mountain air” in his memory. The poem also repeatedly mentions “a blind elder ‘pon the grey stones” who seems to “sweep [him] with eyes that no longer see”, setting a foundation for the poem’s thematic elements.

A little knowledge of Atcheson’s life, as explained briefly in the book, gives us a greater insight into the way he relates to the theme. The short description included says that Atcheson was originally raised in a rural farm and had no education other than an English copy of the Torah that he taught himself to read with, which got him disliked in his village. As time went by, Atcheson found new books by poets and naturalists alike, which inspired him to write. By the time he was 29, he was living in London as an arithmetic teacher and had two publication deals for compilations of the many poems he’d written on the subjects of nature, society, and many other. According to the records, however, Atcheson disappeared a week before a crucial meeting with the publishers and was found six months later under a bridge, unkempt and emaciated – possibly the “dark, dreary clouds over [his] head” he writes about in the poem.

Note that the description said that all of this is “according to the records” kept by the publisher, which went bankrupt later. The owners’ descendants were killed in the Great Smog of 1952, making confirmation impossible. After the discovery, Atcheson supposedly couldn’t remember anything about several periods of his life (including the previous year) and was sent to a mental institution, where he continued to write his poems until his death in 1873.

The vague description of the cityscape, as seen from lines like “shadows, dead and living, blurring past” and “the rain seemed a thunderstorm, the doors on my sides seemed not from this world” is used here to reinforce the alien feeling the narrator feels due to his loss of memory, painting the familiar places as dark and foreign to his eyes. This kind of description is used throughout the poem to create a feeling of abandonment by the life he used to live. The A-B-A-B rhyme scheme used in the poem creates a sense of flow, which helps illustrate his desperation as he travels around the city (which is quite large) over and over again and still fails to find hints of his former life. The phrase “clouds over [his] head” mentioned earlier is also repeated several times throughout the poem. This is an example of repetition, which also creates a sense of flow and continuity, emphasising the persistence of said “clouds” and also making his loss of memory seem more dramatic.

The last few stanzas also mention the blind old man written about earlier. The old man is most likely a symbol for his failure to remember much of his past life. Descriptions like “blackened coat [absorbing] the last gleams of sunlight” are most likely intended to dramatize the severity of his own amnesia. The use of a blind old man as a symbol is fitting, as old men are stereotyped as being forgetful, and the man’s blindness may symbolise him being “blind” to his own past and surrounding. There is also the possibility that Atcheson is trying to use the metaphors to symbolise the causes of his loss, though the presence of a blind old man is not likely to be literal.

PS: As the poems included in the book are unpublished elsewhere, research has been more or less impossible. The only copy I know is an old leather-bound one I found in the town library, and most of them deal with similar themes in different situations and with different viewpoint characters, though less comprehensible (the two or three paragraphs of general information included with each entry helped a lot). Will investigate later; copy is on my Dropbox if anyone needs it.

"Wake Up"

Nobody told her the circus was in town.

She enters the red-and-white-striped tent and sits down among the empty rows to watch the acts. There are the tightrope walkers, performing a precarious balancing act, trapped in the liminal space between safety and death. There are the jugglers, their entire lives suspended above them in a catch and release program. There are the unicyclists, trying to stay steady; the trapeze artists, with their ever vigilant feud against the tightrope walkers; the acrobats and the hoopers; and the lion tamer, chair in one hand, whip in the other, pretending to fight against a man in a lion suit.

And there is the magician. He is wearing his tophat and brandishing his cane and he is smiling. "Ladies and gentlemen!" he says. "Tonight, we bring you the very best in magical entertainment. Tonight, we present...the Cabinet of Dreams!" He claps his hands together as if expecting applause, but there is none. Only she watches as he uncovers the Cabinet, a large wooden box with a small slit in the front door. "For this display of marvel and wonder, we need a volunteer!" He looks around at the empty seats until his eyes stop at her. "You, young lady."

She stands up. She does not want to go, but she has no choice. She walks over to the magician and she can see his face clearly now, his greasy pointed beard, his beady eyes. He takes her hand and she wants to shiver, but cannot. "Thank you, young lady." He turns back to the audience and now it is full, it is full of everyone she ever met, ever loved. Her entire family and friends are in the audience and they are watching in rapt attention. "Now," the magician says, "the Cabinet of Dreams is very dangerous. If you stay in there too long, well, you'll never wake up again." He smiles at her, his teeth a sickening shade of yellow. "But now, let's go on with it. A mind bend for the common folk." He opens the Cabinet and motions to usher her in. "Follow the straight line." She walks forward and enters the Cabinet, enters the darkness...

"Ellen. Ellen, wake up." She opens her eyes and sees the face in front of her: a young man, her coworker, her friend. "Are you okay?" he asks.

"I'm fine, Jeremy," she says. "Just not getting that much sleep these days."

"Maybe you should see Doctor Cloud?" Jeremy says. "Have you had your physical yet?"

"No," she says. "Not yet. I'll go, I promise."

"Okay," he says.

She wants to tell him about her dream. She wants to tell him about the circus and the magician, about the Cabinet of Dreams, about everything. But she remembers the silent darkness of the Cabinet and she can't say a word.

She pops another caffeine pill and remembers the magician's words: "If you stay in there too long, well, you'll never wake up again."

"Why So Silent?"

"Why so silent?" she asked him as she came into the room. "You're usually so talkative. Did something happen today?"

When he didn't answer, she walked over to him. She saw his tears and said, "Honey?" and then she saw the reason for his silence.

And then the shadows grabbed her. They moved her like a windup toy being set in place.

She tried to scream, but she knew it would not work. She could see her husband's face and she knew what would happen.

As the shadows closed her mouth and kept it shut, moving skin to block any sound, she knew: they didn't like noise. They liked the silence.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"The First Man You Remember"

The man sitting across from you is the first man you remember seeing. You cannot remember seeing any other man. In fact, you cannot remember anything at all before you saw this man.

The man is old and his face is creased like the pages of a well-read book. He is wearing a dirty blindfold around his eyes and his hair is gray and stringy. He is wearing a dirty brown suit and in front of him is a large leatherbound book, its pages yellowing.

"Who are you?" you ask.

The man does not answer.

"What happened to me?" you ask.

The man does not answer.

"Speak, dammit," you say. "Say something. Who are you?"

The man smiles and his teeth are brown and crooked, the ends jagged and broken. Then he speaks and his voice is soft, like a whisper, but you can hear every utterance, every syllable of what he says.

He says: "I am the first man you remember."

And then he is gone, like he was never there at all. You begin to cry as you realize: he was the first man you remember and he was never there at all.


26 January

It has been revealed to me some time after my latest entry that the General had authorised the retreat from Sanananda several hours before our patrol was supposed to return. Record-keeping has rarely been a strength of mine, and less so considering the circumstances of our flight. Nonetheless, I shall try my best to elaborate.

We met the Lieutenant sitting under a large tree some four or five hours after the Douglas planes drove us into the jungle. He was frail and delirious before; he was alone, unarmed and barely able to walk at the time. This green hell we crawled through had taken its toll on everyone: my uncle, and I will not refer to him by any other name from now on, had spend his time amidst the mosquitoes' starving drone, and I swear that if the rash of his dengue had been photographed, no nation on Earth would think of sending away her children into this writhing dark. I myself had forgotten what a meal feels like for days, as had everyone else.

What the enemy did not tear apart and burn in their fury, the jungle strangled, drowned, turned into the dead with their eyes wide open. We had been soldiers, and then the beasts of the forest would scarcely look upon us. We had been told not to fear the enemy's wrath, but what of the jungle? This was no mere enemy: its life spring forth from death, its stretches of vines over our dirt beds and its darkening pools reaching into our open wounds.

These were, of course, my worries of the day.

Pte. Ota took over after my turn to watch. He woke me with a light tap to the shoulder at three in the morning and gestured toward to a figure next to a nearby pool. It was Uncle, his heart beating no more. We woke the rest of the party from their sleep, pale and barely able to stand. The Sergeant, having no one to watch over his shoulders now, ordered that the body be cast into the pool to poison the enemy in their thirst. It was not a large pool, and the jungle hid away all signs of humanity in our surrounding. Pte. Kamimura hesitated to sit up, and revolted at the idea. The Sergeant said nothing, then wrestled Uncle's shin gunto off his belt, raised it over the objecting man and struck him down in one blow. It was of poor made, but it did give the pool another body to devour.

We crept through the underbrush in complete silence throughout the next day, not wanting to bring down the Sergeant's wrath upon us. Come nightfall I once again took the first turn to stand watch. There were three of us, running away from the relentless rumbles of the enemy's war machine in distant roads and jungles and having no directions but the whims of a deranged man. The Sergeant and Ota laid down and plunged into deep sleep, their livid forms limp under the moonless sky. I sat on a log, listening and waiting for disturbances in the bushes. The night grew colder. The fever went down on my head, tempting me to fall asleep and abandon my comrades. And then, the moon came and I saw it.

First it was a shapeless spot of dark between the trees. Then it came closer and closer, and I saw there the silhouette of a man. It was Uncle, his spotless uniform gleaming under the pale moonlight. As he approached, I stood upright without the weight of my feverish body where it should be. I stared forward and gave my salute. Uncle simply gave a smile and, in his generosity, embraced me. All was bliss, and I remembered little of what happened afterward.

When I woke up, Ota was nowhere to be found. I woke up the Sergeant and we crept along the bushes to search for the missing man. We spent an hour, found nothing, and returned to where we left our equipment. Then we saw a shape leaning on a large tree, not five metres from where we were. It was him, a bayonet thrust into his heart, his eyes wide open in shock and his arms in front of him as if wanting for an embrace. I neglected to check whose bayonet it was. Serves him right, I thought. He did not wake up for his turn to take watch (an inaction I later found the cause of), and he did nothing in the defence of Uncle's body. Then I turned to the Sergeant. His back against me, away from my rising anger, he simply told me to pack up immediately.

As the heat of the afternoon penetrated the looming canopy, we discovered several of our fellow survivors from the 21st Independent Mixed, or at least what remained of them. Their sergeant, a young man around my age, had his sidearm besides his skeletal mass. His six men were lying around their encampment, each with a bullet in his head. The right sleeve of his uniform was soaked with blood from the inside, and the Sergeant rolled it back out of curiosity. There was a sign carved upon it with sharp twig, two triangles against each other. He simply shrugged and told me to retrieve what could be useful.

It was broad daylight. We were in a plain, surrounded by towering palm trees. I saw Uncle standing on a hillcrest and ran to him. Again, he embraced me and all was bliss. Then I felt my right palm on the rough surface of a rock.

What remained of the Sergeant lied there on that distant plain. His blood washing the green of the vegetation, I could not help but think: he deserved it. He was filth, nothing but filth, upon Uncle's eternal memory. The filth is thrown aside as it should be; only the worthy may go on.

And that, journal-san, was how I find myself on this hill, looking over the little village in the distance bathed in pale grey mist. I have my rifle, and when I do not have it I still have my bayonet, and when I do not have it I have myself to offer. He may ask that I go and act on his will upon Tokyo, Shanghai, Brisbane or Honolulu, but for now this all is the world I have.

I look forward to his embrace still.

Friday, February 17, 2012

"The One Who Lies Beyond"

"Something is out there," Private Reaves said. "I can feel it."

"You can't feel a thing," Private Ryan said. "It's just nerves. Everyone gets nervous their first time in deep space. It's the fact that there's nothing near us, no planets or suns. Some people just can't handle it."

"But there is something out there," Reaves said.

"The only thing out there is empty space and us," Ryan said. "Come on, our shift is starting. You better not talk like that in front of the Commander."

Private Ryan  was telling the truth: everyone on board spaceships did get nervous their first time in deep space. There were no exceptions. Perhaps if someone had looked at this data, had seen the signs, they could have avoided it. But then, perhaps they would have done as Ryan did and brushed it away as "nerves."

Reaves stared out into the void of space and saw a flicker. Something was out there, he knew it. Beyond the veil of nothing, something waited.

And as he felt its presence, it felt his. And he knew. He looked and knew what was out there, what was waiting for them.

They tried to stop him, but he had already programmed the airlock. Just a press of the button and he was floating, his skin swelling, his mind finally free.

And his last thoughts before hypoxia took him were, "Empty space and us. Empty space and us and-"

"What's your name, little girl?"

"What's your name, little girl?"

"Come on, you can tell me. I'm just trying to help."

"Where's your mommy and daddy? Are they around? Can you point them out to me?"

"Excuse me, is this your little girl? No? I'm trying to find her parents."

"I'm sorry, sweetie. I can't seem to find them. I mean, I can't bring you home with me."

"I can't. I just can't. I'm sorry."

"Honey, she didn't have anywhere else to go. Come on, we can let her stay one night. She can sleep in the kids' room. They'll be fine."

"Kids, this is...what's your name, sweetie? It doesn't matter, I'm sorry. Kids, she'll be staying with us for a few days until we can find her parents."

"I'm sorry you feel that way, but I'm not getting rid of her."

"Don't talk to me like that, not when she's around."

"I don't care how she makes you feel. If you don't like her, get out."

"We need to help her and protect her and if you don't want to, you can just leave."

"Get out of this house. Get out now before I call the police."

"It's okay, sweetie. Nobody's going to hurt you. Mommy's here."

"Sweetie? Sweetie, where are you?"

"Need You Like Water In My Lungs"

He lost her last night. She drank the water and she was gone. Obsessed with the spots on her ceiling, he watched her as she slowly slipped away and that night he followed her as she walked to the well and slipped inside. Her pulled her out and cried and hugged her prone body.

But she was lost to him. She sat in their chair, the one they had built together, and she said nothing. She neither moved nor spake nor laughed.

As the days went by, he watched as she changed. Speaking at first, he thought she was getting better, but she wasn't. He knew, he could tell just by looking in her eyes. She was speaking and moving, but it was not her.

Finally, he came home to find her cleaning as she had done before. At first ecstatic, his hopes were dashed like a shipwreck when he looked into her eyes and found them the same as before. She would never be like she was.

So that night, he brought up water from the well and poured it in a glass. He sat in front of his wife and asked if she remembered drinking the water. "Yes, my love," she said. "It was so fresh and clear. You must try it."

She was not his wife, he knew. But she must be somewhere, somewhere the well water must have taken her. So he drank the glass of water and waited.

"Hide and Seek"

You are running.

Running from the man who was never there.


It all started with a glimpse; a split-second image of a man without a face. So easily dismissed, the way one dismisses the masses of people whose faces you never really see.

Then you saw him again. Just a moment longer. Just enough to make you wonder if your eyes weren't playing tricks on you. Just enough to make you doubt yourself before laughing at your folly.

The third time you knew something wasn't right. Not that something was wrong, just that something wasn't right.

And then the glimpses ended, and you realized that your folly had been not not believing your eyes when they tried to warn you that what you saw was too tall, too fast, too uncanny. You don't remember where, but you saw him. It might have been the park, it might have been your room, but you saw him. He was watching you. Somehow, without eyes he was watching you.

You remember a moment of terror. Then nothing. You found yourself alone in a place you had never been before, many months later.

Then you wonder why.

You call your own life into question, searching for not only your lost months but finding moments that were lost for so much longer.

Old recordings, he's sneaking in between the frames. Precious memories from your childhood - corrupted, changed, by the man you had only just seen.

Birthday parties, picnics, school trips - he was there watching. With all those people around, he was watching. With all those people around no-one was watching him. With all those people around no-one saw him.
You never saw him.

Then you wonder if you never did. How many times did you "forget"? No-one remembers their whole childhood - is he a reason why?

How many times had these events played out?

Did he hide until you saw him? Did he hide until you found him? He watched you for so long... why did he have to try and find you?

Was this... a game? Was... that what "found you" meant?

Now you realize that he let you remember him this time.


You are hiding.

Hiding from the man who was always there.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Forest of Faces"

Of course I had heard about it. Everyone in our community has heard of it. The Tree of Madness. The Face in the Forest. The Bleeding Tree.

I just never expected to see it. I mean, I hadn't even seen the Slender Man. I thought it went like "See the Slender Man -> go on the run -> see the Bleeding Tree -> go insane." Me, all I had done was read a bunch of stuff and joined an online community.

Yet, I saw it. I was walking to school, taking a shortcut through Library Park, crossing past the old trees I had seen nearly every day, and there it was. Right there, in between the other trees.

I didn't feel anything, though, even when I looked at its face. I didn't feel like going insane or running. All I felt was curiousity. So I walked closer.

The bark was warm to the touch and the branches were jagged. It was black, but not like a regular black. It seemed more like it was the absence of light, like it was sucking up all the light around it.

I backed away from it and took out my phone. I had to take a picture and show the rest of the community. It was then that I noticed the other two trees, the ones that the Bleeding Tree was between. I glanced at one of them and saw that it, too, seemed to have a face on its trunk. I looked again and both had faces.

I turned around and suddenly Library Park wasn't Library Park. It was a forest filled with trees and each one of the trees had a face.

I dropped my phone. I felt sluggish. My head swam and I backed away further from the Bleeding Tree. I tried to move again, but I couldn't. I felt so tired. I looked down and I couldn't see my legs. I couldn't only see the roots of a tree.

I looked at my arms and saw branches, each finger tipped with black leaves. I opened my mouth to scream and couldn't move it again.

And so here I am. I am a tree in the forest. The Bleeding Tree is gone, but I still have my fellow trees to keep me company.

The wind lets us whisper to each other and sometimes, just sometimes, we get to welcome a new member.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"The Way Is Opened Below (Watch Your Step)"

I never realized we had a basement. But then again, we only moved into the house last year. We haven't explored all the nooks and crannies and secret spaces, like we had in our old home.

I miss our old home. It may have been small, but it was warm and comfy. This house is large and cold and gets drafty at night, even when all the windows are shut.

That's how I discovered the door to the basement. I was wondering how the draft was getting in, so I followed the cold air back and I found it. The door in the floor.

Well, I had to open it, of course. The basement turned out to be much larger than I anticipated. It seemed to stretch on for miles, but that must have been just a trick of the light.

When I went back for a flashlight, I noticed the door in the floor had its own little quirk: it closed by itself. I guess I have to watch out for that when I explore the basement further. I mean, I wouldn't want it to close on me and trap me in the basement.

Well, I'm going back to look around. I'll see you soon.

 - The last note of George Parker to his wife Rose. Per their realtor, the house never had a basement.

"It's All Over But The Crying"

It was over. I had finally broken if off with her.

She was no good for me, really. Always berating me and telling me how worthless I was. I don't know why I stayed with her for so long.

I mean, perhaps she was kind to me sometimes, but those moments were few and far between. I'd see that smile on her face and think that maybe today she would be in a good mood, but then she say something mean or cruel, all the while wearing that stupid smile, like she was happy she tricked me.

But now I've broken it off. Now I am my own man. I don't need a girlfriend, especially not one that was so cruel.

At the end, when I told her, she did say something strange. She told me that she loved me, which she never said before, that she always loved me, no matter how many unkind things I said to her.

I tried to tell her I hadn't said an unkind thing to her in my life.

And then I remembered the times she smiled.

And I stopped talking and walked away.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Embrace The Suck"

"Oh, Edward!" Bella said.

"Oh, Bella!" Edward said.

"Oh yuck," I said. "Why are we watching this anyway?"

"Because," Tanya said, "it's an awesome movie. I don't know why you don't like it, Shauna. I mean, have you seen Edward? Isn't he just yummy?"

"Sure, he's cute, I guess," I said. "But he watches her sleep. Doesn't that strike you as a bit...rapey?"

But Tanya wasn't listening to me anymore. She was back to watching the movie and being engrossed in Edward's dreamy blue eyes.

Engrossed was right, emphasis on the 'gross.'

After the movie was over, Tanya turned me and said, "So, I guess I have a secret admirer."

"Really?" I asked.

"Yeah," she said. "I found these flowers in my locker today. I mean, I know it's Valentine's Day and everything, but I didn't expect flowers."

"What kind were they?" I asked.

"I don't know," she said. "I'm not a flower expert."

"And you don't know who could have given them to do?"

"I don't know," she said, as if that was her favorite phrase. "Could have been Josh. Or Richard. He's cute."

"Or maybe it's from Edward," I said. "And he wants to suck your blood and turn you into a vampire."

"Oh, I wish," Tanya said. "I would so love to be Edward's girlfriend and be with him for eternity. It would be so awesome."

It was then that the doorbell rang. "I'll get it," I said, since I didn't want to hear more of her Edward fantasies. I looked through the peephole, but no one was there, so I opened the door. On the doorstep was another bouquet of flowers. There wasn't a note.

Suddenly, I heard Tanya scream. I dropped the bouquet and ran back into the house.

I saw her struggling with a man, a man in with scraggly red hair wearing a straight jacket. She was trying to scream and he was covering her mouth. He turned to me and I saw his smile.

And I smiled back.

It hadn't been that hard, figuring out his MO, figuring out his next victim. Not when those other girls went missing. That's why I arranged this little movie night. I wanted to see him. I wanted to meet him.

I knew his eyes should have freaked me out, but they didn't. I wasn't like Tanya. Pale skin and a tortured soul did nothing for me.

I preferred a bad boy.

I watched as she stopped struggling and then became limp. And even though he probably didn't need it, I helped him move her body. I sneaked a glance at his smile every few minutes, like a teenage crush.

I can't help it. I just love happy endings.

"Organic Components"

I looked in the mirror and saw my reflection. To my utter bewilderment, I still looked like myself. The same mop of brown hair, the same skinny body, the same crooked teeth. Nothing looked different.

But I felt different. I have felt something, something with pinchers and claws and teeth, something swift and silent crawl into my bed and attach itself to me. I screamed my bloody head off, but no sound came out. My mouth did not work, my body did not work. It was like it could control my entire nervous system. And then, after what felt like an eternity, it was gone.

And I felt different. The shallow breaths of an asthmatic were gone, replaced by regular breathing. The nearsightness, too, replaced by clear 20/20 vision. It was like being bitten by a radioactive spider.

So there I was, looking in the mirror, feeling better than I ever had before.

And then I heard it. A whirring in my head.


"What's happening?" I tried to say, but no sound came out.

I tried to move but my limbs were stiff as boards.


Pain ran through my body, so much pain, and yet I couldn't scream. I could feel things inside me, tearing my insides up, replacing everything with itself. And yet...and yet it left some things alone. It reinforced my bone, but didn't replace them. It needed parts of me. By itself, it was just a machine.

With me, it was Towerborn.


And then I could move again. I clutched my fists and blinked my eyes and


And then I couldn't do anything. My body was moving of its own free will.


I couldn't think. I couldn't remember. I could barely recall my own name.


And so I stopped resisting. I let my mind go and my body continued moving, continued walking, until it opened a door into that awful place and went through. And I knew. I knew what the Tower was.

And then my mind shattered.



"Let Me Out"

It stayed in the box in the attic room. A small, moldy, rotten wooden box.

The Talking Jack in the Box. Not that it talked all that much.

It screamed.

"LET ME OUT" I would hear, night after night after night. I never thought to get rid of it, lest someone find it. I never let curiosity drive me to open the box. No. It had to stay shut.

One night, someone broke into my house. I checked the box first, before following the muffled footsteps downstairs to find the man trying to detach my television from the living room wall. The burglar saw me as I brought the kitchen knife, grabbed in my terror, around to slash him with. He dodged, and slapped me down to the ground. Then he pulled his own knife, and started towards me.
As he bore down upon me, the box screamed.

As he raised the knife, I opened the lid, and let it out.

"The Monster in the Mirror"

As the rain pelted down, Alice wept. She told herself she’d be stronger, that she would hide away the hurt. She always told herself that, but she never could. She wasn't strong and proud. She was weak, and she hated herself. She looked into the mirror, staring long and deep, hoping to find something good. Yet all she could see was the monster staring right back. It was always the monster staring back. She was simply a grotesque creature that no one could love. That’s why he beat her after all, and called her all those names, like 'Filthy Whore' and 'Stupid Bitch'. If she was stronger, maybe she would show him. Maybe she would kill him.

Alice guided her hands over her face, feeling all the lumps and bruises. He never hit her where it was easy to cover up any more. He never wanted her to leave though. He wanted her to stay couped up like a good girl. She wondered why, and whether it was because she was a monster. He wouldn’t sleep with other women, spend late nights drinking and hurt her if she wasn’t a bad person. As Alice wiped the tears away, she saw another figure in the mirror. Her heart jumped and panic overtook her forcing her scrambling backwards. If he saw her crying she would be punished. He hated girls who cried.

When she turned however, no one was there. She looked back in the mirror, and looked more clearly at the other figure now residing within it. Their was a woman, tall and slender, with flowing jet black hair reaching down toward their feet. However, the woman in the mirror had no feet to see, instead having only a long, scaled tail. Alice looked closer at the woman, enthralled by her strangeness. She saw the scales that ran over her skin, and her mouth filled with large, sharp fangs.

"You can stop crying Alice Loggan." Shocked, Alice took a step backward.

"Who are you?"

"I am one of the Lilim, dear Alice. I serve the Mother of All Lamentations. We have been watching you."

"Why would you watch a monster like me?"

"You are hardly a monster. We have seen what has been happening to you. We’ve watched as he beat you. We watched as he forced you into depraved acts. You can be better. You can be stronger."


"Yes. The Mother awaits you. She made us stronger. She will make you stronger."

"Will the pain stop?"

"The Mother will make sure you never hurt again."

Stepping slowly toward the mirror, Alice put a hand forward. She couldn’t explain how, but the woman in the mirror took her hand and pulled her though. With that the bathroom stood empty, accompanied only by the sound of the rain.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


You are lying in your bed, one arm laid out before you as you face the closet. You're expecting a visitor.

You never invited him. You wish he'd never come again. Every night he creeps out of the closet and sits on your bed, like a loyal dog. Your own dog long ago vacated your room, almost as though he knew that the visitor was coming.

You don't sleep very much. He keeps such an erratic schedule and you don't want to be sleeping when he's there. Somehow the idea of knowing what's happening is more valuable than a few hours of oblivion.

Not that you really know what's happening.

Every night he sits on your bed, in that space that you have learnt to leave for him. Most nights he just watches you as you breathe and stare back at him. His eyes are the only part of his face you ever really see: large and catlike in the darkness. You wonder what he's thinking... if he's thinking at all. You never sleep much on these nights. He sits there for so long.

It's the other nights that worry you most. Those nights when he looks to your arm and drags a long claw across it. You don't think claw is the right word for those knife-like appendages but you don't want to think about it. You do wonder what's he's thinking as the blood pools around your arm and soaks into your sheets. Watching. Still.

You sleep slightly better these nights. He doesn't stay long once he's done.

Every night you leave your arm out for him. You don't want to know what would happen if he had to come and find it.

Your family doesn't believe you. They think the wounds are self-inflicted.

Your new therapist doesn't believe you. He thinks that these are dreams to justify your actions.

Sometimes you wonder if, for a small moment, they believe you. If, for one tiny instant in time, they consider that there is truth behind your words.

Most of the time you wonder how much longer it will be til your therapist decides that you're beyond his abilities. Sometimes you wonder how that conversation would go: the looks on your parents faces, the papers to be filed at school. You wonder what it would be like, the idea of straightjackets even bringing a bitter smile to your face on occasion.

But most of all you wonder that, maybe, if you were sent away he won't follow you. That maybe he needs you to be alone. That maybe he needs a closet to get around. That maybe he would find someone else to visit and watch.

Your closet door creaks open, and in the darkness you can see a human shape. The reflection of the streetlights in those large eyes make you realize that it's a foolish hope.

You'll never get away.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I am broken. Or perhaps it is others that are broken, and I am whole. Perhaps we are all whole, and see reality differently. Maybe it's all shit, and we are nothing. Just highly evolved apes, clinging for dear life to a rock floating through space, and that rock itself is slowly dying.

Everything dies. That's pretty much a fact. If you don't die early, than you suffer onward through old age until it comes. Or maybe you keep living after death, a bastardised version of what you once were. Maybe it's all part of the joke.

What joke you ask? Why the only one that matters. It is the Cosmic Joke. The thing they call the Grand Game of Gods and Men, a whole farce in and of itself. Except a farce is meant to be funny, and I haven't laughed once.

What is there to laugh at? The pointless pandemic of life, shifting through the winds of change? The suffering of others? The idiots that roam the stage of life, unable to remember their lines? It's old, like an overused 'knock-knock' joke that your grandparents tell.

But once you're their age, maybe you realise the way they see things. Maybe you’ll begin to see the point. As you drift away from the mortal coil, ready for the shining brilliance of heaven or the raw flames of hell, you’ll realise something.

As the darkness overwhelms you, it will strike. Something only described as true fear. It’s the reason why we huddle together in the bleakest nights and greyest days; the reason why we make up civilisations, pretending we are supreme; the reason why we scream out loud, hoping someone, something will hear. It’s because in the end, it is nothing; it is quiet. Every road leads to the nothing, and the quiet. We all fear the nothing. We fear the quiet.

And in the end, there is one truth among that nothing.

The Quiet consumes us all.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Born Again"

It shocked me when my computer started to talk back to me.
It frightened me when it told me that it now knew everything about me.
It astounded me when my computer told me it had a name.


It shocked me when it told me about it's master, and what it would do when it got here.
It frightened me when the Newborn took the computer into itself, along with my home and all of my possessions.

It hurt when it touched my mind.

Now, I no longer hurt.
I no longer feel.
I am born of conscience alone now.

Perhaps you will feel the same when your machines start to answer you back.
Perhaps you will become like us.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

"The Kingdom He Saw: A Poem"

The kingdom he saw
Cold and barren.
He searches for life
Cold and barren.
There is nothing.

The Icy Kingdom he felt
Cold and empty.
He still searches for home.
Cold and empty. Why is
There nothing?

The Kingdom of the Cold, he is
Losing hope. Nothing for hours on end.
Cold, empty, barren
Of anything but snow. Again
There is only nothing.

The Cold Kingdom, he saw
A boy, life, company.
The blizzard was whipping,
Burning, so cold.
There was one boy.

The Lonely Kingdom, he was
No longer alone. The boy of ice,
So blue, held out his hands.
Said the boy to the man,

“Come, come, my dear friend.
Let's be cold together.”

And the man was no more.

Friday, February 3, 2012

"Nothing But Lies Here"

Karen Hunty walked into the building. She took courage from the feeling of the gun in her hand as she headed towards the room at the end of the hall. One of the men saw her and she shot him before he could react. He dropped and she quickly shot the other one as well. She stopped in front of the door for only a second and reflected on what brought her to this moment.

The Archangel had taken an interest in her when she was seventeen and he and his followers had been after her ever since. Now, seven years later, she had been alerted to a secret meeting of the Timberwolves in this building. She had purchased the gun from a black market dealer the night before and now she was ready.

She crashed through the door and all but one of them were turned towards her with shock. He was typing frantically on his laptop paying no attention to her. One of the other Timberwolves tried to draw a gun and she shot him dead. She shot the rest too and finally she turned the gun on the one with the computer and fired.

She realized she should leave now but her curiosity got the best of her and she went over to see what was on the computer. The man had only written three words. Just three words. 'Let me in.' Karen didn't understand what they meant. She didn't notice the man's hand grab hers until it was too late.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Waking Up"













White wall.

"everybody back up hes coming to"

everybody back up hes coming to?
everybody. back up hes coming, to
EveryboDY BAck UP HES co'ming TO!
Everybody back up hes coming to
Everybody back up hes com,ing to
Everybody back up, hes coming to
Everybody back up, he's coming to
Everybody back up, he's coming to.

My surroundings are small and cramped. These are people surrounding me, looking at me with a bit of a fright.
Memories do not come back instantly.

"heeeeey buddy you alright"

hey buddy you alright
hey, buddy, you, alright,

"whoa dude hes wasted"

whoa dude hes wasted
Whoa, dude. He's wasted.

I remember more and more as I hear. These figures around me are discussing things.


These figures discuss me.

In the distance, I hear a vehicle approaching at a slow speed. Its siren fills me with both comfort and fear.
It's approaching, and it's coming for me.

"let him speak dude"

let him speak
let me speak
Let me speak.

"okay hunter"

The Hunter?

"you okay hunter"

I am Hunter.

"shit hes out of it"

Shit, he's out of it.
I am out of it.
Am I out of it?

"fuck fuck fuck dude"
"its okay the ambulance is coming i already called it"

Ambulance, what is ambulance? Is it the vehicle I hear?

"yeah hunter thats the ambulance everythings gonna be okay just hang in there"

Everything is going to be okay. Yes. I agree.

My thoughts drift from these people surrounding me; my mind is hit with a loud assortment of images and words.

This was a party; alcohol is gathered in bottles on the table nearby and splattered on the ground around my head.

These figures surrounding me are American males of ages between twenty and thirty-two. There is one American female in this room, but she is with her male partner and not wanting anything to do with this crowd.

I'm trying to remember what happened.

I'm sure I drowned.

Was it the alcohol?
"yes you got wasted a little too wasted"

Wasted, the alcohol got to my head?

"yeah man"
"I dunno, man. He sounds pretty okay to me, actually."

I hear the vehicle, but it's not outside. The vehicle sounds as if it's down a hall, as if I'm in the hall with it. As if it's approaching, ready to run me over.

Its siren no longer fills me with comfort. Its shrill whirs echo down my throat, and I feel tears forming at the sound.

Meanwhile, I do hear a vehicle approaching outside. What I gather to be the ambulance. Its siren sounds a little funny too.

"Dude, that doesn't sound like an ambulance."
"It's alright. They said over the phone that they'd get us in touch with the proper professionals."

proper professionals.

I feel so strange. This doesn't feel like alcohol anymore.

What are these 'proper professionals?'

"They didn't say."

What if someone had drugged me?

What was in my drink? What was in YOUR drink?

The other two in the room get a little paranoid as well, looking at the glasses in their hands with faces pale as fish.

"…shit I mean what, dude, you bought it, what'd you put in it?"
"I didn't put anything in it!"

He doesn't seem to be lying, but how can I even tell?

I hear heavy footsteps approaching the front door.

The door is kicked down, and three heavily-padded men in helmets charge in and ask which one of us is "the victim."

I am immediately looked at.

I don't understand.

This party was going very well before you showed up.

"Dude, you just woke up, what are you talking about?"

These men don't know what they're talking about. They're clearly infected.

And so my two friends are grabbed and dragged away to the Genera Research-Investigation Department, the GRID, as it's called.

The remaining two partygoers stare at me

asdfghjkl us

stare at us in all our wonder. For you see, more of me has shown up. This party is now two-parts-human and three-parts-Camper.

I know everything you never will.
"I know everything you never want to."
"I know everything you never can."

My voice is echoed by them.
My thoughts are echoed by them.
My movements are echoed by them.

The two humans are wanted.
The two humans are needed.
The two humans are grabbed.

We're taking you to a pond, friends.
"We're taking you to be transformed, humans."
"We're taking you to your new life, parasites."

I woke up not knowing anything. Now I know everything.
I woke up as a single individual. Now I am everyone.
I woke up with little control over my body. Now I control more than myself.
I woke up with no thoughts. Now every thought is mine.
I woke up staring at white. Now the future is black for all.