where are we as a society? as a race? as humans?
where are we as a planet floating on the infallible fabric of space time? as elements and molecules in the chemical soup of nature and reality and time?
where are we as a universe? are we expanding constantly or deteriorating at unimaginable rates, faster than light, than sound, faster than the jet plane that just flew by overhead? are we alone?
are we in one dimension or eleven? i wouldn’t know, i’m just a creature created to detail this journey.
to break the fourth wall of fiction or to not break the fourth wall of fiction? are we even in the same universe?
where? what universe are You in if it’s not the same as mine?
where are you? right now, at this exact moment?
as your eyes scan the screen of pixels,
ibm produced screen encased in white plastic casting green rays of light burning themselves into retinas of eyes as you read this so-called narrative appearing on the screen letter by letter.
You, physically, may be sitting there,
reading this from an ancient computer covered in dust and thinking the world is going to shit if this is what authors are producing these days to stay relative.
existential garbage, if you’ve ever seen it.
i could be sitting at the edge of a swamp in voodoo territory louisiana with spanish moss reaching down from an ancient oak to brush my shoulders as i write faintly blue squiggles of lines
onto thick pages in a journal bound from leather and You, being in a different realm, perceive my gibberish as neat pixels on the old desktop you found in Your high school’s basement storage.
how do you even know i’m the main character?
the smell of the swamp is rotting my senses. the grass is wet the air is wet the mud is wet the moss is wet the pages of the journal are wet.
skin is wet with perspiration and these droplets of hormones drip from forehead to skim off elbows and from there latch onto blades of grass where they are finally eaten by the dirt monsters.
thankfully You’re safe from the hormone-eating dirt monsters while you hunch your back to operate the computer in a pleasantly tempered room without any noticeable trace of humidity in the air.
the cigarette burning to ash in the fingers of a frenchman has finally burnt him
the coffee brewed by the english barista is finally cool enough for the physics professor to drink
the spider in the corner has finally finished its web and now waits for an unlucky victim with the intention to come visit and but stays forever
the girl with the yellow umbrella has finally found the perfect companion of yellow rain boots but she’ll never see a drop of rain again
the poet with the bleach damaged hair
the businessman with the white suit jacket
the politician with a degree in ceramic art
the main character of this particular work has finally woken up from its nap. as narrator, i will still accompany you on this character’s adventure, but i will take a backseat for now.
it is a strange creature, with eyes in its fingers and teeth on its throat and its feet have too many toes to count.
it is mangled and mashed and warped and has shifted from shape to shape to shape so many times the original has been erased forty-five times over.
it is called geraldine, it says.
it would like You to know that it is pleased you have decided to dedicate time to speak like this.
it knows you cannot answer with a voice but it can see your emotions through your aura which is essentially the same thing it wants you to know.
geraldine is commonly known by the human race as a “shape-shifter” but it says that is a terribly rude name and would like You to call it geraldine instead and
and it would like You to realize it has a hard time keeping track of what the conversation is about. so if it forgets it would be pleased if You could remind it of the topic.
it knows if you lie.
as narrator i would like to step in here and make sure You understand the consequences of lying to geraldine.
fire will rain and oceans will dry and skin between fingers will melt together until they are unusable and hair will fall out of follicles and toenails will grow to uncomfortable lengths.
so do not lie to it
geraldine has lived a hundred lives over and over and over and over it has lived those lives. it believes this life is different because it knows You are here to hear to hear to hear
the tale of a different life, it remembers.
it once had the shape of a young man it had hair the color of honey and eyes the color of lakes and all the human parts were in the right places there were no teeth in fingers no ears
on legs all in place the perfect disguise
geraldine used it well. it traveled the world to see all the strange folk in strange dress in strange lands.
another time it was called a he and he was called Louis and there was some number after his name (geraldine thinks it was fourteen)
louis the fourteenth.
he was king of a place called france and geraldine is remembering more and more and more of that life but
but that was just one form. one shape. geraldine has had many.
so many to count it gets so jumbled in its brain and its brain hasn’t been in one piece for the past 300 years and it makes it hard to remember as it lives in this realm in
the dark deep cold space it floats and speaks to You in this manner
Yuor barin is so secpail it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae the rset can be
a toatl mses and You can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef but the wrod as a wlohe
You are so u n i q u e it blinds geraldine from the flaws of the communication method it is using.
it is forgetting that this method leads to its reality bleeding into Your reality so it wants you to beware because any second now there could be a tear in the time space continuum and just
be on guard geraldine warns You to be safe it wants You to be okay it wants You to survive don’t don’t don’t have to watch out mjst wathc out please it says to Yuo be csarfe===
be careful geraldine is afraid is worried it know s it knsow it knowd ghstt dsaomething si coming wis coming is si isin gieettting closerclosercloserclosercloser sdnosodnjc a ‘fvk’vadf527+97f
The computer fails before the reboot is finished. You sigh in frustration, pulling the plug from the outlet. This is the third time you’ve been here.
The program ran further this time than the others, which pleases you, but there is still too much left unknown.
The program begins the same each time, but as Geraldine wakes, the script differs. You’re not sure if it actually is a program.
You’re more convinced than ever that this is some form of communication with an alien lifeform.
When the lightbulb hanging by wires from the ceiling explodes, you’re finally pulled out of the daydream. In a daze, you wait for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.
And it remains dark. You reach into your pocket for your cell phone, swiping up to activate the flashlight. Except, the room still doesn’t illuminate. You spin around in a half circle.
The ancient computer is gone. The wooden desk is gone. The blown light bulb and the ceiling have vanished.
There is absolutely nothing around you. Vast emptiness and a creeping cold sensation spreading from your feet upwards. Your phone blinks with a low battery notice and then dies.
You are truly alone.
For the first time in your life, you are one hundred percent alone. There is no life anywhere, no light anywhere, no sound.
You’re terrified. Absolutely and completely terrified.