The world has been falling apart for an almost indeterminate number of hours. As in, it began in a state of hypertension, where no-one believed it would fall apart soon, but they knew it was going to fall apart. And the sort of subconscious knowledge of the world blasting into smithereens, slowly, bit by bit, has evoked a sort of passive-aggressive persona within the people. The people have become insane, have grown this way from years of failing to realize the festering wound. They stare.
Predatory, lurking people(s) beneath the surface. He can’t see them, but they can see him. They can see, can literally smell when he isn’t smiling. These creatures, their gigantic malformed foreheads, grayskinned, apathetic, lurk and bite their own flesh, draw blood to know they have the sensations for life, and sometimes they kill themselves without noticing it.
They are insane, living carnivore, finding purpose in—who knows what? Entertainment comes in the form of technical manuals, learning logistics, expanding the cesspools of knowledge, preparatory for whatever situations may arise. On their minds are always the visions of how This or That will be useful in the future, or how much time did you expend doing Such-and-Such? Their watches are registered to the very second. Bags pull like weights beneath their eyes, exposing the red, mushy flesh of the dried lacrimal glands.
Smile. Just do it. If there isn’t that plastered robotic smile upon the face—you get sent to camps. But that’s only if they like you. If they find you to be an unlikeable person they’ll just tear you to bits right there. It isn’t unheard of. There are instances of whole households, entire families, being bombarded by large packs of these homuncuformed monsters, tearing their long cold and gray fingers—metacarpals, phalanges—through the walls, the floorboards (the floorboards; the thirst for these monsters was so great that they broke a hole in the house from beneath the stairs and are literally trying to get themselves to this unhappy family by pulling them below the house), and nowhere is truly safe if you can’t force that smile. Scientists say that if breeding patterns are any indication, that the babies in the next few generations will come out of the womb smiling, and then they can nip the whole Fakers (those whose smiles are insincere—disgusting) epidemic right in the bud: at the source of birth. All parents who give birth to an Unhappy Youth have their child euthanized right away and are taken in for rigorous questioning, to confirm the legitimacy of their own emotions. Argumentum ad populum is the truth: the more, the merrier: individuality =/= happiness.
The Nameless Man stands alone, trying to maintain his misery, for reasons he will never understand. There before him in the plaza stands one of the horrifying creatures. It is ghastly, with orifices agape, emitting horrifying gurgling noises from its askance mouthslit. It stands declawed and made of reflective, oily shells. Appendages from its swinging rotational legs constantly wrap around objects and bring the pieces of sustenance into its grinding toothbones. It ponders the nourishment, sloshing it between those horrifying teeth—as if they were faulty—before swallowing. It wraps its smooth, sectional, porous appendages around a form of container before leaving with an odd twitch in its mouth.
Among gardenias, in the sepulcher of life, he watches children dance. For, at ends, their wails of happiness stimulate dusted ears. Matrons and patrons view the spectacle divided, smiling separate smiles. So quick does time seem, and so intensive misery; so small does he seem, yet how big does he feel; how immediate his shortcomings and extraneous death; how distant the stars hide and how present thrives life. He was told tales in youth of men whose happinesses were contingent on themselves. They had no outsourcing, no philosophical dilemmas, and they fought against savage monsters and ate tuna directly from the can. These men were heroes. Heroes were justifiably nice and they lived according to their own callings, whether that was to save people or to create something worthwhile. These heroes made way to superheroes and these superheroes to gods. All the while, the small people melted in their own minuscule natures without understanding their own truthful importance, dissolving like a molecule of sugar in a glass of water, further rifting the partition or void that separated their inferiority in the visions of a supreme Man. Psychologically, physiologically, physically, psychologically, psychically, they bit off more in their visions than reality could chew. Sort of an inorganic complex manifested itself in the minds of these people. They became not Nietzsche’s uebermensch, but rather some form of large-eyed, purple Ao Oni, stalking out unsuspecting victims from among the surrounding rooms, peeking their freakishly malformed faces of purplish disfigurement into the closets where the once-dancing children now hid in gripping fear. He was not They.
His knowledge of Their existence was more than enough to prevent him from becoming one of Them. Or so he thought….
Isaac Birchmier is an aspiring writer from Helena, Montana. He is a recent high school graduate who will soon be pursuing an English degree at the University of Montana. He has been published on Morgen Bailey’s Writing Blog and is whittling away the hours before college by writing as many stories as humanly possible. Twitter: www.twitter.com/isaacbirchmier, Website: www.isaacbirchmier.com
Image by Dr.Cialtro