We millions of disposed hopeless despairing naked wander a wretched shore. Our lives are wildernesses, our hopes beyond the real of our short faltering memories. We are less than human, we are hands grasping tools legs bending to lift weight unblinking eyes fixed on screens. We grey little bodies chew thoughtlessly on the toxic garbage we’ve been fed, children starve on the streets outside, the secret police kick our doors in every other day and find nothing, we struggle just to cling onto survival and even that is an achievement, our own dreams and goals forever out of reach, but we never get angry. We do not get angry at what is being done to us, we are not angry at our bodies being reduced to husks; poisoned, shattered, and spiritless. The telescreens hanging from skyscrapets cast gigantic images down into our infinitesimal lives. Our schools taught and taught the importance of obedience, the importance of servility, the important of necrocity- of being dead to the world.
Until one day we started to find out anger. No one knows why but without any other noticeable change. A deep anger began to linger in the pits of our bellies. As it grew it, at first rotted me out from within. I was burning alive from the anger, burn patterns began to lace the insides of my lungs and for the first time the overwhelming shackles of convention started to hang a little lighter on my shoulders. For the first time in my life I started to feel. I cried and laughed and cried- I realise I didn’t need anything else. I began to cry out, draw others to the anger…
We stepped out into the streets, alive for the first times in our lives, to see the rows and rows of whips and chains and truncheons hanging from limp kevlar-clad arms. It was raining.
I wander down into the cellar late at night, the flickering candle castling fantastically long shadows against the endless winding stone stairs. Our cellar goes down for miles and miles into the earth and rats scurry in the walls slicked as we pass beneath the water table. I have to go down this far if I’m going to stay away from Mummy’s judging eye saying I’m being naughty. Or daddy oh god terrible loveable ecstatic tyrant daddy. They are asleep but I can’t be too careful. I’m pretty sure mummy and daddy can look into my dreams, can hear my inhuman thoughts screaming out my guilt. I am a pervert I am a pervert I am a pervert…
Down here- Down here- Down Down down in the dirt they can’t here me down here in the dirt… down here they can’t hear me. I hope. I tried to repress my desire before, pushing it down into the very depths of my mind, but of cause it’s sprawling tentacles grew and spread up through the endless icy swirls of the unconscious to thread through my very self. I became the debauched detested thing which I had tried so hard to keep at bay and now I had no choice but to feed the insatiable beast. So here, naked, with sweat dripping from my bloated body, I entered the deepest depths of all and walked amongst the discarded filth from the house above. Endless pools of open sewage interspersed with islands of discarded shopping trolleys, remnants of discarded fetuses, bin bags bloated with imploding waste and their in amongst the fetid Kingdom of filth lay my life in a narrow spine. It was perhaps the filthiest and most abject pornography I could conceive of: utterly unfathomable in its ability to bring exquisite ecstacy. I reached out for the filthied cover not even bothering to hesitate any more. I opened and read the very first smutted words:
In the Beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth…
The sea is not full of water. The sea is water. The sea is not full of anything. The sea is boring the sea is empty. As a child I learned about how gigantic and terrifying the creatures of the deep were. They are of course, terrible and depraved and ungodly monsters that tear limb from limb, but my mind had conjured creatures so much more unwieldy as to put the real monstrosities into an unfavourable proportion.
I don’t wear a mask when I dive, the water runs against my bare skin as I plunge headlong into the darkness. Theres really no difference between that and drowning. I hope to return before I am seduced to choking death, never to be touched by the suns rays again, and each time I do.
I leap through the aperture into the blue void. The sun becomes an ambiance which then dissipates dimmer and dimmer with the depths. My body streams down deeper and deeper, the endless expanse flowing out around me. A Blue Whale is a truly gigantic creature, larger than any other, and yet even it is not so truly enormous as the sky scrapers my species lifted out of the dirt and stone. I was disappointed to find just how small the dinosaurs were. A Tyrannosaurus Rex, literally the king of Tyrant lizards, did not even compare to King Kong or Godzilla. Nothing like that really existed out here in the depths did it?
The water went on and on in all directions until i could see nothing further. It would have been entirely possible for something vast and unfathomable, were it to exist, to glide menacingly from that sheet of blue- it did not.
As I reached an outcrop of rock i settled against it for a moment, still holding my breath, when I found my foot wouldn’t move. I looked down to find a tiny clam, barely the size of a tennis ball, had grabbed my foot. Despite its size it was incredibly strong and was jammed into the rock such that I couldn’t seem to break free. I tried to wriggle out but its grip was too tight. I yanked and yanked, at this point my lungs starting to burn. I grew faint from lack of oxygen and soon my mouth opened in a scream and flooded my lungs, i struggled and struggled but could not escape and soon the light grew dimmer and dimmer.
That is what really fills the dark recesses of the oceans: terrible imaginings and smothered screams.
The Airship is incredible, the ship of my dreams. A ballroom with heavy wooden floors and hundreds of vibrant passengers- shimmering with impossible vibrancy and life- unfolds before me. There is a bar. There is, unseen, a swimming pool. There are shelves and shelves of exotic tomes in the library and spotless bathrooms shimmering on every floor, luxurious bedrooms- all held aloft by a vast balloon of non-flammable gas- renewable and cheap. This place was nothing like the Airships I’d read about, tiny crews, basic light rooms, few amenities, and walls so thin you could hear your neighbours breath through them in the dead of night. I’d thought for so long the dream was dead and yet here it was- unattainable, beloved, and ecstatically achieved. Perhaps that’s why they’d named it the Impossible. The problems had been overcome and more than that I was the one riding on it. My whole body was fizzing with excitement. How? How? How? How? It hardly mattered. Then a man, the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen comes up to me, his hair slicked back, his suit clean cut, he looks at me, he loves me, -and I’m on the Impossible with him!-, he takes me by the hand and leads me through the spiralling crowds, I swirl and swirl and swirl higher and higher, I feel I could scream or die with the passion, and he whisks me to the bar and in a moment I have a strange sparkling drink in my hands that smells of cinnamon and dreams and sugar and I grasp it and he looks at me and finally, agonizingly, I touch the drink to my li-
I am holding a eggcup of stagnant water. I am on an icy park bench. Rain pours down on my shuddering back. I am sweating. It is just before dawn. Somewhere I can hear a jet engine: cold and mechanical and screaming.
The skeletons that hung from the museum cieling on long thing metal cables were remnants of an ancient war. Believed to be from the ultimately victorious tribe these bones were scattered across the battlefield from where the sheer force of the carnage had send bodies and bits of bodies skittering across the uneven ground. I always found these skeletons a little unnerving, the dead held together by string danced around like puppets. Once great warriors reduced to a spectacle. I sat at the desk, total silence consuming the dark museum, and began scribbling down the working for a maths question. It seemed almost unfair that my peers had to slave away in retail or restaurants while I was essentially paid to sit in a giant silent room doing my homework. I tried not to think about the dark space behind me and what might lurk there. I could not consider the huge room and those bones which dangled from it. I could not even look up- so consumed by my work the situation demanded me to be. X^2-4x-3=0 (x+1)(x-4)=0 x=-1 x=…
A scuffle in the distance died away as soon as it had arisen. I looked up, the problem forgotten, my pencil hanging perilously between too limp fingers. I peered into the darkness. Too scared to breathe I listened for any sort of returning sound- the slightest sign. There was nothing. I sat for a long while, waiting, until at last I was satisfied that there was nothing there. I went back to my work and was content to the silence when rain started to pour on the roof and windows. Slowly and pattering at first but then louder and louder until the sound rang in my ears. I tried to blot it our by sticking my fingers in my ears but the sound grew louder and louder pierced me deeper and deeper until…
With a roar of Thunder the entire building shook and I leapt to the floor holding my arms over my head. The rain finally started to die down. I emerged. There was a continously squeaking coming from above.
The skeletons twitched continuously like frog legs on a metal fence, their bones clacking and flailing in the air. I could only look up at them in awe and terror.
Until one finally looked down at me.
My boy! My boy! Wake up! My father burst into the room with a joyful candour I had not seen in him since before my mother died. His old face, usually glum and white, shone like a red hot ember. What is it? I asked, my filial piety alone staying my frustration at being awoken. I was firmly and uncompromisingly a student by that time and so had still not woken up even though it was likely well past noon. I have just been speaking to god. My father said. And he says you’re in! You are off to heaven! Your place has been prepared. You’re in!!! I felt my heart leap with his! The blessed life was mine! But how? My father was a man of utmost piety and devotion to the Lord. Surely he was correct in his interpretation of Divine word? But could I really, a mere mortal, be privy to such knowledge? It was no matter. I thanked my father and waited until he got up to leave the room. I was destined for heaven no matter what. He had his back to me as I picked up the scissors. Eternal bliss and safety in the arms of my divine father. I brought the blade cleanly down into his left shoulder. Our God is a merciful God. He collapsed and I drove it into his spine and then side until finally I planted it in the old man’s neck. Angels shimmering above the clouds nestled amongst and upon the bosom of our Lord. The pitiful wretch looked up at me, unable to move, blood rushing from his neck. The Lord is my shepherd and the path is mine to righteousness. Finally the light left his eyes and I crouched down over the corpse of the father. I soon preceeded to eat of his flesh and muscle- my entrance to eternal life already assured.
The scholar had withdrawn into the dungeon in exchange for a few lost souls which still wandered those sweltering wastes. Long ragged legs buckled and popped shambling across broken unruly ground. Encrusted eyes stared up at horrified skies. We were the millions of undead. We did not hunt the living like our master, crouched in his tower with long fangs sunk into trembling throats. The rare times we saw unblemished humans run terrified across the atomically reduced wastes we only looked on with uncomprehending eyes. They were often devoid of hope. Sometimes they sang, sometimes they wailed. Always they huddled around a campfire to keep warmth in their blood. We feared the fire and stayed away. They knew they had so little left to fight back with, and even if their old populations returned that would provide only fresh meat on which our master could feed. But we did not try to feed on or attack them. Our master and his ravenous beasts hunted them down to exhaustion, overwhelmed their brittle bodies, and dragged them screaming back to his castle so he could feast. But we only served the cause of unending death, our bodies wasting away beneath our glassy stares, we had little stake in it.
The thing which wandered in from the desert was like a man in only loose, taxonomic respects. He had a mouth, a body, arms and legs. But the nature of the thing differed greatly from that of humanity. Remnant of Dreamtime that he was his mouth was on top of his head to collect rainwater, his arms sprouted monstrously from his back- great vines popping like cherries along his branching shoulders. His body lulled and shuddered with some unfathomable inner experience. We watched the horrible eyeless wandering thing and felt our heads compressed by the images. We felt how he must feel, to be the abject edge, to be the waste of an unfathomable era. He was the Wretched being, the boundary between his self and the world shredding slowly in lapping pools of doubt like wet tissue paper. I almost cannot describe it. I almost cannot completely understand the deepest vestiges of the Thing’s being, the last Thing of its kind left wandering the wastes crying into the unfeeling dust.
We simply watched, unflinching, until the shambling remains returned gently back to the desert.
Things were tense in the Intrusion. The many skittering brown bodies perched on top of one another with their antennae twitching in a silent din. The many packed bodies had crammed under the fridges and cabinets when the light had turned on and now squatted in the darkness as the huge shape shifted uneasily around the room. It was the closest these lungless desperate creatures could be to holding their breath. Eventually the human left the room again, but the light remained on. The Intrusion remained in their places, too cautious to emerge, until at last, mercifully, someone else came and turned it off. The tiny creatures went back to their business, their concern for the affairs of humans at an end, unconcerned that the human who turned the light off was one they had never seen before- his face wrapped in a balaclava his hands wrought in black gloves.
The next day the Intrusion had descended beneath the ground to escape the attention of humans. They skittered around going about their business taking advantage of the warmth and damp. They scurried their little blue-blooded hearts out, little aristocrats with their brown coats resplendent their wings concealed in glistening gallant armour. When the damned sun disappeared once more they returned to the surface and would play and feast, breaking into cupboards and gorging on crumbs- tiny eyes glimmering and antennae twitching, thousands and thousands of them living and sleeping and breeding and playing in that house.
That now empty house.
The house was built on top of a slowly collapsing pile of earth which ran miles into the hard unforgiving rock. Such was this strange piece of geography that slowly, inevitably, the house was being dragged across the centuries into the ground. One day, long after my family were a distant memory and this house had been passed from head to head, kings and empires had risen and fallen, the world had spun relentlessly on, this house would be abandoned as structurally unsafe and would then spend several decades crumbling into disrepair before being utterly swallowed by the earth- leaving ne’er a trace it had ever been here. The house had a large a sprawling library which houses the various family histories, sacred tracts, forceful delineations of various generation-spanning theological and philosophical disagreements, and a range of more spurious travel writings. It was in this library i found it, the book wrapped in a suspicious tanned leather cover. Its pressed pages held various runes and notes in illegible script from a variety of authors. Writing went various directions across the page, written in margins and headers, new pieces of text squeezed in between lines from previous sections, annotations and footnotes provided context essential and impossible to parse. This was a deranged mind as a text, a vast and unfathomable reservoir of pure writing stripped of meaning or language. It was pure thought, pure intentionality, with no meaning. All that remained was the desperation for the imagined reader to comprehend, to fathom, what had been jotted down. The book was clearly, as mentioned, the result of a host of authors. It was given however, only a single credit on the inside front cover. Christian Powell, sole author of the text written here. I would often come back to that impossible to trust phrase, so glaring in its falseness as to be almost strangely plausible. Perhaps there had really been one dictator, one master, who had orchestrated all the dozens and dozens of scribes in their work. Perhaps this text was not a chaotic product of various processes and motivations but all part of one grand design to impart some central unspeakable centre- to bore it into the readers mind and give it insoluble refuge their. I sat in my smoke filled study with the strange book, glassy eyes fixed upon it, considering these notions, as my house continued to sink into the earth.