CW: light body horror
Yeah last session we just started talking about my constant fatigue and I thought maybe we could talk about that again?
No, no. It's not that I have trouble sleeping. It's just that right before I drift off I can feel my nerves unwind through my back and shoulders and arms. It's like my muscles just suddenly decide to shift and slide around. I can feel them do that, but physically of course they're still where they were.
Yeah I know, it doesn't make much sense. I think I'm explaining it wrong; or at least poorly.
How about this? It's like there's an animating force woven through the nerve and flesh and sinew that can detach and withdraw itself from them. Not very scientific, I know, but in those moments I can feel the energy, the life, drain from down my arms and coalesce near my shoulder blades, pushing outwards.
And this energy, it's not normal. It's not anything, if you catch my drift. It's capital “N” Nothing. Nullness. Voidness. It flows back and pools and bubbles, reconfiguring into void-black spires along my spine.
A month ago they were just little nubs, they felt like they just barely were able to break the surface of the skin. Tired as I was, I could easily ignore them. They were little more than goosebumps, you know? I figured it was just some quirk of body as I got older.
But they're bigger now, stretching outwards and backwards. Crooked and gnarled with scraps of membrane stringing between them.
Yeah, I know they're not real, not physically real anyway. But they feel real; like they're anchored to me but incorporeal. Made of stuff that isn't but is trying to insist that it is. Stuff antithetical to our matter and understanding of matter, but manifesting in some manner here anyway.
What are the spires? Oh I think they're trying to become angel wings. Nah, that ascribes too much intent to them. I'd call them mockeries of angel wings, but even then that's giving them too much credit. This thing doesn't understand mockery.
It's as if the compelling force behind them had heard of angels from a hundred different people: the soft, sweet cherubs, the fear-inspiring seraphim, and a number of other things that hew close to the concept; as if it heard descriptions of these things and tried to reconstruct their grandeur from the image it pieced together in its head. If these protrusions are meant to be wing bones, then they're at odd and asymmetric angles. Some of them, when I recount their positions the next morning and the feel of pulsating otherness that marks their position, some of them intersect in ways that would render them inoperable. A wing bone passing right through where another one's membrane needs to grow.
Why? Hell if I know.
I think it just desires form. It doesn't understand angels enough to want to be them or even to mock them. Hell, it doesn't seem to understand people really. It gets gleams of ideas, symbols, emotions and just replicates them blindly. Often poorly. Maybe it thinks an angelic form will make it impressive, respected, loved, feared, divine. Who knows? I'm not sure even it entirely does.
What? Oh no, it's not painful. It actually feels kind of good. Like I've been tensing my muscles and nerves in all the wrong ways during the day and now they can relax back as they should be. Like I've been cooped up in a car for hours and can finally really stretch out. It's a nice final adjustment before I finally drift off to sleep.
Well... not a final adjustment.
There's this stutter of euphoria right before my eyelids close as I feel its shadow wash over my mind. There's a shift in perception too, a rearrangement of my thoughts to its inhuman matrix of alien comprehension. Everything becomes interesting but inscrutable, its context lost. In the waning hours of consciousness a photo of my family, for instance, just looks like a group of vessels.
People, I mean. It just looks like a group of people.
I think it thinks I'm asleep at that point. In the early days I never felt it take over, and the occasional day now I still think it waits a little longer. I have no doubt it was still there in the early days, just maybe less active. Or maybe less eager. Or maybe less bold.
There's a thought, what if it isn't as cautious anymore because it doesn't think it needs to be? What if it's grown too strong to stop?
Whatever the case, I glimpse the world through its eyes for a few moments I piece together the following morning. Right before sleep overtakes me it searches the room, scans the wall, seeking something.
I don't know what it's looking for. Threats to its being, or whatever one could call its manifestation? A way to begin to understand our world? A better anchor? A better host?
Oh right, the fatigue. Don't worry, it all ties back in. See I know it does something while I'm asleep, that it makes my body work towards some alien end every night. I find things out of place each morning. Things moved and knocked over, doors open when I know I shut them the night before.
I woke up one morning with a bleeding toenail, the wound not thirty minutes old.
I know it's doing something, because why else would I be so tired every morning? I know it's doing something because how else do those ramshackle wings keep growing?
It's doing something to nourish them.
Afraid? No, I'm not afraid of it. I was at first, but now it intrigues me.
What does it want? What is it? Where is it from? I want to know all about it.
I want to help it. I want to help it grow. I want to give form to it's being.
I want to see those fucked-up wings, those mockeries of divinity, spread and sprout. I want to see their membrane stretched out in ramshackle patterns; it's smooth flow interrupted by jutting jet-black rods of void matter speckled about with fallen stars.
I want to hear its odd thoughts in my head, see the world anew through its eyes. I want to be a channel, a catalyst, a gateway for its Nothingness. I want to be a being of null and void.
I want to further unwind, shed my skin, truly stretch out.
See it's been with me for a while; a dark, seditious bundle of thoughts shut away in the corners of my mind as I pursued the things I thought I was supposed to pursue. I imagined it trapped in a box, cosigned it to the basement of my thoughts where it waited and festered.
Waited until one day it could slip free.
Waited until one day it could offer me another chance.
Waited until one day I would want to become it.
Waited until one day I would love it.
And I do love it. I do want to become it. Because even in being a void creature, a being of Nothing, it's more real than this simulacra of self, this flesh-and-blood creature of mundanity.
No, you're not listening. It is not death, or a personification of death. It is a manifestation of eternity, a link to space beyond time. It is the life too-long delayed injecting itself back into time, rippling backwards and forwards through time as manifests itself through every second of it. It is rebirth to the life I should have always lived; one where I embraced my true self, my void-self, and lived alien and proud of it instead of as an amalgamation of pleasing reactions.
When I finally become it, when it becomes me, I will be restored. I will finally be alive to spread my mark through this world, to manifest fully and truly.
Yeah of course I realize it's fantasy.
Yeah I probably have some unresolved problems.
No no, you're right. It's unhealthy. Just a trick of the mind as falls asleep and an overactive imagination.
Yeah, I know. Less caffeine during the day, get some more exercise in. I'm working on it.
Oh, work? You know, same shit different day...