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 Category:  Horror and Thriller Fiction
  Posted: January 16, 2021      Views: 10

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Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
In which She almost succeeds.
"The Localizers" by Tobias J Tomlinson



“Wake up, she’s getting away.”

She repeated herself, but the boy would not wake.

At the bench some feet down, the woman was up. Not moving.

Eyes locked on something across the street.

She shook and shook, but the boy would not wake.

Why? Teams comprise opposing halves. Complementary forces joining as one. This was the logical first step towards unity, and One knows how the boy loves Logic. It was the perfect solution; separate but equal. One step in Right’s direction.

But the boy was now limp, and he had the advantage of not knowing linearity as an illusion.

Twirling a curl of white hair with her fingers, she chewed on her lip to reflect on these things.

The thing she thought this time was this;

“This is not the time for thought.”

She watched the woman take several steps, a turn to the crossing, and at last one deep breath.

A foot on the floor and the woman was gone.

The longer she stared, the harder it happened; “it” being nothing and no one to see. The spot where the woman had stood would not change, and time had no place for mistakes such as these.

All she saw above the white stripes of the crossing was a set of stable colors seep into soft edges, warping and desiccating the thin rims of reality.

She turned to her partner, shook him with force.

One last time, but the boy would not wake.

So she swallowed her fear and strode up to the crossing.

First foot on the road sent things spiraling off.


—   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —

Sight gives way to blistering bright.

When the sting in her vision subsides, she spots a dot in the distance.

At first, it flirts with a languid tempo, blurring and bobbing along its own pace.

“Hello,” she ventures.

Nothing comes back. The thing ambles on past her.

As it does so, light burns tug her fingers. She wobbles but stands. Brings back the balance with a grunt.

She shouts.

“Hey, you!”

The thing takes shape as it slows down.

Progress.

“Can you help me?”

No response.

Frustration builds. It must have heard the plea.

When the blur steps off the crossing out onto the edge, it seems to her to turn into a figure before rotating lazily into a man. He shoots her a well-meaning smile.

She squints at his right hand, the thing still a blot. It seems to refuse to change.

But there are more pressing things at hand. Such as the things that now sting at the top of her head.

“Can you help me?” she yells. “I don’t know the way.”

The scene erupts into noise. It takes effort, but in a warped motion a slim column of nothingness expands from the mouth of the man before falling and calling out in her direction.

She steadies herself for the loudest of answers.

“Your right,” says the man in a tone built with softness.

She smiles and thumbs up at him, waving as she turns around.

Her first step to the right takes her out of the white.

—   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —

Bare feet plop atop smooth sidewalk.

Pleasant.

It seems like a memory of years, but not seconds;

Surrounded by scattering stripes.
Each a scream for some idea of direction.
Swallowed by brightening, gluttonous sun, slashing heat to the beat of her heart rate.

Beneath her feet, the non-street tells another tale. One woven in whispers towards those with enough inner stillness to reach. A story spoken only in soft, cooling sensations sweeping her soles.

The world softens with silence. Night cracks open in waves of shadow. Still, a dim and subtle gleam pervades reality. Light, perhaps, but of some fundamentally different matter than that of mere moments before.

From end to end, the street is lit up by this calming glow. She looks up at some moon exude serenity. This glow coats the silent streets with hidden harmony.

The girl shakes her head as she turns to her right.

She watches the woman’s movements balance grace and efficiency, betraying fluidity uncommon to any single person. Around her a dim aura, a light coating, a net of hues reminiscent of immiscible fluids creating effects.

Squinting reveals a multitude of patches, varying colors and strengths, each slowly blending into some hidden whole.

When the woman reaches the front door, she walks through, leaving it open as if to beckon.

The girl enters slowly, eyes filled with thick awe.

And we see her no more once she closes the door.

 

He opens the door.

It makes a noise.

Then there is silence.

Too expansive and vague.

He notes this.

He walks into a round connection. The room splits off here. Two directions. Long hallway or room.

He turns to the room.

He notes what he sees, watching the woman pull something out the back of a head. The stillness of its little body both comforts and kills him. It takes a moment to shake this.

The woman lets the lifeless head fling backwards.

This reveals the gaping hole in the little girl’s forehead.

A viscous black liquid escapes the center.

Has time stopped?

He stares at the girl.

Her eyes and mouth widen before her body drops.

He stares at the blunt object in the woman’s right hand.

Caked in viscous dark matter, its shape is wrong.

Just wrong.

He steps back. Two.

Turns to the door, but the handle has gone.

Steps to the left as he turns back.

Has time stopped?

He steps back again and trips to the floor.

The soft material makes for nice landings. This one still knocks the wind out of him.

He opens his eyes to the cause of his fall.

Around its head are scattered several shards.

He squints and attempts to grab the closest one.

It refuses to cooperate.

He gets up to his knees, now more curious. He picks out the smallest one; near the right ear. With both hands and feet, he brings it up to his guts.

Close enough to see.

No larger than a wristwatch, the thin-rimmed fragment makes up for size with through monstrous weight. As if to insult all reason and logic, rounded boundaries between the vesicles emit a false lack of sharpness.

He places the failed black pyramid into his pocket.


“Be still,” says a voice from behind him.

“no,” says the boy, getting up to his feet.

“Please, be still.”

“No.”

And he runs.

The hallway is longer than hallways should be and seeps into cells hidden deep in the brain.

He makes a mental note of this as he runs.

He does this after he makes the first mental note. That one, also about things that hallways are not, contains the sentence “littered with dead bodies”.

He had wanted to stop to analyze the structural integrity of that premise because of his uncertainty of exactly what would constitute being “littered” with.

He had not stopped, however, because he knew this was what the hall wanted.

Shunt the blunt thoughts, boy.

Not all but most of the bodies have black shards around them, and their shapes seem to change the longer he runs. Or is it that the longer he runs, the more the shapes change?

No matter.

End of the hallway.

He exits and enters the last room in this place.

He drops.

The sum of all existence, as it seems to be defined and confined to this limited geometrical shape, has decided that vibrating intensely with hints of some subtle underlying story might be the best way to spend eternity.

As he struggles to his feet, the boy scoffs and shakes his head.

Because the room, you see, is melting into itself.

This side of the room, already plastered with thick pools of liquid, has decided that it won’t converge. Look at that half, that beast. Like some greedy animal slopping up the bits of all others.

The spatiotemporal inflexibility of what must have happened but couldn’t is something that just now strikes the boy’s mind as not so irrelevant.

“Have we been here?”

We don’t think so.

The boy shakes his head to cast out these words.

But the room makes him watch as its walls worm their way into wetness. Slow to the point of grating the nerves, these actions show a prime example of the highly inefficient use of energy employed by the thing that wants all.

Still at the edge on his side of the room, he cannot see the other side but knows it is there. Past the spiral lies another half.

The spiral itself spans the whole center. Streams pool from several directions, swirling to the thing with a meager tempo. Puddles near there seem pliable, as if preparing to meet in the middle.

Some streams are thicker than others. Those at the perimeter possess sharper edges.

He pulls out the shard, confirming none come close to the one in his hands.

He then forces his way to that side of the room, where the door lacks both lock and handle.

He uses his shard.

Forces open the door.

Steps out.

We find ourselves back in the same living room. Same, but not. Where once we might see wonder and seedlings of hope, now only lies the lifeless bodies of many who once were.

But, like you and I, she thinks she knows this is all just illusion.

Still, the house is shaking now, and that’s pretty weird. Which of course is a good thing because any change is a sign of the directions.

Yet the scene between slim slats of illusion reveal something that is the matter in the form of the fact that the woman’s actions have done something critical to the fundamental stability of both the internal structure of the house as well as the complete totality of all time and space, including this sentence apparently.

Somewhere, a man chuckles.

Making her way through the cold, dead room, she lifts her legs lightly to not touch the bodies.

She could close her eyes, but she chooses to see.

Because she must witness her skin touch the flesh of others; she must come to know separation as both inherent and omnipotent. Stubbornly, she refuses even as her skin burns through its own layers.

Pairs of unlike states flicker to show the seams between what is, was and could be snap one by one. Flashes of stillness, horror and hate; flickers of little-describable states; even the oddest small moment of wait between arrivals and departures.

We suddenly realize that she might succeed

We panic.

At the crossroads of death and life, of doing and being, of becoming what one at once both was and was not but with equal vigor on both sides.

We see them, though, in small flits here and there.

Little clots of consciousness, soft bundles of being; still stuttering, stuck between contexts, unable to bloom.

But the end of the room is reached within time, and she opens the door, enters the corridor.

She steps over the threshold, flicking what’s left of realness away.

Ripples send themselves scattering through the air, warping our beliefs about the stability of matter and perhaps even all trust in the physical laws that underlie our basic assumptions about some solid and comprehensible universe.

Now she runs.

The corridor is lifelike with twisting and turns. Likewise, and like light, each beam seeping through seams between this and that reality shiver vigorously.

As if shaken by the unseen hand of an author.

Bundles of information birth thoughts born to scatter, flattening the screen between truth and matter of fact, acting as the reality that stands between things and totality and disseminating by flitting and fleeing not from each other but from themselves, ripping each said self into numberless shreds and shattering all being as we do not yet know it.

Words and sense collapse sentences, become somewhat garbled and highly irregular, difficult to grasp and almost just sloppy, just sloppy sloppy writing, man.

As if unseen by the shaking hand of an author.

We know she is done. No reason to run. She knows she has finished, diminished and won. No game left to play and no war to be fought, no saving of spirit from slaying through thought. She has succeeded.

Yet something inside knows that this mighty feat, impressive and important as it is, needs to be witnessed in order to matter. She knows she must make her way to the epicenter, to the singular place where all things can be witnessed.

Where she can watch the birth of the world.

“How do I get there?”

Sorry?

“How do I get to the center?”

Ah. Well, first you must make sure to avoid the void.

“How?”

To avoid a void, you must replace the space and the center that had sent her to that placid place.

“Oh.”

Yeah. 


“Are you still with them?”

I don’t know anymore.

“It’s going to be alright.”

Thank you. That’s comforting.

“Be careful.”

Yes.

We must all be careful. I don’t have to tell you, of course. You know as well as I do how easy it is to become stuck; in moments, maybe, or some form of time. Or most likely moments themselves stuck in time. It is part of the nature of separation, a simple solution to a nonexistent problem. So easy to become stuck in moments stuck in time in stuck moments in stuck time in moments that stay stuck as moments in time until time itself forces you stuck inside the present, forced to let it unfold, and then you know you must hold on to what you’ve gone through when you got stuck inside the present, letting it unfold, you must hold on to what you’ve gone through when stuck inside the present, letting it unfold, you must hold on to what you’ve gone through when stuck inside the present, letting it unfold, you must hold on to what you’ve gone through when a burning sensation ruptures the top of your scalp that indicates an instrument of either extreme heat or sharpness flaying through slivers of flesh and bones.

Here and there flickers elicit themes, dreams and soft beams of being even as they dissolve.

You know they’re watching, right?

Of course.

And the moment she reaches the front door, she knows, too.

She will never make it. She got closer this time, but the growing slit in the back of her head confirms that the One who separates will expand in all aspects.

She will not escape the falling vessel, no; she knows now the weight of gravity. It coaxes her back to the place that they kept her.

Around her, a black and viscous liquid-like thing seeps into every pore of reality, like the ink of an animal filling the room. Black in bloom, soothing her last steps back, entombed into a rolling lull of lacking motion, of soft and slow truth hidden in the thing it thinks it is.

“Please,” she pleads, dropping in an instant. “Let me back in.”

No longer Figure, now she is Ground.

The boy looks down at her, cocks his head to the side.

The woman points down the corridor.

“Don’t leave me out here.”

The boy scoffs and leaves, missing the moment her white hair turns dark.

She can see its screams in the surrounding air; the birth is back; the thing is coming, and it will soon infiltrate the black and its deep lack of lack. She sighs in concert with the vessel’s last release. The Knowing fills her with unspeakable emotion before collapsing into a cold, bright, void-less void filled with scattering static and noise and color, endless thought and running, always running.

As her eyes close, a voice caresses the walls of her consciousness.


Not this time,” is what we think it whispers.

 

The boy stares at the blank space above white stripes, watching time resume its eternal self-swallowing collapse.

Something is different, now.

Narrower.

Again.

He can appreciate the peeling sensation rippling across his being. That sort of pulling and being pushed; that unknown yet pre-fundamental force guiding his rupture like tearing some paper.

A blistering heat swallows cold before death.

As the entirety of his eyesight dissolves, static fills his aural field.

Like the popping of bubbles surrounding the earth.

These pops intersperse the dim hiss, flitting into scattered directions before the awareness of some other presence blossoms in their place.

“Hello,” asks the boy.

Nothing comes back.

“Can… you help me?”

Uncertain at first if the thing is or not. He waits.

Finally he asks.

“Can you help me? I don’t know the way.”

Silence. Then a voice. “You’re left.”

“My left?”

“You are.”

Progress.

“I don’t know the way,” he mutters.

“I will take you.”

—   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —

So the man stepped onto the sidewalk.

Through slow hums whittling the air, he brought the black clot to the spot on the bench. He must’ve been careful not to apply the exact same force to this one as the others. So it makes sense that while he was pressing the clot deeply into that skull, what he thought of was difference and how it nourishes the Master.

And, indeed, us all.

You.

I.

The divisive, indecisive, indivisible individual.

Still, some part of him must have wondered.

Would this new action now be enough?

Turning to look at the bench some feet down, we kind of could guess what the man might have thought.

A clot and a blot, the splitting of not, and soon enough you end up with a lot.

With more.

As it should be.

But spirals stretch inward as well as out.

And what would happen if someday She succeeds?

We will see.

Stepping back onto the crossing, now he thinks about the boy. About all the wonderful variants of joy- the little details that might enter his time, this time.

—   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —

Maybe, as his eyes finally open, he will feel that strong life filling him, bristling, brimming and teeming with others.

Skittery abstractions clattering about, recycling dreams and themes that flicker within those corridors of creation.

A mass of clatter and chatter and cognitive content, words that exist and those that do not, each given equal space and freedom to stay and play and breathe in the sweetly noxious fumes of apprehension. A collision of collapses springing things into being, one by one by one by one.

Through all the stories and worries, the whispers and words and the yelling between, a vague thing almost slips from his grasp. A sentence, unstable and fast, and ultimately crumbles into vague words.

As the boy’s vision blurs into clots of colors, he hears, he thinks; he swears he hears the voice of a little girl in the back of his being…


“Wake up, she’s getting away.”

Author Notes
I have no idea what this is or where it came from.
Or where I came from, for that matter.

Question to ponder:
What genre would you put this in?
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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