thhd

I have to get this off my chest so i’ll write it down and leave it out for someone to find. The fact that no one else but the few of us know what happened that night is a terrible secret to bear… it is eating me up from the inside.

This is the story…

When Sister Gabriella came back from the woods acting strange, we did not think much about it, but kept an eye on her. But two days after, her behaviour got so strange that we decided something needed to be done.

None of us were experienced in the occult but somehow the unanimous decision was that she was possessed and had to be exorcised. Stupidly, we also decided that it was to be done by none other than ourselves.

Sister Gabriella was the newest member and so maybe that’s why we weren’t very apprehensive about this task. I hate to say this but i felt no strong emotional connection to her… I wanted the problem solved so that i would face no further inconvenience from her screaming in the middle of the night…

It was late when we dragged her out of bed and brought her to the top of the watchtower. We made her kneel and covered her with a piece of cloth, and Sermin flipped through the old Book of Guidance, looking for an appropriate spell.

I was sit right in front of Gabriella, the fabric draping her covering my feet as well. In the flicker from the lone candle that burnt, i could not tell at all if she was still or writhing around. The dancing shadows played tricks on my sight.

Sermin seemed to have found something, as he cleared his throat and paced around us. Then he stopped, and read the incantation.

There was a sudden whoosh and deep vibration, and i felt something rush between my legs, under the cloth, stopping in front of Gabriella. It was not so big, for the lump of its shape was barely the size of a human head.

Whatever it was, frightened the life out of Gabriella. She let out a scream so piercing and loud that i stumbled backwards, tearing the sheet from her in the process. As it dragged away from her, so did her head roll off her neck, yet it continued screaming.

Her eyes were wide open in abject terror, and her mouth kept up its ghastly wail despite not being connected to the lungs to provide the air. A few others screamed as well, everyone utterly shocked by this horrendous turn of events.

I fumbled for the cloth and thought of wrapping Gabriella’s head, but the screaming made my spine crawl and i felt like throwing up. Like i coward, i bolted from the tower, my fear and panic overwhelming me.

It had been the same for everyone else. We all just fled. The head kept screaming, and we ran hard and fast back to our campsite, where we hastily packed and left at a run. We had to put a distance between ourselves and that screaming head, and the horror of what we had unwittingly unleashed.

I don’t know what it was that she saw, and where it had gone, but i am afraid that it is still in this world, perhaps seeking us out.

Every night i dread going to sleep, afraid of what i’ll see when i open my eyes again.

::thehead

scnc

The less I eat, the more I poop.

The more I eat, the better I poop.

::science

wll

‘When I am with you there’s no place I’d rather be.’

‘Stay with me, we were never meant to be apart.’

Words from songs I never knew I’d understand so deeply, nor feel so much pain about.

::well

rvl

If my cats could speak, then i’d ask them:

Are you happy?

What can i do better?

Why do you sometimes stare at random places; what do you see?

::reveal

mndsync

My first time with MindSync.

I was paired with a stranger and we were to team up in a game of ScoreBall.

We put on the headgear and the moment it was switched on I had this strange sensation of being in two bodies and two minds at once. It was very strange but not shocking enough to have been deleterious in any way. Just… Novel and highly unusual.

She had played the game before, so as a newbie the advice she gave me was to first relax and let her control the character. It was both our minds in one character, so until I learned to regulate, I shouldn’t fight for control.

I literally made myself hang limp and could distantly feel my actual body crumpling (though I was belted into a seat and probably already limp to begin with). Then it clicked and I felt her take control and the character could finally move.

She scored, and gave up control so I could try in the next round. I seemed to grasp it quite fast – until I had the ball in my possession and didn’t know to squeeze it to activate the scoring mode. Nearly too late as the opponent had then picked up another ball. But I realised my mistake and corrected it just in time, scoring just seconds before they could do so.

*This short story was written based on a very vivid and random dream I had. I can still recall the sensation of sharing a host body with another mind, and all the other little things I could not find the words to describe. Recalling that dream is exciting yet leaves me with a longing to experience it again.

::mindsync

nghtvsns

The nightmare had returned. And even when I closed my eyes, it screamed at me from behind my eyelids.

*

I could see and hear them both, too clearly for me to question how it was possible. I couldn’t just be a fly on the wall. I was awake! So I had to say something.

I forced myself up to say hi, and then his voice and explanation resolved itself into a letter. He wasn’t there? I’d been imagining it? And then the dream resolved itself and I woke up, thoroughly disorientated.

::nightvisions

frnd

I came to know of Hyde’s misfortune from a mutual friend, and did not hesitate to contact him.

His wife and two daughters were killed in a freak accident.

I had barely made it to the funeral parlour, and felt a mixture of happiness and immense sadness at this reunion. Hyde had been a really good friend and we rarely had the chance to spend time together due to geography and work commitments.

After everyone had left, I pulled him aside.

“Hyde, listen. Why don’t you come and live with us for awhile. Martha insists, and i think you could use some company and a break of sorts.”

“I… I don’t know what to say, Carl. That’s very kind of you. Of the both of you.”

“Don’t say anything, let’s just help you pack and we’ll be on our way.”

Finally he fixed his gaze upon me. “Carl, thank you. I really appreciate it. But can we agree on one condition?” and i saw the fatigue and deep sadness in his eyes. “That you’ll let me stay for just five days. Once the five days are up, whatever it is, i must go. You must hold me to it and i will trust you to keep me accountable.”

“What, man! You don’t have to do this, you can stay-“

“No, Carl, listen. I am broken, i know that. And i could use some good company. But beyond that i need to pick up the pieces and move on. What’s happened, happened. I can’t wallow in…” here he choked, bringing his hands to his eyes, and my good friend was overcome with grief. His sobs were heartbreaking and as i embraced him, i sensed how alone he must have felt at that moment. All alone, even amongst friends and loved ones.

*

Upon reaching my home a new air seemed to overtake Hyde. Perhaps i was right. Maybe some distance would help him get through this difficult period. Martha gave him a warm hug and besides a lovely dinner, we didn’t do much else that evening.

The next few days passed quicker that i’d expected, with Hyde insisting on helping out at the farm, and myself quite enjoying his company (and the extra pair of hands). I’d never seen him perform manual labour but from his movements and energy, could tell he was not at all alien to it.

And finally, his stay came to an end. I was filled with a mess of emotions: trepidation, anxiety, sadness and a sense of responsibility. But he put me out of my misery by showing up to breakfast with his suitcase and dressed for the road. He gave me a smile and a wink, and we sat down for a hearty meal. By then Hyde had somewhat perked up. He was not completely his old self (how do you go back to that when you’ve lost what he’s lost?) but he was in better shape.

After a luxurious cup of coffee and chat on the veranda, he got up.

“Carl, it’s time. I’ll be on my way now. I know you remembered, and i must apologise for the discomfort that must have brought upon you. You’re a good man, Carl. Thank you. Martha, Carl, take care of yourselves.”

We embraced, shook hands, and he gave me one last smile before heading out to the taxi that had just arrived.

That was the last time i heard from or saw him.

::afriend

trrv

All these books say essentially the same thing, because all their authors have arrived at Truth, and Truth is one.

But until you fully realize that meaning yourself, become convinced of it in the depths of your soul, you should keep reading.

By continuing down this path and constantly reflecting, you’ll eventually come across that one line that sparks something in you. Then it will make perfect sense.

But know that the line itself did nothing; the Truth was Given to you.

::toarrive

thvwsgrt

Every now and then during my lull periods i sneak a peek through the port window, hoping to catch a glimpse of my home planet.

Nearly three years later and it still takes my breath away. From here, in this remoteness, the planet looks peaceful and majestic. It’s difficult to tear my eyes away from her and get back to work.

I miss Earth. I miss blue skies, the smell of rain, birdsong and the wind against my face. I even miss the sound of traffic, of rotting trash, of hushed conversations and screaming children.

But perhaps most of all, and most surprising, i miss gravity. As much as i love floating around, i miss the feeling of being pulled back to my planet. Like a loving embrace, i could never stray too far.

Out here in the void, i can go anywhere, float off to oblivion. I’m not wanted by anything, and sometimes that makes me sad.

::theviewisgreat

thdvr

The green light turns off and for a brief few seconds i stare, bewildered. Either red or green, that was what we’d trained for!

Then the red light blinks on, and i’m jolted into action. I check the timer, 1:30 seconds for rescue. Then i look at the depth meter and panic washes over me. When did he plummet so deep?!

I yank the manual override lever and begin pulling the cable in, hand over hand. It’s exhausting but faster than the crank.

I pull and pull, my fingers and forearms numb but my shoulders and lungs on fire. I’m gasping and grunting and i start to get a little lightheaded, but still i pull.

By this time my eyes are streaming from pain, fatigue and fear, but there’s only 10m left.

8m.

Then 5m.

2m.

And his metal body emerges, limp and heavy. I secure the rope and reach overboard. Somehow i manage to scramble and heave and he’s on the deck, face up. I can’t see his face. The glass on the helmet is cracked.

With trembling hands and unfeeling fingers i undo the seals and screws and pull the helmet off, only to stare at his glassy and lifeless eyes.

::thediver