This is a story I wrote. Some of you have already read it. Those of you who haven't, this is what I do when I can find the spare time and motivation other than working on this blog. Since I didn't quite have a book planned, I figured I might post some of it up for you guys to look at.
Let's Try Something
Okay, let's try something. It'll be fun, I promise:
So let's say person A goes to sleep in world A. When they finally drift off, they awake to find themselves in world B. Something tells them world B is a little more real than world A, so they spend all eight hours of time stuck in world B. When they wake up, they resume normal behavior and go about their day as if world B never even existed, and even then, most memories of world B vanish automatically upon their waking up again in world A. B is false, and they'll probably never see it again. Probably.
Nah, that's boring. Let's try something:
So let's say Person A goes to sleep in world A. When they finally drift off, they awake to find themselves in world B. World B is just as vivid and realistic as world A, and everyone seems to recognize Person A a lot better. In fact, to Person A, world B feels a lot more natural than world A. What's really strange is that the dream ends with Person A going to sleep in world B and waking up in world A. What Person A notices but doesn't remember is that it's exactly the same as when he went to sleep and woke up in world B down to the last detail. After this, world A feels a hell of a lot less real to Person A, but they can't explain why. But they won't ever see world B again. Probably.
Nah, too ambiguous. Let's try something:
So let's say person A goes to sleep in world A. When they finally drift off, they awake to find themselves in world B. However, when they go to sleep again, they keep waking up in world B. It's not a bad place to be, world B. Kinda seems a little better sometimes. But all along, person A believes they should be back in world A. They're left with a sense that they should be somewhere else, but no idea where that somewhere else is. In the end, person A dies in world B.
Nah, that's depressing. Let's try something:
So let's say person A goes to sleep in world A. When they finally drift off, they awake to find themselves in world A, but everything is moved one half-inch to the left. Eventually, they find that every time they go to sleep, everything is moved one half-inch to the left, but it was so un- noticeable that once everything is irrevocably changed and they wake up one morning in world B, it's entirely indistinguishable from world A. Person A remains in world B, thinking it's world A, and meanwhile their friends finally go into their room in world A, and it's empty. And someone moved around all the damn furniture.
Nah, that's too silly. Let's try something:
So let's say person A goes to sleep in world A. There are subtle changes in the world and themselves, sort of like someone moving everything one half-inch to the left. Before they know it, nothing of them or who they were exists any more. They've been replaced by new information. And the worst part is, it will keep happening every time person A goes to sleep and they won't have any idea. It could be happening to you as we speak, and you would have no idea save for some occasional wonderings: was that here before? Where did that book get to? They live all their lives in world B, or world C, or any number of world this or thats, and eventually die far away from home, with people they think are their families and friends, but who aren't the people they used to know.
Nah, that's terrible. Let's try something:
So let's say person A goes to sleep in world A. When they finally drift off, they awake to find themselves in world B, which is a vivid nightmare. Almost too vivid. Thankfully, time and again, they wake up in world A safe and sound, but the nightmare keeps going night after night. Eventually, they begin to think world B might be the real world. But it can't be. So they keep dreaming it, and eventually try to push the Lovecraftian images and chaotic thoughts from their head. World B isn't real, of course, but to them it is. Even if to everyone else, world B is simply not there. And it probably won't ever be. Probably.
Nah, that's too freaky, and I think it's time for the truth:
So person A goes to sleep in world A, but they don't like world A. They've been traumatized by world A. They've found world A unsatisfying. So they imagine themselves to be person B in world B, and the imagination is so vivid and they want it so much that suddenly they wake up and they are person B in world B. But soon, being person B in world B is too much for them, so they become person B in world C, or person A in world C. Eventually, after one, or two, or even eleventy billion jumps just like this, a million transits to a million worlds, they figure something out: They wanted to be in world A as person A all along. That's if they even remember they were person A in world A at all. But they don't know how to get back, so all they can continue doing is going to sleep and hoping they can dream their way back to world A. And eventually, they start lining up the possibilities and realize that maybe, just maybe, their world is built on lies and unrealities. But they can't really go backward, can they? They have to keep living in world C, or world Blue, or world Shrimpless, or disappearing further into nested realities, and why? Because they didn't love world A enough, because they had complaints about it. Hell, they probably didn't even realize they were creating it until they woke up somewhere else, and it's not like they'd recognize that they were someone different. They've essentially condemned themselves to a fate worse than death, bouncing from body to body and from world to world, each death and sleep cycle a new destination. And the worst part is? They probably didn't even know they were doing it. That's right. Their own minds betrayed them and sent them spinning across the cosmos. They will never know home, or what it feels like for everything to go their way, and it's indirectly their fault. Someday, they'll wake up in the middle of the night, crying their eyes out until they dry heave, and they'll never know why.
But that won't happen to you.
None of this will happen to you.
Next week: A look at the unsettling world of Steve Aylett's Accomplice, a book that reads like Naked Lunch, but subtly more coherent.