This is a collection of anecdotes from the fringes of reality, a tapestry stitched together from our dreams as well as our nightmares, from the fears that haunt the collective imagination. These are the symptoms of the sickness known as the human condition.
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Here Today Gone Tomorrow
Joseph Tano’s life ended abruptly just past the fourth hour of his 17,204th day. It was unremarkable enough an event, a coronary. When the moment came, he barely stirred. His wife slept peacefully next to him unaware and unable to hear Joseph’s terrified pleading as he watched the last twinkle of light he’d ever see recede into an expanding void until the darkness snuffed it out altogether. Death was wholly unexpected. There’d been no indications, no physiological omens that made him suspect his final moments had come. The rational part of him understood sudden death was a possibility but he always convinced himself that only happened to other people. His first instinct was to try and claw out of the encroaching darkness, but he felt no hands. He dissolved into the spaceless nowhere. There was nothing but his blinking thoughts.
“Nobody told me how lonely this would be”
The final pulsing of the neuron clusters that formed this thought was the last and faintest flash of is vanquished existence.
Thirty-three year old Matthew Sheridan was running a perpetual race against time. Too far along in his years to have the luxury of slowing down but still not old enough to see the steadily approaching finish line.
Just like it’s somewhat removed predecessor the British empire the sun also never sets on the electronic world of global finance. Matthew regimented his life around the multiple operating schedules of bourses spread across three different continents. This required him to view every other aspect of life as purely functional.
Love is just a function of sex, which is itself the true biological motivator and reward. That was how the coldly logical specialist viewed human companionship. His climb up the glass spire had started as a mad clamor among innumerable and mostly faceless competitors. Every flight of stairs he climbed the pool of competition grew increasingly shallow but profoundly more vicious.
Matthew didn’t have much of a life to share or much inclination to do so.
The maggot’s existence began as abruptly as any other
organism’s tenure on earth. The slimy, milky white infant writhed with
its brethren embedded in the decomposing human flesh. Only when the body is
human is it called a corpse, but the maggot holds no such concept as sanctity
and simply eats the remains breaking down the biological shell that once held
and animated every intangible aspect of a human being into its most basic
Like the imperceptible scavengers nurturing
themselves by the billions in the rot, the maggot was born from atrophy's
terminal cycle. A single complex entity was dissolving and distributing
its energies among an inconceivable variety of far simpler life forms like the
eyeless maggot at the early stages of a process that inevitably …
The gray skin gargantuan carried soldiers on its back to the battlefield. Its handlers drove it through parched deserts. With sun-scorched sands that burned to the touch, and across mountain ranges where flesh gnawing winds howl and the mounting snow pulls at your feet like quicksand. The lumbering animal bore not only the heavy armor of the soldiers but the lives of his brothers that perished in this mad march towards death.
He watched the soldiers descend on an elephant that had fallen and dismember it with their swords so they could devour its flesh and leave a mountainous carcass for the flies to feast on.
Its black marble eyes were heavy with sorrow and gleamed with the fresh tears that came whenever he remembers the hollowed eyes now just two dark chasms carved out just above a flaccid motionless trunk.
When they reached the battlefield, the weary soldiers whipped themselves into a frenzy. Both sides banged their shields while they exchanged threats and insults.
The beast of…