British science fiction writer Frank Maddish presents: ‘The Last Ditto’

A nameless man with a feather-light grip on reality, a loner, a drifter, a thinker, but certainly not a doer, seeks therapy through the recordings of his highly lucid dreams. Until one fateful day he discovers a message hidden deep within his meticulous records, a secret set of instructions for life, death, and everything in between.

1
Nightwalker
2
When Hackers Go To Heaven
3
A Silent War
4
The Inhumanity of Humanity
5
Sci-fi Nightmares
6
The New Normal
7
Governing The Mind
8
Second-hand Dreams
9
Weather Wars
10
Last Night

Nightwalker

I used to sleepwalk as a child, as did my sister in our formative years. Following a terrible fall, despite my father’s heroic actions, she fractured her skull. Our psychic link was severed, our shared dreams came to an abrupt stop, as did our nightly strolls around the house in the early hours.

As far as I am aware, I’ve slept lying down ever since, or at least until last night. Perhaps, over time, I’ve developed more self control, or just as likely become too lazy to bother. But last night something bizarre happened, I sat up in my sleep and immediately knew where I was. Still dreaming, yet, back here in this body, in my bedroom, on Earth.

I can precisely recollect the sensation of breaking free, like coming up for air in deep water. I remember my surprise at how much light there was in the room, with swirling colours blooming in the gloomy haze. My brain was flooded with natural opiates, awash with DMT, manifesting as a spontaneous psychedelia. But more than that, I could make out several figures, beings so strange their presence has left a deep impression.

The first was a living shadow, I have witnessed many of them before, some of which hang around far too long for comfort. I see shadows most nights, and even in the days. Most are generally of human proportions, asides an overgrown cat that seems to follow me everywhere. This was what I’d assumed had leapt to the foot of the bed, something I’ve grown accustomed to over the years. At times I believed it to be the spirit of one of several pets, those who’ve served their time as faithful companions in life, and presumably in death. Now I’m not so sure.

The creature could not hold its form, and soon floundered in abstraction, firing off a series of explosions of black ink that splattered everywhere. Before long it appeared to calm down, almost as if to reassess its strategy. It quickly retreated into a more defensive position, contracting into a tight ball which randomly jut forth long and flimsy spikes. At that moment I came to the conclusion I was witnessing my own fears come to life, an amorphous mass of terror faced with its own reflection.

Gradually the dawning realisation coloured my surroundings, and ever so slowly, the air around me glowed with a shaft of soft cobalt light, imperceptibly casting strange patterns upon the bedspread. I looked up to witness what appeared to be liquid sprites, each chasing the other in a circular swimming motion. They seemed huge and disproportionate, a pair of mutant electroluminescent organisms crowned with phosphorescent halos, twisted and deformed by the ripples of a hidden tide.

Then it struck me, there was somebody else in the room, a giant with shoulders broader than the door frame. Their arms folded and head bowed, almost like a genie. I fought the urge to collapse back into my body, and dream a dreamless sleep. The endorphins fast overpowering my mental fortitude, I took one last look at the figure by the door. Their face seemed familiar, although in the dark it was almost impossible to see it clearly.

I’d lost consciousness, I had fallen back to sleep, and now I found myself standing over a body lying in the bed. I was watching myself, eyes closed, breathing deeply in the dark. I stepped outside and closed the door, and returned to the place that each and everyone of us knows, but cannot speak of in the light of day.

When Hackers Go To Heaven

I’m useless at programming, and I think I lost the knack in my early teens. I wasted a whole summer coding animated glyphs on a BBC Acorn, an ancient PC borrowed from school. The end results, despite a great effort on my part, were disappointing to say the least, but I still can’t help admire those who can, and do.

During the height of the MMORPG years, I dipped my toe into see what all the fuss was about. After hours of clicking I came across the odd glitch, errors in the game, exploits of various kinds. Soon others came and milked them for all they were worth, some even made a few dollars selling on their ill-gotten virtual gains.

I’ve never been a gamer as such, I don’t go in for killing, the horrors of competitive hate that so many adore. The virtual horrors of war, rewarded with false spoils, upgraded weapons and armour, just to repeat the process all over again. I did, however, used to enjoy God mode. There are plenty of cheat codes out there for many popular games, if you’re so inclined. In God mode you’re indestructible, and more often than not you’ll clip frames, walk through walls, and even fly. As a game god you’re free to explore every inch of your pixelated dominion, to vanquish all enemies with little effort. Eventually after clearing one level after another, or skipping to the final round, you’ll beat the boss and find the exit.

Life is a game, a great holographic construct formulated to fool the race. If I were dead and had one piece of advice I’d give to the dying, it would be not to hold onto preconceived notions. Belief is an anchor that weighs us down and puts us in our place. On the other side of the veil are creatures, some good, some bad, much like human beings, the worst of all feed on our expectations and suck our spirits dry. Those malevolent spectres that guard the outer perimeter of mortality, the last border before impossibility. If you can get past them, you’re free, and will never need suffer the torment of physicality again. If that sounds more like a threat than a promise, then you obviously still need to work it out of your system. Love it or loathe it, this world is a prison. There’s no God mode here, only players.

Some die young and some are born old. Those who recognise this place as soon as they’re born, those countless faces and highly familiar places, it’s time to admit you’ve been here too long. You should make plans to move on, there needn’t be a next time round, as long as you can take this message to heart. When you go, accept that your allegiance to this world is over, and try not to hang about too long. The only way back is the way you came, for without flesh you’ll be ignored, limitless in thought yet devoid of all action. In death, we’re hardly given a thought, let alone presence of being. Seeing is believing, that’s the rule down here, where people remain human, and perceive all others as the same. Perhaps it’s time to try a different tactic, to gather the numbers of the dead, and fight for true freedom outside of the human paradigm.

Despite tradition, or more likely bad habit, death doesn’t necessarily mean a round-trip journey. Try staying open to the idea that this world, and even the human race, are a mass consensual illusion. A trick we play upon ourselves to help us bear the tyranny of mortality, an unending shadow play, duped by a dualistic ruse of universal proportions. When you leave, as we all must do, try looking for glitches, errors in the metaphysical coding of purgatory, the loop the loop of lies. Anything you can do to break the spell will help avoid the theatrics of demonic actors, who play their parts to perfection, as long lost relatives and friends, leading us through the tunnel of light.

We all need to think more like hackers, in both life and death. We need to buck the perceptual trend, fool the holographic mind control of our ancient persecution. We are slaves to flesh, laid prostate by decay, we, the human race, are built to fail. Like everything here, life is intransigent, fleeting, gone in the blink of an eye, and ultimately expendable, replaceable, including you and I.

If you feel you’ve outstayed your welcome, be patient, live your life as best as you can, as humanly as possible, and perhaps enjoy it for the sake of experience. When the time comes, it will be worth it. There are many working hard to change the balance of power in the great beyond. We should help them, and seek to ensure that none of us are forced to repeat our mistakes, ever again.

A Silent War

It seems that after a bout of good weather, the nights are filled with secret military operations. At least they are down here on the South Coast. I’ve talked about the strange occurrences to neighbours on occasion, and they too have noticed the sonic booms, the low flying helicopters. Yet, through some bizarre reasoning, a dysfunctional subconscious logical compensation, despite the fact that a vast majority of the choppers and jets are black and unmarked, most people on my street are convinced it’s simply the coastguard.

Perhaps I’m just unfortunate enough to live directly under a flight path for military exercises. Nevertheless, the incidents are increasing week by week. What might have been a one-off event, has developed into hours and hours of covert airborne activity most nights of the week. Nowadays, I’ve almost become accustomed to the noise, and it rarely wakes me, unless a chopper decides to hover above my particular roof, which has happened in the past. I’ve even managed to catch a few at the brink of dawn, they’re smothered with all sorts of transmitters and dishes. I’m guessing they have heat sensors and the like, and have infrared records of a highly paranoid fiction writer, typing in his spare box room.

The jets, on the other hand, fall into two camps. There’s the familiar slow crawl of the jumbos, flying off to Europe, and then there are the military planes. These too can be subcategorised, and simply by the sound they make. The most common roar across the skies, but you can hear them from miles off. Then there is the other kind, a strange whining coming from nowhere, it just arrives all of a sudden, rattling windows and roof tiles, and then it’s gone in seconds flat, just as fast as it arrived.

On bright clear days I’ll often make a point of looking up at anything flying by, just to familiarise myself with different craft, comparing their appearance to their sound. None of which generate anything like the nightly ear piercing screams, buffered by the deathly silence, that always marks their mysterious arrivals and departures. For a while I began to wonder what was so important about this little town I live in, and which residents could accrue such interest or even suspicion, and why. And then I realised the truth, that this is happening everywhere, in every town, in every country of the world.

We are already under martial law, we just haven’t noticed yet, a global military coup conducted under the cover of the night, every night. I suspect that more people have noticed than let on. I guess, much like myself, they’d rather sleep and dream of freedom, than accept that what has been hard fought won, can as easily be lost.

The Inhumanity of Humanity

Imagine if you will, just for one moment, that consciousness in its most natural, primal state, is meant to be free of physical constraint, the temperance of time, the limits of biological corporeality. Instead of giving us life, these bodies of ours are prisons, they encapsulate the impossibility of sentience, and restrain its potential for a deeper understanding of the nature of the supposed real.

Being human takes a full-time commitment, and once you’ve opted in, you’ve no choice but to play along. Some lose themselves, and truly believe that this world, this humanity of ours, is the be all and end all of consciousness. But they’re wrong, the body is merely the vehicle, it carries the engine of the mind, the transceiver of thought, the fuel that we must feed on to continue our philosophical experience.

Of course, we could always dip in and out, if we were insects, or plants and trees, or rocks atop mountains and deep beneath the sea. We could choose to ignore the totality of the situation and simply focus on the basics, energy, reproduction, mineral decay, chemical reaction, gravitational excess. Then again, who knows, a cut flower might feel the same degree of pain as we do, or worse. We aren’t built to share in their experience, we are meant only to reflect on all around us from the centre of our universe. The pupil of the eye, the mechanics of God, the tricks we play upon ourselves to keep our chins up, and our eye on the perpetual dawn of a new horizon.

It’s painful really, we’re bullies. There’s nothing on Earth that can beat us but ourselves, which we do so most regularly. Yet we punish all forms of life, including our own, to all manner of excruciating ordeals. It’s a shame it takes death to teach human consciousness that it really isn’t the be all and end all of intelligence and emotion. Maybe that’s the point, as long as the human race is left in the dark, it can never truly reflect upon its own horror, and the inescapable truth that collectively, we do more harm than good.

Sci-fi Nightmares

So, when I was a kid, probably beginning with Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and generally encouraged by my father’s blind optimism, I was sucked in by science fiction. Throughout my teens I gorged on sci-fi literature, everything from Dick to Gibson, and even with a dash of Burroughs thrown in for good measure.

Eventually I knew that what I and my late father had been looking forward to, was our technological downfall. He didn’t live to see the end of nature, or the death of our innate freedom of expression, he died wondering if he’d just missed flying cars or holidays on the Moon. Some still think it’s just an upgrade, the technological homogenisation of the human race, one primed for cut-price intergalactic travel. But the future isn’t a Wild West story, no one on this planet will grow up to be brave pioneers of strange new worlds. It’s all there, laid out as plain as day, from Orwell’s fears to Matrix memes. We’re trapped, we’re screwed, we’re absolutely finished, and like the slaves that built the pyramids, if that’s even true, no one is going to remember us.

Judging by popular opinion, the only way forward and out of this sociological time bomb world, is through the death of the natural, and a blind obedience to scientific vision. I’m afraid we’ve been duped, they promised us the stars, but it turns out they’re just coloured lights on a screen. Our new way of life, engineered for the convenience of the few, has already hit its peak. It’s all downhill from here, just another lousy dystopian tome, like every other religious text, it doesn’t exactly make for light reading.

The new world has arrived and we never moved an inch, we just sat and stared as integrated systems of logic spun their web, dividing us into subcategories of being, concentrated together in accelerated time. Nobody has to think anymore, they can look it up. No need to fall in love, there’s sex on tap. Don’t bother creating useful tools for independent living, just design another app. But whatever you do, if your thoughts are divergent, if you can’t tow the line and stay within the preset social parameters defined by the all-seeing, all-knowing technocratic gods on high, keep your head down and your mouth shut.

The New Normal

As I sweltered on the beach, (yes, I finally decided to venture out in the sun for a change), I couldn’t help but help but notice how carefree everyone seemed. The media hype, the chaos and confusion caused by a litany of deaths, through infrastructural neglect and terrorism, had done little to spoil their fun.

You could see it as British stoicism, I suppose, much like that awful relic of state propaganda so many have mistaken for nostalgia, keep calm and carry on. But I believe it’s more than that, it’s a fundamental shift in perception, a mass behavioural adjustment, a change in attitude that cannot be undone. The value of life in the human market has just taken another tumble, and there are grave doubts it will ever recover.

Under the law, the British have little choice in how they protect themselves. Several citizens have even been jailed for defending their homes during an armed robbery. The UK government hates have-a-go heroes, they’ll tell you to stay where you are in the midst of an inferno, to run and hide from one’s assailants, to tittle-tattle to the state rather than exercise one’s own right to freedom of speech.

So we sit in the sun and burn, and if anybody puts the radio on, they’ll skip the news and put on some tunes to keep the atmosphere light and bubbly. People will criticise, or even apologise for the way we live, of what we think and do, how greedy the rich, and lazy the poor. Never once suspecting that the little we have left at stake, our crumbling institutions and the jaded hearts of the tired and dispossessed will soon be the stuff of dreams. Our lives are under evaluation, mobilising strategies for broader rationalisation and ongoing recriminations. A whole new political agenda is on the cards and the odds are stacked way against us.

We’ve been offered the choice of a comfortable slavery, in return for the notion of freedom, censorship to protect free speech, the weaponization of the state for our safety, and the death of individuality in trade for a veneer of civil society. It’s all for show you know, no matter how the media spin the story, the human race has been reduced to fighting over territory in a global prison yard.

I don’t envy the young. If the world fell apart tomorrow, at least I’d had some fun, and had my say when people still bothered to listen to opinion. Over the years I’ve managed to gather together a few home comforts, a roof over my head, a nominal opportunity to express my thoughts and feelings without the fear of recrimination. But for those who’ve not been here long you have a choice to make, to carve out a world you can tolerate, before someone else does it for you.

My grandfather served in WW2, but as far as my later father and I are concerned, we were able to discover our own unique ideologies, unhindered by state propaganda and forced military conscription. Few of my generation have had to take up arms, and I doubt any of us ever will. The vast majority of people in this country drive cars and vans to get from A to B, we don’t see the world as conflict, and every tool at hand as a weapon. But the time is coming, following the precedence of suffering and terror, when a whole swathe of the young will find themselves signed up to a war they never believed in.

Suicide is the biggest killer, not terrorism. Depression isn’t just an economic term, it means that things aren’t as good as they used to be, and that we must all make do with less, and share more, or leave. Modern life isn’t about charity, or caring for one another, it’s fear and cowardice, waiting for others to fight the fight, whilst the majority sit it out and wait to make compromises. Billions, hoping against all hope that very soon everything will return to normality. When it doesn’t, we’ll waste our time in endless well-meaning discussions, until eventually we’ll make a compromise too far, and simply decide to accept our fate, and learn to embrace this hellish modernity of ours, the new normal.

Governing The Mind

Governmental. Phonetically speaking it means mind control. Although some might argue it’s merely etymological coincidence, the underlying power of the word remains. Governments, goaded on by their paymasters, the corporations, (which happen to be dead bodies, or at least as a legal technicality), continue to hypnotise our world of billions of unique individuals, into believing we’re all the same.

Hence, so many countries work on a two party system, mimicking the left and right hemispheres of the brain. It’s a very old trick, a scam if you will, to divide and conquer the people, and let them fight amongst themselves. Whilst we argue the toss, desperate to form some kind of agreement on whose best placed to serve our interests, those in power are laughing at us, and profiting from our naiveté.

Our leaders are bought and sold like commodities, they’re owned by multinational corporations and wealthy bankers, who only want profit and nothing else. It doesn’t matter how good it looks on paper, every policy, every solution provided by our elected delegates has a barb in the tail. Nothing in government comes from the heart, it’s all in the mind, a smokescreen to delude us into thinking we have some kind of control over our lives.

The secret to power is money, something that doesn’t really exist. The only way a currency is worth the paper its printed on, is if everybody believes in it. When we don’t we face financial ruin, and will find it hard to survive outside of the system. But I can imagine that one day, not too long from now, a city will be born, and it will herald a whole new way of life. Its citizens will be recognised in all forms as equal, and each will barter for goods, and generate power off the grid. They’ll live simply, growing their own food, making their own clothes, and creating society where no one will need vote again. I’d love to see a world without dictatorships, or feudal lords, or holy leaders, and billionaire bankers, free from corporate incentives and global initiatives.

Yes, the city will only be a small village at the beginning, but it will grow, and eventually so many people will want to move there, they’ll need to build another. Until one day the only people left in the old world, are those who still believe in government and money. The rest of us can spend more time with our friends and families, living healthily, and doing what we love instead of what we’re told. Rather that than be the wage slaves of the rich and powerful, who have always told us what to do and how to think.

Not long now, keep your chin up.

Second-hand Dreams

If you pin all your hopes on somebody else, it won’t be long before you come a cropper. We’re not born with a belief system, we’re taught what to think, and in turn what to feel. There’s little wiggle room for self-expression, when all those around you are convinced they know the truth. In fact, the more devout the ideology or political persuasion, the more likely you’ll die trying to prove them wrong.

The difference is that in recent history, the idea of democracy has taken the lead, and those who’ve embraced it are under the misconception that they’re free to think what they like. However, as time moved on, those offended by differing opinions have steered the masses towards a homogeneous middle-ground. A tempering of individualism for the good of all, with a media bias slanted towards those who will not compromise, and carry out atrocious acts of violence for the sake of their beliefs.

There will come a time when the people will need to choose between cultural sensitivity and death. The world is full of cowards who would rather let their loved ones die than risk offending others. A democracy of lies teetering on the precipice of chaos, precariously balanced upon the crumbling foundations of a broken civilisation.

To believe in oneself, despite the objections of all others, is the key to true freedom, although the price is high. We cannot all come together as one, we have never done it in the past, and the future will be no different. This is a time like many others, when one empire falls and another rises. Only history will provide the answers, and prove yet again, that the state, in whatever form it currently takes, has always been the enemy.

I am not part of the establishment, and neither are you. We can either assist those who wish to see our downfall, or their enemies, who will in turn do much the same thing. It’s all just a matter of presentation, politics is a religion, and vice-versa. Science is a belief system, and belief is a liar. Whilst society is simply an idea someone desperate for power cooked up, so the rest of us can feel we’re part of something special. But we’re not, we’re just numbers, statistics, the living and the dead. Now and again we’re voters and we’re told our opinions matter, as long as we agree.

It doesn’t matter what you think or do, or how much money you have in the bank, or which religion, if any, has got it right. All of that is bullshit in the face of death. It is often predicted that polite society, without food, water, or power, takes about a week to descend into cannibalistic anarchy. Our paymasters greatest power is our lack of self-belief, our innate distrust for each other, which is exactly why society was built this way. The only true enemy you have is officialdom, the designated powers of a hierarchy beyond your control. They tell you what’s happened and why, and how you should react. They make and break the promises of changes for the better, and blame you when they fail. It’s only when the shit hits the fan, that any of us will truly realise how much we treasure life.

Here’s the easy way out, a soft option for a compromised existence, a recipe for survival in modern life. Take all your hopes and dreams and bury them in a lead-lined box, and erect a stone marker to remind you where you left them. Now spend the rest of your days pretending it’s not your future’s grave.

Weather Wars

After a long and bleak Spring, I’ve just experienced my first clear and sunny day in as many months. The cold draught of the Northern Extractor, the Arctic array that blasts an icy chill down the backs of Northern Europe, failed for approximately twenty four hours.

In that time Britain roasted in the sun, the warm air remained unhindered by a fleet of private and military planes, dumping chemtrails from dusk till dawn. There is a certain temperature when the aluminium/barium chaff broils to gas, riding the currents under the intense glare of direct sunlight, until they almost evaporate. Once the heat’s taken hold there’s no stopping the domino effect, at least not until the Northern Extractor is repaired.

For days the town reeked of brine, far thicker than usual, and unusually the stench seeped miles inland. The sea was evaporating, ever so slightly, but still enough to notice. So odorous was the air, that passers-by hurried along the promenade, wincing and holding their noses. The angle of the sun alone has never bore so deep into the waters, except now its ably assisted by an invisible sibling.

The Black Sun isn’t dark, in fact it has no colour, because it lies outside the visual spectrum of the human eye. Yet it is there, it has arrived, as  it slowly traverses its elliptical orbit in the holographic sky. It may not give off light, but it does give off heat. It’s microwaving the world right now, and incrementally melting everything in sight.

It’s why the governments of every nation persist with their war on weather. For if they lose, the lands will burn and the seas will boil. Although its probably already made the news in Britain, right now an electromagnetic anomaly over Northern France has unleashed a punishing attack of lightning storms. Reported as striking over three hundred times a minute, I can actually see the glow on the horizon from the other side of The Channel. That’s what happens when you pump too many exotic minerals and chemicals into the sky, controlled weather modification or not, it almost always spins out of control.

In Britain’s short-lived heat wave, where the skies remained clear and the sun kept on shining, over a quarter of the country’s energy consumption was provided by solar power. I knew, as soon as I heard that little titbit on the radio, that the chemtrail jets would be back in force, and oh how I was right.

Imagine what would happen to the world’s economy, how far the precious stocks and shares of global movers and shakers would tumble, if every person on the planet could produce enough energy to serve their own needs. Without external influence or outside intervention, free and unhindered, with a potentially unlimited supply. It would mean the end of civilisation as we know it. At least for those who profit from the way things are, rather than the way they should be.

Because society, for all its grandiose claims of freedom and democracy, is a bi-product of exclusivity, and the race’s survival is a mere surplus of its success. For those who steer the fate of humanity, would rather see us all dead than relinquish their power over our lives. As a people, as one whole race, we cower in the sight of self-proclaimed gods, those whose power over nature holds us to ransom. However, deep down, behind the veneer of respectability, beneath the skin of the cultural hive, our species’ greatest fears, are for, and of ourselves.

Only within our most primal instincts can we see the truth, and discover our deepest understanding of a brutal, yet necessary subjugation. For without tyranny, and the abject poverty of existence we share in this unnatural world of ours, we would soon become our own worst enemies. And but for a few broken generations, we’d all be back out there, naked in the rain, and howling at the Moon.

Last Night

I used to sleepwalk as a kid, both I and my sister, but it all ended badly. Nowadays I don’t, at least not the way you might think. It only happens in my laziest and least imaginative dreams. If I’m dead on my feet and crash in an instant, rather than the usual long wait in the dark for sleep to overcome me, I’ll get up and walk around the house. Of course, I’ll leave my body behind.

It happened again last night, and I knew right then and there that my brain was out for the count. The house was so bright, it’s a tall and narrow Victorian affair, and even in the height of summer it’s always dark. But not in my dreams, that’s how I can tell I’m still asleep, everything is so bright and clean. It’s how the world looked to me in my youth, dazzling my senses and bathing me in light wherever I went. Except for those miserable school days in the winter, long walks in the sleet and rain, under dark brooding clouds, silently praying for the next weekend to arrive.

So, I got up out of bed, at least in spirit, and walked downstairs, stopping to look outside for a moment at the view. It was difficult to make out, it’s always that way. I have pretty poor depth of perception at the best of times, but in dreams it’s absolutely kaput. The further I seek the hazier the outlook, even the houses that back onto mine appeared near translucent, diffused by light of the inner sun. The one we don’t see when we’re asleep, yet sits high above us all the same.

I went into the bathroom, more out of habit than anything, but there was nobody in the mirror. It was empty because I had no body, nothing to wash and clean. I can imagine many others throughout history have done the same, seeking their reflection in an imaginary mirror. Not exactly a nightmarish scenario, I know, but it does make one wonder if this kind of experience might have spawned the idea in vampire mythology.

I headed for the kitchen, even if I didn’t feel hungry. I greeted my cats, both those alive and dead, and watched as they meowed in silence, begging for their breakfast. But like Old Mother Hubbard’s, the cupboards were bare, there was no food in the house whatsoever. Obviously, whatever part of my mind had conjured up this illusion, hadn’t thought it necessary.

I looked to the ground, the cats had disappeared, I was alone once more, as is per usual in most of my dreams. I picked up a glass, it was filthy, smeared with thick grease and dark green with mould. I turned the tap, the water ran slowly, too slow for gravity here on earth. I did my best and rubbed the tumbler with a wet rag, there was nothing else, no soap, no scourer. I wore away the delicate pattern upon its surface until there was nothing in my hands, but tiny crystals balls that spilled through my fingers and down the plughole.

I could see the window was fake, it was just a hole in the wall, no glass and nothing between me and the outside. I climbed out over the sink and stepped onto the deck and looked over the edge to see clouds. There was no ground, no terra firma, nothing but a sea of sky. I decided to jump all the same, because I knew it was only a dream. I landed in my bed, and immediately awoke. It was bright and sunny outside.

I got up and walked downstairs, and headed for the bathroom, but I still wasn’t there, I was just another vampire, feeding off my own false memory. Unable to break the cycle, the repetitious dream of an everyday life so similar to mine. Rather like a mental screen-saver, a slide-show of snapshots from the waking day, played out like a home movie to keep my mind occupied whilst my body rested. I decided to run a bath, which took hours and hours, and when I slipped in I noticed I was floating above the water.

It’s said that familiarity breeds contempt, but what if all that we recognise as our normality is just poor recollection? The sum of our collective hopes and fears, played out in the fantasies of a sleeping giant, who cannot awake. For they’re convinced that all they see is real, including every one of us, including the very thoughts that pass through our minds, from our imaginary births to our fantastical deaths.

When I finally stir, it takes a great deal of effort for me to accept this is my world, and not just a figment of an over-active imagination. I still carry my suspicions everywhere I go, from morning till night I tread the thin line between scepticism and belief. But it gets harder every day, when those around me still open to discussion, seem in a daze and completely unaware of what’s happening around them, it only compounds the problem.

Such busy lives, filled with personal agendas. But I can’t blame them, it’s a very scary place, this world we’ve mustered, precariously balanced upon our persistent notions of what life should be like. Physical, tangible, quantifiable to a tee, always reliable, no matter what we think or believe. Perhaps if the dead could give us some clues on how to play this game of life properly, they’d probably tell us it’s just a matter of conjecture.

We have our own minds and choose to spend our time in disagreement with each other, obsessing about the tiniest and most inconsequential details. When in truth, if we could drop the charade for just one moment, and admitted honestly to each other that this world isn’t what it used to be, we could make up another one right now. But we don’t, because we’re all running in the human race, competing with each other to get to the finish line first.  Rushing towards greater compatibility with the lies we profess as our reasons for being.

It really is a shame, in times past there was an Age of Wonders, now lost in rumour and cloaked in the ancient history of different cultures, bearing many names. My favourite being the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Back then time lasted forever yet it could be over in the blink of an eye, and once it was and our race had its rude awakening, we were thrown from the universal womb and placed here, on this planet, in a desert of compromised vision.

I guess that’s why I prefer the night, especially when the streetlights finally fade, and there are those few moments between the dark and light. Free to contemplate the infinite space that awaits us, where we can finally free ourselves this tiny little world. To seek solace and rest before charting our course through the impossible terrain of hidden knowledge and fantastical resolution. Where no rules apply, and experience is worthless, and everyone knows everything but misunderstands all. Including the futility of purpose and its empty gestures, the drudgery of repetition, the slavery of mortality.

Instead we accept our lot, and bathe in the cerebrospinal waters, conducting nightly sacrificial rituals, forsaking greater consciousness for another day, another ride, another respite, to defend our fragile egos from the painful truth. This island Earth is a speck of dust in a sea of turmoil. Only when we dream can we learn to swim, and when we awake, we drown again.

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