by Lambert Muir
Let’s go over this again. You went to your D&D game and everything was fine. All was well until it wasn’t anymore. You ate a burger and started feeling sick, unbearably sick. How you managed to get home without repainting the metro green is probably a feat unto itself.
Home wasn’t much comfort. You started making calls to the white telephone. That damn clown’s damned burger. Rotten bastard was probably laughing his yellow jump suit-wearing ass off. All you thought about while holding on to the bowl for dear life was revenge. Curse his red hair and creepy, goofy smile.
Things got Interesting late that night.
Are you sure you remember well? Maybe you could start with small details: The empty trash bin you kept next to your bed in the eventuality you couldn’t reach the bathroom in time for another gastric uproar. Good, anything else?
No? Just the same old, real room you’ve slept in since high school. Cracks and peels from before mom decided to have the house repainted, the bookshelf and the posters and everything else that was normally there. You’re sure, nothing out of the ordinary? Ok.
When did it happen? Can you remember black digital numbers against the blue shine of the alarm clock next to your bed? You looked at them three different times: Once at eleven at night, the second time at two fifteen in the morning and it was half past midnight the last time you checked. In that order, you’re sure?
Are you kidding me?
I’m not calling you a liar; it’s just that, you know, memories are often unreliable. And with you, sometimes I have to wonder if you don’t add, change, or completely erase something any time you replay that night in your brain or tell of this little Encounter to your friends.
All right, ‘‘one more time with feeling,’’ as they say...
Eleven o’clock and you’re sick as a plagued dog, relentlessly twisting and turning from side to side. The sheets are all over the place and you leave the bed every so often to rush to the bathroom. Your head feels like a drum set at a heavy metal show and the shadows on the walls are creeping closer, moving in for the kill.
Two fifteen in the morning: that’s when things get Interesting. That’s when you start seeing them, the people over your bed. There were, how many, nine or six? Nine, you’re sure?
There were nine naked People floating over your bed. Skin like marble and yet fleshy-looking, arms spread out and heads in glass boxes. All linked together by a silvery wire, entering them through one side and exiting through the other and drawing no blood. The wire took on odd shapes like one of those jigsaw puzzle kids get on Christmas. And the wire moved. Not so much rotating as following a weird pattern so that all nine of those People could take turns to face you and talk to you. You tried to look to see where the wire came from, but couldn’t. The Apparition you saw in your bedroom must’ve been a projection. And whatever cast it must’ve stayed in its dimension.
What? You’ve got a better explanation? Anyways, like, just what did the People try to tell you? You didn’t understand anything. It seemed like they each spoke three different languages and had three different personalities alternatively taking control, flickering in their boxes like channels being flipped.
Half past midnight and you’re alone in your bed wondering just what in all the fucks in history did you just experience. You realize you’re saying you went backwards in time at this point in your story, right?
Look, you have to understand that I want to believe you, but this all seems pretty unlikely. Blame the clown and the inter-dimensional beings all you want, you know there’s a much more plausible explanation for all of this. Maybe you were in such a state that some part of your brain decided to create something you’d be more comfortable dealing with and forget about all the puking. Wouldn’t that make much more sense?
Still, your brain decided to create inter-dimensional beings, and that’s pretty unlikely too.
Short(er) Fiction Vol. 1 is a collection of Blasted Tree original short stories.
ISBN [Digital]: 978-0-9938364-5-9
Cover Design by Kyle Flemmer - Cover Image by Jesse Anger
Feature Image by Patrick Nijhuis