At any given point we are only able to perceive three faces of a cube. Go ahead and try. Pick up a box and turn it in your hands any which way you can. No matter how you tilt your head or spin the box, only three faces will be visible. It is a natural limitation of seeing reality in three dimensions. What if something could see all six faces of that cube at once?
In a lot of ways we perceive reality by standing in the center of sphere and looking out, but what if something could see the entirety of the sphere from the outside? Furthermore, what if that same thing could see everywhere that sphere was going to be or could be? What kind of thing could perceive reality like that? Anything capable of perceiving space and time the way we perceive a drawing or a cartoon would certainly be able to interact with our world on a level that would defy our preconceived notions of reality. My head hurts just thinking about it, but it makes a lot more sense than believing that these things just happened for no reason.
Several days from now I will be invited to a kegger. I’ll show up and drink a beer out of a plastic cup as I stand awkwardly at the edge of the crowd and try to work up the nerve to talk to Cassie Voight. She’ll bump into me and spill her drink on my shirt.
We’ll end up talking and head for her place. During the cab ride to her place a semi-truck will run a red light and t-bone the vehicle and kill me. Cassie will survive and tell a terribly sad story about her crush dying beside her in a taxi. My friend Mick will message her in an attempt to console her. Two days later he’ll fuck her brains out. I’m getting ahead of myself. This isn’t the story of how I die or how an emotionally vulnerable coed hooks up with a lecherous douchebag I only associate with because he has good weed.
No, this is the story about how I met something that shouldn’t exist and how it has effected me.
We all perceive time differently. It should be completely imperceptible, but a human who is a foot taller than the average person would experience time at infinitesimally faster rate than his shorter counterpart. This dilation of time is caused by gravity pulling at the very fabric of space. This isn’t science-fiction. If two clocks are perfectly synced and one of them is elevated to a significant altitude it will appear to be moving faster than the one that remained on the ground.
This effect can also occur via moving at incredibly high rates of speed with a certain degree. This is because in general relativity inertial mass and gravitational mass are effectively the same thing. Gravity is relative to mass, be it an object of incredibly size/density or an object approaching an incredible speed. If one is perceiving reality from a different perspective or position than everyone else, it could be possible that they are perceiving time at a different rate.
I apologize for the high school physics lesson but I don’t know how else to explain how I noticed these things. I am very tall. I stand just over two meters. I also have some brain damage that gives me about a hundred milliseconds of reaction time over the average person. Don’t ask me to explain that one, but if you ever want a demonstration we can play a round of Call of Duty. You’ll accuse me of having an aimbot. It is because I am so abnormal that I was able to notice something abnormal. It might sound strange, but this all started when I watched a child get pushed into traffic.
I had been walking down the street. It was a sunny day. I was in a relatively good mood. I stopped at a food truck for some shawarma and a little girl caught my attention.
She was standing next to what I can only assume was her mother. The mother stared blankly into the distance as her child threw a temper tantrum. No one else was standing at that corner. It happened in the blink of an eye, but for a brief moment I could have sworn that I saw a black tendril tear itself out of the fabric of existence and push the kid in front of a passing metro bus. The tendril and the ripple in space-time was gone in an instant. It couldn’t have been there for more than a hundred milliseconds but I saw it. I was so perplexed by it that I didn’t immediately notice the screaming mother or the shawarma vendor running for the little girl. I couldn’t un-see it. In fact, over the course of the next several days I began to notice tiny imperceptible ripples everywhere. I didn’t always see the tendrils, but I caught the ripple. I shouldn’t be able to perceive them, but for whatever reason I can.
Well, I know why, but no reason to spoil the fun just yet.
I spent several long nights online trying to find any reference to this phenomenon, but as any of you who have gone looking for the supernatural may be aware, there isn’t much to be found. I found several blogs maintained by individuals who would have been declared insane several decades ago trying to pass off conspiracy theory and creepypasta as if it were real phenomenon. After three days of turning up whack-jobs and idiots I took a different approach.
My friend Keith is a lot smarter than me. I don’t just mean that he is more intelligent or more educated, but he has a wisdom about him that leaves me a little jealous. He’s a physics teacher at the local high school. We had several discussions about my lack of a buffer between stimulation and perception in the past. He was well aware of the phenomenon. Sometimes individuals with damage to the association areas of the cerebral cortex experience abnormalities in the specious present. I liked talking to Keith. He had a way of taking a problem that confounded me for the better part of a month and breaking it down in a matter of minutes. The man should have been a world-renowned scientist, but instead he taught high school and spent his downtime at the local pub.
As I explained these things to Keith rocked back in his chair. He was thinking. As I finished my story he brought his hand to his face and stroked his beard. As I sat anticipation of his response, I saw the beginnings of a ripple in space-time. I didn’t see the tendril, but I did see Keith’s chair fall back. The back of his head slammed into the bookshelf behind him.
He was dead before he hit the floor.
I stood up and attempted to run over to him, but in a span of time that I couldn’t even process, I was gone.
I don’t have any other way to explain it. One moment I am standing in Keith’s home office and then next I am standing in the middle of an aisle at K-mart next to one of those racks that has all the balls held in place by bungee cords. Little ripples started opening up all around me. These weren’t little blips like before. They remained static and thin tendrils started pouring out of them. I was alone in the aisle. I probably should have ran, but I don’t think it would have let me.
One by one the tendrils began grabbing the balls and holding them in air around me. The balls orbited around me. The ones closest to me moved slowly while the ones further way were moving considerably faster. I stared at this and tried to make sense of it when a ripple appeared a few inches in front of my face. A tendril shot out of it and stabbed into my forehead. It was about that time that reality just broke. I wasn’t seeing with my eyes. I was seeing my eyes. I was seeing everything that was me. I saw the balls from all sides as they moved around me, but what was even more fascinating was that I was seeing them as they were and would be. It wasn’t so much that I was seeing this, but that I was being allowed to perceive it. From that perspective the tendrils had a considerably different appearance.
The ripples were fixed points that didn’t move. Everything around me was moving about in what could best be described as organized chaos. I could focus on the tiniest subatomic particle and know exactly where it was and how fast it was moving, but what’s more is that I could know everywhere it was going to be in my localized area of space-time spanning an interval of several minutes before and after where I was supposedly located.
In this state the tendrils were like arcs of plasma emanating from a being of pure light. The being wasn’t reaching inside of our world. Our world was literally inside of this being. It was everywhere, or more to the point they were everywhere. They were everywhere in space and time. For whatever reason this particular one had decided it was going to play with me. As the balls moved along their orbit and the arcs of pure energy swirled around me as a voice that wasn’t carried by sound boomed inside my mind.
I watched as my body twisted and contorted into several positions at once in reaction to the pain. The voice spoke and said, “You are an anomaly. Your kind should not be able to perceive us.”
My thoughts became my voice as I responded, “Us? What the fuck? What do you mean your kind? Fuck you!”
All of those responses occurred at once.
The voice replied, “You are not the first anomaly. Others interact with us. We are amused by your perception of time.”
My thoughts exploded in response, “Others? Fuck you. What are you? FUCK. YOU. Why are you showing me this? FUCK YOU!”
The voice laughed and replied, “We exist beyond you and before you. You are to us as a photograph is to you. We shape you. We manipulate you. We control you.”
I was getting incredibly angry. I didn’t understand why at first, but my thoughts became more coherent as the conversation continued.
The voice continued, “The anomalies are dealt with when they become a problem. Your kind has an annoying quality. Some of you can act outside our designs.”
I laughed and replied, “No shit. Humans excel at fucking shit up.”
The voice replied, “Indeed.”
My thoughts exploded again, “What does this mean? Are you gods? What happens when I die? Am I going to be dealt with?”
The voice laughed.
Then more voices started laughing.
They said in unison, “Always the same questions. Always the same answers. You cease to be and that which comprises you is dead for a near infinite amount of time in comparison to the short interval of life, but you put so much importance on the third-dimensional form in its passage through the fourth. Your awareness will cease and your form will scatter. Those bound to time cannot perceive eternity.”
My perception shifted back to what I could take in with my ears and eyes. I was laying on the cold tile floor of a Kmart as a paramedic shined a penlight in my eyes. I could smell copper. My nose was bleeding.
My body jerked and convulsed as the paramedic shouted, “He’s seizing!”
Everything went black. For a brief period of time I was allowed to rest, even if it was because I was having a stroke.
“Against medical advice.”
That is what the doctor called it when I told him I was going home. Things haven’t been right since then. I’ve been very careful about who I share that experience with. Those who are even capable of understanding what I am saying look at me like I am some sort of lunatic. The most common reaction is disbelief. I can’t say that I blame anyone. Who wants to believe that we are the equivalent of action figures that god like beings play with for their own amusement? It is the kind of thing that could drive a man to madness. Well, it may well have.
For a very brief moment I considered the possibility that all of it, that every memory and the entire conversation was some fevered dream my brain concocted during a stroke. It made sense. Actually, it made a lot of sense. I’ve always been a fan of Lovecraft and this would certainly be right up his alley. Yeah, I really could sit back and believe that all of this is just the reaction of a damaged brain trying to make sense of reality and filling in gaps with memory and imagination. I cannot tell you how happy I would be if that were the case.
I still see the ripples and I still see the tendrils. Moreover I now get brief glimpses of my localized area of space-time from my previous ascended perspective. I watch things happen from all angles and sometimes minutes or days before they happen. Sometimes I let them happen. Sometimes I try to change things. It seems that the more I try to change things, the more the tendrils move to counteract any effect that I might make. Sometimes I win. Most of the time I lose. I think that’s the point.
It wasn’t enough to kill me. They wanted me to know I was going to die. They wanted me to be aware of how incredibly pointless it was to fight them. I think they take pleasure in that. They see my death as clearly as I do. Even now a scene plays on a loop in the back of my head. A ripple appears in a semi-truck and the tendril pushes a gas pedal a little further down than the driver realizes. Another tendril pushes some papers on the dash and draws the attention of the driver away from the road. At that exact moment a taxi cab is pulling slowly through an intersection and another tendril is poking the driver in the leg causing his leg to seize and slam on the brakes. The passenger on the right side of the car is reduced to chunks of meat that splatter across the pretty girl sitting next to him. She is remarkably unharmed.
You might perceive me to be alive right now, but I am already dead. We all are. There is no heaven. There is no hell. There are no gods to save us and no devils to tempt us. Everything is a sadistic horror show for things that exist beyond and before. My fate is to die in a taxi cab. I could shut myself in my house or have myself committed but they let me see those outcomes as well. Each decision that I make in an attempt to get out of it makes the potential outcome worse. It is only a matter of time now. In several days I will be invited to a kegger and end up leaving with a girl I’ve had a crush on since high school.
She wears a cute dress that day. I can’t wait to see it.