Tuesday, April 25, 2017

screaming eyeballs

Dreyfus patted himself down and located his cigarettes in his right front hip pocket, then did it again to locate his lighter. He stopped walking and pulled a smoke from the pack and cupped it up to his face with both hands to shield it from the wind. After a couple of faulty flicks, he turned around, away from the wind, so that he was facing the direction from which he'd just been walking. * flick, flick * Then there was a sudden flame, well shielded from the wind by the brunt of his back and by his little two-handed cave. The lighter flame was brilliant to Dreyfus's dark adjusted eyes and left a stark, orange afterimage imprinted upon his retinas. It took about half a minute for the afterimage to fade, and when it finally did, Dreyfus was just about to spin aroud and resume his walk when he thought he saw a shadow of something just barely beyond the floating blue gauze left behind by the brilliant orange. Something... unfriendly, was the only word he could think to describe it. Something that was moving toward him.

Suddenly Dreyfus was flat out terrified, and the thought of looking up to see what was moving toward him rendered him completely paralyzed and unable to move. Instead, he just stared at the bright cherry of his cigarette and tried to take a small measure of comfort from the light of it. As he stared, it seemed as through the cherry was shrinking, becoming smaller and smaller, but also brighter and brighter. As it shrunk, the surrounding blackness collapsed into it, making it ever smaller but ever brighter, until all he could see was one excruciatingly brilliant pinpoint of orange, surrounded by a thick, suffocating darkness that pulsated, like a reverse ripple effect, moving inward and collapsing in shrinking waves toward him at the center.

This is what it feels like to play hide and seek with the devil, Dreyfus thought to himself. Or was it tag? Playing tag with the devil? Was that the game he was playing? Had been playing, for the last fifteen years? With the devil? Was that really what he'd been doing? He could hardly credit the thought...

Suddenly it felt to Dreyfus as though he'd been torpedoed, right in the gut and just below the belly button. It was like a dense, liquid compression wave that expanded, but instead of moving outward, it went DOWN. Not down as in toward his feet or the ground, but into another direction of down that went deep inside of him. Down through a dimension where local gravity is expressed in units of pain, and altitude is measured in painful increments. Down down down went the compression wave, compressing and liquifying and squeezing his guts ever downward toward some hard, flat surface of smooth, limitless agony that lay waiting below. Dreyfus felt it all in exquisite detail as it happened, and it even seemed to him as though he could hear it... a rumbling deepness that vibrated like a subwoofer, going lower and louder until it passed beyond hearing and crossed over entirely into pain. Dreyfus's world had suddenly collapsed into a singularity of simple feeling. No need for fancy grammar, parts of speech, sentence structure, or complex rules of rhetoric. The language of this place consisted of just one word-like concept... suffering.

Terrible. It just terrible. The awfulest... jst the worst, the very worst, ever. Just acknowledging the reality of the vague shape that he'd actually seen which precipitated this dip into tangible agony made his eyeballs want to scream forever. Yet despite the reality of actually being inside of such an impossible horror, the thought of his eyeballs screaming for eternity - two eternally pissed off eyeballs inside of his sleep deprived head, constantly bitching inward at his shriveled, unslept brain, for eternity - made Dreyfus chuckle under the ocean of pain, just a little. Suddenly it was the funniest thing he'd ever known, and simply because it was all wrapped inside the absurdity of this evil, insidious, unrelenting suffering. Dreyfus laughed out loud! Why? Because it was hilarious to him, and just the funniest thing, ever.

That's when Ignatius realized that things were starting to go not exactly the way he had expected. So it was that the demon made his first fully fledged, fully physical, fully stereotypically demonic appearance, in the flesh, fully real and fully there, and pulled forcibly into physical reality by the insipid yet undeniable laughter of the object of his torture.

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