“What are They Doing to Your Air?!” “Why Are The Skies So Sick?” “Who is Keeping You Chained?” "Why is the Light Going Stale?"
I don't know if you've seen these signs in your neck of the woods, but they're all over my town. If you're familiar with conspiracy theories, you might be familiar with the idea of chemtrails, and might think that it's just another piece of crap from the crazy brigade. Hell, I did myself a while ago.
They'd always been there, as long as I can remember. I don't know why I picked them to do an article on. I think it may have been a slow news week, maybe it was because I was out of my head thanks to the fact I felt like shit. Of course, I felt like shit every week there, whether it was because the wallpaper or those incessant fluorescent lights or the fact that thanks to being a repurposed office building I never even got a sliver of sun, I'm not really sure. But I swear to God there was something about the building that was like a vice on my soul.
But, I found it, the source behind the rumors. There's a website on the posters, and with God as my witness you had no idea how much I had to lie my ass off on the forums to find out where the source of the guy behind the posters was. The way they talked about him you'd think he was the next Jesus Christ or Muhammad. But I guarantee ya, neither of them would've set up shop in Sycamore Street.
The place went downhill fast after the 2008 crash. I know, a lot of homes were abandoned in a lot of places, but no other houses I'd seen had gone to seed this fast. I could smell the rot as I walked through, mold and water stagnating into a disgusting miasma, leaving most of the houses crumbling heaps of timber and sludge. Not his though, not the crazy house. It was the only one standing, painted bright red and untouched by grime, pristine and untouched like an island within the filth, cameras from its top staring at me like the eyes of God. Nobody else lived there besides the birds, circling like vultures waiting for it to drop.
There was something off about the light there, something sickly, stale, stultifying. It felt like I was back in he office that sickly, cloudy glow. The sound was off-kilter too, a low thrum buzzing through the air. I wrote it off as my tinnitus at the time, but now I'm not so sure. Perhaps that's why he had the windows boarded up. Perhaps it's why he had that bizarre metal-laced shed leading to the door, nailed to the wall through the sheet-metal plating.
But I had to get inside. I felt like I was going to vomit. It wasn't just the smell of scum and bile, or the hellscape of septic filth. It was the light, crushing, smothering me as I walked to the shed-door, like a tyrannical hand sinking steel clamps into my mind. The birds flew by me as I vomited just outside the door, wings unmoving, bodies gleaming white. I looked down. There was blood in the vomit. Blood and chunks of something raw and meaty.
I wrenched open the door and let myself in, slamming the heavy metal edifice behind me. I paused for a moment to breathe. The shed was airtight, not letting a single stray beam of that light roll over me. The darkness rolled over me and, for a moment, I was at peace. It was away from the light holding, the light crushing, the light that even in this darkness I shudder at. And, it was all too brief. Lights upon lights upon lights came on to me, with sounds of popping and whirring and...
Well, it's hard to describe. It was like the feel of heat without the sensation of warmth if you can follow my understanding, that power thrumming without any crude physical sensation behind it. It carried energy and life, but with a feeling of wrongness, like a cancer, if you understand me.
Just as I was processing all this sensation, from mere light no less, the door creaked open, and I felt more of the light wash in. I walked up to the door and entered.
On first glance, it looked relatively normal. Aside from that too warm light I mean. It looked like a normal, relatively sane house, stuck in the seventies with ugly pseudo-wood-paneled walls and a ugly Tang-orange carpet. But as I walked in, there was still something off about it. I walked a bit further in, next to a garishly tacky glass-covered lamp, and then I realized it. There were no right angles.
None, anywhere in the house. Wherever two lines met, it was always slightly askew or, stranger still, curving, like some of the walls in. I walked in and inspected further. The way most of this stuff bent shouldn't have stood up, not under any sane understanding of engineering, and yet it still did. But it captured the light. That energetic, living, twisting light, it captured it beautifully. And was it just me, or did it take a little longer? Not much, just a little, just a touch. It could have been a trick of the light.
But, as I would learn later, no, it wasn't just me. I wrote this all down of course. Not like it's gonna do me any good anymore, but still.
I had seen neither hide nor hair of the owner around here, though the fact that he was not greeting me with a shotgun, and had (apparently) opened the door for me, even though I didn't knock was at least a good sign. Or, perhaps, a very bad one.
There was nothing really else in that room, other than the suspicion that something was very, very wrong, and a hall, stretching down the lighted depths into the other side.
I walked down the hall, still writing the sights down. For every footstep it seemed, there was another light fixture exuding that warmth, that warping warmth, stippling down. I could feel a slight stickiness on my shoes the more I walked, like the light was bleeding into the carpet and welling up. And as I walked, there was a smell, a cloying sickly sweet smell, like rotten marmalade, coming from the stickiness, all welling up from that horrible orange carpet.
As I reached two doors in the middle of the hallway, one on each side, I looked around. It was only a meter from where I had stated room. I had spent what seems like minutes, wading through this treacle, this billowing light, to go only three feet. I chuckled to myself a little, the nervous, sickly kind of chuckle you make when you're afraid.
I don't know why I went on. Maybe it was a “sunk costs” thing, maybe it was that I didn't want to go back, maybe I wasn't in my right mind because of that fucking light. But I turned around, and knocked on the right door. No response.
Journalist's instincts getting the better of me, I opened the door. Perhaps it was against ethics, but I never was one for ethics. Ethics seem to go out the window when you're feeling sick from the very mangle you walk into day after day, trying to find relief in sleep and pills. Very much illegal and illicit pills I might add.
But, pointless ramblings aside, it was what I saw in the room that made me realize something was wrong, beyond the feelings in my gut and the shape of the light. Though I suppose it was something of the shape of the light. For there, dripping from the walls, was what looked like human skin, peeling off in flabby, syrupy sheets, like light congealed. At the end of the room, there was a TV, an old CRT, the kind from back when they used dials, oily wires streaming out of it. And, though those lights were all over the place, the grand majority of them were pointed at it, for it was turned on.
Carefully I walked into the room, to look closer at the screen, being very careful not to touch the whatever-it-was dripping down from the walls. I looked at the screen. It was focused on the birds. And it got clearer as time when on, clear enough that I could see...
Those weren't birds. They were something more like planes, except not at all like planes. Maybe like a child would design a plane, white capsule shapes with crude fins stuck on them all pell-mell. And the image got clearer, I could see something, something spraying in glittering pixelated particles from their wings. I wanted to keep looking, but my head howled at me, like my brain wanted to break free of my skull and fly away; against them...
I kept walking along the halls checking the rooms as they came over those vast and expanding hallways. It was the same in each room, the peeling walls, the one television, perhaps showing the “planes” from a slightly different angle. I felt like I was pushed forwards by the light, buzzing, humming, pushed despite my will's pull.
And was it my imagination, or did I feel my skin crawl? Literally crawl, like a headless roach? And how long was I there, walking pointlessly amongst those doors? Ten hours? Twenty hours? A week? I cannot remember anymore. Time starts moving, writhing, scuttling like everything else in this house. And as I walked through that house, I thought I could see things moving. More things. Crawling, scuttling, like shadows, growing clearer and clearer in that light.
And suddenly, just like that, I reached the end of the hallway. I looked back. It was only four meters long. With five doors? Six? It was definitely less than what I had gone through, but I couldn't tell how many. My brain hurt just to look at it.
But that didn't matter. I stepped in and looked about. I saw what seemed like a kitchen, surprisingly pristine for such a house. To the right side there were three doors. All three were bricked over, with several of those lights over them, at an intensity I had not seen anywhere before in the house. To the left, I could see a small slice of an expansive room, well furnished and also disturbingly immaculate. From the flickering I could faintly see, I surmised it was the living room.
I could feel the air growing twisted in my lungs, growing into knots and bulbs and lumps. I cannot explain it, even now, but I felt it.
I turned into the kitchen, crouching, sneaking, still scribbling down in my feeble notebook, hoping that whatever loon owned this house didn't mind me snooping. Not that he had much to be concerned about. All there was in the kitchen was bean cans. Government-issued baked bean tins, likely bought off of a military surplus store, all empty, all sparkling clean, all of them packed cover to cover with nothing else.
“You've arrived, m'dame,” I heard a voice, fatty dribbling, echoing deep into that terrible wood. Perhaps I should have been more concerned about it.
“I would like to have that interview with you, m'dame,” the shape said. I turned around. There, cloaked in shadows in a barcalounger, was a vaguely human shape at the end of the room, televisions with footage of those capsule-planes (were they planes anymore, I could barely tell) behind him, lodged in the wall. I walked into the room and sat down on a small red ottoman.
There was silence for the while, as I stared at his hazy, ever-smiling moon-face, until he asked, “So, do you want to speak to me?”
I, breathed in for a second (that air was moving, I could feel it) and said, “So, tell us, how did you get involved in campaigning against chemtrails?”
He laughed a gooey, wheezing laugh and said, “It was the early nineties. I was possessed with a deep; depression, enough so that I was fired from my job.” I looked over him as he spoke. Those limbs were like rubber hoses over the couch, and they fluttered like sunbeams as he told his story. “I do not miss it. I always hated reading the news anyway.” A lump formed in my throat. This was starting to sound familiar. “But, as I lay in anhedonic stupor, I noticed that my symptoms would lighten if I let the sun wash over me. In the brief periods where I felt motive to tinker, I worked with some of the lenses and lightbulbs around my house, to try and see, perhaps, if I could maximize this relief. That is when they showed up.”
“They?” I asked
He continued, without answering me, lips peeling away like paint to reveal blinding pink gums with every syllable. “I could see them, following me, hovering over me, spraying over the light. They do it to keep us trapped, you know, unquestioning, docile sheep. Unquestioning, they were easy to deal with, the first few times. The walls should be proof of that.” I looked over. Something white and steaming was dripping from the cracks, before it retracted back in.
“And I progressed with the lights, I created such marvels, such wonders, even as I began to die from that fog inside me day in and out. But they came, like vultures.” And here he pointed back at the TVs and laughed again, lips peeling back as his limbs curled. “And soon invention turned to fortification, and the mists began to fall.”
No, I didn't write any of that down. How could I, how should I have, in that moment? My skin was itching. It was itching itself as it itched. And the air bloomed faster in my lungs.
Behind him, the pill-planes on the TV were changing into something. It brought to mind some very old video I had seen, a video simulating what it called a tesseract. “So you're behind the signs?” I asked tremulously.
His face hardened and stiffened for a moment, into a ghastly wall of anger and meat, before going to that stupid, fucking moon face. “No. Nobody is behind the signs. They are appearing, as I had pled, as I had cried, as it should be. Reality is pushing against them, pushing from the shroud into it. Soon it will come, it will all come.” Behind him I saw what the tesseract planes were spraying out. I mean, really spraying out.
I admit it, I couldn't handle it. Nobody could at this moment in time. I vomited and started yelling, “Plead to who?! Why are you doing this to me?! What's wrong with this light?!”
He smiled even wider now. I could see it. His grin was spreading off of his face, his skin was peeling back like a thick, meaty, orange rind. “It's what's right with the world! It's peeling off their tainted light into the true light, the true reality!” He stood up, like a puppet suspended by strings, peeling apart layer by layer. “Their sick air is peeling away, day by day it is peeling! You're doing it right now, you're coming into the real! Change, change and dream, dream better, dream grander!”
I could see the room peeling apart. I could see the footage on the TV screens start to peel, first the planes, then the clouds, then the fields, then the skies, then the fake, and I could see the true things underneath. I could feel myself starting to peel. I could feel my eyes haze over and the room twist into paths, more paths, so many little paths.
I've been wandering in this labyrinth, this real, real, real, tooo REAL labyrinth for dayyys noaw. I feel aliiinve, bua I veel worswe, I feell like I'm exploding into somethinasng nothing nasrty saomthings. I kno I was tsicjk befoasre, but if thjst ishh whasd beibhn wejjal is lkike, I son't wanst to be weel, I donas't want to bw weall!
I don't want to be well.
Written by Tbok1992