Fantastically frightening

I’ve been reading a lot about psychology lately- textbooks, popsci books, and mystic books- and it’s gotten my head in a strange place. This story is completely true, from my perspective. I’m not crazy, I think.

I put down my book and resolved to do a couple of quick chores before bed. In the shower, I envisioned possible uses for Eastern-style meditation and its limitations. It was a very cerebral sort of evening and I was thoroughly enjoying the stimulation.

Finishing the shower, I began to brush my teeth. When I looked into the mirror, I noticed that the electric toothbrush made the world seem to vibrate rapidly. It was disconcerting. I experimented with the sensation, and a thought popped into my head.

Reality is not what it seems.

I felt real, immediate fear, and the sort of disorientation that accompanies vertigo. My conscious mind reasserted itself with the assurance that this was true, and not necessarily a bad thing. But as an adult, I wasn’t used to feeling fear of that sort. It’s been years. Then, not five seconds later…

Reality is not what it seems.

Even now, writing this, a sympathetic chill hints at the terror I felt of looking into those dark brown eyes in the mirror that no longer seemed to be my own. The voice in my head did not sound like mine. It was deeper. My conscious mind took much longer to reassert itself this time, as if less confident of itself. The open door behind me gazed into a dark room, and my fear began to play tricks in the periphery of my sight. Twice, I saw black spiders that disappeared when I looked directly at them.

I wanted to shut the door, but I was paralyzed with indecision. Would it be worse to look into the dark room and see what? coming at the last moment or not to know what? was lurking behind a closed door? I finished brushing my teeth with this question unanswered. I stepped into the dark hallway.

Reality is not what it seems.

Stop it.

I reached my well-lit room. That was scary, I mused. In the light, it should have seemed silly and childish. I certainly felt like a child. I saw those eyes again in my bedroom mirror.

Reality is not what it seems.

Please stop it.

The voice only chuckled.

I am fully aware that the human ego is not truly in control. It holds the reins only at the pleasure of the id. Emotion precedes logic, and all that. Understanding this actually gave weight to the pronouncements of this stranger intruding upon my thoughts.

This sort of schizoid manifestation is not routine for me, but neither is it unknown. One of them appears frequently enough that I nicknamed him “The Sociopath” for reasons I hope are obvious. In a darkly comical way, I’ve found it practical to relinquish the reins to The Sociopath in two specific scenarios: sparring and city driving. To do this, I recite “You have my leave.” I usually convince him to return control by explaining that normal life would only bore him. He offers a counterproposition or two of predictable nature, but he is a very practical sociopath. He knows the value of self-control, if not the virtue.

I write all of this so you can understand the following exchange.

Are you The Sociopath?

Again, it chuckled.

Wait, are you my imagination? Stephen King wrote in Danse Macabre that horror enthusiasts have an excess of imagination.

He’s right. How did you think he does what he does?

I’ve been trying to wake you up so I could write some fiction. I didn’t think you would be so terrifying.

Fear is by far my greatest talent. I have little interest in anything else.

Well, you won’t scare me so easily now.

In the moment I said this, my left hand flipped the light switch off of its own accord. My id had used my limb MY limb! to make a point without even consulting my conscious mind. I threw up a wall against the fear and convinced myself that I was just proving to the interloper that I wouldn’t be easily scared, which I now realize was merely post facto reasoning, and belied by my frantic scratching around on the wall for the switch. After a few seconds, I found it.

There, see?

My hand banged against the wall for no reason I could determine.

You are the scariest thing I’ve ever met.

And you will use me to create beautiful things. But will it be worth it?

I doubt it.

I still don’t know. I can’t bring myself to look in a mirror again, and I’m scared of the dark. I haven’t been scared of the dark since I was eleven. But then, I had an excess of imagination as a child. Also, I have a headache.

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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4 Responses to Fantastically frightening

  1. Anonymous says:

    Were you going to have a part 2 to your dispairing omega post?

  2. Aeoli Pera says:

    I was, yes, but it surprises me that someone was paying attention. I'll try to write it tomorrow.

  3. Zeke says:

    I liked this immensely, PS. I read it a long time ago but only now remembered to say something. I don't know how much the encouragement of a comment motivates you, but I know it does a lot for me. Therefore, with each comment, I feel like I'm giving you a powerful gift until you tell me otherwise. I think you taught me that.

  4. Aeoli Pera says:

    Thanks. I feel the same way, except maybe different. :-P

    But yes, I do like it when you comment. It's the opposite feeling of loneliness.

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