Madness

He is trying to murder you.

They’re not really your friends.

You’re not real. None of this is real.

Whispers scratch at my ears and Dantés’ tea is suddenly bitter in my throat. The warm atmosphere of the room is leeching away, shadows flickering at the edges of my vision, fogging my brain. The warm glow of the Iron to my right flares with menace.

Outside the cabin, a man sits. He is not real. None of this is real. Maybe I am not real.

I sit next to him. His cackling laughter surrounds us both. Contorted face jumping through the quadrants of my vision in flickers. He grasps and gasps at the air.

“Who are you?”

THE
GROUND IS AIR.
THE AIR IS GROUND.
WINDOW.

The world around us is crackling vivid virescence. I slide closer.

“What is your name?”

TREES.
WINTER TO
AUTUMN TO SPRING TO
SUMMER.

The man convulses, laughter spewing from his gaping mouth. I croon questions through his cackling. Probing. Pushing.

“What do you want?”

STONE.
AND GRASS.
AND DEATH.
AND LIFE.

My voice shifts from silk to steel.

“Why are you here?”

He shudders, shoulders jerking with silent shrieking. His teeth gleam in the dark, snapping at nothing.

I AM MADNESS.
I AM NODE.

Words weave in the air between us, a web of cryptic ranting. But here and there hang shimmering answers, suspended by strands of psychosis.

It’s a start.

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