Even the machinery of time experiences wear and tear from use. Gears lose teeth, rust builds. Folks don't often notice the minor grinding or a jump here or there, but sometimes a gear slips and you experience an extra day nobody else in your life passes through. Or you lose one.
199 words (1 minute)
When is a mirror not a mirror? Perhaps when it has been carved into and reshaped and repurposed into a well from which unreality may be drawn.
Is a doll still a doll when its emptiness is all that is put to use, filling it like a bucket from the well and drawing it back?
268 words (1 minute)
The signs are subtle at first, easily missed. A faint shimmer in the sky. A whisper on the breeze. A thought that tastes a bit off. This time I was lucky and caught them early, giving me time to prepare. Not much that can be done, but I could cancel plans and send people away.
105 words (1 minute)
It isn't even that I'm *trying* to change you, but still knowing me does so, doesn't it?
These days the burdens you used to accept without fuss rest awkwardly on your shoulders. Seeing me, you acutely feel how your reality tilts askew against your heart.
What if I helped?
355 words (2 minutes)
Her coming scorches the earth, yes, but it also scorches the sea, the air around her, and even the thin screen onto which reality itself is projected.
That scorch looks like a great smoldering sheet hanging upright on nothing, tracing precisely her path through the world.
258 words (1 minute)
I try to rise, and my knees buckle and give out, dropping me back to a seated position. I try again, steadying myself against the wall with my hand.
The pressure builds in my head, ignored, while I wonder what's wrong with me.
Then it occurs to me: she's coming back.
329 words (2 minutes)
I'm just slightly disconnected from the flow of time everyone else experiences. Like a gear whose teeth are worn, which slips and skips every now and then.
It's frustrating to just wake up in the morning and find I've lost a day—skipped over the preceding 24 hours entirely.
1055 words (5 minutes)
It's a strange party you find yourself in the middle of. You had no idea your friends knew so many different creatures from every plane you've heard of—and a few you haven't.
You don't see anyone you recognize right now, but everyone is chill, and you lower your guard.
477 words (2 minutes)
It feels like a tug from another world. One moment, my life makes sense, the pieces my senses feed me all fit together with a satisfying click. The next, I lose my balance.
A standing fall, a wave of vertigo, and everything tilts imperceptibly.
734 words (4 minutes)
The spider isn't Real, of course. You won't find it in your bathtub, nor in your kitchen, nor in the shadowy corners of your poorly-lit basement. You won't clean any web it doesn't leave up attached to your ceiling.
It lives in your dreams.
560 words (3 minutes)
There is a hierarchy to all things. Those at the top make the rules, determining the degree of humanity allotted to the rest, down to the very peasants and lower.
Even the dead deserve some measure of dignity.
Not so those of us born to the dark, crawling from the depths.
461 words (2 minutes)
The body of the Saint of Error receives millions of visitors each year, some crossing truly unfathomable distances on their pilgrimage to the holy site.
Across seas of What-Could-Be and oceans of Never-Conceived, pilgrims make their journey.
Some, increasingly, are people.
323 words (2 minutes)
There was a place for her once. There was a city and a home and an address there. Friends and loved ones grew their roots together with her.
Even now the crowd unconsciously parts as though making space for her to walk among them.
720 words (4 minutes)
"If you're heading out, I'm going with. Rules haven't changed."
"I'm a grown woman, Sev," I counter. "I should be more than capable of grabbing cigarettes myself."
"Still coming," he says, grabbing his coat.
I don't budge. "It's because I'm not real. Isn't it?"
350 words (2 minutes)
The cameras watch her undress. They watch her brush her hair. They watch the rest of her awkward pantomime of her nightly routine.
It's a dance that she knows all the steps to, but there is, in her body language, some visible uncertainty about performing for an audience.