Reality. What does the word even mean anymore? It used to symbolise our rational understanding of the universe around us. We were so safe when we could use terms like ‘verifiable’, ‘real’, ‘logical’, ‘scientific’. The sceptics and the agnostics clung to terms such as those like a deep-sea buoy in a typhoon when all of this began. Their staunch belief in the sanctity of reality is what I believe made most of the survivors the gibbering wrecks they became. The foundation of their world was ripped from them by The Schism, they were unable to keep their heads above the impossible waves that wrenched the buoy around and they drowned there in the absurdity, as reason curdled into the senseless.
For those of us who released our sense of reality early on, things were better. Not good, but better. We still had the physical risks imposed on us by the new chaos; we were still torn from our beds by manifestations of the darkness, the street swallowed us just the same, eviscerated by thin air or launched up into it never to land. But we accepted it. We knew there was no point in fighting, we had already lost, not that there was a contest to begin with.
The rug that was everything we had come to accept as fact whipped out from under our feet to send us whirling into oblivion, never to find stable ground again, to go on twisting and flailing in the dark.
Nobody knows what caused The Schism. As I mentioned, the scientists and mathematicians, the pragmatists, all went mad trying to understand. It turns out the human mind was not made for peering into the void and attempting to find order. It broke them. Many of them took their own lives when they realised the hopelessness of it all. The rest sank into the safety of their own subconscious, and there they remain.
My best guess is that what we called ‘reality’ was an illusion all along. The warning signs were always there, written off as quackery, misunderstanding, bullshit by the now dribbling wrecks we once called our greatest minds. There’s no writing it off now. The strange lights in grainy photographs now ream through the street and turn your car inside out as you drive to work. The creatures of legend wait for you at the end of your hall as you get up to take a piss at night. Beings the darkest minds of horror could not bring themselves to imagine swirl behind the shelves at your local convenience store ready to whip you away at their whim should you happen to select the wrong box of cereal.
It sounds like a living nightmare, and on many levels I suppose it is. But we are an adaptive species, it’s why we’ve made it this far at least, maybe it’s why we were able to ignore the possibility this might happen for so long. People just carry on. Our weapons don’t work against most of these creatures, they understand no mercy or reason or even language. They don’t eat us, not in a conventional sense at least, so it all seems to be based on chance, a whim of chaos whether we live through the day or not (I’ve always been pretty fortunate and that hasn’t changed since The Schism, lucky me). People just keep going. They wake up in the morning and check the corners for unseen creatures of myth. They stand back from their fridge as they get their milk in case a portal with teeth has manifested overnight behind the groceries. They get in the car and hope the street doesn’t melt or send them tumbling over the side of the Mariana Trench and make their way to work where they see how many of their colleagues’ luck ran out since they said ‘bye’ at 5pm the previous evening. Life as normal. What else can we do? Things were never going to change overnight, even when our world was gone in an instant. People need time to adapt.
Sooner or later the economy will collapse, it’s only a matter of time. For now though, some people are enjoying lives they could never have dreamed of before The Schism; beneficiaries of order shattering into splinters.
I’m not sure if we’re just ignoring the inevitable, that this is it for humanity, end of days. It certainly feels like that sometimes. Of course all the major religions claimed it as such but there’s no test of faith more staunch than watching the Vatican being swallowed by a 300 mile long serpent made of coagulating faces as it slithers into and out of existence. Most people gave up on religion not long after that. We just figured it was better to live out what was left of our lives however we wanted. Seems pointless fearing eternal hellfire when life on Earth is more horrifying than the men who wrote the good book could have ever conceived.
Anyway, you may be wondering why I’m writing this. Who is it for if Earth is so utterly destroyed as I say? I’ve come to believe in the impossible, that there is no limit to what can happen. There’s some kind of scientific law there I think but I’d be paraphrasing if I tried to quote it. I don’t know what’s going to happen, I don’t know if this message will reach a dimension parallel to our own where reality persists in its former state. Maybe it will find a conduit and be beamed out for other humans to read my account and understand that their reality hangs by the same shred which tore and left my world in ruins. Who knows? It’s probably just a dream. But if there’s one thing I can impart on any reader of this, just remember, it’s all just a dream.