#40 The Smell of Burnt Hair and the Apocalypse

Airbrush painting of fire-eyed tiki shaman for #40 The Smell of Burnt Hair and the Apocalypse

“H….E….Y…………….A….RE………Y…O…U……I..N……..TH….E…RE….?”

It was a voice from someplace far away from where I am now. It’s so peaceful here. Time has stopped completely and yet it’s still too soon to leave. There is a quiet singing in the air that always comes from someplace just out of reach. It must be the angels, the mournful dead, or the siren’s song from out by the rocks at the edge of the world. The endless everything is right here with me. No need to go back there. Separation has been evicted from the ramshackle hovel it built in the halls of the damned. All the eyes are unblinking here. To go back now would be like falling asleep again.

“CHARGING…….STAND BACK!”

Where is that voice coming from? I just want to rest here for a while. I’m so tired and this feels like the place I’ve been trying to get to. There was somebody else here with me. I remember now. A Lady in White. She told me to do something. The space between spaces is coming undone she said. I remember now. She gave me a gift. A little blue-green fireball. It’s right over there. All I have to do is get to it. But the singing is so beautiful. Maybe I could stay just a little bit longer but it’s already too late. A loud thump followed by a surge of electricity and the blue-green fireball comes racing towards me.

“We’ve got him back, I thought we lost him there for a second,” said a female voice that sounded concerned from just outside the halo of visible light. “Can you hear me, let me know if you can hear my words.”

“Where….am…I?”

“You are back here on the ship with us. It’s me, Doctor Sophia. Do you remember?”

“Is this the dream I was having about the spaceship with the waffles?”

“Yes, but it’s not a dream, you are really here. Try to remember,” said the female voice as I felt a hand squeeze my shoulder reassuringly.

“If this isn’t a dream then where was I a few minutes ago? My head hurts….so….bad.”

“Just relax and I’ll give you something for the pain. You are very lucky. Nothing appears to be broken or damaged in the crash. You must have hit your head,” replied Dr. Sophia who was vaguely starting to swim back into my memory as an icy coldness started to spread through me. “There you go, that should help with the pain. You were unconscious for almost 48 hours when your vital signs started to fade which was odd given you have no visible injuries. Your allnet pad synced up when you came onboard and I was able to read about your meeting with the Lady in White. Fascinating and terrifying at the same time. I don’t know where you were, but you seem to have been somewhere, and there are other anomalous entries in your journal and meditation logs.”

“What do you mean by anomalous?”

“Well, they aren’t your experiences in the time you’ve been here with us. It’s like other people’s experiences are getting combined into your own. Entries from other places and times than this one. I’ve been attempting to isolate their signals but so far it seems like they are coming from your mind via some sort of resonance. LIke you are tuning into other people’s perceptions and experiencing their lives. Your journals are quickly becoming a case study in anomalous cognition. If it wasn’t for having to use the defibrillator on you again I’d say the treatment plan we devised for you was producing some amazing results. Your interconnectivity readings are unlike anything I’ve seen before. New pathways are building themselves constantly,” she said while shining that damn flashlight in my eyes again.

“Please stop doing that, it makes my head hurt, this whole thing makes my head hurt. My forehead feels like a pulled muscle and why do I smell burnt hair?”

Walt lost some hair when he fell against the exterior of the landing saucer after the crash. He stopped by to check on you and the smell has lingered in here. You may just need some more rest but we’ll have to watch you closely and make sure you don’t drift off too far as you did earlier. I was worried for a moment that we had lost you. The recent entries have a decidedly apocalyptic bent to them and you are our only source of information which is troubling, to say the least,” she said while shifting around nervously.

“I feel like I’m playing some kind of cosmic whack-a-mole game and the moles keep saying ‘It’s the Apocalypse, stupid‘ whenever they pop back up out of their holes. You’ve probably never been to an arcade or even know what I’m talking about. Anyway, the Lady in White looks seemed so familiar. Like I’d seen her somewhere before, but I can’t imagine where that would be, she had human features but she was something else entirely. The feeling of power around her was well beyond anything I have ever experienced. If by some chance that it really is the Apocalypse then what am I supposed to do about it? Nobody is more lost and confused than me. There’s not even a map to the fucked up place I’m in right now.”

“You underestimate yourself. If your perceptions are accurate then you must have been chosen for a specific reason and we just need to find that reason,” she replied while sitting down on her stool to take my pulse. Her pale fingers are cold against my skin. “Apocalypse can also be interpreted as a revelation or a disclosure. It doesn’t have to be the absolute destruction of everything as certain religious groups would have you believe.”

“I’m going to assume that whatever is happening could prove to be problematic given the amount of urgent mental communications I’ve received in my brief time here. If it was going to be all happiness and dancing we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. She said that she had brought me there but did not bring me here. A curious distinction given recent events and it may point to another person or group involved that we haven’t discovered yet. And didn’t the Milkshake Lady also mention a place between places?”

“She did,” replied Cole who had just walked into the room. “Sorry I’m late, cleaning nachos out of a crashed flying saucer is a slow process. I’ve been listening in on the comms and I’ve got more bad news. Whatever that energy was that hit the ship and caused us to crash was far more powerful than we thought. Jerry currently has no fix on when or where we are. We are currently in a place between places.”

“I’m pretty sure we were in that already. So then where are we now? Even if we had some idea who was doing what we still have the problem of not knowing where any of us are to begin with. Are you saying we’ve got time problems on top of that now?” I asked Cole as the gravity of the situation started to hit me.

“All the clocks have stopped and you were right,” he replied with a hint of tension.

“What do you mean?”

“It’s the Apocalypse, stupid.”

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