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Persephone Syndrome

Persephone Syndrome


Estimated reading time — 6 minutes

The time was 12:55pm, Friday August 4th, 2028. It was a hot day in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as all days are in the middle of Summer. That didn’t stop the party though. Legions of people were celebrating this momentous occasion. The wealthy chase It, while the less fortunate wait in anticipation for their turn, a turn they would have maybe once in their lifetime. The alcohol flowed like water as people celebrated Its arrival.

“What does She look like?” one asked.

“She is more beautiful than beauty itself.” Someone said airily, as if in a trance.

“She is taller than the tallest building. But somehow, She can look right at you. She will look as if you were right there with Her. Her beauty overflowing and filling you with hot fire as She takes you away.” A woman said gleefully. “I almost saw Her full beauty. I almost Ascended. It’s okay though. I know today will be the day.” She was smiling ear to ear, yet her eye twitched as she repeated the phrase, “Today will be the day.”

“I heard someone actually got a picture of Her face. HER FULL FACE!” another exclaimed.

“That’s a bunch of bullshit.” His friend retorted, “You can’t take a picture of Her full face. It fucks up the camera. It was probably some partial shot of Her.”

“Well, I heard there are people who have taken pictures of Her, but Google won’t show the photos. You have to go on the dark web or some shit to see it.” He stated.

“Have you SEEN any of these photos?” his friend asked.

“Are you fucking joking? And risk becoming one of those, what the fuck are they called, the Persephone psychos. No thank you.” He stated as he pointed to the woman who was repeating the phrase, “Today will be the day.”

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“Persephone Syndrome.” His friend explained. “Mark, my coworker, you met him at the 4th of July barbecue, he found a forum somewhere a couple weeks ago where there were some pictures taken of Her. He…he hasn’t been the same since. He won’t come to work, he won’t answer any calls. His wife says all he does is try and find more pictures of Her. He’s obsessed.”

“Well, that’s not gonna happen to us. We are going to look at Her and She will look right at us, and we will Ascend.” He stated matter of fact.

That was an unlikely goal to achieve because It was not some ordinary person. It was something entirely different.

It showed up on March 23rd, 2027 at precisely 4:37 pm in Granada, Spain. From where It arrived, there is no answer. One moment It wasn’t there, the next, It was gliding west, hovering above the ground in a silent march. Since that day, It has been gliding west at a constant speed, circling the Earth 5 times so far. No one knows what It is or what It wants, but what they do know is this. They HAVE TO look directly at It.

No one knows why, but on the day It arrived, everyone on Earth had a strange sensation. Everyone knew they had to look at It, but not just look at It, look FULLY at It in person.

There is no substitution. No camera is capable of taking a picture of It, not truly. Attempting to take a picture of Its full face causes cameras to short circuit and destroy themselves.

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There has been some success taking pictures and video of part of Its face and body, but no one can fully describe what they see in those pictures. People who look at those pictures become obsessed with finding more pictures of It. They NEED to see Its face. They will forego eating, sleeping, or even using the bathroom so they can spend every last second to find some new picture of It. There is no official toll, but it’s estimated over 100 million people have died from Persephone Syndrome with another 1 billion affected by it in some way or another.

Roughly half of those that died from Persephone Syndrome did so in the first week of Its arrival. No one knew the effects It could have on everyone, so Its arrival was broadcast around the world. Thankfully, if one can be thankful for what happened, most broadcasters succumbed to Persephone Syndrome before the footage made it to air, so they were unable to show it to more people. Still, word of Its arrival made its way around the world through more traditional news outlets, mainly newspapers, that omitted the use of It’s image.

Suddenly, the sensation everyone was having started to make much more sense.

Attempts at describing what It is has been an ongoing debate. Many religious leaders say It is their God come down to bring them to their version of Heaven. After all, those that manage to directly look at Its full face are instantly snapped out of existence. Others think It is some alien from a far-off world, an alien so advanced that It doesn’t even recognize humans as anything more than ants. But, most people, are drawn to a different conclusion.

They believe that whatever It is, It wants them for some special purpose, and It’s going around the world to find those worthy of Its purpose, for those worthy enough to Ascend.
As for Its physical form, if one can claim It has a physical form, there seems to be some level of consensus. Whatever It is, It takes the form of a human female that stands very tall. No official height is given, only that It always stands taller than anything else around It. It’s taller than a house, taller than a skyscraper, and even taller than a mountain, though none of these claims can be confirmed. It has a level of beauty that is difficult to describe. The best comparisons are taking the feelings of joy and happiness and physically manifesting those emotions, yet even that fails to convey the true nature of Its beauty. It has a glowing aurora around It that shines pure white, and yet, is somehow not very bright. It might be more accurate to say it has a mist or fog around It.

It can phase through any material in It’s way while gliding, except for humans. This has made for some less fortunate instances where a person was so in awe of what they were seeing that they didn’t realize they stood between It and another solid object, usually a building. The result is something rather unfortunate for those who have to clean up the mess that is made, though usually, no one is around to clean up the mess, as everyone who didn’t figure out what happens when you get between an immovable object and an unstoppable force will have succumbed to Persephone Syndrome.

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For those that do get to see It, but not fully look at Its face, they will succumb to Persephone Syndrome at some level. Some become filled with a feeling of overwhelming joy and happiness while looking at It, only to lose that feeling when they look away, going back to whatever sense of normal they had before, but in a state of emptiness. Some others will feel joy and happiness while looking at It, only to lose all sense of meaning once they look away, unable to return to any semblance of normalcy. Others become desperate to find It again just to gaze at It and be enveloped by Its warmth, doing anything they can to find any pictures or video of It to keep them going. Others still will be driven mad after looking away, only returning to normal if they can see It again.

Regardless of what happens when anyone sees It, the result is the same. No one who has looked at It was the same. Everyone who has looked at It and wasn’t Ascended, which was most, had some feeling of loss and emptiness. This loss was starting to take its toll on the world.

At this point, everyone has heard of It, with most people referring to It as She/Her, but no one knows if such things apply to whatever It is. It has been viewed by roughly 1 billion people in Its journey around the world so far, leaving nothing but despair in Its wake. Anyone who has seen It cannot go back to their regular lives. Its beauty is so grand, that once anyone sees It, nothing else can compare. All meaning in anything other than It will have vanished. Hobbies that once filled one with joy and a sense of accomplishment become senseless distractions. Jobs and careers that offered a sense of purpose were now purposeless, after all, what reason is there to work if nothing there will offer what can be offered by It. Entire cities have been abandoned and/or converted to mass graves for the victims of Persephone Syndrome. Cargo ships have drifted out to sea, with no one able to pilot the ships. Entire industries have already collapsed due to shortages of workers, with more industries falling by the week. Society as we once knew it has started to fall apart.

This is now day 500 of It’s eternal march westward. Each time It completes a circle around the Earth, It goes a little farther south. At Its current speed, it’s estimated that It will have encircled the entirety of the Earth and met every last person in around 50 years. On that 50th year, the human species will have been effectively wiped out. Everyone is drawn to see It and everyone who doesn’t Ascend will be forced into a deep depression, one they will not recover from, nor would they want to. What does that day look like? That day where the last person sees It. Will It continue marching in circles around Earth for all time? Will humans of that time take matters into their own hands and end their lives on their own terms? Will It leave just as quickly as It arrived and leave behind a wake of destruction in Its path? These are questions we don’t, and can’t, know for certain. All that is known though, is that It wants you to try to Ascend.

Will you Ascend?

Credit: justicefool

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