22 Jul Projections
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Estimated reading time — 13 minutes
I’m driving maybe a bit too fast and smoking probably a few too many cigarettes.
I love this… this part of the tale. The story can go anywhere from here. You know nothing until I go on—whoever “I” may be to you. Sometimes I wish the story would go anywhere else but here—and that I could be anyone else but me.
But I’m not. I’m Dylan Adams, and I’m driving a big-ass Buick Century down interstate 89, away from my home in Concord, New Hampshire. I don’t know why I left or where I’m going.
But there’s a 9mm handgun in the seat beside me.
To answer the first and most obvious question: Yes, the gun is loaded. But to answer the second, less likely question: Yes, the gun is loaded with silver bullets. No, I’m not hunting vampires or werewolves. I may not be even hunting at all. Still, with what I do, you need to have something you believe to be unique—with the remote possibility of the metaphysical—to contend in this arena.
Keep in mind as you read this—stop every now and then, and remember that the story can still go anywhere from here. It’s important.
I try to keep my eyes lowered, focusing on each white line between lanes rushing at me and swooping under the hood of my car. I know that doesn’t sound necessarily safe; it’s actually not. However, in my case, it allows me to just focus on where I’m going rather than catching a glimpse of a pulverized car or truck, or of an eviscerated corpse splayed across the road.
No, the world hasn’t ended. The cars, the bodies; they’re not actually there… but they were. There’s something wrong with me, with my brain. There’s a lot wrong actually. ADD, schizophrenia, OCD, and at this point, definitely PTSD. And that’s only to name a few pieces of baggage. I couldn’t tell you how many doctors I’ve seen, how many different medications I’ve been on…
When I was a child, I was considered a rarity. They told me I had a photographic memory and an overactive imagination. That was putting it lightly. I would see things from memories, projected right in front of me as if I could touch them again. For example, I had this toy F-16 fighter jet. It was my favorite toy. Somehow, between moving from one home to another, it got lost. However, when I thought of it, remembered it, and wanted to play with it again; I would see it sitting wherever I looked next. The catch to that power was that the jet was never there. I would go to grab it, and my hand would pass through it like a hologram. Typically, once the illusion was revealed, it would disappear.
It wasn’t always fond memories that would re-emerge into my reality, but the deep dark fears that imprinted themselves into my subconscious. Things I saw on television, or instances from nightmares I had, would suddenly and without warning become very visible—very real—at the precise instant my brain pulled them into consciousness. The images, or projections, would appear before my mind had the time to realize they weren’t necessarily real.
Time passed, and my condition seemed to recede. The doctors told my mother this would happen. We were both so relieved. Finally, the night terrors and random panic attacks could finally end. But that’s not where my story went. No, whatever functional error in my brain was causing the eidetic projections to appear never went away; it only changed. Suddenly, it wasn’t just my memories I was conjuring. Eventually, it wasn’t memories at all.
For example, right now I’m passing mile marker twenty-eight, and as I glance up to look at the sign, I can see in my peripheral vision that someone is in the seat next to me. I know better than to look to see who—or what—is there. You see, as I have matured from a child into an adult, so has my condition matured from a brain dysfunction into something much more… complicated. Acknowledging the being next to me would trigger it to be something more than a projection, something tangible and lethal.
Without any reason I could offer you, I flip on my directional and begin to pull off Exit 12a leading into a town called George’s mills. From there, I take a left towards Sunapee. I then fish another cigarette out of my rapidly diminishing pack and slide it between my lips. Wherever I’m going, I’m almost there.
The road is mostly pitch black. Above me, dark clouds occlude any light the moon could offer, leaving me alone in a murk of shadows. Understand that for me, there’s no such thing as pitch black. Images of all kinds, beauties and horrors, come pouring out. Each new image overlaps the last one, and I have to shut my eyes and will them to be gone. It works less often all the time.
I pass by Otter Pond. Don’t ask me how I know where I am or what anything is called. While I go by, I look over and see a figure standing on the other side of the guard rail. As I approach, the headlights reveal it to be a woman in a nightgown, with long scraggly hair and blackened hands. Her eyes are gone, leaving large vacant sockets to stare back with. I don’t slow down, but accelerate instead. Just as I’m about to pass by her, I see her whirl in my direction. I hear her scream with rage. I pass by, and I don’t look back… but I know she’s running after me with everything she has. She won’t catch me. She’s probably already gone. If I remind myself that I’ve seen her before, that she’s just a projection of a memory, she’ll vanish into thin air.
If I were to doubt myself, however, and look in the rear-view mirror to check; she would be in the back seat behind me. She would be very real. She would probably kill me before I could grab the pistol in the seat next to me. That’s why I don’t keep any mirrors around. The projections tend to be stronger because of the innate anxiety people have towards reflections. When it comes to the game I play, my convictions have to be solid. I can’t doubt what I know is real or not, and I can’t let fear fuel that doubt.
That’s not always easy for me.
Now you might be starting to understand the silver bullets. If I believe in, or imagine, them working, then they will. Those conditions only work here and there, but I’ve been able to test that one so far.
The actual town of Sunapee is dimly lit against the night’s darkness. I drive through, surrounded by a small handful of houses and tiny businesses. As I drive through the town, I can see silhouettes in nearly every lit window, figures standing—watching me pass. Who knows which of them are actually there? I can’t guarantee that every one of them is just a projection.
You see, the most recent and dangerous side effect of my condition is that I can see… the impossible. My own mental projections are already maddening, however my damaged mind has given me the ability to see things that shouldn’t exist. There are monsters, true monsters, in this world; and they hide behind the lens of reality like invisible radio signals simply waiting for reception to make themselves known. Consider the opposite of color blindness; where instead of not being able to see existing shades of color, I can see shades of color that no one else has ever seen.
I can’t say if what I see is the supernatural or extra-dimensional or however one could explain them. All I know is that some of the things I see are more real than others. In fact, some of them are things I’ve never encountered or imagined in my life—they didn’t come from my head.
These are the enemy. They know that I see them, and they hunt me for it. Or maybe they need me to see them to become real in this world, and that’s why they seek me out. I can feel them coming. It feels something like the electricity in the air when a storm is approaching.
I know how crazy this all sounds, but if you keep reading, you might just understand.
Sunapee is disappearing behind me, and I find myself not in as much of a hurry as I was on the highway. I won’t speed anymore for the risk of being pulled over.
Another thing I’ve learned is that the enemy take advantage of positions of authority. A few months back, I had a flat tire, and a cop pulled up behind me. I figured it was to see if I needed help. Instead, he issued that I had a warrant for my arrest, and despite my protests, promptly detained me. I was in the backseat of his cruiser, hands bound with zip-cuffs, when a passing streetlight illuminated the inside of the car. The cop was staring at me… with completely blackened eyes in a head turned back 180 degrees. The look on his face was more analytical than anything leering. Still, I freaked, trying desperately to pull my hands free of the restraints. That’s when he swerved, there was a flash of headlights, and then I blacked out.
The car had rolled several times. The cop was killed in the initial head-on collision. I was alive, saved by the seatbelt the officer had insisted I wear—he even put it on for me. The doors to the cruiser had opened as it rolled, and they were pulled off like the wings of a fly. Luckily, I was able to make my escape.
That, so far, had been the closest they had come to killing me. But now, looking back: Why didn’t he just do it once my hands were bound? And why did he buckle me up if he was trying to kill me with a car crash?
After a few miles of darkness, I emerge into an armpit of a town called Newport. Here, it is hard to tell the difference between my personal living nightmares and the actual scenery of the town. Trash everywhere. One lawn has an old, stained toilet marking the end of its driveway. I had to laugh at the absurdity of it. No wonder this corner of hell has been calling me.
I drive through town along Sunapee Street, turning onto North Elm at a set of traffic lights. I look around when the light was red. On the corner, there is this clown. His jaw is hanging open, much wider than any man can possibly stretch. He doesn’t have fangs, but there is this long, black tongue protruding from the cavern of his mouth, twirling and lashing throughout the air. He’s holding balloons of all colors. My blue eyes meet his glowing red orbs, and he begins sprinting towards me. I close my eyes, and focus on the instance I had where I dreamt of the clown before. I open my eyes, and he’s gone. I take my corner slowly.
I go by a McDonald’s on my left. It’s on fire. People, families with children, are inside writhing and clawing at the windows, desperately trying to escape the flames that already have them enveloped. I turn on the radio to take my mind away from all that. Flipping through stations, I hear some country music—change it; talk radio—change it; then the next station is all static. I leave it, and let my thoughts be lost in the ungraspable white noise as I turn left onto Unity road.
There’s a vibration in my joints, and I feel like if I were to lightly clench my teeth together, they would hum with the sensation I am feeling now. I’m extremely close.
About a mile and a half down the long, empty road, I see a clearing to the left. Logging operation. There’s an entryway leading in, bordered with cement barriers. Between the barriers is a rope with a Do Not Enter sign strung on it. I pull my Buick in and let it hit the rope, which snaps effortlessly. I pull in and to the right, where I stop. I’m here.
I light a cigarette, grab my pistol, and step out of the car. The engine is still running, and the lights are still shining bright across the sandy clearing bordered by tall pines. I stand a few feet in front of the car, far enough so that my shadow doesn’t take up too much of the light shining in front of me. The pistol is in my hand. The safety is off, hammer pulled back. Whatever I had come to meet was almost here.
That’s right, whatever I was about to face has been coming my way just as much as I have been going to it, and probably from just as far away. That’s the gift to my sight. I know when they’re coming, and I can meet them far away from home.
In my head, I was expecting anything to materialize before my sight, because that’s how it works with them. They may be here, there; everywhere around us, but I finish the job of bringing them into existence with my tainted sight, and then I stamp them out with my fist and a loaded gun.
At this point, I urge you to pause. Remember me saying how the story can go anywhere from here? By now, I’ve limited the number of avenues it could take, but in this moment—as I am waiting for whatever dark horror will appear in front of me—anything could still happen. The same goes with what comes after it arrives. I have to be ready for anything.
“Hi, Dylan.” A voice chirped behind me.
I whirl around, stunned that someone had gotten the drop on me.
Behind me, like literally right behind me, is a small girl, probably eight years old. She is blonde, with a pink sweatshirt and tiny jeans on.
“What the fuck!?” I shouted. “I didn’t see… I didn’t make you!”
The girl giggled, an insidious little sound, and said, “Do you really think you’ve made any of us? What if we made you?” As she asks her question, she smiles to reveal a mouth full of jagged, metallic teeth. Her arms stretch out to her sides, and I hear her bones cracking.
I don’t think. Instead, I begin to raise the pistol to point towards her smiling, innocent little face. Then I blink, just once.
It takes an average of 300 milliseconds for a human eye to blink. My eyes were closed for that tiny, miniscule amount of time, and when they opened, I saw a monster—pale, hairless, and naked with reptilian eyes and sharp fangs—flying through the air towards me.
The pistol never lines up, and I don’t fire. The little she-beast hits me like a freight train and I fly backward through the air, landing hard on my back and shoulders. The gun falls out of my hand, landing somewhere nearby. The air is forced out of my chest, but I have no time to feel it. As fast as she had changed, she is on top of me, screeching like a pair of fighting wild cats. One clawed hand has me pinned down, the other she raises high above her head, lashing down in a wide swipe. My neck and face suddenly feel like they’re on fire. She raises her hand again, but this time I grab her wrist on its way down. Before she can move her other hand, I grab that wrist too. She lunges down with her face, screaming in what is now a deep roar. Vile spit flies off of her twisted teeth. She is leaning down to bite my throat like an animal.
I respond by surging my own head forward in a brutal headbutt. It works. The impact knocks her back, and I feel strength diminish in her thin, waxy arms for just an instant. I seize the opportunity to push forward, raising her back up straight. I then pull hard on her left arm. As she loses balance, I release her right wrist and proceed to deliver the hardest punches I could muster against her bald head. One, two, three… four brutal strikes and she’s off of me.
I know better than to try to find the gun yet. Instead, I take my turn to pounce on the creature. The second I’m on her, she begins to roar. When I say roar, I mean it was an ear-piercing, deafening howl, something impossible. I feel as though my head might explode at any second. The maddening scream coupled with the pain of headbutting her almost makes me black out, but I fight through it. One blow after another, I beat upon her face. Dark, putrid blood coats my hands as bone and sinew clash. Wet, meaty squishing noises begin to overcome the volume of her defensive howl. I raise my fist up high, and with everything I have, bring it straight down into her face. Her hands, which had been tearing my skin to shreds trying to fight me off, fall limp to her sides. I don’t let up. I take both of my thumbs and I press them into her black and amber eyes. They pop like grapes, and more dark blood rushes out as if her sockets were geysers. This time, her screaming is high pitched and full of pain, full of terror. The sound lionizes the fucked up gorilla that I am, and I find myself smiling despite my firmly clenched teeth.
“YOU FUCKED WITH ME!!” I roared, “AND THIS IS WHAT YOU GET!”
I pull my hands back and jump off of her. The way she thrashes in her agony and newfound blindness is reminiscent of an insect’s death throws. The pistol takes me only seconds to find. I reach down and scoop it up. When I turn around, she’s airborne again. We collide, and I am slammed back onto the hood of my car. My head crashes so hard, it dents the steel hood and I nearly bite my tongue in half. Even blind, she takes a swipe at my chest, and this time it’s deep. I scream out in shock from the searing pain. Also, this time, she has me pinned down. Her skin begins to surge, and hundreds of thin black tendrils start to poke through the flesh of her face. Each one, like the clown’s black tongue, curls and stretches towards me.
However… this time, I didn’t drop the gun.
As she goes to lunge her claws into my throat, I fire. The hole that the silver bullet leaves is impossibly large for a 9mm. The edges of the wound are cauterized. She stumbles back, holding her stomach in a sweet disbelief. The next shot is aimed at her knee, and it blows her leg off. She falls, wailing. Still, she claws at the sand, trying desperately to reach me. I shoot her arm off at the shoulder. Now she rolls onto her back, weak but not defeated.
She tries to claw at my legs, but misses. I stand on her wrist.
“What are you?” I demand, practically choking the words out.
Between labored breaths, she says, “I-I—am unstoppable. I—will—kill… all of you.”
I say nothing more, and put the five remaining bullets through her head and torso.
I nearly fall over, stumbling back towards the car, where I lean upon the fender. I’m bleeding badly, but I won’t be able to go to a hospital anywhere near here.
Panting, I look up to find that I’m surrounded.
Freaks, monsters, zombies, burned corpses of children, the clown, savage wolves with glowing eyes—claws, tentacles, fangs, and blood; horrors of every kind all around me. They are silent and staring.
I’m done, I think to myself. But I won’t let them enjoy seeing my fear. Grimacing, I push myself back up until I’m standing tall. I reach into my pocket and pull out a loaded magazine. Looking at every terror around me, I load the gun and take a few defiant steps towards my kill. Their eyes never leave me, but they don’t approach. A silent moment passes. Then, simultaneously, the all back away slowly, receding back into the ebony abyss of the forest.
Were they all projections, or something more?
I’m alone again. I waste no time getting back into the car. I’m hurt badly, and I’ll have a ways to go before I can see a doctor. The cuts in my neck hurt, but they weren’t bleeding like my chest was. I needed stiches, and maybe a transfusion. Most importantly, I still need to keep my wits about me.
I’m driving maybe a bit too fast and smoking probably a few too many cigarettes.
I lead my big-ass Buick Century away from Newport, New Hampshire towards interstate 89. Aside from fighting to not lose consciousness, my brain is tangled on the fact that the monster had seen me before I saw it. That’s never happened before. Then I thought of what the monster had said. She said she would kill all of you.
I never disposed of any bodies of the creatures I’ve slain. I leave them where they are in hope that someone will find and report them, but if they do—nobody hears about it. The enemy doesn’t come from my imagination, but somewhere else. Somehow they become tangible through my vision. But now I wonder if it’s that exclusive. Could someone else have conjured that little girl?
I won’t pretend to understand any of this, or hope that you will. I need to find a hospital. Afterwards, a computer. I will post this blog everywhere, explode the internet with it if I have to. Someone out there will see it, not just the words and the story, but the monstrous truth behind it.
I am Dylan Adams, and I am not a witch-hunter, I am a soldier. The game is changing, they are changing, and I have to modify my tactics as well. This story isn’t over; it can still go anywhere from here.
I never asked for this sight—this curse of fucked up synapses— but I have it, and it’s a responsibility. If you have it too, then find me. Clear your mind, imagine me, and you’ll know where to go.
By Spencer Jackson
Credit To – Spencer Jackson (sjack072)
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