The Pantheon

Abyss 6: Postal Service

June 13, 2021 Joshua White
The Pantheon
Abyss 6: Postal Service
Show Notes Transcript

I'm back. Ugh.

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Here goes nothing. And it really all might be nothing. The letters I’ve received have had no return address, although frankly that’s the least weird bit about them. They’re… they’re not letters. Well, not really. They come in an envelope. I think they’re… I don;t know. They evaporate in my hands as soon as I touch them. I don;t think paper does that. Maybe a real high tech paper, or something. But then, even as the smoke rises into the air, I feel like I’ve heard them. Like, it just takes a second. One blistering touch my hand against mock parchment, and then… I remember what they said. Of course, this freaked me out. How could it not? It’s basically magic, right? Or some weird thing so advanced I might as well consider it magic. But why me, and why… the words that were written down, spoken, implanted in my head, they talk about things I don’t understand. Or, I guess I can understand them, like wrap my head around them, but… it all mimics a reality that I cannot see. Whether I can’t see it because it doesn’t exist, or because I…

See, I decided to catch the last letter. See who was delivering them to me. Because my mind wants it to be a human, you know? I mean, even if it was a human, the obscene, abstract nature of the letters should still cause me concern, but, even still, just to quiet the panic in my head… I waited. Took the whole day off of work, and waited, watching the mail slot. Nothing comes. I stare at the mail slot for, I kid you not, twelve hours, and nothing drops in but junk mail. I then, of course, have to go take a leak. Come back, there’s one more letter lying on the floor. Same exact brittle envelope, but this one smells vaguely of bronze, instead of brass. Yeah, no clue how I can determine the smell difference between those two, either. It’s not they’ve got particularly strong scents, like iron or something. But no, the letters smell different. As always, my curiosity gets the better of me, and I open it up. This letter dissolves just the same as the others, leaving behind it the smell of lavender. The others smelled like incense. And here we go. Now, instead of demon chatter, this alien’s now telling me it’s an angel.

Heh. It’s amazing that my first impulse is to think that this is all just an alien messing with me. Because why not? I mean, if I had the technology available to fabricate evaporating mind injection notes, I probably would. Not a lot, but once or twice just to mess with someone. Wouldn’t even have to be someone I like. But then I have to wonder to myself. Why do I assume these letters, bizarre though they are, are lying? Why do I assume they are void of purpose beyond tormenting me a little, turning my sorry little life into a game show? The modern world really is making me too cynical.

And then, see, I remembered something. And I had to go back to the bathroom. Not ‘cause I had Mexican food the night before, or anything trite like you’re thinking. But it… well… I can’t remember. No, I can remember that. I can remember what triggered my shock, what finally got me to treat this as the monumental thing it probably is. I can’t remember anything before the last two months. 

It’s crazy. Utterly insane. And it’s not as though I don’t have memories of a life before this place. I do. It’s just that they aren’t mine. They’re illusions. Fabrications. It took some concentrating on them, but everything before the eighteenth of march is covered in this glossy sheen. When I wasn’t looking directly at it, I could tell myself it was all real. My life. My job. My family. My friends and lovers. But it’s not. They’re as ephemeral as the letters. 

I haven’t talked with my family in months, have I? I called up mom this morning, and there was something bizarre in her voice. A mechanical feeling. And Tim at the office? I remember he had a look of sheer horror on his face the day I’d come in on the nineteenth. I thought he was a lunatic. But now, I think someone just didn’t fully cover their tracks.

Of course, I would be thinking none of this if it weren’t for the letters. I’d be calling myself insane, too. But the words linger about in my head with as much vigor as the fact that I had a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. They’re real memories. But memories for what purpose? I have my suspicions. But I cannot. I must… 

I need to go on a walk. Like, a really, really long walk. My heart feels weak, like there’s something missing in it. I simply don’t exercise enough, that is it. But then the memories… I know you think I am insane. But I see the sheen on my memories. I did not exist before. Not in the way people usually do. 

Aaaaaand that doesn’t make sense. Again. I’ve got some meditation to do. Hopefully no demons will jump out at me from the shadows. I say that in jest, but…