I was in school when it happened.
Some called it the change, others the fusing. Others described it as a wave, an old man called it judgment day.
For me, it was school one second, then it was horror. The whiteboard suddenly had eyes. A mouth. Tendrils, curious as to what they might find, were stretching out from it. I saw a sack of squirming flesh hanging from its bottom. I think it was the teacher’s body, or what used to be it. Then I started hearing everyone else around me. And I looked around.
My classmates were no more. Some had become puddles of goo, others had fused with their desks. I felt something caress my neck. I got out of my desk, I was unchanged. The significance of that would become apparent to me later. I looked behind me, I saw a big mouth with tentacles, that desk could now move. It had been my closest friend. I forgot his name that day. Mental trauma they say. Lots of that to go around these days.
The rest of what happened is a disjointed series of images. I was running, stumbling, puking, yelling I think. I don’t want to remember, but I’m trying to write this down in case we ever make sense of this world again. So that others will remember our history.
Living in this world is very hard. Everything is out to get you. I met a scientist who told me that we’re what he called anomalies, or as everyone else said “outliers”. All over the world, a small percentage of the human race didn’t change. So some of us woke up in beds next to abominations (some of those people were eaten shortly after though, by the other half of the bed), others were playing with kids that suddenly were part of the swing set or the monkey bars. Others were at the office, suddenly surrounded by sentient cubicles. Imagine any job and I will tell you a horror story about it. I have a lot of them, I’m a collector of those.
None of us have any idea of what happened, there are so many theories. Particle accelerator, radiation exposure, dimensional tear, invasion from space, or simply divine judgment from either of the deities humanity worshipped before this. A super-intelligent environmental virus or a bacteria. It doesn’t matter though. The world won’t be any saner if we were to figure this out anyway.
Scientist guy had been talking with a doctor too, that had (after she’d regained her sanity) examined some of these new beings. She had told him that whatever had happened, had in most cases radically restructured everyone and everything into new, self-sustaining entities. So I suppose that if my classmates found food, some of them might still be alive even today. If you can call that living.
I don’t remember where my school used to be, I don’t remember where I used to live either. I just know it’s around here somewhere because sometimes I recognize things from my past. But I don’t visit schools anymore, they’re the worst, just like any other place where people used to gather. Malls are galleries of horrors now. Roads are clogged with monstrosities.
I once saw a bus come down the road. Or crawl I suppose. It still had its wheels, but it was supporting itself on tentacles as thick as a tree. It had apparently been full when everything changed. The inside was jam-packed with flesh, some windows were broken, sporting both tentacles, tendrils, and slightly human-looking limbs, mouths, ears, eyes. It was hunting, so I quickly dove out of sight. It found something to chew on that squealed as I heard its bones break. I heard satisfied grunts from the bus as it sated itself.
There are entire buildings that have become sentient now. They can’t move, but they do act like the old roach motels used to. “They check-in, but they never check out again!” I think that’s how the commercial went anyway. All the animals seem to be OK though, none of them seemed to be affected. That in itself was small mercy I suppose since they’re now what keeps us outliers alive. Before we could hunt though, we used to go to the supermarket to get canned food. I still have nightmares about those times. We lost so many people to the supermarts.
I remember the name of an old man, Jake. He used to be in the military, tough as nails. Knew all the tactics. He was good at shooting things. He died when a shopping cart thing ambushed him from behind. It was crying all the time, it had probably once been a small child. I ran out of there and heard it babble and eat him. He yelled for mercy, then all I could hear was a gurgling sound, probably when it tore up his throat. Then after a while, I heard it crying again, just like a kid would.
And that’s the worst part about these things, you see, whatever they did at the time everything changed is what they repeat now, like parrots.
I once walked past an open manhole and heard a voice coming from down there, it was asking me to hand it a no 2 wrench. It sounded perfectly sane as if there really were a construction guy down there who’d heard me and asked me, a passing stranger, to help him in his job. I didn’t though. Because I knew there was nobody down there. Just some monstrosity wanting to eat me.
Another time, I ventured into a stock exchange floor and heard lots of voices repeating long-forgotten statistics. I was forced to sneak into a hospital once when a friend fell ill with a fever. It was a labyrinth of horrors, but I got the medicines. Later on, I only went into pharmacies instead. I was stupid to take the risk, but I was curious.
The worst part is what I call the mimics who are people who had a less drastic change. They can surprise you and then you’re dead. Never trust what you see or hear. If anything seems off, you run and you don’t stop running until you find a safe place to hole up in for the night.
I once saw an old woman sitting on a bench, as I got closer, I caught her attention. She looked up at me and then she started shaking, I quickly ran backward and “her” whole chest exploded outwards in a writhing mass of mouths and tentacles. Once I got out of its range, it settled down, and then it collected itself again into the familiar shape of the old woman I’d seen minutes ago. I stared at “her” for a good five minutes before realizing there was just nothing there that was human anymore. That’s the world we live in now.
We’re a small group of people. I rarely remember names, because people come and go all the time. They die a lot too. Making friendships only means pain in the end. Love is the same. One girl once came across a couple making love in a park, or what used to be a couple. She’d been an art student before everything changed. She said it looked like Van Gogh had tried to reinterpret the classic missionary position and sprinkled it with vaginas penises and lots of breasts. It was moaning with two voices. Parts were thrusting into other parts, it was drooling out of others. It sensed her and got excited and it started shivering and squirting liquids into the air. She told me that her first impulse was to laugh because it was all so absurd. Then it started opening maws of razor-sharp teeth and she ran of course.
Like I said before, you don’t want to be in places where people used to congregate. Because those places usually mean that something will hunt you and possibly kill you. There are a lot of hungry things out there. I’m sorry for rambling, but there are so many things I need to write, to get out of myself. I think writing helps me cope with all of this. So many memories I wish to forget.
We sometimes sit in front of the fire and talk about our past. I mostly listen. Then we always end up with the theories. That’s when I usually doze off. I haven’t told the others about my theory though.
I think that this wasn’t random at all, or some kind of judgment. No, the more I hear and see, the more I become convinced that these entities weren’t haphazardly constructed, they seem as if they were designed.
So that leads me to the core of my theory… which is this:
I think God woke up one day, and he was terribly bored.
I was in school when it happened.