a guest Feb 3rd, 2017 414 Never
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  1. John shut down his computer and stared at the now black screen in front of him for what seemed ages.
  2. He found himself unable to shift his gaze; the looming emptiness felt so very familiar. A soft buzzing, almost a hum, tingled in his head.
  3. Enough.
  4. He got up.
  5. He tried to recall what he had planned to do now, but nothing came to mind. Was it something he had seen on the computer that had prompted him?
  7. No, he could not recall that either. The black screen in front of him seemed frozen and distant. Its glow was gone. Was it ever even there in the first place?
  8. The computer screen continued to stay powered off, black as...
  10. Was that what John thought about doing, making himself a cup of coffee? Maybe that was the thing on his computer screen before: some conversation related to coffee.
  12. John looked at his clock to see if it were even a good time to fix coffee.
  14. His digital clock on the shelf next to him was just as black as his screen. "Weird, is it broken?" he thought and decided he could do with a cup of coffee nevertheless. He was feeling drowsy and standing up was rather hard.
  15. He walked out of his room into the hallway, passed the landscape painting he so much liked and into the kitchen. Staring out of the window he turned the coffee machine on and waited. Nothing happened. The LED remained dark, even after checking the power cord twice.
  16. He looked out on to the street. No lights, evidentially the power was out.
  18. Observing the dark clouds overhead brought his thoughts to a storm. If the power cut out, how had he shut down his computer? He took a sip pondering the thought. He must have merely imagined himself shutting down the computer after the screen died. Clearly the sudden power failure had thrown his own sense of continuity out of order. Just what was it he had been looking at on that screen that had so engrossed him.
  19. He tried as hard as he could, but nothing came to him. All he could think about was that dark screen, pulling his thoughts like a magnet.
  20. He started feeling light headed and walked back through the hallway into the living room and through the big glass door onto the balcony.
  21. The cold air helped a lot and he sighed.
  22. "What a strange day.." he murmured and let his gaze wander over the street below.
  23. Suddenly he felt electrified, his whole body tensed and a chill run from his head down to his tows. It took him a whole second to realize what caused this sudden reaction of his body. He was staring right into the eyes of a figure standing down the street.
  24. Its eyes seemed to radiate pure coldness.
  25. When he was able to break the gaze he managed to get a good look of it.
  26. It had the stature of a human, but something was off. It was clothed in a dark robe and did not move an inch at all.
  27.  He suddenly got back to himself, and toughts started irradiating from his startled brain, "should I enter?", "what if he hasn't seen me yet?", "is he really looking at me?". Suddenly the realization came, as hard as concrete, "did I lock the front door?"
  28.  He turned his head as he heard loud thumps, seemingly coming from inside of his flat. When he turned his head back to where the creature was, he saw it trying to do something what vaguely reminded him of smiling or rather of a dog fletching its teeth. He dashed back into his living room, took a right and threw himself at the door, while the thumps got louder by the second.
  29.  "Could this be real?"
  31. The thumping stopped. He felt a cold shiver run through his limbs. He leaned his back close to the door and sat down, attempting to process what he had just witnessed.
  33. Something caught his eye; a strange flicker of light.
  35. "Is this how it feels to slowly turn insane?" he thought while trying to understand what emitted the flickering light on the ceiling.
  36. As his eyes adjusted he recognized the face from before, staring down at him with the same horrifying smile, surrounded by a now pulsing light.
  38. He sat there, frozen, as the figure slowly descended from above him. The light it emitted felt like nothing he had seen before, it was unlike the Sun or the stars, it was unlike any electrical source of light, and nor did it feel like the light released from fire.
  40. The figure kept moving towards him as the strange light grew brighter and brighter. It was almost surreal; graceful.
  42. It was almost angelic.
  44. The fear that froze him to the floor began to thaw, he feared no more.
  45. He felt no want to flee nor fight - for all that was, was soothing light.
  47. John slowly woke up out of the eerie daydream which just had so intensely consumed him.
  48. As his mind recollected itself it became aware of the immediate surroundings. He found himself still sitting, facing his monitor, which was now lit.
  49. He didn't know how long he'd been staring at the monitor, nor how long it had been back on. It shone brighter than usual, which his eyes found a bit discomforting.
  51. "The update must've change the brightess settings again.." he muttered slightly peeved.
  52. The computer had finally restarted after installing a forced security update that he'd avoided for as long as he could.
  53. He looked away from the display. His eyes were mildly irritated from staring at the bright monitor for.. "how long have I been sitting here?" he wondered.
  54. He shrugged off that thought and turned his head back to face the monitor.
  56. The monitor displayed, as usual, the familiar landscape of his chaotic desktop - files and folders, programs and pictures, all jumbled like an unsorted 1000 piece puzzle.
  58. He tried to focus on what he was going to do next.
  60. A word he had the habit to utter when he found himself lost in a blank state of mind.
  61. He said it as to re-start his rusty and chained train of thought, hoping that the word itself would start some sort of neural chain-reaction, then turn into a steam of consciousness that’d set things in motion and pull him back onto the right track, but… eh.
  63. Soon after he said the word bump, a thing actually came out from his think-engine.
  64. It was the simple and concise phrase “I’m uncreative” that soon thereafter filled his recently empty mental space to its brim.
  65. He chewed on it for a while then swallowed it with ease. It was not rich in flavor or sustenance, yet it made him feel content. It gave him precisely what he needed; a semblance of assuredness, a foothold in his place in this world, a logical reason for why he was where he was, and what he was, was… eh.
  67. But then suddenly another thought emerged. The words were faint but he could clearly perceive them:
  68. “I want to know what happens” ..
  69. This came so out of nowhere that he slightly jittered where he sat. The thought seemed to have come from some place in his mind that he wasn’t aware of and felt a bit confounded. He cursorily pondered on what the heck this sentence could mean but quickly discarded it as a mind-fart.
  70. Shaking his head as to shake the thought of him, he turned his attention back to the computer.
  72. The display had gone to sleep. He ran the mouse in a few circles as to wake it up.
  73. The familiar chaotic desktop appeared once again.
  74. He searched around a bit, trying to find that darn… There, found it.
  75. He opened the Word-program.
  77. The document was titled "last night.docx" and was about two pages long. He read the first paragraph:
  78. John shut down his computer and stared at the now black screen in front of him for what seemed ages.
  80. He fealt very weird before, a feeling strangely familiar. Who wrote this? Was it me? Why would i write about myself in the third person? He continued reading while in the distance a big storm was brewing up. From sentance to sentance he sped up, his unconfort grewing bigger ans bigger. He couldnt take it anymore and closed the window, when he saw, that the folder contained "last night (2).docx" up to "last night(6).docx". All had the same filesize and were written day after day at exactly 11:00 pm. Was he stuck in some kind of loop?
  82.  The phone line begins to trill in the other room, but it doesn't break John's trance. He stares into the blackness of the empty screen and his vision hazily fades to black.
  84. "Am I dreaming?" Thought john.
  86.  His mind was put in a spin, as if a plug had been pulled from the bottom of the world.
  87. He felt himself slip into vertigo and his consciousness swirled around like a string of hair in a whirlpool. He had no idea what anything was anymore. Everything, along with him, was just a big spinning mess without a point of reference.
  89. Then he heard something.
  90. It came from somewhere beyond his mind. A ringing sound.
  91. Though everything was still spinning faster and faster was there now something he could focus on.
  92. He grabbed onto it with his ears as if it were a lifebuoy made out of sonic waves and let it pull him towards the shore of steady reality.
  93. Listening to it the more familiar it all became. It was now unmistakable. He knew what it was. It was the sound of his ringtone, the one he had after careful consideration chosen, ringing from the adjacent room.
  96. John checked his phone. The phone number on the screen was unfamiliar to him. After being this lost in daydream and thought, he was not in much of a mood to have to maintain a phone conversation with someone who might well be a complete stranger. John shrugged and justified to himself that if it were important, the other caller would leave a voice mail message.
  98. The sensible ringtone that still sounded like an actual ringing sound rang for a couple more cycles and then ceased, leaving a "missed call" message on the phone. John took the phone with him back to the room where his computer was, in case a voice mail did show up, but in the meantime he had a few more minutes to look through the files on his computer.
  100. John looked through the "Recent documents" submenu on his word processing program to see if it would give him any more clues.
  103. As John browsed through "letter_to_mom.docx" and "re-evaluation_plan_for_world_dominance.docx", while growing inpatient of the lack of clues, he heard that all so familiar sound of his phone.
  104. As he gloated in the delight of hearing the SMS-Tone, his curiosity began to itch like a new wound of a mosquito bite.
  106. As an impatient man as he was, he took up his phone and read the text that had been forwarded to him.
  108. It was just like scratching that mosquito-bite, to Johns satisfaction it was composed with a polite and straightforward manner, even in the SMS the person had written kind regards before his name.
  110. John felt rejuvenated and filled with courage as he was about to call he's old friend John from Yale.
  112. While the phone was making those all familiar sounds of ringing, John again fell in to his waking slumber, reminiscing those warm summer nights at Yale
  115. He could almost feel the soft, wet grass brush against his bare feet, as his mind was now strolling in the park across the Old Campus.
  116. John jogged his memory to try and find his caller’s face, and as blurry images of his former fellow students passed him by, he soon enough found the young visage of his old acquaintance John.
  117. He could see him in his mind clear as daylight; even hear his voice, greeting him “Hi John” in his polite and straightforward manner.
  118. He was mildly surprised how audibly he had perceived the memory of John’s voice, then jolted awoke from his reminiscence as he realized that the voice was coming from the other side of the phone line.
  120. ”J-john, are you there?” the voice on the phoneline’s other end asked in a confounded manner.
  121. It took a moment for John to gather himself enough to engage in conversation and before he had time to answer the voice spoke again;
  122. “Have I reached your answering machine?”
  123. John, the protagonist of our collective story, collected himself and answered cordially:
  124. “Well, hello there John! Long time no hear, as they say” and let out a forced laugh.
  125. There was a silence afterwards, as if neither of the phonebearers knew whose turn it was to speak, but after a moments notice, the other John spoke in reply, his tone a bit changed to the more hesitant.
  126. “Yes, well…” clearing his throat, “Time goes us all by, John, whether we like it or not…”.
  127. There was another slight pause and John knew not if it was his or his old friend's turn to speak, but he chose to act and said;
  128. “Yes… that I can agree with..”, then inhaled a bit of stale air that had lingered in his room for God knows how long. Without any knowledge of what he was going to say next, he let improvisation take his tongue:
  129. “How are you, John? Has time treated you well?”
  130. “Fine thanks, and you?” came as a direct answer, as if to divert any further inquiries upon John’s life.
  131. “Cant complain nor cheer” said John, wanting to clear his mind of what he had experienced during the last posts of his life;
  132. “To be honest, you find me in slight disarray, my friend”.
  133. “Oh?”, he heard John say on the other line, “why is that, if I may ask?”
  134. “Well, just before you rang I had this most peculiar daydream… I did not know where dream ended and life began..” said John, regressing aback to the memories of his frightful imagined encounter with the Being of Light that had enamored him so..
  135. Trying to find the nature of his feelings, John found nothing but confusion and said in conclusion that
  136. “I don’t know what is real anymore, John…”
  138. Silence met him on the other end..
  140. John felt a knot on his throat.
  141. Neither did he.
  142. "Meet me at the cafe near the train station. You know, the one where we used to buy those donuts you liked so much? Something weird happened to me at my home, and I need to see you..."
  144. "uhm, sure. Ill be there in a bit"
  145. John hung up and grabbed his key and his lucky charm, a die with a hole through it. It had a nice leather string through it so it could be used as a necklace. On the way out of the door he put on his jacket and locked the door behind him. When he turned around he stared right into the face ofhis neighbor. "holy shit, what is wrong with you?" john said in a trembly voice. His neighbor did not move, the complete lack of motion reminded john of a waxfigure. John took a step to the right and dashed down the stairs. "i must be fucking crazy", he thought, "this is not real. I need to talk to my friend about this". He touched the die through his pullover and sped up his pace.
  147. John's neighborhood was usually quiet and not many people lived on it.
  148. But the silence was overwhelming. It didn't felt like a peaceful silence, but rather a silence that anticipated something bad, a silence full of suspense and harsh truths. Not a soul was found on the streets. Bird's chirping and dog's barking were absent.
  149. And then he saw it. The dark figure, again.
  150. Tears started to leak on his eyes. His knees felt weak, and his hands started to shake.
  151. Run?
  152. Fight?
  153. No.
  154. He only heard a loud beeping sound, and felt as a bucket of frozen water was thrown at him.
  155. He knocked out cold.
  157. *beepbeep beepbeep beepbeep beepbeep beepbeep*
  158. John gasped in shock as the water went ice cold, his third alarm seeming to go off at the same time. Dancing through his locking muscles he adjusted the knobs, an angered crab avoiding frigid blows, waiting for the response... The relief...
  159. None came but a lukewarm, unsatisfying wave of discontent that drove him awake. He washed hurriedly, grasping his watch for the silence. Why had he been so tired lately? "Haven't I always been this tired?"
  161. The coffee he had prepared was necessary moreso now then the usual routine. He left the bathroom shivering, a haste in him from the moment the icicles hit.
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