Mortality Shards
rating: +19+x

A moment—not expected—takes hold of someone at a point of vulnerability. They were lost in philosophical thought, perhaps, but now the thinker must confront the thought of inevitability.

Fast and unexpected — as if shards of glass from a recently broken window have flown into the eyes of the observer, the pain so sudden and distressing, it forces all other now-irrelevant thought from their mind.

Everything, now darkened and tinted red; a lens of pain, and yet one with unbearable clarity.

One may try to rub their eyes only to find that, for the first time in what may seem like an eternity, they can see. No religious extremity, barrier, or coping method is able to ground them as their walls of denial crumble around them.

They have lived life constantly avoiding the thought of impermanence, but for a moment, they are no longer able to turn a blind eye; it is too painfully clear in their present vision to ignore.

Present. The thought of the present — how much of a present it is — and time in its entirety. To be alive, and the despairing fragility of it all. The fleeting nature of existence in perspective to the present. One's presence, in the present — the desire to remain infinite, yet infinite with what purpose?

They wish to hold on, to be for as long as possible, but they know deep down that infinity only leads to despair; everything must have an end.

Perhaps they are young; they hold on to this, feeling they have time to spare. What meaning would it have to worry about this now, when the end is too far to be seen? But now they can see.

They may have used youth to obscure their fate before, but it suddenly seems all too clear. A straight line of sight now leads directly to their demise; they cannot tear their eyes away.

They are suddenly falling; a pit below them swallows them whole as they rapidly approach the end, each second actively adding to that moment.

Time. One thinks of each time they felt they had a surplus of it — yet that feeling, in time, subsides — as does the time they once had. Is it not the same?

So what must they do? Remove the glass, turn away, pick themself up, and continue on? With the full knowledge that in doing so, they will not be avoiding what irks them and sends a spear of ice through their core, but instead, draws them nearer?

The idea of returning to their once ignorant and blissful state will disgust them at first, but, just as many times before, the reality will suffocate them into submission; it’s too intense for them to bear.

The thought, the fear, that horror and dread will overwhelm them for just a moment; but just as they will, that moment ends, and they will trek onwards. Just as everyone does, they will give in, and march ever so closer to what they fear the most.

They will deceive themself rather effectively.

They will go on without a thought of inevitability or impermanence. They will be happy.

They will be sad, or angry, or jealous, or hopeful, or any other conglomeration of emotion — such is life — but at the very least, they will be unaware; oblivious. Blissfully oblivious. At least until, once again, in a moment of vulnerability, a single thought will sink its fangs into the eyes of the beholder, bringing to them the perspective, for a moment, how fleeting remains the present.

There was a gasp.

Agent Lawitzke stood, his chest heaving as
if his lungs had only just discovered air.

He looked down at his sweaty palms and stared at the unassuming collection of glistening glass shards he had just clawed from his vision. He would have found them rather pretty, if they hadn't been embedded in his eyes only moments ago.

Fearing the worst, he tentatively reached up to his face, and gently felt around his eyes. He let out a sigh of relief; remarkably, there was no blood. The shards had not harmed him . . . Physically, anyway.

Upon catching his breath, Agent Lawitzke carefully placed the shards into a secure box, closed the lid, and tucked it into his bag. He wiped the sweat from his forehead, and shook off the creeping feeling of dread that had once consumed him.

That was enough of that.


When extracting samples from Object 12, it is ideal to wear gloves and to only proceed with a steady hand; sudden movements may trigger the shattering of nearby crystals within a cluster.

Object 12 appears to react to the slightest negative or anxious thought produced by an individual. If a cluster senses this, it will immediately shatter the nearest crystal, causing the shards to fly directly towards the individual.

For this reason, it is highly recommended that one wears protective eyewear and/or headgear when approaching Object 12.

If for any reason a shard were to find its way into your vision, do not panic; doing so will worsen the crystals' psychological effects. Instead, stay calm, and remove the shards as quickly and carefully as possible.

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