Whats this? How did you get in? No matter... confused, are you? Upset? Feeling cheated? Well, maybe, you don't understand. MAYBE its time I explain myself to you... you... THINGS.
Imagine this, if you will.
Close your eyes and insert yourself into a fantasy, where the world is exactly as you remember it, where the cotton candy clouds still float along a sea of virgin blue, where the singing of birds and the rustle of leaves as they dance in the wind fills the air, vanquishing silence wherever it may begin to grow. See the animals, creatures of flesh and bone, bound through the grass, illuminated in the sun, and colored by the shadows of the surrounding platoons of trees.
Imagine the people, the watchmen of the planet, as they perpetuate their lives as you've always known them to. They get swallowed by metallic beasts, who's roars and muffled cries wash across the landscape with the company of its kin. See them break free of these steel wombs to escape into towers of concrete and glass, organisms who thrive as a community, a city, a world... see the humans, as they go about their days, making war and making love, giving time and taking commerce, progressing, moving, being...
Yet, for all the similarities this dream world shares with the reality you've all grown so accustomed to, make this small adjustment: the eyes. Whenever you find yourself gazing into another humans eye, that pool of color and life, remove the spark. Take that shred of soul, that comfortably familiar, unique, and vivid shine that we all take for granted, and erase it. How would your world change?
Mine didn't. I was never one to notice such things until they were stolen from me, vanishing with a breath of the void that surrounds the world we inhabit. Yet, even though I had only realized this loss in retrospect, I WAS very uneasy that day... I could sense that something was wrong, very wrong, and perhaps I had the slightest of inklings that it would never right itself.
You can open your eyes now, and escape that fantastical prison you build around yourself, tear it down and make room in your imagination for more pleasant realities. But, for me, there was no escaping from behind these bars of delusion and hallucination. In fact, so long have I been trapped within this play, I've forgotten who is an actor, and what is a prop. Who am I talking to now? Is it a person? Or a toy?
I cannot tell. Those painted eyes give nothing to me.
The day after the eyes of humanity were glazed with the dullness of nonexistence, I awoke to find another change in the world, more obvious, more alien... it was strings, I saw. Thin, wiry strings, sticking out of your flesh and extending into the heavens, extending farther into infinity than I could of hoped to follow with my vision. The ribbons were tense, the your bodies pulling down limply upon some invisible hand, who clutched the strings across those artificial humans with such greedy hunger that not one thread ever fell from between this beings fingers.
They were everywhere, on everyone, so many crossing and wrapping within themselves , it looked like a web of rain, falling from the sky, with each drop frozen atop the next in a design so complex it would shame Da Vinci.
Yet, you all moved unencumbered, as if these strings were weightless and you could effortlessly resist whatever way they happened to steer. It was perplexing and terrifying to observe, like watching pigs waddling unknowingly into a butchers shop: you know of the dangers, but the cries and warnings fall on deaf ears.
I tried to push the significance of this out of my mind, to associate these hallucinations with stress and a lack of sleep, yet, I knew in the dark shadows of my heart that those were honey-coated lies to help fight off the bitterness of the truth. It was with much effort that I managed to close my eyes and rest the following night...
But instead of awaking from the nightmare as my eyes caught the rays of sun glistening through the window, I find myself dragged deeper in.
These changes were small, meaningless as events within themselves, yet, as they compounded, the experience simply got more and more intolerable. Unlike the days before, I rose from my bed expecting a change, searching for it: it didn't hide from me long. A wooden skin had wrapped itself around humanity, sheathing them in a bark-like coating that bore the same color and curves of natural flesh, yet was lacking in the warmth and familiarity... like some sick mockery of the human body crafted by a alien creature. I progressed through my day, watching in silenced terror at my fellow man, who's jerky and awkward movements were suddenly treated as commonplace. They'd ask me what was wrong, reassure me with their sickly wooden fingers... apparently they thought it was I who was acting unnatural... had they no mirrors? Had blindness cursed the land and only I was blessed with sight? And why did I get the strange feeling, nagging at the back of my skull, that your blindness still let you see me for who I truly was...?
Stress, I whispered into their empty, tree-born ears. It was only stress. Yet it was the kind of stress which gripped your mind with its menacing claws and squeezed until all your sanity had dripped out like some overripe fruit. I couldn't be their eyes, I couldn't tell them what I see... If they retained any sense of humanity as I understood it, they'd put me away for my clarity, a fate which grows evertempting by the day...
The crows sermons demanded rest, the sun seconding the call. With weary eyes and tired soul I placed my head on the softness of my bed... and sobbed silently in dread. There was something so unnerving about them all... the way they looked at me... their vision was flavored with the most... disturbing spice... they wanted something, I knew it.
The sandman's seal upon my lids were a welcoming sensation, for I feared what sort of perverse visions awaited my eyes to bathe in the light. And as much as it scared me to indulge these horrors with their pleasures, I begrudgingly forced my eyes to gaze at the newest transformation in our tenderly crafted hell.
Joints. Constructed of overlapping wood and slivers of steel, sticking painfully out of your elbows. Your knees. Your ankles. Twisting and restrictive, they prevented all but the most basic of shifts in your movements, which were increasingly dependent on the pull of those accursed strings. Yet, you all acted, perhaps internalizing your new life as puppets to keep sane, as if nothing was wrong...
I realized they were jealous of me... Coveting the man who had been able to retain his own god-given body, to keep the flesh that could feel the chill of the wind and the warmth of the sun... I could see them! Staring at me, greedily longing for the body I inhabit! It all made so much more sense! Why they were staring... why their flat, unfeeling eyes were so fixated upon me.
...I needed to protect it. This gift was meant for me and me alone. My skin and bones were spared the cruel prank for a reason. I couldn't let anyone touch me. They'd steal it. I could almost taste the jealousy in the air, like a thick, disgusting margarine forcing itself down my throat.
Sleep didn't come that night. No matter how heavy my lids became, nor how weary my body had become, I denied it sleep: they were out there. Everywhere. If I closed my eyes for but a moment, they'd take it. They'd tear off my flesh in strips and sew the meat onto their own limbs to try to recapture they life they had lost. I could see it happening, ghastly spirits acted the drama out before my unflinching eyes, in a empty theater with only one stock of human bones to share between the gluttonous seats.
The next day, the spiraling loss of humanity continued. Their limbs grew smoothed and simplistic.
The next, their fingers fused together into single slabs of wood.
The day after, they lost movement of their own power, and the strings were the only force that could move them.