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Author's Chapter Notes:
What happens when reality itself starts forgetting how to keep it real...
On the street corner, two statues shake hands over the body of a drifter
whose throat was crushed by a hand about that size.
The fourth one this month, and the police still have no suspects.

The old abandoned apartment seems to get a little younger every day,
colors fading in, graffiti fading out.
Sepia-toned windows frame the ghosts of lives never lived.
No one comes in or out.

All over town, folks are packing up and leaving.
Not even bothering to sell,
and the houses are going downhill fast.

The church stands empty, aging by the day,
after the preacher lost his battle with something,
while his numb flock wander aimlessly.

Fewer and fewer kids are going to school these days,
as if they no longer wish to learn things Man was never meant to know.
Even the teachers look as if they don't know
what they're doing there anymore.

The playground looks old and forlorn,
the few kids who go there appear lost and dazed,
but still seem reluctant to go home,
even at sunset.

To see some linger under the flickering streetlights
was a most unsettling sight.
Especially the half-seen company they keep.

There's no denying, this town is dying,
but no one knows just what it's dying from...

Contact with the outside world is diminishing,
as if it all only exists on TV and in books.
Travellers drive right through, stopping for nothing if they don't have to.
The children gaping, wide-eyed, while their parents stare straight ahead.

At the corner store, the shelf stock dwindles,
random objects stand out on mostly bare shelves,
all the while, strange noises coming from the back room.
The staff seem constantly spooked and preoccupied.

The elevator got stuck on the pre-floor,
a strange, nowhere level, of halls and rooms that don't connect,
and took a lot of button-coaxing to get off of.
After that, stuck with the stairs.

When reality starts forgetting how to keep it real,
doors and halls and alleyways no longer lead to where they used to,
dark places that don't want to let you out.

Time out here seems to be going soft:
lingering sunsets and longer nights,
even as summer advances by day.
Falling into twilight...

Some nights, the moon seems to shimmer, as if underwater.
Other nights, it looms over everything,
and seems to be crawling with tiny black shapes.
Even the stars don't look familiar anymore.

The streets are no longer safe at night.
Streetlights flicker in and out too conveniently,
sometimes illuminating glimpses in the corner of the eye.
Stalked by shadow-shapes, with nothing to cast them.

There's no denying, this town is dying,
but no one knows just what it's dying from.
What we see and hear, something draws near,
can't tell what we fear, or from whence it comes...

In the Town of Missing People,
no one looks too closely at the things that wash up on the lakeshore:
masses of claws and tentacles and beaks that don't belong to any native species,
as well as hands and feet, and other things the eye refuses to dwell on.

The telephone lines themselves seem to have strange noises in them.
Through the receiver, indistinct, incoherent,
half-heard snatches of long-forgotten conversations.
Laughing? Crying? Mumbling? Coughing?

The radio has gotten steadily worse,
the signal fading into a steady wash of static,
with strange and horrific noises rising out of the tide,
to eldritch rhythms pounding in the deep.

It can be dangerous to listen to after dark,
especially when it starts talking to you
about things you never wanted to talk about.
That is, when what it's talking about actually makes any sense.

And the TV isn't any better, possibly even worse.
Strange shapes shift in and out of the static snow,
and sometimes seem to reach out through the screen.

Things have gone too far, this town is doomed.
Nothing left but to risk the Unknown,
walking off into the reality unravelling all around...

There's no denying, this town is dying,
but no one knows just what it's dying from.
No one knows what we're dealing with but the sinking feeling
that our fate it's sealing, and the worst is yet to come...
Chapter End Notes:
-circa May-June 2014

...Or what happens when you start getting a lot of shifts that keep you late at night, then have you turn right back around in the morning, leaving you frequently jet-lagged. :D Probably a result of re-reading older pieces like "Insomnia" I'm not surprised it started with a vision of the bank statues I wrote about before, and quickly, insidiously escalated into creepy scenarios of a small town being consumed by something eldritch and alien. :|
I had a lot of different inspirations for this stuff, and I would certainly not deny Lovecraft as one of my major ones, along with Stephen King and Neil Gaiman. There was other stuff, too, Silent Hill being a fairly obvious one, especially Homecoming, oddly enough. Not so much the game, as the promotional materials, Deputy Wheeler's journal about events in Shepard's Glen leading up the events of the game, as well as just the original trilogy in general. From King's Dark Tower series, which is where I got the term "slippage" in the first place, just the idea of the fabric of reality coming unraveled in places and becoming Just Not Right, as well as the Peter Straub novel "Floating Dragon" ( "Shadowland" also comes highly recommended), to say nothing of the creepier side of Tom Waits. Every one of those sleepless mornings would bring its own chilling visions of this poor town's descent into an eldritch abyss...
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