Is all human interaction this weird?
Why is meat so gross?
Does everyone carry around a small vessel for hydrogen dioxide?
These are a few of the things Demise did not understand in her first few months spent on Earth. She sat on a cold and stiff park bench, hugging her long gangly legs to her chest. People passed by, weaving through and out of each other like gnats swarming around a pond. At first she thought they all looked the same; same basic structure, same movements. But, after hours of careful observation, she started to notice the differences, the quirks, the diversity. Humans had far more variation in their species than hers did. She liked that.
Eventually, the bright blue and white marble of the sky faded and fell, bright oranges and purples stepping into the display like a subtle and quick dance performance that ends with the curtains closing, and the lights dimming down.
Demise enjoyed sunsets, though she quite liked the sunrise better. The moments just before the sun spreads her beautiful arms again, no one is moving, everything is still.
Hey what’s that throbbing feeling? Am I getting a head...ache…
She felt the dewy grass in her ears, and her fading view panned upwards to spot eight cloaked figures hovering above her… Eight? Familiar…
* * * * *
The sun rose, as it did every morning, and rolled a ray of light down from the skies to gently brush her cheek… She woke with a massive headache, and as her eyelids flew open swirls of dust? glitter? weird multi-colored particles drifted about her room.
Listen… The word echoed in her head, faintly, from a soothing voice…
Demise jumped to her feet, lunged forward, and waved her arms at the floating particles, attempting to send them scrambling. But nothing happened. For days, everywhere she went she would rub her eyes in attempt to get that pesky dust out of her view, to no avail. After a few years, she got used to it. The particles appeared around things, but not all things. They appeared around people, but not all people. They appeared in paths, they appeared around planets, but not all paths and not all planets.
* * * *
She still does not know where the dust came from, or why it is there. She spent periods of her life obsessing over it, but eventually she decided it was not worth the insanity.
Until she, on a commercial space flight, found the thickest screen of beautiful prism-colored dust she had ever seen draped around the planet of Hellifyno. She got off at the first stop, and the rest is history.
Dust was swarming this place, around nearly every man and child, every mountain and stream. Demise became fascinated once again. But what did she have to go off of? What did she have to measure? The stuff was only visible to her as far as she could tell, and it was certainly not tangible.
After a few days of her stay, she rested her head to sleep, and woke up in the same blackness as her dreams. At first, when her eyes opened, she could not see anything. Eventually, as the city of Persistence picked up its gears and got to rolling, the black backdrop was interrupted by that colorful dust. Swirls of it floated into her view, chaotically, though she was still practically blind. She stumbled about for a few days. Gradually, the swirls started to take shape. She would walk to the Red Sun Inn everyday, because it had such an attraction for the dust it stuck thickly to it’s structure, making it easy for her to see. Some of the chairs and tables would be outlined in dust, and most of the patrons would be covered in it. Although, the particles were still very finicky, and she stumbled about uselessly for a while.
One day, her good friend and flamboyant ice king, Veilen dubbed it “mana vision” and attempted a banishing spell to return her sight. When he cast some of his magic in his hands, the colorful particles burned so brightly about it that she could almost see his fingers like normal again, then the spell knocked her off her feet, and delivered a painful ringing to her ears that left them bleeding from the holes. Her organs felt like they jerked and turned themselves around, and suddenly she’d been reminded of a dark secret locked in her subconscious.
“Any reason you might be sharing your body with something?” he asked.
* * * *
“Ah just need somethin’ ta ‘elp me see betta. Tired o’ knockin’ in ta things.”
“Mmmmm.. yes.. I can help you with thiss..” the woman’s voice was slow and sultry, but old and crackly as well with a hiss at the end of her words.
Demise had stumbled upon this place of oddity nearly by accident. She’d been stumbling about the city, experimenting with what she could see and what she could not when a building came into her view, crisply outlined in thick dust. So she decided to stroll in, the little doorbell ringing to signal her entry. An old woman promptly emerged from behind the counter. Her outline of dust was surprisingly still, whereas the floating particles usually seemed very busy and energized.
The woman pulled a pair of what looked like goggles out of, seemingly her ass, and held them out to Demise. The goggles were swirling with dust like flies hovering about a piece of shit. “Here, try thessse” the woman hissed. The whole set up was quite ominous, and the old lady was definitely creepy, but what the hell? Demise took them in her hands and strapped them on her face. Nothing.
“Ah.. Wale, nothin’s happenin'” she said.
The woman groaned in minor frustration and replied “Tap it.”
So she did, knocking the sides of the lenses gently which whirled everything into focus. The world was still black, and the only thing visible was still the floating dust, however now they took to outlining things more clearly and pulled a lot of the world into view. “Oi! Thanks, mate! This is incredible!” she exclaimed, feeling relieved to finally see-somewhat- again. Although, she instantly frowned when she reached into her pockets. “Ah.. Ah’ll have ta hand ’em back to ya, though. Ahm afraid ah haven’ got any money.”
“Consssider it a gift” the woman smiled at her, which looked a lot more clear with the goggles on. And a lot more creepy. “I’m sssure you’ll return the favor one day…” Creepy statement? Perhaps. Oh well.
“Whateva that means,” and with that, Demise was off, whistling as she strolled out of the shop. She turned over her shoulder to finally see it’s title:
OPEN BUILDING FOR SALE
And she quickly shifted her gaze to the door, to find that all she could see inside was an empty room…