It’s Day 4 of A Gathering of Horror and Kimberly Kinrade has a short story for you from her collection, Bits of You & Pieces of Me. This is a haunting tale of how one can lose themselves in cyberspace. Enjoy! (And don’t eat too much candy all at once.)
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by Kimberly Kinrade
In form and thought.
I had a Name.
And a sensory experience of the physical world.
Until He came.
You know of whom I speak. The god of virtual formlessness. A lesser deity to be sure, but one gaining in strength and power by the day. Feeding on the lives and souls of lost wanderers of cyberspace.
He rules the ethers of unreality. We give him our form, our name, our lives. And he converts them into the currency of his domain.
Fleshless words. Ideas of no substance. One dimensional nothings.
Caricatures of what we once were.
You flirt with him now, thinking him harmless with his glittering temptations
But you are wrong. He is not harmless.
And we all were wrong. It is not death that is to be feared. But the Nothing.
Ceasing to be is a fate far worse than any death could ever be.
You lose yourself in the usernames and avatars He gives you.
Thinking yourself safe.
You learn to walk and talk and live in this flat world of 0’s and 1’s, feeding on the desperation of others like yourself. Driven by the need to be seen without eyes of flesh.
Safe sex. Sex without touch. Without mess. Without disease. But viruses pervade. You cannot escape the illusion of the nightmare we call reality.
Our dreams cannibalize us. Consume us as food as we feed on the sex of others.
You will see.
And you will wish you had stayed blind.
Your form will fade.
Not all at once, so as to alarm. But slowly. Gradually and without notice.
With each moment lost to reality, you are consumed by the Nothing.
With each photograph you send, a piece of you is sacrificed on the communal altar of demented and unsatiated desires of non-flesh.
With each black letter typed on the screen, your breath is stolen by the invoked unreal passion of another user of this drug.
You give yourself to the nameless nobodies floating in this unreality. And they take you. And they feed on you. Even as they dissipate into Nothingness themselves.
Until one day, you will have ceased to be. Not dead. Not alive. Not anything.
And you will never even know you’ve disappeared.
But I will.
I existed once.
In form and thought.
Sapphire eyes, and ruby lips. Alabaster skin. Full breasts.
You coveted me. They all did. I was their dream lover. Their perfect form. Their fantasy realized without time and space.
They owned me for a time. Stripping me to nothing. Eating my life force. All to feed this god of the never-ending hunger.
I was your private mental porn. Until I disappeared.
But it mattered not. For every one of us that ceases, there are a hundred more to take our place.
And they existed once too.
Until they didn’t.
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