I purchased a solvent at the market this weekend, and noticed, when I was soaking some old coins in it, that it did not work as I had intended--though in fairness, it may well have worked as advertised. I have always been hasty in my purchases. I'd expected it to clean off some of the old residue, leaving them shiny and new. Instead it gradually sent them back in time.

I don't fully understand the specifics of it, but I have blank metal discs from just before they were stamped now, as well as coins through their lives. At some point the coin, such as it is, ceases to exist--or gets to the point where it hasn't yet been made--and simply vanishes, leaving no trace that it had ever existed.

Further experimentation confirms that this works on things besides coins, as well, though I don't know the extent to which it will. I've only erased little things, things that won't make a noticeable difference. But supposing I buy enough to erase the car that killed my brother?

The merchant must have known what he was selling, because he gave me his card--"in case you need to buy any more." I've tapped into my savings to buy as much as I can. There's things about this world that need to change.



I wish I could say it was startling to learn that the idea of object permanence was entirely false, but it really wasn't. The world beyond what I can immediately perceive simply doesn't exist in any real and proper sense--and it hasn't for a while.

It's hard to unsee a world that makes sense. I still see things and think that must have been there before, that's always been the same way, that, in some way, the room that I slept in last night is the same room I've always slept in--that it will be there when I go there tonight, or that it even exists right now. Or that I've ever slept in a room at all--these memories may as well create themselves. They certainly don't correspond to anything resembling an objective reality.

I can't even say things make more sense this way, but it seems my mind is only desperately scrabbling to find some pattern or sense to things. Instead of letting life happen it's trying to find something to hold on to, try as I might to let go.



And we surrender the stage to those pale horse riders.

It is in the nature of the power I have been given over the earth to be personal. Every life that ends on my watch is a life I come to know intimately. There are individual voices in the anguished cries that fill the world these days, dying of sword, famine, and plague. I can hear all of them.

Perhaps there was a time when I could have been described as compassionate, but I don't remember it now. How could I grant someone mercy when I've seen all the little murders they commit day by day? How can I do anything but what I am meant to do--bring their lives to an end.

I've read once that justice is everyone being treated the same in the end. I suppose there is justice in that way--in the end nobody gets away with it. In the end even the worst things people can do are lost forever, until there's not even a memory left, and they are well and truly dead. That's the justice I bring.


plague ships

There is no panic greater than a public health scare. And it was given to me, in the form of a crown, to spread plague through the world--a flu outbreak here, cholera there. Little things.

It would be easy for someone to profit from these little ventures. I could have made them all fairly easily controlled, sent in the drug companies and the health care industry to make a tidy little profit, to exert control, but what fun is that? I want to see the world stricken with plague, with no recourse--the sprawling glory of the diseased masses as they beg for a release that won't come. The chaos of it all.

And the poor will be packed away into plague ships, while the rich hide in their mansions, laughing, unaware that I walk among them even there. In the end it won't matter that they have their expensive doctors. In comfort or in distress, all will succumb in the end. What does a plague care of social status, of morality, of anything?

As for the why--should there be a reason? Should there be justice in this world, or vengeance? What is the point of a world without something senseless and terrifying at its heart, eating away at every inhabitant? Would you want to live there?



I don't mind telling you I didn't come to my fortune honestly. I don't mind telling you, because it doesn't matter now--I control the world's food supply. None of it goes anywhere without the approval of myself or my corporation. I came this way partly through good fortune--in a time of crisis, in a time of famine, someone needed to take charge--and partly through honest treachery. It hardly matters now. I see that things run smoothly, and I see that I and my associates wax affluent.

By the time the crisis should have been over, I had seen to it that it would last forever. There would never be a time when I was not needed. The world was mine--and they would thank me for it. They would praise me for my insight, for my generosity, even as they starved in the streets, starved in lines outside the distribution centers. Sometimes I would toss someone a heel of bread and they would call me a saint.

I did not hesitate. I was given this gift, these scales, and I knew that I could be happy, that I would never hunger again, if only I reached out my arm.


the warpath

I have been given the power to lay this world to ruin. A sword was given to me, that I could take peace from men and turn them on one another. I need only say the word--and not even that much. A gesture, a glance, a thought, and the world crumbles. The simplest thing--and so satisfying.

I've spent the last day not doing anything at all. I could start with the people responsible for this mess were in. I could bring--not justice, never justice, but perhaps vengeance. And if the rest of the world were dragged into chaos along with it, it would be worth it. And it could never happen again.

I've wanted this for as long as I can remember. Maybe not forever, but long enough. Riots and wars and disasters excite me in ways I can't talk about in polite company--but every time I hope this one will explode. And now I can make that happen.

So why can't I pull the trigger? What am I waiting for? I'm ready to bring wrath and ruin to the earth, but I can't make that trivial effort to bring it about.



My house got broken into a few weeks ago. Since then I've lost the little grasp on reality I still had.

Well, that's not quite right. I still understand the external world as much as I ever have. It's something inside me that's broken. My ability to relate to it, to process it, has gone. They didn't just steal a stereo I never used. They stole something else, something I don't quite understand.

Not that anyone else has noticed--except to comment that I seem happier, or at least more content. They say I seem calmer. They say things like "You're handling this well." And something that isn't me smiles and nods and says things like "It happens." But I'm not there for these conversations. These things happened to someone else.

The thing is, since the break-in I haven't had a moment where I was really there--or if I have, I've missed it. I've made a few spirited efforts at appearing like a person once or twice, and convinced everyone but myself: I am real, I am me.

I don't know what to do. I don't know what I should do, or, if I were here, what I would do.