Observer Compendium I-2
rating: +1+x

Observer.Protocol(*022)//subject("Charlie Gauge")



‘S to T’

I dream you will forgive me, in time,
for all of the dead ends, blank spaces,
kingly bottoms of yet swarded lakes,
enthroned, rod of willow and iron,
blossoming at your touch, alone,
upon spiny chair those very bones,
more true than not, will undone,
plumb the lies, cold hands to take,
parading past blessed, blank faces,
each and every one ours, or mine.

-De ‘la lettre d'amour d'un alphabet’ du le Serviteur Tyrannique

Something was strange about Gauge's surroundings. They couldn't quite place the problem, but it was there - this knowing of "offness." They were in a Garden. A Tree appeared, from within the backdrop of an orchard of trees, but it was apart from its fellows. Gauge couldn't look away; this tree was the Center. On the Tree were its Fruit, lush and golden. The Fruit called to them, an inaudible whisper, sibilant and hissing in a tongue foreign and yet wholly understood. "Eat me." The Fruit was in their hand, raising itself to their lips, an orb of pure gold. Gauge bit down tentatively, expecting the resistance of metal. It popped, a fountain of liquid gold pouring out of the ruptured skin, down their throat, over their face, their nostrils - it was a waterfall and Gauge was a drowning pebble. Panic; choking; horror. The Voice that was not a voice purred with pleasure, vibrating Gauge's being with energy, too much energy, "We are, and we will be again."


Gauge woke gasping, clutching their face and scratching their eyelids and cheeks in an attempt to stop the torrent and get it off, get it out. Relief came slowly, even after the startling of waking reality.

What was that?

Dio didn’t answer, silent from his immortal posting on the ceiling above. Gauge felt their heart race and sought the steady pace of relaxation. "The dreams aren't real. The dreams aren't real. The dreams aren't real." It had become a mantra, of late, and, if they were being honest, one that was losing its oomph.

"Hey, Subconscious, you can fuck off, alright? Nobody makes me feel like that but my parents."

A loud but tentative *knock* came from the door, prompting a jump and a few choice utterances from Gauge. "You okay in there, friend? - You were screaming to raise the dead in there." June's voice dripped genuine concern.

"I'm fine, thanks. I bit my tongue in a dream." Gauge lied. Were they fine? The insomnia was hardly a sustainable cure, and they'd burned through a village of psychiatrists and dealers trying to get enough sleeping pills to last this nightmare eternity.

They felt bad lying to June, she was the best friend anyone could ask for, but Gauge had gotten tired of "the look." No one, no matter how well intentioned, could tolerate the daily reminder that someone only a wall away was demonstrably insane. "Hey, just wanted to bring up the recalcitrant nature of my madness so that you can live in fear for both of our lives."

"You want pancakes? I made banana-blueberry. Most of them are burnt, but they're free so no complaints."

"Yeah, I'll be right out." At least hell had pancakes. That made Gauge smile inside and a little without - the wry thought as they pulled on their jeans.

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