The Matryoshka nesting doll of stacking rectangles conquers your field of view. Staring into the glow of your computer monitor like a white pixelated abyss, you see small movements and flashes scurry in the background, but they pass quietly – your eyes are unfocused, blurring over the plastic box with a grey monotonous cloud of matter, quieting your view… your minds attempted reprieve by dulling the senses.
A stale two syllable tone emits from your computer with one of the background flashes – a new email from Jason asking if you got his last one. Struck back into conscious arousal, you reload your inbox and scroll, pulling the mouse wheel like an endless slot machine lever. But like revisiting your fridge ten minutes after checking, there’s only the same old staples: updates, tag ups, circle-backs, conference calls. The condiments of the work world. That email from Tom has been there for a month with no reply, an old piece of tape on your wall from last year’s decorations, but you shut the door – I’ll throw out the expired jelly later.
Entering the chain of rattling cans under the subway you join the common collection of randomly shuffling husks accompanying your regular railcar home and choose the pale yellow seat closest to the door. The doors shut with a failed seal and the growing pitch of a grinding noise signals you are on your way. Looking up at the man across from you, you see grotesque tentacled arms constricting his head, running larger toward the front of his face where the intersection of wet fleshy legs combine to a dripping mass over his mouth and eyes. His hands hold the creature in place as it gyrates and pumps its central fleshy mass into his mouth and eyes. The purple mucus relieves pressure from the crease of the two mouths and escapes down his neck and soaks his white collar. Terror seizes you and your heels dig into the ground, the leather laces of your shoes biting the tops of your ankles as you push into the plastic behind your back, your blood pumps, your arms contort, half pointing at him, half shielding your view, and you scream. Your cry hangs late in the air with only the subway grinding and vibration to soundtrack your performance. You look around at your fellow husks and with horror see the same creatures suctioned to their faces, a conspiracy of abominations surrounding your view. A brief overpass blankets the railcar in darkness and the renewed light reveals quiet passengers, staring into their phones.