I awoke, stunned and insensate, bound hand and food in my padded cell. I lay there for a long time; listening to the nurses and doctors walk past, the screaming of a man down the hall. struggling to perceive which way gravity was pulling me, and which of my extremities was my head, and my arms, and my legs.
Gradually, the cloud of pain dissipated enough that I could feel where my flesh ended and the air began. I felt the restraints around my wrists and ankles. I struggled feebly until dawn, working them off, scoring deep abrasions on the back of my hands, my heels.
I managed to come to my feet, my knees as solid as gelatin. I could feel them. My heart sank. they were in everything; the soft-padded walls, the light fixtures, the clothes against my skin,, even the air, hot and meaty to my senses. I sank to the ground again, because it was already over. I knew it was already over.
There are places, you have to understand, where the dimensions-I'm not talking about that parallel dimension metaphysical stuff, I mean dimensions like length and breadth and time-where they curl into themselves, and begin to fester. In one of them, another dimension, not that that means anything here, a pocket went bad. I don't know where. It was ages ago I guess, shortly after I learned to look between realities. I saw it burst, like a boil into a shot glass, and poured its hot sickness into the universe.
There in my mind. Worms. I could feel them, on the edge of my perception; it was not quite a noise and not quite a sensation, but they were there, always, and they multiplied.
Most people have normal senses, they can perceive the first four dimensions, and must leave the others to mathematicians and physicists. Some of them have a limited fifth eye; clairvoyants, psychics. I, though learned how to look beyond even that; see the worms clearly, feel them through the fingertips of my mind.
I could feel their perverse loathing, their hunger, their need to replicate. I knew they would consume us all. In horror I watched those that couldn’t see the truth eaten. They still walked, and consumed food, produced waste, communicated, bred.
To everyone else they seemed unchanged, looked no different. But I saw them as they really were. Infected, riddled with disease, their skin twisting and contorting as the worms writhed within their bodies. They ceased to be people and became walking horrors, killers, murders, the kinds of people seen on the news with victim lists a mile long.
Infected by the worms, they'd become filled with rage, seething with rage. Then they'd kill, with weapons or explosions or their bare hands until stopped by those yet uninfected. Then their carcasses, dead and so better for the worms, would be used as breeding grounds.
I tried to kill them before they started killing others, destroy the sickness with fire. I thought it would stop them.
The worms rode the smoke of the flames to other people, other things. Some stuff they touched was alive, some wasn't. It made no difference to the worms; they will multiply until there was no space left between each squirming body, until they overlap, until the whole planet is a sack of hateful pestilence.
Then, once the worms have packed every atom of inert matter, they'll surge through the barriers of the person or objects skin and devour us all.
They are not quite numerous enough that they can fight their way into everyone's bodies yet. For now people continue to live as they have lived since our culture was born. But soon. Very soon, now. I have watched it progress all this time. I know.
Touch any surface around you; a desk, a pen between your fingers. Even your clothes. Imagine that there is a barrier infinitely thin beneath your touch. And beneath that-squirming and squealing-the worms.
They will spill through the walls, those ephemeral dimensional boundaries, and squeeze into your skin. It will be over in minutes. And then the real hell will start. You, blind psychiatrists, doctors, you won't even see it happen. Maggots falling out of every surface, burying you, and you won't even know.
I can feel them now, working their way deeper into me. It won't be long now before I'm gone. Just so much walking meat. Maybe in the end you'll realize I was the only sane one in this asylum, but somehow, I doubt it...