The first thing I remember from this morning was stepping onto something as I came through the hole in the wall. I’ll assume the hole was in fact the doorway, but my memory is cloudy at this point. Where I’d been? Don’t know, I have no memory of emotion before I felt the crackling, crushing under my foot, no recollection of intent, no short-term memory, no sensation of hot or cold.
But I distinctly remember the feeling under my foot as the words broke
apart into syllables, further shattering into diphthongs and finally
breaking apart from letters into strokes and stems.
They never broke like glass, not the sharp cutting pain of shards that penetrate your skin, shattering into unimaginably small pieces. Nor was it the cracking of ice beneath my bare feet. The closest I can associate it to, was a painless form of Lego, falling into pieces, into the lower denomination of letter-forms.
As soon as I realised that I was stepping into something, I moved my foot back up, feeling it writhe beneath me, magnetic, reforming itself towards an approximation of the original shape.
As I looked around, I could suddenly see them, clear as ice, yet blackened serifs against the background of the room, lying everywhere, attached to the surfaces, sentences falling slowly from paragraphs, embedding themselves, pushing away into a mess of syntax I could not comprehend. All of it, centring above the bed, hovering in the air, the closer I looked, the more it took shape, solidity, paragraphs forming chapters hanging around, rotating with an internal tension I just could not explain. The words appeared to be static, some of them clinging together, others pushed away from each other, monopole magnets in the room. Over it all there was a certain kind of order, disturbed and fragile, imperfections in the way the chapters were bound together forcing them apart, causing the stress that pushed them all away from each other.
Further out were the signs of the last shattering, a paragraph with dropped capitals embedding itself in the bookshelf, punctuation falling slowly down, attaching itself to another sentence along the way, causing it to break off, transforming the words as they fell to the floor.
I was trying my hardest not to breathe as I looked around, attempting to understand the order of things, what had happened. I looked to the bed, seeing my own curled up shape, tension in my face, teeth biting into my lip, brows tightened, skin clammy and moist.
The room was steamy, smelling of ozone and brine, sulphate nearly, and there was a chill down my spine as a comma trailed off and slithered downwards, unable to find it’s place in the surroundings.
Misplaced quotation marks were hovering in the air like flies, buzzing around paragraphs, attempting to get a hold; without success.
As I looked around, the novel took shape in my head, I was reading faster than I could understand, trying to get a grip of the pieces, attempting to sort them out before this fleeting moment disappeared, yet I was obviously too late. An em-dash was falling into my face, I could feel it slip in, rubbing against a comma and setting off like a lug nut from a dipole magnet.
The disturbance was the final strand as I opened my eyes, rubbing away at something caught in the corner of my eyes, attempting to shake a serif from my beard. The room was coming into view, multifaceted rainbows in my eyes as the words dissipated and left.
I shook my head, trying to remember the context of the words.