I am not dead. Against all evidence, withholding all skepticism here in this quavering chest of mine, I am not dead. I can not account for time, my recollections have been sent adrift in shades and spooks of past, but know this, and know it well, dear shadow across the way: I am not dead. I am not dead. Scoff if you like, but I know it to be true.
Numberless days have gone since the Moment. Numberless is the only word that has any sense of verisimilitude about it anymore. Yet, who am I to say what is real and what is not, as I can not even remain within the confines of a room under my own volition. How came I? Not, How came I here? oh, no, no. No, the question is indeed, How came I? It is no mystery why four white walls surround me, or why I live in the jacket, and though to some I still baffle, it is also no mystery to me how I can live year after year without drink or eat, for my body forfeited me long ago. It doesn’t matter. Send another priest, another politician, another needle wielding lab-coat, none of it matters. As did my body forfeit me, so did my freedom; I answer only to the Machine.
There is a clock, mounted far upon the right wall. You can not see it, but it is there, and it has been counting backward since the Moment. It is mundane looking, with typical bronzy enameling, Roman Numerals circling the clock face, and that long, boorish, head wrenching chime, chime, chime. It’s long hand is slightly bent in, see, and that slight bent is the cause of all my grief. On that Sunday, at 8:00 o’clock in the evening, as the clock hand comes round to finish out the hour it catches on the short hand. Eight chimes ring out, 60 seconds tick, and then, it stops. It is in there, within that knick in time, that fleck of space before the Moment of 8:01 where my story, my agony resides.
How can infinity exist, within the finite constrains of that knick? A question that haunts me still, but to ignore what is, for the simple reason of it being beyond reasoning, is a foolish action for one such as I. The Lightning Man had come, and it was for I he had come, so for what am I to argue? Here, in the cold of this room, I wait to be stripped from out it, and plummeted once again into a winding repetition, that has taken all from me. All.
Let me tell you, dear reader, that time travel and dreams should never merge. Be wary of that which makes you passionate, for it is that passion that will send you mad, or worse, send you cursed. Are you cursed? I am, dear reader? Perhaps you believe in curses, the worst of fates. However, I can not imagine that you do, but cursed I am. And so, cursed I shall forever be.
Cursed in time, and in dream. Cursed, by the Lightning Man, by my own hand, and by the Machine.