Quarantine Paranoia 19

By: SPaHrk

We can feel it now.
All around us it lurks.
Unrecognized headlights rolling up and down the streets, too slowly to be normal residents of this ghostly city; this dimly lit neighborhood.
We can feel it now.

The paranoia lurks beneath our feet. Like a dense fog that grows upside down; from the ground up. It does not dissipate. The gatherings have been banned. Separation is a must.
We can feel it now.

Stories of horrors never known before. Unknown vehicles cruising through the night. Coasting the neighborhood; round and round without clear destination.

Odd signals abound. Weird names on unknown Wi-Fi networks appear and disappear. Signals go unnoticed, or perhaps hidden to the untrained eye. The paranoia grows; creeping in to our lives; striking deeper and deeper. It is beginning to solidify. These are no longer nightmarish musings. They’re becoming more tactile; more palpable. We’re beginning to smell it in the air. The coming virus. The desperation has begun. The shelves, once so over stocked as to have to be cleaned overnight for expired goods, now empty. Shells of shelves lit by flickering florescent lights with desperate signs of reassurance that aren’t believed. Schedules that have been forgotten. We wonder what can be depended on. What was once a bustling market feels more like a deserted hospital; a looted desert of plastic and tile white tile. The sound of engines roaming seem to surround us constantly. The Fear just beneath the surface. The worlds we cannot see. What are they hiding? What can we believe? Who can we trust? Must we turn off The News? Must we now trust each other? Can we trust each other? Can we leave our homes? When shall Marshall Law be implemented? What aren’t we being told?

Questions unanswered. Minds left to wander; left to wonder; left to dive into the nightmare that exists behind the wall of sleep; the shadows that grow beneath our feet. Mob mentality grows ironically as we’re pushed further apart.
We can feel it now.

The effervescent joking’s of the millennial neo-dada-isms are slowing, dying down as the fear grows. We fear the unknown. The oldest of all mankind’s fears. Exacerbated by the panic of quarantine; of the distance; of the cancellation of normal life. Industries grind to a halt. Not so much yet as to cause rioting or runs on banks, but the fear still lurks. Lingering, and stalking us from the dark corners of our minds.
No longer the ramblings of a madman. On the other hand, paranoia is only defined as such until it is authenticated; until it substantiated.

Clues are blipping into our world. Small coincidences; glitches; syzygies; alignments that have never occurred before. Perhaps they mean nothing. Or perhaps we’re just not paying attention; not paying attention until it’s too late. That’s the way it always happens. Even in times when beautiful artwork and poetry are actually cared about, rather than just survival. All the good stuff is lost, until it’s too late and the beautiful creators are dead; either by their own hand or the cruel twisting of Fate’s swinging axe.

So, what happens after the deadline? Is there such a thing? Is the clock ticking and we’re unable to hear the strokes of the hands? What other tempest shadows await us in the dark corners that we don’t see, but only glimpse?
There are no coincidences.
There are no glitches, only changes to the code.

It’s been days since I’ve left the house now except for a brisk walk to the local corner store for the essentials. The things needed most in my blood stream during these times of isolation and loneliness. Thank God the black market also delivers. The things needed most to cloud my mind and remind me of simpler times. The things needed most when this town feels like it’s full of scattered ghosts. I’ve gripped my sword, a katana, given to me by a close friend, and stalked to-and-fro down the hallways of my dimly lit home for days. Occasionally I exit my front door and stand in the low glow of my flickering porch light, sword in hand, scanning the neighborhood; scanning for the unusual, the unseen. I make it a point to flash the light off the blade’s tip. Perhaps I am the weird shadow in the night. Perhaps, but I am no Walter White. I’m just another flashing node. A spahrk in the corner shadows of darkness. I am no killer, but no one is until the time comes.
Perhaps the time is close.
Close for us all.

The elements of the world beneath our feet. The fires and the shadows that linger behind our nightmares. The nightmares are no longer contained behind the wall of sleep. They creep into our digital lives. The square I carry in my pocket had been violated. Recently hacked by some unknown, unscrupulous characters. Headlights that screeched off into the night after the anticipated confrontation as I frantically exited the homestead in search of the unknown, malicious signal that was attempting to intrude on my own flashing node. I shall not have this mania! I shall not let the paranoia take control! I shall not fall into valley of fear; the shadow of death shall not overtake me this night! Not this night. Some night, perhaps, but that night will be comforting; that night will hopefully find me old and frail, comforted by the fact that I left beauty behind before my moving on. BUT NOT THIS NIGHT.

Not this night!
All I can do to combat the demons is to create. Create beauty or ironic ugliness. All I can do is create.
So I do.
Create beauty to combat the demons. To combat the shadows. The shadows that creep outside my windows.

They’re testing the air quality now.
We all wonder what the government isn’t telling us. Oh Uncle, you dirty bat bastard!
But somehow there is trust. People haven’t begun to truly panic…yet. They’re not panicing in droves. Not panicking in public. THEY’RE SIMPLY GOING MAD IN THEIR OWN CAVES. Perhaps this is happening at the highest levels of government. It’s certainly happening the capitol building in the capitol city of Texas.
I can feel it.
We all can, even if you lying rotten thieves won’t admit it. You’ve got some trust left (somehow) in the highest levels, but distrust of thy neighbor. How ironic. Like rain on a wedding day…or perhaps we’re just unlucky and didn’t pay attention in English class (swallow the jagged pill!)

Maybe it’s all just a lucid dream. We’d all like to wake up now, though, I think.
I’ll continue to stalk the house with the sword.
Where is the pistol?
Where are the shadows that haunt my home?
Whispers in the dark.
Where, where are they COMING FROM?
Why, from inside your own head, my good man.

A drive down the street, what was once one of the longest ‘wettest’ streets in this united (for now) Republic is barren; boarded up windows abound. Spray painted scriptures offer little hope. I HATE YOU SO MUCH. There are no partiers now, only the desperate homeless. The same as there’s always been, but now visible in the gray light of day; now the only ones left not locked in their own cages. The homeless…they are free. The driving continues. Few cars on the road, even the police hardly notice me now. They seem to have bigger problems. Racing off without clear reason, they never stay still for too long. Some far off emergency call them that the public can’t know. That they won’t let us know, anyway. The coming of the great shadows.
They can feel it now.