The big picture.
Cartier Bresson had what he called "the decisive moment". It's a moment that happens, and then it's gone. The metaphorical "window of opportunity". Bresson was talking about a once in a lifetime photograph, but it applies here too.
The decisive moment.
Spencer told me... well damn, it couldn't have been more than a month ago but it feels like it's been so long. Off topic.
Spencer told me there were three proxies following me.
Let's look at the replay shall we?
Proxy 1: Tripped and fell onto the subway line in front of an oncoming train trying to rush me.
Proxy 2: Tripped in my backyard, chased me down with a knife I dropped and then got tackled down a hill, had the wind knocked out of him and beat up.
What do these two events have in common? Dumb luck. Which is why I'm writing this in an unfortunate state. Proxy 3.
Let me tell you about #3. Veterans and the Genre Savvy may leave the classroom at this point, since they should already be familiar with the material.
Proxy #3 was a petite, five-foot-nothing redhead. Intelligent, cute, probably my type if she wasn't a fucking proxy. Here's the problem. She was female, and despite every fibre in your body telling you that this woman is out to get you, society has conditioned some of us with some hesitancy towards hitting women. Which I suppose is good. Just not when they're crazed murderers.
Proxy #3, let's call her Eve, approached me on the bus. I needed to sleep again, but didn't want
to use the pills and didn't want to sleep for too long. The bus is in motion and I never get more than a brief cat nap. Eve struck up a brief conversation, and offered to wake me up when the bus got to my stop.
In retrospect, this should have been my first warning. I could go on about how I was sleep-addled, my senses were dulled and all sorts of excuses. Some might even be believable. The truth is, I wasn't expecting it.
"On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone will drop to zero."
Eve sort of shook me awake and escorted me off the bus. This should have been warning two. It was dark, and we weren't anywhere I recognized. Some sort of park. The bus pulled away and she grabbed my backpack, pulled backwards and then kicked me forwards.
History teachers might tell you that the gun changed warfare because it was easy to use. They're probably right. You needed to train someone to use a bow, but you could tell someone how to use a firearm quite quickly. It's really like a spear with a very long reach. Business end goes towards the other guy, hold it forward, shoot.
Simplicity is everything.
The box cutter is what saved me. Not the gun I had in my backpack, but the simple box cutter in my front pocket. Any idiot can stab you.
"The Tall One will see you now."
Students, there is, as I'm almost certain science has taught us, a sort of disconnect between reason and instinct. Between what the conscious mind may be unaware of or even suspect, and what the unconscious mind already knows. There was at least, animal cunning at work here. Not brute force. And whatever luck I'd had before had disappeared with my want for sleep.
I reached for the box cutter in my pocket, retrieved it and was rewarded with a foot on top of my hand for my troubles. I lost my grip on the box cutter reflexively and it was kicked away. And then I got kicked a few times. Ouch. Will avoid getting hit in the future.
As Eve leaned down to pick up the box cutter, I headbutted her, and made a grab for it. I think I slashed her shin. It was enough. Delirious as I was, I made a break for it.
Right into it.
I'm not a pious man, but I pray that I will never have to see it again. It just sort of... coalesced out of the blackness. And nothing prepares you for a nine-foot-tall, faceless, eldritch horror in a suit and tie who for all the world looks like he wants to give you a hug.
So I ran. Brain unhinged, I ran, bowled over and trampled Eve. Mind-numbing fear powering my legs. I ran until my veins ran with battery acid and I felt like I was trying to breathe steam.
I went crazy and lost my knowledge of the spacebar. Somewhere in there, was a moment of perfect clarity that I had the good fortune to record. The eye of the storm. It might event be the truth. I played reversed Hamlet for a while. The madman pretending to be sane. I might even be doing it now. I'd like to think I'm a good liar, and the truth would probably be uninteresting. Incidentally, I think I might have watched Fight Club at some point during my lack of sanity. Good movie. Can't find the disc.
Spencer, I think I have some questions for you.
--The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret