Their Days Are Numbered is a new year-long project authored by the collective Entropy community. It is a collaborative online novel written by the Entropy community on a weekly basis. A different author will write the next “chapter” each week, to be posted every Tuesday, following the previous post from the previous week, and following a very limited set of guidelines (that each author has one week to write the next piece after the previous week’s installment goes up, that installments should range between 150-1500 words, and that pieces should somehow incorporate a real-life occurrence, current event, news item, or other happening from that week).
Follow the entire “novel” here: Their Days Are Numbered.
The twenty-third installment is presented this week by Byron Campbell.
There was no rocket launch. There was no parched land. There were no bathtubs. No trickling rivers ran through here, no children were abandoned, no trees contained the red hearts of women. There were never any groceries to bag. It was all part of a massive disinformation campaign perpetrated by internet trolls with a variety of fake moustaches and electronic mice feeding lines into their ears. If you could turn your face away, you’d see that everything is just fine. Just fine.
There are no flames gently crisping your skin.
There is this thing called information addiction. The cyberpunkers knew about it before it happened. You’ve got a Wi-Fi enabled intravenous needle stuck right in your occipital lobe, constantly drip-feeding you bits of data in the form of hashtag alerts and graphics interchange format 3-second animation loops. When you disconnect, you feel lost, thirsty, like you body is moving through a bombed-out waste. It keeps you up at night, so you count numbers in your head. Just simple integers; this nearly autonomic function calms you. Like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. You usually lose count at around 57, so you start again, forming a 57-digit periodic sequence that repeats itself to irrational infinity. It follows you around, nipping at your medulla whenever there’s a quiet moment. Even your dreams are numbered.
Or you sometimes think of slicing things, Google “chef terms,” julienning them like yellow peppers. You think of cutting everything, things that don’t even make sense, things that are your most valuable possessions. Books, playing cards, your laptop, light bulbs, even the cutting board itself. Capture area, layer via copy, toggle layer visibility, repeat. Layer via copy, layer via copy, layer via copy, layer via copy, layer via copy, CTRL+ALT+Z. Open link in new tab.
You were an FBI informer in your former life. You told them which neighborhoods to fly over in their illicitly produced light aircraft. Would you like to find out more? Right click, open link in new tab. Always allow pop-ups from this site. Certificate not found.
Sometimes you forget to drink. This also leaves you feeling parched.
You have 2,357 unread messages, and none of them are visible. None of them can be revised.
Like any decent drug, the information feed drains you the more you consume it. It’s the anti-psychedelia. There’s no room for fifth-dimensional thinking or Aquarian mumbo-jumbo. Citation needed (this claim needs references to reliable sources).
When you’ve made it through the wall of flames, at first you feel relieved, and then you feel confused, and then you feel merely indifferent. When you wet the bed, first it is warm, then it gets cold. 57 Literary References Only ’90s Kids Will Understand.
This is the former staging area of the hacktivist revolution. Now, it’s just a shell of a suburban block, an abandoned sound stage. Here are the mice they used to make it look like there were tiny electronic mice perched on their shoulders, feeding them information. They’re hollow inside and brittle like eggshell. This is the scale replica of the Oklahoma City bombing site they used to make it appear that there had been a second Oklahoma City bombing identical in every particular to the first–it’s even based on the original Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, not the memorial building that’s been erected in its place. Click anywhere to continue.
Here is the room where thousands of reusable fake moustaches have been pinned to the wall like moths. Click anywhere to continue.
Would you like to watch this short video to enable ad-free browsing? Click anywhere to continue. This link is broken. Click anywhere to continue. This is where they filmed the I Love Lucy reruns. Click anywhere to continue. This is where they faked the moon landing to make it appear that the moon landing had been faked. This bench has been made to look exactly like the White House. This is where they shoot the HBO show Girls, but only the scenes where someone’s eating ass. Click anywhere to continue. This is where they filmed the girl who looked just like Madeleine McCann to make it look like someone had abducted a girl who looks just like Madeleine McCann. Click next.
This link is broken. Click next. This is the waiting room where they keep the Obama impersonators, hundreds of them, all in different suits. Would you like to watch this short video to enable ad-free browsing? This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by the rights-holder. Swipe up to close the browser window.
This apartment is only 3/4 of an apartment. The plumbing doesn’t go anywhere, but there’s a bucket of rainwater nearby that you can use to fill the bathtub. They’ve even got a crude hose-and-funnel setup to make it look like the water is coming from the faucet, but it’s still cold and grey on your skin. Blackened leaves and the sodden husks of insects adhere to your trembling, naked flesh. You let the water rise until it covers your face and you can feel it tugging at your filtrum. A fake moustache peels away and floats past, the color of a perfectly cooked crème brûlée.
Now your eyes are starting to sting, but you still can’t look away. “Everything is just fine,” you say, the water seeping in between your words. Thousands of feet above you, a pinhole camera captures this scene, broadcasting it to millions of rapt viewers.