July 27, 2018
Hopefully this’ll get seen by a lot of folks because I want them to keep an eye out if any more pop up.
So last week somebody put a gazing globe in my back yard. I don’t know who, I don’t know why. All I know is: not there when I went to bed at night, there when I woke up.
For those who aren’t familiar: a gazing globe is basically just a lawn ornament, ceramic ball about the size of a big melon, polished to a sheen with a highly-reflective surface. You put it up on a stand usually and when you look into it you see your whole yard mirrored all around in there. Hence the name. People put them in their gardens; it reflects the flowers and whatnot. I don’t get the fuss, though. Gaudy things. But hey.
Anyhow the one in my backyard doesn’t reflect a damn thing, from I’ve been told. Sure seemed like it did, though. It was shimmering all silvery in the early sun when I approached it that morning.
Some happy drunk leaves that in your lying around on the grass, you’ll want to move it right away. I wasn’t about to forget and then run into the damn thing with the mower. But the thing is I never got around to it. My rotti, Beanie, had been sniffing at the thing, and just as I get close, well ... I guess there’s no gentle way to put it; she goes nuts. Yipping and yapping and snapping her jaws at thin air as if she meant to snatch a fly up. But she went on and on. She wouldn’t stop. Almost bit me, too, which is bad enough ... only, the weird thing, I don’t think she was actually aiming for me.
And I mean this was really bad. I have never, NEVER seen her that shook up. Sad, too, as I’d had the girl for six wonderful years. And now she’s jumping and rolling all around, whipping her head left and right with stringy strands of spit flying out of her mouth. And, really disturbing thing, eventually she starts bending herself in ways I didn’t much like to see at all. I thought she’d break her back in two. So I quick called animal control, told them what was happening, and then waited inside for them to show up. I hate to say it, but I was afraid to get near old Beanie.
Those guys showed up, and I grudgingly explained how she’d been sniffing that yard globe thing out there.
I suppose that was the real beginning of it.
While a couple guys handled poor Beanie with snare-poles, another one of them went over to that silver ball in my yard. Maybe she smelled something on it, they tell me, or maybe a foreign thing appearing in the yard suddenly scared her up. They didn’t sound all that sure, though, and I never knew Beanie to freak out over hardly anything. So I decided I’d watch from my porch as this guy goes over to it (while the two others are literally muzzling Beanie now and damn if I wasn’t crying a little) ... and right then I thought I was stuck in one of those Twilight Zones because now this guy starts writhing around. He doubles over, a pained grimace on his face like he tasted something awful, clenching his head like it was inflating and he wanted to hold it together.
What a mess.
We called the police, of course. They came right quick. Two cops hauled the animal-control guy away in cuffs (and this guy was sure babbling and crying the entire time, I’ve never heard a grown adult scream that way, nor do I wish to again), and two others took a look at this Christing orb out there. I waited inside once more, and looked out from through the window. I have to tell you I was genuinely frightened now. Something was very wrong. Seemed like anyone who got close to that thing just lost their shit outright.
Those two cops hummed and hawed over the thing for a while, until — shit you not — they both hunker down to their knees and started rubbing their temples. And then the awful screams came.
Well, after one bitch of a drama with even more cops (I had to explain that I didn’t do a goddam thing until I felt blue in the face) a group of SWAT-men came. And if I was only frightened before, then I can tell you that now I was scared as all hell. I have never seen SWAT before in my life. Let alone at my goddam home. As soon as I saw them roll in with those armoured rovers I got to thinking that orb out there might be a chemical weapon. Come to think of it, I had noticed there’d been a kind of metallic, burnt ozone smell ... like if electricity had an odour, that would have been it.
And if I could have left right then, I think things would have turned out okay for me. But the thing is these cops wouldn’t let me leave. After the other officer lost it, they didn’t much believe anything I was saying at all. My lawn, after all. So they thought it was my globe, too.
And then this part is kind of funny, I suppose. I say that, but it certainly wasn’t at the time. Damn dreadful, actually. But living something feels one way and writing something feels another.
A team of SWAT-men circled and close in on this goddamming little yard globe, riot shields raised. One of them gave a quick hand signal and then another one (fellow wearing some kind of bulkier armour than the others) slowly walked up to it, and I swear to holy God this guy was tiptoeing. The circle of SWAT-men followed suit ... tiptoeing. It took them a about a full five minutes. They got very close.
Do I need to tell you what happened?
All of them.
Maybe not hilarious, but that was about the only humour I found during the whole string of events.
They collapse and start rolling around, they tear all their helmets off and start holding their heads, gibbering crazy-talk in shrieks and bucking their hips up into the air. Even from where I was, a good acre away, I could tell their eyes threatened to bulge out of their sockets. Some of them even started scratching at them until they were just these dark red holes.
And can you believe that they sent another squad? Yes indeed. And this time they were wearing gas-masks. I mean that was the smart thing, now. Damn straight. Whatever bastard pieces of shit dropped this thing in the yard, they obviously put some kind of poison gas drug in it. No shit.
But how’d those SWAT-guys do, you may wonder?
Let’s just say my knees became cold jelly as I watched.
About an hour later the last of the SWAT-men were tied up into stretchers, rolled out, and my yard was blocked off with yellow barricade tape that was striped purple — and my house was practically wrapped up and bow-tied in the stuff. And now here come the hazmat guys. You know? Full body-suit, air filters, thick gloves, treaded boots. The whole shebang. Nothing but a visor-slit for them to see through.
About five of them went up to this thing, and the foremost of them was holding these huge tongs out at the ball. He reminded me of Homer Simpson picking up that green-glowing uranium rod with the pincers, and then it clicked and I got to thinking, That thing isn’t poison, it’s fucking radioactive! Although you’d think if it was that bad it’d affect the surrounding grass or corn, somehow.
Guess what happened to the hazmat guys.
I watched helplessly from my window, steely dread cutting into me like a dagger and twisting. I crammed my knuckles into my gaping mouth, bit down. This was crazy. Just too crazy.
A lot of other stuff happened between that time and what’s going on now. But I can appreciate that you all don’t got time for all the details as you’re sitting there, eating your cereal, scrolling through Reddit, eager to get on with your blissfully normal lives. So, to make a long story very short: my property at this moment looks a lot like, oh, let’s say a trailer park — except instead of trailers and campsites its Hummers and decontamination tents. And instead of tipsy folks wandering around in the sun shooting the shit or mowing the grass, there are a lot of very sober-looking men wearing olive-drab suits, sternly marching up and down the yard, grim determination in their hard eyes.
One of these men came out of a helicopter which landed in my front lawn, and before I could even ask him what all the medals on his chest were about he informed me that I am under no circumstances allowed to leave the house. And never mind any other questions. “Don’t ask, Mister Franklin,” he tells me in a tone deadly serious, “you’re not at liberty to know.”
Well I couldn’t believe it. A bunch of assholes in black suits came in and right away I knew they were CSIS. They towed my car away, took my phones, even routed through every drawer in the house to find and take all my postal stamps. Cut my internet, too, and that’s one inconvenient kitty of a bitch, let me tell you what. But (as I’m certain you’re wondering about) they don’t know about my little trick.
They were nice enough, however, to supply me with as much food and water as I need. I just write it down whatever food I want on a paper and hand it to one of the black-suit assholes standing outside the doors. And they sent in some doctors who ran about a hundred checkups on me to make sure I was okay. So there’s that, at least.
Oh, and the other thing, just a little thing, a side-note, really: under absolutely no circumstances may I look at that gazing globe. My windows were boarded up for this very reason.
I was informed of that last part there when I got a visit from Mister Larry Kraut. I was pretty excited; they said this guy was a famous physicist. Flew in from the states. You heard of him? I was eager to tell him what I learned about that orb, something I don’t think anyone noticed — I’m pretty sure, anyhow.
Well, I got pretty bummed out pretty fast. He shows up and Christ Almighty this guy is a nervous wreck. He’s shaking and shuddering a lot like Sylvester the Cat in that Looney Tunes scene, where he’s all strung out at the desk. Spilling a kettle of coffee, about five crooked cigarettes in his mouth, eyes all bloodshot. You know the one? Well anyhow Kraut wasn’t quite that bad, but he did have heavy bags under his eyes, and they were reddened, and the lone cigarette in his mouth twitched up and down almost as fast as a spring door-stopper after you flick it. His tie was all loose and out of whack, too.
Get a load of what he tells me.
“Well, ah, the really frustrating thing is that there isn’t really a, ah, a good way to explain it. What you’ve got sitting there, in your field, is a, ah, well ... as far as we can deduce, it is quite literally a mathematical equation. You understand? It’s not a ball out there on the grass, it’s not an object with weight or fixed measurements. It’s a, ah, a quantum puzzle. One we can’t solve.” Then starts looking all around the living room as if some bug only he could see was skittering around from ceiling-corner to ceiling-corner. He starts rifling through this stack of papers in his hands, adjusts his glasses which had slipped way down. “I mean, this blows everything out. Everything. Who knows what gets out, never mind what gets in. It shouldn’t — it shouldn’t be. It’s just not in any way possible ...”
I was really confused, and very badly scared. Here I thought he’d bring me some kind of good news, but the way he was jibber-jabbering made me wonder if he got too close to that orb. “’Fraid I don’t get what your meaning, Mister Kraut,” I managed to say. “That’s all jargon to me.”
“Right, right, right. Jargon. Hah! Hah-hah ... jargon ... Okay. Alright. Well, ah, how can I put it?” He shifts in his seat, puts the papers down, and then slowly holds his hands up a little as if he’s about to gently place his palms on some hot surface. “It’s, ah — well, like a letter ... in an alphabet. Uh ... sure. A letter in an alphabet. An alphabet that can, ah, only be used in a very specific language, and that language is used — maybe — to govern functions to the elements in a multiverse. And only God speaks the language. You get it?”
I shook my head.
“Right. Sorry. Jargon. Okay.” He took a long drag of that smoke, right down to the filter, butted it out on his pants, for Christ’s sake. “It’s ... it’s ... oh, fuck it — we don’t know, Franklin. We don’t know. That thing sitting there could be from outer space. No — beyond outer space. And it’s probably not even, ah, really from anything. It must have always been there, you see. Overlapping. It’s the only way ... to explain ... It’s a massless fold that ... uh ... Right. Sorry. Jargon.”
“It’s okay, Mister Kraut. I think I see what you’re saying now, a little.”
This science-man starts tugging at his hair a little with one hand. “Yes. Okay. Good. Anyway it doesn’t matter. The reason I’m here is to tell you, ah, what we do know, the important thing — this is very important, Mister Franklin. Alright ... You know when you look in a telescope?”
“You know how you only see whats through the tube?”
I nodded again.
“Well, looking at that thing is in all likelihood sort of like looking through a telescope, only you can see much, much more. I think that when you look through this telescope, it’s not ... quite you looking into it, but it looking into you. Do not look at it, Franklin. Do you understand me? Ever. That’s the only conclusion we have. Everyone who we lost looked at it. And I believe that they did not like what they saw — or what saw them!” He placed his trembling fingers to his temple, looked at the floor with wild eyes, started distantly mumbling something or other. I didn’t quite catch it all, nor did I understand. “When you gaze into the abyss ...”
Well then, get this, the guy starts weeping. Right in front of me. Very odd. Sure. But I suppose I can’t blame him. He was trying to understand something, as much as he could, without ever looking at it. Can you figure that? It spins my head just to think about. Because, as I understood well enough, if you looked at it, it looked at you. And if this was what it did to a fellow just when he tried to guess at it? Shit. There must be all sorts of things out there that could steal your marbles away in just one swipe, just to see them, just to know them.
That much made sense now, at least.
I wanted to tell him about the thing I thought was pretty important about that globe, but he started babbling on. I think he probably knew already. He certainly ought to have.
“If what I think is in that thing is real ... Shit, shit.” He rubs his eyes very hard. “I’m sorry, Frank. I’ve very, very sorry. You were expecting some revelation, for me to tell you everything’s going to be okay or that it was all just some silly mistake. But I’ve told you literally all I can.” He grabs his papers, gets up, almost trips backwards over his seat before grabbing it with one arm. “You have to stay under surveillance and, ah, quarantine. We don’t know how much it’s gotten into you.” He starts for the door. I heard him mutter: “I have a wife and a daughter I need to — I want to be with.” Then he cried, “Don’t look, Frank! They didn’t like what they saw!”
So what, exactly, did Beanie and the rest of those poor souls see in that little globe?
Fuck if I know. I told you I never got close enough to exactly quite see. But I can say that before they boarded my windows I noticed something quite interesting about it. Whatever Doctor Frankenstein told me about not looking? I think I was too far away for it to have a complete effect.
Listen. I’m a farmer. I don’t know much about extra-dimensional folds, unsolvable math-equations, or multiverses. What I do know are the simple things I see all around me on a day-to-day basis — nature. Take, for instance, my cornfield.
Again, I’m a farmer. Been a good one for over thirty years. And I can tell how my crops are doing almost by the hour. Almost. I can tell if they’re dehydrated, if they’re withering, or — most importantly — if they’re growing. I have always been very perceptive of that one. Down to the centimetre.
And sure, I’m pretty old now, too. But I’ve been blessed with good eyesight and what my optometrist calls farsightedness.
And you know what I noticed about that gazing globe, when I looked at it from through the window? It was actually easy for me to spot.
I’ll be damned if that thing wasn’t almost twice its original size by the time the army-men showed up and boarded the windows up.
Speaking of army-men, I can see they’re up to something out there now. The CSIS boys didn’t do the greatest job boarding up, I can tell you that. Nor have they considered that — well, gee! — I might have a data plan, or that old iPads with cracked screens lying around in the basement storage room can still work just fine. Well, you know what they say about the CSIS: if your name is on their list, you’re safe. If you have a name similar to someone on their list, you’re a dead man.
Bunch of fuckwit ham-fist clowns, tripping over each other and meddling in affairs they know nothing about.
And that’s the other thing: it sure looks like Mister Kraut is having a bad disagreement out there with the guy in all the medals. They’ve got some kind of big crane-machine moving around out there, and its claw is hanging over the globe with great intent. Kraut’s papers are blowing around all over the place out there in the wind as he points at it, his face red as a cherry. He’s screaming and shouting.
Whatever they were arguing about, it ended when Kraut started swinging his fists. In about three seconds they got Mister Kraut to the ground, and then a youngish-fellow blasted his brains out with a carbine.
Well, I suppose that’s my cue. I’ll just go ahead and post this here because I’ve used this website a lot when it comes to the farming community, and I don’t know anyplace else that gets as many views. But somehow I think that, once I send this out (if it does indeed make it out), the data network suddenly won’t work too well. Broken lines, of course. Or installing a faster network. Happens all the time. Pick your favourite.
Oh, I didn’t mention the thing about eggs. See, I know eggs too. Come on, you had to guess I’ve got chickens. Fresh eggs every morning; yolk’s like liquid sunshine.
Well, seeing that claw out there over the globe looking all ready to grab it sort of got me thinking about eggs. How when I grab them up I seem to drop them more often than I care for at this age. How gentle I have to be now. How fragile they are.
I certainly hope they don’t drop that little eggie. And just how do they expect to hold an egg made out of a math equation, anyhow?
Ham-fisted clowns, I’m telling you.
It’s just as well. That thing’s getting bigger, and I wonder how long before nobody can’t help but look at it.
Or maybe it’s supposed to hatch. And when it does crack open, something tells me we won’t be seeing any yolk. And, well, maybe I did see a little something in there, far away as I was. Even from that distance, I could get an impression.
If the hammy-fists fumble it, I can tell you we’ll be seeing something very soon. Something not even remotely close to liquid sunshine.
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