They had been there this whole time. I just didn’t see them, even though I was looking right into their faces, hopelessly wandering through a forest full of trees. This was a search that could never come to its conclusion. I wasn’t paying attention, that must have been it. Why look at a tree any longer than absolutely necessary? It’s just a tree, after all. I’ve seen trees in all shapes, sizes, even colors. Nothing special about them.
And then it hit me, with a gentle slap on my wrist. There they were. Their faces gracefully entwined within the roots, stretching upwards into the sky. Human features, embedded into the bark. People, growing from the earth, at once connected to nature with an immediacy that is hard if not impossible to grasp. They had attained a state of consciousness that allowed them to remain forever still and connected to the ground. Once you knew they were there, you saw their presence in every single tree across the forest. You cannot unsee them. You can only fail to see them in the first place.
I approached one of these beings, careful not to step on her roots. I wanted answers. Like a confused traveler who had seen too much, it was hard to remember where my journey had started. I stared into her eyes but saw nothing. She didn’t move a single muscle. I came close enough to feel her lukewarm breath as it rhythmically embraced my cheeks. A film of moisture covered her eyes, giving them a lifelike quality. I remained arrested for a while, waiting for something that would never come. She had been here for an amount of time, so long, it cannot be captured by language. She had seen everything, but was unable to speak. She lived on a plane of consciousness with no questions, no answers. I wondered about her memory, whether she could recall the start of her journey, or when the process of aging ceased, the reason behind it, or if it even ever truly began.
You are currently traversing the limitless expanses of Visual Fiction. Each narrative fragment in this collection unravels a memory of a man drawn into an alternate reality. With every piece, he steps deeper into the unknown, attempting to describe the indescribable, to paint the unseen, and to make sense of the senseless. These tales offer glimpses into bizarre worlds that can at times feel both intimately familiar and strangely threatening.