"s 2015 Horror Write-off:

" Safety Railing "

Submitted by Maxwell j

 Destiny has a plan for you. Perhaps plan is the wrong word: destiny has an outline.

  It predicts your every move and creates a sort of bubble around you, about two inches away from your skin. Intangible and invisible, the bubble moves as destiny believes you should, and it is almost always right. The tracks that your life is on move just as you move, down to every tiny twitch of your littlest finger. Every living being has a bubble, and all of the movements of all of these bubbles were determined by destiny at the beginning of this universe and cannot be changed until this universe finishes its processes and is reset.

 I know this all because destiny told me.

 I diverged from the path of my bubble by about six inches in June of last year. I’d been feeling particularly depressed for a few days beforehand, and apparently I had lain in bed half a second longer than I had been meant to. All through that day, I experienced a slightly delayed reaction time, bumping into people and doors that I would have avoided had I moved just half a second faster. As the day wore on, I began to feel air rushing against my back in regular intervals, as if there were large objects rushing just past me, out of my sight. Once or twice, something brushed against my arm, and despite how lightly it touched me I got the feeling that it was moving with enough speed and force to tear limbs out of sockets and shatter bones like glass if it were to make more direct contact with me.

 I attributed this to my recent stress aggravating my mild psychosis, although these new sensations had a quality distinct from my usual hallucinations, of which I’d had relatively few recently anyways. Of all the things in my life, at least THOSE meds had been working as they should. I made a mental note to talk to my mother after school and schedule an appointment with the woman that handles my meds, then moved on to-

     The world stopped for a half second.

 My momentum carried me forwards while the world around me stood completely frozen, and then it restarted. Some time in between the stopping and the starting, I was given the knowledge of exactly what had happened.

 Destiny is busy. Very busy. It can’t afford to sit and talk, to inform and explain to everyone how the system works. It can only spend the time necessary to communicate in the most direct manner, simply giving a packet of information to the brain of whatever being it is speaking to. It gave me all the information I just relayed to you, as well as some information about my own experiences that day.

 Destiny told me that I had diverged from my bubble, that I had set myself on a path that would have taken me away from the course that had been set for me at the beginning of time. Destiny told me that, for this reason, it had taken steps to return me to my intended position. Destiny told me that, given the way that my unintended experiences may have subtly changed me, it could not fully trust me to act as it had intended me to, to remain within the bounds that had once been the course of my entire life. Destiny told me that it had corrected the problem. Destiny made my bubble visible. Destiny also told me that this was all that it could do, that it could not guarantee that I would be safe if I ever left the bubble again. Then destiny told me why

 I don't know for sure if any of this is real, but I've lived with hallucinations for years and I'd say I'm pretty good at figuring out what sights, sounds and feelings are real. None of this seems to respond to any of the grounding techniques that have worked for me over the years, and it’s completely consistent, day in and day out.

 I do a good job staying inside the bubble, but it requires constant vigilance. The bubble doesn't account for actions caused by my knowledge of its existence, so i’m only able to type this because my phone’s keyboard is small enough that it is entirely contained inside the bubble.

 It is absolutely necessary that I stay within the bubble, and this is why: destiny let me see the machines that kept the universe running. The universe is a massive and ancient thing, and the mechanisms that run it are similarly massive and similarly ancient. Rusting and utilitarian, massive cogs and pistons whirl and pump, all the parts connected and moving according to the rhythm of massive differential drives and coiled springs, hidden from our sight and hearing as long as we stay in our bubbles. They move quickly and in patterns too complex to predict or avoid, and they are packed close to each other to save space, all their components calibrated to avoid being in the same place at the same time. Destiny told me that the paths that the bubbles take are meant to keep living things out of the way of the whirling arms and grinding gears that give form and function to reality.

 The universe is full of hazards, and fate is nothing but a safety railing.