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Rated: E · Short Story · Dark · #2280678
Comfort. Stability. Routine.
         Everyday is a Nightmare, one which we cannot wake up from, and one which we are unaware that we are trapped in.
         The Nightmare is a planet. It is a planet teeming with life, life that is slowly dying. It is a planet that was once beautiful before it became the Nightmare.
         The Nightmare is intricate, it is complex. It is a vast network of life that is too simple to understand and comprehend the awful beauty that it has created.
         It is a long story that spans many generations, all culminating into the life of the protagonist.
         If you could even call them that.
         The protagonist is perhaps the most mild mannered person ever conceived. They are the most average creation in the vast network. Most days of the week they work long hours at their job that they care little about, just like everyone else. Once their done with their job, they go home to their apartment and consume painfully average media, just like everyone else. On weekends, they go out with their coworkers for drinks, just like everyone else. They have very few aspirations, except to maybe find a mate and start a family, just like everyone else. Sometimes they switch on the news, hearing of some awful tragedy caused by the Nightmare, but elect to do nothing about it, just like everyone else.
         The protagonist is just like everyone else.
         Did they ever have dreams? Perhaps in youth, but eventually, all dreams get killed by the Nightmare.
         Hopeful dreams are deemed childish by the Nightmare, and it tries to extinguish them as early as possible through use of education.
         So what's the point? Why is this person the protagonist?
         Because the protagonist is not just one person. The protagonist IS everyone else. The protagonist is every single brain involved in the Nightmares' network.
         The protagonist is a mass collective, stuck in the Nightmares never ending cycle of rudimentary life and excessive meaningless death.
         The ironic aspect of the protagonist is that they understand the horrors of the world that the Nightmare has created, but don't do anything about it.
         The protagonist knows about the fallacies and swindles of the Nightmare, but never takes action, because the protagonist has convinced themselves that they aren't the protagonist.
         They believe that they aren't the one who will rise up and finally defeat the Nightmares, they think that someone else will eventually come along and do it instead.
         The protagonist wants to act, and daydreams of their potential heroics, but ultimately returns to performing the tasks given to them by the Nightmare to keep it nourished.
         'But why keep up the daily cycle?' they often wonder to themselves.
         Because the Nightmare offers them comfort.
         Comfort. Stability. Routine.
         It is these three things that Nightmare offers to the protagonist in exchange for keeping it full with their life.
         Comfort. Stability. Routine.
         Comfort. Stability. Routine.
         Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, until the protagonist knows nothing else.
         At the root of all comfort, stability, and routine is control.
         The Nightmare often laughs at the protagonist, as it gets enjoyment out of watching protagonists unrelenting suffering in palms of its vile hands,
         The protagonist often gets frustrated with themselves for not being able to break the cycle of their suffering, for not being able to find some kind of enjoyment in their life, but once again, the protagonist returns to the cycle.
         The protagonist returns to the cycle not because they are unable to, but because they are unsure how to.
         Every scenario that they contemplate in their head is much too difficult to attempt, so why bother?
         This is a lie.
         The protagonist can very easily vanquish the Nightmare if they put their mind to it. All it would take is for them to put their foot down, look the Nightmare in its ghastly eyes and say "No".
         But the Nightmare is smart, much smarter than the protagonist gives it credit for.
         The solutions that the Nightmare came up with is implanting plastic chemicals into the protagonists blood and overloading their brain with high sensory images.
         These two things keep the protagonist perfectly in line with the Nightmares vision of its creation.
         The protagonist becomes weakened, addicted to the daily cycle.
         Through their addictions, the protagonist has developed a phobia to anything outside the norm, anything that could potentially break the cycle.
         The Nightmare enjoys this, since it feeds off of fear, growing stronger ever more.
         Once again, the protagonist grows frustrated with the Nightmare, but now it's just a part of the daily cycle.
         A cycle that continuously repeats, over and over again, until eventually, the world that the Nightmare cooked for itself and swallowed is completely digested, lost to the abyss.

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