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SubstituteArt

Artwork by IceyPie

Part 1

Originally released 12/12/2018

In 6th Grade, I remember having a lot of substitute teachers fill in for my homeroom teacher. While my homeroom teacher was very nice and smart, he had a somewhat weakened immune system, and therefore got sick a lot, hence the substitutes.

I can’t remember all the substitute teachers I’ve had, but I do remember Ms. Wayne, she was just as good as my homeroom teacher, and she always made sure everyone in the class was working but also enjoying the day.

There was Mr. Elon, who was very out there and enthusiastic. He would crack jokes and would always make sure everyone was having fun.

And there was also Mrs. Viridian, who was old, cranky, and nearly every day she was filling in, she yelled at any kid who made the slightest of mistakes. She always thought that the boys were up to something, so she got angry at them more than the girls.

But there was one substitute that was different from the rest. He only filled in for one full week, and we never saw him again. And believe it or not, he actually made me question all existence.

It was April 8th, 2002. My other classmates and I started filling the classroom as we sat down at our desks with our books sitting in front of us.

I remember looking up at the front of the class and seeing a man writing something on the blackboard. He turned around and next to him, was the name "Mr. Cotard". He was tall, and slightly overweight. He had a bald head with a slight stubble.

“Alright class. My name is Mr. Cotard. I will be filling in for Mr. Glen, as he is feeling sick at the moment.”

I wasn't surprised, this had happened numerous times over the year, substitute after substitute introducing themselves in nearly the exact same way. They would introduce themselves, and explain that Mr. Glen was sick and couldn’t come in.

After Mr. Cotard made his introduction, my classmates and I were curious as to what this new substitute might offer, because we have never had him at that point and never saw him filling in for other teachers in the school, so it was obviously his first time teaching at our school.

But our high hopes, if there were any, were replaced by sighs and bored moans as Mr. Cotard said that he doesn’t mess around, and that he expects us to work.

“Listen class, don’t get excited because I don’t mess around, and I expect you to learn.”

My friend Robert leaned over to me and whispered.

“Hey Clyde, how high do you think this guy would be on the boring scale?”

“Oh, come on Robert, this guy hasn’t even been in here for 5 minutes and already you're making judgments?”

Robert didn’t respond, simply rolling his eyes with a light chuckle and talking silently to some other kids as Mr. Cotard began his lesson.

The morning was rather boring, we did some math problems that Mr. Cotard gave us. I was struggling in math at the time, and the fact that Mr. Cotard’s math sheets were more difficult didn't help.

But one thing I noticed is how Mr. Cotard acted compared to other substitutes we've had.

Substitutes we've had would typically sit at the teacher’s desk, doing paperwork while we worked on whatever we were working on at the time. Mr. Cotard however, simply stared into space from the desk, sometimes observing certain students as they worked.

I didn't understand why he did this, but later in the day, Mr. Cotard seemingly moved away from the current lesson plan and decided to initiate the “Cotard Space” as he called it.

When he first brought it up, we simply looked at him with confusion, wondering what he was talking about. Mr. Cotard explained that the "Cotard Space" was where the students were given a list of different things, and when a student was called upon, they were to say what they think it's made of. Not in material, but the things that make up the material.

Mr. Cotard started writing a list of things on the blackboard, this list included pencils, glass, power cords, baskets and a number of other things.

Mr. Cotard completed the list and called upon my friend Elijah, who appeared to be sleeping but jolted his head upward to face Mr. Cotard. He rubbed his eyes, and tried to sound like he hadn't just woken up.

“Um, what are we doing?”

The whole class laughed, but Mr. Cotard silenced everyone.

“You clearly are not taking this seriously. You do not have the mental capacity to understand what you will be learning later on, go sit outside and wait until you can come back inside.”

In silence, Elijah left the room seemingly without hesitation, which was something unusual for him to do. Usually when something like this would happen, he would say something snarky or rude back to the teacher, causing him to get into trouble. But this time, he just left and didn’t say anything.

“Clarissa!” Mr. Cotard called as he pointed to another kid, a girl named Clarissa. I was kind of surprised that Mr. Cotard somehow knew everybody’s names. Typically, substitutes have some trouble with remembering the names of students, but Mr. Cotard seemed to know everyone right then and there. I wasn't too suspicious of this, however. I came to the hypothesis that he simply had a good memory, and left it at that.

Clarissa was a quiet and rather shy girl, but performed very well in academics. She took a moment to choose one of the choices listed on the board, and chose the power cord.

“Alright, the Power Cord, what do you think it’s made up of?” Mr. Cotard asked, allowing time for Clarissa to think. She listed copper, aluminum, and rubber. But she began to slow down and began stumbling on her words, she had run out of things to list.

“I don’t know.” Clarissa concluded, to which Mr. Cotard nodded and chose the next student.

“You, James.” Mr. Cotard pointed to another one of my friends, James.

James was rather annoying and would make jokes that weren’t always that funny. But, he was one of my best friends at the time. Sometimes I felt rather sorry for him, usually when he tries to talk to anyone, including our friend group, he would be greeted with silence. He usually has to say someone’s name at least 5 times before he can get any sort of response.

James took a good look at the list on the blackboard, and chose glass.

Mr. Cotard and the rest of the class waited for James to explain what he thought made up Glass. He didn’t know either. Mr. Cotard didn’t hesitate as he stopped James and finally called upon me.

“Alright, thank you James. Clyde!” Mr. Cotard pointed at me.

I looked around as nearly everyone in the class had their eyes on me, I looked at the blackboard and quickly selected a choice.

“I’ll do the Pencil.” I said confidently. A part of me thought I could outdo everyone in the class by actually giving a good response on what I think makes up the material of a pencil.

But unfortunately, it is surprisingly difficult. I began thinking, what is a pencil made up of? Wood, but what exactly is wood made up of? Wood comes from trees but I couldn't think any further than that.

My train of thought was immediately cut off by the recess bell.

“Well, it’s time for recess, we’ll continue this when we come back inside!” Mr. Cotard explained.

I got up from my desk and left the classroom along with my other classmates. But before leaving, I took a look back at Mr. Cotard.

He was standing in front of his desk with something in his hands. I couldn’t clearly see what he was holding, but from what I saw, it was small and red.

Mr. Cotard was looking down at the object, and seemed to be examining it until he looked up at me. I looked away and continued on.

Usually at recess, my friends and I didn’t play on the playground, we simply walked aimlessly near some of the rocks near the school and talked.

We didn’t really talk about anything important, we would talk about things that had happened to us, our favorite video games, and make jokes.

But today, my friends and I dedicated our entire conversation to Mr. Cotard. We talked about his behavior compared to other substitutes, and about the object he was examining.

In the middle of our conversation, we Elijah coming from the distance.

“Guys! You talking about Mr. Cotard?”

“Yep”

“Okay well, before I came out here, he held me back and talked to me.”

We began asking Elijah what Mr. Cotard told him.

“Well. He told me that ‘I wouldn’t be able to understand the truth’ and stuff”

My friends and I were rather confused but interested and wanted to learn more.

“That’s really all he told me, other than telling me that I shouldn’t sleep in class. But he also told me something else.”

Before Elijah could continue, recess ended. We went back inside, with Elijah explaining that he would tell us what Mr. Cotard said later on. We returned to the classroom, and sat down.

Mr. Cotard walked up to Elijah and told him to leave the room. He did, but this time in a slightly more cautious manner.

Mr. Cotard began his lesson, but he didn’t continue the “Cotard Space” like he said he would.

Instead, he gave us a "science" worksheet with fill in the blank questions. But these questions had nothing to do with what we were learning at the time, some of the questions were “How big do you think the universe is” or “What do you think is truly beyond our solar system?”

Probably the strangest question on the sheet had to be “Do you think the existence of the Sun is questionable? Why or Why not?”

I was extremely confused by these questions. And for the first time, it wasn’t because I didn’t understand the information, but rather as to why these kinds of questions were on this “science” worksheet.

As we worked, some of my classmates walked up to Mr. Cotard and asked to go to the bathroom, to which he said no. I didn’t think much of this, I’ve had a lot of substitute teachers who denied us permission to go to the bathroom. I shifted my focus on trying to complete this worksheet, but I turned my head when one kid, Frank, began to complain.

“Come on Mr. Cotard! I really need to go!”

Mr. Cotard sighed.

“No, you can’t go to the bathroom.”

“Why not?”

Mr. Cotard responded to this with what at the time I would consider to be the funniest thing I have ever heard a substitute teacher say.

"Because the bathroom isn't real!"

The class bursted out with laughter, and Mr. Cotard was visibly frustrated, but he also looked as if it had just slipped out, like he said it by accident. Mr. Cotard eventually silenced the class.

"Everybody quiet! And continue working."

The day went by normally after that, but the confusion that arises from the unusual nature of this teacher remained. And while it was incredibly funny, why did Mr. Cotard say that the bathroom wasn't real?

A small part of me hoped that Mr. Cotard would come back the next day, while a larger part of me just wanted Mr. Glen to get better and return. But overall, it was a relatively interesting day.

Part 2

Originally released 04/02/2019

When I arrived at school, I stood outside on the tarmac when Robert ran up to me.

“Hey Clyde! Did you hear? Mr. Cotard is going to be here for the rest of the week.”

“What? There is no way that Mr. Glen is that sick.”

“Well, he apparently is. But hey, we're getting an interesting week!” Robert walked off, quietly laughing to himself as he repeated "the bathroom isn't real" to himself.

Class began, and what Robert told me was right. Mr. Glen was still sick, and Mr. Cotard was sitting at the desk. I sat down, and patiently waited for class to begin. Mr. Cotard stood up and walked to the front of the class.

“Everybody quiet! Today, we’ll be working extra hard, and if we work hard enough, we will do another Cotard Space.”

He handed out new worksheets. I read the questions on this one, and not only did they leave me confused, but mildly disturbed as well. Some of the questions were “What do you think started all existence?” and “What do you think you will see after you die?”

But the last question really stood out to me. “Do you believe in God?”

I sat back in my seat, how exactly was I supposed to answer that? Yes, I do believe in God, but why was this question on this worksheet? I highly doubt this was part of the lesson plan too, so why was it there?

I looked over at Robert, and he looked just as confused as me.

“Hey Robert, did you read the last question?”

“Yeah I did, how do you answer that?”

Mr. Cotard heard us and looked up from his desk, to which Robert and I quickly looked back at our sheets.

Eventually, Mr. Cotard collected the sheets and brought them to the desk. I kept a close eye on Mr. Cotard as he flipped through each one, scanning the page for correct and incorrect answers, marking them as he went through. After a while, he finished marking the worksheets. He shook his head, got up, and walked to the front of the class.

“Class, why didn’t any of you answer the last question?”

Nobody responded, which prompted Mr. Cotard to ask his question again.

“Class, I believe that every question is important, and that it’s important for a question to have an answer. So why didn’t any of you write anything down on the last question?”

After another moment of silence, one of my classmates, Mason, spoke up.

“Well. It’s a pretty weird question.”

“A weird question?”

“Yeah, I mean it has nothing to do with science.”

“Well Mason, this is for your learning, and you need to answer questions regardless of how ‘weird’ they are. Got that?”

Mason was silent for a few seconds.

“Yeah.”

Mr. Cotard sighed.

“Well class, let’s just have another Cotard Space.”

Mr. Cotard began writing on the blackboard. Today there were only 3 options for us to choose; the sun, micro-organisms, and the human brain.

Once Mr. Cotard was finished, he called upon Robert to go first. He took a moment to look at the options.

“I’ll go with the sun.”

“Great, what do you think it is made up of?”

“Well, I'm pretty sure the sun is made up of hot gas, hydrogen, helium and--”

Robert was cut off by Mr. Cotard

“Wrong.”

I was confused, Robert had just listed off some of the things that actually make up the sun, but why was Mr. Cotard telling him he was wrong.

“It isn’t made up of any of those things, the sun isn’t made up of anything. It doesn’t exist, neither does any micro-organism, or the human brian. Nothing exists.”

The class once again bursted out with laughter, with kids mocking Mr. Cotard and calling him delusional. During the laughter, he looked over at me, noticing that I was the only one who wasn't laughing.

After a few more seconds, he shook his head and returned to the teacher's desk.

"Class!"

The laughter gradually stopped as the class turned their attention to Mr. Cotard, probably anticipating another hilarious phrase about nothing existing.

“Look away from me, and do not look back until I say.”

The class compiled, looking to the wall opposite of Mr. Cotard. But I didn't look away, I continued to observe Mr. Cotard as he opened a drawer and pulled out what seemed to be a blue object that looked similar to the red object I saw him holding the previous day.

The object appeared to be some kind of device, it was a cylinder shape and had a white button on top of it, and what appeared to be a sensor on the bottom.

Mr. Cotard noticed me look at him, and signaled me to look the other way. I continued to watch him, he simply rolled his eyes and held up the device, his thumb on the white button, and the sensor facing our direction.

My eyes widened, nervously anticipating what would happen. Mr. Cotard held the button for three seconds, put the device away, and told us that we could look back.

My classmates immediately began looking as if they were confused, some had their hands and fingers on their temples and some were groaning as if they had just woken up.

I started to get a headache, and noticed changes in my vision. I became more confused and started rubbing my temples. I began to sweat, and it was around this time when some of the kids began passing out on their desks. But I didn’t know this at that point in time, I was too confused to even know where I was.

And then everything went black.

I slowly opened my eyes, how long was I out for? My head was pounding, I looked at the clock and it read 12:24, it was almost time for lunch.

I was now aware of my surroundings, I looked around and saw all my other classmates passed out on their desks, and it appeared that I was the first to wake up.

I looked at Mr. Cotard, who was sitting at the teacher's desk.

“Mr. Cotard. What did you do?”

Mr. Cotard looked at me and sighed.

“Listen Clyde, I’ll be honest because you saw what I did, and you clearly want to know what happened. I guess there is no point in hiding it at this point. So, do not repeat this to anyone.”

I nodded, and he began to explain.

“So, I used that blue device from earlier to make you all pass out. Think of it as a form of hypoxia.”

I didn’t respond, I was rather groggy, and it was rather difficult to think straight at the time.

“You were the first one to wake up, everyone else should wake up in a moment. It’s almost lunch time, so you should get ready. And remember, you do not repeat that to anyone. Understand?”

I looked at Mr. Cotard and nodded.

I got ready for lunch and left the classroom when the bell rang. I didn’t eat my lunch as my headache was still pretty bad, while I sat in the cafeteria holding my hand against my head, I heard a voice speaking to me.

“Hey Clyde. Are you alright?”

I raised my head a little and noticed that my friend Jason, along with a few of his other friends were looking at me with concern.

“Clyde. Seriously, did something happen in your class before lunch?”

Jason and his friends were from another class in our grade, so they didn’t know anything about Mr. Cotard and what he did. I knew I couldn’t talk about it, so I just told them that I just had developed a bad headache.

“Oh well. I hope you get better soon.”

After lunch break, we had afternoon recess. My headache had gotten a bit better by then, but I still ended up just sitting at a bench for most of the time. I noticed that some of my classmates started coming out from the school building, a few of them with their hands pressed up against their foreheads. James and Robert eventually came out and walked up to me.

“Clyde. Do you know what happened?” Robert asked.

I took a deep breath.

“I can’t tell you guys"

James and Robert looked confused and rather suspicious, Robert continued.

“What do you mean you can’t tell us?”

“I said I can’t tell you guys, don’t ask again.”

“Well fine. Man what has gotten into you?”

Robert and James walked off, and I continued to sit on the bench for a few more minutes until I saw the principal supervising the field. I supposed that I could trust him, he has more authority than Mr. Cotard, after all.

I got up from the bench and walked to the principal, Mr. Ross.

“Hey Mr. Ross, I need to tell you something.”

“Hello Clyde, what is it?”

“So we have a substitute who has been filling in for Mr. Glen. And he knocked all of us out before lunch.”

I saw Mr. Ross’ eyes widen as he listened further to what I had to say.

“He took out this little blue device and told us to--”

I was cut off when I saw Mr. Ross’ head jerked slightly, and his eyes rolled to the back of his head. Mr. Ross just stood, unresponsive, occasionally making quick jerking motions with his head.

“Mr. Ross are you okay?”

I was concerned, Mr. Ross didn’t respond in any way. He continued to act this way until his eyes finally returned to their normal position, and smiled.

“Clyde. Don’t worry about it, we’ll handle it.” Mr. Ross said reassuringly, then walked off.

I found this very unusual, mainly because normally when something of this calibre happens, Mr. Ross is usually very tense and serious, but now he’s calm and reassuring.

Stunned at what I just saw and heard, I slowly went back to the bench and sat down on it, still trying to comprehend what just happened.

This wasn’t normal, something was going on. I thought about this for the remainder of recess.

When I returned to class, I sat down and looked around. Some of my classmates were still relatively confused, and some still had headaches. Luckily for me, mine had died down quite a bit, so I didn’t dwell on it so much.

I watched as Mr. Cotard wrote something on the blackboard. He turned around to face the class, revealing the word “existent” on the blackboard.

“Alright class, I’d like you to define 'existent' for me. Raise your hand if you have an idea of what it means."

Nobody raised their hand, either because they still couldn’t think straight, didn’t want to get involved, or because they were talking to their friends making jokes about Mr. Cotard.

Eventually, I raised my hand, and Mr. Cotard called on me.

“Clyde, what do you have for us?”

I took a moment before speaking.

“Um. Something that's real?”

“Yes! 'Existent' means something that is real.”

Mr. Cotard continued.

“You assume that everything around you is real, and that’s normal. Besides, there isn’t any evidence that it isn’t real. At least, not that you’ve seen.”

The class looked confused as to what Mr. Cotard was talking about, and some were still laughing to themselves.

“throughout the remainder of this week, I will be teaching you all the ‘truth’”

The truth? What the hell was he talking about? I looked around the room only to notice that the class was just as clueless as I was. Eventually, Robert spoke out.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Mr. Cotard looked at Robert, and explained further.

“I am talking about the truth, the truth about our lives and why we’re here”

Mr. Cotard heard a student trying to hold in a laugh, to which he pointed at him.

“Enough with the laughter! I know you all think this is funny, but the jokes stop now! From now on you will all sit down, shut the fuck up and learn!”

This time, the entire class was silent. Nobody spoke or laughed.

Mr. Cotard began lecturing about how life isn’t what we think it is and that God doesn’t exist.

My eyes widened when he said that, so did a few other kids who were probably questioning why he was saying these things in the first place. He went on about memories are just experiences that never happened and that there is nothing but darkness beyond our vision.

School ended at 3:00, and Mr. Cotard told us that we would continue the next day, and we left.

I walked home and thought about everything Mr. Cotard said. At dinner, I simply stared at my food, thinking, questioning...

I didn’t get much sleep that night, I sat in my bed until at least 12:00. I thought about everything trying to come up with an explanation, but I was never able to think of one that was reasonable. The only thing I could think of though, was who the hell is this guy?

Part 3

Originally released 06/25/2019

Three more days, three more days of Mr. Cotard lecturing us about how nothing exists. It felt like an eternity away for me.

In class, everyone simply sat in their seats and blankly stared at Mr. Cotard, confused and somewhat disturbed that he was telling us that God doesn’t exist and that life is nothing more than an illusion.

Part of it felt insulting, just the way he said that we aren’t real and how our fondest memories never happened was very blunt, and the rest felt strange and confusing.

He ended up giving us another worksheet, like the previous two days. Today, it only had 5 questions on it:

"Have you ever questioned your existence in the past?"

"Have you ever had an instance of false memory in the past?"

"How do you feel knowing that everything you see, hear, feel, taste and smell do not exist?"

"Do you ever question the fact that every religion has a god which is unrelated to all other religions?"

"Do you feel like your death is imminent?"

I stared at the sheet in disbelief, Robert leaned over and whispered.

“Okay this was funny at first, but now this is just getting really weird.”

I didn’t respond, but I couldn’t help but agree with him, this can’t be part of the normal lesson plan, so what lesson plan is he following?

I took my mind off of the strange nature of this worksheet, and just tried to think about something else. That’s when I realized, I never saw Elijah today.

Yes, he hasn’t been allowed in the room by Mr. Cotard, but normally I would see him sitting out in the hallway before class, sometimes even asking what’s going on in class. But this morning, I didn’t see him anywhere. I leaned over to tell this to Robert.

“Dude, I never saw Elijah today.”

“Well duh, Mr. Cotard won’t let him in here.”

"No. I mean I haven’t seen him in school. Not in the hallway, not outside before we went in. I haven’t seen him anywhere!”

A look of slight concern grew on Robert’s face, realizing that he too hadn’t seen Elijah anywhere today.

“Should we tell Mr. Cotard?”

“I don’t know. I mean, he could’ve just ditched but based on how weird this week was so far, it could be because of something else, you never know.”

Robert and I agreed to walk up to Mr. Cotard and ask where Elijah was. As we approached Mr. Cotard, I noticed him holding a VHS Tape.

Mr. Cotard didn't notice us standing behind him, which allowed me to get a decent look at the tape. The tape had a sticker on it with something written in black sharpie.

T.T.C Immobile Dispenser Instructional Video

I looked at it for a few more seconds, confused as to what that meant until Mr. Cotard turned around to see me and Robert standing behind him. He immediately put the tape in one of the desk drawers, and yelled at us.

“What are you boys doing? Go back to your desks!”

“Mr. Cotard. Robert and I just noticed that Elijah apparently didn’t come to school today.”

“Elijah is fine. Back to your desks!”

“How exactly do you know he’s fine?”

“Elijah’s location and current state does not concern you boys. Back to your desks!”

Robert and I didn’t respond, we looked around and noticed that the class was looking at us. We slowly walked back to our desks and continued to stare at our worksheets.

Lunch came and went, and Mr. Cotard lectured us more about how our blood and internal organs do not exist, and how our “bodies” are just hollow shells. I zoned out during this lecture, wondering where Elijah was, if he was safe, and just wishing for this day to be over.

I eventually zoned back in when I heard a loud thud on one of the desks. Mr. Cotard was angrily looking at Mason, following a presumably “stupid” question he had asked.

“You don't get it! All of your thoughts are simply a substitute for emptiness! Your brain doesn't exist, it's a hollow shell! Your thoughts mislead you into thinking that there is something there but there isn't!”

Mason was speechless, he couldn’t say a word due to the nonsense that Mr. Cotard was talking about. He simply couldn’t think of a comeback, and personally, I don’t blame him.

Mr. Cotard eventually ended his lecture and school ended. As I left the classroom, I remembered the VHS tape on Mr. Cotard’s desk. Mr. Glen had VHS tapes and would play them to the class on some occasions, but I find it unlikely that Mr. Glen would have one that had “Immobile Dispenser Instructional Video” written on it.

As I was walking through the hallway to leave the school, I stopped and thought about it a bit more.

I wondered what was on the tape, perhaps something that would explain these strange lessons that Mr. Cotard has been teaching us. I thought about going back to the classroom and take it when he wasn’t there and run home. I could invite some James and Robert over and watch it on my VHS Player and hopefully get some answers about what was going on.

I eventually decided it wouldn’t be worth it and continued for the exit, but I stopped again, I couldn’t resist.

I started walking back to the classroom, and noticed Mr. Cotard leaving the room in the distance and walked past each other. This was my chance.

I entered the now empty classroom, and walked over to Mr. Glen’s desk.

I opened the drawer that Mr. Cotard put the tape in. I found it, but I also saw other tapes.

There were tapes labelled “Memory Removal Device” and “Vision Blur Device”, all of which were followed by “Instructional video”.

I considered taking all of the tapes, but realized that not all of them would fit in my backpack, so I only took the one that I saw Mr. Cotard with earlier.

When leaving, walked past Mr. Cotard in the hallway, he didn’t seem too suspicious, so my plan appeared to have worked!

When I got home, I called James and Robert and told them to come over, explaining that I may have found something that might just give us a better idea on what’s going on.

They arrived promptly, and led them up to my bedroom, where I had my VHS Player set up.

I explained to them that I had gotten one of Mr. Cotard's VHS tapes. I pulled it out of my backpack for them to see. Robert read the label.

"What does T.T.C mean?"

“I don’t know yet but I know that it has something to do with Mr. Cotard. I invited you guys over to watch it with me and see if we can find anything to help us figure out why Mr. Cotard is so weird.”

James and Robert both agreed to watch the tape with me. I put the tape into my VHS Player and turned it on.

The video started with a black screen with white text.

Copyright 1998-1999 The Truth Corporation (T.T.C)

That must be what T.T.C stands for. The text remained for a few more seconds before it was replaced with another string of text.

This instructional video will demonstrate the usage and operation of the Immobile Dispenser (Code-Colored Blue)

This was accompanied by an illustration of the blue device that Mr. Cotard had used to knock us out the previous day.

The purpose of this device is to emit radioactive frequencies capable of rendering those in range unconscious. This device is designed specifically for the Truth Education Initiative.

James, Robert and I looked at each other in confusion and unease. What confused me the most was the “Truth Education Initiative”. I wondered if this was a separate curriculum that Mr. Cotard was teaching, But I was still clueless as to why he was teaching it.

The illustration changed to a person holding the Immobile Dispenser, alongside instructions on how to use it.

The Immobile Dispenser (like the other devices in it’s family) can only be used in any circumstances in which students are not looking at the device. In the event that a student sees the device or you holding it, please dial...

A phone number was listed, with the area code 720, which happens to be the area code for where I live. I contemplated phoning this number but decided against it.

Hold up the device, with the sensor facing the student. Press the button to release the frequencies. You may have to hold up the dispenser for up to 3 seconds after pressing the button to fully release the frequencies.

As we watched the video further, I heard a knock on the front door. Just as a precaution, I quickly ejected the tape and put it in my backpack. I told James and Robert to stay here while I see who was at the door while my mother answered it. I remained hidden as I watched my mother opening the door. Two men, each in black suits were there.

“Hello Ma’am, we are from the T.T.C”

I was shocked, and began to silently panic. Did they track the tape somehow? And what are they going to do to me if they find it? My mother spoke to the men.

“What is the T.T.C? And why are you here?”

“Who we are and why we are here doesn’t concern you. We need to take this situation to your son. Clyde Phillips if I’m not mistaken?”

I ran back to my room to tell James and Robert that two businessmen from the T.T.C were at the door, most likely due to the tape. Before James and Robert could say anything, I told them to not say a word and to act normal. I went back to the hall to listen to the conversation further as my mother began yelling at the businessmen.

“What are you talking about! My son didn't take anything! You have the wrong house!”

“Well, we have orders and we need to ask your son a few questions.” 

“No! I won’t let you interrogate my son like he’s some wanted criminal!”

“Well, you don’t have that choice.”

One of the businessmen pulled out a syringe and injected it into my Mother’s neck, to which she passed out. I ran back to my room panicking at the fact that my Mother has been rendered unconscious, and that these businessmen are going to interrogate me and my friends.

I told James and Robert what they did to my mother just before the businessmen entered my room.

“Hello, are you Clyde Phillips?”

I was silent for a few seconds.

"Yes."

“And you two are James and Robert, if we aren't mistaken.”

James and Robert simply looked at the businessmen with unease as one of them sat down in front of me.

“Clyde. We’d like to ask you some questions, and you will answer them truthfully. Do you understand.”

I agreed with anxiousness.

“Good… So one of our Education Personnel has reported that one of his VHS tapes has been stolen, and suspects that you may be behind it. Is that true?”

“I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking about.”

“Oh really? Alright. So what are you and your friends doing?”

I took a second to come up with an alibi.

“We were just hanging out. Talking about video games.”

The businessman sighed.

“Listen Clyde. We know that you're lying, the tape is here and you will tell us where it is now.”

I didn’t respond. The businessman looked at Robert and James.

“Boys, do you know where the tape is?”

Robert and James simply said they had no idea what they were talking about. The businessman looked at the one he was with, and nodded. He took out a green device, similar to the Immobile Dispenser. He held the sensor inches from my forehead.

The moment he pressed the button, I immediately felt as if I wasn’t in control. I was still conscious and aware of my surroundings, But I couldn’t move or speak. The businessman continued to hold the device in front of my forehead as he continued.

“Did you take the tape?”

“Yes.”

I said it in a very monotone voice. But I didn’t say that, at least, I didn’t mean to say it. It appeared that the green device controlled what I did and what I said.

“Where did you put it?”

“I put it in my backpack.”

Still holding the sensor in front of my head, the businessman leaned over and dug his hand into my backpack and pulled out the tape. He inspected it, turned to his partner and nodded. He released the button, allowing me to regain control of my speech and my movements.

“Thank you, and by the way, your mother will wake up in about an hour or so”

He got up, and walked out of my bedroom. His partner went to follow, but he stopped and took another look at us.

“We’re sorry.”

The businessmen left, and James and Robert looked at me with disappointment and confusion.

“Dude. Why did you tell them?” Robert asked,

“I don’t know. I had no control myself. You know what, I think you guys should go.”

James and Robert nodded, and they both left. I dragged my mother’s unconscious body to the living room and lifted her onto the couch. Within an hour she woke up without any memory of what had happened.

I spent the rest of the night in my bedroom, yet again with no new explanation. But why did I care so much though? I thought about that for a few moments, why was I trying so hard to find an answer as to why this substitute teacher we had was so strange?

I just wanted answers, but a part of me realized that at this rate, I wouldn’t get any.

I thought about this some more, but eventually gave up and went to sleep.

The next day, I got to school and stood on the tarmac, waiting for the bell to ring. I sat down on a bench, staring out into the horizon. As I sat, I was approached by James, Robert and Mr. Cotard.

“Clyde, I’d like to see you for a moment.”

Without saying a word, I got up from the bench and followed Mr. Cotard into the building with James and Robert. We went into the classroom where Mr. Cotard sat at his desk.

"So. You boys took a VHS tape from my desk.”

There was no response.

“That’s fine. I know you boys did it, you don’t have to say anything. But do you know how much trouble both me and you guys are in because of this?”

We looked up at Mr. Cotard, listening to what he had to say.

“You know your friend Elijah?”

"What about him?” I asked

“We caught him telling kids in other classes about me, saying how I was weird, insane, among other things. He was placed in the extended program, we couldn’t have him spreading information to other classes.”

What was the Extended Program? This just added on to the seemingly never ending list of questions, it was starting to become overwhelming.

“And you boys are going to join him."

Mr. Cotard held the Immobile Dispenser towards us, and pressed the button.

James and Robert tried to run, but they collapsed before reaching the door. I, on the other hand. Stood and faced Mr. Cotard.

I began to feel light headed, and fell to my knees. My awareness began to dissipate, and the last thing I remember before blacking out was Mr. Cotard speaking to me.

“I’m sorry I had to do this Clyde. You aren’t like most students who laugh and mock me for my teaching methods. You were just confused and wanted an answer to your questions, and I don’t blame you for that, but I have orders to follow. I’m sorry."

I felt a cold, metal object in my eyelids, leather on my wrists and ankles, and a needle pierced inside my vein.

I couldn’t open my eyes, probably because of whatever metal object was preventing it to, but I was conscious.

I tried screaming for help, but it was only met by the awakening of Robert and James. I only knew they were awake because they began to panic upon realizing that we were restrained with our eyes forced shut.

A few moments later, I felt the metal object quickly open my eyes.

As my eyes adjusted, I noticed that I, along with Robert and James, were in a classroom of sorts. Our wrists and ankles were bound to our seats with leather straps, and the metal objects we felt in our eyes were eye speculums. They are designed to hold your eyes open for eye surgery.

The needles in our veins were connected to an IV Drip, like one you would see in a hospital. And next to me were James, Robert, and Elijah, all bound to their seats with leather straps, IV Drips, and speculums.

Before I could say anything, we heard a voice coming from the front of the room.

“Attention class.”

I turned my head to face the front of the room, and standing there were two businessmen. I recognized them, they were the same businessmen who came to my house the day prior.

“You're all probably wondering why you are here. You are here because you have displayed unruly or suspicious behaviour/acts against the Truth Education Initiative. We hope that the Extended Program will help us make you learn the truth a little bit easier. My name is Oliver Rich, and this is my associate Adrian Fercher”

James, Robert and I looked at each other in discomfort and unease.

“We apologize that you are feeling discomfort due to your seats, but we have fitted the speculum in your eyes with miniature eye droppers, which we hope will make your eyes feel a little more comfortable. We also added some slack to your restraints, so some limb movement can be made. As for the IV Drips, we have filled them with proteins and carbohydrates to prevent starvation.”

Robert began to yell.

“What about our parents!? They’ll flip if they know that this is happening!”

“As far as you're parents are concerned. They don’t even know that you exist. We have had some of our security personnel take every memory of you away from them before you woke up. But don’t worry, when we release you, we’ll return them.”

I felt a significant feeling of unease grow in my body, I felt uncomfortable with the cold metal of the speculum in my eyes, I felt uncomfortable with these restraints, I felt uncomfortable in general.

Oliver and Adrian explained that until friday, we would be taught from 9:00 PM to 3:00 AM, and that when we weren't being taught, our speculums would be closed, and we'd be knocked out with an Immobile Dispenser.

“Do any of you have questions?”

No response.

“Very well. Let’s get started on learning the truth. Here is your teacher.”

Adrian pulled out a walkie-talkie, and spoke into it.

"You can come in now."

We looked as Mr. Cotard walked in and stood at the front of the room. Oliver and Adrian left and shut the door behind them. Mr. Cotard stood for a few seconds, before beginning his lesson.

“Hello class.”

Part 4

Originally released 10/17/2019

“Like Oliver and Adrian said, you are here because you were being unruly and displayed suspicious activity in class, which resulted in you being sent to the extended program. But here is something I should mention. You are not in your school building, you are inside T.T.C Headquarters.” Mr. Cotard

“The Truth Corporation?” I yelled aloud, Mr. Cotard looked at me and took a deep breath.

“Yes, that is the T.T.C. I cannot disclose where exactly this building is, but I can tell you that it is far away from home.”

I looked over at James, who began hyperventilating. He looked very uncomfortable due to the restraints, and the speculum and IV drip didn’t help. He began to sob.

“Please! I don’t wanna be here! I just want to go home!”

Mr. Cotard ignored James’ cry, and continued.

“But it is time for all of you to learn the truth.”

I expected him to go into another lecture, denouncing religion, denying the existence of anything that came to mind, but to our surprise, he turned on a Smart Board on the wall behind him.

A Smart Board is an interactive whiteboard with a projector to display a computer screen, it has a touch screen that allows people to interact with it. These were first introduced back in 1991, but unfortunately my school couldn’t afford them at the time.

Mr. Cotard turned on a computer on a desk next to him, and the projector for the Smart Board.

The projector slowly revealed an image of the human brain, including an optic nerve which connected to the eye. Mr. Cotard began to explain.

“Now. You may remember me saying that human organs do not exist, which they don’t. But they do exist in the sense that they allow you to see, feel, hear, smell and touch.”

We were silent, confused as to what Mr. Cotard was saying.

“Allow me to elaborate. When you look around you, you assume that everything you see is still there even when you look the other way, but that isn’t true. Instead, when you turn your head, everything in your field of view is generated based on what you’ve seen there before, sort of like how a computer works.”

This didn’t really help us understand either, So Mr. Cotard left the room. He came back a few minutes later, rolling in a wheelchair with a shaved man in a hospital gown sitting in it. He stopped at the front of the room, and turned the Wheelchair to face us.

“Class, this is Test Subject #23” Mr. Cotard said as he stood next to the wheelchair.

“Test Subject #23 used to be a psychologist, but he was nice enough to donate himself to the T.T.C after discovering that his life wasn't real, and that everything around him was being generated.”

I took a good look at the man. He looked conscious, but didn’t seem aware of his surroundings. He had a blank expression, as if all the life had been sucked out of him.

“Before you ask any questions, yes he is alive, and yes he is conscious, and is able to see. I will be demonstrating what he will see when the things around him aren't being generated.”

Mr. Cotard took out a Yellow device, held the sensor to the man’s head, and pressed the button.

Nothing happened. At least, nothing we could see. Mr. Cotard put several electrodes all over the man’s head that were all hooked up to a machine, which connected to the computer. The Smart Board began to display what appeared to be a live feed of the Test Subject #23’s vision, with me, Robert, James and Elijah visible in the feed.

“This is what Test Subject #23 is seeing right now. But let’s see what happens when we tell him to turn to look the other way.”

Mr. Cotard looked at the man and spoke.

“Face left!”

Test Subject #23 slowly turned his head to the left, and the feed displayed the man turning his head through his vision. But it also showed something else. Everything on the feed was nothing but black.

“Think of it this way. Test Subject #23 is looking at a TV screen in a dark room. That TV screen displays what he is looking at, and follows his eyes when he moves his head. But when his vision isn’t being generated, the TV doesn’t move along with his eyes.”

I was very skeptical about the legitimacy of this. And so was Robert

“This has to be a joke”

Mr. Cotard took out the Yellow device again, held the sensor at the man’s head, and pressed the button. We watched as the darkness on the screen slowly turned transformed into the feed of what the man was seeing while looking the other way.

“As you can see from the live feed of Test Subject #23’s vision, everything that we see is generated whenever we look in a different direction. Without this generation, we would only be able to see the things we saw while the generation was still active.”

“What’s causing the generation?” Elijah asked with unease.

“It is caused by certain properties in the Property Model of Artificial Existence.”

“What is that?” I asked.

Mr. Cotard paused for a moment, and provided an explanation.

“The Property Model of Artificial Existence is a group of properties that are the sole reason why you are all able to think, see, feel, hear, and more.”

Mr. Cotard held out the Yellow device he used on the Test Subject #23 for us to see.

“This device is the ‘Property Exclusion Dispenser’. Using this, we can disable any one of these properties of our choosing, so for example, we can disable the property that allows you to feel, hear and see. Disabling too many properties can cause your active properties to become unstable, which can cause your body, memories, thoughts and senses to be permanently erased.”

I immediately began to feel uneasy. I looked at Robert, who looked very uncomfortable with everything that’s been happening. James however, he began to hyperventilate again, kicking and squirming in an attempt to free himself from his restraints.

“I don't want to be here! I just want to go home! Let me out of here please!”

James began to relax himself and slumped into his seat sobbing.

“Please just let me go.”

We were silent, I felt really bad for James. He was always the kind of kid who would begin to panic when presented with a situation this overwhelming.

Mr. Cotard put the Property Exclusion Device down, and brought out the red device I saw him holding days ago and walked over to James. He looked up at Mr. Cotard with tears in his eyes.

“This device is called the Truth Engravement Dispenser. This device will force you to understand and accept that your life and everything around you isn’t real. While the other dispensers are painless, this one is… unpleasant at best.”

Mr. Cotard continued.

“Every thought, every memory, every belief, every opinion. Violently torn out of your ‘brain’"

James began to panic, and started kicking and squirming again.

“I’m sorry I had to do this.”

Mr. Cotard held the Truth Engravement Dispenser’s sensor in front of James’ forehead, and pressed the button.

James stopped kicking. But began screaming out in pain as what looked like green particles emerged from his forehead, and were sucked into the device's sensor. Red particles began to emerge from the sensor, and were sucked into James’ forehead.

The sound of James screaming unbearable, yet heartbreaking. When it all finally stopped, he looked around. It was as if he didn’t know where he was, he didn’t say anything, he just looked around the room. Mr. Cotard asked him a question.

“James. Are you real?”

“No, I’m not real.” 

Mr. Cotard nodded. He pulled out a remote control with a single button on it, which closed James' eye speculums. He then held the Immobile Dispenser towards him and knocked him out.

“What did you do?” Robert asked with unease.

“I told you. I engraved the truth into James, he no longer believes in reality. We only use this method as a last resort.”

I looked at him with disgust.

“A last resort? Why would you even do this!? It’s completely barbaric--“

Mr. Cotard cut me off.

“You don't understand Clyde! Everything you think is real is a lie! There is no such thing as space, there is no such thing as the human body and there is no such thing as God! I am here to teach you the truth that has been hidden from you, so you will shut your goddamn mouth and learn!”

Mr. Cotard removed James’ restraints, IV and Speculums. He sat James down in a wheelchair he had brought in and took him out of the room, shutting the door behind him.

Robert, Elijah and I were silent. I didn’t even know what to think anymore, I started thinking that we were going to be here forever, our arms and legs secured with our eyes forced open constantly listening to Mr. Cotard’s bullshit.

And after what felt like an eternity of silence, Robert spoke.

“You know how it’s said that God created us in his image?”

Elijah and I looked at him.

“If that’s true, then why would God’s image include somebody who openly denounced his existence?”

Robert believed in God, so him saying this honestly surprised me.

“What's your point Robert?”

“What if Mr. Cotard is right? What if God doesn’t exist?”

I looked over at Elijah. He was agnostic, so he simply looked the other way not wanting to get involved.

“I’m just saying, it’s a possibility.”

A few more minutes of silence went by until we heard the door open. Mr. Cotard entered the room and closed the door.

“Where is James?” I asked.

“James has been sent home.” Mr. Cotard explained as he walked to the front of the room.

“I don’t believe you.”

Mr. Cotard was silent, probably thinking about what he was going to say. But he ended up ignoring me, and continued on with his lesson.

He showed us a slideshow with different statistics showing how nothing is real, along with theories as to why we are able to experience anything at all. This went on for at least an hour, until Mr. Cotard said this.

“Alright, now I’m going to show you a video made by the T.T.C”

Mr. Cotard went to his computer, probably trying to bring up the video. But he stopped when he heard a beeping noise.

He looked at his watch, and shut off his monitor.

“Actually, I’ll show it to you guys later. It’s 3:00 AM.”


Mr. Cotard brought out two more remote controls, both identical to the one Mr. Cotard used to close James' speculums. He pressed the buttons and my speculums closed, causing me to see nothing but black.

Robert, Elijah and I didn’t say a word, but I was thinking about the video that Mr. Cotard was going to show us. Was it going to be a video about how something makes us believe that we are real? Or is it going to be about the existence of god?

These thoughts were cut short, as I was knocked unconscious the moment I heard Mr. Cotard press another button.

The button on the Immobile Dispenser.

Part 5

Originally released 02/19/2020

When I woke up, I was in a good mood, a better mood then the mood I was in for the past few days. I got out of bed and got ready for school.

I got ready the same way I've always gotten ready. I get dressed, I make my breakfast, I brush my teeth, and then I leave for school. But today it felt like I was going to go somewhere else, a place where I can relax and leave all my woes behind.

I looked at my surroundings while walking, it was a beautiful day, not a single cloud in the sky, and the breeze was gentle and cool.

But then I felt something, which caused me to stop. I felt some invisible force tug onto my shirt, and then I started levitating.

I was surprised, and panicked a little. But the cool breeze and my slowly rising body somehow comforted me.

I rose higher and higher into the air, and looked upon the horizon. I was still wondering what was happening, but I decided not to dwell on it, and to just enjoy the peaceful nature of whatever was happening.

I don’t know why I was so relaxed.

After I was at a point where I was decently high in the sky, I started to notice my vision change. A bright light faded in and filled my vision.

After a few seconds, my vision returned to normal. I examined my surroundings.

This isn’t where I was before. I looked up, and saw the gates to heaven. A part of me felt uneasy. If I was in heaven, doesn't that mean I’m dead?

I walked through the gates as they slowly opened, and I saw a figure. Could this be God? As I got closer, I was able to make out the figure in greater detail. It wasn’t God, it was someone else.

The closer I got, the more it became apparent. It was Mr. Cotard.

He turned around to face me, and I simply stared at him in shock. He stared at me for a few more seconds, and finally spoke.

“Life’s short. It’s an illusion.”

I woke up to my eye speculums opening, it was all a dream.

I looked around, and saw Robert and Elijah sitting next to me, strapped to their chairs with their eyelids forced open, nothing had changed.

“Alright, how did you all sleep?” Mr. Cotard asked,

Nobody responded.

“Well anyway, I’m gonna show you that video now.”

Mr. Cotard went to his computer and brought the video up on the Smart Board. He began to explain.

“This video is an interview that the T.T.C did with a man who discovered the truth.”

Mr. Cotard played the video while he stood to the side. The video started with a man sitting in a chair in an empty room. The room was dimly lit, and looked rather dirty.

The man’s face was censored, and a date could be seen on the top left of the video, reading 05/12/1996. The man just sat in the chair, as if he was waiting for something.

After a few seconds, a door opened off screen, and a businessman walked into the room with a clipboard.

"Mr. Redding?” The businessman asked as he sat in a chair in front of who I assumed to be Mr. Redding.

“Yes”

“Alright. My name is Dr. Fuels, I’m going to ask you a few questions if it’s alright with you.”

Mr. Redding accepted, and Dr. Fuels began his interview.

“When were you born?”

“August 27th, 1965.”

“Alright. Where were you born and where do you currently reside?”

“I was born in Pittsfield Massachusetts, and I moved to Denver in 1984.”

“Alright, what is your profession?”

“I am a Microbiologist.”

“Okay, exactly when did you discover the truth? Please specify month, day, and year if you can.”

“It was September 8th, 1995.”

“What did you realize that helped you learn the truth, and what were you feeling?”

“I realized that physical properties as well as human organs are not possible. And that whenever you would see an “organ”, it would be there when you look at it, but it will vanish when you look away. The best way I can describe it is a hallucination.”

“Alright, and what were you doing when you realized this?”  

“I was studying an organism, I looked away for a moment and I looked back and it seemed to have disappeared, but it reappeared a few seconds later, I suppose you could think of it as lag.”

“Has this realization affected your psychological condition at all?”

“I wouldn’t say it has, it was a little bit confusing and strange when I first learned the truth, but that’s all really.”

Dr. Fuels asked a few more questions, and finished the interview. He thanked Mr. Redding for his time, and the video ended. Mr. Cotard stood at the front of the class and simply looked at us.

He knew that we wanted to get the hell out of there and go home. But I think that a part of him emphasized with us, we were physically uncomfortable. Our limbs restrained and our eyes forced open, it wasn’t a fun experience.

I turned my head to look at Robert, but he wasn’t there. I was confused, where was he? He wasn’t let out at any point. I stared at the empty seat that Robert was in for a few seconds, and miraculously he reappeared out of thin air.

My jaw dropped, Robert looked at me with confusion.

“Clyde? What’s up?”

I didn’t respond. Instead I continuously looked away and back Robert, and every time I looked back he would be missing only to reappear a second later.

“You're starting to see it, aren’t you?” Mr. Cotard asked. I looked at him with unease, and struggled to gather my thoughts.

“I don’t understand. What the hell is happening?”

I turned to Elijah, who seemed to be just staring at me.

“Elijah, are you okay?”

Elijah took a moment before answering. I saw him open his mouth, and said something I would never forget.

“Clyde. Your brain. I don’t see it.”

I was rather disturbed after he said that, but I asked him to elaborate more.

“Your skull, it’s just hollow. You don’t have a brain. All of your other organs are disappearing one by one.”

He had to be messing with me, right? He had to be. I looked at Mr. Cotard.

“Elijah is seeing through your skin and bones, it’s likely because of a deterioration in the visual properties. But that’s what we think right now, we’re still studying it.”

“No... No this can’t be happening. I’m dreaming! There’s no way everything you’ve been saying for the past week is true right?”

Before Mr. Cotard could respond, I felt a sharp pain in my gut, I couldn’t really explain how it felt, it was a pain that you couldn’t really comprehend. I struggled to let any sound out, and Mr. Cotard noticed this.

He pulled something out of his pocket, a white device. He held the sensor in front of my stomach, and I passed out.

I woke up in what appeared to be a hospital room. As my vision adjusted, I noticed that I was hooked up to various machines. I felt rather weak, and my stomach still ached a bit.

After a few minutes, I saw the door open. Oliver Rich entered the room and stood beside my bed.

“Hello Clyde, how are you feeling?”

“What happened?"

“Something happened to you, Clyde. Something that we have never encountered before. That pain you felt was your stomach dematerializing. But luckily, we were able to recover it.”

I was stunned. This was insane, and scary.

“So my stomach was disappearing?”

“Yes. Why was it? Well, it’s not very well understood, and it had never happened until now. We have teams researching this as we speak.”

I had nothing to say, I didn’t know what to believe anymore. On one hand, I realized that everything Mr. Cotard had been teaching us was right. But on the other hand, I refused to believe that my entire life and all existence wasn't real.

“I understand that you're going through a lot at the moment, but for your own safety, we are going to give you this.”

Oliver reached into his pocket and pulled out the white dispenser that Mr. Cotard had used on me. He handed it to me and began to explain.

“This is the Physical Property Recovery Device. To use it, hold the sensor toward the disintegrating area, and hold the button down for 3 seconds. We strongly recommend that you take it.”

I took a closer look at the device, and looked back at Oliver.

“What if anyone asks about it? Or if I lose it?” I asked.

“We’ll handle it.” Oliver responded reassuringly. He looked over at a clock in the room. It read 3:15, already past the time that we would be dismissed from school, Oliver looked back at me.

“Looks like it’s time for you to go home.”

He brought out an Immobile Dispenser and held it towards my forehead. Oliver said one more thing before he pressed the button.

“Have a good weekend.”

When I woke up, I was in my room. I was relieved to be out of the hellhole I was in for the past few days, but the things I learned stuck with me. I looked at my bedside table, and saw the Property Recovery Device sitting on it.

I picked it up and just looked at it. I still didn’t want to believe that nothing was real, and knowing that any part of my body could disintegrate at any moment was terrifying. From that point on, I kept my Recovery device on me at all times. And to avoid having to talk about everything that had happened, I've always kept it hidden.

I never saw Mr. Cotard again, Mr. Glenn returned the following week. Robert and Elijah were noticeably quieter in class. They were rather distant, and noticeably disturbed. They eventually returned to their old selves for the most part, but the memory still remains.

It took me a few weeks to fully accept the truth of reality. As for my mother, she was okay when I returned home, she didn’t seem to recall ever noticing that I went missing, or anything about the T.T.C.

I am 30 years old now. This all happened 18 years ago but it’s still fresh in my mind. Thankfully, I haven’t had to use my Recovery device as of now, but I still have it on me regardless. I am also suspecting that the T.T.C is spying on me.

It seems that whenever I go to a public place, there is a man in a business suit occasionally catching a glimpse of me from afar. I suppose this is to make sure I don’t tell anybody about my experience, but I personally don’t care at this point.

People always seem to be looking for the true meaning of life. An answer to the questions that have been on the minds of nearly every human being. Why are we all here? Is there a purpose for existence? Is there a reason?

18 years ago I found the answer, and it’s simple. There is no existence. Everything you know, every memory you’ve recorded, every belief, thought, and idea is nonexistent.

If you haven’t been convinced by those around you. Don’t worry, you’ll soon find out for yourself. Everyone will soon find out for themselves.

Everyone.

Written by IceyPie
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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