Decay was a rudimentary excuse. A man sat there picking apart the cross-stitched home sweet home. The skull in the fire place wasn’t much of an explanation, nor would it have been an hour ago before the charred flesh crisped and peeled from it.
The clock had stopped. He touched his chest to make sure that his heart was still beating, and he felt like he had to wait an inordinate amount of time for confirmation. The children were not crying upstairs as usual, and he couldn’t quite fathom out why that would be.
Information fizzed on the Communal-Viewer, the last message, a mnemonic glitch bomb, seemed to be a laughing skull. It was ominous, but the only thing that really made it so was the repetition. Who could tell if it was part of the design?
His retina itched. His tongue felt bitten and electric. He was getting a horror movie starring his family rolling through his short term memory. It was like a drunken morning after, hangover detective piecing together the concatenation of mistakes. He knew he was the last domino.
Blood dripped lazily from the flat distorted image of the knife he was trying to understand. He picked it up, and it explained itself.
Afterwards, the police determined that the disturbance to the normal broadcasting signal had been disrupted just in this once house. Someone was testing out something, and that meant this was just the first time they were going to see this. Augland Masoch and his family proved the success of whatever it was they were seeing the aftermath of here.