The italicized line is from White Rain, which is a short doujinshi by Yoshitoshi ABe. It is not commercially available but a translated version can be downloaded from various internet sites. I highly recommend it.

SURreality: Changing


Everything was still changing.

Alison had been thinking of progression, of secession, of the way the grass had changed under her feet as she walked. Of things moving in one direction, creeping slowly to reality.

And it was possible, she thought, that they'd be stuck like that – one change and it's done. Or progressively smaller changes, like a pendulum's slowing swings.

But no, it seemed they could change back and forth, without obvious limits or the rules she'd first thought would be in place.

(That girl with the purple eyes?)

The changes were so drastic. Completely overwriting their own appearance. (Did people hate themselves so much?) An order of magnitude beyond small changes in the composition of plants.

Could she – no, she thought sharply, feeling a flash of fear. She didn't want to spend the rest of her life looking at a half stranger in a mirror, and she didn't know if she'd be able to put it back.

Although...she rubbed her left wrist thoughtfully, feeling the ribbed skin, then looked at it. The two halves of the scar thickened and lengthened until they merged, the color changing from tan peach to mottled white. She examined the difference, turning her wrist from side to side.

She smiled. That was a lot easier than putting it back some other way. She rubbed her thumb over it again and then dropped her arms to her sides and continued on.

So then. She had the same kind of abilities as the other girls, and presumably to the same degree. Consensus reality, then? But the ground...she didn't think they would have thought of it. Their idea of perfect was probably those empty green wastelands they poured lakes over to make grow and mowed twice daily to keep short. People wanted grass, not flowers. This was what she wanted.

(That girl, the one with purple eyes?)

So was she controlling the world? She was dreaming, but that didn't mean anything.

They probably didn't notice. The ones she'd seen had grouped together in stone courtyards and thought about if freckles were cute or childish.

(The girl with purple eyes)

So she was the one thinking about that bit of the world. What if someone else was? She thought of the landscaped gradient, the grass. Had it been like that because that was what she remembered, thin grass reaching to the treeline, or because someone in the town had thought there should be plain grass over the ground?

Then the girl's eyes had been purple, it hadn't been a trick of the light or her own inattention. And she'd thought they couldn't be (because they couldn't, she thought peevishly, purple was caused by having such low levels of blue pigments that the red blood vessels could be seen through it, and that meant blindness), and that the closest was blue so dark it verged on purple, and then that's what it had been, just like she'd thought.

What were the rules then? Her reality overrode theirs? That happened in dreams.

Could their reality override hers?

That happened in dreams too. Willing and wishing something only to have it stubbornly twist back to the way it was or worse, because dark overrode light and fear overrode joy, and if you made the mistake of doubt, thought for a moment what if it doesn't – then it was so.

So she wouldn't doubt, then.

It was a ridiculous solution. When in dreams, dream? She knew she could make it so. And so she had no need to doubt.

Dark overrode light.

But she was never trying to make something perfect. Entropy. To increase complexity was to break apart that around you. To improve something you took from something else, and lost pieces in the transition.

She accepted that. (You have accepted me, which is fundamentally evil) Better to light a candle, even if it only ended with white turned to smoke and ash.