Palindromically-stylised author NISIOISIN’s Bakemonogatari (Monster Tale) is the collective title of five story arcs published over three volumes (two in the original Japanese print) that is the origin of the now-expansive Monogatari series. Like the title suggests, they are stories of monsters, ghosts, and other supernatural beings that its protagonist happens to encounter and subsequently deal with. The aberrations in question draw from various mythologies and folklores, ranging from obscure Japanese tales to more well-known Western publications. This is no horror story, however; Bakemonogatari is best described as equal parts occult mystery, comedy, and in-depth analysis of the human psyche.
The hospital kept me in observation for a short while afterwards, but quickly enough I was given a clean bill of health and sent home to the awaiting news crews. As it would turn out, my story would have quite the impact on the world in the coming months. My dysfunctional Life Clock caused irreparable damage to the manufacturer’s reputation. They even offered to have it replaced or disabled if I kept quiet. But it was too late for them.
When I come up with ideas for writing, sometimes I’m already seated in front of my laptop and I just start right then and there. Sometimes I might be slightly busy, so I open up a Word document and drop a quick summary in there for later. Sometimes I may be lying awake in bed at some stupid hour of the night, and I rue both my proximity to my laptop and my unwillingness to get out of bed and use it. But there are also times I’m not in a place to do any of those things, so I send myself a message on my phone with a quick summary so I don’t forget what it was.
And then I woke. To jostling. To voices. To a sterile, white light. To a variety of things plugged into my body. To cables and tubes leading to and from various machines. Even in my alcohol-induced stupor, I knew this was a hospital bed. Haha, I thought, it happened again.
Suffice to say, I was on edge the very second I woke the next morning. It was one thing to have an unexpected traumatic experience and deal with it afterwards, but it was another thing entirely to know about a future trauma. The thing that hit me the hardest was having no idea what to do about it. What could I do? I didn’t know what was coming, or how, or where, or why; only a vague prediction as to when.
Not all that much of importance happened for a while after that. I had no choice but to recover from my surgery, learn to walk again and reclaim a sense of normalcy in my life. I had to move into a different apartment that facilitated wheelchair access, and my workplace had some renovations done to accommodate me. My boss was gracious enough to put down my time away as paid leave and keep my position open for when I came back. With all he did for me I couldn’t be mad at him for sending me home that day. If not for the unfortunate circumstances that had got me into that position in the first place I might have enjoyed all the attention and support.
Have you ever heard of the Doomsday Clock? It’s actually not a clock, per se; it’s more of a metaphor. You see, mankind used this clock to measure not the passage of time, but the human race’s proximity to probable destruction. In this metaphor, time began at 00:00 and ended at 12:00—one complete rotation of the hour hand about the face—where 12:00 was symbolic of imminent disaster. The hands of this clock didn’t advance linearly, either; they were adjusted forward and backward in relation to the state of global affairs at the time.