A Hidden Reality

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: The Imaginarium

In today’s society, we are raised and conformed into complying zombies. Losing our minds in a vicious cycle of consumerism and white-collar tyranny, that we all submit to. We have now reached a
point of nadir, and no one realises.

I took my short story, 'The Link', and altered it slightly. Creating, in my opinion, a more in depth analysis on the main character, and how his mind operates. My original short has been altered,
and some of the scenes from the original are not exactly the same, but the themes still remain. If you are checking this out, make sure to read 'the Link' after, and you can get an understanding of
how I ended up here. Any mistakes, please make me aware of, and I hope you enjoy.

A Hidden Reality


In today’s society, we are raised and conformed into complying zombies. Losing our minds in a vicious cycle of consumerism and white-collar tyranny, that we all submit to. We have now reached a point of nadir, and no one realises.

Every day, a culture of entitlement expects the same thing, nothing different, because change is what threatens their way of life; a life which is a never-ending template, allowing us to repeat, and repeat, and repeat. Same clothes, same make-up, same phone, all the same but with slight differences, allowing the same life that seems rich with change and diversity, but is really an unchanged portrait, waiting for society as a whole to modify. So, they still sit, waiting, mindlessly.

Why do we allow ourselves to be influenced by repetitive, turgid icons? Why do we allow ourselves to bend to the knee of society’s desires? Because we want to embrace that talent show culture of ours, that’s slowly eating away at our brains.

So why am I talking to you about all this? Because I’m one of the few that understands this invisible social apocalypse, and I’m here to stop it. Whilst everyone is concentrating on fixing up their unchangeable, perfect lives, a curtain lies, hiding behind it, the truth of the world. No one from this culture I live in could comprehend the horrors that wait behind this curtain. But they stay hidden for a reason, so that truth stays hidden. Your life is a lie, soaked up by society’s ideal.

All the beauty of each country is shown to this world, but the grime and grit of each country is locked away. Even in the HIC’s there are disgusts that would shock the world and ruin us. The ferocity and blood shed of this news, would result in a chaotic rage of fear. So, the curtain is justified. But what I do is open that curtain, just a little. I let slide through certain events, to pull people away from the edge, a nudge, pushing us away from a totally brainwashed society, that would be fully unaware of the excessive violence growing in the world.

A life of ecstasy is stepping away, day by day, when it seems like it’s getting closer, and the guilt lies with those who don’t know anything of it. So, when society does find the full truth, my work will have softened that blow enough to prevent anarchy from reaching its full potential.


My work is performed through media companies. Those who can get a good juicy story out the pain of this world, but at the same time, share a message that could completely change the way we look at society.

Few in these companies understand, and agree with my ethics, and help to organise these events. They understand that in the real world, bad things need to happen, and people need to get hurt. We can’t live in a society without that. A well-functioning society is only well-functioning because of what we do. Chaos on a scale that is controlled and manageable. Slightly slide the curtain open, and watch us continue, with minimal damage. Whip open the curtain and watch the world burn.

The events I cause will go up in history, and all these media and news companies that associate with my work will scoop as much up as possible, and in the end, what are they left with? Money. A big profit. And that's what it all rolls back to. Greed. Even those I work with are obsessed with the feel of a note between their fingers. The sociopathic CEO’s of these companies don't care about lives, families and love. They have an incompetence to see the world around them. Money is their lives. So why would I feed into them? Because it’s the only way to spread the message. And I hate to say, but even the incorruptible, like me and few others, lack honour.

But the events role out and so the curtain releases just a bit more.


They looked like they belonged in a spy movie. Four figures sped along the road, I heard them from a mile away. Black motorcycle suits. Black helmets. Blended in well with the night. Sly silhouettes contradicting their slick and stealth like movements, with the roar of motorcycle engines. The figures were creepers of the night, waiting.

The figures made three trips past the two-story restaurant. I was assessing the situation whilst attempting to blend in on the top floor. The modern restaurant had a nice vibe. The waiters and waitresses complemented the atmosphere. The intensity of the kitchen was hinted, the noise wasn't overflowing, but it was noticeable. This would soon end. The racket increased on the first floor, a visual representation of class, chaos down below, and the further up, the more control.

Anyway, the motorcyclists have sped past the restaurant three times. I felt like I was the only person who had noticed them, a good thing. I sat by the window. Staring down onto the busy streets, filled with zombie-like, but soon the streets will be alive again, and the people will be alert.

The figures had come back a fourth time but stopped. Each motorcyclist parked. Stepped off. And disappeared round a side-alley beside the restaurant. Preparation for an event like this was going to be key, no slip ups would be tolerated.

My attention quickly switched from the window however, as a waitress attempted to grab my order. My attention then switched again, this time downwards to the menu. I ordered the restaurants 'classic burger', but this burger would not have time to slowly sizzle into a delicious meal, but instead it would burn to charcoal.

The waitress began to write down my order. She repeated what I asked for as she was writing, and I nodded. Her pen separated itself from the paper. She looked up to me. “Any drinks with that?”, those were the words that came falling sloppily out her mouth as she froze. Her mouth immobilised open, and her eyes fixed on an image outside.

I turned away to catch what the waitress was staring at. The street light had been smashed. And by the four motorcycles stood one of the dark figures, back facing the restaurant. However, as he began to turn another light appeared. I squinted to see what this figure was holding. Once I realised what it was I opened my eyes fully to see three more figures come from around the side of the restaurant with three more of these lights. One of them raised their arm and I sniggered, the fun was about to begin.

The waitress presented a strong sense of stress, only to quickly reveal a scream. Downstairs blew up in flames. A chain reaction of frights and cries engulfed the first floor. I ran to the stairs to see the chaos, all was going well. The fire was a creature, taking the lives of men and women. Suddenly, behind me another blast occurred, flames eating one-man whole. Shrieks then jumped upwards to the second floor like a hare outrunning a wild dog.

In less than thirty seconds serenity had been slaughtered by mayhem. The upstairs fire had started to spread, fast. I prepared myself to move down and get out, I knew where all the possible exits were, and how to get there. Before moving from the ground to the first floor of anarchy, I glanced behind me to see another Molotov cocktail fly through the shattered window and burst onto the second floor, arising another flame. The first blast had knocked the waitress down. She looked into my eyes and begged for help, in a frail moan, but the new flames had begun its feast on her body. Focus. I needed to get out.

Body parts flung across the room, and where the waitress lay, the floor collapsed. Rubble crumbled down to the ground level. The roar of three motorcycles occurred. The fourth was soon after the fourth blast, on the left-hand side of the ground floor restaurant. This is where the spiralling stairs finished, and where the bar started.

The bar seemed to be the best target at this point as so many shocked and horrified faces hid for cover behind its seemingly fire resistant barracks. However, only a fool would hide here. The bottles of spirits seemed to be craving the warmth of fire and as a crowd of men and women dived into the fire protective area, several vodka bottles fell to the ground, spreading its flammable liquid all over the protective bar area. A yelp of pain soon came from behind the tavern counter. A woman quickly jumped up and ran helplessly into the fire to escape the pain. The fire was now quickly upping its pace, and growing behind me, and the only way to get down was to jump half a story, into more. As the thought crossed my mind however, the bar blew into a vicious ball of brutal inferno. The flesh of several more people scorched off their bodies. More screams.

I looked behind me again and made a choice. Jump. I landed into the developing blaze downstairs. Tears flooded around me, but not enough to stop the firestorm.

I didn't realise it, but the fire engines were outside, people were outside. The panic had now overtaken the streets, spurting from the containment of the restaurant, which was now a burning graveyard. The black clouds of smoke created a storm within the building. Cough. A struggle to breathe occurred. I had forgotten about the swarm of smoulder that immersed the building. Cough. Cough. And now it kicked in. The fire had turned cold and I had been kicked down. I was gone.


The walls had crumbled, wooden slabs from decorations had turned blackened and charred from where the flames had licked them. The fire was never really out, the ruins were still smoking a black cloud of death. On the inside the embers still glimmered. Black dust hung around the room, contaminating the air. As I lay in my hospital bed, I watched the television, breaking news. In reality it was the opposite, it was pre-meditated arson and murder. The screen spoke, “please be advised, some viewers may find these pictures distressing”. You could see from the images that only a little amount had escaped that fire. One news broadcaster had access to the inside of the building, the broadcaster that had helped to set this event up with me, a full-on investigation into the restaurant. Glass littered floors from the huge glass windows, accompanied with rubble, cutlery, food, plates, drinks… people.

If you looked carefully you could catch a glimpse of the remains, or parts of the victims. But that’s what really annoyed me. The broadcasters, they twist it, bending the truth. Breaking what really happened, watering it down for audiences so confined, that they wouldn’t be able to handle the true dread in the world. The burnt bodies, only fractional was their time in front of an audience, a glimpse if you knew where to look. The numbers of deaths and injuries were revealed, but I know that is a pathetic excuse for revealing the whole story, and in a world like today, numbers like that mean nothing.

The images may have been disturbing for some, but they cut out the truth of that night. It took minutes for those bodies to turn to crisp. The aftermath left behind sullied bodies, weeping for life. Fingers and toes had disappeared to ash, and the rest had combined to produce a mixture of fat and clothes stuck to a gummy surface of human flesh. But it was pulling people back to reality, where pain and death are all too present. The only thing that concerned me was the broadcasters, profiting on pain, big money-making opportunities like this fall right into the hands of businessmen, laughing in greed, which seems not to be a downfall, but a strength. And they can’t understand the truth fully themselves, denying every glimpse of actuality, and replacing it with fake, processed realities. It makes me sick, but it’s the only way to spread the message of reality.


A cold breeze contaminated the dark knight. Someone had shot all the light from the sky. The clouds were dusted in a haunting grey, looking over, wanting something unknown. Shadows stood in amongst the darkness, I was one of those shadows, waiting. Hooded and deadly, prowling for an attack to unleash.

The misconception of innocence in the world was slowly falling apart. Truth was unveiling itself step by step. Action by action. Death by death. This everyday culture that we have endorsed is beginning to crumble, and the honesty of life that you believe, is starting to lose structure, as the real honesty is fading through. This glamourized philosophy is coming to an end, and I’m its grim reaper.

I stood in a black hoody and tracksuit. The beaker in my hand. Any target was acceptable, in this area they are all the same. Working class, council house scum. Ill fated was not the right term for these. These people aren’t given this life, they have earnt this life. Crime and delinquency is their lives. But some seem to sympathise with them, and that is unacceptable. But, they sympathise because they see these people as the poor, the hungry and the helpless, but really, they’re the crime riddled, and filth that drive society in the ground.

An attack on one of these people will open up the truth, to the many. An understanding will be established, and the people will be exposed to another reality in this dirty society. I had gotten the acid from an un-named associate, who is part of this disgraced part of our society. I was tempted to choose him as the victim, but he’s a supplier, I can’t do what I do without him.

A random victim had been chosen. A park local to this area of disgust was the place. No lights, late at night, a rush of violence in the air. Tall, council flats raised above, and surrounded the park. They seemed as powerful as gods, but they were nothing. False icons. False hope.

The late night had not been kind to the victim. Hidden in the shadows I was, preparing. The victim was stumbling through the street. Drunk, high heeled, short dress, slut. Hair in a mess, wobbling, smudged makeup, dirt.

She sat herself on the bottom of a slide, damp with tramp piss. Fumbling through her bag, trying to locate her keys. She was the embodiment of human disgrace. My hooded silhouette paced restlessly towards her. Fuelled with a rage that wants to galvanise this post truth society into reality. She giggled as her eyes saw me approach. Amused, too drunk to understand the danger approaching. I came close and she giggled some more.

“So,” She paused and wobbled slightly, before regaining focus and slurring once more, “who are you? And what do you want?” Wobbling some more and giggling some more.

I grew an even bigger knowledge of the misfit culture this part of society had bred after this encounter. I was disgusted and encouraged more to complete the act. The beaker filled with the skin-melting substance raised from beside my leg and splashed against the flesh on her face. The liquid teared her face apart in an aggressive riptide.

No one heard her scream of pain. Her yelps for help were pointless. Her skin seared as the acid took its place, eating its way through her epidermis. Burn. Melt. Cry. Her tears mixed into the scorching liquid, tearing apart her face. She fell to the floor. Clawing at her face, trying to brush off the liquid in a desperate attempt to save her already mangled face. Muscle began to sear. A hissing noise tried to overtake the screams of agony, but her voice seemed to dominate.

I stepped back. Watched the pain take over her body. I tensed up, wanting to beat down on her, make the pain worse. But that’s just my desire to personally discriminate against this so-called community and society. I would place a fingerprint or drop a hair. That would ruin future plans to reveal the rest of the horrors that hide away.

The acid began to burn through to the bone. It was an aid to death. Her face deformed. However, this act of grievous bodily harm was necessary. Another truth revealed.


A fake eyewitness was interviewed at the scene of the crime, where in the background a forensic crew worked in a white tent, despite its pure persona, seemed to be hiding the truth, A blockade between reality and what you see, idealism.

But the reporter dominated the screen, telling the audience about the brutal attack during the night, and talking to a witness fabricated for the purpose of money making. I know she wasn’t there as the company I worked with on this occasion had assured no one entered the area but one, the victim. But the attack itself was too vicious for the news, too vicious for off-beat media companies too.

They talked and talked and talked. Describing the attack. But never revealing it, never giving the attack a face or something for the audience to galvanize over. Fabricated lies were the subject of this report. Yes, they talked about the attack and its effect, but didn’t truly show the life of these people, and how they affect our lives, sympathy was justifying the filth they contaminate the real world with.

Yes, a truth had been exposed, but to what extent. This was truthful at the utmost minimal level, the content was clear, but the underlining was filled with false information. This made me feel useless in showing the world our reality. Fakes run the world, and sometimes we can’t break through. That’s the reality of this world. We are run by a society so constricted, that we are blinded by the stupidity of our own mistakes, and not even we can see or act upon them anymore.


The street lights were dim. They seemed to be lacking in people, unusual for such a busy area. But the rain, dark and time seemed to have rushed them to their homes, where they continue to be warped into mindless masterminds, believing they know much, but really know so little. But the streets seemed to increase in pedestrian count further down the road. Fatalities may be expected.

But I was a silent creeper of the night. A leper in a society that refuses to believe me. My eyes were peeled. Down the road was the office of a company. A company that had dumbed down my work for too long. The surface members of this company won’t recognise me. But the ones that ravish in gluttony, the ones that hide behind suspicious shadows, will know exactly who I am.

For too long they have sat back and watched the world blister in the mistruths they release. I used to be able to show them, and they would show the world. But this has become twisted now. World leaders influencing what’s right and wrong, its morally deceptive. Watching the tower my spine shivered. The indifference for the real world had gotten a point of no return.

I twisted the key. The engine switched and weakly moaned. Soon, savagery will be revealed silence will be broken. The loud noise of the world that deafens our concentration, will soon be gone, and focus will return. These people trust that they can rule over the living dead, but all his world needs is to rid themselves or culturally fed lies, and the way to succeed this, is to burn the source. And then only can this great depression these people call lives, will come to an end.

As violent as the minds of the sociopathic businessmen, I pressed down on the pedal. I was the truth, and the truth was about to burn into the sky. I had begun. The journey to completion. The rain pushing down on the windows, wipers swaying violently across, trying to unblur my vision. I took no exceptions. For in the dark I feel exposed, I am a man that works in the dark, the daylight gives me a face and a name, but the darkness gives me a persona, its where I belong, where I am known. But time is of the essence.

A bump as speed increases. No bump in the road. But a shot of crimson spread across the windscreen. My eyes glanced at the wingmirror, an object flung from the back of the van and onto the gritty surface of the floor. The rain and wipers soon cleared the blood, creating an innocent criminal that feels no mercy due to the slipping sense of time, actions had to be done, and mercy had to be left behind.

A woman and her child walked into the road a couple hundred metres ahead. She needed to move. I might be a man lacking mercy, but I feel remorse for a child. A child will be open to change, and an opportunity to grow into a mindful human is there. Closer. Move. She still hadn’t seen me. I moved my hand to the horn and pressed hard in a desperate attempt to save the child’s life. She grabbed his hand and whipped him back. The scream and shout of the woman was soon driven past.

Focus. The building wasn’t far. Mental preparation. The number seventy-six was hovering above the slowly moving stick behind the wheel. I could see the glass doors and windows. Closer. Seventy-nine. Closer.

My eyes closed. I heard the shatter of glass across the van, before pushing open my eyelids once more. Two men dived out the way in utter fear as their hearts skipped a beat in view of the van. However, as I regained focus, my sight caught onto another. She stood still. Eyes locked onto me. Couldn’t move. Embrace for impact. The van ripped through the receptionist desk and crushed the woman. Pinned between a concrete wall and the bonnet. Blood spewed from her mouth, spreading across the front of the car. She struggled for a moment, but the tiring effort for freedom had been lost. She slowly fell onto the car, I reversed back. Her body flopped to the cold ground like a rag doll. I took a moment to look at her remains.  A crimson liquid, coming from her stomach, dispersed across the floor. Her body was now a bloody show of gore. 

I quickly shot back however to the reality of the scene. People outside were in panic. Screams, blood, glass. I caught a glimpse of two men making their way towards me. One last thing to do. I spotted in all the mayhem as leak coming from the engine. This my chance. I drove back into the receptionist desk. I watched as the world in front of me squealed in panic. This is how society reacts, this is how people have been brought up. To panic. Not to fight back. Pathetic. I reached into my pocket. A fine lighter. Fuelled up to the top. I shattered the window. Searching for the petrol trail. I looked up. The two men were nearing. Spotted. Light. Throw.

A trail of fire swivelled round, searching for its end. I sat back and shut my eyes. Embracing the panic. I heard one of the men shout, “get back!”, and that was my cue. The front of the car lit up in flames. I awaited the finale. And it didn’t disappoint.


The news that night was disregarded. No one was prepared for this. No company was prepared for this. But everyone still knew about it. And that is my work completed. The ephemeral life that this world presents cannot be put down. Men, women and children must know the truth. And they shall know the truth. This is what the true reality of this world is. So, prepare yourselves, because euphoria is a distant dream, and the days are running from us.

Submitted: November 30, 2017

© Copyright 2021 Tom Smith. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


A. K.Taylor

While I can tell it is a longer rendition of another work you've posted, it doesn't pull at me as much as I'd expect. The premise is interesting as it seems your writing through the eyes of a killer who believes he is liberating the world through his actions; however It feels a bit on the cold side. It's mechanical in its tone. Though, I can see where it works for the message being told. So, if that was your aim, then you've done well.

Their was one or two tweaks that I've noted in the icomments. Otherwise, not bad. The tone just isn't a style I'm good with, but that's just me. Keep it up. I don't mind making suggestions, if needed.

Fri, December 1st, 2017 3:45am


This piece describes, in great detail, a complicated yet flawed character that is presumably an anti-hero at best, a horrific villain at worst.

Though there are suggestive themes, I’m not certain that the ‘world’ he lives in is actually Earth, or an alternate time/reality of Earth, or another world that’s more dystrophic.

The points that he makes is reasonable and very accurate at times, however only from one side of the coin. He is the pinnacle of “glass half empty”; claiming that everyone is enslaved by society’s expectations, that all people in power are sociopathic, corrupted and motivated by greed.

At the same time he is egoistic, holier than thou, psychopathic, perhaps even delusional; a person who thinks his actions (no matter how brutal) will make the world a better place. He orchestrates terror attacks, chooses not to save any victims, finds pleasure in witnessing death and destruction, and does not value his or others’ lives.

He also makes huge assumptions and judgments. He judges the waitress for taking his order with no interest, he judges the woman to be the embodiment of lust and depravity, he judges the whole of society to be blind except him and appoints himself as judge, jury, and executioner.

His one saving grace is that he thinks children are innocent, and at times he feels tiny amounts of guilt and remorse.

Truth be told, this piece was an uncomfortable read. Unless the reader connects with his personality or his fondness for destruction (in which I’d recommend seeking psychiatric help before it’s too late), there is no enjoyment to be found. I was relieved that the level of detail was not too high, else I wouldn’t read the whole thing.

However, this would make a good piece to find inspiration to create a psychopathic villain who think they’re doing the world a service by destruction.

Fri, December 1st, 2017 12:03pm


I don't know if I'm right here, Tom, but the point I feel you are trying to make with this is the 'falsity' of society we live in. We hear all the details on the news but they are sanitized, watered-down, and the victims remain almost faceless.
Your character, crazed as he might be, is 'society' -- where we are all without any real identity and a viewed as being expendable.
Forgive me if I've got the whole idea wrong, but that is how it reads to me.

Fri, December 1st, 2017 8:56pm

Q.B. McKinney

You've done it again, my friend. There are certain "dark forces" at work in our society and you have captured their essence with your story. When people begin analyzing the psyche of your characters, they have been drawn into the world you have created. Keep up the good work, I look forward to reading your new story.

Sat, December 2nd, 2017 4:14pm

Oleg Roschin

This is a thought-provoking piece, and you've elaborated on a lot of ideas you expressed in your earlier version. It is indeed very hard to sympathize with the fanatical protagonist, but then again the whole setting is so grim and cynically hopeless, that everything fits together. The writing is strong and convincing, though the unusual style of the narrative might need time to get used to. All in all, this is a very interesting piece of "semi-fiction", which seems to be your kind of thing :)

Sat, January 6th, 2018 4:58am


I really enjoyed this piece, really delving into the way darkness takes a hold of some men, leaving them deranged and with no return to the light. I look forward to reading more!

Sat, February 3rd, 2018 1:32pm

james farr

Reads like a true work in the school of nihilists.Nihilism has gained importance literarily.Where reality is always just around the bend. Very well written.

Fri, December 6th, 2019 5:20pm

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