Skyboy
rating: +15+x

There was always fear, slithering underneath their eyelids whenever they closed their eyes and chose to sleep, that their dream could change everything.

Of course, that would be too easy. They'd have to get up, sleepwalk, release whatever was inside their head into the clay, steel, concrete, wood. But what if they would one day actually start to sleepwalk? What then?

What if they didn't need all those silly things like materials to spill out everything inside them?

There was a story about a man who sculpted things in his dreams - he dreamt he sculpted but at the same time he never moved from his bed. Story says he killed millions not knowing what he did. It was just a story, passed from one artist to another but stories need to be born somewhere. They heard whispers about similar things happening, from time to time. Réunion was buzzing with a similar story, for a while. It happened when someone who never dealt in written word chose to write. and how they drowned.

They resisted the urge to chuck their phone out of the window, just so they woudn't hear those stories ever again. Cutting off everybody was easier.

It is currently unknown what is the source of reality-warping abilities of people classified as "anomalous artists". In case of anart affecting the viewer mentally, the source is suspected to be mystical and/or memetical, as many pieces of art rely on perception and ability to connect facts by the viewer - amount of knowledge and general level of intelligence are often crucial for artwork to affect the viewer.

It's still not known, though, how pieces that defy laws of physics or thaumaturgy come to existence and what is source of their anomalous capabilities.

It was exhilarating, sinking into the carpet slithering between their feet and feeling themself let go. Later they would sculpt shapes into the pillow they slept on and feel those shapes crawl underneath their head as they tried to sleep.

In the morning they would water their succulents. They would watch their forms, the way light of the rising sun fell through a half-translucent surfaces, their fingers digging into the earth.

Later they would pass by the warehouse and avoid scavengers and urbex fans, high on graffiti fumes overflowing from the inside, pigments dizzying and attracting more and more of them. Once there were crowds sticking to the walls, inhaling uncontrollably imaginary cocaine. They were nearly all gone today, surprisingly.

During the night, they would dream and in the morning they would feel they could make their dream a reality with just a movement of their hand. It was a dizzying sensation, a truly powerful one, exhilarating, intoxicating, one they were growing sick of.

This type of process of anartwork creation is often described in metaphorical ways, presenting the activity of creating art with means of another, seemingly unrelated, activity or line of thoughts. There is no correlation between artists' mental visualization and ways the anomalous art is created: the images presented in those visualizations most likely do not depend on medium used.

They knew that whatever was in them was bursting at the seams. They ached to turn their chisel to their skin, to let whatever was inside out, but they knew it wouldn't work like this. Their hands were the only means of lowering that internal pressure, but there was either lack of time or lack of own skill.

Even when they sculpted, be it clay or folds of material of their dress when they were sitting at the balcony, it was never enough. They wondered if it was stress turning their body against them or was it really a thing they couldn't control at all. They never could pinpoint when their work slipped from their own hands into the hands of something else, if such a moment ever existed.

Glances sent by their roommate were no longer worried but annoyed. They wished they could explain what was going on, but they weren't sure if they knew anymore. And anyway, they tried explaining enough times. It never worked.

What still remains to be discovered is how anartists avoid the exposure to the effects of their own work. Generally interviewed anartists note that a creator should know their own work well enough to avoid it, but in most cases artists express confusion and lack of understanding of the mechanism. Some acknowledge the fact that they don't know what their art really does before exposing the viewers to it, but often in those cases, works do not present a significant hazard.

If art is supposed to have a certain effect, though, anartists generally note that the desired effect, be it on viewer or on reality, is what drives the creation process.

For now they abandoned the dreams completely. They never dreamt after taking meds, so they resorted to that. Just in case, they tied one of their legs to the bed. Their roommate mocked them for that, but they didn't care. Before sleeping, they trembled, helplessly allowing chemicals to shut their eyes.

They were a wreck and they knew that. Stomach cramps, irregular periods, even hair loss. They wondered if this was the price of art in their case - you never get amazing powers of creating things out of thin air that rebel against all laws of nature and physics without a payment of some sorts, right? Or maybe they just did something wrong and needed help. Or both.

They watered their succulents in the morning, trying to ignore the sunrise and tugging feeling at their eyelids. They felt that their paranoia was somehow justified but couldn't quite explain how did that work.

They sculpted scales in a smooth surface, trying to pour all their panic into intricate patterns but they knew it wouldn't be enough in the long run. For now, though, there was a bit of relief here, in clay dust on the floor and callouses on their fingers.

Most often repeated notion during creation process is a sentiment of being out of control, artists noting that their activities are guided or even straight out directed by some uncontrollable force, described very often with a term of "Flow".

The term is, most likely, derived from a psychological state in which one is fully immersed and involved in a certain activity, characterized by loss of sense of space and time.

They woke up lying in the hallway, their fingers covered in clay. They scrambled up with a scream, waking their roommate up. She was considerate enough to let them collapse in her arms and to soothe them with gentle whispers, Sam, Sam, hey, it will be okay, it was just a bit of sleepwalking, don't worry…

She never laughed at them again.

Most of anartists using the "Flow" methodology mention a sense of contentment, feelings of exhilaration or satisfaction, but some interviewed note at least one case in which the reverse also happened - from a sensation of dissatisfaction to outright fury.

Emotions of the anartists may but do not have to affect the outcome of their work, but some interviewed anartists note it can make creation process easier.

They stared at their phone and the countless texts from some folks they knew. They deleted all of them. Then, they lied down on the floor and fell asleep, body too tired to follow whims of the mind.

Regardless, their hands still worked clay while in their dreams they sunk deeper and deeper and wondered briefly what would happen if they drowned before waking up.

In extremely rare cases, it is noted that the process of creation and affecting the viewer is reversed. The changed order has been observed too rarely, though, to be effectively analysed and for proper research to be carried out. It is notable that most of anartists interviewed do not have any knowledge regarding it.

Anton Legler stared at the slowly burning canvas lying on his kitchen's floor. Their smell was more intoxicating than an itch for a cigarette he still felt after so many years of dropping the habit. There was a sensation of relief, watching threads and paint get slowly swallowed by flames. He could always salvage them, but this, this brought him so much more satisfaction.

He heard a knock. For once someone noticed that doorbell wasn't working. He glanced at the watch. It was almost midnight, who the hell would arrive this late anyway? Yang rarely came at this hour but she usually called beforehand, and who else would be here to visit?

There was a brief thought that maybe somebody in the end got interested in him again, so, just in case, he took a potato peeler, dipped it in some cyan paint and put it in his pocket. Dada never made a great weapon, but was definitely useful in urgent situations.

It turned out it was all for nothing, as he was greeted by a girl. Well, a young adult woman, technically, but she looked young enough. Only her expression belied her age.

"Do I know you?" He always was proud of the fact he had a good memory for surnames and faces but this person? No, he never saw her in his classes, he'd for sure remember someone of this posture and way of standing.

"No," She replied. "But you are a Sam Adams' teacher, and you deal in weird shit."

Her bluntness stunned him for a second, but he nodded. Sam Adams, a known name, he wanted to invite them to his little lessons but he didn't see them on campus in months. He never heard if anything had happened to them, but even before their disappearance they looked rather bad. A thought that he should reach out maybe and ask if everything was alright crossed his mind just before their disappearence.

"They need help."

She took a few steps back. On the hallway's floor was sitting Sam. They rised their head and smiled weakly. They looked even worse than last time Legler saw them. He noted their paleness, too thin limbs and dark circles under their eyes.

With a sigh, Legler opened the door wider.

It's theorized that as the viewer in this case is the source of anomalous effect, the artist is working around reality perceived by the viewer. The inability of artists to perceive what the viewer's sensations are does not work in favor of this theory, as anomalous artists, despite their name, are rarely anomalous entities themselves.

They vomited chunks of concrete and wood onto the kitchen floor. Before they could draw a breath in, more wood followed, this time covered in layer of dark paint. And again, more concrete and wet clay. Even in the darkness one could see that those were now mixed with blood. Probably some splinters from wood damaged their throat or esophagus.

Legler watched, waiting. He winced when bloodied screws clinked against the tiles.

"Typical overflow." He noted, when it seemed like they threw up everything. They were still retching saliva, blood and splinters, but it was nothing in comparison to the pile in the middle of his kitchen. He passed them a glass of water; they used half of it to clear their mouth from any remains of paint or blood. The rest was drunk, cold water soothing the burning.

"Overflow?" They finally cracked out, voice barely a whisper.

"That happens, rarely, but it does." Legler took the glass, refilled it with tap water and passed it back to Sam. Their hands were still trembling when they held it again. "A loop feedback of sorts, might happen when you create things based on your own perception and actions, but that's not always the case."

"Is it so bad to create things based on yourself?" They put the glass on the floor and tried to sit down.

"No. But sometimes when Flow is in play it can lead one to drowning." Legler looked briefly at the pile of used materials Sam puked out. "I dare say that was close."

"Will this…" They followed his gaze. "…help? Sorry for the mess, by the way."

"For a while, yes. It was just a performance you did here, something symbolical to at least alleviate the pressure." Legler helped Sam get up, and even as they were supported by him they could barely keep their balance. They were grateful their roommate left before she could see them like this. "I think I might find something to help you out, for now at least."

"You sound as if I was ill, Professor."

"Not really." They sat down on the sofa." When you think of Flow as a tap you turn on only when you create, I suspect you are struggling to shut it down. A rare thing, yes, but that happens. It's always hard for people to learn to access Flow but leaving it is simple. In your case it's the reverse. I think all you need to do is to learn how to do it."

"So, what, are you going to teach me that?" Sam sighed. "Hopefully I won't fail your other courses as well."

"I am going to do that but first I'll have to make sure you can stand on your own." Sam stared at Legler, and he shrugged. "Unless you have something against that, but considering you can't take one step without someone's aid, I suppose you will stay here a while. In the meantime, I'll do everything I can."

"With all due respect, Professor, but that sounds shady as fuck."

"Also, if you stay here I will make sure you pass more than just my classes."

Sam stared at him.

"That makes it even worse."

"Maybe, but I want to remind you there are two flights of stairs to get from here to the street. When you'll get from here to there without collapsing, you're free to go."

Sam stared at him.

"Isn't that technically kidnapping?"

"I am not the one who can barely move, despite the fact that I'm at least thrice your age," Legler rised an eyebrow at them. "But if you want to, I can call an ambulance or a taxi. All up to you. Keep in mind though that your performance will keep you stable for maybe a two weeks at best."

Sam bit their lip.

"Do you live here all alone?" They asked, quietly, and Legler laughed.

"If that's what you're worried about, I do, but I am in a stable relationship, thank you very much." Legler got up. "For now though, you will be the first to spend a night on this sofa. You'll tell me later how it was."

"I have none of my things in here." They muttered. "Toothbrush, or at least pajamas…"

"I think one of hers should fit you," Legler got up. "As for the rest, I'm guessing you might call your friend to get your things, I have enough space."

Sam grabbed closest blanket and, while grumbling angrily, lied down on a sofa. It wasn't bad, for now.

"If it makes you feel any better, though, I also don't want you to spend too much time here. I like to keep my personal life close." Legler left for few minutes, he returned with a set of green pajamas. Sam noted it was a bit too short for them, but thanked for them and waited few long minutes after Legler retreated to his own bedroom before changing into it.

Before they managed to fall asleep, they heard a crack, a gentle sound, as if from a bonfire. Sam tried to remember but no, they didn't see a fireplace anywhere. They struggled to sit up on the sofa, body too weak. Maybe they did overdo it with skipping meals a bit and, generally, ignoring everything but their plants…

From here they could see a kitchen. In the dark, they could see embers on the floor - it took them a bit too long to realize that everything they threw up earlier was now slowly burning down on Legler's kitchen tiles. Later, this was the only thing they could dream about.

It is not known if in such cases the artists are spectators as well.

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