Now, they’d told me what to expect during the fourth stage of the xenofever, but “disordered optical sensations” doesn’t really do justice to the sensation. I thought they meant hallucinations.

I was wrong.

At first, the colors were just wrong. One by one the parts of the spectrum descended into anarchy until when I cut my hand I bled lavender and it dried to neon green. That wasn’t so bad, not unlike a few trips I had when experimenting with various substances in my youth.

Next I began to see spots, sometimes in the periphery, other times directly in front of me, where what I was seeing simply didn’t line up with what I knew to be there. moving my head produced movement in the vision, but it was more like a kaleidoscope than anything–and even a kaleidoscope simply mixes and matches the familiar.

This was totally outside the realm of my experience, such that I lack the words to accurately describe it.

Finally, the effect covered my entire field of vision. It was worse than being blind; I was subjected to a bombardment of colors and shapes that somehow took what I was seeing and twisted it into an utterly unrecognizable form.

By that point, I probably would have gouged my eyes out if I hadn’t been restrained.

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