Ichor Falls

The Fulcrum

by on Oct.27, 2008, under By Kris Straub

You will either die or lose your mind if you reach the end of this sentence, so stop reading it — in the early 1930s, a research group of psychologists, semioticists and English professors in Austria were researching the fundamentals of understanding language; it was believed, rather than language simply being an arbitrary (albeit varyingly complex) system of mnemonics for our conceptualization of reality, that perhaps once learned and internalized, our use of language actually became embedded within the root thought processes involved in our filtration of external, ordered stimuli and thereby our very grasp of reality, and this team of researchers distilled what turned out to be a symbolic halt mechanism into a new kind of punctuation: not a period, or exclamation point, or question mark, but a cognitive “escape character” they referred to as the “ablation mark,” or fulcrum for short — though whether the word “fulcrum” betrays the visual appearance or actual textual annotation of this new punctuation really, REALLY should not be dwelled upon even though as a glyph it is fairly unremarkable (it operates differently when encountered as a component of grammar) — regardless you should have stopped reading this sentence long, long ago because at some point I’ve got to end it and it won’t be with a period, or an exclamation point, or a question mark, but with a fulcrum and only a fulcrum, because I’ve used all the colons, semicolons, parentheses and em-dashes I possibly can, and yet you continue reading, making it very difficult for me to continue to make this sentence grammatically correct, which it MUST be for it is the only thing keeping ME from dying or losing MY mind, because I DID see the fulcrum and began writing this sentence in an attempt to maintain my already-faltering grasp on a world of ordered concepts and symbols tied to meaning, to stave off the deconstruction of my earliest memories of language, since it is this deconstruction upon viewing the ablation mark that is so sudden and so SEVERE that the victim’s sensory perception actually briefly HALTS, leaving the mind locked in total isolation that cannot be described as darkness or even absence of darkness, which in turn brings about a catastrophic sympathetic response of the central nervous system, a response that I have only managed to DELAY with a PURELY GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT SENTENCE which I CANNOT ALLOW TO END, and yet MUST END, because I CANNOT TYPE FOREVER A PURELY GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT SENTENCE WHEN I HAVE USED ALL AVAILABLE PUNCTUATION, INCLUDING COLONS, SEMICOLONS, PARENTHESES, EM-DASHES, HYPHENS, SAVE FOR THE DAMNED ABLATION MARK WHICH IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE YOU WOULD BREAK YOUR GAZE WITH THIS SINGLE SENTENCE IMMEDIATELY FOR THE FULCRUM IS REAL AND IT IS ABSENCE OF ABSENCE AND I CAN’T GO ON USING WORDS LIKE “FOR” AND “BUT” AND “AND” TO STRING MORE CLAUSES ONTO THIS STILL-BUT-NOT-FOR-LONG PURELY GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT SENTENCE, SO GOD HELP ME AND HAVE MERCY ON MY SOUL, AND FORGIVE ME FOR WHAT I AM ABOUT TO DO, BUT I NEVER SHOULD HAVE OPENED THAT DRAWER IN HIS OFFICE AND IF I HAD NEVER READ THE PAPER I’D HAVE NEVER SEEN THE FULCRUM BUT GOD HELP ME I DID

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13 comments for this entry:
  1. CreepyColin

    This brings up the question: What if the tape in the Ring was a Betamax?

  2. Snath

    It was very, very hard not to jump to the end of this sentence, but somehow I made it.

  3. w_nightshade

    Wow… I love the gimmick here – reminds me very much of old Serling. Top notch!

  4. blade

    I love the ending.

  5. J

    Run-on sentence isn’t it?

  6. Burgomaster Chupacabra

    Good stuff! Very Harlan Ellison.

  7. Laura

    Very interesting. The wordiness made it a little hard to understand at first, but it helped make the point of the story. You can really see the author become desperate and “fall apart” as the sentence goes on, and I have to admit, as it became more chilling I started to become apprehensive about reading to the end, but I did, and breathed a sigh of relief at its conclusion.

    Interesting concept of how something simple like grammar and punctuation can effect our perception of reality.

    Now I wonder what the Fulcrum looks like!

  8. o

    Awesome. A cross between “The Monster at the End of This Book” and Langford’s “BLIT”.

  9. Panda

    I’m not entirely sure why, but this came off to me as incredibly comedic. I really started giggling towards the end.

  10. Jared

    Brrr. Creepy. Hard not to jump to end. Came TV Tropers

  11. what is a hemroid

    The Fulcrum – Ichor Falls is actually a pretty good website. I must say it is quite a website. I will bookmark it and come back to it again. I have one question though. Is your theme a premium one and where can I find it? Thanks!

  12. anonymoose

    I wanted to give you the award for longest sentence in existence, but I can’t even call this a sentence for a lack of a period so I don’t know what to do.

  13. Sarah Elisabeth

    This made me laugh. Was that bad? Oh, well, it was funny.

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