There isn’t so much as a sharp, warning knock. You are alerted only by the complaining sound of the door opening at the same time as the handle turns. It is an announcement more than an arrival, here before you know it’s coming.
It, for it’s impossible to say if it is a he or she, is faceless, a body now filling a space you hadn’t realised was empty. It knocks over everything in its path, leaving no room for reasoning, no moment to invite it to sit down and have a cup of tea. It is there and is not going anywhere.
In the seconds after its entrance, it moves quickly, almost instantly, from head to heart, taking over every cell it passes on the way, bruising and cutting indiscriminately. It grips the mind and stomach, pulling tighter with each passing second.
Faceless it remains, but it is human, this implant in your consciousness. Not only human, it is familiar. It forces you out of your body and makes watch yourself over your own shoulder. It presents you with a video feed, your actions played back with a microsecond delay.
You scream inwardly, silent on the outside except for a ghost of fear that passes over your face, picked out by only the most discerning eye. Only now, at this moment, do you summon your will power to fight back. You fight to un-see, you fight to forget, you battle to undo that horrible thing you just saw yourself do.
And still it stands in the door, arms folded, shoulders broad, undefeatable. Still it mocks with its evil smirk. It knows what it is. It knows it is intangible and untouchable. It knows it is nothing more than a tiny thought, a mole hill you have turned into a mountain and let win. It is a thought that entered without warning or invitation and with only one purpose: to make sure you don’t ever do the worst that you could imagine.
And here’s the clever part, the worst that you could always imagine is always the same. It is always it. The intruder. The thought.
A quick web search should leave you in little doubt as to the complex and troubling nature of intrusive thoughts. I wish, wish, I had known they were even a thing much earlier in my life. It’s sad that something so very common and very normal, but so very, very troubling can go ignored.