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Shortly after my mother died of a terrible illness, I began having ... visions. They weren't wispy, flighty dreams or random, short-lived nightmares. No, these phantasms were much fuller, much more tactile and present, as though I was actually visiting a place, one I eventually started calling Slum.

I don't forget these visits like I do with dreams or nightmares or even night terrors, which I've experienced. I am immersed in a grand urban hellscape of both terrible, corrupting beauty and encroaching, overwhelming evil. I can smell in these visions. I can't smell in my dreams. I can touch things; I can sense the continuous burden of time, which I can't in dreams. The world of Slum makes a kind of sick, profane sense. My dreams and nightmares, by contrast, are disjointed, often random, many times utterly nonsensical. Not Slum.

These visits are not for the weak of heart or stomach. I offer them to you, the reader, but honestly, I have written them down more to say back to it: "I see you. I hear you. I feel you. I touch you. And yes, I taste you, too." For maybe in this act I can come to a fuller understanding of Slum, and Slum of me. That is my hope.

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Please note: absolutely no AI was utilized in the creation of this content.
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