I'm writing a thriller (scifi/supernatural) and have a race of characters who can bend reality. They've come to earth with the intent of purging humanity. They can do it, but they have limitations. The limitation that's relevant to my question is:
- They can't make massive changes straight off the bat. For them, changing reality is like inflating a balloon or modeling with a massive chunk of cold clay. They need to stretch it and work it first to make it pliable.
That limitation is the reason for the inconsistencies. It means the race, that wants to eradicate humanity, sends a few ahead to to warm up reality to get it ready for the big changes planned, by making small subtle changes. For example, a character could have sworn they put their cup on the table, but it's on the windowsill, or they did the laundry last night, but now they have no clean clothes.
However, the readers don't know any if this. The story follows a human character who starts off just as clueless to the other race's nefarious plans as the readers do.
I want the story to feel like a freaky dream where you never quite know what's happening, but you know it's scary, and I want the characters(/readers) to be feel a sense of 'I don't know what's real. Is this really happening? Am I dreaming? Am I going crazy?'
The changes work up to bigger, obviously intentional things later in the book, but how can I make sure the readers know the small things at the start aren't just mistakes or bad writing?