The entirety of everything was blackness. I couldn't see three inches in front of my face. I couldn't even tell if I had a face. I was before everything; I wasn't supposed to be here, it was wrong.
What had happened? I had memories. I knew my life.
I(more) have a dog.
So how am I... here?
"I think you're a bit lost," said a strangely familiar voice to my right about half an hour later.
I jumped a little. "Wh... who are you?" I asked.
The voice chuckled. "I'm the person who brought you here, of course."
"Oh," I said. "Of course. Obviously."
"I brought you here to show you something."
My eyes closed and I fell to the earth - or whatever the thing was that was holding me up.
A memory that had been kept from me.
"I saved you," said the voice. "I saved you from this."
And then I saw the thing that had been chasing me. I wouldn't have been able to describe it, if I could find the right words.
"You're probably searching at the moment," the voice said. "Searching for who I am. You... you do recognise me, don't you?"
And then he materialized beside me.
My father. My father who had died when I was three. The person I could only remember from pictures.
"I've always been here," he said. "The project I was developing... it worked. That's why I disappeared. That's why I brought you back. This - this thing chasing you... was a failure that I hold myself responsible for."
He stared at it, both of us looking at a memory.
"Will you forgive me?" he asked.
I looked at him. "Of course I will, Dad."
Before the world there was no you. You are the world to me. You show me the beauty of a laugh. You show me the reason to be happy. Before you the world was dark. There were no stars, no sun, no moon, no rain. Before the world there was no you and now it(more) is full of flowers and trees. Before the world I would not be. Thank you.(less)
Expectations are heavy. They pile up one at a time, then two at a time, and next thing you know there are five appearing every other day. They sit on your shoulders, fill your arms and hands, burden your feet as they cling to your legs. Heavier and heavier(more) until its hard to tell if you are dragging them or if they are dragging you.
Pam frowned as she listened to the lecture. Something about how important it was to pick a proper degree, one that had a track towards a good career. There was some nonsense about enjoying yourself (as if jobs were something fun instead of some social necessity) and some other nonsense about making good money smashed with it. As if you could have all of it and eat your cake all at once. Just more expectations.
It wasn't until later that year that Pam found herself. Floating around with the intention to become a doctor because that's what was expected, she sat down in a creative writing class that she used just to fill a spot on a chart of expectations.
She learned how to put pen to paper. She learned how to express herself in subtle ways, hidden behind characters and walls of text. Eventually it led to something more.
By the end, Pam stood with her soul beside her. It was naked, raw for the whole world to see, and free. The world watched as her soul shed its expectations one at a time, peeling each layer off and letting it tumble apathetically to the ground.
Pam stood beside her naked soul, not free of the expectations of the world, but ready to put them in their place, define them and command them. Taking her soul's hand, she was a writer, new born.(less)
Darkness reigned supreme.
The Nothingness of Nothingness. With a capital N.
Potential. Everything that could or will be, waiting, wishing, wanting that moment of growth.
(more) Life. Light.
Green and air and trees.
Love and hate and fear.
Complexities. Humanity and alienation.
All hovered in an infinite state of non-being. About to be.
On the brink of existence, it reigns in the silent cold darkness supreme.
Darkness. More than darkness. An emptiness so dense that Patrick could feel his own insides spilling further into him.
"Where are we?" he asked. Even just the simple words seemed like a lightning bolt.
We are before, said Aluna, her voice only sounding in his head. H(more)e wanted to look over at her, to reassure himself that she was there, but he of course could not. As if she knew what he wanted, he felt her tiny hand slide into his. He squeezed.
He wanted to say something more, but he had a fear of his own voice now. Even at a whisper, it would be too much. Even his breath seemed to taint his surroundings. Patrick wondered if he could ask the question "Why?" through the hand that held hers.
Instead, Aluna spoke to him again. There are many stories about this moment, she began, Stories filled with gods and science and fate. It is so much so that this moment has become a part of all other moments, that it lingers underneath the water of life. It haunts us. Some can feel it more than others. It has been written about and painted and sung to empty rooms. This moment. Here.
The darkness was so great that Patrick tried to concentrate on the words she was saying, on the feel of her hand in his, but it was starting to pervade him. He was no longer breathing. He could almost no longer feel her hand.
And then, reality shattered.
A bright light. A boom. Every smell Patrick had ever experienced. All at once. The feeling of her hand in his broke over his entire body like a wave. His mouth tasted sweet and sour at the same time.
And the question of why-- every question-- disappeared from him. (less)
“You seriously need to shut the fuck up, mate,” said one celestial being to another. They were bored, and had been so for the previous eternity. That was the thing about eternities, really. They never end. And anything that never end(more)s gets boring, eventually.
“You need to shut the fuck up,” said the other. They had nothing to do. They had played games earlier, but since neither card games nor Monopoly had been invented yet, they were kind of limited. One of them had created dices a while back, but as fun as Yahtzee can be, it doesn’t last for an eternity. Especially not when one of them started to haggle with the rules. It was not okay to multiply to get the points in the chance category, the rest of them had decided. It wasn’t fair. The argument that followed destroyed the spirit of it.
“So what do we do now? We’ve got no other game to play, now that you destroyed everything!” said one of them sullenly.
“I don’t know! How should I know? You come up with something!”
“So what if I do?” another said testily.
And so the world was created. All things considered, it was a pretty good game. Not that it lasted for an eternity, but it was worthwhile.
So we pull up to the valet parking in front of the hospital. The booth is empty. We pull away and try to find a handicap parking spot, but there are none available. We drive back to valet parking and there still is no one there. I tell Betty(more) that I will be the damn valet and drop her off and go park. So I do that. We enter the hospital, ride the elevator, and step out to be greeted by a line 20 bodies long all waiting for one receptionist who is chatting away with someone who is having difficulty filling out the mandatory first visit paperwork. I don't know if this person having trouble is hard of hearing or just mentally deficient but this takes an extraordinary amount of time. When we finally enter the crowded waiting room with a pile of papers, full of sentences with blanks and check boxes to fill out, I sit in the only available chair which is made for a small child. The people lucky enough to grab one of the few adult chairs smirk and giggle at those of us at the kiddie table and sprawled out on the floor. After an hour and a half wobbling in a tiny chair a nurse calls Betty in. The nurse doesn't even stop speaking before Betty is haranguing me to hurry up and put my tablet away so I can wheel her over to the nurse who is holding the door open door open with a hip cocked attitude like making her wait 15 seconds is a crime in a waiting room where no one has not waited less than all the time before the world began.(less)