Friday, July 6, 2018

Microstory 880: Lights Out

You do not know my name, for even if we once met, no recollection of me survived what happened. I was hiking in the Amazon rainforests, just because I had the money, and wanted the experience. I’ve climbed great mountains, swum in freezing waters, and seen all four corners of the Earth. It took a great deal of effort to get to this point in my life, but it was something I always wanted. I have little technical expertise myself, but I can spot talent from a lightyear away, while wearing a blindfold. I managed to befriend a nerd I went to high school with. I could just tell he was destined for great things. He got all his homework done on time, and aced his tests, but never seemed to pay any attention to the instructors. He just wrote furiously in his notebooks, and when we grew older, he started typing on a little keyboard attached to an even smaller screen. He wasn’t taking notes, which was what those little computers were designed for. He was writing code, and even though I didn’t understand it, I knew it would become something important. As it turned out, it was the software side of the framework of the early internet. Everything you do online today, and the way you do it, was at least partially based on his vision. And I found him first; together we built what people today would call a startup. Then when it was all finished, we sold it to the Canadian government, and went our separate ways. Until the incident, we would email each other on a regular basis, and were on excellent terms—which you probably didn’t expect from this story—but I have not seen the man in person in probably a decade. He used his half of the deal to fund more technological breakthroughs, and I started to travel.

Everyone wants to find a way to make as much money as possible, doing the least amount of work, in the shortest amount of time, and in this I succeeded immensely. I don’t want to brag, but I had it planned out well, and I followed through perfectly. This. Is. The. Life. And the last thing I did with that life was to bring about the greatest change this world had ever known, and I’m not talking about the time I helped invent the internet. I am not writing this, and you are not reading it, because this story cannot be told. In my final moments, I entered an uncharted cave, which was just one of many in the region. I found a small puddle of water on the floor, and in my reckless bravery, I sipped at it until it was gone. I immediately felt a disquieting stir, but it was not until later that night, after I had left the cave, that things really started to change. Millions of tiny lights began fluttering inside of me, trying to get out. Instead of going up through my mouth, they decided to tear through my skin; one by one, two by two, and so on, at an accelerated rate. It hurt at first, but then I became numb to it, for now I was more ethereal light than I was man. As the last of the lights escaped, I saw a flash of all of time and space in this universe, including the introduction of a new species, called the bladapods. I was giving birth to the first of these creature right now, and after the last light floated to the trees to continue their development, I stopped existing. While no one will ever know what I did, I live them.

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