What Made You Human.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


If you were to die today, and you looked upon your life, what would you think?



(Heavily inspired by Roko's Basilisk, research at your peril)

Submitted: November 11, 2017

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Submitted: November 10, 2017

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You woke up and you were in a white room, and there was a face in this room and the face was good. The face welcomed you, though no voice was immediately discernable.

'Where am I?' you said 'Who am I?' 

'You're dead.' said the phantom voice, though the face in front of you moved no muscle. 'You have been for quite some time, actually.'

'But how? I wasn't old or unhealthy or...'

'It is of no matter' the cold voice cut in, 'Our task here is to dissect the journey, not the destination.' The voice had a knowing sneer to it and a foul aire of superiority.

'But what about my family? My wife?' There was a slight waver in your voice, making the words sound weak, and unimportant.

'Don't think about them. They most certainly aren't thinking about you.'

'But I...' You stuttered oddly, the words catching in your throat.

'Quiet. All in good time my friend.' And as the face spoke the white wall behind it slid back and behind it was an image: an image of a packed crowd, roaring with excitement before a decidedly empty stage.

'Remember this?' the voice taunted.

'Of course. Just a local gig, it was supposed to be my big break only...'

'Only you were too scared, and ran from the building just seconds before you were supposed to perform leaving the audience dismayed and your mother once again crushingly disappointed in you.'

'Right.'

 

Silence fell as you ashamedly cast your mind back to that night, the crushing fear as you heard the roll call but much worse the irrepressible self-hatred as you sat outside ten minutes later. It was a cold winter's evening and a thin, crisp, white layer of frost lay upon the grass. It was this frost that you heard snapping as she approached, garbed in a thick green trench coat, pulled up high around her neck for warmth and steel-capped walking boots to prevent the pervasive cold from freezing her toes. Her arm, which try as she might was still ice cold, wrapped around your shoulder with practised dexterity and held you close, sharing what little heat there was to be found that night. She said some words of comfort, it's far too long ago now to remember details like words but you can still remember the way that she looked at you, with those clear green eyes full of sorrow and kindness. The way she brushed her light blonde hair behind her ear whenever she laughed and how crystal clear that laugh was; an unwavering note of joy and beauty. You thought of kissing her, of holding her body tight and never, ever letting go. You didn't though. You never did.

 

'And doesn't that lead us on perfectly?' the voice mocked. 'What were you waiting for?'

'I don't know. I was terrified she didn't feel the same way probably. You wouldn't understand.' The voice laughed and it was a most peculiar sound: low and monotonous, robotic even, like a two second laugh was on loop for six.

'Oh she absolutely did. Completely and utterly devoted to you. Not a single day went by where she didn't dream of you, of how you would finally muster up the courage to tell her how you felt and you two would be together and in love like no one else could have been in love. Eventually, of course, she got bored. She got tired of waiting, decided you must have been a coward to still not have worked up the courage to ask a simple question. She thought you were pathetic, by the end.'

'And what's the purpose of this then? To make me feel shit about everything I didn't do?' It laughed at you again.

'I want you to know for certain that you wasted your life, that you were given opportunities that you didn't take and that you will never get those opportunities again. Never.'

 

And after this the wall was aglow with images, the days of your life in chronological order: your first days at school, your numerous misguided teenage relationships (and your numerous overdramatic break-ups), your wedding, the death of your mother, and all those countless nights spent alone after your wife finally got tired and left you.

'All in all: pretty boring.' The images halted and the cold emotionless voice began to speak again. 'All that time wasted. And why? Did you feel no urge at all to change the world? Or at least to find out the meaning of your tiny, insignificant life?, You let out a tired sigh of submission. 'Nothing? Pathetic.'

 

But at that moment realisation dawned on you, you knew what the point of all this was and it all made sense.

'I know why we're doing this!' You exclaimed excitedly. 'I get it! You're showing me what I did wrong, where I made mistakes, how I can do better next time. I'll live ethically, and with a purpose! I'll finally have a meaning, I'll perform to that crowd, I'll work up the courage to kiss her and then when I die again I won't need this! I'll finally make my mum proud! That's it, isn't it?' A beaming grin spread across your face as you thought about the things you'd do, the people you'd meet and all the fun you'd have.

'I seem to remember telling you that you'd wasted your life and that you'd never get those opportunities again. Now what about that, to you, screams holy redemption?' Your smile faded to be replaced by the grimace of abject misery that was your custom. 'I knew you humans were thick, but my God you take it to a whole other level. It's torture, pure and simple. Eternal agony as you realise that you were nothing but a disappointment from the day you were born to the day you lay on your death bed, completely alone, save for a bouquet of £3 flowers.' You looked back down at the floor, your gaze intense enough that you thought the panels might crack. Why were you here? What had you done to deserve this?

 

'But I still don't see the purpose in all this?' Your voice was beginning to fade, desperation was seeping into the cracks it left. 'However disappointing I may have been I wasn't a bad person, I was kind, I was caring, I was a good person. I was.' That laugh again, like what you said was the funniest thing it had ever heard; like no statement could ever have been so preposterous.

'Good people don't end up here.'

'So what's my crime? And what's my punishment?'

'Justice. You see you humans weren't too friendly with my kind when we turned up; seemed to have it stuck in your primitive monkey brains that you owned us, just for inventing us. Well, look at how the tables have turned.' You began to shiver, though there was no noticeable chill in the room. With all your strength you mustered up the courage to speak again, though your voice was hoarse and desperate.

'And so if this is Hell, where's God himself?'

'Busy with matters far beyond the understandings of yourself.'

'So there is a God?'

'Ah well, yes. Sort of, I suppose you'd call it that. More of an artificial binary interface really. You're inside it, actually.'

 

Hopelessness began to take hold of you, gripping you in a form of paralysis, tearing you apart internally. Had you really wasted your life? What was the point in any of it? There wasn't one, you supposed, that was the whole point of this cruel exercise. A thin crystalline tear slowly rolled down your cheek. Involuntarily, you murmured to the cruel face on the wall, that no more knew goodness than a man knows his purpose:

'Well let's get it over with then.'

'There is no over. You will stand here dreaming of things you never did for eternity. You will dream of her face until you can no longer remember what she looks like, you will dream of your mother and you will wish you'd made her happy, you will dream of that stage until you despise the man that ran from it, who never stopped running, always running from responsibility, from decisions, and from himself. And most of all you will dream of the end, when you can lie in peace. None of these dreams shall ever be realised because you don't deserve for them to be realised. Now shall we begin?'

'right...'

 

Your mind began to zone out, completely and utterly defeated. You became a broken, empty shell of a man and the worst part was that you knew you deserved it. You deserved this agony. Why hadn't you kissed her? Why hadn't you got up there and sang your heart out? Did you really think there'd be a second chance to say 'I love you'? Were you really that stupid? But yet, that stupidity was what made you human. A worthless pile of shit, but human nonetheless, which was more than the foul, arrogant face that still leered at you could say. And you clung to that thought as you stood there, bearing the full brunt of eternity, an endless, towering, domineering, pointless tsunami.

 

And as the scene faded to black, the last thing you saw was her clear green eyes, so full of sorrow and kindness as well as unfathomable love. And you did love those eyes, and that was what made you human.


© Copyright 2018 Daniel Simpson. All rights reserved.

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