“It would be like looking at a light from the end of a long, dark, hallway. There’s nothing beyond light. So going faster than light, you could watch it catching up with you,” the curly mustache bounced up and down.
“But it would be time catching up to you,” said the one with short dark hair and glasses.
“In a way yes, but time is relative. What you would be experiencing is not time. You would be experiencing nothing. You can’t really travel through time, like go to the past. You can travel out of it, though, by going faster than light. Nothing moves faster than light. Looking at that sentence in two ways, you’d realize my statement before is right then. The only thing that moves faster than light is nothing. You would be nothing, have no mass,” he answered while standing at the board, two pupils sitting in front of him.
“Time bends…” he continued. A single light shone from an observatory window. It was late at night but cloudy. So the three men maintained lecture, rather than observing the stars. It was customary that they stay late, much to the discretion of their two wives. But the curly man standing before them, to them, was an eidolon of knowledge. He caused a paradigm shift within their minds with every word he spoke. “So if you are standing by a large object, time will actually move slower for you, as it bends around the object. Time is absolutely relative to your current position in the universe. Or, in lament’s terms, here on this planet,” he continued to spout forth as they sat open-mouthed and listening. He drew lines of ‘time’ around a pyramid, showing that they must coordinate to the mass before it.
“Were you to be at the edge of a black hole, the mass there would cause time to come to a stand still. And were you to be looking out at the…here,” the teacher rolled a high piece of plastic on wheels up, and stacked two desks on the other side of the plastic facing him. “Saying this plastic is that divide, I am on the black hole side. The desks are someone watching me. To them, I would just be sitting here for a long, long time. They could watch me their entire lives and I would not move. Whereas I would be seeing thousands of years pass by in the blink of an eye, since time is still moving over on that side of the ‘fence’ if you will. But I would not be aging dramatically or really changing at all. Even though time is flying just a few feet away, in my current position I’m experiencing it still second by second; and the universe is in a whole different place as compared to me, thus experiencing it differently.”
The two were placed together on the stage in the town square. The town revolved around this square. Off to the side there was the observatory with its solitary light still shining. Two large standing street lights lit up the whole square; where regular shops and consumer stations began closing down to listen. They stood from their stage and faced a small gathered crowd.
One of the two men on stage broke into his speech loudly, “The old ways, the old laws, the old times should be returned to. Nothing is broken, why fix it? A destined family has rules this settlement for thousands of years. How could you all dare to even question their rule? They are not of this planet. They are from somewhere else, somewhere special that we can not comprehend. So what gives us the right, as mere mortals, to question our lord? That name is holy. We dirty it with debate,” applause followed as he stiffened himself up and returned to his original stance.
The other man at his own podium cleared his throat. With applause rippling out, his throat moved up and down as he began to speak, “Listen to your hearts citizens. Your heart tells you that this kind of ‘divine’ leadership is incorrect. The only true way to lead is to have the people govern themselves! There will never be another alternative. If a person can not be held fit to govern over themselves and their own home, then they must be governed by those who can. We need an inter-related form of government in which you, the people, must make decisions, and are all connected to one another. Just choose me as your leader, choose me over these ‘divine right’ nuts,” there was an equal amount of enthusiasm towards this man.
The first speaker began to rebut while flaying his hands “Don’t you see? He just wants to be the new King. This is all nonsense. The only way to go about leadership is to choose one rightful man. The Royal Family has always been right! They have been chosen to lead us already!” He grew fervent.
“Well, what about when half of the people do not think that the royal family is always right? Isn’t that why this is happening? You all have the choice. Do the right thing, go beyond what we have seen in history, and we will institute a whole new way of living. We will walk straight into the darkness of uncertainty to make new ground, to try and find light! ...”
People watching these two men really tired to listen and understand. They wholeheartedly focused; for, this was their village, after all. Keeping that in mind, the two men’s argument seemed to go on for hours. Each one rambled on and on about why he was right. Instead of directly butting heads and listening to one another, both just stacked opinion after opinion onto their own argument and thought that maybe whoever had the biggest pile would win by the end of it. These two redundant arguments even made some of the spectators feel bored, like they had been watching for several years. By the stagnant nature of the whole spectacle, rather than walk away in the name of complacency, some people took the argument into their own hands throughout the observers. As applause for each candidate would ripple out, so would sideways glances of hostility. Now, bodies began to push and shove and argue within the many different faces. Those faces involved quickly made that familiar change of brightness in thought to the sharper features of defined anger.
An old man sitting by his window watched the spectacle outside taking place. He always watched the world pass him by from his small personal window, sitting comfortably within his rocking chair not passing out judgment nor thought on the events, instead just calmly watching, fixing his spectacles every few minutes. To him, the speeches outside were just a man forcing his body language to seem charismatic and honest. Whereas the applause always seemed confused or bias. In just a few minutes though, the whole group began fighting with one another. Faces changed. Women ran from the group. Some men, drunk, fought with one another immediately. While chaos reigned over the delicate strings of a crowd, the two figured up on the stage still fought back and forth with their words, almost spitting. He and his rocking chair did not comment much on the fighting, or even show it much interest. It was just another thing to silently watch. As quickly as it gathered, it eventually dispersed to violence and muffled screams. Nonetheless, to the old man, the actual speeches only lasted some slow blinks.
“There are laws to the whole universe. There has to be laws. Now, there is no judge sitting within the Sun saying ‘when this moves this has to happen.’ These laws naturally appear as masses communicate. Through basic formula, you can understand how the entire solar system works. For example, in every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Were this law not to exist, the universe would not be in balance. There must always be an answer to every action. An action unreciprocated is not possible within the universe we know and understand. For example…” the teacher took a rubber duck, and threw it into a small pale of water. “See how the water ripples? That is force from my hand that went into the duck as it flew, which went into the water as it landed. Now the force from the ripples is going into the walls of the bucket. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So the force can not be lost, it keeps transferring on, and even bounces off of the walls of the buckets as the ripples come back. It is reacting. See how the duck continues to shake while floating?”
“So everything has a balance?,” asked the other pupil with brown hair and no glasses.
“That’s right my friend. For every action, an equal and opposite reaction must take place,” - the teacher’s reinforcement.
“What about black holes then? Black holes, nothing can escape from them. They have all that mass in one center, sucking things in. Not even light or matter can get away. Everything gets sucked in. No matter or light or energy comes out of it. It literally just is like a giant magnet sucking everything it can in. To me there can’t be a balance to a vacuum,” the brown-haired pupil stiffened up.
It had gotten dark out again, another night gone to the observatory, as the three men were lost in discussion of far off ideas. Their thoughts were so far away that they themselves were gone. It was now customary that, instead of playing lovingly with their wives, thoughts roamed out, reaching into expanses of space and of time. They sat sipping a drink, the atoms all communicating made them clench their muscles in excitement, rather than watching their wives make dinner, throwing their children up into the air, or kissing her on the neck. Two students were condemned to a lonely man’s teachings.
“Aha, my boy, my boy. There are, in fact, balances to black holes. Conveniently they are called white holes. Just as nothing can leave or escape a black hole, nothing can enter a white hole. It emits light and matter purely. The same way a black hole would suck any mass in once you got near it, like a magnet, a white hole, the opposing side of the magnet, would deter any mass by pushing it. Things get very wild when you really think about it. Because, black holes and white holes could be doors to whole universes, where universes end and begin…”
Both students really leaned in and listened. Outside it was still cloudy. The light, which shone into the dark, illuminated them as the teacher talked.
Since debate had stifled to nothing, violence took hold. No conclusion had been reached; so the entire town descended into anarchic dismay. Outside of the observatory - which was considered neutral ground for no one can deny the importance of education – fires raged, pasting an orange flickering light unto that round building. The calm white light coming from the solitary window looked sedated against a background of violence. People wandered aimlessly about picking for scraps of supplies, attempting not to be seen. They did not know by whom, but just tried to stay invisible. The silent air held hostility. Life was, in and of itself, absolutely horrible. Fights were regular within streets. Food stopped coming into the town. It was sealed off by a conglomerate of regional police. The tiny village became an island of disparity in homage to creatures that could not simply govern themselves appropriately, as are all cases of anarchy.
Several men became a band of lightly-packed thieves who rove around the town at night stealing whatever they needed through strength of numbers. In their eyes, this kind of situation could not afford being tied down with a lot of equipment or the weak. The band took whatever they needed for that day to survive. However, there were things they did not need they would take to. These things included other people’s lives whenever it was deemed necessary, which happened to be often, women’s virtue, and young boys for small tasks like crawling into cubby holes where supplies may be stored. When order breaks down animals reign.
The fear spread by this caravan of brute force, caused many to join it. Women willingly joined out of fear of being anywhere else. Most of the time women would be used for pleasure, and then thrown into roadside ditches. A roving band can not afford to bring anyone who slows them down. ‘Keep moving’ would have been their motto. Become a killer and join them, or be killed, were your two choices. No one could escape it. An old man sitting behind his boarded up window watched with a small streak of orange light on his glasses, as a young boy, with his head down and a large hand on his left shoulder, walked into the crowd of men. No one could escape.
On the other side of town, four small groups of people fortified the old Royal Family mansion. They built up the walls even further and shut themselves out from all the death so that screams became only an echo at night going up to mingle with clouds. A line of supply had been established through radio transmissions. Those locked inside had food, the ability to protect themselves, and shelter. Leaving the town was out of question. Once order was restored, they would become the new leaders. It was all in plan. Those ‘criminals’ out there, who needed a scenario like this for their true light to be shown, would be punished accordingly. For now, the mansion was to be a harmonious paragon of order amongst a symphony of violence.
Sometimes, in the middle of the night, a few girls living in the mansion would throw food out over the fence. A distinct call would be made. Living inside that fortress, they had barely enough food to survive as it was. But those girls gladly gave up some ration to feed those who were starving. Usually they ignored the pleas and clanging smacks of people against the fence who wanted to come in, and chose not to see blood spatters that came through small holes of the walls. No matter what though, unpredictably, a small package of food, medicine, or supplies, would come tossing out over a different spots on the fence – so as to avoid gathering mobs in one spot or the band of thieves waiting in the shadows for it – in the crackling silence of the night. However, any person that tried to enter the compound would always be immediately killed by automated security systems. There was absolutely no entry.
“Finally the clouds have cleared up. Give me a few minutes with the telescope,” said the skinny professor in his dusty suit.
The Observatory remained untouched, and like a giant gravestone stood among the empty town, distinctly marking it. The giant telescope protruding moved mutely in and out, then up and down.
“Aha, look at this,” he spoke into the telescope with one eye closed. There was, clear-as-day, a white planet with beautifully exploding gaseous colors. One student munched on a small snack while the other looked into it, slightly adjusting a big dial.
“Astounding, really, really, incredible. It could not house any life, but it certainly is beautiful.
The pupil with black hair and glasses walked up to it, and after adjusting the dial himself, calmly stated, “It looks just like Heaven.”
The steady creaking of a rocking chair still sounded. That same old man sat in his chair, in his boarded up home. It accompanied that steady creaking, a bright orange hot flickering light set off by one of the bandits outside. Soon that part of the wall would burn up all along the side of the house, and then fall in. A few men would storm in and probably kill the old man, or leave him to burn down with his home.
He sat in his old chair, feeling the heat get closer, stronger. The tumultuous noise outside seemed to get cut off by a gunshot. In front of him waves of heat from the fire burning took on brilliant ethereal colors, zooming in and around by wavelength. A sense of pure and total calm washed over him. His body began going into heat stroke, growing weak and dizzy. The rocking chair beneath him began spinning incrementally faster around hallucinated colors like a top. He spun with it. Both of them began slowly taking off from the ground. In reality, there was just an old man in a sweater with his head back, face scrunched, eyes closed, sweating profusely, and gasping mouth open. But, to the old man, he was floating up and off into a bleak white space. A sense of calm washed over him, and he departed, forever.
Outside the burning home and observatory, a woman’s pterodactyl scream was abruptly severed by a gunshot, whose echoes rang out and up into space.
© Copyright 2016 HVMR. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Horror
Poem / Romance
Poem / Poetry
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