Outside

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: January 03, 2015

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Submitted: January 03, 2015

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I earned my doctorate studying under a man who punched a hole through the universe. He was a meticulous scholar who often asked us, "On what does this reality rest; What do you suppose is outside?"

He vanished suddenly and quietly one afternoon; so little time had passed since we left him that we knew he couldn't have fled the campus. Our suspicions were confirmed by the discovery of his notes and a discomforting hole in the fabric of the space that housed his study. Looking through this portal we could see the very edge of our perspective as the colours of the room bled into it and were stretched along it's impossible walls like pinstripes. Peering into the void we could see the exit many miles away.

Barricading the door, we poured through our phantom professor's notes and found only reasons not to search for him. Nothing from these scribblings could tell us what worlds existed outside our reality, just a few warnings of what may come:

"Do not rush after me, do not tread upon reality unless you have no qualms about giving up your life.
If we were meant to explore the realms outside time we would have been born in a place befitting it's view, such as the way we may gaze upon the Sun and Moon."

Deciding it was all that could be done, I entered the hole keeping patience in mind. I breached the edge with one foot and stopped in an instant as my being was stretched over an eternity, tormenting me with the choice between discovery and safety. However, the fear in my chest was cast away when the strain of my atoms being pulled apart became too much. Desperately I pushed my other foot through in hopes that someday it would meet the first on the other end.

My mind snapped and my muscles ached. Walking through this space was like wading through liquefied shards of glass, though I dared not stop for fear of my back and chest being separated. After many slow and terrible decades I exited the tunnel and turned about to see my friend and colleague just a few feet away. They stood before the portal drenched in their own shock; Undoubtedly they had just witnessed my body compressed into neat, tidy pinstripes and cast into oblivion. Bravely, they rushed into the chasm and I was surprised at not seeing them stretched across time.

My friend's limbs pushed and pumped trying to gain momentum but unable to overcome the strain of growing old. While their skin dried up and shrunk to wrap snuggly around their withering skull the poor student winced sharply, wailing as discomfort scathed both body and soul. The scream cascaded through the portal exit followed by a few motes of dust and what was left of my friend's teeth.

Too shocked to grieve, I twisted to see what my curiosity was too bold to ignore. What lay there were distorted notions that I had once called reality floating across the colourful emptiness and joining with each other far away in the distance of the abysm. My mind felt hollow as I took in the sight and made a horrible realization: What I had hoped was the outside was actually the center.


© Copyright 2020 Alma R.. All rights reserved.

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