The Last Rain

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
My first piece of fiction. Version 3. I heavily edited it since the previous rendition. Enjoy!

Submitted: December 02, 2013

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Submitted: December 02, 2013

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Introduction

 

What is true happiness? How do we obtain it? Why do we strive for it? How would you answer; what is true happiness?

When I was asked this question, at first, the answer didn't even seem to exist. I felt I couldn't possibly answer such a vague question, but soon found the opposite to be true. My emotions poured out and I was incapable of discontinuing the answer. I said, "True happiness to me is the immense night sky filled with brilliant stars. It is the dog wagging its tail after I return from a long absence, the love and affection I have for my friends and family, the silence of the bleak desert, the tingling sensation from a rain drop slowing make its way down my cheek, the blissful sensation when you reach a since of understanding, the gaining of knowledge and experience, the mutual love exchanged from two complete strangers. True happiness is the question itself.”

Yet, years ago I answered, "the rain..."

 

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The Last Rain

 

 

Darkness. The shadow that consumes all, encompass the world in black. Can one possibly understand what lies in its grip? The boy knows.

On a wooden deck, amidst this terrible gloom, sits a boy; beside him lies an even darker figure than that of his surroundings.

The boy knows what lies in this blackness because it in engulfs familiarity. It consumes a landscape, in which he has seen every corner, overturned every stone, felt every stubborn leaf of the persisting plants and even tasted the bleak dry desert sands. The boy retained its image even in such miserable conditions.

To most, such utter darkness would prohibit adventures, but the boy disagreed. He saw a chance to escape; to be with the stars. For the stars were the only visible elements to this nightmare. The glorious Milky Way was present, glaring back at the boy and the dark figure next to him.

The figure was motionless and nearly soundless. It was almost as big as the boy but lying in a very unhuman way. In the silence its soft, gentle, breaths could be heard. It was his best friend, and man’s best friend. He was loyal and obeying, not out of fear but out of love.

They sat, staring out at the vast wonders of the universe. The boy knew it was incomprehensible to imagine the size of this infinity. He knew he was ignorant. Ignorance is always present. Ignorance when ignored leads to arrogance, thought the boy. He didn't want to be arrogant. When he looked upon the stars he was reminded of his ignorance. How insignificant his small life was to the vast cosmos. Yet, he did not despair; others may despair at such bleak thoughts, but not the boy. It motivated him, inspired him. He knew that ignorance can never be overcome, but he also knew that knowledge was always progressing. There is no static nature to our understandings. It only grows just as mass is always accelerating and time with it, so is our understanding.

The boy’s thoughts brought him to another reality, a simple one. Where life was one with Mother Nature, where the affairs of man had little to no relevance. He saw the infinities and finites together; such polar opposites living together unchallenged. Emotions did not matter, but if he had to describe the feeling in this perceived reality, he would say happiness beyond any ever experienced before. A natural happiness.

His companion sat silently by his side. His own thoughts were much less sophisticated but no less joyous, for happiness to him was much easier to obtain. He shared an emotional bond with his friend, a bond unbreakable and everlasting.

The boy’s glee soared at knowing his companions did. Thus, a chain effect ensued. Both beings emotions snowballed until they reached, what they believed to be, the pinnacle of this feeling.

Time methodically proceeded, uncaring to its surrounding inhabitants. The boy than transcended reality, both perceived and actuality. Rapturing into the stars. Planets perished and others were born. Suns exploded, others dwarfed. Asteroids flashed by on either side. Black holes absorbed all in their unconceivable domains. Nature showcased her talents, giving glimmers of creation and destruction. Lost to the simplicity of nature, he continually stared into the unfathomably sized universe.

The boy’s thoughts began to wander. He wondered, ‘How could anyone possibly take the simple nature of reality for granted. Why do people hate and despise each other? Why do they torture and kill?’ ‘Why not just stare into the stars,’ he asked his subconscious. 

These thoughts overwhelmed the boy, soon taking over the euphoria. Despair began its corrupting crawl. His meditation became a somber interrogation. Darkness spread from the shadow of the sky to the conscious reality of the boy. An undesired reality manifested from the ashes of delight.

The boy realized then, this simplicity would come to end. One day he would have to enter into, what his elders called, 'the real world'. He would have to join those he despised and become a member of a society built on human arrogance. Why couldn't he just stay under the stars with his great friend? Why must life be so unnecessarily complex?

His companion noticed the rapid change in the boy’s emotion, which soon created another chain effect, leading both in a downward spiral of despair. The boy entered into the realms of depression with his friend. He was glade not to be alone, but wished he was.

The stars stood still, twinkling majestic lights upon the observant inhabitants of Earth. But the boy's gaze now fell on the consuming darkness, as did his mind. Simplicity ceased, complexity emerged. Reality was now perceived in obscurity, impenetrable by the light of the sparkling diamonds in the infinite space.

The time for retreat had come. The hour of respite when weariness overwhelmed resolution. He must now join the dream filled halls of the sleepers, but the boy knew he could not escape from his cogitation. Even in this anguish he knew his ignorance.

The reflecting shadows cast in the light of the stars upon the deck soon disappeared. The thoughts did not.

In the boys attempt at slumber he found his morbid pondering reached the bleakest corners of fear, the unknown, and eventually to the greatest unknown, death. What is death? He wondered. Why must we die? What will happen when I die? He fell asleep with these dreadful queries upon his exhausted mind. The questioning did not stop however, for in his sleep his subconscious continued inquiring.

Hours later, the boy hysterically sprang out of bed. He was panicking, as if the stiff cold hand of death were wrapped around his neck. His thoughts fell onto the most ominous scenario imaginable; the existence of a conscious nothingness, not only its existence, but it being a conceivable post-death reality.

The blackest pits of imagination. Nightmares held no magnitude compared with this purgatory. Self-aware, senses functioning, but unemployed in the motionless, silent void. Nature, unconcerned about this atrocious fate, continued breeding her children throughout the cosmos. Existence becomes pure ignorance. Nothing is known. Nothing can ever be known except existence. A worthless particle within nature's eternal domain.  

The frantic boy was sweating, crying and screaming. Desperately, he tried to calm down by convincing himself that the thoughts were untrue. Slowly, the boy restored his sanity. His mind calmed down and returned to its ignorant utopia. 

This was routine for the boy and his companion. Every night passed the same way, thoughts of utter happiness bred thoughts of the deepest despairs. He continued this routine because he believed it represented a balance of ignorance and intelligence, nature and humanity, life and death. Without one, the other would surely crumble. He hated the panic attacks, but loved the serene peace offered by his nightly star gazing.

One night, when the black wasteland emerged at the setting of the sun, the boy joined his companion. The routine continued as normal, the boy and his companion sat deep in thought and engulfed in an immense feeling of enchantment. The time of change was close to coming; the time when happiness vanishes and is replaced by its parallel. Yet, right before this, something extraordinary happened.

One by one, to the far west of the vast sky, the stars disappeared. The boy was not afraid, but perplexed. He lost all thought and simply observed this rather strange phenomenon. One quarter of the sky was now just as black as the earth, slowly creating darkness beyond the boy’s most horrid nightmares. Steadily, fear peaked its malevolent head further and further, synchronized with the consuming void. Yet, the boy continued his observations.

His companion, noticing the bizarre event proceeded to sniff the humid air. The boy imitating his companion, noticed a faint smell. Though, very weak to his human senses, he had an idea of its origin. The smell was present throughout most of the deserts monsoon seasons. This sent is a prophet of hope to all desert inhabitants. It indicated a coming rain.

Clouds, The blackness taking over the sky were rain clouds, the boy quickly deduced. His thoughts turned from confusion to a profound excitement. The boy was an element of his climate. The soil, the wild shrubs, the coyotes, the cacti and even the residents of this desert biome all anticipated rainfall. For, in a drought heavy land, rain is uncommon.

Soon, majority of the starry sky was gone. That’s when the boy felt the first little splash of the fallen hydrogen and oxygen fusion. Moments later the sky was swallowed by the void. The splashes increased, its pace accelerating at a slow but constant rate. Soon. the boy could hear each individual drop hit the dry desert sands. He felt each droplet hit his head and drip down with a tingling sensation. He smelt the moisture as if he had borrowed his companion’s nose.

How does one explain the unimaginable? How could the boy possibly describe paradise? This was beyond words, beyond human understandings.

The boy lost all humanity. He was thrown into a conscious fundamental element of existence. As a caterpillar emerges from their cocoon so does the boy. All matter lost relevance. His atoms shed from their nest, leaving only soul. Ignorance did not matter, arrogance did not matter. All that remained was nature. The boy had no thoughts, they weren't needed. Mysteries were not present. 

He was no longer a witness to the elegant, beautiful, Mother Nature. He became a part of her. Shaping the heavens and cosmos. Creating grand wonders. Presenting life to some and death to others. Balance was his to manipulate.

The boy was not alive, nor dead. He was not in existence, he was existence. He was nature.

This couldn't be happiness, the boy and his friend experienced its pinnacle every night. This experience was far from that. This was greater than anything the boy had ever experienced in his life.

The boy looked into the eyes of his companion and, through their unbreakable bond, he knew his friend was also experiencing this alien emotion. The rain turned into a shower as if nature decided to consume the world from the darkness. To the west, the stars began to reappear. The boys shirt was drenched, not in rain, but in tears.

His humanity had returned and this unbelievable occurrence caused the boy to sob joyous tears. He had never felt so magnificent. He knew this was the zenith of all emotion. He knew he would never again feel this indescribable sentiment.

Not having the intelligence to distinguish between tears of joy and those of sadness, the boy’s companion whimpered and licked the boys check. The boy looked up at his best friend and apologized for making him sad and tried to explain why he cried. Soon, his friend understood and joined back in the bliss full rain filled darkness.

The night seemed to last for an eternity. For hours upon hours they remained in bliss. The time came for retirement, but passed.

All thoughts were gone from the boy. No thoughts of ignorance, no philosophical questionings, nothing. He remained an observer, watching and feeling this unimaginable event. He felt like a cactus, who waited patiently during years of heavy drought for the rains, and finally they arrived.

The stars reclaimed half the night ridden sky and shortly after the rain declined back into a sprinkle. The boy’s epic journey was at an end. He looked over to his friend and gave him a smile. He knew the beast could not see it, but it didn't matter. Love, to him, is a smile in the dark.

It was late. The boy said his goodnights to his friend and, once again, the shadow disappeared from the dark, drenched deck.

That night, the boy had no trouble sleeping. He did not wake in dreadful thoughts. He slept silently and, undisturbed, replaying the raining night sky over and over again in his mind.

The next day, the boy awoke. He rose from his bed with a big grin on his face. The immense happiness he experienced the night before had slowly simmered down to a smaller, yet adequate, sense of joy.

He quickly got dressed, excited to see the wet muddy ground and to play with his faithful friend. He opened the back door to find his companion was way ahead of him. Reclaiming the same spot he had sat in bliss the night before, the boy was excited to see his friend egger to take the day. When he greeted his friend he was surprised to get no response. His friend always responded to him even at the oddest times and in the deepest sleeps.

The boy leaned over to his companion and erected his arm forward. When he laid his hand upon the beasts back he noticed an unusual coldness, not normally felt in warm blooded mammals. He then began the motion to shake, but realized his friend was unnaturally stiff.

The boy then knew. He was not ignorant of this. He knew what coldness and stiffness had resided in. He wished he had not known. He wished he could have remained in ignorance for just a little longer. He wished he could have been with his friend for just a bit longer.

Rain seemed to come back for an encore, for the coat of the beast's corpse was drenched. However, the rain did not return. The liquid covering the coat was the boy’s tears. He had burst into a desperate cry. Never had the boy wept so much before, not even the night before. He best friend was gone, their bond broken.

Tears poured out like a fire hose dispersing the dancing flames on a charred burning building, but this flame could not be terminated. The melancholy questioning began again. Why must good things come to an end? He asked, why do we love if we know we will die? Why am I punished for my happiness? …Why him?

Never again did the boy mingle with the depths of sorrows as he did that unforgettable dawn. He stopped going out at night. The boy decided to finally enter the "real word". He left his happiness behind; He left his grief behind. He entered into the world of arrogance.

The boy became a man. He became a part of the thing he had despised above all else; society. He was an outcast; he didn't need to be social to move ahead in the world, nor did he want to. The man recollected distant memories of stars, the balance, blissful rains, and a devout friend.

Years faded away like a bright blue sky at the approaching dusk. Years became months; months became hours; hours, minutes. Mother Nature’s glorious voice rang throughout the fields of creation, undisturbed by times persisting march. An old man sits, glaring off into the dark portrait of the past. 

A vague, very vague, thought surfaces in the old man’s fragile mind. He remembers a friend; he remembers looking up at this same star-filled portrait with this friends and he remembers a mutual overwhelming delight. The old man, struck with an abrupt and intense sentiment, expresses a slight smile.

The final strains of life unweave from the coil. The glittering portrait once again fades away, becoming an engulfing pit of nothingness. Yet, the weary old man’s fears subside as he rejoices in ignorance. Fading memories of a blissful night materialize in his mental perceptions.

Rain is coming…


© Copyright 2018 Stephen Osborne. All rights reserved.

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