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A general fiction story by


Submitted Mar 24, 2009, 3:48:33 AM

A Matter of Perspective

I awoke in a room, pitch dark, and knew not where. I had no memory of how I had come to be in this place, nor did I know whether I had just arrived or if I had dwelt here for eons.
    I rose and paced the dimensions of the room, two steps to a wall, one to a corner from there, three to the next, then four, then three, then four once more. A small room.    
    There were no furnishings in what I was beginning to think of as my prison, simply a bare floor and bare walls, windowless, doorless, lightless. No way in, no way out.
    Time passed, at least, I think it did. I had no way of knowing whether years, days, hours, or minutes had gone by, though it seemed an eternity.
    But then, a light, high above me, white and brilliant. And another, dimmer, but closer, tinged with red, the light of a flame.
    I saw no way of reaching the white light, so I made for the red. It was off to my left, further than I thought the dimensions of my cell would allow, but I walked towards it, fifty steps and more, unhindered by the walls that had seemed concrete and immutable. I simply walked through them, as if they weren't there, they no longer applied to me.
    I reached the light, and saw it came from a crack, what looked to be a partially opened door. I pushed on it and it opened smoothly, easily. I stepped through and found myself in an alleyway, flickeringly lit by the light of torches spaced along it.
    Having no better ideas, I headed off to my left, and emerged from the alley onto a busy street, cars flashing by, people hurrying past, no one even sparing me a first glance.
    I walked along slowly, buffeted by the crowd, taking in the sight of the place. Nondescript buildings lined the streets, each identical to it's neighbors, serving no purpose that I could see. People occasionally entering them, and no one coming out.
    Everything was in a monochrome of red and black, from people to the sky, red clouds drifting across a black, starless sky. The buildings loomed black high above me, menacing the crowd as they passed.
    As I walked, I did not see even one person stop and talk to another. No one even so much as looked at anyone else, they were only concerned about themselves, no one else mattered.
    I walked for hours, not knowing where I was headed, taking random turns when it suited me, always surrounded by people going one way or another. After what seemed at least a day, I reached a point where the buildings gradually became smaller, less menacing. The busy street began having less and less cars, until there were next to none. The crowds dwindled as well, so that there were very few other people, and the pace slowed, so that others were walking as I was, looking around bewilderedly in the same fashion as I was.
    I kept walking for what must have been months, it was impossible to tell in that place, as no sun rose and no moon fell. I never tired in my walk, and looking back on it now, it seems as though I would've thought that strange, but it never even occurred to me as I walked. Eventually I reached a point where there were no buildings, no people, no cars. I even saw a plant growing once. I walked and walked, until everything stopped. The ground ended, there were no more clouds, the road was long gone. There was just nothing. It stretched as far as I could see, up, down, and in front of me. Behind me was where I had come from, I could have walked back to the city had I wished. But no, that was not for me.
    I stepped over the edge.

    I awoke in near perfect darkness, spoiled only by a light from above. This was not like before, though I felt near certain I was in the same place. But now there were no walls, nothing holding me down. My perspective has shifted from my time in the city, and my willingness to step of the edge had given me a confidence I had not had before. I saw the light from the door that had led to an alleyway in the city off to my side once more, and the brilliant white light was once more above me. The red torchlight of the city held no attraction for me any longer, there was nothing worth seeing there, so I focused on the white above.
    As I did this, the light from the city dwindled to nothing, and the other became even brighter and more brilliant, fully illuminating the area around me, and for the first time, I could see.
    Gone in this place was the depressing and grim monochrome of the city, here there was color, more beautiful and radiant than I'd ever seen. I stood in a meadow, astoundingly green grass beneath my feet, the light above resolving itself into a sun.
    There were others here too, so many of them. Some reacted to my presence, they moved to talk to me, but others, they simply stood or sat and stared. Some paced in small rectangles.
    A man walked over to me and told me "Welcome."
    "Thank you," I said. "But what is this place? Who are you? Who are they?" I gestured to some of the people who seemed not to see anything.
    "This place? Well, none of us are entirely sure, but it's generally accepted that this is, in fact, Heaven. My name is Peter, I've been here the longest," he said. "And as for those staring blankly ahead, they are simply people who haven't gotten here yet. You were one of them until a few minutes ago, yourself."
    "What? No I wasn't, I remember, I was in a dark room, then I went through a door to the city, and I walked off the edge of the world."
    "Everyone experiences it differently," said Peter. "And some never even make it this far. The dark room you mentioned though, that seems to be a constant that everyone goes through. But you were here the whole time, you just couldn't see it, and once you could, you were free."
    "So what now?" I asked.
    "Anything you like," came the reply. "You're here now, everything that follows is happiness."
    And he was right.


kt6550 Avatar


Commented May 20, 2016, 1:49:01 AM
An interesting turn here. I want to see where you take this. The thought of being immortal and only being a head is not a way I would want to live.