And nothing was the same again...
The last thing I remember is closing me eyes after spending 4 hours mindlessly scrolling on Twitter. And now my eyes are open again.
I can see everything and nothing at all; all at once. My vision has gone beyond what I could see with my own two eyes, to what every pair of eyes can see in the universe, the humans on earth, the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky. I am everyone and everything all at once. I no longer need a body to move, I no longer have a brain to think, I no longer need ears to hear and eyes to see, hands to feel and a mouth to taste. I am the powers that be, I am the universe itself.
My memory is not the events that have unfolded in my life, but everything that has happened or will happen. Everything I have ever questioned now makes sense, every question answered, and every task complete. There will no longer be struggle or strife, there will no longer be joys of victory and tragedies of defeat. I will never again be met with smiles nor teary eyes. I will never again experience the touch of a mother, the kiss of a lover or the hug of a child. I will never again own a pet, befriend an animal or feed a family.
Never again will I ponder for there is nothing left to ponder. I am complete.
I can now see why the world is so cruel. I finally understand why life is not fair. I now can fathom why the good will die first and the cruel will live forever. Now I see why evil will always triumph, and at this moment I have understood why everyone thinks of the universe stained with mal intent.
The universe is not evil, the universe is not cruel, it has never considered me at all to hate me. I am nothing and everything, I am the light and the dark, I am day and night, I am time itself.
The secrets of space, the birth of the universe, the fall of the sun, the prosperous blue planet, and the wonders of the sea. The endless gaze of perpetuity, the end of forever, and the dance of decline.
With a final breath that unwind the planets, I went back to final cognizant thoughts before I transcended, the last thing I saw before the great escape up. Strange esoteric glyphs appeared in the air and lights appeared in the distance, the wind brushed against my skin and a smell of rust made its way, the rocks of different shapes became proportional hexagons and trees became cylinders of tangerine. Ahead of me appeared a podium with many steps that followed, that seemed to go up to no end. No voice spoke to me, and no face appeared, yet I knew within that I must climb. And I did. And nothing was the same again...
I am everyone and everything, I am everywhere at every time, I am the sun and the moon, I am the blood and the water, I am the earth and the sky, I am the snake and the mouse, I am the man and the dog, I am the light and the dark. I am the universe, and this is my last human thought.
With this final looks back at what I was, I looked forward to what I will be. I exhaled my last breath, and the world went back to what it used to be, and nothing was the same again...
Have you ever wondered why Santa’s elves don’t have names?
It’s because they have numbers. Numbers and ranks based on their spot on the assembly lines. Names slow them down; keep things regulated in a system. It gives them move to work another day in hopes of receiving a higher number, a higher rank or maybe even a pat on the back by the man in red himself.
The red light beamed brightly and the siren went off again. 57 knew it was time to push the button again. He trudged towards the cold steel podium carrying a bright yellow button with X written on it. He pushed it down for the 76th billion time in his career, every time hoping it would be the last. The X used to stand for Xmas he thought for himself, as he recalled the day he joined what he then thought was the most joyous vocation an elf could have. Now the X is just an emblem of the slow crawling slimy black snail of death that doesn’t seem to come by despite his wishes. The walls were lined with signs that read “The happiest place on earth” with all sorts of Christmas symbols bedazzled around it, trees, bells, signs, reins… You name it, they had it. Happiest place? Does the happiest place on earth have suicide nets? Or big security ogres with blue skin and giant maces with crusted dried crimson flakes from past disciplining procedures? 57 couldn’t take it, but couldn’t do anything about it. Until today.
The fat man pranced around all jolly-like, the bells on his shoes chiming along. He hummed along a little unrecognizable hymn as his prying eyes watched around carefully for elves trying to take a breath away from work costing him another dollar. “Gentlemen, HO HO HO, the day is almost upon us, we must be done with all the toys by the 23rd.”
The day is almost upon us indeed 57 said to himself, as he gnawed on yesterday’s candy cane. He prepared the end into a sharp spike that could split a hair, the red and white sugary treat has become a shiv. He’s been hiding it into his boot all morning waiting for the right moment. The old man was started his rounds along the assembly making sure all procedures are in check, his eggnog stench moving ahead of him by around 10 feet. 57 waited Santa to approach him and lay a hand on his shoulder, then he would strike with malicious intent.
It’s been years in the cold factory. He doesn’t even remember how many it’s been. The desolate fog has trapped him in there for so long, he barely remembers what snow feels against bare skin. Plucked in the prime of youth and forced to labor away the best years of his life pushing a button in staggered periods. 57 couldn’t take it, but he was about to do something about it.
“Great female massage rod you’ve made number 56” Santa shrieked in his ever so jolly, ever so ear tearing tone, “you’re gonna make one lonely missy very happy my good friend.” Now, do it now 57, his inner monologue was all he could hear. He used to have a name. He can’t even remember what it used to be. His fingers clutched the cane so tight the sugar was melting into a warm sticky fluid. “And you 57, what do you have for us today? HO HO HO.” “That’s it you fat kingpin, you’ll own me longer.” In an instant 57 did what he should have done so long ago. No more forced singing, no more unpaid labour, no more fingers bleeding, no more chimney sweeping and no more Santa. No more.
A Dance With The Reaper
Before I start I’d like to say this is partly a true story (except the part where I shoot) based on my experience with the Tripoli wars in Lebanon
It was the war, every man’s worst nightmare, every poor man that is. The ruling class sat warm in their houses sipping their expensive whiskey while the other 90% were forced to step in the dirt and kill one another for a cause few of them really understand. No one remembers how the fighting began, nor why. I was only 17 when it started. I didn’t choose a side, but my innate religion chose for me and placed me on the battleground. My good throwing arm made me in charge of hurling grenades while the fighters cleared a path for me with American assault rifles.
It was a cold December morning. It had been raining continuously with a soft drizzle since that midnight. The floor was wet, and the air was tainted with a thick fog that hid us from our enemies and hid our enemies from us. “Our” enemies claimed the hills as their domain, while “we” spread through the city like lice hiding in every crevice. Their preferred weapon of choice obviously being the sniper given their strategic geographic advantage. We took everything we could manage, mostly automatic rifles and grenades. We had the numbers advantage but few of us had the courage to scale up the mountain to take the fight onto higher ground. While my father and I were setting a trap since dawn, the others were supposed to push some fighters towards a small winding street where my father and I stood waiting at the first floor in an abandoned building armed with guns and bombs. When the time comes it would be like hunting rats in a trash can. Then the time came, but nothing happened. It was eerily quiet. We waited for an hour. Nothing. Another hour passed. Again nothing. We were worried but too scared to leave our position. No one contacted us through the radio. Then we hear gunshots, and a few moments later, as planned, we see 8 armed men running beneath us. My father begins taking shots and I throw some grenades at them. The explosions manage to get most of them as body parts and blood spatter manage to fly high enough to reach us. I still remember the arm that fell through the adjacent window. My father, filled with confidence, takes up his position again at the window. A few seconds later I hear a very loud gunshot, I wipe the splattered blood off my eyes only to see in horror the corpse of my father laying on the floor with a bullet through his skull dripping with blood. There was no time to waste on grieving, I was prepared for this moment, I had to change positions before the sniper does to me what he did to my dad. I reach for his AK only to have a bullet fly through the window again missing me by a few centimeters only. I grab the rest of his ammo and scurry out of there in fear. My heartbeat was so loud I could hear it. It was going so fast it transitions from a fast beat to almost a single note. I reached the streets carrying more weapons than my weak body can carry and started running. I was trained to run in zigzag patters as it made it harder for the snipers to hit us. Surprisingly he misses yet again. I feel like it was turning into a personal duel. I knew I had to get to the rest of the fighters, only there I could find protection, but they were more than 10 blocks away, there was no way I could reach them without crossing open streets multiple times, and I wasn’t ready to risk it. Instead I went through a small shortcut. I was running as fast as my feet can carry me, and they began to feel as if they were pumping with battery acid. I reached a jump I had to make. It was about a 5 meter drop and very risky. I went for it and hurt my right foot. ‘Great, now I have to hop the rest of the way’ I begin to think of myself. I get to the park where they usually toss enemy bodies, I dropped my guard as often it is a safe zone where we smoke. A few meters in and I am shocked by what I see. The after mentioned corpses had become food for the rabid dogs of the area, I see them fighting over a little kid taking nibbles at his throat and stomach, a white foam dripping from their jaws to the cold concrete. They saw me and ran after me. I reached for the gate and locked it behind me. Twice I had escaped death that day and I wasn’t going to take any more chances. What I felt now was not fear but anger at the enemies. I had to avenge my father, my uncle, and my little sister. I had to take matters into my own hands for once. I wasn’t the type of alpha man who just took chances and had the confidence to do things, but now I had to fire back. Literally. I was just behind the abdelkader building, where I know our snipers usually stay. I go for the highest floor, only to find our sniper, bassem laying on the floor with a bullet through his throat, and I knew he has responsible. In all my anger, I forgot the risk was taking and I went for his sniper rifle. I peered through the scope for possible signs of life. I saw nothing. I waited a whole 30 min, the longest 30 mins of my life. Then I saw him, I was not sure if it was him but deep down inside I hoped for it. The sniper who killed my friends and family, I saw him behind his rifle smoking a cigarette staring at the night sky. Easy target. I gauged my crosshair at his head. I wasn’t well trained with this weapon but I had to take my chances. I take my shot. The recoil sends my frail body back and I can’t see what happens. I look through the scope. I have hit his arm. I could see him shouting and screaming, I couldn’t hear him but I knew exactly what he was saying. Again I had to move, I knew he would fire back, and then he did. Bullets were flying through building walls missing me by a few, but I didn’t care, because in my mind I had partly exacted my vengeance.
The Seed of Rebellion
Beneath the bustling street and the rampant stomping of feet rushing to meet the cold concrete pavement cut in interlocking, tessellated patterns, a creature takes its first glorious breath of life. A seed, escaping from the excrements of bird mid-flight lodges itself between the narrow cracks of a busy sidewalk of a busy city . Perfectly wedged, and repeatedly watered by spills of Pumpkin spice decaf latte, the miracle of life takes its course. The creature has neither family nor friends, for only a few can survive in such harsh conditions. Nevertheless, it begins to stretch its roots downwards, growing stronger by the day, and then it begins to bore into the unforgiving concrete solidifying its place. Now it begins the daunting task of rising above the surface to meet the sunlight fully. Once the roots are well in place, it begins to ascend into clearer and stronger light, its powerful rays giving it shivers and orgasms, strengthening it to levels thought unachievable. A small weed at first, not much too see for the fast-pacing man, it continues to grow beyond untill it reaches the height of a small flower. It begins to consider raising a family, in this new virgin land untarnished by other weeds. As is the case for most dreams, it is cut short by the unrelenting reality, it takes a small kick by a jogger to turn the sprouting blossom into debris of hope. The city is no place for a flower or weed of any sort. The city subjects everyone to the same struggles, most fight through them and live a sedentary life till they meet their maker, with no hopes or dreams of evolving further. Uprisings of plants are considered a pest and quickly exterminated. The plant has lost all hope, its dreams shattered, in a literal sense, it prepares itself to join the ranks of the myriads failures of life. However, only if the roots are strong, shall the tree grow, and this gives the plant a newfound hope. This time, the roots shall bore deeper, and grow stronger, before it thinks of rising once again to the surface the living-dead pedestrians. It grows again and meets the eye of a tree-hugger that takes it upon himself to save the plant. It blossoms and grows and becomes a full tree that is cared for by the whole city, and in return it gives them hopes of success in return. It begins to inspire change in the other trees and they too are grown amidst the city streets, providing shade and joy. Slowly, but surely, more and more trees join the cause until the pallid grey palette of the city becomes a vivid green. Through the eyes of an aviating bird, the humans have returned the forest to its original form. Rebellion is but a seed that can become a forest once the trees are united under one sun. It is not long before the inhabitants complain to the city. The forest is a fad of the older generation, the city calls for wider streets, bigger buildings, and less leaves to rake, and thus all the trees are cut down to make firewood for the wealthy inhabitants. Before its final root is thrown into an open flame, the old tree can hear the people talking “if only the trees had stuck to their own section, they could have spared us the expense of cutting them down.” The tree spends its last moment, being burnt alive by the flames, watching as the rich man toasted each other on another success, another rebellion flame extinguished.
My Little Suzie
‘Well I’ve always wanted to work on my fitness, but running from six policemen and three guard dogs with my hands shackled behind my back was not the best way to start. RUN. The only word that kept flashing back and forth in my head. The combined cacophony of barks and police siren didn’t let me think of anything else. An abandoned villa, my best hope for hiding. I jumped the fence, cut my leg pretty bad on it, and leapt through the window. I decided to wait it out for the night, or at least until the sirens were no longer audible.’
Within a couple of hours, the sirens faded away. I stood up leaning on my good leg looking for a room to spend the night. A few steps later on the creaky floorboard I found myself face-to-face with a large, bearded man wearing a gray, bloodied apron and grasping a chainsaw in one hand, and a beer in the other. He demanded an explanation, and I obliged, pretending to be a tourist lost for the night. Surprisingly, he agreed to let me spend the night. Moments later, a small blonde girl approximately the age of 8 walked into the room giggling and dragging her one-armed puppet behind her, “who’s this daddy?” “You have a very beautiful daughter sir.” Doing my best to be eloquent. “It’s my wife Suzie.” That shocked me completely. “She may look 8 but she’s actually 30, but in bed she’s all woman.” He grinned slightly at me revealing his yellow smile beneath. “Hey listen, you should try my steak.” He got up to get me some. It was utterly disgusting, it was still raw, still bleeding, and had some weird hairs that looked suspiciously human. “It could use improvement.” Again try to be on my best behavior. “IMPROVEMENT? IMPROVEMENT? I’ll show you improvement.” It’s like the words triggered him, he quickly grasped the chainsaw, got it whirring and aimed for my head. “Oh Eski, it’s time you come on down, the blood sacrifice is ready!” My blood ran cold and chills went down my spine. I scurried rampantly trying to get away, but my bleeding leg could only take me so fast. To my surprise, the blood trail I left behind caused him to slip and decapitate his own head. As it rolled towards me I could still see his sickening smile. Now little Suzie came at me with the kitchen knife, but she wasn’t much of a fight. I took away the knife, cut her open, and choked her with her own small intestine. Suddenly, I felt myself wake up, I must’ve been dreaming again. I saw people gather around me shocked, their jaws dropped in complete awe. I found myself in the middle of the street, soaked in the blood of my daughter as I was elbow deep in her entrails. What happened next made my heart stop for a moment. Little Suzie awoke, & said “daddy must pay.”
What I Never Asked For
I never asked to be this way. Never did I solicit my creator from clay to mold me of this. I am what I am and there's no escape 'till I meet my doom.
I was 9 when I discovered it, neither a blessing nor curse, neither gifted nor cursed upon me, I found myself within arm's reach of people's consciousness. It is a superpower I suppose its cause I do not know, how to manipulate it I barely fathom. I looked down on everyone and everything since then in a condescending manner, everything became inferior than I, everything I wanted I could achieve with minimal effort. Controlling people's thoughts became my play toy and it was relatively easy for a long time. I made money by twisting rich businessmen's thoughts into giving me money. I was robbing the robbers, and it felt good. I made a fortune notwithstanding I never needed it since I never reached a hand into my pockets when I could convince random humans to give me whatever I desired. My life was suddenly put on easy mode and I became sedimentary in my thoughts and actions, I was idle and passive, nothing held value for me, everything was dispensable, animate and inanimate. My heart was pumping but I was dead, my thoughts were gushing but emotions gone. Was this the end of it all?
Fate said otherwise. It was a cold October night, the snow covered the streets like sheets of paper killing everything beneath it. I decided I needed a meal when I entered the nearest cafe and looked the waiter straight in the eyes and made him believe it was imperative to get me a meal. Everything became slow, sound progressively became a higher pitch, light became intense, objects lost their definite contour and became colourful silhouettes. A dark man came upon me and spoke these words in a rather slow manner: "Welcome to the hell of your making."
I woke up tied to a desk chair. Nine men gathered around me in a semicircle all with blank expressions on their faces. "Did you think you were the only one? Did you believe you could achieve all this without consequences? We followed you from far and we have caught up with you at last, this is where we give you the choice. We are arranging a major bank heist, we are far stronger and more capable than you, but we need a tenth member. Either you join us or you join the dead."
Honestly, there was a moment when I thought it a grand idea but it wasn't worth the effort. "Do you really want to waste your time chasing what has no significant value, is it all worth it? Do you really believe it would make you any happier if you gained more material objects? Life is meant for the living, and I have died. I will not be part of your silly clique. Give up on whatever you were hoping for, it will turn you into an insatiable beast, let go of your earthly chains and embrace the void, the nothingness is what we all aspire." He eyed me, still no readable emotions on his face. "As you wish."
He began using his force to manipulate me yet again, I will not be part of his idiotic charade, I fought back. I strained my thoughts. I put all effort in, I was determined, but all those years of rest left my mind atrophied and feeble I had no chance against him, if I fought hard enough he would not be able to induce me into mind manipulation, but it would kill me. So I did just that, I gave it my wall. A dark vignette came from the edges and my perception weakened. Colours faded into grey, this was the end, that was for sure. No turning back, nothing anymore. I blacked out. Coal-black took over and that was all.
Humans will always be the greedy beasts they are. Savages of the jungle is what we'll always be, no hope for anything superior. Humanity in itself, is riddled with fallacies without a cure, their greed and self-worship will forever fester and will eternally leave them the shaved apes they are.
I won't lie, I was very scared. Fear circulated as shivers along my cold skin. It was the winter of 1990, and I was on a skiing trip with my mates when I lost my way and my friends. I decided to seek refuge in a homely cave nearby. Wrong choice. I was not the only inhabitant, the original was a giant brown grizzly bear. Scared shitless, I hid behind a large stone and waited. The bear went along his normal routine as I presumed and I let my guard down. Suddenly it spoke, and when it spoke I trembled and so did the stone floor beneath me. "What do you want?" I had been distracted reading "What to do if you're trapped with a bear in a cave" so it took me a moment to notice the bear speaking the tongue of man. "You came in here to use your phone? Or to attack me?" "I mean no harm I was just lost-" "Are we all not lost on the path of life? How would you define 'un-lost' we know not how we appear or we vanish, a sudden case of serendipitous brings us consciousness and we use it to please our foolish earthly desires. We are sick creatures for we do not wonder about the ethereal only the earthly, we look not beyond the horizon but barely beyond our noses, our repulsive self-worship brings us down and we never learn to adapt, we spread and we breed and we devour everything we are blessed with, so tell me my friend are we all not lost?" I searched the handbook for philosophy bear. "A fucking savage creature speaks your tongue and you want to look it up on your phone? How distracted and foolish is man? I underestimated you, I gave you a chance and you failed. Too scared to let go of your earthly possessions, this will be your fallacy that brings you down. Lessons are given to you in life so you can learn, so open your blinded eyes and learn." I was stunned, this beast knew better than me of life. I put my phone down, he smiled. I picked up my gun and aimed at his head. "Go ahead, you will only kill a bear." He didn't have to tell me twice. I made a fire and a meal from his corpse that lasted me a week, it tasted better than beef. Unfortunately the stench of his splattered crimson blood now a wine-like tone attracted creatures of the forest. They came abruptly and quick. They made of me what I made of him, a delicious meal.