Sunflower Skins

June 28, 2010

Experiment 1: The New Space

Filed under: experiments, prose — Tags: — Sunflower Skins @ 1:13 am

Night 1 of switching opening lines and personalities. This is the result. More to follow.

He sat there, staring. He couldn’t help feeling that he was looking into another galaxy, another dimension. To his eyes they took a form similar to lizards: alien blobs with tentacles and slobbering mouths. Similar—but not at all. The watery, slippery skins appeared to be melting off the misshapen surface. If it was surface. If he reached out his hand, would he fall right through? Or would the slime cling to his fingers, somehow reflecting his image right back into himself?

This was weird.

He crawled a little closer, recalling stories of old thermometers, ones that still used mercury. Could that be what this was? All over his walls, globbed, rolling, effervescent in some clusters. This was mercury, of course.

Then why was it green?—or, greenish.

Last night had been no ordinary one, of gazing at the stars from a distance, measuring galaxies through space and structure and language and emotion. Physics doesn’t mean a grain of salt anymore, but last night, he didn’t know he would lose all comprehension of the universe.

That’s absurd. But it happened.

Suddenly things stopped working the way they had before. And it was entirely unpredicted, unimagined—merely on a desperate whim of the universe. Religious or spiritual implications are irrelevant—though wouldn’t you think that an infinity of space would finally, in a single moment, conceive of and summon inner forces enough to throw itself from all scientific comprehension.

No, he hadn’t thought of that.

He couldn’t pretend it was mercury.

Maybe it was what physicists called wormholes. Or the 4th dimension. Looking into it, gazing into the abyss in his bedroom, he wondered if invisible numbers were no longer imagined. Just try to visualize the world now.

But the entire world was shifting, shifting—and he had sat there, vulnerable, for too long. Those blobs were shifting too, coming closer and gathering, balling up. Their tongues began to unfurl, slowly dividing and stretching closer and closer. Surrender? Be eaten? Instantly he knew, jump into it, become one with the new space—

He turned away from the mirror.


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