Short Story: Rhythms

To the opiated masses, power was still another fanciful thing only rich folks and electronics had. Humanity had passed the point where it was new or noteworthy, but had not reached the point where it was usual, mundane. Not on a grand scale. They were in the in-between times of yet another thing. No longer miraculous, but not commonplace enough, power was both a thing but not a thing. It was leashed by egghead scientists or courted by overzealous millionaires and billionaires. Or, if one worked their entire life, perhaps a layperson here or there.

It was via that mentality that power was disregarded by Earth’s general population, in both metaphorical and literal senses. Some ruralites even claimed its existence a conspiracy. Those creatures said humans never had, and never would have, power. Not in the grandest senses. Ironically, they were most often responsible for shortages of power.

For the rest and vast majority, power was just a thing beyond grasping. Most especially, great power. It was out of reach, financially or socially, or both. There was no point in dreaming about it because so many other, competing dreams were higher priorities.

Of course, what prospective home-owner didn’t want free, limitless power? What conscious mind didn’t wish it to help them “slip the surly bonds of Earth,” bypass the smog and madness between it and space? They all did, but it wasn’t meant to be. Not yet.

Not until a man lacking both gained them for all.

Thirty years later, Brandon Keller still wasn’t sure how he’d done it. He remembered the night it began though; remembered his dead-eyed stare at the half-dead television flickering from age and water damage. He remembered the mildew mingling with lighter-fluid and spray-varnish. A dangerous and favorite combination. He remembered the sound of the paper-bag over the percussive metal ever-thumping in the background. Most of all, he remembered the utter desolation.

Inside. Outside. Perpetual.

His innards were dank, dark. Even danker and darker than the walls of the abandoned junk-shack tenement he and others like him were forced to inhabit. The walls wept every time it rained. The sound of fucking, fighting, and metal or rap ragers echoed ceaselessly along the floors. Dilapidated, paper-thin walls crumbed between rooms, apartments forming windows into private lives no-one cared to view, their inhabitants least of all– seen one junkie….

They were all junkies. That was why the called it the junk shack. Brandon too, then at least. The place he’d been in wasn’t the best, wasn’t the worst. It did smell. Mold and Mildew. His huffing bag took care of that, but anytime the wind kicked up through broken windows or drafty walls, cat-piss stink from the rotting crack-lab in the next room smothered the varnish-lighter-fluid cocktail.

Something long ago had told him he’d been destined to wallow and rot like so much of the junk-shack before a moment of clarity intervened and the miraculous was found anew in him, through him. Thirty-years later, on the penthouse level of the Keller Power Consortium building, he would flex his bionic hand and feel it a small price to pay for all that was changed.

He’d been bored. High as a kite. Lost at what to do with himself– or why he’d suddenly developed an itch for doing something. He wasn’t aware of a lot in those days. He was, however, beginning to see patterns. Kaleidoscopic. Fractal. Like Fibonacci sequences, but in the repetition of the news and the other bullshit the television spewed at him.

There was a mathematical pattern to reality; an eternal cascading and bumping that seemed on micro-scales to be ever-random, but on macro-scales, its patterns were fairly obvious. He’d watched them for months, completely unaware of them. Then all at once, they were there. Sensory overload. Months of patterned reality crashed down. He couldn’t take it.

He didn’t know any of that yet. It took him months to figure out the particulars. By then, he was recuperating in a hospital, arm missing. He’d somehow managed to avoid the need for skin-grafts. Something about the trajectory of the explosion, angle of the fire. He didn’t much care to know those details. The others though…

When it happened, he was too busy detoxing, relearning there was a world existing outside the junk shack. Likewise, when his head was finally straight, he was too preoccupied with an image that had taken it over. It was more an idea really, but it had a mentally visual component. Two. One of macro-scale. One of micro.

Micro-scale was something like two nuclei, just before collision. All around them were out of focus collisions already occurring, exploding. Then, the Macro-Scale, there he was bionically armed and standing before a chemistry set that made the cat-piss crack-lab’s look like a catheter.

No-one understood it. Not even Brandon. It didn’t matter. Most of human progress was made only to be understood later on. It was yet another of the micro-macro rhythms; a duality of science and reality. There were things seen and things unseen. Both were useful. Both were necessary. Both could be harnessed.

So Brandon harnessed them. Through a frothing concoction of natural elements, the amateur-chemist turned energy-mogul found a formula for cold-fusion. Chemical cold fusion. Free, unlimited power. He stood in the shadow of creatures like Faraday and Tesla, Nobel and the Curies, then stepped beside into their light. There, he found the solution to a problem ages old and eternally important.

And thirty years later, he watched the last residential light flit on in what used to be the junk-shack. Free housing provided by the mogul. Like himself, the majority of people aided by his programs were former users, abusers, would-be burnouts. They weren’t just given the chance to get clean, they were given new leases on life. They were given new reasons to hope, to dream. New paths to achieving those hopes and dreams.

In his own way, Keller had universalized power and set off rhythms. One Macro, one micro. They mirrored themselves via an iteration even far older– as old as time, in fact; change.

Short Story: The Hub of the Wheel

The Hub of the Wheel

The first moments of the great epoch of were witnessed by one being and one being only; I. In the depths of reality, amid the finite but innumerable universes, and beyond the ten dimensions, do I dwell. I am the hub of a wheel of never-ending, cyclical, energy conversion. For those that do not understand, they will soon enough.

In the vast infinities of which I occupy, there are but two orientations with which to build reality and all within it: positive and negative. I am that which cleanses these orientations– returns them to their original bearing, hereto called polarity. My ever-present, omnipotent arms, stretch and unfurl beneath all that is, was, and ever shall-be. They ooze cleansed polarities to form the fabric of all existence.

I’ve no need nor fear of life nor death, for I am that which turns them upon themselves. As life is born unto each universe in the cosmoses, and carries on its futile, inexorable existences, their polarities shift. They become tainted with inverse charge. As those that live must inevitably expire, they must also be cleansed. I devour them whole, digest them with purifying acids that return their parts’ polarity to the universe once their forms and consciousness have decayed– passed, beyond eternity’s reach. These exchanges ensure my eternal existence, for I am and am not. I exist, but am beyond existence, surpass it. I am the beating heart of all reality, and its inevitable vacuum of death; that which both stays and balances its hand. For I am all that is, was, or ever shall-be.

The wheel that turns for eternity, and of which I am but the central part, is that of which I shall speak. The wheel is a principle of life, necessary to the process of living, dying and death, and the re-birth of matter, energy. The particles, waves, decaying and emerging organic matter, are to their natural inclinations and excreted once more in diminished quantities upon ever-expanding planes of reality.

But take heed this warning; do not mistake my explanations, nor my eternal existence for arrogance or foolishness. I speak the turning of the wheel upon its bearings as the hub that keep it steady upon itself. I balanced it so that it may spin forever more without fear of it coming of its lugs. This process, ingrained in me by the very fact of existence, must be carried out by one who is chosen for the greatest burden of responsibility.

As for my origins, I can tell little, nor do I remember much. Blinked into being at the very microcosm before reality’s birth, and before time, space, or combination thereof was conjured. I do not deal in uncertainties, and for those whom wish absolution for theology or theories, I cannot provide it. I am. There are no others. I was drawn from nothingness into the void. It was there that I begin, to ever-more balance the wheel as it began its first phase of turns. As time grew, I hungered, and so I feasted on the ever present imbalance on polarity requires. When I was full, I excreted the cleansed forces. I knew then that it was for these reasons alone that I was brought forth.

What began at my emergence will last eternities longer than any life, universe, or space itself. Perhaps one day, an endless void will expand ever outward; growing, perhaps, from the very bearings the wheel turns upon until a fire swallows all, myself included. For now, there is no smoke, no spark, and in that there may never be– For the Wheel is well-oiled, and I balance it well.

I am all that is, was and ever shall be. I am the hub of the wheel who shall know nothing else, but the eternal procession of polarity– of each division of existence, oriented as it is, then swallowed by my limitless arms, to spewn forth once more into reality.

Yes, it is I who keeps the wheel spinning, makes possible the actions of a deftly physical and predictable fabric of time and space. Not god am I, nor man, nor any other of the countless species which identify themselves. For I am the hub of the wheel; the perpetual motivator of its spin, a tree of reality whose roots draw sustenance from every mathematical position, drawn about and combined, in the billions of universes and beyond. I am the keeper of all that is, was, and ever shall be, for I am the hub of the wheel.

Dedicated to Tony Jay.