The Day The Other Humans Came: Chapter 6.
The field of white seemed to carry on forever, it's vibrancy ostensibly more desperate than the heady rush of the blackness engulfing me before. Brightness was eternal and seeped through the membrane that sheltered the core of me from the outside universe, until I was also never ending radiance. Life, death, beginning, end, love, hate, light, dark... are all merely settings on a timeless dimmer switch, the thought reverberated in the softness of this everything. It rebounded and cushioned itself amid maternal tenderness, an affinity and belonging. A comfort that all the knowledge and delight was bound up in the bosom of the perennially extending warmth...
... Until it was over. I stood in the clearing of a forest, surrounded by lush plants and mighty trees, kissed by sultry and afternoon sunlight and greeted with a chorus of nature. Shadows of leaves danced lovingly across my face. "Welcome to, Earth," 'Bob the Earthling' whispered, his tone laced with the most feeling he had mustered up in the entire time I had known him. I pushed through the undergrowth, with my companion trailing lazily behind. I bathed in the joyous freedom of the flora and fauna encasing my soul here. It existed on this version of earth without any form of oppression, unlike their counterparts did on my planet. Nature on this world had grown with the abundant glory of allowing it's beauty to spread uninhibited, never glancing fearfully over it's shoulder for the axe or chainsaw. Unadulterated with the replete pleasure of a life cycle fulfilled. The heady perfume of burdened trees and ferns whirled as an arabesque of scent round the fringes of my conscious, bowing graciously to the sound of rushing water.
Yielding, spongy earth sloped down, petering out among knots of grass and nerve centres of twigs and roots. Eyes fell on an eager stream, dotted with three stones conveniently before my feet. "Am I on a mission or a hike?" I asked my alien friend. "Everything is a means to an end," he replied, gesturing up the hill... to the castle! My trainers squelched underwhelmed in the mud with defeatist surprise, glancing back at 'Bob.' "You mean to tell me, that you live in a castle?" I spluttered in disbelief, "where's, where's all the skyscrapers defying the stratosphere and flying cars and space ports... ?" My indignation was severed by 'Bob's' truly amused chuckle. "Such a skewed view of a species' advancement. What makes you think welding metal and glass together, proceeding to hurl it as high as one into the sky, is a marker of civilisation?" He asked.
I glanced at the earnest brook, it's rushing pace joining forces with the human's laughter, then my gaze lingered on the grey, archaic blocks assembled to display a castle I'd seen so many times back home on the telly. Four rotund turrets capped an otherwise square block, crowning the hill with no grace. "No grace?" My companion interjected. "This castle has stood unaltered like this for more than 35,000 years... didn't a wise man on your world once say 'waste not, want not?'" My chest went rigid, freezing with the annoyance that he'd dived into my mind, or 'picked up on my psychic waves' so thoughtlessly, again! "Shall we go up, to my home?" He said. "This is your castle?" His quiet nod made me grimace involuntarily, chagrin at my (at least mental) slagging off of the place, palpable. We turned and scaled the hill...
... It didn't take long to navigate the castle with the Lord of the Manor in tow. It was decorated in the archetypal medieval fashion. Red carpets threading through the centre of a stone floor. Tapestries dotted here and there, although a ubiquitous freshness and impeccable temperature level and an absence of burning torches in sconces hinted at abilities surpassing the age of when this building was first lived in. I guess I won't have to take a piss on rancid straw in the corner then, I thought with a wry smile. "Are there any skyscrapers here?" I asked, curiosity ringing in the healthy stone and mortar. "Yes," 'Bob' answered, "but they, too, are centuries, even millennia, old. The achievement of unity with the cosmos isn't evident in architecture, but in the designs of a leaf." I nodded, poetic.
In the throne room stood two semi-circles of grey stone benches and a clutch of men and women in black jumpsuits (just like 'Bob'), sat upon them.' "Good, the others are already back," he said. My muscles turned to sludge as I noticed the round stool, dead centre of the two benches... "That stool's for me, right?" I knew the answer already...
... I sat around all those faces, each looking at me like the stony faces of eternal judgement, maybe I am dead and these are the people weighing up my potential for the afterlife? "He certainly demonstrates great philosophical ability," a woman with blonde hair cut very boyishly, swept to the side and over her forehead, taking the edge off the keen sharpness of her face, remarked with a hint of wonder in her metallic tone. "It just goes to show how base their society, one centred around monetary gain, is." Observed a man with mousy, shoulder length hair and a bloated, red face. Heat and sweat built and staged a coup on rationality as I perched under their gaze. "So... what is it that you people want from me?" I asked, timid voice drowned by the stone. The room suddenly fell chill, as their stares began a cryogenic freezing of my limbs. "What you describe as an Outer Body Experience, is, in reality, quantum entanglement working on particles in your brain... this is a very convenient way of unifying oneself with the universe. Do you recall what I told you about your DNA?" 'Bob' inquired. I slowly nodded before maximum freeze claimed me. "Well, we, that is, myself and my fellow witches, will attempt to induce an Outer Body Experience on you and, in this state, will utilise the uniqueness in your DNA to patch the hole that has been made in the universe... "
The silence was a punchline to the worst joke I'd ever heard, this one! It seemed as though I was going to be stretched out as a bandage to repair their universe... if my Jobcentre Advisor could see me now, I thought.
© Brad James, 2014.