tales [ short-story seus ]

The Overflowing Void

“Please don’t leave me,” she said. She gazed at the static filled figure from where she laid on the floor. The shape shifted towards her it made the sound of leaves rustling in the wind.

She felt as if she had been hugged by someone she cared for deeply. A colorful swirling light flowed from within the figure’s shape and the air was filled with the sharp scent of ozone.

“I’m scared,” she whispered.

She felt a sense of belonging, as if the figure understood. This brought a moment of calm.

“Is there a- are you god?” she sputtered to the shape.

The figure did not speak. Its light radiated towards her. As she was filled with vague feelings of completeness her mind was filled with visions of an endless void.

“Who are you?” she asked the figure.

This time she saw images. Stones in a creek, the forest for which the creek provides life, the entirety of the planet Earth, the solar saystem, and finally the universe.

“You’re… everything?”

The figure shimmered and she felt validated.

“If you’re everything, what am I?”

Visions of her school years floated into her mind. The building blocks of life. How those combined into cells, and those cells combined in a myriad of combinations that made up the parts of a human: bone, blood, flesh.

She pushed through the thoughts. “Yes, I know what I am made of, but what am I? Fundamentally?”

The figure froze. After a moment its light gleamed outward more harshly.

She was filled with the sudden dread of being cut off from the world, completely and totally isolated. Insignificant. As if she was the thing that should not be. Her vision was filled with the view from atop an impossibly tall cliff overlooking an ocean. Before she could say anything the sense shifted. The cliff blurred away, replaced by an ocean. Then the planet. Then the galaxy. She was growing and expanding at an exponential rate. She felt as if she could be the cosmos itself.

“Am I everything, are we the same?”

She was filled with warmth and comfort. A sense of love like she had never felt before.

This was a lot to take in. She tried to think but had difficulty grasping the vastness of the concept. She decided the next question: “is there a… next? An afterlife”

For a moment she saw nothing, and then everything appeared. Her life laid out in front of her. Her childhood. Family and friends. Growing up to leave home and move into the world on her own. Meeting her wife, the wonderful woman that never went out without a book under her arm. Their daughter, the joy in her life. The visions disappeared and were replaced with darkness. After a moment the feeling that had accompanied the visions returned. Their daughter would grow, her wife would live on, life would continue. She was comforted in the thought.

“So there’s no answer?” she asked the figure. “No answer to life?”

She again saw visions of her life and family. Again they faded into darkness, but the feeling of belonging remained. Not like belonging to a group or family; but a sense of belonging with the entirety of the universe. Life was a Sisyphean task, there was no end goal. It, in the universe, continued into eternity. She continued into eternity. She was no longer scared.

With the ritual now near completion, the figure surrounded her in its shape. She was at peace. She was tired. “Please don’t leave me,” she told her friend. And it didn’t.

Originally posted on /r/WritingPrompts SEUS, Sidebar photo by Klemen Vrankar on Unsplash