The end of the world is here. The Galactic Believers have initiated the absorption into ABE – the All-Knowing Being. The planet and all life will be brought into the next phase of existence, as one in the Galactic Array. Yet, the depths of the universe are more complex than such a simple solution.
Panpsychism is January’s flash fiction that brings readers into a cosmic horror standalone sequel of ABE. Enjoy the story in written word, audio, artwork and soundscape.
Conspiracy theories are fun. People believe some of the wildest things, which makes it so easy for the rest of us to write those folks off as crack-monkeys. Conspiracists’ evidence is always contradictory or vague. Most of the time, the real answer is never found. Those conspiracy nuts sure do try, though. Some are legitimate. If you want to get into politics, a lot of stuff has been proven right. It is just tucked under the table, and life moves on. Conspiracies about the end of the world and extraterrestrial beings? Hard to hide or prove that it happened when all is dandy. Maybe it isn’t the government. Perhaps there is some underlying force that keeps us together. Call it God if you’d like. Call it the universe. I honestly don’t care. I do know something is gluing us together, some form of consciousness.
What is consciousness? That’s an age-old discussion brought on by scientists and philosophers. Is it only humans that have consciousness, or do animals have it, too? How about a tree or a rock? I, for one, have never really worried about it. What’s the point? No one has ever been able to prove it. If you dig too deep into a rabbit hole, you will never get yourself out, just like conspiracists. So, I have chosen to live my life. Well, I used to until that damn triangle showed up in the sky. ABE. The All-Being Entity. The cosmic . . . thing has some form of consciousness that works in a two-dimensional giant triangle. Now I know. We’re conscious, too. It is the underlying layer of our reality. Consciousness is in everything.
Before him, it was easy to avoid the Galactic Believers, his loyal followers. They just came across as some wacky New-Age group, believing in what some chick going by the name of The Oracle started. She foresaw humanity’s bright future in the stars. Then, the numbers grew, and ABE showed up. I guess she was right. He took so many people and destroyed so much of our planet, claiming Earth was to be absorbed into the bigger picture or something.
End of the World
If you had asked me any of this even a month ago, I would think you were shooting up smack. Today, I know consciousness can be sensed all around. ABE communicated with us for years, through the Galactic Believers and The Oracle. The whispers of millions of people that he has absorbed, speaking only in fragments. I wonder if those people are alive, or if it is just him manipulating us.
I remember watching with my own eyes as people were dissolved into small particles and sucked into the giant glowing triangle in a spiralling motion. People were too gullible. They couldn’t resist ABE and his mindless followers. People find it so easy to give up on hope, but not all of us. ABE’s Galactica Array absorption is not the end-all-be-all he claims it is. He’s persuasive, and his Galactic Believers are intimidating, yet ABE is also vulnerable because he has an ego.
Still, ABE made Earth a mess. When he initiated the galactic absorption, he took his believers and those who were unable to resist him. Part of the planet tore apart. I think that something about us resisting saved the planet. I was there when my wife dissolved. Much like the other survivors, we were confronted in our homes by the Galactic Believers. Those fools. They became some of the many particles that encompass that triangle. Not me.
Blind luck. I am no university professor; I’m just a mechanic. Odd jobs, you know? A bit of a science geek, but that’s all. Thankfully, common sense isn’t bound to any sort of class or trade. That is why I believe I resisted ABE. That is why others did too. I wish I could say the same about my wife, absorbed into the Galactica Array. I wanted just to give in, let ABE take every atom from my body so I could be with her again. Even after the absorption, I was positive I could hear her. For all I knew, it was ABE talking to me, wanting me to give in. Thinking about this stuff can drive you crazy, like the concept of consciousness. So, I just don’t overthink it.
I hid for a couple of days. ABE remained in the sky during this time as the upward spiral of matter moved towards him. His essence—or power—crumbled all Earth and flesh. I was frightened and didn’t move. I even pissed my pants, I was so scared of making any sort of movement—what a coward. On the bright side, lying under a car for days is a great method to lose weight. That didn’t matter, since ABE brought humanity into a new dark era.
I had grown weak. The lack of food and lying in my disgusting filth was driving me insane. Thankfully, ABE’s absorption stopped. The change was unexpected, and I got up from under the car. The spiralling particles remained stationary midair like it was on pause. I didn’t believe exactly what I was looking at. I don’t think anyone did. In the midnight sky, the giant glowing white triangle hovered above the planet, frozen. Well, in front of North America. I wasn’t sure what the other side of the world was seeing.
Anyway, then, I saw other people coming from under the rubble. I remember seeing one gal. Her eyes were puffy, probably from crying as much as I had. Hundreds of people started to appear from under the remains of the city. We didn’t know what to say or what to do. ABE, the entity that was surely going to bring our doom, was motionless.
“Who dare prevent the absorption?” ABE’s voice projected in my mind. By the look on everyone else’s faces, I think that bastard was talking to them too.
We watched in awe, waiting to see what happened next.
“This planet is mine,” ABE spoke. “The atoms that are treasured here must be brought into the Galactica Array.”
Some guy in front of me turned around. He pointed towards the giant triangle. “He cannot absorb us! We have resisted him.”
“How?” shouted a woman.
“We must be special,” the man said. “Our mind, or DNA, something.”
“I prayed!” a man said, his voice trembling. “God answered me. He answered us all!”
Before anyone else perked up, a pulsating wave erupted throughout the landscape. I felt it in my core, holding on to my chest as the force moved through me. I almost toppled onto the ground but managed to remain standing. Another wave pulsated, throwing me on my ass. People screamed. I didn’t bother to get up because the particles falling from the sky had my keen interest. ABE’s spiralling absorption began to crumble. The matter began to move back down in reverse. It was as if everything was beginning to rebuild itself. I didn’t believe it. No one did. I don’t even think ABE did.
Beyond the All-Being
“Who defies me?” ABE shouted. This was the angriest I had ever heard the triangle talk. The prick was always so well composed. About time he was shaken up.
Tingling ran throughout my body. I thought I was about to get absorbed, and I got up from the ground, feeling it intensify. It was all around. My eyes were wide, watching millions of colours start to vibrate from my hand, the road, the rocks, and everything. The whole world had a translucent layer buzzing and rising up, towards the triangle in the sky.
Next, the impossible occurred. Every shadow, large and small, animated, morphed and grew—or shrunk, depending on their size—until they became a human form with arms and legs. No light touched them. They were pitch black, with millions of particles humming through them like a static TV. There wasn’t a single shadow left; everything was bright with no shade as these lightless ones glided on the rising colours, like surfers, heading for ABE.
ABE’s glowing form began to shake violently. Parts of the triangle began to crack like glass. All clouds blew away while the buzzing colours moved up with the lightless ones. The sky itself began to distort, rippling like water. I think. I really can’t describe this to you. It was as if there were an upside-down ocean in the sky, also covered with thousands of these lightless humanoids, filled with as many translucent colours as I could possibly see outlining the ripples. Two worlds—one upright, buzzing, and the other upside down—were merging. People ran; some people stayed. I was one to watch. If we were all going to die, I at least wanted a good show.
The sky-ocean began to extend downward in the form of two massive tidal waves aiming for ABE, while the buzzing colours moved up to him. The triangle continued to shatter, violently moving back and forth, up and down—a type of speed that defied logic.
“This is mine to take. For I am the All-Being Entity!” ABE shouted.
The two sky tidal waves collided with ABE, the buzzing colours, and the lightless ones. The impact caused the triangle to dissolve like ink in a bucket of water, taking the lightless ones with it until everything was one. The forces rebounded and soared towards the surface of Earth.
I finally started to run—a little late. I wasn’t sure where. I was weak, hungry, and frightened. The massive force from above engulfed the entire sky. It was faster than anything I’d seen before. I could hear millions of voices talking at once, but nothing distinguishable. The sky-ocean collided with me and sucked my body in.
I froze. Senses stopped. Black. Light. Reverse, like a VCR in rewind. Everything moved so quickly. Every sensation was backwards—try and explain how that feels, huh? I relived being under the car, ABE’s arrival, pissing myself, watching my wife be dissolved (or pieced back together in this reverse-time), and the appearance of the first Galactic Believer. This continued until I was brought back to the moment before any of this happened.
I dropped my wrench, shouting, catching the attention of my coworkers at the shop. It had to be a dream. No sweat drenched me. No piss-coated clothes. A strange sense of déjà vu rushed over my being. I had been through this before. I swear to God.
“You all right?” asked a co-worker.
“Yeah,” I said. “What day is it?”
“Thursday,” he said.
I sighed, realizing I could answer the damn question myself. I reached into my pocket for my phone to check the time. It was exactly what I thought. I was brought years back before any of this happened. The sky-ocean from those lightless ones had rewound time. There were no special people with unique DNA, or mindsets, or God, that could resist ABE. What a foolish thought. There were only some other entities, greater than us, and greater than ABE. Something we couldn’t exactly see. They took care of humanity and our planet.
It had brought me back to a time before the first Galactic Believer, so long ago. I had all this knowledge and experience in my mind, yet no one else seemed to be different from a regular day of work. I left the shop and immediately called my wife. I cried. She was confused, but lovely, as she always is. I don’t think she will ever fully understand why I was crying. I didn’t tell her why. No way. I just told her I missed her or something corny like that.
I took a stroll through the city, experiencing the buildings, listening to the sounds of the metropolis, and embracing the moment. There’s some New-Age hokey shit, hey? When you go through an end-of-the-world experience, only to have it all be brought back, you appreciate life a bit more. Maybe those hippie-dippies were right about living in the moment. Whatever those lightless ones were that took ABE were capable of abilities that scientists can’t even fathom. I can tell you that I can’t look at shadows the same way anymore—or anything, for that matter. Everything is alive. I saw those humming colours vibrate.
The years went by, and the Galactic Believers never arrived. ABE was just a figment of my imagination. At least that is what sane people would say. The classic Mandela Effect. I learned I was not alone. There were others online that shared the same memories that I do. We can all discuss the destruction of Earth and the days leading up to it in immense detail. We all sound like conspiracists because there is no proof of it. It only exists as a collective story told by people who have never met. Another conspiracy theory that will drive you mad.
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