Panpsychism by Konn Lavery

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.

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Panpsychism

Big Questions

Conspiracy theories are fun. People believe some of the wildest things, which makes it so easy for the rest of us to write them off as crack-monkeys. Conspiracists’ evidence is contradicting or vague. Most of the time the true answer will never be found. Those conspiracy-nuts sure do try though. Some are legitimate. If you want to get into politics, a lot of stuff was 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 underlining 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 the animals do too? How about 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 just lived my life. Well, I used to until that damn triangle showed up in the sky. ABE. The All-Knowing Being. The cosmic being has some form of consciousness, however that works in a giant triangle. We’re conscious too. It is an underlining 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 belief. Then, the numbers grew, and ABE showed up. He took so many people. He destroyed so much of our planet, claiming Earth was to be absorbed into the bigger picture or something.

End of the World

If you asked me any of this even a month ago, I 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. The whispers of millions of people that he has absorbed spoke only in fragments. I wonder how much of 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 absorbed into the giant glowing triangle in a spiralling upward fashion. People were too gullible. They couldn’t resist ABE and his mindless followers. People are so easy to give up on hope. Not all of us. ABE’s Galactic Array absorption is not the end-all-be-all as he claims. He’s persuasive. His Galactic Believers are intimidating. ABE is also vulnerable because he has an ego.

Still, ABE made Earth a mess. When he initiated the galactic absorption, he took his Galactic Believers, and those who were unable to resist him. Part of the planet had been completely torn apart. I thought that something about us resisting saved the planet. I was there when my wife was dissolved. Much like the other survivors, we were confronted in our homes by the Galactic Believers. Those fools. They became one of many particles that encompass a triangle. Not me.

Blind luck. I am no professor at some university. I’m just a mechanic. Odd jobs, you know? A bit of a science geek, but that was all. Thankfully, common sense isn’t bound to any sort of class. That is why I believed I resisted ABE. That is why others did too. I wish I could say the same about my wife, absorbed into the Galactic Array. A part of me wanted to just give in, let ABE take every atom from my body so I can 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 days. ABE remained in the sky during this time as the upward spiral of matter move towards him. His essence – or power – crumbled all. I was frightened. I didn’t move. I even pissed my pants, 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, though, since ABE brought humanity into a new dark era.

I had grown weak. The lack of food and lying in my own disgusting filth was driving me insane. Thankfully, ABE’s absorption stopped. It caught my attention, and I got up from under the car. The spiralling particles remained stationary midair, like a time capsule. 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.

The Resistant

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. 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, remained motionless.

“Who dare prevent the natural order?” 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. The atoms that are treasured here must be brought into the Galactic Array.” ABE spoke.

Some guy in front of me turned around to look at us. 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 onto my chest as the force moved through me. I almost toppled onto the ground but managed to remain stationary. Another wave pulsated, knocking me to the floor. People screamed. I landed on my ass and didn’t bother to get up. 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 a reverse spiral. 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-Knowing

“Who defies me?” ABE shouted. This was the angriest I have ever heard the triangle talk. The prick was always so well composed. About time he was shaken up.

YOU DO NOT BELONG HERE, came another voice.

I got up from the ground, trying to pinpoint where the voice came from. This one was external, unlike ABE’s. It was all around.

ABE’s glowing form began to shake violently. Parts of the triangle began to crack like glass. All clouds blew away as 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 and the sky, filled with as many colours as I could possibly see outlining the ripples. People ran, some people stayed. I was one to watch. If we are all going to die, I at least wanted a good show.

OUR PLACE IS NOT HERE, came the booming voice from all around. The sky ocean began to extend downward, like two massive tidal waves aiming for ABE. The triangle continued to shatter, violently moving back-and-forth, up and down. A type of motion that defied logic.

“This is mine to take. For I am the All-Knowing Being!” ABE shouted.

THE ALL-KNOWING WOULDN’T NEED TO SPEAK IN SUCH LINEAR FORMS OF EXPRESSION. COME BACK HOME. The two sky tidal waves collided with ABE. The impact caused the triangle to dissolve like ink in a bucket of water. The two forces that collided 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. Its motion appeared before I could hear millions of voices talking at once. The sky-ocean collided with me and sucked my body in.

My body 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, 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.

Back Home

I drop my wrench, shouting, catching the attention of my other co-workers 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 – the sky ocean rewound time. There were no special people with unique DNA, or mindset, that could resist ABE. What a foolish thought. There was only some other force, greater than us, and greater than ABE. Something we couldn’t exactly see. It took care of humanity and our planet.

Whatever it was, brought me back before the first Galactic Believer, years ago. I had all this knowledge and experience in my mind, yet no one 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 was. 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, sounds of the metropolis, and embracing the moment. Some 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 took ABE, was capable of abilities that scientists can even fathom. I sound like a crackpot.

The years went by, 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 in immense detail about the destruction of Earth and the days leading up to it. We all sound crazy because there is no proof of it. It only exists as a collective story told by hundreds of people who have never met. Another conspiracy theory that will drive you mad.

Panpsychism by Konn Lavery

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About Konn Lavery

Konn Lavery is a Canadian author whose work has been recognized by Edmonton’s top five bestseller charts and by reviewers such as Readers’ Favorite, and Literary Titan.

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