Tim regained consciousness, and the first thing he saw upon opening his eyes was…. Nothing. A deep, all-pervasive black stained his surroundings, rendering is eyesight all but useless. His body lacked its usual weight, as he slowly floated in what Tim could only judge as air, but when he tried to move his arm and legs to steer himself, he found that there was no response from his body.

What should have been a terrifying experience, for some reason almost felt relaxing. This had to be a dream, but for some reason, Tim could think far more clearly and feel the surroundings with a depth that shouldn’t be possible. Then again, it shouldn’t be possible to actually feel that you were gored by a shark in your dream, so it wasn’t outside the realm of possibility based on his previous experiences. As he moved along the air, he found himself rudderless, directionless, and aimless, just going along with the natural flow of nature and letting the world decide his path.

This way he could move forward, without being bogged down by the emotional baggage he carried. It was better this way, soon all those memories, all the happiness he had shared with her, along with the sadness of separation would be soon forgotten, merely a distant memory he’d once lived through. The past rightfully belonged in the past, it was time to-

“No,” a small voice echoed out from the inner depths of his consciousness.

move on with-

“NO!” said the voice, that echoed out more like a vicious growl that made no attempts to conceal its hatred.

life and find a new-

“FUCK OFF!!! WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU!!?” yelled Tim, from his own mouth this time instead of just being a voice in his mind, and suddenly his surroundings shifted.

Tim found himself face to face with an…. alien, a purple-skinned humanoid figure with two long blood-red horns jutting out from his forehead, light blue irises, surprisingly handsome features by human standards, along with a well-toned, masculine chest. His upper body was bare-chested, while his lower half was covered by a Scottish kilt of sorts, that had a smattering of violet, bright red, dark blue, and pure golden threads constantly reshaping itself into the silhouette of mystical animals that clearly had never existed on Earth, and then exploding into a bundle of threads a moment later.

His feet were adorned by pure white sandals that gave him the feeling of an ascetic begging for alms rather than a foreign entity that Tim should be scared out of his wits at the meeting. Well, it was a dream anyway…

The ascetic looked at Tim with a peculiar expression that bordered on surprise, as he addressed Tim’s query in a placid tone, “I am but a mere emissary, here to execute my Lord’s Will. Or rather, one of millions of clones that are presently addressing your fellow humans, on the matter of their induction into the multiverse. Strictly speaking, an involuntary induction that you have no say in.”

‘What a stupid dream’ thought Tim, as he felt irritation bubbling up in his stomach. Before he could say anything else though, a white beam of light materialized next to him, and then in an instant, Frank had materialized next to him.

A quick glance at the anger on Frank’s face, and how his face had been replicated down to the slightest detail gave Tim some pause. While he was fairly intelligent by ordinary standards, it was hard to imagine that his brain had a practically photographic memory and he wasn’t privy to that fact. Taking a deep breath, Tim moved to examine the surroundings around him and his jaw dropped.

They…. they were standing on the same black void Tim had sensed himself floating in earlier, but there was a bright source of light coming from underneath him. A quick glance below nearly shocked him out of his wits… below him was a gigantic blue marble with white swirls moving around, only taking him a second to place the familiar feeling in his gut. That was fucking Earth, and Tim had been floating around in space without a suit.

“Well, there goes the flat-earth theory,” said Tim, with a nervous chuckle. But there was one thing odd about their beautiful planet… he could understand the white swirls, but why were the green landmasses moving on a collision course, at a speed visible to the naked eye. Tim knew how large those landmasses were, thus if he could see it that clearly, the speed they must be moving at would be ridiculous and beyond any technology known to man.

Tim had been going with the impression that this was a dream, but the sinking feeling in his heart seemed to be denying the notion. Everything felt…. too vivid, too detailed, too real to be something his mind projected. Did that mean… this odd alien in front of him had been fucking with his mind, trying to modify his memories? The last sanctuary that Tim had left, the one place that was supposed to be unassailable from prying… the world could not even let him have that little peace of mind!?

“Motherfucker…” Tim growled in a low voice, as he stared at the alien with hatred. It didn’t matter if this being was some sort of god, or even if the alien could vaporize him with a single beam from his eyes. If it wanted to steal his memories, especially the times he'd spent with her... then only one of them could walk away from this altercation. And most likely, that person wouldn't be him- but at least he'd die knowing what mattered to him the most.

Tim charged at the alien man, sprinting in space without care for if the void would provide a foothold for him or not. For the first time, he felt a genuine desire to kill this foreign being, a desire that he’d not even experienced in his darkest movements. For some reason, he could run in space as he would sprint on earth, but Tim was too consumed by anger to care about the how and why.

“Die,” whispered Tim, as his punch snaked towards the ascetic’s throat without the slightest intention of holding back.

The ascetic merely stood there, with his arms clasped behind his back as he waited for Tim’s charge. There was no mockery or derision on his face, but the slightest hint of a smile could be detected. As Tim’s punch angled towards his throat, the man uttered a single word,


And Tim’s swing only connected with air. However, the distance between them had increased by over seven meters… and a stupefied expression was plastered on his face. The man hadn’t dodged, but it was him that had been teleported back to his original spot.

“I think you have misunderstood my intentions,” offered the ascetic, as a way to broker peace.

“I think you misunderstood my fist. You see, it wasn’t supposed to miss,” snapped back Tim, and rushed at him again.


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About the author

Daoist Enigma

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Wordsmith


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