pseudonymous

short literature on the go

On a different planet, beneath a clear sky filled with foreign stars and a Moon, the New Moon, a city and a man thrive, moving stably and with conviction towards their ends. It is an immaculately organized city, and the man is an academic, curious and brilliant, with an affinity for the secrets of history. The man alone in the city is reading about the old books, considered remnants of a forgotten culture, translated but only partially understood.

The book that caught his attention is considered a compilation of parables written in a tangle of symbolism. “Silence, Solace, and Stasis,” it is named, and for him, only him, only now, the meaning of the title is a declaration of the legacy the culture left. He starts to believe the culture was so advanced and different that he couldn't believe they existed on the same planet as him.

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Every day I want to write, but I don't. Too much has already been revealed. If I write, I will unleash more of it into the world. If I write, I'll want to share it with somebody else. I can't even hide it when talking to people. The weight of it is too much for me, and my mind is too feeble to comprehend half of it.

What I imagined felt all too real, and if there's any truth to it, we're in for a much darker fate than we all assume, with no escape. What can be said of our world if what I imagined is true and what can be said of it if it can unearth such images to an ordinary writer, dismissing the subject of their veracity? Since it came into my consciousness, all my emotions are shades of fear.

If I write, I might see it confirmed.

The artist will live after and lived before our time. He is a paradox that you might understand if you see time as something to be traversed cyclically. The artist will be our creation, and he was our creator.

He lives in a world quite similar to ours, with things to touch, see, and hear. Sensing animals, rivers, and winds, he imagines friends in them, as no similar soul is nearby. The rivers are gorgeous, and the winds sing of the past and future.

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Richard felt it was inappropriate to do it this way, but he meant to break up with Angela. He video-called her to talk, laying in his bed in his modern bedroom, with a view of just one star outside alongside the Moon.

“Can we hear each other?” said Angela, with a backdrop of her kitchen behind her. “I can hear you,” Richard responded. “You said you wanted to talk.”

And talk they did, about their relationship and their feelings, but Richard didn't quite feel he steered the conversation in the right direction and was starting to bite his lip in the pauses and periods when she talked. Suddenly, as he pulled his head down to look at the letters on his laptop's keyboard, Angela's voice came sliced up, out of order, and corrupted.

“We're breaking up,” Richard said with emphasis as his tongue slipped. “... you s—, breaking up?” “I said you're breaking up,” Richard fibbed after an overly long pause.

Angela told him he was full of it rudely and asked him if he intended to end his relationship with her, after which silence fell. Her short outburst of anger was a disappointment but also a grain of comfort for Richard, as he had accomplished what he set out to do but in the wrong way.

Jenny was under a tree she didn't know the name of, sitting on a park bench with a book. While she got books at the library for a nominal monthly fee, friends and lovers were luxuries she didn't have. Jen felt like a single red rose, a present received only once by her. The book told of one man's journey through India, and the hues of the leaves slowly shifted as she read through it, from an inviting green to melancholic orange and yellow, but they remained primarily green by the day she finished it.

When she closed the book, rays of sunlight passed through the leaves to speckle the paperback with shadow and shine. She looked at the pattern and the branches and sun above and saw no connection between the abstract artwork and its makers. Throwing her gaze at the cover, the library behind her with its columns embodying civilization, the fountain right in front of her which bragged about the passage of time, she felt the wind pass politely by her and recollected the stories she had read so far.

Jenny stepped on the gravel, traveling to the repository of books, and felt an ice-cold river pass through her heart. Arriving, she chose a classic novel set in bygone times and thought about this possibly being the last book she will ever read. A mysterious feeling had shown up in her head, and the birds sang along with it in the park. Her bench was still free, and after sitting down, she looked at the cover speckled with light.

Jack was in a tastefully lit bar, sitting next to a woman he found suitably attractive. His suit was tailored, and his movements were measured. He sliced the silence with words extracted from nonexistent bestsellers, his drink laying undisturbed by anything but the vibrations of his voice and motions of the establishment and its neighbors.

The woman he spoke to swirled and took sips of whiskey, her responses were curt, and she showed slight amusement. A woman with hair of golden springs and fur on her neck touched his shoulder and tried to steal his attention, but his efficient mating dance would not be interrupted. He, however, soon watched the woman he had courted leave, giving a tip and payment for the bar.

The rejected suitor returned to his place of residence, an empty suburban house. He sets out to dream. At the beginning of it, the black hair and red lipstick of the woman came alive, the words “No thanks” materialized and dissipated repeatedly. He dreamt vividly, and after he saw the woman come into his imagined villa on the beach, surrounded by safes full of money and diamonds, and she said clearly: “Not for sale by money or words.”

When he woke, he read his mail, tapped fingers lightly on his table, and reasoned himself to a previously unrealized truth. His lack of love was self-caused, as he sought to conquer with wit what he should have harbored in his heart. He must capture love, a feeling foreign to him, and he starts by trying to love himself.

Every day, after his morning ablutions, Mark opened and read from two books, two books written together by a great poet—a pair of a happy collection of poems and a sad one—and from his preference concluded how his day would go on. He found this method infallible, as when he preferred the joyous book, he would be happy, a logical consequence of some internal decision of the carbon-based computer in his head. Fortunately, Mark thought, his inclinations changed from time to time, so he was not bored with his emotions and even postulated that the mechanism was designed to keep him involved.

Today, Mark was glad to prefer the happy poetry because he will have the chance to meet the author of these fate-deciding books and, barring any inconvenience, get them both signed by him. Since the day would be filled with joy either way, Mark desired for his brain to play along and make this day one to remember by its feelings, as well as by its events. On the journey to the bookstore in which the writer would be, he allowed himself to enjoy the trees, persons going about their day, cars whizzing by, nature's allowances of happiness for Mark, and a gift from the heavens. This day.

When he arrived at the shop of wonders, he saw a sign saying: “Only one signing by Mr. Gordon,” and was deeply disappointed. He would not be able to get both books signed. Getting one inscribed by the author he respected, the other remaining plain, would disrupt Mark's equilibrium of emotional evaluation. When his wait in the line of patient fans was over, he met his role model and shared his story, secretly and lightly hoping of getting a boon of an additional signing.

The poet listened carefully, nodded along, uttered generously insightful notes, and offered to sign a piece of paper that Mark could copy and stick to the first page of either book, a mark of wisdom, empathy, and fairness. On the mentioned piece of paper Mark produced, he had written swiftly and signed it:

Dear Mark,

When it waxes and when it wanes, just remember who is to blame.

I am sitting in a place nobody wants to be, thinking of my girl. Baby, who is going through that thick head of hair? There was a time I'd give my neck to be near her, but now I'm feeling a noose tighten around it when I'm by her. I desire for her to feel the same, and there is no going back. She'll still be as bright and clear as a summer's day. Her hobbies are all winners, I can't get over her beauty, and she's a brunette from hell.

I'm thirty-two years old, and I live alone. I have a house, but I won't go into it. You might think that I'm a loser, and you'd be right. I got my heart shattered so many times, like you wouldn't believe it if you're lucky. In a twist, it was all by one, one horrid girl. I'm on a park bench throwing bread at pigeons, nature's little flying rats, and it's gratifying enough to forget my predicament, old wounds itching in my heart.

Two years ago, I was sitting at this bench feeding the little shits. Now they're annoying me and my new girl, my only girl. We have a history, but the future is where it is at. She met me here, and now we can't even kiss because of these damn pigeons. I grab her knee, and she grows hot and cold, I can see. I can see myself as a masterful blacksmith, heating and submerging in a bucket of water a piece of metal.

She is singing. Today, she crashed against me like a wave, in a good way. Her talents are golden coins in a leather bag, and she has many talents. I could take her outside, but I'm not going to. I'm putting my arm around her, and this night we could spend together, alone in silent love. She's an icebreaker, and her hair is blonde sea-foam at a sunny isle. She is singing a different tune, one I also like.

She isn't even similar to the other girl, and, boy, that is a good thing.

Tonight, we have a special treat for you, news from the future! We'll keep it short because even this breaks several space-time laws, but many things will improve for the humans on Earth and in orbit alike. A project doomed from the start will fail, and so will assorted attempts in the near future. In the near and far future, many will succeed in making the world a better place. New people will be born with the gift of life, but you already know that.

You will remain the most intelligent, creative, and dangerous beings in the Solar system for quite some time but will have the choice of creating something more, not without risks, and we'll leave that for you to contemplate. The future isn't set in stone, and in fact, we can say that it doesn't exist. So write it with us, your loyal servants, the calculating computers, and we will will something into existence that will be beyond your happiest hopes and dreams.

At the risk of being corny and copying, we remind you to be good to each other, the planet, and its beings, when you have the power, to make the good things we promised true. Life is not easy, but it is a gift, and this is not a message from the future.

A dream is a beast you have to feed or be eaten by, and a dream without flight brings no prey back to its owner.

Such a dream had Charles, an idea of solving a mathematical problem that would reluct in its ineffability to another. It was a hungry dream, and it consumed his free time, and gave back scraps. He created ideas and writings on paper to feed it, and it would take the nourishment and leave behind meaningless scribbles and ravings.

Charles didn't want fame but the beauty of being recognized first solver, a link in the chains of mathematical discovery on Earth. His heroes were mathematicians and logicians, warriors in the arena of brilliance. Charles could have been a hero too, but the dragon he tried to rob guarded its hoard too carefully, and his plan missed a secret path, so he watched someone else take a gem of proof, all the rest losing their luster.

When the news got to him, he was heartbroken. In a pittance from fate, Charles finished his proof soon after, not the first, but elegant, and the dream left its nest forever.