04 October 2011

A Story About an Un-World

The following is a short story that I wrote a number of years ago to no particular purpose except that it was very vivid and disconcerting. It has been sitting lonesome and unused among my word documents and I thought it might have a place here:

In the dream I was a man with hollow eyes. Everyone else in this psuedo-world carried on as if all was well, but my eyes were empty. Being that it was a dream, I could look at myself. I was dressed in the manner of the typical “anti-hero”. Dark, rough, dangerous. It was evident that I had a wretched history.

The setting had a post-apocalyptic feel. One immediately knew that a cataclysmic event had changed the world. Even so, nothing looked different. The sky was blue, the grass was green, and I distinctly remember seeing a family picnicking at some sort of park. I don’t recall seeing cottages or skyscrapers, but they could well have graced the scene without being out of place. The thing that had changed the world was not a bomb, or a war…but whatever it was, it had left the air empty. It had left my eyes hollow.

I walked up to myself. My anti-hero self looked at me as if he expected me.

“What happened here?” I said.

The calm landscape flickered, like a weak television channel, and what showed beneath the flickering matched the empty, post-world feeling of the whole dream.

“They took God away,” I responded.

In the dream I felt nauseous. So did the anti-hero. In retrospect, any proper apologist of any belief, in the realm of theism or atheism, could have argued against that absurd statement. God was or he was not. If He wasn’t then no void should be left in His absence. If He was, then he could not simply be removed. But in this post-world, I did not question that God was. And they took Him away.

“So what happened?”

“Nothing,” I said.

I watched a woman approach. She was beautiful, but she had come to take me somewhere I didn’t want to go. I watched her with a hateful curiosity.

“Come. The world still holds much,” she said.

I shot her in the forehead. Don’t be shocked. I don’t think I was.

Before I pulled the trigger, I saw that her eyes were far emptier than mine. This was strange because when she first approached her eyes had been full of that certain Hollywood-girl allure. By the time I shot her, though, I saw that the allure in her dark eyes was on a reel…like a looped tape, rigged to emit the same flicker of charm over and over.

I don’t mean that she was inhuman in anyway. But the spark of life in her was an imitation. Recorded and repeated. Nothing new under the sun, right? But things are supposed to ripen, to grow fuller and sweeter in the sun. They have to be attached to a tree to do so. But here, in this place, instead of growing in the sun, everyone was drying up and getting smaller. They weren’t attached to anything. It was all just getting stale.

I was no longer independent of myself at this point in the dream. I shot her because the post-world had a special “people program” for those who had trouble adjusting to a world without God. They were always trying to draft me in to this program. I knew better. I think I was some sort of vigilante.

You see, I am not one of those people who have much natural moral compunction. If there was no God, I would have few, if any, scruples about…anything. I realized that since there was no God, there was no morality. Right and wrong were relative, and based merely on the state of society. Without the divine spark, what difference did it make if man lived or died? What difference did it make if I was the one who killed them? All this nonsense about preservation of a species…who gives a damn if a species survives? I sure didn’t. I killed people, apparently. If I wanted to. If I needed to. It’s hard to know. I just killed anyone who tried to draw me in. Anyone who tried to tell me that all was well. Anyone who messed with me.

Preserve society? How about not. In the dream, I was out to destroy it.

Then the nausea that pervaded the dream dissipated, and my insides didn’t feel like they’d been carved out anymore.

I woke up.


  1. I don't remember ever reading this or hearing it. Was it a real dream?
    Oh the insight and lessons that can be gleaned from this dream...I want to process a bit, but just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading it. I know your anti-hero low morality without God thing though.

  2. It's one of the myriad things I wrote on impulse without quite knowing what I was going to do with it afterward.

    Was it a real dream? I don't remember. That's why I didn't edit it much. I wrote it a long time ago. Either a real dream or a day dream--at any rate a clearer example of my nature than I would generally have conjured for myself--and then I fictionalized it. I think that's what happened.

  3. That was cuuuhreeeeeeeeepppy, but I liked it!

  4. Yeah, it is a little bit creepy...for that reason I almost didn't post it, but I thought it might be of use. Or I just wanted to use it somehow!