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Regarding my passion for writing, I’ve been a bit lacklustre lately. Full time work coupled with a dimming inspiration has made it difficult for me to “pick up the pen” so to speak.
Luckily science is absolutely awe inspiring (though I usually write fantasy over sci-fi). I was reminded of time dilation whilst reading about the universe and it made me want to write something. Something that is poetic in a way only science can be, and yet still informative and intellectual.
I have to admit, I may have bitten off more than I could chew. It was very difficult to make scientific references, whilst keeping character and maintain a rough scientific accuracy. A fuller explanation of this story can be found in this post, but I recommend you read the story first.
See if you can name all the scientific references I made! Otherwise, just enjoy.
The Loneliest Particle in the Universe
I am born into a frozen plane.
Behind me is a surging mass of super heated elements. I know this, but to my eyes it is dim and grey. And unmoving. Everything around me is unmoving.
There are more stars like the one behind me but they are few and far between. They provide a speckle of grey on an overwhelmingly black canvas.
There is no direction or goal, but my nature compels me to move forward. I leave my place of origin and venture alone into the black void.
I begin to pass rocks, planets and stars. Soon, I am crossing galaxies, but still, nothing around me moves. The worlds around me are desolate and empty.
I pass clusters of galaxies with innumerable stars but I am still alone. Nothing moves. The universe around me is frozen. It is not dead, but neither is it truly alive. Kind of like me. I am not dead, because I exist, but am I really alive? More stars pass as I ponder this. Perhaps I am both dead and alive. I may never know which. I need somebody to verify my existence – somebody who is not me.
As I pass through the empty universe, I search frantically for somebody, anybody who can tell me that I am real. That I am alive. Time stands still for everything around me, but I cannot stop. I am compelled to move only forward, straight and true. It is in my nature.
I grow tired. Not physically, for I have not aged, but emotionally I am drained. I see the vast universe around me but I am completely alone. I see others that look like me, some travelling and some just born, but the moment I lay eyes on them, a part of them is frozen to the spot and a part I cannot see is gone. Perhaps they are just like me – stuck in their own frozen planes.
Finally, I see a planet. Like everything around it, it is dim and grey, but somehow it feels … blue. What excites me most is what I see on the planet’s surface. Sentient life, capable of communication and thus capable of telling me if I am real.
A moment of surprise hits me as I pass through the atmosphere. Large clusters of molecules hang liquid in the air. As I pass through them, I feel my body pulled and stretched to breaking point. All manner of colour bursts forth from me but I struggle forward. It feels as if parts of me cannot keep up, but I continue straight ahead. It is in my nature.
My excitement mounts as I pass overhead, but soon I realise my happiness is premature. These creatures are frozen too, and I am moving too fast. Even if they spot a part of me, I realise I will be gone. Just like the others, I cannot truly be seen or measured. I can never know if I am alive.
It happens too quickly but I am gone. The blackness before me is soul crushing. The star here is dark – far darker than anything I’ve seen so far – and I feel as though all hope is lost. I know there is more sentience out there, but I also know now that I am a paradox. Nobody can truly see me. I will travel over 93 billion light years and not a second will go by. But for the entire journey I will be alone.
From my birth I was destined to be frozen in that one single moment for all eternity. I am Photon, the loneliest particle in the universe.
With exams over I’ve been trying to get back into writing. It feels bad knowing I’ve neglected my magnum opus for so many months so I’m trying to get back into the swing of things by writing a few shorts to warm up my creative mind. As usual, I don’t bother editing stuff that’s just meant for practice so excuse any errors you may find; it’s just a first draft.
He couldn’t see it, but he knew it was there. He could feel it – a warm, sticky sensation that hung thick in the air. It weighed heavily on his lungs, and even worse on his mind. It was oppressive and paranoid. It was fear.
Footsteps tapped in the background, distracting his senses. No, the sound of footsteps did not scare him. What hunted him could not be heard. It had no feet.
Trapped in a moment of respite, he tried to think of an escape but he couldn’t focus. His mind jumped from one thing to another in a frenzy of disjointed thoughts. As the panic burgeoned, he began seeing in brief flashes and blurred impressions. Each vision that appeared in his mind’s eye shook violently as it was quickly replaced by the next until he was stuck watching a cacophony of muted colours. But one thing solidified, right in the centre of his vision. The outline of a familiar man.
He muffled a scream as he opened his eyes. Without realising, he had closed them against the swirling images. He could feel the sweat on his clammy skin but it was still dark. What if it had come closer? How could he be so stupid! To close his eyes at such a dangerous turning point? Absolute stupidity.
Rising from the corner he had been crouched in, he quickly scanned his shadowy surroundings. Nothing moved but the footsteps got louder. They were approaching.
A cold shiver teased his skin and he started at the sensation. It was getting closer, but he had no escape!
The footsteps stopped and there was a metallic grind of something being slid aside. Brilliant white light poured in. Illumination, hope and salvation beckoned. The chilling sensation tingled through him again, somehow more urgent. He could see the outline of a man again. But his eyes were open!
Fear blossomed in his chest and his mind fixated on the only thing it could identify. The light. It promised escape.
He ran, full speed, towards that glorious square of hope. The man got bigger, closer, but he couldn’t stop. He was almost there.
Something crashed into him, solid and cold, stopping him dead in his tracks. Metal bars. Holding him back, keeping him away from the light. Trapping him in the room with the man. He could see the man clearly now. There was a mirror on the opposite wall showing a man behind bars in a dark padded room. It was the man that haunted him. One last burst of courage shot through him and he slammed the bars but they would not budge. Then all he could see was an explosion of colour – images and impressions flooded his mind and whispers echoed in his ears. All remaining strength in him fled, and he sank to the floor laughing.
“As you can see, the patient has lost any remnants of his sanity. His condition has progressively worsened upon arrival at the asylum, so we recommend a full lobotomy. For his own good.”
The empty home and blackened skies
Do not beckon until she dies.
Her conscious mind and wayward heart
Have but one thought – her song, her art.
Is it passion or is it fate?
Or an obsession that won’t abate?
She seeks her muse across land and sea
For that one perfect, thorny tree.
With promises laden on every spine
Of a song that will truly, truly shine,
She throws herself at the largest thorn,
And the dazzling sky begins to mourn.
Her empty nest is on her mind,
As her eyes fail and she goes blind.
The glaring sun fades to blackened skies,
Taunting, beckoning, but she can no longer fly.
As the bittersweet pain spreads like fire,
She blinks back tears to hold her head higher,
And in her death she finds the greatest beauty,
She sings a haunting song of mercy and cruelty.
All love and warmth and glory pales,
All joy and sadness and emotion fails,
For this song’s beauty holds the world in thrall,
And all time freezes except her call;
The final song ever heard,
From the beautiful, dying, lost Thorn Bird.
Again, I’m not much of a poet, but I didn’t feel like writing a long piece so I went for the shortest option. I recently heard of the Celtic legend of the “Thorn Bird”, and I really couldn’t just get it off my mind without writing something. There is truly something artistic in its sad beauty, so I felt a need to respond creatively to it.
For those of you who don’t know, the Thorn Bird sang only once in its life. Upon leaving its nest, would search endlessly for a thorn tree, and after finding it, would impale itself on the largest thorn and sing the most beautiful song in the world. The greatest things in life come from hardship and pain.
I found the idea hauntingly beautiful. What do you guys feel?
P.S. Thorn Bird (Celtic legend) not to be confused with Thorn Bird (Phacellodomus; a real bird).
I was cleaning out my computer when I found a few old poems I wrote as a kid. I’m going to leave them here so I can delete them off my computer; just for laughs and memories. The majority of these were from my last year in primary school to my junior years in high school.
Now, I’ve never been a big fan of poetry, preferring full blown novel-length stories, but I remember a few melodramatic emotions that spurred me into writing some of these. It really reminds me how sensitive a teenager is to his/her environment. These are all really short because – like I said – I wasn’t big on poetry, and I just wanted maximal emotional release in as few words as possible. Don’t get the wrong idea; not all of these are about my misfortune with girls. However, you’re free to interpret them as you like. That’s the beauty of the written language. Sometimes the words are different but the emotions are the same.
Sometimes when I wake, I feel like I’m dreaming,
And somewhere, some place, the real me is screaming.
Sometimes I wonder, if I close my eyes,
Whether or not the real me dies,
And a dream of me awakens on the other side.
A haunting thought,
And wistful wish,
Of a girl I ought,
Not to miss.
She speaks and I freeze.
A hundred words crash around my head.
Quick, say something before she sees!
But there’s so much I want to say,
Like how strongly I feel when I’m with you.
But there’s just no way.
I can’t find the words; I just want to sigh.
Because you don’t even realise what
Goes through my head every time I say “Hi”.
You showed me that love was a rose,
A passionate red that never warns,
But really, to me that just shows,
That nobody sees the thorns.
Sailor, sailor, so star-crossed,
You never told me I was lost.
The ocean’s black sucks all my soul,
Until I no longer know my role.
Now I wander, seeking one who might,
Aid me in my lonely plight.
So tailor, tailor, seam by seam,
Unravel this tangled heart with me.
She smiles, he frowns.
They’re on different pages, but is it the same book?
He talks, she freezes.
There’s something too serious in his look.
She leaves, he waits.
But she doesn’t come back.
Now they’re on the same page, but it’s two different books.
Just two stories that happened to cross paths.