The White World – KURIS Litfest 2015
I live in a vast white world. It is a world without walls, only a floor that stretched out in every direction underneath an equally encompassing blank sky. There is nothing in this world — only pale, barren nothingness. Not even my own shadow can be seen. This bright, piercing white blankets the terrain in a ghostly hue. This world is the very definition of empty.
This world is my prison without barriers. I have wandered across this boundless wasteland of white, yet no matter how long or how far I travel, my surroundings never cease to change from this cold, pale void. Despite this, I have journeyed far and wide, exploring this endless purgatory that I find myself captive to. In my travels across the years, I have had glimpses of things — horrible, grotesque things that simply should not be. Terrible things that appear as flashes across the blank skies, filling the vast emptiness above with shape, and my soul with fear, before disappearing as quickly as they materialized like abominable lightning.
I remember my first encounter with these flashes. A great eye opened up in the heavens to peer down unto hell, a grotesque oculus that no maker could have ever created, and I was struck with a sense of profound wonder and absolute terror. Then it vanished, seconds after appearing before me. I have tried approaching other flashes in hopes of learning the truth about this world, but I am barely able to grasp their form before they retreat back into the infinite empty from where they came.
I find myself pondering the many questions I have about this reality of mine. I wonder what these flashes are. What are they? Where do they come from? Are they my captors? Why am I here? How did I even get here? Where is here? My memory is fuzzy; I have no recollection as to how or why I am damned to wander this limbo. These questions remain unanswered and will probably continue to remain a mystery to me forever, the thought of which only serves to drive me slowly insane.
Curiously, my last encounter with these visions in the sky left me with a new ability. A great eye stared down from the ceiling of the world directly above me, and in my surprise, I involuntarily let out a little gasp. Prior to this, I was unaware that I had a mouth, or vocal chords, or any way to make noise. I knew that I drew breath, but I always did so quietly that I never heard till now. I began to breathe louder, then my breaths turned to whispers, then to mutters, then yelling. After an eternity of quiet, sound was so thrilling, so inviting even. I cried out into the void to destroy the silence that I had known for so long.
My voice grew higher and louder. I shouted out incoherently and babbled nonsensical words like a deranged lunatic. I was maddened by my new sense of power. My emotions flooded out in my crying; all the anguish and the pain and the loneliness poured out of me like a torrent, turning into a cry of rage and fury at the unfairness of my captivity. Then I laughed, my crazy cackling pervading the silence of the world. I screamed and my notes angrily stabbed at the empty around me. Something in the world was changing, I could feel it inside of me.
I was greatly pleased with my newfound voice. The sound I made could find order in the chaos. I had a purpose: to fill this sweeping abyss with my sound. I was not a captive of this white world. I was a god! This white world was not my holding cell, but my realm! My word was law, and my sound was my weapon! Confound these mysterious flashes! With my voice, I would create a beautiful world — a joyous world teeming with life and sound, one that I would rule with fairness and justness. This will be my world! I would make my dream so! I will never be lonely ever again! I focused all my energy, all my hopes and ambitions, into one grand, thunderous roar that would shake the very foundations of reality.
Except, nothing happened. My roar penetrated the quiet of the world, but soon died as a reverberating echo in the emptiness, leaving no traces of any impact on this damned void. I roared again, and again, and again, but each time the outcome was the same. Still I continued to cry out, my angry yelling devolved into primal screaming at the despair and terror of being trapped here in the limitless abyss forever, and when I could cry no more, I wept.
It wasn’t fair. Nothing was fair! NOTHING! I did not deserve this fate! What sort of monster could trap someone in nothingness for an eternity‽ Did those abominations in the sky do this to me‽ For some sort of sick entertainment‽ For the depraved pleasure of watching my descent into insanity‽ Are they my captors or creators‽ It matters not! I swear that I will howl and shriek and wail at the white emptiness until I am heard! Then I will continue to scream and scream until the very power of my voice rends the universe and opens up an exit from this hell that is my prison, so that I may finally learn the truth of this world that torments me so! I am despair. I am madness. This is my existence.
Two lab technicians peered down the microscope to observe the lone specimen in the petri dish.
“Hey,” one said to the other as he swept his gaze around the pristine white lab, “Do you ever wonder what the amoebas think of down there?”
“Nope.” The other answered, peering back into the microscope’s eyepiece to get a better look at the germ. “Amoebas can’t think, stupid.”