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Stats: 2,622,249 members, 6,112,188 topics. Date: Friday, 22 January 2021 at 01:45 AM
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by EkopSparoAyara(m): 4:22pm On Aug 03, 2020|
No, no, no.. Larrysun, this your time travel series is really messing with my head..
How can someone who is talking about invention, all of a sudden, his older self appears only to kill his best friend, really messy..
I await the continuation..
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by Vulcanheph(m): 6:28am On Aug 04, 2020|
Flash 19 spiral.
Here's my theory, the Narrator's older self succeeded in time travel, but he knew that killing his childhood friend would be the movitation he would need to accomplish the time travel, since he knew that his teeenage friend would do everything to know why he would kill his best friend........this Plot/Character sounds familiar with the story of peter petrelli on the t.v. Series "HEROES".......i've always been a fan of time travel theories and i've seen a lot of movies involving time travel like X MEN, PREDESTINATION, BACK TO TIE FUTURE, With t.v. series like HEROES, LOST , LEGENDS OF TOMMOROW etc.
Keep up the good work mr Larrysun.
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by LarrySun(m): 4:11pm On Aug 12, 2020|
Check out my podcast, The Time Traveller, on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/larry-sun
If you have read one of my flash fiction works titled The Time Traveller, here is the audio version. Kindly listen to it and let me know your thoughts. Thank you.
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by Khriztarl(f): 11:19pm On Aug 16, 2020|
Deedee033, over here with the kunnu.
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by Nobody: 2:27pm On Aug 19, 2020|
Khriztarl:seen it bae
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by LarrySun(m): 7:29pm On Sep 03, 2020|
THE JOURNEY TO A THOUSAND FLASH
Flash 20: Thin Line of Redemption
Warden Eze had been working in Kirikiri Prison for forty-five years. He was the oldest warden of the prison. That was the one and only job he had been doing since he turned nineteen years old.
All his years as a warden, Eze believed in a single philosophy - no human being is a lost cause. None is beyond redemption. No matter how hardened the criminal might be, Warden Eze believed there was an element of good in him. It wasn't something that must be taught; the good was innate.
And so while his colleagues in prison maltreated the inmates, Eze always treated them with kindness. Even when some prisoners had repaid his kindness with cruelty, Eze never gave up on treating them well.
"I can't just bring myself to hurt them," Eze would tell his colleagues. "It's bad enough that they have to spend their days in prison; I should make their lives worse than they already are."
Warden Eze had seen many criminals come to the prison and leave. He was always there to welcome new inmates with love, and bid outgoing ones farewells. He had nothing but love for the prisoners, including the scum of the earth called Zuby.
Zuby was a notorious criminal. He had spent more years in prison than out of it. He was the worst criminal in the prison. All the other wardens believed Zuby had no iota of human compassion.
"Avoid Zuby," warned Eze's colleagues. "He's not worthy of your kindness. He's a robber, a rapist, an arsonist, a fraudster, a ritual killer."
Eze had smiled and said, "No matter what crime he has committed, every man deserves a little bit of kindness. You never can tell, I may be the angel who will change his perspective about life."
"Zuby is a dangerous criminal. Avoid him. You have been warned."
Warden Eze had only smiled.
The following day when Eze tried to help Zuby, the criminal had stabbed him in the eye with a pencil. Eze had been rushed to the hospital but the damage had been done. He was permanently blind in one eye. Because he had such a forgiving heart, Eze had refused to press charges.
"He's already a condemned prisoner. Why should I make his situation worse by pressing charges?"
"He blinded you," said his colleagues. "You should make him pay!"
"Will pressing the charges bring back my sight? The damage has been done already. He's in a dark place, I don't have to put him in a darker place. All he needs is love."
"He does not even feel any remorse for what he did to you. If you don't do anything, we'll fight for you."
"I forbid you from doing that. It's my eye, isn't it? Please let him be, don't touch him."
His colleagues couldn't believe him.
"Your kindness has made you stupid. We won't be surprised if he takes your other eye - or your life."
Again, Warden Eze had only smiled.
Five years later, Warden Eze had recommended Zuby, among three other inmates, for a federal pardon. He continued showing kindness to the prisoners; he was never discouraged.
After forty-five years of service, Warden Eze decided to retire at sixty-five years old. He had served with faithfulness and an eye. It was time to finally hang the gloves.
His family had planned a surprise birthday and retirement party for him.
Warden Eze was returning home from work when a van suddenly pulled beside him and some men in hooded gears grabbed him. He was blindfolded and taken a remote location.
"Please don't kill me," Eze begged as he was taken into the building. He didn't see the faces of his kidnappers. At first, he had thought it was a silly stunt pulled by his family members, but when he heard the cocking of guns and the sounds of machetes, he knew he was gravely mistaken.
He was taken to a room and pushed into a chair.
"You will be shot if you try to run," one of the men had warned.
"Take off the blindfold," Eze heard the leader of the gang say. The voice sounded vaguely familiar.
His blindfold was loosened and the first person Eze saw was Zuby.
"Hello Warden Eze."
"Zuby!" words held in his throat.
Eze looked round the room. They were all familiar faces. They were criminals who had spent time in Kirikiri Prison. He knew every one of them by name, the complete three dozen of them.
Then on a table not far from him was a big cake. The biggest cake he had ever seen; and there were various wrapped gifts.
"Happy birthday, Warden!" all the ex-convicts chorused.
He was both shocked and confused.
"What's going on?" his voice shook as he asked.
Zuby approached him, he had tears in his eyes. He knelt before Eze and said, "I'm so sorry, Warden. All you ever did was show me kindness. And what did I do in return? I took your eye. Yet you forgave me. You never stopped being kind to me. I'm so sorry. Oh, I'm really sorry."
Eze reached down and lifted Eze up. "It's okay, Zuby. I knew you were going to turn around. That's why I never gave up on you."
"You are right, warden. You have always been right. All we needed was love. You took us all out of darkness into the light. I am no longer a criminal, and so is everyone in this room. We are all earning honest income."
"If you're no longer criminals, then what are some of you doing with guns and machetes?"
"These guns have no bullets, sir. We borrowed them just for this stunt. We didn't plan this alone. Your old colleagues and family members know about this. They'll all be joining us soon."
"I am short of words."
"We are all better people because of you. You never gave up on us. You taught us to believe in ourselves. You've bought food for some of us with your own money when we were dying of hunger in prison. We cannot be more grateful to you; we'll all live the rest of our lives trying to live up to your good. We are forever indebted to you."
Tears of joy ran down Eze's face as he heard these words. Although he had lost one of his eyes, he felt he gained so much more. He had just been given the best birthday and retirement gift.
©Larry Sun, September 2020
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by enirock(m): 9:49am On Sep 04, 2020|
The power of kindness. Thanks bro.
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by EkopSparoAyara(m): 11:40am On Sep 04, 2020|
This is a master class.. It reminds me of my Secondary School days, a certain class mate of mind went rogue, skipped classes, chased girls, he was getting worst everyday, people avoided him but I believed in him..
Of course they tried to persuade me to steer clear of him but I didn't listen, by the grace of God he changed, his parents wanted to know me, they couldn't believe it.. The boy needed that kindness,that love..he needed someone who will constantly but calmly point him to the right direction.. Today, am glad I didn't give up on him when others did..
I am happy we still have people like Warden Eze left in the world.. Be kind to someone today..
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by LarrySun(m): 8:39pm On Sep 04, 2020|
THE JOURNEY TO A THOUSAND FLASH
Flash 21: Bloody Mary
Be careful what you wish for.
Let me clear the air and speak bluntly. My name is Mary. I have been dead for hundreds of years. In other words, I am a ghost. I am not the only Mary who has died, of course. Many have gone before me who were also named Mary, of course. Surely, you must have known about one or two Marys from history.
I didn't die a natural death - if I did, I wouldn't be here. You wouldn't be hearing from me. I died gruesomely. The man I fell in love with had slaughtered me like an animal. He had left my corpse bloody and mangled on our wedding night. Then he eloped with another girl. The villagers had come across my blood-soaked body and had buried me pitifully. My white wedding dress had turned crimson. I was baptised in my own blood by the man I considered the love of my life. Hence the name, Bloody Mary.
I am not the regular Bloody Mary you must have read about from ancient folktales. Oh no, I didn't die of flu like the first Bloody Mary. She is a kind ghost. She forgives a lot of stupid things you all do, but not me. I have learnt one thing - the heart of every man is full of wickedness, and they deserve nothing but cruelty in return.
You must have heard about the legend of Bloody Mary. Indeed, everyone knows about the ritual to invoke the spirit of Mary. A lot of people people do it for fun, while some others are serious about it.
For a woman searching for love, you have to light thirteen candles round a mirror, then climb the staircase backward until your back is at the mirror. This must be done in the midnight - _our_ midnight. After calling 'Bloody Mary' thirteen times, you will catch the glimpse of the person you're meant to marry. It works, except in the case of some unlucky ones who would see skeletons instead - or even worse, me.
I rarely hunt women. I manifest myself before them on very rare occasions. My business is against the sons of men, the foolish ones who described themselves as daredevils, the ones who did it just to prove the myth wrong, even after learning about various others who had mysteriously died in front of their mirrors. They say not all men are the same, but for hundreds of years, I have not found a different man - they are all the same as far as I'm concerned. When they meet with the most beautiful women, their rationality escapes them - they tend to think with their groins rather than their heads, and when the crotch does the thinking, the head rolls.
My latest encounter was just yesterday. His name was Tony. This young man had lit thirteen candles round his standing mirror. Then he had summoned the name 'Bloody Mary' thirteen times. He must have done an extensive research because he got the time right. No one had ever got the time right since some decades; that's because our time here is slightly different from yours.
Anyways, Tony invoked my name. I gladly obliged him, just like I had others. When he saw me in the mirror, he shrank back in fear, at first.
"Hello Tony," I said, my voice was the softest, the most sonorous.
"How-how did you know my name?" he asked in shock.
"Will you be my groom?" I asked him, like I'd asked countless others over centuries.
"Your groom?" He seemed confused.
I am still drenched in blood even as a ghost, even after hundreds of years. My wedding gown is still wet with my blood, but Tony wasn't seeing that yet. They don't see it until it's too late. What they see is a beautiful young girl in a white flowing wedding gown. They see a girl that's irresistible.
"I want to be your bride," I told Tony. "Will you marry me?"
He shut his eyes. "No, you're not real. This isn't real! It's impossible."
"Open your eyes, Tony. I am real. You called on me. I will do whatever you say. I belong to you, Tony. Please come to me. Oh Tony! I feel so cold. Hold me tight, Tony."
He started walking towards me slowly. He couldn't resist me. Not my words. Not my body. I have the body he had always dreamed of ravaging. I represented his darkest, filthiest, naughtiest desires. He held me in his arms. He grabbed my body hungrily. He touched me. He was rough. He was impatient. I could feel his urges as he groped me all over. He couldn't stop himself.
"Oh you're so beautiful! You're real! Your skin is so smooth, so soft. You're an angel."
"Kiss me, Tony," I breathed.
He brought his mouth to mine. I opened wider and allowed his tongue explore my mouth - my rotten mouth. Maggots welcomed his tongue. I pushed his head closer to mine and kissed him back, allowing as many maggots as possible into his mouth.
Now he could see me in my true colour. Blood dripped from my hair to his face, baptising him. He was struggling to free himself but he was no match against the strength of a ghost of centuries.
I held him like a rag doll and laughed hysterically, maniacally, as I tore his flesh. He was screaming now, but that was not going to save him. My hands ripped past his skin into his belly and came out with his entrails. His guts spilled to the floor. There was blood everywhere, it gushed from his stomach to the ceiling and down to his entire body. Tony was one of my bloodiest victims.
Finally, I tore him from his torso. Then the mirror broke.
My job had been done. Another man has been added to my legion - Bloody Tony is the latest recruit. Now I'm in search of the next victim.
Will you do me a favour and invoke my name? I'll be waiting for you to prove me wrong.
©Larry Sun, September 2020
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by enirock(m): 9:30pm On Sep 04, 2020|
The above look like tales we were told while we were young about Miss koi koi, bush babies and a whole lot of others. Thanks LarrySun.
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by shigo20(m): 10:00pm On Sep 04, 2020|
LarrySun:while reading this, in my heart am thinking it was real until my brain reminds me that this is one of the many fiction oga Larry promised us. thumbs up oga Larry.
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by Khriztarl(f): 10:14pm On Sep 04, 2020|
Owk. Am surely going to prove mary wrong.
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by EkopSparoAyara(m): 11:19pm On Sep 04, 2020|
Bloody Mary sounds so real, but in the end, it's just a myth, conjured by the Legendary Larrysun himself..
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by enirock(m): 11:26pm On Sep 04, 2020|
Khriztarl:I heard Mary is not as had on the ladies as she is with the guys. Goodevening. Its been a while,hope you are good?
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by Ann2012(f): 7:11am On Sep 05, 2020|
I would have invoked bloody Mary but I’m not a guy
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by Vulcanheph(m): 8:51am On Sep 05, 2020|
Thank God , i didn't read this bloody mary at night....
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by Khriztarl(f): 1:34pm On Sep 05, 2020|
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by Khriztarl(f): 1:36pm On Sep 05, 2020|
Vulcanheph:You obviously ain't a 'horror' fan.
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by enirock(m): 2:10pm On Sep 05, 2020|
Khriztarl:To a reasonable extent I am good
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by Khriztarl(f): 2:23pm On Sep 05, 2020|
enirock:yeah, i've been going through a lot of ups and down. And, so many times i just had to remind myself, that Jesus reigns. Las las i'm alive, and to me thats a reasonable reason to smile and just say i am fine. Happy new month, BTW.
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by LarrySun(m): 5:14pm On Sep 05, 2020|
THE JOURNEY TO A THOUSAND FLASH
Flash 22: Coma
To Doctor Olufemi Onasanya
It was 1958 and Chinu was only eight years old when it happened. His older brother, Somto, had caused everything - but nobody knew, not even Somto himself did.
The family was taking a holiday trip when a little butterfly perched on the window beside Somto - the only person in the car who noticed the insect. He clapped his hands and the butterfly flew away. The action was immediately forgotten and the journey continued in earnest.
The little butterfly with beautiful wings flew away innocently, but its movement disrupted the pattern of a murder of crows. Due to this disruption, the birds - scores of them - changed their destination and travelled due east. This little, teeny-tiny change altered a subtle law guiding the thread of fate. The crows were not supposed to travel east - west was the pattern. But because a child somewhere had clapped his hand, the planet, for a brief moment, rotated anticlockwise - but nobody knew, no one suspected anything amiss, except, perhaps, the flying creatures.
The birds flew in an alternate course. While they flew, the flapping of their wings caused the change in weather a few miles away from the travelling family.
The wife of a major was at home expecting her husband's return when the cloud suddenly turned dark. The woman became worried about her husband - Major Dauda suffered from pneumonia. He was allergic to cold; it would be another serious problem if her husband was drenched by the rain; a situation he was often a victim of. She broke into her husband's room and picked up the walkie-talkie. She knew she was not supposed to use the walkie-talkie, but she needed to warn her husband about the rain.
She switched it on.
Major Dauda was taking his mistress to a hotel. His wife at home knew nothing about this, and he planned to keep it that way. After thirty-five years of marriage, he felt that he needed to sample another woman, a much younger woman. He had sworn on a stack of Bibles that he would never cheat on her - but with a beautiful girl beside him in the car, his vow seemed like a distant memory.
But when his walkie-talkie suddenly buzzed from the glove compartment, Major Dauda twitched in fright. He had not expected it to buzz; the other pair was locked away in his room.
He searched through his glove compartment for the walkie-talkie. All it took was the few seconds - the few seconds he looked away from the road.
"Look out!" his mistress screamed.
But it was too late. In his search for the walkie-talkie, he had driven to the opposite lane. He collided head-on with another car, a car that contained a family of four.
The army officer and his mistress died instantly. Little Chinu's parents and his brother survived unscathed, but Chinu was not so lucky - he went into coma.
It is 2020 and Chinu is now seventy years old.
He had been in coma for sixty-two years. His parents had died in 1990. His brother, Somto, died ten years ago. When Chinu went into coma, he had been transported from one hospital to the other over the years.
When the Civil War broke out in 1967, Chinu's parents managed to move him from the eastern part of the country to the west, an action that further stretched the thread of life, making it taut, tangling it - but the thread refused to break. Chinu's recovery, just like the destination of the crows, was in the east, not the west. By transporting him further away from home, the thread of fate was pulled thin, but life remained elastic.
Dozens of doctors had tried to revive Chinu but had failed; they all eventually outdied the boy. Doctors came and left, but the hospitals remained.
Although Chinu was in a coma, his body never stopped growing as he aged. He attained puberty under coma - he grew his first beards, his first moustache, his first pubic hair. He became a man without even knowing.
Doctors had advised Chinu's parents to pull the plug on him, but the distraught parents would never hear of it. They were wealthy enough. They didn't mind paying for the time; no matter how long it would take, they were ready to pay. Chinu's family was not ready to give up on him. Before they passed away thirty years ago, Chinu's parents had placed a fortune in trust for his sustainance.
Somto had taken charge of his brother's situation after their parents passed away. By then, he was already married and had a grown-up son. By the time Somto died in 2010, his family already owned a hospital in Lagos. It was in this family hospital that Chinu finally woke up after sixty-two years of coma.
Chinu's body had shrunken with age, his hair had turned grey, some of them were already falling out on their own before they were shaved. The only part of his body that didn't grow old were his eyes. They were still the eyes of that eight-year-old boy of 1958.
When he opened his eyes, the first person he saw watching over him was a young woman of about nineteen years old. The woman smiled at him and said, "Welcome back to the land of the living."
Chino was confused. He didn't understand what was going on. Indeed, he didn't understand where he was. He was a child in an old man's body. It was too much for someone with an eight-year-old memory to comprehend.
"Where is mama?" he asked. Apparently, his voice had not changed much too - probably because he had not said a single word in sixty-two years. "Where is papa?" He stared at the nurse. "Who are you?"
"My name is Nene," said the girl.
"That's grandpa," said the girl smiling. "He has been dead for long."
"Dead?" Chinu was confused. He looked around him. He saw his own body and began to cry. He was crying like a child he really was.
Nene was confused. She left the ward to inform her father that grand-uncle had finally woken up. It was an unbelievable moment as Ifeanyi, the son of Somto, rushed to the ward. Tears filled his eyes as he saw his uncle stare back at him with innocent eyes.
"Who are you?" Chinu asked. "Why am I here?"
Doctor Ifeanyi knew enough to understand that his uncle didn't have the psychological capability to comprehend the situation. It would take a while - a long while. A psychologist would have to be employed. A great deal of work would need to be done on Chinu's mind.
A few months later after series of psychological assessment and analysis, the psychologist believed that Chinu had already had a little grasp of the situation, of reality. But his assessments were not entirely correct. It was another reality that formed in the old man's mind. Chinu did not believe all that had been said to him, but he pretended to understand.
In his mind, Chinu believed his family lived in the east, in his hometown. He demanded to be taken home.
"Maybe that's the closure he needs," the psychologist had told Doctor Ifeanyi.
And so Doctor Ifeanyi decided to take Chinu to their hometown in the east. The family still had their old mansion there. One weekend, the family - Doctor Ifeanyi, his wife, Nene, Chika and Chinu - packed themselves in an SUV and began the trip. Chika, the youngest member of the family, was particularly over-excited.
Halfway home, Kelechi noticed a little butterfly on the window beside him. He smiled and clapped his hands. The butterfly flew away and the journey continued in earnest.
The boy didn't know that he had just set in motion a series of events. The little butterfly would disrupt the movement of a parliament of owls that would change their course and travel due west. The owls were not supposed to travel west - east was the pattern.
But whether this action was meant to create further chaos, or to repair the one already created sixty-two years ago, only nature - and destiny predetermined by infinite probabilities - would tell.
©Larry Sun, September 2020
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|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by enirock(m): 7:21pm On Sep 05, 2020|
Khriztarl:Same to you dear. Somehow and someway, these trials prepares us fo even greater things. God gat you girl.
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by enirock(m): 7:44pm On Sep 05, 2020|
Somehow Chinu was alive for 62 years yet he never lived more than 8yrs in his seventy years of existence. Now everything is put in motion again and nobody knows the outcome. Thanks LarrySun. The concepts are awesomely sewn.
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by GeoSilYe(f): 9:02pm On Sep 05, 2020|
Butterfly effect or The clap lol
This is nice.
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by Khriztarl(f): 11:50pm On Sep 05, 2020|
Wow, wow, wow. 70yrs old, and he only lived for 8? Just because, he clapped his hands and nature took course. Mad o
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by EkopSparoAyara(m): 3:41am On Sep 06, 2020|
He is at it again, this one vague..
Local man is speechless..
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by Royver(m): 7:42am On Sep 06, 2020|
Have i ever told you how much i enjoy your writing?
Awesome flashes you've got here!
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by EkopSparoAyara(m): 3:29pm On Sep 06, 2020|
Royver is back,PamelB is back.. I think Nairaland Literature is about to restore it's lost Glory.. I am waiting for Chumzypinky, Souloho19, D9ty7 and others to return, I just hope so..
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by LarrySun(m): 10:28pm On Sep 06, 2020|
THE JOURNEY TO A THOUSAND FLASH
Flash 23: Spiral (Part 2)
Steve's death was a mysterious one. He had died from a gunshot wound to the head. I knew because I saw it happen - the horror had played itself right in front of me. My older self had appeared and killed my best friend. I vividly remember that the killer was wearing the same digital wristwatch we wore.
But the bullet was not found. That was the post-mortem report. It seemed like the bullet had either dissolved or it simply disappeared.
No one believed me when I said that Steve had been killed by the future me. They all thought I was so traumatised by my friend's death that my brain formed a fantastic explanation. There was no witness, I was the only one who saw the tragedy. Steve could not back my claim because - well - he's dead. I killed him, but no one believed me. The gun was nowhere to be found, and the bullet had simply evaporated - yet, Steve remained dead.
It eventually dawned on me that the tragedy I witnessed meant that the time-travel we planned to create was a success. Steve and I had made a pact that we would return to that moment. Nothing about the pact suggested that one of us was going to kill the other - but I had killed my only friend. There must be an explanation for that, and I planned to get to the bottom of it.
To arrive at the ultimate truth, I would have to create time travel. I knew that it was possible, so I worked towards it. I told no one about my plans, for I knew, once again, they would laugh at me. The only person who wouldn't mock me was Steve, my best friend. I decided to honour him by always wearing the digital wristwatch.
I chose to study physics and personally majored on 'the physics of time' - theoretical physics, or call it spacetime, if you will. I welcomed every material I could put my hands on. With the knowledge from textbooks Steve and I had plowed through over the years, achieving my goal was not as impossible as it was supposed to pose on the ordinary mind. I understood the concept of tachyon application. But I admit, the knowledge took its toll on me. No one told me that trying to create time travel would have its side-effects, not only on my psychology but also on my physiology. In trying to create a faster-than-light object that would help me achieve my goal, I met with an accident that damn near claimed my life. The tachyon I discovered was rubic-like; it was too much. All I needed was a tiny particle. I have studied physics enough to understand that making use of the entire tachyon at once would create a black hole big enough to swallow itself - and you know what that means, don't you? The entire earth would shrink into this hole.
What I was doing was dangerous. If the government knew, I would be locked away in a cell for the rest of my life. Hell, I might even be executed on the charge of terrorism. That is why I chose to carry out all my experimentation in the little basement I had built for myself over the years.
The tachyon was so solid that it could not be broken. No hammer or mallet had been fashioned strong enough to break a tachyon - because tachyons were not yet supposed to exist. Indeed, it's a compound no scientist has been able to form. Even Gerald Feinberg only hinted upon the possibility of its existence - he had never seen it created, but I digress.
To get the particle I needed from the tachyon I had created, I would have to make use of a laser. It wasn't the best instrument to use and I knew I ran the risk of causing fatality, but I knew of no other way. Besides, I knew I wasn't going to die; if I was, I wouldn't have appeared and killed my friend.
My safety gears were already properly donned as I brought the laser down to the tachyon. Oh, did it cause a great explosion! Thankfully, the basement was under a cabin in the woods, and the quake the explosion caused could only travel much. But I was highly fortunate. I wasn't supposed to survive such an explosion. The shock threw me off my feet and I landed many yards away. My safety gears were shattered. When I took off what was left of the suit and helmet, I was bleeding in the face. I managed to treat the would and looked in the mirror, there was an ugly gash on my face - I was beginning to look like the monster that had shot my friend.
But I didn't want to be a monster. My mission was to find the monster itself, myself. It seemed mildly confusing. But that man was the only person who could give me the reason for killing Steve.
The explosion did a lot of damage, but I got what I wanted. The tachyon had exploded into pieces. I was able to get the particles I wanted. I salvaged what I could from the destruction and built another basement. The mission must continue - I had come too far to back off now.
So, with the particle, I was able to create a little portal in my little basement. That was my first breakthrough. With the portal, I was able to, within a few seconds, get a brief glance of a different time, a different period. At that point, I had no idea whether the portal I created was the gateway to the past, or the future. The duration was too brief for me to make an accurate assessment. The portal had closed almost as briefly as it had opened. But I was glad that I was finally making a headway. In most of the books I read, I often came across a single philosophy - Physics holds the secrets of the universe. Whoever came up with that could never be more right. With the knowledge of physics and the application of some formulae I propounded, I was able to make possible what the best scientists of the world could only imagine. To say that I was proud of myself was a vicious understatement. But there was still a lot of work to do, a lot of stuff to achieve - I had to stay focus.
It was imperative that I tried to create more time for the portal to stay open. If the portal could remain open long enough, I could locate my villainous self from the future, bring him back to the present through the open portal, question him about why he did what he did, then decide whether to let him go, or kill him for killing my friend. But how would I be able to kill my future self? Wouldn't that be creating a kind of paradox on itself? Well, when the moment came, I would find out.
But I had no intention of killing my future self anyway. I didn't want to become a murderer like him. I had to be a better person than him. There must be a very good reason for killing my friend. Something must have gone wrong. Perhaps my future self had gone insane from creating a time travel, and he had only gone to the past to eliminate the only person in the world who had allow the seed of madness to germinate in my mind. For it was only Steve who had shared my belief about time travel when others had dismissed me as a stupid child. Maybe my future self believed that he would regain his sanity when he killed Steve. It's ridiculous, I know; but that's the only plausible explanation I could come up with. My future self was in the best position to explain, I must find him.
No matter how much I tried, the portal could only stay open for a few seconds. Apparently, I wasn't psychologically equipped enough to solve that problem. I would have to work with what I had. Trying to make it better would only result in a waste of time. I had to channel my attention to something else - something more pertinent: the location of myself.
Locating him was the most challenging aspect of everything. Apparently, my future self didn't want to be found. Somehow, he knew I was searching for him; he probably also knew my intention - that was why he chose to elude me.
It was hard setting up the portal and directing it to where he was in the future. I would only see him for a brief moment and the portal would close. I couldn't jump into the portal to join him because I knew that I would be trapped in his world. I had used half of all the particles of the tachyon. In that future, the tachyon had been long exhausted - so there wouldn't be a way to bring myself back to the present, and two versions of myself in the same universe would only result in chaos - I couldn't allow that to happen. The only thing I could do was bring him from the future through the portal before it closed. Then when I had got the information I needed, I would open the portal again and send him back to the future he belonged. It was a way of setting back the book to the shelf it belongs. If the wrong book is in the wrong shelf, there will be a wrong data in the catalogue. And if the catalogue is affected, then the entire library is in jeopardy. I sincerely hope you understand my metaphor. Anyways, the person I searched for didn't want to be found.
I was in a quagmire.
At a point, I thought about quickly reaching a hand through the portal into the future, grabbing him by the arm and pulling him into the present. But that would do no good either. First and foremost, I often saw various versions of him in various timelines. It often took a while to find the right version - the version wearing the same digital wristwatch I had on. Steve had been wearing the same type the day the bastard killed him. Even then, pulling him in would not be easy, especially within the few seconds available. He was more experienced than me. Whatever thought I was conceiving now, he had most definitely conceived it. He was me. He knew my thoughts, my plans.
There's a huge gap between the present and the future. The portal is the only communicating door between these two entities. Perhaps I should say 'between the future and the past', for, in a way, there's nothing like the present. In a different timeline, the present is either the past or the future. In my future self's timeline, my time was the past. His past self was hunting him, and he was running for his life.
When the portal is open, you can reach through it and take something from the future. Let's say you take an orange from the basket of fruits from the future and you replace the orange with a banana from your own timeline. As long as the portal remains open, the orange you took would be in your hand and the banana in the future basket. But as soon as the portal closes, the orange in your hand will disappear - it will return to the future it belongs, and instead, it's the banana you will see in the distance of your arm's length in the future timeline, only a hand would appear from nowhere and pick an orange, replacing it with a banana. When the portal closes, the banana will disappear from the basket - because it's in the wrong timeline. It's a simple analogy when you think deeply about it. It's imperative that you understand this analogy. I understood it too late; you shouldn't make the same mistake I did.
He continued to elude me. No matter what method I used, he was always a few steps ahead of me. He was like a grandmaster and I a rookie chess player - he knew my every move before I made them. Once, he had spoken directly to me before the portal closed again.
"Stop this!" he said, "Only you can correct the error."
He wasn't making sense to me. And the fact that he was telling me to stop only meant that I was closing in on him. It was only a matter of time before I caught him.
But it wasn't as I thought. It dawned on me that there was no way I would be able to easily catch him, especially with my bare hands. There was only one solution. I would need to immobilise him if I was going to catch him. An idea occurred to me and I embraced it without thinking twice. If I didn't want him to continue eluding me, all I had to do was get a gun and shoot him in the leg. By doing that, I would be able to drag him to my timeline and squeeze the question out of him.
Of course when I drag him through the portal, he would disappear back to the future as soon as the portal closed, but he would still be in my little basement, only invisible. But as soon as I got the portal open again, I would be able to see him. No matter how many times I set the portal up, I would make him confess, even if it meant that I would have to torture him. I was ready to expend the rest of the particle on getting to the truth - why he killed my friend.
After many, many years of devotion to the cause, I left the basement to go find a gun. It took me a week to finally get a pistol from the 'Black Market'. It cost me a little fortune, but I didn't mind. When I returned to my basement, everything was as I had left it, except a few birds that flew off as soon as I stepped in. I wondered what birds were doing in a basement, and how they got in. They must have flown in through the slit in the roof.
I set up the portal again and tried to locate myself in a future timeline. I knew enough about him to locate the particular version I sought - the one wearing the digital wristwatch. When I saw the arm and identified the wristwatch, I got into action immediately. I only had a few seconds before the portal closed. I would step into the portal, shoot him and quickly step back before it closed on me. That was the plan.
As soon as I saw the wristwatch, I knew exactly where his legs would be. He would try to jump as he had always done. I had already calculated the angle of his movement. My finger was on the trigger as I stepped into the portal. Within a split second, I shot where I knew his legs were going to be.
But I had been wrong. The portal had taken me to a different timeline, to a different version of me, the younger me - the one in the past. The arm with the wristwatch I was seeing wasn't mine, it was Steve's. And where I thought the legs would be was where Steve's head was.
I shot Steve in the head and stepped back before the portal closed. When I realised my mistake, it was too late. When the portal closed, I saw the bullet lodged on the wall of the basement. But the damage had already been done. The bullet had killed Steve in the past timeline.
Now I understood everything. My future self had tried to warn me but I didn't listen. Without a doubt, my younger self would attempt to track me down, and he would end up making the same mistake I did. I thought about correcting the error. I should take off the wristwatch, but somehow, the watch seemed to be the only thing keeping me alive. If I took it off, the pattern might change, rather than my younger self shooting me in the legs, rather than shooting Steve in the head - he might shoot me in the head instead. That's what my quantum calculation revealed to me. And if my younger self killed me, what would happen to the timelines? There would be chaos. I had no choice - I must keep wearing the wristwatch. The cycle would have to continue indefinitely - I must keep eluding my younger self, and Steve would keep dying.
Now that leaves me wondering how many times Steve has been killed, and how many versions of my future and younger selves are out there.
But most importantly, how many versions of this story have been written?
©Larry Sun, September 2020
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by LarrySun(m): 10:59pm On Sep 06, 2020|
Royver:ROOOOOYYYYYYYYY! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN
Wow! It's been such a long time. How are you doing?
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by LarrySun(m): 10:17pm On Sep 07, 2020|
THE JOURNEY TO A THOUSAND FLASH
Flash 24: Ghost
This story is for you, Zulaihat. May God fill that void. That loss.
Aishat was devastated when she lost her husband to a motor accident. She had recently birthed their second child when the tragedy occurred. Her husband was a soldier and she had always feared that someday he'd be killed in action. Aishat never thought the tragedy would be so soon, and at the wrongest timing. She was not prepared to receive this kind of news.
The passing of her husband changed her. It wasn't just the grief, it was something deeper - something darker. It seemed like a portal had been opened in her mind, in her psyche - and all monsters had been let loose. Her friends and family had been worried about her. At first, they attributed all her irrational behaviours to grief. They believed it was only a matter of time before she got over her loss.
But for almost a year, there was no indication that she was getting better. Her parents took her kids from her because it seemed to them that she was not in the right frame of mind to take good care of them.
"I see Abdul every day," she always said, smiling. Abdul was her deceased husband. "He asks after the children."
At this point, people were convinced that she had lost her mind. Her parents considered taking her to a mental hospital but they couldn't bear the shame of being tagged the parents of a lunatic. So instead, they locked her in the house. Eventually, they believed, Aishat would recover, naturally.
By the second year, it seemed like Aishat had finally gotten over her loss. She was calmer and more composed. The only problem was that she never stopped telling people that her husband always spoke to her.
"Aishat, your husband has been dead for two years," her father said.
"I know, Papa," she replied sadly, then she smiled, "But he's always with me. I can see him right now. He's standing at the corner of the room. Look, Papa! He's smiling at us."
Her father directed his gaze to where she pointed but saw nothing. He turned back to face her, "My dear, your husband is nowhere. He's gone. You're only hallucinating. It's impossible to see a ghost. No one can see dead people. It's simply impossible."
Aishat was confused. "But I can see him. I can see Abdul!"
Her father stared at her with sad eyes, stood up and left.
"Why don't they believe me?" Aishat cried. She felt a hand on her shoulder.
"It's okay, my love," Abdul said. He was wearing the same clothes he had on when he died. "They don't understand, but I do."
Aishat looked up at him and said, "You're real, aren't you? I'm not hallucinating, am I?"
"Of course I'm real," replied the ghost, "I will always be with you, my love."
"Oh! Abdul! Why did you have to die? Why did you leave us? You know I can't do anything without you."
"I didn't go anywhere, my love. I'm right here with you. I'm always with you. I may be dead but it doesn't change anything. We can see, hear and touch each other. That's all that matters."
"Oh Abdul!" She leaned into his embrace and wept.
But her father had been watching from the window all the while. All he saw was her daughter talking to herself and hugging thin air. He shook his head sadly and murmured as he walked away. "She hasn't fully recovered after all."
After a while, it dawned on Aishat that she could see other dead people. When the community elder died, she saw him and spoke to him. She saw a lot of dead people at the market - some of them were sellers and others buyers. While the dead blended well with the living at the market, only Aishat was able to tell them apart.
"You're dead," she confronted one of the ghosts - a middle-aged woman. "How come you are dealing with living people? How is that possible?"
The woman was surprised. "How did you know that I'm a ghost?" she whispered. "Are you a ghost, too?"
Aishat shook her head. "No, I'm alive, but I can see dead people."
"You're a special person. You have a rare gift. You're right, I'm a ghost, but I'm not the only ghost in this market - there are a lot of other ghosts."
"I know. I can see you all."
"As a matter of fact, all markets have dead people walking among the living, but nobody knows. We are able to relate with the living because they don't know that we're dead. If they do, they won't see us. Now, excuse me, I need to purchase some palm-oil."
The more Aishat tried to convince people that she could see ghosts, the more they didn't believe her.
"Ghosts don't exist, Aishat! Come off it! You're beginning to sound like a broken record!"
It bothered her that no one believed her. She felt she was beginning to lose her mind. She wanted it to stop; she didn't want to see ghosts anymore. She wanted to live like a normal woman.
One day, Aishat packed some of her clothes and left home. No one knew her whereabouts.
Aishat got herself checked into Diamond Gate Hospital - the oldest psychiatric hospital in the entire state.
"Hello, I'm Doctor Hassan. You're welcome to DGH."
"I see ghosts," said Aishat bluntly. "I don't want to see them anymore. Can you help me?"
The doctor seemed taken by the strange woman's words. "If I heard you correctly, you said you see dead people?"
Aishat nodded. "I lost my husband two years ago. Since his death, he has always appeared to me. At first it was only my dead husband, now I see other dead people too. But nobody believes me. Everyone thinks I'm hallucinating."
"But you don't believe that you are?"
She shook her head. "I really see dead people."
The doctor stared at her for a moment, then he said, "Okay, we'll have to place you on observations for a few days. There are drugs that you will take." He ordered a nurse to take her to a room.
She was led through a corridor and they stopped in front of a door with a number 24. The nurse produced a key and inserted it in the keyhole. As she turned the key, she said,"This room has remained vacant for the past three years. You're the first occupant since the tragedy."
"What happened?" Aishat asked.
"I'm not supposed to tell you anything," the nurse spoke reluctantly, but Aisha could see that the woman wanted to speak - she only needed a little push and she would spill the beans.
"Well, I don't think I can stay in a room I don't know its history."
"The last occupant of this room committed suicide," the nurse explained. "She was so deep in manic depression that she ended it all."
Aishat's eyes opened wide in shock. "How did she die?"
"She shot herself," the nurse said frowning, "But there was something strange about the way she died. The murder weapon was nowhere to be found, and the detectives said it was suicide. How could it be suicide when the weapon couldn't be found? The only logical explanation is that her ghost hid the weapon. I guess you're right, ghosts really exist."
Aishat was silent as the woman opened the door. She didn't know what to make of what she just heard.
"Here's your room," the nurse told her.
"Why has it been unoccupied since the last three years?"
The nurse shrugged. "A lot of patients complained that they always heard strange sounds. Apparently, the room is haunted by the ghost of the dead woman."
"Then why am I being allocated a haunted room?"
The woman chuckled and said, "First and foremost, you came at the wrong time. All the other rooms have been occupied. This is the only available room left. Secondly, since you claim to see ghosts, perhaps a haunted room is what you need for your healing process."
"What's the patient's name?"
"Rikat. She was twenty-seven years old."
"Why was she brought here?"
"She had a mental breakdown. She caught her husband in bed with her younger sister, so she ran mad. It was her husband who brought her in. She was already due for discharge before she took her own life. It was Doctor Hassan who certified her healed after three months."
"Was Doctor Hassan her doctor?"
"Doctor Hassan only administered treatment but it was Doctor Bashir that was in charge of her."
"Where's Doctor Bashir now?"
The nurse stared at her. "I can't tell you that."
"Something doesn't seem right."
"Her husband got married to her sister a month after her death."
"Do you think Rikat was killed?"
The nurse handed Aishat the key,"If you need anything, just make use of the intercom."
Aishat stepped into the room. There was a table and chair in the middle of the room. At the left side was a bed. The room was neat, except for little traces of dried blood she noticed on the floor and the table. She guessed that Rikat had been sitting on the chair when she was shot, and the blood had flowed on the table as she collapsed. From everything the nurse told her, Aishat suspected something fishy about Rikat's death. Apparently, the girl had been killed and it was ruled a suicide. Her husband most probably had a hand in her death.
That night, Aishat met Rikat. She was standing at the corner of the room.
"Are you Rikat?" Aishat asked as she rose up slowly from her bed. She had been hearing soft weeping sounds from her sleep.
The ghost turned around to stare at her. There was a hole in her left temple, apparently where she had been shot.
"You can see me?"
"Yes, my name is Aishat. I've heard a lot about you. Did you kill yourself?"
The ghost wept. "Everyone said I killed myself. It's a lie! It's a lie! They're all liars!"
"Who killed you, Rikat?"
"They're dead," she replied, "They're all dead."
"I don't understand. Who is dead?"
"They're all dead! Everyone is dead!"
Aishat couldn't comprehend what the ghost was telling her. Finally, she admitted that even in death, Rikat was still insane.
"I saw Rikat last night," Aishat told Doctor Hassan the following day.
The doctor frowned. "Rikat? Who is Rikat?"
"The woman that used to occupy my room. The one that died three years ago."
"Aishat, who told you about Rikat?"
"Nurse Simbi should learn how to always keep her mouth shut."
"It's true, isn't it? Her death wasn't a suicide, was it?"
"Where have you been hearing these ridiculous stuff?"
"She told me. Rikat told me herself."
The doctor stared at her and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. "My dear, there's no ghost anywhere. It's your mind playing tricks on you. Nobody can see ghosts. It's all hallucinations. I'll give you some more drugs that will help you."
"But I saw her, I really spoke to her last night."
The doctor smiled and said, "You will be fine."
Aishat was tired of being constantly doubted. It was driving her mad. Everyone had been telling her that she was only hallucinating, but she knew what she saw. She had spoken with her dead husband, the community leader, the woman at the market, Rikat - they were all dead people, but still, no one believed her. She was gradually losing her mind. It wasn't the ghosts that bothered her, it was the living who would not believe her. If only one person would believe. All she wanted was someone to believe her. Maybe that was the cure she needed - being believed. Being doubted kept her from living a normal life.
"I will prove it to you!" she told the doctor. "I will prove it to you!"
She was taken to her room. She swallowed more drugs.
"They don't believe that I can see ghosts," Aishat told Rikat.
"They chose to not believe," Rikat said.
"Rikat, tell me, where is the weapon used to kill you?"
"It's nowhere. It's everywhere."
Again, Aishat didn't understand anything the ghost was telling her.
"They're all dead! Everyone is dead!"
"Stop rambling, Rikat."
The ghost returned to her corner and continued weeping. Aishat had a feeling that the gun was somewhere in the room. Whoever had killed Rikat didn't leave with the gun; he must have stashed it. Perhaps it was too late to placed it on the corpse's hand and leave the room before being caught. The only thing he could do at the moment was make the weapon disappear.
She searched all the corners of the room but couldn't find it. She begged Rikat to tell her the location but the ghost just continued weeping. After an hour of turning the room upside down without success, Aishat sat tiredly on the bed.
"Where did he stash the gun?" she wondered, looking upward. She squinted her eyes when she noticed something strange about the ceiling. One square was slightly dislodged from the others.
"Oh my goodness!"
She drew the table to the centre of the square and climbed on it. Then she carefully moved the ceiling aside. She reached her hand into the dark space and searched. When she got down from the table, she was holding a pistol in her hand. The pistol had a silencer attached.
She suddenly smiled - finally, someone would believe her.
|Re: The Journey To A Thousand Flash by LarrySun(m): 10:17pm On Sep 07, 2020|
"I saw Rikat again last night," Aishat told Doctor Hassan again.
"Oh come on, Aishat! Are the drugs I've been giving not working?"
"I'm telling you! I saw her."
"Ghosts don't exist. They've never been! All you've been seeing are simply illusions. They're not real."
"You see them only when you don't know they are dead," Aishat murmured.
"What did you say?"
"Oh, never mind. I just remember what a woman told me in the market."
"I think you need to return to your room."
Aishat looked sad. "I just want to be believed. I want someone to know that it's not hallucinations. Ghosts really exist."
"I can't believe what's not real."
"I want you to follow me to my room," she said, "If you still don't believe me, I'll agree that I've been hallucinating."
"What's in your room?"
"Just follow me. It'll only take a few seconds."
Aishat led the way. The doctor followed reluctantly. "This better be worth my time."
They walked through the corridor. When they arrived at the door of her room, Aishat asked the doctor to open the door.
"What's behind the door?"
"Just open, Doctor. You'll find out."
Doctor Hassan slowly turned the knob and pushed the door in. He shrank back in horror at what he saw.
Aishat smiled and said, "Do you believe me now?"
"This is impossible!" He was slowly backing away from the room, and also away from Aishat.
He wanted to look away, but he could not. He was staring into the room. Aishat was sitting in a chair in the middle of the room, her head was rested on the table. There was blood oozing from her temple where she had shot herself. The gun was lying on the floor and her dead eyes stared at the entrance.
"You - you are a ghost!" Doctor Hassan said in shaky voice.
"Yes, I am, Doctor. Unfortunately, I had to kill myself to make you believe."
"You're a ghost, Aishat! You killed yourself!"
He collapsed to the ground.
"I told you ghosts exist but you didn't believe me. Now that I have convinced you, I need to go and visit my family for the last time, before they hear the news about my death."
"Your family?" Hassan asked, his face registered further surprise.
"Yes, my parents and my two kids. I told you about my husband. I told you he died."
"But your parents are dead, Aishat. They've been dead for long. And you are not married. You have no husband, no kids."
"What are you talking about?"
"You've been in this hospital for two years. We've been taking care of you."
"You're saying nonsense, Doctor. I only came here a couple of weeks ago."
"No, that's the drugs. The drugs made you think you walked in here on your own, but you didn't. You've been here for years. The drugs reshaped your mind, Aishat. You were the first test subject for the drugs. Apparently, they've been putting various ideas in your head."
"I don't believe you! That's a lie!"
"You killed yourself, Aishat! You killed yourself!"
Then suddenly, the main door of the hospital burst open and Aishat saw her mother and father rush in, they were each carrying her kids.
"Mama! Papa!" Aishat called.
Her father walked towards her. "We've been searching around for you for days, Aishat. What are you doing here?"
"He told me you're dead."
Her father frowned. "Dead? Who has been telling you that nonsense?"
"Him, Doctor Hassan," she pointed at the man lying on the floor.
Her father's eyes followed her gaze. "I'm not seeing anyone there."
"There he is - he lying down there!" Aishat pointed again.
"There's no one there, my daughter," Aishat's mother said.
Aishat was confused.
"Who are you talking to, Aishat?" Doctor Hassan asked.
"My parents," she replied him.
"Where are they?"
"They're standing here! Can't you see them?"
The doctor sat erect. "Aishat, there's no one there."
"Here they are! My mom and dad! They're carrying my kids!"
"I told you. Your parents are dead. You never had any kid. You were never married."
"Aishat, who are you talking to?" her father asked.
"The doctor! Doctor Hassan! There he is!" She was weeping now. "Can't you see him?"
"There's no one here. There's no one in this hospital, Aishat! This building is deserted. It has been deserted for three years. Something happened in this hospital three years ago. Someone with a strange virus was brought in. Her virus killed everyone in the hospital. All the doctors, nurses and patients died. This building is haunted, it's haunted by their ghosts."
"It's the truth, my daughter. We have to get out of here now. This place is evil."
"I thought you don't believe in ghosts," Aishat said.
"That's the rumour. If there are really ghosts here, then you must be seeing them. Only you see ghosts."
Aishat turned to the doctor. "You're a ghost, aren't you?"
"Me? Ghost? Who is telling you that? Aishat, don't believe whatever they're telling you! They're the ghosts, your parents. If they're not ghosts, they're not supposed to see you. You're now a ghost, remember? You killed yourself. They are dead, that's why they could see you. They've been dead for long. It's the drugs messing with your head."
She was very confused. She didn't know who to believe.
"Papa, mama! I'm a ghost."
Her parents stared at each other. "Ghost? How come? Is it the doctor that told you that? Don't believe him! He's lying to you! You're not a ghost! You're a living human being!"
"Look at the room," she said.
Her parents peeked into the room.
"What are we supposed to see?" her father asked.
"Are you not seeing who is in the room?"
"There's no one in the room, Aishat," her mother said.
"My daughter, we have to leave now," said her father, "Your husband is waiting."
Aishat frowned. "My husband?"
"Yes, he's waiting for you at home."
"Abdul is alive?"
"He's alive and well," said her mother.
Aishat shook her head. "That's not true. Abdul died in a car accident two years ago."
"Of course not! You were both together living happily until you suddenly left home. You left him and your kids. We'd been searching for you for over two weeks. Oh! Look at how thin you are!" Her mother started weeping. To Aishat, she sounded like the weeping Rikat.
"Whatever they may be telling you is a lie," said Doctor Hassan. "Do not listen to them. You have no parents. No family."
Aishat walked towards the doctor and bent before him. "You may be right. I don't know who to believe anymore. Maybe it's really the drugs messing with my head. Maybe not. I find it hard to believe you just like I'm finding it hard to believe them too. But most importantly, I can't believe myself anymore. To them, I'm a living person. To you, I'm a ghost. To me, I don't know who I am anymore. I remember shooting myself in the head. You can see my corpse. I can see my corpse, but they can't. Maybe they're really not ghosts, but then again, they say Abdul is alive. I know for a fact that my husband is dead. Maybe they're really ghosts. They can't see you, and you can't see them either. They tell me you're dead, you tell me they're dead. A ghost I met in the market sometimes ago told me that living people could only see ghosts if they don't know they are dead. If they do, the living will never see the dead. They know you're dead, that's why they can't see you. You know they're dead, that's why you can't see them. Maybe I never met any ghost at the market. Maybe it's all the drugs. Maybe both of you are ghosts, maybe that's why you can both communicate with me. Maybe Rikat didn't shoot herself. Maybe she really brought a virus into this hospital. Maybe all the nurses, doctors and patients of this hospital are ghosts. There are a lot of maybes. I wish this was just a bad dream. I wish to wake up right now from this nightmare. Unfortunately, it's not a dream. It's my reality. Am I a ghost or not? I can't even tell.
"I must pick a side. I choose to pick my family. Even in death, family is everything. If it's the drug messing with my mind, at least I won't be taking them again. Eventually, their effects will wear off and I'd know the truth. For now, I go with my family."
She stood up and said,"Goodbye, Doctor Hassan."
The doctor watched her as she stepped out of the door. She was walking out alone.
©Larry Sun, September 2020
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