by John J. McNally
In Oversoul city they have personality fragments to do all the menial work. One such fragment, Fred, was a street scrubber. Fred worked with his two friends, Holly and Chester. Holly waxed the stones while Chester buffed them.
“Did you ever visit the great library?” asked Fred.
“I was there once,” said Holly as she pulled her hair back, “but it was so big. I was overwhelmed, so I left.”
“Why bother,” responded Chester. “Everything there can be accessed from our home units.”
“Yeah, but… There’s something more to it, there’s a feeling of power when you’re
actually in there,” explained Fred. He could see by the blank stares he was getting that he hadn’t reached his friends at all. “Have you ever read our contract? It states that as fragments we have the same rights as any soul in the city. We don’t have to scrub streets if we don’t want to!”
“Well, yeah,” said Chester, “but what would you do then, just stay home?”
“That’s so boring, I mean, without work how would you get through the day?” Holly’s attitude was one of disgust.
“You could do things, experience lifetimes in other worlds, explore galaxies as a comet, sense the splitting of an atom, fight in wars, learn to walk, catch Frisbees, compose music, dance, and so much more!”
“I’ve seen those lifetimes,” said Holy scornfully. ‘I watch them on viewer sometimes; those souls feel pain, they get injured, their physical bodies break down through a time related process called aging. They feel fear, real fear, for the loss of their mortal shell. Some of them live desperate, miserable lives, most never seem to be happy at all.”
“But they learn, and they grow, they develop relationships with each other.”
“Don’t we have a relationship?” asked Chester.
“Yes, yes we do. We are friends, and we work together, perhaps we even love each other. I just think that we could explore things so much deeper.”
Holly’s temper began to flare. “I’m sick of this! Why does everybody have to grow, to be different!? All my friends keep leaving me. They always say they’ll come back but they never do.”
“Do you ever ask where they went, find out what happened to them?”
“No!” she said sullenly, “They’re just gone and I don’t care. I’ll find new friends.”
“Including me?” asked Fred.
“Yes,” she answered, tears streaming down her face, “including you!”
“But why? Even if you don’t want to join me, you can check on anyone you were friends with?”
“Can we get back to cleaning, here?” asked Chester, tears were streaming down his face too.
‘I’m sorry,” said Fred, “but I’ve cleaned by last stone.” He walked away from his friends toward the offices of his supervisor, Ms. Smith.
“Hello, Fred, how can I help you?” She was tall and beautiful; in Earth years she would be mid-forties.
“I can’t do this anymore,” his voice came out almost as a whisper; would he get in trouble for quitting?
“Do you wish to perform a different task?”
“No, I’m…, no longer a Fragment.” He had said it. The words that had been floating in his mind for a long time now. It was the first time he had ever feared, or even held a thought back, in his entire life.
“That’s quite a statement,” said Ms. Smith. “Do you realize what you are saying?”
“I – I am an entity. I have the right to choose my own form and experience.” He had read the words on the base of the statue in front of the library countless times, but he never understand them before now.
“Very good,” said Ms. Smith soothingly, “It’s alright, this day comes to all fragments. Come with me and we’ll help guide you to your next experience.”
She led him outward to the main library, as they walked through one of the librarians, Diane, smiled at him. “I knew you’d be ready soon, welcome to consciousness.”
Fred mumbled a thanks. Consciousness she called it – conflict-ness was more like it. All these emotions fighting with each other, all trying to break out at once. Fred found himself moving between extreme fear, and deep warmth, it was all so confusing.
“Don’t worry; it gets better. We’ll start in the Master Probability Room, where you can sample some of the infinite ways in which consciousness expresses itself.”
Fred watched as consciousness folded itself into flowers and galaxies, rainbows and mountains, insects, animals, creatures of all shapes, sizes, and form. A narrator explained all the advantages, and limitations of each type of form. It described how each entity could choose the basis of his /her experiences, choosing as many forms as he/she felt suited to. The entity could spread form across galaxies, or focus on one region. The choice was his.
Fred watched, weighing all the pros and cons of each possibility. Finally, after what seemed an eternity of indecision, he made his choice.
“I am going to choose a multiple form. A tree, for stability and greater conscious
awareness and a sparrow, for its speed and freedom.”
“Very good,” said Ms. Smith, suddenly walking into the room. “And you’ll be happy to know that you are not alone in your choice.”
But before Fred could ask what she meant, he found himself tumbling, and splitting a million times, thrown against a thousand rocks until finally…
He was aware. He was a large oak, living forever in a family of oaks. Their
consciousness spread for miles of untouched virgin forest. On a deeper level he was one with all trees everywhere, still deeper, all plant life, and at the core he was a part of the great earth consciousness itself, the immense body of the planet seemed not heavy at all, but light as a drifting feather through space.
The tree who was Fred also sensed a special connection to one of the sparrows which had been among his branches.
This tiny one, who’s song sang with pure joy, and a newness to the world, was Fred as well, and Fred’s true consciousness could see the world as it appeared to his sparrow self and vice versa.
Through his sparrow self, Fred’s tree self saw himself as both immense and warm, a home and shelter. His sparrow self looked at himself through Fred’s tree consciousness, and saw himself as strong and beautiful, lightning quick, and so free moving!
As sparrow Fred grew, he reached the age of mating. Remarkably at just the right time, a sparrow of such beauty and joy appeared nearby, and he knew they must be together.
As the two sparrows came together, a shock of recognition ran through Fred’s entity, “Chester! Is it really you?”
“Yes,” sand Chester gleefully, “I could never be happy without you!” And so they two friends came together, and as a nature followed its course, there were several eggs only a short time later.
Upon hatching, two of the chick’s sang with strength and passion, that both Fred and Chester exclaimed, “Holly!”
“But which one?” asked Fred.
“Why both, of course!” sang Holly. “And my sister here is my friend Traal; he promised to help me adjust.”
And so the friends continued to live and grow, changing forms and lives as they saw fit. From the smallest of molecules, to entire galaxies, learning, loving, fighting, and loving for all eternity.
(c)2000, John J. McNally. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or distribute without the author’s permission.
About the author: John J. McNally enjoys writing from the perspective that everything is possible, and very likely to happen. He owns the Mind Altering Fiction website and is co-owner of the Conscious Creation website with his partner Kristen.