Monday, December 28, 2015

My first crack at surrealist fiction in a while ::Trigger Warning::

Journey Outside My Comfort Zone

By I.M. Acher.


          Sunday Morning, 10:00 AM, Land of Nod, East of Gehena.


          Before you read this, just remember one thing.  You are but a glimmer in the eyes of a non-sentient Universe that doesn’t give two shits about you.  You are the incidental byproduct of a bunch of stardust that coalesced and over a long period (by our frame of reference) caused us to believe ourselves to be sentient.  You are nothing.  There is no deeper meaning to life, the universe, or anything.  You just exist. 

          Is it too late for a trigger warning?


          The Day Jonah Stepped Out of His Own Mind:


          It was the words of the dopamine-imbalance in Jonah’s brain. 

          On that Sunday, like any other Sunday, unlike any future Sunday, but definitely like every previous Sunday he had ever experienced before.

          He was lying in bed.  His room was a dusty cornucopia of books he never got around to reading, posters of various death metal bands, various dirty t-shirts and boxer shorts that hadn’t been washed in weeks, as well as empty 22-oz bottles of cheap malt liquor. 

          He gazed up at the poster of Ozzy Osbourne hitchhiking, holding up a sign that says “Hell.”  Blasting on his alarm clock speaker was “Ace of Spades” by Motörhead.  Just the song he needed; after last night, his liver was dancing the bachata.

          But what even happened last night?

          And how did he even get back into his bed?

          He was neither man nor fish.  Hell, for all I know, he was probably not even of this astral plane.

          He did not move his mouth.  He spoke.

          “Jonah, get up.  Go to the City of Ninvus, North of Gehena.”

          Gehena!  Now it was all making sense.

          One does not just walk into Gehena.  Even people who have business in Gehena do not just walk into Gehena.

          I’ve been to Gehena several times.  I would tell you what it was like.  But you know how the old saying goes—what goes in Gehena stays in Gehena.

          Growing up, I was told that Gehena was a firepit.  I was told that it was a place where you will burn forever.  It is a place full of sinners and other people who pissed off the Master.

          Ladies and Gentlemen, if only Gehena was only that, then perhaps I would be able to bear it.  You see, there is no Master.  And given the capricious rules He expects people to follow, I would much rather spend eternity with those who broke those rules than in that other place—the city in the clouds which supposes eternal bliss.

          No, Gehena is not a place that’s bad because of pain and suffering.

          Gehena is a place that contains everything the mind can ask for.  Except nobody can afford Gehena. 


          Jonah, the fish-man said.  Jonah.  Can you hear me?

          “I’m not sure,” said Jonah.  “You see, hearing usually entails using one’s auricular processes.  But you’re not exactly making a sound wave, so I’m not sure if what I’m doing right now is considered hearing.”

          At that point, the fish-man sent the telepathic equivalent of a sonic boom into Jonah’s head.  It gave Jonah a migraine that still gives him chills unto this day.

          Don’t be fatuous! The fish-man shouted (or the telepathic version of shouting.  If the Dalai Lama shits in the woods and nobody hears him, is he still a Homo Sapien?

          Jonah had to think about that one for a second.  He then retorted “and what do you know about human excretory functions?  And what are you anyway?”

          I am a figment of your chemically-imbalanced mind.  But that’s neither here nor there.  I am here to help you cross over.

          Aw man, Jonah thought.  Why can’t I go back to thinking pink elephants?

          The pink elephant was the mortal enemy of the fish-man. 

          The fish-man hated pachyderms of all varieties, whether extant or extinct.  In his nightmares, he was brutally raped and trampled by a livid wooly mammoth. 

          How a mammoth could successfully penetrate a fish does not make any sense.  But this is Gehena.  And very little about Gehena makes any sense. 

          I’m just here to help you cross over the fish-man said.

          “Cross over to where?” Jonah asked.

          Outside of your mind.


          Jonah coughed.  “Am I in the Matrix?”

          What’s the Matrix? Asked the fish-man.

          “The Matrix, you know, The Wachowski Brothers, ‘I know kung-fu’, what if I told you that Morpheus never actually used the words ‘what if I told you…’?”

          Ah, said the fish-man, yes.  Worst.Movie.Ever.

          “Said no one ever!” Jonah was beginning to lose patience.

          Enough!  I did not come to discuss the pseudophilosophical musings of popular cinematic clichés.  Now listen closely. 


Leave your cares behind
come with us and find
the pleasures of a journey to the center of the mind

Come along if you care
Come along if you dare
Take a ride to the land inside of your mind

Beyond the seas of thought
beyond the realm of what
across the streams of hopes and dreams
where things are really not

Come along if you care
come along if you dare
take a ride to the land
inside of your mind….

--Ted Nugent

          The fish-man parted with one last thought.

          Know this.  The entire sum of your existence can be summed up by our meeting here. 

          We met here for no reason.  You just happened to be sitting on this park bench when I was here.  We had a chance encounter.  I decided to speak to you.  That was a chance encounter too. 

          If you choose to take up my mission and go to Ninvus, the consequences will be inconsequential for the world at large.  Nobody outside of your small circle of friends and family will care whether or not you get back.  Even you, the reader, will put this down and forget you ever read it.  Nobody will give it a second thought.

          Your birth was completely meaningless.  Your death will also be completely meaningless.  You will leave no kids behind.  You will have no legacy.  And nobody will tell your story.

          And you have no soul to reap the fruits of your actions.  There is no higher plane.  There is no karma.  There is no Shambhala.  There is no Valhalla.  And even if those places did exist, I’d be bored to tears in all of them.

          So whether or not you choose to listen to me, you have nothing to gain or lose.  And you, the reader, should not get too invested in this story either.

And what is this comfort zone Jonah was trying to step out of? 

If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s time for you to step out of your comfort zone.

          Stay tuned for part II.

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