This short story is one of the one hundred short stories you can find in my new book, Glimpses Into Dreamspace.
It was a simple agreement. A deal I accepted perhaps far too quickly.
I am, was, will be, dying. I’m an old man, I’ve lived my life; it happens, and it’s alright. Well, Dr. Bolmann was the only doctor able to offer me anything else; anything of use. The ability to be of use! He’s no medical man though; they’d all long given up on saving me. They gave me warm blankets and numbing medicines, but that’s my lot. Bolmann though, he gave me a different offer.
I, or perhaps a part of myself, would shrink. Would be shrunk. I’m not sure anymore. I would be shrinking constantly, forever, and I was to report what I saw, what I’m learning. The radio he gives me, gave me, is giving me, wasn’t normal, no, it would provide instructions to a single atom, adjacent to my own, to vibrate in binary.
Yes, my own atom. That’s where my journey is, was, beginning.
The initial shrink was fast, and eventful only in a personal capacity; it will hold no scientific value. The lab around me grew huge in a moment, then vanished as I’ll clatter through individual motes of dust; suddenly huge filthy meteors I’m bouncing between, as Bolmann gave the final guidance toward the atom to be studied.
I’m narrating as I fell. He says the most interesting data will be once I break the electron shell. I don’t understand what he’ll mean; until it happened. As I was falling, the world below me simultaneously grew closer and huger, until I’m falling towards a pair of massive, linked orbs. Except they’re not orbs, now; not at this scale. They were huge storms; massive, roughly spherical shapes of never-ending activity. I’ll know when I hit the shell; it’s a massive storm, a thundering all around me. Flashes of light; I’m thrown back and forth by waves of pure energy, blindingly bright, as I fell. The electron shell wasn’t a shell, as Bolmann warned me; the storm lasts hours or days or a long moment as I fall through it, before I burst through the storm.
Once I was through the storm, I’m seeing what looks like a solar system, closely packed together. Massive worlds, each jammed hard against its neighbours. Some looked like they have atmospheres of their own, others like barren moons, humming silently.
I fall through space between the storm and the worlds, and struck one of the barren looking moons. It will be grey and blue; a thick, cloying air with a silver haze. The ground is hard and rough, dense patches of flat, segmented ground interrupted by huge, curving spires of blue-grey stone. It was beautiful.
My feet are resting only briefly, before I fell hard again. The ground had seemed so sturdy, like it will support me forever; but as I continued to grow smaller, I fall right through the floor. For a moment, it’s like it is back in Bolmann’s lab; the world growing massive around me, as I suddenly fell into emptiness. I’m falling through the silver haze; now a crackling whir of energetic activity, before scale becomes irrelevant and I was just falling through abstracted storms once more. As the world around me is growing ever larger, I’ll suddenly be drifting in space; in nothingness.
It was especially hard to describe. Great, gleaming lattices of purple and silver drifting in nothingness, pulsing in sequence as toroidal domes twist in on themselves, snapping into being and knotting away. As they grow ever larger, I started to see the empty space around me isn’t so empty; the blackness itself is twisting and rupturing, fizzing away madly; like overshaken drink, space itself was bubbling and boiling.
Then, suddenly, I’m drifting in an empty sky, above a black ocean. The liquid is inky black; but along the surface a rainbow of colours will shimmer subtly, almost invisibly. It’s a roiling ocean of viscous gel; massive waves crashing into each other with no rhyme or reason. With each crash, black bubbles would break free and drift into the sky. Occasionally, some are floating near me, and I think I can almost touch them; but I never will.
I’ve never fallen, I don’t fall; I’m suspended some vague distance above the ocean. I think I’ve stopped shrinking. Or perhaps this black ocean is so intensely vast I had only barely scratched the surface, and one day I’ll see the component parts of this liquid foam.
I don’t know how long I’ve been here, am being here, will be here. I don’t know if I’m breathing. I wouldn’t know time were passing, except for the constant roil of the ocean. Will this be it? The very bottom of the universe, the smallest scale?
I think I’ve been here a long time. It’s felt like years, or minutes, I’m not sure. Everything feels like a long time ago, but it’s still happening. It will still happen.
What can happen now?
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