Friday, 18 October 2013

#FridayFlash - It Wakes

Image by Danskii
Quite a lot of people were asking "What happens next?" so this story is a follow up to my flash last week, After It All.

Far below a vast yet empty metropolis, beneath the rotting transport network, and the ruins of bygone eras, something moved in the dark. It growled, testing itself before it woke fully. The being was confused, having slept for centuries.

With no humans left it had no thoughts to guide its form, so it settled on an amorphous mass, malleable and soft. It prodded at the world beyond itself, wondering why it had awoken.

The being, a deity older than creation itself, noticed the silence first. Before it slept, it had lain in the depths, listening to the endless chatter from the world above. The being had withdrawn when it became convinced that man no longer cared for the state of his soul, and so it slumbered in the dark. Meanwhile, in the world above, humans turned their gaze from the cosmos to the incorporeal, their worship centered around glowing boxes they kept in their homes, or carried in their pockets. Their incessant talk and the buzz of information in the ether haunted the dreams of the sleeping being.

It left the dark, and returned to the light. It expanded its mind, in all places at all times, and explored the world. Not a trace of life remained beyond that of the plants. Botanical life flourished where animal life had failed. The being quivered with a ghost of a smile.

It wandered around the metropolis, where creeping vines and growing trees swallowed up the crumbling buildings. None of the trees were right, so the being explored further, and settled in a field far beyond the metropolis. It chose an ancient oak that stood apart from the rest of the forest, and imbued it with its first sentient thought.

For the first time in four hundred years, the oak realised it missed humans.

8 comments:

David G. Shrock said...

Beautiful follow to After It All. I really like this one.

Claudia H. Blanton said...

great read!

Larry Kollar said...

I like the ambiguity at the end: was it the oak that truly missed humans, or the blob deity giving that thought to the oak? In either case, I think the oak's next thought will be "I miss squirrels even more. Who will carry my acorns beyond the reach of my branches, and plant my children?"

Seems like this could go on for a few thousand more words, to let the deity reach a revelation and conclusion. I like the somber tone, perfect for a cool autumn morning like this one.

Tony Noland said...

I have to wonder why the oak would miss humans, unless it's in recognition of our role in wiping out most of the oak's ecological competitors.

Steve Green said...

If the creature imbued the oak with this thought, then I guess it must miss humans too.

JC Rosen said...

Powerful stuff. I shuddered and lumbered and woke with the being, seeing the world as it did. You captured it in gorgeous language. Well done, Icy.

Katherine Hajer said...

The more I read about new scientific discoveries about plants, the more I learn about how they have emotions and communicate. I really appreciated this one for that.

alisonwells said...

Wonderful concept and beautifully written

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