Bewildering Stories

And Eternity in an Hour

Thomas R.

6:58 AM

"Side impact car accident patient non-responsive & cyanotic" Woman

"Damn I know this woman. She taught English literature at my University" Man

***

Images & colors swirl than coalesce. Before her eyes she sees worlds transformed, settled, & finally die. Until only a Venus, settled by poor refugees from Polynesia, survives. A harsh hot world of outcasts thus becomes humanity's sole heir.

***

"There is way more damage here than I thought" Woman

"She survived Nazis she can survive this" Man

"Jewish like you?" Woman asks

"No, Armenian. She was there when Yerevan fell." Man annoyed this time.

***

They reach stars, encircling them with rings then globes. She read the names for such things once, but has forgotten. Fascinating societies emerge. Cities of gold sprawling billions of hectares, vast hierarchical group marriages involving millions, & strange fusions of humanity with machine. They soon learn to harness & alter the stars themselves.

***

"No response" Man

"With a patient this old & damage you probably won't" woman who gets cut off.

"Fine give up then, but I won't" Man

***

Onward to other galaxies, they find newer & stranger life. All points are made one & made infinite at the same time. There is peace, followed as always by bitter war. War more horrible than she had ever seen & she had seen plenty. Trillions tortured & killed in unimaginably horrible ways. Perhaps the saddest spectacle being the plight of the world of eight armed sapphire feathered creatures. Whether human descended or not no species she had yet seen seen seemed more noble. They never harmed anyone, devoting their quiet gentle lives to music & learning. All killed for refusing to join some alliance or other. The hydrogen of their bodies used for fuel & all traces of their system or existence obliterated. Yet on the horizon a new glorious age emerges from this tragic era. With wonders that make all previous ones pale. The entire Universe as a vast shining....

"Time of death 7:58. Barely kept her alive a lousy hour." Doctor Levy says dejectedly.

"You did your best, you did more than anyone could ask for" Doctor Betty

Yang console him to make up for perhaps being too harsh earlier.

"Maybe if I had sent her to surgery" He trails off.

"You knew she was too old to survive that" Dr. Yang & asks "Any family?"

"They all died in the war or under Communism. I think there is a son, but he is in a mental asylum. I doubt he'd understand. Maybe I'll contact him anyway. He looked through her volumes of poetry. Blake, Li Po, Rilke. She had been something of a mystic & quite eclectic. He realized though he had no more time & continued with work.



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Copyright 2002 by Thomas R. and Bewildering Stories.