Electric dreams

Fiction picked from my dreams.

I sit on the soft sand watching the early morning light spill out across the water, feeling it fill me with energy. The ocean responds to the dawn by breaking into waves with perfect curls. It is time. I heft my board under my arm and jog down to the water. That first touch of ice, cringing in agony as it freezes my bone marrow, and then acceptance: that the goal is worth the pain.

Gradually warming up my arms, I paddle slowly at first and then harder to get behind the break. Duck dive under a wave, and shake the water from my hair as I emerge frozen, but refreshed. Behind the break now, the water is calm and silent. I turn around and begin the wait for that perfect wave. Seagulls are bobbing up and down beside me, giving me a curious eye, as if I’ve brought a snack from shore just for them. The light has turned the water to liquid gold, and it is impossible to see past the surface. I can see my car on shore in an empty carpark. Such perfect weather, yet I’m the only one surfing, odd.

Something bumps into my foot, hard. I look down quickly, but I’m too slow, and my board is already exploding upwards to my face. I throw myself off in a panic, swimming backwards, trying to see what is happening. I expect my worst fears to be realized: shark attack! But the object bobbing on the surface between the two halves of my surfboard is no shark. It’s a perfect sphere just big enough for my arms to fit around. Colours shift and slide across its surface like the rainbow found in a patch of oily scum. I paddle slowly closer, like a dog approaching a porcupine: wary of the danger, but stupidly intent on seeing what will happen. As I get closer the colours start moving slower, but still show no pattern. It’s mesmerizing. I’m next to it now, and I see that the water isn’t even touching the surface of the sphere, it’s held away by empty space the width of my fist.

I try to touch the side, but my hand slips off it like a magnet being repulsed by another. I try again, and this time my hand sinks through. It feels like warm jelly. It starts to heat up. I yank my hand away, but it is stuck firm. The heat is becoming unbearable. The more I struggle to pull my hand out the further in it sinks. My arm is being dragged in now, up to the elbow, then the shoulder. I start screaming, from pain more than the hope that anyone will hear me. Darkness explodes from the sphere, pushing the water away as quickly as I’m dragged into it.

Absolute darkness. I’m dry, so I can’t still be in the water, but I can’t be in the sphere, it’s too small. The heat and pain are gone; I can’t feel my body! I try to panic, but curiously I’m calm. The darkness gives way to the same oily shifting colours on the outside of the sphere, but all perspective is gone, and I can make no sense of the shape. I sense minds in the colours now, millions of them, all blended together, but still individual. I’m unafraid. I sense a voice, a cacophony at first, and then a harmony. Not a voice, but a thought, brought to life by the minds surrounding me. “Hello Jack. You are one of the chosen ones. Welcome to the Singularity. Humanity’s next step.”

2005.06.28