Tuesday, February 04, 2014

hoc nunc est, quod tunc erat, et nunc… et nunc… et nunc…(Infinite Monkeys)

What happens when you destroy the world and everything in it to make yourself a god? You get sad, that's what.And then you have to fix things, which is easier and harder than you might realize, even though you are omniscient.

It took only seconds after Dendrion had blown up the Earth for him to miss it.

And the Moon, of course, because the Moon had to go, too, it was an integral part of the plan to blow up the Earth and of course he missed the Moon, but who in their right mind would miss the Moon as much as he (or she, he had to say to himself even though there were almost certainly no shes left) as much as he (or she… *sigh*) would miss the Earth.

His home planet! No more!

He put those thoughts behind him. He was ready to be a god and he wondered what it would be like.

It had worked perfectly and he could already feel the godlike power swelling inside him, the life-force of every living (no longer living!) thing on the Earth (which was no more!) flowing into him because






And also there was a gaping hole in the sky where he and everything he ever knew plus lots of things he hadn’t known about directly or even indirectly, had lived.

That was kind of sad, he had to acknowledge, even as his brain tried to cope with the ever-expanding knowledge it was gaining from the ever-increasing amount of power that was coursing through his now glowing (well that was unexpected!) body, and then suddenly it wasn’t sad, not quite…

(That was Dendrion one minute after)

So when you don’t need a spaceship, space is yours to play in.  Space, after all, is just the lack of things, and now that this particular area of space lacked some of the things (well, all the things, okay) that it previously had there was more space than ever, and that, Dendrion mused, was really his first act of creation: he had created more space, and his energy trail flowed behind him, golden and red and bluish-purple at the edges, as he swam around in all the nothingness that used to be where he lived.

Where everyone lived!

Here… here, here, here here herehereherehere used to probably be the Pacific Ocean, gone to its ultimate peace, pacified forever, boiled away into space as the Moon crashed into the Earth’s outer atmosphere, every molecule on the Moon suddenly fusing into every other molecule to create the greatest explosion ever seen by any living thing, and for all but one of those living things it was the last thing they ever saw!

That was kind of…

… what was the word?

(That was Dendrion 10 minutes after)

His spaceship looked so tiny! And then in a second act of creation what, wait, that probably wasn’t right… how’d that work again?... it was no more and he had done that with his mind! He had made it not be, but how was that creation?

He was never very good with vocabulary.

He should have listened when Miss Pacific Ocean… no, that wasn’t right? Either? Miss.




He felt the energy flowing through him, still, and it was very difficult to know… what… and he also felt like he was really missing something here and then he noticed Venus and so he decided to go give it a hug.

(That was Dendrion 15 minutes after)

Despite their difference in size, he felt like he should just go ahead and hug Venus and did it really matter if he was the size of a planet or if Venus was the size of a little boy…

… why was he a little boy?

That probably said a lot about something, he mused, that his new body that he’d made for himself was himself at age… probably 8.

8 what?

8 …


Miss Tomachoff!

He wondered why he had forgotten that units of time were called Miss Tomachoffs and then decided to go ahead and hug Venus anyway and so he did, and Venus careened into him, traveling at 35 kilometers per second, and he careened into Venus traveling at










And Venus was HOT!  He was blowing on his fingertips and they were scorched and hot and he suddenly realized that he didn’t need fingertips, not if they were going to be like that and so he didn’t have fingertips and then he looked around wondering where Venus had gone, and saw that he had pushed it towards the sun, pushed it away from him, and it was going a lot (a lot!) faster than it had been, and here came Mercury! And they collided!

He clapped his hands!

He was creating things left and right.

That still didn’t seem correct, so he spent a few secondsmillenia pondering it and remembered that he’d been thinking, when he destroyed…

… Venus?  No.

Miss Tomachoff?  No, that’s how time was measured.

… Earth! That was it!

He’d destroyed it!

He felt a little sad and looked back at the empty space where he had once lived so long ago or a few minutes ago, whatever.

Then he remembered he was thinking.  It was taking some getting used to, all this power, and he flew out to Saturn and watched its rings spinning around like a record player!

Hey, he remembered those!

Dad had one!

Now, what was a Dad?

(That was Dendrion probably about 45 minutes after, although things were getting hazy by then)

So he definitely needed something to do, now, and he probably shouldn’t just go around crashing things into other things, because that didn’t seem to be a long-term plan for keeping him entertained.

He made a few blasts of light and energy and heat and watched them fade out in the dark of space, and then noticed that Saturn was considerably smaller and considerably sparser what with all these new stars flaring up and then fading into nothingness right next to it, so he stopped doing that.

He looked back at the… Sun, that was it.

Miss Tomachoff!

No, he was thinking about Dad!

Dad probably had not minded when the Moon exploded the home of Everything That Had Existed Except Him, what was it called?


Dad had been in a lot of pain.

And tired, all the time.

And sad.

Dendrion knew how he felt, except for the pain and tired.

He should figure out something to do.

(That was Dendrion figuring things out maybe a little)

Dendrion is making movies only with real things, and it doesn’t matter that he’s making them because everything is made by something, so why not him?

The movies are acted out according to his every whim.

They are spy movies, sometimes – people a thousand feet tall on a soundstage a million miles across, glowing through the solar system with jets (which he took a whileeonsseconds to remember) shooting each other down over the White House (which for some reason he remembered instantlyyears).

They are comedies, sometimes, but he is not a natural comedy writer and so he cannot make himself laugh, if only because part of laughter is the sheer surprise at funny things happening and he is not surprised anymore. Also he is not very good at writing comedies.

He misses…



Then there is a Movie Of Dad.

The movie is short.

(This is Dendrion’s Movie Of Dad; remember that the actors are real beings created out of his very thoughts, as he has the energy of a trillion once-living things to control.)

(Also, the actors are smaller, now, because this is a drama).

DOCTOR:  Are you… Dendrion? [He looks up at the man sitting on an uncomfortable plastic chair in an uncomfortably-lit hallway, all yellowish pus-colored light reflecting off dingy tiles made to hide the dirt by always seeming to be dirty.]

DENDRION: [nods].

DOCTOR:  It’s [motions back to a room containing magnets and computers and people in white coats and more computers and somewhere in it, Dendrion’s dad] … inoperable.

DENDRION: There must be something…

DOCTOR: It’s in God’s hands now.

DENDRION: There is no God.

DOCTOR: [pats him on the shoulder, shrugs, and walks back into the room]


(This is Dendrion now)

“So that is what the edge of the universe looks like.”

It is surprisingly bland and blank and boring.

In all his travels, Dendrion has not run into anyone or anything else living.

He wonders if there is a Heaven, and realizes that people who blow up every other living thing probably never find out.

(This is Dendrion’s dad.  He is sitting in an easy chair, at the edge of the Universe.  There is a halo of light around him. It comes from the lamp just over his shoulder.  He is regular sized.  So is Dendrion, who is about 20 years old and sits next to him, on a couch.  They are watching television. The Green Bay Packers are playing the Chicago Bears.  The television is the size of a small moon. They just float there in space.)

“I thought if I could get the power I could do something about you.”

Dendrion looks away from the television, where the Bears have just fumbled the ball, to his dad, who looks up from the magazine he is reading.

“Mmmm?” he asks.  He was not listening, not really.  He takes his glasses off and rubs his eyes.

“But then I realized, rightawayafteraneternity, time is funny for me now, that I didn’t miss anything.”

“Why is that, do you think?” his dad asks him.

“I don’t know,” Dendrion says.

“Come on,” Dendrion’s dad smiles.  “You’re omniscient.”

“I know,” Dendrion says.  “That I know.”

“That, and everything else,” Dendrion’s dad says.

Dendrion wishes he could remember what his dad’s name was.

He doesn’t feel omniscient.  There’s too much to focus on! He waves his hands and tries to stop it all and




He tries to not think of everything in the entire universe and then realizes that there are universes outside of this one and inside of this one and alongside of this one and suddenly for the first time since the Moon crashed into the Earth he feels


Make that:


Make that:


(That was a speck.)

(Really it was a period, but pretend it was a speck.)

And then he tries to remember crying.

(This was the Pacific Ocean, probably:)

Dendrion is not sure where everything went.  He is standing where he thought the Moon ought to go but is not sure that’s where it is supposed to be and he can’t screw this up, he can’t he can’t he can’t.

He wished he had paid attention in school.

He remembers lying on his back, with his Dad sitting next to him, in the backyard.

“And that one,” he says.

“That’s the moon,” his dad laughs.

“What’s that one?” Dendrion, maybe 7, asks.

“That’s… Orion,” his dad says.

Dendrion still cannot remember his dad’s name! He hopes he doesn’t need to, for this.

“And that one?” he says, in his memory, in the past that no longer exists because he blew it up.

“That’s… Ursa Major,” his dad says.

“Dad! You said that one already!”

Dendrion spins around and looks now into the stars that his dad could not name then.

“You are all Ursa Major,” he says to them.

They all nod, but only because he makes them.

(This is Dendrion, blowing up)

The sun rises off the coast of California, lighting the Pacific Ocean a brilliant red and orange, the waves frothing with colors as they roll onto the sand only ten feet from Dendrion’s dad’s porch.

Dendrion’s dad watches them, these waves, creeping up onto the sand and losing their color, going gray against wet brown sand in the early morning light.  He stands there, with his coffee mug, the breeze tousling his hair.  He has been up all night, looking at the stars, looking from Ursa Major to Ursa Major to Ursa Major, watching the progression of the other 6 planets through those familiar constellations. 

Upstairs, his wife, Miss Tomachoff, is stirring, and he will go make her breakfast in a few minutes, but for now, he stares at the sea, and the sand, and then the sunrise, and then he looks up at the Moon, which smiles down at him with a face he likes to pretend only he can see.

The Green Bay Packers win all their games that season, and each win makes him feel happier than the one before it.


Andrew Leon said...

Again with the sad.
I think with a little more focus on the narrative and a little less on the stream-of-consciousness you could make this into a real tear jerker. The kind that would make women sob.
Maybe men, too.

Briane P said...


I almost never rework my stories, but I can see what you mean. This one was written all in one sitting, with a few short breaks to take care of the boys.

Then again, what I was going for here was a mixture, of what it might be like to suddenly have infinite power housed in someone that wasn't ready for it, and what it might be like to have the power to rectify something you thought went wrong in the past but not really know how to do that right.

There's also a bit (and this was unintentional and I didn't think of it until today) of religious allegory: the son gave up his infinite power to restore the father's world.

Briane P said...

Again, I don't think this is a totally UNhappy story.

Andrew Leon said...

Well, I'm not trying to encourage you to change it. I'm just saying that you could do that, because it's that kind of story.