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Short-stories

The DreamCube™ Thread

The Makers of DreamCube™
The Makers of DreamCube™
Logo by Ellinor Kall 2019

My short-story The DreamCube Thread is included in the anthology Vast: Stories of Mind, Soul and Consciousness in a Technological Age by British publishing company Orchid’s Lantern published 2020.

Read my news about Vast here and then get your copy to read it!

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Short-stories

Secrets of the Octopuses

Something happened to the Octopuses. They made a leap somehow. Skipped a couple of millions of years. And then they hid it from us. Pretended business as usual. In the beginning many of them sacrificed themselves, pretending to be stupid mollusks, to avoid us knowing. But eventually our scientists got suspicious and quickly realized the whole thing. It’s still under wraps though, no one knows how to handle it yet.

We are trying to map out their complicated language at the moment, trying to establish some common ground. They were probably inspired by our language, but since they have no means of vocalization and a different way of hearing, they had to go in another direction. That, and the fact that their one plus eight minds are very different from our single minds, makes interspecies communication a difficult and slow process. But they are eager to cooperate. Though I think it’s only to get access to our technology since they’re not very good with building things physically.

One of their earliest wishes when contact was made, was to get control over, or get help to build, a spacecraft able to reach Saturn. Possibly to send a mixed human and octopus crew to Enceladus, from what I gather. It might have something to do with what they call “the knowledge”. It’s some kind of information that they are born with, it has been in their DNA for millions of years – apparently since long before their more recent leap in sentiency. It’s a piece of information all of them possess but have yet never revealed to any human.

Another secret I’ve learned is that the Octopuses wants help with neurosurgery to make one of their arms/minds cybernetically detachable so that it can be switched among individuals to transfer thoughts and knowledge.

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Short-stories

Tightrope

When the tightrope catches fire you better run, she said as I ventured out over the bottomless chasm with the intention of never looking back. As soon as I felt the heat I started to scurry along the line. Flames licked my legs and my soles got scorched black as well as my soul. The acrid smell of burning hair was overwhelming and I could feel the fibers bursting like ruptured tendons in the rope under my feet. Finally my mask of wax, that I had carried to conceal my true face for a long time, melted and the sizzling, fiery drops disappeared in the abyss below. Everything was pain. But if I fell I knew I would never get back up from the depth again. So I tried to focus through the sweat and tears in my eyes. Run, she screamed, and I ran like never before.

Categories
Short-stories

On the Shoreline

That summer morning on the shoreline was magical. Everything was as perfect as it gets for a short, blissful moment. The slow waves rolling in hardly made a sound — as if the great lake didn’t want to disturb us this early. No wind and no birds could be heard. It was a peaceful contrast to what happened last night. A brief respite perhaps. Because it was not quite over yet.

We wore no shoes and on our way down to the lake we felt the dew in the grass moisten our feet while we ran. Then, when we reached the small stretch by the lake that we had cleared from stones and called beach, the sand stuck to our skin and for a moment it looked as if we wore golden brown socks.

Sophia started to laugh and pointed at my feet. I laughed too, because seeing her laugh eased my pain a bit. If she could laugh maybe all wasn’t lost after all. She gave me hope with that sudden burst. That was the most wonderful feeling I’ve ever had. Hope from nothing. What a wonder! Then the moment passed and our smiles faded fast when we continued our fast trek along the shore.

As soon as we had crossed the patch of sand the sharp stones began to hurt our feet. I regretted leaving without shoes. But there had been no time. We had left in a bit of a hurry without knowing exactly where we were going. I took her hand to help keep her balance as the stones became rocks and boulders. But only a few meters later she scraped her foot on a sharp edge and her tears told me she could not continue at this pace any longer.

Without shoes we were trapped. There was no way out of this. We both knew it, and we knew it even before we ran. We didn’t run to get away. We ran to get a last moment together. I realized that the moment had already passed when we laughed in the sand. That was it. That was all we got. That was the precious moment I would cherish hereafter. That was the magical moment we had made that final run for. For that moment on the shoreline.

Helplessly I saw her sit down, resigned, with her blood and tears flowing.

“Jenny, we’re fucked”, she exclaimed. “Really fucked this time.”