The Place With the Answer


F I C T I O N


Saam Hasan


His eyes slowly opened. Everything around him was still half dissolved, a blur of colour and fogginess. Where was he? Who was he? Something tingled. What could it have been? He wanted to know, he wanted to see more than this single lined view that refused to make itself discernible to his eyes. Was that possible? Could he move? Well, there was no reason to believe otherwise, but how?

Perhaps if he conjured some other thought, his eyes would take him onto something else. Eyes, yes he had eyes. He knew that, though he wasn’t sure of their nature. In fact, what was his nature? Who was he? He gathered all his focus, desperately willing for something else to meet his sight, something that would fill the blank spaces in his thoughts.

And then, it happened. His view rotated, allowing him to see what was underneath and around him. There was a strange object dangling to his left, and another to his right; five small tubes were fixed to their ends. Ahhh, yes that was it. The tingling, it was coming from there, from the tubes. But how could the sensations coursing through these mysterious things be felt by his thoughts? Unless… Impossible! These things were joined to him, they were part of him. But again, what was he?

He had to know. There had to be a way to obtain these answers. Or perhaps there was someone who could help him. But for that, he had to move even more. Not just his eyes, his entire being. There was no telling what else constituted his self, but he had to re-establish dominion over all of it. Hmm, re-establish? Does that mean there was a time when he possessed absolute control? Yes, there was. It seemed incredulous he should possess such knowledge, but he absolutely knew this to be true — which could only mean his answers were out there waiting for him to find them. All he had to do was know where to look.

Move — he had to move. His eyes were stripped off all restraint, scanning, and imbibing whatever they pleased. By sheer will, they had forced the surroundings to settle down. He could see everything now. There were tall trees, rising high as the sky itself. Underneath him was a carpet of green with an odd red mosaic every now and again. There was something else, two in fact. More strange objects with small tubes rising from their extremities. Could they also be…

Yes they were, they were parts of him. There were even more. A slab of swishing, grinding, slobby something that connected the four appendages to one another. What an odd creature he was. Move — he still had to move. With all his will, he fiercely commanded his being to go forward. Lo and behold his body answered the call. He lumbered forward. Yes, now he could look for the place with the answers. But where could it be?

Onward he went, wandering this vastness for clues. As he trod, a sound began to reach him. It entered him through these curious holes he had, one on his top left and one on the top right. After some time, this continuous droning sound became his guide. It intensified when he took certain turns so he continued along those paths. Was that the correct interpretation? Who knew…

Finally, he found himself at the foot of a tall earthen giant, where the beating was its loudest. He began to scale it. Higher and higher he climbed until he was stood at the peak. But he was not alone. At the opposite edge, he could see another figure. Half ecstatic and half maddened, he rushed towards them. The other person did the same. As they neared, his eyes could strip bare their identity. It was…him.

Two copies of the same being stood opposite one another. Suddenly, the beating rose to a fever-pitch. It was here he realised it. He had not been following the sound. The sound had been coming from within him. From within the slab of flesh and bone and blood that made up his bulk. At that point, another sound entered the air. It was coming from slightly higher. He flailed his arms, feeling for it. There was something on top of him. Not, rather, it was his very top. An oval object, hard with many features. The sound was coming from there.

Is that where his answers were? Perhaps. What a cruel comedy. It certainly was the last place he would have thought of looking.

 


Whether it’s pop culture, fiction or politics, writing is Saam’s ultimate passion and reprieve. 

 

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