by Melda Uytun
This is a story in two parts. Read Part One here.
They gave me the last lecture on how to control the vehicle yesterday night. It was weird to have all those intelligent and excited people around me for one last time. I’d told them that my brain functioned better at night, so they agreed on meeting in a classroom when everyone else was at home, sipping the last of their wine or reading to their kids. Some of them got emotional during the last lecture. We’ve been together for more than a month so I think they feel like I’m that child who they, as parents, put all their money on.
I’m the bravest and most insane person on earth, though I don’t think it to be true. I think I’m the most realist person on earth, I’m nothing like what they think of me. I chose this because I’m so curious about what’s inside – or on the other side – of the Abyss that it’s been killing me, and most importantly, I know that nothing remarkable or even good will happen to me in my remaining days on earth. Too many people told me that I could never know, a wonderful opportunity could be waiting around the corner, that I could be wasting my life away, how could I even consider doing this. I call them believers in hell, selling hopes to themselves and everyone around them as if it was their duty to do so.
The weirdest concept in this life is hope – it’s not a good thing, but it’s not a bad thing either. It can cause one to disappear completely or rebuild herself. The same thing can be said about love as well, but I don’t think love is as dangerous as hope. Love has variety, and when an average person gets heartbroken once, she doesn’t feel the same way about anyone again; you can be blind only for once. But hope turns you into a fool every time you think there is a chance of something happening, you can’t stop it, you can’t dismiss it, it’s always there, just like your shadow. And for the first time in my life I turned down my last hope; my exhorted curiosity won. I might be killed in the worst way possible when I enter the Abyss, but let me tell you what I think about this: the last thing I see – or feel – will be the Unknown. Even the word makes me shiver.
“And for the first time in my life I turned down my last hope; my exhorted curiosity won.”
The Black Wonder Scientists – that was what they wanted to call themselves, it’s not a particularly creative name if you ask me – state that they actually don’t know what the Abyss is made of. Everything is perfectly normal around the Abyss, nothing out of the ordinary is happening. But where the Abyss starts, it’s as if someone drew a nonlinear weird shape and coloured inside of it with black, blue and green crayons, not mixing them uniformly but changing the ratio of the colours of the mixture here and there. I’ve looked at it a million times in the past month. At first I felt shivery but it wasn’t all because of fear. If you’re like me, when you realise that some kind of a phenomenon is happening and no one knows what to make of it or how to read it or stop it from happening, you tend to stop and watch, hear, feel whatever it is; even if it’s the worst thing that could happen.
I think I like to see it proven that there is a power that’s so much bigger than what humanity is able to do. In all those films about the apocalypse, all the survivors try to keep human race alive, they want to see their line survive. Humanity did nothing well, not for this planet, not for the rest of the universe or the other universes. I would want to see humanity go extinct. The Abyss may not be the destructive phenomenon that I’d always expected but I must tell you now – this is even better. I’m tired of everything we’ve done here and don’t think things’ll ever change now. But if I had the slightest hope, I would do this nevertheless: this tiny little planet is too small and I’ve been dying to know if there is anything, anything else to see, anything beyond our imagination, anything different than everything we’ve known, anything my mind would find hard to comprehend. It really is the greatest risk, like the people on the streets now say about what I’m going to do: death or a miracle. Sort of like life on earth, to be honest. Too many souls leave this earth without living a life, they die somewhere along the way but never tell the others. I haven’t known a soul who lived her life till the end. Earth is full of living ghosts and I’ve been one of them for so many years that I will welcome ‘death or a miracle’ with my arms open. And my eyes, of course. I want to see what is in there more than anything. It could be death or . . . it could be another place in the universe. Could be the same spot in another universe . . . It even could be a wormhole that other beings opened while we were fighting wars and killing each other over religion and hundreds of other pointless things. If this is the case, I’d like to see them first. Then I’d tell them that there’s a sick planet waiting to be saved by any intelligent species, I’d tell them that it has everything but unfortunately it also has humans.
Oh, how it excites me to imagine the possibilities! These final hours could be the best time I had on earth! When – and maybe soon, where – anything is possible, I have nothing else to do but go with the flow. Enjoy the hair-raising impact of the close presence of the unknown.
Knock knock. My final moments here are over. They’ve come to take me.
Melda Uytun is the author of a fantasy novel that you’ll probably never hear of and dozens of unpublished short stories along with a lucky one that received an honourable mention in a competition. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Anglia Ruskin University, where she had the best time of her life. She now lives in a real-life dystopia and wishes there were no borders between countries so she could live wherever she wanted to (but she would probably go back to Cambridge). Since she was 11, she has wanted to be that life-saver author for many readers.