Short Story The Egg

Discussion in 'The Writer's Corner' started by ReVolver, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. ReVolver

    ReVolver Moderator Staff Member

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    By: Andy Weir

    You were on your way home when you died.
    It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
    And that’s when you met me.
    “What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
    “You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
    “There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
    “Yup,” I said.
    “I… I died?”
    “Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
    You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
    “More or less,” I said.
    “Are you god?” You asked.
    “Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
    “My kids… my wife,” you said.
    “What about them?”
    “Will they be all right?”
    “That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
    You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
    “Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
    “Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
    “Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
    “Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
    “All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
    You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
    “Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
    “So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
    “Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
    I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.
    “You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
    “How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
    “Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
    “Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
    “Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
    “Where you come from?” You said.
    “Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
    “Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
    “Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
    “So what’s the point of it all?”
    “Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
    “Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
    I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
    “You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
    “No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
    “Just me? What about everyone else?”
    “There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
    You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
    “All you. Different incarnations of you.”
    “Wait. I’m everyone!?”
    “Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
    “I’m every human being who ever lived?”
    “Or who will ever live, yes.”
    “I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
    “And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
    “I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
    “And you’re the millions he killed.”
    “I’m Jesus?”
    “And you’re everyone who followed him.”
    You fell silent.
    “Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
    You thought for a long time.
    “Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
    “Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
    “Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
    “No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
    “So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
    “An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
    And I sent you on your way.
     
  2. thewrongvine

    thewrongvine The Evolved Panda Commandant Staff Member

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    Interesting.
     
  3. Syndrome

    Syndrome You can change this now in User CP.

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    Do like.
    Creepy coincidence, I wrote an essay on Philosophy and its the thesis was somewhat similar to the idea of the story where you are everyone and everyone is you.

    EDIT: A thing bothered me and it was this:
    "a larger and greater intellect"
    This kind of makes it seem as though 'God' was referring to his son as a collective being rather than an individual...
    Though that might have been your intention since he's maturing through living other people's lives.
     
  4. Ninva

    Ninva Анна Ахматова

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    For writing critique, I suggest you use a Platonic dialogue instead of using quotations.

    Forethought: I like how you explain morality, but if we were to suspect that this reality is true, then we would have to believe that time is constantly being altered since people are being added within lifetimes. It'd make more sense if there were two souls instead of one soul. For instances, Adam and Eve conceived Cain and Able. If Adam was made first and then died, Eve must be made and then existed with Adam, so Adam's entire past was realigned to Eve's existence. And you can see how this complex will magnify itself. But since this was never explained in your prose, we can not assume that this is so. Thus your philosophy seems flawed.
     
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  5. Syndrome

    Syndrome You can change this now in User CP.

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    Who's to say that you can't be both the first male and first female at the same time? You can't really argue against that. Time doesn't necessarily need to be changed with new people added in.
    Think of it this way, the universe and its history could be set and whatever you do may be fated to happen. That is to say, it feels like you have free will but its all the decisions are already made.
    With that kind of 'condition', which is impossible to prove and disprove atm, this makes his universe very possible. You can be everyone and everyone can be you. It doesn't matter who you live as because you will eventually do the things you do because of fate. Think of each life as a 'videotape' that you play out as till the end, after which you play a different tape.
    Tapes don't change if you play them in different orders.

    That being said, I read the story again and I really REALLY like the idea of it xD
     
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  6. Ninva

    Ninva Анна Ахматова

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    But this would also mean that the soul has been everyone, everywhere already once. Why would god send him "back" in time if there isn't time? The time concept needs to be elaborated or the idea that he needs to experience everyone. I don't think putting new ideas into this story will help it substantially.
     

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