One More Light

One More Light

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

It happened again. The dream where trillions of stars went out in the night sky. One by one, then dozens, until finally, all that remained was the full moon that slowly faded to nothing. The icy chill of nothingness wrapped its fingers around us all. Something we, as a whole—as humans, were not accustomed to. Sharing the same fate, the same grief. The light of the universe had gone out. There was no hope left. There was only death.

As I stared around, I saw people running rampant in the streets. The only light that lit up the sky was the faint glowing of city streets and raging fires. I thought it funny in a way. All the times we spent polluting the air with fake images, adverts, lights and otherwise that masked the beauty of the universal splendor that encompassed us. We were but a drop in the ocean. Now, though, the ocean had dried up.

I was gifted with an unusual ability. The one I didn’t understand, at least at the time. Now that the sun had died and the rest of the universe had gone dark, we were probably the only place left in existence that dared defy the darkness. I thought, so very like us; to confront, challenge and try to fight against the odds. Sadly, it wouldn’t be something we could ever hope to win.

The planet was beginning to freeze, and casualties were already high. Many countries resulted just ending it all by nuclear war. A lot of people committed their last acts of sin, proclaimed their love to their significant others and families, killed themselves, murdered other people. Observing it was hard, though enduring it was as hard.

I spoke of a gift that I possessed. On the day of my death, I said goodbye to my wife and kids. I was jettisoned from my body. I traversed in spirit through a blue-white portal that took me to the realm of the living…in another universe. I opened my eyes and looked around. Indeed, I was alive. How I could not tell you.

Then there came the telltale signs of the end to which I bore witness to. I tried to reason with my family and friends. I tried telling everyone. I tried social media, blog posts, anything I possibly could. I was called a liar, a crazy person, banned from church, labeled as insane, and that I should have my children taken away from me, and my wife divorce me.

Weeks before NASA had some reports that said stars in various solar systems were dying at a rapid rate and that it was spreading fast. I had sat with my wife and kids when I watched the announcement and had a grin on my face. I had told them all the truth, but none would listen.

On the evening of when the stars went out as I had once experienced it, I told my wife and kids that I would see them again. I gave them an embrace and like before; I left my body. My physical form dropped to the ground, and I was sent to another universe.

I had stopped counting how many Earths I have visited. Each time, I felt like I was getting more and more lost with why I have such a gift. What purpose was there in my ability? What good was it if I can’t save my family, friends, let alone humanity? I don’t want to be a hero…I only want to be with my family. I don’t want to carry our problems to the next world, where it seemingly already exists. So many thoughts, hypotheticals and such flooded my racing mind as I traversed universes.

While I was lost in thought, I could have sworn I saw myself but dismissed it as a possible reflection of time, since it seemed like a mirrored hallway when I’d reach the precipice of traveling from one point to another. I shook my head and disregarded it as just a coincidence.

At last, I came to a universe where the light was still lit. Our world, however, was nothing like it was when I had left. Irradiated and in a unique stasis field, where only our solar system existed. However, humans had become disfigured and decrepit—resembling the walking dead, but with our typical wit and sense.

I noted the surrounding and how familiar it was to me.

“How did you get here?” a raspy woman’s voice inquired.

“The light in this universe hasn’t gone out yet?” I replied.

The woman shook her head. “It has. Our solar system is the only one left in the Darkness.”

“What happened then?” I asked.

The woman’s black eyes looked to the ground and then back to my eyes. “A man came from another time with a gift that could provide us with new lives,” she gestured with his hands, “this is what became of us. He, however, has been gone for some time.”

She cleared her throat and asked again where I came from.

“I come from another time. Where the Darkness, as you so call it, took place,” I said.

The woman nodded. “A lot of people died you know.”

I nodded in reply. “I know, I was there until I finally started traveling.”

The woman began to weep.

“What’s wrong,” I asked her.

She wiped away a murky tear and gave a broken smile. “We never once stopped believing you’d find us again.”

 

 

 

This was also posted on A.B.Normal Publishing and Media Group.

Johnny Nightwalker: Aftermath

“Lad, you’re alright,” shouted a familiar voice.

Red, Chico, Pierre, and the other guardians, followed by a horde of people appeared.

“I guess we’re late?” asked Chico, looking around.

“What about them? They killed people,” voices from the herd of individuals began to spout cries of vengeance against the former Horsemen.

“they’re not the enemy. They’ve…done wrong, yes. But they were engineered for that at the start. They’ve defied their existence and destiny of hate, ravaging, and death,” said Johnny as he looked to the disparaged group.

“Bullshit!”

“Kill them!” The crowd erupted into a frenzy.

The trio sighed.

“Yes, look at this pathetic lot. Strike them down. Kill them! Take their lives! Pave the way for the future…the future where man submits; is subjected and subjugated to their errors! See only the wrong! Kill them in your god’s name!” Omega’s voice boomed over the field.

No…it can’t be!

There, he manifested before them all, hovering in the air.

“Cower at the sight of your God. The Alpha—The Omega! Kneel!”

Troves of people tried to flee, while some knelt one fear for their lives. The runners were all slain by an invisible force.

“Suffer. Die. Give yourselves to me,” Omega said.

He raised his arms to the heavens and summoned the beasts of a nightmare, the very ones Johnny remembered from his dream.

The sky began to turn crimson under the high sun.

“Let the day become the last any of you shall ever come to know!”

War collapsed to the ground, his brothers around him. “We can’t beat him,” he said.

“No, not alone,” said Johnny.

“How? What chance do we have?”

“I need your powers…only then can I do it.” Johnny sighed. “But it comes with a price.”

“Whatever it is…whatever it takes…we’ll do it,” said War. “It’s only fitting that we correct the mistake we did…and helped unleash.”

“So, how do we do this? Hold hands,” asked Famine.

***

Up high, Omega hovered and observed the spectacle as automatically and systematically picked off any people that dared tried to flee. “How cute, they think they have a chance,” he said aloud. “No matter… nothing matters whatever you have concocted for a plan against me, it will fail. That’s all you were—ever will be. Failures.”

Johnny began to assimilate the Horsemen’s powers. Red, purple, and blue all illuminated from Famine, Death, and War. Soon, they became nothing. Johnny fell to his knees and gasped for air.

“All that power and it’s wasted on you—you! Of all the things that were created,” Omega roared. Then he sighed, “Though, I suppose I should thank you. You are just one neat little package ready to be stolen from the Christmas tree. No more mommy. No more daddy. Let’s see who gets bragging rights,” Omega grinned.

Johnny stood up, poised with a vengeance that coursed throughout his veins. “I will make you pay for what you’ve done. To my parents—our parents, the people of this planet, the Horsemen. EVERYONE. I will end you and what chaos you dare try to usher in.”

Omega waved a finger at Johnny, a beam of lightning arced down in front of him. The attacks became more frequent. He tried to dodge as he could. He felt the energy and heat that rushed to him. He clenched his eyes shut and shielded himself.

“Johnny,” Chico and the other guardians cried.

He stood there unscathed—the lightning absorbed. He rolled it around his hand and between his fingers. Johnny then eyed Omega mischievously.

“Is this yours?” he said.

He hurled the ball of lightning at Omega and teleported behind him. Bringing both of his hands over his head and smashing Omega down towards the blast. There was a glorious explosion of blue-white that rained down sparks below.

The cloud dissipated and revealed an unharmed Omega. “That was amusing. However, as you can see…” Omega gestured with his hands, “not even a scratch.”

Johnny gritted his teeth and readied for another assault.

JOHNNY “NIGHTWALKER” IS AN ONGOING A.B.NORMAL PUBLISHING EXCLUSIVE STORY BY ROBERT J. S. T. MCCARTNEY. CHECK HERE FOR MORE POSTS.
Previously

The Synthetic Prophecy

The Synthetic Prophecy

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

 

 

“Many years ago, I was blessed with a vision. Whether it was by an almighty being of the cosmos, my creator or whatever the sort was beyond me. It was a vision I discarded as being nothing more than just a mere dream. I was five or six…so I never took it as being a prophecy…or an event to come to pass. Most science fiction, dystopian, or post-apocalyptic stories have something similar. I chopped it up to being nothing more than an influence by something I had once seen on the television.

Then it came to pass…

One afternoon, I was traveling with my mother. We were running errands; the basic kind, you know. We had ventured to the local grocery store. As we had exited the vehicle and neared entering the establishment, the sirens began to sing…

People shrugged it off as another test of the Emergency Broadcast System. Then, inside the store, all the TV’s, all the monitors, all the cell phones, everything cried and warned with the coming end. An attack was made. The target? Our location along the West Coast. People ran. Panicked. Cried.

I looked up and saw them in the bright azure sky streaking towards us like rebel burning diamonds against the daylight. I felt my stomach sink. My hands had begun to sweat in my mother’s grasp.

A voice chanted, “Initiate Evacuation Protocol: Disembark. Repeat. Disembark.”

One by one, then dozens, thousands, millions…people dropped to the ground. I, myself watched as my body dropped to the ground. I looked over and saw my mother’s body drop limply upon the ground. Everyone flew up into the sky, a blue-white streak against the azure grain. We watched as the missiles struck the ground, the buildings, and reduced everything to a fiery crater. War had come. We were the first to be hit, and we certainly wouldn’t be the last.

We spiraled through the cosmos; flying by stars, buzzing by planets…Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, so far away from the sun, watching the Earth become a mere speck. Until then, we arrived. A new home. A new hope. Here.

We all awoke to our new mechanical bodies, synthesized humans. Robots. The Singularity may have saved us…or rather given us a way to escape death. However, back on Earth, many were trapped. Left to endure the war that took place. It is only a matter of time until it follows us here.”

The now young man appearing synthetic human opened his eyes and stood up before the crowd around him. “Surely, we could try to outrun our demise…or we can embrace a destiny where we fight back, survive. When they come—and they will, we will be waiting. We will return. We will reclaim our home planet. They will call us ‘alien’ but eventually, they will see…” He reached down and took up a foreign weapon. “We are more human than they are. We will save those left behind.”

Expectations

What are your expectations? It doesn’t matter if it’s in business, life, a career, sex, your spouse (or significant other/mate), food, eating out, a new video game, your president, your government, etc.

Where did you set the bar? High? Low? Somewhere in the middle? Do you set certain expectations high in your list that only you know about?

With people nowadays, you can see something like:

“10/10. Would bang again.”— Internet Troll

“Drove like a snail in rush hour traffic. Wouldn’t recommend. 1 star.”— Anon Uber App User.

or maybe something like:

“They looked great but was horrible in the sack. Also found out now I have The Clap.” — Anon, Booty Call App User

I mean, we have a president that uses Twitter to influence others; ratings can go up or tank at a single whim.

This leads to the next point: Reviews—they’re similar you know. In fact, they’re mostly just the faux mask that covers “expectations.” You are reviewing your expectations and addressing those expectations of an establishment, book, place, person, etc.

Some folks nowadays can’t function very well out in the world without the strong opinion of “the elite.” You know the folks that are on Yelp that say “Elite ’15, 16, 17,” and so on? Or “highest reviewer” accredited to their username via Google+.

No, I am not one of those folks.

There are tons of horrible people, sure. However, there are a lot of good people in the world too. We’re humans. It is expected. You can sort and sift through reviews and you get a glance—a glimmer of what type/kind of person someone is. Not only by their history of visits, purchase history, and the sort but by how you are being told how they interacted with whoever they are reviewing [this also constitutes an establishment, customer service, etc.].

“I had a bad experience here. They threatened my fish.” — Anon

“Food was horrible. I wouldn’t even consider bringing it home and giving it to my dog.” — Anon couple; I actually overheard this one.

There are millions of reviews out there. Those who feel the need to make a point. Those who must feel the need to feel needed. Those that seek others satisfaction.

Ah, the Digital Age.

The Internet is a wonderful, yet, scary place to be on. You have an insurmountable wealth of knowledge and tools. Yet we spend hundreds to thousands of hours watching cat videos. Fragging people [Nothing wrong with that, game on! And yes, that is me being bias.]. Stealing other peoples’ identity. Hacking elections. Ousting pedophiles that have horrible images on their computer drives. I can keep going.

Technology has changed us—humanity. The human race. Technology knows no racial bias (except maybe console versus PC; Sony vs. Microsoft, .etc but that’s reaching at best.). It knows what we have programmed it to be. What we want it to be. What advances we want. Cures. Curse. Death. Damage. What can we do to inflict unto others? The good intermingled with the bad and vice versa.

You may ask, “What the hell does that have to do with expectations? Why did you bring up reviews? Who the hell threatens a fish?”

Well, we expect a lot. So much from businesses, people, schools, etc. Our family. Some men expect women to put out on the first date. We expect food to be hot (or cold) and served at our preference. We expect to be put first, high up on a pedestal. Some people expect their religion is right and is superior to another person’s. We expect the loser to go home crying. . .with a participation trophy. We expect too much—as a society, a whole. It’s a path that can—and will—lead us to our downfall. We cater too much, while not giving a damn about consequences. Enter your “keyboard warriors,” cyber bullies, trolls, etc.

Great expectations.

We are not a community that is so transparent. Well, we are. . .when it comes to greed. But that’s another lengthy discussion, though. We’re not a close-knit community that really backs each other up, helps one another without expecting something in return, gratification, or simple enough—money.

Technology has sped up our dehumanization and desensitization. When we are able to truly modify our bodies as cyborgs and/or androids, will a person even care about anyone else? Would we still exist as being. . .human?

That “eternal salvation” of uploading your memories and consciousness to the Internet (Transcendence on crack), while say, a meteor that will destroy mankind indefinitely here on Earth, but elsewhere in the galaxy or universe, we are beamed via satellite signal to space and wake up in new sleek android models. It was just a few seconds in delay to us, but in actuality, it was a hell of a long time.

I digress. Simply put, times have changed. The radical evolution of societal influence and lack of actual human interaction, the lessening of empathy, lack of sympathy, morals tossed out the window, common sense that is now rare, and so on.

We often like to say that we are the superior race, especially, when it comes to man versus beast. However, are we really that much better? Cool—poseable thumbs, a large neocortex, “alleged capabilities of complex problem solving, and operating weapons of mass destruction.” Sure, I guess we are. I suppose I would say that sardonically, because I know even after we are all gone, Nature will go on without us. It has for millions of years and will.

Sure, I guess we are. I suppose I would say that sardonically because I know even after we are all gone, nature will go on without us. It has for millions of years and will continue to.

You can consider this, I suppose a young person rambling on. Perhaps. But would you disagree? That there are a lot of issues that are presented here that are of importance and relevant, that are just tossed aside like everyday refuse? Swept under the rug. Dismissed and barred from public discussion because it’s a “no-no” and would make someone else upset and they might break out the whips and chains [Not the good kind either.].

Suicide, depression, anxiety, PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder], bullying, all of these and more are getting quite out of hand. As a sufferer of one of these many. . .side effects. . .I’ve made it my way of life to explore them, help others, learn other peoples’ stories and experiences, and even just listen. We all bleed the same. We all break. When, how, and why, though will come in to question.

So, you will see posts about suicide. Depression. Anxiety. PTSD. Other mental health issues and such. Writing is my therapy. It’s my way of sharing with others. Though it may be fiction in some ways, you do not have to feel silenced, judged, oppressed. With how news, media, and press are getting gagged, misinformation everywhere, etc. What’s next? Writers of fiction and non-fiction are hunted? We’ll see, right?

While I hope to entertain people, make it my career, provide expectations, get reviewed—I do it for myself. Do you want to know who my most cynical critic and ball-breaking is? It’s me. Granted, I am changing that way to not giving a damn completely, it’s still a process. I want to write just for the pure enjoyment I get out of doing it; being a god amongst men and women, creating worlds, life. In the very same manner—becoming death, chaos, a destroyer of worlds and relationships.

I could go on and on. . .though I would like to know: what are your expectations in life right now?

I will end with one of my favorite quote from the movie Legend with Tim Curry and Tom Cruise.

“The dreams of youth are the regrets of maturity. Dreams are my speciality. Through dreams, I influence mankind.” — The Lord of Darkness; Tim Curry

I wish you all well. Be safe and take care. The world is a mess. . .but it is a beautiful mess under all those bandages.

RJM

 

P. S. While I reintroduce some works, I invite you to check out a free ebook on the Kindle store: Abnormal Side Effects. If it’s not free for your region, then I invite you to a free copy here.

Feel free to talk with me, too. I don’t bite. Too hard.