The usual rules of time and space do not apply to this universe…
Today, I travelled to the edge. I wanted to meet her. Of course words like ‘today’,’travelling’, ‘edge’ and ‘her’ are considered pretty archaic. But I like collecting and using archaic words.
Before they are lost forever.
I am what you would call a messenger, if the concept of ‘you’ or ‘me’ or ‘messenger’ still existed. In a way it does, or not. Thinking about this makes my head hurt after a while. I’ll avoid dwelling on this from now on and just speak in the simplest way I can, regardless of whether a word or a concept is archaic.
The purpose of my visit was simple enough- I wanted to hear a story.
Stories are powerful. Stories give us purpose.
They told me that she had the most fascinating stories.
Things had been changing over centuries, but one thing that seemed constant was the power of stories.
This was not surprising. After all, we lived in one.
Yes, you heard that right. We live in a story. You can look at it in different ways, as many do: narrative, imagination, randomized algorithm, and so on.There are, of course, constraints and safeguards. The Time Hawker is one of them. I met them today on my journey. I will tell you more about them later.
The best part about being alive in a story is that you can keep creating your own. You can manifest your imagination in a variety of ways. Of course, ‘being alive’ is another archaic concept, since we developed the Supreme Unified Theory of Existence.
I began my journey early in the morning. In order to begin the journey, I needed to connect a thread of my story to a thread of the grand story, within which we exist.
There are different ways to do it. I put myself in a semi auto mode as I travelled, mostly by our equivalent of walking. The scenery was a collage of different living stories as they ebbed and flowed. I could see events colliding, merging, scattering all around me.
The end of the universe was a long way off. Or was it? That was the thing about our world. Since all stories are a part of the grand story, at any point, we exist within or are affected by the stories of others. And we can travel through the stories of others. It is just a matter of connecting oneself to the right threads.
I had connected to a new thread when I saw the Time Hawker. It was not common to see them, and it was considered auspicious.
I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to see the Time Hawker at work, so I stood there for a while. Eventually, they gathered the floating stories with their pole, and with their iconic motion, put the stories and the pole into their sack.
This was followed by making a small cut at the base of the sack. The Time Hawker went on their way. Purplish dandelions started floating out of the cut portion of the sack.
After this rather overwhelming experience I stayed still for some time just reflecting upon it. After a while, I continued the journey. A few threads later, I reached close to my destination. I continued walking.
There was a woman at the edge of the universe. She was dictating something to no one in particular.
The universe was collapsing and recomposing around her.
I walked, clumsily towards her, as was my usual way, and waited. I wanted to hear a story.
She kept dictating. She did not make much sound but I could feel the breath of information coalesce around her. The language, however, was unknown to me.
She kept dictating, at the edge of the universe. And I waited to listen to the story.
The universe kept collapsing and recomposing…..
It was evening (as you would say) when I started my journey back home. Time, or something akin to it, had elapsed, yet I was in thrall to her story. She spoke no language that I knew of, yet her words were seared into my mind. The edge of the universe was beautiful in its way. Narrative threads stretched across what would be the sky, intermingling multihued journeys. Some of them were lower close to where I stood. Some even weaved around me.
I glanced around once. She stood at the far edge, already a myth. She was back to dictating something. Chanting perhaps.
I slowly allowed my narrative to merge with one of the narratives weaving past me. I wasn’t ready to leave, but it seemed like the perfect moment to do so. Home beckoned.