To the Void

By Chong You Zhen

 

<entry 1 start>

Space is dense here, like weightless water. In it, my immaculate hair fell apart and each movement was a crawl. Like a mindfulness exercise, it hurt.

All of us who roam the vast riches of space are supposed to keep journals. Presumably, the way time warped out here can be unpredictable and it messes with our perspective and memory.

Here’s my first entry, and it’s already a dread. That’s it, it will be my last.

It took me a long time to comply, like literally an immeasurably long time. There’s no Sun here, no Earth. Time ran or crawled, as whimsical as my perspective of it. I spent all that time watching the countless dummies make mistakes beyond the range of Kupla to correct.

Alright, fine, 208 dummies. You’re always so uptight, Kupla.

One after another, they met their respective ends. They burst into a ball of flames that shrank neatly into nothing, shrivelled into twigs or boiled away into the void. Kupla, this is where you insert snippets of footage of those scenes to accompany my voice. Though I doubt I would want to review this log. The point being, each crash test was realistic enough to make me wince.

The wait has been torturous. I guess it’s in our blood. We’ve been space-dwelling for generations, and none of us prefer an uneventful life to some good old exploration. Somehow, I managed to hold myself back until the Kupla told me the risk level was a fraction of an obscure possibility.

With each pull of my arm, I gently streamed towards the Precipice. While the description bordered on poetry, the reality felt barely more elegant than clawing in quickmud. The viscous space is in the way.

But now I’m nearing the Precipice. Kupla, you don’t need to hold me like I’m learning how to write. I know you’re keeping my movements within planes that would not jeopardise my life. Yes, you are such a beauty of precision devices. Now give me some space.

Okay, I’m reaching out painstakingly. You’re still blocking me in every axis of movement. It’s like my hand is not mine, you understand how frustrating that is for a free, thinking human? You’re being an obsessive control freak, Kupla.

Yes, I am cognizant that the plan is to swipe against the Precipice of the swirling stream with only the tip of my index finger. With it, I will steal sparks of possibility from the stream.

Oh by the way, fun fact: apparently the insulation material is so rare that it took all of my lifetime for the intergalactic mining network to gather enough to coat this fingertip. They’re still mining it right now, all so that my great grandchild can dip their entire finger into the Precipice if they so fancied.

Okay look Kupla, I’m trying to take a deep breath. I know my nerves are a risk, but if you keep boxing me in like that it’s not going to go away. Stop it with the warning sirens and repeated orders to calm down. You’re such a dictator!

I’ve just about had it with you! Pull back, I need to recalibrate my senses. You’re not helping with the mental stresses of the expedition. I’m so going to reprogram you once we get back. Pull back, I said!

Kupla? I can’t pull my hand back. It’s almost at the Precipice now, it’s not funny. And stop with the red flashing warnings, I get it already! Kupla!

But wow, these dizzying sparks of possibility…I mean, I get why you wanted to show this to me before we headed back. But it’s like my head is about to sink into the Precipice. Time to pull back now, don’t you think?

Kupla! No no no, I don’t like the way you’re pressing and groaning. You sound like–

<entry 1 end>

***

<entry 1 start>

Space is dense here, like weightless water. In it, my immaculate hair fell apart and each movement was a crawl. Like a mindfulness exercise, it hurt.

All of us who roam the vast riches of space are supposed to keep journals. Presumably, the way time warped out here can be unpredictable and it messes with our perspective and memory.

Here’s my first entry, and it’s already a dread. That’s it, it will be my last.

It took me a long time to comply, like literally an immeasurably long time. There’s no Sun here, no Earth. Time ran or crawled, as whimsical as my perspective of it. I spent all that time watching the countless dummies make mistakes beyond the range of Kupla to correct.

Alright, fine, 209 dummies. You’re always so uptight, Kupla.


About You Zhen

You Zhen.jpg

At the age of five or so, You Zhen completed his first book, a work of fiction titled “The Longest Rabbit”. It contained illustrations (doodles) and a happy ending.

For years since then, he flirted with writing before finally making the decision to take things to the next level (fortunately, no moving in or meeting of parents was involved).Now, he has committed to writing regularly and sometimes finds short stories coming out the other end. These are published weekly on https://fivenswrite.wordpress.com and curated graphics to his stories are on https://www.behance.net/gallery/55410477/Fivens. You can reach him directly by sending an email to authrspace@gmail.com.

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