Books: An Abridged Existence (excerpt)

“Hey there Carl, what’s happening?” Sid inquires.

“Just sticking my thumb out for no reason at all,” Carl truthfully answers, then puts his thumb down and looks at Sid. “This place sure is strange. I can’t seem to find a door anywhere.”

“Like the one behind you?” Sid responds. Carl turns around, and sees the plain white door just sitting upright behind him like it is attached to a wall and waiting to be opened.

“Precisely,” Carl answers emotionlessly. He turns around and pulls on the handle, which immediately falls off, and the door swings open. Only the frame remains where the door had once stood. “See you later,” says Carl, as he walks through the door frame and out of sight.

Carl finds himself in a large warehouse, filled with boxes and crates. He wanders about aimlessly for a time looking inside the boxes, whose contents of squid never vary from box to box. He finally comes to a small door at the other end of the warehouse, which he opens and passes though. He finds himself in a room like his laboratory. He sees a faint image of himself busying about working on something. The project that the image is working on appears to be ‘the box.’ However, there are many differences that this device the image is working on has. There are many more cables flowing from the box, and it is open faced. That is, all of its electronic components are exposed to the air, and there are no protective covering from the device. He also notices a new component sitting in the box. This component is rather mysterious, although for some reason Carl knows exactly what it is, and what it makes ‘the box’ capable of doing, if only in theory.

Carl turns around to see Sid walking past the door way, and wandering about the warehouse. Carl turns around once more to see that the laboratory he was earlier in had turned into an open meadow, and upon turning around completely, he realizes that he is now completely in an open field. Crops begin to grow, and he watches them as they grow into large plants, and eventually corn. However, Carl has the feeling that the crops will not be alive for very long. Not soon after, he sees the corn grow brown and die. However, Carl anticipates that the corn has never existed, and this corn fades out and the field appears as if nothing had grown there.

Carl turns around once more to see Sid behind him. However, Sid is not alone. Carl fells the presence of an entity that is slightly inhuman.