• Published 6th Jan 2016
  • 4,200 Views, 2,657 Comments

What If... - TheMajorTechie



A buncha stories based off of random "What if?" questions.

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The 2018 Techie Hiatus Miniseries (Beyond the Shimmering Sky)

Author's Note:

This won't be the last of the original stories I'm working on.

Story title: Beyond the Shimmering Sky

Not quite a story, not quite a thought. This more or less explores the general mindset of people as a whole.

There exists the knowledge that there is far more out there, far beyond our reaches. Out amongst the stars there exists the unknown, and whether we see it or not depends solely on our curiosity.

This story, however, begins not with the infinite depths above, but with a bustling city. Within this unnamed city lived a child. This child had no name, for they were never given one. Everything they knew tied back into the unnamed city that they called home.

It’s not very hard to assume things. You’d assume that this child would have parents, or if this story was of the tragic kind, that said parents would be deceased, or perhaps abusive. In truth, it is neither of these.

Sometimes, vagueness is key. To keep something within the unknown sparks a sense of curiosity. It brings us back to when we could watch the world forever, never speaking, never complaining. This is the point of the story. Not to create a world, but to allow the reader to see theirs in a new light.

Perhaps the city isn’t really a city. Perhaps it’s a small hamlet by the river, or a gleaming metropolis bordering the endless ocean. Perhaps this child is the reader, or even the author themselves.

Nevertheless, we shall keep this child as they are: vague.

~~~{}~~~

One beautiful morning, the child sat staring out the window from their bed. All at once, they saw the past and the future, but not the present. They saw the past in the low-hanging rooftops and streetsigns of yesteryear, and they saw the future in the shining buildings on the horizon, always shrouded in a swirling abyss of clouds. They saw the light in the day, and the dark in the night, but never the mornings and evenings, for they always belonged to either the former or the latter.

The present never shows its face. Every event in time is instantly the past, and every event that is to occur is always the future. The present, however, is only a designation; a frame of view for events that have occurred in the near-past.

The child continued to stare, their eyes never shifting away as they watched the world go by.

The days and nights came and went, the future became the past. The beautiful city came to vanquish the sagging rooftops that once littered the child’s view.

Yet, at the same time, the child never slept. They never ate, nor did they drink. Nothing could take their eyes off the horizons far beyond.

Beyond what? Certainly not beyond reach, for we have conquered all but the deepest of oceans and the infinite nature of the cosmos itself. At the same time however, we are far from conquering even the smallest fraction of what there is to learn. With that, the child stares not at the physical horizon, but the horizons of imagination; the final frontier for all there is to know.

The horizon stretches far. The distance it stretches is to everyone’s concern, and no-one’s concern. It is relative to every being. Some may intentionally draw it closer, others may shove it forever beyond reach, always pushing further against the horizon of imagination with every step.

And so, the child stared. They stared, and stared, and stared, days grew into weeks. Weeks into months, months into years, and years decades. But the child still stared. The child never aged, for curiosity never grows old.

As the flow of time became but a blur in the eyes of the child, a peculiar thing began to occur. Strange things began to happen before their eyes. Buildings would abruptly shrink away into the distance, fading forever into obscurity. New buildings would spring from the ground to take their place, buildings covered by familiar sagging rooftops, buildings with beaming steel and glass.

Sometimes, the child would spy gatherings of people both within and outside of the buildings. Sometimes, these people would be donning pristine clothing, their hands clasped together as they themselves stared at a central focal point. Sometimes, these people would be a ragtag collection of tired faces, their arms outstretched as they scratched and bit each other over a measly portion of bread. Sometimes, these people would cheer and whoop, their fists pumping in the air as one of their own walked a stage.

Sometimes, there would be no people whatsoever.

Nevertheless, the child looked onward.

Yet, the child never stirred. There they stood for eons, a figure frozen within time itself, forever watching the world go by.

~~~{}~~~

Once upon a time, there was a young child. They lived, they loved, and as the years passed, they grew up.

Once upon a time, there was nothing but awe and wonder to the world. One day, however, the awe dulled, and the wonder faded to the winds.

~~~{}~~~

One day, the child blinked. All at once, every experience, every dream, nightmare, and emotion sprung to life. The child turned away from the window, their eyes once again alit with the colors of wonder. No longer were they fated to stare into the abyss of the infinite reality, but rather they were now able to experience this reality.

The world was awash in color. The brilliant blue sky clashed against the cool grass below in an endless battle for dominance. The gleaming buildings of glass and steel towered over the little brown huts that dotted the land.

Most importantly, for the first time in what seemed to be forever, the child smiled. They smiled, for even after so many years of staring, they knew that there would always be more.

They knew that there was still hope, that there was still joy in the world, even amongst the cold, unfeeling labyrinths of concrete that had become of the cities they saw. They knew that not everything there was to be learned was yet known.

Because in the end, we’re still only human.

There is no limit beyond the shimmering sky. Keep dreaming.

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