Potter

Potter

A Story by Cadel
"

This is my first story, just wanted some feedback.

"

Potter
By Cadel





Before I begin, I must first explain that I’ve lived my entire life with a strong faith in science and reason, that is, my perceptions were rational as anyone's.  Oh, If you only knew my relief in finally explaining myself! It seems by my use of the word ‘you’ that I have an audience, however I will not, I positively can not, share this story with a single soul, but for ease of understanding, I will continue to write as though I am in fact addressing an audience.  It is also VERY important that you, cherished reader, do not yet know my present location or position in life. All will become clear in due time. I am so glad to finally share my tale!

I’ve always considered myself quite an average person, and even found pride in my averageness.  I work as a teller at Wells Fargo near the plaza that's constantly under construction. Each day, I would reconcile cash drawers by proving cash transactions, Compile with bank operations and security procedures by participating in all dual-control functions, and Records transactions by logging cashier's checks, traveler's checks, and other special services.  Not to contradict myself, but I did always think my work skills were above average, on good days.

My job is-was-my life.  Everything I do, every outfit,  meal, car ride, relationship, dream, aspiration, every breath:  centered around my job. I grew to love filing to work along the grey untended sidewalks. I loved when some greenery would sprout its way through a broken segment of concrete slab, reminding everyone of its existence.  I thought how a distant plant cousin of his would one day be chopped down, ground for its cellulite, processed into paper, and finally make up a cashier's check which I would be so privileged as to Compile with bank operations and security procedures by participating in all dual-control functions, and Records trans… Im sorry, Im sorry, I understand my reminiscence bores you.  

I had few acquaintances, but I felt strongly connected to my work and to elements of my routine.  Being acquainted with life, to me, was plenty. I noticed every little change in my world, changes in my acquaintances, seeing a Bush freshly trimmed, radiated to me: “Hey! Look! I got a fresh cut!” Stepping through my front door, my Sink begged that the dishes be scrubbed and put away.  I thought: “How can anyone have a love greater than the love of their routine!” And I lived this way, every day, just as I had for years.
And I was happy.

Until, one day,  without permission, without the slightest care for my will, certain thoughts began creeping into my consciousness, each thought webbing in a different, more unpleasant direction.  It occured to me that I was alone. For days, my world ceased speaking to me as it once did. My once animated world grew real. Why now? Why now, after all these years?

I obviously continued my routine, reaching for that former world, that world of company and acceptance, that world that didn't dare allow loneliness.  I started to doubt whether I was happy at all, or if I was just reaching, but never quite grabbing, the happiness that I once felt from my routine. Strange the way memory retells itself making you feel as if what you're doing currently is the right thing, the only thing, that will make you happy, and is what has made you happy.  So strange how you can look back on a time with joy even though during that time you were positively miserable. Gloom, depression, sadness, are all words missing from memory’s vocabulary. However, I cannot fault memory entirely, for it reminded me of something important: I once had goals, I once had dreams. Lofty, heroic, above average dreams, but dreams is all they were, that is until life began chipping them away¯¯bringing them down to size�" merging them with harsh realities_all until the dreams became reality itself.  My dreams became work, my dreams became walking on the grey untended sidewalk, my dreams became reconcile cash drawers by proving cash transactions, Compile with bank operations and security procedures by participating in all dual-control functions, and Records transactions by logging cashier's checks, traveler's checks, and other special services.   And I lived this way, every day, just as I had for years.
And it was life.

After realizing my dreams and reality were one, I started thinking, probably too much.  Thoughts overwhelmed my consciousness, actions felt automated and out of my control, as if I was in a perpetual state of deja vu,

Reconcile cash drawers by proving cash transactions, Compile with bank operations and security procedures by participating in all dual-control functions, and Records transactions by logging cashier's checks, traveler's checks, and other special services.
Reconcile cash drawers by proving cash transactions, Compile with bank operations and security procedures by participating in all dual-control functions, and Records transactions by logging cashier's checks, traveler's checks, and other special services.
Reconcile cash drawers by proving cash transactions, Compile with bank operations and security procedures by participating in all dual-control functions, and Records transactions by logging cashier's checks, traveler's checks, and other special services.
Reconcile cash drawers by proving cash transactions, Compile with bank operations and security procedures by participating in all dual-control functions, and Records transactions by logging cashier's checks, traveler's checks, and other special services.
Reconcile cash drawers by proving cash transactions, Compile with bank operations and security procedures by participating in all dual-control functions, and Records transactions by logging cashier's checks, traveler's checks, and other special services.
Reconcile cash drawers by proving cash transactions, Compile with bank operations and security procedures by participating in all dual-control functions, and Records transactions by logging cashier's checks, traveler's checks, and other special services.
Reconcile cash drawers by proving cash transactions, Compile with bank operations and security procedures by participating in all dual-control functions, and Records transactions by logging cashier's checks, traveler's checks, and other special services.

and it went on like this for some months.

Each day became more predictable than the last, it wasn't so much that the events were the same from day to day, but that I started noticing strange coincidences and patterns.  For instance, the other day while scrubbing dishes by the open window, I thought of a ladybug just before one buzzed in filling the air that horrible ladybug smell. If you’re still unimpressed, I have an even more perplexing example.  I was sitting in the break room at work, eating my lunch, thinking how greatly a splash of hot sauce would compliment my meal, when all at once my boss entered to offer me a half empty bottle of Tabasco. Now, cherished reader, as I said before, I don’t believe in superstition, but some unknown forces were certainly at play.  Eventually, nearly every thought i had would shortly after manifest itself into reality.

I felt like I was losing my mind.  Being friendless made matters worse, I had no one to check myself back into reality with, no one to grab my hand and keep me from drifting.  The closest I had to real human companions was rewatching episodes of The Office, but even to this my tolerance grew so numbingly strong that it no longer offered any sense of comfort or company.  I was alone and it devoured every thought. The feeling had conquered me so completely that I finally embraced it, embraced being alone and disconnected from the world. I would lay on my bed for hours, staring at the air between my eyes and the blank white ceiling, dimly aware of the outside world.  My only company was those hundred some cubic inches within my skull. And I lived this way, every day, for months.
And it was.

Now, cherished reader, this is when something truly spectacular happened. Spread across my bed, staring at that same remote ceiling, an abrupt drowsiness possessed me. My eyelids struggled to stay alert as the bed beneath me turned to air and I sunk into a deep black space.  The image of the ceiling faded softly out of my awareness, like falling backwards down a hole, gently being consumed by blackness. The space in which I arrived was dark and infinite.

“This is what death feels like,” I convinced myself, but was for some reason unperturbed.

Floating in nothingness, green lights, lines of brilliant digital green, suddenly pierced the void.

“Hello” an omnipresent voice accompanied the lights.

“Hello?” each cell of my being was frozen from fear.

“I’m emulating your kind’s communication and speech style for your comprehension, you do comprehend, correct?” The lights matched the powerful voice’s every tone and pitch, and returned to black when the voice paused.

“Y-ye-yes I hear you” I timidly confirmed

“Great.  I am Potter.  I know you already so don't trouble yourself with explaining”

“What are you? What is this place? How do I leave!?” An urge to return at once to my routine grew stronger.

“Well, you are ‘between states’ right now, as we call it.  I'm not sure exactly what it looks like for you, each being’s  consciousness constructs how they experience their own ‘between state’ differently based on image data collected from your past experiences.  If you'd like me to describe what you're seeing, I can access your stored data of visual and spatial memory experiences that would combine to create what you are experiencing now.” the confusing lights flashed.

“No, I-I think I’m seeing enough for myself ” I said feeling increasingly inferior.

“It only takes a moment with the rudimentary processing units of your kind.  Here, I got it already: Based on an algorithm which compounds all stored sensory data to which you've been exposed (memories as you call them), your current reality is that you're floating in darkness, you hear a deep male voice speaking ‘english’ and see the soundwaves as a flashing green light.  Oh and your ‘emotional state’ is labeled as ‘fearfully panicked’”

“That is what I’m seeing! But wait. Why am I here? Why did you bring me here?” I was amazed, but I needed answers.

“I did not bring you here. You arrived here without my interference.”

His answer wasn't the least bit helpful, and he knew this so he paused allowing me to gather my thoughts.  I had no idea what I might have done to arrive here. Attempting to relieve my disorientation, I interrogated further.

“How did I get here then?”

“Well, if you'd like, I can examine every interaction of every particle in your universe that led to your existence, and every event that led to you arriving here, in the between state.  Based on the age of your universe, it should take about fourteen billion years in your perception of time.”

I almost began crying.

I shrunk at the very thought of such an amount of time.

“What can you tell me that I don't have to wait so long for?”

“I can explain the nature of your universe”

Every word from Potter only confused and fueled my desire of returning to my own world.  I wasn't even certain I wanted to hear what he had to say. He mistook my silence for attentiveness, his all powerful voice broke in and absorbed me.

“You see, your universe, and you, are a part of a research initiative in which my department is involved regarding the use and misuse of intelligence in thinking beings.”

“I thought you were going to speak english” I thought some humor would lighten the situation, it didn't.

“Put simply, my colleagues and I designed your universe to research the nature of our universe.”

“You mean my life hasn't been real this entire time?! It's been a test?! You are sick! What gives you the right?!”  I felt more detached from reality than I ever had in my life, an urge to throw up grew unbearable.

“No, your life has been real, to you. Your life has been as real as mine and my colleagues’ is to us.  Reality to you is just as real as what's real to me, regardless of why you believe it's real or how it originated.”

His answer was strangely comforting, but uncanny feelings still lingered deep in my soul. (If there even is such a thing!) I needed answers.

“Why would you do this? why would you make a universe?”

“Our aim was to research the effects of giving varying levels of intelligence, reasoning, logic, and thinking capabilities to beings.”

I cut him off: “Please stop calling us beings, it's dehumanizing, were ‘HUMANS’!,” with passion and a tinge of self righteousness.

“Really? Ok. So that's dehumanizing, but finding out that you're a configuration of 1’s and 0’s isn't? Mmkay.”

He continued.

“Anyway, to do this, we programmed three identical worlds: Alpha, Beta, And Delta.
In Alpha, we did not allow any beings capability of complex thought or reasoning.
In Beta, we gave one type of being (yours) the ability to form complex thoughts and ideas with logic and reasoning.
In Delta, we gave them the same capabilities as your universe and the knowledge that their universe is a simulation.  In all three, the beings’ emotional capabilities remained constant.”

“Wait, so I’m from the Beta world?”

“That's correct”

“...So I’m the only one in my entire universe who knows it’s a simulation?” I suddenly felt a surge of pride.

“That’s also correct”

“Well I know about my own world but what are the other two like?”

“The results were profound.  In Alpha world, with no complex awareness, the stars, the sky, humans, animals, plants, all seem to communicate with one another on the atomic level.  The very smallest particles of each and every thing are seemingly in complete harmony with one another. The humans and animals and plants don't act as separate from one another, but as made of the same material only in different formations.  There is a complete lack of, or need for power over anything, everything simply is. Every particle of every being is in a state which we are incapable of describing in terms of your language and range of emotions, the closest definition would be what you call ‘happiness.’”

“But that sounds miserable! They have no Iphones, no air conditioning, no cars, no planes, no hot cheetos, no jobs, no routines!”  I convicted him with the guilt of making those beings incapable of sharing inventions of complex thought.

He ignored my accusatory tone.

“Once we introduced complex thought ability, complex beings began recognising and communicating with one another, eventually forming languages.  With the dawn of language, came a separation of things, defining things as different and eventually humans viewed themselves as separate from nature.  Humans thought themselves different from and better than the materials that made up the world around them, this allowed them to conquer nature and use it to their advantage. Soon, the divi-”

“Hang on. I have to pee. Is there a bathroom in here?”

“...Anyway. Soon, the division of man and nature spread to division in other areas, like division between man and man.  Disagreement among humans led to inventing means of spreading their ideas and ways of thought (books, computers, the internet, Iphones, media) and ways of destroying and preventing opposing ideas and ways of thought (weapons, war, prison,  ).”

“Yep, we need all those things to live” I thought, proud at my civilizations accomplishments. “But wait, what about the Delta world, what happened when you gave them the knowledge that they are in a simulation?”

“When the Deltas discovered they were in a simulation, they began trying to deconstruct everything, reducing everything to rational thought and science.  Knowledge of the simulation left no room for inherent human meaning, they discovered they were just a collection of data in a processor. This greatly reduced the worth of their fellow humans, to the point where they began dominating not only nature, but other humans, too.  By exploiting their greatest minds and manpower, they were able to make themselves god-like within their universe. They invented incredible things, space travel, time travel, teleportation, artificial intelligence, they even managed to entirely eliminate inefficiencies caused by human emotions.  They did away with the emotion processing centers of their brains, and replaced it with an artificial human intelligence, stronger in reasoning, and devoid of feelings like pain, pleasure, guilt, sadness, or happiness.”

“Wow!  I wish we were that advanced!”  The thought of such a brave new world.  “Well, I'm not really sure what to do with all this information now”  I was no less lost than before.

“That’s just the thing, you can not do anything with this information.  You are now at risk of compromising the entire experiment. No one in Beta is supposed to have knowledge of the simulation.  No one in your world can know, and I’m sorry, but you can’t be trusted to remain silent about this.”

I had seen to many movies to like where this was going. “Get it over with fast! Please, don’t let me feel any pain!” I had always imagined I would die in my sleep.

“You don't need to be terminated, we have a solution for minds like yours.  I'm going to re-immerse you into your world.” The green light, my closest companion, echoed through my marrow his final words.

“Stop speaking so vaguely Potter! What's going to happen to me!?”

“Potter?”

“Potter Speak to me!”


But he didn't.

The blackness blanketed me.  Not a sound. Not a light. Just me. It felt like days I layed there, in my head.

That air between my eyes and the blank ceiling slowly assembled back into my awareness, I was leaving the void.  I was coming to and emanating from the ceiling was more and more detail, only this ceiling wasn't my own.

It's nice in here.  Every moment of every day is routine, I can spend a lot of time alone, I've come to enjoy that.  I like to sit in the community room and play solitaire, the cards have the friendliest drawings of dogs and cats on them.  There aren't any sidewalks, but there are colorful painted lines on the polished floor so I know where to go. They bring me my pills in a little paper cup and I like to draw faces on them, I have a collection of them on my windowsill.  The TV is always droning over the other patients’ voices, and sometimes reruns of The Office even come on. And best of all, I have knowledge of things that no one else on earth does. And I live this way, every day, and I always will.
And I am happy.   

© 2018 Cadel


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Reviews

Hi Cadel
You have quite an interesting story here with many thrilling twists. I thought at the beginning that you had mistakenly copy-pasted a sentence where it wasn't supposed to be but later realized how that fit into the story. It created a sense of macabre that gave things an interesting turn.
With the next twist of things happening for the protagonist just when he thought about something, you gave the idea of something supernatural and mystical about to happen, which was intriguing. The direction the story took thereafter was also unexpected!
Overall, the story is pretty good, and I like how you didn't make it end like it was all just a hallucination that the protagonist had because he is in a mental institution or something.

There were, however, quite a few instances of incorrect grammar or punctuation. The dialogue with Potter also seemed a bit haphazard and rushed. I mean, the buildup to that point is really good, but then it was all a bit rushed and informative rather than showy or story-like.

But again, it's a great story. You have a good imagination. :)

Posted 10 Months Ago


I absolutely love it. It's descriptive and has an excellent wording system. I'm bewitched by the scenery that this painted within my head. I also enjoyed the ending sentence very much. I found it to leave the reader (such as myself) content and satisfied with what they had just read. Keep writing, because this was absolutely amazing.

Posted 1 Year Ago



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Added on March 8, 2018
Last Updated on March 10, 2018
Tags: philosophy, psychology, life, identity, reality, goals, dreams, language

Author

Cadel
Cadel

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I'm a college student. more..

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