Short Stories

The Universe of Nothing: A Short Story

In the end, there is nothing. There is no sea of nothing. There is neither absence nor the presence of nothing, but nothing.

The sun that has once emitted its cosmic rays delivering its light for all to see shines no more and has faded from a glorious star to piles of dust. The moon that has enchanted man and living creatures since the dawn of time with its haunting, luminous glow has crumbled into rocks and ashes. The stars that once shone from millions of light years away have faded back to the dust that once danced with sparkling crowns in unity across the sky. The planets that once revolved around the sun no longer exist. Perhaps they have fallen out of the orbit before the great hole in the center of the universe swallowed every celestial body that has ever existed. The Universe has folded itself into nothing, yet the blackness, the absence of the Universe, knows no bounds.

A lone being stands on the other side of this hole. He lives on, breathing, dreaming, pondering…Lost in his thoughts, he turns his head around, hoping to find something familiar, at least a fragment of a lost memory in the empty blackness surrounding him. He calls out the names of his loved ones, but the void swallows them whole, while a sense of despair washes over him like the black waves of the sea of shadows…the shadows of oblivion. The oblivion that has haunted him night and day, but time has forgotten all what once was remembered.

There is no universe to exist upon, yet he finds it paradoxical that he is still in existence. To ensure that this is so, he takes a gulp of air, inhales, and exhales…But if the Universe has ceased to exist, there is no air to breathe…and he shouldn’t be feeling what he is currently perceiving to be feeling...

Yet I am still breathing…I feel the rush of air in my lungs, though there is none…Why?

His mind spins. But his body is still.

His bones creak with age and the weight of the universe, yet his youthful visage forms a blank stare. He is breathing…yet he wonders why he is still breathing if there is no air left to breathe…if all of the air around him has collapsed into nothing…

Why am I here? Why do I breathe if there is nothing to breathe? Why do I live if the Universe is neither living nor dead? Why am I aware of my own consciousness when I should be experiencing the consciousness of the state of being unaware of this state of mind? Am I so lost that I am spinning around in oblivion with nothing to reach for, nothing to dream of…nothing to exist for.

He closes his eyes and lets his mind wander above the blackness his hollow body is imprisoned in…