Jared Broker's Blog

The Neutron Star that Ignited in my Skull - MWG Ch4 (Sci-Fi)

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I stumbled towards the beach in a familiar haze for a little recovery nap. The sun was contorting my face into a miserable scowl squint that relaxed every time I crossed under shade. My flip flops were heavy as my head throbbed and body pulsated. Finding a spot on the crowded beach by the pier, I unpacked my towel and sweatshirt from my backpack.

I heavily laid down on my back, perception gently rotating, then snapping back to center. I was intensely hungover again, antsy and jittery, annoyed and full of self hatred. I moved my folded sweatshirt under my head. "I need some fuckin' weed" I thought as I began to relax.

I desperately intended to get outside myself and allow the sun to melt away my dehydrated misery. It was rare that I was without a morning hangover, but this one sucked badly. It's another one of those desperate mornings of emptiness where the body doesn't seem able to regulate its temperature.

My body seemed to alternate between cool and hot, about 20 degrees every minute or so, not fun. I rolled up my beach towel and formed a pillow in the sand beneath.

A few seconds after I rested my head on the sand through my blanket, my closed eyes began fluttering as if in REM sleep. "This seems better", I thought as I floated away. There was a distant, detached knowing that I had fallen into some sort of trance.

My sense of self gently dissolved. I was left in a space of soft red and white light, as if a distant neon electrified a foggy atmosphere. The entirety of my awareness began to pulse in step with my eyeballs squinting and "un-squinting" through closed eyes.

The red oscillated into the white light, then darkness. Red, white, dark, red, white, dark, the pulsing raced faster and faster. It felt like my entire head was blinking from the base of my skull in step with my eyes!

Suddenly, an intensely glowing white-blue ball of energy presented itself to my perception. Obviously a star similar to Sirius A had ignited inside my head or maybe I was seeing our sun in a different wavelength. It was slowly rotating, or maybe my awareness was slowly rotating around it inside my head. In any case, "I" had been set aside for the moment. I was a galactic observer, unaware of my position.

The cranium star fizzled with energetic loops geometrically spaced over its surface. The sense of me continued to fade away. There was a deep relief from the fact I was finally dying. I was intrigued and completely resigned.

My body was in a soft paralyzed state, my breathing gentle. What a nice beach scene for death! How many breaths do I have left? Was that the last one? It doesn't matter.

The orbiting slowed to a stop, or it stopped rotating in relation to my perspective. The star seemed to be inhaling a large breath, prepraring to initiate a huge event.

As the bohemoth came to a halt, my focus was directed to a newly emerging split along one of its geometric bands. "Oh shit, that doesn't seem good", I heard-felt from deep within my being. I anticipated that I was about to be annihilated by an energy blast of some kind. I had no eyes to close. The energy crack parted slightly as if this blue-white star were smiling at me, revealing a shocking contrast of oblivion within it.

Through the fissure surged a wave of white light energy directed at "me". The neutron star had become a pulsar. The energy was emitted towards, within, and around my conscioussness with such force that I was sure the galaxy was being vaporized. I was utterly inundated. Hopefully, the damage would be confined to this section of the Milky Way.

Thoughts of "me" and "mine" returned forcefully into my awareness. Had our city been hit with a nuclear bomb? Am I having a stroke? Did I forget that I took a large dose of psychedelics recently? Dozens of these possibilities cycled every second, though time was a foreign idea right now.

As this crack of infinite energy in spacetime washed through me, I was violently shoved back into my body. Sitting bolt upright on my beach towel in a sheer panic, I exhaled with a loud and desperate gasp. I was back on Earth, somehow alive. How long had my breath been held?

My heart thudded against my sternum, throat, and abdomen. My neighboring beach goers shot me those all too familiar looks reserved for us maniacs, drunks, and addicts. Yes, yes, I was a madman. They don't know how lucky they are at not being vaporized.

Sweating, hungover, dazed, still in a partial trance, I hastily shoved my shit into my backpack. When something like this happens, there is only one thing to do. It's time to find the nearest beach bar to ponder this event and find a little numbness.

My prevailing feeling was of relief that the Earth still existed. I felt a new appreciation for everything. In this state of confusion, I was also partially disappointed that I was alive. If there ever was a time to drink away another hangover, this was it.

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