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I Have an Idea

The first thing that registered was the absence – the absence of taste, sight, sound, and smell. It was nothing but the darkness that weighed upon him. It prevented him from feeling, from being alive. He was numb, in a world that consisted of only him.

Was he dead? The last thing he remembered was the voyage. There had been a huge storm that night and they really should not have been sailing. But Captain Marsh had been insistent, and there was no defying him.

The last thing that he remembered was going to sleep, listening to the waves crashing against the side of the boat, and perhaps some lightning. Is it possible that he had died while sleeping? Maybe his ship had crashed? Or maybe they had all drowned?
All he could do was to think and pray. It almost drove him insane.

After what seemed like eons of consciousness, the weight of the darkness was finally lifted from him.

He opened his eyes, and was greeted by heaven – at least, that’s what he thought at first. Well, that would be inaccurate. The first thing he really thought was “cloudy”, because that would be the best way to describe the setting: clouds, clouds, and more clouds. The serenity of it all swept him, and now all he wanted to do was sleep.
But there was no time for that. He blocked out the alluring serenity, and looked around.
He finally noticed that he was standing on the clouds. What in the world?
He bent down and felt them. It was exactly how he imagined cartoon clouds to feel like. They were soft and springy, but massive enough to carry his weight.
His thoughts wandered. Perhaps he was dead after all. But now, what to do?

All he could do was walk on, on the road of clouds, and see where it leads him. You never knew; maybe it led to the Pearly Gates.

On and on, he walked. With each step, he became more nervous. Where was he going? What awaited him? Was there even anything that awaited him beyond the massive sea of clouds? Maybe this was hell after all?

He thought back on his life. He didn't think he was an evil person. Maybe everyone thought that way. Sure, he had done his fair share of bad deeds, like keeping Junior's wallet or bribing the captain to let him on board.
But humans aren't perfect. Maybe this was just a punishment bestowed on mankind. To walk on forever, with nothing to do – nothing to do but think. And regret.

Finally though, he arrived. He didn’t know where he had gone, but he could feel a shift in the climate. It had been nice and pleasant; now, the air had become slightly colder. He started shivering, and he almost turned back to the way he came. But where would he go?
So, on he forged. With each step, he became more sluggish. It was like something was pushing against him, trying to block his path. But still, on he forged, desperate for a sign. In a way, it was better to know if he was in heaven or hell, rather than not knowing at all.

What awaited him was not heaven. He wasn’t sure if it was hell either.

What awaited him was a huge serpent that rather resembled a large boa constrictor. Its eyes were pearly white and it was a dark shade of red. At the same time though, it almost looked transparent. If he leaned back, it almost disappeared from his sight.
However, the most peculiar thing about it was the infinite number of arms that extended from its long, serpentine body. The fingers were long and gnarled, and were the same shade of red as the body. The arms tore at the clouds and then extended below the clouds.

He had no choice but to approach it. As he got closer, the clouds he was walking on became less dense, more transparent. He could see through them. The sight made him dizzy. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people were walking below him. It was like looking down from God’s perspective.

The serpent’s arms would grab a piece of cloud and descend. Each hand would dip into a person’s head, and then retreat back. Soon, he became close enough to see what was written on clouds. Some clouds had English written on them, some German, some Chinese, and some had languages he didn’t even recognize. He read the English ones:

“Maybe I should eat.”

“The coding isn't perfect, but he won’t notice.”

“I wonder if that Jesse will give me money.”

“I’ll pretend not to know him.”

"He's just cocky."

After reading dozens of the clouds, he realized what the clouds were.

They were thoughts, ideas. They were being implanted into people’s minds.

The realization struck him hard. What was God then? Was this God? How? The questions overwhelmed him. Finally, the most important question surfaced.

If this serpent creature was feeding them thoughts, how was he thinking?

As if sensing his question, the serpent finally turned towards him. It seemed to smile, before quickly opening its toothless mouth, and engulfing him.

He could have run away from the serpent. He could have fought. He could have done a lot of things, really.

But the man had reached the end of his thought process. The serpent had only given him a limited amount of thoughts; he had reached the limit. It smiled once again, before resuming its work.



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