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Above the Beyond

Above the Beyond



My grandfather created the experiment. The idea was simple enough, create a world below our feet full of organisms identical to the ones on our world to observe and experiment on. The council approved his idea and soon the construction of this world, Earth, began. Immediately after Earth was built and premature versions of ourselves were placed on it we began to observe what they did. Time went by faster on their world, so it was easier to see their progression over a long period of time. The people of Earth began to create civilizations and leaders began to arise. We were able to learn about our own species from the Humans on Earth and our science progressed immensely. My grandpa became one of the most famous people in our entire world. At the time we were unaware that creating Earth made our world weaker and less stable. Our world was thrust into a state of shock when the first person fell. Part of our ground crumbled under a young man’s feet and he fell down to Earth. He was a rich man who had been able to afford every medical enhancement possible, and because of this the man did not die when he landed on Earth. He was more advanced than the Humans on Earth in almost every way and when he was discovered he was worshipped as if he was a god. They made them their King and he instructed them to build him a massive tomb when he died. They began working immediately and in a time span of 10-20 years created him the largest tomb that had ever been built. When he passed away they mummified his body and placed him in this tomb, the Great Pyramid of Giza. When the council discovered what had happened they were furious. They called our world’s best engineers to try and make our world sturdier, but they were too late. Progressively, our world began to crumble beneath our feet. Many people fell to Earth, tainting the experiment. The people of our world went into a panic. We did everything in our power to not fall. Some were successful, but many weren’t. The ground was crumbling and it couldn’t be stopped. The number of victims began to rise and the countless names became a blur. However, their names were not forgotten to the Humans below; Yu, Buddha, Socrates, Aristotle, Alexander, Julius, Jesus, Muhammad, Henry, Leonardo, Christopher, Johann, Michelangelo, Benjamin, George, Isaac. The list grew constantly; there was no end. People began to accept falling as a stage in their life. Families choose to fall together, and villages prepared for the plummet to Earth. Our world was overpopulated, so people were being herded off the edge. My village was next in line. It would soon be my turn to fall.


I see the world differently than everyone else in my community. My dad is a council member; he works for the government and is almost never at home. My mother tries her best to give my brother and I a good life, but she doesn’t understand me. She can’t comprehend why I like to be alone or why I express myself in ways that won’t benefit my future. I don’t know what I want to do with my life and that drives her insane. If it were her choice she’d have every waking moment of my life planned out perfectly. She’s already mapped out my brother, Daniel’s life. All he wants is to make my dad notice him. He wants to follow in my dad’s shoes, and my mom’s helping him do just that. I guess I just don’t fit in. I’m like a puzzle piece that’s been jammed into the wrong spot; all I want is to be free. Some nights, I sneak out of my house and I paint. I paint buildings, walls, even the ground; the whole world becomes my canvas. I let the colors and patterns control me and I don’t think, I don’t feel, I just be. But if you sneak out, you have to eventually sneak back in; and when I climb back through my window and lie on my bed I’m overcome with misery. As the paint dries on my fingertips and my breath slows, I force myself to become trapped once again. I try to convince myself that I have a good life, but I’ve never been a very good liar, especially when it comes to lying to myself. Tomorrow we must fall. My mom is scared; I see it in her eyes. It’s not the falling that she fears, it’s the fact that we are falling into the unknown. I’m not going to fall; I’m going to jump. I’ve been searching for something different, some other place to call home, and I’m hoping that Earth will be the place where I belong. My father instructed my brother and I to pack a backpack with a few things we want to take with us. Technically we aren’t supposed to bring anything, we aren’t even supposed to know when it’s our time to fall. But my dad is on the council, so he becomes an exception to the rules and because we’re his family we become one also. The problem with choosing what I want to bring with me is that I don’t have many things that are truly my own. In the end, I choose to leave everything behind. Even my backpack lies empty on my bedroom floor. There is a moment right before I wake up the next morning that everything is clear; everything is empty. It’s like the silence right before a storm comes, but it doesn’t last more than a few seconds. When my eyes shoot open I’m hit with the realization that today I leave my home behind and start a new life in a new place. I can smell a warm breakfast emanating from the kitchen; my mother is cooking our last meal in this house. I slowly get out of my bed and tiptoe down the hallway barely letting my feet touch the ground. I don’t want to spend my last morning sitting at a table attempting to make small talk while awkward silences suffocates me. I need to go outside and walk around; I need to soak up the familiarity of this place, because that will be something I’m deprived of for a while. As I’m on my way to the backdoor I pass my father’s study. When I was younger I used to sneak in that room late at night after my dad had gone to bed; I would sit in his chair and read one of his books even though I didn’t understand them. My fingertips brush the cold metal doorknob and without a thought I turn it open. I can hear my father’s voice coming from the kitchen, but it doesn’t falter. I open the door the rest of the way and step inside, closing the door quietly as I tentatively step towards his desk. I inhale the scent of old books and step towards the bookshelf that covers one of the walls. My fingers run across the books as I walk until I feel cool leather under my fingertips. I stop and pull the book out of the shelf. It was my favorite. I never understood what it was about but it was different from all the other books; it reminded me of myself. I open it to the middle and the musky scent envelopes me. My eyes scan the text, the words still as unfamiliar to me as they were when I was little. It’s in a language different from the one on our world. Someone, somewhere knows what it says, what it means; but to me, it looks like gibberish. I pause listening to my father in the kitchen. He seems to be in the middle of a story; I don’t have to leave yet. I continue walking past the books and toward his desk. When I reach his desk chair I sit down and close my eyes remembering my childhood. My eyes flutter back open and focus in on a file thats been caught in one of the desk drawers. Curiosity takes over and I try to open the drawer. It’s jammed, so i pull harder. Finally the drawer shoots open spilling the file onto the ground. Immediately I fall to the ground. Glancing at the door I pick up the papers putting them back into the file. I don’t hear anyone coming, so I slow my pace. By habit my eyes skim the text. I stop cold and my eyes go wide with fear. Picking up more pieces of paper I read each one slowly and carefully. These papers must be confidential, I shouldn’t be reading them, but I can’t stop. The humans on Earth have developed beyond what was expected. We must terminate the experiment immediately and overpower them. We must collapse our world. Once we have all fallen to Earth we will make them our slaves and take power over their world. I read and reread trying to comprehend what this all means. There is a diagram of our world. Someone had drawn a red x through the villages that have already fallen to Earth. My eyes grow big as the realization hits me; when people fall off our world it isn’t an accident. We’re being herded off the edge of our world on purpose. Innocent people are going to be forced into slavery, and my own father is a part of it. I’m not sure how to react. My stomach flips and I stand up. The papers fall out of my hands and flutter to the floor. I’m no longer concerned about picking them up. I swing the door open and walk down the hallway. I don’t know what to think, so I don’t think at all. I walk straight through the kitchen, straight towards the front door. “Byrnne, do you have everything ready to go?” I turn to face my mom and stare at her, cocking my head. “Honey is everything okay?” I can detect the slightest amount of worry in her voice, but I say nothing. I simply turn towards the door once more and continue walking. I can feel my family’s eyes on my back as I open the front door. They must be too confused to stop me, because they never say a word as I step outside and close the door behind me. I walk out of our driveway and away from a house that was never my home. I am unaware of the anger building inside of me until I can literally feel it pulsing through my veins. Jumping or even falling towards Earth is no longer an option for me, and just because the council is destroying our world on purpose doesn’t change the fact that it’s still going to crumble. I can’t stay here, I can’t go down. I’m truly out of options. A fanatical idea crosses my mind. I could go up. It’s so foolish I almost laugh, almost. Then the idea begins to develop in my brain, and it starts to sound more and more realistic. I know where to find a rocket ship. In fact, there’s one in storage right outside of town. I could escape the crumbling world and the cruelty that will occur on the world below. I could fly until it ran out of fuel and then I could simply float. Time and space would cease to exist until death took me away. It sounded like a daydream, and the more I thought about it the more I was determined to make it my reality. I began to walk faster. I had a purpose now; I had a destination. The walk from the end of my driveway to the storage cell turned into a haze. I had no thought, only action. The rocket appeared all at once. At first I only saw it as a speck on the horizon, but the speck grew fast and soon I could see every detail on the rocket’s outer shell. It wasn’t guarded; there wasn’t a soul in sight. There was no need; no one had used a rocket for many years,. It was easy enough to find the hatch, and it was easy to climb inside. One of the books I used to read was a manual on how to operate something very similar to this machine. I strained to think back to it now. I could only remember parts of it, but that was enough. I strapped myself in and started the rocket. I counted down the seconds until blast off just like they used to do. 3…2…1…I was thrust forward so fast and so hard that I was sick to my stomach. A crooked smile had found its way onto my face. Pure shock established itself in my mind; I had actually done it. It was stupid, ridiculous, insane, and incredibly amazing. I was going up, towards absolutely nothing, and I had no idea why. I had been tempted by the easiness of this, the simplicity of simply going to nowhere in particular. I don’t worry about my family; they’ll find their place on Earth. It’s just me and the universe. I fly in that rocket ship for weeks, maybe months. Time is nonexistent and I soon lose track of it, it’s not important anymore. I eat, I sleep, I be. The leather book somehow came with me, so I read it over and over again. Each time I read it I make up a new meaning for the words, a new story that it tells. I become lost in myself and the emptiness devours my soul. I’m lonely and I try to welcome death as a friend but he refuses my invitation. I am almost gone when my rocket crashes into the sky. I am startled and confused when the rocket ship stops stuck halfway in emptiness and halfway in a place above the beyond. Looking out the window I see a street and a house and a mailbox. Opening the latch, I crawl out. I step onto the ground. The door on the house opens up and a young child walks towards me. His questioning eyes evaluate me. Then he takes me hand. He says something to me. The words sound familiar, but I don’t understand him. He’s not speaking in our language. I hand him the book. He opens it and begins to read. Then he stops and looks up at me smiling. His next words are crisp and clear, “welcome home Brynne.”




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