❝We live so close to the edge of the universe, half the garden actually sits out of existence. You should try not to fall asleep there, or watch the rest of the house too closely.❞
You would think here at the end of everything it would be silent. So far from all else it is quiet, but quiet enough to hear the universe singing. It sounds like a melodious, wordless lullaby just on the edge of hearing, sometimes so deep it burns in your bones, sometimes so high it feels like it’s lifting you with it, oftentimes hushed like a lover’s heartbeat against your ear, but it’s a song with no ending, or an ending so far from approaching as to be impossible to guess when it will finally fade away.
It’s what makes the garden flourish, I think, though we are so far from any suns. All the blooms are heavy, lush, in deep purples and velvet blues, streaked through with soft magenta, flaming orange, and electromagnetic green, or speckled with white and yellow exactly like the glitter of the eternally distancing stars, few and far between where we are. They sway though there’s no breeze, dancing to the universe’s song.
The scents are heady, floral, as you might expect, but they have an added fragrance—ozone, and something else both earthy and electric. They say carbon is odorless, but I think that’s what it is, and we can smell it here where it’s at its oldest state. It’s intoxicating. You could spend forever in the garden, I think, lulled by the gentle peace of it. It would be easy, between the song and the scent, to drift off to sleep there.
That would be dangerous of course; the boundaries between the garden and the void are constantly shifting with each inhale and exhale of the universe, and like a tide, you may find yourself swept away by the currents into the depth of the emptiness before you know it. Unlike the tide, there is no swimming back, no rescue coming. The universe may deposit you back on shore…or it may not, and there’s no telling which it will be, and when it will, if it will at all.
The rest of the house is a little like the universe; changeable, aware though not exactly conscious. Stare too long at the house and you may get lost in its shifting ways, entangled by its in-between states, its realities between reality. Stare too long and you will unspool, threads of your self spinning out into the in-between, irretrievably.
It’s beautiful out here, but dangerous too, without maliciousness or intention, simply in nature, in its essential self, and the differences between us and everything else. And that is beautiful too, in its own way.
Fictober is a challenge where writers respond to a prompt a day for the whole of October.
This year's prompts are from Deep Water Prompts on tumblr.
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