Nature is a Paradox. 1,800 Fantasy Romance


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  1. #1
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    Nature is a Paradox. 1,800 Fantasy Romance

    On a quiet night in Rural Ohio, if you happened to be awake you might have seen a naked barefoot man walking through a newly-plowed field toward a lighted farmhouse. If lucky, and far enough away, you might even have lived through the sighting.

    “Well, a few months in this dimension,” George told himself, gazing at a farmhouse in the distance. “Then,” he continued with a deep sigh, “I can cross over to the next one.” The admission did not exactly thrill him. Flitting from one dimension to another may seem exciting to you or I, but was only a humdrum existence to the naked man.

    George’s occupation was as a life eradicator. He was working his way through the many dimensions of Earth in the Sol system; an endless and thankless task he’d been doing for thousands of Earth years.

    He knew that his efforts were useless, but it was his work and duty in the scheme of things. By the time he was finished with one dimension and moved on, new life would already be formed in the dimensions he had previously cleaned. When he eventually returned, they might even be at the level they had been before George had arrived the time before. It was no secret that while he was killing, others were seeding life behind him, reversing his work. Although both senseless and useless, it was the only occupation George had ever known.

    There are an infinite number of universes, containing an infinite number of suns, each with an infinite number of planets. Wait! You say that can’t be so in your solar system? You only have nine, at one time ten, planets. The Supreme Maker solved that problem by giving each planet around every sun an infinite number of dimensions, each with the same number of planets, well ... mostly.

    The same Supreme Maker, or possibly another which created him, her, or it, realized that the universe might still eventually overflow with life, so it created a check in the form of a Destroyer Service making space by killing off excess life in all the dimensions. George happened to be a long-time member of that valuable organization.

    The Destroyer Service sends nodes of itself, such as hapless George, to destroy most life on individual planets, in individual dimensions, themselves on individual suns of individual solar systems, within individual galaxies. George performed an endless task, flitting from one Earth dimension to another, destroying all life on it before advancing to the next.

    On top of that, as if it weren’t enough, troublemakers kept seeding new life behind him as well as simply adjusting time to reverse his efforts. So, you can see he wasn’t very excited about our dimension being one of the last in his current project list. When finished, he'd be issued another list and start over. Simple, right? Poor, poor George.

    In any case, George was at work, trudging wearily through yet another cornfield and getting his feet covered with thick fertile clay, sharp stones biting into bare soles. He projected an aura, without thinking, that killed all life within fifty yards of his plodding figure. That fifty yards was a minimum because he could project it farther, making for an extremely lonely existence. He’d never spoken to nor touched a live creature since accepting his position, in a very-long life by human standards.

    By clasping his ears tightly and concentrating, George could clear entire continents of all life. However, if taking that shortcut he would have to find his own food and do his own cooking until traveling to another continent. And the stink of excessive decay along the way would affect even him. George preferred fifty yards at a time. In a hopeless and hapless life, he wasn't in much of a hurry.

    George could also shoot searing death rays from baby-blue eyes. Mostly, through force of will, he rather enjoyed kind of prodding the life-forms into killing themselves off. He found that method more interesting in a boring sort of way.

    A passing rabbit got a silly look in its eyes before going back to the nest to kill its baby bunnies and then commit suicide by jumping onto the tines of farmer Johnson’s pitchfork. “Eeeii,” it cried as it jumped two feet into the air, landing on the sharp projections. That was the way George liked to do it, clean and simple.

    George, cursing the fact that he could project only his naked body through dimensions, was in a foul mood as he walked painfully up to a lone farmhouse. Dogs heralded his approach. At least until he killed them with eye beams.

    Old farmer Johnson had heard the animals and greeted him at the front porch with a shotgun, dropping it under his own deceased body as George saw him standing there. Inside the home, the farmer’s wife dropped dead in her chair in the living room from George’s aura as the lonely lifetaker plodded up wooden steps to the porch.

    “Damn. At least I can find a pair of shoes and proper clothing. This cold night air is killing me,” George muttered, entering the house of the dead. A recently expired mother cat and six dead kittens lay in a box inside the front door. “I’ll find shoes that fit and something to eat,” he decided, “then get to work in the morning.”

    With no hurry on a useless task, George dug through a couple of closets to find a pair of footwear and clothing that fit him. He then cut himself a slice of fresh ham chilled in a refrigerator, fried it with potatoes and onions, and enjoyed a good meal.

    Tired and fed, the lifetaker found a comfortable bed and slept soundly in the perfect silence he’d become used to.

    ***

    George woke to the sound of voices.

    “Who’s been in my kitchen, Henry?” a woman was asking.

    “Maybe an intruder last night, Harriet. It wasn’t me. Did you check the kittens yet?”

    “They’re all right. Molly was meowing, so I fed her.”

    At first, George thought he must be dreaming of his childhood home on a farm something like that one. As his mind cleared, he jerked upward in alarm.

    Impossible! Nothing should be alive in that house. He remembered killing them. Hurrying to dress, the anxious lifetaker went to the bedroom door, grasping the knob in shaking hands. He paused for a moment to listen, still thinking he must be imagining the sounds.

    “This is Janice, honey,” the female voice said. “She was lost and woke me this morning, Lordy, but I found you sleeping on the porch and I slept in my chair all last night.”

    “I don’t know what the hell happened.” the man answered. “Last I remember is hearing the dogs bark. I better see Doc Bork. It must be my blood pressure.”

    George felt weak, leaning his head against the door for a few seconds. Something was drastically wrong. His own blood pressure was sky high. Even while his anger built.

    “Well, I’ll soon put an end to this charade,” George told himself, finally regaining composure and getting his confidence back. “I’ll kill the hell out of them again, and I mean right now.”

    Jerking open the door, he straightened his back and headed for the kitchen, ready to do his sworn duty.

    All eyes met his as he entered the room. The old man and woman were there, also a girl in her twenties, a very pretty one. Well, it didn’t matter. In the 210,000 years since he'd started his job, George hadn’t been able to have sex. He had the will, not the way. Every girl he came near died before he could touch her.

    His eye beams swept out. The two older people fell back in their chairs, dead again. The young woman only stood still, looking surprised. He stared at her with destructive eye beams but she still didn’t drop.

    “Oh, my God. I do get ahead of myself. You must be George?” She walked up and held out her hand. “I’ve wanted to meet you for the longest time.”

    “What the hell you talking about? Wanted to meet me?”

    “Oh, yeah, man. I’m the lifegiver assigned to you. I try not to get there until right after you leave. Guess I screwed up." She looked shyly at the floor. "Sorry, man. I didn’t know you’d stay here all night. Thought you’d be way down the road by now, killing things.”

    “You mean every time I leave a place, you bring them back alive?”

    “Yes'sir, that’s my job. Your’s is to kill them, mine to bring them back to life. By the way, my name’s Janice.”

    “I ... I ... God damn it,” he screamed to the heavens. “I knew my task was useless, but not this. The same fucking day, yet.” George slumped into an empty kitchen chair across from the, again dead, couple. He began sobbing, then it hit him ... hard. George laid his head down and bawled loudly at the uselessness, the complete uselessness of his efforts.

    Janice knelt down and hugged him from behind, trying to comfort the lifetaker.

    “Oh, God. It’s my fault, George. I wasn’t thinking and got ahead of myself. I’m so, so sorry.”

    “You ... you.... Why, God, why?” he cried, looking at her with tearing eyes.

    She brightened up suddenly,

    “I know what! Why don’t I go back for a day or so, and we can start over, okay?”

    “No! It’s not okay. I’d still know you’re there, waiting.” He cried some more, blowing his nose on a sleeve of the borrowed shirt and getting a worried look from the girl in return.

    “Then ... Then why don’t both of us take a day or two off and get acquainted?” She looked at the bodies lying around the room. “I can always revive them later. Bet you ain’t had sex for a long time? It’d make you feel better?” Janice grinned, helping him to his feet.

    She led an unresisting lifetaker back to a bedroom where they stayed for a long time. In fact the bodies in the kitchen were pretty ripe by the time they'd finished.

    “Come on, George, baby. Let’s surprise the Johnsons again, like a joke.” She led him outside to the front yard and brought everybody back to life for the second time. Hugging him around the waist, she led George up to the front door and knocked.

    A somewhat groggy and very confused Mr. Johnson answered the door, carrying his shotgun while the dogs barked frantically.

    “Hi, Mr. Johnson,” she beamed her own pinkish eye beams – keeping them alive. “My name’s Janice and this is my friend, George. We need jobs and work cheap. You need any help around the farm?”

    Janice smiled sweetly at the old man. How could he resist those eyes? George certainly couldn’t.

    The End.
    Hvysmker – Charlie

  2. #2
    you might have seen a naked barefoot man
    I wold see that as a list, you might have seen a naked, barefoot, man

    George happened to be a long-time member
    Unless you were going to explain the happenstance I would go with 'Was a long time member', (shrug)

    On top of that, as if it weren’t enough, troublemakers kept seeding new life behind him as well
    is a repeat of
    . It was no secret that while he was killing, others were seeding life behind him, reversing his work.
    That's all I spot instantly, though I might have made 'With no hurry' 'Unhurried', but that's taste really. Nice little story, felt you could have played about with the conversation between Janice and George a little mor, but again, taste.
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  3. #3
    On a quiet night in Rural Ohio, if you happened to be awake you might have seen a naked barefoot man walking through a newly-plowed field toward a lighted farmhouse. If lucky, and far enough away, you might even have lived through the sighting. (Great start. Lots of interesting questions posed. I like the juxtaposition of a rural quiet night with all its normality, and what is patently abnormal behaviour. The challenge of living through the sighting ups the conflict ante exponentially.)

    “Well, a few months in this dimension,” George told himself, gazing at a farmhouse in the distance. “Then,” he continued with a deep sigh, “I can cross over to the next one.” The admission did not exactly thrill him. Flitting from one dimension to another may seem exciting to you or I, but was only a humdrum existence to the naked man. (Full disclosure - I am not a fan of science fiction or fantasy, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying a good story. Another disclosure - I am a grammar nerd. Should be "exciting to you or me". I can explain why, but that would be boring except to other grammar nerds.)

    George’s occupation was as a life eradicator. (Whoa. There's a new one on me. Gotta keep reading.) He was working his way through the many dimensions of Earth in the Sol system; an endless and thankless task he’d been doing for thousands of Earth years.

    He knew that his efforts were useless, but it was his work and duty in the scheme of things. By the time he was finished with one dimension and moved on, new life would already be formed in the dimensions he had previously cleaned. When he eventually returned, they might even be at the level they had been before George had arrived the time before. It was no secret that while he was killing, others were seeding life behind him, reversing his work. Although both senseless and useless, it was the only occupation George had ever known. (You see, this is what I mean about enjoying a story irrespective of the genre. George's mindless meaningless job is something many of us have experienced and can relate to.)

    There are an infinite number of universes, containing an infinite number of suns, each with an infinite number of planets. Wait! You say that can’t be so in your solar system? You only have nine, at one time ten, planets. The Supreme Maker solved that problem by giving each planet around every sun an infinite number of dimensions, each with the same number of planets, well ... mostly. (This paragraph is one I passed over quickly because it didn't advance the story so much as give backstory explanations that I didn't need, since I'd accepted the basic premise from the first paragraph. I'm happy to enjoy the magic without the magician having to tell me how he did it.)

    The same Supreme Maker, or possibly another which created him, her, or it, realized that the universe might still eventually overflow with life, so it created a check in the form of a Destroyer Service making space by killing off excess life in all the dimensions. George happened to be a long-time member of that valuable organization. (This explanation is useful since it justifies George's job within the context of the original story premise. I liked the writer's cheeky supposition that this Supreme Maker had another one that created Him. "Cheeky" might not be the best word, but to this atheist, the proposition is a pleasant slap in the face to those who simplify religion so that they may understand it. Forcing an expansion of that thought experiment seems cheeky to me. Okay, now I like that descriptor.)

    The Destroyer Service sends nodes of itself, such as hapless George, to destroy most life on individual planets, in individual dimensions, themselves on individual suns of individual solar systems, within individual galaxies. George performed an endless task, flitting from one Earth dimension to another, destroying all life on it before advancing to the next. (A good expansion of George's place in this world view, but I'm wondering and getting impatient for when we're going to get to the romance that is the underlying raison d'être of this genre.)

    On top of that, as if it weren’t enough, troublemakers kept seeding new life behind him as well as simply adjusting time to reverse his efforts. So, you can see he wasn’t very excited about our dimension being one of the last in his current project list. When finished, he'd be issued another list and start over. Simple, right? Poor, poor George.

    In any case, George was at work, trudging wearily through yet another cornfield and getting his feet covered with thick fertile clay, sharp stones biting into bare soles. He projected an aura, without thinking, that killed all life within fifty yards of his plodding figure. That fifty yards was a minimum because he could project it farther, making for an extremely lonely existence. (I've met people like this at parties.) He’d never spoken to nor touched a live creature since accepting his position, in a very-long life by human standards.

    By clasping his ears tightly and concentrating, George could clear entire continents of all life. However, if taking that shortcut he would have to find his own food and do his own cooking until traveling to another continent. And the stink of excessive decay along the way would affect even him. George preferred fifty yards at a time. In a hopeless and hapless life, he wasn't in much of a hurry. (Is this a plot hole? Plants can create life from non-life, but the rest of us need to consume life in order to live ourselves. If he kills all life around him, how would he himself live?)

    George could also shoot searing death rays from baby-blue eyes. Mostly, through force of will, he rather enjoyed kind of prodding the life-forms into killing themselves off. (I like the way George thinks. This quite an amusing take on the human condition.) He found that method more interesting in a boring sort of way.

    A passing rabbit got a silly look in its eyes before going back to the nest to kill its baby bunnies and then commit suicide by jumping onto the tines of farmer Johnson’s pitchfork. “Eeeii,” it cried as it jumped two feet into the air, landing on the sharp projections. That was the way George liked to do it, clean and simple. (Definitely straying away from romance here.)

    George, cursing the fact that he could project only his naked body through dimensions, was in a foul mood as he walked painfully up to a lone farmhouse. Dogs heralded his approach. At least until he killed them with eye beams. (Killing dogs? What happened to Save The Cat? It's going to be hard to like George if he's killing doggies. Can killing cats be far behind?)

    Old farmer Johnson had heard the animals and greeted him at the front porch with a shotgun, dropping it under his own deceased body as George saw him standing there. Inside the home, the farmer’s wife dropped dead in her chair in the living room from George’s aura as the lonely lifetaker plodded up wooden steps to the porch. (Okay, this is getting a bit repetitious and making me wonder how I'm going to empathize with George. He's an automaton at this point.)

    “Damn. At least I can find a pair of shoes and proper clothing. This cold night air is killing me,” George muttered, entering the house of the dead. A recently expired mother cat and six dead kittens lay in a box inside the front door. (I knew it -- dead cats. Okay George, I have lost all sympathy for you.) “I’ll find shoes that fit and something to eat,” he decided, “then get to work in the morning.”

    With no hurry on a useless task, George dug through a couple of closets to find a pair of footwear and clothing that fit him. He then cut himself a slice of fresh ham chilled in a refrigerator, fried it with potatoes and onions, and enjoyed a good meal.

    Tired and fed, the lifetaker found a comfortable bed and slept soundly in the perfect silence he’d become used to. (Sounds like the joys of self-isolation.)

    ***

    George woke to the sound of voices.

    “Who’s been in my kitchen, Henry?” a woman was asking.

    “Maybe an intruder last night, Harriet. It wasn’t me. Did you check the kittens yet?”

    “They’re all right. Molly was meowing, so I fed her.”

    At first, George thought he must be dreaming of his childhood home on a farm something like that one. As his mind cleared, he jerked upward in alarm.

    Impossible! Nothing should be alive in that house. He remembered killing them. Hurrying to dress, the anxious lifetaker went to the bedroom door, grasping the knob in shaking hands. He paused for a moment to listen, still thinking he must be imagining the sounds. (Glad I stuck around. Big shakeup for George and for the trajectory of this story. Nice.)

    “This is Janice, honey,” the female voice said. “She was lost and woke me this morning, Lordy, but I found you sleeping on the porch and I slept in my chair all last night.”

    “I don’t know what the hell happened.” the man answered. “Last I remember is hearing the dogs bark. I better see Doc Bork. It must be my blood pressure.”

    George felt weak, leaning his head against the door for a few seconds. Something was drastically wrong. His own blood pressure was sky high. Even while his anger built.

    “Well, I’ll soon put an end to this charade,” George told himself, finally regaining composure and getting his confidence back. “I’ll kill the hell out of them again, and I mean right now.”

    Jerking open the door, he straightened his back and headed for the kitchen, ready to do his sworn duty.

    All eyes met his as he entered the room. The old man and woman were there, also a girl in her twenties, a very pretty one. Well, it didn’t matter. In the 210,000 years since he'd started his job, George hadn’t been able to have sex. He had the will, not the way. Every girl he came near died before he could touch her. (I've been on dates like that.)

    His eye beams swept out. The two older people fell back in their chairs, dead again. The young woman only stood still, looking surprised. He stared at her with destructive eye beams but she still didn’t drop.

    “Oh, my God. I do get ahead of myself. You must be George?” She walked up and held out her hand. “I’ve wanted to meet you for the longest time.”

    “What the hell you talking about? Wanted to meet me?”

    “Oh, yeah, man. I’m the lifegiver assigned to you. I try not to get there until right after you leave. Guess I screwed up." She looked shyly at the floor. "Sorry, man. I didn’t know you’d stay here all night. Thought you’d be way down the road by now, killing things.”

    “You mean every time I leave a place, you bring them back alive?”

    “Yes'sir, that’s my job. Your’s (Yours) is to kill them, mine to bring them back to life. By the way, my name’s Janice.” (Lovely twist to the story. Enjoying this immensely now.)

    “I ... I ... God damn it,” he screamed to the heavens. “I knew my task was useless, but not this. The same fucking day, yet.” George slumped into an empty kitchen chair across from the, again dead, couple. He began sobbing, then it hit him ... hard. George laid his head down and bawled loudly at the uselessness, the complete uselessness of his efforts. (The on-again off-again of the life forms has taken the sting out of George laying low kitties and doggies.)

    Janice knelt down and hugged him from behind, trying to comfort the lifetaker. (Love it.)

    “Oh, God. It’s my fault, George. I wasn’t thinking and got ahead of myself. I’m so, so sorry.”

    “You ... you.... Why, God, why?” he cried, looking at her with tearing eyes.

    She brightened up suddenly,

    “I know what! Why don’t I go back for a day or so, and we can start over, okay?”

    “No! It’s not okay. I’d still know you’re there, waiting.” He cried some more, blowing his nose on a sleeve of the borrowed shirt and getting a worried look from the girl in return.

    “Then ... Then why don’t both of us take a day or two off and get acquainted?” She looked at the bodies lying around the room. “I can always revive them later. Bet you ain’t had sex for a long time? It’d make you feel better?” Janice grinned, helping him to his feet. (No question mark needed. George is ready to come to life himself, I'll bet.)

    She led an unresisting lifetaker back to a bedroom where they stayed for a long time. In fact the bodies in the kitchen were pretty ripe by the time they'd finished.

    “Come on, George, baby. Let’s surprise the Johnsons again, like a joke.” She led him outside to the front yard and brought everybody back to life for the second time. Hugging him around the waist, she led George up to the front door and knocked.

    A somewhat groggy and very confused Mr. Johnson answered the door, carrying his shotgun while the dogs barked frantically.

    “Hi, Mr. Johnson,” she beamed her own pinkish eye beams – keeping them alive. “My name’s Janice and this is my friend, George. We need jobs and work cheap. You need any help around the farm?”

    Janice smiled sweetly at the old man. How could he resist those eyes? George certainly couldn’t.

    I was having trouble getting past the opening, but in its entirety, what a wonderful story. So glad I finished.

    Thanks for posting.

    Dennis
    in the dark striking matches

  4. #4
    Thinking about this while I was in the garden I came up with their a line for their conversation, 'Do you ever make life other than with your eyes?' . I wouldn't be able to resist working that in.

    Edit, nice crit, DennisP
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  5. #5
    I like the idea of this story, but I think a lot of time is spent setting up how this universe works. It's good to have a solid idea of how something works in a fictional world, but it can confused the reader if there's too much explanation. I think leaving the explanation as there are multiple universes created by a supreme being is simple enough. I also think it would be a good idea to expand on the relationship between Janice and George. Maybe they met before and George never understood why they keep running into each other? Either way, it seems like there could be more than just on off chance meeting. You don't even need to add it into the story, just suggesting it would be good enough. You could also maybe expand on the idea that they got jobs at that farm, instead of just ending it there. What motivated George, other than Janice, to stay? Was he tired of his job, or did he liked the idea of settling down? Those are all interesting ideas that fit really well in this story.

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