Print publications: Digital Photography World, November 2016 and Practical Photography, April 2017.
Other photos available at:
And my website: http://www.byondhelp.com
- Top Story - October 2023
Winner's GapTop Story - October 2023
It started with a reel. A quick fan poll from an online viral newcomer that had just surpassed 1 million followers asking if anyone had a day they could not account for, not related to drugs or alcohol. She sat on her signature pink Muppet fur chair, custom blue cat-eared headset glowing in the neon lighting of her room and talked about how hers had happened right before her online success and wondering if anyone else had a similar tale.
“Please understand that this is my punishment, not just yours,” Satan said. Chris just stared at him, metaphorically. Everything he was or did appeared to be metaphor since he died, as he had no actual substance. Just a damned soul, existing in some sort of otherness without form. But still, this interaction was somehow happening. He was hearing Satan and he was responding with a blank stare, even if he had no ears to hear or eyes to glaze over. But he was sure whatever he had, they were glazed over.
“So you want to buy my soul?” “Well, lease would be a better term.” Satan was leaning back against my kitchen table, calmly sipping the coffee I had offered him, out of instinct, shortly after he appeared in a flash of sulfuric smoke. I was concentrating very hard on my own cup, a reassuring solid in a world that was so much . . . spongier than it had been five minutes ago.
First contact could have gone better. The beings visiting Earth had learned how to leave behind their physical bodies so long ago that the idea of an awakened mind being tethered to meat was at best quaint, and frankly, a little disgusting to them. How could one explore infinite space, or spend the required centuries on the really worthwhile philosophical questions, when still stuck in all that biomass? Still, they were impressed with the progress, and more importantly the potential, they saw in humanity. The generational march forward of knowledge and thought was a revelation to creatures that had decoupled from the freight engine of biological evolution so long ago. They reasoned that once these Earthlings had been taught how to leave their husks behind, the addition of their billions to galactic exploration would inject these efforts with a new energy . It was so rare for a species to make the leap to true sentience, let alone maintain it. So many self-destructive habits inevitably accompanied reaching this state while still trapped in physical form. Only one species in a million could do it. The beings were going to help humanity leave their millennia of conflict behind, bring a new utopia, and make the galaxy a richer place. If only they could make contact . . .