Brutalist Stories #21

Empyrean Voids

Brutalist Stories #21

A lifetime of preparation coming down to a moment. The training, all the hours, the pain, the suffering that we all had to go through, now all boiling down to this instance, this next step, and if we succeed, the other world, and if we fail, well…

My son comes running up to me and grabs my leg, my wife follows close behind with her smile, the long flowing hair, her scent. He whispers to me not to go as her sweet embrace wraps itself around me.

I’ve explained to him countless times that I do this for him, I do it for us all, but he’s too young to understand. Though, she knows, she understands why I decided to walk this path when so many backed away, and she approves.

“Sir, the chamber is charging now.”

“Very well,” I say and kneel to face my son for one last time.

“Please don’t go,” he says, tears pouring down his cheeks.

“Son, there’s a time in every person’s life in which we must face our greatest fear. I thought I had faced that, countless times, but there was always something more. Here, now, I know what that fear truly is.”

He looks at me with his big eyes, trying to hold himself firm, and I say. “It is the fear that in doing this, after everything, and when I take the step, what I will find, what we all will find, will not provide the answers for what we need. That it will not be able to provide for you, and your mother. I do this for you, son. This is the only way.”

I hug him and stand and embrace my wife again. She leans her head into my shoulder and whispers gently that she is proud, and that she knows I will succeed. It’s all I need to hear.

“I am ready,” I say as I turn to the guard and am lead down the corridor to the chamber. Thousands upon thousands of other such rituals are all taking place simultaneously. Sweet sorrow, the long goodbye, we’re explorers and we need to understand why what happened happened, and if there was ever anything that could have prevented it.

They say the chances of finding the right Universe are infinitesimal, which is why they are sending so many of us. We must somehow battle with the infinite. I will walk and walk and I have been told there will be a darkness.

Yes, it is dark now.

And that this darkness may last forever, this may be the horizon that I have breached, or it may change. I hope for change, I hope to reach another side, I hope that where I emerge will show me something that I can send back, in the last moment before death comes, a sight or sound that might give them a clue, the information they need to save us all, to save her, to save him.

It remains dark and in a flash, everything floods back, all the training, all the pain, all the loving memories of her and with him and I blink and there’s a moment, the sky appears and it’s on fire and I know, this is something they can use and that there might be a brighter day, before I send the signal and the fire envelopes and there again, is the dark.

Building inspiration: Tribunal constitucional - Constitutional Court of Spain

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Brutalist Stories

Short sci-fi stories in 500 words or less deriving from the stark style of the functionalist architecture, that is characterised by the use of concrete.

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