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Fiction: Water by Ken Hartman


by Ken Hartman

Water had changed everywhere. It was no longer a transparent liquid. Pour a glass from a tap and what you saw was seething with illuminated colors and life or virtual lives, swirling, florescent Mandelbrots, twirling parasols of urgent colors against muted backgrounds of watercolors, sparkling fiery points of microscopic lights, majorettes’ batons flung like satellites around the glass, Moiré florescence on the breaking cusps of waves. It was more like a plasma than a liquid, but neutral to the touch in terms of temperature.

After you drank a glass, your fingers stabbed against the wall below your mirror in order to steady yourself, because now your eyes contained the same cacophony, the same paradox of infinity in limited space, the phenomenon and noumenon combined in your startled gaze, which you would have to learn to live with.

Some saw it as okay: maybe things had been too boring for too long and this was the sudden end to that: we had gone past an unknown edge all at once. The whole ocean did this; rain did this; no form of water was exempt.

It tasted like water, which is to say it had no taste. If you were thirsty it would act like water in that respect and quench your thirst. Boats floated upon it. So no problems in these regards.

Using our frame of view we had always presumed that the aliens would come amongst us by landing here in spaceships. We had never envisioned or prophesied that the aliens could come amongst us by transforming water.

Their minds, their information, their bodies…there was no distinction between these things, and this was beyond our frame of view or had been until now. Here was compact infinity, an almost tangible presence of the origin of all consciousness, like an explosion and implosion both at the same time, of totality. Water was basic to life. Water was everywhere. We were largely water.

Look at how our planet appeared transformed from space, our signature visible now in the order of cognoscenti planets.

We who have never experienced the new water would think that several years in the future when this happened, it would take time to adjust to the change and we would feel it transforming us.

We would think in terms of an invasion or a communication, a contract being performed, distribution…all those mindsets we were used to. It was not like that. It was fait accompli!

It was done when it started. In some sense it had always been, only some obscuring mask had been stripped away.

We had understood time in the wrong way.

The edges of our time line curved around and converged and met where we were. One could still remember water that was transparent and seas that were green or blue. That was still there. Nothing had been taken away, only added. We were the water.

Look more closely.

About the author

Ken will attempt to create his own genre of sci-fi-psy short movies, of which the attached short story is the first visualization, and from which the storyboard can be constructed. Now all he needs is a GGI partner, some actors, a producer and lots of money. At the same time, “Water” may be thought of as a sci-fi-psy poem, and lots of synesthesia into the bargain. His preference in sci-fi is a fixated one: one in which only one thing has changed, and everything else is as it is. This story is a good example of that.

He lives in the country formerly known as The United States of America, and normally spends about 12% of his time in Canada, from which he is currently barred.

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Created in 2014, Flashes is a privately owned literary website. We publish short stories, non-fiction, flash fiction and poetry. Our goal is to give talented writers a platform to showcase their creativity, with an emphasis on original voice, innovative style and challenging plots.
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