The Untale Tellers
You’ve heard of storytellers.
The tellers of tales.
The sharers of stories.
The makers of more.
Of course you have, because you are one.
We all are.
It’s the human condition.
What if it wasn’t?
What if humans weren’t born to do so? To tell stories? To share stories? To live stories?
What if the universe was destined to remain dark, trapped in a blackness of silence, absent of everything that makes it glow in the first place?
What if stories never existed at all?
It’s a planet, a world largely similar to our own. Wavelengths of light scatter in the same way, revealing soft blue skies and thick green fields. People exist too, probably the same amount (no matter what universe we’re in, humans seem to love multiplying), and just like the photons beaming through the atmosphere, they are scattered across the globe.
And that’s where it stops.
You see, the difference between our universe and theirs is that ours is expanding, constantly growing, making room for the lives and the stories endlessly emerging within them. But theirs? Theirs has no need. It’s devoid of any purpose, so it remains compact, halted, frozen.
It doesn’t matter what angle you approach it from, what you’ll find will always be the same.
Take this here tiny island, for example. Tacked in the centre of the motionless ocean in the northern hemisphere. It’s a small country, an even smaller city within it, but it’s pretty standard. Tall buildings, winding roads, a sun that rises and sets and casts shadows in its wake.
And there are people. A substantial amount. Children and bankers and pet owners and kids of bankers who own pets. It’s your basic composition of a community.
Again, however, there’s one significant difference. If you were to view this planet from space, you would not be able to distinguish it from our own. But venture a litter deeper, travel down into the thick layers of quiet atmosphere and you will be met with silence, still.
Because these people, they share the same world. And that’s the only thing they share.
They do not communicate.
They do not interact.
Many cohabit the same houses. Many are related. But this is only derived from instinct, from DNA and the innate desire to prolong survival.
Otherwise, they are on their own.
They roam the world, passing others just as we do – on their way to fill up the petrol or buy a quick cinnamon bun from Costa (because Costa exists bloody everywhere. Even in parallel universes). But there’s no conversation over the counter as money is exchanged. There’s no friendly face sat opposite them as they wipe crumbs off their laps. They don’t head out to the cinema or go for a jog whilst listening to the radio, because communication does not exist. Entertainment and thrill are redundant. Books and screens, fiction and even reality – there’s no reason for any of it. They live because they had no choice in the matter and sustaining themselves is ingrained deep into their cells.
But nobody knows the others name.
Nobody knows when their neighbour was born or if their brother is allergic to nuts.
Sure, they like things. They have hobbies and preferences and inexplicable desires. But nobody knows that. Nobody is aware that another is feeling these things too, so they frightfully believe that they’re a one off. A mystery. A malfunction.
They think they’re abnormal, some kind of mutated human being and their feelings are a mistake.
They don’t realise that life, by very definition, is about sharing their story.
And that’s because they haven’t truly yet lived.
They’re alive, but they are trapped. Like a snapshot of a species that closely resembles humanity but surely can’t be. Not like this. This is like they’re yet to be born. Mere shells of people, with their souls still brewing inside, this glowing yellow yolk of potential. All they need is a little nudge, a gentle knock and maybe they’ll crack, finally spilling out into the open.
Or maybe they won’t.
Maybe they are the very dark matter that permeates our own universe.
Maybe they are the origin of any and all black-holes.
In any case, they cannot function like this. Not forever. The Earth, any Earth, cannot survive without light.
Because, in the end, they are all stories. All valuable, worthy, phenomenal tales.
They just need to be shared.
No book is ever born with it’s pages sealed shut. And if it is? Download it on Kindle instead.
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