The Inbetween…


They were there, when the tomb was opened.  Perfectly preserved.  Books, before books were born into the world at the hands of humans.  They didn’t know how it was possible. The tomb was intact,  Yet there they were, the pages brittle, and worn from use, but otherwise perfect in every way.

“I told you,” said Diane.  “Just when you think something’s impossible the universe laughs in your face and shows you just how wrong you can be.”

“But how did they get here?  Who could have put them here?” asked Marc.

“I don’t know but here they are.  A better question is who read them and where is the body of the person who did?  And there’s no light source either.”

“Do you recognize the language?” asked Marc, grinning widely.

“Funny,” said Diane.  “How could these be written in English?”  There’s nothing else in here, except for a few splinters of wood and…is that what I think it is?” she continued, walking to the corner of the small room.

“Maybe we’re having a joint hallucination,” said Marc, shaking his head, as he stood next to her, looking down at the object laying on the floor.

“A silver cigarette lighter inscribed with the initials RF,” mumbled Diane, taking a picture of the object. “Circa 1950’s, I’d say. She then bent, picked up the lighter, dropped it into a bag, sealed it and shoved it into her pocket.  “Mark the spot, please.”

Marc took out his pad and sketched the place where the lighter had been laying.  He then placed a chip, with the number one, where the lighter had been found.

“None of this makes any sense,” he said.  “What does the book say?”

“There’s a book mark,” said Diane, teasing the small piece of paper from between the pages.  “It says, Bill Haley and the Comets.  Meet Jay at 8:30, usual place.”

“No.  That can’t be right.”

“I know,” she whispered, starting to read the words on the page of the open book.

You have found us.   Possibly by choice, possibly by
accident.  Either way, your life will never be the same.
You are, at this very moment, standing in the inbetween.
A place that exists everywhere at once, inbetween the pulse
of what you call everyday life.  All the knowledge that ever was,
or ever will be, can be found in the pages of these books.  
Simply think your question and the answer will appear.  Unfortunately,
your questions will be limited by your own knowledge and the
time in which you exist. You cannot ask questions that you
cannot imagine, do you understand?  That’s always
the problem for humans.  Lack of vision, for which there is no cure.
Humans only know how to build on what they already know.
Brick by brick, block by block, you move slowly forward,
unable to make the leaps you need to ask the right questions.
But that is neither here nor there. You cannot remove the books
from this room.  If you try, your atoms
will be scattered, never to come together again.
Do not trouble yourself, as to who wrote
the books in front of you.  You couldn’t possibly understand
the answer you would receive.  Just take advantage
of the limited time you have left and ask your question
for you shall not find me again. 

“What should we ask?” said Marc, excitement and fear in his voice, his features slightly distorted through the window of his helmet.  “My oxygen is getting low, we need to be quick.”

“I want to know what earth felt like when it was alive.”

“That’s not a question, that’s a feeling.”

“I want to know.”

“Well, then, ask,” he said, checking his monitor.

Diane put her hand on the page and thought, “Please let me feel what the earth was like when it was alive and well.”

“WAKE UP!  DIANE, WE HAVE TO GO!” shouted Marc.  “WAKE UP!

“But Diane didn’t want to wake up.  She was surrounded by green trees where nesting birds were singing, she saw oceans filled with beautiful beings of every size and shape, she was breathing fresh air and looking at blue skies with fluffy white clouds.  She saw and felt the heartbeat of the earth.  She felt life flowing through the planet, she heard it’s music, she knew how unaware and innocent most humans were, of the corruption of the few. Everything touched her skin and she was part of the earth itself, all new and fresh.  It was wonderful and amazing.  Why would she want to go back to her life of search and scavenge? Who wouldn’t want to live in this paradise?  But things were moving fast and the oceans were suddenly dark and dirty, the creatures sick and failing, the air was yellow and acid was eating the buildings, the people had no light, just tiny sparks now and then. Darkness was everywhere, everything was dying and no one was stopping it.  The corrupt few had multiplied and were feasting on the disease they had wrought.  Their pockets were full, and their bellies were fat but they were dead inside and then it was over.  In the blink of an eye, the planet was dead, all life extinguished and her heart was breaking.  She couldn’t breath.  She wanted it to stop, she wanted to wake up.  She heard her name being called and she fought to move toward the sound.  And then she was back and Marc was shaking her.  Shouting her name over and over again.  “We need air,” he yelled.  “Move.  Now.”

And they were back on the ship, back in space. But she couldn’t stop crying over what had been lost.  What had been so casually destroyed.  She couldn’t stop seeing the beauty turning into decay for profit, for greed.  She took what the medic gave her but she couldn’t block out the horror.  She talked to Lena, the empath.  She tried to tell her what was wrong but she couldn’t describe what she saw so that anyone could understand the weight of it. “It has to be felt,” she kept saying.  But, of course, no one could feel it, or understand what she was desperately trying to describe.”

Eventually, Diane gave up her position and began to write.  She wrote, she drew and she lectured.  She recorded what she had experienced.  She warned others to not repeat what had happened on earth.  She started to research what could be done to help the earth reboot.  She moved into the lab and began experimenting with what she hoped would bring life to a dead planet.  She worked day and most nights, determined to change what was.  The book in the tomb said that she would never be the same, and the book was right. She was alive but she was only partly on the ship, the rest of her was in the inbetween.

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