They called him Flash, but few remember him. That name, however, was no less a misnomer than that magnificent canyon of North American Earth they named “The Grand Canyon.” For flash assumes that an appearance is made for the length of a moment that can not only be seen, but also remembered. He was faster than a flash.
In his younger days, time confused him. His appearance would be as a passing shadow or merely a thought. It had taken him well over one hundred years to learn to slow himself for observation of his surroundings or observation by things that could observe him. He was faster than a twinkle; quicker than a wink; light itself could not see him move. Just a thought from Flash’s brain (though that itself had become a misnamed organ) and he would be gone before the eye could detect him.
But, Flash desired something so great that not even one born in the forty-second century, and with such power, dared to dream. He wanted to be noticed. He wanted to be touched; held, yes, a second of a human touch on his body. Yet, more than that, he wanted to say something that would be heard.
All space was conquered. The depths of physics, infinity itself was disproved—religion, politics, peace. There was no more to discover, nothing left to explore, no great existence lay in the outer realms of the great cosmos. Flash found it all quite boring to have discovered the meaning of life and that life was infinitely approaching another traffic jam. At least that’s what he called each new discovery that proved, finally, and once and for all that there was nothing new under the sun. This sun, in the Earth year 4112 still burned in a solar system that his ancestors had abandoned a thousand years earlier.
Flash … was lonely.
Such a strange word. I mentioned that to him one day when he told me he wanted to visit the planet of his ancestors. He had ‘all of all there is’ and that his desire to communicate once again on such a low level was not befitting. But, like I said, he was only one hundred years of that earth’s rotating around its sun, so he had time to waste – so to speak.
Flash had a plan. He would reveal himself in words. Communicating with someone, anyone, required only finding a way to leave an impression. How could he leave his mark if all others were unable to train their eyes to see him? How would he leave his mark? He had long ago realized that being faster than a flash made it impossible for a sound to be heard, let alone understood.
Leave a mark! That’s what he decided. It was a moment of enlightenment that brought the first glimpse of joy to his heart. He would write something. He would leave an impression by those two old relics: the greatest means of communication in the ancient of days.
It would be so easy – replicate pen and paper, confident of his access to their proper assembly. Surely, someone still understood the written language. Most assuredly, after he succeeds to write what he wanted to write someone would discover it.
Before he even thought about what to write, the pen appeared with the blank page lying underneath. And the moment he wrote the first word – no, the moment the pen touched the paper – the first stroke of the first letter of his message was written to a world that could never comprehend him … FLASH!
copyright, 2012 by Eugene H. Maze
BOOKS BY EUGENE H. MAZE
Read an interview with Jeff Gerke here.