Schrodinger’s Universe – flash fiction

The Daily Post

The construction guide was straightforward, well within the abilities of an average handyman with a basic knowledge of electricity. I never believed it could work, but at $5 for the plans on Ebay it grabbed my curiosity like an iron fist. I believed in a multidimensional universe, super-consciousness and higher levels of being, and I also loved to experiment.

The machine promised profound enlightenment in all those areas, and for many evenings I worked feverishly each night until ‘The Quantum State Viewer’ was finished. The manual warned of the pitfalls of rushing through the checks; phenomenal power could be unleashed or major rifts in space-time opened up. I still doubted nevertheless, but diligently fine-tuned and tested the device following the designer’s procedures.

The equipment was contained within a box half a metre square, incorporating the ‘pilot’s’ seat on top; a simple plastic chair, bolted down and connected up. Power came initially from a car battery but it promised, if tuned correctly, to tap into zero-point energy – the unseen and undetected infinite energy surrounding us. Still I doubted.

With all tests complete it was time to put it into action. Excitement, doubt and nervousness, each fought their own battles within me, churning my stomach into knots of anticipation. I had to go for it! I positioned myself on the seat, adjusted the headset and took hold of the hand-held control unit. Taking a deep breath I activated the power.

Nothing happened. Ah well, I’ve built an interesting toy, I thought. Then came a rumble, the basement began to glow and my skin tingled. Suddenly everything went black and silent. I couldn’t hear my own breath nor heartbeat, I should have felt fear but didn’t, only peace.

My mind seemed to reach out and the light of my consciousness expanded all around me. This was familiar; fascinating! A state similar to ones I had glimpsed whilst in deep meditation, but with a difference similar to that between normal dreaming and lucid dreaming, I had control.

I saw at once the entire cosmos, the macrocosm to the microcosm, all of time, infinity. I felt like a god, my attention and presence could be directed in an instant to any location or time. Then I noticed something that startled me – whatever I looked at changed, simply by the act of me observing it. The universe began to disintegrate into chaos.

Panic set in, I had to stop, I had to return home; but how? If I placed my thoughts in my basement it may cease to exist. ‘Calm down’, I told myself, ‘think’. I entered a meditative state, struggling to keep my mind contained, but eventually condensed it down to a finite point and settled in the awareness of the present moment. Carefully, I guided my presence, but not my awareness, back home. I didn’t know what would happen next. Then I remembered the controller must still be in my hand. Without drawing attention to it I pressed the power button.

Something, a part of my consciousness, winked out of existence; but I was home, sitting on the chair above the device.

The machine was uncontrollable; or rather it gave one a power that was uncontrollable. The experience was enlightening but frightening, I knew I had to dismantle it and ripped out the power cables. In frenzy I trashed the electronics, ramming a screwdriver through crucial circuitry; it was dead.

My watch showed that only two minutes had passed since I had begun the venture, confirmed by the house clock. I was shaking and poured myself a large whiskey wondering if I could sleep. It was 2am and work beckoned at 7am. Sipping the drink, I gazed out into the garden, the drink slid down my throat with comforting warmth. But something wasn’t right.

To my horror the house began to crumble around me, a tree in the distance dematerialised, then the sky began to fold in on itself, someone had built another machine………..

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