by Andrew J. West
Fated III: Stone, Falling is the third of five short stories inspired by existentialism collectively entitled, “Fated”. Each piece can be read as stand-alone or as part of the connected series. Catch the next issue of Eastlit for the fourth installment of the “Fated” series, Fated IV: Final Moment.
Fated III: Stone, Falling
Resolving to take the single step to cross the forbidden bridge from unrealistic life to freedom from reality, to efface the superficial function of the external world of banal work and insipid morality and start living in the sensuous world of self-knowledge, to stop living in fabricated memories and false hopes, to escape at last from the course first set by the accident of my birth and all the other accidents ever since leading me to here and now, all those little chance meetings and twists of fate that seemed to have made so much sense as they occurred and seemed to turn perfectly as cogs in sync with all the other cogs in my life-design of wheels revolving within wheels but which in retrospect appear now as nothing but a random sequence of actions and reactions, of coincidences and circumstances, mistakes that supposedly made me an individual: but how can I be an individual when everybody else fits into the same generic categories as I of occupation, country, race, gender, time, guilt… so I’m no different than anybody else—individuality, an ideal that in our striving to achieve it makes us all the same: not different—but I want to finally become not the things I am or even all the things I could have been; I don’t mean becoming the things that people see me or everybody else as—those estranged and meaningless things of who, what, when, where and why—I mean to make the ultimate decision, the decision to make the ultimate choice, and I hesitate no more in taking the step across the bridge in search of real truth… that is I take the step from which there is no return, and am instantly filled with the vitality lacking in the existence I’d experienced in my wanderings through the maze of vicissitudes, the heroic step towards the destiny we all share, but choosing to take it now without waiting for it to choose me… and by doing so I’ve chosen to free my inner-self from depression, ennui and anxiety by tearing my body apart, by smashing my body in a collision with the pavement below in an irreversible reversal of my destiny, returning me back to before the beginning of this mundane hallucination, to before the predicament of my birth, to finally accept my terrible finitude in the face of the eternity racing towards me at an accelerating speed… and, with only a slither of a moment left before I hit the concrete, and unable to draw a final breath (the breath has been sucked out of me) as I fall like a stone, falling towards the swarm of oblivious people below who, just maybe, if they can for a second shift their focus away from dwelling on their own inconsequential and uneventful lives, they might catch a glimpse of a life illuminated as a shooting star, a life being lived at last at one hundred percent capacity, which, when refined to such a purified state, must by the very definition of its own nature be brief, burning so brightly it outshines all other lights in the sky, if only for the briefest instant of lucidity, an instant of significance eclipsing all the other moments put together of my long life lived within ordinary limits, a life which in comparison was no more than a fizzling matchstick subsumed by a firestorm as great as the one ignited by the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs all those millions of years ago after punching a hole through the atmosphere and striking the planet, sending shockwaves of violent destruction sweeping around the globe… only the shockwaves my asteroid sends out are not waves of unmitigated nature, but unadulterated humanity, of compassion so powerful it glows blue hot and when I’m an inch from the ground it melts a hole beneath me, burning with enough force to cut through to the earth’s molten core and tunnel all the way through to the other side of the world, punching back through the atmosphere and heading on out into space at the speed of light, racing forever into the heavens and, if you look up attentively enough, you’ll be able to see me, or, if you look carefully enough to your side, you’ll see me right there next to you because, although I’m gone, I’m also still forever here with you, as you’ll never be able to forget the moment my body exploded on impact with the sidewalk besides you—scattering my shattered limbs across the footpath in the shape of an incomprehensible hieroglyph—at least giving you a sign to tirelessly consider as you grope your way blindly through this fictional abyss.
Part 4 will be in Eastlit November 2016.
Editor’s Note on Fated III: Stone, Falling:
Fated III: Stone, Falling is not Andrew J. West’s first work to appear in Eastlit. His previous published pieces are:
- The Mansion was published in the June 2013 issue of Eastlit,
- Art of Evil appeared in the August 2013 issue
- The Puppet Tree was published in the October 2013 issue.
- The Student featured in the December 2103 issue.
- Self Portrait appeared in Eastlit February 2014.
- Three Worlds, the online photo-poetry exhibition was in Eastlit April 2014.
- Perfect Present was in Eastlit June 2014.
- City of Clay featured in Eastlit September 2014.
- Great Goddess was published in Eastlit December 2014.
You can also read the Eastlit Andrew J West interview.