Martys extracted himself from the normal flow of time and jumped downstream to begin a summarized replay of the past century. The replay finished and he rejoined the time flow. A suspicion nagged at him enough to spur him to sink, for a second time, the substantial amount of energy needed to extract himself from the time stream. He jumped four times further downstream into the past, to begin a more comprehensive, summarized replay.
With his energy expended, he rejoined the time stream at his current point of existence. He let himself float along as he tried to determine the gravity of his conclusions.
Humans had multiplied exponentially across the face of the earth as virii clone themselves in a susceptible host. The species around them had evolved so only the larger and vicious and even larger and more vicious species survived. The powerful and vicious fish rendered most other species extinct. The cannibal shrimp species became larger and larger and members of the species surpassed a meter in length, yet, somehow remained classified genetically as a shrimp. Martys’ conclusion was: humans were defying the nature of evolution. Neither did they grow physically much larger nor did they eliminate unfit members of their species.
Instead, the past century saw the humans accelerate their evolution. Humans seized control of their environment, the planet, and commanded those lifeforms physically superior to them. The human technology had advanced at an even higher exponential rate than the global rate of human population. For the past 5,000 years up until that point, Martys had seen humans follow the normal course of evolution. But for the couple of centuries after the year 2100, he bore witness to a new phenomenon: evolution to nonexistence. The more intelligent and fit members of the human species had surmounted the basic instincts of the species: they no longer wished to procreate and perpetuate their intelligence and superior genes. The fit portions of the human species were dying off rapidly. Inversely, the unfit portions of the human species were multiplying just as rapidly. The advancement of the species peaked.
And, now, 300 years after his conclusion, Martys lazily floated around in the time stream to ponder some more. Perhaps the human species had been an anomaly. The rest of the planet remained consistent with the flow of time. Even virii conform. What, then, were the humans?
TODO: edit this later. just writing ideas down.
She saw the street light change color to yellow, so she eased off the accelerator. Friction fulfilled its role and slowed her car down to a stop before the solid, thick white line. Her eyes automatically gravitated to the left and sought out the pedestrian crossing timer light. It was a bright white silhouette of a walking person. Her eyes lingered briefly on the steady white light and began to wander once she noticed it was not changing to a red, flashing hand.
A small movement in the periphery of her vision caught her eye. Crossing squarely between the bounding lines of the crosswalk was a woman. The outermost visible layer of clothing comprised a zip hoodie, yoga pants, gloves, and a fitted cap. The pedestrian had most certainly prepared herself for the 55 degree morning. Such a getup would normally not have attracted her eyes. She had spied an unusual movement not normally associated with pedestrians crossing the street.
Then, it happened again. And repeated over and over. The woman had her arms locked at the elbows and stuck out straight from her torso. While one hand was violently swung up to reach the level of the brim of her cap, the other was swung equally violently down to the hips but did not break the plane of the woman’s body. Then the motions repeated in an alternating fashion. The leg motions were incongruously normal for someone walking across the street.
She watched the toy soldier finish walking across the street and marveled that such a woman had not also strapped on one pound wrist weights under the belief that the extra resistance could be qualified as great for exercise. She mentally slapped herself upside the head for that unfairly generalizing thought and accelerated one second late to pass under the green traffic signal.
He clicked on the attention-grabbing headline while sipping a cup of decaffeinated coffee. The advertisements in the margin of the web page were but blurs whose existence had long ago been forgotten. Five minutes later, he realized his eyes had been focusing on one spot for the past four minutes. He had no idea what the article was about. Shaking himself out of his reverie, his brain connected with his eyes to magnify the words “should of” off the page away from their neighboring words like a trick with mirrors.
He kicked off his dress shoes and plopped himself down in front of his gaming setup. Mindlessly, he loaded his friends’ status updates in a superficial attempt at being interested in socializing. His mouth twitched with every “your” instead of “you’re” and “there” instead of “their” his eyes magically jumped to. At the bottom of the page, he realized he has been absorbing his friends’ updates, all this time, with nary a punctuation mark present. He fought back the urge to click in the comment boxes to correct all the lapses in grammar.
After the sounds of gunshots died out and the last taunt in chat faded from the screen, he quit the game and shut the computer down. With the water running down his body, he wondered why he was letting himself become unsettled. Carrying additional self-imposed stress was counterproductive. A wry smile accompanied his guilty admission that his grasp over grammar was no more masterful than that of any of the offending authors’. Back pedaling further, he also admitted to understanding everything that he had read. He saw little point in adhering to formal rules when most people’s goal is simply to communicate.
Today’s misuse and abuse of grammar is tomorrow’s language.
One of, presumably several, mantras in creative writing is: “Show, not tell.” Given my penchant for prolix soliloquy, this “showing” feels alien. Perhaps ironically, it also feels melodramatic. I am either an editor’s nightmare or among those dismissed early.
How about if I make it a point, through exercises, to animate “voicing” to reach the level of activity inherent in “showing.” Here, I am abusing the word “voicing” to serve as a label for exposing the inner voice within a character’s head.
(Aside: I am going to see how well not heavily-editing any of my entries on Parity Byte will go.)