23 June 2017

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"Your weakness is actually your strength", said the shimmering cloud of dust in front of me. It gusted and whorled but managed to maintain an shape of sorts. It was a cloudless, calm day here so I don't know what wind it was reacting to.

It was late autumn. I'd just finished work at the petrol plant and was taking a shortcut home through the grove. I was looking forward to seeing Wendy and my little Charles. I'd bought meat from the butcher on the way home for dinner. That was when the cloud appeared to me.

It talked to me in what I thought was English but I wasn't sure if I was hearing air vibrations or actual thoughts. The sparkling patch of air in front of me warped. I could see through it but what I saw behind it didn't make any sense to me. The trees through the twinkling cloud appeared to be in a different season.

"You can only exist in linear time with no awareness of the future." said the cloud. "This should not be possible for intelligent life. As far as any being knows, you are unique."
I stood, perplexed. I seemed to lack the ability for panic or fear. It kept talking.
"We all see time from the outside. Christmas lights on a string, a flat circle, choose your metaphor. But we are outside of it. We see all that happened. We can zoom in an experience anything but we lack the ability to change anything. Every moment of time is fixed." it warbled to me.

"But you. You humans. You should exist on train tracks but you don't. Because you can't see the future, you can change it. You have a choice. You can manipulate outcomes. We are at a loss as to how that's possible. For the moment, you are celebrities across all of time and space." it sang.

"I just wanted to meet one of you." it said, and jangled sideways into infinity.

I stood alone in the grove. I wasn't sure what had just happened.

I hurried home to my family for dinner but I was now obsessed with the choices I made with every footstep home.



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