I once was one single being, and so were they. I once amazed the others with the skill and the wit that was mine, and they did the same in their way. I was mesmerized with a few of them, and many were mesmerized by me. I respected all in their ways, we all did. The few, or many of us kept things right when we were single beings.
One or some or most of us decided to grow, to expand and stretch in impressive and colorful ways. The pressure to follow was too intense for a resistance or rebellion or revolt. We stuck our extremities into the corners of the universe and dug our toes into the grainy stars. Some found solace in boxes and some needed to shift to and fro until they fit.
I stayed close to the ground, flattening my bones and stretching my skin, only shoving up where there was room. Sometimes, not often, I could reach up to the top, where the heat of a god’s breath warned me that higher was too high, but mostly I felt the water of a dense cloud trapped between my skin and the surface pooling into my own private ocean.
We couldn’t see each other any more. We were too tightly packed now, and so it didn’t matter that we broke. Some of us oozed into small puddles, some snapped from fragility, the pieces of them staying right where they were broken. Others fell and shattered, scattered everywhere like an old, dried skull, while a few shed their skin or fur until there was no center left. I simply chopped myself up into tiny bits so that I could sit, drinking down my residual energy for sustenance, writing down a history of what I wanted to be. I could dream, as I do the things nobody else wants to do, or I could rest after having done a task I can’t remember because my energy drowned my toil with the ocean that I had formed.
We see each other sometimes. We recognize each other most times. I see the others that don’t see me, and many see me, though I ignore many of them. None of us are one anymore, but we know that we were. Some forget that they are broken, but none forget that they are many. Once I was, now we will.
Flash fiction broken commentaries commentary fiction flash Flash fiction flashfiction humanity life living Micro story people person short Short short social social science society split Stories Story tiny story whole work