I took a deep breath and prepared to continue my speech—a moment in a dream might be a month in reality. But before I could begin, the red horseman preemptively interrupted me and said,
“What do you suppose those flashes of light are, Doctor Kimel, shining out there in the void? You’ll notice that some twinkle, and others just glow dimly.”
“Are they stars or planets?”
“Stars and planets are non-fictional objects,” laughed the red horseman. “They don’t exist in this place. Not anymore. No, those lights are Sentinels—every one a living soul at one time or another, scattered in time and space. The Sentinels that glow dimly represent people who have viewed us in the past. The ones that shine brightly symbolize active views—people watching us at this very moment. So long as they sparkle, someone is observing us, and thinking about what we do and say here.”
He turned to the pale horseman, and asked, “Brother, how many lights have illuminated this place since the beginning of time?”
The pale horseman said, “818, and to be honest, they rarely shine brightly.”
The red horseman sniggered, “That is a pathetic number. I can show you places in this universe where lewd acts are performed for cash that boast millions upon millions of more lights on them. Why do you suppose this place is so dark and murky? Why do you think our words are so muffled, and don’t echo? This site is in the middle of nowhere, and no one cares what you do or say here. Even if you justified God’s existence, even if you explained the nature of human history, even if you described utopia itself, no one would give a damn. If anything, those who disagreed with you would resent you for the effort. But you needn’t worry about that, because you don’t even have an audience to misunderstand you. Essentially, you’re talking to yourself.”
This was a depressing prospect. I began to grow uneasy. In my sleep, my body might have turned on its side—I sensed that the world was beginning to de-materialize, and my consciousness was being recalled to another reality.
The black horseman galloped forward. “Concentrate, Doctor Kimel, for God’s sake.”
“Why should he?” laughed the red horseman. “Vanitas vanitatum, Brother! I’ll see this place destroyed before I’ll let this beast from the planet of talking monkeys throw a second stone at me!”
Alright, alright, this is getting too abstract. I’ll agree to intervene for entertainment’s sake, and to speed this plot along. Doctor Kimel, go ahead and justify belief in the existence of God. Then, I’m afraid that you’ll have to throw a stone at the red horseman, killing him. Then the black horseman will throw a stone at the pale horseman in self-righteous revenge for his earlier injury. The pale horseman will then justifiably throw a second stone at the black horseman, killing him. Then, Doctor Kimel, as the white horseman, you will have the duty of throwing a second stone at the pale horseman in punishment for what he just did to the black. And so, you will emerge unscathed with your three rivals dead.
The other three horsemen hurled themselves to the ground. Their steeds reared up in terror. Every observer fell prostrate, sobbing. Some screamed in terror—others in confusion.
I said, “Whose voice is this?”
This is David Vincent Kimel, the Author.
“But I’m David Vincent Kimel,” I said, “and by the sound of things, I must be in a dream.”
The screaming crowd began to scramble in all directions. The other three horsemen leapt on their steeds and scattered. The charred lamb skull, exposed by the dissipating crowd, approached me and said, “Don’t you understand? We’re all David Vincent Kimel here. We are all phantoms in a single imagination.”
In my hands, the third seal on the scroll broke.
And then I woke up, and saw no shadow of falling back asleep.
July 3, 2011
Next Entry July 10, 2011