I am thrilled to have my short story “Altered Reality” published by The Piker Press. Thank you, editor Sand Pilarski!
If there is such a thing as altered reality in this world, it starts within our own minds. Deep within the core of our existence. It floats above the stars we watch at night, while wondering where truth begins and ends. We are looking at distant galaxies, at the same time trying to make sense of the here and now. We all want to know what path it is we are to follow, but is there a path at all? This is where our story begins.
Many eons ago, a young wanderer tried to find the answer, as he was searching for where the question was buried. Helios delighted in his namesake, the son of gods of olden time. The chariot and sun were his shield against the mundane. He knew there was more to life than merely living day to day. He was born to rise above the masses and to rule the skies. Wealth would be his legacy.
He walked the earth knowing that he was not alone, but believing that he was the only being that actually mattered. No other creature could stand up to him. He was might, and strength, and omnipotence, or so he thought in his own mind. And thus, an altered realty was born. It took place in the mental capacity of those who believed themselves to be superior to the rest of humanity. These beings lived the lie that would not die.
They had no proof beyond their own imagination. But if they had their way, their reality would become a fact of law. And so, one day, the lies all became the truth. Those too weak to stand up to the false gods, bowed down to their edicts. The minions followed; a new religion was born out of the dust.
Does this sound familiar to you? Have you lived in this world before? Have you visited the ends of the earth where reality does not exist? Once-upon-a-times are the reality of the lost. And in such a world, many souls are lost.
One day Helios came down from his mountain top, pondering what his next act of aggression should be. He deemed day was night, and night was day; the sky was green, and the earth was blue; white was black, and black was white. Half the people quivered obediently in fear, while half stood tall in defiance. A wayward acceptance of illusion took hold. He decided he needed to crush those who would not obey his rule. Terror would fill the hearts of those who believed, and those who did not believe alike. A new world order was at hand. This has happened before; it has been told. Life events are never new, history repeats the sins of the past. It is a continuous loop of emotions and misinformation, piled high upon a heap of mistrust. The ancient gods, in all their forms, were always cruel.
Those who followed Helios loved him and feared him at the same time. His word was gospel. They were fed by his anger. They began to hate those who did not believe their god. Great conflicts broke out in every corner of the earth. Blood rained down from the sky. Days turned into weeks, into years. Distances grew further with every breath taken. Chasms developed between family members and friends. And so, it came to pass, the universe was split in two, never to be whole again. The gods looked down and smiled as Chaos reigned supreme.
Some dream of peace, and some dream of war. Everyone has their own definition of what reality is. Altered is only a word to define where we stand and were we do not. Altered Reality – a distant far-off land that exists only in our own beliefs. The universe is vast, and there are many truths beyond our own. But love is the truth that cannot be denied. Love is the only answer to mend the rift.