Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Tom Ball

     There were many disruptions to normal life from the wars. I ended up cast out from my village and found myself in a primordial setting; it was just me and the girl in an orange grove. It was hot and we were naked. We both had attractive faces and bodies.

     One day a talking wild pig came to our grove. The pig said, “I am God and can grant you any wish. But you must be careful what you wish for!” I blurted out, “I am sick of eating oranges and digging for worms. I want better food!” The pig said, “You should be glad to eat worms! You already live in Paradise. But you are still not satisfied. So, I am sending you to an 18th century nightmare life in industrial Britain.” And so, it was the girl and I found ourselves living in a hole and slaving away in the choking smog. The girl said, “It’s your greed that put us here.” And one day she simply walked out, telling me, “You are useless!” So, I got drunk and while walking between pubs, the wild pig appeared again. The pig said, “Now that you know what hell is, maybe you won’t be so pessimistic and greedy.” I said, “Take me back to the orange grove!” But the pig said, “You have lost your lover forever, you blew it. So, I am sending you into an imaginary future.”

     So, I found myself in a World with 3 suns overhead. It was hot and the landscape was orange. And some orange-skinned women appeared. And they each said, “Love me!” So, I loved each one, one after the other. Then the pig appeared. He said, “Are you satisfied now?” I said, “I wanted more intellectual women!” The pig said, “OK!” And I found myself in chains in a dungeon. Presently my master a beautiful woman appeared. She said, “Hello moron. It is time to milk you for your sperm. We need your sperm to create more ordinary workers.” So, she took a sample. Then she left. This went on for weeks with the woman giving me little food and I was lonely and uncomfortable. Then one day the pig appeared. He asked, “How does it feel to be inferior to a woman?” I said, “Of course it is not what I thought it would be.” And then I said, “Take me away! Anywhere but here.”

     So, then I found myself inside the book, “1984.” I had a job in the propaganda department and had a secret lover. I tried to toe the line and do as I was told, but one day my lover disappeared and so I went to prostitutes instead. I was bored and lonely and figured my job was immoral. But I reflected there was a downside to every civilization. Before I’d ended up in the orange grove, I was a superfluous office worker doing menial work for years until one day I simply woke up in the orange grove and met the dream pig. And I reflected that my life was strange. I wondered if everyone was experiencing life like me. Anyway after a few months the pig appeared and asked, “If you are ready for Paradise?” I said, “Definitely.”

      “Paradise,” turned out to be an icy cold settlement in Antarctica. The people here were monitoring climate change as we were warming up the World to make it more comfortable. I found a lover her; she had an ice-cold personality and didn’t seem to have any feelings. But she was hot and I loved her passionately. But one week we didn’t get our supply ship and were worried there had been a war and we were isolated here. After four weeks we were out of food. We were in a panic and agreed to take our small boats to Chile. Ten of the 50 of us made it safely. But there were no people there. It seemed everyone had been vaporized. We went up the coast to Santiago and still no people. I reasoned there must be survivors, but after a year of searching we didn’t find anyone.

     Then one day the pig reappeared. I said, “I don’t like this Paradise.” He said, “But you have the whole World to yourself!” I said, “I want to live in a Paradise of happy people.” And so, then I appeared in a World of purple sky and golden houses. I met some people right away and they asked me, “What have you been dreaming about lately?” I told them, “I had been dreaming of a Utopia of purple and gold people and that is why I am here!” And I said, “I’d been dreaming about an imaginative lover who would inspire me and cause me to forget the past!” One girl said, “I can see from your eyes you’ve known pain and worry! But don’t worry you are safe now.” And she took my hand and led me to a theater with a giant screen. On the screen were one sexy girl after another. My new friend told me if I liked one, I would simply have to call out, “I want her.” They were all so sexy but finally #10 seemed brilliant and was in a golden lake and was golden skinned like the others here, so I called out for her. As it turned out we seemed to hit it off, but after a few weeks she told me, “You should sample other lovers. They were all good,” she said. So, I loved a few and I tell you it was pure bliss. But finally, I was all worn out and tired and needed a break.

     And it was then that the pig reappeared. I spoke to the pig saying, “This purple and gold World healed me and now I am ready for a tough intellectual adventure.” The pig said, “So might it be.” And I was in a green World of talking animals. I talked first to a bear man. He said, “To live here you need to be an animal man!” I asked, “Would I be able to change back when I decide to leave?” He said, “Of course, you are in Paradise now.” So, I elected to be a wolf, and suddenly all the female wolves seemed madly attractive. And one said, “My philosophy is to love new ideas. For example, we are trying out android animals who have the sum of all knowledge and all Worlds, all in their own head. The perfect animal,” she said. I said, “It sounds interesting, what other new ideas are you pursuing?” She said, “We are actively recruiting individuals from all the numerous Paradises, just like you!” And I loved her and howled in pleasure. And she said, “You are so energetic a lover, I think I am in love with you!” And I told her about the magic pig. She asked me, “What ideas do you follow?” I said, “Now my philosophy is to live forever in android Paradise. To love and get pleasure bursts from good ideas like, loving clever android love dolls. And I believe androids will be the ones who go to deep Space and take over most Paradises as the best of them are Super geniuses. They will teleport into Space and build brilliant cities and live together with human geniuses.”

      I spent a few months in this animal human World. Then I started to tire of being a wolf. And sure enough, the pig reappeared. He said, “I figured you’d like this World; personally, I am from there originally.” I replied, “But you moved on?” He said, “I am preoccupied with varying human geniuses. You are starting to become a genius, by the way!” I said to the pig, “I am ready for the next challenge.” So, then I appeared in a World in which I was sitting at a round marble table along with about 50 others. And they took turns talking and I realized they were all philosophers. One, a woman said, “I am representing Venus and I say that the United Worlds should invest more there. We have more geniuses per capita than any other place.” Many applauded. Another woman got up to speak and said, “My Supercomputer was the best and she could offer everyone a chance to get inside this great brain. People could multi-task and be in more than one place at a time.” Again, there was a lot of applause. Then a man, young like all the others said, “I say the hologram Worlds are our best Worlds, Worlds of pure imagination. We should invest in these Worlds.” And so it went, it was clear it was a finance minister’s meeting. And finally, a wise looking woman, said, “We have a new guest from the Inter-Worlds, and everyone looked at me.” So, I got up and said, “We need to put an end to bad Worlds. Only Paradises for all. I have seen a number of Dystopias that some claimed were Paradise, but each World should require an overwhelmingly positive vote to keep getting funds and support.” I made my speech with strong feeling. And they gave me a standing ovation. Then there were some more pleading speeches for funding and support and then everyone abruptly left after a loud chime was heard. As the people filed out a hot woman asked me, “Have you really been to many Dystopias?” I told her, “About the magic pig.” She said, “It’s certainly an interesting way to travel. And she brought me back to her home for some wild loving. Afterwards, she said, “I am curious about Dystopias.” I said, “Perhaps a few enjoyed them, but trust me, you don’t want to go to such Worlds.” After a few days of loving, I finally left without knowing where I was going, walking down the street, lined with trees and featuring white buildings and I was not surprised to see the pig again. He said, “Happy now?” I asked, “Are you in my head and creating only illusions for me.” He said, “Of course the Worlds I have brought you to are real, but of course these days the difference between reality and illusions is blurred.” I asked him, “Are we inside a Supercomputer?” He said, mysteriously, “Only if you think so.

     And I said, “Is this the end of me? Am I obsolete?” The pig replied, “There will always be room for a clever man like yourself. And I am not done with you yet, Tom.” So, then I was transported to a World of peach skies and metal buildings. No vegetation, just a metal ground. And I came upon a gorgeous woman who said, “This World is for androids only. What are you doing here?” I said, “Well, uh, I was just passing through.” She said, “You need to change into an android immediately!” I said, “I’d rather not.” But then a group of big androids appeared and grabbed me and next thing I knew I was and android. So, I went around asking people to give me a thrill. But they claimed, “We don’t know thrills.” And they avoided me.  Finally, I ended up in a dream cocoon. And dreamt lucid nightmares. For example, I dreamt of giants and tiny people. I was the only one who was normal human size. The tiny people were far more numerous and worked like ants to build the equivalent of a 2 km high skyscraper that housed a million of them. The giants meanwhile all had castles and warred with one another. They didn’t care about the little people, who were only 3 inches high and often trampled them under foot. The giants ranged in size from 20 feet to 60 feet tall.

     As I surveyed my surroundings, one of the giants grabbed me. And put me in a cage. There were other cages filled with normal-sized animals. Every hour or so a giant grabbed one and dragged them away. Finally, it was my turn, I said, “Don’t kill me; I have many interesting stories to tell.” But the giants slaughtered me.

     But then I was alive again. This time in an onyx World of statues with blue skies. I wondered who the statues were of. But as I stood there looking, I turned slowly into a statue myself. But I was still conscious and figured this was a horrible prison. But along came the pig, and he said, “That’s what posterity is all about; so, don’t live for posterity.”

     I said, “How many lessons do I have to learn?” The pig said, “One lesson more and then you will die.” I said, “I don’t want to learn any more lessons and I don’t want to die. Why show me all these lessons if I am just going to die?” The pig said, “It’s written in stone, you’ll see.” So, I appeared in a dimly lit World of green skies and blue plants. My first thought was this is a topsy-turvy World. But then an odd-looking girl, not without beauty appeared. She said, “Welcome to Paradise!” I asked, “What is the nature of this Paradise?” She replied, “I am God here and I have chosen for you to be my lover.” I said, “Why pick me of all people?” She said, “Can’t you see, it is destiny!” So, I loved her. And it was sublime. I felt I’d known her for a long time.  And I spent weeks of bliss with her.” But then the pig appeared and said, “Your time is up. Now you are ready to go into our great Supercomputer, joining millions of others.” I said, “I thought I was going to die.” The pig said, “You have to give up your body but will live on as a spirit.” And so it was. I got along with the others there and we acted with one voice after voting on everything. For example, we went to deep Space by mass teleportation. Teleportation was easy without a physical body. And we voted to take over the heads of the people on our chosen deep Space planet and so lived vicariously.

      And that dear reader, is my story.


 “Left Fork Books Green Wall,” a hard copy novel. “” a hard copy novel and one short story. “Down in the Dirt Magazine,” published 12 novel excerpts, 2 short stories 126 flash and one novella. “,” 24 pieces.  “Conceit Magazine,” and its imprints: dozens and dozens of flash. “Gargoyle Magazine,”, 1 long novel excerpt and 45 flash. “,” 4 novel excerpts, 4 short stories, and 25 flash. “Exterminating Angel Press,” 2 long novel excerpts, 2 short stories. “PBW Magazine,” 6 short flash collections and 11 short stories. And numerous pieces in “Fleas on the Dog Online.”He has also appeared in “Alternate Route Publishing” 6 flash, 1 short story, “Literary Yard,” 2 flash, 2 short stories and a short play. And “,” 2 short pieces and 1 short story, “ Hooghly Review,” short story. Cosmic Daffodil,” “The Wise Owl. Also “Sparrows Trombone,” “TRNSFR/Sip Cup,” “,” “Blank Spaces Mag,” “Newark Library Literary Journal,” And “Fresh Words Magazine,” 2 pieces. “Airgonaut” “Poetry Pacific” and the now defunct “Local Train Magazine,” and the defunct “” and others. He has also self-published two novels with now defunct, “American Book Publishing,” and another one with “Xlibris.” And co-authored, “Of Heaven and Hell,” a graphic novel with Zen Wang.

Tom is currently senior editor at “FLEAS ON THE DOG.

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