Center of the Universe

The universe spins ever outward from the center, which is us, for we cannot see beyond what our senses allow us to see. We see equally in all directions because the universe tests the strength of our sight at every angle. From our perspective, we see the universe itself moving outward from us. We see the end of the universe and call it the end because we cannot see beyond. We are the center, for the center which is our sense is equally measuring outwards, to the ends of it’s own ability, in all directions where we look. What lies beyond is a mystery. People with sense put themselves at the center to understand their own perspective, and measure equally the extent of their senses. People with nonsense put themselves elsewhere and gain no perspective of themselves, for their measurement is false from the center of themselves to the extent of their knowledge, for the center is misplaced. To be the center of your universe is stability, for the accurate measurement of your senses’ experiences defines you. But understand the universe is larger than you see. Other centers exist, each with their own sense. You see what others cannot, but the same is said of them, always. To share what you see shares the definition of the you that centers your reality. Understanding that you can see what others don’t is also understanding that others see what you don’t. The universe does not revolve around you. It expands and it challenges you, and it gives you the experience to share, with others, your perspective. You are the you that no one else can deny, for no one else can deny your sense, which is yours alone to accept. But also exists the perspective of the others, who see the reality their sense allows. Those who deal with other challenges you do not, and see from a different place than you. Accepting that they see reality, from a different place, is the key to acceptance in this world.

The Soldier and the Sergeant

This is a short story I recently started writing. I’m not satisfied with the ending, but until I figure out how to fix it, it’s not changing.

Soldier squatted in the trench, arms trembling with fear as artillery rained down on all sides. Next to him Sergeant crouched, unmoving, watching for the signal.

Sargeant, what are we gonna do if they don’t stop shooting?” Soldier asked.

“The same thing we did last time, soldier. We charge and hope we break through this time.”

Soldier thought about Sergeant’s answer. He really wasn’t looking forward to getting shot out in the mud, where he would be left for dead by his companions, but he really didn’t have a choice. He was told to be here, told to put his life on the line, and told there was no going back.

Soldier knew if he ran from the trench, his countrymen would arrest him as a traitor. He knew if he did not put his life on the line, he would be arrested as a traitor. He knew if he tried going back, he would be shot as a traitor. Soldier knew he was not a traitor, and so here he was. Scared witless for his own life.

“Get a grip, Soldier.” Sergeant said. “The signal will go off any minute now. We have to show the enemy that we’re tougher and meaner than them!”

“But Sergeant, I’m not tough or mean. I’m the son of a shopkeeper from a small village. The meanest thing I’ve ever done was stick a frog on a girl’s book while she was looking away.”

Sergeant brought his eyes down from the sky to look at Soldier. “Sticking frogs on books won’t win us the war, son, we need to kill the enemy or they will kill us!”

Soldier thought some more. He never killed anything in his life. His mind went back to one night, just after the turn of the year, when the snows were blanketing the world in their soft embrace. It was his honeymoon, and his bride was upset there was a rat under the bed. She ranted and raved, but Soldier could not bring himself to kill the invading rodent. Eventually he managed to herd the rat out of the door into the cold, but he could not help but feel sorry for the little creature who now had to suffer winter’s heartless winds…

“Eyes up, Soldier!”

Soldier was quickly thrust back to the present by Sergeant, who now stood, gesturing to a plume of smoke on the horizon.

“There’s the signal, Soldier. Hold your wits and charge!”

Soldier began shaking violently now. He could no longer hear the sounds of artillery shells nearby, but he heard the sound of gunfire in the distance. Lots of gunfire.

Show your courage, Soldier! Show those monsters what we’re made of!”

Soldier stood up, still shaking with fear. He could hear his own weapon rattling in his hands as Sergeant climbed out of the trench.

“Come on Soldier! Up and let at them! Kill them all!”

Soldier climbed unsteadily up the trench, sounds of his fellow countrymen yelling and firing weapons nearby were the only thing he could hear now. He watched Sergeant begin to sprint towards the enemy while calling Soldier to follow. Soldier obeyed.

With weapon in hand and adrenaline in his veins, Soldier let out a loud yell and began printing after Sergeant. Bullets hit the ground all around Soldier’s feet as he gained speed. He watched Sergeant in the distance reach the enemy trench and jump down into it. Soldier was nearly there when he heard a loud thwiiip and he felt his whole body fall backwards into the mud. He looked up and saw blood everywhere. On his weapon, on his hands, and on his chest. He could not figure out what happened, but he immediately began to feel cold.

As his fellow countrymen ran around and over him, his last thoughts went to his parents, to his wife, and to his unborn child, whom he would never meet.