By Eric Wadsworth
My name was to be Allen.
I cannot remember the time before my memories began, except that I was with others who loved me, and I had some feelings of anticipation with a little trepidation.
My first real memories are of the joy of sleep, and of supreme comfort. I lived in a perfect world, where all my needs were taken care of to such a degree that I was not even aware that I had needs. I was warm, but I didn't realize it because I had known nothing else. I never felt hunger. My existance was a blissful cycle of sleeping and waking, then sleeping, only to awaken again.
Time was not measured, and only slowly did I realize that change existed in the universe. This was initially manifest by my sense of sight. There were a number of times that I noticed a red glow through my closed eyelids. Twice, the glow was fairly strong, but mostly it was faint.
This glow is what initially brought me to a realization of the concept of environment, and time. My previous attitude of total inward contemplation was modified to take these new experiences into account. I began to look forward to a future, and to wonder when I would see the glow again.
When I slept, I dreamed, and I dreamed of sleep. Sometimes I dreamed of waking from sleep. Later, I dreamed of the warm red glow.
My world moved sometimes. I could feel a temporary pressure on my leg, or my back. The pressure would come and go. Later, I obtained a great deal of enjoyment by trying to coordinate my small body enough to push back in response to these pressures. I had no concept of Outside, so I felt that these pressures must originate in my world, but I could not find the place they originated.
There were rhythms, I considered them to be music that I felt. I remember when I first realized it. There was one in me that was fast, and one in my home that was slow. Sometimes, later, I could faintly hear strange sounds that seemed to come from everywhere at once. I didn't know what these meant, but I looked forward to finding out.
Slowly, so very slowly, I realized that my world was shrinking. I no longer had the space I had once enjoyed, and I felt a bit cramped. My movement was restricted more, but in compensation I felt other movements more often. My home was yet warm and comforting, and the events that I noticed in my small life began to fall into a regular pattern. I slept longer, and was awake longer.
Finally, I realized that this shrinking could not continue forever. At some point, my blissful home would become too small to contain me. I could open my eyes a little, and see a little bit of the red glow so much brighter. I wondered what would come next.
What came next was not what I wanted.
I first noticed because the slow rhythm went faster for a time. Then I saw a glow, a little, then more. Then the rhythm became slow. I began to become eager, and anticipated what would be coming. I moved my legs around hopefully.
My pre-memories rose in my mind, especially the ones about others who loved me. The concept was one I had been pondering for some time. I was looking forward to new experiences. I wanted to meet others, and touch them.
But what came next was not right.
Something pushed on me. I realized that there was something hard, and alien, with me in my home. It grabbed my arm, the one I had used to reply to pressures with. It clenched, and crushed the tiny bones in my hand. Pain was not something I had experienced, but now I screamed and kicked as best I could. There was no escape. My arm was torn off, then it gripped me around my ribs, and crushed them too.
I died then, when the small, fast rhythm in my chest stopped as it was torn. It was good because the pain stopped, but I was so sad.
As my consciousness left my body, I realized I could see clearly. I saw something silver and sharp impale the back of what I realized was my head, making a hole. Another instrument was inserted into it, and sucked out the contents. My head, my poor little head, collapsed and was destroyed. I saw that I had red hair, but it might have been the blood. My body, which I had enjoyed for such a short time, was torn apart like so much refuse.
Then my memories, my true pre-memories, came back to me. I realized that I was with some of my friends again, my true friends, and that they were crying with me. I had been gone for such a short time. They welcomed me with open arms. One of my best friends, I realized, was not here. She was the mother who didn't want me, who lay on the hospital bed below. With my weeping friends, I waved goodbye to my mother as I ascended. She did not see me.
My name would have been Allen.