Thursday, November 24, 2016


Other Side
By David K Scholes

I found myself swimming forever in a sea, perhaps more a morass, of predominantly negative emotions and under currents.

Shock, anger, hatred, frustration, disappointment, despair, disbelief, among others.
Overlaying it all was a sense of helplessness. Of the inability to do anything to reverse whatever had occurred. Though exactly what had occurred I was quite unsure of. Though I had some suspicions and rather hoped I was wrong.

In the far distance was a vast barrier which carried an all pervading sense of impenetrability.

I had no sense of relative size or proportion here and consequently no sense of exactly how far away the barrier might be. There was a vague sense that distance here was not measured in kilometres or miles but by something else altogether. I attempted to swim nearer to the barrier but no matter how fast I strove towards it I could get no closer. In fact slowly, inexorably I was being drawn further away from the barrier.

Time seemed eternal here and yet I felt no particular sense of boredom. I was still trying to grasp where I was and what had happened to me. All the while my recollection of who I had been was receding. Though I was trying desperately hard to hold on to vestiges of it.

Eventually I began to feel an easing in the negative emotions and undercurrents. More than this I was able to discern actual figures apparently swimming like me in the morass. They were of all types and sizes. Not merely humans. The barrier, if such it was, was still visible but only just. I wondered if it too would recede into memory.

In one major direction the negative emotions eased further and I had my first sense of lighter more positive emotions and undercurrents. Feelings of relief of joy and of acceptance though sometimes still tinged with sadness. In another major direction the negative emotions actually seemed to gather strength once again. Threatening to become overwhelming.

For an indeterminate period I was flowing in neither of these major directions. I was just wallowing between them in what was now a morass of mixed emotions. Some positive, some negative. I felt more now than ever like an observer. With the main events passing me by as I simply watched on.

It was during this time that I detected a narrow current going against the flow. Back in the direction of the barrier. With figures swimming in that current. I attempted to enter it but could not.

While still wallowing in this no mans part of the morass I was finally able to hear and communicate with the many entities around me. I did not recognise the language used but understood it very clearly. At first it was overwhelming with every entity trying to communicate at once. It was also mainly unnerving. Entities yelling out in this universal language “I wasn’t ready”, “I’ve got so much still to do”, “It’s not my time” “Why me?” and similar remarks.

It was quite a while before I was able to have an actual conversation with anyone or anything. Eventually something clearly non human engaged with me.

“Where are we,” I asked “what is this place?’
“You know,” he/it said “you just don’t want to admit it.”
I feigned ignorance but I knew he was right. The evidence had been overwhelming.

“That flow, the current taking some back towards the barrier, what is that about?”
“You know,” it/he said “another chance, another opportunity for them back there where we came from.”
I looked puzzled.
“It happens, you know it happens. It always has and always will. The second chance thing or sometimes third, fourth, or fifth chance.”

I still didn’t quite understand. Even as suddenly I found myself caught up in the current going back towards the barrier.

He/it that I had been speaking to did not follow me in the back current.

“I believe the world you once belonged to had a name for it. This second/third/fourth chance thing,” he called out.


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The author has written over 170 speculative fiction short stories many of which appear in his seven published collections of short stories. He has also published two science fiction novellas (all on Amazon). He has been a regular contributor to the Antipodean SF, Beam Me Up Pod Cast, and Farther Stars Than These sites. He has also been published on 365 Tomorrows, Bewildering Stories, the WiFiles and the former Golden Visions magazine. He is currently well advanced with a new collection of science fiction short stories.

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